Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) My Death Star is bigger than yours! Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) My Death Star is bigger than yours!
A spoiler-heavy review of the hotly anticipated new "Star Wars" instalment by J.J. Abrams. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) My Death Star is bigger than yours!

I could not find a way to review this film without including spoilers. I divided it into a “Mild Spoiler” section (descriptions of characters and certain situations, but no plot twists) and a “Heavy Spoilers” section (descriptions and evaluations of happenings in the 3rd act, no major plot twist giveaways). You have been warned. 

Intro

I saw Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens yesterday at the midnight premiere and I struggled over 10hrs today to finish this review, the longest I ever needed for one. The latest instalment of the saga whipped up the emotions in the geek crowd months before even a single picture was published. From the deal with Disney over the choice of director (J.J. Abrams) to the decision to let the old cast re-appear: pretty much any snippet was hotly debated. I would lie if I said I walked into the theatre without preconceptions: I never liked any of Abrams’ movies so far and the kind of development they represent in terms of movie-marketing, franchise-rebranding and fan-pandering, but that’s a topic that would demand its own article. So I was afraid that it would automatically become a heated rant if the film would turn out as disappointing, which it really did. But even after many rewrites, I sadly could not really eliminate all the rant stuff and deliver you a more tempered, organized and objective review.

…to cut a long story short, here it is:

A long time ago… [synopsis]

Years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the shattered Empire regrouped into the “First Order”, which is bent on destroying the young New Republic and their army, The Resistance. For some mysterious reason, their recently vanished Jedi leader Luke Skywalker is a main target for the space fascists. A map hidden in a little sphere-shaped robot called BB-8 could be the key to Luke’s whereabouts, but it gets lost on the desert planet Jakku after an attack by the First Order. Desert scavenger girl Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds it and together with the recently reformed stormtrooper Finn she wants to hand it over to the Resistance- unexpected help comes in the shape of two space war veterans we know all too well.

…in a galaxy far far away [Mild Spoilers]

It should not come as a big surprise that The Force Awakens is a movie that mostly aims to please the audience with fan-service, as the whole marketing of the last months combined and the choice of director J.J. Abrams, whose specialty is calculated consensus film making already indicated that. But did the makers really strike a good balance between continuing the story and satisfying nostalgic needs? I say no – the way the movie not only references, but clumsily reuses whole plot points from the original trilogy while trying to impose new elements, creates a dissonance in tone that will be even more obvious as soon as the initial hype around the movie has waned.

How Abrams uses the story framework of A New Hope for his own entry into the saga, goes beyond a homage and also cannot be rationalized with the “twin motive” Lucas established in the original trilogy, but is the kind of derivative, uninspired and patchy storytelling the director has already been guilty of a few times before. Indeed, the mix of rehashing the plot of a preceding instalment in a franchise, refined with some elements from other instalments as well as other movies of the same genre is very reminiscent of Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams last movie before this one.

Yet, Abrams is despite the extensive attempts at mimicry unable to recreate the feeling or the simple, but compelling story logic of the mighty first SW movie. Like in Into Darkness, a lot of the happenings are driven by convenience and coincidence, no urgency is palpable as the story tumbles from setting to setting, something Abrams tries to gloss over with spectacle, a swift pace and of course set-ups for several mysteries that should keep the audience intrigued and diverted from the deficiencies in the narrative department. Even a literal mystery box makes an appearance!

It’s baffling how mundane some scenes that are destined to be crowd pleasers, are: Neither the first appearance of the Falcon nor that of Han or Leia make a great impact. There is no great shot like that of Luke looking at the twin suns or Lando approaching the Falcon at the entrance of Cloud City. The way the old crew is handled is rather shameful, more about that below. In general, there are no memorable new scenes and there is a heavy reliance on listless nostalgia triggering callbacks to the old movies to conceal that, mostly in the shape of reheated motives and quotes.

The inadequacy of this pastiche is impressively, most impressively revealed with the newly introduced characters, with whose creation the writers (Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan) were left on their own. None of the original characters was overly complex (at least in the beginning) to begin with, but they represented graspable archetypes, which the likable actors breathed life into. But while we could immediately identify with Luke and friends, I’ve got a bad feeling about the newbies. Rey’s fate as the loneliest of all desert scavengers and Finn’s epiphany about the evil of his company, they just left me cold with their heavy-handed characterizations that are more tell than show.

star-wars-the-force-awakens-ubstillsdenoised3-16int.3 (1)

The acting was simply off-putting. For comparison’s sake again, the originals are not exactly known for masterful thespian efforts either, but there have been a few great performances by actors like Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness and even in the worst moments, not seldomly provided by Hamill, there was at least a certain innocence and sincerity about the dilettantism. Here, it’s the syrupy, phony, ADHD- overacting style that can be more easily processed into trailer snippets and which Abrams likes to impose on his cast. Even a pretty reliable thespian like Oscar Isaac turns into a one-dimensional space-bro in the vein of Nu Kirk. It makes you miss the nuance and subtlety of the acting in Chris Columbus directed movies.
Speaking of villains, Abrams never had any good ones in his films and this one is no exception. If you thought that Christensen’s Anakin was a whiny annoyance, then check out Kylo Ren, the most misunderstood and butthurt Sith- memorabilia collector in the galaxy.  Somebody should have told Domhall Gleeson that he is not playing Pontius Pilate in a Life of Brian remake.

The “New Order” is depicted as an even more ruthless version of the Empire, even a Nazi-like ideology is implied (the old Empire’s only ideology was “be evil”), a botched attempt to add a little more nuance to the black/white schemata of Star Wars. They educate kids as soldiers while they are still babies, yet the former stromtrooper Finn is revealed to be a bumbling mess who mostly serves as a comic relief. A major step down from Lando, regarding the portrayal of black characters in SW, if you ask me. By the way, the humour sucks, as does most of the dialogue; what exactly did Kasdan contribute again?
Then there is one character called Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o mo-capping a CGI-creature), a kind of space pirate and friend of Han Solo, who is Yoda, Lando and Jabba rolled into one creature.

kyloskwad-156317

A major sin is that this movie is visually a mess. The first section on Jakku has some neat visual moments, then the cinematographer suddenly started to slack, especially the parts on Kanata’s planet scream “TV-movie”. Neither the bosses of the “New Order” nor the leaders of the New Republic should have fired their original designers, because their ships are now pretty nondescript or even ugly. None of the new, generic designs is particularly impressive, some look even outright cheap and not very Star Wars-y. The Tie-fighters are now able to hover in mid-air like helicopters, an aesthetically appalling image.

Really surprising is the lack of good action, as I thought the movie would at least deliver in that regard. Apart from a decent desert chase that was already teased in the trailers, there was nothing outstanding, a lightsaber duel at the end being merely okay. The showdown is unbelievably underwhelming. FX-wise the movie does deliver though, apart from a few dodgy moments that are maybe owed to the tight schedule of the production.

Now here comes the rant:

Into the Sarlacc: [ HEAVY SPOILERS ]

Remember the common complaint that the second Death Star in ROTJ was a sign of unoriginality? Well, thankfully that cannot be said about TFA because now it’s a Death Planet, called “Starkiller Base” (which looks extremely ugly, by the way)! And in other news, Malibu Stacy has a new hat.
And it’s pretty symptomatic for the whole film and Abrams’ body of work: Not only is Abrams aping the predecessors in a clumsy, inelegant way, he also claims ownership by belittling their relevance. Like he did in his Star Trek movies, by erasing the original timeline and replacing it with a superficial, dolled-up version that bears all traits of his trademarked mediocrity. A passive-aggressive act that was symbolized in the glib destruction of Vulcan.

And the same happens here, by belittling the victory at Endor – the Empire reformed and the New Republic is still a resistance movement and now the threat they have to face is even BIGGER, woo-ha! – and thus relegating Episodes V & VI to mere middle pieces, while Episode IV is quasi-replaced with this third rate knock off /soft reboot. There is even a scene that directly addresses that matter. When the rebels discuss their attack strategy on the “Starkiller Base”, a hologram is shown that compares the size of the new evil star base to the original Death Death star; you see it’s bigger, so you are obviously watching a superior movie. It’s practically a dick-measuring contest with Lucas, right before our eyes (sorry for that mental image).
And don’t be afraid, you will get your glib planetocide too.

The same goes for the old characters: Their arcs are nullified, so the new, far more antiseptic and boring crew can take over.
Also, what about Luke? And there is this twist when… no, I am not gonna tackle those two points. Discussions about those will be haunting the web for the next decade or longer anyway.

Resume [Mild Spoilers]

The Force Awakens is a stilted variation of A New Hope with a few dashes of a “Best of Original Trilogy”- revue, all roided up for modern tastes and filtered through fan service vision, but low on charm. But it’s a fail on many levels, from the copy-paste approach to the story to the off-putting new design and the uninteresting new characters. Watching it is like choosing a cheap Chinese knock-off of a product over the original, just because someone painted fancy luminescent race car stripes on it. You can love it if you really want to, but it will fall apart sooner or later.

It’s a hollow experience and it makes you wonder where the saga is heading at – I think my last shred of (morbid) curiosity has waned though.

Author Image

DetectiveDee

Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.

  • CoolHandJuke

    So did he cum or what?

  • Stalkeye

    Oh, noes!!!

  • Stalkeye

    Sure looks that way.

  • Stalkeye

    “Years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the shattered Empire regrouped into the “First Order”, which is bent on destroying the young New Republic and their army, The Resistance. For some mysterious reason, their recently vanished Jedi leader Luke Skywalker is a main target for the space fascists. A map hidden in a little sphere-shaped robot called BB-8 could be the key to Luke’s whereabouts, but it gets lost on the desert planet Jakku after an attack by the First Order. Desert scavenger girl Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds it and together with the recently reformed stormtrooper Finn she wants to hand it over to the Resistance- unexpected help comes in the shape of two space war veterans we know all too well.”

    Sounds familiar…

  • Oddly enough, all the negatives have peaked my curiosity about it now. This may be a matinee movie for me, come January.

  • …does not end there. Believe me, I only scratched the surface

  • Stalkeye

    Ruh-roh Raggy!

  • …well, that’s interesting

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    You penned that review very quickly! I’ll try and get mine up within the next few days.

    Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree that this a very poor and hollow movie indeed.

  • Sagamanus

    Tell us what you really think Dee. JJ does like to move things around. He creates alternate universes within other people’s universes. And that might work sometimes, but he’s trying to also put his name on it as if he created it. I don’t really know if I should care enough, because the audience while simultaneously wanting something new doesn’t want to leave the past and the comfort of a world that no longer exists. This isn’t the seventies and you can’t watch films again with new eyes.

    Good review though. I was waiting for it.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    “Cheap Chinese knock-off” is definitely accurate.

  • Was at the midnight premiere yesterday.

  • Sagamanus

    I wondered what took you so long Dee after you said you’d have it in two hours. But I guess when one starts ruminating on something it forces you to look at things a lot differently.

  • Thanks, Sagamanus. I think therein lies the problem: the movie wants to be a comfort zone for the old fans and a new approach as well and it’s nothing of both really.

  • Yo, check it out!! Star Wars is JJ’s turf now! It’s his now, motherfuckers!! The new boyo in town now!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    And if you dis him, he will cap ya!!

    Motherfucking fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!!!!!

  • I’ll sure take longer for mine, that’s for sure… when I eventually watch the movie. Which will not be that soon because, like, whatever. I’m patient about this.

  • Sagamanus

    I don’t think your review contains any spoilers at all really. Some of the things you describe still have to be seen. You danced over that line well without wrecking it.

  • Sagamanus

    I await.

  • My original review was more of a fun bashing, but then I decided that a more balanced review would give it more weight halfway through. There are a lot of things I left out. I might bring them up in some yearly retrospective, from a distance.

  • Or you could follow Lexi Alexander’s advice.

  • The books?

  • Thanks a lot. Well I would agree but many people see basic descriptions of characters that appear later in the movies as spoilers, for example.

  • I want spoilers, dammit!!!! I have the right!!!

  • Those pussies!!

  • Sagamanus

    Lol.

  • I want spoilers!!!

    I want spoilers!!!

    I want spoilers!!!

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Simon Pegg show up?

  • Too busy fucking up Star Trek Beyond hope.

  • I did not recognize him, if he did.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    It usually takes me a few days to sort out my thoughts, just to give a movie time to marinate in my brain and come to some conclusion about it after the initial, emotive reaction has worn off. I always think that if I post something right away, I might be doing a film an injustice.

    In this case, it’s the opposite: the more I ruminate on The Force Awakens, the more things I find to dislike about it. And I would really like to pinpoint why and go into depth about them. I was shocked at how bad the movie was in a lot of respects.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Oh you saw Star Wars?

  • Not yet. Not in a hurry either.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Never noticed him, although he’s in there somewhere.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    K.

  • Stalkeye

    Like i said, I shall see for myself and judge the film on its own merits and to be honest, I was hoping that JJ would redeem himself by doing this franchise justice but it may not be as promising from what i have read. Of course, I’ll be reading another friend’s opinion within an hour or so. *Wink*

  • Or the movie could just be lame and unremarkable.

  • Stalkeye

    CP time!!
    Huzzzah!!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Or it could be – and is – downright bad. Mediocrity would be a blessing in this case.

  • You watched it in an early screening? In 3D?

  • It is falling apart even more, yes. I really wanted an early review here and I have no time this weekend, so i had to do this today. As I mentioned above, I will probably do a retrospective article about 2015 and mention some additional thoughts.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Adam Driver just wanted to be an artist.

  • Stalkeye
  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    2D. I couldn’t be bothered paying for some lame post-conversion that even Abrams himself admitted he had no interest in.

  • I_am_better

    …and I totally disagree with all this.

  • Stalkeye

    Oh Shit, you have your very own Avatar!!!
    And here I am as a fictional Mass Murderer from a certain Videogame series..

  • I heard about one spoiler from the movie and I would like to ask the people who watched the movie is it’s true this happens:
    So, Han and Finn are in the Millennium Falcon, and Han is eating soup and Finn walks by and bumps on Han, who knocks the plate and spills the soup all over him. He gets upset and says “Ah… Shit!!!”
    This would be the first time ever in Star Wars the word is ever uttered, just like how Abrams in Star Trek he had the word “bullshit” said for the very first time in the history of that franchise.

  • Sagamanus

    One guy tossed in a spoiler in the comment section at Collider, and he was promptly banned. I happen to glance at it. Man if that is true, I’m not sure how I feel about it. No, I will not say what it is.

  • What? It’s even worst???

  • I_am_better

    No. I actually thought it’s very good.

  • Wow! Not even him liked that, hem?

  • Sagamanus

    Fires guns at IAB’s feet. Waiting to see if he is doing a review too.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    You could see the movie.

  • I_am_better

    That AND a friday news column? Don’t push your luck.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    IAB’s review is bigger than yours

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    All I will say is that I damned near burst out laughing in the theater when the revelation came. Not JJ’s intention, I’m sure.

  • Sagamanus

    I haven’t seen it yet. But if I did I will be sure to make the article not about the film, but about you.

  • Not in a hurry for that, and I’m not at all worried to have the movie spoilers at all. I’m super-zen about this movie. I’m in here for the fandom reaction circus.

  • It was not just bad, it was mishandled too.

  • Sagamanus

    I watched Temple of Doom yesterday. He says shit in that film. I don’t think I’ve heard it before. I guess that might be on the same level.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Super-zen indeed.

  • So how abut you create your own article where you address the issues that Dee disliked and you offer your opinion why this movie is of merit and a good continuation of the saga? Variety, man.

  • I_am_better

    That rumor is bullshit.

  • Slacker!!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Nope, not even him. He was interviewed on the Howard Stern radio show a couple of weeks ago and flat-out admitted it when questioned. Honesty from the snake-oil salesman at last!

  • Ah!!! And I was afraid nobody would pick up the reference.

  • One day you have to write or tell me why. I’d like to read your opinion.

  • Dude, just answer me this, please: How about the practical effects in the movie?

  • Yeah!

  • Sagamanus

    I wonder what Zissou thinks about all this SW hoopla?

  • Toruk_Makto

    The world needs to shout over and over.
    JJ stay away.
    JJ stay away.
    JJ stay away!

  • Kowtowing to The Man?

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    I’m certainly not as super-zen as Asi.

  • Toruk_Makto

    I could give you some spoilers. But since they are spectacularly unoriginal it would be pointless.

  • I_am_better

    Maybe after I get the news thing done tomorrow. The screening was 20 minutes late, it’s 11:30 PM and I only just got back home

  • Rose-Rey

    Sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea, dee. I LOVED it! 🙂

  • I_am_better

    Ditto.

  • Rose-Rey

    You saw it!! Yay! 🙂

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    I don’t really remember the other movies that well so it’s possible I will not pick up on some of the retreads.

  • Rose-Rey

    Me too!

  • Sagamanus

    Will you watch them again?

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Not intentionally.

  • The Power Of Fandom Compels You!!!!

  • Sagamanus

    What was the last film you saw? That didn’t have a whale in it.

  • How about the issues that Dee found in the movie?

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Room.

  • When you watched the movie?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    There’s a decent amount of practical FX, especially in the opening desert scenes, but by no means as much as advertised. And the movie features some horrible CG creatures quite prominently, especially in an early scene featuring Han. The major villain also looks terrible. I was shocked at the low quality of this CG, actually; you’d at least expect it to be top-notch in a blockbuster Disney movie.

    The spaceship scenes are, as previously noted, almost solely in the modern digital style and comparable to the Star Trek reboot ship battles, minus added lens flare.

    Honestly, the practical elements are nothing much to write home about.

  • But weren’t those creatures supposed to be animatronics?

  • Man, the major villain, I could not believe it. What a crappy design.

  • Rose-Rey

    We each see things differently. I thought it was a good way to bring in the new characters. I went for a good time and I really had one. Can’t wait to see it again.

  • Toruk_Makto

    No, a movie…
    Obi-Wan Kenobi…you’re our only hope!
    …sound familiar?

  • I just it weird that the Rebels didn’t won the war in Jedi and the empire were able to remain almost intact. This does make the victory in Return Of The Jedi look quite hollow. And the Rebels look inept and incompetent.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Been watching bits of it all day. If you really want spoilers you can get your fill at imdb.

  • Rose-Rey

    Have you seen it yet?

  • Sagamanus

    It’s surprising the effects were not eyeburstingly good if what you say is true. I saw the Phantom Menace playing on my cousin’s TV screen a while back and the effects looked horrid. The space ones anyway. Not even a step up from that? Mostly anyway?

  • Ah, right!
    Well, i have heard that the books are also very much rehashes of the original trilogy where the empire keeps reappearing and new heroes have to defeat them in a continuous cycle.

  • Those scenes looked great back then though.

  • Sagamanus

    Kylo Ren?

  • Nope. Snokes.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Yep, very disappointing and generic. I was expecting a grotesque creature or a truly disfigured or off-kilter humanoid, a la monkey eyes emperor from the original version of the Empire Strikes Back, not…well, I don’t know how much I should describe, since there are people here who haven’t seen it the movie yet.

    MINOR SPOILERS:

    But, yeah; we’ve seen that sort of design in countless mediocre fantasy and sci-fi films. I think Lord Voldemort and the Engineers from Prometheus should sue for using their likeness.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    They lied.

  • Sagamanus

    Yeah, true. But some of the cgi creatures didn’t. That water Jabba guy, I can’t recall the name of for instance.

  • No, but just from the descriptions of the movie’s plot, this image is very quick to come to mind. The fact the Rebels weren’t able to outright win a complete victory does undermine the ending of ROTJ.

  • Sagamanus

    Oh god, a nose change?

  • (Spoilers) It was the lovechild of Gollum/Voldemort and Mason Verger.

  • Boss Nass? Yeah the FX was almost too ambitious for its time.

  • I’m confused: is it an alien or a disfigured human?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Sort of. Big, bald and albino are accurate descriptors. Also disfigured, but not in a way that would upset the kids.

  • Rose-Rey

    I actually think it’s more realistic. Real life is rarely so clear cut.

  • There’s lots of plants there counter-acting on the spoilers by posting false spoilers, so its hard to believe anybody at IMDB. The place is crammed with plants, it’s like a rain forest!

  • Toruk_Makto

    Hard to discount movie-clips. Which there are a plenty. Seeing is believing.

  • Wait… now it’s OK for SW to be based on Real Life? Wasn’t SW supposed to be escapism from reality?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Well, let’s put it this way: the Phantom Menace FX were far more ground-breaking for their time than these. Characters like Watto and Sebulba were more convincing than some of their cousins in this movie.

  • Rose-Rey

    I am not going to argue with you because I am in my happy Star Wars bubble. 😀

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    I bet they still have laser guns and spaceship battles.

  • I can only be happy with a movie if it can pass through critical criteria. I can’t like a movie just for the sake of liking it, you know what I mean? If a movie can’t measure up if plot holes and lack of internal logic become apparent, then the movie has no use for me. My happy bubble only exists if the movie is solid enough to satisfy some demanding criteria.
    Fortunately, this year I watched a magnificent movie that filled all that with flying colours: SICARIO. That movie alone made 2015 for me.

  • Remember a year ago when the pic of the giant alien swine puppet circulated on the web? In the movie it was CGI.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    I know! Perhaps JJ built those mock-ups purely for publicity’s sake? It’s very puzzling.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Yeah, JJ doesn’t break new ground. He just spray paints over the old ground.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    Some people use more than internet comments to come to those conclusions.

  • Right.

  • Well, that’s kinda the point, right? The thing is called STAR WARS, after all.

  • Homeward Bound Zissou

    I thought maybe you forgot.

  • In the opening desert scenes, those images of crashed ships, you think they are in-camera perspective models or glass paintings or CGI??

  • The saga’s fanboys way to describe this movies do make me often forget what this movies actually are.

  • gorgarwilleatyou1

    Good review Dee my brother just saw it and said pretty much the same things….now where is Harry’s review i need a laugh….

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    The crashed ships are almost certainly CG. No way in hell could they be in-camera models or oil on glass matte paintings; they don’t have that look.

  • Thank you! Waiting as well…

  • Just saw they shilled Faraci

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Can someone tell me how to place an image as a banner above a title, as in the parade still above, when organizing a review into a template for submission? Thanks.

  • Under “excerpt” is a button with “thumbnail” and “select featured image”.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Ah, okay. Thanks. I had trouble with that when I submitted my Avengers review previously, so I just left it blank. In the end, someone (Puck?) attached an image of his own choosing as a header.

  • I will recompose that site in the upcoming days.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Okay, no problem. The submission template page is relatively straightforward and user-friendly as a whole; it was just that one function that eluded me.

  • Yes, where is Harry’s review, anyway? He of all people should had published his already. Is he pulling a mystery box?

  • So what is practical in the movie, anyway?

  • Sagamanus

    Jesus Turd you’re already getting down to it? You said the next few days. You must have some strong opinions on this.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    “Strong” would be an understatement. I can’t stay silent on this one. The sheer hackery I witnessed onscreen is compelling me to type the keys, like a form of automatic writing!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    A few background creatures and droids on Jakku, including the creature and rider from which Rey rescues BB-8 (but only in some close-ups). Some of the scavenger sets on Jaaku and the chambers in the Starkiller base. Creatures in Maz Kanata’s den on the forest planet (which is a shameless rip-off of the cantina scene, too!). I’m having trouble coming up with much else.

  • Stalkeye

    Never, silly! However, if I really like a film or movie, I’ll gladly pay out of my hard earned dollars!

  • Stalkeye

    LOL

  • Stalkeye

    To each his/her own I guess. There were times ppl questioned me for liking a Movie that wasn’t well received and it didn’t matter.
    Not everyone is entitled to the opinion of others. (;’
    I’ll also look into SICARIO.

  • Stalkeye
  • KilliK

    of course, you did.

  • KilliK

    cant wait for your review, mate. i am sure it will be glorious.

  • KilliK

    so it sucks. it figures.

  • KilliK

    Dee, have you changed something in your site which impacts its performance? both the page rendering and scrolling is very slow in the last few days. this is happening in both Chrome and Firefox.

  • KilliK

    his review and the talkback which follows it, will become epic, a legend in the annals of nerd history.

  • ??

  • Zed

    Seeing it on Tuesday with friends. Liquor shall be be consumed, both during and after. Any costumed fanboys present shall be harangued.

  • I enjoyed it. I think as a “movie” it was good. Fun and entertaining. However, as a “Star Wars movie” I’m leaning towards average at best, maybe even poor. Probably need another viewing to really decide, or at least discuss finer points to see if I can accept them. There’s some stuff, such as a few criticisms in this article, that I think can be explained such that it’s not a problem, but then I may have missed something and that’s not the case.

  • Darth Doomcock

    An outstanding review Detective Dee. Over at Harry the Hutt’s site I posted that I will not be seeing this “film” because I refuse to allow it to pervert my memory of Han, Leia and Luke’s happy ending. I won’t, for cheap thrills readily available in a dozen coming loud and FX-laden spectacles, trade in my memories of their hard-earned happy ending for this perversion. I would have done so if this story was a logical and compelling addition/extension of what came before, something that warranted and needed viewing, but this corporate product? No way. So I will never watch it, not for free on TV, not a torrent, nothing…it will not exist in my dojo. I won’t allow it to creep into my subconscious.

  • Decided to read a handful of the super positive reviews for a laugh and have come to the following conclusions:

    1. 30% are bought and paid for.

    2. 30% are written by critics who don’t remember anything about the previous films.

    3. 30% are just looking for a pull quote.

    4. 10% are some combination of the previous three.

    Like I said, I enjoyed the movie, but it’s not even close to “the best Star Wars sequel yet” or “the best Star Wars anything — film, TV show, video game, spinoff, what-have-you — in at least 32 years”. Those fuckers are on crack.

  • Sagamanus

    That’s why it’s so pointless to even go by anything they say. Especially in the beginning of a film’s release.

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    Nonsense. You’ll see it within the week.

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    Get a room already. You two are easily two of the most insufferable jackasses to post on the Internet.

    Do us a favor, and tell us the sequel story you’d tell. Don’t bash Abrams. Tell us the story you’d tell. Outline a plot. Give us the dialogue.

    It won’t be pretty, give that you think Avatar is the best movie of the past ten years.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Nope. I skipped Generations for the same reason – the bitch way they killed Kirk. I refused to let that cheap shit soil my memory of the character, my concept of the character, so I never watched it.

    Shit, this movie is just more special effects, shooting and explosions. I can see that in any number of movies over the next year. It’s no great loss to skip this inferior remake. So I will never watch it, not on video, not on TV. For me it doesn’t exist.

    C’mon man! Be happy for me! I can live without seeing this shitty movie! And you know what? I’ll bet you could too! 😀

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    No one cares, Elias.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Don’t be so obvious in your trolling man! Just skipping through here, making snarky comments and not adding anything…say something interesting, express an opinion, THEN do your trolling snarkiness schtick…it’ll play much better. Just a helpful hint. 🙂

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    Of course you did. You’re psychotic.

  • Phillyflopper

    I’ll see it in a couple of weeks. But I will continue to spoil myself like cooked eggs in an Arizona garbage dump. XD

  • Phillyflopper

    Is it as glorious as meeting a librarian 20 something with triple GGG tits? XD

  • Phillyflopper

    My story would be a rehash of one of the Three Amigos fake films. Only with more tit. XD

  • Phillyflopper

    I’ve been meaning to ask in my drunken stupor. What turd inspired you to leave the gravy? Honest Injun!

  • Phillyflopper

    He’s gonna write a penny poetry about how he saw it but since there was no man-bat and no cheets on his wife and has a beer, it was just OK.

  • Also, he watched it a month ago.

  • That movie is magnificent. It’s the kind that when it win oscars, you feel that for once justice was done.
    Which probably means it will not be nominated for anything.

  • But who says this is the case?

  • Hi mate, how are you?

  • No I did not. But there have been problems with our host. I will wait a few days then I contact them again if it does not get better.

  • Thanks a lot! You said it, it’s not a compelling addition.

  • his review…that can’t be real

  • You don’t need to see a movie t0mfigure some things out just from the premise description. The fact that the empire remained and become so strong they can now make an even more deadly Death Star means the heros failed miserably in the aftermath of the Battle in Return Of The Jedi.
    I have noticed that Abrams sure loves his heros to be quite inept.

  • Me, i would turn Star Wars into a carbon copy of Star Trek, but not the cool TOS, no, it would be like a carbon copy of Voyager. Just to see if the SW fanboys would like them apples now!

  • I think he’s more of a plant, really. He has rigid guide lines to follow.

  • I really don’tunderstand this need forthe majority of the critics and geeks alike to go on this exagerated geekasms. what’s the point? What does this accomplish? doesn’t for once this people think that one day they might look back and realise they made a fool of themselves?And for what? I really don’t get it.

  • Stalkeye

    * (0:< *

  • Zed

    Headlines are saying it might be Oscar worthy. You know, just like Zack Snyder’s magnum opus.

  • Frimmel

    The effects are practical in that Rey’s in front of a green screen they put up in the desert instead of an entirely green floor, ceiling, and walls in a studio?

  • Frimmel

    In one of the negative/mixed AICN reviews someone linked to what they called a “valid review.” The “valid review” was positive and effusive of the film but it was quite obvious the reviewers saw the same film. They both more or less said the film didn’t explain the politics very well because it was moving from action scene to action scene so quickly. They had the same complaints about a few other things but one thought it was great and another thought “meh.”

  • Frimmel

    I would read it. For what that’s worth…

  • Frimmel

    I’ll give film-makers a few It’s-a-movie-cards to play. By going into the theater I feel there is a certain amount of playing along that is expected of me and that I’m happy to participate in. But they can’t abuse those and they can’t go to it every time they are in trouble and the more of them the film-makers ask for the more awesome they better be providing.

    JJ always expects an entire stack of them and never provides enough awesome for two or three.

  • Frimmel

    Is it two hours of “bouncy framing?” It looked like the sort of story I enjoy but it also looked like a headache.

  • Frimmel

    I’ve been thinking about that and got to thinking that a bunch of really bad sequels have come after movies with “and they lived happily ever after” endings. The first is “Jewel of The Nile.” The first thing the film does is kill the happy ending of “Romancing the Stone. I think “Ghostbusters II” is guilty of that with the Ghostbusters getting sued out of business. “Speed 2” kind of does that.

    It really sounds like that is the whole premise of this new installment, “There wasn’t a happy ending.”

    So we have JJ’s hackiness all over a fundamentally downer premise.

  • Hachikô

    Apparently Lucas, when he sold to Disney, made it a condition that the new Star Wars films had to make his prequel trilogy look good. And indeed, I’d rather watch boring discussions over trade disputes every day for the rest of my life than see this nostalgia-laden POS again. Kudos to Abrams though, for staying on course and creating the equivalent to ST:09’s and ST:ID’s transwarp beaming with the new superweapon in TFA. You have to respect his simple mind.

  • Oh, he loved it? I thought I read somewhere he hated it. Fuck that guy regardless.

  • Frimmel

    I’m curious how much bouncy framing is in this. The previews suggest the typical drumming on the camera when characters are in a vehicle and throwing the camera around with lost of fast edits for the action. But in the quieter scenes is the camera locked down at all? Previews suggest the “fake handheld” sort of thing for that. Is the camera nearly always on the move in some way?

  • Frimmel

    Well he starts out tearing the film down for it’s nostalgia and then raves about the cast. He compares it to JJ Trek 09 and means that has both compliment and indictment.

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/12/16/star-wars-the-force-awakens-review

  • Darth Doomcock

    I’m amused at the subdued response/lack of response to TFA. Remember after Phantom Menace how the talkbacks exploded? Shit, it’s like you can hear crickets chirping out there. On Harry the Hutt’s site there isn’t even a dedicated viewer talkback, a few people are posting in Quint’s review, and the feedback is either “I liked it but” or outright negative.

    Pickles strikes again!

  • Darth Doomcock

    Yeah…who needs it? If we were starved for entertainment maybe, but these days there’s great geek stuff on TV for free every week, and huge tentpole dumb action movies constantly. I’m just not that hungry for novelty, not enough to see these hacks tear down my beloved childhood characters and negate what their adventures in favor of their new corporate product. Fuck that!

  • Darth Doomcock

    Hi Asi! I’m good my friend, how are you? I heard you were having problems with your Dad’s health, I’m sorry to hear it. Hope he’s doing better. Me, I’ve been busy with work and some minor family health issues, but everything’s fine.

    I’ve been away from here too long…this is where I really belong, reveling in Pickles’ latest FUBAR with all you good people! So good to be reading you again Asi!

  • Darth Doomcock

    Your analysis was very refreshing sir! Especially the part about Abrams having to belittle what came before to make his shit look better…that was SPOT ON. Just an excellent review, I enjoyed it immensely and it helped me finalize my decision not to waste my time on this movie.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Yes, it’s Pickles AGAIN scribbling all over other artists’ masterpieces with crayolas and spit, then stepping back and, with great satisfaction, saying “Mine!” He is the definition of hack. I’ve heard that he didn’t even nail the action sequences, that the film feels claustrophobic and lacks scope. How the hell do you fuck THAT up, with a budget like his?!

  • Darth Doomcock

    I’m really looking forward to your review man…make it as long as you want, I’ll read it happily!

  • I cannot even tell anymore.

  • Frimmel

    The other thing for this with me is that I’ve read a lot of the EU books over the years. I already know what happens after ROTJ in a sense. I hear they’re even re-mixing some of it for this new outing.

    There is some just very troubling about all of this that I can’t quite get my head around. This new Star Wars is just the culmination of it and I’m complicit in it to some degree having liked things like “Predators” and “Terminator:Genysys.” But the The Planet of The Apes reboots and the Skyfalls are starting to get overwhelmed by the Age of Ultrons and leading to things really missing the mark like Spectre.

    It is tempting to just chock it up to “getting to be that age” and turning into the “get off my lawn” guy but that isn’t it. I typically have enough self-awareness to know when I’m in denial and the idea at all feels more like making me a scapegoat for the failings of others.

    Yeesh. Rambling. Stopping now.

  • Frimmel

    I’m the opposite. Somewhere I became hyper-aware and it is making any
    trip to the movies or turning on the TV asking for a headache.

    Normally I’d say “fair enough” but it is getting past the point of live and let live on this for me. That film-makers and tv show makers keep making me sick or giving me a headache when much of the audience doesn’t seem to notice is becoming quite annoying and verging on disturbing. Do audiences really not notice or do they simply lack the vocabulary to complain?

    It is quite obviously a losing battle on my part at this point though.

  • There was so much terrible going on that I don’t remember, lol. Believe me, I could have written 3000 words.

  • Kyle Fulton

    Screw it, I’m writing a review.

  • Frimmel

    All of JJ films feel claustrophobic and lack scope. A great deal of everything in movies and TV feels claustrophobic. Even in some sports broadcasts you can feel it with all the tight zooms on players.

    I suspect JJ didn’t spend a lot of time at the actual movies but watching VHS on a TV while growing up.

  • Frimmel

    I’d found them “hyper-real” at the time. There was too much going on for what was obviously an animation.

  • The more the merrier, if you ask me.

  • But why didn’t you?? Why???????

  • He really love things huge. Funny considering he’s a very short guy. It’s practically Freudian.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets some nominations for technical achievements. But other than that…

  • Hey, thanks for the goos wishings. My father’s helath is sort of stabelising, but there«s still a lot to go until he can be considered on good health. This has put a bit of a shadow over my dispostion, and put things into perspective. Like, how stupid and petty all this gushing about SW really is.

    To the poin thtat now for me, the true fun is to watch the reactions not the movie proper. I gained quite a zen attitude toward the move, really. If Abrams fucked up SW, i’m like, whatever. In a way, it’s like revenge and karma for what he did to ST.

    By the way, do you have FB? I’d like to be your FB pal, if you don’t mind.

  • My man!

  • I only forgive slips from filmmakers if they have earned it. Like, say, martin Scorsese. He can make a few bad movies that i still put my trust in him because of all the good will he earned from all those great movies he made in the past. just to give you an example.

    But a filmmaker who had done nothing but lame or crap movies since the very begining, he has not earned the right to give him breaks. Being bad is his default mode to be expected. He has NO RIGHT to expect me to have faith he will do good next time, he has to EARN my good faith by making good movies next time. I’m not going to do his job for him.

  • Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Dee, you old misery guts. Don’t you go changing 😀

  • ErnestRister

    It’s an absolute joy ride, I had a great time. Had an even better time watching all the spoiler sites get eggs farted in their faces.

  • Col. Tigh-Fighter

    I thought it was pretty excellent actually, but yeah, pretty much the story from ANH. But it had some great shots worthy of the twin suns, and the acting was fine. Finn was a great character. It often didn’t make a lick of sense, but thats fine because it’s star wars. My audience of tennagers clapped at the end, and I might even have given a small clap myself. So pleasantly pleased from the Colonel.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Nothing is.

  • “It often didn’t make a lick of sense, but thats fine because it’s star wars.”

    You know, that’s actually a back-handed compliment.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Thanks. It’ll certainly be long. It’ll probably have more time and effort put into it than Abrams and Kasdan mustered for their screenplay, too.

  • Col. Tigh-Fighter

    It was meant as one. Planets dont get to suck stars into them and still be fine lol.

    Edit: Although I gave them points for attempting to explain a power source that great to fire that weapon. Stealing from a sun was a nice attempt at that. However, sucking into a planet while the troops hung around outside was not the way to sell that lol

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    He’s also admitted he had no interest in reading while growing up. I think that explains his imaginative poverty as well as anything.

  • ErnestRister

    Funny, warm, terrific new cast, story told with style and skill. It was everything it needed to be, and more.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    It shouldn’t. Its technical achievements are below par. There’s nothing groundbreaking about this movie on any level.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Oscar worthy? More like worthy of a Golden Raspberry.

  • W… what?? That happens in the movie?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    It’s not even the best Star Wars in the last two years. The animated Clone Wars series contains better storytelling, and that’s no lie.

  • Didn’t stop all the Abrams Treks to get nominations for technical oscars.

  • Frimmel

    I think no matter the film-maker buying a ticket is an act of trust. I draw my distinction more on the lines of things like… Begining of “Goldeneye.” How does Bond catch up to the plane base jumping off the runway? It’s a movie. I’m willing to go with a thing or two like that from many “popcorn” films. That’s stressing the agreement (and how much stress is dependent on the film and as you said whether the director has earned good will) I made but not abusing it.

    Dumping Kirk on the ice planet in orbit around Vulcan with the guy who has all the answers who also happens to be the guy with the answers that are going to beam them to a ship in space moving at warp and you’re shattering the trust.

    Break that trust often enough or more importantly wantonly enough and I just stop buying tickets to the guy’s movies.

    There’s an accident or sincere efforts that aren’t up to par and there’s not giving a toss there’s an agreement here in the first place.

  • Stalkeye

    A coworker and fellow Geek told me that TFA was very good despite the story content aping from episode IV, he highly recommend I see it.
    However, we had a big laugh from the new Star Trek trailer. “Sabotage”? “Kung Fu”? “Motorbikes in the 24th Century”? Fuck that Shit!

  • Stalkeye

    I’ll take your word for it, Coltigh.

  • Stalkeye

    Whoa!!

  • Stalkeye

    LMMFAO

  • Stalkeye

    NO SPOILERS!!!!!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Right, but that’s science, and Star Wars was never beholden to science by design. What doesn’t make sense in TFA is the shoddy story, which is full of cheats and plot holes. For all that could be said about them, Lucas’s’ Star Wars movies – especially the first- were very solidly constructed.

    Lucas labored over ANH’s screenplay for two years, and it shows. It’s not high art, but it’s rock-solid scriptwriting that hits every narrative and emotional beat with flair. I think Kasdan and Abrams must have written their equivalent on the back of an envelope after a drunken session at the local watering hole.

  • Col. Tigh-Fighter

    They screwed the pooch on that one. If there is more to that film, they played it badly showing that sort of trailer.

  • We are in very much agreement. I truly don’t like filmmakers abusing audience’s trust with the excuse of “it’s just fantasy/it’s supposed to be fun” or whatever the excuse is used. Sadly, too many people in the audienjces (and sadly, the geeks) are too willing to give that kind of slack for the same of a strange definition of entertaiment, one that actually insults them and their intelligence. So strange.

  • Frimmel

    It certainly explains why he can’t seem to grasp the idea of a tight script.

    There is an exchange in “Biloxi Blues.”

    “Who do you suggest I read if I want to become a writer?”

    “The entire third floor of the New York Public Library.”

  • No. They are sporadic and only applied to the proper scenes of tension or action. The trailer only showed the action scenes. There are images in that movie that are simply stunning. Roger Deakens (typo) at his best. It’s probably the most beautifuil movie of 2015. The director Denis Villeneuve has become one of my favorite directors of mine.

  • Stalkeye

    Now because of this, Bob Orci is getting the last laugh!

  • Frimmel

    I can’t believe I have such a hard time explaining that even a fantasy world has to have rules. A fanstasy world needs rules for its magic and a sci-fi world needs rules for its technology. Otherwise without rules nothing is at stake and your story is hollow.

    But then we’re dealing with a large portion that worships the “Dr. Who” brought back in 2005. I’ve recently been watching those (having not watched any of the earlier incarnations) and “pulling rabbits out of hats” is The Doctor’s stock and trade.

  • Frimmel

    Fair enough. It (Sicario) looked largely like an entirely hand held endeavor from the trailer. Probably still a headache but at least tolerable.

  • Frimmel

    The thing I’ve been laughing to myself about the new Star Trek trailer is even though they made one of the main non-crew characters a non-human she’s till a hot white girl.

  • Agreed. The story of ANH is simple, but very solid. Every event has a reason and leads to something else. TFA was driven by computer game logic- get to this place to find this item so you can proceed.

  • NEVER

  • Like i said, the trailer mostly showed the action scenes, and only the more frenetic moments. The movie is very elegant in the camera use, and there is a stable pan shot that is the film image of the year. When you watch the movie you will know exactly what i’m talking about. It’s pure cinematic magic without CGI, just clever camera use with the right light condition.

  • Doctor Who is like an acquired taste. There are stuff in it that makes sense if you know the old shows. I don’t, but i noticed there is tonnes of references to past events in the Whoniverse.

    There are some fantasy stories that by their own design they have no real rules, or better, they have dream rules. Star Wars is not one of those. Even of the stories of the movies have been a bit writen as they went along, the universe itself felt very established with it’s own riles right to the start.

    I think Abrams as a fan of SW suffers from a common problem that many fans of SW (or other properties) have: they don’t understand the very thing they are fans of.

  • Yes spoilers!!!!

  • Assimovlives
  • ErnestRister

    Hey, guys. It’s just life. Chill. Crank it up, and rock it like Les Grossman.

    https://www.facebook.com/pb.watermelon/posts/782057891898153?notif_t=like

  • Hachikô

    Abrams is unable to grasp and/or set limitations of his fictive universes. He only manages to think in terms of “cool”, “funny”, “mysterious”. When this drives your storytelling, you have a problem.

  • Indeed. Sadly, not only he sees nothing wrong with that, but also so many of the viewing public, and the geeks as well, who should know better.

  • Toruk_Makto

    That’s interesting because I read some reviews from people who saw it that said that the female character played by blunt had absolutely no impact on the plot of the story and that she could have been removed completely without any significant effect. Basically, that her role in the film was essentially superfluous.
    I was going to watch this [Big fan of Blunt] but that complaint turned me off bigtime. Any validity to this?

  • It’s bull!! I wonder if those people even watched the movie.
    It’s not a movie of big ass lot stuff happening. Characters making huge impacts is not even what the movie is about. In fact, the big theme of the movie is how little impact the people in the police forces are doing in the War On Drugs. It’s not a fantasy movie in the slightest.
    Those reviewers, I don’t know what they were expecting to see, maybe they were under the delusion they were going to watch some Michael Bayass action crap, perhaps.

  • Super 8, which is not eve one of his worst films, is emblematic of that problem, where he thought would be cool to mix two different stories he was playing with in one single movie without ever resolving each of the part’s story problems or creating a consistent connection between the two. Never before i have see a movie where the two different parts of a story, which were supposed to be connected, were so divorced. For a writer/storyteller, he sure has a poor grasps of internal consistency, internal logic and story progression. In any Writing Course, all his movie’s scripts would flunk.

  • Your fellow geek guy seems emblematic of the current attitude many geeks have: you can only criticize when Abrams is not involved. But if Abrams did it, only praise is allowed to happen. It’s so weird the spell he has on people.

  • Except an original story.

  • Toruk_Makto

    So you’re saying the whole point of the movie is to show the characters ineffectiveness. Well, that would jibe with what they were saying…apparently they didn’t realize that this was indeed a deliberate theme and not poor writing.

  • Indeed. And the movie is very close to real life and how the War On Drugs ended up being, especially from the perspective of the law enforcement agents who still work in the confines of the law, which is Blunt’s character. The movie was made to be quite heart-breaking in that regard. But you come out of it feeling enlighten. It’s not a pleasant lesson, but it’s an important eye-opening lesson.

  • CoolHandJuke

    also, did Han Solo get an improbability drive somewhere in the last 30 years? how else do you explain him showing up a few minutes after they turn it back on? in the words of Randal Graves: “the whole movie’s flawed.”

  • I’d say that to all the gushers out there, who are treating this movie as if it’s the second coming of Christ. Perspective, people!

  • “I thought it was pretty excellent actually, but yeah, pretty much the story from ANH.”

    If this did happened in some other movie than SW, people would call bullshit on this and declare the movie a failure and reason to be bad. Oh yeah.

    “It often didn’t make a lick of sense, but that’s fine because it’s star wars.”

    Exactly what i was talking about. Why should SW be exempt? Nah!

  • In a way, Pickles doesn’t disappoint, he never does. But not for the best reasons.

  • ErnestRister

    I don’t know anyone who is saying that, Asi. Just saying it’s a fun movie. That’s about it.

  • The_Troll_King

    Well, was it at least coherent? I haven’t seen this one yet, but JJ’s last film was such a clusterfuck, I couldn’t tell what was going on half the time. Am I really missing something by opting out of seeing this corporate behemoth?

  • The_Troll_King

    My own father had a stroke back in November, so I know what’s it like to go through all of that. When are they releasing the movie in Portugal btw? I’ve heard it’s already out in the UK. Interested to hear your breakdown of the plot points, characters, etc.

  • The_Troll_King

    Headgeek’s review is up btw.

  • oh yeah hilarious

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Well, unless we’re talking about World War 2 which is what the conflict in the OT is based off of. The Nazi’s never regrouped to attack on a large scale again. Just a few guys on the run, hiding out in Argentina and such. Come to think of it, that would have been a more interesting way to go with these films.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Dude has great hair. It’s not enough that he makes great movies but he has an awesome hairline too.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Oh shit! Roger Deakens shot that? It was on my list of things to see but now it just jumped to the top.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    You know what amazed me though? The negative reviews are out there and more than I thought. I couldn’t believe it when I went to AICN and out of four reviews, one was positive, one was mediocre and two were negative. Color me shocked. Aren’t those guys supposed to love this thing across the board?

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Good review Dee. Thanks for confirming everything I suspected. You know, my problem still isn’t really with JJ or even Disney but the current Hollywood mindset. Star Wars is almost 40 years old. Star Trek is 50. Please, for the love of God. Come up with something new.

    I have to agree with this quote from George RR Martin when referring to the new Star Trek films:
    “Me, I think they should just let this tired, tired franchise die. STAR WARS too. I don’t ever need to see another wookie, or another klingon. (They won’t, of course. Not so long as there’s one more nickle to be made. I know how Hollywood works). I love SF, and I love space opera, but can’t we have some new characters in a new universe?”

    Also, could you tell me how my original Star Wars article about why we don’t need any of these movies holds up now after seeing this film? I’m curious on that.

  • Thanks! I will check tomorrow and tell you!

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Thanks man

  • It’s pretty straight-forward, more or less by the numbers stuff, so yeah.

  • Tarmac492.1

    i liked it. hated that it was so derivative of the original but it was SW. ford rocked it. i was, however, not impressed with the music

  • Tarmac492.1

    i loved Ford was having fun mang

  • Tarmac492.1

    really dissapointed in the music, but loved Ford. It was SW. far from perfect. im an indie guy so i love driver and he did not dissapoint. next film will be tough for them.

  • Indeed it’s him. And he doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. It’s one of his best jobs. He made a very ugly world look beautiful while still underscoring how ugly this world the story take places is. There is one shot in the movie, where we see a group of CIA operatives walk in sunset light and they dive into the shadows that has to be seen to be believed. It’s by far the best image shot of the year and one of the best i ever seen in film.
    This is not the first time that this director and Deakens have worked together, they also did Prisoners and that movie’s cinematography is glorious. I do hope they collaborate again for Blade Runner 2.

  • Thanks.
    i also wish speed recovery to you dad.
    The movie was released here the same day as in the UK. It’s just that i not in a hurry to watch it yet. I’m waiting for both the time disponibility of my friends and if it doesn’t clash with my visit schedules to my father at the hospital.

  • If we can call that a review.

  • Jesus, where have you been? Have you even read the reactions about the movie?

  • For any other movie if they are derivative they are bad. But because it’s SW it’s OK?
    Screw it, SW does not have special privileges!
    It’s things like this that makes me like SW less and less with each passing year.

  • Improbability drive! That’s nice!

  • That’s why they hired a real writer and director for the next movie.

  • belly up

    Best: “Yet, Abrams is despite the extensive attempts at mimicry unable to recreate the feeling or the simple, but compelling story logic of the mighty first SW movie. Like in Into Darkness, a lot of the happenings are driven by convenience and coincidence, no urgency is palpable as the story tumbles from setting to setting, something Abrams tries to gloss over with spectacle, a swift pace and of course set-ups for several mysteries that should keep the audience intrigued and diverted from the deficiencies in the narrative department. Even a literal mystery box makes an appearance!”

  • belly up

    The final lightsaber battle is just so wrong… so much of it is. None of the new people had a clue why the fuck they were breathing.

  • belly up

    The first half is good. Maybe third. When they started chasing down Han Solo’s thugs with cgi lamprey squid, I got disheartened.

  • belly up

    Message to fathers: the force is real. If you deny the force and don’t teach your children the ways of light, the dark will swallow them.

  • belly up

    Message to women: bitch, you can do anything. You got this.

  • belly up

    Message to children: Every toy from every previous SW landscape can now be found in a nice, new TFA version, just for you.

  • belly up

    Message to the public: during extended dialog scenes, eat popcorn loudly. Did your phone just vibrate? Better check…

  • belly up

    Message to old people: Lol.

  • belly up

    I’ll stop.

  • belly up

    I do think the actors had potential and carried what they were given to work with well enough. They were an improvement over the first episodes deplorable acting anyway. Except, sadly, the villain. He’s ACTUALLY worse. And didn’t need to be. What a stupid waste.

  • belly up

    Leia should never have been in charge of resistance battle strategy so… Why is she STILL in charge?

  • belly up

    There’s always a way to take it down…
    There’s a point where this became a very high-end parody of itself.

  • belly up

    And that Gollum/Voldemort/man behind the curtain exaggerated projection cgi creature? Lmao… Oh boy. He’s something menacing and promising to look forward to.

  • belly up

    Why can’t they get villains right? The best heroes are ALWAYS borne from the worst villains. And vice versa. This was the problem with Harry Potter too. You need a MATCH!

    This was like… In childhood, picking action figure teams with your best friend and play-acting with them. A meandering, vague plot with general roles for the characters but no real story or conviction for anyone.

  • belly up

    Things I liked… It was nostalgic and entertaining. Parts of it were genuinely cool and beautiful. The last scene by the ocean, where she was hiking up the stairs, I thought, wow! That place is on earth somewhere.

    It WAS an improvement in the newer SW productions so… It could’ve been WAY worse. Way more offensive. The criticisms are fairly standard for SW, really, so honestly I’m not disappointed.

    TFA reminds the viewer, it’s a fun world. I feel like, to the loyal fan, this one did work as a bellows. Hopefully, the new cast is fleshed out and they are given some better direction in future films.

  • Abe

    Straw men don’t build themselves.

  • Toruk_Makto
  • ErnestRister

    I don’t know where the Son of God has been, but I’m still in Texas.

    SW7 is a fun joy ride, had a great time. It ain’t Kane or The Godfather or Empire of the Sun, it’s just a zippy piece of entertainment. That’s it. Totally inconsequential to my life, other than making my family smile for a couple of hours, which at the end of the day, ain’t such a bad thing at all.

    As for reading reactions to the movie — no, haven’t read a single review. Skimmed the inebriated first four paragraphs of Knowles for the comedy, but that’s about it.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Of course you would say that

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Not even close. You hated this film before it was released. Typical….

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I disagree with your take, but expected all this negativity from this site. What I have found, is that when some of you bash a film before it is released, there is no chance that you will enjoy it once it is released. It is a very good Star Wars film, sorry all you cynical haters has forgotten how to enjoy film. It is a Star Wars movie, give me a fucking break! The only reason most of you are hating on it, is your hatred for JJ, and that is a FACT!

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Don’t agree

  • ErnestRister

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
    — Yeates

  • That’s OK.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Please spare us your self-righteousness. TFA is an undeniably flawed movie, and those that paid for a ticket and didn’t enjoy it have a right to express their displeasure.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Another fantastic review from Creepy. His brutal assessments are always comedy gold.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Lol

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    No, it isn’t a good Star Wars film. In addition to being a third-grade rehash of A New Hope, the script is full of cheap-and-easy plotting and has no substance.

    Nothing to do with hating JJ in advance; that was what appeared onscreen.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    It’s truly bizarre, isn’t it? Nearly every review I have read – even the most gushing – acknowledges that the movie is extremely flawed. Not one came without major caveats.

    The weird thing is, the fans of this movie then go on to blissfully excuse the flaws because “it’s Star Wars” or “it’s fun”. You don’t see these type of excuses made for other films. It’s almost like a form of collective mind-control, and quite alarming.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    If Abrams had, against all the odds, delivered a good movie, I would’ve been won over. But he didn’t.

  • Yes, it is true that I already was very sceptical of that movie before I saw it, as I wrote in my intro. But as you see, I cited reasons for my criticisms after I’ve seen it. Of course it is hard to prove that I would have admitted that the movie is good, if it had been so- especially as I already voiced my disdain for the kind of film-making Abrams represents. But I am neither lying to save my face nor am I that un-reflected about myself. You just have to take my word for it. Or you don’t, it’s your choice.

  • “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”
    -Obi-Wan

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I do take your word for it,

  • Thanks, appreciated!

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    Avatar opening weekend: $77 million. TFA opening weekend: $238 million.

    Rotten Tomatoes score for TFA is 95%.

    You and your misanthropic predictions are D.O.A.

    That is all.

  • Orcus

    You know what, Orcus loved this movie, warts and all, beats the first two PT movies by a parsec.

    As Orcus stated earlier this movie lacks that great cinematic feel, which, like him or hate him, Lucas had a flare for. The amount of medium shots in this movie made it look like it would be at home on TV

    The soundtrack was pretty decent, but it came off as an amalgam of the OT and PT soundtracks, with, now get this, strains of Indiana Jones thrown in. First listen to the Last Crusade soundtrack and then give a hard listen to the TFA soundtrack with this in mind.

    One of the more enjoyable aspects of the movie, and Orcus waiting 16 years to say this, the dialog. Holy shit it was actually good and the humor worked.

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    Fantastic review? It’s a collection of unfunny adolescent snark, with some dollops of anti-semitism.

    You sure do love your anti-semitism. But, what should one expect from a Turd?

  • ErnestRister

    Sounds like they’re both fools. Don’t follow either one into traffic.

  • ErnestRister

    “I drank what?!?”
    — Socrates

  • Zed

    Does he call it the Star Wars of 2015?

  • KilliK

    God bless Creepy.

  • Zed

    The real John Williams died in 1996. It’s actually Zimmer and Giacchino using his name.

  • KilliK

    so the score was not that good. just as I had suspected.

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    Ok, Turd, please provide us with your outline of Episode VII. Let’s see if you can do better than Kasdan, Abrams, and Arndt.

    Until you provide us with your version of Episode VII, you’ll forever remain the boring contrarian that you’ve always been.

  • ” It ain’t Kane or The Godfather or Empire of the Sun, it’s just a zippy piece of entertainment.”
    So it’s not good then, no use to have expectations going in. I thank you for the adverting me.
    Harry’s reaction is pretty much in tune to all the positive reactions toward this movie, only slightly more insane and with far worst readability.

  • Frimmel

    Wasn’t it just recently that “Terminaror:Genysys” was savaged for just such derivativeness? The other one I keep hearing is “It’s better than…” When did the “The Bar” (i.e. measure of quality) become mounted in an elevator of a two story building?

  • Frimmel

    The Clone Wars series takes about half or three-quarters of the first season to finds its feet but once it does it is pretty solid entertainment. I’d recommend anyone on the fence about it look up a “best of” list (The Umbara Arc from season four is a personal favorite) and check the one that seems most interesting to them out. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but “because it is bad” is the least valid reason for skipping it.

    Caught the first season of Rebels and it isn’t quite up to Clone Wars but it is pretty decent as well.

  • Toruk_Makto

    I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the plausibility of the ‘star killer’. I almost choked on my food when they explained it.

  • KilliK

    of course, you did.

  • Nah, we praise derivative work all the time. Guardians of the Galaxy is derivative of Star Wars and the world went ape shit for it. Star Wars should get more pass for being a derivative of itself than something else copying it and getting praise. TFA is less copying what’s been done and more a statement that what’s been done is the DNA of the franchise.

  • KilliK

    LOL! so copy-pasting ANH is now called a statement. what a bunch of crap. meanwhile, clueless people are still bashing Avatar for being “derivative”. I guess there wasnt a “statement” to make for its DNA, for that money. Anyway, keep apologizing for this shitfest with your ridiculous arguments, because I dont want to stop laughing at this hilarious situation of double standards and hypocrisy. As I said, good or bad, TFA will give me immense entertainment.

  • Stalkeye

    It was a good read. Yeah, I may disagree with him on certain things but the Fucker hardly disappoints. I can’t say that the inclusion of a Black lead character is pandering because there are hardly any lead Brothas in Sci Fi films.

    Most get killed off early in the film anyways, so I’m content with this “Finn”.

    I need to see the movie to see if its any good for myself.

    http://on.cc.com/1tyOkTE

  • Stalkeye

    I gotta love his honesty even when I shake my head at times. LOL
    He’s very passionate about his take on pop culture and how can anyone hate on a guy who actually shed a Tear after learning of Leonard Nimoy’s death?

  • Stalkeye

    You forgot to use your closing signature- “Believe that”.
    I got wind of some Twat at the Dojo had already spoiled the deets of a major character’s demise. I hope he was only Fucking around because dropping sensitive info like that is one of the reasons why so many avoid going on the ‘net. Now I really know how Deceased feels./:

  • Toruk_Makto

    He had a few funny scenes, but he was basically channeling Will Smith from Bad Boys. His character was the comic relief (along with the robot). They did the same thing with Harrison Ford…but his was like senile old man comedy where Chewbacca has to remind him of stuff all the time.

    People said the prequels weren’t ‘human’ and ‘fun’ enough so Disney said we’ll give the people more jokes and….’emotion’ (which manifested itself in long stares with solemn expressions).

    As a fantasy action movie I give it a: 6/10…(this is mostly because the robot was ‘cute’ and Rey had a pretty face)

    As a Star Wars movie….I give it a 1/10

  • TFA is most definitely a copy. A copy indeed. It’s lie a child’s play version of the original movie with a few Mary and Gary sues thrown in for good measure.

  • The worst part was not even the planet base itself, but the blast, which apparently can travel in hyperspace between systems.

  • I strongly disagree. First, this is far more than being “derivative”. This is lazy copy-pasting, as it was already pointed out. Even ROTJ, which was often chastised as to being too close to ANH, did actually share not as many similarities with the first movie, neither plot-wise nor in the execution, only the Death Star premise is similar. TFA on the other way is such a blatant and even worse, sloppy copy that there is no suspense left.
    Second, Abrams is not even good at being derivative. His references are crude, inept and unoriginal. Quoting yourself and others is an art and Abrams is no DePalma. He also pretty much relies on the common knowledge that Lucas constructed his saga using “twin motives” and knew people would defend his own laziness with that argument. Because that’s what Abrams does, fans bring up all the effort.

  • How’s your review going? I’d rather read yours before i write my own article about the movie.

  • Why should she have never been in charge?

  • Zed

    This review is accurate. All of it.

  • Zed

    I liked the character, but his backstory made no sense. A guy who has been indoctrinated since infancy by a bunch of ruthless fascists is not going to easily relate to other people or say “Woo!” in moments of triumph.

    Come to think of it, he serves as a microcosmic example of what’s wrong with the movie. Lots of earnest enthusiasm and emotion, but no sense or logic whatsoever.

  • Have you felt it, uhm, I mean, seen it?

  • Zed

    Yes, and you were right to compare it to a video game. The story had some good ideas, but they were either poorly executed or buried by stupid nonsense. There weren’t any severed hands floating through space, but there might as well have been. What they did with Luke must be the biggest bait and switch in cinematic history. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more backlash …yet.

    Good cast, though. They deserved a better script. Ridley is cuter than a baby ferret.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    It’s depressing. All of that conflict and sacrifice for nothing.

  • Buddusky

    I loved the movie in spite of the script issues, which I don’t think are as bad as people are describing and I believe they’re holding TFA to a different standard than the OT and not really thinking about what it was like when those movies were released and the information you were actually getting.

    That said, I do agree with you to a certain extent. This movie was written under the gun through no fault of Abrams or Kasdan, although you could say it’s their fault for taking the job. But all movies are now being made this way where a release date is put on a schedule before they’ve done any work on the script and then they’ve usually got less than two years to complete the movie, let alone write the script. Screenplays REQUIRE you to step away for at least a month now and again at the DRAFT stage and by my thinking, on these schedules, there is literally no time to do that on modern blockbuster movies. The only exception would be if its a passion project by someone like Christopher Nolan and he’s been slaving away at it for a decade like Inception. And even then, he’s no writer and neither is his brother and they really should be getting help from someone like… fuck, I don’t know, Vince Gilligan?

    I’ve come to realize this through my own writing endeavors and the way problems and unnecessary scenes and ways to strengthen the script reveal themselves to me only when I no longer even remember the particulars of what I’ve written. Outside criticism isn’t quite the same as the reader can assume you were trying to do things you weren’t or complain about things that were intentional. This often can confuse you or set you on a course even further from what you originally intended. But if you can get that distance for yourself, its the best way to improve a script.

    You have to at least give Abrams and Kasdan credit for pushing back from May. Also, I read an article where Abrams said that once hired, Iger had dinner with him and said, “You need to htink of this as a $4 billion movie because that’s how I’m thinking of it.” Which is the worst thing to say because it really doesn’t help, it only adds additional pressure that has nothing to do with making the best movie. Abrams made a sideways jab at how useless this comment was in that same article referring to it as ‘additional pointless noise’ that he and Kennedy had to deal with.

    But yeah… I’ve realized that this issue of having to write these screenplays too quickly with no ability to sit back and reassess the plot machinations, pacing, characters, etc., is the main reason that genre movies are the way they are now and there doesn’t seem to be any going back. If anything, it’s the opposite of lazy as I think the fact that we get anything remotely watchable is amazing considering the time frame these things have to be written in.

  • Buddusky

    That’s funny, because any day of the week I’d choose believable performances and characters I give a shit about. But by all means, enjoy CSPAN as reenacted by bored teenagers.

  • It steals an happy ending.
    I’m beginning to believe that the new trilogy should had began at a time when all the main characters from the OT had already died. Let them be referenced as figures of legend for the new protagonists and antagonists.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Gentlemen. I have a dedicated server I use to host my websites. It’s server pronto but I’ve been renting it for almost 2 years with no hiccups. 99.8% uptime in all the time I’ve had it.
    More than welcome to setup shop on there for free if you need to.

  • Kylo Ronin

    What a well thought out and well written critique!

  • Something about you tells me you don’t agree though…;)

  • That’s very nice man, but we actually moved right now (’tis the new server). It was our fault: We thought we could postpone the move a little, but the old server was creaking already.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Okay, it’s cool you’re backup. But if you ever find yourself in a jam again…

  • I’ll definitely come back to your offer.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Okay! Let’s get the troops back to the site. There is an online war going on about this movie and it is friggen INSANE!! I’ve never seen anything like it.

  • Kylo Ronin

    😀

  • Kylo Ronin

    Yeah, I disagree. That’s it. Doesn’t mean I don’t respect your opinion. 😀

  • I know. Thanks!

  • Zed

    Who’s winning?

  • Toruk_Makto

    We are small…but mighty. If you haven’t seen this video yet..it’s a must see.

  • Zed

    He makes some good points (especially about the script being a TV pilot), but I think he’s viewing the prequels through nostalgia goggles. Those movies were also products of cynical greed, and at least this one has no Jar Jar equivalent. Yes, Virginia, TFA is better than the prequels, but so is getting punched in the face, and you don’t hear me recommending that. In fact, some of TFA’s more glaring faults are due to the filmmakers’ aversion to anything resembling the prequels. From the swift but bewildering plot to the gee-whiz dialogue, everything seems to be saying “See, isn’t this way more Star Warsy than those video game cutscenes with Hayden Christensen?” They set the bar too low for themselves when they had already decided to play it safe anyway. It’s like Disney told Abrams to make it “fun” like his Star Trek movies, and got upset when he did exactly that. However, Death Star 3.0 was a terrible idea any way you slice it.

    This guy and a lot of other people discussing TFA don’t seem to understand what the movie actually is. It’s not a sequel. It’s a soft reboot disguised as a sequel, just like Jurassic World. With that understanding, I didn’t find it terrible. It’s better than JJ Trek or Jurassic World, but, well, so is getting punched in the face.

    To all who loved it and can’t wait for the next one: Good for you. Seriously. I have a feeling franchise movies are going to continue in this direction, whether audiences want them to or not. The slowly collapsing Hollywood machine doesn’t know how to do anything else. I hope for everyone’s sake that Episode 8 at least measures up to 7, and doesn’t try too hard to go “dark” like almost every sequel since 1980. But don’t come crying to me when Benedict Cumberbatch is cast as a mysterious new character. That’s just the nature of the Bad Robot beast.

  • Tarmac492.1

    i am a nostalgia guy. ford rocked it

  • Toruk_Makto

    I’ve often heard the argument that George is greedy but It never really seemed to correlate with what was actually going on. He, himself seems to indicate in interviews that it’s quite the opposite and money was not his primary motivation when making his movies.

    So where does this greedy/cynical perception stem from?
    People also complain that he made the prequels to please/entertain himself. He admitted this in the Charlie Rose interview and I wholeheartedly believe him when he says that. (Btw as an creator myself I absolutely believe the first person your work should entertain is you otherwise there is no point in doing it).

    So we have a guy who admits he created 3 movies the way he wanted them to be, admits that they could have been done another way to ‘please fans’ but refused to do them that way because he felt ‘it would be a lie’.

    He also admits that because these movies weren’t done for maximum appeasement they were losing his company money…which ultimately led to his decision to sell the company.
    This to me sounds like a guy who may be stubborn | naïve | idealistic and perhaps a bit selfish (because he had over 1000 employees at the time).

    But greedy and cynical? I don’t know…does that still sound accurate?

  • KilliK

    nope, he was half-sleeping in the entire movie. he was more lively in KOTCS.
    and fuck nostalgia, it’s the bane of quality,original cinema. fuck it to hell.

  • The_Troll_King

    My review is probably a little less critical of this movie than Asimovlives. JJ really directed some fantastic performances all around, except Carrie Fisher(though with her state that is understandable). The special effects were also very special with the background shots of junked Star Destroyers really well placed. The nostalgia was also very strong. Cynically played, but they played the hell out of it.

    But I really had problems getting past that in the end, it was really just another retread of the first movie, even down to the destruction of the Star Killer. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Will this movie hold up? Maybe. It was, after all based on one of the greatest movies of all time. I suppose an analogy to that, is if Tarantino plotted out a screenplay extremely similar to Casablanca, all the way down to Rick shooting Cl. Strauss at the end. Of course it’s going to be great. The story was based off a great movie!!!!! So yes, go ahead anyway and see it. The evil empire of the Disney juggernaught rolls ever onward. Ironically enough.

  • I hope you are not implying this review was written by Asimov…

  • Xiphos

    Much of the story? bro THEY TOOK ALL OF THE STORY and regurgitated it into bland mediocrity. Black guy and 5 head(I can’t remember their names they’re so nondescript) were bland as fuck, Dyson vac was nonsense and the only character with any charisma Dameron was only in it for like 5 minutes.

  • Xiphos

    Spot on review. I would have thrown in a line about how much it dragged at some points.

  • Yes, it did.

  • Zed

    Did even one of the villains die? I don’t recall any of them getting an epilogue after the climax (you know, like Vader spinning off into space). Are we meant to assume that they all escaped the base and will be back for the next movie?

  • Gerardo Perez Fonseca

    This is a movie, in outer space, with laser swords…