Archives for the month of: January, 2016

Liz: 5 out of 5 stars

Oh hello!  It’s been awhile hasn’t it?!  I will admit I’ve gotten quite lazy with writing reviews, but with the Golden Globes coming tomorrow, it was time that I churned one out.  Omar and I saw The Revenant (2015) yesterday, directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardyas well as Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and Forrest Goodluck.

Movie trailers tend to always attach quotes such as “masterpiece,” “the most amazing movie in the whole wide world,” “the best ever,” etc etc you get the point.  I was excited to see this movie as soon as Omar first shared the trailer with me some time ago.  It looked beautiful and interesting from what I saw and I was ready to see Leo on screen again.  I don’t tend to believe what the quotes attached to trailers say about a movie, but after seeing The Revenant, WOOO I BELIEVE IT!  I loved loved loved this movie.  I can honestly say that it was definitely in the Top 10 Most Visually Beautiful movies I’ve EVER seen and though it didn’t have the most amazing story or anything, this movie will always be in my favorites of all the time.

Quick summary before I get going: The Revenant tells the story of a terribly injured (like really terribly) frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who is left for dead in the cold cold wilderness by the group of fur traders he was leading.

So why the perfect 5 out of 5? Let’s begin.

First, like I already said, DAMN this movie was MAJESTIC AND MESMERIZING.  Just about every single minute of this movie was visually breathtaking.  Whatever I write here will not do it justice, you really have to see it yourself to understand what I’m talking about.  Let’s look at some pictures though to give you a taste:

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So much nature!  So much snow! So much forest!  I mean if this movie doesn’t win all the awards for Best Cinematography, I’ll be shocked.  (Note: I am horrendously behind on watching all the movies being nominated for all the awards and such so I shouldn’t really be saying anything, but let my above statement be a testament to how impressive this movie was).

Second: the cast.  Before I go into my love rant about Leonardo DiCaprio, let me just say that I give all the applause to this entire cast (AND CREW!) because filming this movie must have been absolutely brutal.  Just watching the movie made me feel cold and so actually being in that environment and then filming a movie on top of it is quite a feat.

The acting was superb.  I’ll start with Forrest Goodluck, who plays the son of Leonardo DiCaprio.  Yaaaas, Native American actors on screen!  Forrest Goodluck is only 17 years old but from reading about him online, the kid has already done so many amazing things director-wise, which is crazy! Read about him!  This is his first breakout role as an actor, and I hope he continues to get roles in the future because he was great.

I was also excited to see Will Poulter in this movie.  He’s starting to turn up in a lot of movies and it’s so cool to remember him in School of Comedy in the UK and now he’s in these super-huge epic movies.  Also shoutout to Domhnall Gleeson who is also showing up more and more.  The dude was in this movie AND Star Wars VII.

Now to Tom Hardy and of course, my sweet sweet Leo.  First of all, I need to acknowledge that this is their second time on screen together (the first being Inception).  There’s really no point to acknowledging that other than the fact that I love when actors appear in different movies together.  Tom Hardy is a talented talented man.  I love him and his acting ability really impressed me in this movie.  He was a terrible character but he played it so well.  I’ve seen him fit into a number of different roles now and I’m happy that he can move from romcom to action movie to gritty British crime thriller to biographical etc etc easily.

Ok, let me the millionth person for the millionth time say JUST GIVE LEO THE DAMN OSCAR ALREADY. Haha, I know that the Oscars and other such awards aren’t an indication of the true talent that an actor has, but I really feel like he deserves all the awards for this role.  From reading about how he was close to hypothermia often (I guess most of the actors were but moving on..) to sleeping in animal carcasses… to how he spent most the movie grunting and crawling and screaming in pain… I just think he gave up his mind body and soul to this role.  He didn’t speak much in this movie at all, but that doesn’t matter at all.  I love Leo in just about every movie I’ve seen him in, so I might be biased, but he really put it all into The Revenant and I hope he is recognized for that.

Third: the screenplay / (lack of?) script.  There wasn’t much talking in this movie.  There was a lot of grunting and silence.  Yet I was enthralled and hooked in the entire time.  I don’t have much else to say about that, but it’s always impressive to me when I’m captivated by a movie so intensely that I don’t really notice that the movie as a whole was relatively quiet.

Fourth: Alejandro Iñárritu is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors. I haven’t yet seen Babel, but I’ve seen the rest of his feature films, and though it is a short list, all of them have been extremely strong and impressive movies.  Furthermore, this movie must have been extremely frustrating and difficult to take on, especially after two directors had already left the project.  Also yaaaas Mexican representation!

Nitpicky things: I guess the story wasn’t that incredible looking back.  I don’t want to sell it short, but the movie was essentially a revenge story with other factors mixed in.  But I don’t care about that at all.  I enjoyed the story and I think that a complicated one might have ruined it.

Penultimately: I’m glad that this movie cast Native actors for the Native roles.  I’m also glad that it touched on the destruction that white people brought to their land and people.  I appreciate that the movie didn’t romanticize the white frontiersman nor did it trap the Native actors into horrendous stereotypes.

Lastly: THAT MUSIC THO. Absolutely beautiful score and it paired so well with the cinematography and the action happening in the movie.

I thought that this movie was simply incredible.  I enjoyed it from start to finish.  Go see it.  I will be intently watching the Golden Globes tomorrow and I will cry for Leo out of pride, no matter what happens.

 

Score: 4.0 out of 5

(This review is NOT spoiler free!!!)

Here we are, the big one. I’ve been thinking about writing this review for a few months now, ever since we started this blog. To be honest I haven’t looked forward to writing this one because it’s such a massive series, one that I’ve followed since I was a child. How do you even begin to write about something like that? How do you organize your thoughts? Regardless, for better or worse, here we are.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), directed splendidly by J.J. Abrams,  is the seventh entry into the film series created by George Lucas way back in the 70’s. It’s hard to imagine a individual series as successful or popular as Star Wars. Star Wars has spawned countless video games, tv shows, documentaries, board games, clothing lines, novels, etc. You get the picture, the series is massive! Needless to say, the pressure was on when it came to making this film. After the abominations that were Episodes I-III, all I hoped for was a decent movie that opened the series up again for future development. I didn’t expect anything too risky or innovative by any means. I’m happy to report that the film blew my expectations away! This movie was so good that I went to see it twice in the same week and it was even better the second time around.

One of the first things that immediately stands out in this movie is the great script, something the prequel trilogy did not have. Let’s face it, no actor in the world could have made some of the lines in episodes I-III work. When you compound that with having wooden/monotone Hayden Christenson as your lead, you’re gonna have a bad time. Luckily the team that put the script together in this newest film did a great job. There was the right amount of fan service with plenty of clever quips and references and it was also the funniest Star Wars movie yet. At some points it almost even felt like it was becoming too comedic like in that later scene with Fin and Captain Phasma but luckily they never really went overboard with it. One thing that did bother me a tad was the amount of moments that felt like pure exposition. Specifically I noticed this in the moments where Kylo Ren and General Hux were talking to Snoke. These dark side conference calls felt like it was just the bad guys monologuing and outlining their plan in order for us to know what they’re doing. I made a point of focusing on these moments more the second time around and they didn’t bother me as much but I still noticed it. Given how sharp the writing was, I’m willing to give these small moments a pass because I’m really just nitpicking here. Han sounded like classic Han (“Move, ball.”), Leia sounded like Leia, and Chewbacca sounded like Chewbacca. None of the heroes we know and love were ruined or said anything that was out of character. As for the new characters, they have their own eccentricities and personalities that felt fresh.

Getting back to the acting, the casting here was spot on. A large part of why the original trilogy is far superior to the prequel trilogy is that Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill were all relatively unknown actors when they were cast so they WERE Han Solo, Leia, and Luke Skywalker. Their acting was believable. I hate to beat a dead horse here but the prequel trilogy has incredibly cheesy dialogue and bad delivery which completely breaks immersion and the authentic feel of the original trilogy. Don’t even get me started on the whole, “I hate sand” debacle! Anyway, this new movie is a return to form and whoever was in charge of casting deserves a bonus.

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I don’t know where they dug up Daisy Ridley but she is a straight up gem! Daisy plays the badass female lead, Rey. I’ll get more into characters later but I love the fact that Rey, a woman, is the main protagonist here and yeah, she’s pretty, but she is never sexualized or simplified or inferior. Rey is a well written character who everyone is dying to know more about and she’s a star not just in the context of the film but outside of it because now little girls around the world have a character who they can identify with and look up to and she bucks the trend of what a female character traditionally is in these types of films.

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John Boyega also knocks it out of the park as FN-2187, better known as Finn. I actually watched Boyega’s acting debut on the big screen back when my cousin gifted me passes to a special screening of Attack the Block (2011). I was pleasantly surprised with both the film and Boyega, who certainly stole the show. In the years between then and now I’ve occasionally re-watched Attack the Block found myself wondering if he’d ever make it big or if I’d ever see him again. When I saw his face pop up in the initial trailer for the new Star Wars, I was pumped! He’s a talented and relatively fresh actor who certainly has the ability to fill his big role. He was probably the most innocent and funny character in this movie and he clearly has the heart of a hero. I have high hopes for Finn in the future! I will say that his American accent threw me off the entire first showing because I only ever knew him as having a thick British accent but I got used to it. The same way Ridley is a hero young girls can look up to, Boyega is a hero that young black kids can look up to. I won’t jump into a sociological tirade because I could go on for days but we all heard of the outcry from a certain ignorant portion of the population regarding the “impossibility” of a black stormtrooper. That should be enough right there to show you that there was a need for a character like Finn. Sure, Star Wars had Lando Calrissian and Mace Windu in the past but neither of those two ever took center stage the way Finn did. And to those people out there hating on Finn I say: 1. Brush up on your Star Wars lore because the Empire stopped using clones for their army way before the destruction of the first Death Star 2. Shut the hell up.

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OSCAR FREAKING ISAAC, this is my dude right here! It’s really a toss up as to who my favorite new character is. On some days I might give it to Rey but on most days I’d have to go with Poe Dameron, the best fighter pilot in the Resistance. I’m very biased here because unlike the other new main stars, I’ve seen many of Isaac’s previous roles and I’ve been a fan of every single one. I liked the guy in Drive (2011), he really caught my attention in Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and by the time A Most Violent Year (2014) and Ex Machina (2015) came around, I was completely sold. Oscar Isaac is one of my favorite actors given his role selection and he kills it as Poe. There will never be another Han Solo but Poe Dameron gives me the most Han Solo vibes of anyone besides the man himself. Poe has the swagger, the charisma, (had) the leather jacket, the piloting abilities, and the one-liners that have me thinking Han Solo 2.0. Not to mention he’s latino! Maybe that makes me more biased but he’s definitely tied for #1 coolest Guatemalan I know (shout-out to Mario Briones).

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Adam Driver as the new red saber wielding bad guy, Kylo Ren, is certainly the most controversial of all the additions. Part of the complaints are that Kylo Ren acts like a spoiled child in some scenes and part of it has to do with his appearance. I’ll get into that former part a bit later but I’ll get the latter part out of the way here. I agree that the reveal of Kylo’s appearance could’ve been handled a bit better. There was a palpably awkward moment in the theater when Kylo first took off his helmet for the first time because we all knew by then that he was Ben Solo, the son of Han and Leia. Everyone in the crowd had expectations as to what he would look like and when he took off his helmet he just didn’t look like what anyone was expecting. That isn’t a bad thing necessarily but it could’ve been done way better. I agree that Kylo looks nothing like Han or Leia but I think he has similarities in likeness to a young Darth Vader aka Hayden Christenson, which is good enough for me. I’ve pictures of Driver with what looks like a trademark goatee and mustache and I would’ve much preferred if they kept that look because he looks a bit more sinister and less like a smooth faced tantrum-thrower. Anywho, I’ve read nothing but great things about his acting abilities and he showcased them well here. His character had some critical moments of internal struggle in the film and Driver handled it very well! With the wrong actor the lines he had to deliver and the pain he had to show could’ve come off as really cheesy but he executed it well. He’s what I wish Anakin Skywalker had been in Episode III. Driver also certainly nails the voice! His deep voice fits perfectly as the villain.

Those are the only new additions I wanted to branch out and discuss because I feel like they were the most important and most talked about. Besides them there were obviously others that are worth a mention at least. Domhnall Gleeson takes over the new Governor Tarkin role as General Hux. I’ve been a fan of Gleeson’s previous roles but here there simply wasn’t enough of him to really say much. His speech to his army before the first firing of the Starkiller weapon was some of the best acting in the movie though and it bought him a pass in my book. Lupita Nyong’o is also in the movie but this was possibly the biggest let down for me. Lupita has all the acting ability in the world and she has a KILLER aesthetic for making a badass Jedi or Sith or something. Instead they used Lupita as the cgi Maz Kanata. Maz is a cool character, she’s supposed to be like the new Yoda or something, but it feels like a criminal underutilization of Lupita’s talents. They could’ve used anyone’s voice for Maz! Save Lupita for something special!

Before jumping in to discussing my thoughts on the events of the film, I want to finish off praising the film’s other aspects. The movie predictably had a perfect score given it was the master John Williams in charge. If anything I think we could’ve used a little more innovation in this area. Again, this just more nitpicking because the classic star wars music was just as fun to listen to today as it has been in every other movie. Williams also brings some solid new sounds. Moving on, the cinematography was also fantastic! This wasn’t the most gorgeous movie of the year by any means but the set pieces were great. The landscape views of Jakku and Takodana were beautiful. If you know me or have at least read some of my other reviews you’ll know I’m a big fan of the tracking shot. There was a phenomenal tracking shot here where Poe takes on about five or six tie fighters that I felt captured the thrill of being a pilot better than any other Star Wars scene before. Back tracking a little bit, I want to say a little more about the locations in this movie. As I was saying, Jakku and Takodana were cool. There were a few more locations that were great as well but overall if you think about it the locations were a bit too familiar. Starkiller Base was essentially Hoth, Jakku was obviously reminiscent of Tatooine, and Takodana was reminiscent of Endor or any other lush, green planet. This wasn’t extremely bothersome but it was something that I was very conscious off both times I watched the movie.

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Now let us get to the heart of the thing here, what we all came for, the STORY! I loved the story of this new Star Wars but it wasn’t perfect.

First of all, let me say that I was disappointed by how familiar the story felt. If you look at the story broadly you’ll notice it is almost step for step the same thing as A New Hope (1977). You have the young force-sensitive prodigy from a desert planet who gets caught in an intergalactic struggle against an Empire-like entity who wields a planet destroying weapon. I said before that I expected them to stay sort of safe with this one and just reintroduce us to the series but that’s different than straight up copying the plot of the original movie. That was a bit lazy in my eyes.

One of my biggest story complaints was HOW THE HELL did Leia and the rest of the Resistance STAY the Resistance?! If you backtrack to Return of the Jedi (1983), the entire point of the movie is that the evil of the Empire is defeated. The Emperor is killed, Darth Vader finds redemption in his dying moments, and the rebels party like crazy with the Ewoks because they did the impossible. We don’t know yet what officially happened in the time between A New Hope and this movie. Since Disney took over the series they’ve undone a bunch of the previously canon storylines. I know there is going to be a series of books that bridges the story between A New Hope and The Force Awakens but until then I’m left wondering how the rebels screwed up so bad that they’re still the rebels. How terribly did they mess things up that with Darth Vader and the Emperor out of the picture, Han, Chewie, Luke, Leia, and the rest of their army still couldn’t finish off the remnants of the Empire?

Another thing that bothered me, what exactly was going on between the Republic and the Resistance? I know it was stated by Hux that the Republic was responsible for supporting the rebels but we didn’t get much more than that. The whole thing just raised many questions that were never answered before the Republic was destroyed. How was the Republic supporting the rebels? Why weren’t they seemingly doing anything about the fact that the Empire was still out there regrouping? Why did they not see giant lasers coming at them from across immense distances? I don’t know, maybe we’ll get some answers some other time.

Before jumping into a discussion on the bad guys, a quick word on the good ones. The cast of characters that form the heroes is fantastic because there are cool and fleshed out people everywhere. I’ve said enough about Rey, Poe, and Finn, you get the picture, they’re all great! I love how they gave Rey the most power or potential for most power, it was about time. I have my fingers crossed that she decides to go with a saber staff instead of a traditional saber when it inevitably comes time for all of that. Anyway, this movie was all about the new faces and passing the torch on while honoring the legacy of the characters that came before. I’m glad they went in this direction instead of trying to make our classic heroes the focal point. How awesome was it that Han could see how talented Rey was that he basically passed on the Millennium Falcon to her?! (Speaking of which, that initial escape from Jakku almost made me jump out of my seat in ecstasy after Rey powered the ship off, Finn got that perfect shot, and then they sped off into space!) We all know how cool Han and Leia are and about the amazing things they’ve done but lets face it, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer are old. Maybe being old isn’t as big of a damper on Leia because she’s a general and not out in the field but it was hard for me to imagine them pulling off Han Solo as a hotshot gunslinger for much longer. Note that I didn’t mention Mark Hamill. This is partially because we essentially didn’t see him at all in this movie. On top of that, you can get away with being old if you’re possibly the most powerful jedi master of all time. Actually, being old kind of helps because it just makes you seem more wise and experienced. I definitely had chills seeing Luke at the top of the hill at the end of the movie.

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Now for the bad guys! I don’t know who these people really are, I don’t know if they’re considered the Sith or not. Snoke references the Knights of Ren and the fact that Kylo is their leader but we don’t explicitly hear who they are or what their ultimate goal is. I didn’t like Snoke one bit in this movie. He seems to be the new Emperor type character and he may very well have incredible power but we never get to see it. I assume he can hold his own if he’s training Kylo Ren and is treated as all powerful but again, we only ever see his hologram. I was not in favor of the way they presented Snoke either. First of all, his name is trash. You can’t go from having great sounding bad guys like Darth Vader, Darth Maul, The Emperor/Darth Sidious, General Grievous, etc. to Snoke. Whenever I think Snoke I also think snot and that’s not a good look. Speaking of looks, I didn’t like that either. I don’t want to sound like I just hate cgi characters since you already know I wasn’t a big fan of Maz’s appearance but that was for a different reason. I had no problem with Maz’s appearance itself, I had a problem with them not using Lupita’s appearance as a character of her own. As for Snoke, he didn’t look menacing at all. We only saw his hologram but he looked decrepit and fragile. I’m willing to rethink my stance on Snoke after learning more about who he is and what he’s done or after we see more in future movies but as for now this is all we have to go off of.

I’ll keep my bit on Captain Phasma short, I was disappointed in her character. She has the potential to be great and I’m sure she will be but she wasn’t developed at all and barely made any appearances. I only included her here because I assume she’s special if she’s wearing that special chrome suit which admittedly looks really cool.

Likewise, I’ve said pretty much all I’ve wanted to say about General Hux as well. He has potential and his speech was great but I need to see more of him before I form an opinion either way.

Now, Kylo Ren, the divisive. I already talked about Kylo’s appearance but I’d like to address other complaints people had. The reason I do this is because I think Kylo Ren is the most compelling villain amongst the lackluster “bad” side. The previous movies always had great villains, even the prequels did a solid job of that. You always had a good set of bad guys to keep you interested. If you’re like me, sometimes the villains were even your favorite characters. I think Kylo has the most potential to be one of these great villain. People didn’t like that he seemed to throw tantrums when things didn’t go his way or that his arrogance often times had him do something stupid. Everyone has to remember Kylo is young! He isn’t a master yet, he hasn’t even completed his training. He has so far showcased impressive powers like being able to read people’s minds and being able to stop a powerful blast in mid-air. Think back to Anakin when he first became Darth Vader, he was reckless and arrogant too. His recklessness and arrogance is what ended up getting him into that iconic Vader suit in the first place. What do we know about the dark side of the force? We know that rage and anger are the tools of people who use the dark side. Being able to passionately channel rage at the right moments and being able to control it is the whole point. Of course Kylo is going to be angry and show displays of frustration, he hasn’t learned how to fully control his anger yet. I think it would’ve been a huge misstep and boring if they had made Kylo Ren a master of sorts from the get go. Think about it, have we ever had the pleasure of watching a bad guy really mature? Count Dooku was always quite powerful and so was Darth Sidious. General Grievous seemed to be at the peak of his power as well when we met him and Obi-Wan killed him quickly anyway. We had Darth Maul but he was diced up quickly too. The only bad guy we’ve really seen develop is Anakin/Vader but we only got a real glimpse of that in Episode III and once we’re into Episode IV, Vader is already a master. Give Kylo Ren a chance, I don’t think the people in charge of writing the story will screw him up. Also I think his struggling with the draw of the light side versus the dark side was a nice touch that shows he still has Luke, Leia, and Han’s spirit in there somewhere. To people saying he’s weak because he couldn’t beat Finn and Rey in a lightsaber duel there at the end, remember two things: 1. Rey is obviously some sort of prodigy who tapped into the force to catch an overconfident Kylo off guard. 2. Kylo had just taken a hit straight on from Chewie’s blaster which the movie made a point of showing as being very powerful.

Of course, I can’t write this review without talking about the death of the beloved Han Solo. I was lucky enough to have not had this movie spoiled for me so when this moment happened it really hit me full on. Han Solo is without a doubt my favorite Star Wars character. I know he doesn’t wield a lightsaber and he can’t use the force but he’s undeniably the most cool character and the fact that he’s a legend in a universe where superheroes essentially exist speaks for itself. I won’t say the moment was entirely unexpected when it happened, looking back it was pretty obvious at various points that something terrible was going to happen. For me it went a little something like this: 1. Han and Chewie splitting up had me worried a death was coming. 2. Han approaching Kylo on the bridge made the thought of Han dying cross my mind but I didn’t want to think it was possible. 3. The vagueness of Kylo’s speech when he was talking about Han helping him do what he had to do pretty much gave it away. 4. When the light dimmed I knew it was the end. At first I felt extremely sad and angry that Han died in that way because I couldn’t imagine this great smuggler and survivor taking such a stupid risk but the more I thought about it the more I accepted it as the correct decision. Han wasn’t just a smuggler and escape artist anymore, he was a father. He knew there was a good possibility of death but he used the last minutes of his life to try and save his son. I didn’t know if they’d ever kill Han Solo but I assumed that if they did he’d go out with a bang. He didn’t go the way I was expecting but he went unflinchingly knowing he was staring death in the face and that’s about as cool as it gets. Despite all of this, his death stung. While I saw his body fall into the pit below I still had hope that he was alive and would find a way out. He’s Han Solo after all! You never tell him the odds! I knew it was practically impossible but Han had been in tight situation before. I bet I wasn’t the only one who felt that way either.

After a few minutes I of course knew that was the end of Han but I accepted it. We have to realize that Star Wars has never been about an individual person. No one is bigger than the galaxy itself. Maz said it best when she said she’s been around for a long time and has seen the same eyes in different people. There have been many names and groups, some of which have destroyed planets, but everything balances out and life continues. Over the years I’ve spent many hours on Wookiepedia reading all about Star Wars story arcs that take places dozens of generations before the movies to dozens of generations after and everything in between. Many of those stories are substantially more fleshed out than even the movies are. The story that we all know is but a speck of dust in the overall story of beings throughout space and time. This is one of the biggest appeals of the series for me. We have this epic adventure with huge implications but it is still only the tiniest slice of what is happening in the grandest scheme of things. There will always be people struggling for something or other, when you zoom out far enough the lines of good and bad don’t even matter anymore. The most you can hope for as a character in Star Wars and even in real life is to make an impact relative to your existence. In the incomprehensibly large Star Wars timeline, Han Solo may just be a blimp on the radar but if anyone could have as large an impact as he did in his time and place, then that person is undoubtedly a legend as well. In a universe full of stars, Han Solo’s star will always be one of the brightest there ever was.

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P.S. They better do a hell of a job casting Han Solo for his spin-off because whoever gets the part will have an immense amount of pressure and wild expectations to live up to, mine included.

To close out this review I’m going to mention a few quick things I didn’t find a place for elsewhere. I want to give props to whoever choreographed the fights scenes. The lightsaber duels here were perfect. I’m not going to lie, as a kid I really enjoyed the crazy fights of the prequel trilogy. Once I grew older and was able to appreciate more, I realized that sometimes less is more. The fights here were believable and the tension had me on the edge of my seat without the need for flips and spins. Speaking of the final fight scene, I was disappointed in the way it ended with the Earth splitting to separate Kylo and Rey. Of course I didn’t think they’d kill Kylo Ren then and there, that would’ve really been wild, but there were better ways to spare him. You could’ve had the planet really start to erupt and Chewie show up just in time for them to get on and leave. You could’ve had Rey think she fatally injured him only to be mistaken. You could’ve even had Rey take some sort of pity on Kylo and leave him to die on an exploding planet. Instead we ended up with the earth splitting perfectly to put Kylo Ren juuuuust outside of Rey’s reach. That felt lazy and like a bit of a cop out but it wasn’t a huge deal.

BB-8 was phenomenal! It’s crazy how they can create a droid that communicates in beeps that has so much personality but it was done once with R2-D2 and they struck gold again with BB-8. C-3PO was in the movie for a little too, the line about his red arm was funny. Overall great job on the droids.

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Lastly I want to praise the use of cgi in this movie (not Snoke). That whole thing about less being more applies here even more so than in the fight scenes. I’ve seen the documentaries and read the stories about how George Lucas went from being reined in with the original trilogy to being allowed to run wild in the prequels. Obviously this shows when you look at the prequels and see the overwhelming amounts of crappy cgi that was used for essentially everything besides the actors. This film did a great job of bringing back the feel of the original where cgi was used much more sparingly and in the right places. We aren’t forced to watch entire planets made of cgi, everything looks much more believable this way.

Well there you have it! This was a big review and a bit of a mess of one too. I apologize for the messiness of this review but like I said, I had much to say and no clue how to organize it. I hope I got my general message across though, this movie was a very pleasant surprise for me. I was expecting to like it but I wasn’t expecting that it would have a legitimate case for being one of the best movies of the year. Is it the best movie of the year? No, probably not, but it is one of the best Star Wars movies ever made and that should be enough to excite us all for what is to come.