Night At the Movies

Drinking beer with the guys

A starcross night, chilly air over the city skies

I’ve wrote about this already but I might has well revisit it to freshen up the details in my mind.

Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the first night it premiered in my sleepy little town was definitely an experience I will never forget. I can’t believe how much of a fanboy I felt like sitting in that theater, watching one of the biggest films, perhaps the biggest, of 2015 unfold. I chuckled inside when the iconic words seen in every Star Wars film popped on the screen, and then let out a sigh of relief when “Star Wars” zoomed onto the screen and the iconic scroll commenced. A mysterious fog was cleared in my head when I finally realized the masked person seen in the trailer was Rey as she uncovered her face.

Afterward, standing on the curb of the theater in the chilly December air, waiting for my ride, I reflected on my awesome experience. I had waited years to see this film, first hearing it announced in 2012, and had bought tickets months ahead, so to finally live out my dream and be one of the early goers to these insanely hyped up parties, was very satisfactory. There was never a movie I went to where I felt such a connection that I had to where a matching t-shirt. Not even Harry Potter could do that.


Tell us about the most exciting big night out you had recently.

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The Force Awakens Review

The moment we’ve been waiting for since it was announced in 2012 has finally arrived…and with a bang. Did it live up to the high expectations? Read on and find out.

I got to be one of the early ones to see Star Wars because of holding tickets to a special pre-screening show. Surprisingly, more people than I expected showed up to this event so they must have all been in on the gameplan. People came dressed in their Jedi robes and stormtrooper suits. A bucket of popcorn cost over six dollars, almost as much as a single ticket. Ridiculous, but the bills have to be paid somehow.

These review will avoid spoilers at all costs and will instead focus on the good and bad aspects of the film.

First off, the movie was incredible, hitting every note perfectly. The explosions were powerful, the sound was electrifying.  J.J. Abrams used those three years (the typical number of years between films) making this film wonderfully. He did not disappoint. Being passed the torch from George Lucas as director of his beloved creation is a serious responsibility and Abrams handled it well. He didn’t try to change too much in this movie (keeping the iconic title intro, music, and “Windows Movie Maker” transitions) to keep it in consistency with the films before it, but did add his own personal touches to make it look newer.

BB-8 was the most adorable droid of any Star Wars film, rolling around like a ball and making cute sounds. But it was not just there for laughs and cries, it had a pivotal role in the story, containing clues to something really important.

There were a few, however, things I didn’t like about the film:

  • Having about the same plot as Episode IV
  • Not developing the characters very well
  • No chemistry between Finn and Rey
  • Too many battle scenes and not enough downtime with humor or any iconic moments. Actually, there weren’t any moments that really stand out in my mind. The movie was just one long noisefest.
  • Han and Chewbacca seemed to be thrown into the film at the last minute

It was the first time I’d seen a Star Wars installment in theaters. The last time it graced the silver screen for Revenge of the Sith, I was a little more than 14 years old. I wasn’t at all into Star Wars back then, only being vaguely familiar with the characters of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, not knowing they were related, and not giving the saga much thought. I just watched all six films for the first time last year and finally figured out that there was a man behind the Darth Vader mask. Somehow, that took away the mystique about the whole character for me. Knowing now that it was just a man in a suit didn’t exactly strike fear in me anymore. But basically, he is man and machine united together, but without knowing it’s a man, the character takes on a much sinister role, doesn’t seem so fake – and silly. Yup, ever since I saw Anakin Skywalker turn into Vader, I’ve had a hard time believing it was still the same mythical, scary villian as before. Maybe it was because the one who played Anakin, Hayden Christiansen, wasn’t very believable in his transformation over to the dark side. It seemed so forced and unnatural and the fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin not justified enough.

The Force Awakens awoke all of our inner science fiction interests, resurrecting a franchise that, for a while, was beginning to live off of its past and rely on video games, books, and other merchandise to keep it alive. It really tells you about the legacy of a film franchise when after almost 40 years, new and old fans are turning out to see their favorite heroes once more and get to know new ones as well.

Episode VIII is set to be released in May of 2017, Episode IX in 2019. I’m eager to see where this new trilogy goes and how the future of the Star Wars universe plays out. In my own mind, I can only believe that the plot ideas will be more or less the same as previous films (like blowing up the Death Star again in The Force Awakens). The excitement and anticipation will still be as high as ever, but there does come a time when things start getting a little long in the tooth. Which is why having two different directors on the next two films will prevent stale ideas from happening. It’s going to be fun the next five or so years. The Star Wars fandom machine is officially at full power again.

As for that triple lightsaber, called a crossguard lightsaber, well, let’s just say it’s more than just for show but can do some serious damage at close range.

 

Back to the Basics

An Amazon.com review on the remastered Star Wars saga collection, “written to” creator George Lucas.

George,

I appreciate your attempt to clean up matte lines, wonky lightsabers, and improve sound and picture quality in your Blu-ray release.

However, I don’t understand why you want to make jarring changes to your characters that make once powerful cinematic moments now creepy or distracting.

A lot of people have made the case for Han shooting first (as in the theatrical cut) in Episode IV being a much more interesting and accurate characterization, so I’m not going to touch that.

This review is going to be principally about the changes you made to scenes with me in it.

For instance, in the original cut, when I throw Emperor Palpatine down the death star’s reactor shaft, there is a moment of silent deliberation where, oscillating my expressionless masked face back and forth, I decide whether or not to sacrifice my life for the life of my son. The lack of dialogue allows the viewer to read more subtlety and indecisiveness into this act, and the silence is truer to my character’s previous dialogue in films IV-VI.

In this release, you decided to have me scream “NO! NOOOOO!” at the very beginning of the scene, removing any of the subtlety or conflict, inserting a goofy, lamely comic line not befitting of my badassness, and consequently dulling the emotional significance of a father’s redemptive sacrifice of his son.

What’s worse, you replace Sebastian Shaw’s peaceful and redeemed ghostly image on Endor with Hayden Christiansen’s garish, creepy, pedophile-like smirk.

Not only does this not make any sense, because the last time I was alive (on the Light or the Dark side) I looked like Sebastian Shaw, and Obi-Wan and Yoda’s ghosts look exactly as they did before they died… but again, Hayden’s horrible acting and the visual unevenness of the three actors blunt what could have been a great, emotionally significant scene.

The scene starts great with Mark Hamill’s excellent contemplative stare, coupled with peaceful acting from Sir Alec Guinness, but it ends with Hayden Christiansen’s disgusting smirk, ruining what was one of the emotional high points and one of the key resolutions of the trilogy.

I keep trying to Skype you – please pick up so I can force choke you and prevent you from making any more changes to your movies.

Sincerely,
Darth Vader (acting as)

If I could be the possessor of a time machine, I would go back and stop George Lucas from changing the movies or even better, prevent the script writers from including Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy, just to end all of the heated, pointless online discussions and make the first film a little more likable.

Let’s go back to the Star Wars that people living in the seventies used to know. Where Han always shot first. I could care less about it all but the geek fandom tends to pay close attention to every detail in these films. That’s what makes this franchise so endearing and captivating.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Pick-Your-Gadget

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

 

The Final Countdown

 photo sw_zpsdkcwqw1t.jpg

They’re here…

Tickets to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Two tickets, one for Uncle J and I.

A pre-screening before the film actually releases to the public on December 18th. Exclusive stuff.

For the first time in my life, I’ll be seeing a film in its red zone, that is when it’s at its hottest point at the box office and people are dying to go see it in theaters during the first week. And my suspicions were right about getting tickets early online because when I got mine today from the ticket girl, she said two theaters in the area had already been sold out with only about 45 admit ones remaining. Most likely less now as I write this. That’s popular.

I’m silently getting excited, so much that I want to watch all six films again, in order this time. I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan, but this is one movie I definitely want to be apart of, along with die-hard geeks and religious fanatics. I’m going to see the film, but I don’t know if I’ll go as far as getting into cosplay and really living the experience.

I can’t believe the time has finally come. I remember first hearing about the movie in 2012 when Disney bought Lucasfilm for a whopping 4.5 billion (does someone sign a check or something?) and shook the Internet to its breaking point. I, like many people, was initially critical of the decision, joking that Star Wars was going to turn into a really sanitized family flick with Disney cliché all around. I even made a video on ten reasons why Disney would fail with Star Wars, such as having storm troopers with Mickey Mouse ears and having Jar Jar moving to the Dark Side – so wrong on so many levels that I’m embarrassed to even feature it here. But when J.J. Abrams of Lost fame was announced as the director, my approval rating shot straight up with the cool sound effect of a lightsaber.

Now 2015 has arrived and the skepticism is long gone and excitement and rumor is peaking, especially with the sneak peek of the cross-shaped lightsaber being wielded by a new character named Kylo Ren, who may or may not be the successor to Darth Vader.

These are the kind of moments I love to blog about. Pop cultural things that are relevant to the world. Fun stuff that I’m interested in and can explore further in other places. Having original pictures to go along with my posts is also what makes my blogging experience worthwhile.

45 more days until new and old fans go nuts, and I’ll be one of the first to the starting line. Does it really matter though, who is first? No, but bragging rights are bragging rights and I can always put down in my memoir that I was one of the first for something.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”

Why do you blog?

Because I’m allowed to under the first amendment, simply put. Getting thoughts out of my head and into words is also great therapy for me. If I get it off my mind and into my blog, it won’t worry me anymore.

Moving Forward

Head to one of your favorite blogs. Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

I wasn’t going to do this but I ultimately decided it was important.

As we get older, we realize some things just aren’t the same anymore. The kids get younger and the trends that once were popular in our day have suddenly died out, paving way for the next best thing. When sports start featuring kids from the 90s, and eventually 2000s, you know there is no where to go but up – or forward. The athletes you looked up to as a kid suddenly are younger than you.

There becomes a disconnect between generations and understanding. You don’t know where to turn and really don’t know know how to fit in with the new wave. A certain bit of jealously comes along the way as well, such as wanting to be back in school again and relearning all the things that were so fun.

But getting older has its advantages. You have more opportunities and freedoms in the world. There’s more respect. Can drink and gamble – responsibly. Get into any kind of film you choose; of course, I was already watching adult movies before I turned 18 and had had my share of magazines.

At what point do birthdays become as pointless and boring as soup? At what point do you just want to freeze time or start going backwards. I’d say it would be when you reach middle age and life seems to have gotten stuck in neutral. When it is no longer cool to act like a kid and society would think you’re short a few screws.

Everything moves forward…

A new batch of kids are going to see Star Wars for the first time when it comes out on December 18. The seventh major film in the megabillion dollar franchise comes out during one of the most social periods in human history. The last film in 2005 didn’t have the luxuries of multiple ways of sharing content online with just the click of a button. If I wanted to see the trailer for Phantom of the Menace in 1999, I’d have to either wait for it to appear on TV or get a sneak peak of it before a feature film in the theater.

The film is obviously going to be a smash hit and most will likely shatter box office records within a day, no matter what the critics think. I have already pre-ordered tickets from Fandango for a December 17 screening, citing the thought that it will be hard to get tickets when the film is released. The film comes out on the 18th, so this must be a special pre-screening for a limited number of individuals. Lucky me will get to be one of the first to see the anticipated film, but will have to keep quiet for one day so not to spoil the fun for those fans who have been waiting three long years since Disney met George. This will be the first time a Star Wars film comes out where I am familiar with the story, having just recently watched all six films, and am actually mildly interested in seeing one.

Here is the amazing trailer:

Many despise having any more films after the original trilogy because of the story being wrapped up so nicely in Return of the Jedi. But money speaks loudly, especially in the brain dead creative space of Hollywood that definitely is in love with sequels. Do we really need a Toy Story 4? A Woody and Bo Peep love story, are you kidding me? What’s next, Woody finding out Bo is having an affair with Hamm? I believe this beloved franchise should be put to rest before it is exhausted to death.

One of my favorite bloggers, Insach, had his birthday a few days ago and I decided to expand upon his post about changes.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.”