Thursday, December 24

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Quick Movie Review (Spoilers)

I am not going to take long as there are so many reviews. I saw the movie today to avoid crowds but there was still a crowd, at least there was seating. I wanted to like the movie and I did. I don't like that fans have been saying it is sinking to nostalgia. What else do they expect? With a Star Wars sequel, you are going to get nostalgia. One meme had Star Wars as "to close to the original, I hate it" and another with the New Ghostbusters "too different, I hate it." Anyways, "Forge of Ages" (how my grandnephew Jaiden refers to it) starts out with the narration that everyone is on the hunt for Luke Skywalker. Poe (played my friend's brother Oscar Isaac Hernandez who is Guatemalan-Cuban from Miami, FL where I live and my family is also from Guatemala) and BB-8 get a map from an old man and the First Order (the new bad guys) lay waste. Poe is taken prisoner and saved by Finn (John Boyega), a brainwashed Storm Trooper who decides to desert.
 BB-8 meets our heroine Rey (Daisy Riley). Now here comes the spoilers. They find the Millennium Falcon and run into Han and Chewy, become first friends and go to Yoda-esque Maz Kanata who makes Rey touch Luke's lightsaber, not confirming her parentage but having some connection. Apparently Luke tried making more Jedis and finding the first Jedi temple and his apprentice (who we assume is Han and Leia's son Ben--yes Ben, like Obi Wan) betrayed him. After we re-meet Leia, we are nailed over the head that whiny Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) (or how my dad calls him "Darth Vader") is their son. So Rey is a savant, she has lived in a desert but knows how to fix ships and use the Force.
My favorite Boba Fett-esque character is Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), female commander of Finn and she doesn't get much to do here but supposedly will have more to do in Episode 8. So how does Abrahams do? I have been following him since "Felicity" and I liked a couple of his series, even Lost. He uses lens flares but they aren't as destracting. He does stay in long shots like Lucas. He changes from close ups to long shots, uses steady cam for fight scenes but stays still in regular scenes. CGI is used sparingly, mostly for big creatures. Greg Grunberg has been in almost all his projects and he is part of the Resistance along with his assistant and Ken Leung (from Lost). Simon Pegg of Star Trek cameos as an alien. And Oscar Issac's Ex Machina screen partner Domhall Gleeson plays sexy ginger General Hux. I am not crazy about Supreme Leader Snoke, his look and his overall "Emperor" vibe, I would've liked a smaller guy like Maz Kanata.

Anyway, as for the death, I approve, we all knew it was coming, it just didn't have the emotion and potency it needed. I think Ford did a good effort but didn't do 100 %. Also Driver seemed more like an angst-y teenager. Riley and Boyega did good efforts. I am not crazy that Boyega is British but did an African-American accent slang. Driver did a British-esque accent and Hernandez has his native a Miami-accent. Also, I like that you see females everywhere: in the Resistance, First Order, in bars and other places. Leia is not only the female in the Universe anymore. I agree some of the plot points are similar to "A New Hope" but they put them in different order, mood (death scene) and fresh takes.