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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson 2017)


Dixon Hill
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Yeah, but it happens more than once and for me its just a tad too much. Again, not something that really hurts my enjoyment of the film, but a small flaw nonetheless.

 

27 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

I agree Chen. Independent woman are a problem.

 

No, but subtlety is an important element of film language.

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4 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

My fav little moment is when Rey is polishing the scrap metal she found and she briefly looks up and sees a very old lady do the same. It's fleeting, and it works.

 

That's great.

 

For me, when I think about a character building moment for Rey, its that quiet moment of her wearing the helmet, and looking wistfully at the sky. Also great. But not everything in the movie is like that.

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2 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

My fav little moment is when Rey is polishing the scrap metal she found and she briefly looks up and sees a very old lady do the same. It's fleeting, and it works.

 

A great moment as she contemplates her likely future

 

1 minute ago, Chen G. said:

For me, when I think about a character building moment for Rey, its that quiet moment of her wearing the helmet, and looking wistfully at the sky. Now that's great. 

 

A great moment as she contemplates the future she wishes she could have

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2 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Most cinema audiences are actually pretty quiet here in my experience.

 

This was opening day of The Force Awakens though.  That audience was amped!

 

same here! I went at 10 AM. earliest showing in my city.

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16 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

I could never do that, do you even have time to process what you have seen?

 

Yeah. Different parts come into focus with each viewing. 

 

Dont know now if I could do it for anything other than Star Wars but it was a lot of fun.

 

I might try and do it for VIII this year but it’s a big undertaking and a day of eating breakfast.

 

I had a barrel of coke and a big bag of M&Ms for breakfast. 

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5 minutes ago, Bilbo Skywalker said:

Yeah. Different parts come into focus with each viewing. 

 

I've always said that to properly critique a film, two viewing are required.

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Yeah.

 

Unless I'm just awe-struck by the movie upon my first viewing in the theater, I'll usually wait and get it on Bluray and than rewatch it. If its a truly good film, It'll work on the small screen just as well.

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I saw TFA three times on release, spread out of course, and it helped that it was in cinemas for an incredibly long time. I think by the third time (which was a month or two after it came out) I was a little bored after the Jakku sequences tbh. I was mostly going for Rey and the score :D 

 

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That's another issue that I have with the film. I've said before that it copied the original Star Wars' narrative structure, i.e. a long first act and a late-in-the-game introduction to the protagonist. Which, of course, isn't a problem; Lots of films do that, particularly when they want to evoke an "epic" vibe and let you appreciate the world: Braveheart did it, Fellowship of the Ring did it, An Unexpected Journey did it, even Titanic had a long framework story. The first two Harry Potter films tried to do that, too.

 

The thing that made it work in Star Wars (and most of the aforementioned movies) was that, while long, the first act started in an action scene and continued to have action, spectacle and suspense peppered throughout. It did so in the original Star Wars, Phantom Menace, Revenge of the Sith and now with The Force Awakens. Its true of a lot of good movies, that they don't follow the classic narrative structure or rising tension and action, but rather start with a big action setpiece (a-la James Bond), mellow down, and than start the narrative proper. See Indiana Jones films, for instance.

 

And The Force Awakens does that well enough. The only probelm, and one that adds to the third-act lag of this movie, is that the most exhilirating action sequence happens early on in the film: With the Millennium Falcon flying through the Jakku junkyard. That's always a problem when the biggest action scene isn't the one to close the film. Its not that it makes or breaks the film. Hell, The Dark Knight did it, and its still a critical darling, but it certainly does detracts from the experience, I think.

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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 5:49 AM, Chen G. said:

And The Force Awakens does that well enough. The only probelm, and one that adds to the third-act lag of this movie, is that the most exhilirating action sequence happens early on in the film: With the Millennium Falcon flying through the Jakku junkyard. That's always a problem when the biggest action scene isn't the one to close the film. Its not that it makes or breaks the film. Hell, The Dark Knight did it, and its still a critical darling, but it certainly does detracts from the experience, I think.

 

I don't see how the Falcon chase scene detracts from the overall experience of the film at all. It's just a fun action sequence; it's not even a scene that is vital to the continuation of the plot. The entire movie is sprinkled throughout with standout action scenes, and while the Falcon chase may be the most "exhilarating", I would certainly say it's certainly not the only exciting action scene in TFA. It's not like after that sole moment, the rest of the film is a boring slog.

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True, but you want the film's level of spectacle and action to follow the narrative structure: start strong, hold there for a short while, subside, and than start rising progressively towards the climax. You generally don't want the film to peak (in terms of action) before the climax, although some films can make it work reasonably well.

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The film grinds to a halt when Han re-enters the story, ironically enough. 

 

The succession of scenes from there on (the Rathtars, Takodana and Maz's Castle) fall a bit flat and probably have the worst direction in the film. Even the attack on Maz's castle is a fairly unexciting setpiece.

 

There was a lot of bombastic music changed/dialled out in this section as well (Finn's saber battle & Hux's speech). Wonder if that contributed?

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I wouldn't say it grinds to a halt. Yes, the Rathtar sequence (from when they are unleashed untill Finn is rescued) is loathsome, and Maz delivers a lot of uninteresting exposition, but Han Solo is charming enough to make that whole part of the movie work very well, to me.

 

As for the score, love it as I do, the general thinking is that when you want to make a visceral fight scene, you take out the music. Music in action scenes works when they're more stylized and swashbuckling (see the Falcon chase) or when its a scaled-back, emotional show-down, see the final duel with Kylo Ren.

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7 minutes ago, crumbs said:

The film grinds to a halt when Han re-enters the story, ironically enough. 

 

The succession of scenes from there on (the Rathtars, Takodana and Maz's Castle) fall a bit flat and probably have the worst direction in the film. Even the attack on Maz's castle is a fairly unexciting setpiece.

 

There was a lot of bombastic music changed/dialled out in this section as well (Finn's saber battle & Hux's speech). Wonder if that contributed?

 

I made this point on Twitter during the week. The film isn’t going great and then Han shows up and the film becomes about him and it goes from the search for Luke Skywalker to “we need to go to see Maz for plot reasons even though she doesn’t actually contribute anything essential aside from a lightsaber which doesn’t really make a difference and if they had just gone straight to the resistance it would have been fine?” before hastily going back to the Luke thing at the very end because JJ’s little nostalgia fest had to do something to justify another two movies.

 

Give Han a much smaller role and have him still part of the Resistence and we get a better movie!

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Interesting. I do recall that section of the film being nigh dominated by Han's charming persona.

 

I do however think that, while Rey, Finn and Kylo were good characters, JJ was concerned with putting the weight of the whole film on their shoulders. And maybe he has a point: maybe we like them because they're given to us in moderation?

 

If you think about the quirks that give them their character, than they are things that can easily be overdone, e.g. Kylo's anger outbursts or Finn's scared-out-of-his-mind demeanor.

 

Which is to say nothing about Poe not-really-in-the-movie Dameron.

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18 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

No, but you want the film's level of spectacle and action to follow the narrative structure: start strong, hold there for a short while, subside, and than start rising progressively towards the climax. You generally don't want the film to peak (in terms of action) before the climax, although some films can make it work reasonably well.

 

That type of logic is certainly not an essential that a film is required to pass. The The Falcon chase, in my opinion, isn't even the most spectacular scene in the film; the scenes on the Starkiller, the final battle, and the last few scenes on the island of Ach-too are what stand out to me most, when it comes to an overall epic tone and standout VFX.

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1 hour ago, BloodBoal said:

Because "Wow! They killed a famous actor in the first scene he appeared in! It means anything can happen! Any character can die! It's like Game Of Thrones, only grittier!"

Exactly!

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