Monday, 21 December 2015

Film: 'Star Wars - The Force Awakens'


Let's dispose of this quickly. It bored the pants off me, just as every other of this series has done, right back to 1977, when I just couldn't understand why everyone else was coming out so ga-ga over that first one. I've seen every Star Wars film in the cinema shortly after release (more out of a sense of 'duty' than any keenness to see them), lost interest in each very early on - and this latest is no great improvement, if it's any at all. 
If it hadn't been for the near-constant, surround-sound din I would surely have dozed off. My first yawn (of many) came just 15 minutes in. I just didn't care about what was happening to any of the characters, that's the top and bottom of it, leaving me cold and unresponsive.
However, I have to aver, the series has been a phenomenon, even though I'm so far outside its appreciation as to my being beyond the horizon. Current average rating on IMDb is 8.8 (from 165,000 viewers), which must be just about the highest I've seen for any film to date, so it's pleasing an awful lot of people, and how can anyone argue with that?

Can't be bothered to mention anything of the 'plot'. Anyone who's interested enough would know by now anyway. Shan't bother with the cast either. Appearances from earlier in the series only make me apprehensive about future releases, which I think I may as well give up on now. I doubt if I'll get an epiphanous awakening at this late stage.

I've no doubt that the visuals are now more accomplished than they've ever been, which is only what one would hope for. But when one tries to sustain a level of interest by entertaining oneself in looking for gaffes in continuity (of which I noticed several, but am sure there were loads more, as there are in every film), well, that's not a good sign.

I'll close this on a kind(ish) note.......................3.

27 comments:

  1. I ain't gonna see this either; have never liked this crap since 1977. although I COULD get cozy with harrison ford for a wee jolly time...

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    1. I was expecting the heavens to fall after my writing this, A.M., but am so relieved that with you and Craig, below, I'm not alone - and possibly far from being so.
      As for Mr Ford (looking very grizzled now - although he's younger than me, so I must be too) if you don't mind a - BEWARE! Plot Spoiler! - he won't be in any further in the series, unless there's a flashback or he's resurrected, though far stranger things have happened in these films. In his time he did have a certain 'allure' I must agree.

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  2. Hooray - I'm so pleased to read your review. Clive and I went to see the original in 1977 and after 40 minutes walked out as we couldn't stand the nonsense. I've never got it, and never will! You have much more staying power then me going back for further punishment!

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    1. Craig, I thought back in '77 that people were fooling themselves into thinking that the film was as good as to all the hype that had built it up for months before it was released. I don't think they could accept being disappointed. But the moment that the first spacecraft rumbled across the screen way back then (the same thing happens at the beginning of this one) I knew there'd be a glum couple of hours ahead, which there was. If I hadn't then been keeping a register of my seen films I too would probably have made for the exit very early on.

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  3. OK, I have to admit I loved the first Star Wars. Haven't been enthralled since and didn't actually see every single one that followed (I think maybe I've only the second). I've read raves about this latest, but I'm still on the fence about seeing it.

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    1. Mitch, you seem to have 'got' the idea of that first film of (goodness!) nearly 40 years ago - and so there's more of a reason for you to see this. I think that if the original idea didn't carry one along with it that first time then, like me, one would be totally lost.
      Most folks DID like it - and love the series. They may well be right in seeing them as superior. I can't argue with that.

      Btw: This latest has some deliberate re-visits of what have become iconic moments from the very first one, so that's a further reason to think that you're probably going to like it.

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  4. Thank fuck for that
    A bad review

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    1. I take it (and hope), J.G., that your calling this a 'bad' review was referring to the film itself rather than to my post. But even if you were doing that I had been rather embarrassed about my posting such a shoddy piece of work and was minded to delete it. But then the computer lines were down for most of yesterday and when they came back I found at least two of my followers (above) were hailing what I said, so I decided to leave it there. Anyway, got no motivation to write on this subject any more.
      Sounds like you'll also be giving it a wide berth. I suspect that'll turn out to be the right decision.

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  5. My Nephew went. he is 11, he said in a quiet hush when I asked if it was good, "I didnt want to tell Dad as he was looking forward to it. I thought it was utter Sh!t". Then he looked shocked because he just dropped the S word in front of me and galloped out of the kitchen. Unless they have a lazyboy chair for me at the cinema I feel I wont be going for a long time as I cant sit comfortably.

    What a shame, I wonder do you think Disney has made it any better or worse?

    p.s. I prefer star trek. But if you said that out loud infront of any of my family I will deny it.

    Hope your keeping well. the neighbours kitten has found our garden and is intent on stalking the male pheasant that has taken up residence behind our oil tank. He looks like Simba. The kitten not the bird...

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    1. Sol, I'm rather surprised at your nephew giving the negative reaction that he did, being in the target audience range and all that. However, at his age I'm guessing that he's not that familiar with the others in the series, unless he's made an effort to catch up with them on DVD. I say that because that in this latest there are strong, deliberate echoes of the very first one nearly four decades ago. Not that it made it any more bearable to me, but it's one reason why many of the positive reviews seem to think that this one makes more than the usual 'sense'.

      Is it now Disney? Well, there you are. I hadn't even noticed.

      Never having been a great aficianado of Star Trek either, on TV and on cinema (again, I've seen all the films) but I'd much rather sit through one of those than any more S.W.s, which i think I'll now say 'goodbye' to.

      I'm okay, thanks - though my ageing (16 years) Blackso is getting over his flea allergy with three tablets a day, crushed up and mixed into his food. But also he can't walk steady, often going off to one side as though drunk. He's been doing that for some time now which I'm pretty sure is his age. It's very sad to see.

      Simba? Is that the lion from L.K.? I'm not up on that. Never seen the film but would LOVE to have seen the live musical.

      Thanks for the visit, to which you're welcome at any time, it goes without saying.

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    2. I wonder if Blackso has an ear infection?

      Yes Simba from the Lion King. I have seen the musical in London! Well worth seeing. The elephant swhished its bum down the aisle and hit me in the face. It was fabulous!

      Simba looks like this, on the top right

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simba

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    3. Sol, I hope the vet would have diagnosed an ear infection if that is what he has. No, I think he's just got old. In human year equivalents he's at least as old as I am, very likely yet older.

      'Lion King' is one I'd definitely have seen had I the resources. Still might be possible, though. Can't give up on it.

      (I'll try that Simba link later. My temperamental computer requires to be operated with great delicacy and doesn't like to do anything too complicated. But thanks anyway.)

      And if you read this today, Xmas itself, a very happy one to you and yours. I can't wait for my fried egg sarnies for dinner! Mmmmmm!

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  6. I saw it!!
    I thought it was the original movie's same plot.
    I got lost in the characters who all had monosyllable names like out of Dickens novels.

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    1. By Jove, that's a turn up for the books, Dr Spo! Can only assume that someone (as opposed to Someone) dragged you along to view.
      Yes, the parallel (or, as you say, the same) plot as in the '77 film was done with purpose, which could well be a reason why I didn't take to it.
      But you haven't said whether you liked it. Until you indicate otherwise I'm going to assume that you didn't think it was one of your highlights of 2015.

      ---and, on this Xmas morn (7.30 a.m.), very best wishes and a ho-ho-ho to all you and yours.

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    2. Thanks, Dr Spo - and I hope you had a good and, in some positive way, memorable one.

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  7. I was never a Star Wars fan and cannot possibly understand why it was ever so enormously popular. I could hardly sit through the very first movie.
    Unfortunately I know several people who think this latest effort is terrific. They must be desperate for entertainment.

    I'm writing this at around 3:00 a.m. on Christmas morning. The weather has turned unseasonably warm and it's presently nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Thunderstorms are expected to arrive soon.

    I hope you have a pleasant Christmas, Ray, and I also hope Blackso is improving.
    My three kitties are enjoying this springlike weather. Unfortunately, it won't last for long. I've heard that it's going to be very cold by New Year's Eve.

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    1. And a most pleasant Xmas season to you too, Jon. (Now coming up to 17.10). I've just indulged in a glass of port wine - just the one. More would be unwise and unnecessary. Then going to settle down to my Xmas meal of fried egg sandwiches - with a bowl of Brussels sprouts as a 'side'. Hope yours is/was fine too - perhaps not as sophisticated as mine. Then will watch telly for maybe three hours - which is about the max my eyes will take, then hop into bed, which is ever welcome.
      Mild here too but nothing like the heights that you're experiencing. There's no bitter cold for us appearing yet, and I hope it stays that way. I don't envy you in the least.

      Blackso's as okay as could be hoped, thanks, but he walks with a lops as if he's drunk. Finds it hard to walk along a wall now and it makes me nervous that he might fall off. But I'm sure it's all to do with his advanced age. Have to take him back to the vets next Thurs when his medication will have been exhausted. Hope they give him the all-clear for the remaining time he's got left. His fate, whatever it is, is my dread - but it comes to all of us.

      As to Star Wars, I too could never see the attraction of the idea right from the very first one. I reckon that people just weren't willing to accept that they could be wrong, and have been duped ever since. It's true, however, that this latest has got almost universally very positive reviews. Beats me!

      Enjoy the remainder of today and the days around the corner. Cheers!

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    2. Jon,
      Again, we agree! Imagine that for a conservative and a liberal (or "progressive" as we like to be called these days). I never "got" the whole "Star Wars" mania.
      Ron

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  8. I can hardly wait to see it! 😉
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. You're welcome to it, F/b - and what I mean by that is that if it's your 'thing' (and why not?) may it come up to your expectations. I'd fully think that it will.

      And thanks for your seasonal greetings. Much appreciated - and more than willingly reciprocated.

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    2. I actually rather enjoy Star Wars. It's fantasy. It's about simple escape, conveys a good message and give a bit of inspiration. It's not meant to be groundbreaking in my book, nor have award worthy performances. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. Keep in mind that I'm considered a nerd, I go to Comic Con each year and I think the Harry Potter series is the Bees Knees. I'll see it and The Peanuts movie before the week is out. It's my treat to myself for my upcoming birthday. I not one who cares for a full house, so I always wait until the crowds dies down if I'm going to venture seeing a flick in a theatre.

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    3. I wouldn't criticise anyone for liking the Star Wars series, FB, or indeed any film at all that I dislike. It's just not my kind of film, though I do find the 'bad' science in SW (and in virtually every other space-science fiction film) constantly gets in the way of my being able to simply enjoy it despite the dodginess. Believe it or not, I do actually envy those who can put aside the inaccuracies and simply sit back in their seats to be entertained.
      Oh, and I'm not a great fan of HP either, though I find them slightly more fun to watch than SW. But HP films (and the books) can get terribly heavy-going, I find - rather oddly, seeing as though the target audience is primarily teenagers or yet younger.

      As for crowded cinemas, I avoid such screenings like the plague. I always sit away from the main audience, in a sea of empty seats on my own, even if it means looking at a screen from an off-centre angle.

      I hope your upcoming cinema visits add further pleasure to your birthday experiences.

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  9. Hello Raybeard - Ron read me your review over FaceTime which is excellent. I'm in the same boat as you and several of the readers on this one. I simply don't get it I watched the very first 3 anticipating that something would finally explode in the way of excitement. However, in the third production when I watched what looked like teddy bears on broomsticks attacking an enemy I finally gave up. i can understand the audience reviews if they are into this sort of sci fi soap opera fantasy - but the critics?? Another series that struck me in a similar way was Harry Potter. I went to a few after hearing promotions that the next one is darker and edgier. But for me it just didn't click. BTW I went to accompany a friend of mine who likes them otherwise it would have been a pass.

    Pat

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    1. Hi Pat - and so good to have you drop by. I'm thoroughly chuffed that you did!
      That very first S.W., all of 39 years ago, got me irritated from the outset by its first shot being of a spacecraft rumbling across the screen. It's something that makes it hard for me to take it seriously, whatever film it is (including the Star Treks). Everyone knows that there's no sound in space. (Don't they?) In fact the only films I've ever seen that got it right were '2001 - A Space Odyssey' (my all-time favourite film of all!) and, I think, John Carpeneter's 'Dark Star', though I'd have to check on the latter when I can watch it again. It seems to have sunk into oblivion. (I think that 'Interstellar' may have got it right too but I didn't think it was a particularly good film.
      It may be a personal quirk that I can't suspend my disbelief over scientific inaccuracies (yes, several or more) long enough so I can enjoy the film as an piece of escapism, but they just continue to exasperate me throughout the film.
      But, like you, the very nature of the Star Wars saga doesn't gell with me and leaves me feeling a bit cheated, and even angry.

      As for Harry Potter - again, I've seen all the films but found them too overloaded with special effects to be sufficiently engaging. However, I'd rather watch them than the Star Wars films - but then I have read the first three (or was it four?) of the H.P. books which I thought fairly interesting though over-rated.

      Thanks again for your visit, Pat. You're always more than welcome.

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  10. Ray,
    Pat just saw this movie this week, rather reluctantly. He too said he "never got it" with the whole Star Wars hoopla. I have to admit I never have either. But of course I never "got" the whole Harry Potter frenzy either. I read your review to Pat and he said it was right on the mark.
    Ron

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    1. Thanks so much for the 'publicity', Ron. Hope that what I said to Pat in reply, above, elaborates the woeful theme still further.

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