Author Topic: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi  (Read 3116 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2017, 12:40:49 AM »
+2
You guys are off your rockers. This is the best Star Wars movie.

I instantly fell for The Force Awakens. But The Last Jedi is growing on me minute by minute. Sure it's a bit cheeseball, and some things are a bit spelled-out, but that's Star Wars. This is the best-made, most visually poetic, most subversive, most thematically mature film in the entire franchise.

SPOILERS

My only major problem with The Force Awakens was the way mass casualty was handled, which is to say... barely commented upon. By contrast, in The Last Jedi the loss of human life has a sharply-felt cost, from beginning to end, over and over again. We are continuously confronted with that gut-punch of death as the rebels suffer loss after loss. I still love TFA, but this felt so much more real.

Truly bizarre to see the complaints here about the twists and swerves. I thoroughly enjoyed having my expectations upended. They played fair, and each one was meaningful and felt right. One of the themes here, obviously, is "out with the old and in with the new." The movie tells us quite clearly: Kylo is not the new Darth Vader, and Snoke is not the new Emperor. It even attempts to upend what it means to be a hero, or whether traditional heroics are even useful right now ó Poe's actions were actually kind of reckless and cost lives (and he has to reckon with that), and they do not allow Finn to martyr himself. The Last Jedi is a self-interrogating machine that is also somehow emphatically true to Star Wars.

When I saw The Force Awakens, I argued that Rey was a better character than Luke Skywalker. Now they've sort of brought them to the same level ó Luke has never been more interesting, and Mark Hamill (to my actual surprise) has never played him better. I was ready to groan at Luke rejecting the quest, but he did it in a fairly interesting way, constantly and increasingly torn about what to do with her. Funny that people think this was too long, because I could have used another 20 minutes of Rey. What we got was pretty great, though.

Everything with Luke at the end was completely magnificent. The two suns setting ó that killed me.

Here's what I said about Rey's parentage after I saw TFA:

I very much hope that Rey is not Luke's daughter. That would be most boring and widely-predicted outcome. Shouldn't they upend that expectation? . . . I'm much more fascinated with the idea that there are a select few people out there with whom the force is strong, and that in the right circumstances they can awaken it. We don't need yet another descendent of Anakin Skywalker.

So obviously I'm very, very happy with this. It imbues with more meaning and fully crystallizes Rey's origin story, which is definitely one of the best stories in the saga.

I love this film so much, I honestly hesitate to engage with criticisms, but I'll do a little...

The First Order is just chasing fifty people across the galaxy, seeming really worried about powerless people...?

Clearly the rebellion is not powerless. The First Order correctly recognizes that the leadership has to be wiped out, because they have decades of experience running and hiding, and a lot of these people helped take down the Empire. The First Order also correctly recognizes that the rebellion's message is powerful, and dangerous if it spreads, and they already have allies throughout the galaxy who will activate if there is enough hope. That's all in the movie. I don't understand your argument here.

I mean, the Snoke thing shows that this First Order/Rebellion thing doesn't make sense and has no reality. I like that his death is basically Johnson saying: "Fuck that" to the mystery box Abrams opened. But you have that First Order things coming out of nowhere, being an abstract threat to the galaxy. What galaxy? They wiped out the Republic because they don't want to deal with any real fight. It's not even about the weird irony of the past haunting the future. It's pure abstraction.

Pure abstraction? Did you not see them blowing up planets in The Force Awakens? There are still plenty more populated planets in the galaxy. We saw one of them in this movie and several in The Force Awakens. I for one am glad they allowed for some serialization ó the First Order is on a particular mission here. We don't need to be shown everything they do all over again in every movie.

Then: everything about Rey is great. The plot twist is also a way to escape the mystery box but it's great that she has no place in this story. It's also interesting.

Yikes. I think you completely misinterpreted that. Or are you joking?

Yep ... they didn't build much of any kind of world starting with TFA and there's really no motivation behind the First Order's actions other than being Bad Guys, so they're essentially fighting for no reason over a galaxy that practically doesn't exist. What am I supposed to care about?

The wonderful and perhaps unfair thing about Star Wars is that each movie can stand on the shoulders of what's come before. This universe is not built in one installment. You do understand it's the same universe you've seen in all the other films.

The First Order wants to dominate the galaxy for the same reason any conquering army ever takes over anything ó resources, wealth, power, and the perpetuation thereof. As for why they're evil ó there is a dark side of the force, Snoke wielded the dark side, and he built the First Order.

I'm honestly not sure which parts of these arguments are sincere.
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Lottery

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2017, 01:35:44 AM »
0
I instantly fell for The Force Awakens. But The Last Jedi is growing on me minute by minute. Sure it's a bit cheeseball, and some things are a bit spelled-out, but that's Star Wars. This is the best-made, most visually poetic, most subversive, most thematically mature film in the entire franchise.

I liked some of the developments that occurred in the film, some of them were real gutsy but as a whole, this movie remained largely unsatisfying.
Personally, I can't say that this a particularly well made movie. I went back and had quick skim through the original trilogy just to check if they were as well-crafted as I remember them to be and they really are. Well-paced, well-structured, clean compositions an appropriate dose of humour. But this one- horrendous pacing, an abundance of jarring lame jokes, a total mixed bag of visuals amongst a few other disappointing things. All the new films have their issues but this one might be the weakest in terms of craftsmanship. In regard to consistency at least.
I can appreciate thematic strength and maturity, subversive plot elements and all that good stuff but the filmmaking was not at a level which made those things particularly enjoyable.

I maintain that AoTC is the only truly, truly bad SW film but this one is certainly one of the lesser stories. While the quality of the prequel trilogy is questionable, I reckon it's going to end up as a far more memorable experience than this generation's set of SW films.

EDIT:

Perhaps that's a bit harsh (in regard to the craftsmanship). Sometimes the movie works rather well but when it slips up, it slips up really badly making the lack of consistent quality rather alarming/egregious.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2017, 01:47:58 AM »
+1
I probably went too far with ďmost visually poetic,Ē but the experience you describe is completely alien to me.
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wilberfan

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2017, 05:33:38 PM »
+1
Well, I just got back from seeing this--having gone in with neutral expectations, to be honest.  I'm not a rabid fan, and don't know (and can't remember) all the finer points of various backstories and characters, etc.

But I had a really great time.  Thoroughly enjoyed myself--which, now that I think about it-- is all I really expect from a film like this.  Thrill me, make me laugh, move me a couple of times--we're good. 

So I guess it's just Jeremy and I in the thumbs-up column so far on this one? 

I actually teared-up on at least 4 occasions, which really surprised me.  And possibly my new Favorite Death Scene ever.  I loved the humor and found myself really admiring the casting/performance of Daisy.  None of the performances rang false for me, although Laura Dern's face has some weird angles/proportions to me that I find distracting sometimes.   There was one visual/lack-of-audio moment that made me audibly go "Woah...".

I liked TFA enough to have watched it three times -- and I liked this a lot more.   So this defintely goes in the plus column for me.
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WorldForgot

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2017, 05:57:14 PM »
0

So I guess it's just Jeremy and I in the thumbs-up column so far on this one? 


Personally adored this as an entry in the franchise, particularly appreciate the leaps it takes in piloting the SW Cinematic Universe away from the Skywalkers and closer to an extended universe.

Although, like with the Prequels before 'em. these new SW entries aren't the sort of film that I feel inspired to defend or consider at length. Now... Star Wars video games on the other hand... there we have some ripe discourse material...

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2017, 12:11:10 PM »
0
No exaggeration, this is the best podcast episode I've listened to all year:


The /Filmcast: Bonus Ep. Ė Star Wars: The Last Jedi Post-mortem

http://www.slashfilm.com/the-filmcast-bonus-ep-star-wars-the-last-jedi-post-mortem/

In this spoiler-filled discussion of The Last Jedi, David, Devindra, and Jeff Cannata are joined by Lindsey Romain to discuss the polarizing reaction to the latest Star Wars film, and to dive into some of the more contentious plot points.
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wilberfan

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2017, 03:10:01 PM »
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Listening to it as we speak... Only saw the film two days ago--this is the first podcast I happened to select to listen to.  Glad I picked a good one.
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brockly

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2017, 06:49:04 PM »
+2
itís been a long time since iíve had any real desire to get my thoughts down for a movie, and it's kind of weird that a movie i donít think is particularly good has really given me the urge to do so. but i find the reactions and discussions surrounding TLJ more fascinating than the movie itself. iíve always had a soft spot for the OG series, and the older i get and the more distant i become from movies i loved growing up, A New Hope and especially Empire have really held up. and in terms of the new films, i like TFA quite a bit and pretty much love Rogue One. both are flawed but i think the reason i responded to one more positively than the other is the same reason i responded rather negatively to TLJ, and thats tone. i don't think every SW film needs to be dark and gritty. iím fine with bad jokes, silliness and cheese but they dial it up to 10 in this movie and whatís worse is these moments donít mesh at all with the plot. i had similar problems during parts of TFA, but not to this extent. a lot of film lovers and intelligent people seem to love this movie, which is great, but iím curious as to why this movie is getting a pass on that front. this to me is more interesting than the film itself.

i donít hate the movie. i think thereís a lot to like and there are a few great moments. i also think Rian is a super talented guy who brought some interesting ideas. iím just baffled by many of the choices he made and how unfocused the film is as a whole.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2017, 07:01:10 PM »
+1
itís been a long time since iíve had any real desire to get my thoughts down for a movie, and it's kind of weird that a movie i donít think is particularly good has really given me the urge to do so. but i find the reactions and discussions surrounding TLJ more fascinating than the movie itself. iíve always had a soft spot for the OG series, and the older i get and the more distant i become from movies i loved growing up, A New Hope and especially Empire have really held up. and in terms of the new films, i like TFA quite a bit and pretty much love Rogue One. both are flawed but i think the reason i responded to one more positively than the other is the same reason i responded rather negatively to TLJ, and thats tone. i don't think every SW film needs to be dark and gritty. iím fine with bad jokes, silliness and cheese but they dial it up to 10 in this movie and whatís worse is these moments donít mesh at all with the plot. i had similar problems during parts of TFA, but not to this extent. a lot of film lovers and intelligent people seem to love this movie, which is great, but iím curious as to why this movie is getting a pass on that front. this to me is more interesting than the film itself.

i donít hate the movie. i think thereís a lot to like and there are a few great moments. i also think Rian is a super talented guy who brought some interesting ideas. iím just baffled by many of the choices he made and how unfocused the film is as a whole.

(SPOILERS)

The sense of humor argument I think is the weakest one leveled against this movie. The Last Jedi has funny moments and scenes sprinkled throughout, but they serve as a reprieve from the brooding and the continuous loss of life. A New Hope, though, has goofiness running through its veins.

It's interesting that so many Rogue One fans seem to dislike The Last Jedi. (I thought Rogue One was really terrible for at least the first hour, and my estimation of the movie continues to deteriorate.) If I were to guess, I think it's that The Last Jedi favors character moments above all else, while Rogue One is concerned with tone and plot and skips a lot of characterization.
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wilberfan

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2017, 07:33:59 PM »
0
Were fan debates as vociferous as this during each release of the original trilogy, or is this a new phenomenon that began with...Episode I?  I get the sense going forward that every subsequent Star Wars film will please some and piss-off others.  (Or is that part of the fun of being a fan?)
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brockly

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2017, 08:00:41 PM »
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The sense of humor argument I think is the weakest one leveled against this movie. The Last Jedi has funny moments and scenes sprinkled throughout, but they serve as a reprieve from the brooding and the continuous loss of life. A New Hope, though, has goofiness running through its veins.

A New Hope is goofy for sure, and i think that movie is kind of a miracle to be as good as it is, so maybe i overlook much of the goofiness for that reason. but TLJ is in a whole other galaxy of goof.

It's interesting that so many Rogue One fans seem to dislike The Last Jedi. (I thought Rogue One was really terrible for at least the first hour, and my estimation of the movie continues to deteriorate.) If I were to guess, I think it's that The Last Jedi favors character moments above all else, while Rogue One is concerned with tone and plot and skips a lot of characterization.

i know forgettable characters are the biggest problem people have with Rogue One, and i agree its a big problem. i still feel the movie as a whole is more focused than TFA and TLJ. and i'd like to reiterate: my feelings about TLJ are frustrating because i really like individual moments and ideas.

Alexandro

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2017, 11:38:05 PM »
+4
I don't know, people. I thought it could be about 15 minutes shorter, maybe 20. But other than that I quite enjoyed the ride and was moved by a lot of small and big things. I actually liked how BIG and ample in scope the Rey/Luke/Ren stuff is (in terms of cosmic questionings and soul searching) in contrast to the almost laughable "baby steps" mission Finn and all the others seem to be involved. It's like a massive "what's my place in the universe?/me and the sea and the sky" meditation, going back and forth with matters of such inmediate urgency that feel like looking at little problems with big consequences under a miscroscope. I actually laughed out loud when they started to narrate their plan and then had to repeat it because it was just bananas they even tried it in the first place.

I think the theme of new vs. old is what will define the trilogy and in this film they found ways to make it integral in every storyline and it's clever how that puts us in an ambivalent POV. So even if it's all done in this cheesy b movie language there are interesting notions and surprises which made me, at least, care for the whole thing.

It's weird how Adam Driver is kind of rocking with this role. Never would have guessed it, but you can sense his feelings of inadequacy and confusion bubbling under the surface at all times.

I appreciated the - yeah I know, but it was surprising - superficial musings on heroism, human costs of battle, the tragedy of idealism as an impossibility, the passing of time as part of the force....

Really, I'm baffled by the negative reaction here and in general. I wish the prequels were this accomplished, and to be honest I'm enjoying these more than the originals.

jenkins

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2018, 08:10:58 PM »
+3
this is my favorite thing i've read about this movie btw


Drenk

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2018, 09:07:04 PM »
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That's the idea. Except there's no sense of history and The First Order looks like they're cosplaying The Empire. There's nothing neo in that.
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pete

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2018, 12:46:24 AM »
+2
the defense for this film are some of the most long-winded and hyperbolical goings I have ever seen (or at least since Mother?) - it's like people just can't be honest with themselves. Nobody seemed to enjoy the film as a film but everyone so badly wanted to read into everything it's lacking and grade this film on a curve that no other film has ever benefitted from from the general public.
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