Author Topic: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi  (Read 5786 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2018, 09:53:34 AM »
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I'm listening to an old podcast episode that goes through problems with The Last Jedi. I thought it might be interesting, but I'm just laughing derisively at it.

"It's too hard to understand why they do that... This movie is not very considerate of the audience..." That one made me laugh out loud as a Lars von Trier fan. I can't think of a less meaningful criticism to make of a film.

This line of criticism is so just tiring to me as a Lost and Game of Thrones fan. I have no patience for people who want everything spoon-fed to them. Who need all the explanations for everything right now. On one level, I think it's fueled by a suspicion that the filmmakers don't know the answers. What a strange impulse that is. But it's pervasive.

The trip to Canto Bight has brought out some weird takes, too. I get that this is not usually what a Star Wars movie does. But really. It's like even casual filmgoers have read screenwriting books and have this ideal of perfect three-act blockbuster movie structure, and more than being confused, they're offended that The Last Jedi has the entitlement to transgress. Wait, this sequence doesn't furiously drive the plot forward? How is this allowed??

This movie has brought out some reeeally bizarre reactions. And the more I try to consider them, the less I understand them.
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brockly

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2018, 11:57:10 AM »
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i started watching this again when the digital release came out and didn't get much further than the opening space battle. not because i wasn't enjoying the film - this first sequence alone is actually a fascinating clusterfuck of some of the most obtuse cliches and lazy plot mechanics i've seen in some time. i just need to be in a very specific mood to allow myself to enjoy this film for what it is. in the space of 5 minutes the movie gives us one of the most awkward and worst examples of expository dialog delivered by Gleeson's character, a terribly cringey and out of place 'your mama' joke, a gun predictably jamming and then being repaired in one of the most nonsensical and goofy ways imaginable, an entire fleet of bombers (save one, conveniently) taken out by the same array of flying shrapnel… and then a remote control mcguffin that hangs on the edge of a platform. OH SHIT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN??? of course we know the outcome as soon as we see a slow motion closeup of someone closing their eyes and focussing their might. but then... more fake tension with a shot that shows the remote impossibly out reach, followed by a clunky cut of a hand catching it that makes no logical sense. part of me is in awe of how utterly mishandled this entire sequence is. i get that this is a shallow critique, but it's the only chunk of the film that's fresh in my mind at this moment.

Ravi

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2018, 10:55:35 PM »
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I have no patience for people who want everything spoon-fed to them. Who need all the explanations for everything right now. On one level, I think it's fueled by a suspicion that the filmmakers don't know the answers. What a strange impulse that is. But it's pervasive.

All this endless explaining/backstorying/prequeling in these franchises is just information collection, and it's not interesting to me.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2018, 11:33:31 PM »
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Which Star Wars movie are you talking about?
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pete

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2018, 02:03:45 PM »
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well that makes perfect sense - you bought into Lost's justification so much that now you automatically assume the most artistic of intentions behind every other franchise choice because hey - if Lost meant well then surely Star Wars would have to mean well too.

I'm listening to an old podcast episode that goes through problems with The Last Jedi. I thought it might be interesting, but I'm just laughing derisively at it.

"It's too hard to understand why they do that... This movie is not very considerate of the audience..." That one made me laugh out loud as a Lars von Trier fan. I can't think of a less meaningful criticism to make of a film.

This line of criticism is so just tiring to me as a Lost and Game of Thrones fan. I have no patience for people who want everything spoon-fed to them. Who need all the explanations for everything right now. On one level, I think it's fueled by a suspicion that the filmmakers don't know the answers. What a strange impulse that is. But it's pervasive.

The trip to Canto Bight has brought out some weird takes, too. I get that this is not usually what a Star Wars movie does. But really. It's like even casual filmgoers have read screenwriting books and have this ideal of perfect three-act blockbuster movie structure, and more than being confused, they're offended that The Last Jedi has the entitlement to transgress. Wait, this sequence doesn't furiously drive the plot forward? How is this allowed??

This movie has brought out some reeeally bizarre reactions. And the more I try to consider them, the less I understand them.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2018, 03:42:42 PM »
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well that makes perfect sense - you bought into Lost's justification so much that now you automatically assume the most artistic of intentions behind every other franchise choice because hey - if Lost meant well then surely Star Wars would have to mean well too.

"Would have to mean well"...

What does it mean to you to pass the "mean well" test? Again, I don't understand this impulse to be suspicious of the creators' intentions.

Lost and Star Wars are fantasy stories whose mythologies (I feel) have a life of their own, so I have no reason to expect that there's not room for mystery or ambiguity or the creators not knowing. That seems fine to me.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2018, 12:28:15 PM »
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wilberfan

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2018, 01:04:46 PM »
+1
I'm not as emotionally invested in the series as some are, but I enjoyed that video.  (I happened to have enjoyed VIII, so maybe that helps, too.)  His passion and conviction in his position is fun to watch.
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pete

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2018, 02:53:24 AM »
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I like this guy except when he defends popular franchises. they are insufferable and he makes no real good points except he uses written proses to beef up the same things everyone has already said about those movies.

...also as time goes on and as these types of videos for The Last Jedi piles up I just realized that this film was built for Twitter. The film pretty much came pre-packaged with hot takes, as its characters literally deliver the pre-written headlines for people: "Last Jedi is about burning down the past" MOTHERFUCKER YOUR HOT TAKE WOULDN'T HAPPEN TO HAVE SIMPLY BEEN STRAIGHT UP YODA QUOTES WOULD IT? This film and Mother. I swear. Filmmakers are now telling the people what to write on RottenTomatoes and the same people are smugly telling me that I don't get it and "but it's the point!" Fuck it I'm done. I was done when Bolt tried that shit in 2008. If you guys wanna be 10 years behind, that's fine.
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Gold Trumpet

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2018, 04:04:03 AM »
+2
Star Wars has never been very good. In the 70s, they were simple serial stories seemingly made for kids but gained popularity due to effects and light-hearted, fun stories. The problem is that they were so popular the simple mythology in the stories were taken serious by their fans so when they made films later on, they dropped the fun approach and dug deeper into the mythology to appease those fans (who were now a lot older). The problem for me is that the mythology had little behind it and the films were better off being fun and easy going. I think Marvel super hero movies now have a similar hold on the perfect blend of fun and exciting that the original Star Wars films had with audiences. The movies can seemingly do no box office wrong at this point. If Star Wars kept going on after Return of the Jedi, I'm sure they would have been financially successful. The Last Jedi has very slim dramatic interest and mostly bored me and that is with me already being a big fan of Rian Johnson. 

pete

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2018, 06:59:30 AM »
+2
there are so many scenes and lines of dialogue of The Last Jedi that only make sense if the characters are aware of the fact that they're in a movie and they have to persuade the audience that the brand is still strong.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
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Drenk

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2018, 08:35:43 AM »
+2
The thing about burning down the past still infuriate me. And not only because it appeared on headlines, trying to persuade us that it makes the work "mature" and interesting, but mainly because the movie—at the end—does the contrary despite the fact that characters try to spite out themes which can't be respected by a modern Disney franchise.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #57 on: September 16, 2018, 02:34:07 PM »
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The thing about burning down the past still infuriate me. And not only because it appeared on headlines, trying to persuade us that it makes the work "mature" and interesting, but mainly because the movie—at the end—does the contrary despite the fact that characters try to spite out themes which can't be respected by a modern Disney franchise.

So on this point your complaint is with the press and Disney's marketing team, rather than the film, then? The line in question is said by the villain, who at best has shades of antiherodom but turns out to be very morally wrong. Which includes being morally wrong specifically about that line. (He's also a hypocrite, because his worshipping Darth Vader is toxic nostalgia.) So I have no problems with him saying that line. And I don't think it's some betrayal or copout that the movie ends up disagreeing with it.

To your second point, if you're saying that The Last Jedi tries to deal with themes that ultimately can't be appropriately explored within the constraints of a Disney film, I think that's an interesting criticism and might even agree.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #58 on: September 16, 2018, 02:50:12 PM »
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Side note. To the extent that Rian Johnson was involved in the trailer, I think he can take some blame for the "controversy" as well. That trailer was trolling the audience pretty hard after all, suggesting Luke might be the actual last jedi, hinting that Rey might be turned, and then of course positioning "burn down the past" as a meta thing. Having listened to Rian Johnson in a number of podcasts, this strikes me as being aligned with his sense of humor.

Personally, I thought the trailer was so brazenly trolling that its misdirection almost amounted to reverse-spoilers.

Great trailer. Feels like 75% misdirection though.
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Drenk

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #59 on: September 16, 2018, 02:54:08 PM »
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The thing that I find disturbing is the meta narrative about the franchise: how everyone is happy at the end that they're playing out exactly the dynamics of the first trilogy, as if it were some kind of victory. The last show—especially—which weirdly looks like a Disney add missing the "Everyone can be in Star Wars" tag was weird, and not only because it looked like what played before the movies...It's as if the only thing that young directors—talented like Johnson, or less talented—can say is some version of: "I can't believe I'm playing with my childhood toys!". As earnest as it can be I personally don't want to see his toys being the "real thing". And as earnest as he thinks he is, I wonder if there's not some kind of Stockholm Syndrom involved. Why can't Rey make the "wrong choice"? Can't a Rey/Ren union being a disaster sustain another movie?

But yes: critics who don't like Star Wars who are using this line to defend the idea that "Star Wars is clever now" are the one I am blaming for taking that particular bait.

It's interesting that we are still talking about this movie, though.

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