Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Film Review

“That Garbage will do.” – Rey.


Writer: Michael ArndtLawrence KasdanJ.J. Abrams, Cast  Run time: 135mins

Note: there’s gonna be spoilers. It’s a review.

Star_Wars_Episode_VII_The_Force_Awakens

After some 32 years. The intergalactic space adventure has coe back to cinema. Well really like 10 years since the revenge of the Sith. I will say it has its flaws. But it also has its strengths.

J.J. Abrams likes mysteries almost everything he’s ever been attached too is surrounded around a mystery box theme. The story seems very much centred around the question what happened. That could even be a play on the words a “long, long time ago.” When return of the jedi ends it seemed like peace and balance was was restored to the galaxy. As this film goes on. It clearly hasn’t been restored.  Or if it was… a great many tragedies have happened to upset that renewed balance. As great as this mystery box is, it does hurt the film overall. It’s simply lacking something. An element. I would point out a fair bit of explaining of what happened for 32 earth years was missing but that could be intended. A great musical score. One thing compser, John Williams got right for the majority of the prequel saga. Or even a real climatic cinematic lightsaber fight. Episode three is the best of the entire franchise for that (and arguably my favourite of the episodes). This movie felt like more of a part than a full story. That could be a marketing ploy to now encourage fans to try new mediums/media for the space opera.

Kylo Ren. He is everything Anakin Skywalker was supposed to be in the prequel saga. I kind of want them to to remake episode three with Adam as Anakin. Right from the start he seemed menacing. No one can replace Vader. But you know us nerds. We always want more… wait that’s just society at large. Ren seemed tormented by something and that is something I rather enjoyed. I hope his back story is fully fleshed out. I am curious to see just how his respective parent(s) decided to part ways as the remaining episodes come out. I’m sure it will considering just how the film ends. Some people are complaining about his voice. I’m not one of those people I loved it. I thought the actors limited facial expressions came across very well. There’s a moment him and another character using the force against eachother and I was just amazed how well they both acted in that scene. I loved just how much he contrasted vader. Even Ren’s final scene(s) in the film were a contrasting similarity to Anakin’s story arc (or just the story arc of episode III).

Finn was the one new comer I was most intrigued by. His character just seems innocent. Sadly if I was to say he reminded me of anyone, it was of Jar-Jar Binks. Before you bash me. Remind yourself Jar Jar was a ploy to get a new generation of kids into the franchise (it worked). Then remember how stupidly innocent Jar-jar was. And now tell me, once you see it. You don’t see the “same” stupid innocence in him (obviously no one is Jar-Jar Binks stupid). If I had to push it forward, John Boyega played him as a good samaritan, after the fact. I’m more than positive there is a reason he “awoke” to the evil around him on that fateful day in the manner he did, during that scene, more than its described in the film. He also seemed like an amalgamation of characters in respect to the original trilogy (as did Poe Damoren. Just not sure if that was a writing, acting or something intended. We won’t know until episode 8 or 9.

Rey. She’s probably the strongest female to be in live action star wars lore. Not just by physical activity, but the how she deals with a lot of characters. There is a significant number of contrasts & similarities between her character (which is still clouded in mystery), and the origins of both Luke and Anakin. that may very well be a hint, but its still anyone’s guess as to who is the parent or relative. What I loved about her was her acting. theres a scene where she’s captured and she uses her face to convey the forward momentum needed for that scene. it was great. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future episodes.

Visually this movie was one of the best shot film I’ve seen. That said, it’s not perfect. There are a lot of times there is noticeable camera changes. Its in the quality output. Some shots were over exposed, some, to me, looked pixelated. personal favourites are that destroyer scene which is on the trailer above and the giant weapon. Dan Mindel is great behind the camera. Minus a few instances, theres a lot to like visually.

Bottom line: Great movie, not without flaws but it was great to be back in the galaxy of Star Wars nonetheless. I think most of it’s success will come from its own hype/name alone. Han Solo steals the show. Its great that his character is the one confirming the force and the Jedi.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8.7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (music is like a 4 though),
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? IMAX. SEE IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN IMAX. Because let’s be real, you’re gonna buy it on blu-ray.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Creed: Film Review

You don’t have to be the product of your environment. You don’t even have to be a product of your family name.


Director:  Ryan Coogler WriterAaron Covington & Ryan Coogler Runtime: 133m Cast

After some six Rocky films the question, as always, remains, how do we keep the franchise fresh? With the seventh in the franchise you had to wonder can we listen to Rocky’s inspirational quotes… again. The answer is: of course.

Being the son of globally known parent can’t be easy. The relentless pressure from the media to take up what the father (or respective parent) is doing can be unbearable. But so can trying to fit in when your heart belongs else where. The film explores both those aspects; but for the sake of the story, it does favour one more than the other. On the surface it’s an origin story, it’s a bit of a redemption story, it is actually quite a few things. The best one being that it’s a great film consistently. I worried if knowing about the previous films would become a problem while watching. It wasn’t. The story is pretty favourable with respect to the franchises’ history. They do make mention to previous moments but I imagine they were for both older fans and for those wanting more of Rocky. There are some cliche moments but I’m sure it won’t be as cliche for the typical viewer. I will say I miss the use of training montages.

creedpostersmallMichael B. Jordan is really on the come up. Aside from the recent Fantastic Four, there hasn’t really been in a bad film. At least not one I’ve seen. His dedication to his craft is amazing. This is arguably a better performance than the one he gave in Fruitvale Station. I don’t say that as one being bad, simply put, they are both excellent performances, its hard to say which I liked more. One of his better moments have no sound, yet is so powerful in its delivery. Even though his character starts out in a shady place you root for him not so much as underdog, but for seeming going thru some sad situations. I really loved his story arc and characterization. His best and most emotional line comes in the final fight. That scene had me near tears. The limited screen time with Rashad had me wanting more. I think the two would have great chemistry on screen. Shame she didn’t have a bigger role.

Stallone has been playing Rocky for some 40+ years now and if this be his final send off, I’m okay with it. There was such a humility that he brought this time around (I’m not sure if it was always there in previous films). He’s somewhat of a man out of time both literally and figuratively. He comes off as a guy waiting for his time. I thought the extra element of his health a bit too much on the nice but I liked the contrast it created for team Rocky. Its quite amazing how much you can give a viewer beyond the surface. I hear rumblings of this being the new direction for the franchise, if that be true, the manner in which he was written was stellar. I have a great amount of respect for Stallone. His acting for the type of character he needs to be was spot on.

Relative new comer and scene stealer, Tessa Thompson, brings a lot of depth to her role. Aside from being eye candy (its hard to deny how beautiful she is), she… Its hard to sum up her performance. But I will dare to say she was one of those dream, chill girlfriends that are a level headed and very supportive(I probably insulted someone, my bad). I loved her character, I wished they used her flaw a bit more.

The cool thing about the movie is that they used real boxers. It added a level of realism. The first big fight was seemingly shot in on take. I love that. Long takes are awesome when the action inside of the take is elaborate.

We all watch movies to be entertained. But sometimes you watch a movie and it just moves you. Or the story is so good you apply it to you life in a way that is so profound, it shocks you. That happened to me and I get that in this day and age we are all rather desensitized to the one another that emotions are odd when shown. But in the case of the performance from MBJ, for me, it was hard not to connect to his reason for everything. You don’t even have to connect to it on the same level. But when you’re given a shot, a chance… at something and there’s people you reasonably look up too; its hard to not feel that pressure of being that lead that makes up the spelling error. It’s your determination to do the best you can that leads to you overcoming that fear.

The biggest upsets for me came down to editing and/or the on set supervision. When Rocky’s health begins to deteriorate, the inconsistency bothered me to no end.

 

Bottomline: If this film does start a new franchise, Count me in. I loved it from start to finish.

 

Rating 8

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s definitely worth seeing on any platform.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW