Obligatory Force Awakens Review

THIS IS NOT SPOLER FREE

I saw it. I liked it and now I must endlessly analyise it to suck all the mystery and joy out of it.

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The good.

The original Star Wars was a movie with a few things going for it. Visually it was stunning, it had scale, it had heart and it had a seemingly vast imagination. These things made up for any other deficiencies that may have been present.

The Force Awakens has the visuals, and the scale and the heart. And in spades. It also has some things that the original Star Wars didn’t have much of. Humour and Nostalgia. The new characters are pithy, vivacious and charming. The film wastes no time and has a pleasing blend of action, dialogue, pace and character development. This is a well-made film. Look it’s good. It starts strong. It looks like Star Wars, it feels like Star Wars MUCH more than the prequels ever did. The Characters feel like themselves. Han Solo is Han Solo, older but still recognisably him. Leia….er….seems a little out of practice. C3-P0…is….super annoying…wait sorry good things…good things…erm….Finn! Finn is great…no wait he’s a new character. Admiral Ackbar…is pretty good…but he refrains from speaking about traps. Which is a shame.

The new Storm Trooper design is perfect. Actually most of the designs in the film are great. But the Stormtroopers, flame troopers and the new Tie pilots are brilliant.

The Bad.

There’s no getting around the fact that Kylo Ren is a Darth Vader lite. He’s I can’t believe it’s not Darth Vader. He’s just one calorie not evil enough……

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Anyway.

It’s kind of forgivable because well he’s leias son, he has more Anakin in him than Luke…etc….There is a family theme going on and I get it but his aesthetic…? Lame. Why wear a helmet you don’t need to?

Lack of imagination. The Ren thing highlights this. There’s the Death Star, its back, it’s bigger, but no-ones fooling me into thinking it’s anything but a Death Star. So the rebels have to get plans to the rebel base and then go blow up a death star? Where have I heard this before? Seriously? This is the plot to your movie?

Specific annoyances:

Snoke: Snoke is the name of the cooperate villain from an Adam Sandler movie, not the name of the Emperors successor. When we say “How do we defeat Snoke?” the answer sounds like it should be with a musical number and montage.

Also huge lack of imagination there too. Please Kylo Renn should be alone. There shouldn’t be thousands of Sith lords waiting in line for the pleasure to ascend to the throne. Imagine a story where Ren was completely mysterious till the Bridge scene. Then he takes his helmet off and he’s a boy and Han’s son.

Can anyone just pick up a light-sabre and be confident and good enough that they can hold their own against an experienced swordsman? Because Finn and Rey both do it. There is an argument to be made that Ren has never really fought with a light-sabre…..who would he fight? But Luke trained him right? And he killed all the other Jedi apprentices. So it’s not like he’s never used one before, he’s just not practiced. All those years of training must count for something. Anyone who’s even played with a sword knows that you don’t start with a sharp one, not because you’re a danger to others, but because you’re a danger to yourself. The likelihood of you cutting off something important is very high. Higher if that blade is a light-sabre. Never mind actually being good enough to fight and win. Ok so Rey has the force…..but that’s a pretty thin reason. I mean people still need training. And what’s Finns excuse? Sure he gets beaten but he does pretty damn well for a while there. He even wounds Ren. And yes Ren has just killed his father and been shot by Chewie’s Bowcaster which has been established is no joke. But even so. That’s pretty incredibly and I mean that in the sense that it stretches credulity.

Ok and speaking of look Ma! No Han. That was a genuinely emotional moment. Which was somewhat let down by the fact that Leia and Chewie didn’t have a moment when he came off the Falcon. Leia went to Rey instead. Who exactly is Rey to you? As opposed to your husbands best friend and your friend of over 40 years?

BTW: As cool as Han’s admiration for Chewie’s Bowcaster is…..is it remotely possible that in the 40 odd years they have been friends he’s never seen it fired?!?!? Or was that Space Alzheimer’s setting in?

Of course there are lots of other questions I have.

Where did Snoke come from? Who the hell was Max Von Sydow supposed to be? Where are the Knights of Ren that we heard so much about before the whole thing started? Why would you waste such an awesome character as Captain Phasma? Hopefully these questions will be answered in the 2nd film. And let’s hope that doesn’t consist of an ice world, a trip through an asteroid belt and Rey going through training only to leave to save Finn who is trapped on some kind of Cloud city…..

Ok so it seems like I’m complaining more than I am enjoying the movie but despite these issues that wasn’t the case at all. A friend of mine said it played it safe. It did in a sense but I honestly don’t think that was the problem didn’t seem like lack of courage to me it seemed like a failure of imagination. Even so it’s a very enjoyable movie that does tap your sense of nostalgia.

I give this movie 6 out of 10 swooping millennium falcons.

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Your zeitgeist needs an overhaul

I think when I was at school and Uni if I didn’t care about the essay that I was writing I would either put “Zeitgeist” or “Christ Allusions” in and know that I would get at least a grade higher than I would have simply for using those terms correct in context. In this case however my usage is heartfelt.

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After battling with Ammosexuals all day (thanks to Phill for the term) I have come to a few conclusions.

  1. I would much rather be one of the victims of a mass knifing than a mass shooting
  2. Making a bomb is a LOT harder than buying a gun, even in Australia and if you want to make a bomb that does not contain nitrates (the most common bomb making materials therefore the most common ones that are tested for at airports et al) then you are stuck doing temperature controlled reactions which are REALLY hard and you are MUCH more likely to blow yourself up than your intended victims. But since people don’t know this they think that if they take away guns people will use bombs. Because they are idiots.
  3. The people who are pro-gun seem to be desperate to keep their guns, not because they need them but because of some terrible imagined threat that has never and probably will never eventuate.
  4. They seem to think that the perfectly reasonable measures that Japan has put in place (remember that like Australia it is not IMPOSSIBLE to get a gun it’s just very difficult) mean that Japan is a police state. Which if you take the definition that Japan is place that has a police force where the police have guns but the general population don’t then that is correct. However if you use it in its correct definition of “A police state is a state where the police force is used to enforce the will of a select few rather than the general population” then it’s total bullshit.
  5. They rightly point out that Canada has almost as many guns as the US and Canada has nowhere near as much gun related crime as the US so guns can’t be the problem. And this is true in a way. But it makes the issue so much more difficult. Because what that seems to say is that it’s the people themselves. It’s their psyche, it’s their education, it’s their attitude, and it’s their upbringing Or something else. And who wants to change that? No-one aparently. Switzerland. Yep they have guns, but everyone gets a course on how they work, what they can do, gun safety, how to use them and when to use them. Why to keep ammo in a locked box away from the gun. So it’s not the same. Education. Would it help? I don’t know but it’s something you can try without resorting to a gun ban or buyback and it might save lives. But don’t worry if that’s too much trouble for you. I mean there have only been 455,000 deaths to gun violence since 9/11 so there’s no rush. No guns without military service might be something you might want to look into too. After all that’s the Swiss model you seem so keen on.
  6. You need to check your privilege US. My uncle instilled in me gun safety. He was rigorous about it. Don’t ever load a gun unless you’re ready to use it, don’t ever point a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill whether you think it’s loaded or not, don’t ever put your finger on the trigger of a gun until you are ready to kill something. The first thing you do after you have fired a gun is to make it safe. Make sure the gun is cleared unloaded and safe before putting it away. I’m not even saying these rules are exhaustive but they did make me respect what a gun is and what it can do. I was afraid of it and that was good. I still am. I never feel caviller around guns. But despite being a good shot and familiar with guns and gun safety I would never feel comfortable entering a fire-fight with a perpetrator, the risk of me hitting someone else in a stress situation seems far too high. Don’t get me wrong I’m an above average shooter. But I’m not combat trained. I wonder how many people who advocate this idea are? I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I shot some poor innocent bystander by mistake.
  1. People seem perfectly comfortable trading people’s lives for what seem like really sensible precautions. Precautions like in Japan where you have to have a:

– A Class on gun safety

– A written test

– A psych evaluation

– A rigorous background check.

Oh NO! Whatever would you do if you needed a gun in a hurry?

Ok think of a situations where you need a gun in a hurry. Just give me one legitimate one.  YOU NEVER NEED A GUN IN A HURRY UNLESS YOU WANT TO HURT SOMEONE.

  1. When we outlaw guns only the outlaws will have guns. For rebuttal see Japan.