Saturday, January 2, 2016

Star Wars the Force Awakens (mild spoilers)

This is Joseph

It has become hip for critics to complain about the new Star Wars movie.  That said, it is hard to imagine objectively bad cinema sustaining such high box office numbers.  Buzz and nostalgia can result in a large opening day but don't provide a good explanation for the sustained numbers and the repeat viewings.  I admit that I was one of the repeat viewers -- I had low expectations and they were definitely overcome.

Now, it is true that the movie starts out derivative and kind of stays there.  But it is a skillfully done version of derivative.  There is fan service, some of which is distracting, but you could watch the movie without ever having seen Star Wars and enjoy it.

Instead of presuming that this is the last good movie before the series craters, I think that we need to wait and see.  The next movie will have a new director, with a reputation for being a free thinker. It is obviously possible that the next movie will take derivative too far, and result in a bad flick.  There is no guarantee that a studio can't find a way to mess up a popular franchise, but I must admit two things:

One, the movie was a lot better than I expected.

Two, I am now cautiously optimistic about Stars Wars VIII and I look forward to seeing if my optimism is warranted.  

That said, J. J. Abrams does need to figure out how to create a perception of time passing during space travel.  It's by far the most immersion breaking flaw in the film, and could be easily improved by looking at Star Wars IV or almost any episode of Star Trek.

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