|Thoughts on #StarWars the Force Awakens. NO spoilers! Don't worry. Safe to read!
||[Dec. 16th, 2015|09:16 pm]
A while ago, Bert and I were looking at the website for Utopolis Mechelen and realised that there were tickets on pre-sale for Star Wars: the Force Awakens.
Because those included pre-sale tickets for a 10am showing today, we got some (they weren't even nearly sold out). It was a completely hassle free process, so utterly unlike what people in big(ger) cities often had to go through.
The early bird showing in Mechelen can be quite popular, but not right now, because most elementary and high school students have exams and only a limited amount of people can get the day off during the holiday season.
Bert did so happen to have time off (he's done working for this year) and my hours are flexible so taking the day off wasn't an issue.
When we got to the cinema at around 9.20 am, there were about 20-30 people in total, and some parents actually had taken their kids out of school, some teens were clearly skipping school (I hope they weren't skipping exams!), one guy was there with his grandma who was undoubtedly the biggest geek of us all, but most were people Bert and I's age who had clearly taken time off.
I think there weren't more than 60 people in the showing though in the end, as most probably choose a later showing (which didn't involve missing school or work). I wouldn't want to be there tonight, but the early bird one was nice and chill :)
Back in June Utopolis tried to start with allocated seating, but everyone just collectively ignored it and went to sit where they pleased like before. Unlike Kinepolis, who rigidly stuck to their guns and enforced it, Utopolis simply buried the idea, which I approve, because I can choose where to sit by myself perfectly fine thank you very much!
The shitty thing was, though, that they once again played a whopping _15_ minutes of commercials. Most the DUMBEST kind that is already bothering everyone on tv, some even in French (in a Flemish cinema, well done), some the same old shitty commercials that drive us all insane. A few commercials, fine, but 15 minutes is just taking the piss (and pissing everyone off). They played ONE trailer. That's right. ONE.
At least it was the uncensored Deadpool one. Which I thought was hella amusing considering there were children in the room.
Age ratings are for other people, my dad would totally agree.
I didn't mind at all, I'm just putting it here to illustrate just exactly how many fucks Utopolis gives (none, obviously).
Anyway, enough waffling about the theatre and such, at 10.20 the movie actually started, and we all rejoiced.
I grew up watching the original trilogy as a kid, I saw all prequel movies in theatre (albeit this is the first I'm seeing on opening day because it was never convenient before) and disliked them all (I ended up growing to appreciate Attack of the Clones later on, but that's the only one I can stomach), I've watched Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, I've read Star Wars comics (albeit I've not read them all and then only some of the new ones as Marvel is thoroughly milking the franchise, as is to be expected of Disney). Whilst I like Rebels and Clone Wars, I didn't particularly have high hopes for a new movie, even though I actually liked what the director previously did with Star Trek.
Maybe it was because I didn't have high hopes that I actually enjoyed this movie so much, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that whilst this is a new installment in the saga, it feels like it could be one of the original movies. There are some effects, but they aren’t abundant like in Episodes I, II and III. It’s at times very funny, and at times very dramatic, you can tell that they are actually coming up with back stories for some of the new characters, which is always great even though not all that much is being revealed right now.
I saw all the trailers, and whilst I was originally very annoyed with Kylo Ren being such an obvious Vader 2.0 and BB8 seemingly being the replacement of R2D2 (blasphemy!!!!) I can actually see where they were going now after that I’ve seen the movie.
J.J. Abrams may have decided to kick the expanded universe out of the window, but he does include the occasional nod to it. Albeit, to my limited experience with said expanded universe, only rarely so. He also ties nicely with events from the original three, which was nice and made it feel like proper Star Wars, something the prequels often failed to do.
I know there’s been quite some critique about the seemingly PC casting of Rey and Finn, but let me tell you this: in the original trilogy there was a strong female character too: Leia.
And sure, I’m sure they could have found a white guy to play Finn if they really wanted to, but personally I think that John Boyega did a great job. So even IF this is pandering through casting, they still casted actors that did a good job portraying the role so I fail to see what the problem is. Mind you, I fail to see what the problem is with a movie full of people of different skin colour and gender to start with but hey.
And you know: Han Solo and Chewbacca, hurrah!
Anyway, all this babbling aside, it was an enjoyable movie, I don’t regret having seen it, but it’s not all that memorable. It’s good entertaining fun, it’s in the same spirit as the original three, but it’s not earth shattering. But to be fair, whilst I loved the original three, they weren’t more than fun entertainment either. So yes, in my opinion this is a worthy follow-up.
My only regrets are that at times it felt like the story was being rushed, at others they took out too long for a scene and sometimes it was just plain predictable. But the positives did outweigh the negatives overall.
I’m actually quite worried about the next two though, as they are apparently not being directed by J.J. Abrams, and to be fair, I think that 3 directors for 3 movies does not bode well. But wait and see, we may still be pleasantly surprised.
EDIT: because I didn't have the picture yesterday yet: after the movie Utopolis had opened up a photobooth type thing, where you could play with lightsabers and jedi robes (yay for the first, nay on the second), and because Bert and I are giant dorks, we could of course not resist :D