Star Wars The Force Awakens

 

Well here it is after so many years, the first sneak peek of The Force Awakens, it is a bit rushed but we hope you like the first of many teasers from the long-awaited return of one of the most beloved science fiction adventure franchises there is - Star Wars from Lucasfilm and Disney Pictures - the E ticket ride for the entire family.

 
There is much more coming soon in our complete music editorial presentation and film review, it will be published as we near the big holidays so keep looking us up.
 
 
Photo in compliance with Fair Use standards
Press video clip courtesy of Disney Motion Pictures Studios
 
 
 
 
 
 
STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS MOVIE REVIEW - PART II
 
We made an informal survey of editors who collaborated with us on and off and the short of it is that The Force Awakens hovers between a travesty and absolute genius.  And then there is a caravan of accolades from professional movie reviewers who needless to say, at the end of the day, have to contend with a paycheck from their specialty.
 

 
All of my peers in the film review industry have lined up and booed the prequels, admittedly not as original as the first trilogy, however nowhere near as bad as they have been made out to be.  It's always a problem when the studio is making Rocky V let alone Rocky VII.  Imagine where we'd be with Rocky XXVII?
 
Have we all forgotten that prior to Awakens, Revenge of The Sith broke all opening records and became the second highest grossing movie of the entire Star Wars series with close to $1 Billion in ticket sales?
 
Abrams may have accomplished the impossible, bringing with him tremendous energy, enthusiasm and a focus on creating a new Star Wars.  Disney may also have provided creative guidelines and numerous restrictions on walking a tightrope.  With massive amounts of capital already approved and committed to launch an entirely new series of Star Wars movies and products, and possibly many hands stirring the pot, it is amazing that the Force Awakens is the movie we have at present on the big screen.
 

 
Where Abrams succeeds is only where he uses new materials, where the storyline explores new developments and where he uses new faces and actors.  The trouble with Awakens is it does not attempt to make a clean break, it endeavors to be a bridge between the old series and the new.   It's not Abrams fault or any director who will step into those shoes.  The problem lies in attempting to raise the Titanic and refurbish it.  Well guess what when it's done it wont just look and move like The Titanic, it will be another one.  Surprise!!!!!!
 
The first half of the movie has its strongest pieces in terms of entertainment and discovery.  We get to meet the new characters and guess as to where their situation will lead them (and us).  Daisy Ridley is a terrific choice for a leading heroine (Rey) and her story, at first, bears a striking resemblance to Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker but from the very start there is something definitely different, and the story never tips its hand until the very conclusion of the film.  Daisy embodies the younger can-do new generation of youth that are eagerly in evidence at the local bookstore and video game isle.  She is no-nonsense, pragmatic, doesn't bat an eyelash when mythical heroes on a galactic-scale are brought up in conversations where the myths might have been historically accurate.  Rey can mix it up with some of the toughest hombres, former stormtroopers (John Boyega as Finn) who deep inside are tender and conflicted as Han Solo was once about his own future avocation as a smuggler and outlaw.
 

 
Talk about a comeback?  Here we have the comeback of the Millennium, ummm the Millennium Falcon and its dearly beloved Captain and co-pilot.  For the fans of the older series, Abrams and Kasdan create one of the most memorable places for the saga exploiting the value of Lucas omitting his favorite cast from the second set of Star Wars and making the reunion more than realistic.  Aging Harrison Ford is just fabulous, and seems as if he had defied gravity and time, making the fans scream and laugh as one of their favorite heroes is about to make one more hop across the galaxy and take the audience on another adventure with his Star Destroyer-evading Falcon.
 
By bringing most of the older cast back, Abrams packs this episode with potential storylines, some of which are stark naked and begging development.  There are way too many pieces and in retrospect it makes this movie much livelier, denser, richer and faster, you might say zippier than Phantom and Attack of The Clones.
 
The Force Awakens' reunion with Carrie Fisher is one of the more touching highlights of this movie although at this point Abrams may have restrained his actors as the sparks that used to fly between these two are nowhere to be seen.  Fisher though provides a poised and mature contrast to the effusive and action-oriented Ridley.  These female actors draw up characters that seem to be made of the same cloth but only separated and distinguished by experience and years of agony fighting the Empire alongside the Rebel scum.
 

 
As the movie nudges into its second half Abrams showcases storyline and plot points that are creakier, weaker and decidedly less original.  We get to see more and more of the First Order and the origins of Kylo Ren.  We also move into the more dangerous phase of the adventure where our new heroes' character and strength is tested and the big cliff hanger dangling and beckoning to audiences to wait one or two more years before the adventure can move another set of milestones.
 
In order to offset some of the shortcomings of this new episode in Star Wars, Abrams and Lucasfilm do a complete first in the series and shoot portions of the movie over completely virgin landscapes.  It's the first time in the history of this saga that the Rebel forces and military assets engage the remnants of the Empire above an Earth-like planet and what seems to be the remote highlands of Scotland rather than in outer space or around some far away desolate star system.  Lucas and Kirschener did the same thing in Empire and drew gasps from audiences in The Empire Strikes Back.  He does it again with Return of The Jedi by filming in Northern Califrnia's redwoods what became an enthralling and fresh environment for action and adventure on the Moon of Endor.
 
I got to hand it to Abrams and Industrial Light & Magic, the investment in a new visual panorama as a backdrop for a lively all-out action battle scene and an ominous face-off in a snow-covered forest at night between Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rebel elements kills some of the edge of what may have been a more bland and boring second half of The Force Awakens and make the entire movie less of two distinct pieces and more cohesive in terms of action and entertainment.
 
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Comments

All the online news and entertainment zines that are covering Star Wars are just now starting to sound interested as fans have started asking "Where is Luke?"  We've all been sold that the all the main characters will return and so far none of the spots that have aired have Mark Hamill aka Luke who is the central figure from start to finish in the entire saga.  Let me guess a five second flashback cameo to Luke rotting on Dagoba with R2D2?

Hey Han Ole Buddy Ole Pal, shouldn't we be asking you where is Luke?  Wasn't he keeping you company along with his sister on the big tree having one heck of a party, toast and roast?  Some of us thought we were watching the Brady Bunch Lost in Space after the big reveal in Empire.  Couldn't decide on who keeps the Princess?  No other princesses in the entire galaxy to woo dashing pirate Han SOLO who after the first hop was loading his crate with gold after he got paid and before saving Luke and the Rebels again?  They didn't reward him twice?!!!!  He must be the richest poor man in the entire galaxy.  So they made Leia Luke's sister and f'ed the biggest movie adventure of all time by making it about some farm boy and his princely sis and Frankenstein pops in outer space? 

In Jedi Returns Han was recovered from the freeze slab intended for Luke.  Looks as if the New Star Wars may be recycling some old Lucas ideas.  "I have a bad feeling about this"?!!! supposed to be a classic was interesting when used the first time in the first movie and got dumber with audiences and then utterly boorish.  Let's hope we never see Han or Luke use this line again in this saga.  Leave out the "good stuff" for other movies to use won't you please J.J.?

Oh yeah your trailer re-edited as a music editorial makes me laugh like a squirrel in the corner, so somber and dark, cant wait to see what you got cooking in the batch for us.  But hey dudes (Max and Hans) what's this old news routine?  Stop pissing on my movie you gonna scare the girls, you know Lindsay Lohan, Winona Ryder, Keira Knightly and Miley Cyrus, you gonna make them cry now that Luke isn't in the sneak peeks.  I am sure he'll teach our stormtrooper not to blow his face clean off when he lights his lightsaber, took Luke, the natural born one with The Fourth, two movies to master The Jedi tricks and now this guy far older than Luke is warming up to Ben Kenobi's Ju Jitsu.  I am saying the Fourth Awakens because the news media started showing the hot stuff on May Fourth and May The Fourth Be with You was their slogan.  PLUS it's Darth, Luke, Leia and Now Imperial Hero makes The Fourth who are strong with The Force.  Will they take on the Filth Horsemen or is this leading to The Fifth Musketeer in Outer Space?  It's not like Chuck Norris and a Force of One ex-military guy!

Hey Mickey some of us still luv ya despite all of the changes with Big D since the Pirates movie series.  Kisses from me to Minnie.

G.H. is forgetting that "Big D" started going in different directions after they acquired Touchstone Pictures, been some time now since that happened.

Because of its super high quality in visual interpretation and reach into hard core science fiction Star Wars has become the adult trolls alley when it was in reality made for younger viewers.  When adults start picking apart an adventure made for younger audiences, the process destroys the magic and .... yawn!!!!!  Perhaps the studio should create a Star Wars movie series strictly for adults (R-rated) should draw the line for more sophisticated tastes.

Hey fans on YouTube have gone wild over Ford's interview clip shown there and they are endlessly debating his enthusiasm, genuine or part of the promo pitch?  Does he know who Padme is (cheat answer: Lea's mom).  Thank heavens it's a little quieter over here and less bubble or dribble.  Super cool Star Wars music videos!

Your previews on Flickr and Twitter are usually what brings me back to your publication looking for any new content not made available on YouTube, which is easily the best venue for web video lovers.  You didnt disappoint with Fantastic Four and The Martian.  You haven't really publicized your Star Wars editorial videos on the web as you had done with earlier pieces.  Flickr had an early preview but that was about it.  We'd love to see more from you.

Delightful humor on your Twitter channel where I follow most movie related news, Star Wars has quite a fan base in Britain and we simply love the show.  Cheers!

I concur on the Star Wars fans being a large contingent from the UK, a big toast from Hong Kong, Bottoms Up dear fellow!

Several months ago your publication released an original editorial series on Captain America, stunning, loved it.  I couldn't say the same for your efforts with The Avengers Ultron but with Star Wars it's starting to look very interesting.  The premiere is just around the next few sunrises.  It's only a matter of hours before we find out if Abrams and Disney gave the aging franchise a booster shot.

I am expecting lots of cliffhangers or loose ends in this pilot of the new Disney Star Wars (The Force Awakens) since it will spawn several sequels, Rogue One has already been announced, and there is the usual spin-offs in animation series and novels.  Will the new story-lines be sufficient to carry our interest for a decade or more?

Contacted via Twitter (@JackSWS) and just stopped here for shooting the breeze; after we saw your Martian we had to say hi, for my part I'm gonna wait a week and see Star Wars, I won't be able to handle sitting next to a knock off Luke Skywalker....

Loved your review, very thorough and professional, the videos you produced are really fun and entertaining.  It's only been a little over two months and the net is drowning with crappy reviews that drizzle plot secrets to serve as hooks for readers.  Rather than do a film review, the reviewer narrates the movie to the would be moviegoer.  Plot synopses have given way to film critiques.  There are so many of these floating around and some in video clips, it's a joke.  I dont mean to bad mouth anyone on your site but after reading your piece this observation was impossible to keep out from my comments.  I mean the entire movie and all of its plot points is out there if you start reading a small number of "reviews" from the big names in newspapers and magazines as well as YouTube video publishers.  WTF!!!!!!