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16-Jan-2016
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Post
#1215775
Topic
Ranking the Star Wars films
Time

Now having seen Solo and having re-watched and re-evaluated The Last Jedi, here are my new rankings:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

  2. Star Wars

  3. Return of the Jedi

  4. Solo

  5. The Force Awakens

  6. The Last Jedi

  7. Revenge of the Sith

  8. Rogue One

  9. The Phantom Menace

  10. Attack of the Clones

I responded enthusiastically to my first watch of TLJ, and should emphasize that I don’t agree with the haters on the majority of things they love to complain and rave about it for. BUT on re-watching, it didn’t really hold up. Not because of FEMALES or anything like that, but because the main quality that made me feel excited watching it the first time – its subversiveness and unpredictability – no longer applied. Which meant that all that was left was the basic elements of the film – plot, character development, dialogue, etc. – and they had to stand on their own. And that meant an overlong movie filled with too many jokes that didn’t land, situations that made no sense, and characters that behaved stupidly.

Not to mention the hat trick Johnson pulled to make it feel like he was creating something fresh and bold was obvious on re-watch, and consequently it in fact feels even less original than The Force Awakens at times – i.e. the Snoke scene is literally almost verbatim the same as the Emperor scene in ROTJ, just with a TWIST. Luke sacrificed himself like Obi-Wan did, but it was more EXTREME. And so on. It remains somewhat interesting as a deconstruction of Star Wars, but in the end Johnson didn’t really capture what I personally like about Star Wars. That is especially clear when watched back-to-back with Solo, which DID capture what I like about Star Wars to a greater extent.

Post
#1215774
Topic
<em>Solo: A Star Wars Story</em> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — <strong>SPOILERS</strong>
Time

Well I am now eating crow. Based on the troubled production reports, the trailers, and the basic concept, I fully expected this movie to be awful, and predicted months ago it would bomb spectacularly (by Star Wars standards) both at the box office and critically. Sadly I was kind of right on that point, but I could not have been more wrong about the movie itself being awful. Granted I went in with rock bottom expectations, so maybe that affected my perceptions when it crossed that extremely low threshold, but on the other hand I was prejudiced against the film from the start and amazingly, it was good enough to overcome that prejudice.

Few reasons why:

  1. It wasn’t pure fan service. I fully expected shoehorned-in Bobba Fett, Jabba, Greedo, etc. to dominate the film. But there was none of that. Sure, there were a few little winks at the audience, callback lines, etc. But for the most part it was subtle and it actually worked. It was nothing like the “you’ll be dead” guy scene in Rogue One or any of that shit.

  2. It wasn’t too much of an “origin story” movie. Yes, there were a few moments – like how he got the name “Solo” – that went way too far and were kind of cringeworthy. But for the most part it didn’t overexplain everything about Han’s backstory to death like the prequels did with their characters. And moments like his meeting Chewbacca and Lando were shockingly well-done.

  3. Alden Ehrenreich somehow managed to pull off what I thought was impossible: He convinced me that he was Han Solo. And I never in a million years expected any actor but Harrison Ford would be able to do that, least of all Ehrenreich after the things I heard about his problems pulling off the role.

  4. It didn’t feel like a stitched-together patchwork film, which again is shocking to me due to the development problems and the change in directors. Looking at other films that did this, i.e. Justice League and Suicide Squad, there is no comparison. I never would have guessed this film was the work of multiple directors if I didn’t already know. It was seamlessly cohesive.

  5. Most importantly, the movie was a low-key, low-stakes, mostly lighthearted (but not excessively so) story that felt like it fit in naturally with the world of Star Wars. Contrast this to Rogue One, which tried to be uber-epic and super-serious at all times, and the comparison is night and day. It’s just a simple story about one man’s struggle, not to save the universe, but to survive. We get to see the neglected side of Star Wars – the underworld hinted at in the originals in scenes like the cantina but never fully explored before. We get to see how a normal person lives in the Star Wars galaxy for once. And we get to do it through the eyes of relatable characters we already like, plus a couple others played by good actors who are actually memorable. Again, contrast to Rogue One and it’s no contest at all.

Hell, there is no mention of the Force/Jedi/Sith at all and a lightsaber doesn’t even go off until the very end. Which was the only thing I strongly disliked in the entire film. I really, really hate the concept of bringing Darth Maul back outside of the cartoon. And regardless, this was an obvious set-up for a Marvel-like follow-up (probably with Obi-Wan), so it felt out of place and kept the film from truly standing alone. But it was such a brief, minor moment that I can’t fault the movie too much for it. Certainly can’t fault Ron Howard because it was obviously studio meddling.

Anyway, I just worry that Disney is going to take the relatively lackluster box office response as a sign not to make more movies like this rather than the real problem: It was just a poorly timed release. Strong competition from Avengers and Deadpool, and the last Star Wars movie was just a few months ago. Of course it’s not going to pull TFA numbers. But Disney has a history of misinterpreting problems with films falling short at the box office – i.e. blaming 2D animation for the underperformance of “The Princess and the Frog,” even though it was released at the same time as AVATAR. I hope they don’t do it again, and let these anthology films remain small-scale, self-contained stories. If they do they’ll have officially gone from my least favorite to most favorite parts of Disney Star Wars.

Post
#1189558
Topic
The Last Jedi Digital/Blu-Ray Release: NOT Theatrical Cut?
Time

Lol. People’s memories are so bad that they’re allowing them to be distorted by everything they’ve heard since they saw the movie about how horrible that scene was, all blown completely out of proportion of course, to the point that they’ve convinced themselves the movie has literally been changed when they actually see it again and realize it isn’t really that bad. Well, guess what: It wasn’t that bad in the theater either.

Post
#1168872
Topic
Han - Solo Movie ** Spoilers **
Time

I’m predicting right now this will be the worst-reviewed Star Wars film ever (not counting The Clone Wars). I’m expecting high 40’s-low 50’s RT score, which would put it below even The Phantom Menace.

The production has by all accounts been an absolute hellish mess, they had to hire the kid an acting coach because his performance was so bad, and this trailer has done nothing to convince me they managed to salvage this movie. It’s very rare they can do that when a movie has been mangled as much as this one has been, and there are only a handful of directors who could pull it off. Ron Howard is not one of them.

Would like to be proven wrong, but I remain skeptical.

Post
#1157314
Topic
Before this becomes a thing (invites to Blutopia)
Time

TV’s Frink said:

I have no idea what this thread is, why it needs to be, or why I should care. And I don’t.

It’s almost like you could just… not comment then or something. Weird, I know. But it IS actually possible to simply ignore things you don’t care about or understand and move on with your life without chiming in about every single fucking thing to tell the world how little you care about it. You see, no one cares if you don’t care, so you needn’t feel compelled to let everyone know. Seems like you’re carrying around a heavy burden, feeling the need to leave a snarky comment on every single thread regardless of what it’s about or how pointless and annoying your comment is. Please rest assured, you can let go of that responsibility and everyone will be just fine.

Post
#1152983
Topic
How many 'Bad' Star Wars movies could you take before you check out?
Time

I had already pretty much checked out after the prequels, for several years. I barely gave a second thought to Star Wars and I’m not sure I watched any of the movies in their entirety for the better part of a decade from 2005 to 2015. Obviously I didn’t like the prequels and I was so put off by the changes to the originals that I never even finished watching the DVDs I bought in 2004 and didn’t even get the Blu-rays for a long while. I didn’t know about Despecialized or even the GOUT, and had no desire to dig out old VHS tapes, so Star Wars was basically dead to me for quite some time.

Then the hype around TFA “awakened” my dormant interest in the series. The movie itself didn’t quite live up to that hype, but it did lead me to discovering Despecialized and all of a sudden I remembered why I loved Star Wars so much as a kid. It really was like R2 lighting up at the end of TFA. So I’ve maintained my renewed interest in the franchise in the two years since, despite having mixed (though more positive than not) feelings about TFA and outright disliking Rogue One. I did really like TLJ though, so now I think the total tally of good-to-bad Star Wars movies is 5-to-4, an improvement over the 3-to-3 when Disney took over. That’s good enough in my book, especially since two of those five (SW and ESB) are still among my favorite movies ever. Nothing will ever change that. Not even if Disney completely drives the franchise into the ground, which after TLJ I feel is less likely to happen anyway.

Post
#1152977
Topic
If you need to C*mplain about the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin in <em>Rogue One</em>... this is the place
Time

There were many things wrong with Rogue One. CGI Tarkin was actually among the most minor compared to the fatal problems with the concept, structure, pacing, plot, tone, score, and above all character development of the film. But it was still a problem, and one of the easiest to fix. The only remotely compelling character in the film, or at least the only one with potential to be remotely compelling as he was written, was Krennic. He could have been made far more compelling by simply removing Tarkin from the film entirely and instead focusing solely on Krennic and his motives. The rivalry with Tarkin added nothing of substance and Tarkin was clearly only in the film at all solely as fan service and so Disney could demo their shiny new uncanny valley tech.

Krennic was the only villainous Imperial officer with a British accent we needed. Removing Tarkin to focus on him would have killed two birds with one stone – it would have provided an opportunity to at least have a decent villain actually played by a flesh-and-blood human AND it would have avoided the creepy CGI face of a dead man. And no, Tarkin was not needed for the plot – it makes sense that he would have been brought in to replace Krennic after he died at the end of the movie. We don’t need that spelled out for us. Every bit as much over-explaining fan service as the other prequels, frankly.

Post
#1144835
Topic
I didn't like The Force Awakens. Should I see The Last Jedi in theaters? (NO SPOILERS)
Time

If you didn’t like TFA because you didn’t think it was original enough but you liked the characters and thought the series had potential, yes you should see it. I’m somewhat in that position; I wouldn’t say I disliked TFA, but I didn’t love it either yet I did love this one because every problem I had with TFA was essentially corrected here.

If you didn’t like TFA because you hated the characters and thought everything about the set=up of the new trilogy was irredeemably bad, odds are you won’t like this one either though.

Post
#1143590
Topic
Disney to buy 20th (21st) Century Fox? (Disney has now bought them - 14 Dec '17)
Time

Mike O said:

SilverWook said:

The G said:

Is it that hard to just slap it on a disc and sell it? Why all this crap, I would gladly pay for some over priced collectors limited deluxe edition…

I just want to watch Star Wars…

Most of us have been asking that question for well over a decade now.

More like 20 years.

Well, at least when the SEs first came out in '97, the last release of the originals was only a couple years earlier so it’s not like it was some giant leap ahead in quality. It was all VHS/LD, and both versions were readily available on the same formats in roughly equal quality. It was’t until the DVDs were released in 2004 that one version of the trilogy was suddenly in much higher quality and it really became a problem.

Post
#1143588
Topic
Ranking the Star Wars Soundtracks
Time

Rogue One was an absolutely horrible soundtrack. Was not John Williams, was rushed out at the last minute, and is unbelievably generic. Not even worth mentioning in the same conversation as the others.

I’d probably rank the Williams soundtracks:

  1. ESB
  2. SW
  3. ROTJ
  4. TLJ
  5. TPM
  6. TFA
  7. AOTC
  8. ROTS

ESB edges out the original mainly because of “The Imperial March.” ROTJ has the Emperor’s theme which is awesome along with the rest of the music in the throne room sequence, but beyond that doesn’t quite compare with the first two in terms of original contributions. TLJ is actually better than TFA in large part because it seemed to rely more heavily on themes from the OT at appropriate moments, and its new parts seemed overall a slight step above as well. TPM scores major points for “Duel of the Fates” alone. The other two prequel soundtracks are mostly pretty forgettable, though the love theme in AOTC was pretty good. It’s just a shame the scenes it accompanied were so terrible.

Post
#1143377
Topic
The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
Time

I for one absolutely loved it. I was initially surprised to see how divisive it is among fans, but I don’t give a damn about the haters and it became clear that they would whine no matter what because it’s different and not exactly what they envisioned. Just like they whined about TFA being too derivative. It’s a damned-if-you-do situation with these fans, clearly no pleasing some people.

All I care about is my own experience, and my expectations were completely blown away, to the point I actually now feel MUCH better about Disney’s control of the franchise and especially Rian Johnson’s future trilogy than I did before. This blew both TFA and especially Rogue One out of the water.

In fact I’d go so far as to say that it’s better than RotJ and therefore the best Star Wars film since 1980. As far as filmmaking quality alone goes — direction, acting, script, cinematography, etc. — it might well best even the original. Not prepared to say it’s actually better because the original will always be special, but damn was this a well-made film that was firing on all cylinders.

Damn near everything about it worked for me: Every risk paid off, every scene kept me gripped in a way its two predecessors could not (especially Rogue One). There might be a couple minor nitpicks as there are in the best of films, but they are totally overwhelmed by the positives. This was everything I wanted from a new Star Wars movie and then some things I didn’t even realize I wanted as well. (Like that scene with Kylo and Rey kicking ass that felt like it came out of a Tarantino film.) It was original, smart, emotional, exciting, and satisfying with JUST the right amount of nostalgia. For the first time since Empire, it really felt like I was watching something NEW in a Star Wars film that wasn’t just derivative, a true progression. That theme of “out with the old in with the new” was of course echoed in the film itself, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

By the way, how anyone has a problem with Luke’s “death” scene is beyond me. The binary sunset shot with the music swelling sent chills down my spine. It was absolute perfection.

SilverWook said:

Mark just knocked it out of the park with this. I sincerely hope he gets an Oscar nomination. It would be a first for a Star Wars film?

Alec Guiness was nominated in ‘77. I think it would be only fitting if Hamill was as well. This was certainly the performance of his career, it’s just a shame it came so late in his career. Guy was absolutely slept on for decades without being given a chance to grow as an actor because he was forever typecast as the whiny Star Wars kid who wanted power converters. Which is a damn shame and completely unfair. He has grown into a far more formidable actor and easily had the potential for several great performances over the last three decades that have passed him by.

Post
#1103815
Topic
Harry Potter saga - open matte
Time

Papai2013 said:

That’s OK. Without your effort, none of us would have been able to see these amazing restorations that you do.

Is there any particular reason you’re being such an asshole? Or do you just not realize that some people have to work for a living? I guess unless I spend all my limited free time working on restoring illicitly acquired 35mm prints, I have no right to ask others politely about the status of their ongoing projects. My mistake, won’t make it again.

Post
#1102644
Topic
Should Disney/LFL create an Alternative Prequel Trilogy?
Time

CarboniteSolo said:

Currently, there are 10 Star Wars films, and 12 if you count the Ewok films. The Last Jedi and the Han Solo film are just about done, it will only take editing the footage and it’s done.

Where are you getting 10 from?

7 main films plus Rogue One is only 8. If we count The Clone Wars that’s 9. Are you counting the Holiday Special for number 10 or am I missing something obvious?

Post
#1102240
Topic
The Jabba Movie
Time

A movie with Jabba as the protagonist could never work. You can’t make a relatable character out of a massive immobile slug. A movie centered around Jabba’s Palace and his criminal empire in general could possibly maybe work, but it would take an auteur to pull it off right. If it was done right though, it might actually be something fun and original. But I’m not holding my breath.

Post
#1101601
Topic
Should Disney/LFL create an Alternative Prequel Trilogy?
Time

Tantive3+1 said:

With all the discussions that go on with fans in the SW community about how disappointing the PT is, the things it should and shouldn’t have been, and people having their own personal canons from watching the OT, it’s hard to imagine a Studio or ambitious fan filmmakers to not take a crack at it.

None of that is mainstream though. The films were still enormously successful at the box office, still widely known, and most of the general public doesn’t have a problem with them. Star Wars is Star Wars to them. It’s definitely not worth Disney’s time and money to appeal to a niche group of jaded OT fans, and it’s delusional to think it will happen when they don’t even show any interest in releasing the OUT.

Post
#1101578
Topic
Should Disney/LFL create an Alternative Prequel Trilogy?
Time

It’s not gonna happen regardless. They are making use of the prequel properties that were part of their 4 billion dollar purchase (e.g. Darth Maul, Mace Windu, even Jar Jar) and are not going to stop. For instance, the prequels are going to be in the upcoming Battlefront sequels. And I was just at Disney World recently and rode the updated Star Tours ride, and they had spent who knows how much money and time revamping the ride to include prequel (and sequel) characters and locations. They’re not gonna overwrite all that now. Also they were using Maul and prequel footage in their Star Wars stage/firework shows and the crowd seemed to love it as much as the rest. There is a sizable portion of the fanbase (particularly the “younglings”) who would be outraged if they did it anyway. And there are many more movies they could spend money on that would cover different ground and would not piss off those fans. Just gotta accept it, the prequels are here to stay.

Post
#1101349
Topic
Kennedy worse than Lucas.
Time

SilverWook said:

imperialscum said:

SilverWook said:

Lucas was an artist who became a businessman though.

Would 1970’s George have allowed this to be made?

Possibly, yeah. There was a TON of Star Wars crap that was made in the 1970s, and not all of it was quality. Remember, 1970s George allowed the HOLIDAY SPECIAL to be made.

Also the idea that he “became” a businessman rather than was one from the start is wrong. The smartest decision Lucas ever made was to forego his director’s salary for the marketing rights to Star Wars. From that moment on he was a businessman – an enormously successful businessman with an empire (no pun intended) at his disposal.

But what’s weird about George is that he never stopped being a somewhat insane artist either. I DO think that some of his more outlandish or controversial decisions were probably made with profit in mind, but others were undoubtedly the result of a mad artist letting his creative impulses run rampant without anyone to rein him in. Not to mention in the years between the trilogies it seems he became detached from the inventive spark that drove him in the first place, so those impulses were not as good as they were before (and they were never perfect mind you).

Post
#1099219
Topic
The Kenobi Movie
Time

Obi-Wan Kenobi? Now there’s a movie I’ve wanted to see for a long time… A long time.

Seriously this is the only rumored anthology movie concept I genuinely wanted to happen. If they use Ewan and go for a kind of Western vibe, as some have suggested, it could be great. Why? Because even though the character is familiar, the concept is different for a Star Wars movie. A smaller-scale, character-driven movie that’s about more relatable struggles and not about saving the universe or giving us answers to questions we never asked? That would be refreshing. See: Logan. In fact I can see this having a lot of parallels with Logan.

Post
#1094584
Topic
Han - Solo Movie ** Spoilers **
Time

I’m afraid this movie is going to suck. I have no desire whatsoever to see anyone, anywhere, ever play Han Solo but Harrison Ford. It’s not like James Bond; Solo IS Ford. There is no Han Solo without him, only an impostor. Indiana Jones I might be a little more open to re-casting, maybe, but not this.

So the movie is DOA for me for that reason alone. Add the fact that from everything I’m hearing it seems like just another fan service mash-up like Rogue One that, again like Rogue One, tells a pointless story which over-explains the background of the original film, and it just holds no interest for me whatsoever. I don’t want to know Han’s backstory dammit! Some things are better left to the imagination.

Disney is starting to worry me. I was initially excited at the prospects of expanding Star Wars with a constant stream of new movies, but they just keep milking the same cows over and over again. The possibilities for this universe are so vast that it’s incredibly disappointing they can’t seem to do anything more original with it.

Post
#1090356
Topic
Yoda and Palpatine NEVER should have been given lightsabers.
Time

Amano said:

In an ideal PT Maul shouldn’t have used light sabers either and Dooku shouldn’t have used force lightning.

The way it is now is so inconsistent with the OT. Vader and Dooku are fallen Yedi. Why would Dooku be able to use force lightning when Vader obviously couldn’t in the OT (and RO)? Despite the facts that there was more time between the PT and the OT than between TPM and AOTC and Vader beeing the chosen one and Dooku not.

Vader can’t use force lightning because it would fry his suit. That’s literally what killed him.

Post
#1089456
Topic
When Did The Star Wars Prequels Become Cool?
Time

Rogue One was awful. I find it even less watchable than the other prequels, if not “worse” as a film. At least they weren’t just fucking boring. At least they were unique. At least they were memorable, with memorable moments and memorable characters. At least they actually felt like Stat Wars and didn’t feel like some generic shitty sci-fi would-be flop that just happened to have a Star Wars skin on it.

The fact that Rogue One has a terrible, rushed score from some random composer rather than a John Williams score is enough to demonstrate just how un-Star Wars this film really is. It’s dull, drab, and dreary. Star Wars films are supposed to be full of excitement, color, and life. Things Rogue One had zero of. Only thing it had less of was characters with personality, characters the audience related to and were invested in, and a story that was interesting and unpredictable. It did have a lot of cringeworthy and forced fan service though, I’ll give it that.

I don’t give a damn how “adult” the movie is, because adult movies can still suck. If anything it’s the opposite of what I look for when I watch Star Wars anyway, which is to revive the child inside me for a moment. Rogue One killed him.