5/5 stars: A Force to Reckon With – A Spoiler-Free Review of The Force Awakens

Oh, come on, you saw that title coming 3 galaxies away. Indulge my crazy here. Star Wars fans have waited a long time for this movie, and on the whole, it doesn’t disappoint.

Action: Level’s nice and high.

Plotting: Typical fare yet fun all the same.
Twists: Most are predictable, but they have some tricks up their sleeves.

Nods to Original Series: Many and sundry = fun to watch and re-watch.

Integration of Old and New Characters: Done almost seamlessly.

Analysis of New Main Characters/ Main Side Characters:
Rey: Nicely acted by Daisy Ridley. Innocent, naive, brave, relatively soft-spoken, pretty, and determined to do the right thing = a winning combination for a likable character.

Finn (John Boyega): Cool addition. Stormtrooper with a conscience (not a spoiler, that can be gathered from the trailers). Brave, bold, a little nervous under fire, loyal, and occasionally the source of mild comic relief = also a winning character combo.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac): It’s hard to take the name Poe seriously, and I think that comes from a general fear of teletubbies. That aside, hotshot pilot = enough said; nice addition to the Star Wars cannon. Also makes a lovely action figure which I believe people are already starting to horde to resell.

BB-8 (Bill Hader/Ben Schwartz): adorable + important

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver): Okay as a baddie. Coolest lightsaber award though. Plus a cool mask. Reminiscent of Revan’s mask for those of use obsessed with the Expanded Universe games.

General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson): Decently acted but forgettable as a character. Comes across as a ranting lunatic. I think they were going for that vibe, which is … interesting.

Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie): Bit player but does have an important role here…great potential for spinoff stuff.

Conclusion: There’s a great balance here of old and new. Whether you like the movie or not is probably going to depend on whether you think there’s enough old to hold the nostalgia without it becoming a rehash. It’s definitely worth seeing. I’ll probably see it 2-3 times in theaters. Saw it 3D first time.

May the Force be with you.

 

 

4.5/5 Stars – Review of Mockingjay Part 2

Summary: I’m not a huge fan of the whole “break a book into 2 or 3 movies just to make more money” thing. That said, Mockingjay Part 2 was entertaining.

Was it perfect? No. There were certainly several parts that dragged on and on. It tried for that Return of the King vibe of almost ending then going on then almost ending then going on again.

Having watched the movie, I must say I enjoyed the story more in this format over the audiobook, which I’d heard quite a few years ago.

Random comments:
– It’s decently acted.
– There’s plenty of action.
– You could probably watch just this one without having seen all the others and still enjoy it, but it’s probably great in marathon form too.

Conclusion: Worthwhile entertainment.