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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Spoilers under the fold.

So, Friday I saw Star Wars 9, Episode 8: The Last Jedi. It was…really uneven. Some parts were among the best things I have seen from the franchise (one sequence was among the best I have seen on screen period). But then there were the other parts – the parts that left me confused and wondering what the hell happened. Those parts include some of the worst moments of the franchise, yes, worse than the oft-hated Jar-Jar1As an aside, I like the idea that Jar-Jar was intended to be a hidden villain / Sith and not just the racially insensitive clown he wound up as. The evil Jar-Jar theory redeems Lucas some, and makes the character watchable..

So what did I think overall? I liked it, of course. Look, even a bad Star Wars movie (looking at you, Star Wars 4, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace) is still a Star Wars movie. And this was far better than TPM. The acting continues to be better, the effects usually better, and the continuing resolutions for the original characters is still well done, even if not as well done as it could be. What this movie did wrong can be summed up in the below screenshot from IMDB:

IMDB screenshot - Star Wars: The Last Jedi credits page.

See it?

Here’s a hint – it’s Lucas.

Look, George Lucas deserves a lot of credit – he created this amazing universe of characters we all know, love, and wish we could be part of. That’s all Lucas – he did this. The problem is that he forgot the parts that made this work in his rush to embrace the newest technology. And in doing so, has messed with those kids – adults now – childhoods by adding needless nonsense to the original series, and losing track of what worked so well there. Namely, tight storytelling with relatable characters. TLJ has that, but not where they are needed or wanted. Lucas did a great thing, and now others have taken up the banner – he needs to let them. He told his story, it’s someone else’s turn now.

So, with that addressed, let’s look at the pros and cons of The Last Jedi. Spoilers ahead, click at your own risk! (more…)

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghostbusters

So, the word is that the trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie is the most disliked, at 2:1, on YouTube.

Really? More than PewdiePie? I disbelieve!

Ok, so I was…in error. It’s more like almost 3:1. And wow, that is some heavy disapproval. A lot seems to center around not liking that it is a female cast, and the usual reboot hate. But if the anti-reboot crowd watched the trailer, they might see something really important.

It’s a sequel.

Yes, this is, in reality, Ghostbusters 3. The trailer even opens with that fact. Now, based on some of the early reports about the movie, it did indeed seem like a reboot. And a scientist-free one at that, with the main character being an author, and none of them being scientists. Now, however, there is a lot of science. Which is good. And yeah, you have to like the kind of product that the various actors put out to like it. Duh. If you don’t think Melissa McCarthy’s over the top loud clumsy persona is funny (I don’t), you are going to be predisposed to not like the movie.

But here’s the point – the over-the-top ranting I see about how awful this is is just tiring. It may suck. It may not. And that may or may not translate into box office success. Will Ferrell movies, defined as having more than about five minutes of him in them, suck. Hard. The man is simply annoying, unfunny, and a hack. No talent to be found. But he sells tickets because others think he is funny. To me, that should be diagnostic for severe brain injury. But to each their own.

I don’t think this will be that good, but not because Ghostbusters was some perfect exemplar of the cinematic arts never to be duplicated. Nope. I don’t care for about half the cast’s comedy based on the work I have seen. I think they go to stereotype far too easily (Leslie Jones’ line ‘But it’s a Cadillac!’, for example) . Yes, that may be the one line that does that, but it is in the trailer, and trailers are supposed to be representative of the movie. So it is fair to expect that to be a thing. I think that there are good parts – the changes in traps and packs look interesting, and the fact that they seem to have a development process is nice (as opposed them magically appearing in the original). But those don’t outweigh the negatives.

Let a second trailer come out – minds might be changed. Stranger things have happened…