Monday, January 11, 2016

Best Review of Star Wars, Episode VII

I wish I could take credit for this, but that belongs to my brother Dan. In an email exchange where I accepted that the movie just wasn't that good, his response is the best review I have read:

I don't think it was necessarily bad but just a reiteration of the first star wars movie with somewhat better acting. Same story line except that Darth Vader is replaced by an emo guy and Han Solo and Leia have a ridiculously unconvincing romance.

That pretty much sums it up.


Big Myk said...

Aaugh!!! Why was there no spoiler alert with this post???

Ted said...

Oh no! I figured I was the last to see it. I withdraw that post.

Big Myk said...

OK. I finally saw Star Wars Episode VII. I think Sue and I and the other two people in the theater were the last ones left who hadn't seen it. I agree wholeheartedly with Dan, but the characters were so personable (in some ways Harrison Ford was at his best), that I forgive it all its flaws. Again, Dan is right: it was a shameless re-write of the first Star Wars. I felt like, what, have all the plots in the universe been used up?

Ted said...

Ok good. I don't have much else to add on this one, but I did see The Big Short and recommend it. I won't give any spoilers away here except to say that the market crashes in 2007/2008.

In other news, I am about 100 pages into the fairly recent Lawrence in Arabia, by Scott Anderson, which explores the European spies (and archaeologists!) who, during World War I and after, successfully helped screw up the middle east as we know it today. It makes me want to go back and re-watch Lawrence OF Arabia as I think I saw it when I was twelve and have a vague recollection of being extremely bored.

James R said...

I re-watched it a couple of years ago and was surprised how good the first half still seemed to me. (Once in a while, movies had intermissions.) I thought it was very well written with some decent subtle complications. And, of course, it is beautiful to watch. The second half is when there are interminably long lingering shots of Peter O'Toole in hopes of being enigmatic, conflicted, and intense. Intensity in someone's face, even Peter O'Toole's, does make one, especially after sitting through movies where there are a dozen deaths per minute for two hours, bored.

Big Myk said...

I saw Lawrence of Arabia when I was in law school. Big Pete and I saw it at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences in Loveladies -- an installment of their "Movies at the Beach" series. It was perhaps a half-hour ride by moped. Like Jim, I remember enjoying the first half. It was essentially a story about an ill-equipped rebel alliance lead by a newcomer -- with almost no experience and an English accent -- fighting against an evil empire with both superior forces and more sophisticated weapons. Success depended on the rebels outwitting the opposition. Or is that Star Wars Episode VII? Anyway, I recall the second half being Lawrence's descent into madness, which wasn't as interesting.

But you can't get much better dialogue than this (Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif):

Sherif: You are mad. To come to Aqaba by land, you should have to cross the Nefud Desert.
Lawrence: That's right.
Sherif: The Nefud cannot be crossed.
Lawrence: I'll cross it if you will.
Sherif: You! It takes more than a compass Englishman. The Nefud is the worst place God created.
Lawrence: I can't answer for the place, only for myself. Fifty men?
Sherif: Fifty? Against Aqaba?
Lawrence: If fifty men came out of the Nefud, there would be fifty men other men might join. The Howeitat are there I hear.
Sherif: The Howeitat are brigands. They will sell themselves to anyone.
Lawrence: Good fighters, though.
Sherif: Good...yes. There are guns at Aqaba.
Lawrence: They face the sea, Sherif Ali, and cannot be turned round. From the landward side, there are no guns at Aqaba.
Sherif: With good reason. It cannot be approached from the landward side.
Lawrence: Certainly the Turks don't dream of it. (He points in the direction of Aqaba.) Aqaba is over there. It's only a matter of going.
Sherif: You are mad.

I also saw The Big Short and strongly recommend it. I think that my two favorite movies this year were those based on true stories: Spotlight and The Big Short.