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Star Wars The Force Awakens .


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#1 John Holland

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:21 PM

Just back from watching this in IMAX 3D laser projection . I now want to see it in 2D on a large screen. I loved the film , Dan Mindel ASC,BSC has done a fantastic job with the Cinematography it looks stunning , thats all I am going to say for now .


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 07:26 PM

:cough:

Ok so I'm not going to talk about digital in this review! Yeay! :)

Ohh and NO SPOILERS!!! So feel free to read!

I'm a pretty big Star Wars fan, to the point of even owning a few action figures. My most vivid memory of Star Wars was seeing Phantom Menace at the Cheri in Boston two weeks before the actual release for the Boston press. It was a horrid raining and there was a line people with tents and umbrellas hanging out side to get tickets for the first public showing. Some of them looked like they had been there for a few days and still had a few days left to hang out! YUCK! I didn't have the heart to tell them Phantom Menace sucked!

As everyone knows, the film started playing early in select cities. Arclight cinema's, our premiere theater in Hollywood, had it in every screen BUT ONE! They were playing it every 15 min, half 3D half 2D. I have zero interest in seeing a 3D movie, so I bought 2D tickets and watched it in one of the smaller theaters. It's amazing how GOOD their smaller theaters are though, technically a top drawer experience. Unfortunately, an asshole and his/her family came in 5 minutes late, had seats right in front of me and the mom handed out ipads for the kids to play with. So imagine this, 3 kids all very young, sitting in seats in front of me with head phones on playing on ipads. The kids were screaming and hollering throughout the first 40 minutes or so. Eventually the guys sitting in front of them got pissed off, stood up and screamed at the woman. She grabbed the kids and left the theater in a hissy fit with her husband in toe. In line to pay for parking, the people behind me complained about the same thing in a different screening.

So to the movie! This NEW Star Wars film; The Force Awakens is an absolute fanboy's dream. Everyone involved hit a home run and delivered far more then even I expected. Unlike JJ's Star Trek reboot which was disrespectful of what Star Trek was all about, JJ's Star Wars treatment embraced the original franchise and held it tight. I was MORE then impressed with his decision making process, never getting to the utter insanity which reigned supreme in Star Trek. Force Awakens clearly took a while to make and had some great details. It also helps a lot that MOST of the film wasn't trapped on a space ship like Star Trek. They brought back a bunch of great sets and ships, stuff we remember from the original franchise. Even the updated costumes, weren't too far off from the original and didn't bother me at all. The cast worked great and I can't wait for their next adventure!

People were saying online that the story was a rehash of the first (episode 4) but honestly, all of the Star Wars films follow a similar arc. I actually thought Lucas didn't do a bad job with the story in his prequels, but the filmmaking wasn't good. In Force Awakens, it's just the opposite, the script was meh and the filmmaking was stellar. When things didn't work, they'd throw some eye candy at the audience or make them laugh. Really my ONLY beef is what was on the written page AND how it was put together in post production. I feel a few extra minutes here and there, wouldn't have effected much in terms of runtime, but helped slow the film down a bit. We needed that Luke standing outside his dwelling in the desert at the beginning of the first movie (episode 4) looking up at the two sun's moment. Ya know, just a beat here and there. I understand why they did so much nip and tuck, but it wasn't necessary. Maybe it's a good thing wanting more! :)

Cinematography wise, Mindel did a great job! I was talking to one of my friends on the way home and mentioned to her the few shaky dolly shots and told her, that was so awesome! Today's movies strive to be so "perfect" technically, I just love to see filmmakers do something wild like not use a stabilizer on a tricky tracking shot. It brings realism and a sense of immediacy to the shot. The framing was very Star Wars as well, they clearly watched the original films. The coloring was done by stefan sonnenfeld and he(as always) did a great job.

Of course Ben Burtt and crew over at Lucas Sound did a great job with the mix. One of the best mixes I've heard in a while, right on point. Lots of detail in the rears and excellent LFE track that wasn't over powering. William's new score was mostly rehashed material from Episode 4, which was expected. I'm so happy he didn't bring in the theme from the prequel, I was never a fan of that theme or frankly, the scores at all. It was great to hear those classic Star Wars themes on the big screen with an all new cast, at one point I had a tear in my eye because it worked so well.

In the end, Force Awakens does exactly what it's suppose to do. It's the 'Star Trek: Generations' of Star Wars films. It's the in-between film to change the guard so to speak between the old characters and the new. It's also going to be the first time many kids are able to see a Star Wars film in the theater, so for them it's all about the new characters. Force Awakens will do very well in the box office, I predict they'll make their money back by end of day friday and will hit a billion world wide by the 1st of the year. People (myself included) are going to watch this film in the theater over and over again. I can't wait to see if an IMAX 15/70 print shows up down here at one point.

My biggest concern isn's Gareth Edwards Rogue One... I think that film (which is a prequel to Force Awakens), will be pretty good. My concern is Rian Johnson's episode VIII... which will have the same cast, but an entirely different crew. He's going to helm the next two films and is already in production. He's said in interviews they're sticking with 35mm for the next two films, which is great. However, I'm skeptical if he can steer the ship like JJ, Kasdan, Mindel, Williams and Burtt. It's release is more then a year away (May 2017) so I'm not holding my breath yet. In the meanwhile, lets hope they keep making these whilst the original cast members are still alive! (no that's not a spoiler)

This is Tye saying TWO THUMBS UP drop what you're doing and go see it! :)
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 09:52 PM

starwarsmeme.jpg


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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:15 PM

Hahahahahahahaha!!!


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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 01:02 AM

Since I won't be seeing it for 2-3 weeks, I get the feeling I'll hear about the major plot points well before that. I did read an interview with Harrison Ford where he said he would only do the movie if Han Solo gets killed off.  I guess I'll be waiting to see if that is true or not?  I don't think that's a spoiler since it was Harrison Ford himself talking and he did not confirm either way what happens.

 

R,


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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 01:07 AM

Update: 1:05 am Friday, if you try and post or read the IMDB Star Wars comments page you get this message:

 

 

Section Closed

We're sorry, this section of IMDb is temporarily unavailable due to important maintenance work.

Occasionally we need to close parts of our site, although we do try to keep downtime to a minimum.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

 

 

 

I can however access the comments page of any other movie.  What does this mean exactly IMDB?

 

R,


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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 01:37 AM

I wonder when the first bootleg copies will appear on line?

 

Let me guess....they are already out there.

 

R,


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 02:43 AM

It's all up to Russia and China. I bet in those two countries, it's not being shown yet.

They'll probably delay it a few weeks to get a head start. It's going to make one heck of an awesome bootleg since digital projectors don't flicker like film projectors do! I bet someone may even try to hack the lock and get the DCP converted directly. Next few weeks are going to be very interesting in deed!
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 03:48 PM

3 out of 5 for me-- very good movie, very well done, and had the capacity to be great.

 

Technically, however, top notch minus one or two really awful CGI creatures.


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#10 Manu Delpech

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 04:19 PM

Hum, Rian is only directing Ep VIII, writing it and writing the treatment for Ep IX, Colin Trevorrow is directing Ep IX. Rian is going to do a fantastic job, he's been working on the movie for a year and a half, and has been in close collaboration with JJ. No doubt that JJ will remain heavily involved, even as a producer. 


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#11 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 04:26 PM

The use of scope was excellent. Many of those shots in the desert reminded me a lot of "Lawrence of Arabia", which Lucas mentioned was a reference in Episode IV. 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 18 December 2015 - 04:27 PM.

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#12 Manu Delpech

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 04:28 PM

JJ also spoke of Terrence Malick as an influence, I'll just say I definitely felt that with Rey on Jakku, the quieter moments.


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 10:21 PM

Technically, however, top notch minus one or two really awful CGI creatures.


I know right? They did such a good job avoiding CG creatures and they just HAD to use them somewhere. I bet Jim Henson's shop would have done a far better job with a puppet then they did with the bar keep character in CG. Another POOR excuse for CG, but it was such a short scene, meh... I gave it a "pass".
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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 11:01 PM

for 200mil; and in reality for a write your own ticket property-- nope, no passes provided. I am nearly 100% certain had they said "we need a puppet" no one would've argued.


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#15 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 11:17 PM

Man you're harsh! ROFL!!!! :D

It probably cost 10X as much to make those two characters in CG then it did for Henson's group to put together a puppet. So in this case, it was actually money tainting the decision making process.

Also... another theory is they DID make a puppet and it didn't look good. How it could look WORSE then the CG characters, I don't know, but I've seen some pretty lifeless puppets before!
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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 11:28 PM

I'll still see nothing wrong with the 1977 creature canteen scene.

 

R,


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#17 Jay Young

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 07:43 AM

I'll still see nothing wrong with the 1977 creature canteen scene.

 

R,

 

My brother just turned me on to the despecialized versions, which one has to acquire through alternate means - but WOW do they look great.  Sort of like how a first run print must have looked in 1977.


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#18 Manu Delpech

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 08:55 AM

Those two CG characters were done on mo-cap for a specific reason. JJ said so:

 

" “I wanted to do the creature as a puppet originally, but once we figured out the things that she was required to do, it felt like [performance capture] was the way to go,” Abrams said.

Maz is one of the few creatures in her court who is not a real-life, practical effect, and Abrams said the digital artists had a high standard to meet to make her blend in.  

“Maz needed to look and feel and be just like one of those creatures. And given her mobility, and given the role that she played, it became clear that that was one creature where we should use the tool of CG,” "

 

 

 

Same thing for Snoke, but it'd be a spoiler to say why. It's not about money or anything, the people who don't like the CG on those two characters are simply reacting to the fact that all of the other creatures in the film or most of them are done practically, so the two CG mo-cap characters stand out more but they do not look awful in any way, they look perfectly fine. Maz has a very detailed model and felt like she was in the scene (probably because Lupita was there), Snoke works too, but I won't say more on him because it goes into spoiler territory.


Edited by Manu Delpech, 19 December 2015 - 08:56 AM.

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#19 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:39 AM

 

My brother just turned me on to the despecialized versions, which one has to acquire through alternate means - but WOW do they look great.  Sort of like how a first run print must have looked in 1977.

 

I HATED when Lucas digitally added new creatures to the original trilogy.  At that time (around 2000, I think,) digital technologies were still being perfected and did not fit seamlessly into a celluloid-based film nearly as well as they do now.


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#20 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 12:39 PM

I dunno the second i saw the CGs-- -i was taken 100% out of the film. It's just because it looks so CG-- we can't believe it's real. This is probably exacerbated by them being one of the few CG elements. I also think that reasoning is crap. You certainly could've done a puppet for Maz or perhaps better, a hybrid approach of real puppet and then just facial capture to animate the face. 
As for Spork, or Snoke-- I see no reason why we had to see. Let the audience fill in the information, show less, especially with baddies. If you let us put a face to the voice, I guarantee you we'll all make up something more frightening.


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