clessaileron: (Lobelia)
[personal profile] clessaileron

Okay, so it's been a while since I've done a blog post. Well, I've been distracted & not feeling right but I got this on my mind.

I've been doing some grinding in my PS2 version of Tales of the Abyss (this came after I did some bit of grinding in my Steam version of Tales of Symphonia & I'm going to have to do some in the PS3 version of Tales of Symphonia). I think during the grind session with Abyss, considering I had some bad history with this installment & now feeling like I'm going to end up being some sort of Tales of the Abyss defender, despite it not being my favorite installment, because it feels like people now hate the game or something when I kept thinking it was some installment that was worshipped as greatness. Then later on, I got to rewatch Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When I saw it in theaters, I just thought it was a good movie that somehow managed to feel bland. Watching it again, I still feel the same. It wasn't a bad movie but man, I still can't help but think how empty it feels.

You know what these say for me? It's hard for me to keep my mind leveled against hype (and anti-hype). I'll get to the Tales part in my next entry. For now, I need to get some stuff off of my chest in regards to Force Awakens.

(I guess I'm obligated to say that I'm getting into Force Awakens spoiler territory now under the cut. You've been warned)

Despite some things I like about it (I really like Finn & enjoy his dynamic as an ex-Stormtrooper who turned his back to the First Order), I can't get over how hollow the movie feels. Some have said it's a retread of A New Hope and they're not wrong. I still feel like it's a mediocre retread of A New Hope. It spends its time trying to check off a checklist of doing things A New Hope did because it was so good and play it safe because "everyone" hated those prequel movies. Look, I actually have some gripes with Phantom Menace but I'm feeling like how safe Force Awakens played it annoyed me more than Jar Jar Binks (Yes, even I can't believe I went there).

It also had to stretch out the nostalgia pandering elements. It was amusing when they showed a worn out Millennium Falcon after Rey called it a piece of garbage only to then say Finn & her will take the piece of garbage. After that, it did feel like they had to stretch out those nostalgia bits throughout ("It's Han Solo & Chewie!" "It's Leia!" "C3PO!" "R2-D2!" "It's Luke!"). When I ended up reading about an Easter egg that I didn't catch, I was pretty irked. It was how in a vision Rey was having, there was a voice of Obi-Wan saying her name and it was a voice clip of Alec Guinness saying "Afraid" and manipulated it to make it sound like Guinness was saying her name. It didn't rub me right because, as something I referenced when posting about feeling like a William Shatner in the Tales fandom, Alec Guinness ended up resenting his role as Obi Wan & the fame Star Wars got him. Yeah, I get the feeling the British actor would be rolling in his grave over knowing that a voice clip of his as Obi Wan was modify to get him to say something he didn't. Maybe it's the fact that I remember taking an Intro to Media class in high school talking about ethics with an example being using the likeness of the late American actor John Wayne for a beer commercial that would be something he may or may not do if he was still alive.

With seeing all these older actors & actresses reprising their roles, I expected they'd find ways to write them out so they don't have to recast them (unless it was for the purpose of a younger version of a character). That's why I actually saw Han Solo getting killed off coming. To avoid recasting Han Solo (except for a younger version for that Han Solo side movie), they had Kylo Ren kill Han Solo. I just felt a emotionless, "Out with the old, in with the new" scenario with him. Then again, considering how much Harrison Ford was paid to be in this movie, they probably didn't want to have to pay him again.

When it comes down to it, I find myself so bothered by Force Awakens because of the nostalgia pandering (which has bothered me most of the time) & the mediocre retread of A New Hope that I can't help but feel like, for all the hype & praise that I got, I'm having a hard time seeing what was so amazing about this movie, even when I consider that I do have gripes with Phantom Menace.

Who knows, I wasn't really all that excited about a new Star Wars movie coming out 10 years since Revenge of the Sith. For all the crap that the prequel trilogy gets (one last reminder, I have gripes with Phantom Menace), I was actually fine with Star Wars as a movie franchise being done (I didn't mind Star Wars as an entire franchise continuing but I wasn't losing sleep knowing they were done making Star Wars movies).

Is it possible to get annoyed with a movie that's merely good but not great? In this case, I would say yes. The Force Awakens isn't a horrible movie but I probably feel bothered by how it's a pretty hollow good movie. In a way, it probably can feel worse than a bad movie.

I'll end this post with this...

"Star Wars Episode VIII, you better damn well bring it! No more playing it safe! Even Force Awakens playing it safe felt hollow!"
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December 2016


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