MENTAL NOTE

"Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run."
Blue, resist the urge to use facebook. You can do it. Good luck.
Cats and dogs can be friends. So can cowboys and indians. So can we.
Why try to be the best when there's no hierarchy in heaven?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Keep Dreaming When The Force Awakens

When that other much-anticipated movie Avatar hit the theaters in December 2009, the oooohs and aaaaahs swept the nation like Willy Wonka himself was treating the masses to a free and hefty load of chocolate, spared no expense. But as with all things delicious, like steamy sex with lovely Léa Seydoux and Chris Hemsworth (though not necessarily at the same time), there comes a point when eating too much chocolate makes you want to eat backwards, and one glimpse in the mirror is all it takes to hate yourself for at least another week. 

If memory serves, watching Avatar twice was all it took for me to swallow my oooohs and aaaaahs, and I still hate myself for believing the hype when it was staring me in the face as if to say, "You gullible, gullible Blue. Spending all that dough. You moron." Now here comes Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I'm hearing the same ole oooohs and aaaaahs and eeeeeeehs to boot, and I wonder: am I being gullible all over again? Are we taken in by J.J. The Dark Lord Of All Things Cloned? Why, yes, of course we are — and no. While Lucas is still licking his wounds for loving his tools more than his audience, J.J. et al know which buttons to press to give us that quick fix of nostalgia. Boy, did I feel like a kid in a candy store. It should've been called Star Wars: Erection Day, but I'm a gentleman, so you'd better strike that comment on my behalf and stop reading if spoilers ruin your day.

Oh there it was again — the desert, that wonderful splendor of golden sand so luring and enticing, making me drool even though I wasn't looking at a naked woman. Friends, if ever there was a franchise that could make an unwelcoming desert look like a long lost friend, nay, an oasis you need to touch simply because it's there, you know it's gotta be Star Wars. And J.J. is your man. He said, "Let's tick all the boxes. What we need is... a desert. Maybe not the same desert, but we need a desert... a desert that reminds everyone of the real thing. You know, the one we saw in A New Hope. And we need... we need... the same opening shot as in A New Hope, only different. We need a Mos Eisley Cantina scene... somewhere else, of course, because we need to be original, but in our rebooted bar scene there has to be a shot of a big and ugly slug-like creature with a sexy young woman sitting right next to him. Yes, yes, like a sort of subliminal Jabba and Leia shot, only really different. The audience will have to blink their eyes three times and think, Wait a minute... I've seen this before. This is so Star Wars minus Jar Jar. Remember... no Jar Jar!"

Thank you, J.J.

"Hey, how about another Death Star, only this time we make it really big and dangerous? Yes? Tick! Okay, what else? We need... um someone who reminds us of Darth Vader, but unlike Darth Vader — completely unlike Darth Vader — we let this guy take off his helmet real quick to surprise the audience and kill the suspense in the process haha! And he has to look like a frustrated loser so everyone will think, Wait, that's him? And while we're at it, let's do another touching father and son scene with the same loser, and one of them falls down this Empire-made... I mean, First Order-made shaft or, you know, someplace high, very high, and techno-industrial and completely reminiscent of that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where the guy with the helmet is not the one to plunge into the black depths of space. Yes? But whatever we do, this movie has be better than both the prequels and Indiana Jones And The Saucer Men From Mars. That shouldn't be so tough. So, let's get to work, people!"

And so it happened, and I enjoyed the ride. Twice. Yes, I was fully aware of all the buttons that J.J. was pushing and, except for that really big third freaking Death Star, I didn't really mind. Does that mean J.J. made a really great movie? No, it doesn't, because frankly he didn't. Lucas did. The galaxy that I was once again drawn into, the landscapes that I had the pleasure of revisiting while munching overpriced popcorn, this time in 3D, and even the orange droid and all the characters I had never seen before, they were all of them the collective brain child of George Lucas: I was looking at his desert, his space alien bar, his Han Solo, his Millennium Falcon, his storm troopers and his Empire. George, even that Snoke bastard was your hologram (only J.J. decided to make it, I quote, "really, really big and more intense"). Damn you for ruining your own game!

Yes, emotions were running high as I took in the landscapes of my youth. I felt like Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the dreamlike Nexus: There she was, the love of my life. There she was, beckoning to me, eager to hold my hand and never let go again — "Take my hand," she said — and I did, drifting away into the realm of everything Star Wars IV-VI, but at the same time I knew it wasn't real. It was a clone. It was a bag of tricks. It was the Nexus. But did it matter? No. The drunks needed their booze and I was thirsty.

Ooooh... (I may need to revisit it a second time.) Aaaaah... (Why not today?)

* * *

Story: ★★★☆☆
Look and feel: ★★★★★

90 comments:

  1. Dear Blue
    I usually like to "try" to put a little humor into my comments but on
    this one I can't. I'll just say "good morning" and I'll read the rest of
    the comments as they arrive. Adios

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    1. Hello Manzanita :) Are you saying The Force isn't strong with your sense of humor today? How come? Ah... you don't like Star Wars? How about Harrison Ford?

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  2. Ha, what a great and delightful review. Hopefully I'll go see this soon. Happy Holidays!

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    1. Happy Holidays, and thank you for the compliment.

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  3. lol the one thing I kept thinking when watching it was what a clone it was. Avatar was just one big rip off of Fern Gully with some effects to suck you in. Where as this one basically ripped off itself. Granted it did it in a much better way that say Die Hard 5 with that stupid ass scene at the end and Terminator 5 with the multiple rip offs there. And it was waaaay better than the stupid prequel crap. But the exact same scene with a rather pitiful version of Darth Vader, really just a whiny teenager, wowweeee, never saw that coming, pffft. And a bigger Death Star. Yeah, can't make a real threat, so let's make things bigger. I was half expecting Luke to be on a planet with ewoks or something lol about the only thing they didn't put into it. I do think it was the most I've seen Harrison Ford have fun with a role in a long time though. J.J. rarely, if ever, has made anything original, but he can rip off others work with the best of them and make it good.

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    1. A clone it was, but at least it didn't make me sigh every two minutes or puke. I never even cared to watch Die Hard 5, and that's coming from a guy who knows Die Hard 1 and 2 by heart. Yep, that whiny Darth Vader wannabee was trained by Snoke and got beaten by a girl who'd never even touched a lightsaber before pfffffft + 1. Harrison sure had fun. I can't say I blame him. But could it be that Rey is a relative of Ben's? Tom/ai/toes, tom/a:/toes...

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    2. Yeah that she is, luke's daughter most likely. Die Hard 5 is almost worse than the plague. lmao it was rather funny how he got beat by her. No yoda to even train her. Just whoops, I can fight fine and dandy. And the stormtrooper was just whoops, I want to be good now. The pilot dude was whoops, I'm not dead. But oh well, was still a fun ride.

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    3. Luke's daughter... with THAT accent? Still talking about Die Fart 5, are you? YIKES! No Yoda needed in 2015. Just say whoops and The Force is strong with you. Maybe we should try it too. Are you a good pilot?

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    4. They'll probably ignore the accent. Plus accents are created by where they grow up not by genes or dna or whatever. I'd probably crash.

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    5. Make something up
      To fill the force cup

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    6. He must have been drunk
      As a skunk
      For it sure smelled like poo
      At his billionaire shoe

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  4. Seems like it could be a good movie :) I'll wait until the lines aren't so long to see it but I'm thinking it is something to be seen on the big screen rather than renting it from RedBox when it comes out down the road.

    betty

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    1. You need to see it on the biggest screen in town, really.

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  5. I saw it last night and enjoyed the ride! Thank you Abrams for not messing it up and finally giving us the first good Star Wars since Jedi. (Not counting Spaceballs of course.)
    I thought he did a fine job. It's what the fans wanted. And thank God Lucas didn't have his hand in it.

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  6. I'll either see it the week after Christmas or in January. Stopped reading after you said there were spoilers Blue but I loved that image at the bottom. Yup not the first time they left accents in movies where they clearly don't belong. The movie that drove me wild was Mockingjay 2. The only reason I saw it just once was because the first time I was going to go I got sick. Plus I mainly go on half-off day to save money and that is just once a week for the 5pm showing which the earliest Jamaica shows movies outside of weekends (and those are almost always kid movies or animation). Just try to see it once if going multiple times makes you queezy Blue. You can do it! Unless you are blown away so much you have to see it again then take the risk bro. Good day my friend.

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  7. I haven't seen this movie yet, as it is sold out around here for the whole weekend. So maybe, next week I can get out to see it.

    May the force be with you...ok just had to say that...

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    1. May the dough be with me? Oh the force... I see. Well, I sure could use a bit of power, I tell ya. Let me know what you think of this movie, okay?

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    2. Hey My Blue Man,

      Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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    3. True Blue, how are you? Enjoy the Holidays!

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  8. Pffttt... I've no intention of watching it any time soon no matter what the studio pays you to write :))) I never believe the crowd.. never....
    I see it broke records this weekend already in USA... I imagine even if it brings them billion bucks it won't pay back all the monies they've put into the overdone marketing.

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    1. The studio gave me 100 Ted Baker suits. I'd call that a bargain. Did I mention that we should've been in that movie?

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    2. like totally, me as an Ewok, you as Jar Jar.... Don't tell me there weren't any Ewoks... what?
      Did poor Angelina have to go with you?

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    3. Did you just call me... Jar Jar, the most despicable moron in the galaxy? Oh no you didn't!

      No she didn't, but she will have to wear that Leia outfit, of course.

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    4. the bikini one, naturally! Will you go just covered in golden paint like C3PO?

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    5. just dropping over to wish you peaceful and pain free Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tomorrow! Did you decorate the palace? Did you leave a carrot for Rudolph?

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    6. I stuck that carrot somewhere Rudolph may never find it. Thanks, Dezz. I had great fun. The place isn't decorated except for the tree.

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  9. Great review! It makes me want to see it!

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  10. I'm going to see it on Tuesday

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  11. Spoilers are unavoidable in my life, so I already knew the entire plot the day it came out, like it or not. I was able to keep my expectations very low because I just hoped he wouldn't do to Wars what he did to Trek; sounds like at least he didn't ruin Wars. I'd planned to wait to see it when it hits the dinner theater: smaller crowds, good food and big screen, maybe a couple of months from now, but then on Day 1 after everything I heard, I decided I wouldn't bother at all. Thanks to you, I guess I'll see it at the dinner theater in a couple of months after all... If nothing else, it will be a good date night with my better half.

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    1. Exactly: I just hoped he wouldn't do what he did to Trek. Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!! Dear Lord. What a joke. Nope, he didn't ruin it, but that's because he made a perfect copy. This movie feels right, except for the very, very big death star and some CGI characters/monsters. Give it a go, Snowcatcher. This is a Star Wars movie, alright - not a Star Trek Wannabee. Let me know what you think of it, okay?

      So how come spoilers are unavoidable in your life?

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    2. Too long in the news world, I guess...

      I about choked when Spock yelled that! And I do like both Spocks. But that was just a wee bit too much for the guy with no emotions. Plus, it was way too early in the friendship, especially given their animosity toward one another in the reboots.

      I'm in no hurry for Star Wars, which was not the case when the first one came out. I have a feeling it will wait for me to be ready.

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    3. 'I have a good feeling about this.'

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  12. This is exactly the review I needed for this film. Maybe not this week, maybe the next. Maybe sometime when I'm on the plane in 2016

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    1. Happy to have been of service, Rooth. You will enjoy the ride.

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  13. Blue, just here to give you social updates as your personal secretary Dezzypenny: Theresa's birthday is next week, Jax is moving to her new house next week too :) Wendy once lived in UK (I suspect they sent her to Kiwiland due to some criminal offence) :)

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    1. Hey, thanks for the update! I'm not kidding either. So Theresa will be, what... 24? No, wait, she has kids... um... 30 but looking like 24? Jax is moving to her new crib? Oh my I had no idea... and Wendy has a deliciously suspiciously interesting history - or so I'm told by you. Well, what do you know... so much info at my show! Now, what do you know about Dixie?

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    2. Jax is moving on Christmas, imagine that :)
      Dixie ain't really on the sick leave, she eloped to Hawaii with that silver haired neighbour of hers.... but you didn't hear it from me...

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    3. What? I'm deadly serious... 'tis serious spying business....

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  14. It should've been called Star Wars: Erection Day. Now THAT, I like. You're so smart. I haven't been yet because there are queues longer than my cocktail list. Maybe it's a January treat.

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    1. And I KNOW about that list, too.

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    2. .....and are going to help me drink it!

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    3. Yes, Ma'am! I mean, "Yes, Jules!" (wink wink)

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  15. I didn't read past the warning for spoilers since I haven't seen it, but I've heard all Good Things about this movie. I think JJ Abrams is a genius.

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    1. Well, I don't know about that, Robin, but the fella sure knows how to clone part of my youth and add some spice to it, I tell ya. You will enjoy it, but don't forget that the images you're looking at are in fact George's.

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  16. I... am still in no rush to see it. At all. With all of this hype, I know I'll be disappointed, because we're not Star Wars fans. This isn't nostalgia for us. So without a throbbing nostalgia boner going into this film, I doubt either of us is going to be blown away. Could be wrong, though.

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    1. Well, that's understandable. But if I were a cat, I'd be dead - I'm that curious, even though I still haven't recovered from the prequels. I hate those movies.

      Did you say, 'a throbbing nostalgia boner'? Thanks for the indelible image.

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  17. Considering I've only seen the original 3 I've got a fair bit of catching up to do.....one day........maybe never!!!!

    I did finally catch up with a film I've been meaning to see on the weekend - Amy (the story of Amy Winehouse). Tragic but what an amazing voice!! And the lyrics...........I had goose bumps at one point!!!

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    1. Considering you've only seen the original 3, you should count yourself lucky. There's no catching up to do whatsoever. Take my word for it, please.

      Goose bumps are good! Good to hear you loved it. Amy... I'll put it on my list.

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  18. Star Wars: Erection Day... now that I might see. Never saw the Star Wars movies, but I stopped reading at your spoiler alert just in case I decide to see this one. Happy Sunday!

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    1. Suza is back! What... you stopped reading? ;)

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    2. The word "erection" stopped me dead in my tracks!

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  19. Geez, I forgot about the Nexus, and found myself wondering if he'd be driving a new model sedan?!

    Makes me want a version of "Trekking Around the Christmas Tree".

    Dear Blue, sending wishes for a peaceful holiday with loved ones.
    P.S. Love the snow, darling!
    Dixie

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    1. There you are. I was starting to think maybe Vader had, you know, frozen you in a block of carbonite that's now hanging somewhere in Jabba's palace. I would have to come and recue you in exchange for M&M's.

      Ah the Nexus... you remember it, do you?

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    2. see, how she's all unsuspecting, Blue? That is because she is writing under the warm beach breeze...

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    3. Why? Am I not good enough for you? (throwing furniture)

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  20. Yep, I loved it, loved the nostalgia and--gasp--the characters. I was pleasantly surprised because, I was afraid to hope that maybe this one would be close to passable.

    Sorry about no response on my own blog but it seems I can't even respond on the comments in my own blog... go figure. Maybe blogger will fix it soon. And maybe not. Sigh.

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    1. Blogger again, huh... Sigh and harrrrrrr. I know what that's like. Good to hear you're giving this movie a thumbs up.

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    2. I've never had bigger problems with Blogger in years than right now. I cannot see any of my widgets and gadgets for a month now. Can you people see Ads, Facebook button and Followers at my place? I don't even know how to begin solving it :( Ruined my end of the year

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    3. I can't for the life of me establish why I cannot. And it's not my antivirus programme nor Firefox.

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    4. yep, I can see it all too. Blogger hadn't stuffed up for a while, so I guess it was time...

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    5. Hey Dez,

      Your blog looks fine to me. I just checked.

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    6. which still does not help me :) I checked both my Avast and Firefox and can't find anything blocking it.

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  21. I want to respond, but it's like you're speaking a foreign language. I'm just not a movie or sci-fi person, Blue. Sorry to disappoint!

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    1. Lesson 1: Star Wars is not a SF movie, Bijoux. It's a fantasy flick. I'm NOT disappointed. So... when do I buy our tickets for we need to get you and that cutsy robot acquainted... big time.

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    2. I actually saw The Empire Strikes Back with a friend way back in 9th grade or so. It was all I needed.

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  22. I've only seen the original Star Wars movie, not a fan so I doubt I'll watch the newest one.

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  23. I haven't seen any Star Wars, like ever. Ok, I do slightly remember some Ewoks (is that how you spell it?) from when I was like 5 and my parents were watching it at home. I tried watching the first one with Natalie Portman, but fell asleep not 20 minutes into the film. I am quite intrigued with all the hype and good reviews this one is getting, though. I *may* have to give them another try to see what the fuss is all about.

    And, tell Dezzy to stop sharing birthday info. I'd like to skip it completely this year. I plan on sleeping late, not getting changed out of my pajamas, and if my hair gets brushed, it will be a birthday miracle.

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    1. Dezzmeister! Stop sharing birthday info! Theresa, forget about those prequels. They don't count. Just watch the original trilogy.

      No need to brush your hair.

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  24. I'm not adverse to seeing it. I think my son is the perfect age to enjoy it. I need to make it a priority though, or we'll miss it like we did Charlie Brown. Drats! I'm still mad at myself for letting that one slip by. ;)

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  25. I thought the same thing. For as much as I enjoyed it, and as much as it avoided the pitfalls of the prequels, it really added nothing to the world of Star Wars.

    Even the prequels had their surprise landscapes and elements and faces. This really just threw the elemtns of 4 and 5 in a bucket and re-sorted them.

    That being said, I still had a blast.

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