Thursday, February 11, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Second Thoughts

Well, I have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens again! After the local theater waited the mandatory four weeks (read here for details), The Force Awakens came to town and I went to see it again with my brother, along with our friend, who has yet to see it. And this second viewing, after watching countless in-depth reviews and analysis videos, has given me even more to say about the film. But today's post is a non-spoiler discussion of my thoughts on a second viewing.

Overall, my opinion expressed in my initial review is still very much my opinion. Is The Force Awakens flawed in a few very minor ways? Yes. Do the minor issues take away from a mostly brilliant film? Heck no! Every film is flawed in some way, even the best. But that's a discussion for another time. 

As for my second thoughts, basically, the second viewing reaffirmed that The Force Awakens is, by far, the best movie of 2015, and one of the best movies in years. The filmmaking is absolutely breathtaking. So much of what's on screen are real, tangible, props. Not since the 80s has a FX heavy sci-fi movie used so much practical effects on this scale. It's mind blowing! And my qualms with the CGI characters are for the spoiler discussions. Basically, The Force Awakens is even better on a rewatch. The second viewing did give me the opportunity to look at what was going on in the background and admire the incredible craftsmanship, and pay attention to the performances throughout the film. Initially, John Boyega as Finn was my favorite new character from the film. However, after paying close attention to Daisy Ridley as Rey, her performance blew me away. While there will be more detail in the spoiler review, her acting through expressions is rather amazing. So much is expressed without words. It has been a while since I have seen a young actor deliver like this, and of course Rey sets the new standard for heroines in film, but again, more on that later!

Watching in 2D, opposed to 3D, was roughly the same experience, although the mo-cap characters looked a little better in 2D. Otherwise, there is little difference between the two viewing experiences. However, the starfighter battles are marginally better in 3D.

Overall, Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings Star Wars back to its former glory! It has the likable characters, adventure, emotional pull, deeper meaning, and visual symbolism that Star Wars is known for! Expect a series of spoiler discussion posts whenever I feel like writing those up during the month! If you have any specific points of interest to discuss, let me know in the comments!

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  1. I also noticed lots of new things during my second viewing. Like the new Imperial Walkers on the base. The intro scene at night looked darker in 2D. And yes Rey is very good at conveying emotion, especially fear. (P.S. a minor issue I have, and they are few in a movie this good, is that chewie's crossbow blows armored stormtroopers apart but only gives you-know-who a flesh wound that bleeds.) But for me Star Wars ep. 7 is still amazing the second time around.

    1. Huh, I did not see the Walkers! I will have to look for that next time. And that's interesting about being darker in 2D. For me, 3D usually makes it darker. Interesting point about Chewie's bowcaster. *Spoiler* I guess that it was either the Force or his armor, but good point nonetheless!



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