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Kalbear

The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

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Gamergate Part II: This Time We're Actually About Ethics in Journalism ... Movie Edition. :rolleyes:

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I don’t think Abrams has anything to do with TLJ. (But I don’t know.) TFA and TLJ are very different movies to me. The first is just a failure, the second is a political triumph. (Both suck.)

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

@Happy Ent

I think you give Abrams and Johnson too much credit for political coherence. Looking over their respective ouevres, they are primarily motivated in their works by fondness for pop culture and cinema, and politically they're kind of all over the map in a way that suggests politics does not suffuse their creative instincts.

This may be the case. But their art and the subsequent mass reaction, as Happy Ent has pointed out, makes for a fascinating discourse on how art is perceived & reflects its psychological period/domain.

Please continue, HE, with these fantastic interpretations :)

....

I've seen the film three times - once with my daughter, once on the field trip my school conducted, and once with daughter/grandmother. What really struck me the 2nd time was how "meta" certain sequences were, particularly Canto Bight. The film abruptly and dramatically shifts, like we've wandered from one theater into another: from traditional Star Wars to a DTV Disney film, down to camera use and editing choices. The whole sequence is completely surreal, and given that they at least contemplated making it more James Bondish in costuming/tone (and then rejected this logical turn, which is a shame, as it could have been used to build Finn/Rose's characters and develop the inevitable romance trope), I wonder if this is Johnson commenting on the Disneyification of the creative process. 

 

 

 

 

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Y'all are talking like it's a given that people don't like TLJ or that it is obviously universally hated. That really isn't the case. 

I also like the narrative that Rey - someone who has lived by the skin of her teeth since she was 6, had to scavenge toxic parts from military weapons to get bare food, and had no one to watch her or help her - is somehow someone who doesn't have a good work ethic. 

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46 minutes ago, kuenjato said:

I've seen the film three times - once with my daughter, once on the field trip my school conducted, and once with daughter/grandmother. What really struck me the 2nd time was how "meta" certain sequences were, particularly Canto Bight. The film abruptly and dramatically shifts, like we've wandered from one theater into another: from traditional Star Wars to a DTV Disney film, down to camera use and editing choices. The whole sequence is completely surreal, and given that they at least contemplated making it more James Bondish in costuming/tone (and then rejected this logical turn, which is a shame, as it could have been used to build Finn/Rose's characters and develop the inevitable romance trope), I wonder if this is Johnson commenting on the Disneyification of the creative process. 

 

 

 

 

I agree that the sequence feels completely out of touch with the rest of the movie, but I’d suggest it’s less a comment on disneyfication and more ACTUAL disneyfication at work. 

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17 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Y'all are talking like it's a given that people don't like TLJ or that it is obviously universally hated. That really isn't the case. 

I also like the narrative that Rey - someone who has lived by the skin of her teeth since she was 6, had to scavenge toxic parts from military weapons to get bare food, and had no one to watch her or help her - is somehow someone who doesn't have a good work ethic. 

Well hard to really judge how well liked the movie is but metacritic has the user score at 4.7

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/star-wars-episode-viii---the-last-jedi/user-reviews

There are now over 1700 bad reviews of the movie against 600 positive ones.

However much weight you put into that, and the internet is an angry place, the very least you could say is that the movie is divisive. 

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45 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Y'all are talking like it's a given that people don't like TLJ or that it is obviously universally hated. That really isn't the case. 

I also like the narrative that Rey - someone who has lived by the skin of her teeth since she was 6, had to scavenge toxic parts from military weapons to get bare food, and had no one to watch her or help her - is somehow someone who doesn't have a good work ethic. 

This is a point not-often brought up in arguments about Rey's "mary sue-dom" -- she grows up impoverished, basically having to fend for herself from a very early age. She is obviously well-versed with the staff and able to fight off junkers in the first film. It's not a stretch to say that she could at least hold off a wounded, not-trying-to-kill Kylo Ren in TFA's climax.

Kalbear, I'm curious -- now that you've had some time to reflect, does the movie still resonate as strongly with you? More specifically, the inclusionary aspects and how they are ultimately implemented. Personally, as the father of a half-Korean 7-year old girl, I'm very happy that SW has a strong female lead that ultimately maintains positively under duress, and that a major subplot of TLJ features a Vietnamese woman depicted as competent and bold. However, I was not at all impressed by the execution of these elements -- it feels "Disneyfied" , i.e. conspicuous virtue-signaling rather than successful development of a narrative, explicit pandering as opposed to a more natural creative actualization. Of course, going by HE's thesis, the politicized end-goal means narrative is ultimately unimportant to the designs of the corporate head & creators... 

People talk about ESB being the benchmark of the series, and it will never be topped or, at this point, even approached. ESB came out of the unexpected lucky-break of Star Wars hitting it big. Lucas & co. were riding on a thin line before, during, and after its production; it was risk-taking cinema, emerging from (and influenced by) the auteur trends of the 1970's (even as that aesthetic was imploding via Heaven's Gate), and it was concerned with telling a story as opposed to selling tickets. There is almost no humor in ESB; contrast TLJ, which literaly starts with a Yo Momma joke. ESB has long, slow sections, some heavily introspective. ESB ends on a downer note. While Johnson has stated that he had creative freedom on this film, I can't imagine there weren't dictates on modern humor & spectacle so that Disney continues to maintain a billion+ box office.

Rogue One was the closest this franchise has come to ESB, and it was completely gutted and re-made in the process. I can't see this happening again.

 

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7 hours ago, Eggegg said:

...Websites and reviewers NEED to get that early access to information and interviews and early screenings to survive. They cannot afford to piss off the hand that feeds them. I think we all just accept that now. ...

If critics constantly gave positive reviews then this standpoint may hold a little water. However that is not even remotely the case.

For but one of a million examples, Disney's latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie (like the 4 POTC movies before it) was so roundly derided by critics as a load of old bollocks it sits at a mere 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. Your main man Mark Kermode routinely SAVAGES "the hand that feeds him" when he rips into that entire series of films (even the first entry, the one most other people like). And yet Mark Kermode and all of those other critics who printed reviews resulting in the latest POTC being at just 30% somehow got their early access to The Last Jedi just fine.

The same is true of the Transformers films - a series that, like clockwork, receives an absolute MAULING from the critics and yet Paramount and Dreamworks continue to give the critics who deal out that kicking early access aplenty. Meanhwile we have all these blinkered numpties claiming there is some secret critical movement with an anti-DC bias ... and yet Wonder Woman is one of the best-reviewed films of 2017, sitting at 92%, with a higher average rating than Marvel's biggest of the year, Thor Ragnarok. 

There is no credible evidence of payola. There is no credible evidence of monetary corruption. There is no credible evidence that critics who give bad reviews to any studio's film are barred from "early access" to the next film from that studio. At most we can say there may be an emotional corruption. 

I think we all just have to accept that now.

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2 hours ago, Eggegg said:

Well hard to really judge how well liked the movie is but metacritic has the user score at 4.7

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/star-wars-episode-viii---the-last-jedi/user-reviews

There are now over 1700 bad reviews of the movie against 600 positive ones.

However much weight you put into that, and the internet is an angry place, the very least you could say is that the movie is divisive. 

That is by all evidence a result of people registering just to give TLJ a bad review. And we all know there are plenty of very loud people out there who don't represent the general population at all.

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/12/20/the-curious-case-of-the-last-jedi-and-its-rotten-tomatoes-audience-score

Quote

...

As you can see, there were a lot of respondents who signed up to review The Last Jedi and with Rotten Tomatoes, and a third of the respondents deleted their account or had their account deleted after registering. This suggests an effort was made to create a negative self-selecting bias because these new users chose to register with the site just to have their review counted in the overall Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic score for the title.

...

Lots of good data to unpack here, but most importantly, this data shows the audience liked The Last Jedi a great deal. Rating a movie as either “excellent” or “very good” tends to be the key metric in most Hollywood evaluation of content, both in testing and in exit polls. Anything over a score of 80 in the “top two boxes” is concerned a great score, and The Last Jedi has a top two box score of 89. So, if 89% really liked the film, the amount of people who would score the film “poor” or the equivalent of a zero or one score on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic would be a very small, single digit percentage.

...

 

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According to a few sites teporting an anonymous source, Disney have already written off the ... err standalone Solo film.  A mess apparently and the actor playing Solo is ssid to be dire.

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6 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

According to a few sites teporting an anonymous source, Disney have already written the ... err standalone Solo film.  A mess apparently and the actor playing Solo is ssid to be dire.

It's scheduled to be released in May, so it had better be written.  Principal photography wrapped in October. 

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All based on someone "close to the production". I don't really trust anonymous stuff. That said, there definitely seem to have some major problems behind the scenes. Won't be surprised if the release date is pushed back to give Howard more time to fix it. 

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On 28-12-2017 at 8:48 PM, Happy Ent said:

I am utterly shocked by this statement from an otherwise reasonable poster. Suppression of emotion, discipline, self-control: those are core conservative values. The very fact that every human has emotion makes its control a value instead of a triviality.  

You are extremely welcome to disagree with the value, or with conservatism, or Jedi values. (I do, to a large extent.)

Different definitations of "conservative", I suppose. Politicians who are considered to be "conservative" in my country (admittedly usually by opponents) seem to show about as much emotion as people who call themselves "progressive". I'm not well versed in ideological debate, anyway.

What I disagree with is the coupling of such values as "suppression of emotion" (especially to the point of the prequel Jedi's, who took this to extremes) with the value of learning.

I guess deeply religious people would often be considered as conservatives (in most cases), and some of those see no value in learning because they already know everything thanks to the religious texts. No education for girls, no education leading to anything that can challenge the holy word.

OTOH, lots of people see the need for decent education (with the effort this requires) without being "conservative" in the way you describe it.

And to repeat what has been mentioned in this thread a couple of times: Rey does give the impression of having good work ethics, she seems to either be self-trained as a scavenger or to have picked up things from whomever would be willing to teach her. She also wants to learn, it is Luke who is not inclined to train her and even then we see her training and saving the Jedi texts. I don't see her as a "slacker" in any way. She does go to Kylo in the end against Luke's explicit advice, but then this was the same in the OT with Luke leaving against Yoda's wishes.

20 hours ago, Kalbear said:

@Happy Ent

 

As I said, TLJ has the closest view of the Sith being compelling morally as villains and has by far the best most understandable villain yet. 

But they still made Kylo go out of his way to kill without mercy: the inhabitants of the village where Poe was captured, his father, the "no quarter" order for the remaining resistance members. This hardly makes him morally compelling, he's still the bad guy to be rooted against (except when fighting even worse guys, like Snoke).

20 hours ago, Ran said:

Snoke and Ren aren't Sith, are they? I mean, I know there was fan speculation about Snoke being some former Sith guy who allegedly died, but that seems not particularly operative or substantive about his character given where it left off.

They are not, which means they are not tied down to some of the more ridiculous Sith conventions. Likewise, Rey may be more open to using the "dark side" of the Force than earlier Jedi were. It's up to Abrams to decide if this would be possible (with or without undesirable side effects, such as getting evil). Video games like KOTOR and the Jedi Knight series have toyed with this in the past.

18 hours ago, Werthead said:

The lesson "but anyone can now be a Force user!" is really a poor lesson to learn from the film because that's been the case for years.

 

16 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I tend to think it follows the Ratatouille line - which is not that anyone can learn to cook well, but that a great cook can come from anywhere. Innate talent and drive and passion and skill matter hugely in Star Wars, and always have - but that doesn't mean you have to be born into a great family. 

Taking the two quotes above together: I often hear "anyone can now be a Force user!" but this isn't true! The Ratatouille line is more accurate: a great Force user can come from anywhere. But it should be kept in mind that Rey was still very priviliged by her birth, which granted her immense abilities to use the Force without any merit on her side (even if she later turns out to be very capable in many respects). Finn, Rose, Poe, Hux and co: if they are not born with this ability (as the vast majority of the galactic population), they can never use the Force. Rey and Kylo are different because they are the 0,000001% with the ability inborn.

Which makes the big hoolah about her not being a "priviliged" Skywalker (mind you, as a scavenger on Jakku) moot. Especially considering that this trilogy is supposed to be about the Skywalkers and that it could have been (IMONSHO) a better story.

The need to villify Rey's parents also is a shame. Couldn't they simply have died in an accident on Jakku, even before the events in Rey's infamous Force Vision?

7 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

The new movies are loved by critics exactly because they align with the desired values of the mainstream. The new movies are female and politically progressive. The movies make no attempts at telling a good story; instead, they are externally motivated: it’s about deconstructing a narrative that exists in The Real World, about deliberate choice casting were made based on essentialist characteristics of the actors (sex, haplogroup). These are very visible signals: you need to embrace these movies for the their exogenous ambitions; the endogenous traits (story, plot, wordbuilding, etc.) are a sideshow. Every critic understands this. And a critic would make a moral blunder by not aligning themselves with progressive values.

You can see the same dynamic even in this thread. We cannot resist taking sides based on the political signal we’re sending. Criticising these movies makes you a bad person.

This, I can largely agree with.

I think a clearer example of this is the excellent reviews many mainstream critics gave to Star Trek Into Darkness, which had a horrible story, cardboard villains, badly thought out plot elements and inept "heroes". But the apparent "message" in the movie (something with US drone attacks, allthough it really didn't have anything to do with the plot of Into Darkness) seemed to be loved and that trumps decent storytelling.

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Just cause it has to be said....

Um...these are Star Wars films we are talking about.  Even the OT before Lucas decided to add stuff to them had all kinds of problems.  But they were FUN.  They have always been FUN.  My parents dragged me to ESB when I was 3.  I had the LP records of all of the OT.  My parents purchased them on...wait for it...beta max, and then replaced them later with VHS.  And when I was a child, I saw as a child, and understood as a child and my feelings about the OT proceedeth from the fact that I saw them as a child.  But now I am grown.  And I personally think that after the attempt at a serious turn in the prequels (which is part, though surely not all, of what makes Jar Jar Binks so...jarring) they have returned to the fun of Star Wars.  It's high fantasy, or perhaps Clash of the Titans style Greek Mythology, in space.  There doesn't need to be logic.  There doesn't need to be science.  And your every childhood wish and desire won't be fulfilled.  Hey, maybe you could do better!  But I am 100% certain that no matter what kind of movie was made, there would be a larger or smaller group of angry and noisy people who hated it.  So, anyhow, I thought it was a lot of fun.  I will be purchasing an office porg for all kinds of ironic reasons (I am a late gen x er after all). Was it the best movie I saw in 2017?  Nope (e.g., I actually thought all of Wonder Woman, Get Out, Coco,  and maybe Guardians of the Galaxy II (toss up there) better; I haven't seen any of Atomic Blonde, Lady Bird, Three Billboards..., Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water or the Phantom Thread yet - all of which are supposed to be pretty good).  But I don't need a Star Wars movie to be a good movie.  I need it to be what it is, plucky underdog white hats who, in spite of incredible, overwhelming odds, defeat a cartoon villian of exceptional evilness, with a side helping of redemption and unresolved pg sexual tension.   

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1 minute ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Just cause it has to be said....

Um...these are Star Wars films we are talking about.  Even the OT before Lucas decided to add stuff to them had all kinds of problems.  But they were FUN.  They have always been FUN.  My parents dragged me to ESB when I was 3.  I had the LP records of all of the OT.  My parents purchased them on...wait for it...beta max, and then replaced them later with VHS.  And when I was a child, I saw as a child, and understood as a child and my feelings about the OT proceedeth from the fact that I saw them as a child.  But now I am grown.  And I personally think that after the attempt at a serious turn in the prequels (which is part, though surely not all, of what makes Jar Jar Binks so...jarring) they have returned to the fun of Star Wars.  It's high fantasy, or perhaps Clash of the Titans style Greek Mythology, in space.  There doesn't need to be logic.  There doesn't need to be science.  And your every childhood wish and desire won't be fulfilled.  Hey, maybe you could do better!  But I am 100% certain that no matter what kind of movie was made, there would be a larger or smaller group of angry and noisy people who hated it.  So, anyhow, I thought it was a lot of fun.  I will be purchasing an office porg for all kinds of ironic reasons (I am a late gen x er after all). Was it the best movie I saw in 2017?  Nope (e.g., I actually thought all of Wonder Woman, Get Out, Coco,  and maybe Guardians of the Galaxy II (toss up there) better; I haven't seen any of Atomic Blonde, Lady Bird, Three Billboards..., Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water or the Phantom Thread yet - all of which are supposed to be pretty good).  But I don't need a Star Wars movie to be a good movie.  I need it to be what it is, plucky underdog white hats who, in spite of incredible, overwhelming odds, defeat a cartoon villian of exceptional evilness, with a side helping of redemption and unresolved pg sexual tension.   

I think thats the difference really. If I'm going to like a Star Wars movie then I need it to be a good movie. The OT were on the whole more than just 'fun' movies. They were good in a number of storytelling, artistic and emotional ways. If you don't have any attachment to the OT then it won't matter , you won't be able to see the difference between them and these new movies.

There are a ton of movies which are 'fun', and aren't good. Jurassic World which I just watched again was fun, but its not a good movie, and I don't care because i have zero attachment to the original movie, and its not even close to being as good as that. 

But I grew up on Star Wars, I really appreciate the OT movies. TLJ was absolutely not in the same league as them. I could compare it easily to Jurassic World, because if you sit back, watch things whizz past and don;t think about it at all, then I'm sure you can have a good time. But I'd like more than that from a Star Wars movie, and so would a lot of fans of the franchise.

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48 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

It's scheduled to be released in May, so it had better be written.  Principal photography wrapped in October. 

Sorry typo meant'written off' 

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11 hours ago, Eggegg said:

The overwhelmingly positive reviews have created the backlash in part however. It causes people to go into a movie with very high expectations, and then when you come out you are even more disappointed than you would have been. I understand people getting angry at the dishonesty of movie reviewing, its clearly corrupt at some point ( even Justice League was getting positive reviews on day one), although you can tie in that emotional factor you get from watching a movie on the first day.

 

I think you are completely missing my point. They're not mad about"dishonest reviews" (which is bullshit anyway). They're mad that the movie has a female lead and a black guy in it. They even say so.

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2 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I think you are completely missing my point. They're not mad about"dishonest reviews" (which is bullshit anyway). They're mad that the movie has a female lead and a black guy in it. They even say so.

You really need to stop trying to push this angle.

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3 minutes ago, Eggegg said:

You really need to stop trying to push this angle.

Why? It's true. Want me to post the actual content of the position? You can hate the film all you want but if you think there's some conspiracy with the critics reviews...I dunno man. I won't even go into detail about the meta user score again, I feel that's been gone over enough here and other places.

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