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 I sure wish RT was still here for TLJ Hottakes 
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$220 million opening weekend, second only all-time to The Force Awakens. No real surprise there.


Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:04 pm
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The end of the movie was straight out of Breakin'
with that magic broom shit. Aww, that little scamp is part of the next generation!


Formally, these films are over the place. They feel like they've been assembled by too many people.

Star Wars is just another franchise now and Marvel is pretty much kicking everyone's ass.


Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:12 pm
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I think that I can agree with those who say that this is the best of the Disney installments so far. It may even be the best-looking film of the entire franchise. So why does it have to be so stupid? The script is garbage, from leaden dialogue to nonsensical plotting and behavior, the film simply can't begin to make its visual splendor any more plausible than the earlier entries.

Setting aside the utter wasted half of the film (Poe, Finn, Rose, Benicio, Mauve Dern), and look at the more crucial Luke/Rey/Ren dynamic. I'm still not entirely satisfied over Ren's crossover to the Dark side. We never have any examples of this, other than Luke "sensing" his darkness (and didn't he also sense this in Rey? And was completely wrong?).

As for the theme of dealing with the past, I admit, I'm more on the page of Faulker/Santayana about it. Good luck, I guess is what I'm saying. Anyway, I find it pretty ironic that Kylo is preaching to kill the past as he proceeds to repeat every one of Anakin's past mistakes.

More to what I liked,
I agree with DaMU that it's actually refreshing, in our post-mitichloridan age, that Rey is not some "bloodline" bullshit. Seriously, this was starting to get very incestuous. And I really liked Luke's final stand. In fact, I kinda hated the movie for not ending on the shot of his wispy demise. It would have been the perfect touch. But instead, it only highlighted how useless the two scenes that followed it were.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:45 am
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Girls rule. Guy drool.

Poe is impulsive and reckless. He is demoted in rank and stunned by women. Finn is a coward, again. He is stunned by a woman for cowardice and blocked from a dramatic sacrifice (which only a few minutes before another character, a female character, was able to make with dignity). Luke is a pessimistic quitter. He has to be goaded by Rey, R2, and Yoda to get himself killed to cover the exit of a handful of characters. The Empire is basically run by white guys. But what about Captain Fanta, you say? Who? You mean the woman who was wasted in this role? Brienne of Chrome? Who we never see, apart from one eye ball?

White wymins in charge of that rebellion, yo! You've got Leia (the soul), Laura Dern (the brains) in some Hunger Games aesthetic, and Rey (the beating heart) leading the rebellion.

Sure, you've got a new Asian girl, but she only keeps the black guy in line. Remember when it looked like Finn might hook up with Rey in the first film? Yeah, they unplugged that notion with a quickness. It would be a bit too much to have Rey hooking up with a black man. After all, in the first film, she spends half her time protesting his attempts to help her. They chickened out on their racial politics to play it safe with gender politics (conservatives and liberals still love them some white women). Have Finn hook up with Rey. Have them hook up passionately with slobbery kisses. Have a black woman run the rebellion. And throw in a few non-white males on the side of the Empire and I'll check the "diversity' boxes for this film.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:12 am
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Are we supposed to be using spoiler tags?

I just assumed that this was a reaction thread.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:21 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Are we supposed to be using spoiler tags?

I just assumed that this was a reaction thread.


REPORTED


Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:30 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
REPORTED

It's not like I revealed how Captain Phasma turned out to be Nazi Taylor Swift. I mean, I didn't think I'd have to, cuz duh.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:08 am
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9hwGZFPSmw

RLM take


Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:26 am
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Honestly, I think the big broken chunk of metal that's clogging up this whole story now is that it relies on an inciting incident we never saw: Luke trying to train Ben and failing. The Force Awakens hints at this crucial drama, against which so much of the narrative pivots, and The Last Jedi does what it can to fill in some blanks, although I don't envy Rian the position he was in - the idea of making a sequel that has to flashback to a non-existent entry to make sense of characters' current relationships to the point that you can understand why they're acting out the way they are (specifically, Ben and Luke in this film). It's nightmarish from the perspective of a writer. It's like trying to build a suspension bridge both in front of and behind you as you cross a river.

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Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:09 am
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DaMU wrote:
Honestly, I think the big broken chunk of metal that's clogging up this whole story now is that it relies on an inciting incident we never saw: Luke trying to train Ben and failing. The Force Awakens hints at this crucial drama, against which so much of the narrative pivots, and The Last Jedi does what it can to fill in some blanks, although I don't envy Rian the position he was in - the idea of making a sequel that has to flashback to a non-existent entry to make sense of characters' current relationships to the point that you can understand why they're acting out the way they are (specifically, Ben and Luke in this film). It's nightmarish from the perspective of a writer. It's like trying to build a suspension bridge both in front of and behind you as you cross a river.

Yes. We still have close to zero information as to how Ben Solo soured, either in relation to either of his parents or to Luke. We don't know his motives or influences that led to his turn. So far it's something that the audience is simply taking for granted, as if it were some natural or innate development (ie, necessary to the story). Maybe these holes will be filled in in the next film, but I feel that here was a wasted opportunity to elaborate on this crucial backstory.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:24 am
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I just shrugged it off as part of the "in medias res" thing that Star Wars sometimes partakes in.

or that the initial "what made Kylo bad" wasn't as important as the thing that put him on the path of no return (seeing Luke wanting to kill him).


Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:41 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I just shrugged it off as part of the "in medias res" thing that Star Wars sometimes partakes in.

or that the initial "what made Kylo bad" wasn't as important as the thing that put him on the path of no return (seeing Luke wanting to kill him).

The problem is that the latter - Luke wanting to kill him - isn't entirely convincing without some reason for this (assuming that Luke is not in the habit of impulsive murder). The missing importance is then why Luke felt such a drastic need, even if momentarily, to kill his nephew.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:57 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I'm still not entirely satisfied over Ren's crossover to the Dark side.


What about Stimpy?


Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:07 pm
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Star Wars Episode IX opens on December 20th, 2019. Get those tickets now.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:34 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
The problem is that the latter - Luke wanting to kill him - isn't entirely convincing without some reason for this (assuming that Luke is not in the habit of impulsive murder). The missing importance is then why Luke felt such a drastic need, even if momentarily, to kill his nephew.


I guess he felt something dark? in The Force?

I mean you're not wrong that things like that are fuzzy, maybe I'm too used to things in Star Wars being papered over with "because The Force" and just leaving it at that.


Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:53 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I just shrugged it off as part of the "in medias res" thing that Star Wars sometimes partakes in.

or that the initial "what made Kylo bad" wasn't as important as the thing that put him on the path of no return (seeing Luke wanting to kill him).


Star Wars does "in media res" for sure, but usually the "in media res" is not impacting our understanding of main characters' core motivations. They're mostly expository lead-ins that help us to frame a conflict as quickly as possible. I mean, yeah, we don't know much about Vader in the original Star Wars, and we get a few lies along the way, but none of the information we learn later on (in other installments) is required to make sense of his character in Star Wars. You can watch the film on its own and have a fully-functioning, effective antagonist. [Frankly, it's amazing how efficient and self-contained the original is.]

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Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:04 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
The problem is that the latter - Luke wanting to kill him - isn't entirely convincing without some reason for this (assuming that Luke is not in the habit of impulsive murder). The missing importance is then why Luke felt such a drastic need, even if momentarily, to kill his nephew.


I honestly think we needed to see this before the end of The Force Awakens, and we needed it dramatized, not talked about. Seen clearly. I'm sympathetic to Johnson staging this film's revelations with that Rashomon style "but you!" because that's probably one of the only ways he felt he could creatively justify wedging thick flashbacks in a series that historically has never used them. But even then, we're left with the core problem of everyone repeatedly telling us in both films that Kylo was just the worst, y'know, really bad, trust us.

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Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:10 pm
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DaMU wrote:

Star Wars does "in media res" for sure, but usually the "in media res" is not impacting our understanding of main characters' core motivations. They're mostly expository lead-ins that help us to frame a conflict as quickly as possible. I mean, yeah, we don't know much about Vader in the original Star Wars, and we get a few lies along the way, but none of the information we learn later on (in other installments) is required to make sense of his character in Star Wars. You can watch the film on its own and have a fully-functioning, effective antagonist. [Frankly, it's amazing how efficient and self-contained the original is.]


yeah, I guess that's true. since with Vader it's not necessary to understand why he is bad to "get" him.

I know when I was watching TLJ I just figured whatever it was that made Luke fear Kylo, it wasn't as bad as whatever fear Luke instilled in Kylo when he almost killed him and that that was the crucial part....

I guess there's also a lot of backstory with him and Han and Leia that could have been hinted at more strongly. maybe I had accepted that if that wasn't going to be explored in the last movie, then w the audience were just going to have to fill in the blanks. like, there's a ton of reasons why a kid could go "bad" and it's probably one of those. *shrug*


Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:23 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
yeah, I guess that's true. since with Vader it's not necessary to understand why he is bad to "get" him.

Aye, but I'd argue that Kylo's motives in the new trilogy are far more integral to the plot than Vader's in the OT. Setting aside that the audience was only privy to Vader's turn for about 1/3rd of it, and even considering this failure, Kenobi was nowhere nearly as distraught about it as Luke in Last Jedi. Kenobi followed a similar hermit lifestyle, but had not lost hope in the Force. Since this is the template we have to go on, we can only assume that Ben Solo's turn was far more intimidating, but there's nothing really shown to support this, not least is Kylo's rather unintimidating tantrums majeure. Vader was a monolithic force of evil, Kylo tries but is a pale shadow of this.


Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:33 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Aye, but I'd argue that Kylo's motives in the new trilogy are far more integral to the plot than Vader's in the OT. Setting aside that the audience was only privy to Vader's turn for about 1/3rd of it, and even considering this failure, Kenobi was nowhere nearly as distraught about it as Luke in Last Jedi. Kenobi followed a similar hermit lifestyle, but had not lost hope in the Force. Since this is the template we have to go on, we can only assume that Ben Solo's turn was far more intimidating, but there's nothing really shown to support this, not least is Kylo's rather unintimidating tantrums majeure. Vader was a monolithic force of evil, Kylo tries but is a pale shadow of this.


What about Ren? And did you figure out what Stimpy has to do with all of it?

Oh and what about Darth Vader? Does he die in the new Star Wars? I was pretty sure he faked his death in the first trilogy so I know he was still alive.


Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:30 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9hwGZFPSmw

RLM take


ahaha, they are so done with this shit. I have friends that go to the conventions and while I hope it gives them joy (I know one of my friends was dead chuffed to meet Timothy Zahn this summer), I kinda have the same feelings as Mike, Jay, and Rich. about the fandom and everything else. but since I don't care much, the stuff that bothers me doesn't bother me too much either (well, maybe I still get bothered by nostalgia culture but that's bigger than Star Wars).

anyway, a Rey/Kylo teamup would have been an interesting plot development although possibly the equivalent of a girl hanging onto a bad boyfriend because she thinks she can change him (or something..... no way they'd make Rey evil). probably didn't want Luke to die with two apprentices having gone bad either.

Jinnistan wrote:
Aye, but I'd argue that Kylo's motives in the new trilogy are far more integral to the plot than Vader's in the OT.



fair enough.


Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:01 pm
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Having read the other hot takes in this thread, I think DAMU's is closest to mine. It was fun enough for me to overlook its problems. The good outweighed the bad and the bad never reached "terrible" status for me. Yeah Leia flying through space is absurd, Casino World served little to no purpose, etc, but nothing happened that offended me. And some stuff did happen that I thought was great. That's my hot take. And just for perspective, I wasn't the biggest fan of Rogue One.

One specific thing I'll address is that I've done a 180 on Kylo. The events in this film have made him way more interesting to me than he'd previously been. Was underwhelmed by him in TFA but he now has me sufficiently-whelmed.

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Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:59 am
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great movie

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Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:18 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I liked Luke tossing the Saber or Rey having an anti climax for her parentage. It tied all the dissonant elements of the film together only for them, in the last few minutes, toss all of that to the wind.

Luke proclaims there will be another Jedi, the books are preserved, Rose gets her necklace back, the Resistance is saved, the First Order is preserved, and Leia appears to be the figure head. For a movie that pushed so much to be a slate clearer, the dissonance of these scenes frustrates me. It could be intentional and the next will have some theme about reconciliation between past and future being necessary, but here it felt tacked on and rendered the film as a tad pointless on a thematic front.
MKS, some of those points don't seem like fair complaints to me, at least not if they're directed at Johnson's creative decisions with Last Jedi specifically; after all, this is the only film in this trilogy that he's writing/directing, so he was both forced to work within the story template that Abrams set up for him in Force Awakens, and also set the stage for someone else to come in for Episode IX, and wrap things up, as far as this particular trilogy goes. The idea of The Last Jedi possibly doing away completely with The Resistance, The First Order, or even the Jedi themselves is an intriguing one (the point about Leia still being their leader is rather moot anyway, since we already know circumstances will force them to write her out of the next Episode anyway)… but, put yourself in Johnson's shoes; Abrams just spent the entire last movie establishing the conflict between the heirs to The Empire & The Rebellion, and setting up Rey as the new, Force-sensitive hero of the series, and you're going to do what, exactly?

Wipe all of that away entirely, try to establish a new sort of conflict for the next movie, and have Rey never try to develop her powers further and become the next Jedi that she's obviously destined to be, and leave all of that behind to force the next guy to have to wrap that all up in a single movie, and not build on the foundation presented to you in a sensible manner? I mean, don't get me wrong, I would’ve appreciated a bit more subversion of expectations in TLJ too, but some of what you're suggesting just isn't reasonable to pull off in a single entry, and I gotta give credit to Johnson for not frame-for-frame remaking Empire like Abrams essentially did. It wasn't perfect or anything but anything that gets us (and Disney) any further away from the entertaining but ultimately slavish nostalgia bait of Force Awakens is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

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Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:08 pm
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Does anyone know how to start a new thread here? I can't seem to figure it out. I want to post some stuff I managed to cache from the old RT.


Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:27 am
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Epitoooozy wrote:
Does anyone know how to start a new thread here? I can't seem to figure it out. I want to post some stuff I managed to cache from the old RT.

You have to have 5 posts or so before you can start a thread. If you're new, that is.

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Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:32 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
You have to have 5 posts or so before you can start a thread. If you're new, that is.


OK, that certainly explains it. I heard about this site from Kateland, and although I consider myself an OT refugee, I was one of the few "crossovers" into GD.

Very few names here are recognizable to me. For you GD refugees, are you using the same handles or was it something else?. DaMU. Is that Dead and Messed up? If so, he is the only one I know from those days of RT forum infancy.

Anyway, the reason I'm here is because one of my fondest later memories of RT was the Donner discusses and reviews every single STAR TREK. thread. I thought it was lost when the forums shut down, but I was able to find a way to salvage about 45% of it. If anyone here would like to see those old threads, I can start posting cached links to them in a new topic once I hit five posts.


Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:57 am
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If anyone doesn't already know Abrams is coming back for episode 9. Since his entry made $900 million domestic I'm sure it was an easy decision.


Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:00 am
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Epitoooozy wrote:

OK, that certainly explains it. I heard about this site from Kateland, and although I consider myself an OT refugee, I was one of the few "crossovers" into GD.

Very few names here are recognizable to me. For you GD refugees, are you using the same handles or was it something else?. DaMU. Is that Dead and Messed up? If so, he is the only one I know from those days of RT forum infancy.

Anyway, the reason I'm here is because one of my fondest later memories of RT was the Donner discusses and reviews every single STAR TREK. thread. I thought it was lost when the forums shut down, but I was able to find a way to salvage about 45% of it. If anyone here would like to see those old threads, I can start posting cached links to them in a new topic once I hit five posts.
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ski petrol wrote:
If anyone doesn't already know Abrams is coming back for episode 9. Since his entry made $900 million domestic I'm sure it was an easy decision.
I know; not surprised to hear it after Trevorrow disappointed so much with Book Of Henry, but I'm still disappointed to hear it anyway. I mean, JJ's a pretty consistently entertaining director, but he tends to rely on fairly derivitive, safe, nostalgic elements for his films, and Force Awakens, for how fun it was, was no different. He was an acceptable choice to get the series back up and running again after the last trilogy of disappointments with the Prequels, but it's time to let other directors come in and have their shot at Star Wars, like Johnson just did, in a more original, daring fashion. I dunno, maybe Episode IX will be the time that Abrams tries something original with movies for once; here's hoping, at any rate.

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Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:40 pm
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Will do. I should hit 5 with this.


Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:37 am
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Good movie. Would watch again.

RIP Admiral Ackbar. You were too beautiful for this world. And an onscreen death, I guess.


Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:37 am
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YOu got to see him Briefly.


Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:39 am
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Went to see it a second time.

It's better the second time.

And I already liked it quite a bit the first time.

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:29 am
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Ace wrote:
YOu got to see him Briefly.


Yeah, but like, we don't get a close-up of him floating in space as his big orb eyes glaze over and he whispers something that is not for us to know. Nor do we see the crew drunkenly recounting their favorite Ackbar anecdotes with accompanying flashbacks. We don't see Ackbar coaching that inner-city basketball team that only he believed in. We don't see a haggard, bearded Ackbar telling the Commissioner to go fuck himself, fuck the mayor, and fuck this entire rotten system; he doesn't care how many laws he'll have to break to bring this scumbag down.

We're also missing a crucial scene in which Luke clutches his chest and double over, spilling gross milk everywhere. As Rey helps him to his knees she sees his pained, bewildered expression and replies, "I felt it, too. I specifically felt Admiral Ackbar die." "Then I will train you in the ways of the Force," Luke says with newfound resolve. "It's what my old friend and personal hero, Admiral Ackbar, would have wanted."

Aboard the Supremacy, Supreme Leader Snoke breaks into a dirge over his greatest foe, the fishman who made him into what he was. Snoke wistfully looks out the porthole and has an extended flashback to when he and a young Ackbar were friends, fighting side-by-side against *gasp!* Boba Fett over... space treasure? And Ackbar brings the idol back to Luke for his Jedi school, causing the fallout and eventual climactic showdown between Snoke and Ackbar that fans have long craved. Also Lando Calrissian shows up at some point. He's riding a Tauntaun.


I'm sure this will all be in the extended cut, but still.


Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:38 am
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Bos Grunniens wrote:

Yeah, but like, we don't get a close-up of him floating in space as his big orb eyes glaze over and he whispers something that is not for us to know. Nor do we see the crew drunkenly recounting their favorite Ackbar anecdotes with accompanying flashbacks. We don't see Ackbar coaching that inner-city basketball team that only he believed in. We don't see a haggard, bearded Ackbar telling the Commissioner to go fuck himself, fuck the mayor, and fuck this entire rotten system; he doesn't care how many laws he'll have to break to bring this scumbag down.

We're also missing a crucial scene in which Luke clutches his chest and double over, spilling gross milk everywhere. As Rey helps him to his knees she sees his pained, bewildered expression and replies, "I felt it, too. I specifically felt Admiral Ackbar die." "Then I will train you in the ways of the Force," Luke says with newfound resolve. "It's what my old friend and personal hero, Admiral Ackbar, would have wanted."

Aboard the Supremacy, Supreme Leader Snoke breaks into a dirge over his greatest foe, the fishman who made him into what he was. Snoke wistfully looks out the porthole and has an extended flashback to when he and a young Ackbar were friends, fighting side-by-side against *gasp!* Boba Fett over... space treasure? And Ackbar brings the idol back to Luke for his Jedi school, causing the fallout and eventual climactic showdown between Snoke and Ackbar that fans have long craved. Also Lando Calrissian shows up at some point. He's riding a Tauntaun.


I'm sure this will all be in the extended cut, but still.


Now I wish Ackbar was cast to play the lead in Shape of Water.

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:47 am
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I think I'm ok with most of Johnson's choices. I didn't mind jaded Luke, seeing as how ive become somewhat jaded with the franchise myself. Sure, he could train Rey in the ways of the force, but to what end?

I am sorely missing the 'team' aspect though. The core cast of new characters barely get to share any screen time. This is unacceptable.


Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:14 am
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Foolish Swami wrote:
I think I'm ok with most of Johnson's choices. I didn't mind jaded Luke, seeing as how ive become somewhat jaded with the franchise myself. Sure, he could train Rey in the ways of the force, but to what end?

I am sorely missing the 'team' aspect though. The core cast of new characters barely get to share any screen time. This is unacceptable.


[And it's also worth noting that Luke doesn't 100% believe in the uselessness of the Jedi way or else he wouldn't be keeping Jedi books in a holy shrine and fail to burn down the shrine and then try to retrieve those books when lightning hits the shrine. Luke doesn't want to believe in the ways of the Jedi. Like Kylo, he mistakes the grand dramatic gestures of razing the past for actually letting go of what needs letting go.]

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:06 am
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Has anyone mentioned matrix Leia yet? Because yeah, that part.

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:35 am
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topherH wrote:
Has anyone mentioned matrix Leia yet? Because yeah, that part.


Love it in theory, awkward in practice.

She should've been closer to ship and probably not contorted her body to look like Superman flying with intent. But I was happy to see her use the Force.

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:44 am
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DaMU wrote:

Love it in theory, awkward in practice.

She should've been closer to ship and probably not contorted her body to look like Superman flying with intent. But I was happy to see her use the Force.


It did feel like something out of MOS.

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State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended


Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:03 am
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DaMU wrote:
Went to see it a second time.

It's better the second time.

And I already liked it quite a bit the first time.
I went back to see it again Wednesday, with my parents this time, and yeah, it was at least just as good the 2nd time as the 1st, maybe even a little better. The parts that gave me goosebumps the first time still raised the bumps up on my skin, and though it's still about 15 minutes too long, the running time didn't feel as tiresome, even having to sit through it again. A great, great rewatch was had indeed.

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:13 pm
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Post Re: I sure wish RT was still here for TLJ Hottakes

Captain Terror wrote:

Now I wish Ackbar was cast to play the lead in Shape of Water.

Coming in 2021: Ackbar: A Star Wars Story, starring Doug Jones.


Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:02 am
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ski petrol wrote:
$220 million opening weekend, second only all-time to The Force Awakens. No real surprise there.


Second weekend showing the biggest decline ever for a Star Wars film.


Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:14 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

Second weekend showing the biggest decline ever for a Star Wars film.


Per Box Office Mojo:

Quote:
...that's not as much as a surprise as it may outwardly seem, particularly due to the lack of business over the weekend, especially on Christmas Eve, for all titles. The film is expected to top $100 million by end of day tomorrow, which is expected to be huge for most all films in release.


Flick'll top $800 million ww in the next couple days.

All is well.

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Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:15 am
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Forbes headline: How Can 'Star Wars' Recover From 'Last Jedi's Rave Reviews, Huge Grosses?

har har har


Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:03 am
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Reposting my Last Jedi review in here, just for the sake of completionism:

Image

Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to; that's the only way to become what you're meant to be.

To say that expectations were space-high for Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be putting it mildly; as the 2nd episode of the new trilogy, everyone seemed to wonder, would director Rion Johnson continue with the fun but fundamentally play-it-safe nature of Force Awakens that was oh-so JJ, and be content to just trace over the outline of the ultimate trilogy middle chapters of all trilogy middle chapters, The Empire Strikes Back, and doom this particular trilogy to never truly outgrowing the original's iconic shadow, or would Johnson try for something more challenging, more daring, like Empire did back in its day? Well, while Last Jedi will inevitably draw comparisons to its equivalent in the OT (granted, sometimes to its detriment), I'm happy to say that, like its new generation of heroes and villains, it finds a way to honor and respect what its legendary predecessors created, while also forging more of its own path forward.

The Last Jedi follows parallel story threads, with the forces of The First Order launching an initially devastating assault on the vulnerable New Republic, and then pursuing the surviving forces for the rest of the film, a plot that's intercut with a young Jedi apprentice training with an old, sometimes-reluctant teacher in the mysterious, sometimes-frightening ways of The Force, just like in, well, Empire. However, Jedi distinguishes itself both from the often derivative elements of Force Awakens by telling a more subversive, surprising story, less reliant on pure nostalgia, as well as distinguishing itself from the overall Star Wars saga through its greater sense of moral ambiguity, especially through its demythologization of the last Jedi himself, Luke Skywalker.

When Rey (and we) first see him, Luke is a weary, grey-bearded, grizzled old man, living as a hermit near an ancient Jedi temple in the middle of space-nowhere, his only company being the local wildlife, and the aliens who look like a cross between a nun and giant toads that maintain the ancient structures there. He is a far cry from the beaming, triumphant hero we last saw onscreen 34 years ago, and when Rey finally hands him the lightsaber that belonged to his father, in the hopes of being trained as the first of a new generation of Jedi, Luke immediately throws it away like its yesterday's garbage, and tells her to leave his island immediately. And, while such reluctance is somewhat to be expected, as it would be narratively dull if Luke just immediately acquiesced to every one of Rey's wishes (and Yoda behaved similarly when he first met Luke in Empire), what I didn't expect was just how defeated and downtrodden Luke turned out here, as, even after he agrees to teach Rey, he only does it to try to show her why the Jedi must die as a way of life, which, combined with rather disturbing revelation that arises from his past here, really surprised (and pleased) me, just how dark Rion was willing to go with his arc.

It's a daring spin on a classic, iconic hero, one that seems to be splitting the Star Wars fanbase so far, but one that I appreciate for its unwillingness to coddle us as viewers, and let us not forget, Empire itself received a mixed reception from both fans critics upon its initial release, and now almost everyone agrees that it's the greatest Star Wars, so let's just wait and see the verdict that film history ends up passing on TLJ, shall we? Anyway, besides that, Rion Johnson continues the trend of Force Awakens in making The Force itself a more mysterious and ethereal, well, force, than the disappointingly literal treatment Lucas gave it in the Prequels, through a series of intriguing psychic conversations that occur between two certain characters here, as well as actually making The Force seem more accessible to the random "nobodies" of the galaxy, as you'll see, and that's all the detail I'll go into on those points, lest I spoil the film even further for you.

And, outside of the Force-related shenanigans here, the film's other main plot thread of the scant remnants of The New Republic in constant pursuit by The New Order, their numbers steadily dwindling as the film goes on, is, for the most part, tense, desperate, and above all exciting, with some of the better scenes of combat seen in any Star Wars to date, with a certain subplot involving a new, seemingly cowardly Rebel Admiral taking an unexpected turn, further reenforcing the film's overall ambiguity when it comes to its various characterizations. I mean, don't get me wrong or anything, as The Last Jedi is hardly a perfect film; it's overlong by at least 15 minutes, with one too many climactic battles, some of its comedic relief moments feel a bit forced and unnecessary, and its story doesn't always unfold as smoothly, as it should've, with a particular side-story during the middle act that could've easily been altered, or better yet, erased from the film entirely. However, all that being said, this still a very rousing, borderline mythic piece of pop-storytelling, a vital new continuation of what is surely the defining film series of all time, and a work that leaves me more hopeful than ever before for the future of these films; may The Force be with it, indeed.

Favorite Moment: Luke facing down The First Order
Final Score: 8.25

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Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:18 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Forbes headline: How Can 'Star Wars' Recover From 'Last Jedi's Rave Reviews, Huge Grosses?

har har har


That snarky boy.

Image

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Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:50 am
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DaMU wrote:

That snarky boy.

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Ugh, like Furiosa wouldn't have already known that as a fellow seasoned road warrior, Max; that is such a for-the-audience line, George Miller!

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Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:13 am
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Stu wrote:
Ugh, like Furiosa wouldn't have already known that as a fellow seasoned road warrior, Max; that is such a for-the-audience line, George Miller!


Seriously, let's petition WB to make Fury Road non-canon.

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Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:34 am
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Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is the better Star Wars movie.

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Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:24 pm
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