STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

UPDATE (12/25/15)

Full disclosure, I am a dork. I admit it, so I had no problems going again to see THE FORCE AWAKENS. This time in 3D. The 3D is great, subtle but immersive. I loved it just as much the second time. Daisy Ridley is more of a star than I noticed on first viewing. John Boyega is a very very tiny notch below. I caught a bunch more easter eggs that I missed the first time. There are scenes and shots that sent chills up my spine and planted a smile on my face. It awakened the little kid in me all over again. That is what this kind of film is supposed to do. I cannot wait until May of 2017 for episode VIII!!!

 

by Alan Yudman

Here is a spoiler free review of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: People live. People die. The Force is good & bad. The Empire isn’t gone. The Resistance are good guys. There are droids & X-Wing fighters battling Tie fighters in space. So if you want zero spoilers, stop right there. Thanks for reading. Like us on Facebook.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…

This is a fantastic film. It is funny, dramatic, and edge of you seat thrilling. It will tug at your memories and make you feel warm and full of nostalgia. But, even if you have never seen a Star Wars movie this stands alone just fine. You won’t get some of the inside humor, but overall this is a wonderful reboot to the franchise. Screenwriters J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt seamlessly weave the old cast and the new. Briefly, the Republic is in danger again from the Dark Side of the Force in the form of The First Order. A message in a droid has to get to the resistance leaders or all is lost. Sound familiar? Yes it is, but the story still feels fresh and exciting. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver bring fresh energy and all are fantastic. It’s also great to see Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Chewbacca, C-3P0 and R2-D2 all being themselves. Nearly 40 years of technological advances also make all the effects look better. It feels updated without making the original movies seem tired. There are two enormous plot developments that I won’t spoil but I will say that one left my jaw hanging open in shock, the other in frustration. A couple of minor things were slightly head scratching. Rey learning to use the Force seemed to come a bit too quickly as compared to Luke Skywalker’s learning curve. And Rae, Fin and Poe become friends a bit too fast for my liking. One minute they are strangers, the next they are hugging buddies. Like I said, those are minor and did not get stop me from absolutely loving this movie. J.J. Abrams just gets this type of entertainment. First with Star Trek, now with Star Wars he understands how to honor the source material while updating it and making it his own. That is an admirable skill. Abrams also understands spectacle and knows how to pull the audience’s strings just enough to thrill everyone. Episode VII will awaken the Star Wars fan in all of us, and remind us of how we fell in love with this universe… a long time ago in a theater far, far away…

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