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Tue, Dec 24, 2019, 3:51pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

@Jason R.

Let me be clear what I meant. The "screamers" I refer to will hate ANY movie with the label "Star Wars: on it. Abrams and Disney, I suspect, were trying to make, in TROS, a movie they would hate LESS than TLJ. A slight diminution in hatred=more money, or so the thinking went. Sure, this crowd hated The Force Awakens, but TLJ was a veritable stain on their existence.

Of COURSE TROS was made by a corporate committee. By definition, that kind of movie is constructed with a faux utilitarianism in mind - that is, the playing to the lowest common denominator. That group includes screamers, people who accept little from movies, and casual fans. The mentality of today is: well, a filmmaker may not have done anything right, but at least he did not do too many things egregiously wrong
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Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 8:34pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Abrams is a highly competent hack. That is not an insult. Terrence Malick is an “artist,” and some people think Michael Bay is one too. The thing with a highly competent hack (it is sort of a glass half full/half empty thing) is that he or she is probably incapable of making a truly brilliant movie OR a truly awful one.

And true to this, TROS was neither truly great nor truly awful. The movie played things safe. The emotional suspense is undercut when we know no character we truly car about will die.

The movie did indeed feel like a family reunion - the problem with family reunions is that after a while attending them feels more obligatory than a source of excitement. There will still be the crazy uncle and the kindly great aunt year after year. If that is all you want - and that is very clearly what the toxic haters (redundant) of TLJ wanted - you stand to be pleased with this movie. It replicates images, scenes, and even swatches of dialogue from the past films with dispiriting precision.

For people who want more - for people who applauded The Last Jedi when Ren killed Snoke and for whole seconds the narrative could have gone anywhere - TROS is not likely to satisfy.

All of this brings right out into the open something that people should be able to honestly debate without resorting to name-calling. Whom or what must the artist satisfy? The loudest, self-anointed fans who believe they “own” a movie or movies, or (on the other hand) the need to create something that can (gulp) be enjoyed by people who don’t claim fandom monopoly but who simply want to see a good movie?

One character in the tells us that The First Order/The Final Order is a cabal of thugs whose power makes it easy to forget that their numbers are dwarfed by the number of “regular people” in the galaxy. The movie depicts quite clearly the consequences of doing nothing to stand up to the minority. Lots of people enjoyed The Last Jedi, but, in much the same way one is not complimented for what one does well, these people’s voices were not the ones heard - the voices of the screamers were. These voices are not interested in art for art’s sake. They are turned on by reruns.

The screamers probably loved the moment when the real villain - a Mary Sue villain as it were - pulling all of the strings was revealed. Nothing happened in this movie that was not permitted in or did not firmly exist in Star Wars cliche heaven.

It’s all rather sad. If a movie that is guaranteed to make a zillion dollars can’t take a creative risk, what can?
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