1

(423 replies, posted in Off Topic)

I'm still not convinced that movie's actually happening and a teaser made before they've started actual principal photography has an air of desperation to it that is not reassuring at all.

There wasn't a love story. They didn't kiss at the end, they just held hands and hugged as they awaited sure death. I know what you mean though. I thought for sure they would kiss, and was pleasantly surprised when they didn't.

As it was, I thought the moment was pretty powerful.

I liked it a fair bit.

Random observations and opinions, mostly of the nitpicky variety:

  Show
Obviously, it looks and sounds great and I got no problem with any of the actors. Except, I thought the pilot guy was fairly bland. The music is fine, but I'd have to give it another listen to know for sure how I feel about it in the grand scheme of things.

I though the opening (after the prologue) was awkward. I generally don't like it when a movie's just cutting from one new character to another like this rather than introducing them gradually as they come into direct contact with our main characters and the main narrative.

I really don't think we needed the chyrons popping up and telling us where we where each time it cut to a new location. Felt very un-Star Warsy to me.

I found the first appearance of Bail Organa, where he just steps out of the shadows without saying anything, really anticlimactic, but I loved having him back once he actually started talking. As an admitted fan of the prequels, I thought it was really neat to have that link between the old and the new.

Go away Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan. You don't get to show up and shout a catchphrase at our main characters just so the audience (who mostly don't even recognize you) might get a cheap thrill.

I didn't know that Tarkin was gonna be in it and thought that was a great surprise. The CG wasn't great, but that didn't bother me at all. I'm still (and will continue to be for a long time) in love with the idea of younger (and now dead) versions of older actors showing up in contemporary movies. However,  I found his voice incredibly distracting. If you're gonna try and make the character look like Peter Cushing, you got to nail the voice, and I really didn't feel like they did. I admire the overall effort though.

Thought the first big Vader scene was bad. I can't really explain why, but I felt like Vader was saying a lot of vaguely Vader-like things, but none of it felt important enough to actually penetrate my brain. It was like they were so excited to have JEJ back that they thought they could coast on that instead of actually writing a meaty scene for him.

The brief reference too Obi-Wan is a moment I don't mind in theory, but I thought the execution was lacking. The awkward way things had to be phrased just so they didn't say his actual name came across as clumsy writing to me. Might sound better on a rewatch though.

Thought the Threepio and Artoo appearance was a little random with them just standing around at Yavin 4. If they'd been boarding Tantive IV when we saw them, I would have been more okay with it, I think. (This is hella nitpicky, I know)

Loved seeing and hearing Red and Gold Leader in the final battle. I found that incredibly charming. Couldn't help but wonder if anyone else in the theater recognized them from ANH. Seems unlikely...

Didn't expect Jyn to die. "Pleasantly" surprised. I'm enjoying how unspoiled I am for these new Star Wars movies comparted to the prequels.

The last Vader scene was kind of an eye roll moment for me. I guess it's all those years on TFn with people talking about how awesome it would be to see Vader let loose with the force and his lightsaber. I guess I never felt like I needed it or thought it would be cool.  And at that point, I was more focused on if we'd actually get to see Leia or not... which leads me to:

I've actually been predicting a young Leia appearance at the end of this movie since it was announced. I thought for sure it would be a fuzzy hologram appearance though, so this nonsurprise ended up being a nice surprise. The appearance was brief, so there wasn't a lot of time to notice if the CG was good or not, which in and of itself is great. The last line is hoaky as hell, but I still got a little misty.

It struck me towards the end of the movie that I liked the pacing of this one quite a bit better than ep VII. The camera is more relaxed and scenes are actually allowed to play out without an ACTION BEAT having to interrupt anything resembling exposition or even just dialogue.  Also, it didn't feel like it was rehashing as many plot elements as ep VII did, which was nice.

That's it for now, I think... I'll probably think of something else the second I hit the 'submit' button. 

Like I said, I liked it. Will definitely slot it in on my next rewatch of the whole saga when it's time to start gearing up for ep VIII.

4

(16 replies, posted in Off Topic)

The drunk ones were generally my least favorite. So I guess the ones for the prequels can be kinda annoying. I also just want to make counter arguments all the time when I listen to those.

I didn't like the helicopter shot, because it looked like the most un-star warsy shot in all of star wars to me, but I was perfectly fine with the shots leading up to it. I think the payoff to finally seeing Luke again after so long buys you the stageyness of them staring silently at each other for quite a while as Rey holds the lightsaber out. I just wish we'd irised out on a close up of Luke instead.

And the final sequences in Star Wars movies are always stagey as hell anyway. Just look at the final shot in ROTJ.

But yeah, bad helicopter shot.

So what do we have to do to get Trey in here to tell us what he thought of the movie?

I know he said on Twitter he liked it, but I need more from our resident old guy tongue

There is one shot of Chewie obviously mourning Han in between Leia and Rey comforting each other and Artoo waking up. It's fairly brief, and I too would have liked some interaction between Leia and Chewie, but it's not like there's nothing there.

I'd say you should try listening to the soundtrack to this one then. There is some really good stuff there along with the classic themes.

Rey's theme is great and very recognizable once you know what to listen for. Kylo Ren and Finn also got their own solid themes, but not nearly as developed as Rey's.

I do think that JJ's approach doesn't lend itself as well to showcasing the music as George's did. Because the movie doesn't stop to breath as much, the music doesn't feel as integral to the storytelling as it did in the other movies.

I'd definitely say that John Williams delivered. But then again, I'm not one of those crazy people who thinks he's been on autopilot for twenty years. So I would say that  tongue

Actually, I was so terrified that he'd be an actual giant, because that would eventually lead us to the dumbest looking fight scene in Star Wars ever. If you hated Yoda bouncing around Count Dooku, I can't even imagine what a fight between humans and that thing would be like. Also, Star Wars aliens are roughly human sized and I don't think I'm ready for a giant.  I guess it's still technically possible he's really big, but the reveal that he's a hologram felt like it punctured that notion.

However, I would love it so much if it's a Wizard of Oz situation. Preferably, it's some illusion controlled by someone who's not even force sensitive. That would be new and interesting and also work nicely with Ben being a pathetic misguided idiot, instead of Snoke just being this Palpatine-wannabe.

My immediate take on the movie as a prequel apologist was that it's clearly more fun than the prequels, but also less ambitious. What that's going to mean for my enjoyment of it in the long run remains to be seen, but I'm feeling really positive towards it so far.

Random thoughts incoming:

Acting is great. Old and new characters are great. Actually, the characters were so enjoyable that I just wish JJ would allow himself to slow down a little so they could actually talk to each other for a few minutes once in a while without another action sequence interrupting them. Felt like Harrison was really engaged in the movie. I've been saying since it was announced that he'd be in it that he'd finally get his wish and die, so that wasn't much of a surprise. Sad that we'll never see Han and Luke together ever again, but it makes sense. I like that his death reinforces the rhyme of a mentor figure dying in the first installment of the trilogy.

Rey is AMAZING and ABSOLUTELY MY FAVORITE!! While I was watching it, I really wanted her to be another child of Han and Leia. I still think there's a way to make that work, but it's probably more likely that she's Luke's daughter. I don't think it would work for her to be the daughter of random people we don't know yet after they clearly established that there's something mysterious about her origin and her family. That just feels like it would be shoddy storytelling. I did hear that Ewan McGregor voices Obi-Wan at the end of her vision-thingy, so I suppose it's possible there's some connection to him, but I'd definitely prefer her to be part of the Skywalker family in some way.

Snoke is stupid. He looks dumb and has a dumb name. And I don't like that holograms apparently no longer looks like holograms. Snoke is stupid.

Before watching it, I thought I would be really bothered by how all the planets looked like remakes of old ones, but it ended up working better than I thought it would. As long as I think of Jakku as a junkyard/scavenger planet and not as a desert planet, I actually think it's pretty cool. The only one of the main planets which I think should have been different was D'Qar (the one with the Resistance base). It is so blatantly a Yavin IV stand in that it's just distracting.

I was initially fairly disappointed by the score because I wasn't able to pick out any significant new themes while watching the movie. But having listened to the soundtrack on its own afterwards, I actually think it's great and another solid entry in Star Wars musical library.

Third death star is really boring and the less said about it the better.

Also, Snoke is stupid.

11

(152 replies, posted in Episodes)

Geekza was great.

Fun fact: at the end of episode 51 (yeah, I went back and checked which episode it was), Chloe reports that someone in the chat room wants the guys to do more commentaries. That was me!

Then they go on to say that they want to do Muppet Treasure Island sometime. And now I'm sad that it (and the even better Muppet Christmas Carol) never happened.

12

(152 replies, posted in Episodes)

Trey wrote:

Well, that and that I never got to do the episode where I explain why Spaceballs is a terrible movie.

Is it because Mel Brooks decided to spoof something popular that he didn't understand and not something he actually had an intense love for? 'Cause that's totally  my reason for why it sucks.

13

(152 replies, posted in Episodes)

Well, damn. Now I feel bad for not hanging around more for the last couple of years.

I don't even really know how to react to this. If it's truly the end, it'll be the end of an era. This has honestly been one of my favorite podcasts since before it was even DIF and it was just those awesome occasional episodes of Geekza where I got to watch some of my favorite movies along with some cool and funny people on the other side of the world. You've helped me through some difficult times and kept me company on many, many hours of public transportation. I didn't always agree with you guys, but it's always been great.



That being said, I refuse to consider the podcast done until I get an episode for Back to the Future 2.

I'm obviously kidding. Sort of...

I'm a massive Bioshock fan and this definitely looks interesting. I've heard Ken Levine (the main creative guy behind Bioshock) mention Joe Fielder enough in interviews to know he's worth keeping an eye on, so I'll probably end up backing. I'll give it a couple of days before I decide on what backer level I want though.

15

(248 replies, posted in Off Topic)

While I don't know Mike, I've known of him and enjoyed stuff he's worked on through here and TFn for years and years now. Seeing Eddie's tweet a few hours ago was a horrible shock and I'm hoping for the best.

Get well soon, Dorkman.

16

(17 replies, posted in Creations)

Seeing pictures like that one makes me feel really bad about the fact that I've almost completely stopped noticing northern lights at all. They're just another awesome thing that's always there. I guess that comes with having lived in Northern Norway (almost) my entire life, or I'm just generally bad at being awed by nature...

17

(30 replies, posted in Episodes)

Listening to this episode, I was amused by how Zack and Miri Make a Porno seems to have completely disappeared from everyone's memory. Being my least favorite written and directed by Smith film, I kept waiting for it to pop up in the discussion about how his career didn't go where one might have hoped it would. In some ways, that's the movie that probably somewhat ruined Smith for me. He was so obviously trying to make an Apatow-like movie and him and Mosier sounded so confident on the Smodcast leading up to its release that it would be a huge success. The failure of it led directly to Smith being stoned ALL THE TIME and eventually deciding to do Cop Out. And we all know how that went...

I still haven't watched Red State though, so I can't speak for that one.

Isn't that sometimes how it goes though? One day, it's like a flip is suddenly switched in your brain and you start seeing someone differently than you did the day before. That's certainly happened that way with for me. I thought the way it was triggered by Harry seeing Ginny with someone else (Dean) was particularly human and truthful to real life. I think that before HBP, Harry was too hung up on Cho to have seen her that way.


Re: Ron/Hermione: I love Rowling, but she will have to pry that relationship from my cold dead hands. tongue

19

(245 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Dorkman wrote:

Speaking of Scalzi, I picked up Redshirts. The writing style/humor thinks it's much funnier than it is

This is exactly how I felt about Old Man's War.

Also, the premise is way better than the actual execution of it.

20

(34 replies, posted in Off Topic)

First, for context I should mention that I'm born in 1985. And the first three movies that come to mind are:

Star Wars (1977) - My first exposure to anything Star Wars was the game Super Star Wars for the SNES. It was loving that game that made me really excited about watching the movie when it aired on television at some point in 1993. I taped it on VHS and watched that movie an obscene amount of times in the following years.

Back to the Future Part 2 (1989) - Saw it for the first time in 1994 and it was actually the first BTTF movie I saw. I have an extremely vivid memory of building a lego spaceship as I watched this for the first time on a really crappy VCR. I also remmeber not understadning any of it, but knowing that I loved it. It's still to this day my favorite BTTF movie.

The third spot is the hard one to pin down. There are probably even some Norwegian movies that (almost) nobody here will have heard of that could be in the running, but I think I'll have to go with...

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Have little memory of when and how I first watched it, but I owned it and Temple of Doom on VHS. Judging by when I watched Last Crusade, I only know that I at least had seen Raiders before 1995.


Not being able to mention any runner-ups is killing me, so Pavlich, know that I hate you.

21

(112 replies, posted in Episodes)

Trey wrote:

That's actually a relief of sorts - I'm much happier knowing Under the Dome was perpetrated by people who had no connection to the West Wing.  smile

Well, the second episode was written by Rick Cleveland, co-writer of the awesome West Wing episode In Excelsis Deo.

To me, Rick Cleveland is most famous as the guy who got into a smallish feud with Sorkin after the aforementioned episode won an Emmy and Sorkin took up all the time for the acceptance speech.

He might also be the basis for Studio 60 character Ricky Tahoe. That was the speculation at the time, at least.

22

(112 replies, posted in Episodes)

I'm really surprised to hear that Under the Dome is so disappointing.

I'm not watching it myself yet, because I want to read the book first and I have over 30 other King books to get through before I get to that one.

But anyway, I'm surprised that it's so lackluster considering Brian K Vaughan did some really good Lost episodes and is the sole writer of what might just be my favorite comic book of all time (That would be Y: The Last Man for those wondering).



On the topic of Under the Dome. I hate to be the guy who points out these things, but Trey got a lot of the writer/director credits for who had done what before mixed up on the podcast. I'd point out specifics, but it doesn't really matter and nobody should care.

It really does look like you're having a blast.

That was another great one and it gave me a nice excuse to take a little break from my writing.

24

(112 replies, posted in Episodes)

Finally actually listening to this and I'm with Trey on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. I read the first four or five chapters last year and couldn't get into it at all.

In fact, I pretty much found it infuriating.

25

(112 replies, posted in Episodes)

I liked The Newsroom, but I also liked Studio 60 so I apparently can't be trusted to like anything ever again.

*currently rewatching last season's finale in preparation for the new season*


(It's not at all on the level of The West Wing or The Social Network, but then again, almost nothing is.)