Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had fun, and quickly forgot it. It mostly felt good to be watching a Star Wars movie again. If you’re pretty sure you don’t care about Star Wars in general, this movie will not convince you otherwise. If you do, you will probably leave feeling satisfied, depending on how you like your ratio of pandering nostalgia vs. breaking new ground. The hat-tips and references to previous movies wore thin pretty quickly and for me slowed down what otherwise has some nice momentum. Definitely some groaners, though (for example, the snowy mountain Nazi castle…). I really like Ridley and Chiyoga as the new faces. Isaac is always reliable. I feel like in a few months or maybe not until VIII we’ll look back and admit “Hey, VII is pretty thin but it’s not a total trainwreck and that’s okay”. Ranking the best episode 7’s in 2015:

  1. Creed, by a landslide.
  2. Furious 7
  3. The Force Awakens

Blade Runner (Final Cut)

Blade Runner (Final Cut). I like how the more I watch this the less I root for Deckard and the more I pull for Roy, Pris, Leon, and Zhora. Deckards’s kind of a jerk, right? Fits with the film noiriness to have a hero with a dark side. Those elements stood out a lot more this time, too, so much smoke and fog, backlighting, rainfall leaving everyone bundled and drenched. I forget how jarring some of the cuts and transitions are, but I’ll forgive a lot. Such a whole, rich world. You feel like you could go there. Filed under: Blade Runner.

The Conversation

The Conversation. Great, great flick. The scale is so small and focused, and the protagonist is a perfect tragic character, in turns expert and inept. Themes: Surveillance and paranoia. Temptation vs. dull professionalism. Signal, noise, interpretation, expertise. I love how the movie’s opening and closing mirror each other, or maybe I should say echo each other. Gene Hackman is fantastic. Harrison Ford has one of the best scowls in the game. Fun fact: Coppola released both this and The Godfather Part II in 1974. That’s a good year, huh?