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Sunday 27 December 2015

Burl reviews Star Wars: The Force Awakens! (2015)

Tieww tieww, it’s Burl, here to review that new Star Wars picture everybody’s been talking about, The Force Awakens! I’ve been watching the original three a lot lately, as my young son has just discovered these motion pictures, and it was my pleasure last night to take him to the new one in the very same theatre in which I saw the original back in 1977! Ha ha, how the world turns!
Of course the theatre has been altered significantly since that time almost forty years ago – it used to be one single screen, curved screen, which was covered with a heavy gold curtain until showtime! Now it’s eight screens, and most of the charm has been stripped away along with those golden drapes, but it’s still a pretty good place to see a movie! And last night, when I looked over at my son’s rapt face, lit by the laser blasts and bright explosions coming off the screen, munching on his popcorn, I do admit to a powerful sense of nostalgia and an increased awareness of the circular motion of history!
Now, I’m not going to talk much about the plot of The Force Awakens, because it’s pretty much the same as Star Wars! Ha ha, Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford of Blade Runner fame, even brings this up many times, most notably by pointing out that the solution to the film’s major problem is the same as it’s ever been: you just fly on in and blow it up! And Chewie yawn-howls in agreement! Ha ha!
Yes, Chewie’s as great as ever, but that’s no surprise! The new characters are fine too, though not terribly exciting; C3-PO has a red arm for some reason, but is otherwise the supercilious droid we’ve always known; Artoo just stands around, mostly; and Luke – well, I don’t want to give anything away, but Luke may or may not have a beard! And speaking of things that shouldn’t be given away, as in previous pictures, everyone here is someone’s father or son or daughter or sibling, ha ha, but at least this galactic inbreeding was programmed into the series from the beginning, as opposed to being awkwardly spliced in later, as in Spectre!
The picture was shot on film, and hooray for that! The people are, in the main, real people acting on real sets instead of mannequins gesticulating before a green screen; the camera is on a dolly or on sticks, like a real movie; and there’s a general and very welcome sense of tactility, of the sort largely missing from the blockbusters of to-day! All of this comes thanks to the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, who made Super 8 and Beyond Star Trek, and seems generally to be a creation of the collective will of those cinemagoers who were born in the late 1960s or early 70s!
He does it up more or less right here, but we all know it can’t last! It’ll be back to the green screens and the motion capture and the busy, nonsensical trick effects, and fellows like myself will be more or less uninterested! My son’s interest may continue as the no-doubt double-digit sequels and spin-offs arrive, but who knows! For the moment, I give Star Wars: The Force Awakens two and a half giant pigs!

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