Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Last Jedi

So, Joey and I’ve been watching holiday movies we haven’t seen. Sunday night, we saw Bad Santa and Bad Santa 2, which is funny and strangely cute with the play between Billy Bob Thornton’s Willie and Brett Kelly’s The Kid, the latter of which reprised his role as an adult.
But, I digress.
Monday, afternoon, we went to Cinergy for the first time, which is pretty crip friendly I might add, because we don't have to sit in the nosebleed section like, say, Regal.  Anyhoo, we to see The Last Jedi.
After a few days of digesting…first, damn…just damn. I haven’t been on the edge of my seat in a flick in a long time. I’ve read the word ‘unpredictable’ thrown around about this film…uh, yeah! The Last Jedi’s a mix of exciting (all the twists and fighting), heart wrenching (there’s a lot of death of good characters), and funny (there are a lot of in-jokes, kiddie and adult) all in one, pushing the PG-13 rating in several sequences.
There are new and old characters that are cute (Porgs, look for Carrie Fisher’s dog in the last act), ambiguous (Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo), or downright shady as hell (Benicio del Toro’s DJ). The veteran actors and actresses like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher and now Daisey Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Jimmy Vee returning from Force Awakens to take up for the late Kenny Baker as R2, and Adam Driver now that they have The Force Awakens under their belts, return to character like putting on a glove while the newcomers like Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, Joonas Suotamo, who took up for Peter Mayhew as Chewie, and Kelly Marie Tran, who are new to the Star Wars universe, brought their A-game, and found their place in ‘a galaxy far, far away’ that has kept audiences’ butts glued to seats for the last 40 years. I’ve already heard buzz of Mark Hamill being looked at for awards, and I’d throw Carrie’s name into that pot for posthumous accolades. While I’m talking about her…damn you, Carrie, for denying us seeing Leia’s arc finish.
Like the characters, the two new planets introduced are well fleshed out with their own eco-system and beauty while not shying away from showing the underbelly of said planets, which I’ve heard people gripe about, but I think it serves to enrich the Star Wars universe. Within these worlds and within the movie, as a whole, the effects are masterfully done with practical effects as opposed to the video game feel CG gives even with its technological advances...especially if you see it with 4K technology.  These planets give hope for the future in the end.
Of course, we can’t leave out John Williams’ score, which is synonymous with the Star Wars universe since ‘77, is ever present as it soars in and out of scenes effortlessly, tweaked to make the hearts of the old geeks and geekettes swell while modernizing and tailoring new themes within the established themes to new and old characters alike as they’re reintroduced or introduced for the first time.
When Force Awakens came out, people ragged on it for mirroring A New Hope. People wondered if Last Jedi was going to be the same like Empire Strikes Back. There might be shades of it, of course, but they’re far and few between. Last Jedi is its own adventure off the heels of Force Awakens…and leaves you wanting more.  And, with a take of over $530 mill just in its first week of release, the force seems strong with this one.
Episode IX can’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping Ron Howard’s Solo doesn’t suck.

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