Tuesday, December 24, 2019

the Rising

You know we were going to go, but we did see Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker.

While we could have gone opening day or the following, we waited one more 24 cycle, just to let the crowds thin a bit.

The movie? It was fine.

I'm not sure I can go any further than that. The 86% from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes seems a bit high. The 57% from critics might be a bit low, but closer to the mark I'm feeling.

I'm not sure Rise effectively wrapped up 42 and one-half years of wait, but it was a solid attempt.

To be fair - I'm not sure how this could have ended in a way that would have been satisfying to myself - let along the other 3.2 billion people who will see it. But I don't really care about most of those.

I will tell you this - my resting heart rate remained the same for the full 2 hours and 21 minutes.

There will be no real spoilers here (at least that's my plan), but in reality, the movie holds none. You've seen it before. Some in other Star Wars movies, some in others films (i.e. Harry Potter)

It is still a battle for good and evil. It's still a needed of a piece of information that is in a d\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ (sorry, Sophie typed that, and I opted to leave it in, lest she be upset with me editing her work) a distant place, which is always a trap. Apologies to Admiral Ackbar.

I don't think it's just me, but of course there are a few analogies to our current time, or from many places in Europe, say between 1932-1945. Night raids from First Order troops into houses, stealing children, etc. There are words of wisdom about these times too - {paraphrase} "there are more of us, then them. When someone stands up to fight, others will join."

I SO want that last part to be true.

Daisy Ridley does a nice job, she's arguably the most natural of the bunch - and that includes the entire series.  Oscar Isaac.....well...he's never going to do wrong, but they don't utilize him enough or effectively.  John Boyega - I dunno. He started out strong in this trilogy and kind of petered out with the last two films. The filmmakers gave him an interest in Rey for the first film, Rose (who I was 100% sure died last movie) for the second and Jannah for this one. He follows through on none of them.

Adam Driver was less annoying and less yell-y / acting than he usually is. He isn't bad here - in certain ways.

I'm not sure why no one hasn't put Richard E Grant into one of these films before. I usually see him as playing someone stuffy - like his character in L.A. Story or Downton. So if he's playing against type here (and I think he is), he should do it more often. He was great at being on the side of the Empire.

As for the old order - Director, JJ Abrams does a good job with Leia, using archived, previously unused footage of Carrie Fisher. I suspect he crafted some of the storyline around what he had. The rest is done with body doubles from the back and I suspect someone imitating her voice.  Only one creepy-ish CGI Leia scene is in this one and it's slightly better than the scene in Rogue One.

(BTW, Billie Lourd, Fisher's real-life daughter, inherited her mother's acting ability - and you can take that any way you'd like.)

An uncredited Harrison Ford was less expected - considering he died two films ago. I'm thinking his piece would have originally been written for a mother-son scene, but.......you know, Fisher was dead. He was unremarkable, but had a nod a la  the Empire Strikes Back, when his Ben, his son, can't say the words "I love you" aloud, Han's response is familiar.

Mark Hamill was better than Harrison, but he's Luke Frickin' Skywalker. His part, I thought, was well done.

Billy Dee?  Well, yes, he shows up. I'm not 100% sure how or why, but you know, he does....because, it's  the end of the nine films and someone's SAG card was about to expire.

Abrams also pulled in folks from his past - Keri Russell (from his Felicity series), whom you won't recognize until you Gooooooogle the character, and Dominic Monaghan (from LOST). The former at least had a semi-backstory for Poe (Isaac). Monaghan is just there to utter two inconsequential lines.

As mentioned some of the storyline had been done before - in this entire franchise and in other places - and so the plot itself had some horribly predictable moments. Not to say they weren't well done, but not original.

All that said, the movie was well filmed. Some of the CGI was really well done.

Like I said before, I'm not 100% sure how I thought this should end, but once there was an early reveal, I knew how it would end......for the most part. Abrams didn't surprise me.

 The Rise of Skywalker is a solid B, maybe ekeing to a B+, but that would be generous and at the very top of the scale.

2019 Movie Count / Goal: 22 of 15

Song by: Bruce Springsteen


Raybeard said...

Still not keen to see this. I've already got four films as certainties for Jan, which is going some for a new slimmed-down regime of visits, so seeing this would be more than just keeping the numbers up. Dunno though. While what you say doesn't put me off than already was, could tilt the balance to a "Might as well".

Jacob Marley said...

Bob Cratchit: "You did say i could have Christmas Day off Mr. Scrooge ! ?".

Ebenezer Scrooge: "Oh, very well, but be in all the earlier the next morning ! ! !".

Bob Cratchit: "But Mr. Scrooge, the next day is Boxing Day and i want that
as well, you rotten old bastard ! ! !".