Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread — SPOILERS

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters
View Poll Results: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread
23.27%
26.12%
29.39%
10.20%
4.90%
2.45%
1.22%
0.41%
0
0%
0.41%
1.22%
What are you high?
0.41%
Voters: 245. You may not vote on this poll

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread — SPOILERS

Old 12-12-15, 04:09 PM
  #1  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 36,964
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread — SPOILERS

Please continue pre-release discussion here.

Movie:
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill?, Oscar Isaac)

Release Date:
12/18/15

Rating:
PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence throughout.)

Running Time:
136m. (2h. 16m.)

Budget:
$200 million (estimated)

IMDb Synopsis:
Spoiler:
A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).


IMDb Info and Rating:
0.0 (0 votes as of 12/12/15

Rotten Tomatoes:
Fresh:00 Rotten:00 (00% as of 12/12/15)

Metacritic:
00 metascore ('Generally favorable reviews' as of 12/12/15)

Trailer:


Poster Art:
OldBoy is offline  
Old 12-12-15, 04:11 PM
  #2  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 36,964
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

figured i'd get this out now so i don't get too busy during week...

looking to get 9am tix for Real 3D on Sat. Dec. 19!!
OldBoy is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 10:26 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shazam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Canuckistan
Posts: 10,027
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Any reviews out there? Apparently the embargo is lifted today?
Shazam is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 10:33 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
JumpCutz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: south of heaven
Posts: 13,540
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Embargo is lifted on the 16th.
JumpCutz is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 10:39 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shazam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Canuckistan
Posts: 10,027
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Ah, thanks.
Shazam is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 11:09 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 42,818
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Hollywood Elsewhere on the Star Wars screening event tonight:

Biggest, Most Secretive, Most Goon-Heavy Hollywood Premiere in Cinema History?

Monday evening’s 6:30 pm premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has already involved shutting down Hollywood Blvd, from La Brea to Highland Avenue and the construction of a huge, block-long tent for a post-premiere reception, will allegedly take place at the Chinese, the Dolby (home of the Oscar telecast) and the El Capitan simultaneously. The detailed invite with a parking pass arrived in my inbox late yesterday, but it didn’t say which theatre I’ll be seeing the film in. For whatever reason Disney publicists have decided there’s a strategic advantage to keeping that information under wraps until guests begin arriving at 5 pm. I’ve decided to park three or four blocks away (the Highland garage will be a complete zoo) and hump it over. I’m also going to get there at 4:30 pm.

Decker is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 11:27 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shannon Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 16,291
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
Any reviews out there? Apparently the embargo is lifted today?
Most of the U.S. reviewer screenings happen on Tuesday. So if you're looking to avoid spoilers, tomorrow is probably the right day to start avoiding social media.
Shannon Nutt is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 12:22 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shazam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Canuckistan
Posts: 10,027
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Hopefully I can find some spoiler free reviews. Just looking for general impression of the movie.
Shazam is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 12:30 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 42,818
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

I'm trying to think back : Were the initial reviews for Phantom Menace terrible or just unenthusiastic? I can't remember how long it took for the realization to set in that the movie was terrible -- either days before seeing it or hours afterwards...

Last edited by Decker; 12-14-15 at 12:38 PM.
Decker is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 12:57 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,464
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I'm trying to think back : Were the initial reviews for Phantom Menace terrible or just unenthusiastic? I can't remember how long it took for the realization to set in that the movie was terrible -- either days before seeing it or hours afterwards...
I remember our local reviewer gave it two stars, I recall most national 'top reviewers' were pretty negative. The Rotten Tomatoes score is just 56%.

And that's probably going to be the extent of my review reading - just the RT quotes. Not even taking my chances here
Artman is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 12:59 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,725
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I'm trying to think back : Were the initial reviews for Phantom Menace terrible or just unenthusiastic? I can't remember how long it took for the realization to set in that the movie was terrible -- either days before seeing it or hours afterwards...
Negative, Ebert's 3.5 out of 4 star review does a good job of covering the atmosphere in the first paragraph:

If it were the first "Star Wars" movie, "The Phantom Menace" would be hailed as a visionary breakthrough. But this is the fourth movie of the famous series, and we think we know the territory; many of the early reviews have been blase, paying lip service to the visuals and wondering why the characters aren't better developed. How quickly do we grow accustomed to wonders. I am reminded of the Isaac Asimov story "Nightfall," about the planet where the stars were visible only once in a thousand years. So awesome was the sight that it drove men mad. We who can see the stars every night glance up casually at the cosmos and then quickly down again, searching for a Dairy Queen.
"Even without aliens, though, the humanity in Phantom Menace would still be hard to find." -Newsday

"This isn't so much a movie as a two-hour special-effects demonstration reel." - Kansas City Star

"It is neither captivating nor transporting, for it lacks any emotional pull, as well as the sense of wonder and awe that marks the best works of sci-fi/fantasy." - Variety

"Perhaps Lucas has become too lost in his mastery of computer-generated effects and digital sound to remember that creativity in the movies is not just a technical thing." - Denver Post

"Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace seems designed more as a promotion for Lucasfilm's billion-dollar merchandising concerns than a meaningful chapter in the Star Wars canon." - Hollywood Reporter

Last edited by RichC2; 12-14-15 at 01:21 PM.
RichC2 is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 01:01 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 16,895
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I'm trying to think back : Were the initial reviews for Phantom Menace terrible or just unenthusiastic? I can't remember how long it took for the realization to set in that the movie was terrible -- either days before seeing it or hours afterwards...
Most major critics gave it a bad review, but roger Ebert did give it 4 stars.

Edit: oops. Guess it was 3 1/2

Last edited by Mabuse; 12-14-15 at 01:23 PM.
Mabuse is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 03:22 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 16,895
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

First review has been filed. I don't know how they got the scoop. It's nearly spoiler free.
Spoiler:
'The Force Awakens'
By Julie Martin
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 14, 2015

To call "The Force Awakens" a good junk movie is no insult: There is enough bad junk around. And surely we're getting over the snobbery of pretending that it is undemocratic to recognize any hierarchy of culture, as if both low and high can't be appreciated, often by the same people.

But when light entertainment is done well, someone is bound to make extravagant and unsupportable claims for its being great art. You will hear that this sequel to "Star Wars" is part of a vast new mythology, as if it were the Oresteia. Its originator, George Lucas, revealed over the years that the pictures are actually parts of a nine-part sage, as if audiences will some day receive the total the way devotees now go to Seattle for a week of immersion in Wagner's complete Ring Cycle.

Nonsense. This is no monumental artistic work, but a science-fiction movie done more snappily than most, including its own predecessors. A chocolate bar is a marvelous sweet that does not need to pretend to be a chocolate soufflé; musical comedies are wonderful entertainment without trying to compete with opera; blue jeans are a perfect garment that shouldn't be compared with haute couture. There are times when you would much rather have a really good hot dog than any steak, but you can still recognize that one is junk food and the other isn't.

"The Force Awakens" has no plot structure, no character studies let alone character development, no emotional or philosophical point to make. It has no original vision of the future, which is depicted as a pastiche of other junk-culture formulae, such as the western, the costume epic and the World War II movie. Its specialty is "special effects" or visual tricks, some of which are playful, imaginative and impressive, but others of which have become space-movie clichés.

But the total effect is fast and attractive and occasionally amusing. Like a good hot dog, that's something of an achievement in a field where unpalatable junk is the rule.

In this film, as in "Star Wars," a trio of nice, average-looking young people is pursued by a sinister figure in black mask and cloak. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia all return. It is hard to avoid the suspicion that Skywalker has become dull-witted -- for various reasons, he is hanging upside down during most of this film and is always having to be rescued by the others -- but brave heroes traditionally are.

There are new robots, as well as the returning robots, C-3PO and R2-D2, whose humanistic fussiness charmed audiences in the earlier films. A new character, representing a great guru but looking like an elderly, Eastern rodent, is a success; an invented beast of burden that looks like the rear half of a cheap camel costume is not. A monkish character played by Max Von Sydow has sparkling lights on his shoulders and a transparent body to indicate that he was killed off in "The Clone Wars."

The Future is no longer quite pictured as belonging to white males plus one pedestal princess in a white gown. A new heroine has donned more sensible clothes for wartime, and there is exactly one other woman in the universe besides Princess Leia, who can be glimpsed working at the home base. There is one black, John Boyega as a man who seems to have been born to be a Stormtrooper and keeps complaining that he has "no choice" about betraying everyone.

At the beginning and end of the new film, the bad forces and the good Rebellion are still at odds. The fact is that there is no beginning or end, just several middle-of-the-story chases -- one on ice, several using spacecraft in airplane dog-fight style, and some classic duels, except that the swords are laser beams and use of the mystical "Force" means that one can will one's weapon back in hand after it is knocked away.

But then, you don't go to junk movies for your philosophy or religion, do you?

© Copyright 2015 The Washington Post Company
Mabuse is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 03:49 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
JeremyM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 1,215
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

I would personally say avoid that one if you want to be spoiler free--there's a couple things in it that are pretty spoiler-ish, with talk about people who need rescuing and some major insight on Max von Sydow's role.

What an interesting, bizarre review, though. I like how befuddled by the whole thing they are, yet they enjoyed it.
JeremyM is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 04:48 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
JumpCutz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: south of heaven
Posts: 13,540
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Indeed, what an odd review.
JumpCutz is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 05:20 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Posts: 12,091
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I'm trying to think back : Were the initial reviews for Phantom Menace terrible or just unenthusiastic? I can't remember how long it took for the realization to set in that the movie was terrible -- either days before seeing it or hours afterwards...
I remember when TPM had a special viewing before it went wide and Ron Howard was asked what he thought of it. He responded with something like "it was good" - and you could tell he had a tough time getting the words out. I knew right then that it would be horrible. If Lucas' long time friend could only muster a half-hearted "it was good" - then it had no chance.
Coral is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 06:31 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Defiant1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,426
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

I only read half the review before I saw Jeremy's comment about some spoilers in there, so I stopped. So TFA is the "comfortable pair of jeans" of movies (as opposed to haute couture), according to that reviewer? Not sure what to make of that.
Defiant1 is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 06:34 PM
  #18  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 36,964
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

I really hope this delivers on all cylinders. I'm not in the mood to be disappointed again...
OldBoy is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 06:50 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 30,492
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Defiant1 View Post
I only read half the review before I saw Jeremy's comment about some spoilers in there, so I stopped. So TFA is the "comfortable pair of jeans" of movies (as opposed to haute couture), according to that reviewer? Not sure what to make of that.
Damning with faint praise?

After the prequels, I wonder if the critics won't be hedging their bets in their reviews, not knowing how the public will react. Nobody wants to trash a movie like this that people will adore, and nobody wants to heap praise on a movie that will be rejected by the public.
Josh-da-man is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 07:23 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 42,818
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Coral View Post
I remember when TPM had a special viewing before it went wide and Ron Howard was asked what he thought of it. He responded with something like "it was good" - and you could tell he had a tough time getting the words out. I knew right then that it would be horrible. If Lucas' long time friend could only muster a half-hearted "it was good" - then it had no chance.
Someone should throw a camera in front of George Lucas and ask him what he thought of "In The Heart of the Sea". Turnabout is fair play.

But knowing crazy George, he probably loved it.
Decker is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 07:33 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Paul_SD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hiking the Sisyphian trail
Posts: 6,259
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Damning with faint praise?

After the prequels, I wonder if the critics won't be hedging their bets in their reviews, not knowing how the public will react. Nobody wants to trash a movie like this that people will adore, and nobody wants to heap praise on a movie that will be rejected by the public.
I only read the first couple paragraphs with general, non movie specific thoughts.
The gist I took away was that it's likely a simply an entertaining (visceral) B movie that competently gets from point A to points B and C and doesn't try to make profound philosophical or political points.
In other words, it doesn't aim extremely high, but it hits its much lower target.

That's really all it needs to be to satisfy a fan base that still holds something like ROTJ dear. This fan base will be enormously happy if they get the SW equivalent of Halloween II (more of the same type of scenes they liked in the earlier film(s), but in a different setting)
Paul_SD is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 07:49 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,596
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Paul_SD View Post
The gist I took away was that it's likely a simply an entertaining (visceral) B movie that competently gets from point A to points B and C and doesn't try to make profound philosophical or political points.
That sounds like the exact description of Episode IV. After all the endless council meeting scenes and boring politics of I-III I wholeheartedly welcome a Star Wars movie that doesn't try to make any profound points. That's not why we go see these movies.
Eddie W is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 08:49 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 16,895
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
After all the endless council meeting scenes and boring politics of I-III I wholeheartedly welcome a Star Wars movie that doesn't try to make any profound points.
There was nothing profound about those scenes.
Mabuse is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 09:31 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Paul_SD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hiking the Sisyphian trail
Posts: 6,259
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
That sounds like the exact description of Episode IV.
I'm reading it as closer to Buck Rogers (1979) than SW '77.
BR was non demanding popcorn entertainment that competently told it's (simple) story. It wasn't a game changer the way SW was two years earlier, and I doubt TFA will be a game changer in 2015 when the avenues of proficient, quality fantasy material have opened in every direction.

I expect we will get the typical ersatz Campbell hero journey posing, a lot of flashy set pieces with lightsabers and vehicles, some cute robot hi-jinks, etc
All the stuff we've seen plenty of times before with newer faces in front of a slightly fresher backdrop. I'm sure it will be fun.

This is pretty much the same line of thought I had prior to Guardians Of The Galaxy. And after exiting my first viewing of that I thought I had pegged it right. I was entertained, but it certainly wasn't anything all that new or amazingly unique.
However since then, I've had occasion to muse on it (particularly on a 17 hour road trip) and I'm actually a bit blown away at just how well it did the simple things it did. In fact, I won't be surprised if TFA comes up short in comparison for me when all is said and done. GotG created a full cast of characters (good and bad) I LOVED being around for 2 hours, was interested in and cared about, and left me wishing I could have spent more time with. All the eye candy spectacle was just gravy after that.

TFA looks like it has the eye candy, but we'll see how much people care about Rey, Finn, Poe, and Ren over the long haul.
Paul_SD is offline  
Old 12-14-15, 11:25 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,921
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) — The Reviews Thread

Interesting the one line the reviewer says about Luke, that's a major spoiler.
Throwing Copper is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.