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I think the reaction to The Force Awakens started off overwhelmingly positive, but there have been a whole lot of flaws that people acknowledged once it was out on DVD. I think it's safe to put it in the "I liked it well enough" category for most people. But the number of people who loved it is declining and the number of people picking up on its big flaws is growing.

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Oh thank god. If he wasn't in it, I was going to bail.

I can't wait until we get all of the dish on why she's up there.

That reply was coarse, rough, and got everywhere.

Sure, I mean I really don't have any friends I'd call big Star Wars fans. At least not as big as me or big enough a fan to post on this board. But still, when we do talk about TFA everyone still really likes it. Everyone is psyched for Episode VIII.

 

Basically the people I know who I'd talk about Star Wars with are big enough fans to want to see the movie opening night but not big enough to every spend time chatting about it online. I guess a level below what you'd really consider "Star Wars fandom". Like I said though, all my friends who fit into that category are still extremely happy with TFA.

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Why are you insisting that it's a message board thing? Complaints about The Force Awakens being a repeat of A New Hope are hardly obscure message board chatter to bring up the most cited complaint.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM2zcv5AfaM

 

Even several positive takes on the movie have at least acknowledged that flaw. And I hardly talk about Star Wars frequently with people, but I spend enough time talking to strangers that it does come up every once in a while and it's really not universally beloved. As I said, it's liked, but hardly beloved.

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It wasn't a flaw because it was 100% intentional. That doesn't mean anyone has to accept or like it, but the idea that the filmmakers failed is silly. They had a plan, they stuck to it, it's one of the largest grossing movies ever. If you don't like that echoing ANH that's well and fine-- but let's stop calling it a cop out that some think we weren't supposed to notice.

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Why are you insisting that it's a message board thing? Complaints about The Force Awakens being a repeat of A New Hope are hardly obscure message board chatter to bring up the most cited complaint.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM2zcv5AfaM

 

Even several positive takes on the movie have at least acknowledged that flaw. And I hardly talk about Star Wars frequently with people, but I spend enough time talking to strangers that it does come up every once in a while and it's really not universally beloved. As I said, it's liked, but hardly beloved.

 

South Park makes fun of everything, they also bashed Inception and The Dark Knight.

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Also, on South Park, the whole thing is that everyone DOES love the movie. The role Randy is playing is the role of the internet guy saying "no, it's not that good. Its just like Star Wars!! See!!!"

 

But the premise is that everyone does, in fact, love the movie. In fact to take it further they are saying that the very reason everyone loves the movie is the fact that it's alot like Star Wars, which you are saying is a flaw.

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I've seen a noticeable backlash against it, but honestly I think it's that typical backlash that you get when something has generally been really received. The anti-bandwagon that ends up becoming the bandwagon. But then as Choc pointed out, a lot that backlash stems from the Internet in the first place, I think your "casual" fan still feels the same now as they did when it first came out.

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If there's one thing I have come to learn, it's that no matter how big the internet is, it actually isn't that representative of the masses if you compare people complaining on message boards to ticket sales.

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I was a big prequel defender back in the day, and I've pretty much given that up since TFA came out. Because TFA is soooooo much better. Does it have flaws? Sure. Do I care? Nope.

 

Related: The "TFA is actually bad!" think pieces are my least favorite think pieces. I'm already sick of the "Is Rogue One in trouble?" think pieces. I can't wait for all the think pieces after Rogue One is released talking about how it's a failure.

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I really haven't noticed any backlash against the movie. Maybe I just read different stuff than you guys. Like I read a decent amount about Rogue One and Episode VIII and usually in those articles there is some sort of mention about how well liked and successful the TFA was. Maybe I'm just missing stuff.

 

As Driver said, you can't compare internet reaction to IRL reaction. Although the majority of people use the net, most of them don't use it to discuss Star Wars or even movies in generally.

 

Lastly as Wader pointed out the casual fan does feel the same way they did when first seeing the movie. That's because the vast majority of people saw the movie once or twice in the theaters and then watched it once or twice since it came out of blu ray. Most people who have seen the movie would fall into this category: "How did you like the new Star Wars?" "Oh I really liked it, it was really good!" "You didn't think it was too much like the original Star Wars?" "Yeah, I guess it was alot like that but I still really liked it." I'd say that is the general consensus on the movie. Which, to me, is not mixed.

 

Just look at this board, they are never, ever going to make a movie that every single hard core fan loves. Look at the minutae that is discussed. The continuity of ghosts, how Maz found the saber. When people truly care about little crap like this, it is impossible to please them all. The idea that hardcore fandom is somewhat mixed is obvious because it is always going to be the case. You will never please them all.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Wow, 90% of TFA. I'm actually surprised by that.

I'm not surprised. Since TFA did well, I think people think R1 will be at least as good, and I think they are probably right.

 

 

 

For me, the big question I have is will the re-watchability of Rogue One going to be better than TFA. Not that I thought TFA was a bad movie, mind you, I liked it a lot. But when it comes to re-watching it, it suffers from JJ-itis. I just have a hard time re-watching anything by JJ, more than twice (At least all the way through, anyway). And what I mean by that is that there are just some movies, no matter how many times I have seen them, once I start and no matter at what point I start, I have to watch all the way through. ANH, TESB, Star Trek 2 TWOK, Pulp Ficton, Reservior Dogs, Apacalypse Now, to name a few. I can watch these movies over and over. With JJ movies, even if I really like them first time through like I did with ANH, I just find them hard to rewatch.

 

Driver, can you explain this, since you are a writer and in the industry? What is it about JJ films that are hard to re-watch? Not picking on JJ per se, because other movies like Transformers are the same way for me, but just what is it about his movie style, that causes this?

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Driver, can you explain this, since you are a writer and in the industry?

 

I'm not Driver, but I can explain it. Abrams has always been about shiny objects. In Lost it was dazzling with thoughtless complexity that mainly didn't go anywhere. In Star Trek it was bringing it "up to date" by making it like pretty much all the other franchise movies, but including nods to the old films that get more obnoxious the more you think about how blatant they are. And The Force Awakens is fixated on taking Star Wars back to the Original Trilogy and actually does a decent job in terms of style and tone, but on second look one realizes how little originality is in the there.

 

Basically, Abrams is good at hitting the lowest common denominator. He gives you what want, but has no clue how to give you what you didn't know you wanted.

 

I'll also say that a big part of the problem specifically for The Force Awakens is that the last third is the weakest part of the movie by far. Instead of building, the movie actually gets worse from the good start on Jakku, to the okay middle up through where Rey is captured, and just falls apart after that. This is particularly a problem in Star Wars where the climaxes have mostly been among the strongest parts of the movies, including A New Hope which is pretty close to textbook.

 

 

 

As Driver said, you can't compare internet reaction to IRL reaction.

 

Choc just made up the idea that it was all internet reaction. I was talking about real life as well. You're starting with a faulty premise there.

 

 

 

It wasn't a flaw because it was 100% intentional.

 

Being intentional doesn't make it not a flaw. Yeah, obviously it was the plan. At least I darn well hope it was, because I'd hate to consider that an accident!

 

But it also invites you to directly compare it with A New Hope and... well it's really not even close. If anything it makes the other flaws like the above complaint about the climax and the lack of imagination all the greater.

 

 

 

If there's one thing I have come to learn, it's that no matter how big the internet is, it actually isn't that representative of the masses if you compare people complaining on message boards to ticket sales.

 

Sure, but Transformers is still a joke of a franchise even among the masses.

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I'm not a Transformers fan by any means but I don't really see how you can call it a joke of a franchise among the masses. Maybe a joke to you, or me, or to alot of people you know but to the masses? Doesn't seem like it. The movies all made a lot of money. Someone is paying money to see these movies, so obviously someone likes them. Alot of people like them. The masses like them. The 4 movies have made like 4 billion bucks worldwide. Someone is going to see them and evidently they like the previous movies well enough to see the next one.

 

As for internet vs IRL reactions to TFA, I can only go by what I see and hear. Which isn't a huge sample size. Same as you. I don't think I know anyone IRL whose opinion of the movie changed much since last December. But like I said, I'm not gallup calling up thousands of people. Just going by my experiences. It's not really worth an argument. I just think it's pushing it to call the reaction "mixed". Maybe it's not as overwhelmingly positive as it is among my friends and family, but mixed? Just seems hard to imagine for me.

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Wow, 90% of TFA. I'm actually surprised by that.

I'm not surprised. Since TFA did well, I think people think R1 will be at least as good, and I think they are probably right.

 

 

 

For me, the big question I have is will the re-watchability of Rogue One going to be better than TFA. Not that I thought TFA was a bad movie, mind you, I liked it a lot. But when it comes to re-watching it, it suffers from JJ-itis. I just have a hard time re-watching anything by JJ, more than twice (At least all the way through, anyway). And what I mean by that is that there are just some movies, no matter how many times I have seen them, once I start and no matter at what point I start, I have to watch all the way through. ANH, TESB, Star Trek 2 TWOK, Pulp Ficton, Reservior Dogs, Apacalypse Now, to name a few. I can watch these movies over and over. With JJ movies, even if I really like them first time through like I did with ANH, I just find them hard to rewatch.

 

Driver, can you explain this, since you are a writer and in the industry? What is it about JJ films that are hard to re-watch? Not picking on JJ per se, because other movies like Transformers are the same way for me, but just what is it about his movie style, that causes this?

POE pretty much nailed. What Abrams excels at is tone. He might be better at establishing a feel and tone than most directors. But like Lucas with FX, Bay with visuals, or Spielberg with trying to engineer feels, he tends to fixate on this aspect to the disservice of the story. All his movies tend to have some pretty big plot holes that get covered with a flimsy bandaid. Most all his heroes get handed their denouement instead of working for it.

 

With one viewing, you get caught up. TFA felt like Star Wars in a way the PT did not for a lot of people. For me-- I was so amped to get that SW vibe I let go of things like seeing planets explode from a different system, or Han stumbling on to the Falcon our heroes happened to steal.

 

But those things bug me more with each viewing. So it's easy to see how spectacle and feels can distract you at first, but not hit you on repeat views.

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It's funny about rewatchability. I've only seen three Abrams movies: Star Trek, Into Darkness and The Force Awakens. I think two of the three are very rewatchable. The only one that isn't is Into Darkness, which wasn't good on a first viewing anyway. But what's even funnier is that not that long go a guy at 538 wrote an article on rewatchable movies. On his methodology Star Wars was #1. And actually received votes as a single movie and as a series, finishing 11th among males for the series.

 

But as for Abrams and specificially Star Trek, in this guys poll Star Trek finished 21st overall and 6th among men. So someone is finding an Abrams movie very rewatchable.

 

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/whats-the-most-rewatchable-movie-of-all-time/

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I vacillate wildly on my opinion of TFA.

 

I simultaneously didn't really like or think it was great, but I still really enjoyed it if that makes sense. I knew watching it, even caught up, that parts of this weren't going to hold up on rewatch or would annoy me, but it was still fun. (Somewhat similar to all the campy humor in Age of Ultron, it worked pretty well hearing it the first time- stupid and annoying on repeat viewings). This comes down to the fact that it's Star Wars and, frankly, that's enough for me. I said last year during the lead up that Bad/Mediocre Star Wars is still better than No Star Wars.

 

I've, somehow, still only seen the movie twice (and read the novelization once). I just don't have the desire to re-watch it. Maybe that's because of its similarities to ANH? I feel like I've seen it a ton of times? I really don't know.

 

The plot holes/conveniences really bugged me. I thought the dialogue was bad and campy a lot of times. I kind of didn't even like Finn or Poe, this despite the fact that I love the idea of both of those characters. I loved Kylo and Rey though.

 

None of that takes away from my excitement for Episode VIII or any of the standalones. I'm seeing Rogue One at 7:30 on the 15th and will catch EpVIII in the same timeslot.

 

So I dunno. :shrug:

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Guest El Chalupacabra

POE pretty much nailed. What Abrams excels at is tone. He might be better at establishing a feel and tone than most directors. But like Lucas with FX, Bay with visuals, or Spielberg with trying to engineer feels, he tends to fixate on this aspect to the disservice of the story. All his movies tend to have some pretty big plot holes that get covered with a flimsy bandaid. Most all his heroes get handed their denouement instead of working for it.

 

With one viewing, you get caught up. TFA felt like Star Wars in a way the PT did not for a lot of people. For me-- I was so amped to get that SW vibe I let go of things like seeing planets explode from a different system, or Han stumbling on to the Falcon our heroes happened to steal.

 

But those things bug me more with each viewing. So it's easy to see how spectacle and feels can distract you at first, but not hit you on repeat views.

 

I dunno. Maybe it is just me, but the funny thing is I like some of JJ's movies. I thought TFA was a great movie both times I saw it in the theater. I even bought the disc. But now, and it's not that I don't like the movie or anything. It's just sort of...there. I have yet to watch the thing all the way through. I like the characters. The FX are great. It just feels like now that I've seen it a couple times, I'm done. I don't have that desire to rewatch TFA, at least any time soon. The closest I did that was actually the other day, but played the movie from the point the Falcon escapes Han's larger ship to the end. I just can't sit still and watch the movie all the way through for some reason. I am like this with Star Trek 2009 & Star Trek Beyond, which are decent and I don't hate them like STID. I am like this with Super 8, CLoverfield, Fringe, etc. I just can't sit still through a JJ movie or show all the way through, after having already seen it once or twice.

The kicker is, I CAN sit still and rewatch AOTC and ROTS, even knowing that TFA is a better-made movie that does feel more like the OT. TFA just outclasses the PT in every measurable way, especially characters (except Obi Wan, and Palpatine). Yet, I can rewatch AOTC and ROTS. It really bugs me, because I can't figure out why.

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