The Movie: 8/10
It’s Star Wars people, give me a break! Do you REALLY need to read a review? I mean, you are going to watch it, right? Or you have watched it. Either way my opinion has no impact on your enthusiastic commitment to either “ALL STAR WARS IS AWESOME!” or “ALL STAR WARS THAT IS NOT A NEW HOPE SUCKS!”. What exactly are you doing here? Looking for someone else who liked it to validate your opinion? Or are you looking for someone who hated it so you can wallow in your vitriol and snark?
Maybe you are in the middle and really don’t care, but that is just silly because you wouldn’t bother reading this review if that were the case. OK, let’s get into it.
I loved it.
That is all.
Oh, isn’t that good enough? To point out the things I like would take too long. The things I didn’t like, a very short list, seems unimportant since I LOVED IT. I had a great time. It’s another adventure with some of our favorites, clearly. It’s a new generation of folks figuring out their place in this galaxy far far away, how they link with their DNA loaded with The Force (look, I capitalized it:)), and how they may or may not be able to break the cycle of galactic oppression.
It still seems far-fetched to me that any one empire could rule a galaxy. I know, they have their giant weapons, really, I know! They are menacing and all that but galaxies are HUGE. If I’m on a planet in the far reaches of a galaxy I might not even know other planets exist. I might even think that mine is the only planet with life at all…hmmmm It could take a thousand years for anyone to find me on my little marble in space. I guess it’s more dynamic and scary to think that a dictator could have such far-reaching control. Let’s face it, if Finn is ready to ditch the white suit of armor, there have to be lots more in the ranks who are just not brave enough to bring revolt inside the regime….but that’s a whole other set of movies:)
Rey and Finn, excellent. Han and Chewie, excellent. Falcon, excellent. Mos, excellent. Kylo Ren, excellent. Phasma, fair but has potential. Luke, whatever. I have never been a Luke fan and I still don’t think it’s all about him. I refuse to let that whiny dude be the focus of this whole glorious galaxy to explore.
There are moments of purely getting lost in the fiction and I appreciate that. Looking at the downed empire ships in the desert, the scale of it, the impact of those “historic” events on the current inhabitants of each planet, it all gets my science fiction loving brain firing on all cylinders.
The force is strong with this one, so I will stop and let you just feel it all around you. Well, put the Blu-Ray in the tray, or push the button, or download it, whatever you have to do, and THEN let it embrace you and your Star Wars loving self. If you are a hater, critic, nitpicker, you probably just got really annoyed at how much I enjoyed this movie. I’m fine with that 🙂
- Secrets Of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey (1 Hour 10 Minutes) – A four-part making of that spoils certain elements of the film. Make sure you watch the film first. This really goes into detail from the road to making the movie to exclusive on set footage.
- The Story Awakens: A Table Read (4 Minutes) – I went into this thinking it was the entire table read, it is actually highlights from the legendary read with all the principal cast.
- Crafting Creatures (10 Minutes) – A look at what it takes to create all the practical creatures in the film. I was delighted to see a section dedicated to Chewbacca who is actually hand sewn.
- Building BB8 (6 Minutes) – A look at early designs of the lovable droid. Also on set action with the three different droids used in the movie.
- Blueprint Of A Battle: The Snow Fight (7 Minutes) – A close look at the dramatic light saber battle. I won’t say much more incase you have not seen it.
- ILM: The Visual Magic Of The Force (8 Minutes) – With all the talk of practical effects poor ILM don’t have much to do on the movie. Here we see how ILM use trickery to enhance the practical creatures.
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony (7 Minutes) – A discussion of john Williams’s legendary work on the entire Star Wars franchise.
- Deleted Scenes (4 Minutes) – Six deleted scenes broken down as follows. Finn & The Villager, Jakku Message, X-Wings Prepare For Light Speed, Kylo Searches the Falcon, Snow Speeder Chase and Finn Will Be Fine.
- Force For Change (2 Minutes) – A look at a Charity initiative.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
I have never been in love with these painterly posters that were so popular back in the day, and that they feel the need to continue using. I know this will be a poster in our house to go with the other 6, so I’ll live with it, but I would rather it be an image of Rey in her desert garb sitting in the sand next to her downed AT-AT wearing the old busted helmet.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Star Wars The Force Awakens is easily the biggest Blu-Ray release of 2016. Presented by Lucasfilm/Disney on a 1080P AVC transfer that is as good as it gets this is easily the best any Star Wars movie has looked on home video. From the opening crawl to the pitch perfect star field that follows it’s obvious Disney’s technicians have used the maximum bit rate to make The Force Awakens look as good as possible. They even moved the special features to a separate disc to make sure the whole disc was used. The movie was filmed using old-fashioned film to the fine grain structure is preserved here and not digitally altered. I saw no signs of banding, Macroblocking or ringing during our viewing.
I expected Disney to go full on Dolby Atmos for Star Wars, but regrettably they chose the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 codec. This isn’t a bad thing though as this soundtrack simply rocks. Noteworthy moments include any time kylo Ren speaks or uses the force. You can actually feel the force rumble through the room as he interrogates Rey. Dialog is clear and crisp and every moment of the movie includes surround sound of some kind. The Force Awakens will awaken you neighbours if you play it loud enough.
Overall Score 9/10