Super Ticket Episode 7 – The Death Gantry

sw-super-ticket

The dream has become a reality. We now live in a world in which the sequel to Return of the Jedi is actually in existence. New heroes, old Jedi. Wookies, story board decisions, gender politics. Poor casting, use of CGI vs practical, box offfice numbers. Prognostication, the generational differences, the marketing. And it’s cold outside, so put on your coat!

Yes, there’s so much to get into with the latest installment of the Star Wars saga from director J.J. Abrams so we cover as much as we can in 75 minutes. The majority of the Super Ticket cast was completely enamored and in true wonder with the spectacle; but there is a vocal minority in here and he will not be silenced. Come forth young Padawans and receive your lesson for the day from Mamo! and The Cinecast. This is The Super Ticket: Episode VII.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and may the force be with you!

 

 
 


TIME TRACKS:

Opening Crawl: :00
Welcome/Roll Call: :38
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS!): 1:35
Outro music: 1:12:11 – 1:16:42

 

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Philip Poirot
Guest

It seems to me that Kurt had two major problems with the film.
1. Familiar and repeated Story Beats.
2. Because of above (1), Disney have no intention or any chance to make this movie a “Cultural Touchstone.”

[1] I am surprised that nobody mentioned CREED as an example. It’s a coincidence that CREED has very similar “soft reboot”/sequel approach to TFA. CREED “slavishly” follows the story beats of the original ROCKY and uses nostalgia beats exactly like TFA.
Matt Brown’s Lightsaber moment that re-uses music queues from Ep IV is exactly similar in CREED when the hero gets up from the chair for the final round — filmmakers use the Rocky theme.

Some critics and fans had the same type of reaction to CREED that Kurt has with TFA. The “keywords” and “tone” they use implying displeasure are similar. It is a legit reaction.

[2] I also agree with Kurt about the “cultural touchstone”. For this younger generation this film is not going to be something MORE than MCU or Transformers or other competitors. The film stands with it’s feet in two different boats (generation).

** Agree with Matt Price that we may not get something completely new until 2020– I think the filmmakers KATHLEEN KENNEDY hired are dead giveaways. Rian Johnson is obviously going to make the EMPIRE version of the trilogy. It will be darker, more sophisticated and will take a little more chances. But Colin Trevorrow will come back to make the JEDI version of the trilogy. This one will be lighthearted, broader and more child friendly. They will sell the most toys with this movie.

** About Captain Phasma — I think the origin of this character came out of a SOLUTION to a plot problem. FINN and HAN SOLO need to infiltrate the base and shut off the force field so that Resistance Fighters can attack. They needed a character that possess the knowledge of the force field that the audience will believe. It could have been a major that hangs around General Hux. Then someone must have had this idea — what if we create a more Visually cool character like Boba Fett. We can sell a lot of toys. Maybe even extended materials. Lightbulb!

Kurt Halfyard
Guest

If there are any obvious things missing in this podcast, it is more a function of the fact that several folks on the panel have been talking about the movie non-stop since Thursday night.

Myself, i’m more or less done with it until the Rian Johnson chapter comes out. I did dig the grizzled look of Luke Skywalker, and I look forward to Scotland/Degobah in the new one, I hope they squeeze some bold new ideas out of the next chapter, and don’t settle with just a bunch of ‘red-arm’ tweaks.

Matt Brown
Admin

Are you writing a COMMENT or throwing your hat in the ring to write the next STAR WARS CRAWL?

Voncaster
Guest

For me the film is 4 / 5 territory. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Kurt may be the only voice of criticism on the super ticket, but he’s not alone in not loving this movie.

The Film Junk Force Awakens episode also does a pretty good job of leveling some criticism at the movie.

Matt Brown
Admin

I gave it a 4/5 too. 4/5 is an A. Well, in Canada anyway; who knows what those American psychos do.

Let’s all try to remember that it’s possible to think a movie is really good AND have some reservations about it.

Matt Brown
Admin

Also, at this point my Mamo contract legally requires me to point out that assigning number values to a piece of art is silly.

Voncaster
Guest

Giving a score is shorthand that allows me to avoid writing an essay for how successful a movie this is for me. I’ve mostly criticized the movie on the Row Three pages, but I did not feel TFA was bad. For me, its just not life changing or a “return to form.” That flaws that some people classify as minor rub me the wrong way a bit more. I’m the opposite on Prometheus. The scientists acting questionably, didn’t bother me much in the face of all the excellence that was going on in that movie. But a lot of people seem to write the whole movie off because the scientists don’t act the way they expect them to.

From a ship and world design level. Comparing Phantom Menace to TFA, I feel like the Phantom Menace gave the audience more visual inventiveness.

Lucas did not rely on the beloved old cast and ship designs. The ships, costumes, and planets felt newer to me (Tatooine aside). I look at things like the Naboo fighters, the federation droids, Darth Maul and the trade ships, and it feels more different to me than the OT. TFA tends to stick pretty close to the OT in ship and world design. Yet, aren’t both trilogies spaced equally? About 30 years before and after the OT.

On the flip side I will not argue that TFA is better at establishing characters, and character moments. The prequels did have wooden acting and at times dull scripts.

Kurt
Guest

“Let’s all try to remember that it’s possible to think a movie is really good AND have some reservations about it.” -> I approve of this nuanced statement, but I’m afraid you have to surrender your internet card, sir.

La Menthe
Guest

5/10 here. A nicely crafted and very watchable blockbuster that at the end of the day brings ZERO new to the table, except for some nostalgia.

Matt Brown
Admin

When are you planning to watch the second half of the film?

La Menthe
Guest

It is a decent and entertaining blockbuster, like Abrams’ first Star Trek (and for $250 million, this should be a minimum requirement). No more, no less. Just like Mission Impossible 5.

To give you a comparison, I gave Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that I consider the best blockbuster (or action move in general) in many, many years, 8/10. A movie that managed to pay homage to its past memories, as well as bringing so much new to the table; both in terms of story, social and political themes, and in actual action direction. For example, people talk about Rey as a good feminist character, but she completely and utterly pales in comparison to Charlie Theron in Mad Max in this regard.

It is like Avatar all over again, where everybody is jerking off into their own mouth over the “super-duper-fantastic-amazing-oh my gosh-film” they have seen, and will continue to do so for the next upcoming weeks. The irony of all of this is how it relates to the reaction The Phantom Menace got. The way people have revised the history of that film’s reception is nonsensically funny, as it in no way was received the way people today claim or excuse themselves of (“I liked it, but felt something was bad after having watched it the third time”, is the usual apologetic justification you hear). People loved the shit out of it, and saw it repeatedly for weeks to come after its release. Roger Ebert gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four (8-9/10) and called it “an astonishing achievement in imaginative filmmaking”. Ebert also wrote, “If some of the characters are less than compelling, perhaps that’s inevitable” because it is the opening film in the new trilogy. It got a lot of favorable recpetion; The New York Times calling it “awesomely entertaining”, USA Today praising the character Watto, whereas others praised Liam Neeson (Entertainment Weekly and Empire), calling his duel at the end of the movie “the saga’s very best lightsaber battle”.

Sure, this film might not be as bad as The Phantom Menace. Nevertheless, all the artificial hype and praise surrounding it (triggered mostly by the huge marketing behind the movie, which people stupidly fall for – even when they are aware of it) is the same. Even people on this comment section, who say they have found stuff they did not like, have given it 5/6; like that is supposed to be negative! Give me a fucking break…

This was probably one of the worst Supertickets ever, as it was nothing other than Kurt talking to a wall of unreasonable fanboys for 75 minutes.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

I remember a lot of people disliking The Phantom Menace on the first viewing. I’ve actually only seen it once as I disliked it enough that I never felt the need to watch it again, as the same with all the other prequels. I was really kicking myself after Revenge of the Sith, my least favorite of the prequels, as I felt I really had been duped. After the 2nd prequel I should have known enough to stop, but I kept holding out that it would get better.

I was getting caught up in the hype a bit, but I was still very wary that it would be a repeat of the prequels. I didn’t buy any of the merchandise, no matter how cool it looked, considering the possibility that the movie might also be quite bad.

There seemed to be a lot of people that I know who were also quite unsure, but this movie won me and others over.

I get that you don’t like it, to each their own. However, to suggest that others don’t like it either that they are just caught up in the hype is a bit much.

Kurt Halfyard
Guest

I certainly disliked TPM on my first (and only, up until 3 weeks ago) viewing in the theatre. It went a long way towards finally wiping out the ‘breathless imagination’ that younger me had for this universe. And at the time (I was 25) I made the decision to just move along to other types of things. (Putting away of childish things and all that). On an unrelated note, I got married a few days after that, and had other things on the go, and never really wandered back into fan-dom. Although I make a few attempts every now again.

(Watching the original film with Andrew & My kids in 2009, the private-FORCEAPALOOZA marathon of all six films last month in Toronto (also with my kids).

Kurt Halfyard
Guest

In a way, maybe this SUPERTICKET was analagous to an ex-Mormon, inviting enthusiastic Mormons into their house to discuss a return to the fold over tea!

devolutionary
Guest

Part of my initial enjoyment of TPM stemmed from it being my first theatrical experience with a proper surround sound system. It was the first time I ever experienced the joy (and capitalism) of a modern SilverCity Cineplex. The movie definitely LOOKED and SOUNDED amazing which initially masked my critical opinion of the filmcraft.

Philip Poirot
Guest
Matt Brown
Admin

Oh man. I wish.

La Menthe
Guest

I have no doubt people actually like this movie. It is a well-crafted blockbuster, and I expect people to like it. What I am criticizing, or rather blaming on the hype, is the ridiculously high and undeserved praise this film has gotten. It is being reviewed as the best thing since sliced bread, when in reality it is just yet another simple and entertaining blockbuster. If you took away the Star Wars name, how in the world is this film that much different, in terms of quality, than Mission Impossible 5? Or to give a closer example, Abrams’ first Star Trek film?

So yes, I do believe people are caught up in the hype/fanboyism when reviewing this film. Some of you guys didn’t even hide that fact, when one person mentioned that he had already seen the film 5 times and would go and watch it again at least 3 times more before January. When explaining to Kurt why he (or they) loved the film so much, Andrew said just the sound of a TIE fighter in the film made his jimmies grow.

Goon
Guest
Matt Brown
Admin

You win the internet.

Sean Kelly
Guest

When Kurt was making his snide comment about the price of Star Wars toys, I don’t think he put into consideration the fact that there are toys specifically for kids and more expensive figurines for adult collectors.

Just shows how out of touch he is with geek and fanboy culture.

(I should also clarify that the most hardcore collectors would likely buy BOTH the toys aimed at kids and more expensive figurines)

Matt Brown
Admin

BB-8 is for everyone Sean

Kurt
Guest

Yea, I’ve played with the BB-8 toy from SPHERO, it’s pretty darn fun, and is very cute in Vine videos.

Rick Vance
Guest

The thing I guess for me is that Star Wars was never Star Wars at least to me probably because it was never infused in me in any special way due to age or parents so it has always been just another movie series.

So this new one is a good space movie with some major and some minor nitpicks and nothing much more or less than that.

It also showcases the draw at least I put into a director of interest because just like the Marvel films the casting in these things is usually top notch throughout but it all comes down to who is behind that wheel, if it is someone with a strong voice, which on the Superhero side would be more from the DC end of things recently it shows through in the movies and I hope that is true with this approach taken with Star Wars because I like Rian Johnson and Rogue One also looks pretty dope (Hell Donnie Yen as part of a Man on a Mission space movie has me on opening day).

Voncaster
Guest

I saw the Force Awakens for a second time on Saturday night in St. Louis Park. I may have seen Matt Gamble as well, but can’t be completely sure.

My initial reaction was that I was not a fan of the number of call backs in the film. However, on a second viewing, the film was freed of my expectations of it. I didn’t think about the movie much critically (which I did on my first viewing). I allowed myself to enjoy the adventure. It was much more enjoyable on second viewing.

The call backs and fan service that bothered me, the audience by and large loved. I found myself accepting, or not getting hung up on, the fan service and enjoying the ride a lot more the second time around.

For what its worth, its my mom’s favorite Star Wars movie.

Goon
Guest

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS I MADE YOU OUT OF SPOIL
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS I MADE YOU OUT OF SPOIL
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS I MADE YOU OUT OF SPOIL

Well i finally got around to this and I’m somehow in Kurt’s corner while at the same time still feeling like I liked it overall, particularly the first half hour. Then Han shows up and wears out his welcome so quickly that I gradually lost interest because it wasn’t giving me enough of the new characters I’d rather spend time with instead, to the extent that they then kill off the most popular character in the franchise and my reaction is not tears, but “GOOD.”

And I guess thats when I turn towards the dark side, in that the movie just kind of happened before my eyes with not much resonating. They couldn’t even revel in what happened to Han the same way, say, Hunger Games goes full PTSD when someone bites it. Everything just keeps moving on, no reflection, and despite how zippy it is, the story is so simple that I am frequently ahead of it, which just makes the whole shebang rather tedious.

Maybe I watch Star Wars differently than some people. I mock how whiny Luke is. There’s a slight level of ironic distance created by being so familiar with everything. So much so that I never hated the prequels because all the bad stuff about them filled that void. Now Force Awakens is perhaps too competent in telling a simple story rather seriously that for me, it’s just not very fun. It’s downright dull.

But hey, Adam Driver. Mwah.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

“I just had sex and I’m about to each Nachos!” -> This is all I can think of when I see Adam Driver on screen.

Goon
Guest

I await the Kylo Ren supercut of his voice modulator saying that line as well as the “UH OH” from Llewyn, some of the While We’re Young lines, and some of the more perverted material from Girls.

Goon
Guest

Vox: Critics are going too easy on Star Wars:
http://www.vox.com/2015/12/26/10664834/star-force-awakens-derivative

Reminding me kind of when the first Transformers came out, I think a lot of people had so much invested in this being good going into it that its getting a free pass on a lot of stuff we either don’t normally accept, or won’t accept if/when we see it in the next film.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

When the first Transformers movie came out, I know a lot of people were quite ready to rightfully trash that movie. I think a lot of people had their doubts about it because of Michael Bay’s involvement. I still think the first Transformers movie is one of the worst movies that I have seen in the last decade or so and that’s only because at least the first one I was set in watching it all the way through. The Transformers sequels I couldn’t get pass 10 minutes before stopping the movie.

I do think you are right that fans of Star Wars want this to be a good movie. However, at the same time a lot of those fans were burned on the prequels and were still apprehensive about this movie that it would also be a let down. Yet they were still able to enjoy it despite having some issues.

Interesting, that Vox article now ends with this:

Last night, I went with my extended family to see the movie for a second time. My experience: I enjoyed it way more! With my critical antennae down a little, I was able to relax and appreciate the film’s pleasures for what they are. I wouldn’t bother to mention it except both my brothers and several in-laws said the exact same thing: lots of stuff that bugged them the first time around worked much better the second time.

Goon
Guest

I’d point to how over at Metacritic there are nearly as many negative user reviews are there are positive ones:

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/star-wars-episode-vii—the-force-awakens

Compare that to say… Creed: http://www.metacritic.com/movie/creed
or, Hunger Games: http://www.metacritic.com/movie/the-hunger-games-mockingjay—part-2

Regardless, for myself, I am thinking more I was just exhausted by the hype/sick of Star Wars by the time it came out, and even waiting a few weeks before going to see it didnt make much of a dent. I try not to let too much hype bias me against a movie, but it’s quite possible that just happen, and maybe unintentionally.

Voncaster
Guest

I think that Vox sentiment is common. I’ve seen it message boards, heard it in podcasts, and experienced it myself. That unburdened from personal expectations of what the new Star Wars film should be, its easier to enjoy on a second go around. You already know what the movie is and is not on the second viewing, so why see it if not to enjoy it?

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Purely anecdotal, but people I know with young pre-teen kids who saw The Force Awakens all seem to really like it. This is a generation too young to see the prequels and don’t really have any nostalgia attached to the original movies. At the same time they are often too young to look at a movie very critically. Still I was curious how a new generation of fans would look at this movie.

Particularly interesting is one friend with 3 daughters, youngest I think around 8 or 9, and oldest around 14-15 with the other one somewhere in between. They didn’t have any interest in Star Wars, they saw it as a boy thing and hadn’t seen any of the other movies. They were dragged along because it had become a big family outing. All three of them ended up absolutely LOVING it to pieces and now are going back to watch the older Star Wars movies. I don’t know if they will have the same reaction to them, or if it’s because of Rey that they made the connection in this movie.

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