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Discussion Critics' reviews for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Sequel Trilogy (Released Films)' started by Darth Palpadious, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Have you even watched Citizen Kane? The film starts with a mystery ("What did his last dying word mean?") that is answered in the final moments of the film, while the whole film is set up (reflection of Charles Foster Kane's life) to make us understand his dying words.

    You don't have to watch Orson Welles' masterpiece more than once, and everything you needed to understand was abundantly revealed and provided.
     
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  2. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    OK, so no one has ever written a well thought out summary or critique of what works in Citizen Kane? That's my point. You don't have to do that with TLJ either. It's in the the damn film! People are spelling out what they took from the film - purely having watched and thought about the film. Are you telling me every single person caught all the nuance in Citizen Kane on their first viewing? That there aren't people who think "my god, that was boring, and what the Hell was he banging on about Rosebud for". People are saying that the existence of writing about the film is proof that it's not in the film. I'm saying it's in the film and sometimes people are missing that. We know they're missing it because people in here are putting the worst takes, regularly, showing just how much they missed the point the film was making. Not everyone, by any means. Some people get it and hate it. Some people get Citizen Kane and hate it. That's all fine. But pointing out the themes that others are missing is not "apologising for the film" as some are making out. Oh, and for the record, I wasn't referring to the mystery of Rosebud anyway, I was referring to the general idea of criticism as revealing the underlying symbolism, themes and arcs of any given film.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  3. La Calavera

    La Calavera Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Well I watched TLJ more than once, and I don’ believe you need to watch the movie more than once to get it. Leaving expectations at the door might have increased the viewing experience for some, but that is more a fandom issue than a movie issue. The movie itself is very much on nose, in every concept, theme or subversion it attempts. I mean, this is a movie that has a Dagobah cave scene with a voice over narration. In spoon-feeds the audience like it’s afraid they’ll either won’t understand or will come up with different interpretations. It barely leaves room for additional reading – even in its handling of social commentary, which is usually shown in Star Wars in form of interpretative suggestion, not literally in the freaking dialogue.

    That being said, some themes, while being obviously there, are handled poorly. Imo. There are several moments were the characters’ actions and decisions don’t feel convincing, the contextual set up feels contrived and forced, and when that fails to convince, the important message also fails to be delivered. But that is more a movie issue than a fan issue. No repeated viewings will make the writing in some parts better.
     
  4. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    I’m more of the view (speaking generally, vs making a point about TLJ in particular) that one shouldn’t have to watch a movie more than once to enjoy it.

    Of course, it’s impossible to create a movie that everyone will enjoy :p But I would hope that a reasonable director would aim to create something that, for the most part entertains on a surface level (think pieces and such aside).

    And I get the impression that TLJ does, for the majority, at least.
     
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  5. Strongbow

    Strongbow Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2014
    But that movie is a one-off. No one brings in any emotional expectations, or carefully crafted understandings, or anything. And CK tells a fairly focused story. It tells a self-contained story that doesn't have any body of work before it to reconcile with. Nor does it have to consider what follows. A Star Wars movie can never be that, IMO. It has too many moving parts. I didn't need more than one viewing to appreciate TLJ. I felt I "got it" the first viewing, though it has continued to rise in my esteem in subsequent viewing. And it was definitely a movie I was glad to be "spoiled" on before seeing. I have noticed that among my friends, those who went in spoiler free are the ones who said they needed to "process" it more and couldn't really resolve their feelings about it until after a second viewing. So take that FWIW.
     
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  6. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    For sure. And I understand the story choices taken here will mean it's absolutely the opposite for some.

    All I'm really saying is, the mere act of articulating what the film is actually saying, usually framed in defence to what some consider to be unwarranted criticism, is not proof that said articulation is not reflected in the movie.
     
  7. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    (Not proof that said articulated is not reflected in the movie or not proof that it is, or both? Sorry just want to make sure I understand correctly.)
     
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  8. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    It's probably my fault as I was dragging in criticisms from online in general (but not made widely on the boards to be fair) that were saying that the likes of Bryan Young articulating what TLJ is doing with Luke's arc and the Canto Bight arc was either Bryan inventing stuff that wasn't in the film, or an argument that you shouldn't need to read Bryan Young's threads to understand the film.

    I was saying that Bryan's thread was based off what the film is actually saying - he's pulled that info from the film - ie. the same stuff a lot of us are seeing in the film and its subtext. Obviously this varies from film to film, and depends on the success of the arguments one is making, but I think in the case of TLJ - the criticism, as in *understanding*, of the film is broadly correct in terms of appeasing what the film is trying to say about the world, its themes and its characters. To what the film succeeds on those terms is then a separate, and way more interesting IMO, debate.

    ETA - I appreciate that saying something is in the movie is not always correct. But I think in this case, those interpretations align pretty closely with the storyteller's intent. I don't think any detractors are wrong to not like that intent, but I do think anyone saying, for example, but Luke dies a failure who achieved nothing, is not engaging with RJ's intent there, which is the complete opposite.

    This article touches on the subject. I disagree about the pointlessness of Canto Bight and whether Luke should have lived and Leia should have died (they didn't know she was going to die when they told the story, and Luke can of course return) but the basic points are interesting.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/life...b90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.8648f7d1fbdb

    For clarity, I'm not saying anyone is wrong to have wanted another path to the one Rian chose. I understand that position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  9. The PiedPiper of Alderaan

    The PiedPiper of Alderaan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2015
    @Satipo i'll probably never understand why one cant acknowledge that the film has a lot of depth, subtexts, symbols and allegories. It certainly is one of the more cerebral SW ever. Which doesnt mean you have to like the movie.....anyway, people who dont find substance in the movie cant be convinced, i think that is the beauty of art, its very subjectivity and how it evokes different things for different.

    Still i cant help but feel that although it is a very divisive movie for the fandom and for the general audience to a lesser extent ("not enough lightsaber's fight"...(sigh)...) it's gonna be a cinephile's darling.

    Well of course i'll have comments from posters who say they are cinephile and hated the movie but come on, even if you are a cinephile and you were disappointed or didnt love the movie you cant call it a bad movie or the worst SW ever.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  10. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Yeah, I mean, there are also plenty of people out there who love cinema and know exactly what they're talking about who won't like what the film does and would have done something totally different. Absolutely fine. But I think there's a reason critics did respond warmly to the film (on the whole) beyond the answer "because they are all paid off by Disney". ETA for clarity - that reason is not "the film is beyond criticism" - more "this film does hold artistic and creative merit".
     
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  11. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Some "cinephiles" over at the AVS Forum don't seem to share your optimistic appraisal (including a cameraman who participated in another KK production):

    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/44-mo...1-stars-wars-last-jedi-december-2017-a-3.html
     
  12. The PiedPiper of Alderaan

    The PiedPiper of Alderaan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2015
    exactly...some people wont like the movie and that's fine. But when you see all the rage and negativity you know it's something else...professionals critics have their flaws of course but they are a bit more detached than us and if the majority liked/loved the movie, well, i dont buy the disney-leash stuff. Even critics who didnt enjoy the movie didnt call it the worst film of 2017 ...it's so obvious theres some huge overreacting here, and some poll voters have an agenda..
     
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  13. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Overreaction is subjective I guess. If you were really looking forward to seeing Luke be a positive progression from the guys we saw at the end of ROTJ, and you'd dreamed of seeing that for x years, then I can see why not getting it in that way is a major deal-breaker. And that can also colour how you feel about the rest of the film. So I do get that. But yes, I also agree that the backlash - while not insignificant (and I admit I did underestimate how intense it would be) is not as representative of the general reception - or the film's quality - as the more extreme haters would have everyone believe.

    Objectively, I don't believe the film merits anything below 3 stars out of 5. But I can see how if one felt passionately about certain choices made, that could skew the rating below that.
     
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  14. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    There was certainly positive progression after RotJ. It just went out the window at some point, which seems to have allowed Kylo to happen to the GFFA.

    ETA: I don’t mean “went out the window” as a criticism, btw.
     
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  15. Diego Lucas

    Diego Lucas Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2015
  16. The PiedPiper of Alderaan

    The PiedPiper of Alderaan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2015
    i've read all the pages...well, i don't know who these people are and if they are cinephiles or not as you say, but they are definitely proving my point: most of them are talking as SW fans or at least from a "lore/fanboyish" point of view. There's no trace of constructive critisicm, it's always about the most subjective things: how they handle Luke, Rey, what they think SW should be, what they think it shouldn't be, What should be Rey's backstory, how TLJ erases the previous films (sigh..) or TFA (re-sigh..)....that camera man is just that, he's not a screenwriter and even if he was it doen't mean his opinion is more valid than yours or mine (i am a musician, i can think some music is really bad and another musician with as many years of doing music will think it's great.) So the cameraman, he's explicitely talking as a SW fan and his main critic of the movie is from this angle, how this SHOULDN'T be the story, another case of nerdrage. When he adresses something that corresponds to his field -photography_ he says it's great..so....ah and he says that although it's not high art Twister is a good movie somehow. So...can i take him seriously. The other guys are all the same, fans complaining about Luke or how the force works, others than think that SW is Lucas and nothing else, or that TPM is actually a better movie after all etc etc...in one word it's just like here.

    Also i don't say every cinephile will enjoy the movie. I just think the film will be a lot less divisive in circles where you don't care about Luke's lightsaber's journey from ROTJ to TFA. I think that most of the people who are cinephiles with a taste too for "genre" movies and are not biased by they own expectations about what SW should or shouldn't be will not rate the film lower than 3/5....far from the worst film of 2017.
     
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  17. AhsokaSolo

    AhsokaSolo Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2015
    I do not think this was a deep, cerebral movie, and I think it’s the worst SW movie. I’ve come to that conclusion over time (that’s it’s the worst, I thought it was shallow from get go), with (too much) thought put into that conclusion. So yes, clearly one “can” think those things, even if others adamantly disagree.

    I think if people that loved the movie stopped trying to argue that the criticisms are phony or hyperbole or fanboy cry baby stuff or whatever, these conversations would be so much better.

    My brother and I had a great conversation about TLJ. He loved it, as a SW fan. It’s the first SW movie I actively dislike almost every aspect of, as a SW fan. We still found areas of agreement (the good acting, some bad plot contrivances), and acknowledged the different ways we saw things (I placed more value one thing, he on something else that didn’t matter so much to me, etc.). There are interesting discussions to be had that can’t occur when people are so obsessed with telling other people they’re wrong, or speaking for other people, or whatever.
     
  18. The PiedPiper of Alderaan

    The PiedPiper of Alderaan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2015
    That you don't like the movie is one thing. This is your opinion, i have mine. OK. I must admit i can't understand how you find Attack of The Clones better than this. Didn't it ruin Anakin's character more than RJ has supposely ruin Luke's? Does the clone army created without the Jedi or Republic knowing but them using it make more sense? What about the messy and unventful hundred Jedi vs....funny separatists droids. Does Leia force-flying in space or Luke projecting his image through the force is more ridiculous than looney tunes Yoda jumping all around with a lightsaber like he's some Tex Avery character? I don't want to bash the prequels, there are things i like in them. But to say it's the wost SW...ok that's your opinion but the flaws you see in the movie are multiplied 100 times in AotC...how strange...anyways.. Why can't people just say "i didn't like it" and it's alright.....i myself don't love The Phantom Menace but i wouldn't say it's a horrible awful movie, it's just not what i want to see. And it works for other movies too. I enjoyed Wonderwoman a bit, Antman was veyr average. basically i don't enjoy Marvel/DC movies much. They're not bad, just boring to me. I wouldn't say they are horrible, razzie-worthing films. They're not my cup of tea and was disappointed because of the hype for some of them, but they're ok movies i guess. To say that TLJ is an awful film is just overacting IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  19. Strongbow

    Strongbow Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2014
    I can't help but see a little irony here.... apparently only the film's defenders have to give up something. The fact is I DO think some of the critiques I've heard are phony or hyperbolic. Not all by any means, but anyone who gives this film 0/5 is engaging in hyperbole.
     
  20. MasterPrince713

    MasterPrince713 Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 13, 2017
    In fairness....

    Anakin becomes Darth Vader; Granted he's redeemed, but I wasn't exactly looking to like Anakin Skywalker when I went into the theater.

    Uneventful, yet still more compelling than much of TLJ, and it only gets better. You go from dangerous exotic creatures, to dozens of Jedi fighting robots, to futuristic warriors in alien helicopters to all out war between clones and robots. I felt the scenes with Padme and Anakin were a small price, the pay off was great.

    Yoda jumping around showed he could be small and old but agile and spry. Plus it was something new.

    I like AotC more, because it definitely carried itself more seriously than TLJ certainly did. I give props to them for that much.

    Please don't take this the wrong way but, if you don't like DC/Marvel movies how can you say you enjoy SW.....? If you have a thing against CGI, I guess that answers my question though.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  21. Prisic Duskleap

    Prisic Duskleap Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2014
    I think it's much more hyperbolic to expect people to rate it any higher just because you enjoy the film. Judging it as both a SW film and movie lover the film was terrible and I do rate it 0/5. I've given the film plenty of chances to change my mind as I've seen it now 4 times and it just gets worse on each viewing. Some people just need to accept other people are allowed to not like it and rate it how they see fit as all art is subjective.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  22. AhsokaSolo

    AhsokaSolo Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Okay, so first off, I actually like that you're asking why one would see it as worse than AotC, even though in your opinion it's obviously better than AotC. That's kind of what I'm getting at where we can actually try and understand each other. I am not a huge fan of AotC. I think the biggest flaws with it are the acting, the dialogue, and definitely the Anakin/Padme romance. I also think the Obi/Dooku reveal falls flat, which is disappointing because I do in general enjoy Obi in the prequels. Dooku is kind of a lackluster villain. That said, I do enjoy Obi's investigation. I love some of the world-building. I am a sucker for Mace Windu and always have been, Jackson's acting notwithstanding. I also really enjoy the political undercurrent of Sheev's master plan throughout the PT. I love the scale of AotC just like I love the scale of the PT as a whole. There are things I like in all of these movies, even some things I love, and there is very little, by comparison, that I like and almost nothing that I love about TLJ. For example, I love SW for the galactic scale, for the worlds, for the aliens, for the whole feel of it. It makes me want to visit and live in the gffa. Nothing in TLJ hits me like that, while the prequels do, every single one of them.

    But to your specific questions. Does it ruin Anakin's character more than Luke's? I can see that some might feel that way, but I never was invested in Jedi Anakin after the OT the way I was in Luke. Vader was an awesome villain. I didn't like how they chose to portray Anakin or his fall, but it wasn't as disappointing as what they did with Luke for me personally. I don't even think I realized how much SW was about what Luke and Leia represented for the galaxy to me until I saw TLJ. SW was never wrapped up in Vader for me.

    Does the clone army created without the Jedi or Republic knowing but them using it make more sense? No, this plot contrivance doesn't make sense. I have always thought it was silly. But silly I can forgive. It doesn't bother me that much. I write it off.

    What about the messy and unventful hundred Jedi vs....funny separatists droids. So I know that a lot of people complained about all the Jedi. I don't really feel that. I enjoyed the final battle with all the lightsabers in AotC. I would have portrayed the Jedi differently, but I still could roll with what GL chose to do with them. I liked seeing them at the height of their power, "civilized" the way old Ben remembers them in ANH. The droids were silly but, to me, I could live with it. Somehow they work in the setting. The only thing that really bothers me about them is their dialogue/personalities. If GL had just been edited on that I would have been totally cool with the droid armies.

    Does Leia force-flying in space or Luke projecting his image through the force is more ridiculous than looney tunes Yoda jumping all around with a lightsaber like he's some Tex Avery character? I mean, a question like this presumes a lot about why someone likes or doesn't like something. Leia force-flying in all honesty is fine with me. Luke projecting his image is fine with me. Yoda jumping all around with a lightsaber was fine with me.

    I don't think it's an overreaction for one to view TLJ or any movie as an awful film. I don't think AotC is awful, or TPM, because there are things that I like about them. At the same time, there are movies out there that I do think are awful. I think everyone has seen a movie that they think is awful at some point. It's not hyperbole, it's an opinion. For me, the reason TLJ is awful where those movies aren't has nothing to do with silly things in it that I don't like. TLJ impacts how I view the entire franchise in a negative way, such that it's unpleasant to watch. Watching AotC or TPM isn't unpleasant for me. It's boring at parts, and at other parts I'm into it. I own all of the SW movies and have popped even those two in at times over the years. Right now, I can't really imagine that I will ever buy TLJ, let alone feel the urge to watch it for fun. That makes it worse than the others for me.

    Also, I have a thing with how SW writes women, and this is separate from everything else and it's really just my thing. RotS, an otherwise pretty good movie, is the hardest SW movie for me to rewatch because of the writing for Padme. It bothers me a ton, and this is where we get into how it's just unpleasant to watch. It's that x1000 for Rey in TLJ for me. It's a harder fall because I had higher hopes for her. I think we all have our little quirks, our little things that stand out to us. That is mine.

    Nope. Regardless of what you personally think, someone else really could view this movie as a 0/5. That's the thing with opinion. It can be expressed literally as the polar opposite of yours.

    I do think that there is some hyperbole around the internet both for and against TLJ. It just speaks to how beloved SW is though. There is obviously just as much OTT defensiveness in favor of this movie as there is hyperbole against it for ruining childhoods and whatnot. People care about SW, and yup, that goes for those that don't like TLJ and passionately discuss why they don't like it as well. Fans of TLJ and SW in general should really be more bothered when people become apathetic to SW.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  23. Strongbow

    Strongbow Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Nope what? I never said either of you can't rate the film 0/5. I said I think it's hyperbolic. And I believe it is. So, yeah, I think the claim that somehow I have to NOT think a 0/5 rating is hyperbolic to discuss the film sounds to me that I am being asked to discuss the film ONLY on the basis determined by those critical of the film. That's not gonna happen. How can it?
     
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  24. The PiedPiper of Alderaan

    The PiedPiper of Alderaan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2015
    @MasterPrince713 @AhsokaSolo ok you enjoy AotC more than TLJ and like things in it that i dislike...and the contrary with TLJ i suppose. So we're back to this: when the very things that SW fans loved in a SW movie are what other SW fans hated then i cant see how we'll ever get a saga movie that wont be divisive. We just want different things, almost opposite things it seems. Then no wonder how the fandom's been torn apart abruptly sonce TFA. But everyone has the right of having a different opinion. Still i agree with @Stronbow that you can't give TLJ a 0/5 (not talking about you guys)..to me there's no SW movie that deserves that, that's what i call "nerdrage" and overreacting.
     
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  25. CEB

    CEB Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 3, 2014
    The only reason people are rating this film 0/5 is for emphasis and to avoid ambiguity. By no reasonable measure on a scale of summarising quality of all aspects of the film could it be a 0/5
    By all means, rate the film 0/5 if you want people to read it and think “this person REALLY hated the film”, but if you give it a 0/5 and want people to think “that’s probably a fair reflection of their considered view after thinking about it” then you’ve undermined that, because a 0 Star review is hyperbole