Let’s just get this out there: this is not a movie review, there are far too many of those out there. Just wanted to bring up some films I’ve seen recently and why I couldn’t get them out of my head until next day or sometimes even later.
Whiplash grabbed me the moment the movie started and never let go. The intensity of these sessions depicted in the movie just wouldn’t get out of my head. Is this really close to what these guys go through? The movie goes through a lot more paces than just this, but what this guy goes through to prove himself worthy of someone else’s expectations is nothing short of incredible.
Kristen Wiig (of SNL & Bridesmaids fame) plays the hell out of his script. This is from the movie Welcome to Me. Keep in mind, as far fetched as her daily breakdown and psychotic episodes on local tv are from happening, the rest of this premise could very well happen. I think the idea that this woman, who’s role model is practically TV itself (and Oprah) buys her own show with no concept of what actually goes into it and how it should be formatted (she doesn’t have to) is so very interesting. When she hits that airwaves, her personality becomes narcissistic and she acts out her therapy session in front of an audience. It’s such an interesting concept and it’s done in such a straight forward, real manner but I was doubly impressed with the dedication she took in playing this character.
I went to the “1 night early” preview night for this film. It’ an experience I, as a sentimental and nostalgic person, can’t let go of from when I was a teenager into my twenties. I went ,with my friends, to all the midnight premieres of the Star Wars prequels (1,2,&3) and loved every second of it. Not so much all the movies ( still think Attack of the Clones was the most flawed) but just the experience was treasured enough. All those people, just like me, nerdy, clinging to something from the past that excited them, made them feel like part of something bigger, it was a tremendous feeling.
So I did it again. My friend Didge and I embarked on joining that movement again, now in our 30’s, with kids , married and a mortgage but no less imbued with the enthusiasm we shared as kids and teens. There was no parking, the lobby was filled, I picked up our tickets with my phone and the theater was a mish-mash of generations inside; a couple in their 60’s with their 20-something daughter next to us, a young girl of probably 6 dressed as titular character Rey below us. It was a much different sight than 100’s of young men filling the theaters when we saw the prequels, most dressed in costume and having lightsaber duels in the lobby. There were some in costume, but not many.
The overwhelming sense of excitement waiting for that screen crawl to start (although sadly, no 20th Century Fox drumming to begin us on our journey) but once it does, just like the 3 other times I did this, the audience lets out a huge cheer and claps as “Episode VII” fills the screen in that familiar yellow script.
The movie itself, is a win for Star Wars fans; it has all the familiar elements we’ve grown to love, moreso about the original movies, but they’re still there. I don’t know how much non-fans or people unfamiliar with Star Wars (how man of those could there be in the world?) would get into it because it’s pretty vague on details or explaining any references it makes to it’s history, but for 98% of us, we already know the deal. More humor is injected and our 4 new main characters are all given great story arcs and human moments to really draw you into them. I never wanted it to end. And I can’t say as I felt that way about the prequels; when each one was over, I was wholly satisfied I’d just seen a Star Wars movie and would wait patiently for the next one. What they did so well with Force Awakens is leaving so many unanswered questions lying open and putting that fire in our bellies, as we desire to know more! Now, I can’t wait for Episode 8 as soon as we left the theater and that’s the magic of movies, especially a Star Wars movie.