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post #31 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 10:28 AM
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Scott, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I fully agree with your review of the movie itself. Indeed, the farce is strong with STAR WARS - THE FORCE AWAKENS... and that is not a typo. A pseudo-reboot/re-make/re-imagining/re-hash of basically every single relevant event and narrative device from "A NEW HOPE" (a.k.a. "the" original STAR WARS), the film is unequivocally and unbelievably flawed on so many crucial, fundamental levels, that I feel as if a part of my childhood died this past weekend; and, yes, I realize that sounds terribly like hyperbole (not to mention cliched) and no, George Lucas had nothing to do with it this time. In fact (dare I say it?), I would easily rank Lucas' "REVENGE OF THE SITH" (as disappointing as that film most definitely was) above this new seventh episode, whose sole purpose seems to be the perpetuation of tried-and-true formulas so endemic in today's Hollywood (where movies are merely "set-ups" for other movies instead of self-contained stories which may or may not interconnect, all in the name of "universe-building", ie: cow-milking), at the expense of developing Lucas’ fantasy space opera and universal themes in any meaningful, exciting new way.

The film basically "plays it safe" and suffers from a severe, alarming lack of imagination, with a script that feels at least 3 drafts away from finished. Pretty much every single audience demographic is offered an identifying character, and most of them deliver humorous lines in an excessive manner, and (surprise, surprise) often-times aimed at the lowest-common denominator. This is, after all, a Disney film directed by J. J. Abrams, who, as feared, was certainly not the right choice for this project, unless you consider "competent" good enough. The Force Awakens is spectacular in all the usual ways, of course, but there’s a difference between spectacular and spectacle, and (think about this for a second), there is not a SINGLE scene that stands-out when it comes to special effects and/or visually amazing set-pieces, which are a staple of all the STAR WARS films and one of the main reasons for their success. Abrams simply offers NOTHING that you have not seen before. Even the planets, which are all technically new, are identical to what came before (ie: Jakku is Tatooine, etc.) Abram's STAR WARS looks nothing like a galaxy far, far away, but like Ireland, Iceland and Africa instead. Again, this is merely a re-make and re-imagining of everything that came before. Entertaining? Yes. Good enough? Sure. Big and bombastic? I guess. But dig under the surface and you will find that "size matters not", but good story-telling does. And the story here is merely a Macguffin that concludes with YET ANOTHER Death Star exploding (and possibly the most anemic X-Wing battle sequence in the saga... did I count only about 10 X Wings in there? Oh, we even get another overweight pilot, a la Porkins in EPISODE IV)...

THE FORCE AWAKENS is a distilled STAR WARS film, quicker, easier, more seductive, just like the Dark Side, but ultimately empty. And make no mistake: STAR WARS should not be content with "good enough"....

My second biggest issue with the film (after the blatant re-hashing of the plot of EPISODE IV, etc.) is the weakness of the main villain himself. You are in big trouble if your villain does not work nor pose a genuine threat, specially when you have Darth Vader as your precursor. Kylo Ren is basically a wimpy, puerile pseudo-sith, a Darth Vader emo-groupie who throws temper-tantrums at the air three times too many and would be more at home in a TWILIGHT film instead. Amazingly enough, he is so strong with the force that he can freeze a blaster shot in mid air (something that not even Yoda nor Palpatine could do before) and yet he gets his ass served by Ray (who is obviously Luke's daughter and trained in the Force, and whose memory has more than likely been erased to "protect" her) in 3 minutes flat, and almost by Finn (who has no Force training at all and, as a stormtrooper, is able to get rid of his "conditioning" all too easily)...

What else? Where do I start? You can see Han Solo's big scene coming a mile away, and since we know almost nothing about the father/son relationship, nor do we see them interacting in a previous scene, there is no emotional pay-off nor any gravitas whatsoever. One of the greatest characters in cinema history is killed off in the most pathetic of ways, probably because that was the only way Harrison Ford would accept to reprise the role instead of because it served any purpose, narrative-wise. Harrison, I hope you are happy now... Also, wouldn't it have been so much better and dramatic if we had seen Kylo Ren removing his ant-eater helmet for the first time in this scene? Como to think of it, why on Tatooine does he even need a helmet? Oh, I forgot that he's grandaddy's biggest groupie... Captain Phasma was a joke, and a waste, plain and simply. Just another toy to add to the ridiculously bloated merchandise line... Chewbacca barely reacts after Han's death, and there is no formal funeral scene, not even a brief moment where characters stop to react and reflect on what transpired (unlike what happened with Padme and Obi-Wan in the past, for example)... Carrie Fisher, bless her soul, looks terrible, but not nearly as terrible as the CGI they applied on her face in the last scene, and there is ZERO chemistry between her and Ford this time... the CGI octopus in the Falcon scene looks terrible as well, as does the falcon itself when it bounces back and forth and defies gravity time and time again (the interior, which was a real set, looks spectacular, though).... I could have done without the bounty-hunters scene altogether (another example of Abrams trying to cram as much action as possible in a story that needed more quiet moments)... The Nazi overtones in the General Hux speech sequence are so blatant, and Domhnall Gleeson's "acting" here so cartoonish and over-the-top, that one can not help but laugh at the silliness of it all... Peter Cushing, you are sorely missed... Supreme Leader Snoke is possibly the lamest CGI character this side of 1991. A huge let-down, visually, and of course they'll throw a big "Wizard Of Oz" moment at us by the time we finally get his big reveal in the next episode (plus, I get the feeling he is Darth Plagueis)... Who is who in this thing anyway? If The First Order is the new Empire, what was the point of RETURN OF THE JEDI?... John Williams phoned in his score, I hate to admit it, and this is no exaggeration if we consider that the recording took place literally days before the actual release of the film and the CD doesn't even have a proper cover. By far the weakest soundtrack of the saga so far, with not even a new single leit-motif nor memorable melody (say what you will about the prequels, but they at least gave us jewels like "Duel Of The Fates" and "Battle Of The Heroes")... The actors all do great work, and Daisy Ridley is a revelation and, truth be told, carries most of the film...

I DID like certain moments, mind you, but overall, this was such a let-down. Simply put, I honestly have no desire to watch it again until the blu-ray release, and I suppose that says it all.
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post #32 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 11:01 AM
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Well the Star Trek movies were basically a rehash too by using the "alternate timeline" scenario. Particularly the 2nd movie.

Also, the low frame rates are really obvious now that I have a display those does good FI without the soap effect (Epson 5030). When I saw the Martian, I had the same experience. Fantastic image in Dolby Vision, but terrible panning.
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post #33 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebEffect View Post
Where did the review say that people wouldn't enjoy the film? It even stated that the film is like masturbation: you WILL enjoy it, but it's no substitute for a real woman. If "having a hell of a time" is the standard for movies these days then Hollywood is more dead than I realized. I haven't seen a film in cinemas in ten years because it's all un-ambitious, repetitive "safe" trash. You think anyone is going to remember this installment like they remembered the first three?
Nobody is ever going to remember any new stars movie like they do the first three, but that is likely not because the original was so great. The original was ground breaking in its effects, but watch it today, and the laser blasts look like crap compared to the new movies of today. You are probably never going to walk out of a theater and have the same feeling you had when you left seeing the original in the theater as a kid....so IMO, to compare movies with movies when you we a kid is nuts. I'm reading posts in here talking about black levels....... In the theater..lol. I'm not thinking any of you were that critical at age 10.
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post #34 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
Poor analogy if one at all. Given the mentality I appreciate your ability to make it clear that some consider spoilers acceptable. I'll just skip Scott's future threads on movies in theaters since it attracts people like yourself.

All said and done - hope everyone is having a happy Christmas and a safe one.
With the use of spolier tags, I can somewhat see your point....if you had only read the original post. Once you traverse down into all of the comments that follow the original review, then what did you expect everYone to be talking about? Bottom line for everyone that has not seen it yet... Stay the heck off of social media that is discussing the movie...because believe it or not, there might actually be discussion of the actual movie taking place.
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post #35 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 12:42 PM
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Your cinema needs to fix its sound then.
Nope - new cinema. I thought the movie was great, and have no qualms with some of the rehash - it was expected. While it doesn't surpass the originals, it certainly is better than all the prequels. It's a companion piece of a trilogy, the best is yet to come. I do, however, see why some would be upset about this.

My Synopsis:

Spoiler!

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post #36 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban Medaglia View Post
Scott, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I fully agree with your review of the movie itself. Indeed, the farce is strong with STAR WARS - THE FORCE AWAKENS... and that is not a typo. A pseudo-reboot/re-make/re-imagining/re-hash of basically every single relevant event and narrative device from "A NEW HOPE" (a.k.a. "the" original STAR WARS), the film is unequivocally and unbelievably flawed on so many crucial, fundamental levels, that I feel as if a part of my childhood died this past weekend; and, yes, I realize that sounds terribly like hyperbole (not to mention cliched) and no, George Lucas had nothing to do with it this time. In fact (dare I say it?), I would easily rank Lucas' "REVENGE OF THE SITH" (as disappointing as that film most definitely was) above this new seventh episode, whose sole purpose seems to be the perpetuation of tried-and-true formulas so endemic in today's Hollywood (where movies are merely "set-ups" for other movies instead of self-contained stories which may or may not interconnect, all in the name of "universe-building", ie: cow-milking), at the expense of developing Lucas’ fantasy space opera and universal themes in any meaningful, exciting new way.

The film basically "plays it safe" and suffers from a severe, alarming lack of imagination, with a script that feels at least 3 drafts away from finished. Pretty much every single audience demographic is offered an identifying character, and most of them deliver humorous lines in an excessive manner, and (surprise, surprise) often-times aimed at the lowest-common denominator. This is, after all, a Disney film directed by J. J. Abrams, who, as feared, was certainly not the right choice for this project, unless you consider "competent" good enough. The Force Awakens is spectacular in all the usual ways, of course, but there’s a difference between spectacular and spectacle, and (think about this for a second), there is not a SINGLE scene that stands-out when it comes to special effects and/or visually amazing set-pieces, which are a staple of all the STAR WARS films and one of the main reasons for their success. Abrams simply offers NOTHING that you have not seen before. Even the planets, which are all technically new, are identical to what came before (ie: Jakku is Tatooine, etc.) Abram's STAR WARS looks nothing like a galaxy far, far away, but like Ireland, Iceland and Africa instead. Again, this is merely a re-make and re-imagining of everything that came before. Entertaining? Yes. Good enough? Sure. Big and bombastic? I guess. But dig under the surface and you will find that "size matters not", but good story-telling does. And the story here is merely a Macguffin that concludes with YET ANOTHER Death Star exploding (and possibly the most anemic X-Wing battle sequence in the saga... did I count only about 10 X Wings in there? Oh, we even get another overweight pilot, a la Porkins in EPISODE IV)...

THE FORCE AWAKENS is a distilled STAR WARS film, quicker, easier, more seductive, just like the Dark Side, but ultimately empty. And make no mistake: STAR WARS should not be content with "good enough"....

My second biggest issue with the film (after the blatant re-hashing of the plot of EPISODE IV, etc.) is the weakness of the main villain himself. You are in big trouble if your villain does not work nor pose a genuine threat, specially when you have Darth Vader as your precursor. Kylo Ren is basically a wimpy, puerile pseudo-sith, a Darth Vader emo-groupie who throws temper-tantrums at the air three times too many and would be more at home in a TWILIGHT film instead. Amazingly enough, he is so strong with the force that he can freeze a blaster shot in mid air (something that not even Yoda nor Palpatine could do before) and yet he gets his ass served by Ray (who is obviously Luke's daughter and trained in the Force, and whose memory has more than likely been erased to "protect" her) in 3 minutes flat, and almost by Finn (who has no Force training at all and, as a stormtrooper, is able to get rid of his "conditioning" all too easily)...

What else? Where do I start? You can see Han Solo's big scene coming a mile away, and since we know almost nothing about the father/son relationship, nor do we see them interacting in a previous scene, there is no emotional pay-off nor any gravitas whatsoever. One of the greatest characters in cinema history is killed off in the most pathetic of ways, probably because that was the only way Harrison Ford would accept to reprise the role instead of because it served any purpose, narrative-wise. Harrison, I hope you are happy now... Also, wouldn't it have been so much better and dramatic if we had seen Kylo Ren removing his ant-eater helmet for the first time in this scene? Como to think of it, why on Tatooine does he even need a helmet? Oh, I forgot that he's grandaddy's biggest groupie... Captain Phasma was a joke, and a waste, plain and simply. Just another toy to add to the ridiculously bloated merchandise line... Chewbacca barely reacts after Han's death, and there is no formal funeral scene, not even a brief moment where characters stop to react and reflect on what transpired (unlike what happened with Padme and Obi-Wan in the past, for example)... Carrie Fisher, bless her soul, looks terrible, but not nearly as terrible as the CGI they applied on her face in the last scene, and there is ZERO chemistry between her and Ford this time... the CGI octopus in the Falcon scene looks terrible as well, as does the falcon itself when it bounces back and forth and defies gravity time and time again (the interior, which was a real set, looks spectacular, though).... I could have done without the bounty-hunters scene altogether (another example of Abrams trying to cram as much action as possible in a story that needed more quiet moments)... The Nazi overtones in the General Hux speech sequence are so blatant, and Domhnall Gleeson's "acting" here so cartoonish and over-the-top, that one can not help but laugh at the silliness of it all... Peter Cushing, you are sorely missed... Supreme Leader Snoke is possibly the lamest CGI character this side of 1991. A huge let-down, visually, and of course they'll throw a big "Wizard Of Oz" moment at us by the time we finally get his big reveal in the next episode (plus, I get the feeling he is Darth Plagueis)... Who is who in this thing anyway? If The First Order is the new Empire, what was the point of RETURN OF THE JEDI?... John Williams phoned in his score, I hate to admit it, and this is no exaggeration if we consider that the recording took place literally days before the actual release of the film and the CD doesn't even have a proper cover. By far the weakest soundtrack of the saga so far, with not even a new single leit-motif nor memorable melody (say what you will about the prequels, but they at least gave us jewels like "Duel Of The Fates" and "Battle Of The Heroes")... The actors all do great work, and Daisy Ridley is a revelation and, truth be told, carries most of the film...

I DID like certain moments, mind you, but overall, this was such a let-down. Simply put, I honestly have no desire to watch it again until the blu-ray release, and I suppose that says it all.

Of all the posts on this thread I have read I agree with this one 100%. The only disagreement I have with you is I liked Revenge Of The Sith. But as my wife and I walked out of the theater after we watched the movie I turned to her and said "What a let down and waste of money on a ticket, I should have waited for it to hit Blu ray". That being said the HDR and Atmos were the highlight to a forgettable movie. Other's may like it but not me. I think its the weakest of the sequals, but again thats just my opinion. But again great post and I agree 100%.
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post #37 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 04:37 PM
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I watched it twice. Once in a Dolby Cinema (AMC Hawthorn 12) and once at a regular theater (AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield 20). The Dolby Cinema was truly an experience when compared to a regular theater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban Medaglia View Post
My second biggest issue with the film (after the blatant re-hashing of the plot of EPISODE IV, etc.) is the weakness of the main villain himself. You are in big trouble if your villain does not work nor pose a genuine threat, specially when you have Darth Vader as your precursor. Kylo Ren is basically a wimpy, puerile pseudo-sith, a Darth Vader emo-groupie who throws temper-tantrums at the air three times too many and would be more at home in a TWILIGHT film instead. Amazingly enough, he is so strong with the force that he can freeze a blaster shot in mid air (something that not even Yoda nor Palpatine could do before) and yet he gets his ass served by Ray (who is obviously Luke's daughter and trained in the Force, and whose memory has more than likely been erased to "protect" her) in 3 minutes flat, and almost by Finn (who has no Force training at all and, as a stormtrooper, is able to get rid of his "conditioning" all too easily)... l.
I thought Kylo Ren was very well played. He was fairly in tune with the Force and showed it, especially to non-force users. Talking about it more below under the blanket of the "spoiler" tag.

Spoiler!
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post #38 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 06:58 PM
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Not surprised by all the hate. Not everyone can love every movie. I on the other hand loved it. It made me want to watch it again. I liked the prequels too and honestly think that episode IV is my least favorite. I love them all and can't wait til the BD release of this one and the next two. Feel free to berate me over these opinions.
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post #39 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 10:11 PM
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I thought it was a good movie but overall i wasn't impressed for a star wars movie. I got so used to Lucas' creativity, attention to detail, cinematography and making these movies very grandiose, even though some of the episodes might have been weaker than the others, Star Wars has always introduced something new and revolutionary to movie making which i didn't see in this one. The score just wasn't even as impactful as the other 6 and its sad there is so much CGI as Lucas would diligently mix props and only add CGI where needed. In Episode 3, Lucas had both Hayden and Ewan train for 2 years how to fence and sword fight, You would think after 30 years in the galaxy, the fighters would have evolved technologically as well as alleviating weaknesses in the death star structure. Kylo is able to stop a laser blast in mid air and hold it with the force but loses to Rey and Finn who've never even touched a light saber.

It just seems to be that JJ Abrams didn't give this movie the attention to detail as Lucas would have. Almost like a rush job to get the movie to market and bank the cash for Disney. The movie seemed very mechanical and more star trek like. I have a feeling the younger crowd will like this more so than the people whom actually grew up on these as they were released.
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post #40 of 182 Old 12-25-2015, 11:20 PM
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I thought it was a good movie but overall i wasn't impressed for a star wars movie. I got so used to Lucas' creativity, attention to detail, cinematography and making these movies very grandiose, even though some of the episodes might have been weaker than the others, Star Wars has always introduced something new and revolutionary to movie making which i didn't see in this one. The score just wasn't even as impactful as the other 6 and its sad there is so much CGI as Lucas would diligently mix props and only add CGI where needed. In Episode 3, Lucas had both Hayden and Ewan train for 2 years how to fence and sword fight, You would think after 30 years in the galaxy, the fighters would have evolved technologically as well as alleviating weaknesses in the death star structure. Kylo is able to stop a laser blast in mid air and hold it with the force but loses to Rey and Finn who've never even touched a light saber.

It just seems to be that JJ Abrams didn't give this movie the attention to detail as Lucas would have. Almost like a rush job to get the movie to market and bank the cash for Disney. The movie seemed very mechanical and more star trek like. I have a feeling the younger crowd will like this more so than the people whom actually grew up on these as they were released.
Indeed it was a rush job and it really shows. The movie was conceived, written, designed, produced, and released in only 3 years. Much shorter time than either Episode 4 or 1. And now there is only 2 years in between sequels rather than 3.

I agree with what you say about Lucas. With each new prequel we had imaginative new worlds and dozens of new characters that I wanted to learn more about. There wasn't a single thing in this film that piqued my curiosity. Instead we got another desert world, another forest world and another Death Star this time mashed up with Hoth.

And as you say even the music and the lightsaber duels were a disappointment. Those were two things you could always count on with each new movie no matter how bad the rest of it was.

Sadly Star Wars has now become just like every other Hollywood franchise with cookie-cutter movies churned out by the suits with absolutely no imagination.

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post #41 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 06:50 AM
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The light saber battles are not as flamboyant as the ones in the prequel trilogies by design. In the time between the end of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope nearly all of the Jedi have been wiped out and the art was essentially lost. They're simply not as good with them. I thought the fight between Rey and Kylo Ren was at least as good as the one between Vader and Luke in Return of the Jedi and I think the light saber fights will get better as time goes on in the movies. For now the battle at the end of ep.III with Anakin and Obi Wan remains the light saber gold standard.
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post #42 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 07:20 AM
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In the new world order one only needs to have the force within and touch a light saber to instantly learn jedi mind tricks and force telekinesis. Spending months of life with someone like yoda is so 80s.
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post #43 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 07:57 AM
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It is all about reboot, merchandising, master PT Barnum stuff, and JJ is the new master. I mean what do you expect, a well written, emotionally connecting story? Nope, you get a safe rehash of A New Hope, everything recycled with the new wiz bang technology to propel the masses to more mediocrity to mind numbing affect! In our dark age the puppet masters want you to have bread and and circuses to distract us from the reality that we are living on a Death Star soon to cease to exist. Ah, but smell that popcorn, and gee what just went over our head, the truth I, suppose.
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post #44 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 08:16 AM
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Poor analogy if one at all. Given the mentality I appreciate your ability to make it clear that some consider spoilers acceptable. I'll just skip Scott's future threads on movies in theaters since it attracts people like yourself.

All said and done - hope everyone is having a happy Christmas and a safe one.
Why not just go see the Movie? I did before I read this thread. Problem solved.
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post #45 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 09:03 AM
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Unless you have no access to modern media—in which case, you wouldn't be reading this—you know what a juggernaut the new Star Wars movie is. It shattered all sorts of box-office records in its opening weekend with over $500 million in ticket sales worldwide, half of which was in North America. Plus, there are more merchandising tie-ins than I've ever seen before, ensuring that Disney will make back its investment in the franchise and much more in relatively short order.



When I learned that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be graded in Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) and shown in that format at Dolby Cinema venues, I bought a ticket for the earliest showing at the AMC Burbank 16 for which one of my favorite seats was available. When the appointed hour approached, I settled into the cushy leather recliner for what I hoped would be an exceptional cinematic experience.

Exceptional it was—in presentation. The HDR images were breathtaking. The black of space was true black, and the many dimly lit interior shots were extraordinary, with plenty of detail in the darkness. I especially liked one of the early shots of stormtroopers in a landing craft, which was pitch black except for flashes of light momentarily illuminating their helmeted heads. There might have been a bit of black crush in low-light shots of the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), whose black hair and clothes were occasionally obscured against a very dark background.

The added brightness of Dolby Vision was also used to good effect—for example, explosions were brilliant. And areas of high brightness coexisted nicely with areas of low light in the same shot, a hallmark of HDR imagery. All of this resulted in a picture that really popped with outstanding dimensionality, even though it was 2D. (There are a few shots that were undoubtedly designed for 3D, which is used in Imax and other SDR venues, but I didn't miss it at all.)

One thing I didn't like about the visuals was the 24-frames-per-second motion blur and judder, which was painfully obvious during pans across a starfield and in other shots with lots of motion. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it than usual because of my recent conversation with Douglas Trumbull about high frame rates, but it really bugged me during The Force Awakens.

The Dolby Atmos soundtrack was spectacular, with lots of activity throughout the 3D soundfield—spaceships whizzing around, laser fire, explosions, even the music filled the entire auditorium. Interestingly, Kylo Ren's voice was much less intelligible when he removed his mask; when he was wearing it (which was, inexplicably, most of the time), his voice sounded like it was coming from a transistor radio, and his words were much easier to understand than when he took it off. Otherwise, dialog intelligibility was generally good, even Harrison Ford's gravelly voice as he played the aging Han Solo.

As expected, the volume levels were pretty high—Leq (average RMS level over entire movie plus trailers) = 96.3 dBZ (flat), 84 dBA, 94.5 dBC; Lmax (maximum 1-second RMS level) = 120.1 dBZ; L10 (level exceeded 10% of the time) = 98.6 dBZ; L50 (level exceeded 50% of the time) = 84.4 dBZ. I had my fingers in my ears several times, but I decided not to wear my earplugs so I could evaluate the Atmos soundtrack fully.

As for the movie itself, my opinion will be at distinct odds with many—if not most—viewers. I'm definitely a fan of the Star Wars franchise, and I had high hopes for this episode based on some early reviews. But I can describe my impression of the movie in one word: BORING! There are a few funny moments, but I found nothing whatsoever that deepened the mythology or moved the story forward in any meaningful way. The movie felt very shallow to me—I kept thinking, "This is Star Wars masturbation!" It's nothing more than a rehash of Episode IV: A New Hope with no real emotional depth.

Avid fans will love it because it's familiar—and maybe that's the problem. Most big-budget movies these days are essentially similar to their predecessors because that's the safe route for studios to take. Why risk hundreds of millions of dollars on something creative and original when you're virtually guaranteed a big return on investment if you simply make the same movie over and over again with better effects and bigger explosions than the one before? That's what Star Wars: The Force Awakens felt like to me—a safe bet based solely on the loyalty of the fan base. It's a bet that seems to have paid off in terms of revenue, but in my view, certainly not in terms of storytelling.

On the other hand, it's a prime example of HDR imagery and Atmos immersive sound, and I recommend seeing it in a Dolby Cinema for that reason alone; for a complete list of current and upcoming locations, click here. (There are now 12 Dolby Cinemas up and running in the US and two in the Netherlands.) For some reason, the AMC Village on the Parkway 9 in Addison, TX (near Dallas) is not showing The Force Awakens in its Dolby Cinema auditorium, but as far as I know, all the other locations—as well as the El Capitan in Hollywood, CA, which is not an official Dolby Cinema—are showing it in Dolby Vision and Atmos sound. It's worth the trek to see and hear the state of the art in commercial cinema, but don't expect a meaningful movie.
Thanks for your review. I'll just wait for playback on my Ultra High Definition Blu Ray Player with HDR soon...right?
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post #46 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 09:33 AM
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The light saber battles are not as flamboyant as the ones in the prequel trilogies by design.
Indeed, the battles are rough and unfocused because the combatants are not fully trained or trained at all. To reinforce that point, even Kylo's lightsabre was purposely depicted as likewise rough and unfocused.

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post #47 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 11:52 AM
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In the new world order one only needs to have the force within and touch a light saber to instantly learn jedi mind tricks and force telekinesis. Spending months of life with someone like yoda is so 80s.
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post #49 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 01:01 PM
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We watched it the other day in IMAX 3D. Fantastic picture and no problems with the 3D glasses, even though we both wear glasses.
As an absolute NON-Star Wars person I went in with no expectations that could have been disappointed or destroyed. Story line was a little thin, but I always go to see this kind of movie for the visual effects and the enjoyment of a huge screen; story is secondary.
Not a movie to see again soon, but also not too bad. I can't wait to have a Dolby Vision theater here in town; but until then I am very pleased with what I experienced at the IMAX 3D.
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post #50 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 01:57 PM
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I'm surprised at some of the harsh criticism of the new movie. I agree it's not absolutely perfect, but I think they got most of it right. And it's, after all, Star Wars! No Star Wars movie has nor will win Best Picture and it's almost as if some of you were expecting The Lawrence of Arabia. Guess what? You're going to have space battles, the force, some humor (maybe a little cheezy), light sabers, lasers, ships, less than top notch acting, and some plot holes as was the case with even the original movies. Also, there will be some redundancy in every Star Wars movie! There always has been. I realize Star Wars in general is not everyone's cup of tea, but these are realities of the movies that need to be expected.
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post #51 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 02:36 PM
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I'm with you Scott, Years in the making and that's the best story they could come up with???
It's a great primer for episode 8 but for the first time I'm very disappointed with Lawrence Kasden, JJ. Abrams has disappointed many times Star Trek:Into Darkness (aka) Wrath of Khan remake was the latest till now.
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post #52 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 03:07 PM
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I have been a fan of star wars as well, especially as a kid. I have revisited them in the late 90s with the special editions and then with the disappointing prequels. Last week I've re-watched the original trilogy with my nephew (early 20s) and my wife on my projector room. My wife has never seen them previously. As much as I hate to admit it, New Hope felt slow and outdated, Empire which was my favorite held up well in its second half and to my surprise we all enjoyed Jedi the most. The space battles special effects of Jedi are visually stunning. So now we were all ready to watch the Force Awaken. I absolutely loved the movie!!! There were several nostalgic moments that drew tears in my eyes. The movie brought me back to my childhood, it felt like a genuine star wars movie and it had a great pace. I never found myself bored as I did in the prequels. We all walked out of the theater with a WOW satisfaction, wanting to know more. I'm surprised as well to see the harsh criticism of the movie, and there are valid points made here, but they never bothered me. Can't wait till episode 8 comes out.
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post #53 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 03:21 PM
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Rey's force abilities weren't truly realized until Kylo tried to read her mind. Him removing his helmet allowed for less intimidation, and Rey to lock in on his eyes in this moment, and she somehow access his mind. I believe that she was able to take some of his knowledge of the force during this transaction, as she doesn't start trying to use it until after this happens. Let's remember, Kylo was no master, but just a trainee, and the best the First Order has in their Empire Lite world.
I understand, and you forgot that Kylo the angry emo teen was also injured, but still not even close to the context of the original three when it comes to respecting the force. More like the prequels.
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post #54 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 03:22 PM
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Rey's force abilities weren't truly realized until Kylo tried to read her mind. Him removing his helmet allowed for less intimidation, and Rey to lock in on his eyes in this moment, and she somehow access his mind. I believe that she was able to take some of his knowledge of the force during this transaction, as she doesn't start trying to use it until after this happens. Let's remember, Kylo was no master, but just a trainee, and the best the First Order has in their Empire Lite world.
I understand, and you forgot that Kylo was also injured, but still not even close to the context of the original three when it comes to respecting the force. More like the prequels. I'm pretty forgiving of all the other issues except when it comes to the relative ease that the force was used here.
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post #55 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 04:04 PM
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Sorry, I used them earlier, and the concensus of the forum seemed to be that everyone had seen the film and to not use them. Read with caution here.
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post #56 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 05:15 PM
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My impression

I watched in an Atmos theater but oddly enough I did not really notice a lot of activity overhead. I think I was trying hard to pay attention to the film. I need to watch it again.

I won't spoil but will leave a brief impression.
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post #57 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 06:29 PM
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I watched Star Wars a second time tonight in IMAX 3D. There is some impressive depth to the imagery but overall I preferred the Dolby Cinema experience. You can't beat the richness of the Dolby Vision picture quality and the Atmos audio is so impactful.
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post #58 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 06:59 PM
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this thread is like a breath of fresh air, and no one is afraid to address the elephant in the room.
I saw Star Wars opening night hoping the being a Star Wars fan as JJ was hyped up to be, he would make an excellent sequel to the Star Wars universe. As
JJ ruined Star Trek for me ( A topic for another time) I'd hoped he would not do the same to Star Wars.
I'm a huge sci-fi fan
Although the special effect were great, my greatest fear came true.
The force awakens was a crap movie!... It had no substance... No story..... No plot.... NOTHING!!!

The force awakens felt just like a rehashed fan made tribute movie to the original movies only with a bigger budget.

I'm so tired of people saying that it was a "great movie" and it is was "how Star Wars was meant to be" and what gives with "if was like that so it can appeal to a younger generation"

And if you say you didn't like it people do get upset at you.

The plot for this movie was so dumbed down and full of plot holes its not funny.

I could go on and on about what wrong with this move but I think many here feel the same.

I wish it would just get scrapped and episode VII done alover again.
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post #59 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 07:36 PM
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I would be extremely curious to see what the average age is of those commenting on the film in this thread. My guess is 90% of you at least grew up watching the originals as children, and because of that hold them to an impossibly high standard in your minds partly due to nostalgia (just IMO obviously). I'm 23 so episode 1 came out when I was a kid so I grew up watching the prequels and didn't actually watch the originals until I was in my late teens and I actually didn't mind the prequels myself for probably the same reason (though other than episode 3 I still feel they were outclassed by the originals).

I absolutely LOVED episode 7 and I thought it was hands down the best of the bunch, but like I said I know it's very easy to feel like something you grew up on is better, and i'm not saying you're even wrong if that's your opinion, just that with no emotional attachment to the O.T. I think episode 7 is at least on par with them.

And just so I hammer it home, this is just my opinion.

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post #60 of 182 Old 12-26-2015, 07:53 PM
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The overwhelming criticism of the movie on this thread has spiraled into a humorous drivel of armchair quarterbacking.

Star Wars is a soft space opera; always was gentlemen, it's not 2001 A Space Odyssey or Interstellar. This isn't some thoughtful exercise in philosophical introspection, science, or theological examination. It's a space action movie meant to sell toys, make you smile, and marvel at technology.

Star Wars wasn't known for it's storytelling. The original story was cute and fun; so is the Force Awakens. These movies aren't thought provoking. They're popcorn movies that entertain. The prequels sucked so bad because they strayed away from what made the first 3 films classic. Episodes 4,5, and 6 just happened to be the best sci fi popcorn movies ever made at the time. Plus, I and many others grew up playing with the toys, pretending to be the heroes or Vader, reading the comics, and playing the video games. Plus there was the crazy lag between the films and home video, thus all the affection.

If the largest multi-national entertainment company buys such a franchise, what else did you expect them to make? The Matrix? Are you being serious?

You guys sound silly with these strange expectations, likely just trying too hard to sound intelligent as if popcorn sci fi is beneath you. Sorry, I don't buy it. Context is an important concept, yet for many, is very difficult to comprehend due to internal bias and conditioning.

The context of Star Wars is just to make money. George only had this in mind and he succeeded until episodes 1,2, and kind of 3. He became very arrogant and decided to make a stage play on film, which was never a good idea. Personality gave the originals life; mostly Harrison Ford as Han leading the way. The Force Awakens attempts to revive this, which was refreshing.

I have hope for the next few films and spin offs. Some will attempt to be compelling as many of you desire. However, the new core films will seek to satisfy the kids and make the adults who take them feel entertained.
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