Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
It’s my birthday today. More importantly, it’s both Black Friday and Star Wars Teaser Trailer Day. I did not venture out into Black Friday crowds (especially because I was at my parents house until about an hour ago, which means the only place to venture out to is Walmart), but I did watch the teaser, of course. And so far, I’m pretty into it, which surprised me. My level of interest in this new trilogy keeps going up and down. On the plus side, I actually think JJ Abrams seems like a pretty good fit as a director, and I really enjoyed how the trailer looked. It felt updated to me, but still like Star Wars, which is awesome. The original trilogy will always have a special little place in my heart.
On the other hand, Episodes I-III were . . . flawed . . . to say the least. (Well, Episode I and II, anyway. I never actually did see Revenge of the Sith. Blasphemy, I know, but I was still gagging on the atrocious dialogue from Attack of the Clones years after having watched it. I’ll have to make myself watch it this year, though, when I watch all six movies.) And I really wish we were just leaving Luke, Leia, and Han alone. Not that they’re really featured in this trailer, but I’m just not interested in seeing old versions of them. I’m especially not interested in seeing any of them die, which seems like a possibility. (Especially Han, since Harrison Ford is such a cranky old bastard.)
So, yeah. We’ll see. As far as this teaser goes, though, I’m feeling it. For some reason, I’m all about John Boyega in that Stormtrooper outfit.
So, this looks . . . okay. It looks like a perfectly serviceable live-action adaptation of Cinderella, and nothing more. Which, I mean. I guess that’s what they’re going for. Little kids seem like the target audience here, and I probably would’ve been into seeing it if it had come out when I was a little kid. (For I was the two-year-old who learned how to use the VCR just so I could watch Cinderella again and again.) But as an adult, I’m kind of bored by this trailer. I adore fairy tales, but I can’t say I see very much point to them if no one changes anything. And this adaptation looks about as straight-forward as they come. (On a more positive note, I’m sure Cate Blanchett will be awesome as the evil stepmother. On a more negative note, I miss Robb Stark’s facial hair.)
Also, let’s just be honest: I sincerely doubt the dying mom’s philosophy. “Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.” I know this is fairy tales and all, but bullshit, lady. No one buys that for a second.
Well. Huh. You can’t accuse this particular adaptation of not changing things up. I’m just not sure how I feel about these particular changes.
Not that there’s anything particularly groundbreaking about a prequel where the hero and villain were once friends. Clark Kent and Lex Luthor used to be friends. Obi-Wan and Anakin. Elphaba and Glinda. But transforming Hook into some kind of goofy adventurer just seems . . . weird. It’s totally possible I could be won over, but at the moment, I’m not particularly interested. Also, I keep being distracted by Hugh Jackman’s wig. I’m kind of loving his over-the-top performance, though.
Also positives: I genuinely enjoy how colorful this trailer is. And I liked the scene with all the kids being spirited out of boys home. This is not a theater movie for me, but I could probably watch it as a rental.
Here’s the thing: I like Chris Pratt. And I like dinosaurs. And I want to be more interested in this movie. But I’ve got some problems here. One, I haven’t really been invested in this franchise since the first film. (I seem to remember liking the second one okay — or at least being amused that environmentalist Vince Vaughn smoked — but I certainly didn’t love it, and I didn’t like the third one very much at all.) Two, I kind of feel like I could just stay home and watch Deep Blue Sea again and get pretty much the same experience. (Will there be sexual tension between our “This isn’t a bad idea because Science!” redhead and our rugged, vest-wearing leading man? Methinks there might be.) Three, it doesn’t look like I’m getting nearly enough Judy Greer. Four — and I know this is silly — it just annoys me that nobody has apparently learned anything from the first three times dinosaurs attacked. I feel like the events of JP 1, 2, and 3 might have taught us that a dinosaur theme park is a bad idea, no matter how hilarious Dinosaur Sea World might be.
I’m not saying I won’t watch it. But this is definitely feeling like a rental for me.
And finally . . . Ascension
Don’t get me wrong — I’m obviously all about the giant shark versus giant gator versus giant sharkgator movies that Syfy usually produces– but I’m excited to see other stuff, too. While this miniseries trailer doesn’t tell you much, I’m pretty interested. I know there’s some kind of murder mystery because of a different trailer I watched, and I like some of the cast here, particularly Brian Van Holt and Tricia Helfer. (I considered posting the other trailer I watched too, but it was more behind-the-scenes stuff, and I got too annoyed at this one dude who was talking about how Ascension would be set apart from other SF because it was grounded in humanity. You know, because SCIENCE FICTION HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT HUMANITY BEFORE. Assholes.)