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April 22, 2017

Saturday Evening Movie Thread 04-22-2017 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison]

Let's Talk About Star Wars

Okay, not actually Star Wars, but stuff like this:

I think that you people know that I love movies in general quite a bit more than most. I watch a lot of stuff of a wide variety.

You may also be able to guess that I got into movies through stuff like Star Wars. I was obsessed with the original trilogy. I read the Expanded Universe novels. Hell, in about 6th grade I tried my first hand at novel writing with a Star Wars novel (I'm pretty sure it was really terrible and I'm very glad that I can't find it). I went a bit nuts when the first trailer for The Phantom Menace came out. I went to go see 13 Days, a movie I had no interest in, just so that I could see the trailer.

I was also 13 years old at the time.

I picked this guy's video at random, and I don't want to cast judgment on the guy's mental state. Neither should you. However, having never heard of this guy before, seen any of his videos, or met him in person, all I have to go on with him is this video. And he cries at the trailer for The Last Jedi. He…Cries.


I was talking to some fellow Morons a couple of weeks ago where we talked about the Star Wars movies and Marvel movies. The part of that conversation that got me moving on this topic was how What's a Seawolf? said that he was super excited by the Thor: Ragnarok trailer. Others said that they were pretty much in line already for the trailer.

Don't get me wrong, the movie definitely looks fun. I'll eventually see it (having a 3 year old and a wife who's lost complete interest in super hero movies makes it unlikely that I'll see it in theaters), but I just don't feel that same kind of excitement anymore. The last time I felt it was probably with The Return of the King.

It's not a bad trailer. The fact that it was well made had little to do with the excitement I felt at the time. It was well made enough to not cause problems, but my excitement was really tied to my overall emotions towards the franchise. No, I didn't cry, but I do remember the tightness in my stomach that I felt. I was also 18 years old.

I'm not trying to pass judgment on anyone who sees a movie trailer and feels that same level of excitement that I haven't felt in more than a decade. I'm actually kind of jealous. I want to feel that same level of excitement again (well…I don't want to cry at a movie trailer, but you get me). I seem to have lost the ability to get excited like that.

Apathy or Something Else?

Is it apathy? Do I just not care about new movies? The most excited I've gotten recently over a movie was probably when I found the money to spend on Chimes at Midnight, the Orson Welles telling of Fallstaff's tale from Shakespeare. That movie is decades old, and I had seen it before, but I was excited in a way that was similar to when I first saw that The Return of the King trailer.

Another close one was the trailer for Silence by Martin Scorsese.

I watched that trailer repeatedly when it first came online. I also found a way to go to the theater for the one week that the movie was in cinemas.

Maybe it's the value of entertainment to me. The Marvel movies are entertaining. The new Star Wars movies are entertaining. Most big budget movies these days are entertaining. Most big budget movies are corporate products that are well oiled machines and designed to entertain. Very, very few seem to break out in my mind and become experiences that actually speak to the human condition. I feel that Captain America: The Winter Soldier did do that, but that was an unexpected surprise in the middle of all the relatively samey effect of the rest of the Marvel movies. I see the sea of movies coming out over the next year, and I just see things that are aiming to entertain, and that's about it.

I'm Looking for Greatness

Maybe the reason I'm not feeling anything close to the same experience as that guy in the first video is because we're looking for different things. He's very likely looking for entertainment and nostalgia from the new Star Wars movies. I'm looking for a movie that, no matter it's connections to my childhood or iconography that's familiar, hits on an emotional level that makes me feel something new.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be that experience, but it's trailer is not designed to sell that. It's designed to sell that nostalgic connection between the audience and their childhood as well as bright colorful action. We're getting a lot of that these days, and placing the Star Wars packaging on top of that core doesn't make the effect either more or less powerful for me.

I knew that Silence was going to be a movie going experience that was going to hit me hard on its own (and it totally was…you need to see that movie), but all Star Wars is telling me about itself is that it's going to have Luke Skywalker, familiar music, and lightsabers. Yay.

But then again…I'm a snooty asshole.

Movies of Today

Opening in Theaters:

Born in China
Free Fire

Next in my Netflix Queue:

Movies I Saw This Week:
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Netflix Rating 3/5 | Quality Rating 2/4) Poster Blurb: "The soulless sequel to an already nihilistic movie. Pretty, though."

L'Eclisse (Netflix Rating 4/5 | Quality Rating 3/4) "More of an intellectual exercise than a narrative, but it makes its point."

The Conjuring (Netflix Rating 3/5 | Quality Rating 2.5/4) "A one trick pony that does its one trick pretty well."

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posted by OregonMuse at 07:30 PM

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