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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Totally enjoyed it man, there is NOTHING not to like about this film if you're a fan, especially of the original franchise. All of the classic elements are there again, the New Cast and Characters are AWESOME- BB-8 or whatever the new R2 unit is rules, and the story is great- the older cast is splendid to see in a nostalgic way but honestly, they were unnecessary because the new story and characters are so good, believe it or not. But alas, they are icing on the cake and it's great to see them all again, of course! Chewbacca has not aged a day since the 1977 original, I might add! The effects are in no way overdone, they are very old school and it's just a great story where you don't think about the effects at all. Although Mark Hamill was only in it at the very end, it was still a very emotional scene and the movie, like Star Wars, does "end" yet leaves it open for the next installment and you DO want to see the next one- so mission accomplished there. The new villain, Kylo Ren, is excellent and multi-layered and the entire movie definitely takes away any of the disappointment that the prequels left (although I've never had any "hatred" for them- they were decent!). As far as where it ranks in my likes of the franchise- it's at the top, maybe a tie with JEDI for sure, maybe a bit better. It's just really, really, really a good film. Don't expect the world from it, but it's not just a CGI spectacle in the least. The new Emperor (Snokes, I think?) is REALLY cool and hideous and I can't wait to see him in action more. All in all, a seriously good Christmas present for any Star Wars fan, even those who aren't obsessed with it---the theater was packed with audience members from 3-80, man, and it was an experience, a movie EVENT, a CULTURAL EVENT, of epic proportions, especially for this day and age---and it lived up to my expectations and even succeeded most of them. I had tears in my eyes many times, and Chewie was great, Han Solo was AWESOME to see in action again, Leia, well, decent but her part was not much, but then again, it was perfect. I think the balance of old and new, passing the baton, was GREAT and my interest in the series is at an all-time high again. This movie not only reinvigorates Star Wars, it nearly reinvents it with the mixing of old and new and it's just perfect ESCAPISM. You can't go back and beat the first two, no way there, but for this day and age, all I can do is look to the sky in awe and say...."Wow!" And yes, this is what they should've done back in 1997 when the original cast was younger. But...at least they DID finally do it and seriously elevate the franchise again. Because although the prequels didn't bother me like most, they definitely were not the caliber of the original ones. And this one puts it all back on track. May not outdo the first three, but it will take the bad taste of the prequels away if you were disappointed. I'm not saying THE FORCE AWAKENS is the greatest movie ever, or of the series- but it is among the best of the franchise now for sure---and you WANT to see more when this ends. It does end with Luke Skywalker in an incredibly emotional scene, and you really will want to see more! I know I do. I hope they don't blow it, but...seems like right now, they are in good hands with getting these done right. And the effects, never once did I think "CGI"... It was more---"this is great seeing all this again!" and it all worked for the story. I didn't think ANYTHING was done...because they COULD do it, like Lucas did with the prequels---just making it all so "alien-like" that it resembled a cartoon, that was the mistake---entire movies felt like they were shot on a sound stage with a green screen. This movie was obviously all location shoots, location, location, location, and real studio sets. So that alone really elevated its look and feel, back to the originals. Plus being shot in 35mm film, there is that same feel the first three had.!" WOW!!!!! And the story is awesome, basically dealing with offspring from the original film, choosing sides, discovering who they are, the Empire rising again and the Rebellion fighting back. There's dog fight, a new "Death Star-ish" base called The Starkiller that must be dismantled, and tons of other surprises to be found. I loved the light saber duels and the emotions that the new characters had as they came unto their own before our very eyes. New bad guy Kylo Ren is not quite Vader but he is "becoming" something close...You get the idea- it's good guys, bad guys, a great musical score by John Williams once again accompanying everything, super direction by J.J. Abrams and a rockin' fun and intelligent script by Lawerence Kasdan--writer of Empire Of Strikes Back and Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Everyone is at the TOP OF THEIR GAME with this picture. See it! I want to see it again and do plan to! In the theater! MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!!!!

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