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Star Wars: The Force Awakens - A Spoiler-Free, and Detail-Free, Review

April 3rd, 2016

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Despite what the box office numbers would indicate, there are some people who have never seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. [Copy Ed: Some of us have never seen any Star Wars movie]. Because of that, we are going to have two reviews. The first is going to contain absolutely no spoilers... okay, just one spoiler. The big boat sinks in the end. ... On the one hand, I feel the need to apologize for that joke. On the other hand, I will never not find that joke funny. So how do you do a review without a single spoiler? Simple, nothing but lists. I will rank The Force Awakens in a trio of lists. How does this film compare to others in the Star Wars Franchise? How does it compare to the biggest hits of 2015? And finally, how does it compare to the biggest all-time hits?

Star Wars Franchise

  1. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
  3. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi - Tie
  4. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - Tie
  5. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens - Tie
  6. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
  7. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
I do think Revenge of the Sith is as good as Return of the Jedi, but I admit that is not a popular opinion. I also really like Attack of the Clones and the only installment I don't feel the desire to watch again is The Phantom Menace.

Biggest Hits of 2015

  1. Inside Out - Easily the best big-budget film of 2015 and I would have given it the Oscar for Best Picture
  2. The Martian - Best Sci-fi film I've seen in ages.
  3. The Avengers: Age of Ultron - Not quite as focused as The Avengers, but at least I'm excited by the stuff they've set up. I can't say the same for all of The Force Awakens.
  4. Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 - A very good end to one of the better recent franchises. Might climb into fourth place, if the rest of the new Star Wars trilogy doesn't pay off what The Force Awakens sets up.
  6. Furious 7 - Tried too hard to be dramatic and failed every time. Also, the action scenes are tipping into self-parody. That said, still entertaining.
  7. Minions - This film is for kids. It lacks the heart of the first two films in the franchise.
  8. Spectre - Dull. Nothing more to say.
  9. Jurassic World - The only film on this list that makes me angry when I think about it.

All-Time Worldwide Box Office

  1. The Avengers - Not my favorite movie of all time, but the best film currently in the top ten. The only downside is the number of studios that are trying to copy its success and failing.
  2. The Avengers: Age of Ultron - See above.
  3. Iron Man 3 - Ben Kingsley is one of the best "villains" of all time.
  4. Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  5. Avatar - A technical wonder. Don't give a damn about the characters. ... Can't remember the characters. Entertaining and the world created by James Cameron does inspire awe.
  6. Titanic - A technical wonder. Don't give a damn about the characters, but at least the acting was great. Didn't find it entertaining until the big boat started to sink.
  7. Furious 7 - See above.
  8. Jurassic World - See above.
  • Frozen - This movie is cursed. I've watched the first 30 minutes about five times. Every time I try to watch it, I'm flooded with work and have to stop. I do want to finish watching it, eventually. Same thing happens with The Innkeepers, except that movie causes Blue Screens of Death. Three times I started watching that movie and three times I got a BSOD during it. And I'm not even using my computer to play it.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II - I don't watch split-book adaptations until both movies are available. In this case, I was also waiting for a full-series box set that had all of the extras of the Overpriced Collector's Set, but without the overpriced box. I should be able to get all 8 movies, all of the bonus discs, in a simple box for under $100. I'll probably get it this Christmas.

Filed under: Star Wars, Despicable Me, James Cameron, Ben Kingsley