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Thread: The reviews are in...

  1. #1
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    Default The reviews are in...

    I'm going to go : 5, 4, 7, 6, 3, 1, 2 then the Ewok movies.

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    4, 6, 5, 3, 7, 2, 1 for me.

    Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy TFA, but it's not without its issues, from the perspective of a longtime fan of the setting (EU included), a casual fan of the movies, and even just based on its merit as a standalone movie.

    That being said, if you haven't yet seen it, avoid what I'm writing below...here be spoilers.















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    Okay...I think that's enough room.

    To give a full review is really unnecessary, so how about some bullet points:

    The Good:

    -Casting was brilliant. Rey is an instant favorite even in a franchise cluttered with memorable characters, Finn has great chemistry with both Rey and Poe, and if anything, the new actors show up the alumni and steal the show (as they should). I was really let down by the performances delivered by Fisher and Ford (except for a few faint glimmers of the old Han showing up...for example, "That's not how the Force works!" it was pretty obvious that he didn't want involved in Star Wars anymore, and now that I've seen it, I wish they'd have just let him not appear in the movie, explaining his absence with some narrative).

    -The fight scenes are believable and the tension is genuine. I never felt like I was being told to be excited, like I did for the Battle of Geonosis.

    -The First Order is well-established as a credible, but not invincible threat moving forward. This is something we never got with the prequels, instead being directed, sometimes literally via the opening crawl, to simply recognize the CIS as legitimate opponents, despite their constant losses on-screen.

    -The locations/cinematography really does call back to the OT.

    The Less Than Good:

    -From a fanboy perspective, the rules of technology & the Force have been greatly turned on end in this one. Everything from the blaster bolt in the opening scene, to playing fast and loose with the laws of hyperspace. While it's primarily only a concern for the super-fans, it also creates continuity issues for the other movies: why is it than a partially trained Kylo Ren can freeze a blaster bolt in mid air while multitasking...but in the prequels and OT we don't see anything even close to that kind of mastery, even from the likes of Anakin or Yoda. With hyperspace, if some of the feats we see on-screen in TFA are feasible, why weren't they used, say, to escape the DS in ANH? Or to get the strike team to the surface of Endor in RotJ? I understand Disney's decision to scrap the EU, totally. They wanted to avoid too many inconsistencies and plot holes where their vision deviated from the established lore. That's fine, but I think they took that rationale too far, preferring lazy storytelling, even when it meant plot holes even in the stripped down canon of "just the movies".

    -On the lazy storytelling front, why not just call this one "Return of the New Hope"? Force-sensitive fringer eking out a living on a desert planet gets swept up in a hunt for a droid that has secret information. Eventually meets some supporting cast and escapes through their timely aid in time to get said information back to the good guys at their secret base. In the mean time, the bad guys use their celestial body with a gun built in to destroy a planet we've not been given enough information to care about, and now it's headed for the good guys' base. Scramble good forces and a strike team to knock out the Critical Flaw, have a sabotage mission, lightsaber duel, and dogfight simultaneously, and win the day. They certainly did a good job of creating a movie in the style of the OT...unfortunately, they might as well have just used various scenes directly lifted from the OT and saved a lot of time.

    -Not enough scene-setting. The OT was simplistic and straightforward in it's story. We never see the Imperial capital because it doesn't matter. The galactic political landscape is 100% Empire. We don't need the general overall scene set beyond what is conveyed in the opening crawls. For the prequels, the landscape changes drastically, so there is time spent on explaining how all of this is working. Some of it is tedious, but at least we understand. In TFA, there's obviously some sort of balance of power, but we get absolutely zero explanation as to why glaringly obvious courses of action aren't addressed.

    -Kylo Ren is a lousy main villain. There. I said it. Great character. Even a great villain. But not a MAIN villain. One movie in, this guy who we're supposed to fear has lost two prisoners, been trounced in a duel with untrained opponents, and only manages to kill someone who's unarmed and not even attempting to fight. Oh, and he throws tantrums like a spoiled 4 year old. And again on the lazy storytelling front, we've got a main villain who wears all black, has a mask, and is a family member. I wanted a movie *like* the OT...if I just wanted the OT, I'd have watched it at home.

    -Hosnian system? Come on. We don't even know this place exists until it's time for it to be destroyed. There's no indication whatsoever of the value of the system or the implications of it's destruction beyond the propagandist rhetoric we get in the scene where it gets destroyed. Apparently it's the republic's capital. Why? And it really doesn't show or explain how hitting the planet has destroyed this fleet we never see, or why every military ship in the republic is just hanging out in one place.

    -Jakku? Why not just name the place "Totally Not Tattooine"?

    Summary:

    Did I enjoy the movie? From an entertainment aspect, yes. From a movie aspect, yes. From a storytelling aspect, no. From the perspective of a fan of the lore, no.

    Going forward, I think there was a lot of debate among the fan base as to what the role of the EU would be going forward. Some of it is really good, other parts are really bad. I think a lot of people had their hopes up that the movie would be compelling enough in its story that we could all put the EU to rest and focus on the new timeline. Unfortunately, it appears TFA's story is just as flawed as the EU, and I think that, after this, the EU has been safely assured of it's continued relevance to the fan base, since the new story doesn't really offer anything better than what we already had.
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    4 > 6 >= 5 > 3 = 1 > 2 > 7.

    7 watches like someone took many of the worst of the EU's ideas, mushed them together and smeared it across the basic story line of EP4. Quicken the pacing so it hardly ever takes a breath and throw in some flashy modern dialogue and rather forced emotional connections (though no where near as bad as the 'romance' of ep2/3). Top that off with inconsistencies, both internally and with previous films and bad internal logic.

    For me 7 falls into the same category as some of the worst of the EU - I may end up buying it if I find it used for a couple of dollars.

    However, I know others who enjoyed it a lot and, as I have told people who have asked, "If you like the new Star Trek films you will probably like 7."

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    As soon as I saw they signed JJ Abrams to direct I new this film was doomed. That guy is a no talent hack.

    Everything about this film was weak as far as a Star Wars film goes, hell it makes the prequels seem like a masterpiece in comparison.

    My films in order now... 5 > 3 > 6 > 4 > 1 > 2 > 7



    By the way hi guys!
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    Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life.

    Than your pretty much hosed no matter what you wished for. Unless your wish was death by meteor, than you can die soundly knowing that wishes do come true.

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    As soon as I saw they signed JJ Abrams to direct I new this film was doomed. That guy is a no talent hack.
    I don't necessarily have a problem with him as a film maker, but my problem has a lot more to do with the plot, whether that's on him or Kasdan, or whoever.

    It's like they couldn't be bothered to think a little and come up with any plot that hadn't been done in 6 movies, so they used bits and pieces from ANH and RotJ and called it a day.

    I liked his 2009 Star Trek, but I've never been a Star Trek fan, and have no idea what's been done in any of those movies.
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    My only problem with him is he may be a good idea guy, he is definitely not the guy to take that idea across the finish line. I have seen most of his directed films and I could not get through any of them. For me he should stick to being a producer and not directing; but each his own I know of some individuals who are fine with his movies and they find them enjoyable in a weird sort of way.
    When you wish on a falling star, dreams can come true.

    Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life.

    Than your pretty much hosed no matter what you wished for. Unless your wish was death by meteor, than you can die soundly knowing that wishes do come true.

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    Much better than the prequels, but not as good as the classics. What it lacked in originality, it made up for in enthusiasm.

    I'm very curious about where the story goes from here. Question #1 is, who is Rey?
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    I knew there were some who complain about the new movie. Many of them are missing the mark, in my opinion. I must say I'm surprised that some of those whom complain about it are Star Wars fans on this site. Thank goodness most people don't think it's a bad movie and that will hopefully lead to a renewed interest in Star Wars.

    I don't think it's the end-all, be-all of the movies, but it was a good movie. I had two expectations/hopes going in. One, that it was better than the Prequels. It was. Two, there were not the signature lens-flares galore of JJ Abrams. There were no lens flares that I noticed. So my expectations were met.

    It was familiar, but new. It was focused on characters. There was some good acting in the movie. I didn't feel like I wasted my time or money (as I did with the prequels). So, as a whole, I came out quite pleased. I watched the movie and enjoyed it, and seemed to have actually gotten more from watching it than many of the people I have spoke to who complain about the movie being "a copy of Star Wars".

    Now I realize that everyone has their own opinion, but I'm already a bit tired of the same inaccurate complaints about the movie. I could almost guarantee that if they had made a movie that went full-bore into the "break the mold" there would have been many of the same people complaining about how nothing tied in to the previous movies and nothing seemed familiar or felt like Star Wars. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
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    One, that it was better than the Prequels. It was.
    I'd put it squarely in the middle of the prequel pack in terms of overall "better than" status. I rate RotS as head and shoulders above the other two, with AotC clearly better than TPM, but both pretty low.

    When I first left the theater, and even a few days after seeing TFA, I was still placing it between RotS and AotC, but more or less tied with RotS...after a few weeks to reflect, it's now mostly tied with AotC in terms of "value as an addition to the Star Wars franchise". As a movie, it's much prettier and more polished than AotC, but as a Star Wars movie, what AotC lacks in dialogue and compelling acting, it makes up for by telling a story that hasn't already been done within the other movies of the series. TFA can't make that claim, as there's almost nothing in it that hasn't been done before.

    I get what you're saying about renewing interest in Star Wars, but honestly, I don't need anyone else to like it. Based on what we got, Disney would have to deviate from a known recipe for success to consider giving us anything approaching a truly original and interesting plot in Ep. 8 or 9, so as of now,

    I'm fully expecting an Ep. 8 plot consisting of: First Order finds Resistance's new base that they've fled to after the events of TFA. They scramble troops, and there's a party split. Rey is likely still with Luke from the beginning of the movie, while Poe, Finn, and Chewie come up with something else to do, temporarily. Eventually, they get into a mess, and though her training is incomplete, she rushes off to rescue them (Luke probably recycles a few Obi-wan/Yoda lines in this scene). She finds them, in the process of rescuing themselves, and confronts Ren, who trounces her and makes the big reveal of how Rey fits into the family tree. One of the main characters, most likely Rey, is captured, the rest escape, likely with help from a new character introduced in the movie.

    For Ep. 9: They retrieve their captive ally in the opening of the movie and for the rest, Rey returns to Luke and completes her training, prompting Luke to return to civilization and aid in the fight agains the First Order, who have built a second, bigger Starkiller base. While Poe leads the space attack, Finn leads a commando raid on it, while Rey gets split off from the commando team and is again attacked by Ren. It's an epic lightsaber duel, and Rey is at first defeated. Luke them comes to her aid, but is quickly incapacitated by Ren. Eventually, though, the two manage to turn the tables, and in fact turn him back to the light. The pair escape the doomed planet-base with Luke, and get him back to Leia for a tearful reunion just before he succumbs to his wounds, leaving Ren and Rey to train a new generation of Jedi, together.

    Both of these synopses would leave us with movies that would give me roughly the same reaction as I had to TFA: not a bad movie, but trying to hard to be like the OT that it loses sight of being its own movie, and not just a retelling of the OT. Movies I'd be thoroughly entertained by in the theater, but after that thrill had worn off, I'd realize that I just paid to see the 40th anniversary edition of ESB and RotJ.
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    The problem with this movie is that it's another J.J. Abrams special-effects crap-fest, ala the Star Trek reboot: shiny, pretty, good acting, snappy dialogue, but ultimately nothing more than a series of action sequences (albeit fairly well done action sequences) draped over the skeleton of a plot/story (and not very good ones, at that). In this case, as has already been duly noted, disparate plot elements of the previous Star Wars movies, taken apart and reassembled like a Frankenstein monster, with arms for legs, legs for arms, and its head definitely up its own backside.


    So, like overly sweet candy, it leaves a slightly sour, gummy taste in your mouth, and craving solid meat-and-potatoes (I'm speaking metaphorically here, meaning that you crave something with more substance; I don't care who here is a vegan/vegetarian)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash DuQuennes View Post
    The problem with this movie is that it's another J.J. Abrams special-effects crap-fest, ala the Star Trek reboot: shiny, pretty, good acting, snappy dialogue, but ultimately nothing more than a series of action sequences (albeit fairly well done action sequences) draped over the skeleton of a plot/story (and not very good ones, at that). In this case, as has already been duly noted, disparate plot elements of the previous Star Wars movies, taken apart and reassembled like a Frankenstein monster, with arms for legs, legs for arms, and its head definitely up its own backside.

    This summons up my own feeling about Abrams directing ability correctly.
    When you wish on a falling star, dreams can come true.

    Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life.

    Than your pretty much hosed no matter what you wished for. Unless your wish was death by meteor, than you can die soundly knowing that wishes do come true.

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    Today I saw TFA for my 5th time... My brother (who loves Star Wars but hadn't been able to see it yet) came in from out-of-state for the weekend. The two of us journeyed to our hometown with my 6 year-old son and had lunch with a childhood friend of ours from before RotJ. Then the four of us went to the same theater my brother and I had seen the original Star Wars movie with our father in 1977, and sat in approximately the same seats. This theater is 100 years old this year and one of the top 10 longest-running movie theaters still in service in the nation, updated with comfy seats, digital projection and modern restrooms, but otherwise beautifully maintained exactly as it looked in the late 70s and 80s when I had gone there growing up (and had probably always looked). We watched TFA there today, and it was surreal, like something out of a dream. My brother loved TFA as much as the rest of us, like almost everyone else we each know. TFA, especially today, made my friend, brother and I all feel like kids again. And I get to share in this experience with my son! The circle is now complete!

    I deeply pity all of you that didn't enjoy the movie like me and mine do. We are so blessed to have another Star Wars movie to enjoy!


    Quote Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
    I knew there were some who complain about the new movie. Many of them are missing the mark, in my opinion. I must say I'm surprised that some of those whom complain about it are Star Wars fans on this site.
    I do agree, but I also felt the same way about all the vitriol and venom the prequels received in general. But please don't get me wrong - I am sooo happy that you (and some others who felt extreme disappointment in the prequels) enjoyed TFA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
    Thank goodness most people don't think it's a bad movie and that will hopefully lead to a renewed interest in Star Wars.
    Amen! My wish for TFA was that it would universally loved by all Star Wars fans and thus initiate a new era and peace and love in Star Wars fandom. I know, a pipe dream. But yes, I also hope this film will lead to a renewed interest in WEG Star Wars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
    I don't think it's the end-all, be-all of the movies, but it was a good movie. I had two expectations/hopes going in. One, that it was better than the Prequels. It was. Two, there were not the signature lens-flares galore of JJ Abrams. There were no lens flares that I noticed. So my expectations were met.

    It was familiar, but new. It was focused on characters. There was some good acting in the movie. I didn't feel like I wasted my time or money (as I did with the prequels). So, as a whole, I came out quite pleased. I watched the movie and enjoyed it, and seemed to have actually gotten more from watching it than many of the people I have spoke to who complain about the movie being "a copy of Star Wars".

    Now I realize that everyone has their own opinion, but I'm already a bit tired of the same inaccurate complaints about the movie. I could almost guarantee that if they had made a movie that went full-bore into the "break the mold" there would have been many of the same people complaining about how nothing tied in to the previous movies and nothing seemed familiar or felt like Star Wars. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
    You're right. Sadly some people just complain about everything. They are complainers, bashers, haters, what have you.

    The original Star Wars (ANH) is my favorite movie ever, and I acknowledge its inspiration on TFA. For me, this is a good thing for TFA.

    Even after seeing TFA five times so far, it is still too soon for me to rank it against the other films. At this point, all I can say is that TFA is not my new favorite movie, but it is not my least favorite SW film (which is still AotC). My personal hope was that I liked TFA more than my least favorite Lucas SW movie, so mission accomplished!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Getce View Post
    As soon as I saw they signed JJ Abrams to direct I new this film was doomed. That guy is a no talent hack...
    After reading this line, I expected to keep reading that based on your experience and opinion of Abrams, you refused to see the film, because logically, why should you bother seeing a movie (made by a talentless hack) you knew was doomed?

    I really sympathize with people who loved Abrams' prior films and had high expectations for TFA so saw it, but were disappointed. But you knew in advance you wouldn't like TFA, so you actually had the foresight to spare yourself the pain of watching it. I can really respect that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Getce View Post
    ...Everything about this film was weak as far as a Star Wars film goes, hell it makes the prequels seem like a masterpiece in comparison.

    My films in order now... > 7
    Say what now? You actually watched the movie anyway? You knew you hated Abrams' prior work. You knew TFA was "doomed." You pulled a regular 'Anakin' by having a self-fulfilling prophecy. (TFA is your Padme, and "you killed her.") Aren't you embarrassed to admit that you made the poor decision to spend money and time on the movie despite being so certain in advance that it would suck? On top of paying for a movie you knew you wouldn't like, you admit this publicly?

    I can even sympathize with someone who knew they wouldn't like it, but curiosity killed the cat so they just couldn't resist going to see the train wreck. But I would think they would never admit it to anyone. That would at least be somewhat respectable.

    If you're not too embarrassed to admit it, then the only reason I can see for you (1) going to the movie despite your prophecy of doom, and then on top of that (2) telling us how much you hated it, would simply be: to hate. Bashing merely for the sake of bashing. It boggles my mind what kind of life full of negativity someone must have to just pointlessly spread their hatred around the world on the internet. Thinking about it almost makes me physically ill. I pray your life gains much, more happiness than it must have now.

    And your hatred must have blinded you to the facts. The movie is not actually "doomed" by any sensible meaning for the word (Your prejudgement only doomed it for yourself). TFA is already the top grossing North American release of. all. time. This would not be possible without many, many repeat customers. People don't keep going back to see movies they hate, which means a whole helluva lot of people didn't hate it. The film's success would also not be possible without exponential word of mouth: Many, many people liking it and telling their friends they must go see it, who do and then in turn tell their friends to go see it (and so on, and so on). And although everyone is free to appreciate or not appreciate the talent Abrams or any artist has, calling him a 'no-talent hack' should be embarrassing too. Abrams has a net worth of about $120 million. He is highly successful, critically acclaimed and in demand. People can't achieve that level of success by having "no talent" or being "hacks". Who are you to belittle his talent and success? Are you a famous TV and movie writer, director and producer? I've never heard of you. What have you done? How have you out-achieved Abrams to look down on him as you do?

    You and everyone like you, are just haters. Another movie showing at the theater I went to today was made by Quentin Tarantino. I'm not a fan. I didn't care for a couple of his previous works I've seen. But he has a net worth of about $100 million, so he's obviously doing a lot right. So I can say I don't like him or some of his films, but I would NEVER say he is a 'no-talent hack'. He obviously has talent. He obviously is not a hack. See, it is possible to express that you don't like the works of an artist or the artist without ridiculous inaccurate statements and hatred. You and I are just nerds with opinions. But I have a very difficult time taking you and everyone else like you seriously when you just hate for hate's sake.

    I have it in me to forgive you for your meaningless and inaccuracy-fueled bashing. But I hope to the Force you have at least learned from your horrible experience with 7 and won't even bother seeing 8 and 9. And if you do watch them anyway for some insane reason, I can at least respect if you don't admit it publicly. In my opinion, you have no right to publicly hate on a writer/director and his film you pre-hated before seeing the film, and then watched it anyway only to come here and bash it. Are you proud of this public behavior? Is it "cool" to be a hater? I'm embarrassed for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whill View Post
    After reading this line, I expected to keep reading that based on your experience and opinion of Abrams, you refused to see the film, because logically, why should you bother seeing a movie (made by a talentless hack) you knew was doomed?

    I really sympathize with people who loved Abrams' prior films and had high expectations for TFA so saw it, but were disappointed. But you knew in advance you wouldn't like TFA, so you actually had the foresight to spare yourself the pain of watching it. I can really respect that...


    Say what now? You actually watched the movie anyway? You knew you hated Abrams' prior work. You knew TFA was "doomed." You pulled a regular 'Anakin' by having a self-fulfilling prophecy. (TFA is your Padme, and "you killed her.") Aren't you embarrassed to admit that you made the poor decision to spend money and time on the movie despite being so certain in advance that it would suck? On top of paying for a movie you knew you wouldn't like, you admit this publicly?

    I can even sympathize with someone who knew they wouldn't like it, but curiosity killed the cat so they just couldn't resist going to see the train wreck. But I would think they would never admit it to anyone. That would at least be somewhat respectable.

    If you're not too embarrassed to admit it, then the only reason I can see for you (1) going to the movie despite your prophecy of doom, and then on top of that (2) telling us how much you hated it, would simply be: to hate. Bashing merely for the sake of bashing. It boggles my mind what kind of life full of negativity someone must have to just pointlessly spread their hatred around the world on the internet. Thinking about it almost makes me physically ill. I pray your life gains much, more happiness than it must have now.

    And your hatred must have blinded you to the facts. The movie is not actually "doomed" by any sensible meaning for the word (Your prejudgement only doomed it for yourself). TFA is already the top grossing North American release of. all. time. This would not be possible without many, many repeat customers. People don't keep going back to see movies they hate, which means a whole helluva lot of people didn't hate it. The film's success would also not be possible without exponential word of mouth: Many, many people liking it and telling their friends they must go see it, who do and then in turn tell their friends to go see it (and so on, and so on). And although everyone is free to appreciate or not appreciate the talent Abrams or any artist has, calling him a 'no-talent hack' should be embarrassing too. Abrams has a net worth of about $120 million. He is highly successful, critically acclaimed and in demand. People can't achieve that level of success by having "no talent" or being "hacks". Who are you to belittle his talent and success? Are you a famous TV and movie writer, director and producer? I've never heard of you. What have you done? How have you out-achieved Abrams to look down on him as you do?

    You and everyone like you, are just haters. Another movie showing at the theater I went to today was made by Quentin Tarantino. I'm not a fan. I didn't care for a couple of his previous works I've seen. But he has a net worth of about $100 million, so he's obviously doing a lot right. So I can say I don't like him or some of his films, but I would NEVER say he is a 'no-talent hack'. He obviously has talent. He obviously is not a hack. See, it is possible to express that you don't like the works of an artist or the artist without ridiculous inaccurate statements and hatred. You and I are just nerds with opinions. But I have a very difficult time taking you and everyone else like you seriously when you just hate for hate's sake.

    I have it in me to forgive you for your meaningless and inaccuracy-fueled bashing. But I hope to the Force you have at least learned from your horrible experience with 7 and won't even bother seeing 8 and 9. And if you do watch them anyway for some insane reason, I can at least respect if you don't admit it publicly. In my opinion, you have no right to publicly hate on a writer/director and his film you pre-hated before seeing the film, and then watched it anyway only to come here and bash it. Are you proud of this public behavior? Is it "cool" to be a hater? I'm embarrassed for you.
    Seems like you're taking his distaste for Abrams kinda personal...

    Are you proud of yourself for this public behavior of bashing another for his opinion, regardless of how right or wrong you think he is? Is it "cool" to be a hater of haters? I like to think this forum is better than that and it typically is, but I also know from other sites that there have been some really strong opinions generated over this film; someone says they don't like it or Abrams and people go absolutely nuts about how they're a hater and jealous and blahblahblah. Chill; he's entitled to his opinion, just as you are yours and attacking him for it is petty and juvenile.

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    I like to think this forum is better than that and it typically is
    It is.



    *Mod Hat: On*

    Whill, while your thoughts and opinions, positive or negative, on the film are certainly welcome here...and you're certainly welcome to react to and disagree with the opinions of other posters, it's important that you refrain from making personal attacks, whether individually at one poster, or in general (toward all people who disagree with you, or those who view the movie in an unfavorable light).

    I understand that this franchise holds a special place for you...it does for most of us here...but it's important that you maintain some detachment and don't perceive a criticism, or even an outright attack on the film as an attack on you.

    I'm not telling you not to participate, just asking that you keep it civil and about the movie, not the people discussing it.

    This isn't meant to be taken as an Official Warning...just as a friendly suggestion, and an attempt to nip an issue in the bud before it gets out of hand.

    *Mod Hat: Off*
    W.W.G.D. - What would Grimace do?

    What kind of dust?
    Dirt-laced dust. Probably originating from the ground.

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