Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Force Awakens: A spoiler-ful review

Here there be spoilers.

We all know that Star Wars has been a huge part of my life.  I watched A New Hope multiple times on HBO as a child.  I saw Return of the Jedi in the theater.   Like the original run of the movie.

I also loved JJ Abrams's reboot of the Star Trek.  

Needless to say, I was stoked!!

We got to the theater incredibly early and got great seats.

And eventually the Star Wars theme started playing.  The title flashed on the screen.  The title crawl started.  And I started to cry.  I'll fully admit it.  I need to see the movie again, just so I can read the crawl.

Now, onto my thoughts:

  • This movie gets right into the thick of things.  It wastes no time in introducing the characters.
     Poe Dameron was captured.  We got to see Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma right away.  The plot was introduced (as was the McGuffin).  JJ is really good at that.  He gets you into the actipn quick.  Sometimes at the expense of plot and characterization...
  • Speaking of Kylo Ren, Adam Driver was AMAZING.  He brought this humanity to a Vader-esque role. (Also, perfectly quaffed hair, when he should have helmet head!). Where Vader was the ultimate bogey-man, Kylo Ren was a human with anger and flaws. Vader would have never murdered a harmless bank of computer if he was angry.  And smacking his wound mid-battle to pump himself up... Awesome.
  • Captain Phasma didn't have a big enough to role, in my opinion.  Please tell me that she a.) survived the destruction of the station and b.) has a big role in the next movie.
  • Rey.  We women have been waiting for a female Jedi movie protagonist.  I don't feel that I know enough about her.  But maybe that's by design... maybe she doesn't know enough about herself.  She's amazingly powerful too!  I think she's a Skywalker.
  • Finn.  I wonder if he's Force sensitive.  That's why he broke his conditioning.  he's also our "in" with the new bad guys.  I love that bravado that he's so obviously faking.
  • the New Order.  Nazis much?
  • Maz Kanata!!  I LOVED this character!  I hope she survived!
  • Han!!  Raise your hand if you knew that Han was done for as soon as he yelled his son's name?  I totally did.  But it was amazing seeing him.  Also, I wasn't surprised that he split from Leia after their son went to the Dark Side.  
  • Luke's new Jedi temple is Skellig Michel!!  Folks, that location is real.  It's a UNESCO World Heritage site.  He was only there for the end (which is why he wasn't in the marketing). I have a feeling that he'll be a big force in the next movie.
  • And now I want a BB-8 of my very own!!

It didn't play as flat as the prequels.  Some of the characterization was a bit sparse, but they seemed like real characters.  not actors badly reciting lines.  Also the real sets helped SO much!  It's the movie that we've all been waiting 30 years for.  What did y'all think?

All in all?  I want to see it again.  Tomorrow. 

And I TOTALLY still want to be a Jedi.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Reason for the Season

Christmas is fast approaching.

It's all over the TV.  It's all over television.  Retail has had Christmas decorations up since before Halloween.

Thankfully, I haven't seen much of the "War on Christmas" lately.

Why am I thankful?  Because there's no frickin' war!

Why?  Well, let's get this out of the way.  The reason that Christmas is at this is has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.  It has all to do with the axial tilt of the earth, and the fact that multiple religions had celebrations around this time.  Yule.  Saturnalia.  My favorite is the Persian God Mithra.  His birthday is celebrated on December 25th.  His birth was witnessed by shepherds.. he cured ills and cast out devils.  he had 12 disciples...  the bible tells us that Jesus was born in the spring.

And don't get me started on Christmas Trees, holly and mistletoe, and how they are pagan in origin.

But let's not mind that now.  Let's go back to Jesus is the reason for the season.

This image is what I want to hand out to every Christian who pays lip service to Jesus, but actully don't follow what he actually said.

In this season of giving the United States wants to close it's doors to refugees.  People want to persecute Muslims.  Heath care is threatened.  Gay couple are denied foster and adoptive parenting opportunities.

The "Christians" that speak the loudest are the ones that hate gays and love guns.  How is that Christ like?

Me?  I love everything to do with Christmas.  I love the traditions.  I love the lights.  I love the cheesy Hallmark movies.

I love Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  Christmas Town is the Christmas that you remember from your childhood.  It's the Christmas that's gotten all the bad buffed away by memory.  (Sadly, there are crowds...)

My favorite place in the entire park is the Peace Bridge.  You walk the bridge between Octoberfest and San Marco.  This lovely song plays:

And you see this off in the distance.
To be, this sentiment is where it comes back to Jesus.  I want the things listed in the pictures above.

To me, those are the reason for the season.  Family.  Peace.  Helping other.

With a side of gingerbread and hot chocolate.

Friday, December 11, 2015

'Tis the Season!

It's actually the season for many things!
Yes, it's December!    I've been wearing Christmas socks since the beginning of the month!

Sadly, this December is overly warm.  I doubt that we're going to get snow just about anywhere in the country!

We've been to Christmas Town twice already.  Honestly, I'd like to go again, but maybe AFTER Christmas.  You know, when everyone in the Western Hemisphere isn't there!

This year it's been warm and weird.  Hallmark has been playing Christmas Movies, and I haven't been watching.

I've been stressed!  And why?

Because it's also Graduate Application season!  Graduate Application deadline is December 5th and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Graduate School Applications dominates my job!!

Somehow this week I actually finished everything in the queue!!  It's a stressful time for the applicants!  it's also a time of the year where my desk chair and by ass become one.

Somehow it's Friday.  I've been down all day.  Sad for no particular reason.  But there are good things.  I'm caught up on Grad things.  I have a DVR full of Christmas movies.

And I want Gingerbread like it's my job!!