CCU23.5 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars poster CCU

This is our first bonus episode and we look at the behemoth of the moment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is a fun little detour from our usual serious, arthouse type of podcast. We tried to approach the movie as both fans and discerning cinephiles and give it an honest look.

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Show notes:

Special Guest: David Blakeslee from Criterion Reflections, CriterionCast, and The Eclipse Viewer. You can find him on Twitter.


Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd
Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd
Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

Posted on January 14, 2016, in Film, Podcast. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. As I tweeted, I’m probably caught in the hype, but for now I’m rating this 9/10. There were a million ways Abrams could have disappointed and Aaron was correct this is sort of a populist version of Star Wars. However, to stay true to the essence of SW4: ANH and satisfy SW purist AND the new generation of SW fans, I think Abrams hit it out of the park. He could have gambled and gone down the prequel route losing a segment of the fanbase and jeopardizing the next two films. The story continues familiar themes (perhaps to a fault) and I think we’ll look back on Force Awakens after the next two films and look more favorably on the movie.
    Some of the questions I had about Rey (use of the force, expert pilot, lightsaber skilz, etc.) could easily be explained if the theories are correct that [SPOILER?…She was part of the Jedi Academy who was hidden on Jakku after Kyle Ren turned to dark side].
    The film is not perfect, but exceeded my expectations.
    Good discussion. Fun to hear David talk about the good ole days when it was in the theater.

    • Interesting. Maybe some of our criticisms were premature, but we did grant that the real verdict won’t be known until the remainder of the films come out (assuming there is an end point) and with the passage of time. Thanks for the feedback! This was a fun change of pace.

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    A diversion from our normal international and art-house cinema reviews.

  3. The movie was fun, I gave it a 7/10. However, the closeness to Episode IV was disheartening, I admit. It’s very fanservice-y. Still, the characters were charming and the action was great. I just hope they don’t go all Marvel and keep playing it safe in the next few installments.

    Also I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks Han Solo is overblown. I like him, but yeah, I find Luke, Leia, and Vader more compelling as characters.

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