Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi User Review

  • Coz22998
    Like marriage really......much better second time round
    Review of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi UHD Blu-ray by Coz22998, Apr 7, 2018.
    Its so much more obvious second time round - revolution. Every plot strand is all about the destruction of the established, the 'normal' - from the obvious (Ren's speech to Rey about the First Order, Rey's lineage and the breaking of the Jedi being about familial bloodlines, the small stable kids), to the thinly disguised (Leia and Holdo breaking down the 'usual' ways of trigger happy flyboy leaders) to the not so obvious (the whole Canto Bight sequence, whilst still frivolous, looking too much like the Prequels and feeling like its far too long, is about revolting against the existing class and socio-economic structures who profit of the machine of 'war').

    And it plays wonderfully so. Parts that jarred on initial watch (the whole Canto Bight sequence and Del Toro's character, elements of Luke's grumpy character) now don't (well not as much), probably because I can accept that running theme - and once you see it, its in everything and ties the whole film together. Whether or not you can accept the whole film is pretty much about destroying the themes of the first 7 films is another matter......but that's why for me, while TFA feels more like 'old' Star Wars, this is much the better film. The stunning set pieces - the opening bombing run, the Praetorian fight, Holdo's jump to lightspeed, the whole end sequence on the salt planet - sit alongside those from earlier films easily, and the callbacks to those films worked better for me here than they did in TFA: Luke and the twin suns was a stunning reminder of the single best moment in the entire saga, similarly with the music cues as well - the first time we got Leia's theme, the hairs on my arms just stood up.

    The only major bum note is that some of the humour still feels out of place and somewhat modern (by that I mean cynical and childish - 'holding for Hux', the opening with Luke and his lightsaber) - but even within that I can see some of it differently: the infamous green milking scene.......now its about Luke showing Rey that he would rather go about and do inane, icky crap like that than train her and get back into the fight, hence his smirk as he does it - it's basically a big FU to Rey and works really well to sell this new Luke, one we never expected in a million years but one I really like. Several characters do seem short changed - Chewie and Phasma namely - but to be fair the previous films never knew really what to do with these guys either.

    The transfer is another top tier (by that I mean movie) Disney release - stunning picture, lacking audio. Yes what's on the disc sounds fine, if a little quiet: clarity, depth, etc. But I'll say it again, I believe that the audio issues are nothing to do with the transfer (even though yes again its mixed lower in volume than most other discs). I firmly believe that whoever is mixing these massive Disney pictures are just not being anywhere near as creative or nuts with how they do it as they could be. Take the scene on the island with Rey fighting Luke - its happening in a thunderous rain storm......and yet the funeral scene in John Wick had more immersive sound than this supposedly mighty scrap. There was virtually nothing in the overheads, nor the surrounds during this scene and what I unfortunately think is happening is that these mixes are being mixed more for those with living room solutions than full on home cinemas......which just makes me sad. I disagree with Cas on the use of surrounds, and overheads for that matter - its not poor, its not bad, its just.....nowhere near as good as the best sound mixes we hear on other lesser and much smaller films. And that's really disappointing.

    Summary - I was worried on this revisit that it would get worse than my initial viewing, but it improved on it significantly. I could go on about lots of other elements of this (Leia Poppins, etc) but for the sake of brevity (o_O), I really liked the overall message of this and am hugely interested to see where Episode IX goes. Its still not perfect, some inane humour aside, but for me it is a lot better than many of the scathing fan reviews I've read. The disc is.......typical Disney I'm afraid and if this continues, I'm going to stop dropping huge amounts on UHD discs for Atmos when frankly they sound like an upmix anyway.
    This item was purchased for $26.99 from Deep Discount in 2018. The reviewer still owns this product.

    Pros

    • The film works so much better without the weight of expectation.....
    • ......and that overall message is one the franchise needed
    • Fantastic picture quality

    Cons

    • Still some stupid humour almost sinks the whole damn thing
    • ......and Disney’s sound mixers need to get their damned ears syringed

    Movie

    8

    Picture Quality

    9

    Sound Quality

    8

    Extras

    8

    Overall

    8
    • lucasisking
      Spot on review Coz. You nailed it and I agree with the whole 'change direction' philosophy. Cant wait for my first home viewing with Jr... when Zaavi actually sort it out and send me the sodding disc!!!!o_O
      Coz22998 likes this.
    • Coz22998
      @lucasisking, cheers chief. If ever there was a film where viewers were ruled by the heart and not the head its this one. I can't deny there is a huge part of me that would have loved older Luke, Han and Leia to once again kick the Empire's ass and relive the glory days.......but after coming out of TFA and being immediately disappointed with the same old same old plot beats, I have to doff my cap to Johnson and Kennedy for having the balls to NOT give the rabid fan community what it wants. Artistically, it would have just been empty........and while Grumpy Luke was on first watch a touch difficult to get my head round, thinking about it, I now thoroughly appreciate and dare I say it 'like' this new take on him. I mean compare 43 year old me to 9 year old me (when ROTJ came out) and I'm more grumpy, more cynical, more.......Luke-like. You're also right that these new films aren't about the old characters and wishing they were defeats the object.

      I kinda like that they've been so divisive as at least its gets people going.......;)
    • pressure
      Very good.
      I personally liked the humour too :)
    • Evinger
      Excellent Review!
      But count me in for liking the Humour as well! :)
    No comments have been posted on this review yet.
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