Star Wars history

aka a way to write about my spouse and me going to see Star Wars without there being spoilers in the post…

When we were in our mid-teens, B and I saw the first Star Wars movie at the Mohawk in North Adams, the last remaining downtown theater surviving from the age of weekend double features with newsreels.  We both loved the characters, the story, the larger-than-life look with the special effects, the music, and the humor mixed in with the old-style good-versus-evil dichotomy.

It was puzzling that the opening sequence announced it as Episode Four, but it was understood as a nod to the serials that would use that technique to update viewers who may have missed an episode on the backstory of what they were about to see.

We never imagined that, forty years later, we would be seeing Episode Eight with some of those same actors reprising their roles.

Earlier this week, we saw the latest Star Wars movie at the Regal multiplex in Binghamton, New York, although our showing was delayed for a few minutes due to technical difficulties. All the things we loved about the original are still there, albeit with more advanced sound and effects than in 1977. It was poignant to see Carrie Fisher in her last performance as Leia, especially knowing that Episode Nine had been planned to center on her.

B and I still tend to call each movie “Star Wars” with an episode number if needed for clarity, but, technically, I should refer to this film as The Last Jedi. 

The Last Jedi was not shown at the Mohawk. The building is still there on Main Street with a restored marquee. The building has been stabilized and is under the ownership of the City of North Adams, but plans for a full restoration have yet to be realized.

Maybe sometime in the 2020s…

 

“Who you gonna call?”

On Saturday, B, T, and I went to see Ghostbusters. It was a lot of fun!

B and I are very familiar with the 1984 film and appreciated all the cameos of actors from that version, as well as the dedication to the late Harold Ramis.  There are also a bunch of clever lines and visuals that hark back to the earlier version.

I really appreciated the new script, which gives the characters more scientific and technical cred, as well as backstories of why they are interested in the paranormal. I also appreciate the lack of smarminess; I was always bothered by Bill Murray’s skirtchasing. While Chris Hemsworth’s character as the office receptionist/model is there to be eye candy, he is treated in a light-hearted, rather than exploitative, way. The fun extends into the credits, so make sure you stay. Bonus: there is a sequel set-up in a short scene at the very end.

The special effects are impressive. We saw a showing in 2D. I’m not sure that I want to imagine what 3D would be like…

Two of my favorite performances were Kate McKinnon as engineering whiz Jillian and Leslie Jones as NYC native and expert Patty. So much fun to watch!

Some people feel that they have to choose between liking the 1984 version or the 2016 version. Why choose? It is perfectly acceptable to like them both.