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My initial reaction to this movie was something like exhaustion. I walked out of the theater breathless, as if stepping off a roller coaster. The rushed pace and little of actual substance is what makes this movie frustrating for me. Since the plot can basically be summed up as a bloated cast of characters trying find this McGuffin to find that McGuffin so they can find the place where things will finally happen, it really could have slowed down, stopped introducing new characters when the established characters already had little to do, and spent time exploring the interesting elements, particularly the Sith planet.
It was clear watching this there was never a plan for this trilogy. The original Star Wars trilogy can be forgiven for not having a plan since the first film was a sleeper hit (almost) everyone involved expected to go straight to late-night TV and be forgotten forever. There was no excuse this time. Disney decided to make three movies before they knew what they would be about. It is a shame so much talent and resources were squandered on this mess. They wrote themselves into a corner with the Last Jedi, and the Rise of Skywalker cleaned up the damage in the only way it could. But not entirely: we never learn how Luke's light saber ended up with Maz Kanata in the Force Awakens (although I had already given up on learning this when Luke tossed it away like a piece of garbage in the Last Jedi). Elements are set up at, such as Jannah's possible relation to Lando Calrissian, and something important Finn needs to tell Rey, but ultimately don't pay off. Supposedly this movie was being edited up to two days before the release, and it shows. I did like how this movie patched up the problems from the Last Jedi and avoided any "woke" social commentary (damage control?). At the same time though, this movie undid the significance of the original trilogy. Since this trilogy was basically a remake of the original, in effect the original trilogy, including Darth Vader's sacrifice, didn't amount to anything. In that sense, the sequel trilogy ruined the original. And we never even got a scene with Luke, Han and Leia together again! (Unforgivable missed opportunity.)
This movie also ruins the emotional elements within it. Without getting into spoilers, everything of emotional impact gets undone a few minutes later. It is reminiscent of the droid factory sequence in Attack of the Clones--once you realize nothing is really at stake, you just feel bored and frustrated. Another criticism in the same vein is the Force literally has no rules or limitations in these films. It took all of Luke's concentration to pull his light saber a few feet from the snow with the Force in the Empire Strikes Back. Here Rey can stop a spaceship mid-flight with little effort using the Force. Emperor Palpatine seemed to shock Luke for a few dozen seconds in Return of the Jedi without him suffering any lasting physical damage. Rey causes a spaceship to blow up with a brief spurt of Force lightning. In Empire when Luke was caught in the snowstorm, he nearly froze to death and had to spend the night in a snow camel's body cavity. I have a feeling if Rey were in a similar situation in one of these movies she would just conjure up a thermal Force bubble. The lack of limitations doesn't make much sense and constantly lowers the stakes, making these movies boring.
Ultimately, all I need to say about the movie is this: Every time I've described it to someone who hasn't seen it, giving away spoilers and recounting the still-born, awkward Millennial humor, it always elicited laughter at how ridiculous it sounds in the telling. Return of the Jedi had me in tears at the end, the Rise of Skywalker had me scoffing. That is certainly not the reaction you should have to Star Wars.
This early Ang Lee film might also be his best (although that is a difficult judgment given how eclectic his catalog is). The cinematography is understated and masterful. Each character is perfectly believable in their actions and motivations. The little surprise at the end is so perfectly set up that after the initial shock and laughter wear off, you'll find yourself saying, "I knew it!" Like Ang Lee's best films, you'll find yourself wanting to talk about it for days afterward. (This movie is impossible to watch without getting hungry. I recommend watching it on an empty stomach since you'll end up eating right after seeing it regardless.)
Boyz n the Hood has excellent performances, particularly from the child actors in the first act, and while it is thoroughly predictable and a tad preachy at times, it is an engrossing morality tale. The best of its genre.
The Rainmaker is a compelling legal drama lovingly filled with realistic courtroom details. It is a little bloated with sideplots and a touch schmaltzy at times, but Matt Damon's perennially earnest performance and Danny DeVito's charm and energy carry the day.
Christopher Reeve is the only person trying on this entire production. Richard Pryor is misused, the "jokes" are lazy wannabe sight gags, you can see the wires on Superman about half the time he takes off to fly, Robert Vaughn is playing a pseudo-Lex Luthor, Lois Lane pointlessly shows up at the beginning and end to do nothing other than remind people she's a main character in the Superman series. I did enjoy the scenes of Superman being bad (these scenes scared me as a child), particularly him setting the leaning tower of Pisa straight. Reeve really sells it as the wicked Superman. Beyond a few good moments, though, this is just pointless.