Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review

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Critics: Brodie Ricker & Maggie Stoyles
Genre: Sci-Fi
Opening Date: December 18th, 2015
Director: JJ Abrams
Ontario Movie Rating: PG
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, etc.
General Admission Age: Families; young and old.
Tobacco Use: None

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Plot Summary: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is the long-awaited sequel to the original Star Wars Trilogy. It follows the story of Finn (John Boyega), a former stormtrooper, who escapes the First Order with an alliance pilot (Oscar Isaac) and comes across a young scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley), who has been awaiting her family for years. These characters, recently introduced into the Star Wars Universe, begin an exciting adventure through space and become acquainted with classic characters from previous films while fleeing the First Order.

Critical Review: In The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams manages to successfully uphold his statement that “everything old is new again”, which carries out as the theme of the movie. A lot of the plot, and even specific lines, were reused from the old movies, but in a well thought-out, original way, as to not completely remake the original trilogy. Sitting in the audience, you can’t help but feel at home as you watch the fast-paced adventure, because it fits in so well with the original trilogy.

Scenes:
BR: I think the scenes were all very good, they flowed well together without inconsistencies. Well thought out, well planned.
MS: The movie manages to create a fast-pace and introduce so many memorable moments without losing the main plot or confusing their viewers.
Characterization:
BR: The characters are well explained in a way that isn’t annoying, they managed to avoid too many flashback cliches.
MS: As the film goes on, the character connections to the original cast make star wars fans smile as they learn what has become of their favourite characters. As far as the new ones go, you can’t help but like them all, whether it’s the puppy-like new robot, or the emotionally distressed new villain.
Casting:
BR: I mean, they got it dead on. There isn’t another person I thought would be better for a particular role, they got the casting perfect. Except maybe a villain with a more imposing face. Although, he does have the “emotionally distressed” down perfect.
MS: I liked how the directing team didn’t go for “big stars” or huge celebrities, and instead found actors who are really great and played the roles as they should be. They avoided “type casting” and running on the fame of the actors instead of the quality of the film.
Humour:
BR: The inside jokes in reference to the old trilogy fit in really well with the newer characters and humour.
MS: I think that a lot of the humour was directed towards star wars fans who had seen previous movies, yet the film still managed to incorporate new jokes for those who were watching their first Star Wars.

Overall, the film was wonderful. Everything was well done, although everyone does have their own pet peeves, whether it be the new villain’s weak performance, the 20-minute (or what seemed like it) panorama at the end, or a dependency on the old films. We would definitely recommend this movie to anyone of any age, along with a recommendation to watch the originals first.

There was no tobacco used in this film, which went unnoticed to most viewers. It didn’t effect the plot or the quality of the movie at all, and therefore benefited the younger part of the audience. Kids get see their favourite heroes on the screen without being influenced by tobacco companies. The characters appeared as realistic as possible in a sci-fi movie, and a choice to add tobacco wouldn’t have supported their personalities or traits. Tobacco was chosen to be excluded from the movie because really, it just wasn’t necessary.

Star Wars – The Force Awakens

starwars

Movie Critic: Adenla Adeniji
Movie genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Opening Date: December 18, 2015
Director: J.J Abrams
Movie title: Star Wars VII- The Force Awakens
Ontario Movie Rating : PG
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
General age of people in theatre: ages 5 to 55

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The Force Awakens, the latest release of the Star Wars series had no presence of Tobacco.

Plot Summary:

The movie takes place 30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Empire. Rey a scavenger on the planet Jakku happens to find a BB-8 droid carrying vital information on the whereabouts of long lost Master Luke. With the help of an ex-Stormtrooper Fin, legendary Han Solo and his companion Chewy they make their way through the galaxy in order to safely deliver the droid to the Resistance. However on their way are faced with a series of challenges enforced by the First Order and their Leader Kylo Ken.

Review:

As an individual who had never watched any of the star wars movies prior to episode VII, I must say going to see this movie has encouraged me to watch the entire Star Wars saga. The movie was filled with non-stop action leaving you at the edge of your seat on countless occasions. It was comprehendible and enjoyable even for someone like myself with very little knowledge of the main characters. I cannot pinpoint any aspect of the movie that I did not like and would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who loves science fiction, adventure and action films.

Despite the fact that previous movies had scenes displaying tobacco use (Episode IV for instance), there was no presence of tobacco in latest movie. The lack of tobacco use did not affect the plot nor did it make the characters appear less believable or realistic which allowed the film to maintain high standards. In fact, not having tobacco present was a form of action taken by Disney against the tobacco industry. Accepting the direct influence smoking has on youth through popular media, tv shows and movies, Disney has prohibited their youth-targeted movies from depicting characters who smoke. Today, the affirmative action against the tobacco industry in shielding children (replacement smokers) from tobacco exposure extends across the board of Marvel, Pixar and all Lucas films.

 

Ride Along 2

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Movie Critic: Tirthesha Pandya

Movie title: Ride Along 2

Movie genre: Action/ Comedy Ontario

Movie Rating: Pg-13

Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart

Director: Tim Story

General age of people in the theater: 14-25

Tobacco use (How often throughout the movie?): NO TOBACCO USE

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Ride along 2 continues on the story of the first movie Ride Along with the same duo, Kevin Hart and Ice cube. Kevin Hart as Rookie lawman Ben Barber aka Black Hammer is picked by Ice Cube as James to take a trip to Miami and catch the Pope who does illegal trading of weapons and drugs. The movie is based around a crazy rollercoaster journey as Black Hammer tries to prove himself and his detective abilities to his soon to be brother-in-law.

I really enjoyed both movies but in particular Ride along 2 took me on a hilarious journey as well as an action filled adventure. The actors did an incredible job and what I liked most about the movie was how the action and comedy were tied together and mixed instead of distinct scenes. What I did not enjoy about the movie was the frequent use of alcohol by all characters. It gives off a wrong image to the audience and sends a false positive image about the substance and its requirement to have fun.

There is no tobacco content in the movie although many scenes contain drug and alcohol “abuse”. The no tobacco part of the movie is great as this movie attracts the teen audience which can affect them in a negative way. Most daily smoker’s start as teens so not having the tobacco influence on them through smoking on screen is always a positive thing. An actor like Ice Cube does not need a cigarette to look strong and bold as his amazing acting skills take control of his dominant character. Overall, this was a great movie with many incredible laughs and action filled scenes.

The Big Short

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Movie Title: The Big Short
Critic Name: Rana Jazar
Movie Genre: Mix of Comedy, Drama and Biographical
Ontario Movie Rating: 14A
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale & Steve Carell
Director: Adam McKay
General Age of People in the Theater: 20s – 30s
Tobacco Use: Three instances throughout the movie (once with a cigar, twice with cigarettes)

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The Big Short is a biographical depiction of those who were able to predict (and cash in on) the housing market crash of 2008, including high ranking men in the finance world, such as Michael Burry (Christian Bale), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), and Mark Baum (Steve Carell), as well as some fresh college graduates looking to strike gold (played by John Magaro and Finn Wittrock). I’d spoil the ending for you, but chances are that, if you’re old enough to read this review, you’re probably also old enough to remember the 2008 economy. Even if you weren’t old enough to understand why a housing market crash mattered, you probably remember your parents and people on the news simultaneously freaking out about it. For this reason, this movie is pretty close to being the perfect movie for millennials. The humour is wonderfully dark and the soundtrack uses early-2000s gangster rap in ways that are so perfect, yet unexpected, that it gets you a little excited.
Aside from this, there is a certain characteristic about millennials that the creators of this film clearly understood: we’re a lot smarter than many people understand. Being submerged in media, we have access to a lot of information – sometimes more than we can handle. We understand that market crashes occur, but we’re fuzzy on the details and because of that we’re often afraid of conspiracy-esque theories and occurrences. Thus, the film went about explaining the issue in a way that we could understand – by watching Margot Robbie drink champagne in a bathtub and Selena Gomez play blackjack as they explain the concept behind subprime mortgages and synthetic CDOs, respectively. Although it may sound ridiculous, it does appeal to a certain intellect unique to the generation. Accordingly, they made no attempt to sugar coat or glamorize any of the actual story. Unlike in The Wolf of Wall Street, the characters weren’t consistently smoking or doing drugs to make themselves look especially suave, sophisticated or rebellious. Even the scenes where sexuality was present were characteristically lacking a sexual element (Steve Carell has an entire conversation with a topless dancer about what she should do about her current loans). They were far more realistic about it: they were a bunch of nerds crunching numbers in their office who didn’t smoke because it was the early 2000s and smoking rates were significantly down by that point.
There were, however three instances in the film where tobacco was present. Once at the beginning during a flashback to the 1980s, when the scheming loophole in the mortgage system was created and (to signify all the money the banks were now all rolling in) the scene is of an unknown bank executive in a strip club, throwing around money and smoking a cigar. The second instance was in a casino in Las Vegas where a man in the background is smoking a cigarette while playing on a slot machine. The third instance was in a pub in England where a random drunk man yelled profanities at Brad Pitt while smoking and drinking. This ties into my point about lacking glamorization – while tobacco was present, it wasn’t being used by any of the main characters (in fact these characters didn’t even have names or get more than 20-30 seconds of screen time), there weren’t any particular brands being pushed, and none of them were youth. Furthermore, the only real point the presence of tobacco served in this movie (especially in regards to the first and third instances) was to accentuate that these minor characters were unlikeable and nothing to aspire to. The tobacco was in no way necessary for this point to be made (throwing money at an exotic dancer and yelling profanities at a stranger are pretty bad in themselves), although I don’t believe they are significant – or even attractive – enough to push youth to want to smoke. Let’s be honest: we’re smarter than that.

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