Quantcast

Video of the Day

Masthead

Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail)

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.
Friday
Dec292017

« In Which We Escape From The Pursuing Army »

Dead Air

by ETHAN PETERSON

The Last Jedi
dir. Rian Johnson
152 minutes

There is a scene in the middle of The Last Jedi, the second Star Wars film made by Disney, where Benicio Del Toro is disinterestedly ransacking a ship he has stolen, looking for treasure. He comes across a collection of coins, preserved for their sentimental value because, of course, in an age of interstellar travel, there could be no actual reason to have individuated currency. Therefore these objects only have whatever meaning their owners, or others, ascribe to them. To a thief from another planet, they would be nothing more than useless baubles, unless they happened to contain precious metals or gems.

Well, nothing in this interminable movie has any actual value. It is good, solid fan service that only has meaning because of sentimental referents. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is looking somewhat rough, but the past two decades in voice acting have made him expert at that particular field, and everyone else short of the preternaturally talented Adam Driver as Ben Solo sounds mealy mouthed in comparison. In The Last Jedi, Luke never leaves the isolated island on which he resides, but he is still the clear highlight. He is the only character in this entire production capable of change.

This is no slight on the rest of the cast. The main protagonists of The Last Jedi never actually do much in the empty chase narrative supplied here, which consists of General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) slowly, slowly pursuing the rebels across space. But they are all genuinely likable in their own way. As Rey, Daisy Ridley possesses a faithful masculinity and imposing physical strength befitting the final Jedi. As Finn, John Boyega is given rather less to work with, but he continues to prove that his breakout performance in the British comedy Attack the Block announced the arrival of a serious talent in need of a writer, any writer.

Director Rian Johnson is not that, but he does his best with what Kathleen Kennedy and Co. have permitted him. No one we care about dies in The Last Jedi; no one particularly lives either. There is one brief moment where mechanic Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) murders three enemy pilots and Boyega lets out a cheer. This isolated incident only emphasizes how little there is to enthuse about for in The Last Jedi as a whole.

A major subplot, one that ends up of being of absolutely no consequence to the story as a whole, involves Boyega and Rose freeing a number of animals abused by jockeys and trainers on a racetrack in a snooty, upscale town. Given that Disney reaps financial rewards from promoting a Saratoga Springs Resort in Orlando, this seems a bit hypocritical, but it is still a positive message.

Actually The Last Jedi is full of such preachiness, as if to prove that this saga will be about something through sheer force of effort. Animal rights comes into focus a number of times, and the film seems to delight in the inclusion of a diverse cast, none of who we actually begin to know or understand. Is this simply the empty virtue signaling of a massive, hegemonic company? Probably, but it seems somewhat well-intentioned just the same.

These general practices do not come anywhere near actual artistry, of course, and those who say they enjoyed The Last Jedi are on some level lying to themselves. This movie is the paradigmatic example of a work of mercenary fiction, emphasized by the deliberate criticism Johnson levies against such people, who take money from both sides, in his impotent, inoffensive script for The Last Jedi.

As Johnson presciently observes, we tend to mount our strongest attacks on our major weakness as they are displayed in our enemies. The Last Jedi reserves its withering critique for individuals devoid of substance and purpose, in an attempt to distract us from its total lack of the same. At some future moment, though, Star Wars will have to again have to tell some kind of original story. In life, you can only postpone that essential task for so long.

Ethan Peterson is the reviews editor of This Recording.


References (22)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: essay代写
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: Agen qq
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: Big Tits
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: best MILF cams
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: Phone Sex
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: phone sex
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: فنادق مكه
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: sexy chat line
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: anime
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: madu khusus anak
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: serik escort
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: larar Escort
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    Response: Av99.Club
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing
  • Response
    In Which We Escape From The Pursuing

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.