Trailer Talks: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Ben: Oh my God! How amazing is the new trailer?

Lewis: Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. It was a masterpiece in its own right.

Ben: It was incredible, I got goosebumps.

Lewis: I think I’ve watched it about ten times now, just so I can get chills all over again.

Ben: It was so well done; all three trailers have given us something new without giving anything away.

Lewis: Exactly, JJ Abrams is one sly sonofabitch; he knows what the fans want. I know it’s still just a piece of marketing, so it might not represent the finished product, but Jesus Christ I’m excited

Ben: I couldn’t agree more. Let’s talk favourite bits and predictions.

Lewis: Right, well, just to get it out of the way before we talk about the characters- being the flight nerd I am, the dogfighting scenes just blew me away, I can’t wait to see how they fit in the film.

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Ben: There were a lot of in atmosphere dogfights, which were incredible, but they haven’t given much space battle stuff away.

Lewis: No, and to be honest, I’m kind of doubting that there’ll be many of them. Most of the film seems to take place planet-side at the moment.

Ben: If any at all. Apparently the “Starkiller” is planet based, which would make any space stuff pretty irrelevant in what looks like a packed film.

Lewis: From the looks of it that second dogfight we see over a snowy planet is probably an attack they’re making on Starkiller base (it even has a trench and everything).

Ben: Very reminiscent of A New Hope.

Lewis: Indeed! But better to be reminiscent of the original trilogy than… you know…

Ben: Yeah, for sure. As for the music, the use of the slowed “Leia’s theme” was another thing that gave me chills.

Lewis: Best romantic theme ever composed, I just can’t believe how talented John Williams is…
But anyway, onto the characters. So it looks like Rey might be scavenging that downed Star Destroyer we saw in the teaser,

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and it looks like BB-8 might actually belong to her? Even though we saw him in Poe’s X-Wing in that dogfighting scene.

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Ben: The music was just fantastic. Yeah, is the film her story? Like how the original trilogy is Luke’s?

Lewis: I’m not actually sure at the moment, because Finn’s the one with the lightsaber, but my theory is that maybe she has it, but, during the fight with Kylo Renn, she drops it or is incapacitated, so Finn picks it up and tries to defend her? I don’t know, but I’d be inclined to say that she’s the focus of the story. Also, in the teaser we see a woman handing the lightsaber to someone who looks like Rey.

Ben: Yeah I am thinking a very similar thing. I want to know who the ‘you’ is that they are talking about when discussing the force choosing someone. With regards the Finn/Ren fight, Finn does look like he is shitting himself, perhaps he has picked up the lightsaber to protect someone else…

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Lewis: Yeah, his “holy shit I’m gonna die” face is what made me think along those lines too. As for the “you”, apparently the woman speaking is Maz (Lupita Nyong’o) who might be the resident of that fortress we see Han, Rey and Finn walking up to. So my money is inclined to be on her speaking to both of them.

Ben: Fair enough. Speaking of Han, he seems to be the guide for the two younger heroes this time.

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Lewis: Yeah, he’s definitely taking on the Obi-Wan role, which leads me to ask, is Han Solo the character lying on the ground who Rey is crying over?

Ben: I think it might be. Could that be why the metal hand reaches out to R2? If it’s Luke it could be a reaction to his best friend’s death.

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Lewis: Now that is an interesting idea, I hadn’t thought of that… there’s already been speculation that it’s a funeral. We also haven’t seen C3PO yet.

Ben: No we haven’t, we also haven’t seen anything of Max Von Sydow, who could also be the unfortunate person to die. It was also only in this trailer that we have seen Leia.

Lewis: I’d forgotten about him, but I’d be inclined to say that he might be on Jakku rather than the snowy planet. That embrace between Leia and Han was interesting, it was either an emotional reunion or they were comforting each other about something…

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Ben: Yeah that is a fair point, or is it their last moment together before the unfortunate event happens?

Lewis: Hmmmmm, there are so many possibilities it’s almost impossible to guess.
We haven’t talked about the first order yet, they had a lot of screen time this time around.

Ben: One last point before we get to them, it’s interesting how the Jedi and the dark side are legends already, Finn and Rey knew nothing about them.

Lewis: Well 30 years is a long time, and I guess it’s been 50 years total between the present time and the time of the Jedi council. Considering that Rey is on such a barren, outer-rim world, it’s quite believable that the Jedi would have passed into legend, and it doesn’t help that they were destroyed so swiftly. We don’t know that Finn doesn’t know about them though.

Ben: Well even in A New Hope the Jedi were fading into myth and legend. As for the First Order, they had an awful lot of screen time, which brings me to my one and only gripe; I am not the biggest fan of the voice used for Kylo Ren.

Lewis: Well, I assume he’s trying to emulate Vader, who he’s obviously obsessed with. Speaking of Kylo Ren though, we got a glimpse of a group of people who look like they might be the other Knights of Ren.

Ben: Yeah that makes sense, but it is something that could get on my nerves…
And they’re surrounded by dead bodies, I have heard that the Knights of Ren are a group of dark Jedi, but Kylo is the only one with a lightsaber (that we can see anyway).

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Lewis: I’m not sure about that, I think they aspire to be Jedi, but yeah, Ren was the only one with a lightsaber out.
That new super weapon they have looks pretty brutal, but I don’t think it’s going to be as powerful as the Death Star.

Ben: I think they are Dark Jedi, the boundaries between Light and Dark could have been blurred. Is that the Star Killer thing? I have heard people saying that is has to be operated from space.

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Lewis: That would explain why Kylo Ren is standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer watching it. It looks pretty epic whatever it is/does. Is there anything else we’ve missed?

Ben: Only the torture of Poe Dameron, which is pretty dark for Star Wars, and the Mandalorian flag which could hint at a return for Boba Fett. There is probably loads we have missed, we could be here all day discussing it.

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Lewis: Yeah that was a really intense moment, I hope he gets out of it alright, although I’m inclined to say he does. And yes, there were actually rumours that Max Von Sydow will be playing an older Boba Fett, but I don’t buy that. It’d be really interesting to see an interaction between Han and Boba after 30 years though.

Ben: It was really intense, but is Finn getting him out of captivity when he is dressed as a First Order Stormtrooper?
Part of the brilliance of the trailer is that we still don’t know.
Yeah, I have heard that as well. It is a possibility, but how would Boba Fett fit in? I don’t want him squashed in just for the fan service.

Lewis: Mmmm, maybe they need help, and he’s the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy? I think that Finn is definitely a deserter, but apart from that I have no idea. I think we’re gonna have to cut it off here though, otherwise we’ll be here discussing it until the film comes out.

Ben: See he may well be a deserter, but he could actually be an infiltrator?
Yeah, I suppose everything will become clear in December, but one last thing; very little Luke, which is making me think that Finn and Rey finding him will be the climax, and he will be more heavily involved in the next two films.

Lewis: Well that forest planet set was in Ireland, which is where Mark Hamill was seen filming stuff, so he could very well only come into it towards the end if that planet is the film’s climax. I’m a bit worried they haven’t shown him though, because to me that means that he isn’t the way we remember him…

Ben: Perhaps he has become a Yoda like character? Or perhaps he has become scared of his own ability? Either way, I see it as realistic character development considering what has happened. Yoda said in Return of the Jedi for him to pass on what he has learned, if Luke passed on what he knew and the Knights of Ren formed, perhaps he exiled himself.

Lewis: That’s a very good point, I heard rumours that he’s exiled himself to guard an ancient Sith tomb. There’s no way to know for sure though.

Ben: We will find out in December, there’s not long to wait now.

Lewis: No it’s not long, but it’s still too long. I wish I could be cryogenically frozen until it’s released.

Ben: Well I am quite happy with the trailer, but I’m not going to do anymore reading around the film; the rest will be a complete surprise in December.

Lewis: I think that’s for the best. Who knows what might end up being leaked?

Ben: Exactly.

Dr Who Review: Before the Flood

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Ben: What did you think?

Lewis: Well, I’ll start off by saying that I really enjoyed it. However, there were some bits that I wish they’d focussed on more.

Ben: Yeah I thought it was pretty good; a well-rounded episode.

Lewis: The one thing I wasn’t happy with was the lack of screen time they gave The Fisher King… he was one of the best villains they’ve had for a long time.

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Ben: I think the suspense of not seeing him worked better than just throwing him on the screen repeatedly.

Lewis: Yeah I liked the suspense, it’s just that once they revealed him he could’ve had a bit more of a chance to show off, you know? He was a genuinely interesting character.

Ben: But then you didn’t really see him until later in the episode. I agree, he was a solid Villain and could have done with a bit background, but I thought it was written pretty well.

Lewis: I loved the interaction between him and the Doctor, it was very tense.
Peter Serafowizzzeesticss… has an awesome voice, and the fact that they had the singer from Slipnot doing it too made it sound very creepy.

Ben: I would agree with that.
I also like the scene with the deaf character and the ghost with the axe, but I thought she was as good as dead.

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Lewis: That was an awesome scene, but I knew she’d get out of it, they really couldn’t kill off many more of the crew; there wouldn’t be any left.

Ben: I do appreciate how people died and stay dead though; can’t save everyone…

Lewis: Well, sort of. I was interested in the point they brought up about how the Dr is willing to change the future for himself or Clara, but not for anyone else. He really is kind of a piece of shit, which is a nice reminder of the fact that he isn’t as compassionate as people think he is.

Ben: That is true, he’s a bit of an arse.
I think it’s one of the best thought out and well executed episodes we have seen for a while.

Lewis: For sure. I liked the little piece at the beginning about the “Bootstrap paradox”, it was a nice quirk, and it helped explain some of the odder time travel stuff in the episode.

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Ben: It was a bit unusual for them to do it just out of the blue right at the start.

Lewis: Well yeah, but I liked it. I also really loved the rock version of the theme (which I assume the lead singer of Slipnot was involved in?), we need that every week.

Ben: Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind it, it was just a bit odd. I did like the new music though, maybe they will stick with that; there’s only been four episodes but we’ve already had two “Doctor and his Guitar” moments. I still don’t like the sonic sunglasses though…

Lewis: I really hope so, it was awesome.
Oh god, I sincerely hope he loses those. Moffat’s already admitted that he only wrote them in because he could, which really isn’t a good enough reason to write anything. One other thing I’d like to mention is the collective performance by the cast. They were all spot on, every one of them was great in their role.

Ben: They are just so stupid, but I bet they will be there for the rest of the series, they can’t change anything now. Yeah, I agree, good performance from the whole cast. Good job, guys.

Lewis: Maybe he could drop them and Maisie Williams could step on them next episode?
Oh boy, that wasn’t patronising at all, I’m sure they appreciate it though, Ben.
I almost wish that they’ll bring back the Fisher King at some point, but I’d be satisfied if they just put that kind of effort into the creature design in the future.

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Ben: I would rather they leave him there, or only bring him back of the story is right. Urgh, it does look pretty crap next week. I am fearing a Robots of Sherwood type thing.

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Lewis: I wouldn’t want them to bring him back in a stupid way
Hmmmm, I’m not sure about it either, but then again, look what we said about this double-parter?
We’ll have to see.

The Minimum Effort Podcast Ep.10: The Most Overrated Films

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In this much belated podcast, Ben, Lewis, and Michael from Four Eyes Productions discuss some films that may very well be the most overrated films of all time. Peter, I’m looking at you.

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If you enjoyed this podcast, please help us out by liking, subscribing, or sharing us about. And if you want to discuss your opinions on the most overrated films, why not leave a comment below? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dr Who Review: Under the Lake

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Lewis: Dr Who?

Ben: Well, I don’t think it was a bad as episodes one and two; not great, but not the worst.

Lewis: Yeah, you know what? I actually really enjoyed this one.

Ben: I thought it was ok, I won’t lie and say I really enjoyed it though. Looks like the Sonic Sunglasses are sticking around though.

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Lewis: I wasn’t happy about that… I groaned when he slapped those stupid things on. But as for the rest of the episode, I just thought it was quite a nice, interesting story that didn’t try to be or do too much, it didn’t try and be some kind of 45 minute blockbuster. We haven’t had a story where the Dr and Clara just turn up somewhere and help some people for a long time.

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Ben: Yeah, I thought it was a nice idea too, and I agree it is about time we just had an adventure. I do feel it was a bit over-stretched though with it being two 45 minute episodes. One hour-long or two half-hour ones would do it justice without dragging it out too much.

Lewis: Ah you see this was definitely more like my kind of pace; it wasn’t jumping about, rushing through certain moments or just being generally uncontrolled. It did feel a little slow at points, but I think it was definitely one of the more well-crafted episodes we’ve seen for a long time. And it really was quite tense at times.

Ben: I take your point, I also liked that they weren’t afraid to kill people off, but I did groan at the cliff-hanger ending. I just feel that the story would be better served by being written as an hour long episode… but I guess you can’t change the agreed running time, so I suppose I’d rather it be done over two episodes than rushed over one.

Lewis: Yeah exactly, and so much of Dr Who is rushed these days. Speaking of killing people off, what did you think about the crew?

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Ben: Well back before the reboot a story would run over four half-hour episodes which definitely allows for development without it feeling rushed or dragged out.
As for the crew, I thought they were ok, just a bunch of relatable, normal people.

Lewis: Yeah, and surprisingly enough they seemed far more intelligent than the UNIT members shown in episode one…
Speaking of that, the writing was a hell of lot better this episode too; it was actually witty this time instead of just trying to be. I especially liked the que cards.

Ben: Urgh, how did UNIT become so stupid? Toby Whitehouse was the writer for this episode, and the script/story was much better than the Moffat disaster.

Lewis: Well, it wasn’t so much a disaster as it was a disappointment…
Didn’t Toby Whitehouse write Being Human?

Ben: He did indeed, which is another cracking series. He has written a few other good Dr Who episodes like ‘School reunion’, which was brilliant.

Lewis: Which one was that?

Ben: The one where Sarah Jane came back.

Lewis: Ahhhh, yeah, that was a good one. He’s certainly got a history of quality. I also like the way he’s structuring this story; the cliff-hanger was fairly obvious, but it means that what we see next will be a prequel, which is definitely a slightly more interesting way of doing things.

Ben: It was definitely interesting, and I do want to see what happens next (or before, since it’s a sort of prequel). Would it not set up a paradox with the Doctor going back to change the future which would mean Clara would never get there to see ghost doctor?

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Lewis: Well… It depends on what theory of time/travel this story is following.
He’s not actually altered anything in the past outside of himself, he is still following his own timeline, so what they know as the world’s past (the story’s past) is (when he goes back in time) his present. He’s still brought Clara to the base, and he’s still gone back in time leaving her there, it’s just he’s then gone on to become a ghost, and the two events have ended up coinciding…

I can’t really explain it in text… so here’s a fun little graphic to explain-

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Ben: Ok I believe you.

Lewis: That wasn’t exactly a coherent explanation, was it?

Ben: No it made sense, I think.

Lewis: Anything to do with time travel is usually complicated, especially when you have an idiot like me explaining it. Anyway, all in all I’m pretty happy with this episode. It was a little slow-paced at points, and it’s not exactly a fresh idea, but it was fun to watch and a lot better than the previous episodes.

Ben: I agree.

Lewis: Excellent, great input Ben

Ben: I agree

Lewis: You forgot the full-stop

Ben: I realised as soon as I sent it. I am ashamed. We can put it back in when we edit.

Lewis: It’s ok, I might edit one in.

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Ben: Please and thanks.

(Ha, didn’t do it. Someone looks a little foolish now, don’t they, Ben?)

Dr Who Review: The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar

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Lewis: So, Dr Who?

Ben: Yeah, I suppose we’d better do it.

Lewis: As much as we’ve been avoiding it…

Ben: So what did you think?

Lewis: Well, I don’t want to be this pessimistic about the season’s opening episodes, but they were just subpar on almost every level.

Ben: I agree. Everything just seemed so stupid; don’t even get me started on the “sonic sunglasses”. They had better not a permanent thing.

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Lewis: If they are I might just have to swear off the whole thing. To be fair though, at least the second one had some redeeming features, the first one really was just a mish-mash of poor dialogue and stupid attempts at being witty. It feels like Moffat’s trying to be Douglas Adams and not doing a very good imitation.

Ben: I feel a similar way. Yeah I would agree, the second was better than the first, but even the one section that had some emotional gravity was just thrown away as just a plot point.

Lewis: I assume you’re talking about the Davros-Doctor discussion?

Ben: Yeah, that was one of the best bits of Doctor Who we’ve seen in ages, right until the climax which completely ruined it.

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Lewis: I didn’t really like that though, because Davros just isn’t that kind of character. All that emotion and shared respect for each other just felt really forced… I really liked it up to a point, but when Davros cracked that joke and started talking about the sunrise, I was sincerely hoping it would be a trap, and it turned out it was, even if it was a pretty shitty one.

Ben: I didn’t think it was forced at all. I can kind of get why it was done, but I just feel that if they did actually kill Davros off that discussion would have been the way to do it. In the moments before his death he considers his work and wonders was it all worthwhile. I felt it was one of the better scripted and better acted part of the series that we’ve seen for a while.

Lewis: No I get that, and the whole time I was really impressed with the Davros actor’s performance. I didn’t really have a problem with any of the writing for that discussion, but I just feel like some parts of it didn’t really suit the character of Davros. But yeah, that discussion was definitely the highlight of the two episodes.

Ben: Moving away from the discussion, I think the way in which the Doctor beat the Daleks was a bit stupid.

Lewis: Yeah it was pretty naff, a very big dose of convenient plot point there… funny how those deceased Daleks were never mentioned before, huh?

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Ben: But then we have never been to Skaro before, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the planet as well.

Lewis: What do you mean? We’ve been to Skaro at least twice before. Once in the first Dr Who episode ever, and I’m pretty sure Tom Baker went once.

Ben: I meant that we haven’t been there in the new series.

Lewis: Well yeah, but I’d expect them to consider the fact that we’ve been there before in previous series’.

Ben: Well now it is back (did they explain how they brought it back? I can’t remember) I expect we will be going back fairly regularly.

Lewis: I don’t think they actually explained it… which is incredibly lazy if that’s the case (I could be, and probably am, wrong). I did quite like the censorship thing that the Daleks now have, it’s quite interesting, even if it does make them a little too emotional for my liking.

Ben: #stopmoffat
Where exterminate means reload? That bit? I wasn’t a big fan. That just seemed shoe-horned in for the last scene. Another thing I appreciated were the old Daleks and the lack of the Teletubbie ones.

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Lewis: Not specifically that bit, because that bit’s just stupid. The part where if she says anything non-Dalek like it just changes it to something more suitable; that seemed like something that the Daleks could feasibly have. And yeah, the old Daleks were a very nice touch, but in the end it feels like they were just shoved in there in order to get people to appreciate these episodes more. They really played up the nostalgia…

Ben: That is true. I presume they took inspiration for the sets from the first Skaro episode.

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Lewis: Oh yeah, and I admit, it was really cool to see the old sets/models/Daleks, but it felt like they were just saying “oooh look at all this shiny stuff that you remember, isn’t it cool?? Don’t worry about the poor writing, just look over here”.

Ben: Essentially they were just trying to distract us for 45 minutes.

Lewis: Yeah, and while there were some very good moments (which may or may not have been immediately ruined), it was just a very poor opener to the season.

Ben: Well hopefully things can only get better, but those ghosts don’t look promising…

Lewis: Well… no… no it doesn’t. Looks like a shitty live-action episode of Scooby Doo. It’ll end up being some old guy who was wronged by the scientific team and is using a projector to simulate ghosts and then when they catch him he’ll say “I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling dicks”.
Or something along those lines anyway.

Ben: #stopmoffat
But I suppose we shall have to wait and see.

Lewis: Yeah, fingers crossed the other writers will have something more impressive to offer later on in this season.