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The Mandalorian (2019)

asterixsmeagol

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I liked the pilot enough to watch episode 2, but honestly it could have been crap and I'd probably keep watching anyway. I mean, I've watched Droids and Ewoks. The story was ok, but why was the pilot only 39 minutes? It could have used a little bit more development of the villain. I thought most of the effects were fine, but agree that it felt more like a good fan film than a legit Lucasfilm production. I'm pretty sure the opening bar set, the Carl Weathers set, the Herner Werzog, and the last set were all the same room dressed up a little differently. Hopefully that gets better in future episodes.
 

DonKamillo

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asterixsmeagol said:
I'm pretty sure the opening bar set, the Carl Weathers set, the Herner Werzog, and the last set were all the same room dressed up a little differently. Hopefully that gets better in future episodes.

After rewatching The Lion King live action movie with my nieces today, I could've sworn that Disney/Favreau recycled some of their Lion King footage for the rocky planet Arvala-7 :)
 

Gaith

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WF9dlRO.jpg
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I watched the first two episodes and think it’s just okay so far. I agree that some of the CGI seems amateur. I don’t know why you’d write riding CGI beasts into your script if you’re Favreau. He’s got enough experience to know that’s one of the tougher things to do in CGI. So far I’m finding myself wanting more character beats. The main through story is somewhat compelling, but we don’t know enough yet to really care. I hope it’s more than a simple McGuffin. The music isn’t bad but I agree that it feels more Star Treky than Star Warsy. There is a scene in episode two that I was so wanting to hear Williams’ Force Theme or are least something that suggested it. For me the Williamsesque music is a big part of the Star Wars world. Obviously Williams isn’t going to score every Star Wars thing, but I thought R1 did a decent job with keeping the score Star Warsy.
 

TomH1138

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I love this show so far. The visuals, the style, the special effects (nicely blending practical with CGI), the pacing--everything is spot on. 

When I was a kid, I would sometimes play with all my Star Wars action figures, but other times I would play with Boba Fett all by himself. The iconic design by Joe Johntson lends itself to imagining other adventures with the character. Boba’s actual backstory went down a path that was, for me, unsatisfying. But this episode felt like the series I had subconsciously wanted to see since I was a child.

I love seeing a lot of species and other things we haven’t seen in a long time. In his review of Return of the Jedi, Roger Ebert said, “The camera ... slides casually past forms of life that would provide the centerpiece for lesser movies.” Recent productions haven’t had as much of a sense of a “full” universe with interesting characters everywhere.

But here, we get an Ugnaught (the Nick Nolte character), an IG assassin droid (which we’ve seen, but never seen actually do its job), and carbon freezing, none of which we’ve seen since Empire Strikes Back. A Gonk droid from A New Hope takes the Mandalorian to a room full of beaten-up stormtroopers wearing classic armor that we haven’t seen since the first 3 movies. The camera slides casually past a Salacious Crumb-like character from Return of the Jedi, nervously watching his friend being cooked for dinner. And the Mandalorian’s weapon and a mention of Life Day both come from the notorious Holiday Special! That was gutsy, but I loved it.

While callbacks are fine, they’re meaningless if there are no new characters or ideas, or if the story isn’t holding its weight. I found new species like the Mythrol and the Blurgg to be a lot of fun, and the story doesn’t feel like a rehash of any of the earlier movies to me.

I also thought the music was amazing. The more recent productions have had decent/OK music, but they all fall short of John Williams in his prime (even Williams himself). Ludwig Göransson’s score here sounds like a mix of Westerns, samurai films, and high-tech synth music. Ironically, by going in a completely different direction with the sound, the score sounds more like it fits in this universe than anything I’ve heard in a long time. 

I’m fine with the scenery. A space Western set on a desert planet is pretty much the go-to for Star Wars. There are suggestions that the planet might even be Tattooine itself, which we haven’t seen yet in the Disney era.

My only tiny gripe is that the second episode was weirdly short at only 33 minutes. However, considering that networks force TV show producers to stick to 42 minutes for the sake of commercial breaks, and Netflix forces the producers to arbitrarily fill a full hour with each episode, it looks like Disney+ is taking a feature-film approach: Let each episode be as long as it needs to tell that part of the story. No more, no less. 

When the sale to Disney was first announced, and people were discussing potential directors for Ep. VII, one of the first names that came to my mind was Jon Favreau. Now that he’s finally gotten a chance to work in this universe, he did not disappoint.

Of course, promising beginnings doesn’t mean that the producers always stick the landing. But if everything continues as it started, this could be the best Star Wars production since 1983.

I have spoken. ;)
 

DonKamillo

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I'm really torn regarding the score. Initially I didn't like it but after Chapter Two, the Mandalorian theme kinda grew on me. It happened more than once though, that the synth music in specific scenes (e.g. when bigger creatures appear) took me out of the "Star Wars experience" and acoustically catapulted me into a scene from the Transformer movies.
 

Masirimso17

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Episode 1 I absolutely loved. I thought Episode 2 was weak, stretched out and just filler, but still had exciting fun moments and phenomenal cinematography and production quality.
 

TMBTM

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Episode 1: Cool but something felt off sometimes.
Episode 2: Maybe the best 30 minutes (in a row) of Star Wars since Return of the Jedi. To me.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I liked episode three the best so far. It wasn’t perfect and the

climax was a little too deus ex machina

but I like the way the show is taking its time. I’m still not sold on the tribe aspect of the thing and the forging armor/flashback conceit just doesn’t work for me, but appears to be here to stay.
 

mnkykungfu

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asterixsmeagol said:
I liked the pilot enough to watch episode 2, but honestly it could have been crap and I'd probably keep watching anyway. I mean, I've watched Droids and Ewoks. The story was ok, but why was the pilot only 39 minutes? It could have used a little bit more development of the villain. I thought most of the effects were fine, but agree that it felt more like a good fan film than a legit Lucasfilm production. I'm pretty sure the opening bar set, the Carl Weathers set, the Herner Werzog, and the last set were all the same room dressed up a little differently. Hopefully that gets better in future episodes.

Maybe to try to hook people more?  Like, if I tuned in right now (having not watched at all), maybe I'd come in skeptical and say "Well, I'll at least watch the first episode."

If the first episode was 1hour+ like some series, that might be enough time for me to find several things I didn't like.  But deciding that they gave enough of the flavor at 39 minutes and can cut it there... it kind of leaves people thinking "Well, I could at least watch the next one..."  Before you know it, you're 3 episodes in and just figure you'll watch the whole thing.
 

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Moe_Syzlak said:
climax was a little too deus ex machina

I know what Favreau was thinking about when he wrote that...

...final battle: 


:D
 

Moe_Syzlak

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DonKamillo said:
Moe_Syzlak said:
climax was a little too deus ex machina

I know what Favreau was thinking about when he wrote that...

...final battle: 


:D
It’s funny I know I’ve seen that movie but even after watching that clip I have zero memory of it.

All I could think watching the scene in Mandalorian is that “here comes the cavalry” is the most cliched example of deus ex machina I can think of. Even the whistling birds—though completely telegraphed—showed the protagonist getting out of a seemingly impossible situation on his own.

Still, despite that, I liked that episode the best so far.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Just watched episode 4. Did they find the old costumes from Island of Dr. Moreau? I half expected to see Brando in white face paint. :)
 

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UiujSQT.jpg


I'm enjoying the show, though I'm getting impatient to see Pedro Pascal himself - I imagine he's only been doing voice-overs so far. At least now we've heard that once we do see him, we'll probably keep seeing him. The production values are spectacular, and the modest run times have helped the limitation of not seeing the protagonist's face get too old. That said, this week's episode was the weakest of the four, with the comely native widow who just about throws herself at the mysterious stranger being a grating cliche.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I agree. I thought last week was the strongest episode and this week the weakest. I wish I liked it more because it was the first episode that at least really tried to be character based. And I understand the show’s desire to honor the Star Wars roots of paying homage to classic westerns and Kurosawa, but this one was a bit too on the nose.
 

Hymie

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Gaith said:
UiujSQT.jpg


I'm enjoying the show, though I'm getting impatient to see Pedro Pascal himself - I imagine he's only been doing voice-overs so far. At least now we've heard that once we do see him, we'll probably keep seeing him. The production values are spectacular, and the modest run times have helped the limitation of not seeing the protagonist's face get too old. That said, this week's episode was the weakest of the four, with the comely native widow who just about throws herself at the mysterious stranger being a grating cliche.

Apparently Pascal has been in the suit the whole time.  I had assumed that he was simply providing a vocal performance as well but was informed that he is in fact giving a full performance, as it showed him on the set proper.  I cannot remember where the article was but it seemed to confirm as much.  With that knowledge, he really is giving a great and nuanced performance as the character and the fact we cannot see his face has not hindered understanding his character one iota.
 

Handman

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Just watched the fifth episode, and for those of you saying last week's was the weakest, boy do I have a surprise for you.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Handman said:
Just watched the fifth episode, and for those of you saying last week's was the weakest, boy do I have a surprise for you.

I’m not sure what that means. I thought it was slightly better than last week while seemingly advancing the overall story less.
 
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