The first face I recognized was that of Max Von Sydow, who I came to know from Hannah and Her Sisters, but then backtracked to see in Wild Strawberries, and also caught in Minority Report, Needful Things and a few other flicks.
I knew Oscar Isaac too, red hot actor who I didn’t know at all when I’d seen Inside Llewyn Davis, but was prepared to be impressed by and wasn’t disappointed by in A Most Violent Year. When Marvin’s “Inner City Blues” is your movies recurring score, the flick itself better be hard as fuck.
And it was.
I didn’t know Daisy Ridley at all but it’s sure as shit positive foreshadowing when your star turn is in the Star Wars franchise.
Harrison Ford, of course, went from the Star Wars franchise to the Indiana Jones franchise without missing a beat. He’s what actors derisively call a Movie Star.
Before Episode IV came along, Harrison had a small role in American Graffiti and right after, another small role in Apocalypse Now.
Since then, I’m guessing his best known non-blockbuster that I’ve both seen and liked would probably be Working Girl.
Carrie Fisher actually got a chance to do a little acting right after Episode IV‘s initial run.
Who could ever forget her hilarious take as Joliet Jake’s jilted bride, repeatedly and redundantly trying to kill him throughout The Blues Brothers?
And once the last of the initial three Star Wars joints wrapped and even though their scenes never overlapped, she joined Von Sydow in Hannah.
Still, I probably best remember her as the female friend in When Harry Met Sally.
Then there’s Adam Driver. I first saw this dude in Girls as Hannah’s boyfriend. Then I remember him from a split second in Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac. Next time I saw him, he was the youngest sibling in This is Where I Leave You. And I had just seen him the night before I saw The Force Awakens when I took While We’re Young out of the library.
Then there’s Mark Hamill. Poor bastard. If anyone ever needed greater evidence of how a smash hit franchise can literally ruin someone’s acting career, they’d be hard pressed to find a dagger more fatal than Star Wars has been to this dude.
Quick: name another Mark Hamill movie…
I’ll even let you Google it…
Shit, I included a link. Click on it.
Now, name one that you’ve actually seen.
If it’s anything other than Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, kill yourself.
As far as the The Force Awakens itself is concerned, it was good. Of course, for my money, nothing can compensate for the loss of Lord Vader. Even the concession that he haunts the film.
Vader, to me, was the series’ core; the personification of charismatic, elegant and stylized evil.
But, like Jordan retires, Peyton Manning gets old and even Obama heads to the door, the story goes on, I guess.
Whether we like it or not.