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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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The Final "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Trailer is Unleashed

Like an invasion from a powerful cinematic force that used to be far, far away from theaters, the "Star Wars" franchise has begun its full attack towards all of pop culture, having captivated future viewers in the last 48 hours with a blockbuster-sized demand of attention. Along with the release of the final poster for the film, a delicious balance of color and galactic nostalgia, the final trailer for was released last night, as a type of halftime show for Monday Night Football that was more a lifetime event for audiences than most Super Bowl performances. It was no mere coincidence that websites like Fandango crashed the same night when the ticket pre-order floodgates were open, in which everyone tried to secure tickets to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as soon as possible.

Like the strongest of blockbusters, the story of "Star Wars" has never been a franchise that has to rely on telling its tiniest secrets earlier, but this trailer is a nostalgia-flaring, chills-down-your-spine balance of teasing and revealing. It's enough for those who only want a sample, focused on introducing us to (or reuniting us with) basic characters; it provides an immediate glance at Daisy Ridley's mysterious masked character, and John Boyega as a possible future Jedi. But it also has plenty of direct references to the overall saga ("It's true. All of it," says Harrison Ford's Han Solo in a promo-stealing line), for those who feel the need to start assembling pieces of what happens in "Episode VII," or "Episode VIII," or even "Episode IX". 


As anyone with even just one social media account can tell you, the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer was a dominating topic in status updates, Tweets, Instagrams and beyond, often with many exclamation points or screenshots of specific images. However, my favorite that I've seen so far is from none other than Boyega himself, who even though he's on the poster, is blown over a couch by what he's seen. This type of elation transcends promotion. And I assume Boyega's co-star Max von Sydow probably had the same reaction. 

Though by definition it's just some very smart marketing, this trailer event is an important day in pop culture. It returns viewers, beyond just a teaser trailer but with a nerd-dominating TV event, to a franchise that completely changed the blockbuster game back in 1977.  And from the looks of this trailer, it looks like it will continue that spirit with its characters—director J.J. Abrams has provided nothing but promise that this series will go full-steam ahead on challenging primitive ideas of what a blockbuster protagonist should look like, as made clear right-off-the-bat with the positively invigorating introduction of Daisy Ridley's character, and then Boyega's. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" very well could be the future of massive movies, even if this is one of the last times a theatrical release can build this amount of anticipation. Now, we play the waiting game. 

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens December 18, and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, a robot named BB-8, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christine, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, and many more.

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