TL;DR – There are elements here and there that elevate it out of the mire it seems to have written for itself, but many parts still felt lacklustre.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Review –
There is very little people agree on when it comes to what worked in the Star Wars prequels, but one of the few things is that Ewan McGregor knocked it out of the park with his performance of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Since then, there have been rumours and talk of films going back and forth until finally, the series was announced. I had high hopes after they got the whole band together, but I am not so sure now that I have watched it.
So to set the scene, it has been ten years since The Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) engineered his coup against the Jedi with Order 66 wiping all of them out. Well, nearly all of them, because Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) slipped through the cracks and now lives in a cave on Tatooine. He works as a butcher during the day, trying to keep a low profile. However, this is damaged when Inquisitors land on the planet looking for Jedi and Obi-Wan is forced to come out of hiding because across the galaxy, a young Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) has just been kidnapped from her house. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – It captivates you in the first moments and never lets you go until the very end.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There may be a post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.
In the Heights Review –
If there is one genre that has kind of disappeared from movie screens, it is the musical. Looking back, the last proper musical I saw on the big screen was The Greatest Showman. But something is exciting about being in a room full of people as the music and emotions wash over you. That moment when a song hits all the right notes, and you feel that emotion in your soul. Today, I get to add another entry onto this list with the sheer delight that is In the Heights.
So to set the scene, we open with Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos) sitting on a beach telling a bunch of kids the story of the land of Washington Heights in the far off city of Nueva York. Here we see Usnavi go about his day, looking after his Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz), opening up his bodega with his cousin Sonny (Gregory Diaz IV), and striking out with Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) while Sonny and his best friend Benny (Corey Hawkins) watch on. But something is happening on the street today, Kevin Rosario’s (Jimmy Smits) daughter Nina (Leslie Grace) is coming back from Stanford, and everyone is ready for the celebration.
TL;DR – A bit of a mess at times, but any complaints I have are overridden by the strongest ending in the franchise’s history.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So here we are with Star War’s first attempt at a standalone film (a film set in the Star Wars universe, but not one of the main numbered entries) and a prequel no less, by any measure this was a risky gambit for the Mouse House, because the last thing you want to do to your $4 Billion investment is damaging the brand with a bad movie. Now this coupled with extensive reshoots in a year where extensive reshoots have led to mediocre films like Suicide Squad and outright failures like Fantastic Four had a lot of people concerned, is the prequel curse going to continue? Well, I am happy to say those reshoots must have only improved the movie because Rogue One is a blast. Now is it a perfect film, oh no, it has some real problems, but any issue I could have with it is blasted away by some quality filmmaking. Now we will be discussing the story later in the review, so I’ll put a Spoiler Warning out before that, but I feel with a property like this, it is important to say, I will be discussing aspects of the film and the characters and you may find that to be spoilery, so you have been warned to continue with caution.