TL;DR – This is a film that feels both incredibly safe but yet also incredibly weird and that dissidence is really odd.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Well, it is an interesting time for a new Star Wars film, for maybe the first time in a long time. The last film Solo had a lacklustre reception and had issues in production as did Rogue One, and indeed as did Rise. To add to this, the discourse in and around Star Wars films has just been wholly unpleasant for quite a while. So for the first time in a very long time, I walked into a Star Wars film with a lot of trepidation. Now while thankfully a lot of that trepidation was unneeded, unfortunately, some of it was.
So to set the scene, at the end of The Last Jedi everything is in flux. The Resistance has survived annihilation but has been stretched to almost breaking point as The First Order storms across The New Republic. However, all is not dandy for The First Order as well, as their leader was assassinated by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and their main battle cruiser was destroyed. The game is set for the final* battle between the light side and the dark with the whole galaxy’s future is at stake. However, just at the cusp of this, a dark voice from the past pierces into the vale. For it appears that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has come back from the dead and is gunning for Rey (Daisy Ridley). Now with this review, we will try to be as general and non-spoilery as possible but there will be a section towards the end that will explore three big story points that will have spoilers but we will clearly label it for you (also if you don’t want spoilers maybe avoid the cast list at the bottom).
TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.
Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.
Films that are beautifully constructed
Films that mean something to me
Films that are always re-watchable
Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema
With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.
TL;DR – It is okay, the story is okay, the acting is okay, the effects, okay well they are more than just okay, but overall it is just okay
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Hmm, okay, well this is an interesting film, it had a dramatic change of directors and tone during production, and it is charting the course for one of the most iconic characters in film history. All of this leads to some pretty big expectations, but also a lot of hesitation because a large course change mid-way through rarely leads to a great end product. However, the same was also said of Rouge One (see review) and that turned out to be really good, by the end. Well, today let’s see if they can capture that magic again, and give justice to the character of Han Solo.
Before we start I need to make it clear that this blog will be full of spoilers for the recent Rogue One and Suicide Squad, as well as last year’s The Force Awakens, and all of Star Wars in general, so proceed cautiously if things like this concern you.
So when I was watching Rogue One yesterday for the third time, at which point instead of watching the broad strokes of the story you instead focus on more of the details, it occurred to me that not only is Rogue One interesting in the fact that it kills off its entire leading cast (yes I said there were spoilers don’t complain that I didn’t warn you) but also how it kills them. Now of course, as most people know, there were extensive reshoots with Rogue One which may have drastically changed the outcome of how characters died, but that is a discussion for another day, today we will just be focusing on the movie as it is in cinemas.
So it has now been six months since the release of the seventh Star Wars film, and indeed given that it is now out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Download etc, and also given that today is the May the Fourth, I think it is a good time to re-engage with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Given the low bar that was the Prequels, where we just caught up in the notion of “it’s better than them, well that means it was a fantastic film”, or now with some distance and time (and the dulling of nostalgia) will we find it does not live up to the hype we placed on it? So of course just to be clear there will be full spoilers in this article, so if you have not watched it then now is the time to go make some tea and contemplate the universe.
At this time of year top ten lists abound everywhere, so Who am I to disappoint, also I love a good countdown. So with that in mind here are my top ten films of 2015, though just to start here are a few Highly Commended films that fall just out of the Top 10 – Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World & Chappie
TL;DR – “Sing Hallelujah!, Sing it, Sing Hallelujah!, Sing it, yeah, Sing Hallelujah! … Sing Hallelujah!” – Dr. Alban
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Ok before we start I am going to try my best to have no spoilers in this review, but you should be warned that while I may try my best there may be a couple of little tidbits throughout this review. Anyway, this is a great film and you should go into with as little information as possible, go see it before someone spoils it for you.