Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is directed by Martin McDonagh and stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage. The plot of the movie is a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit. I was looking forward to seeing this movie because it has a lot of talented actors in it plus I want to see as many of the awards contenders as I can before the year is up. I did enjoy this movie, but it's not one that I think I will ever rewatch. The characters are all well developed. There is one scene that takes place in a police interrogation room that I thought was one of the best scenes of the movie. The chemistry between Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson is excellent. I have no doubt Frances McDormand will be nominated for an OSCAR. I did like the dark comedy, for the most part, I do think it went too far in one scene. As for negatives I wish Lucas Hedges character had a little more to do. He plays Frances McDormand's son. This next thing some may not want to know about so SPOILER warning I guess. I mentioned that the dark humor for me went too far in one scene and that is when there is a flashback of Frances McDormand's character Mildred and her daughter. Mildred won't let her daughter have the car. So the daughter says that she will walk home and jokes that she will be raped than Mildred say that she hopes her daughter is raped. I know it was said out of anger, but it made me go from liking Mildred to hating her. Out of all the awards contenders I have watched I enjoyed this one the most. 3 out of 5 stars for Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing Missouri. I hope you enjoyed my review.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Lady Bird is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith. The plot of the movie is in the early 2000s, an artistically-inclined seventeen-year-old comes of age in Sacramento, California. This was another movie that was getting awards buzz. Like most films that get awards buzz, I found this movie boring and hard to get through. I thought the main character Lady Bird was extremely unlikable. She came off as a spoiled brat it made the movie difficult to sit through. I do think that the actress Saoirse Ronan did a great job in the role. The other characters didn't bother me, but I am not going to remember any of them in a day or two. The rest of the cast did a fine job, but no one stands out as being the best. The movie is very slow-paced as well. Usually, with films that are getting awards buzz, I can see why even if I don't like the movie, but I can't with this one. 1 out of 5 stars for Lady Bird. I hope you enjoyed my review.
Saturday, December 23, 2017
The Greatest Showman is directed by Michael Gracey and stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. This was a film that I was really looking forward to. I loved this movie. The lead actors are fantastic. Hugh Jackman is wonderful as always he just lights up the screen when he shows up. Michelle Williams is fantastic as his wife. I used to think Zac Efron was a terrible actor. He has grown a lot and he is great. One of my favorite scenes is when Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron are singing and dancing in this bar. Zendaya is fantastic in the movie. I loved her part in Spider-man: Homecoming and I loved her part in this also her career is off to a great start and I am excited to see what she does next. Every musical scene in this movie fantastic. I love this soundtrack. In my opinion, it is the best soundtrack of the year and will be listening to it many times. This film looks beautiful and reminds me why I have great respect for film. 5 out of 5 stars for The Greatest Showman. I hope you enjoyed my review.
Friday, December 22, 2017
Call Me By Your Name is directed by Luca Guadagnino and stars Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois. The plot of the movie is in Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen-year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape. This film has been at many film festivals it is being nominated for a lot of awards and I can see why, but this movie bored the hell out of me. The film looks very good Italy looks beautiful. I think the two lead actors do a wonderful job. This film is so fucking slow I almost fell out of my chair from boredom. I didn't care about any of these characters. I didn't care about the relationship between Elio and Oliver. I can see why this is getting awards buzz, but it just wasn't for me.1 out of 5 stars for Call Me By Your Name. I hope you enjoyed my review.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. I am not going to tell you anything about the plot. I want you to go into it knowing as little as possible. The Last Jedi is an amazing movie. It's great to see a squeal that not only lives up to the hype but also surpasses the previous film. This is a unique Star Wars film that fits in with the saga but is also able to stand on its own. I think out of all the Star Wars films this one takes the most risks. It does things I wasn't expecting. There's a lot of twists and turns, there's some great storytelling and the performances are all fantastic. My biggest problem with The Force Awakens was the character Kylo Ren I couldn't take him seriously. Thankfully that problem has been fixed. He is actually very intimidating and thankfully he doesn't act like a whiny bitch this time. Adam Driver did a wonderful job and he has some of the best scenes in this movie. Daisy Ridley knocks it out of the park as Ray once again. She gets a lot more screen time with Kylo Ren which I loved some great stuff between the two of them including my favorite scene in the movie. I wish I could go more into that. John Boyega is back as Finn and he gets a lot more to do this time. Oscar Issac as Poe also gets a lot more screen time and he was one of my favorites of the new characters in Force Awakens. Mark Hamill finally gets to speak as Luke Skywalker. I think this is his best performance as Luke. You also have some new cast members Laura Dern is really great in this film. Benicio del Toro is fantastic. Also returning is Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux. I wasn't thrilled with either character in The Force Awakens. Thankfully that was another problem that was fixed. Phasma gets a great action scene and Hux gets one of the funniest scenes at the beginning of the movie. Andy Serkis is back as Supreme Leader Snoke. I thought Snoke looked a lot better in person than he did as a hologram in the last movie. Finally, the late Carrie Fisher is back as Leia. Just like Mark Hamill, this is her best performance as Leia. Visually this is the most beautiful Star Wars movie especially towards the latter half with the big climax that takes place on this planet were the dirt is red and it contrasts beautifully with the white. There is a lot of phenomenal action and director Rian Johnson handles it very well. Also, the score by John Williams is especially good this time there was some great new stuff with some old stuff sprinkled in. There is a lot of humor and all of it works I laughed many times. The real reason why I love this film so much is there are great emotional stakes. All of these relationships have been so well developed. The story is completely engaging. There are certain things that you expect to happen in a Star Wars film. Certain sequences take place in a certain order, but this movie blows that right out of the water. I had no idea where this movie was going to go and I loved that. I have only given two Star Wars movies my highest grade well now it's three. 5 out of 5 stars for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. I hope you enjoyed my review.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
As you know I have been reviewing Star Wars Episodes 1-7 leading up to The Last Jedi. I am seeing The Last Jedi tonight the review will be up tomorrow. For the final time, this review will contain SPOILERS so if you have not seen The Force Awakens that is your warning. The movie starts off With Poe Dameron looking for Luke Skywalker on the planet Jakku. He has gotten a piece of a map and he is trying to get that back to the resistance. He is not able to get it to them right away. He is captured by Kylo Ren and that is also the moment we meet Finn. Finn is a really great character I didn't know how much I was going to like Finn just because he's a former stormtrooper. He's got so many quirky personality traits it's endearing. When we see him wake up and refuse to kill a bunch of innocents I thought this guy is turning out to be more interesting than I originally thought. When we see Kylo Ren enter the movie for the first time I thought that he looked like a guy in a cheap Halloween custom the mask looked ridiculous. When he spoke with the mask on I had to try hard not to burst out laughing it was so funny I did not take him seriously at all. When he throws his little temper tantrum all I could think of was whenever the villains lost in Power Ranger and they would also throw temper tantrums. Later on, in the movie, we find out that Kylo is actually Ben Solo the son of Han and Leia. I also did not like this we've seen this before with Darth Vader being Luke's father. Do something different not every character in these movies has to be related. Anyway, this is why Luke has vanished he feels like a failure because Ben Solo went to the dark side. Poe is being tortured for information about where the map to Luke is. He is rescued by Finn. Finn and Poe have really great on-screen chemistry they don't have a lot of scenes together, but the scenes they do have are fantastic. Now on to Rey, she is such a cool character. She is a scavenger on Jakku. She saves the droid BB8 from another scavenger. Just like Anakin, we find out that she knows how to do a lot of stuff and she's shocking herself because she's never done them before. We see Rey and Finn team up and try to bring BB8 back to the resistance because BB8 has the map to Luke. Along the way, they meet up with Han and Chewbacca and those two are just how they always were. When Rey and Finn tell Han and Chewbacca that they have a piece of a map that will lead them to Luke he pretty quickly agrees to help them get the map to the resistance. Han takes them to Maz Kanata this character is completely CG and sticks out like a sore thumb. The CGI was unacceptable it looked like not much time was spent on it at all. There was one amazing scene in that part of the movie where Rey finds Luke's lightsaber and has all these visions. The First Order shows up to where they are and Rey is captured by Kylo. Then the resistance arrives and we get a nice little reunion with Han and Leia. Supreme Leader Snoke is another character smaller to Maz Kanata that is completely CG and also looks terrible and like it was rushed. Hopefully, he looks better when we see him in person in The Last Jedi. When Kylo was interrogating Rey and trying to get information out of her I was afraid we would find out that they are related. I'm glad we did not get that. That may come is episode 8 or 9, but I really hope not. She gets Kylo to take off his mask and when he does he looked like and goth high school kid I still was not able to take him seriously. The best part of Rey's escape was the fact that we really saw how the force works because the first two times she tried to get the stormtrooper to release her she was very emotional. When he finally walked in front of her and she was speaking to him straight on deadpan face she turned her emotions off and told him what to do and he did it. One character we do not see enough of is Captain Phasma. There was a really funny scene with Han and chewie where they decide to put her in a trash compactor. The final act of the movie is where I was taken out of the movie for a little bit and that was when Han Solo was killed. It seemed like it was an idea clearly fueled by Harrison Ford since he wanted Han Solo to die in Return of the Jedi. The way he died in this movie was so lame and you could see it coming. I didn't even react I just thought wow that was very predictable. The only emotional moment in that scene is when Chewie cried out also when you see that Leia sensed it. We also see in this scene Kylo Ren zero in on Finn and Rey and I really think that was a key moment for the future of this series. The lightsaber battle at the end with Rey, Finn, and Kylo was beautifully done. What I really loved was when Rey finally picked up that lightsaber and battled Kylo. People said that the final scene when Ray finds Luke was disappointing because there wasn't enough Luke. I thought it was fine that he didn't have a line. Luke was never on any of the promotional material so I expected something like that to happen and this helps build anticipation for The Last Jedi. I did really enjoy this movie. My one big issue is Kylo Ren he comes off as that goth kid in high school who throws a fit when he can't find his eyeliner. All of the other new characters were great. It was fun to see the original characters back. 4 out of 5 stars for The Force Awakens.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Recently I have heard from a lot of people that Return of the Jedi is their favorite Star Wars movie For the majority of time people have considered Jedi to be not a bad movie by any means, but the least favorite of the original trilogy. I might get a lot of hate for this, but I happen to fall into that group of people who fell that this is the weakest of the original trilogy. By no means do I hate this movie though. With this review, I hope to explain my very high positives for it as well as my slight negatives for this movie. Just like my other reviews in this series, this will contain SPOILERS. The movie opens a bit similar to A New Hope where we have C-3PO and R2-D2 on Tatooine. This time they are approaching the palace of Jabba the Hut because Han Solo is trapped in there in carbonite. They are waiting for Luke to meet up with them. Starting off with the droids on Tatooine is a nice callback, but the one major issue I have with this movie is there is a lot of exposition. What I mean by that is C-3PO and R2-D2 seem to fill that void of recapping the events of The Empire Strikes Back by filling us in that Han Solo is trapped in carbonite this is Jabba the Hut's palace. Now I don't hate C-3PO at all, but this feels like a very expository scene. They didn't even need to mention that Solo was in carbonite because if you saw Return of the Jedi you would have seen Empire Strikes Back and because of how much of a cliffhanger that was the ending would still be fresh in your memory. So one by one the group of Rebels finds their way into Jabba's palace. Leia comes in disguised as a bounty hunter with Chewbacca. Lando is disguised as one of the guards. C-3PO and R2-D2 make their way inside the palace where they have a conversation with Jabba the Hut. Jabba is pretty gross looking and the fact that he is a puppet is great. He is such an iconic character it's been built up that Han owes a debt to Jabba. In the palace Leia reveals herself, she frees Han Solo and is then captured by Jabba and he makes her his slave. Luke makes his way into the palace. You see that this is a different Luke Skywalker when he walks in he is wearing all black and he uses the force to choke the guards. It shows that he has gotten more powerful. He tries to negotiate with Jabba, but Jabba just laughs at him and pushes a button with makes Luke fall through a trapdoor into the rancor pit. We get a pretty cool action scene with Luke against the rancor he ends up outsmarting it and using the door to crush it. This results in Jabba sentencing them all to death in the Sarlacc pit. Luke and Han are brought to the Sarlacc pit and this is where we get the first huge action scene of the movie and we get to see Luke's new green lightsaber. When they are travailing to the Sarlacc pit the green screen is pretty distracting and that was never an issue in A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. With the green screen being noticeable it made this part of the movie seem fake. I don't know if it is because Lucas just wanted to get the movie over with. Thankfully it doesn't take away from this incredible fight scene. Seeing Luke with the lightsaber is awesome. Leia chocks Jabba to death with her chains that was awesome. Most people complain about the way Boba Fett was killed off where Han just knocks into Fett's Jetpack and he falls into the Sarlacc Pit, but like I mentioned in my last review I don't care about Boba Fett at all. After the battle, the gang gets on the Falcon and departs for the next part of their journey. During this, we get to see what has been going on with the Empire and we are informed that the Emperor is finally going to be arriving to meet with Vader about the construction of the second Death Star. Everything with the Emperor in this movie is goddamn fantastic. This is way Palpatine is one of my favorite villains in movie history. After this, we do get a touching scene were Yoda and Luke finally reunite Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his training, but he finds Yoda on his deathbed. Before Yoda dies he reveals that Darth Vader is, in fact, Luke's father for all those people who thought that it was a lie. He also says that there is another Skywalker to which Obi-Wan as a force ghost confirms that Leia is his sister. You can tell during the writing of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back that this was not the original plane especially with the two kissing scenes in the previous movies. It does fell that Lucas intended his sister to be a different character and if it had been nine films like originally planned it would have been. It's still a cool scene. During this scene, Obi-Wan tells Luke that he needs to face Vader again. While this is going on the Rebels plan to destroy the second Death Star. During this, we see that Han and Lando reconcile with no attention given to the fact that Lando sold out his best friend. Again it felt like Lucas was rushing things and if it was a nine-film saga that grudge would have lasted for a couple of films. The Rebels have to go to the planet Endor to deactivate the shield generator which will allow them to destroy the Death Star again and finally bring down the Empire. They set off for Endor and I do like a lot of what happens on Endor, but it is also where some of the movies biggest flaws come in. We get my favorite scene action wise and that is the speeder bike scene with Luke and Leia against two scout troopers. After that we get introduced to the Ewoks I don't like these things I also don't hate them. They are not Jar Jar Binks level of annoying to me. They are cute, but they are also very obnoxious and you can tell this was the first time Gorge Lucas put in something just for the kids. I like Wicket especially the scene with Leia that was cute. The rest of the stuff with the Ewoks I don't buy it. I don't like the stuff where they capture Luke, Han, and Leia and they try to burn them alive, but than C-3PO shows up and the Ewoks think he is some sort of god it's funny, but it is a little childish. Then we get a scene where I honestly don't know if I like it or not. The Ewokes are having a big party for their new friends and C-3PO is telling a story that just recaps the previous movies in the original trilogy. I think it is charming how he'll be telling things and then you will hear the appropriate sound effect at the same time it's another scene that feels very expository. Sometimes it feels like C-3PO is just walking exposition in this movie. Then we get to the scene where Luke tells Leia that she is his sister and I like Leia's line about her always having this feeling that Luke was her brother. It shows how close they have become and it makes the scene where she senses the Luke is in trouble at the end of Empire Strikes Back more impactful. However, another scene that makes the kissing in the other two movies uncomfortable. Luke leaves the group he surrenders himself to Vader to try to bring his father back to the light side. Luke though out this entire movie is set on the fact that there is still good inside of the man once known as Anakin Skywalker and he is trying to talk some sense into his father and get him to abandon the Empire and help him stop the Emperor. You do fell the father-son bond although it's very fucked up. Now the movie really picks up for me when Luke and Vader are in the Emperor's throne room the movie gets really good and I love every scene with the Emperor. The Emperor is playing mind games with Luke trying to turn Luke to the dark side it is incredible. This leads to Luke and Vader igniting their lightsabers and having what I believe is the second best lightsaber battle in the entire saga after the battle at the end of Empire. I love that Vader starts taunting Luke. Luke comes out of his hiding place and starts beating the crap out of him and almost killing him. It shows that the Emperor's influence is working on Luke. While this is going on the Emperor reveals that the Death Star is fully operational and Luke's friends will be destroyed. The Ewokes and the Rebels manage to defeat the imperial forces on Endor. Which leads to the shields being taken down and Lando and his fleet being able to go into the Death Star and start their attack. Back on the Death Star Luke is about to kill Vader and the Emperor is egging him on. Luke snaps out of it and tells the Emperor that he has failed and says that he is a Jedi just like his father once was. The Emperor then starts using the force lightning on Luke trying to kill him and you see Vader just watching his son who is slowly getting killed by his master. Luke is screaming for his father to help him. You know that there is a deep inner conflict going on within Darth Vader during this. He gets up grabs the Emperor and throws him into the reactor pit killing his master and redeeming himself. Due to the Emperor's force lightning, Vader is wounded he tells Luke to take his mask off even though he will die. Luke takes off his mask and looks into his father's eyes for the first time. It is a very powerful scene and it's the death of one of the greatest villains of all time. Luke escapes the Death Star, Lando, and his fleet finally destroy it and that is the end of the Empire. Then we see the Jedi funeral of Vader that Luke has very impactful scene. Then we get the fun celebration scene with all the characters. The movie ends with Luke seeing the force ghost of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin. Overall it's a very good movie I did have an issue with some stuff. First, off the characters are the same ones we know and love from the other two movies in the original trilogy and they are still great. Luke firmly is established in this movie as one of the best characters in film history. Han and Leia are good. Vader is incredible in this movie and of course, Palpatine is one of the best villains in film history. The action scenes are all very well done the best action scene easily is the fight between Luke and Vader. The score by John Williams once again is brilliant. Like I mentioned negatives are that there is a lot of exposition which is a bit of a nitpick, but it can slow the movie down. The Ewokes felt like they were just put in for the kids. There are some issues with the visual effects where it is not as good as A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. Some things with the plot could have been handled better Han and Lando reconciling for example. While I did have problems with Return of the Jedi I still really enjoyed watching this movie. 4 out of 5 stars for Return of the Jedi.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered to be the best Star Wars movie and I agree with everyone who thinks it is. Just like my other Star Wars reviews, this will contain SPOILERS. Empire Strikes Back starts off three years after the events of A New Hope. The Rebel Alliance has set up a new base on the planet Hoth. The Empire sends out Probe droids to spy on the Rebels. Luke goes out on his Tauntaun into the snow and is captured by a Wampa and this leads to Han going out to find Luke. When Luke is in the Wampa cave we see him start to dabble with the force for a bit his lightsaber is stuck in the snow and he is trying to pull it to his hand with the force. He succeeds and kills the Wampa and then goes out into the blizzard. While he is out in the snow Obi-Wan's force ghost tells him that he needs to go to Dagobah to train with Yoda. Han eventually finds Luke frozen. Han uses the lightsaber up until The Force Awakens he was the only none force-sensitive character to use a lightsaber. He cuts open the Tauntaun and places Luke inside so he doesn't freeze to death. Which is really fucking morbid when you think about it especially for something that came out in 1980. Han saves Luke and brings him back to the Rebel base where Luke is healed. We start to get this feeling that Han Solo and Princess Leia are starting to develop romantic feelings for each other. You see him playing around with her, but she still thinks he is a scoundrel. He is still being his asshole self, but you can tell that there is some sexual tension between the two. I love the relationship between these two and Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have amazing chemistry. After they are attacked by imperial walkers, Luke decides that he needs to go to Dagobah to be trained by Yoda. Darth Vader in A New Hope was a cool villain, but we don't know much about who he is. In Empire Strikes Back the best thing that they do is flesh out the character of Darth Vader. This is where he becomes terrifying. He becomes that great villain we all know and a large part of that is the introduction of maybe the most iconic pieces of music composed for a film the imperial march. He invades the Rebel base on Hoth. Leia and Han eventually end up escaping the grasp of the Empire. Now we come to one of my favorite scenes in the movie and that is the asteroid scene. Han is piloting the Millennium Falcon which is malfunctioning and we have such a thrilling, compelling space battle. They land inside what they think is a cave, but is later reviled to be this worm-like creature. Another thing about this movie is the introduction of Bounty Hunters or at least it fleshes them out more. We did get some stuff with Bounty Hunters in A New Hope with Jabba the Hut and Greedo. In this, in we, a group of Bounty Hunters that Vader has hired and you get introduced to Boba Fett. Boba Fett became a popular character and I really don't understand why, sure he looks cool, but he doesn't do much and is killed off early in the next movie. From here the movie kind of splits in two with the plot. Luke arrives on Dagobah while the others are off in cloud City and meet up with Han's former friend Lando Calrissian. While Luke is on Dagobah he is looking for Yoda. He is expecting this great warrior and he finds this little green creature who eventually it is revealed that he is Yoda. The scenes with Luke training are great. Yoda doesn't want to train Luke at first, but he eventually agrees to it and you get some incredible and iconic scenes between the two. The scene where Yoda is on Luke's back is arguably one of the most iconic images from Empire Strikes Back. Yoda has such a great theme his music in this movie is incredible. He has such classic lines especially do or do not there is no try. Also when Luke was trying to lift up the X-wing with the force and he can't do it and he gives up. Yoda closes his eyes and lifts it up. Luke says "I don't believe it" and Yoda says "That is why you failed". Then we cut to Han and Leia at Cloud City and we get introduced to Lando played excellently by Billy Dee Williams. You see that this guy has kind of got that smugness to him that Han has. He's clearly interested in Leia the first time he sees her. They think that Lando is on their side. They are there for protection from the Empire and when they go inside one of the rooms Darth Vader is right there. Lando, it turns out made a deal with the Empire he sells out his friend. This movie is known for its plot twist and there's one of them. When you see it now it's pretty obvious Vader is going to be right there, but it's still impactful. The fact that Lando sells out his friend for money and protection makes it hard to trust this guy. Vader captures Han and Leia to use as bait to get Luke to come to Cloud City so he can give Luke to the Emperor. Earlier in the film, we get the first appearance of the Emperor in this trilogy. I like the special edition change where they have Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor in that scene it just flows better since he is the Emperor in the next film and the prequels. So Luke senses that his friends are in danger and he leaves his training with Yoda. Yoda begs him to stay telling him that he is making a bad decision. He promises Yoda he will come back and goes off to Cloud City to face Darth Vader. Before this, we get one of the most emotional scenes in the entire saga and that is when Han Solo is frozen in carbonite, given to Boba Fett and handed off to Jabba the Hut. This is where you get Leia saying "I love you" to Han and Han says "I know'. Which was improvised by Harrison Ford This is also where Lando kind of has his redeeming moment because he was really tricked into working for the Empire and he realizes that he was played by Vader. He lets Leia and Chewbacca and C-3PO escape. He joins up with them. Then we come to the best part of this movie and my favorite part of the entire saga the confrontation between Luke and Vader. In my opinion the best lightsaber battle in the entire series. Eventually, it leads to Vader leading Luke to that reactor pit. Vader disarms Luke, cuts off his hand and we get the most iconic scene of all time the biggest plot twist in movie history Where Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father. It still gives me chills when Vader says that even though I have seen it countless times. Luke is not tempted by Vader, jumps into the pit and is eventually saved by Leia who senses Luke. The movie ends very bleak it leaves you wanting more. The characters are incredible in this movie you get to see Luke, Han, and Leia better than ever in this one. We learn more about them. Luke becomes more of a hero. Han and Leia establish that relationship. Darth Vader becomes the most badass villain almost in film history. Lando Calrissian is a great new addition to the cast. Luke VS Vader is the best lightsaber scene in the entire series. The asteroid field scene is the best space battle in the entire series. The score is some of the best pieces of music ever composed in a film 5 out of 5 stars for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Monday, December 11, 2017
Now we have Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope the one that started it all. When this movie was released in 1977 it took the world by storm. There was nothing like this movie before. It changed the way blockbuster movies are made and it influenced the movie-going world like no film I think I've ever seen in my life. All Star Wars fans adore this movie and I am no different. This review will contain SPOILERS. The movie starts off with one of the best opening shots of all time where you're in space and it pans slowly to the massive imperial star destroyer chasing after the rebel ship. One of the big figures of the Rebel Alliance Princess Leia is captured by the Empire and she currently has in her possession the planes for The Death Star the ultimate super weapon for the Galactic Empire. Darth Vader is trying to get these plans out of her Leia refuses and hides the plans in the droid R2-D2. R2-D2 and C3-PO are placed inside of an escape pod and they land on desert planet Tatooine. The droids are bought by our main hero Luke Skywalker. Luke is probably the most iconic hero in film history. While he is cleaning the droids he discovers Leia saying "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi you're my only hope. So Luke is trying to figure out who this Obi-Wan Kenobi is the name sounds similar to this old hermit that lives on Tatooine. R2-D2 leaves to go find Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke and C3-PO go out looking for R2-D2 and they run into the old hermit Ben Kenobi who reveals himself as the former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He tells Luke all about the history of Jedi and the Sith and how his old pupil Darth Vader turned to the dark side and tells him that Darth Vader killed his father. Back in 1977 people had no idea that Vader was really Luke's father. It's not hinted at at all. So if you are watching these in order it probably doesn't have the emotional impact that Empire Strikes Back had in 1980. Obi-Wan gives Luke his father's lightsaber. Luke tries to play with it for a bit. He tells Obi-Wan that he can't get involved. So they go back to Luke's home and they discover that stormtroopers have torched the place and his Aunt and Uncle have been killed. This leads to Luke deciding to join Obi-Wan to save the princess and take on the Empire. Before they can get to Leia's home planet to deliver R2-D2 they go to Mos Eisley Space Port to find a pilot. As they try to get into the spaceport the sandtroopers stop them Obi-Wan uses a Jedi mind trick and they continue on their way. They get to the Mos Eisley cantina and you get besides the Imperial March and the main theme the most iconic Star Wars music. I love this scene so much not only because of the music and the characters we are introduced to, but it shows what went into making this movie all of the alien species that we see are all real puppets and all real practical effects and it still looks good to this today. Something I love about the original trilogy is that most of it doesn't seem dated there is some stuff in Return of the Jedi, but I'll get to that later. This is where we meet Han Solo and Chewbacca to of the most iconic Star Wars characters of all time. Han agrees to bring Luke and Obi-Wan to Alderaan on his ship The Millennium Falcon. Then Han is confronted by a bounty hunter named Greedo to collect the bounty that he has with Jabba the Hut and Han kills him. We're back on the Death Star and Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin are confronting Leia trying to get information out of her about where the hidden Rebel base is. Leia gives them a location, but it turns out that base has been abandon, so as a result, the Death Star blows up Leia's home planet of Alderaan. This is a very impressive scene especially for 1977 when this was done. As the Millennium Falcon is flying towards Alderaan they notice that it is not there. Then they get pulled into the Death Star by the tractor beam. They take out some stormtroopers and Luke and Han impersonate them to infiltrate the Death Star and save the princess. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan goes off to try to deactivate the tractor beam. Luke and Han sneak through the Death Star and they eventually save Princess Leia. We get some great scenes where these three are trying to escape that are just iconic. The one that stands out most, in my opinion, is the scene in the trash compactor I love this scene so much it's filled with tension and it is always fun to watch. Eventually, we get the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. It serves its purpose, but I would put it as the weakest in the original trilogy. There is some great dialogue between the two. While Luke is watching Obi-Wan looks over at him and Vader cuts him down. They flee on the Falcon to the Rebel base on Yavin. We learn that the Empire has put a tracking device on them so they can find out where the Rebels base is. Once they get to the Rebel base we learn the Death Star's hidden weakness and they make a plan of attack. A fleet of X-wings is sent to take out the Death Star and Luke is put on that fleet. Han decides that he is going to leave. Luke and R2-D2 get in the X-wing and they try to destroy the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin and I love this so much. The music in this scene is great and there is plenty of suspense. Luke ends up being one of the only guys left Obi-Wan calls to him through the force. Luke turns off his targeting computer closes his eyes uses the force and fires the two blast into the exhaust port of the Death Star and it blows up. Han comes back shoots Vader's ship and he is sent into space. You see a close up of Tarkin realizing that he is about to die before the Death Star explode. Then we get to the ending throne room scene where Luke and Han are given medals by Princess Leia and everyone is happy, but you know that the Empire is still out there. So I went through the plot details and what I love about this movie so let's get into a little more about what I love. First, off the plot, this plot has probably been paid tribute the most in any form of entertainment. A New Hope is one of the most recognizable and iconic plots of all time and I don't have any complaints about it. It is a spectacular movie story-wise and Gorge Lucas really knew what he was doing when he made this. The characters are just as great as the story Luke, Han, Leia, C3-PO, R2-D2, Chewy, Obi-Wan, Vader, and Tarkin there are so many great characters in this movie and I love every one of them. The soundtrack is some of the most iconic music in film history. I do think the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack is the best of the series, but this is a close second. The special effects were revolutionary and it still looks amazing after 40 years. This film is a masterpiece. I'm going to give Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 5 out of 5 stars.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
This is the last movie of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Revenge of the Sith is the one out of all the prequels that people consider to be the best, but there are still a lot of people that don't like this movie, however, I have always adored Revenge of the Sith and that didn't change after this viewing. There was a time when this first come out where I liked this movie more than a lot of the original trilogy. That's not the case anymore the original trilogy is better, but I still love this movie. As with my previous two reviews, this will contain SPOILERS. The movie begins with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker who is now a Jedi Knight in a space battle above Coruscant where they are trying to save Chancellor Palpatine who has been captured by General Grievous. I love how strong this movie starts we begin with a great space battle some great dialogue between Anakin and Obi-Wan. There is a lot of great moments with R2-D2 when they finally get inside the hanger. They find the Chancellor, but in the same room is Count Dooku who if you remember in Attack of the clones basically kicked both of their asses. He cut off Anakin's arm he made Obi-Wan look like a bitch. This time around its different and Anakin and Obi-Wan have a rematch with Count Dooku. While this battle isn't great it's probably one of the worst of the movie, but that's not bad because I enjoy every lightsaber battle in this movie. This battle is a lot better than that horrible one in Attack of the Clones. Again Obi-Wan's only in the fight for the first third because he just gets thrown by Dooku and almost gets crushed by a piece of the ceiling. Then you get Anakin vs. Dooku. Anakin best him cuts off both of his limbs at first he's not going to kill him, but Palpatine tells him to do it. So he beheads him with both his and Dooku's lightsabers. Which is the first hint that Anakin is starting to turn to the dark side. The rest of the stuff inside Grievous's hanger is some of my favorite parts of the movie. We get introduced to General Grievous and they make him look like a joke he hypes himself up as this big thing, but he's really not that strong. Grievous escapes the ship and launches all the escape pods. Anakin ends up flying the hanger down into Coruscant with only half the ship remaining and the Chancellor is saved Anakin get a glorious day with the politicians. Obi-Wan goes off somewhere and then Anakin learns that Padme is pregnant with his kid. This is one of the strongest scenes between these two it did seem a little cheesy like a lot of the stuff between them in the last movie. Anakin Starts having Visions of Padme dying in childbirth and this will lead to Anakin Slowly turning to the dark side of the force as he tries to find a way to save her. Hayden Christensen in this movie is much better as Anakin. He's not the whiny little brat that he was in Attack of the Clones. The stuff he goes through in this movie is believable you kind of actually feel for him because he's treated unfairly. We see more of the bond between Anakin and Palpatine. The Jedi Council has become suspicious of Palpatine because the war is almost over and he is refusing to give back his emergency powers he's actually getting more and more. They are worried since his term has long since expired and he hasn't left office. Palpatine appoints Anakin to be his personal representative on the Jedi Council. The Council basically tells him your on here, but you are not going to be a Jedi Master and this pisses Anakin off. This is one of the main reasons why he turns because he feels disrespected he feels like none of them trust him. This leads to a lot of scenes I really enjoyed of Anakin just pondering what is going on inside of him. There is one scene where he meets with Yoda about the visions he is having. There is another one where he is talking to Padme where he is telling her that he feels he is not the Jedi he should be he wants more, but he shouldn't. That scene really shows the inner conflict within himself about whether to remain faithful to the Jedi or not. Grievous's location is found on the planet Utapau and Palpatine suggest that Anakin is the one that goes to kill him. The Council rejects that and says Obi-Wan should go. So Obi-Wan ends up going to Utapau to confront Grievous and Anakin feels more disrespected. This leads to one of my favorite scenes in the movie when Anakin and Palpatine meet at the opera house and Palpatine tells him the story of Darth Plagueis who it's hinted at is Palatine's former master. He tells how he was the only one who was able to cheat death and able to create life through the force. This is the best dialogue-heavy scenes of the prequels. Anakin asks if there is a way to learn this power and Palpatine says not from a Jedi and more seeds are planted of Anakin's turn. I have a feeling Gorge Lucas did not write this because this scene is just too good. Obi-Wan arrives on Utapau confronts Grievous who is talking to The Trade Federation he's been ordered to send them to Mustafar where they will hide for the remainder of the war. Obi-Wan Jumps down and we get our second lightsaber battle of the movie and this one I liked it a lot more when I first saw it. I still enjoy it, but he gets bested fairly quickly. He loses three of his limbs within the first minute of the fight and then it stops being a lightsaber battle and ends up being a chase where Grievous is on his wheel speeder thing. Eventually, it turns into kind of a fist fight. Obi-wan rips open Grievous's chest. Grievous almost knocks him off the area that they were on. Obi-Wan uses the force grabs a gun and shoots Grievous in the hart and he explodes. Palpatine is still manipulating Anakin and you see his influence growing. They have another conversation He continues to say that the Jedi are not as heroic and pure as they say they are. Anakin puts the pieces together when Palpatine talks about how he is familiar with the force and has trained with the dark side. He is, in fact, the Sith Lord that they have been looking for for the past 13 years he is Darth Sidious. Palpatine pleads to Anakin to become his apprentice and learn from him how to save Padme. Anakin turns Palpatine into Mace Windu. Mace Windu tells Anakin to stay there they will handle it themselves. This leads to one of my favorite Scenes in the movie the fight between Mace Windu and Palpatine and it showcases them as almost equals because Windu disarms the Emperor. Yes, that was probably Palpatine's plane, but it's still a pretty awesome fight. Windu has Palpatine in the corner Anakin comes in and this leads to one of the more iconic scenes of the movie. Palpatine starts using the Sith lightning on Mace Windu. Anakin has to decide if he is going to let Mace Windu kill Palpatine or save the man that has become his friend and his mentor. Anakin ends up cutting off Windu's hand and this leads to Palpatine throwing Mace Windu out the window to his death. Anakin completes his turn to the dark side. Palpatine makes him his new apprentice. It's a very powerful scene on everyone's part Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid they all do a wonderful job in this scene. Then you get order 66 and that's where Palpatine has all the clone troopers turn on the Jedi and kill them. The only ones to survive are Obi-Wan and Yoda. It's such a powerful scene and the music in the background is one of my favorite pieces in the entire saga. Yoda is the only one to kill his clone. Obi-Wan survives his fall. It's just sad, but the icing on the cake is when Anakin goes to the Jedi temple. He comes into the room where all the younglings are one of them ask what are they going to do and you see this broken look on Anakin's face. He draws his lightsaber and he kills all those kids. It's not shown, but it's heavily implied it's heartbreaking and one of my favorite scenes in the entire saga. Palpatine gives a speech at the Senate building where he basically turns the republic into the empire. Yoda and Obi-Wan Sneak into the Jedi Temple to determine if there are any Jedi left and to find out who is behind all of this. Ob-Wan and Yoda find the younglings and Yoda points out that they were killed by a lightsaber and not the clone troopers. Obi-Wan finds the security hologram and he sees Anakin killing all of them. They determine that Yoda is going to fight Palpatine and Obi-Wan is going to fight Anakin. Obi-Wan does not want to kill Anakin, but he knows that's what he has to do because he is going to be dangerous. The problem is Obi-Wan doesn't know where Anakin has been sent so Obi-Wan goes to Padme. Padme ends up telling him where Anakin is after Obi-Wan tells her that Anakin has turned to the dark side. Padme goes to talk to Anakin because she doesn't really believe Anakin has turned to the dark side. Obi-Wan sneaks onto her ship and Padme goes to Mustafar with C3-PO. We see Anakin on Mustafar he kills all the Trade Federation people. There are two scenes where Christensen's facial expressions are excellent. One is where he turns around and you see him with the yellow Sith eyes and the other is when you see him standing over the lava and you see a tear come down his face. It shows that he is still conflicted. Padme confronts Anakin and tells him she doesn't know who he is anymore. Padme tries to get him to stop by telling him that she loves him Anakin calls her a liar and starts force choking her. Obi-Wan reveals himself and tells Anakin to let her go. This leads to one of the best fights in the entire saga. Obi-Wan vs. Anakin. I love this fight so much. A lot of people say that it's too over-the-top and it's too choreographed Fuck you this fight is kick ass I love every single minute of it. While that is going on Yoda confronts the Emperor and they start dueling and this is I think better than Yoda vs. Dooku. This one ends in a stalemate and in the end, Yoda goes into exile because he failed to beat the Emperor. The fight between Anakin and Obi-wan is still going on and it gets to a point where Obi-Wan jumps up onto this high type of pillar thing. He tells Anakin that it is over and that he has the high ground. Anakin goes to jump and Obi-Wan slices him cuts off his good arm and both of his legs and he's left there to burn. Then you get why this movie is a PG-13 rating Anakin burns to death. Obi-Wan takes his lightsaber walks away and leaves the planet. Palpatine eventually discovers Anakin and brings him back to Coruscant and Anakin is finally put in the armor and becomes Darth Vader at the same time Padme for some reason lost the will to live. She ends up dying, but first, she gives birth to the kids Luke and Leia and she tells Obi-Wan that there is still good in Anakin. I love that they keep cutting back and forth between Padme giving birth and then dying to Anakin being put in the suit. The ending of the movie is great they determine where to send the kids Leia is brought to Bail Organa and his wife and Obi-Wan brings Luke to the Lara's family on Tatooine. Obi-Wan stays on the planet to watch over him until he is older. The characters in this one are the best they've been in the entire prequels Ewan McGregor again is fantastic as Obi-Wan. Ian McDiarmid gives the best performance in the whole movie this guy is incredible as Palpatine He is so evil and manipulative. Hayden Christensen gives a better performance in this movie because he is given more instead of being this whiny son of a bitch that he used to be. There are some scenes where he is still like that, but not many. All of the battles I really enjoyed. The score is my favorite in the prequel trilogy. John Williams is a genius. The only negative I have is the dialogue is still pretty bad especially in scenes with Anakin and Padme. I love this movie a lot it's my favorite of the prequel trilogy and my third favorite overall. I'm going to give Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 4 out of 5 stars.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Now we come to Attack of the Clones this is the movie that a lot of people hate the most. The prequels are hated by a lot of the fanbase and as you fond out in my Phantom Menace review I am one of the very few who enjoy them. I just finished the movie and honestly, I enjoyed it more than I did the last time I watched it. There are definitely flaws in this movie and I will get to those, but I enjoyed myself almost the entire time. This review will contain spoilers! Attack of the Clones follows the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. This is set 10 years after the events of Phantom Menace. Anakin is now Obi-Wan's padawan and Anakin is a very skilled Jedi, but he thinks he is better than everyone says he is. This leads to him having a lot of anger issues. Padme Amidala is now the senator from Naboo and she is being hunted by an assassin. There are multiple attempts to take her life so Obi-Wan and the Council put Anakin in charge of protecting her which leads to them developing a romance. In the meantime, Obi-Wan is off tracking down the bounty hunter responsible for the attempts on her life. When they are tracking down the bounty hunter we get one of my favorite scenes of this entire movie and that is the speeder chase on Coruscant. I loved watching this again. I remembered enjoying it when I was younger, but I never really got much out of it. When I watched it this time I was entrenched. It was very exciting and there is a funny scene when they are in a bar and Obi-Wan does a Jedi mind trick on someone that is trying to sell him death sticks. Obi-Wan and Anakin end up cornering the bounty hunter and just as they are about to get the name of the guy responsible for these attacks she is shot with a poisonous dart and it kills her. After that Obi-Wan travels to the planet Kamino, however, the planet has been erased from the Jedi archives. So first Obi-Wan goes to Yoda to try to figure out why he finds out that someone has deleted it from the archives. While Obi-Wan is off on his mission you have Anakin and Padme going back to Naboo and the two begin to form somewhat of a bond. This is where a lot of people complain and this is where I complain because the one big negative about this movie is the dialogue. George Lucas just cannot direct actors. He does not care about how his actors do he just cares about them performing the scene in as few takes as possible. The romance is not handled well at all. I don't hate Hayden Christensen as Anakin In other scenes I think he is decent, but during any of the romance scenes, he is fucking creepy. In a few of these scenes, he will stare at Padme and she even says at one point that it makes her uncomfortable. Also, he would say wired shit like this is exactly how I remember you in my dreams. There is a scene with Anakin and Padme sitting in front of the fire and Anakin is basically begging Padme to love him. Every time I see this I almost throw up. That is the only moment during this movie where I want to turn the movie off. I do enjoy the majority of the film, but some of the stuff between them is awful. Back in the not awful part of the movie we have Obi-Wan going to the planet Kamino where he is greeted by these wired creatures with long necks and he finds out that over the past 10 years a former Jedi Master requested the creation of a clone army. We see a really cool scene where we see them being cloned and we find out that the cloner was the Bounty Hunter Jango Fett. This is the guy that Obi-Wan has been chasing. We find out that he is indeed the one putting out the hits on Padme because he was hired by the Trade Federation. There is a tense scene between Obi-Wan and Jango both clearly know who the other is Jango and his son Boba end up leaving. I love Jango Fett I think he is one of the most underrated characters in the entire series. This leads to one of the best fight scenes in the movie. The fight between Obi-Wan and Jango first off the music in this scene is awesome. This fight is ten times more entertaining than the lightsaber fight at the end of this movie and that is sad. Obi-Wan puts a tracker on Jango's ship and follows him to the planet Geonosis. We get what is essentially a homage to Empire Strikes Back where they go through an asteroid field and they have a little space battle. It's nothing on Empire's asteroid field scene, but I liked it I thought it was suspenseful. From here you have Anakin and Padme going from Naboo to Tatooine because Anakin keeps having these strange nightmares about his mother. We get to see some characters from The Phantom Menace we see Watto again. We find out that Shmi Skywalker has married into the Lars family from the Original Trilogy. The Lars family tell Anakin that his mother was abducted by Tusken Raiders and she's been gone for a month. Then Anakin goes out to look for his mother and this is one of the strongest moments for his character he's just filled with anger. He finds his mother in a campsite, but it's essentially too late she's been tortured almost to death. She sees her son she says how much he's grown says I love you and she dies in Anakin's arms. This is where I think Hayden Christensen is very effective he is very good when it comes to facial expressions. He looks like he's about to kill everyone and that's what he does. Unfortunately, that leads to one of the worst acted scenes in this entire movie where you have Anakin acting like a little bitch and telling Padme how Obi-Wan is holding him back from being the most powerful Jedi ever. It's full of awful dialogue and the fact that he sounds wooden as shit doesn't help. I don't think Natalie Portman is terrible as Padme like everyone else does. I enjoy her character, but she doesn't help this scene either. We do see a bit of foreshadowing for Revenge of the Sith when Anakin says he wants to prevent people from dying and if you've seen Revenge of the Sith you know what happens with that. Obi-Wan tracks Jango to Geonosis and he discovers that Count Dooku was the one responsible for all of this. He was a Jedi Master that turned to the dark side. Obi-Wan is imprisoned Dooku tries to convince Obi-Wan to join him. Obi-Wan says that he will never join him and Dooku just leaves him in prison. Christopher Lee as Count Dooku was a character I did not care for when I was younger compared to Darth Maul, Darth Vader and the Emperor. I still think he is the weakest villain in the whole series, but Christopher Lee does a great job in the role. Anakin and Padme lean that Obi-Wan has been kidnapped and they are told to stay where they are, but Padme decides that they are going to go save Obi-Wan. They head to Geonosis and we get another scene that I really like and that is the scene inside of the battle droid factory. I forgot how awesome this scene is. I think R2-D2 is one of the best parts of this scene we see him fly around while C-3po is getting the shit kicked out off him at one point C-3po gets his head chopped off and replaced by a head of a battle droid. Anakin fucks up his lightsaber so that leads to him having a green one for the rest of the movie. It's probably just put in because they wanted to sell a toy of Anakin with a green lightsaber. Eventually, Anakin and Padme get captured they are sentenced to be killed in a gladiator fight inside the arena against three beasts. Before this Anakin and Padme declare their love for each other in a scene that makes me want to throw up. While this is all going on back on Coruscant you have Jar Jar Binks filling in for Padme and this fucking cartoon rabbit is essentially responsible for giving Palpatine emergency powers which allows him to create the clone army and allow them to fight for the Republic. Looking back on it Jar Jar is responsible for The Emperor taking over the galaxy what a useless character. Thankfully he is not in this movie that much so it's not painful like it was in Phantom Menace, but still, any Jar Jar is bad. Then we get to the fight in the arena where Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme have to fight three beasts. They succeed, but then Dooku sends in some droids and that is when Mace Windu shows up with a bunch of other Jedi. So there is this big battle with all the Jedi and the droids. Honestly, I was interested in some parts of this I liked Mace and Jango Fett fighting. I liked Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme, but I was bored by the rest of the stuff that was going on with the clones and the droids. Now we're reaching the end of the movie and it gets a little anti-climactic this final lightsaber fight except for the last part of it is pretty bad. Obi-Wan and Anakin follow Dooku and once they find him they have the worst lightsaber fight of the entire series and I'm not talking about what happens later this is just the stuff with Obi-Wan and Anakin VS Dooku. Immediately Anakin charges in and Dooku uses force lightning to make Anakin fall back. Then Obi-Wan goes in he gets bested really quickly which is wired because he killed Darth Maul in the last one. Then Obi-Wan throws Anakin his lightsaber so Anakin can fight with two for a little or so they can sell more Anakin toys. Eventually, we get Anakin and Dooku in the dark and it's just them swinging their lightsabers. Then anti-climatically Dooku cuts off Anakin's arm. Then Yoda comes out and Yoda starts doing some stuff with the force. Then we get to see Yoda use a lightsaber we've never seen this before. He ignites it and starts going insane on Dooku and this is incredible and is the best part of this entire movie. Dooku does escape and it doesn't last that long, but what we got was really good. Then the movie wraps up Obi-Wan and Yoda are talking Yoda tells him that they did not have a victory and that the Clone War has only begun. Anakin and Padme secretly marry on Naboo. Now I can get into some more specifics that I did not already discuss well I mentioned that the dialogue is not good I will say I do enjoy the story of Attack of the clones. Ewan McGregor once again knocks it out of the park as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I'm going to say something controversial I like Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan more than Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan. I just think Ewan McGregor gives a better performance and that's the one I've had ingrained in my mind for most of my childhood. Yoda is great. Count Dooku like I mentioned before I think he is the weakest villain in the whole series, but he didn't ruin the movie. Padme is fine when she is not in creepy romance scenes with Anakin. Palpatine is great again even though we barely see him in this movie. I didn't have a problem with the CGI in this movie. I think it holds up a lot more than in Phantom Menace. The fact that there was less Jar Jar then there was in Phantom Menace is a great positive because fuck Jar Jar Binks. Like I mentioned Jango Fett is a very underrated character he was a great villain. The score in this movie is just great John Williams is a genius and every time he makes a Star Wars score it's fantastic. Let's get into the negatives and the first and biggest problem is the dialogue it is horrible especially during the romance scenes. A lot of it came off as creepy and weird and forced. I don't hate Hayden Christensen as much as everybody else, but there are a lot of times where you feel like maybe they should have cast someone else. It doesn't feel like he is going to turn to the dark side it feels like he's a whiny son of a bitch. Overall despite a lot of people hating this one I still really enjoyed it. I can't hate the prequels guys I'm going to give Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 4 out of 5 stars.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Today begins my marathon of reviews for Star Wars Episodes 1-7 leading up to The Last Jedi. We begin with The Phantom Menace which is a very touchy subject with a lot of Star Wars fans basically the prequels in general because a lot of people hate the prequels. If you like the prequels it is like committing an unforgivable crime to these people. So this review is going to be a bit controversial. I enjoy the prequels. I grew up with both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy so I don't have that hatred that a lot of the other fans do. So this is going to be a little different it's not going to be the usual "George Lucas raped my childhood" bullshit that you are used to. Warning this review contains SPOILERS! The story begins as two Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-wan Kenobi are abroad a ship where they are about to have negotiations with the Trade Federation over some concerns. The Trade Federation they find out is about to invade the planet Naboo because of some treaty that Queen Amidala is not singing. They stow away on the droid ships and they go down to Naboo where they encounter Jar Jar Binks. This is one part of The Phantom Menace that I have agreed with everyone on for years I hate Jar Jar I hated him when I was a kid I hate him even more now. I can see why this thing ruined the movie for some people. I find him to be very childish, annoying and I don't think the character is funny. Jar Jar takes them to the Gungan city underwater and they are told no we don't want to be allied with the Naboo. The planet Naboo has always been one of my favorite Star Wars planets. You can hate on the prequels all you want because of how much CGI they used and they did use a lot of CGI. I like that the new trilogy is using a lot more practical effects, but in terms of the world building that these special effects helped with it just looked great and it added so much to it. The planets in the prequels are beautiful. Although a lot of this movie takes place in the Naboo palace it still looks really good. That underwater sequence looks breathtaking for 1999. I will say that the underwater chase with the giant fish I found cool at times, but then they would make stupid jokes like there's always a bigger fish. Eventually, they join up with The Queen and her royal guards at Naboo they flee they go to the planet Tatooine because the ship is damaged and they encounter a little boy named Anakin Skywalker who as we all know grows up to become the evilest man in the galaxy Darth Vader. He's nine years old in this. Unlike most people I don't think Jake Lloyd is terrible he just did what George Lucas told him to do. What I do think is terrible is his dialogue. The first thing he says to Padme is are you an angel. I literally almost threw up when I heard that. Here on Tatooine is actually where a lot of the best parts of this movie happen for me. They really captured Tatooine perfectly it still felt like the same planet from the original trilogy just about 30 years beforehand. You get to see a lot of recognizable characters Jabba the Hut shows up for a little bit. There are a lot of similar species of characters like Greedo and sure it might seem a little forced, but it helped capture the spirit of the planet. Then we get to one of my two favorite scenes in this movie the pod race. Recently I've heard a lot of people say it just over-relies on special effects and it doesn't feel real and I was worried that watching it again I would also feel that way. There were times when yes the effects are pretty bad, but overall I enjoyed the pod racing scene more than I liked it as a kid. I absolutely love this scene from start to finish, except for Jake Lloyd's random quips while he's racing that was just bad. I don't understand why George Lucas put those in the script. That whole scene was very suspenseful it felt like I was watching a sporting event and you wanted this little kid to beat that son of a bitch and he did. Qui-Gon frees him from slavery than they leave Tatooine and during this, we have what's going on in the background. Senator Palpatine is trying to convince The Queen to put a vote of no confidence on Chancellor Valorum who isn't helping with the invasion of the Naboo. During this we also have the Trade Federation encountering Darth Sidious (spoiler they are the same person) He introduces us to the greatest and most undervalued Star Wars characters of all time Darth Maul he is badass. You can hate The Phantom Menace all you want, but Darth Maul is badass. Before they leave Tatooine you see him briefly he had probe droids following them around and he gets a quick dual with Qui-Gon. I remember this being longer when I was a kid, but it's only about 45 seconds. I forgot to mention during the whole time they are on Tatooine The Queen disappears and her "servant" Padme joins them as well. We later find out that she is, of course, the Queen. I always saw this twist coming, but I forgot how hard they hinted at it every time Qui-Gon would say The Queen agrees with me Padme would say I'm not so sure about that. Another thing I just found out The Queen's decoy is Keira Knightly I found that interesting. So they leave Tatooine and go to Coruscant which is my favorite planet from the prequels I love how it's just one giant city. So you have the political rumblings with The Queen and Palpatine and she's eventually convinced to give the vote of no confidante to Chancellor Valorum. Eventually, they decide to leave Coruscant and go back to Naboo. Qui-Gon is trying to train Anakin because while he's on Tatooine he finds out that Anakin is incredibly strong with the force and the Jedi Council is refusing to let him. Now we come to another issue that people have with this movie and that is the concept of midi-chlorians they are these microscopic life-forms inside of all living beings that determine if they are strong with the force or not. People hate this because it ruins the mystical feeling of the force from the original trilogy. I'm sorry guys I am not with you on this one. I've never been bothered by this cool there's a reasoning behind the force. Am I supposed to be upset by this. It doesn't bother me, I don't think about it that much and this is really the only movie where they bring it up frequently so why is this such a big deal. So they are not training Anakin in the Jedi arts. They decide to go to Naboo and retake the palace. This is where Padme reveals herself as The Queen. The Gungans than form an alliance with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and the Naboo and they try to take back the palace. So you have Padme, Captain Panaka and a bunch of other people trying to take down the Trade Federation. Jar Jar leads the Gungans into battle with the droids and I hate this scene so much. The one cool part is when all the droid ships lead out the droids and they all assemble and start shooting that still gives me chills that part alone I love. The battle, in general, is just bad I hate the Gungans and I don't like the droids so together they make the scene almost unwatchable. R2-D2 and Anakin are in a Naboo star-fighter. Anakin sends himself up into space and takes down a droid control ship which aside from him making quips like let's try spinning that's a good trick it's a cool scene. Then we get to my other favorite scene in this movie Qui-Gon and Obi-wan vs. Darth Maul. The fight is incredible. I absolutely love this lightsaber battle. A lot of people say it's too choreographed who the fuck cares it's a movie fight scene it's always choreographed. I do not give a shit if it looks more elegant than the original trilogy where it was more brutal and stuff. Then we get to the part where everything is basically flipped on its head. I remembered Ewan McGregor having a lot more of an important part in this movie than I did when I was watching it again. Basically, Obi-wan doesn't have an important role until the last 45 minutes. Until then he's just in the background as Qui-Gon's apprentice. Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon is essentially the main character of this movie and Maul just strikes him down kicks his lightsaber away and stabs him. Obi-wan is screaming because he's behind that little shield thing and yeah the no is cheesy, but it's effective. Then Obi-Wan starts fighting him. Maul knocks him down. He's hanging off the shaft thing. Obi-Wan uses the force grabs Qui-Gon's lightsaber jumps up and Cuts Darth Maul in half. I always hated it that Lucas killed him off after one movie. I also hated that Qui-Gon was only a one movie character. Then we have a very effective funeral scene for Qui-Gon. Then we have the ending celebration where if you listen closely it's the Emperor's theme in a different tone and higher pitch. Palpatine's elected Chancellor and all is happy in the galaxy, but no it is not because the most powerful Sith in the galaxy just got elected Chancellor. That's the story honestly I don't hate the movie. There are definitely some issues, but their's a lot of redeeming qualities that make me enjoy it a lot more than most people. I'm in the minority here I know that, but I'm defending my opinion here. so let's get into some more specifics. The biggest complaint with the prequel trilogy and I will agree with you here is the dialogue. Lucas should have let people help him with the script. Some of the actors did the best they could. Liam Neeson did a great job. Ewan McGregor did a great job. I forgot to bring up C-3PO and R2-D2. I like how they were used. I like how a lot more backstory was given with C-3PO he was built by Anakin, he wasn't completed in this movie and he's just left there on Tatooine and we don't see him again until Attack of the clones when he is a bit more finished. R2-D2 he didn't really do much he was just there, but they need to introduce him. I don't like how it was Jar Jar that introduced him by accidentally bumping into him in the back of a Naboo ship. The effects for the most part still look really good for a movie made in 1999. I was absorbed in the worlds, but there were some things that didn't hold up. With Jar Jar it is very obvious that he is not there, also the droid ships the big ones that would deploy the droids when they were rolling around that looked fake. The space combat scenes were great, but some of the other effects looked dated. That's really the only negative thing I can say about the special effects some of them don't hold up as well as others. I loved the lightsaber fights. I loved Padme and the guards fighting the droids. I did enjoy watching this movie. I don't hate The Phantom Menace, but I'm not blinded by nostalgia I did point out some flaws. I hear some people say well it's not as good as Empire Strikes Back so I hate it. Nothing is going to be as good as Empire Strikes Back except hopefully The Last Jedi. I do feel extremely in the minority knowing I am one of very few people not only in my circle, but on the internet that enjoys the prequels, but you know what I don't care it makes me unique. I'm going to give Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 4 out of 5 stars.
Monday, December 4, 2017
Darkest Hour is directed by Joe Wright and stars Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, and Ben Mendelsohn. The plot of the movie is during the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether or not to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. I was not looking forward to watching this these type of movies usually bore me, but then I started hearing that it could get some awards come OSCAR time so I thought I would check it out. As I predicted I was very bored with this film the only thing I liked was Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. He is completely unrecognizable and gives one of the best performances of the year. Everyone else I wasn't interested in anything they were saying or doing. I was not interested in the story at all and there were multiple times where I felt like I wanted to fall asleep and the movie's slow pace did not help at all. 1 out of 5 stars for Darkest Hour. I hope you enjoyed my review.