Hello, fellow moviegoers!
In the lead-up to “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” the “Star Wars” fan base has been divided to say the least. Many questioned whether or not we needed a movie about a young Han Solo, and there was a lot of doubt that Alden Ehrenreich could portray the iconic character originally brought to life by Harrison Ford.
Now that “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is officially in theaters, I’m curious to see whether or not fans of the franchise will accept this new entry or reject it in a similar fashion that some did with “The Last Jedi."
Let’s put all that publicity aside for a second and discuss the actual movie. Is it any good? Well, I would say so, yeah.
Is “Solo: A Star Wars Story” a brilliant film that is going to reunite all “Star Wars” fans? Not really, but it’s still an entertaining film that I think most people will enjoy.
First of all, I want to say that one of the best things in this film is Ehrenreich’s performance as Han Solo. He managed to capture the spirit and the essence of the character without just doing a Harrison Ford impression the whole time. He kept the spirit of the character, but he also managed to make it his own, which I believe should be applauded.
The rest of the cast also gave very good performances, specifically Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. While “Solo” handles and portrays the character of Lando in a different manner than the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Glover brought the perfect amount of charisma and charm needed. Occasionally I found myself seeing Glover on screen instead of the character, but that never became a legitimate problem.
There’s a lot of little things wrong with “Solo.” For example, some of the new characters are poorly written, the visual effects were a bit iffy at times and the villain was pretty generic. Where “Solo” struggles most is with the opening and concluding scenes of the film. The first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes were pretty spotty. They seemed a bit unfocused and just weren’t very exciting.
However, I found everything between the opening and conclusion to be a fun summer sci-fi adventure.
While in the theater watching “Solo,” I was loving the experience. There are a lot of moments in the film that are sure to make fans of the franchise extremely happy. I consistently found myself with a smile on my face while watching “Solo,” and at one point I even noticed that I was welling up with tears of joy, which I certainly did not expect.
Thankfully, the thing that “Solo” handles best is the relationship between Han Solo and Chewbacca. Director Ron Howard managed to perfectly recreate the companionship between the characters. The two have a hardcore bromance going on, and it was incredibly entertaining see how that started and evolved.
I never expected that I would say this, but I would love to watch another film about a young Han Solo with this same team. Ehrenreich was great in the role, and I found the overall experience to be a lot of fun.
“Solo” doesn’t really concern itself with expanding the “Star Wars” universe. It focuses on being a fun swashbuckling space adventure. Is this going to go down as one of the best in the franchise? No, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is probably the “Star Wars” film that is best suited for casual watching. While it does have flaws, it is also very exciting and an enjoyable experience.
So what did you think of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”? How would you compare it to the rest of the franchise? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! I will be posting here throughout the summer, so be sure to check back for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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This review is spoiler free.
Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The “Star Wars” franchise is undoubtedly the most popular and iconic film franchise of all time. “Star Wars” films are events in and of themselves. Since Disney’s acquisition of the series, they’ve found firm ground for releasing these films in December, aside from the upcoming “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (which I think will probably get delayed to the holiday release anyway).
The latest of this new phase of “Star Wars” films comes in the form of the saga’s eighth episode, “The Last Jedi.”
The new installment, directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), has proven to be one of the most divisive “Star Wars” films in a while. Personally, I enjoyed the film. There’s a lot to like, but it does have flaws.
Before I get into what I loved about “The Last Jedi,” I want to touch on what didn’t work for me.
The biggest problem I have with this film is the subplot concerning the character of Finn and new addition to the franchise, Rose. This whole storyline doesn’t add a whole lot to the movie, and it feels like it’s there just to give the characters something to do. While it had a couple good moments, the overall pacing of the film was really hurt by this subplot. It slowed the whole movie down and just makes the audience wish we could get back to the other characters.
Another thing that bothers me a little is difficult to talk about without spoilers, but I’ll try the best I can. Despite there being a lot of cool moments and game-changing stuff for the series, it doesn’t feel like a lot happens in this movie. It doesn’t really feel like the second chapter of this new “Star Wars” trilogy. It feels more like the aftermath of “The Force Awakens.” For the most part, “The Last Jedi” feels like the type of film that just bides the time until we get to the next part in the saga. While that’s not inherently a bad thing, I can’t help but wish that it stood on its own a little more.
The positive things in this film definitely outweigh the negatives by far.
The performances in this film were some of the best seen in the series so far. Daisy Ridley brings a much needed sense of depth and emotion to the character of Rey. Mark Hamill gives what might be the best performance he’s ever given in the role of Luke Skywalker. However, in my opinion, the best performance in the movie was undoubtedly Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. He builds upon his already fantastic performance in “The Force Awakens” and handles the direction they take the character very well. He’s torn, he’s damaged, he’s angry and Driver is able to deliver all of that in spectacular fashion.
Visually, this is one of the most beautiful “Star Wars” films to date. The cinematography is wonderful, but it never gets in the way of the film. It’s never style-over-substance, it’s a good mix of both. There are so many individual shots in this film that evoke strong emotions from the audience. Emotions such as awe, fear, nostalgia, surprise and many more.
The most admirable thing in “The Last Jedi” is the direction they take the characters and the franchise. They took both the characters from the original trilogy and the new characters introduced in “The Force Awakens” and brought them places that I did not expect. As for the franchise, things happen in this film that will undoubtedly have major repercussions in the series. That’s about all I can say without spoiling anything.
My favorite arc in the film involves Kylo Ren and Rey. These characters were introduced well in “The Force Awakens,” but they are truly explored in “The Last Jedi.” We get a really good look at who these characters are, what they fear and what motivates them.
The character of Luke Skywalker has changed quite a bit since we last saw him in action at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” He’s older, and he’s had a lot of bad stuff happen to him and as a result of his actions.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a very different kind of “Star Wars” film. We’ve never quite seen anything like this, and it takes a little bit to get used to. After my first screening of the film, I didn’t really know what to think. I knew that I liked it, but I didn’t know how much. Now that I’ve seen it twice, my opinion has solidified a lot more. I liked “The Last Jedi.” It certainly has flaws, and its far from my favorite film in the series, but I found it quite enjoyable.
Just as a fun little add-on I want to rank all of the “Star Wars” films, so you have a slightly better idea of where this one lands (#1 being the best and #9 the worst).
So what did you think of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”? How would you rank all of the films in the series so far? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! I’ll be posting on here from time-to-time over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is directed by Luke Bassan, and it stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne. When Valerian, an agent for an intergalactic government, has a mysterious vision, he and his partner conduct an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of an alien species. On their quest, they visit tons of other alien species and frequently find themselves in less-than-desirable situations. We don’t get very many straight-up sci-fi movies anymore. Is Valerian the one to make them popular again?
While Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets does have a lot of issues, issues that prevent it from being a great movie, at the end of the day I had fun with it. Is this one of those movies that the more you think about it, the less sense it makes? Yes, definitely. However, it’s still an enjoyable enough experience that I wouldn’t be opposed to casually watching this movie on TV or Netflix one day.
The biggest problem with this film is undoubtedly the script. There’s no sugar-coating it, it’s a bad script. When the dialogue isn’t being extremely cheesy, it’s too poorly written to be even remotely believable. Pair that awful dialogue with mediocre-at-best performances from the whole cast, and you do not get good results. In addition to the dialogue, the script in general often makes no sense. The characters seem to be stuck in an endless loop of side quests that add very little to the overall story. They spend most of the movie doing these little tasks for people or searching for something on their own, and it barely adds anything to the main plot of the movie. The story of the film is basically introduced at the beginning, touched upon briefly throughout the film, then they use it as a conclusion.
I’ve never really been a big fan of either Dane DeHaan or Cara Delevigne. The only thing I’ve ever actually liked DeHaan in was his breakout role in Chronicle. As for Delevigne, I suppose she was alright in Paper Towns (I guess?), then I’m assuming most of you saw her as the Enchantress in Suicide Squad, so that’s that. Needless to say, the two of them together did not make me look forward to this movie any more than I already was, which was very little. While I will say that Delevigne actually gave a decent performance in her role, DeHaan did not. Although, I will admit that it might not be entirely his fault. This is a blatant case of miscasting. DeHaan’s character is supposed to be this smooth-talking playboy type. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s not really Dane DeHaan. He’s not a very charismatic guy. Why they cast him in this role baffles me. DeHaan and Delevigne together didn’t make anything better. They had absolutely no chemistry together, and it became really obvious that they were just actors reciting lines.
Sci-fi heavy films like this are tricky because you want to give the audience an idea of what the universe is like, but you don’t want to drown them in exposition. It’s a fine line to walk, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets refuses to walk it. A vast majority of the world building in this film is done through poorly written exposition. They might as well have looked into the camera and told the audience directly because it was really obvious that was what the point of many scenes in this movie was. In addition to that, the film is way too long for its own good. It feels like it should’ve been about half an hour shorter. Had it been shorter, I feel many useless scenes could’ve been cut and the main plot could’ve been more focused. Instead, they decided to let this movie have a runtime of almost two hours and twenty minutes.
Despite all of these negative things I’ve said about Valerian so far, I can’t lie, I had fun with this movie. When this movie is going full-on sci-fi with its action sequences, they are actually extremely enjoyable. Granted, they probably would’ve been even more so if we cared about the characters, but what can you do? The action sequences were quite thrilling. They were more intense than I was expecting, and they were actually really unique. They utilized some things in their action sequences that I’ve never seen done before. So for that, good job Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Overall, Valerian wasn’t a very good movie. It had a bad script, less-than-stellar performances, Dane DeHaan was completely miscast in the lead role, and it’s too long with way too much exposition. Despite all of that, I actually walked out of the theater having enjoyed the film, and I would recommend it if you're just looking for a fun sci-fi movie to watch. That’s because the film’s action sequences and big sci-fi scenes were very enjoyable and even thrilling at times. I’m not going to go out of my way to see Valerian again, but maybe one day.
So what did you think of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? Who would you have cast instead of Dane DeHaan? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Transformers: The Last Knight is directed by Michael Bay, and it stars Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, and Laura Haddock. It is the fifth entry in the mega-hit Transformers franchise. This time around, the transformers and humans are at war with one another, and the only way to stop it is to uncover a secret about Transformers and their history on Earth.
Transformers: The Last Knight left me speechless. For about five minutes after seeing this film, I could barely utter a word. However, it wasn't the same type of speechlessness that affected me when I saw, say, Inception. My inability to speak after watching Inception was caused by the pure awe over what I had just experienced. The speechlessness I had after watching the fifth Transformers movie was caused by my brain being so numb that I couldn't comprehend anything.
I don't even know where to start with this film. It's just so much worse than I was expecting it to be, and I was expecting it to be bad. Before I get too far into this rant/review, I'd like to point out that it's important to remember that all film is subjective. Everyone has different experiences and opinions about films. For example, I could barely find anything to like about Transformers: The Last Knight, but one of my coworkers also saw it last night, and they really enjoyed it. So, if you've been a fan of the films up to this point, you'll probably enjoy this film. However, that doesn't deny the fact that I thought this was one of the worst films I've seen in the entirety of the time that I've been writing on this blog.
Let's start simple, it's too long and too complicated. This film is two and a half hours long. That runtime can work for a film, but not very often. All it did for this film was drag out the awful experience of sitting in the theater and just being in awe at how a movie could be so bad. The plot was way too overcomplicated for a franchise like this. I struggled to write the short summary at the beginning of this article because I wasn't sure how to accurately describe the plot of this movie. It seems to be going in a million different directions. There are characters that they introduce and keep going back to that serve no purpose in the movie, they try to explain that Transformers have been on Earth for thousands of years (even though the public didn't know about them until recently), and then on top of that there's something about King Arthur and his knights and how they created a powerful weapon along with the Transformers. There are also several different subplots in the film that serve absolutely no purpose, and I'm even reaching for one to apply and coming up dry.
The acting in this film was some of the worst I've seen in a major blockbuster since Independence Day: Resurgence. Mark Wahlberg looks like he's doing an impression of Mark Wahlberg the entire time. Anthony Hopkins, who is one of the best working actors out there now, was in this movie for a paycheck. He knows it, we know it, and it really shows through in his performance. The rest of the cast in this movie was just sort of there. They didn't add anything to the film. Isabela Moner, who plays the pre-teen Izabella, was a big part of the marketing for this film. She was in all of the trailers, and they even released a trailer with her speaking in it that really pushed female empowerment, saying "You think I hit like a girl? Yeah, I hit like a girl". First of all, she never throws a punch in this movie, and second of all, her character added nothing to the movie. She served absolutely no purpose. She didn't have an impact on the story, or the characters, and she wasn't even there for most of the movie. At one point in the film, Mark Wahlberg's character even asks her "What are you doing here?", to which she replies "I don't know!", and I was sitting there like "I don't know either!".
This film has no sense of continuity with not just the rest of the Transformers franchise, but even within the film itself. There are so many things that happen in this film that are later ignored, and there are a bunch of other things that just happen randomly that made absolutely no sense at all. There is one great example I have, but that would be considered a spoiler so I won't discuss it here.
Transformers: The Last Knight often tries to have extremely emotional scenes. There are probably a dozen or so reasons why they never work, but I'll just give to the big ones. Firstly, they don't earn them. We're not attached to any of these characters, so we don't care about what they plan to do. Secondly, they happen way too often. There are probably half a dozen (at least) attempted emotional scenes in this film, and the only way you can distinguish them is because the music starts swelling melodramatically during all of them. Thirdly, even if the emotional scenes had been effective, they all would've been undercut. That's because each and every one of them gets interrupted by a bad joke that some character just has to say. Because of comedic relief, I guess.
Speaking of the humor, this film tries so hard to be funny, and it just falls flat on its face almost every time. I admit, there was once or twice I chuckled slightly. It was pretty much just a singular "Ha", and that was it. Aside from those one or two occasions, this film is not funny at all. There were so many times in Transformers 5 that I cringed because the jokes they were making were so bad. Also, I'd just like to point out that just because a robot is swearing, that doesn't make them "cool" or funny. Almost every single Transformer in this film is just swearing up a storm because they could. Even if it didn't fit the character at all, they did it anyway, because why not.
Right off the bat when this movie started, I found the aspect ratio to be extremely annoying. By that I mean the size of the screen was extremely bothersome. It's an odd complaint, I know, but hear me out. First of all, it was it too thin, which I can get over, that's not a big deal. What was so distracting about the aspect ratio in this film was that it kept changing. By my count, there were three different aspect ratios that it kept switching between. The only explanation I can think of is that a lot of the film was shot in IMAX, which is great if you're watching it in IMAX. Any other way, it's extremely distracting.
I could go on and on about how bad this film is, so I'll just briefly take one last paragraph to touch on a few little things. Why did Stanley Tucci play Merlin? What was the point of that? The Bumblebee/Optimus Prime fight was fun enough, but all of the other action scenes were just visual noise. At one point, a group of planes, just, crashes, for no reason. One of them hit something, and they all went down. The visual effects and sound design were neat, but those are the only actually good things I can think of about this film.
Needless to say, I was not a big fan of Transformers: The Last Knight. Congratulations Ghost in the Shell, you're no longer the worst film I've seen this year. Transformers: The Last Knight, embodies pretty much everything wrong with the filmmaking business today. It's like McDonald's, really bad McDonald's. It's bad for you and way too processed, but consumers spend tons of money on it, so they keep making it without regard for the quality anyway. I am still in awe at how a movie could be this bad.
So what did you think of Transformers: The Last Knight? Did you find any enjoyment in it? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter, it really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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