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Category Archives: Star Wars

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY | Blu-Ray Review

When Solo originally hit cinemas, I never got round to writing up a review, and now, five months on, when I found myself in need of taking a break from doing the 31 Days of Horror challenge, I decided I’d sit down and rewatch the film and finally get round to doing my review. Enjoy (and please check out the above link, I need that $$$).

RELEASED: May 25th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Ron Howard (/Phil Lord & Chris Miller)
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan
PRODUCED BY: Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur & Simon Emmanuel
MUSIC BY:  John Powell & John Williams
STARRING:
 Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thandie Newton, Jon Favreau & Paul Bettany

When Solo was first announced, I was one among the many people who questioned the point of this film. Why did we need to know where Han Solo had found his jacket, won the falcon and met Chewbacca when most of these things had already been referenced in previous films. And while the film itself didn’t cover Han picking out a new coat, it did retread important moments in his life such as meeting Chewbacca and Lando, winning the Millennium Falcon and even being given his name, of all things.

Many people take issue with that last one in particular. But you know what? I didn’t mind it. In fact, I quite enjoyed it, and the rest of the film. So much so that although I was initially sceptical, I came out of the movie hoping for more films following Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, or at least films about Boba Fett and Lando that used the same characters and had some sort of through line. Unfortunately, it seems that will never happen now. But at very least, we got this highly enjoyable movie before Lucasfilm opted to put their standalone features to rest.

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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in Star Wars

 

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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI | Film Review

So this is it! We’ve looked through all eight of the previous films in the Star Wars saga and finally arrived at the much anticipated Last Jedi. Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and like the following review!

RELEASED: December 15th 2017
DIRECTED BY: Rian Johnson
WRITTEN BY: Rian Johnson
PRODUCED BY: Ram Bergman & Kathleen Kennedy
MUSIC BY: John Williams
STARRING: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern & Benicio del Toro

Compared to The Force Awakens, this film is phenomenal. Compared to most Star Wars films, this film is phenomenal. Is it one of the best Star Wars films ever? Maybe. It’s definitely one of the most original (and that’s what I’m all about).

The story is one of survival. Fresh off the heels of destroying Starkiller Base, the Resistance is forced into a hasty retreat as the fleets of the First Order find them. As Poe and Leia clash about the best way to survive, Finn and newcomer Rose hatch a plan to keep the First Order off their trail, while Rey ventures to the faraway Ahch-To to confront former Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, learn the ways of the Force and recruit him to the Resistance’s plight.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on.

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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Star Wars

 

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY | Blu-Ray Review

RELEASED: December 16th 2016
DIRECTED BY: Gareth Edwards
WRITTEN BY: Tony Gilroy, John Knoll, Chris Weitz & Gary Whitta
PRODUCED BY: Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur & Simon Emanuel
MUSIC BY: Michael Giacchino
STARRING: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Genevieve O’Reilly, James Earl Jones, Guy Henry & Jimmy Smits

Much like Revenge of the Sith and later, The Force Awakens, had unenviable expectations set against them, so too did Rogue One. However, instead of starting or ending a trilogy like the aforementioned films, Rogue One instead had to show audiences what a Star Wars spin-off film could be like. If it had failed, it could have thrown Lucasfilm and Disney’s future plans into disarray. And if you were following the news on the film’s production, you may have expected that the film was indeed going to fail. The end of production was riddled with issues, with word being that writer Tony Gilroy was brought in to re-shoot a large part of the film.

The edits and reshoots are definitely evident when it comes to watching the final film, not because it’s choppy or anything, but because the content in the marketing material and the actual film differs at numerous points.

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It’s that fact that holds the film back from greatness. Instead of a longer run time or perhaps numerous films to set up these characters, we’re instead given one film that jumps around a lot at the start and fails to hit some of the more emotional beats because they’ve been cut or reshot, and thus feel undeserved.

That isn’t to say Rogue One is a bad film. Production issues aside, it’s pretty fantastic. It has its own unique feel that makes it a different experience to the Saga films, and tackles some more serious and important issues; such as the fact that not all Rebels are heroes – as a rebellion, the side we’ve always rooted for is filled with just as many mercenaries, murderers and terrorists as the Empire; it’s just that the Saga films have never shown us (aside from Luke and Lando blowing up the two Death Stars, but that’s a discussion for another day).

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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Star Wars

 

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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS | DVD Review

A recent trend I’ve noticed is that a lot of Star Wars fans have been turning against The Force Awakens, and in response, a lot of others who are still loyal to the film have dubbed them as toxic, with both sides seemingly oblivious to the fact that it’s the rivalry itself that is truly toxic. I only preface my review with this because my opinion, if anything, has got more positive over time, however, it’s still not the gleaming beacon of praise that some expect the response to The Force Awakens to be.

I wasn’t a big fan of the film two years ago, and I’m still not a big fan of the film now. I’m not ‘following a trend’, ‘trying to be cool’ or being critical for the sake of being critical. It’s just my opinion, as is everything on this blog. That’s how all film reviews work. You just need to find a critic whose opinions are in line with your own and follow them.

(I was going to link to my original review here to prove my point, but it looks like I either removed it or it’s on my other blog, which is currently offline, when it comes back, I’ll link to it here).

HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I’m not inviting discussion. If you want to comment and debate this or any other films I review, please do! Just don’t label me a ‘hater’ because I don’t think The Force Awakens is the best film since Empire.

RELEASED: December 18th 2015
DIRECTED BY: J.J. Abrams
WRITTEN BY: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan & Michael Arndt
PRODUCED BY: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk & Kathleen Kennedy
MUSIC BY: John Williams
STARRING: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o & Max von Sydow

I’ve said this many times before, and I’ll say this many times again, but I have never been more excited for any movie (and probably never will again) than I was for The Force Awakens. The promotional campaign was splendidly done, building up anticipation for over a whole year! Each trailer made me feel like my inner child had reawoken, and filled me with love and nostalgia for the franchise that always held a special place in my heart.

And that is how The Force Awakens gets you.

Saying that, it didn’t (and still hasn’t) got me.

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The film is set thirty years after the end of Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, has gone missing, and in his absence the Empire has been reformed as the First Order. Opposing them is General Leia Organa’s Resistance, who have the backing of the New Republic. But when the Resistance learns of a map to Skywalker, the two factions come to a head, and young scavenger Rey, rogue stormtrooper Finn and loveable veteran Han Solo are caught in the middle.

The main issue I take with this film is that, as a story, it’s fundamentally lacking. In an effort to wipe away the bad taste the prequels left in everyone’s mouths, Disney pushed out a film that is like a ‘greatest hits’ compilation of the Original Trilogy. It gives you everything it knows you love, resetting characters to their original roles, and essentially, re-instigating the age old conflict between the Rebellion Resistance and the Empire First Order.

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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Star Wars

 

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STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH | DVD Review

RELEASED: May 19th 2005
DIRECTED BY: George Lucas
WRITTEN BY: George Lucas
PRODUCED BY: Rick McCallum
MUSIC BY: John Williams
STARRING: Ewan McGreggor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Peter Mayhew, Temeura Morrison, Matthew Wood & Jimmy Smits

The final entry in the Star Wars saga under the purview of George Lucas, Revenge of the Sith was presented with the unenviable task of rounding out and redeeming a less than stellar trilogy.

The film follows Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the waning days of the Clone Wars, as they are called back to Coruscant after the kidnapping of Chancellor Palpetine by the new droid commander General Greivous. Reunited with their allies and loved ones, Skywalker and Kenobi must make efforts to end the war as decisively as they can, as the dark side of the force grows increasingly stronger.

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Revenge of the Sith is definitely better than The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, but it’s not without it’s problems. For one, it’s an incredibly bloated film, as it feels as if on top of rounding everything out from the previous two films, it also is once again setting the majority of it up, as the last two films did such a poor job and this film is trying to make amends in every way it can.

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Posted by on November 27, 2017 in Star Wars

 

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STAR WARS: EPISODE II – ATTACK OF THE CLONES | DVD Review

RELEASED: May 16th 2002
DIRECTED BY: George Lucas
WRITTEN BY: George Lucas & Jonathan Hales
PRODUCED BY: Rick McCallum
MUSIC BY: John Williams
STARRING: Ewan McGreggor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson, Temuera Morrison & Christopher Lee

After The Phantom Menace reignited the Star Wars franchise in 1999, Attack of the Clones continued the story of young Anakin Skywalker three years later, with Star Wars mastermind George Lucas still taking writing and directing duties, this time accompanied by Jonathan Hales, who co-wrote the screenplay.

The second chapter in the prequel trilogy sees Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, now a Jedi Padawan, reunite with Padme, who has finished her time as Queen of Naboo, and become a senator in the Galactic Republic. When her life is once more put in danger, the Jedi duo split up; with Anakin acting as Padme’s bodyguard and Obi-Wan tracking nefarious bounty hunter Jango Fett, which leads him to a discovery that could bring the entire Republic into a devastating war.

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With The Phantom Menace being as mediocre as it was, you would think the prequel trilogy could only get better, but in terms of writing, you’d have thought wrong. Somehow, the scripting in this film is even worse than that of the previous entry, with shockingly awful dialogue, and characterisation that paints Obi-Wan as condescending, Padmé as someone with hybristophilia and Anakin as a total psychopath.

I killed them. I killed them all. They’re dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals. I HATE THEM.
– Anakin Skywalker, hero and Jedi Knight

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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Star Wars

 

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STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE | DVD Review

RELEASED: May 19th 1999
DIRECTED BY: George Lucas
WRITTEN BY: George Lucas
PRODUCED BY: Rick McCallum
MUSIC BY: John Williams
STARRING: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGreggor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson, Oliver Ford Davies, Hugh Quarshie, Terrence Stamp, Silas Carson, Keira Knightley, Ray Park & Peter Serafinowicz

After a sixteen year absence, Star Wars finally returned to the cinemas with The Phantom Menace, the first film directed by George Lucas in 22 years. And unfortunately, that shows. However, before we discuss the problems with this film (and there are several), we should first look at some of the great aspects that Lucas did bring back with him from his hiatus.

Qui-Gon.jpg

The film follows Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, as they are assigned by the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic to resolve a trade dispute between the Trade Federation and Queen Amidala of the Naboo. In this adventure, they meet the clumsy Gungan Jar Jar Binks, the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO and Anakin Skywalker, a boy whom Qui-Gon believes to be ‘the chosen one’.

Just looking at that synopsis, you can see that one thing The Phantom Menace does right is build up Star Wars lore exponentially. Whereas in Episodes IV-VI, we got a vague idea of how the Galaxy worked, for the most part, the focus was just on Luke, Han and Leia’s adventures. Here, we get to see everything: the Galactic Senate, the Jedi Council, the Outer Rim areas where Republic influence doesn’t reach. We get to see leisure activities like pod-racing, and inter-species relationships between the people of the Naboo and the Gungans. Flora and fauna is also shown in abundance. And (for a nineties film, anyway) it’s all pretty beautiful.

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Posted by on November 13, 2017 in Star Wars

 

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