Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2017-04-14 12.35.54.pngRian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released a few hours ago, and looks… like a Star Wars movie.

Which is stating the obvious, though it also reveals a problem.  The last Star Wars movie, Rogue One, was what you get when you take Star Wars and remove the wonder, heart and engaging characters that made that made the series so well-loved by so many (even George Lucas’ much maligned–and deservedly so–prequel trilogy).

And sure, Rogue One made a gazillion dollars but it could easily be a case of diminishing returns, like in the case of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise.

Though to be fair it appears that The Last Jedi looks like it’s at least attempting to bring some of the aforementioned wonder and mystery central to prior entries, and that’s a good thing.

Will it work?  I have no idea, but it’s worth trying.

 

Star Wars: Rogue One Official Trailer 2

As I have written in the past, I’m not particularly fond of Gareth Edwards as a director.  I think that he’s talented but the movies he’s directed so far never seem to fit well with his stylistic sensibilities.

Monsters could have been titled ‘Traveling Through Mexico Meeting An Occasional Beastie‘ while Legendary’s Godzilla remake could have been called ‘Godzilla?  Where!?‘ due to, pardon the pun, the legendary monster’s late entry in his own movie.

That being said, what we can see from his direction of Star Wars: Rogue One is interesting because it shows a grittier side of the Star Wars movies, which look almost sanitized by comparison.

It looks like that we’re going to see more of the aftermath of what happens when the massive vehicles common to the Star Wars universe lay waste to a place; the human cost of all the technology run amok.

It should be an interesting juxtaposition and perhaps better fitting with Edwards’ style.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Official Olympics Trailer

Screenshot 2016-08-11 22.49.47.png

Does the image to the left remind anyone else of the scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the alien mothership hovers over Devil’s Tower?

That’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw this image from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The other thing was that, if I’m lucky, it might also be the first movie directed by Gareth Edwards that I think I might enjoy.

Monsters was underwhelming, and Edwards with Godzilla pulled of the seeming impossible: namely making a Godzilla movie that was dull.

Here’s to Rogue One making up for lost ground, directorially speaking at any rate.

My Two Cents – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Screenshot 2016-07-16 12.57.37

Let me cut to the chase.  I am not particularly enamored of Gareth Edwards as a director.

The problems start with his filmography. First you have Monsters, a movie where the aforementioned monsters felt like an afterthought which shouldn’t be the case with a movie named Monsters. His followup, Legendary’s Godzilla suffered a similar fate, with  Godzilla not showing up till the latter third of the movie.

Is Edwards a good fit for a Star Wars movie? Based on what I have seen so far, I don’t think so. There are rumors that a large section of the movie had to be reshot due to the overly pessimistic tone the director struck.

That being said, reshoots aren’t unusual for a movie of this nature, so the truth probably lies somewhere between the two extremes.

What I can say is that what I have so far heard about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes me more interested in seeing it since the three movies that made up the original trilogy.

And for me, that means a lot.

Besides, I really, really, REALLY like the poster.

Love Disney, But Iger Seems A Bit Douchy

Screenshot 2016-06-15 16.25.12I am a huge fan of Disney, not because of their characters–which for the most part I find cloying and treacly–than the business acumen of Bob Iger, who had the sense to see the value in LucasFilm, Marvel Studios, and Pixar, all of which he purchased; each of which are virtually licenses to purchase money.

Captain America: Civil War is still in the Top 10–that’s called ‘legs,’ baby–despite being released May 6–has earned  earned almost $1.5 billion at the box office, while Zootopia–via Disney Animation–has earned just over a billion.

And you have Finding Dory coming up next from Pixar, and estimates have it opening somewhere in the ballpark of $125 million.

That’s a lot of money.

That being said, what most people think of when they consider ‘Walt Disney’ is probably the theme parks, which is why I found his response to Bernie Sanders, who drew attention to the pay earned by people that work there.

In response Iger asked how many jobs has Sanders created, which is interesting, though sort of silly because that’s not quite how Government works.

Though more importantly, he didn’t respond to Sanders’ point because Sanders was talking about how much people earned who work at Disney’s theme parks, while Iger responded by attacking him for being a Democratic Socialist, on top of asking how many jobs he had created.

As I said, that’s not what Sanders asked.  He was referring to how much people earned at Disney theme parks, NOT to how many people they’re employing because Walmart employs a lot of people too, though the last I heard many of them rely on government programs to make the difference from week to week to pay the bills–because their take-home pay is relatively little–though how much they earn is just as important–if not more so–than how many people they employ.

Disney is making money hand over fist, and it’s about time that they send some love–by which I mean money; love is awesome, but it doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re sleeping with your landlord.  And your cable and telephone provider (though they’re probably the same)–their workers way because THOSE WORKERS ARE DISNEY, and should be treated as such.

Rogue One: Trailer

I enjoyed J.J. Abrams’ interpretation of the Star Wars universe with The Force Awakens, but it felt too shiny, too clean.

Now Rogue One feels like a Star Wars movie should.

Or maybe it’s just seeing old school Star Destroyers and the original Death Star, though I think that it’s the grim tone, the grit and the desperation of a Rebel Alliance put on the ropes by an ascendant Imperial Empire.

Desperation suits Star Wars.

Somehow Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hasn’t Made As Much As Avatar

Star Wars: The Force Awakens–I’m starting to warm up to that subtitle, at last–is approaching the box office of Avatar and I don’t understand it.

What’s confused me is that I don’t understand how it is that Avatar was able to reach such box office heights in the first place.

Let’s be honest, it’s not a particularly innovative movie–besides how it was made, that is–and the story is essentially cowboys and indians (Cowboys & Aliens?) with an environmental twist.

(Though if I were honest, it lost me when they had an AMP–Amplified Mobility Platform–grab a knife).

It’s a battle suit.  Make the weapon part of it.  That way, it can’t drop it.

Screenshot 2016-01-05 19.54.39.png

Anyway, that’s not to say that the latest Star Wars movie is innovative either–it’s essentially Star Wars: A New Hope, which was mildly disappointing,  with some shiny new effects.

That being said, after Lucas’ machine-tooled prequels (which were as innovative as Avatar in their own way) Star Wars fans would have paid virtually anything to see a movie evocative of the original trilogy.

And if LucasFilm under Disney is capable of nothing else it’s creating audience-pleasing entertainment (if their Pixar, Marvel Studios and Disney Animation divisions are any indicator) for the greatest possible amount of people.