Annihilation – Trailer

I like this trailer a lot though what’s most interesting (at least to me) is that it reminded me of Gareth Edwards’ Monsters except unlike in the case of that movie stuff seems to actually happen.

Story-wise it looks like some sort of alien consciousness has arrived on Earth, with it’s presence seeming changing the planet in some very interesting ways (which is also similar to Edwards’ movie).

It appears to be trying to adapt Earth’s environment to one more comfortable for it, or is it a beginning of an invasion?

It also feels a bit like Arrival in that no one seems to understand why it’s there, and what’s it’s underlying purpose is.

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS Story – Review


“What’s surprising is not that ROGUE ON: A STAR WARS Story has earned almost $850 million worldwide, but how astoundingly mediocre the movie actually is.”

The biggest problem with Gareth EdwardsROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS Story is that it’s two movies.

For the bulk of it’s time it’s a war movie, and a not very good one. The characters are characters–for the most part–only in the sense that they have names and are played by actors.

It never once invests in the development necessary to make make our heroes anything approaching  empathetic, never mind sympathetic–it goes without having saying that the villains, particularly Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) fare significantly better though I suspect few people go to a Star Wars movie exclusively for the villains.

And that’s to be expected, though more is required of the heroes; we need to not only sympathize with their plight, but have to actively want them to achieve their goal.

And that doesn’t happen in Rogue One and seeing that it’s a prequel of sorts to Star Wars: A New Hope, you know that they succeed in stealing the plans for the Death Star.

It’s only how that manages to come about that matters.

And the how is what the brunt of what the movie gets wrong.

Which reminds me, why was Gareth Edwards hired to direct? As you could probably tell from Monsters, as well as Godzilla, he doesn’t exactly excel in developing human relationships on screen, which is what Rogue One needed. I don’t care about virtually everyone dying at the end, though what I do care about is not caring about everyone dying at the end.

And the movie also–in a very curious fashion–undermines a small but important sequence from The Empire Strikes Back (which I go more in detail about in my video review).

As much criticism as the three George Lucas-directed sequels received–deservedly so for the most part–at least they felt like Star Wars movies (not very good Star Wars movies, but Star Wars movies nonetheless).

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?  Not so much.

Rogue One Review Capsule

I’m in the process of editing my review of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS Story so check back for the full version!

Though I have to say that I really did not like this movie.  Say what you will about the prequels, at least they felt like Star Wars movies.

Rogue One?  Maybe the last 35-40 minutes felt like a Star Wars movie though the bulk of it felt like the worse kind of war movie, namely the type where you don’t give a damn about anyone. 

Such a lack of character development you can get away with in a three or four minute short, though when you’re talking about a movie that runs almost two hours and a half it’s near inexcusable.  

I honestly can’t tell if it’s the writing or the direction that’s at fault, but dealing with any sort of human emotion isn’t exactly director Gareth Edwards‘ strong suit (something’s that’s fairly obvious if you have seen either Monsters or Godzilla, though to be fair Rogue One makes Monsters feel almost pornographic in its displays of human emotion and relationships). 

Clearly people are seeing the movie, but I get the feeling that if there weren’t the connection to Star Wars, most wouldn’t give a damn. 

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

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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.

Hemlock Grove: The Final Chapter – Official Trailer

On the whole, I enjoyed the first two seasons of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, but with caveats: the biggest being that it was at times hard to identity the creatures that were involved–and when your series is about monsters, human and otherwise, this is not a minor thing.

For instance, what the hell was Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen)?  Her son was apparently a vampire, though she was something other.  And now that I am speculating, what was it with Dr. Johann Price (Joel de la Fuente)?  I recall he had some sort of disorder that increased his strength (or he couldn’t feel pain, something like that) but he seemed creepy-strong and way too in-tune with all the weirdness that was going on around him.

And that lizard-thing at the end of the second season?  It was cool in the sense that it was totally unexpected, though I couldn’t make heads or tales why it was.

That's gotta hurt!

That’s gotta hurt!

Though the werewolves?  And The Company Of Wolves-style transformation?  That I liked.

‘Godzilla’ Trailer 2

I like this trailer, it’s very atmospheric.  As I have said before though, I am worried because Gareth Edwards’ last film, “Monsters” was atmospheric too, but offered little else.

You even get a little bit of Godzilla-love at the end.  I hope that it brings the goods, after all we have already had a Godzilla reboot, and it wasn’t that great.

I also need to watch “Monsters” again.  Maybe I’ll get more in it the second time.