Posts Tagged Star Wars
Well, the decade is coming to a close, and with it come the end of two major eras in cinema history. Though Disney has no plans to end the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Star Wars saga anytime soon, 2019 brought an end to what’s been dubbed “The Skywalker Saga” as well as bringing 22 interconnected comic book movies to a loving crescendo.
Including these spectacular milestones, I once again saw 125 movies in the cineplex this year, 64 of which scored an A- or higher. The movies listed as part of my best and worst lists do not include any films that premiered on a streaming service, and are only based on those movies I saw between January 1 and December 31, 2019. Now without further adieu, here are my picks for the top ten best and top five worst movies of 2019.Read Full List
As with any other year, 2018 saw a slew of both good and bad films, however, some films that may appear on other critics’s lists may not appear here, either because I didn’t like it as much as them, I didn’t get a chance to see it, or it was a Netflix exclusive, as I can be more selective with my choices. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see plenty of mediocre films that deserve to be part of the worst, however, the scales were a little imbalanced this year. I saw 125 movies, 61 of which scored an A- or higher (which is pretty much in line with past years), while only 10 scored a C+ or below.
As I point out every year, this list is compiled of only movies I saw from January 1 to December 31 (with the exception of Mary Poppins Returns, which I saw in the first week of 2019, but prior to compiling this list). With that said, here are my picks for the best and worst of 2018!Read Full List
From the initial announcement that Han Solo was going to be given the standalone treatment, the film has been plagued with problems, both small (common, routine re-shoots) and large (replacing original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord with iconic filmmaker Ron Howard). This news spurred the fires that the production was troubled and that the final product would be a complete mess. I never believed that; Ron Howard is too smart a filmmaker to let things fall apart under his watch. It’s said that Lord and Miller believed they were making a comedy, and though I respect their vision, I don’t think Han Solo is the right character for that. Yes, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) is a sarcastic smart-ass who doesn’t take a whole lot seriously, but to put him at the center of a comedy, I believe, would have turned Han into a joke and diluted the essence of the universe as a whole. Read Full Review
I saw ten more movie in 2017 than I did 2016 (that’s 117 for those who are counting), and the reason I bring that up is because there was one less movie (57 as opposed to 58) that earned a grade at A- or above. (I’ll let you be the judge of what that actually means!) Like all year-end lists of the past, this one will only include films I saw in 2017 (or that came out in 2017, but earned award recognition), which means films like Molly’s Game (which, after seeing it, would have landed in the #4 spot had I seen in two weeks ago), I, Tanya and The Post weren’t considered, but films such as Patriot’s Day (which was officially released in 2016) were. With that said, here is what made going to the movies in 2017 both great and a bit terrible.
For various reasons, my goal for 2016 was to attend less movies, hopefully avoiding the bad in favor of the good. And though I did skip some movies that in years past I probably would have gone to because they were there, the inevitable stinker still crept into my viewing addiction. And at 107 movies, I only saw 3 less than I did in 2015 (though those three would probably have ended up on my worst list). So much for that resolution. But, with 58 movies graded at an A- or above, this year’s crop still managed to be on the higher end in one way or another. So, what were some of the most awe-inspiring (and some of the stinkers) from the past year? Let’s find out.
Even though it’s just as important to the quality of a film, production design isn’t talked about a lot when it comes to what makes a movie great. Bad acting keeps the viewer from investing in the emotion of a character, poor cinematography turns the film’s visual appeal sour, and bad sound design can make one’s ears bleed, but mediocre production design will make an entire film feel inauthentic. Like all aspects of a film, production design enhances the story, adding visual cues to character and location that are absorbed by the viewer throughout the film, adding layers to characters, locations, and mood that we didn’t even know we needed. The items placed in a bedroom, the wardrobe worn by extras, the color palette of a city landscape — they all hold meaning within the world the filmmakers are creating, and if just one thing is out of place or doesn’t make sense, viewers will notice, even if only subconsciously. I bring this up because Rogue One, the first of many standalone entries in the ever-expanding Star Wars saga, must rely heavily on the production design to make this fun, intense chapter fit into the massive world correctly. Read Full Review
For the last few months, I’ve been praising the marketing department at Disney for the way they’ve handled the marketing of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. They’ve meticulously given fans a taste of what’s to come without revealing any major spoilers or giving us a clear plot. All we knew was it involved a stormtrooper with a guilty conscious who meets a young recluse, both of whom are thrown into the middle of a brewing war led by a sinister Darth Vader worshiper. All of this secrecy led up to the ultimate question:
Where is Luke Skywalker? Read Full Review
At one point in my 2012 film, Secrets of the Desert Nymph, one of the characters encourages his best friend to go after the girl of his dreams before it’s too late. When his friend finally agrees, he’s boggled by the idea that he do it right that minute.
“You mean now?”
“No. When episode seven hits theaters.”
Of course, this was when it was a well-known fact that George Lucas wasn’t ever going to release another Star Wars film. The joke was meant to mean if he didn’t do it right that minute, he never would.
Cut to one year later and the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm and its entire film library for $4 billion dollars. Disney’s second announcement — Episode 7 was coming, and it was coming fast. And even though it makes the joke in a three-year-old movie seem as dated as the fight over Beta and VHS, I couldn’t be more excited. Find Out More
With all of the pretty good news coming out of the Star Wars camp in recent weeks, it was disappointing to hear that Denis Lawson (Ewan “Obi-Wan Kenobi” McGregor’s uncle) has decided not to reprise his iconic role of Wedge Antilles in Star Wars: Episode VII because he would be bored by it. Now I understand that Wedge probably wouldn’t have had a big presence in the new sequel, and I respect Denis’s decision (after all, if you can’t get fully behind something, you’re better off not doing it), but it definitely would have been awesome if the one and only character who actually participated in, and survived, attacks on both Death Stars (not to mention the Battle of Hoth) made, at the very least, one last appearance alongside his fellow X-Wing pilot, Luke Skywalker.
It certainly isn’t the worst news in the world… so long as there isn’t another Death Star that needs to be destroyed!
Yesterday, Disney released the main cast list for the upcoming Star Wars film, so being the hardcore Star Wars fan that I am, I thought it was finally time that I weigh in on not only the cast, but several other rumors that have been floating around ever since Disney first announced its purchase of Lucasfilm, and their decision to start producing a variety of Star Wars related material. Don’t Stop — There’s Plenty More