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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Every generation has a legend

20192 h 22 min
Overview

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once again as the journey of Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle begins.

Metadata
Director J.J. Abrams
Runtime 2 h 22 min
Release Date 18 December 2019
Details
Movie Media Cinema
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Bad
Actors
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Greg Grunberg, Shirley Henderson, Billie Lourd, Dominic Monaghan, Hassan Taj, Lee Towersey, Brian Herring, Dave Chapman, Richard Guiver, Lynn Robertson Bruce, J.J. Abrams, Claire Roi Harvey, Richard Coombs, Matt Denton, Nick Kellington, Mandeep Dhillon, Alison Rose, Amanda Lawrence, Tanya Moodie, Simon Paisley Day, Geff Francis, Amanda Hale, Amir El-Masry, Aidan Cook, Patrick Williams, Martin Wilde, Anton Simpson-Tidy, Lukaz Leong, Tom Rodgers, Joe Kennard, Ashley Beck, Bryony Miller, Cyril Nri, Angela Christian, Indra Ové, Richard Bremmer, Mark Richard Durden Smith, Andrew Havill, Nasser Memarzia, Patrick Kennedy, Aaron Neil, Joe Hewetson, Raghad Chaar, Mimi Ndiweni, Tom Wilton, Chris Terrio, Kiran Shah, Debra Wilson, Josef Altin, Vinette Robinson, Mike Quinn, Bill Kipsang Rotich, Ann Firbank, Diana Kent, Warwick Davis, Harrison Davis, Elliot Hawkes, Philicia Saunders, John Williams, Nigel Godrich, Dhani Harrison, J.D. Dillard, Dave Hearn, Rochenda Sandall, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Andreea Diac, Liam Cook, Denis Lawson, Carolyn Hennesy, Paul Kasey, Matthew Wood, James Earl Jones, Andy Serkis, Josefine Irrera Jackson, Cailey Fleming, Jodie Comer, Billy Howle, Hayden Christensen, Olivia d'Abo, Ashley Eckstein, Jennifer Hale, Samuel L. Jackson, Ewan McGregor, Alec Guinness, Frank Oz, Angelique Perrin, Freddie Prinze Jr., Liam Neeson, Harrison Ford, Lin-Manuel Miranda, David Acord, Dan Adler, Dee Bradley Baker, Verona Blue, Steve Blum, David Boat, David W. Collins, Jonathan Dixon, Terri Douglas, Robin Atkin Downes, Amanda Foreman, Janina Gavankar, Grey DeLisle, Stefan Grube, Mike Holland, Karen Huie, Tom Kane, Lex Lang, Vanessa Lengies, Logic, Yuri Lowenthal, Vanessa Marshall, Donald Mustard, Nicole Nasca Supercinski, Michelle Rejwan, Julian Stone, Tara Strong, Fred Tatasciore, James Arnold Taylor, Jessica Tuck, Karl Urban, Reggie Watts, Samuel Witwer

Ok, so there is a lot to unpack with this movie. I set a pretty low bar going into The Rise of Skywalker and it still managed to walk clear under it unimpeded. There is much, much more going wrong with this movie than can be covered in this little review here. And some things that cannot be mentioned directly due to spoilers. But it would not be too far off to compare Episode IX to Game of Thrones Season 8.

Let’s start by looking at the definition of the word continuity: the maintenance of continuous action and self-consistent detail in the various scenes of a movie or broadcast. This needs to be defined here because J.J. Abrams did not do it. Episode VIII saw Rian Johnson ignoring a lot of Abrams work from Episode VII and it seems like Abrams decided to return the favor here. A lot of pre-established information including plot development, character arcs, and world-building is just ignored or outright broken. And not just concerning Episode VII; this also includes continuity going as far back as the Original Trilogy. It is bad enough to make audiences wonder if Abrams ever watched or even read a summary of the source material.

The next most glaring issue was the dialogue. This stems in from another issue, doing too much in too little time. It felt like Abrams was attempting to squeeze and entire trilogy worth of plot into this one film. So, despite the 142-minute run time, the movie feels incredibly rushed. Almost every line of dialogue comes across as need-to-know information. The delivery makes it all so in-your-face that it almost never feels like the characters are having a regular conversation. More like they are just running down a bulleted list.

The last issue was the same problem the previous two films had: a lack of world-building. The previous two films were admittingly guilty of this too. But The Rise of Skywalker was a lot more upfront about it. Instead of a half-hearted explanation or leaving this kind of open ended so the audience could fill in the blanks, Episode IX just said, “This is the way things are. Deal with it.” The film really leaves audiences with more questions than answers given all the plot-holes.

This was the first time in my life where I honestly, truly felt bored by something Star Wars. There were plenty of bad moments in the old EU, but you still had great moments to make up for it. The new Disney trilogy has progressively gotten worse. We have gone from an Episode IV remake to a mixed bag of a film to this dumpster fire of a cash grab. It is not too much of a surprise that the franchise was run into the ground after being bought out, but what is amazing is just how quickly Disney managed to do it.

December 29, 2019

Men In Black: International

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Poster for the movie ""

Men in Black: International

The universe is expanding

20191 h 55 min
Overview

The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.

Metadata
Director F. Gary Gray
Runtime 1 h 55 min
Release Date 12 June 2019
Details
Movie Media Cinema
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Good

Wow, Thor and Valkyrie got into some zany adventures in that 5-year time skip during Endgame. Or maybe this is one of those alternate timelines they accidentally-maybe-probably created. Jokes aside though, Men in Black: International was a just a fun movie. Is this going to win any awards? Heck no. Was it a fun summer film to see on discount night at my local theater? You bet it was. If you are a person who wants every movie they see to be on par with films like Inception or Schindler’s List, turn back now. That is not what this film is, that is not what it was trying to be, that is not what it claims to be. It is a fun summer romp, nothing more and nothing less.

For starters, audiences do not need to have seen the previous Men in Black films to understand this one. There are a fair number of references to the old films, but nothing essential. All you need to know is that there is a secret agency that deals with aliens on Earth. That is really the only pre-requisite information here. So long as you are prepared for a casual summer movie (think Hancock), Men in Black: International will be a good time.

Let us take a look at the plot of the film. The general premise is that a bad alien wants the MacGuffin and if they get it, Earth will be destroyed. So…the same plot as the first three MiB movies, got it. Not that there is anything wrong with that. If it works, it works. And clearly, the MiB agency should be used to these situations by now. With the plot being so basic, the essence of the film really boils down to the writing and characters.

This movie is on the sillier side of things. Think Chris Hemsworth in Cabin in the Woods, not Chris Hemsworth as Thor. While many of the jokes are on the more light-hearted side, the film does not shy away from adult themes. Yes, this is a PG-13 film. But a PG-13 film today does not have the same standards as one made in the late ’90s. There is innuendo, there is cursing, and there are enough of these things that Men in Black: International could not quite be called a family movie. None of these things are subtle enough for kids to not catch them. For teenagers and up though (people who actually fit the PG-13 rating given by the Motion Picture Association of America), it is a great way to killing an evening this summer.

June 30, 2019

A Monster Calls

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A Monster Calls

Stories are wild creatures.

20161 h 48 min
Overview

A boy attempts to deal with his mother's illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping to a fantastical world.

Metadata
Runtime 1 h 48 min
Release Date 7 October 2016
Details
Movie Media Cinema
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Excellent

Going into A Monster Calls, I knew very little about the movie. A boy calls a monster to fight bullies or something and it is based on a children’s book. That is all I knew and I did not expect too much from the film. Boy, was I wrong. Pleasantly wrong, in fact. Saying that this is a must-see film might be going a little too far, but bare minimum it comes within a stone’s throw of that territory. Going into detail without spoilers is something of a challenge for this film, so just know that it teaches a life lesson that’s in a gray area.

A Monster Calls is a family movie and could be best described as a coming of age film. The very first line of the film describes protagonist Conor as too old to be a kid but too young to be a man. Many coming of age films are the same; some unusual circumstance results in a youth learning a valuable lesson. Conor’s situation in A Monster Calls is not entirely unusual, but the presence of the Monster makes it extraordinary. Do not let the premise of the movie turn you off to it; this film is anything but generic.

While the film is overall good with its effects, acting, and so forth, it is the emotion that truly makes this movie unique. The entire film just felt…sad. Not a cry your heart out type of sadness or a few gut-wrenching moments here and there. The whole movie just had this steady sadness, this borderline misery that is not going away and you do not know if it will ever get better. That is not to say that everything else about the movie is not good; the art, effects, acting, and everything else are very wholesome.

The film is not 100% perfect and seems to shy just a bit of being considered a masterpiece. While the theme of the movie is directed at children, it is not meant for small children. Think of A Monster Calls more as an age 10 and up film. The movie may not appeal to everyone and parts of the film may leave more open to interpretation than some people like. That being said, unless this film is extremely against your tastes it is 100% worth watching. Just may bring a box of tissues when you do watch it.

January 29, 2017