‘Rogue One’ prioritizes the war in ‘Star Wars’


As usual, everything happens on my own delayed timetable, and this review, which was mostly written three months ago, got put on the back burner until I could finally get around to finishing it. With it coming out on Blu-ray and DVD this week, it felt like a good time to get it done already.

Rogue One is a highly entertaining example of what might be the true long-term future of Star Wars. A year after a successful rebooting via the first entry in a sequel trilogy that went to painstaking efforts to live and breathe the same sensibilities of Lucas’ original trilogy (to the point that it essentially retold A New Hope), we now have our first “stand-alone” anthology outing — which might serve as the answer to the question of what Star Wars unmoored from the Skywalker family name might actually look like. The answer: It looks and feels exactly like we’re in the Star Wars universe, but it inhabits a noticeably altered take and tone. For the first time, it seems, under director Gareth Edwards, we have a new owner turned loose in the store.

Read the review here.

Donald Trump live-tweets ‘Star Trek Beyond’

Beyond Trump
Below is a transcript of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed as he watched “Star Trek Beyond” at a recent screening.

  • This is going to be one of the all-time best movie reviews. I have the best words.
  • The Bad Robot logo is one of the worst logos in all of Hollywood. Total disaster from JJ Abrams. I always hire the best graphic designers.
  • Stupid Jim Kirk STILL in charge of Enterprise. After what happened 3 yrs ago in San Fran he should’ve been tried for treason! Unbelievable!
  • Kirk went against the military’s brave Admiral Marcus and instead sided with a terrorist and thousands died b/c of it. #LockKirkUp
  • (Read more…)

Review: ‘Star Trek Beyond’ aims to get (sort of) back to basics

Star Trek Beyond
From a storytelling perspective, Star Trek Beyond represents a deliberate attempt to take the reboot film series back to the primary roots of Star Trek. It scales back the self-mirroring franchise-metatext ambitions shown in both the previous J.J. Abrams-helmed films and delivers what might best be described as a super-sized traditional Star Trek episode amped up on current-day filmmaking and visual effects steroids.

I just kind of wish I had liked it more.

Read the entire review.

At long last, my review of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Star Trek Into Darkness
I really don’t have a good reason for why my review for Star Trek Into Darkness took three years to write and post. I could give you the usual reasons, all mostly valid (I have two kids, a family, a job, and still like to keep up with the TV shows I want to watch, I pushed it aside in favor of Star Wars reviews and a website redesign, blah, blah, etc.), but in reality it pretty much comes down to this: After I didn’t manage to get it out after the first three or four months, inertia set in and it only got progressively worse, because at any given point I knew that it didn’t matter if I got it out now or in a few more months. So inertia kept me idle. Then six more months would go by, and six more…

Probably the main reason it’s finally posted now is that I promised myself to meet a deadline and get it posted before I go see Star Trek Beyond tomorrow. And I barely met that deadline. Granted, this review ended up being way longer than I had intended or planned, but that’s just how these things sometimes go, I guess. (Read more…)

‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is lackluster redundancy

The evil aliens with no personality return to menace Earth in “Independence Day: Resurgence.”

The best thing about Independence Day: Resurgence is its depiction, however limited, of life on Earth in 2016, 20 years after the devastating alien attack of 1996. Like in Star Trek, the realization of life (and grave threats) beyond Earth, coupled with advanced alien technology that has allowed humanity to solve so many technical challenges, has changed who we are as a people and put an end to war among ourselves.

Granted, this is a future much more like our present than Trek, but there’s something to be said for continuing the story and seeing how people picked up the pieces after the credits rolled at the end of an ostensibly feel-good movie that featured the destruction of so many major cities. Despite the (bloodless PG-13) holocaust, humanity has prevailed and apparently figured things out. And they knew that our own challenges must be solved on Earth, because another invasion from above was probably inevitable.

Read the full review and leave comments here.

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