Rogue One Review

rogue-one

We saw Rogue One last Saturday.

The day started cold and dreary here. We had to scrape ice from our car windows and spend a long while waiting for the car to warm up enough to actually defrost the windows so we could see out. With that, we set out on our long-planned trip to see the next Star Wars film. But first we had to pick up someone on the way. That, it turns out, was quite the challenge. There was ice on the road, cars in the ditches, and people were sliding about while walking, making travel more dangerous and treacherous for the cars. It was quite perilous. And the snow hadn’t even come yet, and we were supposed to get up to four inches, which would start while we were in watching our movie.

Was it worth it? Should we cancel and go another day?

Not a chance! No true Star Wars fan would be held back by a little snow and ice!

We got to the theater, and I was nervous. What if it wasn’t good? What if I had amped it up to epic proportions in my head, and it just didn’t live up to it? What if this wasn’t like any other Star Wars movie at all?

Well… it was amazing! I needn’t have worried, it was a terrific movie. Yes, it was unlike any other Star Wars movie, but so what? Can’t we have a little diversity in our movie watching experience? Does every single Star Wars movie have to have an epic duel between two lightsaber wielding jedi? Of course it doesn’t! The movie was an amazing addition to the franchise, and I am so happy that they made it just a little differently than the other films.

It was soooo worth braving the icy roads for!

**********Warning, spoilers below!**********

The movie doesn’t start with the typical Star Wars opening crawl giving you background story. This one itself is the background story that is spelled out in the opening crawl of A New Hope, so it isn’t necessary. I’m not going to give a step by step review of each major point in the movie, but I will mention a few things that stood out to me.

Jyn Erso is interesting, and she becomes more of a hero as the movie moves along, seeming a little reluctant near the beginning, but being the entire catalyst for most of the action that we know and love in episodes 4, 5 and 6 by the end. By the middle of the movie it seems the rebellion is falling apart, and her bold actions drive them forward and bring everyone together, and without those bold actions there would be no real rebellion in the later movies.

If you haven’t seen the movie, skip this paragraph– even if you are okay with spoilers. One of the best parts of the movie, and especially the first half, is the character K2SO. One of my favorite lines of the whole movie is from him, “Jyn, I’ll be there for you.” Followed by a short pause, then “Cassian said I had to.” I laughed out loud at that one, because it was such an unexpected and touching statement, followed a second later by the well timed slap from a character that we should have expected it from. And then, late in the movie, I actually felt myself tearing up when K2SO sacrifices himself to help Jyn and Cassius. It was so sad. Not Han being killed by his own son kind of sad, but pretty sad.

By the end of the movie everything had evolved into the bold, Rebel Alliance vs. evil Empire battle that we would expect. And while there was no massive fight between jedi, we did get to see a few moments of Darth Vader being… well, Darth Vadery, and we saw a very jedi-like blind man chanting “I am one with the force, the force is with me.” while he made his way across a blaster filled battle without being struck until after he had a chance to save the day.

**********End of spoilers**********

The movie was funny when it needed to be funny, dark when it needed to be dark, and had that gritty lived-in feeling that all the later Star Wars movies had. It is a wonderful addition, and adds a lot of depth to the Star Wars universe.

5 out of 5

Go see it!

Everyone have a Merry Christmas!

Arrival

arrival

Arrival

Spoilers Ahead! Consider yourself warned!

We went to watch this movie last weekend. Arrival tells the story of college professor Louise Banks, a linguistics expert who is called in to aid the US military in communicating with alien life forms, which have touched down (or hovered down?) in the US and eleven other places around the world. Her and Ian Donnely, a mathematics expert, go up into the alien craft to work out a way to speak to these alien lifeforms. All throughout the movie Banks suffers from what at first seem to be flashbacks, but later seem to be visions of a future yet to come. It turns out that is not quite correct, either, as Banks learns that time is not always as linear as we think.

The aliens have come to help us so that we will be able to help them in 3000 years, and Banks does end up helping them. She also ends up making a very painful decision near the end, but one that will also lead her to a wonderful joy. She ends up with Donnely, and they have a daughter who she knows will die young because she has already seen it happen in her flashbacks/flashforward visions. She also has already seen that Donnely will leave her when he learns that she knew their daughter would die and didn’t tell him and still chose to have the child.

I loved this movie. It was a complete 5 out of 5. While it didn’t have the fast pace we’ve learned to expect from modern scifi, it definitely didn’t feel like it lagged at any point to me. I found it a very thoughtful and intellectual movie, in a genre that tends to stray from just those things.

Amy Adams was wonderful as Louise Banks, as I fully expected going in. It was very refreshing to see her looking unmade up and disheveled for a lot of the movie. Too often the female protagonist in movies, despite being in a hurry or involved in emergency situation, somehow has time to put on lipstick and eyeliner. Not in Arrival. Jeremy Renner was also fabulous in this movie. I did not expect that. Perhaps it’s because I mainly know him from Avengers, but I never expected the perfect performance from him. And it was great to see Forest Whitaker in the role of the Colonel in charge of the base.

You can see the trailer for this movie below.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go check it out. It’s very good!

Anybody Else Looking Forward To Rogue One?

Today, for some reason, I’m really anxious to see Rogue One. Yeah, I know, I have been for a while. But it just kind of struck me today that we still have to wait three months! I mean come on, that’s not even fair!

When I saw The Force Awakens I was just… blown away. I was worried, and still am, that they would be impossible to sustain that level. But then again, I seem to be about the only person in the world who will still admit to liking episodes I-III, so there’s a very good chance I’ll love Rogue One. Hey, I know the rest of you secretly liked the prequels as well, you just like bashing them. I understand, really, but…

Anyway,

Rogue One looks a lot darker and more serious than The Force Awakens. But hey, at least based on this trailer, and this one, it appears we have a new butt-kicking female lead to root for. And really, does anyone not want to know more about Jyn Erso? And how does Darth Vader play into this?

I need to know now!

What I’m really interested in is how they tie this darker, more serious movie into the existing franchise and still give us cool new things. In the prequels I did have a hard time digesting all the new tech that somehow disappeared before episode IV. In that case I had to assume that most of it had been destroyed, and on the empire’s side they just went for the Ford Pinto version of fighters because they needed a lot of them cheap and fast, and didn’t particularly care if they were super effective or if the crews were safe inside them. I’m hoping I don’t have to apply that level of logic to Rogue One. I don’t think I will, I think they learned from the mistakes of the prequels, and I think Disney will take more care than George Lucas did. I hope so, anyway.

I wanna see it!

I wanna see it now!

Stop making us wait!!!!!!

That’s really all I have this week. Have a great weekend!