Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Hateful Eight - Movie Review: Is 70mm Really that Glorious?

Wait, you mean theaters are allowed to play other movies besides Star Wars?!?
The Hateful Eight is the eighth movie directed and written by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Kurt Russell, Samuel Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Walton Goggins. I went to the special roadshow event which was presented in 70mm. This is the first movie I have ever seen in the theaters shot and presented in 70mm with the correct ratio aspect. Did I really notice? Honestly, not really. If this movie was shot in IMAX and presented in a digital format I think it would have looked just as good. It is an extremely beautiful looking movie, but is that because Tarantino is a great director and worked with a fantastic cinematographer, or because it was shot in 70mm. I think it is probably the former and whatever the movie was shot on it would look brilliant. I’m however also color blind, so maybe something is lost on me as a viewer.
Shooting in 70mm is more for Tarantino and him being a lover of classic cinema and the way movies used to be made. I personally loved going to the theater tonight and getting a program for the movie, having a musical overture, and an intermission.  It made for a special evening, and also harkens back to the fifties and sixties when going to the movies was an event. This could have still been accomplished shooting the movie on another format and presenting it in digital form. I’m a general overall history nut, so going to see a movie made in an older style was interesting in its own right. This was Tarantino’s vision, and I’ll gladly indulge any historical eccentricities he wants as long as he keeps making spectacular movies.
The Hateful Eight is the second western directed by Tarantino the first being Django Unchained. The movie has a very different feel than Django, even though it started out as a sequel. It has all of the Tarantino essentials. Great dialogue, good characters, intriguing story, and fantastic performances. The entire first two acts of the movie build a palpable tension. You never quite know what is going on until the reveal. The tension built with the dialogue and closed room reminded me of the opening scene of Inglorious Bastards, but extended for a greater period of time. You then get a fantastic exploitation payoff in the final third of the movie for an extremely satisfying ending.
All of the performances are good in the movie. The standouts for me were Walton Goggins, of Justified and The Shield fame, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the women being taken to the hanged. Each are fantastic in their respective roles. Hopefully Goggins can start getting more movie parts after being showcased in a Tarantino masterpiece. The person for me who absolutely stole the show on every level is a Tarantino favorite, Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson does channel a little Jules from Pulp Fiction, but saying he is doing the same thing here is a disservice to the performance. For me he deserves an Oscar nomination nod. I don’t think he will get it, because it will be seen as a character he’s played before, but I saw more in this role. I felt it was a more nuanced performance, and not the typical bad ass mushroom cloud laying mother fu, sorry my kid watches these. He chewed scenery and outshined a stellar cast and other great performances. I have to at least mention Kurt Russell. He was great as well, though I think I preferred his performance in Bone Tomahawk, another western, to this. Both are outstanding westerns with great performances by Russell. If you haven’t heard of Bone Tomahawk I’ll put a link in the description below. The dialogue in it is very similar to Tarantino or a Coen brother’s movie.
I don’t want to say to much more about the plot or overall story. What the trailers have shown is enough going in. Russell’s character, John Ruth, is taking Leigh’s character, Daisy, to be hanged and they get trapped by a blizzard at a convenience store. Ruth suspects foul play at every corner. Which you think is just paranoia at first. I won’t say any more than that. Other than Tarantino does a masterful job drawing you into this story and world. I loved the little nods, like when characters drink coffee the store they are in is still so cold that steam rises up all around the actors. I also think Tarantino had a message he wanted to deliver with this movie. I don’t think it’s heavy handed, but if you are looking you can see it
This movie is made to be seen in the cinema. If you can find a theatre playing it in 70mm I would recommend seeing it that way, just to view it how Tarantino wants it seen. If not then try and hold out for an IMAX showing, though Star Wars has that locked up for a few more weeks. I’ve got to mention the score as well. It is phenomenal, just as most Tarantino’s scores are. It sets the mood and adds to the tension of the movie.
I found the entire movie to be engaging and entertaining. This is well worth seeing, and is a must see in the theater if you are a Tarantino fan. I’ll be buying it on blu-ray when it makes its way to home release. For those who don’t like his movies, then stay away, because this is very much a Tarantino film. It oozes his style and unique way of storytelling. He actually brings back a technique he paved the way for in the nineties and hasn’t used in his last few films.
Comment and let me know if you can tell the difference in the 70mm aspect ratio rather than digital. Would you want more filmmakers to try and bring back roadshows with intermissions to make going to the movies more of an event? If you have seen the movie let me know what you thought of it and the performances. Give me a thumbs up if you like my review. Share and subscribe and all that fun stuff as well. Thanks for watching and bye. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Movie Review( Yes,Spoiler Free): A Fan’s Review for Non-Fan’s

Well… It’s better than the prequels.
Everyone is going to be talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens for a few weeks. I’m adding my voice and review to the ever growing madness of the internet. I really enjoyed The Force Awakens. Is it my favorite, no, but I don’t think anything will every top the originals because of, well, nostalgia. I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw Star Wars. I don’t remember how old I was when I saw Empire Strikes Back. I have memories of going to see Return of the Jedi in the theaters, but I don’t even think that was the initial release. I have lived on Star Wars for almost my entire life.
To watch The Force Awakens I bought marathon tickets. All six previous movies starting at 1:00 in the morning and ending with The Force Awakens. I wasn’t as dedicated or crazy as some of my other friends who went at one in the morning. I decided to get a good night’s sleep and make episode three and on. You know, the prequel you can actually stomach to watch, and the three good movies. I didn’t want to lose sleep watching episode 1 and 2. I’m glad George made the movies he set out to make, but I don’t have to lose sleep to watch them, even for this.
What I’m getting at, is I’m a nut for Star Wars. I consume almost everything produced by Lucasfilm. The question is for all you casual Star Wars fans or just regular movie goers, is this movie worth your time, money and effort to see? The short answer from a fan’s perspective is, yes. It’s a very good movie and it is well worth seeing in the theaters. Is the movie groundbreaking like the first initial Star Wars? No it’s not, but it didn’t have to be.
What this Star Wars movie had to do was sell the current fan base on new heroes while paying homage to the old. At the same time introduce a new generation to the franchise. If you not a massive fan of the movies all you’re looking for is to be entertained by a compelling story. This movie had that. It is very much a hero’s journey retold. It has elements of A New Hope splashed throughout, but it is very much its own movie.
The action in the movie is stunning and non-stop. You feel like you are riding in the Millennium Falcon, X-Wing or Tie Fighter. Abrams did an amazing job of capturing action sequences. He is a phenomenal director of action. The ground fights are equally fun and the lightsaber battles unique for the new trilogy. Are you going to care if you not a Star Wars fan? I think the action will have you on the edge of your seat regardless of if you’re a fan or not.
Along with the action are compelling new characters. My personal favorite after seeing the movie is Rey, but that’s not surprising since she is very much the Luke of the new movie, and he is my favorite from the original trilogy. Daisy Ridley is amazing in the role. For an unknown actress to come into this franchise and knock it out of the park is fantastic. Just knowing she has never been in any other movie and being thrust into one of the biggest and most anticipated movies of all time is astounding. It’s amazing what an unknown actor can do when they have good direction. The other cast, old and new, do good jobs. Boyega is great as Finn. Harrison Ford does not mail in his performance. He is Han Solo again, and is superb in his portrayal of the Smuggler.  Fisher is good as Leia, though she might be the weakest link of the old cast.  Adam Driver plays a complex new villain. He is not a Darth Vader clone. I have mixed feelings on the character, and I think that was by design.
Can someone who does not like the force, lightsabers and the historical lore of the universe still enjoy these performances? I think so. The story told with these characters is going to keep people engaged regardless of the amount of the fandom. You don’t need to know the entire backstory of the Star Wars universe to enjoy this movie. It helps, but it’s not necessary. What I liked most personally about the movie is how the story told opens up more of the universe to be explored. The casual fan isn’t going to care about how many other books and comic can be created from this story. They don’t need to care to enjoy just this story and to be excited for what happens next.
Not everything works in the movie however. There is some clunky dialogue. Don’t worry, no were near prequel levels.  A few times the interaction between Han and Leia just didn’t seem natural. It only happens a few times, were the interaction didn’t ring true. The majority of the time is hits all the right emotional notes. The other villain playing opposite Kylo Ren, General Hux, was cartoonish to me. Gleeson who plays the character is a great actor and I feel his range is wasted here. He is very one note, and I think he could have been more. He might be more developed in later movies.
Which is another minor complaint. There are characters who I wanted focused on more, but there just wasn’t enough time unless JJ wanted to make a three and half hour long movie. As a casual fan I don’t think you are going to care if one character or another doesn’t get focused on. The overall story is fun and the main characters are relatable, and easy to root for.
The story does have few elements which left me scratching my head. Just the time frame in which things seem to happen didn’t add up to me. This is probably me nitpicking, and a person going to the movie to have a fun time isn’t going to mind this about the story. As a fan it did bug me a bit, but didn’t take too much away from the overall movie. The main threat of the movie also seems tacked on. Starkiller base didn’t feel me with dread and terror the way the Death Star did in the original trilogy. They try to make it seem deadly, but again there is so much going on in the movie not enough time is focused to give it the appropriate weight.
These negatives aside, I really enjoyed the movie. I want to say I loved it, but I don’t want to “Phantom Menace” myself. Telling myself something was good just because I was so excited for new Star Wars movieq. I don’t think that is the case and even non-super fans should enjoy The Force Awakens. So this movie is, of course, well worth seeing. For me it’s worth seeing multiple times in the theaters. Before it even came out I had three tickets. For the normal movie goer one time will be enough, but it’s worth buying on blu-ray, and watching at home on Television anytime it comes on. It will usher in a new generation of nerds and geeks and make Disney’s four billion dollar investment well worth the price. This movie is a fantastic way to kick off the new trilogy.
If you not a huge Star Wars fan when do you plan on seeing Star Wars? Are you going to let the crowds die down before seeing it? If you have seen it what do you think? Did it meet your lofty expectations if you’re a major fan? If you not a major fan and have seen it what did you think? Comment and let me know. We are now living in a post release Star Wars: The Force Awakens world. Time to start hyping Rouge One and Episode Eight. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Star Wars Dark Disciple Book Review: A Clone Wars Love Story Done Well

Star Wars Dark Disciple is a new cannon novel based on undeveloped Clone Wars episodes. The original story scripts were written by Katie Lucas, yes that Lucas’s daughter. The novel was adapted and written by Christie Goldstein. Dark Disciple is the story of how Jedi Master Quinlan Vos is charged to assassinate Count Dooku. The Jedi Council also wants Vos to enlist the help of Asajj Ventress, Dooku’s former apprentice and current mortal enemy.
What works so well in Dark Disciple is the relationship between Vos and Ventress. Vos is a roughish Jedi who lives undercover and flirts with the seedy underworld on a regular basis. It makes him the perfect Jedi to try and get close to Ventress. Ventress starts off hating Vos, but his charm finally starts to wear on her. The relationship harkens to the love story of Han and Leia, with how much Ventress outwardly hates on Vos and everything he does. Slowly however, she starts to warm to the man who portrays himself as her bounty hunter partner. Ventress soon lets Voss know that she was aware he was a Jedi all along.
The story then picks up when Ventress begins to train Vos in the dark side. It’s not the Sith Arts, but how the Witches of Dathomir use the dark side. Ventress takes Vos to Dathomir to train him. The training scenes reminded me of Dagobah and Yoda training Luke. This time we get to see the reverse. We get witness how a Dark Jedi is trained surrounded by living things. It is still eerily similar to how Yoda trained Luke, but perverted. What makes this interesting is Vos is already a Jedi Master. He has lived the Jedi code for his entire life, but Ventress opens his view to a much larger world in more ways than one.
To have Vos simply start using the dark side would not be enough to turn him completely. Something else must commit him down this path. The love that grows between Voss and Ventress is what locks him into turning his back on his Jedi beliefs. It is a good example of explaining why the Jedi do not marry. It shows how dangerous losing yourself completely to another person can be and how much it can corrupt. The love story is needed to make the plot believable. Without it the question of how a Jedi Master is turned to using the dark side could not be answered. Using love, Ventress is able to bend Voss’s will and get him to buy into using the dark side. Ventress thinks using the dark side is the only way to defeat Dooku.
Where the story suffers is that we know the eventual ending of the main mission. We know that Ventress and Voss do not succeed in killing Dooku. We do know it takes some dark side powers to finally defeat him, just not by these two force users. I’m not sure if that is foreshadowing since we already knew the events of Revenge of the Sith, but I like the use of whatever device it is. You want both Voss and Ventress to succeed in their task, but know it will fail. What is interesting is the different twists the story takes.
I was never quite sure where the story was going to go next. I did have one part of the story spoiled for me, but I wasn’t sure how the event would unfold. Vos’s descent into the darkside is not predictable.  In the end I am extremely glad we got this story in book form. I’m not sure the Clone Wars show would have been able to fully develop the themes the book brought up. The show did go dark in the last few seasons, but I’m not sure they would have been able to include everything in this book. I think it deals with the love story in such a way that would have been lost on what was supposed to be a children’s show.
From this story I truly wish Lucas would have let his daughter have a crack at rewriting Clone Wars the movie. She might have been too young at the time, but just the development of this concept proves she has talent. Which her father does too, but writing dialogue isn’t his strongest trait. I wouldn’t be typing this review without the man, and the prequels faults have been well established. That being said if Anakin’s and Padme’s love story were developed in the way this story progressed The Clone Wars movie would have been vastly better. We would have actually cared about what happed between Padme and Anakin, not just waiting for her to give birth to Luke and Leia. There I said my peace.
Dark Disciple is a must read for those who were fans of the Clone Wars. For those who never watched the show it probably can be passed up. That is not an indictment of the story. I just think to have a good reference on who Ventress is as a character you need to have watched Clone Wars. I don’t think people would be lost in the story, but some of the impact of the would be diminished. If you want to read a love story set in the Star Wars Universe done right, pick it up.

Have you read Dark Disciple? What did you think of it if you did? Do you think fans need to have read Clone Wars to enjoy the book? Comment and let me know. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

When Should I let My Kid Watch.. Die Hard - Movie Review

What type of kid where you? Did your parents let you watch whatever you wanted? Did you sneak around and watch rated R movies as a kid? If you’re a parent now what do you do? When do you let your kids watch some of your favorite movies?
Yippee Ki Ya Mother F
So the second movie in the When Should my Kid Watch reviews is Die Hard. The movie which launched Bruce Willis as an action star. For many Die Hard is considered the best action movie of all time. IGN ranked it their #1 action movie in a top 25 list. I’m not sure it would be my personal #1, but it’s close.  At 11 years old I thought my oldest son could handle the violence, language, and plot of the film.
Common Sense Media has a recommended age viewing for Die Hard of 16+. I’ll put a link to their review in the description below. For me 16+ is a little high for Die Hard.
The biggest hurdle to get over in deciding when to let my son watch Die Hard was the violence. The movie does have some extremely violent scenes. The execution of Mr. Takagi being example one. We see Hans pull the trigger and blood explode against the glass door. It is a graphic scene, and for kids sensitive to images I would hold off until they are able to process. For me personally I remember the first time I saw John McClane take out a terrorist from under the table and seeing the bad guys knees explode on screen. I was probably 8 or 9 and walked into the living room when my parents were watching the movie. The scene is still etched in my memory, and its one reason I hesitate when letting my son watch movies. I want to make sure he can handle what he is watching. I went ahead and let him watch Die Hard, because I didn’t think the violence would affect him. I paused the movie after the Takagi scene and asked if he was bothered by it, and he said nope, I know it’s fake.
The second obvious reason the movie is rated R is the language. I don’t think the cussing found in the movie is excessive. I think it fits for the situation our hero finds himself in. He’s just a regular cop, and he is thrown into an impossible situation. I would be cussing if I was John McClane. It’s a natural fit for the movie and the situation. I’m never going to have a big issue with language when deciding if my son should watch a film. If it is a fit for the movie, I don’t see the issue with exposing my son to it. As long as he knows not to use it, then it should be a non-issue. I would reevaluate my stance if he started getting in trouble for using bad language.
There is a small scene with nudity. It’s quick and briefly shows a women’s breasts. McClane also walks past a picture of a nude woman a couple of times, but its short and you can barely see anything. Not enough for me personally to stop my 11 year old from watching, but I can understand for those who would disagree.
Now, what about the plot. Can an 11 year old grasp the story of Die Hard, or do they really need too? Hans Gruber is a brilliant villain. He takes hostages knowing the FBI will get involved and shut off the power to the building allowing him to steal his loot. It is an intricate story and I stopped the movie when the FBI shut off the power to ask if my son understood what happened. I had to explain some information, but for the most part he already had a good grasp of what was going on. I don’t think you necessarily need to understand how intricate the heist of the movie is to enjoy Die Hard. It’s something a younger viewer can come back to at a later date and get more enjoyment out of. When they realize how cunning the villain of the movie is another level of satisfaction is added to the film.
 The easy part of the plot to understand is John McClane stuck in a building with people who want to kill him, his wife, and the other hostages. McClane is the “fly in the ointment” which causes Hans Gruber’s well laid plans to go off course. Seeing Bruce Willis run around without any shoes on and knock off villains is an easy concept to grasp. The explosions and action are enough to keep most people of any age entertained.  
Maybe not my son however. After we watched he was not impressed with Die Hard. Maybe he is was too young to appreciate the intricacies of the plot or the action is dull by today’s standards. That or he just doesn’t want to like movies his Dad thinks are good.  He didn’t understand how Die Hard is thought of as one of the greatest action movies ever made. After this it’s back to the drawing board to find something else he will enjoy.
Since I had to explain a small amount of the plot maybe my son should be a little older to appreciate how well made of a movie Die Hard is. I still think the right age range is around 11-13 years old depending on each kid. He is old enough to handle the violence, language and action, but I think how smart and intricate the plot is was lost on him a bit.
Alright so plug and question time. When was the first time you remember seeing Die Hard?  Where you too young for some of the violence? If you have kids when would feel comfortable letting them watch the movie? Could you handle them not liking it? I’m not sure I want to let my son watch Matrix now because I’m worried he’ll hate it. I plan on trying to keep plugging away until I find something he loves. Comment and let me know your thoughts.
So please give me a thumbs up if you like my video. Give me some suggestions on what we should watch next. Subscribe to see more of my videos, and click the links at the end to watch me talk some more. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Star Wars Rebels S2E10 Legacy Review/Recap (Spoilers): Still No Dark Turn

Tonight’s episode, Legacy, had an interesting story to tell, and could have major impacts for the rest of the season. We start with Ezra having a vision of his parents on Lothal and him wanting to rush to find back to find them. Kanan urging caution helps Ezra refine the vision and the whole team decides to go back to Lothal and find out what Ezra’s vision means. Why tell this story unless it is going to have impact later? Ezra parents have been a motivation for him up to this point, how does he deal with knowing they are truly gone? He seemed to handle to news well with Kanan there to help be a guide for the grief.
The best aspects of tonight’s episode dealt with Ezra. Everything with how he reacted was spot on for a young teenager. If I had lost my parents and suddenly learned they could be alive I would want to rush off to find out more. His exuberance, while slightly annoying, is perfectly understandable. He wants nothing to stand in his way to make it back to Lothal. He makes an impressive display against Agent Kallus and some Stormtroopers and then foolishly rushes the two Inquisitors. Ezra is seeing red at this point and is probably tapping into some darks side powers. Kanan does the smart thing and shoots the blast door, saving his apprentice. Ezra pops off in anger, but also apologizes to Kanan a short time later. I found his apology and thanks for the support touching and good choice for the character.
While I really enjoyed the main storyline with Ezra tonight, the rest had me wanting something different. I keep waiting for the series to take a darker turn. Everyone has hinted that the turn is coming. From the showrunners to the voice actors they have all said dark times are ahead for the crew of the Ghost. Tonight would have been a good time for the Empire to stop being easy to defeat. With Kallus and the Inquisitors teaming up they should have done some damage to the Rebels finding them unprepared for an attack. The Rebels had escape plans put it in place, but a force as large as the Imperials had should have deal the Rebels more damage.
This might be nitpicking the show, and I do believe we are going to see the crew dealt some major blows. They just seem to be getting by way to easily. The Empire does not seem scary or menacing. You want your heroes to succeed, but they almost succeeded in this episode by blind luck (Obi Wan says there is no such thing as luck), and Imperial stupidity.
The scene where Hera is trying to free the command ship from the tractor beam is one such instance. She has Tie Fighters on her tail and the Star Destroyer ahead of her. Why doesn’t the Star Destroyer fire on her? The Admiral tells the crew to focus on the command ship. If they have the command ship locked up, why not fire on the Ghost? I know it has become comical how Tie Fighters and Stormtroopers can’t hit anything, but why isn’t Zeb firing at them? If he was firing at least there would be the excuse that the Tie’s couldn’t line up a clean shot because they were being fired upon.  They do manage a hit, which forces Hera to do some fancy flying and knock out the tractor beam by ramming the Star Destroyer. This was exciting to see, but why didn’t they fire upon the Ghost and command ship after this?
The Rebels got away fairly unharmed minus a few ships. No major characters were captured and no dark turn for our heroes. After the tractor beam was taken out it would have been interesting to see the Ghost get captured with Ezra and Kanan having to come to the rescue in an Empire Strikes back like episode. Two Jedi’s not up fully trained taking on an Imperial force waiting to receive them.
This isn’t the road showrunners decided to travel, but it will be interesting to see when the crew does get back together. Ezra and Kanan are on their own, and I think they may stay this way for a while to do some training. Ezra has been growing powerful. I have mixed feelings on which way he will eventually turn, but I think they are hinting that he will remain a Jedi. His apology tonight was one indication of this, and his desire to make his dead parents proud will be another force to keep him on the path of the Jedi.
While tonight’s episode was a small disappoint in that we still did not see our heroes struggle, it was interesting see Ezra take another step into becoming a Jedi. He is still impetuous and headstrong at times, but he knows he is part of a team and respects their help. He has a willingness to learn and listen, and I am excited to see where they are taking him as a character.
Where you disappointed tonight that Empire was easily managed again? Are you ready for the dark turn the show has been promising? Do you like where they are taking Ezra’s character? Comment and let me know. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea - Movie Review: Don't Let the Trailers Fool You

Can a movie made today about whaling make an audience root
for whalers and not the whales?
In the Heart of the Sea directed by Ron Howard and staring
Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, and Tom Holland.  It is the story of the whaling ship Essex and
how it was attacked by a whale and sunk.
This true life tale is what Herman Melville based Moby Dick off of.
Let’s start with this. The trailers for this movie are
misleading. From what they have shown the movie looks like a jaws remake, but
with a whale. Maybe an adaptation of Moby Dick instead of an event based on
true life.  This is not that story. This
is a survival story, and I hope the marketing for the movie doesn’t turn people
off after they go and see it.
The movie starts out with Herman Melville going to visit the
last surviving member of the Essex, the cabin boy Thomas Nickerson. The older
version of Nickerson is played by Brendan Gleeson who does a great job playing
the troubled soul. Melville has come for the true account of the Essex to
inspire his work of fiction.
After some coaxing Nickerson agrees to recount the events.
We flashback and are introduced to Chris Hemsworth character Owen Chase, first
mate of the Essex.  Make no mistake, this
is Chris Hemsworth’s movie. You are drawn to him in every scene and his
charisma leaps off the screen. It’s not hard to imagine wanting to work for and
to be led by Hemsworth’s character Owen Chase.
This is the second time Hemsworth and Howard have worked together, both
on movies based on true life events. Rush was a good movie as well, and proved
Hemsworth is not just a pretty face who can put on a cape. Hopefully we are
seeing the beginnings of a phenomenal director and actor team.
Howard’s directing seems to be at his best when telling a
true life event. He captures a mid-19th century whaling city
magically. The screen transports you back to that time. The exposition to
inform the audience of how important whale oil is to the culture was expertly
and seamlessly integrated into the movie.
Then we get to the majesty of the sailing and putting to sea. I’m by no
means a nautical expert, but the sea, like outer space, fascinates me. To
explore the unknown and the dangers it entails has always captivated my imagination. 
Shortly after they put to sea we get the obligatory storm
scene. It’s an ok scene, but a few times during the film the action seems a bit
jumbled on the screen and you lose a feel for what’s going on. It’s during this
storm scene and when they encounter the massive whale that didn’t flow together
very well.
There is an action scene expertly done though, and it is the
first time they go on a whale hunt. The excitement leaps off the screen and it
has you on the edge of your seat during the first “Nantucket sleigh ride.”
Howard however did this in a way that you still feel for the
whales. They still are majestic creatures and at no point did I truly want the
whalers to win the day. The scene is shot in such a way that is exciting, but
sad and reverential at the same time. Then we get the disgusting harvest scene,
and not to spoil anything, but it’s not for people with weak stomachs.
Almost the entire second half of the movie is about survival
and man’s own hubris.  They did a good
job of exploring this aspect, but one scene was to on the nose. An exchange
between Chase and Captain Pollard spoon-feeds us the main theme of the movie. I
could have done without this exchange, but it didn’t take too much away from
the rest of the movie.
For a history nut like me I really enjoyed the movie and
being transported back to the 19th century. Some might say this
movie is slow, but I thought the pacing was spot on. Every time the story
needed a shot in the arm we flash back to Melville and Nickerson to break up the
some of the monotony of being stranded at sea.
Like I said before this is a survival story, the trailers
have made it out to look like man vs whale, but it’s a very short aspect of the
movie. This is about the human will to survive, and our overall place in the
world. If this type of historical drama interests you then this movie is well
Worth Seeing. See it in the theaters to get the full effect of everything going
on, but don’t expect a movie full of action.
I enjoyed the movie, but I can see that it probably isn’t for everyone.
I would watch it again, but it not a movie I have to own.  The main themes of the movie do get drilled
into the audience a bit, and I can see that being a complaint of the movie as
well.  One of the very last lines of the
movie made me roll my eyes.
So go see this movie if you like historical movies, and
don’t expect to root for the men to actually kill the whales. You never truly
do.  One last note for all the superhero nerds
and geeks, Tom Holland, who will be playing the new Spiderman does a fine job
in this movie, and I can see him being a good Peter Parker and Spiderman.
That’s it. If you like the video give me a thumbs up. Share
if you think it’s worth sharing. Comment and let me know if you are still
interested in seeing the movie knowing the trailers are somewhat misleading.  Subscribe and or click the links at the end
to hear me babble on some more. Thanks for watching, bye.
My Rating: Worth Seeing (In the theaters if you do or
largest screen available afterword’s) 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Star Wars Rebels S2E9 The Future of the Force Review/Recap (Spoilers!): Ahsoka > Inquisitors

The Future of the Force was an interesting and exciting episode of Star Wars Rebels. New storylines opened up and we were treated to a great fight between Ahsoka and the Inquisitors. The amount of content this episode packed into a half hour was impressive. There was not much, if any, wasted time in the episode with every scene or occurrence having an overall impact.
The best part of the episode was the ending. Ahsoka showed up at the right time to deal with both Inquisitors, and she handled them with ease. The wink she gave Ezra before taking them on was perfect. It shows she still is the cocky Padawan who was trained by Anakin in the Clone Wars. She still enjoys a good fight, and it looks like she stayed in practice. The scene played out in the perfect way, though I wonder what would have happened if the Stormtroopers wouldn’t have shown up. Would Ahsoka take the two Inquisitors captive? I’m not sure how that would have played out. The more logical story decision was made for backup to arrive and Ahsoka to escape with everyone else.
What makes for a new interesting storyline are the force sensitive children. It’s not something which has been addressed in any of the new Star Wars cannon. What is happening to all the force sensitive people during this time period? Are they all being hunted down by Inquisitors? Does the Emperor have a way of locating them? Why wasn’t Luke located if this was the case? I enjoy when new story elements open up more story possibilities. The introduction of the Empire hunting down force sensitive individuals opens up numerous other storylines for the show to explore, along with other mediums. The end of the episode was interesting with Kanan making the statement that it is the teams job to protect the force sensitive children, since the Jedi are gone.
This could become Ahsoka primary mission in the show. She will start searching for force sensitive children and establishing a place to protect them. This would allow her to still pop in and out of episodes. I still think all signs point to Ahsoka having a confrontation with Darth Vader at some point during this season. We know how that will likely end. It could become a short story arc for the crew to go hunting for children as well, but it can’t be the main focus of the show. I’m not sure how they will proceed, but we know the Inquisitors will be planning a visit with information picked up by the probe droid.
The probe droid usage was a good callback to the previous time we met the 7th sister. We saw her use them before, and her deploying one in front of the apartment was good storytelling. How likely would it be for Ezra to drop that little nugget of information at exactly the right time? It is a stretch, but it works for the show. The luck for the crew of the Spector may be running out. Dark times have been looming, and this may be the start of the challenges that lay ahead. This leads to my only real issue with episode tonight. It never felt like the team was in any true danger.
Going through the episode and with each encounter with the Inquisitors I never felt like there was any danger for Ezra, Zeb and Kanan. I knew they were going to get out of the episode and everything would be fine. They would save the children and Ahsoka would help. For a Disney animated show this makes perfect sense. However we have been teased with bad things are on the way for our crew, but they haven’t shown up yet. I haven’t felt any looming danger for the crew since the first episode with the 7th sister. This is probably going to change, but everyone in the show is too comfortable working against Imperial forces. They are not all stumbling buffoons. It’s time to feel the menacing hand of the Emperor.
The episode was fun and entertaining, but in the end I was left wanting just a bit more out of it. I wanted the Inquisitors to be more of a threat to Ezra and Kanan. It was great to see Ahsoka in action and for a new story element to be introduced. It will be interesting to see where they take the force children and how they will protect them. It was an overall solid effort, but not quite as good as lasts week’s installment.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Favorite part? I know they are limited with the show being aimed at a younger audience, but do you think a darker tone in the story is needed in the show like I do? Comment and let me know.