Thursday, December 29, 2016

What type of Neil Armstrong Biopic Do We Want?

News dropped today from THR that Ryan Gosling would be teaming up with director of La La Land, Damien Chazelle, again to star in a biopic film centered around Astronaut legend Neil Armstrong.

According to the article the film will center around the space race to the moon, and Armstrong's part in the Apollo space program from 1961 to 1969. My question is this: Is this the story that should be told for the legendary American hero?

Most people know the story about America's race to the moon, or at least part of it. I was hoping the film might focus on Armstrong's life after he landed on the moon and how he handled the fame. I think Chazelle would be the perfect director to tackle this type of story with what he has done with Whiplash and La La Land. Both of these films dealt with dreams and how to try and handle success or how to succeed.

This is not to say having him direct a film about the space race is something he can't do. The story will still be a great fit. I'm sure we will get a great look at how Armstrong dealt with the pressure of being shot into space and traveling over two hundred thousand miles from Earth. This however has been done before so I was hoping for a different look at the man and his legend.

I'm a history nut, and have the Bachelors to prove it, and this time period with NASA's history in particular is something I have always been fascinated with. I'm all for getting another movie about how we went to the moon with a focus on the man who lead the mission. Gosling will be fantastic in the role and Chazelle will bring a great eye to the project.

What do you think about the project? Would you have rather them focused on another part of Armstrong's life? Comment and let me know.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Moonlight - Movie Review: A Story in Three Parts

Maybe I watched a different movie than all of the critics praising this film.

Moonlight: Starring Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes and directed by Barry Jenkins. These actors are the three individuals who play the main character of the film during three different time periods of the character’s life. We see the character, Chiron who also goes by Little and Black, at three different crucial times in his life and how those events shape the person he is to eventually become. It is an ambitious film and one which has been garnering major praise from critics. The film is well acted, well shot, has a compelling story, but lacked an overall connected narrative.

The three actors who play the main character all do a good to great job in portraying Chiron. It wasn’t hard to believe each actor was the same person during the time hops. The child actor was good in the role. He wasn’t Jake Tremblay in Room good, but good nonetheless. Big story elements for the character however seemed forced into the narrative during this cross section of his life rather than letting it naturally develop. If the story was able to develop all in one-time period, the character traits revealed would have seemed more natural to the story overall. Having the story told in small cross section of the character’s life is an interesting way to construct the film, but in the end each small story wasn’t enough to stand on its own and weekend the film overall.

The child portion of the story wasn’t really needed for the main narrative of the film. The movie could have started with the adolescent character and established many of the same elements during the younger portion of the character’s life. Barry Jenkins could have cut out the younger portion or shortened it and focused on other character traits during the adolescent portion of the story. There is one major reveal during the young portion of the film which seemed out of left field and wasn’t needed during this portion of the story. It could have been established during the teen years of the story to be more effective. The story overall is interesting and the character empathetic, but it just didn’t have the amount of impact if it had been told in a different way.

I haven’t read many other reviews for the movie, but many critics have the film as one of the best of the year and saying it will be in contention for best picture. It is the main reason I decided to go see Moonlight, but I was disappointed in how the story and film were executed overall. I can see why the film is receiving high praise for the subject it deals with. It’s a topic and subject which should be looked at and explored, but the execution of the story in Moonlight was lacking. For me the story was interesting, but the way it was implemented did not have me engaged. If each of the narratives had told the stories in a slightly different way it could have been excellent.

Saying that, many people felt the film was excellent. It currently sits at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes with 177 fresh reviews and three rotten. I wouldn’t give the film a Rotten rating if I were to give it a number score, but it would just make the fresh meter instead of rotten. Maybe many of the critics do feel this way, but from what I’m seeing many think the film has a shot at best picture. For me there are numerous other worthy contenders this year. I’m in the firm minority on this one, but the film didn’t tell the story in a compelling way which made me invested in the character. If we got more time with any one of the three stories told in part, I think it would have helped the film immensely.

Those are my thoughts on Moonlight, comment and let me know what you think if you have seen it. Like share subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher – A Tribute

The world lost a legend in Carrie Fisher. Not just for her acting talent, but for her incredible personality and light she brought to the world. She was an incredible writer who polished numerous scripts and wrote some truly inspirational novels about her own life and struggles. She seemed an open book and lived life to fullest amount possible. I would stop and watch anytime I saw an interview with her and she was one of the best follows on social media. She was an entertainer and a truly inspirational one. It’s a little silly to be affected by a loss of someone you have never met, but 
I’ve watched Carrie Fisher perform so many times as Princess Leia she became a small part of my life. While that is a tad silly, it is the sentiment me and many others around the world feel today with the loss of a truly remarkable women.

For many, including myself the films of Star Wars have become something more than simply movies. A piece of this mythos was lost to time today, and while we can always revisit her on screen it will now always be tinged with a pang of sadness for the light which was snuffed out too quickly. In today’s age, 60 is still too young to be lost. She should have had twenty more years to shine her light on the world. She won’t get to know her eventual Grandchildren nor spend time with her daughter, and this is the true tragedy. I feel for their loss and while it is a simple platitude my thoughts are with them, as are countless millions of others around the world. This probably is not a comfort, but it’s the truth.

Carrie Fisher played a character which will be remembered for as long as there are movies and people on this Earth. She should be remembered for the person she actually was, which was more interesting and inspiring than the bad ass snarky Princes she portrayed in Star Wars. I love her for her performance in Star Wars, but I respect, admired, and loved everything she did outside of it even more. She will be missed by me and millions of fans everywhere. I hope she finds peace in death, and if there is any kind of afterlife I’m sure she is making people laugh now that’s she there. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Song Choice in Trailers - Are They Even Trying Anymore?

There have been many trailers to come out this year which used weird song choices. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is the latest using a song completely unrelated to the tone. Star Trek Beyond did this with it's Rihanna trailer and Assassin's Creed never seemed to know what type of song choice to use to nail down the tone it was shooting for. Warcraft preceded the other video game based movie with a weird song choice. 

Trailers for films are using big name artists to try and drive up awareness for their movies, but at the expense of telling the audience what type of story the film will tell. Song choice in trailers is important and can add to what type of tone the movie is going to set. Take Logan for example. There is no better song choice for a trailer this year than using Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt. It perfectly highlighted the dystopian future the movie is set in. It set the tone for the entire trailer and lets the audience know what type of film it's going to be. 

Having random artists promote their new song on a trailer is a detriment to the film. If they want to use a new song it should fit the tone of the story the film is trying to tell. Warcraft and Assassin's Creed should both have used instrumental scores to promote their films, but instead used pop songs or weird dubstep.  I hate to see marketing departments try and increase awareness by picking a random artist which they think will get views on a trailer instead of what makes the most sense for the film.

Maybe this is just the natural evolution in movie promotion, but I hope trailers like Logan and others continue to try and pick songs and music which highlight the films tone. Maybe it goes hand in hand with how good the film will be as well, but that wasn't the case for Star Trek. 

Comment and let me know your thoughts on trailers and their song choice.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Emoji Movie Trailer - Sony Pictures Strikes Again

Sony's motion picture department hasn't had the best year with regards to trailers. First the Ghostbusters trailer became one of the most disliked videos on YouTube and now, in all their wisdom, they released the trailer for the Emoji movie. 

The Emoji movie is probably in direct response to the success of The Lego Movie. An executive at Sony thought having the license to all of the different symbols on phones would make a terrific film. The movie could be good, but everything about it reeks of a money grab. Someone saw merchandises opportunities and greenlit the film. 

One small glimmer of hope for me comes in how the above trailer was shot and released. It's in portrait mode instead of landscape, and I really hope it's a troll to everyone who can't stand people who release videos shot in Portrait. It drove me crazy. I hope this is the case and they just didn't do it because emoji's are on phones and releasing it this way resembles a phone. I really hope it was a clever troll and not the latter, but I have a sinking feeling it was. I can hope someone creating the movie has some semblance of humor and is actually is thinking about marketing the movie. 

What would be great is if the film ends up being rated R in the vain of Sausage Party and the entire movie is a troll. I highly doubt this is the case, but the studio did release Sausage Party. The people at Sony have to realize how horrible the idea of this movie seems and that it looks like a giant money grab. This is the why I think it might just be a ploy, especially with someone like TJ Miller attached. Probably not, but I can hope. 

How much did you hate the trailer? Do you think it is one of the worst ideas for a movie ever?  Comment and let me know. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sequel Trailer Day – Blade Runner 2049 & John Wick Chapter 2

Trailers for Blade Runner 2049 and John Wick were released today and they show two very different types of films to get excited for in 2017.

Blade Runner 2049 looks to bring the audience right back into the world Ridley Scott brought to the big screen in 1982. The original Blade Runner was adapted from the Phillip K Dick book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep, and is considered one the best Science Fiction films made.  The trailer didn’t show much, but it did give off a distinct noir tone the film will likely follow. I wasn’t overly impressed with the trailer, because it didn’t really show anything other than Harrison Ford’s character making an appearance and some pretty shots with Ryan Gosling. I’m still extremely excited for the film due to the fact Dennis Villeneuve is directing along with Roger Deakins as his cinematographer. After first hearing about a Blade Runner sequel I was skeptical, but after Villeneuve became attached the skepticism turned to immediate excitement. He has yet to direct a bad film and I highly doubt he would have taken the job unless he believed it was a story worth telling. Arrival is one of my favorite films of the year, and Sicario was one of my favorite from the year before. Let’s hope the trend continues with Blade Runner 2049 in 2017.

John Wick Chapter 2 is another sequel which I never would have thought would happen after initially seeing trailers for the first film. The original John Wick was not promoted, and looked to be a film the studio did not believe in. When it hit theaters it met with critical success and found an audience on home video. It was an amazing action movie and united audiences everywhere after the bad guys killed John Wick’s dog gave to him by his dying wife. It also established an interesting world of assassins and a sequel was easy to see after the film became popular. The entire team from the first film is coming back for the second installment and the trailer shows more of the insane action from the first film. I do hope the movie isn’t going to fall prey to the usual folly of sequels by just making things bigger at the expense of story. The trailer did highlight many action sequences seemed to be over the top, but there were many of those in the first as well. As long as the action serves the story then I’ll bank on the directors who provided the first hit to do the same again.

Comment and let me know what you thought of each of the trailers which dropped today. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rogue One Spoiler Thoughts - Let's Talk About Galen Erso & His Actions

Rogue One A Star Wars Story has blasted into the box office and has become a critical and audience success. The film adds to the mythos of Star Wars universe and does a great job of tying into the original trilogy by leading directly into A New Hope. It is a well put together movie which I will be able to watch multiple times because of the characters and story it tells. It isn’t a perfect film and while I will sing it’s praises one big issue which bothered me is the decision to let Galen Erso intentionally build in the design “flaw” to the Death Star.

I very well may be in the minority on this, but I never thought the thermal exhaust port on the Death Star was a flaw in the design or a plot hole in Episode Four. I did an entire other video on why I didn’t think this was the case. I said in the video if Rogue One shows Galen putting in the flaw it would be a very poorly designed design flaw. He does state in Rogue One that he has to be careful with how he did it, but it still took a person who was exceptionally strong in the force to be able to exploit the flaw. Since Galen intentionally created this flaw he should have made it to wear the Rebellion had more of a shot to succeed in destroying the Death Star.

Having Galen purposely create this flaw opens up more plot holes than if he didn’t in my opinion. If he would have simply known about the weakness in the Death Star and tried to get that information to the Rebels, it would fit the story more. Having the flaw be intentional makes Galen appear incompetent as a character. Since Luke is the only who is able to blow up the Death Star it makes Galen’s flaw an extremely poor one for the Rebels to exploit. This is a plot hole. Having Galen design something no regular person can possibly exploit makes no sense. He would have to have known the Rebellion had Jedi’s on their side which could guide torpedoes into the small opening for him to purposefully implement this flaw.

If Galen would have simply known there was the small weakness in the Death Star or just know where the plans where it would have made more sense for the story. I understand Galen’s character motivations for wanting to help the Rebellion and having him intentionally make the flaw builds on this trait, but Galen’s specialty was harnessing the power of the Kyber crystals, not on the propulsion system. Maybe the thermal exhaust port the Rebellion used to exploit has to do with the weapon system, but I always thought it was tied into the reactor system for the Death Star. Maybe the novelization of Rogue One can clear this up, or Lucasfilm’s canon master Pablo Hidalgo. Galen wouldn’t have had access to the propulsion systems to build in his flaw if this is the case. It would almost have to tie into the weapons system for the story to now make sense. Less questions story wise would have been raised for him to just know there is a weakness and then try to get word to the Rebellion.

This all of course is predicated on if you think Star Wars A New Hope had a plot hole tied to the exhaust port. I never did, and think it’s a plot device used to highlight what Luke is able to achieve. Think about firing a small exploding bomb into the tail pipe of a car. The tail pipe is tied directly to the combustion engine, and this isn’t considered a design flaw for cars. If someone driving fires a bullet packed with explosives into a running parked car it would cause the car to be destroyed. Think about the impossibility of that type of shot, and all it would entail. This is essentially what Luke accomplished, and having the flaw now be purposeful just doesn’t fit for me. Maybe it is all connected to the Force and the Force willed Galen to design the flaw in such a way because it was Luke’s destiny to destroy the Death Star. Weak, but I’ll go with it, because in the end Rogue One is a fantastic movie, even if I had a problem with this part of the plot.

Rogue One is a great Star Wars film. I just wished they would have found another way for Galen to help the Rebellion and it to fit his character. I wouldn’t have minded him actually being distraught from losing his wife and thinking he lost Jyn. He then would have helped the Empire until he realized Jyn was still alive. Then he tells the Rebellion where the plans to the Death Star or that there is a weakness. I’m still probably in the minority on this, so if you think differently let me know why having a tail pipe on the Death Star is a plot hole. Like share subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rogue One (A Star Wars Story) – Movie Review: Is it for Everyone?

Rogue One is a different kind of Star Wars Movie.

Rogue One A Star Wars Story, I still like anthology better, starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen and directed by Gareth Edwards. Rogue One is the first standalone film set in the Star Wars universe and is about how a group of Rebels steals the plans for the Death Star, and ties directly into the events of Star Wars A New Hope. Taking a small blurb from the crawl text of Episode Four and turning it into a two-hour film may seem unrealistic, but everyone involved made the movie a soaring success. It adds layers and depth to Star Wars Episode Four, and it will be a welcome addition to most Star Wars Fans.

Is Rogue One for the average Star Wars fan or people who aren’t fans of the franchise at all? I loved the movie after the first viewing and will be going back again to see it multiple times. I’m not sure I can separate myself to say if this film is for everyone. I have read all the comics, all the adult books and most of the young adult novelizations for the new Star Wars Canon. This gives more insight into what has been happening since the end of Episode three with characters like Tarkin, Darth Vader and others. The book Catalyst was an excellent introduction and prequel to Rogue One. The start of the movie is a really the next chapter in the book, and if you are a fan of any of the books Catalyst is worth reading and then watching Rogue One. It adds so much backstory and nuance to relationships in the movie, that I’m not sure I can be objective about how much I liked the film because I have read the book. I don’t think people have to read the book to enjoy Rogue One, but it does greatly enhance the story. Due to this Rogue One is more of a fans Star Wars film, but I still would recommend it to anyone who likes a good action adventure film.

The story is excellent and takes the audience on a fantastic ride. The third act of the movie will leave no one disappointed. It is the first Star Wars movie to really look at the war between the Rebellion and the Empire, and show the ground soldiers and their struggle. It also expands the universe overall, adding to the structure of the Rebellion and how they went about combating the Empire. The characters introduced are all great, and everyone is raving about K2-SO, the droid voiced by Alan Tudyk, for good reason. He provides the right amount of humor throughout a dark gritty story. Felicity Jones performance as Jyn Erso ties the entire movie together. She does a fantastic job as the main focus of the film. Diego Luna character’s, Cassian Andor, is a more complex Rebel than has ever been shown, and I really enjoyed his character in the movie. It added a deeper layer to the soldiers who fight for the Rebellion. Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang characters are not delved into too deeply, but the chemistry between them is fantastic. I don’t think much backstory was needed for them during this film, but I would hope we get a book or another form of medium diving into how they met. I also want to know more about the Jedi Temple on Jedha and what they did there.  

With any film there are also some drawbacks. I’ve got two, one about the actual film, and then one a nerdy complaint about how it affects the overall Star Wars universe. The only story complaint I had for the movie is that the first ten minutes jumped around too much setting up the story. There are a bunch of different worlds introduced and we move around to some of the major characters extremely quickly and it is a bit jarring. Once Cassian and Jyn meet up the pace flows well and the rest of the film isn’t an issue. I won’t get into my nerdy complaint until a spoiler’s video, but I don’t like something the movie tries to “fix” within the main Star Wars storyline. I don’t think anything needed to be fixed, and this issue is the only time I was disappointed with the film. This fix will make many people happy, but I think it actually takes away from something else which comes in a later movie.

Overall though Rogue One is a fantastic amazing addition to the Star Wars universe and I can’t wait to see it again. I will be going multiple times to see it in theaters and I think the film’s success will ensure many more Star Wars anthology films. This movie is well worth seeing for any casual Star Wars fan and I think people who aren’t fans can still enjoy it for the emotional war story the film provides. The film is geared more towards the hard core fans, but I do think anyone can enjoy it. Let me know what you think and what your favorite parts of the film were in the comments below. Like share subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dunkirk - Trailer Review/Discussion: Stunning

There are very few directors who can garner excitement just by attaching themselves to a project. Christopher Nolan has earned the right with all of the movies he has made over the past fifteen years.  He hasn't had a miss, and adding a World War Two film to his filmography is exciting. 

Dunkirk is a moment in history which should be explored, and Nolan is a perfect fit to create a movie around the event. The trailer is simply stunning. The shots and mood are immediately set from the brief moments seen in the short two minutes. The trailer itself is a small piece of art, and is well constructed to show off how emotional the film will be. 

As a history nutt the historical event of Dunkirk is a moment during World War Two which has intrigued me. It can be seen as a major turning g point in the war, and is one of the first blunders made by Germans. They could have wiped out the Allied resistance, but instead allowed soldiers to escape and eventually be part of the invading force for D-Day four years later. 

I can only imagine the emotional resonance the film is going to provide when every available ship from commercial and personal came to the soldiers aide. It's a story made for cinema and I'm surprised no one has tried before. I'm glad Nolan is getting the first shot, and this film is high on my most anticipated films to come out next year. 

What did you think of the trailer? Comment and let me know. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

David Ayer to direct Margot Robbie in Gotham City Sirens Film - Let's Speculate on Catwoman and Poison Ivy

The Hollywood Reporter had an article today with news that David Ayer would be stepping backing into the DC Universe to direct a new project with Margot Robbie who would be reprising her role as Harley Quinn. The new film is apparently going to focus on the comic series The Sirens which along with Quinn features Catwoman and Posion Ivy. With that news what better thing to do than speculate on which actresses should be cast in the roles.

Eva Green would be a perfect choice for Catwomen. She has played the villain in 300 Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For extremely well. While both of those films may not have been the greatest sequels she was excellent in both, and Rise of an Empire is a guilty pleasure of mine. She would be a natural fit to play the troubled anti-hero who has an on-again off-again relationship with the Dark Knight. The more I think about her in the role the more I want to see it. There are, of course, many other actresses which could work, but she is far and away my first choice.

For Poison Ivy I don't have a strong a feeling for who should be cast in the role, but Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones fame wouldn't be a bad place for the casting director to start. She could easily play the sexy seductress who can control plants. Emma Stone might be another popular choice, but she might have priced herself out of a assemble film such as this. Rose Leslie has already shown she can play a tough character in Game of Thrones and stepping into Poison Ivy's shoes wouldn't be difficult. Her natural Irish accent wouldn't hurt the role either. Maybe an unknown or a even a lesser known talent could be cast in the role, but she would be a good fit and garner excitement for the film.

It's probably (it is) too early to think about casting for a film which may never get off the ground. However, with the popularity of Margot's performance as Harley Quinn and the character's popularity overall the project has a good chance of being on the DC film slate.  It's always fun to speculate on who could get the role and I think these too actress would bring great talent to the DCEU.

Comment and let me know who your choices would be for the two roles. Like share and all that fun stuff.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Assassin’s Creed Final Trailer - Review/Discussion: Finally

The last and final trailer for the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie was the best to come out for the video game adaptation film. There was no strange song choice and the film highlighted more of what the story will be about. 

The most exciting thing about adapting Assassin's Creed into a film is how interesting the world the game created. Being able to access your ancestors history and experience/control them through a machine is, for lack of a better word, cool. As a history nut and a huge science fiction fan, combining both of these worlds is right up my ally. 

I was a big fan of the first three Assassin's Creed games and while the last couple didn't interest me, the overall concept still does. The game naturally lends itself to a movie adaptation and it's exciting the movie is telling it's own story instead of trying to do a straight adaptation from the first few games. There does seem to be similarities between the first movie and game, but it takes place in a different time period and location. 

I am still hesitant about the film. There hasn't been a good video game adaptation and I'll believe it when I actually see it. The biggest issue is how they are using the action. They shouldn't be beholden to the action from the game. The action should be a natural development from the story and what makes the most sense for the movie, not for a game being adapted to a film There is no need to try and incorporate every type of action the game provides. The film already has a built in fan base from the people who played the game, they aren't going to be disappointed if it doesn't include certain types of game mechanics. I'm worried they will put CG action into the film to try and make the action look and feel like the game when it isn't needed. 

The movie has an all star cast and a good director. Hopefully the studio is behind whatever vision the team came up with and the end product will be a success. There are many video game stories which could lend itself to film, and hopefully Assassin's Creed starts a video game trend for movies. 

What did you think of the final trailer for Assassin's Creed? Comment and let me know. Like, share, subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E10 Visions and Voices Review/Recap (Spoilers): Maul is Coming.

I predict we will hear James Arnold Taylor’s voice in the show before the end of the season.

The tenth episode for Star Wars Rebels season three, Visions and Voices, is a continuation of the story from second, The Holocrons of Fate. Ezra starts to see and hear Maul and passes out during a briefing about an attack on the Lothal Weapons plant. Ezra and Kanan go in search of Bendu where Maul appears. He asks Ezra to come with him to finish the ceremony they started with the Holocrons. Ezra agrees so he can gain the information to defeat the Sith. Kanan manages to slip a tracker on Ezra so he can follow them. Visions and Voices was a solid mid-season finale episode which continued a major story thread introduced early in the season, and opened more questions needing to be answered.

The star of the episode is Darth Maul, and a tip of the hat has to go to Sam Witwer performance. He did a phenomenal job in conveying Maul’s different emotions through the episode. The character genially seemed to feel disappointed in Ezra’s choice to stay behind and not join him. Maul is undoubtedly a villain, but he is also a tragic figure. At every turn he comes close to succeeding in his goal only to be thwarted. He witnessed his home planet destroyed, and all his people wiped out. While Maul brought much of the tragedy on himself he was also pressed into service by Sidious and the Witches of Dathomir. He is not wholly unsympathetic figure, but still not someone who can be trusted. All of these aspects are represented in Visions and Voices, and it’s understandable that Maul’s one remaining goal is to seek revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi.

 While Maul is the main highlight of the episode, he is also the problem. Why did he not go to the Rebel base as soon as he knew where it was if he knew Ezra held the answer to his question? He could have shown up in the next third episode to continue this story line. Instead he waits and randomly shows up just before a big mission. The show could have shown glimpses in the other episodes of Ezra having visions of Maul. Ezra could have been struggling with this knowledge throughout the first part of the season, and trying to hide it from the rest of the crew. Then when the visions finally become so extreme he passes out, it wouldn’t have felt so sudden for the story overall. This would have also provided some connective tissue through the entire first half of the season building to this episode. Not every episode would have had to include a vision of Maul, but just enough to keep this story in the forefront. They could have also shown Maul deducing he needed Ezra, and show Maul reaching out to him and trying to influence him.

This complaint aside the episode was stunning and adds to the lore of Star War by showcasing the Witches of Dathomir and their different take on the force. The ending with Ezra and how he was able to destroy the alter and their power was well done. It was a good climax for the episode, and highlighted how clever Ezra can be. While his character has taken a step back from the first part of the season when he was dabbling with the dark side he took more of a step forward in this episode. Ezra wasn’t tempted by Maul at all in this episode and this makes me think he won’t end up turning to the dark side. It was good see the story focus more on Ezra again, and the different aspects of the force.

The episode also opens up the possibility of Obi-Wan Kenobi making an appearance in the show. My guess is part of the second half of the season will build to a fight between Maul and Kenobi. Does this mean Maul will travel to Tatooine or will Kenobi seek out Maul? It might be the latter if Kenobi has felt Maul searching for him. He wouldn’t want Maul coming to Tatooine and discovering Luke. This again brings up the question of continuity and Ob-Wan not hearing his name in a long time, and not going by it in a long time. It will be an interesting issue to get around, but one I’m willing to forgive if we get more stories about the old hermit beyond the dune sea.

Visions and Voices was a strong ending for the mid-season. I hope the second half of the season continues to build a more cohesive story and there aren’t as many side missions which seem unrelated. The second half could have more connected stories, just by the first half coming back around and impacting stories in the second half of the season. Sabine and Mandalore could still play a major role, especially with her picking up the dark saber at the end of the episode.

Comment and let me know what you thought of tonight’s episode. Like, share, subscribe and all that fun stuff.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Baywatch Trailer Review/Discussion – Did It Try Too Hard?

A new DuckTales series is starting and there is a Baywatch Movie. Did I go back late 80’s?

The Baywatch trailer dropped, and I was honestly looking forward to watching it. I was never a massive fan of the television show, because it was silly, but any boy who was 8-12 years old during the shows heyday watched some episodes for obvious reasons.  I was excited when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson signed on for a comedy remake of the series. The trailer today shows the movie is trying for the 21 Jump Street model by remaking an old television show and turning it into a farce. Baywatch, to begin with, was a ridiculous premise for a show, and was mainly to watch pretty people run in slow motion on the beach. Which the trailer happily makes fun of.

The trailer for Baywatch tried a little too hard to make sure everyone knew it was a comedy. The first line spoken in the trailer to The Rock is a little cheesy and over the top, but it’s the tone they are shooting for. I’m sure the scene will play better in context with the film but probably shouldn’t have been the opening line of the trailer. There are jokes which didn’t work in the trailer, but again it could be because they are out of context in the film. There are other jokes which had me laughing out loud. The last joke with the African American cop had me laughing both times I watched the trailer.

I don’t know if Baywatch is going to be a good comedy film, but the trailer didn’t completely turn me off. It looks like they are shooting for an over the top silly action comedy, which is exactly the type of tone the movie should shoot for. Who knows if the jokes and action will play well, but having The Rock attached to the project gives me hope the movie will turn out great. This is a movie he really wanted to do, and I’m intrigued to see how if he can pull it off. From all of the set photos and interviews from the cast it looked like everyone was having fun on set. This doesn’t mean the movie is going to be good, but if people are having fun and are passionate about a project then it has more of a shot than when people are just going through motions for a paycheck.

The movie has the cast to be a success. They put Zac Efron in the perfect role to succeed, and Alexandra Daddario is both a very talented actress and extremely stunning. the question is if the director from Horrible Bosses can execute a funny film. I didn’t hate that film, but I didn’t love it either. Regardless I’m going to be seeing this film in the theaters just for a little bit of nostalgia and the hopes it makes me laugh. I’m excited for it, and while the trailer wasn’t the best, it wasn’t a dumpster fire either. Comment and let me know what you thought of the trailer. Like, Share, Subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Series Teaser | DuckTales | Disney XD - Excited!

There are not many cartoons which I loved more when I was a kid than Ducktales. I would come home from school and it would be a show I couldn't miss. There were very few of those, and it is the only show I have sought out to own on DVD. If they came out with Blu-Ray's for the show I would upgrade to them. 

Last year's announcement of a new Ducktales series left me a little giddy. I still pop in the originals and watch, and I'm excited to see the reimagined vision of the classic cartoon. It probably won't live up to my nostalgic love of the original, but it is something I can watch with my two boys. I just hope they include Gizmoduck. 

The announcement trailer shows absolutely nothing, but it is still enough just to hear the theme song play and to see the title to come out. The teaser announcement trailers show more than this, but it still gets me excited for the new show, whenever it comes out. 

Comment and let me know if you are excited for the new Ducktales show. Like, share, subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Do We Really Want Rebels in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?

Nerdist ran a story today showing an image of a ship which looks like the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels in a new television spot for Rogue One: Star Wars Story. There is little question the ship is the same type as the Ghost. The ship is the exact same design and has the same engine lights. This is a fantastic Easter Egg for fans of Star Wars Rebels, but the cameo for the crew should end here, if the ship is even the Ghost to begin with. I imagine we will eventually find out what happens to the crew of the Ghost on the show of Rebels and having them survive past Rogue One presents too many continuity problems for canon.

Seeing Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, Hera and Zeb make a physical appearance in Rogue One would be amazing, and would make sense if the crew survives through the end of the show. It doesn’t make sense for the main universal narrative if they do survive. Sabine, Hera or Zeb could make it out of the show, but Ezra and Kanan will have to meet some sort of end or Luke would have some knowledge of them. This would have to be the case or the two would have leave the Rebellion and disappear before Luke burst on the scene in A New Hope.  If we still get a small nod in Rogue One of Rebels, like the appearance of the ship, this is the perfect amount of fan service to provide.

I think Lucasfilm knows it has a major fan base for Rebels, and to have any small nod to the show is perfect for fans. The story group however won’t take it too far, and will probably claim the ship is just the same design. Either way it is always good to know how much attention to detail Lucasfilm and the millions of Star Wars fans pay to the property. It’s what makes being Star Wars fans great, and it continues to drive more excitement for the upcoming release of Rogue One.

Do you think the crew of the Ghost in in the ship during the fight we see in Rogue One? Comment and let me know. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Transformers: The Last Knight - Teaser Trailer Review/Discussion - Is Anyone Who Speaks English Excited?

Well it's here. The trailer for the highly anticipated(?) fifth film in the Transformers franchise titled Transformers: The Last Knight. Why not throw in some Arthur lore and Nazi's into an already highly packed and stylized franchise? 

Transformers isn't for me. I was never a huge fan of the toys or cartoon in the 80's, didn't like the first film, and haven't seen any of the others. They just don't interest me, and I'm surprised anyone who speaks English is excited. 

I saw nothing in this trailer which would give me hope this film is going to be anything different than another Michael Bay action spectacular with little to no story. The voiceover by Anthony Hopkins does nothing for me. He didn't deliver it with any purpose or meaning, and just sounded like he was reading words. It had shades of Orson Welles performing for the animated movie.  If this did get people excited to go see the movie I'm glad, I just know it isn't for me. 

Nothing in this trailer got me excited. It looks like the same extremely glossy fake CG Michael Bay has been delivering for the past nine years since the first film came out. I know there are millions of people who love the Transformers and have enjoyed the movies, but this isn't my type of fun silly action film. Maybe that's because they always seem to take themselves seriously and don't play to the campy nature of the property. 

If you like the trailer and love the property more power to you and I hope you enjoy the film. I hope it is a fantastic movie and everyone thinks The Last Knight is leaps and bounds the best in the franchise. 

Comment and let me know what you thought of the trailer. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E9 An Inside Man Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Movement

The ninth episode for the third season of Star Wars Rebels, An Inside Man, featured the crew of the Ghost going back to Ezra’s home planet of Lothal to infiltrate an Imperial construction factory. The crew gets word from their informant, Fulcrum, the Empire has a secret project at the factory. While in disguise at the facility Grand Admiral Thrawn makes a surprise inspection visit to question the quality of the work which has been malfunctioning in use. Thrawn locks down the factory to ensure worker productivity, and forces Ezra and Kannan to try and escape with information about the secret project in development.

The biggest takeaway from the episode is it advanced a bigger narrative for the story overall. Agent Kallus was revealed to be Fulcrum. His time with Zeb on the moon of Geonosis made changed his perspective towards the Empire. This was a fairly obvious story thread to follow, but the show could have thrown the viewers for a loop and had Thrawn be Fulcrum. If Thrawn would have been the agent the information provided would have been designed to draw the Rebels into more traps. This may have been too advanced for the target demographic of the show to follow, so having Kallus be the spy makes sense. Having Kallus be Fulcrum is a great callback to one of the better episodes of last season. The Honorable Ones episode from season two setup this storyline and also dropped hints the Empire was doing something sinister around the planet of Geonosis. What has been so frustrating this season is most of the episodes so far have not been advancing major story threads. There is no interconnected story to help drive a main narrative forward.

An Inside Man provided much needed character development for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fans of old Legend books knew how ruthless and cunning he could be in the Zahn novels, but the show hasn’t shown anything yet. The episode changed this in a major way. We see Thrawn terrorize and kill workers in the facility. He knew the workers were sabotaging Imperial products, and he ruthlessly illustrated what would happen if machines continued to fail by killing a worker. It was a dark scene, and highlights how the show can sometimes straddle the line between a kids show and one with more adult themes. We also see Thrawn studying the art of the Rebels and trying to gage why they keep coming back to the planet of Lothal. This was the weakest analysis Thrawn had, but it still worked for the show. Thrawn was also able to devise the Rebels had inside help escaping the facility, and a spy must be in his ranks. The ending seen with Kallus and Thrawn makes me think he suspects Kallus, and he will have to be very careful in order to survive moving forward.

The overall story and action for this episode was fantastic. Every moment was filled with something meaningful. The humor in the episode was also on point and felt natural to each situation. Having Ezra throw Kallus around was hilarious and the follow-up punchline with Kanan was perfect.  Chopper was even used well, and having him get along with Kallus flowed within the story and provided more humor. The reveal of the advanced Tie Fighter with shields is important, and should help drive the story forward during the second half of the season. I would have preferred the facility been developing something for the Death Star. Then the show would tie into the release of Rogue One, but the new Tie Fighter discovery helps build a story for the second half of the season. Now there is an overall purpose for the show and season moving forward. The Rebels need to find out more about the Advanced Tie Fighter (or Tie Defender for fans of Legends or old Computer Games) and stop it from becoming mass produced.

There isn’t a major glaring weakness in the episode. It delivered a fun enjoyable half hour and advanced an overall story narrative. This has been the major weakness for the show so far this season.  It has provided fun enjoyable television, but has been lacking in telling one cohesive story. With this episode, and the following two before the mid-season break, the show can finish on a high note and advance some of the major narratives which have been on the back burner for the first part of the season. I don’t understand why they took three or four episodes to tell unrelated stories, but hopefully the show finishes strong and has a more connected story for the second half of the season.

What did you think of the episode? Did it reinvigorate your passion of the show or did you still want something more? Comment and let me know.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Mummy Teaser Teaser Trailer - Are These Really Necessary?

Trailers for Trailers have become more and more frequent over the past few years. The latest in the trend is for the first Universal Pictures Monster Universe - The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wells, and Russel Crowe. 

I'm not a big fan of these little short announcement trailer trailers, but this one has me intrigued and it got me excited to see the trailer on Sunday. However, I would have been just as excited for the actual movie if they would have dropped the full teaser trailer today. 

This little short fifteen second clip looks fantastic. It still doesn't make me understand why they wouldn't drop a two minute complete teaser which can be shown in theaters for all of the movies playing this weekend. Maybe since there isn't a big film coming out this weekend the marketing department decided this was the best way to promote the film. If this was the case I'm still not sure why they wouldn't just wait until another movie came out to launch the full trailer. 

Marketing departments for big budget films must see some data which tells them these announcement trailers work for promoting the film. I guess it does let people know when a trailer is going to be released, but a trailer is used to get people hyped for a film. Why do we need something to hype the trailer which is supposed to get us hyped for the actual film?Whenever a trailer is released it's going to to do this, so having the announcement trailer in the end is pointless. 

This was a fun fifteen second bit, but in the end I'm going to forget about it when the full trailer comes out and I get to see more. I don't see the point of these and what the ultimately accomplish for the film. 

What did you think of the teaser for the trailer? Do you like them or think they are pointless comment and let me know. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Kingkiller Chronicle Gets a New Producer – Lin-Manuel Miranda!

If you are a fan of fantasy and haven’t read Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle’s books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Mans Fears, I would highly recommend them. They are some of the best fantasy books I have ever read and have listened to and read them multiple times. If someone asks me for a book recommendation and they are a fan of fantasy these are my first recommendations. The property has been optioned to Lionsgate and a movie and television series are in the works. News dropped last night via a Variety article and confirmed by Pat Rothfuss that Lin-Manuel Miranda had signed on to help produce both the movie and the television show.

If you are a fan of Pat and follow him on any social media you have seen his love affair with Lin-Manuel Miranda and vice versa. They are both massive fans of each other’s work. Lin-Manuel has stated he has read Pat’s books multiple times and they are a staple in his house. Pat for his part has been to see the musical Hamilton and actually gave Miranda a pair of silver pipes after the show (If you have read the books you know the importance of these). To bring him on board to help produce the movie and television show makes perfect sense. Miranda has proven himself as an incredible talent and he apparently will be helping create music for both the movie and show.

As someone who is a massive fan of both the books and Miranda I think this is a perfect fit. Having him write music for Kingkiller Chronicle gets me excited to see what he can create, since music plays such a massive role in the books. I wouldn’t doubt that Miranda pops up as a minor character in the film at the end of the day since he is such a big fan. This also gives me hope that the movie is actually going to happen. With Miranda being so hot right now, after the success from Hamilton, having him attached will help push the project into production.

The Kingkiller chronicle movies could be the next Lord of the Rings for the fantasy genre if done right. It is a very different type of fantasy story from Lord of the Rings, but it’s similar in the intricate world both authors created. Rothfuss populated the books with an expansive world. Each character encountered seems to have a developed backstory and the place they come from a detailed history. It is one of the many reasons why I love the books, along with the interesting characters Rothfuss created. This story still does not guarantee the books will make it into movie production, but it is another great step in the process of getting a live action Tarbean.  

Let me know if you are a fan of the books and if not does Miranda being attached to a movie peak your interest in the books. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

PASSENGERS - Trailer #3 - Recap/Review (Discussion) - Yes, I liked the Song Choice.

I might be the only person who is excited for the Science Fiction movie Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. From what I've read and listened to mostly everyone is disappointed from the trailers and images which have been shown. I'm on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Everything I have seen from the movie has made me more excited to see the film. 

I liked this latest trailer, and even liked the song choice. What stands out to me in this trailer, or all of the trailers, is the chemistry Pratt and Lawrence have with one another. I believe the two of them can fall in love just by watching them interact in these small snippets of film. The trailers have made me want to know more about their relationship and how it unfolds as they are stranded on a ship in the middle of deep space. 

The other major aspect which stood out is how engaged Jennifer Lawrence seems to be. Maybe just seeing her trying in Passengers instead of going through the motions as she was in X-Men Apocalypse gives me more hope for the movie overall. She is a fantastic actress, and hopefully she turns in a great performance. 

The movie seems to be Titanic in space, and honestly I'm perfectly happy if this is what we get. I don't mind a love story spiced with adventure and if the film hits the emotional buttons as well as Titanic did then the film will be a smash hit. I think the film will be good from what I have seen, but I appear to be in the minority on this opinioni this time around. 

What did you think of this trailer or all or any of the trailers for Passengers? Like them or hate them? Comment and let me know. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Reitman Says More Ghostbusters in Development (Highly Doubtful)

Ivan Reitman on a recent podcast titled Mr. Wavvy answered a question about Ghostbusters 2. He stated in his answer: “There’s going to be many other Ghostbusters movies, they’re just in development right now.” Which sounds very positive when typed out. However, when listening to the interview he sounded like he was simply trying to end the interview as quickly as possible. It seemed very awkward, and saying things are in development might as well mean nothing is happening at the moment.

I’m not opposed to more Ghostbusters movies, and it makes sense for Reitman to try and keep promoting the brand since he owns the property. I don’t think any Ghostbuster films are in active development. The rebooted film from this year didn’t make enough money for the studio to greenlight a sequel or any future projects. I liked the film, but didn’t love it. I wouldn’t mind continuing the story with the characters introduced if they canned the awkward cameos and focused more on a story. I also wouldn’t mind if they scrapped the entire new universes and started over. Either scenario is probably years from seeing the big screen.

I think Ghostbusters could be a successful franchise. The property is beloved and it could be extended. It was a massive mistake not to make this year’s movie a continuation of the story by having the characters related to or admirers of the original team. This honestly was part of the issue as to why many people didn’t want to see a reboot of the property. Yes, people can still pop in the originals and watch them anytime, but most fans wanted some continuation of that universe. There are of course those who simply hated it because of the all-female cast, but there are many others who fall into the former camp. They just wanted more Ghostbusters, but in a way that honored the originals and kept them around.

Reitman can hope to sell and get other Ghostbuster projects off the ground. I’m sure he has many ideas. Dan Aykroyd has floated numerous over the years which never went anywhere as well. I hope we do eventually get more Ghostbusters, because  it’s a fantastic story and concept. I love both original films (yes even the second) and enjoyed the latest because it was simply more Ghostbusters. Hopefully the studio will eventually let the property come back to the big screen, but it will more than likely be stuck “in development” for many years to come. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E8 The Wynkahthu Job Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Fun, but Still Lacking

Star Wars Rebels with its eighth episode for the third season saw the return of Hondo and Azmorigan who wanted help from the crew of the Ghost. The pirates attacked an Imperial cargo ship and it was caught in atmosphere of a plant. They can’t get to the ship on their own and need the Rebels to help retrieve the cargo. The crew, in return for their help, get to take the proton bombs on the Imperial ship. There is a small bit of a through line in this episode since the crew have been looking for proton bombs. This isn’t much of a connective thread for the season and there could be more to help drive a main story and theme for the show overall.

The Wynkahthu Job isn’t a horrible episode, but to have yet another episode which doesn’t deliver any movement on a major theme or story for the show is disappointing. None of the episodes since the first with Maul have been bad, but they haven’t delivered on any main overall arch. There hasn’t been one single episode which hasn’t been enjoyable to watch for one reason or another, but the show doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Many of these episodes have introduced new characters, but then are quickly forgotten in the next episode. Take the supply droid we met at the end of last season. He popped up in this episode to help with information about the Imperial ship. However, why is this the first we have seen of him since the episode he was introduced? He just happened to tag along on this mission? He should have been integrated with the crew of the Ghost since his introduction, so his reappearance doesn’t seem so random.

There should be more of a through line with all of the characters introduced. I had thought we might get a story arch involving the Mandalorians and how the Rebels could help gain their support. Instead the episode was another one off and it didn’t carry on after Fenn Rau agreed to join the Rebellion. The show will probably go back to his character, but carrying his story forward after the episode involving him would have increased the shows momentum. There is no movement for the show because of its lack of overall focus. Having a few more stories to tie everything together would help drive the show forward. This has a point of mine through the last two or three episodes, but each individual episode on their own have been enjoyable to watch.

Maybe the expectation should be the show isn’t going to have a connected story and each episode is going to be a minor adventure with characters popping in and out. I could get behind this, if they wouldn’t have characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Maul lurking in the background as major threats with major story implications. They have peppered in Thrawn, but not enough to showcase what his overall plan will be to engage the Rebels. With each episode being fun to watch, but not delivering in overall story the season has been a slight disappointment.

This episode delivered on showcasing fun characters in Hondo and Azmorigan. There humor was a little childish for my taste, but the show is aimed at children so that isn’t a knock on the episode overall. The callback joke with Ezra cutting the hole in the door was well done and plausible for the mission they were on. It was nice to see Zeb get more screen time in the episode since he has been a minor character for most of the season to date. He would be a candidate for one of the first to be killed off. Maybe they will up the stakes for the season at the break by having one of the crew members meet an untimely end. Overall this episode was fun to watch, but lacked the substance many fans are starting to expect from the show.

What did you think of the episode overall? Should we lower our expectations for the show and just realize there is never going to be an overall story thread? Comment and let me know. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer #3: Is This The Last One?

The third, and hopefully final, trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped yesterday. There isn't much new in the trailer that hasn't been show in other trailers or television spots. There a couple of new snippets of dialogue and a few new shots with the K2-SO, but little else. 

At this point the numerous television spots and trailers have overwhelmed me to an extent. I've gone from keeping up with every single promotion to come out, to just wanting to see the film. It isn't unexpected since I, like many other Star Wars fans, have been hanging for any small amount of news for Rogue One. 

The plethora of spots aren't unexpected, and this time last year I had the same feelings about the Star Wars The Force Awakens. These television spots and latest trailers are to spread the word about the film and get the masses involved. They are done getting the base excited. We are already at max excitement. 

The bigger news to drop yesterday was pre-sale tickets will go on sale on November 28th. I'll be buying a few tickets to multiple shows. Maybe the film won't be as good as Star Wars The Force Awakens, but I'm going to bank on it being worth multiple viewings. 

What did you think of this trailer? Are you like me and just ready for the film and have started to phase out of watching everything that drops? Comment and let me know. Like, share, subscribe, and all that fun stuff. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Emilia Clarke in Han Solo – What Role Will She Play?

A bombshell in Star Wars casting news dropped on Friday with Emilia Clarke being announced to star in the new young Han Solo movie. As a huge Game of Thrones fan who loves her portrayal as Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, this casting news is fantastic. She has had a few cinematic misses, but I think she could be a perfect fit for a galaxy far far away. This leads to the question of what role should she play in the Han Solo film? Everyone I assume will jump to her being a love interest for the smuggler, but she might fit more into an adversarial role.

Clarke can play aristocratic, as seen in Game of Thrones. Why not have her play an Imperial Captain or Admiral chasing after Han? Kathleen Kennedy has hinted the film could be a heist movie, and I think Clark could play a brilliant villain off of Alden Ehrenreich. She could be tasked for hunting down the people who pulled off the heist.  She can be cold and calculating which would make for a perfect an Imperial. This doesn’t mean she still couldn’t play a love interest in the film. She could be chasing him down, but also be attracted to him.

She could also be another smuggler who is working with him, or she could have just a minor role. I don’t think they would have made a major announcement if she had a minor role in the film. She is going to be a major player in the film more than likely. Clarke probably will be a love interest of some sort. The team could pull from the old legend stories and have her be a Rebel sympathizer who manipulates Han to help her. This would be another way to go, and would show why Han is a little jaded at the start of episode four.

There will be much more speculation before the movie comes out, but I would prefer her be an Imperial who has to chase Han down rather than a love interest. Whoever she plays, adding talent is always a good thing, and I’m glad Clarke hasn’t gotten tired of acting in genre movies. I doubt these are the only offers coming to her, even after the slight misses of Terminator and Me Before You. She is a star and a good talent and adding her to the Star Wars universe can’t be seen as a bad move on anyone’s part. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cars 3 Official Trailer - Teaser (2017) - Review/Thoughts

Disney/Pixar's released its first teaser for the third installment of the Cars franchise. Many in the critic community turn their noses up to the Cars franchise. Numerous people think the two previous films in the franchise are some of the worst to be made by Pixar. 

I thoroughly enjoy the first Cars film, and still think it is a good Pixar movie. I enjoyed watching it with my kids, and would gladly still watch it if my youngest wanted to pop it in. The second is another story, and is probably the worst Pixar movie. It isn't a horrible film, but it is below the standard for the rest of the Pixar library. 

The teaser for Cars 3 promises a different type of film. My guess is it's going to follow either the Rocky 3 or 5 format. Let's hope if it's the latter they do a better job. Cars 3 looks to deal with struggle and overcoming obstacles. This has been the framework for many great sports movies, and with Pixar at the helm they can do a great job at telling this type of story. 

What did you think of the short teaser? Do you car about a Cars 3? Comment and let me know. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E7 Iron Squadron Recap/Review (Spoilers): Where Are We Going?

Fun and enjoyable, but what’s the main story?

The seventh episode for season three of Star Wars Rebels, Iron Squadron, is another fun solid episode, but again didn’t seem to add much to an overall season story narrative. There isn’t much wrong with the episode and it was enjoyable to watch, but there isn’t any actual impact on the Rebels overall. The possibility for an overall effect on the season is if Thrawn is using each of these engagements to lay an elaborate trap for the crew of the ghost. This could be the case with the number of encounters Thrawn has observed and the data he has accumulated. The only issue with this is how slowly the narrative is taking to develop, and the small amount Thrawn has been shown in the season.

With each week I keep expecting the for the main narrative for the season to kick in, and each week the show doesn’t deliver. I enjoy watching every week, and this week was not an exception. The adventure with the Iron Squadron was fun. The action was well done and it was interesting to see another group of kids standing up to the Empire. The running joke about the Star Destroyer was also well done and got me to chuckle. These fun side missions still leave me wanting something more from the show. There should be an overall narrative and arc for the season, and for the past four or five episodes the show does not seem to be going anywhere.

I believe in Dave Filoni and he knows what he is doing, but I’m not sure why all of these episodes are placed together. Last season had an issue with momentum and with episode placements to keep the tension and story moving along. Clone Wars was at its best when it had three or four episodes packed together to tell one cohesive story. Maybe the entire season will do this, and once the big picture is revealed these episodes will make sense with how they were placed within the season.  As of now it seems the show has no overall direction on where it is going.

The show has not shown since the first week Ezra and Kanan training with the force. Ezra had been delving into the dark side for months, but one mission and conversation with Kanan and he is back to being normal? There should be more development with this, and I’m sure there will, but where is it? This story aspect should be peppered in throughout some of these side mission episodes. We should still see Ezra struggling, unless he isn’t going to actually succumb to temptation.

What is going on with the overall Rebellion? We see aspects in these side missions of fighting, but not the overall picture. There needs to be a through line for what the group is doing instead of just randomly fighting the Empire. I had thought it was going to be investigating what happened at Geonosis, and the crew finding more information about the Death Star. There is an episode coming up where the description hints it could be about this, but the it shouldn’t be a one off episode. The first half of the season should have built to them finding out about the super weapon.

Star Wars Rebels is still entertaining. I enjoy waking up on Saturdays making breakfast and watching it on my computer with my twelve-year-old son. He is even becoming frustrated with the show. After today’s episode he said, another episode that didn’t go anywhere. If the target demographic for the show is starting to get bored it’s a bad sign. Granted he may not be an accurate representation of his demographic, but it still is a little troubling. Hopefully the next few episodes start to build towards a good mid-season finale, but the next two descriptions look like side missions. The last two episodes before the break deal with Maul and Ezra which will be great, but again the show should have built to these episodes, instead of sticking them before the mid-season finale.

What do you think of Iron Squadron? Did you like it or do you think it should have utilized to a season story arc along? Comment and let me know. Like, share, subscribe, and all that fun stuff. 

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them – Movie Review: Still Magical

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Dan Folger, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, directed by David Yates, and with the screenplay written by J.K. Rowling. Fantastic Beast takes place in New York City during the roaring 1920’s, and fifty to sixty years before Harry Potter is born. It follows the story of Newt Scamander who is traveling to release a Magical Creature back to the wild.  Events go awry in the city and some of his animals escape from his magical suitcase.  At the same time his creatures begin to run around the city another dark force or creature is terrorizing the magical and non-magical people of New York.

To say I’m Harry Potter fan might be an understatement. I love the series and jumped on the bandwagon when the fourth book was released. Having another movie separate from Harry Potter, but set in the Wizarding World is fantastic. Just the fact we are escaping back into the magical world was enough to sell me on the movie. My thoughts on this film might be slightly skewed because I enjoy the magical universe J.K. Rowling created to a major degree. I really enjoyed Fantastic Beast, and thought it had the perfect amount of fun charm, message, and hints of the darker world which make up the core of most Potterverse books and films.

The performances for the most part are great. Eddy Redmayne loses himself into the role of Newt. The only issue I had with his performance is the mumbling he did throughout the film. It was hard to hear what he was saying about the animals and what they could do. This was more than likely a character trait of Newt, but maybe they could have highlighted his quirkiness another way. I think the other standout of the film is Dan Folger who plays the muggle or non-mag as they are called in America. He is the audience for the film showing the sense of wonderment a person introduced to the magical world would have. His slight comic relief, but sweet and good natured persona adds a great touch to the film overall. I liked Katherine Waterson character Tina who is a disgraced Auror trying to get her job back. Something however seemed a little off with her performance, but overall it still worked within the framework of the film. Alison Sudol plays her sister Queenie in the movie and quietly steals the show every time she is on screen. Her ability to mind read and turn situations on their head played into the overall fun nature of the Fantastic Beast.

On the flip side of the heroes is Colin Farrell’s Auror detective, Graves, whose motivation isn’t completely understood until the very end of the movie. He keeps interacting with a troubled and abused boy, Credence played by Ezra Miller. Credence’s foster mom beats him and wants to expose the wizarding world. The woman wants to bring Wizards and Witches into the light to persecute them. Graves wants and needs Credence to find a child for him. We don’t find out why until closer to the end of the film. If there is one slight miss for the movie it is with Farrell’s character. The ending of the film helps explain this to a degree, but I would have preferred more motivation for him provided throughout the story.

The underlying message the film has, like any good Rowling story, is about not hiding who you truly are and the damage it can cause. I liked the slight twist Yates and Rowling had in the story, and while I probably should have seen it coming the setup had me fooled. It is overall a very well put together film. The action is fun, the story engaging, and the message is subtle. It is a fun movie which also has a ton of heart and love put into it. The ending might have been too neat, but when you have magic I guess anything is possible. Fantastic Beast is well worth seeing, and worth seeing multiple times in the theaters if you are a Potter fan. If you are just a casual fan or want to see a fun film it is still worth checking out.

What did you think of Fantastic Beast and Where to Find them? Like it or love it, not like it? Comment and let me know. Like share subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Star Wars Catalyst – Book Review: Bridging The Gap

James Luceno, author of Star War Catalyst, is a master in character development. Tarkin and Darth Plagueis are both examples of how he wove stories about characters who exerted their will on the galaxy. Catalyst is no different in showing the motivations of the two main characters and how their decisions ultimately lead to the development of the Death Star. Catalyst is a Star Wars fans Star Wars book. It takes a deep dive into how and why the Death Star took so long to develop after the end of Revenge of the Sith until A New Hope. Along with this it gives a great introduction to two of the main characters in the upcoming Rogue One A Star Wars Story.

Star Wars Catalyst isn’t for the uninitiated. A Star Wars fan thinking of getting into the reading the books shouldn’t jump off with Catalyst. The book is a great primer for Rogue One, but it is not an action packed adventure which will hook the general fan. It’s a slow burn character story about the machinations of Orson Krennic and the idealist scientist he manipulates to his cause in Galen Orso. Luceno’s weaves and interesting and plausible story as to how each makes their contributions to the Death Star. The book is more about political intrigue and how well-meaning intentions can be used against good people.

Krennic is shown to be a political climber who is looking to gain power at every level. He looks for every angle to gain more standing and uses numerous schemes to gain control. He is put in charge of the Death Star construction and planning because he is an engineer but also because he knew how to maneuver to get the job. On the opposite side of Krennic is Galen Orso who just wants to create a power source which can be used by everyone in the galaxy. At the start of the novel he is trying to produce synthetic Kyber crystals so he can provide power. The war between the Republic and Separatists force him to abandon this work, but the rise of the Empire and fall of the Jedi allows him access to true Kyber crystals. This allows him to start his research and figure a way to harness the Kyber crystals power.

Catalyst is able to show how each of these characters goes about accomplishing their goals. Galen sacrifices some of his principles, or turns a blind eye to what is happening around him.  Krennic has little to no consciences when it comes to accomplishing his goals.  If there is one criticism for the book it is how evil Orson is for the story. There is no grey to him, he manipulates his situations to better himself and the Empire. By developing these characters Luceno shows how the Death Star is constructed. Each choice these characters make either impede or advance the construction of the super weapon. This is a true prequel to Rogue One and gives fantastic background on major characters in the new film.

The book is a great introduction to Galen and Orson along with Galen’s wife Lyra. Luceno is able to flesh out these characters in order to make the Death Star construction interesting. There had to be a reason why the construction of the Death Star took so long to complete from the end of Revenge of the Sith until the start of A New Hope and this book provides the reason. If fans of the series are at all interested in these reasons or they want more backstory for the characters found in Rogue One then the book is a must read. I don’t think it is a must read for casual Star Wars fans, and in fact it might be disappointing if they are not into more political or character studies.

If you have finished Catalyst let me know what you thought. If not does it sound interesting. Comment and let me know.