Movies

Rogue One, A Star Wars Story

Rogue One is the first attempt at spotlighting a side story to the normal Skywalker storyline in a major release. The teasers allowed us to see that it took place around the time of the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, and that it would involve something to do with the rebellion and the construction of the first Death Star.

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The Hateful Eight

Wyoming in the 1870s. A stagecoach is heading towards the town of Red Rock with two passengers onboard. One is John “Hangman” Ruth (played by Kurt Russell), a celebrated bounty hunter. The other is Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), his prisoner and wanted for murder. Along the way they pick up another bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson), and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). Due to a blizzard they are forced to hole up in a store some way out of town with the occupants of another stagecoach. Suspicions commence and Civil War enmities are reawakened.

Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens

When critical information is placed into a simple droid, both the evil First Order and the heroic Resistance go searching for it. Then something neither of them planned for happens: Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku finds the droid and keeps it as her own. Finn, an ex-stormtrooper who hopes to leave his past behind him, crosses paths with her and breaks the news of what exactly the importance of the droid is. Next thing either of them know is that they are on the run in order to withhold the droid from the First Order. They meet a pair of old buddies and after a few skirmishes between them and the determined First Order, the droid is brought to the Resistance base. There, multiple plans are hatched against the First Order while the secret information on the droid is slowly and surely working itself out…

Interstellar

Earth’s future has been riddled by disasters, famines, and droughts. There is only one way to ensure mankind’s survival: Interstellar travel. A newly discovered wormhole in the far reaches of our solar system allows a team of astronauts to go where no man has gone before, a planet that may have the right environment to sustain human life.

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The Congress

Robin Wright plays a fictional version of herself, an aging actress with a reputation for being fickle and unreliable, so much so that nobody is willing to offer her roles. Her son, Aaron, suffers from Usher syndrome that is slowly destroying his sight and hearing. With the help of Dr. Barker (Paul Giamatti), Robin is barely able to stave off the worst effects of her son’s decline. Robin agrees to sell the film rights to her digital image to Miramount Studios (a portmanteau of Miramax and Paramount) in exchange for a hefty sum of money and the promise to never act again. After her body is digitally scanned, the studio will be able to make films starring her, using only computer-generated characters.

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Dear Friend,

“I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So, if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me.

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No Country for Old Men

You can’t stop what’s comin’. It ain’t all waitin’ on you. That’s vanity.

The movie ends and you are just left there trying to figure out what the path you had just been taken on, was supposed to have meant. It’s interpretive, many people left the cinema a bit confused and mocking the final scene if not the entire film. I was trying to let it soak in, I like Coen Brothers movies and I was really trying to get this one, but it was rough. It was an intense chase scene drawn out over most of the movie.

When I got home, I did some research of the film online. I kept thinking there was something brilliant about the movie I simply wasn’t getting yet and by the scores and reviews, I assumed I was right. Terrific reviews all over the place and on Metacritic it scored a 91 out of 100, more perfect reviews for a movie than I recall ever seeing before. I just couldn’t get anything out of the other scores that justified it’s brilliant review besides the traditional cliche’d buzzwords. Then I came across the Washington Post’s review by Stephen Hunter and I couldn’t have agreed more;

I appreciate No Country for Old Men for the skill in the film craft. I understand No Country for Old Men for its penetrating disquisition on narrative conventions and its heroic will in subverting them. I admire No Country for Old Men for the way it tightens its grip as it progresses, taking us deeper and deeper into a hellish world. I just don’t like it very much.

High marks for the typical off beat humor as well as the climatic gripping story line, but that was just it, all that suspense takes you somewhere disappointing in the end. In my opinion, there was a lot of metaphorical use in the characters, all shared by only one unifying factor; death.

If you like Coen Brother movies, you should see it, if for any reason because you will appreciate the Coen style merged with intense action and familiar dramatic undertones. If you didn’t care much for Fargo or Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, you probably wont have great feelings for this movie either.

On a side note; If you grew up in Oklahoma or West Texas in the 1980’s, you’re going to go on a magical time warp in this movie. As much detail in the sets as Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, this movie felt like my midwest past down to the single wide trailers, the draw in the old men chit-chat and the chairs with coin op television sets in the bus station terminal. Looking out the window for miles and besides farm land, only seeing a tree and fence in your front yard. It was eerily familiar.

Finding Nemo

Okay, I’ll admit it, I was biased to liking this movie on several fronts before I ever saw it. It’s a story about a father and son, it has a quest to find Sydney, Australia, and it’s an animated movie by those awsome people at Pixar. Any one of those reasons would have gotten admission price from me at the very least.

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Star Wars VI – Return of the Jedi

The Empire is more than halfway through construction of a new Death Star – almost twice as big, but more than twice as powerful. When completed, it will spell certain doom for Luke Skywalker and the Rebels. Han Solo is a prisoner of crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and Princess Leia soon finds herself in the gangster’s hands. Luke Skywalker, aided by C-3PO and R2-D2, makes his way into Jabba’s palace, hoping to secure his friends’ freedom. But the Hutt has no intention of doing so and tries to kill them all. After escaping from Jabba and the sands of Tatooine, they regroup with the Rebel fleet, which is massing for an attack against the new satellite battle station at Endor. Lando Calrissian is pressed into action to lead the Rebel fighter attack, while Han is put in charge of a group of soldiers to take out the shield generator protecting the Death Star. However, Luke surrenders to Vader’s soldiers on Endor, and is taken in front of Vader’s master – the Galactic Emperor – on the Death Star for final corruption to the Dark Side of the Force. The fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers ambushes the Rebels, cutting them off. Worse, the new Death Star begins turning its giant laser on the Rebel carriers. It appears that nothing will stop the Empire’s triumph – unless things start to change quickly.

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