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March 31, 2018

Movie: Star Wars the Last Jedi (2017)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 9:54 pm

imageThis caused waves again when it came out and they were talking about it seemingly for a very long time.

 

I have mixed views about this film. They have been faithful to the elements of Star Wars where the story seems to have background characters that are a veritable multi-planet zoo of animals and humanoid forms that are beyond our normal imaginings and here too they are there. Who can forget the ‘cows’ out of which old Luke Skywalker obtains his milk?  But then there are portions of the movie which has more of the feel of the other cult classic, Star Trek. So the lines being a bit blurred caused, in my mind at least, some confusion.

 

There is less of the original silliness where in the middle of a huge showdown between the forces of good and evil, a small child, or an inexperienced man, or something else like that just goes in seemingly impervious to all the assaults and manages to destroy the critical infrastructure of the bad guys. But it is still there. In case you forgot it is Star Wars, I guess.

 

For all that, you are enthralled in parts and realize why this series is such a cult classic. The scene where Luke comes alone to defend a fortress in siege when everything seems nearly lost is amazing, and the ending (how was he able to escape their reaches) is breathtaking. And there is, of course a twist near the end, which I will not reveal, keeping in line with my policy of not providing any spoilers if I can help it but diehard fans would find it significant.

 

Supreme Leader Snoke is an interesting character and how he meets his end is also very nicely told.

 

The story is one of the general Star Wars where the Jedi are in constant siege from the Empire’s forces (this time under the leadership of Snoke). The next generation Darth Vader is of course Kylo Ren, who is the son of Hans Solo and killed his father (that seems to be a tradition in the Star Wars world) in the first movie after Disney takeover. The twist is the Snoke distrusts Kylo, suspecting his loyalty.

 

Rey comes in search of Luke and pleads with him when she finds him in retirement in an isolated island. He is totally reluctant to do anything more and wants to be left in peace.

 

The scene where Finn, trying to steal a pod to go rescue Jedis is found out by Rose Tico who helps him find a code breaker to help. And there are interesting twists with the code breaker – how they find him, how he agrees to help – and a surprising double cross. The deception makes sense when you think about it afterwards but came as a bombshell to me at least. Maybe I am too gullible when it comes to movies, who knows?

 

Rey learning from the master Luke after he changes his mind a bit and agrees to teach here are all good, but remind you of some earlier Hollywood movies nevertheless.

 

Also nice are the scenes where Kylo and Rey try to convince the other to desert their side and join the other person’s side. Powerful scenes, these.

 

When all seems lost, and they are surrounded and Kylo is ready with an overwhelming army to destroy them all, Luke appears and saves them to flee and fight another day. (And keeping the door open for another movie).

 

As you can see, there are a number of lovely bits to see and enjoy. Definitely a fun ride.

 

7/10

 

–  – Krishna

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April 30, 2017

Movie : Rogue One (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 4:40 pm

imageThis is a much anticipated side story on Star Wars and it does have its moments – like how the plans of the death star got into the hands of the rebels.

Just like the Disney reboot of the Star Wars : The Force Awakens, there is a cameo from Princess Leah herself in this movie. This is made more poignant by the fact that Carrie Fisher died after this movie’s release, so speculation is rife on whether the future cameos from her would be a digitally animated version or not.

I definitely have a beef with the casting on this one as well. The casting of both the central characters does not gel with my idea of a Star Wars world. But I am sure I am in a very small minority. The dialogs also do not seem to be powerful : yes, I realize that the original Star Wars also had some pretty sappy dialogs but having grown into a cult status and having control handed to a colossus like Disney, I guess I expected more.

 

The story starts well and has the adorable robot which seems to have disjointed spheres sticking beside each other. Other than that it is a complicated Star Wars tale. For instance we learn that the heroine Jyn’s mother is killed by the Imperial Force when the father refuses to go work for the Emperor but the father is forcibly taken and goes to ‘save his daughter’ who is in hiding at that time.

The rebel forces want to take out the father but Cassin lies to her and makes her take him to the father’s location. In the meanwhile they go to weird places and a blind warrior asks Jyn about the necklace given by her father before he went away. See? I told you it is a complicated story.

It is best to see this. I think that the story’s complexity take away from the simple enjoyment of the story. You are constantly trying to recall who is who. For instance, Saw, who saved Jyn earlier, turns up later with an oxygen mask and a prosthetic leg and they have an argument on why he abandoned her. A lot of characters come and go, and at the end of the movie, you feel as if you studied for an exam.

 

There are scenes where tensely the rebels extract the plans for the death star in what looks like pre 3-G circuitry.

 

All in all, I’d say a 5/ 10

–   – Krishna

 

 

 

 

 

 

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