Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (also known as Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) is a space-opera and is produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams. It is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017), and the final episode of the nine-part “Skywalker saga”. This movie was produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams’s production company Bad Robot Productions and was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The Rise of Skywalker follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron as they lead the Resistance’s final stand against Kylo Ren and the First Order, who are now aided by the return of the deceased galactic emperor, Palpatine. I think I’m a little tired of Star Wars — this one was just ok.
Following a threat of revenge by the revived Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) obtains a Sith Wayfinder, leading him to the uncharted planet Exegol. There, he finds Palpatine, who reveals that he created Snoke (Andy Serkisas) a puppet to control the First Order and lure Kylo to the dark side. Palpatine unveils a secret armada of Star Destroyers and tells Kylo to find and kill Rey (Daisy Ridley), who is continuing her Jedi training under Resistance leader Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) deliver intel from a spy that Palpatine is on Exegol; Rey has learned from Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) notes that a Sith Wayfinder can lead them there. Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), BB-8, and C-3PO depart in the Millennium Falcon to Pasaana, where Luke’s search for Exegol ended.
While on Pasaana, the group encounters Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), who points them to the Wayfinder’s last suspected location. Kylo learns where Rey is through their Force bond and travels there with his warrior subordinates, the Knights of Ren. Rey and the others discover the remains of a Jedi hunter named Ochi, his ship, and a dagger inscribed with Sith text, which C-3PO’s programming forbids him from interpreting. Sensing that Kylo is nearby, Rey goes to confront him. The First Order captures the Falcon, Chewbacca, and the dagger; attempting to save Chewbacca, Rey accidentally destroys a First Order transport with Force lightning. Presuming that Chewbacca has been killed, the group escapes on Ochi’s ship.
I’m stopping here to reserve some semblance of integrity and of course, the element of surprise. This supposedly last Star War film was not as good as some of its predecessors. I found the story rather robotic and cursory, it was all over the place. There were numerous scenes of fighting and often, without merit. The story jumped from subject to subject leaving me desperate for an explanation. Some parts were even a little boring. I think there was too much action to say very little. Despite the uneven flow, the acting was very good and the special effects were absolutely brilliant. Carrie Fisher lives through the age of repurposed unreleased footage from The Force Awakens. I also think I’ve had enough Star Wars, the whole battle between The Force and Emperor Palpatine and his stormtroopers after 43 years is a lovely adventure but is screaming for closure and “The End”. The movie received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the cast performances and visual effects but criticized the story, pacing, and perceived departures from the themes and story of The Last Jedi. It has grossed over $840 million worldwide against a production budget of $275 million, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 2019. You Star War fans, Check It Out!
[STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is Oscar-Nominated for Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects — Totaling 3 Oscar nominations]
Posted in CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adam driver, Allegiant General Pryde, Amanda Lawrence, Amir El-Masry, anthony daniels, Anton Simpson-Tidy, Ashley Beck, Babu Frik, bb-8, Beaumont Kin, Ben Solo / Kylo Ren, Billie Lourd, Billy Dee Williams, Billy Howle, Brian Herring, c-3po, Cailey Fleming, carrie fisher, chewbacca, Commander Larma D’Acy, Commander Trach, D-O, daisy ridley, Dave Chapman, domhnall gleeson, Dominic Monaghan, finn, FN-2187, general hux, greg grunberg, han solo, harrison ford, Hassan Taj, Ian McDiarmid, J. J. Abrams, Jannah, Jodie Comer, Joe Kennard, john boyega, joonas suotamo, Josefine Irrera Jackson, kelly marie tran, Keri Russell, Klaud, Knights of Ren, lando calrissian, Lee Towersey, Leia Organa, Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, Lukaz Leong, luke skywalker, lupita nyong'o, mark hamill, Martin Wilde, maz kanata, Naomi Ackie, Nick Kellington, oscar isaac, Palpatine / Darth Sidious, poe dameron, R2-D2, Richard E. Grant, Rose Tico, Shirley Henderson, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Temmin "Snap" Wexley, Tom Rodgers, Vinette Robinson, Wrobie Tyce, Zorii Bliss
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an American epic space opera written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is the second installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main installment of the Star Wars franchise, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The Last Jedi is produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and includes an all star cast, including the late Carrie Fisher who past in December of 2016. Star Wars never gets old. I still find the series to be just as refreshed and interesting as the first. The battle for the reign of the Empire is just as existing and just as much of a struggle as any two countries fighting for control of territory, Star Wars is just more modern and more futuristic. May the Force be with them!
Many folks are still a little fuzzy about Rough One. Some questioning why it even existed. It almost seemed as if it was an after though or a fill in because of the disconnection from the rest of the Star Wars story and crew. Questions like where did Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) come from and where are all the other familiar characters we have all grown to know and love? When all was said and done, we were no closer to the answers than we were before Rough One began. Finally, Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrived. But as we take a long hard look, all the old characters have died, except one. I’m not so sure this was the way to go but this is the way it went so now we are faced with a whole new era of Star War characters leaving the likes of Mr. Yoda (Frank Oz), Luke Ski Walker and Darth Vader only briefly able to appear when needed. There’s now only 1 hint of a female Jedi and a limited amount of the Resistance left with nowhere to live. In the Last Jedi, the Resistance fighters are led by General Leia Organa, who I figure will take her leave as well or be replaced by someone new to play her part since the beloved actress is no longer with us. The characters from Star Wars: Rogue One are not a part of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it’s still not clear why that whole story was presented or why they were brought into the fold.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi focuses on Rey (Daisy Ridley) traveling to the Planet Ahch0-To in order to confront Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and convince him to return to the Resistance, which is in dire need of help to survive and fight the First Order. Rey must also complete her Jedi training to help the Resistance. Of course Luke is resistant, stubborn and uncooperative, refusing to even talk to Rey who is equally as stubborn, camping out at his door everyday. Eventually, after several incidents, the two come to an understanding. Rey receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. Kylo is also the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke’s (Andy Serkis) disciple, who is strong with the dark side of the Force and leader to the Knights of Ren. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and Rey have a telepathic meeting of the minds where Kylo tries to sway Rey over to the dark side while capturing her mind even though they are in separate locations.
Later, in a memorable battle, the Resistance fighters are forced to evacuate their base upon arrival of a First Order fleet. Following an effective but costly counterattack led by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a high-ranking X-wing Resistance fighter pilot introduced in The Force Awakens. Resistance fighters manage to destroy a First Order dreadnought, before the Resistance vessels jump into hyperspace to escape, but the First Order pursues them using a tracking device. Kylo Ren who has already killed his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and is also General Leia Organa’s (Carrie Fisher) son, destroys the Resistance support fighters, but hesitates to fire at the lead Resistance ship, after sensing his mother’s presence on board. However, TIE fighters destroy the bridge of the ship, killing several Resistance leaders and incapacitating Leia, who only survives by using the Force. Command falls to Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern. Disapproving of Holdo’s passive strategy, Poe, Finn (John Boyega), the former Stormtrooper of the First Order who defected to the Resistance, BB-8 (controlled by puppeteers, Dave Chapman and Brian Herring), and mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), works in maintenance but ends up becoming much more, saving many lives and appears as a possible love interest for Finn — embark on a secret plan to disable the tracking device. In the meanwhile, Kylo invites Rey to rule the galaxy with him, but Rey refuses. Using the Force, they struggle for possession of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, which splits in two.
As you can see, The Last Jedi is long and complex. I’ve told much of the story but not nearly a quarter of what makes up this great story. I suggest you check it out as soon as you can.
[Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Oscar nominated for Best Visual Effects]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adam driver, and Gwendoline Christie, andy serkis, anthony daniels, bb-8, benicio del toro, carrie fisher, chewbacca, daisy ridley, Dobbu Scay, domhnall gleeson, general hux, gwendoline christie, john boyega, kelly marie tran, laura dern, luke skywalker, lupita nyong'o, mark hamill, oscar isaac, Padme Amidala, Peter May, planet Ahch-To, Planet Jakku, star wars: the last jedi, supreme leader snoke
It’s hard to believe a movie based on true events that happened in 1967, at the Algiers Motel in Detroit during the 12th Street riot is still playing out in 2017. I’m sure it was just as shocking these events were happening in 1967, since slavery was suppose to be a thing of the past and the emancipation meant hope for a brighter future. I’m even sure many people won’t believe this really happened and many won’t care but one thing is certain, 3 young Black adults were killed by the hands of the police force at a very troubling time. These young adults will never see the light of day nor have another opportunity to do anything, good or bad. Their crime was the color of their skin. That was sad then and it’s sad now, it will be sad forever more. Kathryn Bigelow felt she had to bring this riveting story to the world, because no one else would — for that, I say thank you. You did an outstanding job reporting what happened as written by Mark Boal to the best of your ability.
On July 23, 1967, the Detroit police staged a raid on an unlicensed club that was celebrating the return of black veterans. A riot started while suspects were being arrested. The mob started throwing rocks at the officers before looting nearby stores and starting fires. Unable to maintain any semblance of order, Governor George W. Romney authorizes the Michigan National Guard and Army paratroopers to enter Detroit to provide assistance. On the second day of rioting, two cops pursue a fleeing looter. One of them, Philip Krauss, (Will Poulter) mortally wounds the man with a shotgun against orders, but is allowed to remain on active duty until his superiors can decide whether to file murder charges.
The Dramatics, a professional black R&B group, arrive in Detroit hoping to score a recording contract. Seconds before their scheduled performance at a music hall, the police shut down the venue and order them to leave the city. while in route, their bus is attacked by rioters and the group subsequently splits up, with lead singer Larry Reed (Algee Smith) and his friend Fred Temple (Jacob Latimore) renting a room at the local Algiers Motel for the night. They meet 2 White girls, Julie Ann (Hannah Murray) and Karen (Kaitlyn Dever), who introduce them to their friends Carl Cooper (Jason Mitchell) and Aubrey Pollard (Nathan Davis, Jr.) who were already staying at the motel. Carl and another friend (for fun) staged an innocent prank using a toy starter pistol, upsetting Julie and Karen, who move to the room of Greene (Anthony Mackie), a Vietnam War Veteran, while Larry and Fred return to their own room.
In the meanwhile, not far from the motel, Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega), a Black private security guard was assigned to protect a grocery store from looters, ingratiates himself with the Guardsmen so he won’t be mistaken for a rioter. Not expecting any problems, they all hear shots fired in their direction, which they all perceive as a sniper attack coming from the Algiers. A detachment of police arrive, led by Krauss, who immediately guns down one of the Algiers’ guest, plants a knife next to his body and watches him as he bleeds out.
This marks the beginning of the Detroit incident that caused this movie to be written in the first place. I cannot go any further, you’ll have to see it to find out what happens next — Krauss seems to be the loose cannon and several others who followed him made it all come together as the inhuman, racist, murdering event it ended up being. Just like the Holocaust, this is another moment in Black history that needs to be told, like it or not! No one deserves to die because of their race or skin color! Good job on telling a profound story. Check it out if you haven’t!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 1967, algee smith, algiers, anthony mackie, army paratroopers, aubrey pollard, carl cooper, detroit, fred temple, greene, jacob latimore, jason mitchell, john boyega, kathryn bigelow, larry reed, mark boal, melvin dismukes, nathan davis jr, national guard, philip krauss, the dramatics, will poulter
This Star Wars is a good one. I loved seeing some of the old gang and I loved that there will be more Star Wars on the horizon, scheduled for 2017. As much as I liked The Force Awakens, I didn’t like it as much as some of the past Star Wars episodes. About 30 years after the second Death Star was destroyed in Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who didn’t make an appearance until the very end of this movie and is also the last Jedi, has disappeared. The “First Order” is looking to eliminate Luke and the Republic but Luke’s twin sister, Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is opposing the First Order while searching for Luke to get his help before they are destroyed. Resistance’s X-wing fighter pilot Poe Damerson (Oscar Isaac) has a partial map of Luke’s location stored in his Droid BB-8. Poe is captured by Stormtroopers but his Droid gets away where it meets a scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who helps to conceal BB-8. In the meanwhile, the Stormtroopers torture Poe for information leading to the map, finding out the map is hidden in the Droid. Poe tries to escape when he gets help from a First Order Stormtrooper called FN-2187 who later renames himself Finn (John Boyega). Unable to continue to kill or function as a Stormtropper for the First Order, Finn joins the Resistance and escapes with Poe. Finn and Poe find BB-8 on planet Jakku where they meet Scavenger Rey. The planet is attacked by Stormtroopers, and Poe disappears, presumed dead, while Rey, Finn and BB-8 meet Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Together they team up to continue this worthy Star Wars adventure that has more twist and turns than any other production I’ve recently seen. There are many villains leading the First Order. The dark warrior, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who is the son of Hans Solo and Leia Organa and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), plus the ruthless commander of the First Order, General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Lupita Nyong’o plays Maz Kanata, a wise and perceptive operator of a shady cantina on a planet called Takodana. Maz tries to help Han and his new team, giving the lightsaber that belonged to Luke and his father to Finn for safekeeping.
I opened this review stating it didn’t quite stand up to some of the former Star Wars episodes. The reason is too many scenes reminded me of too many movies I’ve recently seen. I actually found myself making a comparison right there on the spot between the scene I was watching and Maze Runners: The Scorch Trials, District 9 and Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 & 2. As most of you know, Disney has taken possession of the Star Wars series buying out the entire franchise from George Lucas for $4.05 billion dollars. Not bad — So Far, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has taken in $540,058,914 in 2 weeks. Perhaps Disney isn’t as unique in their story telling as George but there seems to be 540+ million reasons to keep trying.
[STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is nominated for Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adam driver, andy serkis, bb-8, carrie fisher, chewbacca, daisy ridley, domhnall gleeson, droid, finn, general hux, general leia organa, han solo, harrison ford, john boyega, kylo ren, luke skywalker, lupita nyong'o, mark hamill, maz kanata, oscar isaac, peter maychew, poe dameron, r2d2, rey, star wars: the force awakens, stormtrooper, supreme leader snoke, the last jedi, the resistance, x-wing fighter pilot