Solo: A Star Wars Story, or simply Solo, is a 2018 Space Western based on the Star Wars character Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, it was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the second Star Wars anthology film following 2016’s Rogue One. A stand-alone installment set prior to the events of A New Hope, it explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca. I was excited to see Solo based on trailers and my Star Wars history but wasn’t that happy about how Solo turned out. While I continued to be entertained, I didn’t feel as touched or as involved in the story as in the past. Could it be that there are too many Star Wars movies giving one the feeling that it’s just a competition piece without rhyme or reason? A money grabber, if you will.
On the shipbuilding world of Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. A young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and his girlfriend, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) escape from a local criminal gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with a stolen sample of coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return and rescue her, he then joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. Han is given the surname “Solo” by the recruiting officer.
In the meanwhile, three years have past and Han has been expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination. While serving as an infantryman during a battle on the planet Mimban, he encounters a gang of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson). He tries to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast – a Wookiee named Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). Able to speak Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to work together to escape their confinement. In need of extra hands, Beckett rescues them and enlists them in the gang, which includes Beckett’s wife Val (Thandie Newton). They then plot to steal a shipment of coaxium on the planet Vandor. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up with their leader Enfys Nest (Erin Kellyman), resulting in the deaths of two crew members and the destruction of the coaxium. Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt.
At this point, the film picks up a whole new adventure. There are many twist and turns and some surprises you won’t see coming. Solo is an excellent story with far fewer characters than some of the earlier Star Wars productions. You might note the character Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) who was formerly played by Billy De Williams has been replaced with a younger actor. Also, Han Solo was originally played by Harrison Ford but is not played by Alden Ehrenreich. Over all I think Solo is missing the grandiose feeling usually displayed in these type of movies but still is a very good film. Solo is definitely not worth seeing in 3D but is worth seeing in the regular standard format. Check it out!
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Tagged alden ehrenreich, chewbacca, cloud riders, donald glover, dryden vos, emilia clarke, enfys nest, erin kellyman, han solo, jon Favreau, joonas suotamo, l3-37, lady proxima, lando calrissian, linda hunt, paul bettany, phoebe waller-bridge, qi'ra, rio Durant, solo: a star wars story, thandie newton, tobias beckett, val beckett, woody harrelson, wookiee
Avengers: Infinity War is a Superhero film based on the Marvel Comics Superhero team, the Avengers. It’s produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios. It is the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It’s the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, while also picking up plot points from many other MCU movies, most notably Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, and the two Guardians of the Galaxy films. Infinity War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and features an ensemble cast.
Avengers: Infinity War opens with Thanos and his henchmen (Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive), intercepting the ship carrying survivors of Asgard’s destruction. Thor, Loki, Heimdall and Hulk are powerless to prevent the extraction of the Space Stone from the tesseract (an energy that holds the stone). The Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call from the Asgardian ship and rescues Thor. Thanos’ goal is to obtain all six Infinity stones (Power, Space, Time, Mind, Reality and Soul), which would make him the most powerful in the universe. Thanos will be able to snap his fingers to kill, destroy or to achieve anything he wants. The goal of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, is to stop Thanos from collecting all six Infinity Stones.
Hulk crash-lands at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, reverting to Bruce Banner. He warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ plan to kill half of all life in the universe, siting the world has become over populated. In response, Strange recruits Tony Stark to join the team. Two of Thanos’ men, Maw and Obsidian arrive to take the Time Stone from Strange. A battle breaks out, drawing the attention of Peter Parker/Spiderman. Maw is able to capture Strange, but is unable to take the Time Stone due to a spell. Stark and Parker team up and pursue Maw’s spaceship while Banner contacts Steve Rogers/Captain America. Vision offers to sacrifice himself by having Maximoff destroy the Mind Stone in his forehead to keep Thanos from retrieving it. Rogers suggests they travel to Wakanda, which he believes has the resources to remove the stone without destroying Vision. They surmise Thanos seeks the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector at Knowhere. Thanos kidnaps Gamora, his adoptive daughter, who reveals the location of the Soul Stone to save her captive, adoptive sister Nebula from torture.
In a post-credits scene, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) transmits a distress signal using a device that displays a star insignia on a red-and-blue background. UHM!
I found this version of Avengers: Infinity War exciting and well acted. I loved how all the Superheros came together to fight the good fight. Each character displayed their talents and never lost who they were. In a production like this, with so many characters, individual personalities tend to get lost or become a non-entity. I especially liked the comedic side of this adventure and the attention the director paid to detail. The surprise ending, everyone is talking about, may or may not leave a very sour taste in your mouth but hang in there viewers, good things are coming. What I didn’t like was the endless credits at the end before we got to see the very last scene of the movie. So who did that distress signal go out to? We can guess but we won’t know for sure until part 2. Until then, watch this one over and over once it hits DVD / Blu-Ray. Avengers: Infinity War was brilliant and has the biggest twist ever. Check it out!
Below are the cast members and who they are.
- Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark / Iron Man:
The leader and benefactor of the Avengers who is a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own making.
- Chris Hemsworth plays Thor:
An Avenger and the king of Asgard based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.
- Mark Ruffalo plays Bruce Banner / Hulk:
An Avenger and a genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated.
- Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers / Captain America:
A fugitive superhero and leader of a faction of Avengers. A World War II veteran, he was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world.
- Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:
A highly trained spy, and former Avenger and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange:
A former neurosurgeon who, after a car accident that led to a journey of healing, discovered the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions and became a Master of the Mystic Arts.
- Don Cheadle plays James”Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine: A former officer in the U.S. Air Force who operates the War Machine armor and is an Avenger. Following his paralysis during the events of Civil War, Rhodes is given an apparatus by Stark to walk again.
- Tom Holland plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man: A teenager and Stark’s protegé who received spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically-modified spider.
- Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa / Black Panther: The king of the African nation of Wakanda, who gained his enhanced strength by ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb.
- Paul Bettany plays Vision:
An android and Avenger created using the artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S., Ultron, and the Mind Stone.
- Elizabeth Olsen plays Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch: A member of Rogers’ faction of Avengers, who can harness magic and engage in hypnosis and telekinesis.
- Anthony Mackie plays Sam Wilson / Falcon:
A member of Rogers’ faction of Avengers and former pararescue man trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack
- Sebastian Stan plays James “Bucky” Barnes/Winter Soldier: An enhanced assassin and Rogers’ ally and best friend.
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki: Thor’s adoptive brother based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.
- Idris Elba plays Heimdall: The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian former sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.
- Peter Dinklage plays Eitri: King of the Dwarves of Nidavellir, and weaponsmith, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.
- Benedict Wong plays Wong: One of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, tasked with protecting some of Kamar-Taj’s most valuable relics and books.
- Pom Klementieff plays Mantis: A member of the Guardians of the Galaxy with empathic powers.
- Karen Gillan plays Nebula: An adopted daughter of Thanos who was raised with Gamora as siblings.
- Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer: A member of the Guardians and warrior in search of vengeance against Thanos for killing his family.
- Zoe Saldana plays Gamora: A member of the Guardians who is an orphan from an alien world who seeks redemption for her past crimes. She was raised by Thanos. Ariana Greenblatt portrays a young Gamora.
- Vin Diesel plays Groot:
A member of the Guardians who is a tree-like humanoid.
- Bradley Cooper plays Rocket:
A member of the Guardians who is a genetically-engineered raccoon-based bounty hunter and mercenary and is a master of weapons and battle tactics.
- Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts:
Stark’s fiancée and the CEO of Stark Industries.
- Benicio del Toro plays Taneleer Tivan / The Collector: One of the Elders of the Universe who is an obsessive keeper of the largest collection of interstellar fauna, relics, and species of all manner in the galaxy.
- Josh Brolin plays Thanos:
An intergalactic despot from Titan who longs to collect all six of the Infinity Stones in order to impose his will on all of reality, wanting to “re-balance the universe”.
- Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill / Star-Lord:
The half-human, half-Celestial leader of the Guardians who was abducted from Earth as a child and raised by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers.
SEVERAL OTHER ACTORS REPRISED THEIR MCU ROLES:
Danai Gurira is Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje;
Letitia Wright is T’Challa’s sister Shuri;
William Hurt is Thaddeus Ross, the Secretary of State;
Kerry Condon is the voice of Stark’s A.I. F.R.I.D.A.Y.;
Winston Duke is M’Baku, leader of Wakanda’s mountain tribe, The Jabari; Florence Kasumba is Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje;
Jacob Batalon is Ned, Parker’s friend;
Isabella Amara is Parker’s classmate Sally;
Tiffany Espensen is Parker’s classmate Cindy;
Ethan Dizon is Parker’s classmate Tiny.
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