Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Last Jedi

Plot: Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order

I will start out this review by just reminding everyone that Star Wars isn’t my primary Nerddom. I’d choose Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings over it any day. I’d choose many things above it any day – within Disney itself I’d rather focus on the Marvel stuff than Star Wars. So I was excited about this, but I wasn’t ready to weep and rave (won’t be that person for this on any day to be perfectly honest).

The movie… rather lacked in what I expected of it. There were some decent things, and it really looked good, but The Last Jedi has absolutely no point in the franchise – the rebels are absolutely no further in their quest and they are still as screwed as they were at the end of The Force Awakens. I’ve since endured arguments that some very BIG things happen in this film – can’t say because way too spoilery – and yes, that is probably true, but I still stand that the resistance gained nothing by The Last Jedi.

In no particular order, here is a list of things that frustrated me endlessly in this film.

Finn (John Boyega) has absolutely no point in this entire film. He is sent on a bogus mission with Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and develops some love story there. Let me just reiterate this – I love a good love story but in a film where it isn’t needed, it is sad and desperate. These two characters could have been left out of the film and it would have done nothing to harm the plot.

Then the return of Luke Skywalker – I expected a whole lot more from this character than the bitter old guy that was presented. Mark Hamill has since spoken out against the director, and I think he might be on to something. Without giving away too much, the move is still very counterproductive. The scene with him and Kylo Ren was impressive, I will give them that. Luke Skywalker and Rey also had a really good vibe between them and seemed to build off each other quite well.

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I’ve seen some complaints that Daisy Ridley’s Rey didn’t really grow in this film. She’s still stubbornly sure that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) can be saved, despite having seen his worst side. I don’t really have a problem with her, though she felt like a secondary character instead of a main one.

It is so great to see a Sci-Fi film (or any film for that matter) include so many female leads. The top three grossing movies of 2017 all have female driven casts – Beauty and The Beast, Wonder Woman and this. There is naturally Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher (to whom the franchise still stubbornly clings to), new comer Kelly Marie Tran, Billie Lourd, and Laura Dern, who not only managed to be a kickass character that could handle Poe’s attitude but had the most amazing purple hair and gave me such envy. Gwendoline Christie continues her role as Captain Phasma, but I am saddened to report that in The Last Jedi at least she’s on screen remains filler.

Adam Driver is the most fascinating new addition to the Star Wars franchise. He is enigmatic, conflicted and all the levels of mesmerizing as Kylo Ren. His shirtless scene is impressive – is Adam Driver really built like such a tank, because I’ve always perceived him as lanky, which also gave birth to the hilarious #KyloRenChallenge. Driver captures the level of conflict Kylo Ren feels at the same time, and a sad moment where you learn why he turned so decisively from Luke Skywalker.

BB8

The adorable BB-8 is on the loose, and his sinister counterpart isn’t any less cute. The new animals – what are those things? Are also cute and very expressive, which provided more than a few laughs in cinema.

My plan this year is to refresh some of the films in the franchise – I’ve might like this more when it fits into a bigger picture. Right now it is only remembered as long and an excellent money scheme by the ever powerful Disney.

Rating: 6/10

Links I Love III

links i love

Happiest of Fridays, everyone! It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, so I thought it was high time. Hope you enjoy!

9 Quotes from Kurt Vonnegaut

This cat that looks like Adam Driver. Dead.

If Movie Titles were honest (Cracked)

9 Wise Words from JRR Tolkien (wordables have been upping their game this week!)

The 17 Funniest Tweets about Grammar (Buzzfeed)

As always, the 20 Funniest Tweets by Women this week (Huffington Post)

If Disney Characters were on Instagram (buzzfeed)

8 Tiny things that stopped suicide (Cracked)

Well, there you have it. If there is anything you thought was great from the shady internet, let me know and I’ll go check it out.

Movie Review: This is Where I Leave You (2014)

TIWILY-Quad

Plot: When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

Rating: 6.5/10

This is Where I Leave You enters the family drama genre with very loose footing. I actually had some laughs and good fun but it is apparent that there are huge wholes un the story. There is a great cast on screen – Jason Bateman; Tina Fey and Rose Byrne provided good performances. I also enjoyed Adam Driver and Corey Stoll, and pretty much most of the cast. I thought adding Jane Fonda into the mix was unnecessary and icky – the woman does not look human with all that plastic surgery and desperate attempts to stay youthful.

The storyline had some desperate attempts at humour – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. The sex over the baby monitor, Hillary Atman (Jane Fonda) loudly sharing her husband’s sexual prowess and the family’s way too open policy about Paul and Annie trying to get pregnant all felt like designated movie tricks to just get attention. I come from a family that never hesitates to say something out loud, and believe me, they were a bit much.

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Jason Bateman is the best thing of this movie. His character has much more on his plate than his other siblings who are just dealing with one problem each. He finds his wife banging his boss, his dad dies, his cheating wife gets pregnant, a cute girl from years before, his insane mother. It obviously represents one of those moments in life where everything happens at one time. I’ve often felt like it, and although it is an over dramatization it is fairly humorous to see his life just going up in flames. I also liked him because he’s the middle kid and has such a set plan in life – I am not all that different! Jason Bateman is an extremely likeable character in here – he is the less screwed up of his family and doesn’t seem prone to lash out in anger.

I didn’t enjoy Jane Fonda’s presence. She seems plastically modified and her character is horrible – who documents her children’s lives in a published novel, embarrassing them with everything they’ve ever done? I also found her final story arc just too forced, like an attention seeking finale to gather support for the film.

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The story tried to deal with family dynamics and relationships but I felt there wasn’t enough detail to really satisfy me. Tina Fey’s character, Wendy Altman, obviously has some major issues that are unresolved with her high school boyfriend having brain damage and her feeling guilty about leaving him and the town. Her relationship with her husband is completely underdeveloped and he just seems like some bit character to gather more sympathy for Wendy. Adam Driver is the typical baby in the family – he doesn’t need to account for his troubles, he lives a free flowing life because everyone will always catch him when he falls, typical youngest behavior. It is very evident that his relationship with a much older woman is really just to shock his family and gain financial benefits from the woman, one who delivers quite some decent screen time for a bit character.

The movie has some very funny moments, and Rose Byrne is very charming as Judd’s love interest. I enjoyed the relationship between Judd and Wendy, they had their grown-up sibling relationship well done.

TIWILY was not badly done and I had a good time with it. It isn’t as good as the other family dramas that clog the genre, but it is worth your time if it is your type of movie 🙂