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

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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.

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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

Game of Thrones Season 7: A recap of the so far

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Me, and the majority of the world seemingly, have been following the latest Game of Thrones season. Sure there are people who still feel the need to say that “this isn’t their show” or “I’ve never watched Game of Thrones in my life”, and they are all really annoying, but for the most part people are at least really interested in what is happening in Westeros. It is probably the only show I make the effort to watch as it comes out, because people love talking about this show that you are bound to know every single detail if you don’t watch it the moment it is released.

As usual, I felt that the show started slow. It is on par with the layout of the previous seasons – the snail paced start of the first few episodes and the eruption of war and chaos everywhere a few episodes in. The first episode was a catch up of what had happened and where every character had ended up, and it felt slow but it was also a necessary aspect.

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I really do enjoy Euron Greyjoy. I’m mentioning him first of the characters because he’s my favorite new addition to this season. Sure, he’s an absolutely horrendous character, but actor Pilou Asbaek is having the time of his life portraying this mad, fearless pirate. He provided a fierce battle on the water, and the scene where he rides into King’s landing after sinking Daenerys’ fleet amused me – he is clearly having the time of his life. The death of the Sandsnakes were desperately disappointing, with their rumored excellent fighting skills just that – a rumor.

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Cersei Lannister is still the Queen of Chaos and creating havoc where she goes. Lena Headey has done a fantastic job with this role and she continues to shine. This is a petty need, but I really just wish she can get other hair now in the show – that yellow short style hurts my soul. I’m now where she told Jaime she’s pregnant and threatened him in the same breath. She’s a crazy woman and although I’m not sure if she is going to stick to the plan to tell the world that Jaime is indeed the father of her child, she certainly knew the impact it would have telling him that.

Nikolaj Waldau-Coster still plays my favorite incestuous guy in Westeros. He’s clearly conflicted and a brave, honorable man – there was something insanely courageous and telling in the way he decided to charge Drogon. I hope this show takes him more places and he doesn’t just remain Cersei’s puppet. Although gross and illegal, he truly loves her, and while I’m sure she loves him, I often feel that she looks at him like a dispensable pawn. Jaime has levels that are untapped and if one of my ten million theories about how this show can end ever pans out, he’s probably going to be the Queen-slayer as well.

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The other Queen, Daenerys of the million names, is irritating me on a level that I can’t put in to words. She has evolved over the season as any character has, but that is not always a good thing. She’s pompous, power hungry and a fool most of the time, and is steering towards the direction of her father at this stage. I was sorry when she burned Dickon Tarly and his father for refusing to BEND THE FUCKING KNEE – that phrase is irritating me so much – it showed that they were obviously honorable men (though Tarly senior was definitely a mean old thing), and on the seriously low looky level the show currently has I would have enjoyed more of Dickon Tarly. I really hope the resurfacing of the now cured Jorah Mormont will stabilize her attitude. Her relationship dynamic with Jon Snow is also interesting – after them finally meeting there was definite sexual tension in the air, which is just a bit gross since they are related. Neither of them know it yet at least, so thus far that tension isn’t a Lannister thing yet.

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The combination of two of my favorite people in the show – Jon and Ser Davos – continues to keep me happy. I like Ser Davos so much – from his time where he acted as a kindly father figure to the now toasty Shireen Baratheon, Ser Davos is an honorable man who is loyal to his King. He’s proven to be a great help to Jon, though not always the most linguistically capable comrade Jon has. I also liked Davos bringing in Gendry (YAY!) again, and I hope Gendry and Jon have great adventures together. I really liked the banter shared between Jon and Gendry in Episode 5, and might I just say Gendry turned in to a fine young man while he was hiding in plain sight. There was lots of humor – the banter about Robert Baratheon’s girth and Jon not being as tall as Ned, and I particularly liked Gendry not hiding the fact that he’s a Baratheon from Jon. It’s important, because despite the many faults of Robert he and Ned were great friends and allies. Jon himself has grown – I’ve been annoyed with the character at times but he remains my favorite to be on the throne. He’s agenda is different and he’s focused on the right thing – the Night King and his frozen army. Jon had a moment where he stood up to Daenerys which I found really attractive – it is so pleasing when a righteous man puts his foot down once in a while. He’s now on his way back to capture a Zombie, and I really hope he, Tormund Giantsbane and Jorah make it back out alive. (I also wish Tormund and Brienne marry and have big, scary babies). The scene with Jon touching the dragons are obviously important, and I found the setup of the scene fantastic.

Arya has finally dropped the part where she was no-one, and after being in one of the best and most rewarding opening scenes in a series where she avenges Robb Stark, she heads back to Winterfell to reunite with her siblings. This is important as she was on her way, and would likely have succeeded, in killing Cersei. There was this awkward moment with Ed Sheeran (the internet mayhem kept me entertained for weeks), and a moment with Hot Pie that I really enjoyed, and afterwards her reunion with Sansa really didn’t have the same emotional punch as Sansa and Jon enjoyed in season six. I think it stems from the fact that the sisters were never really close at the start, and while they are probably happy to see each other they are likely still going to be competitive. Of the two sisters, Arya is my favorite. I think authority sits well on Sansa but she needs to get rid of Littlefinger – he has way too much hold on her at the moment.

I think the other last important thing to mention is Sam and Gilly. I like Gilly so much, and Sam a lot of the times, but he was just a bit annoying in the last episode. His heroics saved Jorah this season, for which we thank him, but his irritated dismissal of Gilly’s information did not endear him to me. Sam lost his temper a bit with his position at the Citadel, and has now embarked to who knows where. He had a point there at least – to provide valuable information to Jon.

I really like the scenery, the battles, the costume design (as always fantastic in this show) and how plots are falling in place – my brother in-law feels that it is too designed and easy, but I am enjoying it. The entire story is finally escalating towards massive battle scenes. Every single family has been uprooted and displaced, and the Tyrells have been completely obliterated (fantastic exiting scene from Oleynna Tyrell). If I could have a scene where Littlefinger dies, where Jon and Arya are reunited, and possibly love between Brienne and Thormund, I will consider myself a very lucky person. I think Dany and Cersei squaring off is probably only the very last season, but we can hope for that to happen soon too as it will be amazing.

What are your thoughts this far in?

Episode Review: Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 3

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Rating: 8/10.

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I liked that Jon Snow was so completely freaked by being alive – Kit Harington was quite excellent right here. It would have been so stupid if he just woke up and was like heeey. I am still cheering that he executed Alliser Thorne and fucking Olly. I think Edd as a Night Watch leader can be a good thing, Jon must obviously do other things this season and Edd seems like the only half decent soul around that isn’t Ser Davos, a Wildling, Sam (who left) and Jon. Speaking of Sam, in yet another pointless exercise he and Gilly is on a boat, where he reveals that she must stay at his parents (we’ve previously heard that his father is quite unsavory) while he learns to be a master. Sam is still a mix of sweet and weak and annoying, and it’s a bit of a struggle dealing with him. I do love Gilly though!

Bran with his visions reveals this time around that Ned might have been slightly exaggerating when he said that he killed Ser Arthur Dayne outright. Nothing is revealed yet, apart that Lyanna is in some form of a predicament, before he is pulled back from his visions yet again.

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Daenerys is on screen again – she’s expected to live with widows in Dosh Khaleen. We all know that is not how she rolls, and Homebrand Khal is obviously going to be a pain in the ass and try to dictate her, and it is going to be so great when she shows him exactly who is boss. Her cities are still in a bit of a mess and Varys and Tyrion are still trying to short shit out.

The King’s Landing arc is now a full-fledged pain in the ass. Tommen is weak and Cersei’s vengeance alone is not enough to keep this afloat.

Rickon Stark returns to the story in an obvious PLOT MOVE, and Ramsay looks particularly delighted. There is obviously no class in Lord Umber, and I hope he dies soon.

Overall this episode was okay – the best is still happening at Castle Black and it seems to be the only scenes I love a lot. The rest are okay – it just seems that a lot is unnecessary at this point.

What did you think of this episode?

Episode Review: Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 1

The Red Woman

SO I’m finally ready to review GoT Season 6. It is time, and I must say I’ve avoided it for a while because five was a bit of a waste in my opinion. I’ll do one episode per week, so if you’ve seen it, please feel free to discuss below – but if you haven’t and the internet hasn’t spoiled literally every surprise for you, note that that all of these posts contain spoilers.

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First and foremost is the hopelessness that surrounds Jon Snow’s death. Seeing him lying there so lifelessly is quite depressing, and it truly seems at this stage like yet another Stark has perished. I’m loving Ser Davos still, he’s probably one of my favorite guys at this point. He obviously has no point what Melisandre has done to Shireen Baratheon. I hope when he finds out Melisandre will volunteer to face Ramsay’s dogs before facing his wrath. Speaking of Melisandre – how hilarious and creepy is that scene where she drops all pretenses and we see just how well she’s handled aging? I felt some vindictive pleasure in that.

I didn’t really get Ramsay mourning for Myranda and then feeding her to the dogs, but hey, it’s Ramsay here. Iwan Rheon is working his heart out in this role and he really deserves all the praise. I don’t know how I can constantly wish that he would be a decent human being, even knowing what he’s done. It’s probably that innocent face that hides such a deplorable character.

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Sophie Turner and Alfie Allen are both also doing outstanding work in this season. It really looks like they are freezing to death (I’m sure they did looking at that hopefully non-CGI weather), and they are both just so hopeless. I was exceptionally happy when Brienne and Podrick turned up, and things finally started looking better for Sansa. And yay to Theon for his bravery – atonement for his past transgressions, though I am not sure that I will ever completely like him after that Robb business.

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Cersei’s grief is still showcasing the only humane thing about her when she learns of Myrcella’s death. I liked that, as I always do, and I think that is why people aren’t quite ready yet to hate Cersei like they hated Joffrey. What I really didn’t like was the Sand Snakes – Ellaria and the Sand Snakes seem petty, bitchy and just plain unnecessary at this point. I would have liked if they could have been slightly more like Brienne – still kicking ass but not being such pains about it. I’m not sure what is planned for The Sand Snakes in the upcoming episodes, but it seems a waste of time to be in Sunspear right now.

Everyone’s other favorite Tyrion Lannister keeps his wit and personality in Mereen. He’s still teamed up with Varys, who always manages to have little birds. No one is particularly happy with Daenerys at this point, who has been captured by the Dothraki in what really is the homebrand version of Khal Drogo. I must say, Daenerys is okay, but I’m really much more interested in Castle Black and Ramsay Bolton at this point.

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To finish off the character focus, Arya is blind and begging on the streets of Braavos. I really hope the Waif dies, and soon, because I hate her. Not overly interested in this storyline right now, but Maisie Williams is also doing a fine job.

Rating: 7/10

For a season starter episode it went quite well. The characters are all over the place at this point, and there are a whole lot of story lines involved. I’m not necessarily wishing that the body count rise, but it would be more helpful if some of these characters can get to one location and reconcile a few things. I’m particularly uninterested in Ellaria and her Snakes, it was just Season three / four business and while it was cool then, it’s just a waste of screen time now.