Monthly Archives: December 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie review

When it comes to prequels, they’re easy to mess up. We’ve already seen the story, why must we see how that story came to be? Especially when we know the fates of many of the newer characters, since they were not in established movies and lore of a particular franchise. In the case of Star Wars, it had real, real bad luck with its prequel trilogy. It tried to make the story as big and grand as the original trilogy, but the original trilogy wasn’t big and grand; it was a simple redemption story that we made big and grand. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, quite simply put, it does more for the original trilogy than the three prequels ever did. And while it has problems, overall, it’s an incredible tale of a fight for not freedom, but hope for that freedom.

The Good

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The battles are AMAZINGLY intense and actually evenly spread throughout the entire movie. 

  • The BATTLES 
    • It’s not Star Wars without a few good battles in the film. The battles in this film, unlike most other films in the series, are hard fought, fast paced, and long, though not long winded like in say Transformers: Age of Extinction. The perils in these battles feel real, and you genuinely care about most of the characters going into them, knowing what the fates of some of them could be. The cinematography in these fights is great-lots of good close ups of TIE fighters, of the AT AT Walker firing upon a beach full of rebels, and the camera spins and angles fit nicely with adding great atmosphere and tone to the film. While in the other films these fights did have a sense of serious air to them, here, thanks to the overall tone, you feel the reality sinking in, and get the sense that this is indeed a much darker, grittier Star Wars film.
  • The ENTIRE SECOND HALF 
    • The first act-as most people have said-is pretty wonky. It’s oddly paced, and seems to jump from place to place. As soon as the second act hits-you’ll know when it does-then it’s like the entire movie does a 180. The scenes become tight, the battles more intense, and the characters seem to fit better into the story.
  • The SCORE 
    • The music is wonderful. Composed by Michael Giacchino the same man up composed Up, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ratatouille,  The Incredibles, Jurassic World, and Inside Out.  The man knows when to hit the emotional moments, and when to get that crescendo just right. He also gets those battle scores down to a T; it feels like Star Wars, yet it feels like something new.

The MEH 

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Outside of the really cool blind guy and Cassian will you REALLY remember most of these guys?

  • The CHARACTERS 

There’s quite a few colorful cast of characters in this film. And like most “Group films” some get the shaft, others the spotlight. Jyn Erso the main lead, she’s pretty bland. Some could argue that the reason for that, is as main character, she is meant to be the audience avatar; someone we can easily slip into and imagine ourselves in her situation. But it’s important to make your main character interesting and she just isn’t. She has a tragic past, sure but that’s really the only thing that defines her character. There’s a really cool blind warrior named Chirrut Îmwe who believes heavily in the Force even when no one else does-he’s a big minority there. Seeing him have so much faith in something most people in this universe believe is a Myth thanks to the destruction of the Jedi thanks in part to Vader himself….It’s really uplifting in their dark world. The other standout character is a droid called K2-yes named after the second tallest mountain in the world after Everest itself. He’s pretty hilarious-complete opposite of the worrisome C-3PO.

There are also returning characters such as Grand Moth Tarkin, who even at one point states “You may fire when ready.” One must remember that THIS DUDE and the Emperor were the only dudes Vader himself took orders from. He’s a pretty big deal. Of course he’s in this movie. It’s interesting to note that he IS CGI, but if they were to ask Peter Cushing I’m pretty sure he’d give them full permission because he does stay in character throughout his screen time in the film. Vader makes a few scenes and BOY is there an AMAZING Darth Vader standout moment that trumps even a few from the Clone Wars, Rebels, and the beloved Original Trilogy. He’s dark, menacing, and BRUTAL. And it shows why he’s so feared throughout the galaxy.

  • The FIRST ACT 
    • When everyone says the first act or first half of the film is “meh” or “a little off” or “slow building”….they’re pretty much right. It just jumps from planet to planet, there’s no real time character building. It makes you wonder if you’re just along for the ride-if it’s the main story you’re here for rather than the characters and their plights. I’d say if you had it on Blu-Ray to fast forward it, but that wouldn’t help you at all then you’d be REAL confused. So, just sit and bear through the first say half hour and then it just picks up and becomes the huge epic war movie that feels unlike any Star Wars film to date. It’s just…..oh man if they polished up the first act this movie would be near flawless.

The CONCLUSION 

Rogue One: a Star Wars Story is not without problems. The pacing is weird, especially in the first act, the characters aren’t entirely fleshed out, and something about it feels off. However, after that second act hits, you  feel like you’re truly in this galaxy far far away, fighting to save the lives of millions of innocent people. There’s not only the threat of Tarkin, but Krennic, and the underlying threat of Darth Vader. Some would complain that he isn’t in the film enough….I personally like that he wasn’t in the film all that much; this isn’t Vader’s story. Here, it’s Tarkin and Krennic. Next movie, Tarkin and Vader. Movie after that, Vader and the Emperor. And then Vader and Luke. It builds up to Vader rather than “here. Here’s Vader have fun.”. There are plenty of fun little Easter eggs in the film to please the hardcore fans, and the death scenes hit hard and close to the heartspot. You feel for the Rebellion, yet you also leave the film questioning them as well. It’s a smaller story, in this grand universe Lucas set up all those years ago, and it truly does seamlessly fit into the Original Trilogy. There are also good moments that show the Rebellion aren’t all squeaky clean like the Original Trilogy makes them out to be….It clears things up in that trilogy that seemed to make no sense as well. Overall, it’s an intense, gritty look into what went into stealing the plans for the dreaded Death Star. It’s not ALL THAT grand, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s a smaller story, in a grander tale. It does what it’s supposed to do and does it well.

I’m going to give Rogue One: A Star Wars Story a 4.5/5-it’s a great, emotional ride that seamlessly fits into the Original Trilogy; perfect for most fans of Star Wars. 

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How would you rank the Star Wars films? What did you think of the first of many Star Wars anthology films? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Fan Theories for Transformers 5: The Final Knight

Man it’s been a while since I put anything on this site….But man oh man does Mr. Michael Bay know how to get my gears going. Yes that’s right they dropped the first trailer for Transformers: The Final Knight and…..Damn. Like a resounding echo of damn. There’s like an ancient empire….then Nazi Germany, then a stadium with kids, and maybe what looks like Rodimus aka Hot Rod…..But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about why Optimus Prime, OUR god dang Optimus….someone who for as long as we remember, is all about protecting life, making sure freedom is free and available to all sentient beings, being fair, and just and good and STRONG WILLED and being the embodiment of GOODNESS…is suddenly evil, and about to straight up murder either Bumblebee or Cade Yeager, the human main character from the fourth film Age of Extinction and also saved his life….Giving him much more of a connection to OP than Sam Witwicky ever did. So….here are some theories.

1.  MIND CONTROL

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Well not purple eyes but….Well…

This is the most obvious theory so it’s pretty low on the list. They’ve played around with mind control in the Transformers iterations before, with the best being Bumblebee controlled by Megatron; Megatron using Bee to revive him with Dark Energon in “Transformers Prime” a pretty impressive and DARK iteration of Transformers especially since it’s geared towards younger crowds. Anyways, this is pretty obvious-we don’t know the full extent of Unicron’s power, only that it matches Primus, who is said to be the God of Transformers. So, I think that Optimus while in deep space, comes across the Quintessons, who somehow manage to corrupt him through Unicron. I wouldn’t be surprised if the dragon we see in the trailer, is either a Dinobot, or the Quintessons. It’s Michael Bay it could be anything. After all, in an episode of Gen 1, Prime was indeed reprogrammed by the Quintessons to lead the Autobots into a trap, and in “Transformers Animated”, the ENTIRE Autobot team from Prime to Bumblebee, fell under the spell of Soundwave’s dominating music, turning all of their eye Decepticon Red. Perhaps Bay is finally learning to take from the history of the franchise a bit? If so then you’d better be prepared for a heartbreaking finale if that’s the case since Hot Rod is in the film….But that’s for another day….

2. DEAD AND GONE….AND BACK AGAIN KIND OF

You people really have NO idea how many times this dude has died then come back…He’s LITERALLY the Jesus Christ of Transformers…So why wouldn’t they try again?

An odd theory you may say, but it ties into just about every single one here so in it goes. Unicron straight up MURDERS Prime while our beloved Boss Bot is in the deep depths of space. The Quientessons and Unicron use something called Dark Energon to bring him back but at the cost of his spark-remember in movie 4 Optimus refers to their Sparks as their Souls-our soul = their spark. So, we could very well see a mindless killing machine in Optimus’ armor roaming around Earth….And honestly that’s a kind of terrifying thought. He looks like a good guy; we know him to be like the Jesus of Transformers for how many times he’s been all self-sacrificing and low and behold he’s KILLING Autobots and Decepticons and humans alike. It’s the stuff nightmares are made out of.

3. A COMPROMISING POSITION

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Even big badass Optimus Prime can be backed into a corner, by beings they could easily conquer….

This is a definite middle of the list kind of theory. It wouldn’t be unlike noble leader OP to get himself into a rather compromising position. He’s kind, stalwart, gentle, stern, determined, loyal….and incredibly stubborn. That stubbornness of his can and has in some iteration gotten him into heaps of trouble. Perhaps the Quintessons back him into a corner, forcing him to make a choice; kill someone he loves, or risk the entirety of planet Earth. It is a rather horrible position to be in, and I can definitely see them going that route; Prime reluctantly agreeing to this murder to save an entire planet from Cybertron’s fate….Or, perhaps it’s either he kills someone he cares about, or the Quintessons and Unicron decide to go ahead and create someone who WILL.

Who on Earth could that someone be? Someone who will be their mindless slave, who will be savage, strong, and have Optimus Prime’s every ability, from his sword and shield, to the Prime’s incredible strength and ingenuity. Hmm….

4. NEMESIS PRIME

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Hey Optimus….Bad day?

For those who may not know, Nemesis Prime is Optimus lookalike doppelgänger. The reason this is the second highest on the list (I rank my lists with 1 being the lowest), is because it just makes as much sense-even more-so than Prime being corrupted. Though Prime saying “Forgive me.” Before appearing to stab Bee or Cade in the face, leans toward mind control, there’s still a possibility we could see Nemesis. Nemesis first came onto the scene in the Armada series. When created, he scanned the mind of every Transformer, and took the form of OP, since of course he’s the biggest and most BADASS. Even more powerful than Megatron….I mean Prime is like robot Jesus Christ. So Nemesis figured “I’ll take that form on. Perfect”. And hence why he looks like our Big Beloved Boss Bot. In Armada, I believe that Nemesis was created by Unicron (he ties into nearly every theory here including the next one) and under the control of Sideways. In Transformers Prime, he makes his return in a way that makes MUCH more sense-a group of humans called MECH scanned Optimus (along with other Transformers) and thought “Prime is the most powerful”. And thus created an exact clone-that clone looking exactly like Prime, save for the yellow eyes rather than purple, and having a more rusted looking frame than Optimus’ shiny red and blue scheme. When Prime and Nemesis fought, their strength was similar; Nemesis was able to take Bumblebee down much in the same way Prime in The Final Knight trailer does; a simple slam to the ground and knife to the face. Though in Prime Bee managed to get away thanks to the real OP. The being we see attacking Cade and Bee could very well be Optimus’ evil clone, as it would explain the new eye color, and why Bumblebee would attack his leader first.

5. DARK ENERGON

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Stone. Cold. BADASS…..Do the eyes look familiar? Hmm….

The theory that seems to be one of the most plausible to me…and comes in hand with Unicron. And it’s one someone else actually mentioned to me…If Unicron is indeed in the film, Dark Energon isn’t far behind. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Dark Energon is a relatively new element, having been introduced in the newer iteration “Prime”. What does it do? It gives the user power over the dead, to raise them up as dark, DEADLY warriors, and gives the user unimaginable strength; Optimus nearly found that out the hard way several times when battling Megatron when his enemy was under the influence of dark energon. Why is this important? When in the first five episodes, Cliffjumper dies, Megatron slams a piece of Dark Energon in him…Reviving him, and making him into his mindless slave….And Cliff’s eyes….were DEEP purple. Much like Optimus Prime’s eyes in the end of the trailer. It would explain why Bumblebee is taking on Prime, and why Prime says “forgive me” as he’s about to kill either Cade or Bee. Perhaps Optimus’ mind is too powerful for him to get totally under the spell of Dark Energon, and whoever’s in control of it along with him, but he’s under the spell just long enough to do irreversible damage to the one he calls son, and the one who saved his life back in movie 4. Imagine the fallout either way, when Prime and the rest of humanity, realizes that even Prime himself can become a victim…And cold blooded killer…..Did I mention that Cliffjumper died before being injected with this? Just remember to tack that onto the board when it comes to discussing what could be or may be with dearly beloved Optimus in this film….

 

Are some of these bull? Probably. Is it too much to start guessing what the hell will happen with just a teaser? Probably. Is it fun to guess what will happen with just a teaser? Hell yeah. That’s why there are trailers; to get people talking about the film whether it looks like an amazing piece of art, or just a fun “wheeeeeeeeeee!” ride like any Michael Bay movie ever made ever. Some of these could become reality, or maybe none of them. One thing is for certain when it comes to Michael Bay’s Transformers…………..

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

 

 

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