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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and Merry Christmas! I hope you’re having a great Christmas session, today I’m here to share with you my late thoughts on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker via my podcast Film Focus.

I actually saw this film the day after it released, but I just got caught up with work and the build up to Christmas that I forgot to post it on here haha. 😛 But yeah I guess it is better later than never right?  So on episode 94 of the podcast, I finally get to talk about another the last major release of 2019 that’s been on my radar for a while in the form of The Rise of Skywalker. Now after The Last Jedi came out, the Star Wars fandom has been thrown into chaos with such a crazy divide between those who loved and hated it. So with all that in mind, JJ Abrams and the other filmmakers had a difficult task to create a satisfying conclusion that would satisfy everyone. So is Rise of Skywalker a film good or not? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out.

Anyway here’s the review:

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen The Rise of Skywalker and if so what did you think of it? Was it everything you wanted or were you disappointed or are you somewhere in between? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yesterday night, after month and months of waiting I finally got to see the last of my most anticipated films of 2017; Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The amount of waiting I’ve had to endure in the lead up to this film’s release has been painful, with all the marketing, rumours and speculation about the story and characters, you almost had to jump off the internet to have a clean viewing experience. Luckily I avoided most spoilers and watched all 7 main series films and Rogue One in chronological order over the last 3 days in preparation which was fun. So with all that out of the way how was the film, well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.”

I don’t want to go into too much detail so I shall be brief. This was a really interesting chapter in the SW saga, one that had a lot more depth, intrigue and surprises than I expected, and I love the film for that. Rian Johnson confidently steps into this universe with a sense conviction, darkness, intelligence and style that is clearly his own if you know of his work and it shakes up this world in really compelling ways. This film definitely channels Empire Strikes Back in terms of the tone and certain story aspects, but it is its own beast. There are drama and emotion on a level I’ve not seen in this series for quite some time, but there’s also a sense of levity to balance things out when necessary. This was also the most thought-provoking film of the series to date, it is very psychological and causes you to think about certain things in a different light. I really enjoyed the themes of the past coming back to haunt you, feeling out of place, good and evil, and the moral and ethical shades of grey. There were also a lot of bold decisions made that I did not see coming which gave me joy, heart-pounding tension and plenty to think about. And finally, I loved how this film expanded the mythology of this universe with history and visual and verbal details that makes you look at what you know it in a different light.

As for the cast they were great, everyone in this film does a great job, whether they were main cast, secondary or just had cameos, everyone had a moment to shine. Firstly there’s Mark Hamill who was just wonderful as Luke Skywalker. This time Luke was crumpy, defeated, yet a knowledgeable and witty old man who had to deal with the mistakes of his past and deal with issues of the present via Rey and Hamill was just as captivating as ever, he had so many scene-stealing moments. Daisy Ridley as Rey was really good, I enjoyed seeing her learn about her powers, see her interact with Luke and search for answers about her past. Ridley’s very charming and engaging and has definitely improved in this role since the first film. Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa was great, Leia had a big part to play in this film and I loved it. I enjoyed seeing tough yet humorous demeanour and her perseverance in the face of adversity. Fisher had great moments individually and with others and at times I did feel like shedding a tear. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was great, I’ve been a fan of this character since the previous film and here we get a character really wanting to prove his worth, but also find a sense of purpose and focus and Driver plays this role with flair and subtlety. John Boyega’s return as Finn was great, he still has a great sense of humour but is also has great dramatic moments, he has a lot of good moments and Boyega’s charisma shines through.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron was also impressive, I enjoyed seeing more of him in this film and seeing a different side to his character. Isaac certainly has a commanding presence and stands out whenever possible whether it be for dramatic or humorous purposes. Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke was good, it was nice to learn more about this guy considering the mystery surrounding him in the previous film. Snoke was sinister and intimidating and Serkis was captivating in the role. Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux was interesting, he had some good moments, also Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was just as fun as ever, Gwendoline Christie returned as Captain Phasma and definitely had a presence and Lupita Nyong’o had a great performance as Maz Kanata. Newcomers Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro do well as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and DJ, the former had an interesting role to play and I enjoyed her performance a lot, and the latter was certainly not what I expected but he was a memorable character for sure. But the most memorable of the new characters was Kelly Marie Tran as Rose, from the time she’s introduced she’s smart, decisive and loveable and I really enjoyed her story arc and interaction with Finn.

When it comes to the presentation it was fabulous. Visually the film looked lovely. I paid extra attention to the cinematography and it looked like everything was painstakingly crafted with certain tracking shots, zooms, use of lighting and framing, everything felt like it had a purpose and was done to the highest degree possible. The space battles felt like a mix of The Force Awakens and Rogue One with its own interesting elements mixed in, certain chases sequences looked lovely and the lightsaber moments were wonderfully choreographed in a classic yet unexpected manner. The CGI was very detailed, clean and realistic, while the practical effects continue to impress me with how much these characters, creatures and robots can be make-up, animatronics and puppetry. Also, the film score from John Williams was awesome. The Force Awakens had good music, but wasn’t overly memorable, whereas this film had a score with a much stronger presence which enhanced every scene it was used in. The themes he introduced from the last film stand out even more and some of the new music he creates is wonderfully varied yet consistent with what’s come before.

In the end, The Last Jedi, was a good film, a really good film. It surprised me in many ways, it also met and exceeded my expectations in certain areas and while not everything in the story and the use of certain characters didn’t go the way I would have liked, the film was still thoroughly engaging and entertaining. After looking at some responses to the film online I know this film won’t be for everyone but I say give it a try.

So have you seen The Last Jedi and if so what did you think of it? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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The Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced!

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and today I’m here to talk about some very important film news that was announced a little while ago today. The following information comes from superherohype:

starwarsepisodeviicastlarge

Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have announced the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII! Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film. Click the photo above for a bigger version!

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

So damn, it’s happened. The truth is out. The information that us fans have been desperately wanting to know has finally been discovered. WE HAVE CAST CONFIRMATION AND ITS AWESOME! Finally, finally, finally we have the information on the primary cast of the next instalment in the Star Wars film series and my god it is glorious, for the most part. Now the obvious part is that we have the original cast back with our three main leads, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, there was no doubt in my mind or most fans minds that they would return, but just having this confirmation means so much and pretty much puts everything in perspective. Even getting Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhem and Kenny Baker makes me smile too. But I think the bigger news the new cast members who have been added to Episode VII. Some of these names have been rumoured while others are completely unexpected. To be honest I only know a few of these names. I know of John Boyega, but I’ve never watched Attack the Block, but good on him for coming so far in his career and getting into a massive franchise like this. Seeing both Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac makes me so happy, both of them were pretty good in Inside Llewyn Davis, especially Isaac though. But the main name that stand out to be is Andy Serkis. ANDY FRIGGING SERKIS! YES! To say that I love Serkis would be a huge understatement, I’ve been a fan of his ever since Lord of the Rings Trilogy and have loved most of the films he’s been and to see him land a role in the massive franchise that is Star Wars, I’m SO happy for him and I honestly am even more excited to see this film than before.

Also having that image above to see all the cast and director together just makes me grin. You can just see things happening and it makes me giddy. Now I just want this film to start shooting and then get to 2015 where we’ll see the next episode of Star Wars.

So what do you think of the cast news? Are you happy about it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below in the comments and let me know. Laters people. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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