Loveless (2017)

Loveless Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Loveless Movie Review

Loveless is a 2017 Russian drama film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. It is a very good, interesting, but also somewhat problematic film.

………………………………………………….

I have never even loved you

………………………………………………….

Loveless Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It follows two separated parents who hate each other, but have to put their animosity aside when they set on a journey to find their missing son. The story here is excellent and the execution is mostly really good, but it is just such a terrible, depressing and awfully cold viewing experience for better and for worse.

I honestly found its characters overly terrible. Yes, there are some good people in this film, but most of them are horrible people and that was somewhat unrealistic. The kid is memorable for the short screen time that he got. I really liked both of their partners and they are the only good people in this film.

But the two main characters are awful people. He is cold and uninterested in his own son and this entire terrible situation whereas she is horrible toward him and almost everyone else and is such a major bitch that it was difficult to watch her in this film without wishing to punch her in the face.

Loveless is, well, loveless. That is the point of this film. Nobody here loves anybody and they are all cold, selfish and hollow people. The police themselves are not well organized and the entire country seems to be a horrible place to live in.

………………………………………………….

Loveless Movie Review

………………………………………………….

That is one of my gripes with this film. I do think that the film is great for the entire cold world, but I am not entirely sure that it was meant for the world or to just portray Russia. If the latter one is the case, I find it unfair and I totally understand why Russians would object to this film.

But as a critique of the entire world and the time we live in, it succeeds in spades. I found its entire second half overly slow and although the first half is also slow, it was very involving to watch still owing to excellent build up, characterization and many fine conversations. But the second half featured too many wordless, somewhat slow sequences and it lost its steam during that period.

But the ending stuck with me nonetheless. Loveless basically showcases how a kid can go missing and nobody can find him as in the end he remains missing and everyone just resumes their lives as if he had never existed. It was a terrible, non-human ending that rings true for this cold, selfish and utterly hopeless world we are living in now and that is why the ending haunted me which was the intention of the director and he succeeded in that quite a bit.

………………………………………………….

Loveless Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Loveless is gorgeously shot. I loved its very cold, but memorable imagery that accompanied the desperate, hopeless mood of the film remarkably well. The performances from Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin are both excellent, but the direction from Andrey Zvyagintsev is terrific and although his previous film is better, this one also ended up being very good and quite memorable for sure.

Loveless is an awfully depressing, cold and hopeless film for better and for worse. Some of the scenes in the second half aren’t as riveting and the film might be too cold with too unlikable characters who are such horrible people who make this viewing experience rather difficult. However, that is also the point here and that ending in particular showcases hauntingly well how cold this world is. The cinematography is terrific as is its chilly mood, the performances are excellent and the direction from Andrey Zvyagintsev is superb. It is a very good film, but not as great as his previous film.

My Rating – 4

Share

The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The Wind Rises Movie Review

The Wind Rises is a 2013 historical romance anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of Studio Ghibli’s worst films.

………………………………………………….

Airplanes are beautiful, cursed dreams,

waiting for the sky to swallow them up

………………………………………………….

The Wind Rises Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Yes, this one is pretty weak for the studio’s standards. When I first watched it, I thought it was solid, but now upon second viewing, I find it only okay and nothing more than that. The film is about a plane designer during the thirties and WWII and the fact that this movie is a failure overall is honestly pretty baffling to me on two fronts.

Firstly, you would think that for a director who is literally obsessed with aircraft and flight that he would at least make one great movie during his career in regard to that subject matter. But as evidenced by this film and also ‘Porco Rosso’, he never managed to make use of his greatest hobby and turn it into an all-time classic which is a shame and a puzzle to me. But maybe that is exactly why this film failed because it has too many of those airplane details that are nowhere near as interesting to us than they are to Miyazaki himself. The mechanics of flight bored me here.

………………………………………………….

The Wind Rises Movie Review

………………………………………………….

And secondly and more importantly, I cannot understand how he did not utilize on this particularly effective premise. You’ve got a guy whose dream is to make aircraft and he ends up making them for war purposes and the movie could have given us his personal dilemma and the struggle between art and profit/bad usage and the question of whether or not he did the right thing. But the film never gave us any of that and what we got are instead are endless boring conversations, overly detailed plane descriptions and too many dream sequences.

The character development is pretty weak. Jiro is pretty bland for a protagonist and not particularly interesting or likable. But Nahoko I definitely liked quite a bit. She is charming and very likable. The relationship between the two is actually the strongest point of this film and whenever it centered on romance, the movie was charming and pretty good. But as a historical or war drama, it failed on multiple levels. The other characters are all forgettable, but the voice acting is certainly very good.

The Wind Rises is gorgeously animated, there is absolutely no denying that fact. This is actually one of the best animated Ghibli films in quite a while as its animation is frequently breathtaking, very detailed, consistently polished and beautiful to watch plus above all else it is colorful and very pleasing to the eye. The clothes, the sky, the planes, the flights and especially the various imagery on that hill and some interiors are all lovely to behold.

………………………………………………….

The Wind Rises Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This film is extremely boring. I have to be honest and say that. Not only does it last for two hours, but it is also extremely slow paced and uneventful with not too interesting conversations and a very standard historical storyline that doesn’t delve deeply enough into its themes. That is why the film bored me tremendously and it is actually one of the dullest animated films that I have ever watched.

The Wind Rises has simply breathtaking animation with frequently gorgeous imagery and the romance is quite appealing. However, everything else is either standard or mediocre historical period piece. The film features a very intriguing premise, but it never delves deeper into its themes as the characters are bland and the conversations are mostly uninteresting. It is one of the worst Studio Ghibli films and frankly one of the most overrated and dullest animated films that I have ever seen.

My Rating – 3

Share

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Movie Review

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a 2017 biopic directed by Angela Robinson and starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote. It surprised me with its quality.

………………………………………………….

She is beautiful, guileless, kind, and pure of heart.

You are brilliant, ferocious, hilarious, and a grade A bitch.

Together, you are the perfect woman

………………………………………………….

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Yes, this film is so good. It is one of the films from 2017 that surprised me the most for sure. It is about the creator of Wonder Woman and the inventor of the lie detector. The film does showcase the invention of the lie detector really well and those scenes were fascinating. Some of the Wonder Woman creation scenes were rushed, but mostly it was very interesting witnessing the creation of an icon.

But where the film’s biggest strength lies is in its main story which is actually not about what Marston created but actually about how he lived. So basically he had ménage à trois with two women. He was married to his wife when another woman came to their lives and they both fell in love with her and she did as well. They eventually started a relationship and a marriage of sorts.

Now the reason why this film is so strong is because it converted me from a non-believer into a believer when it comes to this type of relationship. It shows us how if all three persons love the other two, the relationship could work and it actually did work for these three.

It is unconventional, but still they are very charming and wonderful together and their dynamic was infectious and a lot of fun. Having in mind that this happened all the way back in 1930s makes the three of them trailblazers in a way. The film is provocative even today and I can only imagine how provocative they must have been back then.

………………………………………………….

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Luke Evans is very good here and he gave a pretty good performance and is very charismatic and sensual in this role. A very memorable presence and Marston himself was truly an iconic feminist and way ahead of his time.

But the women are actually better here as this surely is a picture about women and the celebration of women. Bella Heathcote is so good as shy, endearing and lovely Olive and Rebecca Hall is superb as funny, energetic and somewhat bitchy Elizabeth. I loved the lesbian scenes here and I bought that all three love each other owing to excellent performances from all three of these actors. They all deserve bigger careers after this picture without a doubt.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women has its flaws. It is overly rushed in its third act as some of the comic-book sequences were rushed for sure. The kids were also underutilized and too unimportant. The entire second half is somewhat abrupt as the film should have definitely had a longer runtime.

………………………………………………….

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Movie Review

………………………………………………….

But it is still one of the better films of this particular year and it took me by surprise how good it is. The screenplay is one of its biggest strengths – very subtle, smart and sophisticated while always being fascinating. The dialogue truly is amazing and probably even a bigger highlight here. I also loved how the film looked and its use of the color yellow in particular is terrific. Who would have guessed that the film about Wonder Woman would end up being better than the actual ‘Wonder Woman’ film.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is somewhat rushed in its third act, but such a stupendous biopic nonetheless. It was interesting to witness the creation of Wonder Woman and the invention of the lie detector, but inarguably its biggest selling point is its sophisticated and brave handling of ménage à trois. The film is very sexy, dynamic and continually intriguing while being propelled by very strong performances from Luke Evans, Bella Heathcote and especially Rebecca Hall.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a 2017 biographical film starring Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie. It is such an underrated, very interesting biopic.

………………………………………………….

That bear destroyed my life

………………………………………………….

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This film was particularly interesting and fascinating to me because I love Winnie the Pooh and yet I never really knew the story of how he was created and the whole story behind its creator and his family. This film told that story in a typically straightforward and standard manner which is probably why people do not care for it all too much, but still it is engaging from start to finish and it has a lot of interesting things to say.

It is interesting how a very dark, almost tragic story lurks behind one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. And that darkness and maturity as well as thematic richness I did not expect at all and that’s why I ended up really enjoying this film.

It is a particularly relevant film today as it showcases how fame can destroy lives and families and how particularly famous children or children of famous people can be hurt. Christopher Robin lost his childhood and his father in a way and that father-son relationship is the strongest part of the film – very complex and moving.

………………………………………………….

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I loved its take on media and how ultimately a lot of good things can come out of a famous book as evidenced by WWII soldiers singing the tune from the book. It perfectly showed us how people desperately needed something magic and childlike between the two wars to make them forget those evils. And the protagonist has PTSD problems and that was also well explored.

Domhnall Gleeson did a really good job as Milne and I really liked his performance and especially the character. Margot Robbie as Daphne is also very good and memorable. I loved Kelly MacDonald’s performance and she is actually the acting highlight of the film as she gave the best performance in a very moving role. The film painfully depicts unfair treatments of nannies and how they can actually end up being more important in a child’s life than the actual parents.

Will Tilston is surprisingly good in the main role. He gave such a terrific performance for an unknown child actor and he was so well cast as he looks exactly like Christopher Robin. Alex Lawther also was solid as older Robin. The character surely is interesting and a very realistic kid.

………………………………………………….

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Goodbye Christopher Robin is absolutely beautiful to look at owing to stunning photography at display, but I could see why some would find it too shiny and polished. The film definitely has that typical biopic aesthetic. The pacing is good, but the direction from Simon Curtis is quite weak and amateurish. I can see why some would find this film’s polarizing tone troublesome, but to me it made for an interesting half-dark, half-childlike cinematic experience.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is one of the year’s most underrated films that depicts the darkness behind one of the most beloved children’s books so well and it makes for a really fascinating watch. It is very well shot, acted and cast. It showcases the negative aspects of fame and how it can destroy lives and families and is thus thematically very relevant today.

My Rating – 4

Share

Born in China (2017)

Born in China Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Born in China Movie Review

Born in China is a 2017 documentary film directed by Lu Chuan. It is a Disneynature film which is another good addition to their roster of documentaries.

………………………………………………….

They were born in China

………………………………………………….

Born in China Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This film has its problems and more on that later, but it is overall pretty good that I was satisfied in the end. The biggest and most refreshing thing that it does right is that it changes formula by following a couple of species and not just one. That led to a lot of variety in the film and to a more interesting, diverse experience.

Some people may have a problem with the crew not helping the mother snow leopard when she injured herself on the rock beneath the snow. I do have a problem with that, but I can see why they did not help her as they wanted authenticity for the film and certainly this is not as drastic of an example of that as the one in ‘Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness’.

I liked those snow leopards and the cubs are so cute. Golden snub-nosed monkeys are endearing, but the weakest part here as their story was the most childish one with the most annoying narration from John Krasinski. I liked the pandas and they were so cute albeit somewhat anthropomorphized maybe. Still the scene where the mother embraces her baby in a hug warmed my heart.

………………………………………………….

Born in China Movie Review

………………………………………………….

But I loved that the pandas did not take away too much runtime here as the standout part is actually the chiru one. These Tibetan antelopes are so cute and lovable that I adored watching them. The highlight of the entire film is the scene where the little one tries to walk and stand still eventually falling on its back. That was so funny and cute.

Born in China is a family film for better and for worse. Certainly it isn’t authentic as it is staged a lot and there is no violence or death to be found anywhere in this film, but I also liked that as it led to a much more innocent, charming and endearing film. So that decision remains a mixed bag for me.

As for its narration, again it is as troublesome as you would expect from Disneynature, but still one of their better efforts so far as in my opinion John Krasinski was overall solid in the role. Sometimes his comments and lines were cringe-worthy, but for the most part he did an okay job and wasn’t too annoying.

………………………………………………….

Born in China Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The film definitely needed more facts in it. It does teach us some things about these four animal species, but not enough owing to its short runtime and an emphasis on pleasing the children with the strong, evident cutesy factor. The score is very good and the cinematography is absolutely terrific as some shots and takes are brilliant. The scenery is beautiful to watch and the photography is polished and simply breathtaking. The film has such a fantastic cinematic feel to it that I guess it was beautiful to watch in the theater.

Born in China is a family flick for better and for worse with sometimes annoying narration, but it is for the most part a very endearing, cute film which is refreshing in its formula as it follows four instead of just one animal species. Some scenes here are incredibly heartwarming. The cinematography is so strong and the film is so well photographed that it makes for one beautiful and very cinematic viewing experience.

My Rating – 4

Share

The Hunt (2012)

The Hunt Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The Hunt Movie Review

The Hunt is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. It is such a sophisticated, strong drama.

………………………………………………….

The world is full of evil

but if we hold on to each other,

it goes away

………………………………………………….

The Hunt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It follows a man wrongfully accused of child abuse and the mass hysteria and chaos that develops afterwards. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon, they do not let him into their shops and markets and they even kill his dog in such a devastating scene.

The Hunt is an extremely sophisticated, immensely smart and observational film. It showcases one very difficult situation where of course you sympathize with the main character but you can also see where everybody is coming from – they want to protect their children which is their primal, great instinct and even the implication of pedophilia gets the men going.

But the film showcases the important of the concept of innocent until proven guilty. They almost destroyed his life and left him scarred for the rest of his life just because they were so impatient and quick to get their foot on the situation which is best to be left to the authorities. People are pack animals just like wolves and dogs and most of them follow others and cannot think for themselves as so truthfully evidenced by this film.

………………………………………………….

The Hunt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Now certainly the entire premise is somewhat difficult to happen in real life. Plausible, but difficult. I wanted to see some of the questioning from the authorities as well as what his ex-wife thinks. I also wanted to see everyone say sorry to him, but unfortunately that was not shown.

What was shown however was that beautiful ending. After one year has passed, the men are hunting and somebody shoots Lucas and misses him. Now that can be interpreted in two ways: either somebody who still thinks he is guilty really shot him or hi imagined the whole thing as he is always going to feel that he is hunted and is now damaged for life. I loved that open ending and how well it was realized.

Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely terrific as Lucas and he gave such a great, subtle and nuanced performance here. He stole the show and carried the entire film on his shoulders. But I also liked all of the rest and the highlights are Theo and Marcus as his best friend and his son. His son is just a perfect son whom you can imagine and their scenes together were so beautiful and his friend is so well acted by Thomas Bo Larsen and that scene in the church is so intense, clever and one of the highlights of the film.

………………………………………………….

The Hunt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The Hunt manages to be even more relevant now than it was before owing to the whole sexual harassment situation in Hollywood. The script is so terrific and the execution is so good as well. The film flies by how engaging it is, but it is also incredibly hard to watch owing to its difficult subject matter and the pure empathy that it makes us feel for the protagonist. Thomas Vinterberg’s direction is fantastic and consistently accomplished. The entire film is great and a further proof of how strong Scandinavian cinema can be.

The Hunt is such a great drama. The performance from Mads Mikkelsen is terrific and Thomas Vinterberg’s direction is superb. The film is very difficult to watch, but emotional and immensely powerful in its story. The screenplay is fantastic and the film is thematically rich, truthful in its observations and it explores its tough situation to the fullest extent. It is even more relevant in what it has to say now than it was back when it came out.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Thelma (2017)

Thelma Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Thelma Movie Review

Thelma is a 2017 Norwegian thriller film directed by Joachim Trier and starring Eili Harboe. It is a very authentic, but flawed film.

………………………………………………….

A little knowledge doesn’t make us better than others

………………………………………………….

Thelma Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It follows a girl who is a young student in Oslo. She develops feelings for another girl but because she comes from a very religious family, she rejects those feelings and thus triggers powers. There is no denying that this premise is so incredibly offbeat and admirably original even if the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

It is a great metaphor for sexually repressed gay adolescents who question and reject their homosexuality as well as an examination of gay people coming from religious backgrounds. The fact that it was mixed with supernatural elements made this film very modern, cool and undeniably intriguing.

However, the film is flawed because it doesn’t take the premise to the fullest extent possible and it only touches the surface of this story. The first half is very good and interesting, but some of the parts in the second half weren’t as interesting and the film needed stronger thriller/horror overtones and sort of just remained a mystery drama in a way. It didn’t delve deeply enough into its themes and it wasn’t atmospheric enough. It was too much like a tame psychological thriller.

As for the characters, I expected a bigger romance, but still it was interesting and at times even wonderfully sensual as well as sexy. Eili Harboe did a very good job in the main role and although Thelma is not a particularly likable person, she it was still interesting following her troublesome journey and she is quite a complex person.

………………………………………………….

Thelma Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Thelma is well directed by Joachim Trier and although weakly paced, it was well shot and very well scored. I loved the ending and some of the conversations with her father especially concerning religion were quite interesting. That is why I liked the first half more as it was much more engaging and sophisticated whereas the second half was somewhat boring to me. However, it did end wonderfully with that beautiful ending plus some of the mysteries surrounding her family history was fascinating to discover.

Thelma is a film with an incredibly offbeat, intriguing premise and it remains a fascinating experiment even if the execution of said premise isn’t great or fully realized. The first half was much more interesting than the second one. The film is a psychological thriller with some mystery and horror elements and it is such a cool, modern lesbian film with an interesting metaphor and main character.

My Rating – 4

Share

A Fantastic Woman (2017)

A Fantastic Woman Movie Review

…………………………………………………

A Fantastic Woman Movie Review

A Fantastic Woman is a 2017 Chilean drama film directed by Sebastian Lelio and starring Daniela Vega. It is one of the year’s finest dramas.

………………………………………………….

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

………………………………………………….

A Fantastic Woman Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It follows Marina who is a trans woman living with her much older boyfriend. Once he dies, she starts experiencing terrible things: all of his family says horrible things to her, they forbid her to come to the funeral and she is questioned by the police and examined by the doctors.

That is the story of this hard to watch, difficult, but very important and necessary feature film from Chile. This is a harsh reminder of how simply horrible, unforgivably bad lives are for trans people, especially trans women. It is a testament to how powerful the film is that I was maddened, disgusted and appalled at what was happening to Marina and I wanted to help her and punch those people in the face.

The funeral scene of course is very difficult to watch as is the car sequence. The detective was awful to her as well as Orlando’s ex-wife and the policemen. However, the scene at the doctor’s proved to be the most horrible one. She had to get naked to prove if the “two fought” when in actuality these people are just so sickeningly curious about her genitals and simply transphobic.

………………………………………………….

A Fantastic Woman Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The film showcases transphobia from many angles and is thus probably the most quintessential film about transphobia that we got so far and thus everyone should watch it and I really mean that as the film has the power to open people’s eyes and make them see how horrible cisgender people can be toward the trans community. Whether calling her by male name or  asking about her genitals and surgery or telling her that she is sick or thinking that she is a prostitute – all of these are the variety of hate that trans women receive on a daily basis and the film shows them so well in one full package.

A Fantastic Woman isn’t perfect as some scenes aren’t as important in the context of the story and I do think that the protagonist should have been a bit better developed. The film is concerned a lot about her problems but not enough about herself and her personality as well as life before Orlando’s death.

But even though the ending is not what you would expect from this story, it was still beautiful to witness as you see the sheer strength and resilience in her face and thus the title of the movie is very much earned in this instance. The movie conveyed her strength so well and of course in real life trans women have to be tough in order to survive so this is very realistic. She is a tragic, but admirable character for sure.

………………………………………………….

A Fantastic Woman Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Daniela Vega gave one of the year’s best performances without any doubt and the fact that he did not receive any nominations from the American awards just shows how xenophobic they really are. She is subtle in the role, grounded and always competent. This was a complex role and she pulled it off – amazing for a film debut.

Sebastian Lelio also directed this film stupendously, it flows well and is so well edited and paced with good score and many memorable, so well shot sequences. It is a wonderful, heartbreaking film that is important for everyone to see and an essential foreign film from 2017.

A Fantastic Woman is one of the year’s finest dramas and such a difficult, tragic, yet important and necessary watch. It deals with a very difficult subject matter in a very subtle, grounded and layered manner and is almost a quintessential film about transphobia. It has a lot of emotional scenes, it is so well directed by Sebastian Lelio and phenomenally performed by Daniela Vega who delivered one outstanding acting debut here.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Ranking Star Wars Films

…………………………………………………………………………………….

Ranking Star Wars Films

Star Wars is a very uneven franchise. For every truly great movie, we get just an okay one. The prequel trilogy is for the most part not great, the original trilogy is very good, but somewhat overrated and the new trilogy is surprisingly good. This is my personal list so here are a couple of surprises. Even though some entries here are mediocre, most are quite good and overall it is an overhyped, but entertaining and interesting franchise which grows on me with every subsequent viewing. So without further ado, here are all the SW films so far ranked from worst to best:

 

10. The Clone Wars

Yes, the only animated film in the franchise gets the worst spot which is pretty unanimous ranking for almost everyone. It isn’t a horrible film as it has a very cool villain and some fun action scenes, but still the action is overwhelming and the film is very mediocre in all of these departments – writing, acting, characterization and script. Its animation is its worst aspect though as the human faces look absolutely horrible.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

 

9. Attack of the Clones

Again this one also has some good aspects such as that lightsaber duel between Yoda and Dooku which is excellent and the special effects are reliably terrific, but it is easily the worst live-action Star Wars film of all time as here we get to spend the most time with Anakin/Hayden Christensen. His performance is awful, but the dialogue is the worst here as it is laughably bad plus his romance with Padme is so terrible.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

 

8. The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace definitely has a bunch of excellent sequences with the highlights being the thrilling pod race sequence and the duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul is beautifully choreographed. But Jar-Jar Binks sucks all life out of this film as he truly is one atrocious and very annoying creation. The film is endearing, but overly childish and with pretty mediocre humor as well.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

 

7. Rogue One

Some of the action in Rogue One is excellent, the first half is quite fun and the acting is very good. However, even though it is very well made, it is easily the most overrated Star Wars movie which is basically just an action war film with non-stop spectacle and rarely anything more than that. For those who like that, it must be great. But for me, it was rather dull plus I found the character development pretty mediocre and thus the emotional scenes left me in the cold.

Image result for rogue one gif

 

6. The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens definitely is a very familiar film and a rehash of ‘A New Hope’. It relies too much on nostalgia and is implausible in some plot points. But there is no denying how well made it is and how wonderfully traditional in its thrills it is. I like all of the new characters quite a bit, the action is excellent, the effects are great too and the film is a lot of fun to watch. It is old-fashioned for better and for worse.

Image result for force awakens gif

 

5. Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith is plagued by once again terrible dialogue and weak action, but this is infinitely better than the previous two entries in the prequel trilogy and it’s easily the most underrated Star Wars film of them all. There is something operatic and epic in its story of good guy gone bad, there is something spectacular in its beautifully realized action scenes and of course the entire third act is so emotional and just powerful in all the right ways. It succeeds as such a good, affecting prequel to the original trilogy that it renders its two predecessors entirely pointless.

 

4. Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi is, along with ‘The Phantom Menace’, the most childish entry in this entire franchise. Some of it is wonderfully childlike, but some of it is still too childish and thus feeling too different from its predecessors. But the Ewoks are still very endearing, I really liked the action here and of course that third act is emotionally rewarding and immensely powerful.

Image result for return of the jedi gif

 

3. A New Hope

A New Hope is where this whole phenomenon started and it has everything I like and dislike about Star Wars in it. The characters are iconic and excellent, I loved their interactions, the humor is terrific and most of the action is memorable. Of course Darth Vader steals the show as such an iconic villain that he is. But still the action is so overwhelming here that some of it, especially the third act, was rather boring to me. And I am just not a fan of aerial fights as I am more of a lightsaber duel guy.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

 

2. The Last Jedi

This placement might seem controversial to many people, but I don’t care as The Last Jedi is such a terrific, hugely misunderstood film. It is uneven at times and it has its small flaws, but the story is so great that it renders those flaws unimportant. I loved Snoke, Ray and especially Rose who is such a wonderful new addition to this roster of characters. But the movie is great because it finally gives us something new and doesn’t just rehash old ideas like its predecessor. A lot of the things and status quo were changed here and I appreciated its boldness so much. Rian Johnson is the one responsible for the greatness of this film in my opinion.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

 

1. The Empire Strikes Back

And the number one goes to The Empire Strikes Back which is a very cliched, but obvious choice as no other Star Wars film can possibly compare to its greatness. It is the first truly serious Star Wars film which eventually influenced the film above. It features excellent dialogue and a willingness to go into dramatic instead of action-oriented territory. Its twist is great, but those calmer scenes with Yoda are the highlights as he is such a fantastic character. I loved the action, I loved the scenes with Leia and Han and I admired the film for being less childish and more mature and slower paced. It isn’t just the best Star Wars movie, but it’s also one of the finest blockbusters as well as sequels of all time.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

Share

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 animated sci-fi action film which is the only animated entry in the franchise. It is also the weakest one.

………………………………………………….

Master Kenobi, always chasing after Skywalker. How predictable.

Anakin leaves quite a mess, which always leads me to you, Ventress

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I really did not care for this film although I have to say that it is far from the levels of worst proclaimed by most critics and audiences. Certainly it is mediocre, but never truly bad and of course far from horrible. But still it remains the weakest Star Wars film right in the alley of ‘Attack of the Clones’.

So it follows Anakin who gets himself a Padawan named Ahsoka. The two must help Jabba the Hutt’s son in the ongoing titular war. So let’s first state those rare positives here. I liked the interactions between Ahsoka and Anakin even though they are boring. And I really liked the villain Asajj Ventress. She is badass, powerful and all the lightsaber duels with her were the highlights of the film.

But the rest of the action is entirely forgettable and not to mention overwhelming. The movie is frenetic in pacing and filled with action scene after action scene to the point where it became very exhausting and incredibly dull to watch.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Obi-Wan is okay, but Anakin’s story here does not match the rest of the prequels and he is portrayed as overly good and thus this entire film is one big, sugar-coated lie. Count Dooku is very good, but Yoda and Mace Windu as well as all of the others are underutilized. But I liked Jabba’s son and he was endearing. As for Ahsoka, I do realize that she is an important character, but here she came off as rather unappealing, dull and just your regular, boring protagonist with no personality whatsoever.

The voice acting here is quite weak. I have to commend the actors on doing the voices that are so similar to the actual actors from the prequel trilogy, but still the performances lack any emotion to them and are so flat.

And that brings me to the movie’s worst aspect – its animation. Wow, does this film look bad. Certainly the backgrounds are okay, but the character design and the animation of the humans is simply horrible as they look like robots and they move and talk in such a robot-like, puppet manner that threw me off completely. Rarely have I seen worse animation than this one.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So The Clone Wars not horrible, but the dialogue is overly simplistic, the script is pretty weak and the overall film is of TV quality which is obvious as these act as four initial episodes of a future show. It shows and they made a mistake for putting it in the theaters.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars has a very good villain and some memorable action sequences, but most of the action is still boring and highly overwhelming. The script is quite weak, the characterization is slight and the dialogue is rather simplistic. But its worst offender is its animation which is okay in backgrounds, but absolutely horrible in humans who look and act like robots. It isn’t a terrible film, but it is very mediocre.

My Rating – 2.5

Share