Disney continues it’s annual tradition of releasing a Star Wars movie every year. This time around we get a look at the origins of Han Solo as he joins a group of smugglers who need to repay a debt to the Crimson Dawn. Han meets some familiar faces along the way as he grows from a naive pilot to swashbuckling smuggler.
*sigh* I’ve let this movie brew in my mind for the last two days, callbacking to to key moments and set ups to side stories I’ve heard about since I was a little kid watching the original trilogy on a old beat up VHS tape. Hans,Lando,and Chewies “new” origin was going to be a sensitive topic rewriting lore is always a touchy subject mostly with fans and honestly…this movie does no justice to any of them.
When Solo had a switch with directors Ron Howard took over when Lorde & Miller my biggest thing was how the tone was going to switch and whether or not both movies would have a ideas and tone that would of crashed into each other it’s happened to many other movies the most recent one being “Justice League”, yet it seems just the opposite is the problem this movie has nothing interesting going on with it other then some nice cinematography and a lot of Practical effects. Ron Howard thoroughly tries to break new ground with the same old “paint by the numbers” method of action scenes where main characters like Chewie or Han are running away from an explosion or Tie fighters and it got boring very quickly adding very little to any of their characters, while rushing to introduce what would be iconic things like Han seeing the Falcon for the first time, or that cringey WWE match between Han and Chewie. The movie never lets things settle that otherwise need to. What I’m going to say next could be construed as hateful toward the feminist crowd and by no means do I hate feminism or strong women it’s just social stands don’t belong in Star Wars. The droid L3-37 is nothing more then that mouthing off about equal rights and just being downright annoying it takes you right out of the movie and is a pulsating headache throughout the film.
The positive things that I enjoyed about the movie always came in little stretches or glimpses. The game of Sabak between Han and Lando felt right cutting back and forth to each other trying to out charisma each other was a nice touch that moves along very nicely, for lack of a better term it feels very “Star Wars”. Actually anything in the second act was the highlight of the movie. Tobias Beckett and his crew had such high potential, it’s ends so abruptly though that I can’t imagine anyone will remember them, but if we could of had just like fifteen more minutes of them in this movie they would feel much more flushed out and could of been as memorable as the episode movies have. Now this a pretty major SPOILER so you’ve been warned. When Qi’ra contacts the person Crimson Dawn is working under and it turns out to be Darth Maul I lost my mind! I didn’t expect it and for a second really thought it was going to the emperor, but because I saw this in a empty theater it really didn’t help the cause, it’s not the movies fault it just fell flat except the other dude who lost his mind to shout out to him whoever you were. It does leave the question though, will there be a sequel? The movie is set ten years before we see Han in A New Hope and as far as he knows Qi’ra helped him and the I guess name drop of Jabba at the end was also a nod of Han working for him later on. But much more importantly where does that leave Qi’ra? there is no mention of here in the OT trilogy or even Some of the newer projects like Rebels or Forces of destiny and if she is working with Maul how long does that work out? Since we see Maul die in Rebels. I’m not sure what it could all mean, but with just a 103 million dollar opening on a long Memorial day weekend, a sequel could be DOA.
Overall I was let down by this movie, it’s nothing more than a few nods to more invested fans. You can easily wait to see this during a matinee screening in the next couple of weeks or even just wait to rent this on Google Play or Amazon in a few months, if your somewhat curious to see this. I’m going to give Solo: A Star Wars Story a “C-”. If you enjoyed what you read like and subscribe for more and as always follow me on Twitter,Instagram and Letterboxd @cinemaflavor to see past reviews and my thoughts on current movie news and topics.
Summer season at a theater is always an exciting time! Every weekend has a blockbuster as the battle for the weekend ensues between monolith movie studios looking to take the box office crown while smaller studios release there indie gems hoping to find a crowd in the summer masses. Looking at the movie release schedule, I highlighted some movies I’m looking forward to seeing in the next couple of months so I narrowed down my top 5 coming out in the summer (I’m counting the summer from May to August just to avoid confusion). I’m also going to get technical and not count Infinity War as aummer movie since it opens in April(*shrugs shoulders* hey it would be to obvious as a number one anyways).
Summertime surprisingly has a good track record with horror movies. It comes at night,Lights outs,and the conjuring films are just a few titles that having gotten summertime releases, double that track record with A24’s streak of great horror films and we could be looking at a small hit on our hands.
- Jurassic World:Fallen Kingdom
Do I think the first Jurassic World a nostalgic cash grab? Yes. Do I think this movie is also going to be a cash grab to the cash grab? Yes. Am I still going to see it on a Thursday evening? Hell yes! Myself just like most people have a soft spot for dinosaurs and couple that with Jeff Goldblum’s return as Dr. Malcolm! Of course i’m going to see this, so take my money Universal!
Marvel,star wars and reboots of 80s and 90s tv shows/movies will reign supreme this summer and while it’s exciting to see sometimes it’s nice to get a break from the action and the crowds for at least a weekend. “Thank for smoking” and “Juno” director Jason Reitman is at that helm, known for his summer indie films, the trailer had enough charm to it that I had to put it high on my list.
- Deadpool 2
I think my excitement for deadpool lies in the possible fact this may be the last time we see the “Mirk with the mouth” in a R rated setting. The Disney/Fox deal could reach an agreement by the end of this year, Disney I’m sure will continue the X force series but with a lack of individuality and my gut tells me with a lean PG-13 rating.
- Incredibles 2
The long awaited (seriously we’ve been waiting) sequel to the 2006 classic(truest statement ever) Incredibles is finally here! Pixar has been on top of their game over the last few years and it’s exciting they’ve used that momentum to do a sequel to the “Incredibles”. The real downside I see happening is that this movie can join the list of Pixar sequels that haven’t been as good. Factoring in that risk i’m still going to put my all my chips in on “Incredibles 2” as the movie I’m most looking forward to this summer.
What movies are you looking forward to this summer? Leave a comment with your list or just one movie you have on the docket, and as always if you like what you read like and subscribe for more and follow me on Twitter,Instagram,Letterboxd @cinemaflavor for more content.
Based off the Nintendo 64 video game of the same name, “Rampage” follows three animals a Gorilla,Wolf,and a Crocodile after their DNA has been edited to turn them into giant mutated monsters but when the evil company “Engyne” is about to be exposed to the FBI for there mad scientist projects, they lure the monsters into the city to destroy everything including all there evidence.
I’m going to be honest I’ve never played the videogame that this movie is based off even when looking at video of it I don’t think I’ve even seen it. I’m still aware that the game itself is nothing more than a “smash em up” type of game and a movie about it would have that vibe, plus with Brad Peyton behind the wheel You can’t expect a movie like this to be a Oscar contender. Still this movie is bland! Filled with characters that make no impact on the movie, over utilized exposition, antagonists that I swear are so cliche I half expected them to be sitting in a lounge chair in a dimly lit room stroking a small animal. Summer blockbusters like this can be fun but when it’s wasted on trying to shell out screen time with Dwayne Johnson and gigantic monsters something’s gotta give. The third act to this movie is so nauseating, jammed to the brim with destruction that you’ve already seen in other sequences, yet for some reason the third act still has to be filled with bass rumbling destruction that entails the army focusing all there fire power on these animals even though they know bullets and missiles haven’t done anything against them for the last hour. Still they keep shooting because…..it’s fun to look at? Last year King Kong came out around this time and comparing it to that this is actually better. Dwayne Johnson proves he has movie star power, with a god awful screenplay like this he works his charisma into a character that has none. Whereas I couldn’t tell you anything about anyone in King Kong.
If you’re looking at seeing a blockbuster this weekend do yourself a favor and go see “A Quiet Place” or just wait for Avengers in two weeks cause this isn’t worth an admission ticket. I’m going to give Rampage a “D”. If you enjoy what you read like and subscribe for more and follow me on Twitter,Letterboxd,and Instagram @cinemaflavor to see my thoughts on other movies in the past.
Based of the novel by Ernest Cline “Ready Player One” dives into the “The Oasis” a VR based world where players can create their own avatars and choose the way they approach the games inside of it, but when the creator of the oasis lays out a challenge of whoever finds the three keys will own Oasis. When the evil 101 what’s to find it to get it’s riches, it’s up to Wade Watts to find it before they do.
Everyone has some nostalgic feelings for Steven Spielberg’s work, whether it be in the 80s with his blockbusters like Indiana Jones or E.T., The 90s with Jurassic Park or even in early 2000s with something like War of the worlds, You no doubt have enjoyed his movies. In his latter years though, Spielberg like anyone else has lost his creative “fastball”, after many years of directing his current work is nowhere as memorable as his previous work is. Still Spielberg has been trying his hand at the blockbuster genre again. Trying to reclaim the magic that everyone knows him for. Does Ready Player One succeed in that? Well let’s find out.
I’m not one to go to 3D screenings I have very little appeal for them, but my theater was pushing pretty hard for it even making half the screenings they were showing on Thursday and Friday 3D. So I gave it a shot and it’s very much worth it, about three minutes in I forgot I had those glasses on it makes that VR effect that more engulfing. The race scene that’s in the trailer was so much fun to watch with the 3D effect there were long stretches were there wasn’t a cut and the camera use meshes well with the 3D that I felt like I was on a ride for that whole sequence. Most of the CGI in this is very nice to look at, it’s never to rubbery and even the practical stuff with IOI kept it fresh. Which was a nice relief considering the first trailer had some really bad CGI which made me think this production was rushed, however that isn’t the case and the final product looks very nice.
Whether you’ve read the book or just seen the promo for this movie, you know this movie is full of Easter eggs and the movie truly delivers on that part all throughout it there are characters new and old all over the movies it’s hard to list them all. There is a sequence in this movie that heavily pays tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” where you can tell the characters were walking on a physical set of the Overlook Hotel that I knew had to take forever to digitally stitch the characters in that attention detail was definitely my favorite but there is still plenty of other ones to see in this even a battle in the third act where a battle of many monsters and collide, it’s incredibly fun to watch.
Ready Player One plays out more like a ride, calling back to better movies most of the time but never flushing out the characters it has at hand. There are some characters especially Wade Watts friends that never get a proper back story as well as his love interest “Artemis” thats teased to have this Rebellion but it never comes to fruition. As far as character development there is little that is dedicated to anyone else other then Watts himself.
Overall you can enjoy this movie highly if you treat it like an amusement ride. What Ready Player One really lacks is that signature “heart” that is always so common in all of Spielberg’s movies, but I think it’s not surprising that Spielberg may have lost a step or two in his age and many years behind the camera. Still this movie has all the other qualities that is he known for. The incredible attention to detail when it comes to practical sets and machinery, the scale of characters and land sets, even the comedy is bright and cheery. I’m going to give this movie a “B+”. If you saw Ready Player One what did you think of it? Also you like what you read like and subscribe for more. Follow me on Twitter,Instagram,and Letterboxd @cinemaflavor.
Pacific Rim:Uprising is the sequel to the 2013 sort of hit “Pacific Rim”. Set ten years in the future the war between Jaeger’s and Kaiju’s is over but a new threat arrives and it’s much worse. Now it’s up to Jake Pentecost to avenge his fathers name and work and lead a team to save the world one more time.
Pacific Rim is loud,uproarious, fun it’s also extremely self aware, I mean c’mon any movie that has a mech suit beating up a monster with a ship in the streets of Hong Kong isn’t concerned about making the criterion collection. Like most original concepts it didn’t appeal to the mainstream audience so when a sequel was greenlit I was taken aback considered even the small “cult following” it gained over the last four years. This time around though everything this movie sets out to be isn’t the right direction to take this so called “franchise”. Every character in this movie is flat even with the copious amounts of backstory given to them. John Boyega who has proved to have a natural charm to him has his performance buried under an extremely cringey script coupled with Scott Eastwood who I swear hated his life having to film this movie.Cailee Spaeny who is the lead is actual quite good she has very little to her resume but holds her own, if anything she should get more work just for having to work through this screenplay. The highlight of every monster type of movie should be the fights,destruction,etc. and this movie can’t even get that right!!! the beginning fight looks like it was made by the same guys who made that giant robot that appears before NFL games, its CGI was so lackluster and that’s not even the worse part. This movie has two third acts. One that involves Charlie Day’s reveal of being the antagonist and using his brain link to the Kaiju’s to create these Zombie type of Jaegers and it takes up most of the third act but then another twenty minutes is dedicated to a group of Jaegers fighting one big Kaiju in Japan. Its obvious Steven Deknight(who has only directed individual episodes of shows like Daredevil) has inexperience with feature length films and its cut like a two story arc on a tv show. When a movie is that messy in structure isn’t it a no brainer to bring in someone much more competent to lead a movie this massive.
Do yourself a favor and just watch the first Pacific Rim if you want to be entertained, Pacific Rim:Uprising does no justice to the first movie and Steven Deknight proves that he should stick to directing tv shows instead. I’m going to give Pacific Rim: Uprising a “D-”. If you like what you read like and subscribe for more and follow me on Twitter,Instagram, and Letterboxd @Cinemaflavor.
Tomb raider is a live action adaption of the 2013 game of the same name. Following Lara Croft as she looks for her father after he mysteriously disappears seven years ago.
Tomb Raider has had an interesting past, in the early 90s the then popular game was one of the first times a women was given a lead role in a videogame and it’s also one of the few video game movies that isn’t completely reviled by it’s fanbase. The Angelina Jolie lead movie is a product of times, though not exactly a movie with a high rewatchability factor to it, it proves that there is way to make movie adapted from a game when it’s not so tied down by the source material. In 2013 Tomb Raider got a facelift and went from a campy male dominated fantasy to a grounded game about a women trying to survive the harsh environments after she gets stuck on a island. So when I saw they were making a movie based on the new games I was excited to see if this would do the game justice and whether the movie can give Lara a new look while also using the storyline to the game.
Alicia Vikander brings her own into the character while also keeping true the game idea of Croft. It’s nice to see a character with a depth to themselves, she isn’t this daredevil like the past iterations, Lara is pushed to survive the danger environments she is surrounded by on this island that require her to use her instincts and to even kill all to find her father. There is some solid camera work even for a movie that has a lot of running and jumping there is some very clever use of wide angle and long edits. More often then not a movie like this will lose its audiences with its “shaky” style.
Though the movie has great character building around Lara the same thing can’t be said with anyone else more importantly the antagonist of the film Vogel played by Walter Goggins and the company “Trinity” who are also seeking the same treasures Lara’s father is looking for. They felt like they were written into this movie at the last minute, since it’s never made clear why there also chasing the treasures Croft is looking for. Even Goggins who can prove he can be a villainous type of person in his past films is resorted to just a “bad guy with a gun” cliche. Most of this movie does lack an idea of where it wants to go, fortunately the game gives clear direction of what Trinity is up to,what Lara’s father was hiding, and why Lara is such an excellent marksman and survivor. However the movie does not and expects the audience to not only have played these games but to have understood them well.
Overall, this a solid movie that never gets boring and does bring the style of the game to life, but your better off just playing the video game for a better experience of Lara Croft and her counterparts. I’m going to give Tomb Raider a “C”, if you seen Tomb Raider what do you think of it and if you like what you read like and subscribe for more and you can also follow me on Twitter,Instagram,and Letterboxd to see my past reviews @cinemaflavor.
Thanks to Marvel for setting up this friday to be a good one! After they released the trailer to Avengers:Infinity war presale for tickets went up, I got my tickets and now i’m just eagerly waiting for april 27th to get here. Now much like i’ve done for other trailers in the past i’ll be breaking down what I noticed in the trailer and my opinions on what I saw, and just like the other trailers these are my own personal opinions and don’t reflect on what anyone else thinks of the trailer.
- The trailer opens with an establishing shot of New York, the shot is flipped upside down I think to foreshadow the destruction. Plus the last trailer opened with Thano’s homeworld proving this movie will have a much bigger scale than any of the other MCU movies.
- We get our first look at Gamora telling Tony about her father’s plan and motives and filling in that The Avengers are now aware of Thanos and his intentions before he arrives to earth.
- Tony’s suit has gotten some major upgrades, the boosters on his feet can turn into one boost, but it’ll be interesting to see what other upgrades he has gotten in the weapon and defense category.
- Captain America and Black Widow make there way to Wakanda with T’challa and Shuri giving them plans that have to do with Vision. I can only assume it has to do with the stone on his forehead but what would they want with it? my guess is for safety or possibly to use against Thanos.
- The Guardians interacting with The Avengers was a nice touch it’s not clear exactly were there at i’m guessing on earth with some rubble around but its way to red and glowing. I’m assuming they’re on “Titan” Thanos homeworld, but with Spider man there it seems unlikely tony would bring young Peter on another mission away from home.
- Iron man is all over this trailer, not only screen time wise but also with location the last trailer revealed that Tony, Dr. Strange, and Banner were going to be a team up, but now it looks like Tony is joining forces with the Guardians as well.
- This major battle that’s going to go down in Wakanda gets some new light as the Wakandian warriors as well as Falcon are charging toward this force field. I know its a bit of a stretch but this seems to be an homage to the Gungans force field in Phantom Menace. I mean c’mon an army fighting in an open field toward a big blue force field tell me you don’t see it.
- Big movies like this always have rapid editing but when you slow it down you can notice some major stuff going like the Hulk buster is also in on the fight at Wakanda and even the first reveals of the black order with Loki torturing Dr strange. plus we also see Strange assisting Starlord in a fight in an earlier shot of the trailer. Even that big oracle in the first trailer crash lands somewhere. All key things im sure in the movie that i’m sure marvel wanted to sneak into the trailer.
- Marvel always has that “were gonna trick you into thinking someone is going to die” shot it appears Thor is getting that treatment when Thanos is squeezing his head Great Khali style, I wouldn’t invest to much into it but we can agree he is gonna get his ass kicked.
- Thanos gets some character growth to a flashback of a young Gamora holding Thano’s hand, which is then followed up with Thanos destroying the tesseract proving that thanos motives are not to just cause destruction but that he yearns for the power to gain back the favor of his daughter.
- the money shot of this trailer is a bit weird with Spiderman and Dr Strange with some light hearted banter. I’m guessing this is a nod to the comic books cause it doesn’t make sense to have two secondary characters as your money shot when the trailer ended on a great note of Cap blocking thanos hand.
With just over a month until the movie is released, im sure all of you are just as excited as I am to see what this movie has in store and just what the future of the MCU will look like after its done. If you like what you read you can like and subscribe for more and to see reviews on other movies you can go to Instagram,Twitter, and letterboxd @cinemaflavor to see my other content.