Ughhhhh, please don’t make me do this. Let’s just get it over with. You might remember the cliffhanger to my stellar review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (link here: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review) and wondered if there actually was Star Wars holiday tie-in. There is, and it’s an abomination to mankind known as The Star Wars Holiday Special. Star Wars fans are obviously familiar with the horrifyingly bad flick, but you outsiders are probably not. For those who don’t know, in December of 1978, CBS would air a Christmas special involving the original, beloved Star Wars characters to cash in on the huge popularity of the first movie from a year prior. It quickly became became known as one of the worst things CBS would broadcast since Young Sheldon. This isn’t some knockoff either, they managed to get the original cast to come back. That’s right, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, and more! Not to mention the amount of celebrity cameos as well, but we’ll get to that when we get to that. This is a film so infamous that even the big man himself, George Lucas, said at a later convention “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”. Remember, this is the guy that greenlit the prequels, special editions, and Howard The Duck. So if Lucas hates it, it must be really bad. Oh how right you are! Just get to the plot. Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca are trying to get away from the Empire stock footage from the first movie. You see, Chewie wants to get back to his family to celebrate a Wookie holiday called Life Day. Yeah, Chewbacca has a family and we get to follow them throughout the entire special. No substitles, just watching them prepare for Life Day in there loud Wookie language. The film is full of strange detours, forced-in cameos, and the original actors phoning it in for a paycheck. Do I really have to say more about this, fine. Like I said, throughout the special we follow the life of Chewbacca’s family, which you never cared about, or thought of. I never minded Chewbacca’s roar before, but after watching this I absolutely loathe it. We don’t even know what they’re saying, they just obnoxiously roar, roar, and roar through the entire thing. Once in a while something will happen but it’s either confusing or you don’t care and want the special to be over. Let’s talk about all the detours because there are a lot. One moment Chewie’s son is watching a hologram parade, then we cut to a poorly animated Star Wars cartoon, then out of nowhere a Jefferson Starship music video! Not kidding, the rock band Jefferson Starship appears and it’s now a 70s music video. Like what? The worst detour is when Art Carney randomly visits the family and gives the eldest Wookiee a, ugh, VR porn set. Yes, this is a scene where Carney gives a Wookiee porn in front of his family. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. Why is any of this in Star Wars holiday special. I want to laser fights in space, not Chewie’s wife watch a cooking show with Harvey Korman dressed in drag. Yeah, there are a lot of celebrity cameos, the one that appears most is Harvey Korman. One of them involving him looking like an overweight version of the stepmother from Cinderella. Which, like I said, is supposed to be a cooking show where he says “Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir” over and over again. Then in his second cameo he’s teaching a tutorial on some electronic device which Chewie’s son. This scene goes on forever and is so boring. From what I’ve heard, this is no product placement or anything, it’s just Korman doing a tutorial on a fictional device within this fictional universe. Then his final cameo involves being at a bar at Mos Eisley from the first the first movie, with Bea Arthur. You heard right, Bea Arthur is in this special. Apparently the Empire is shutting her bar down, for some reason, and we have a whole music number about it. It’s fine I guess, but is another pointless detour in a mountain of many. But screw the celebrity cameos, what about the original cast? Usually I say in these Star Wars reviews that their acting is good, but by god is it phoned in in this special. Even though they’re some of the most important characters in the Star Wars universe, they basically amount to nothing in this movie. The family wants to know where Chewie is, so they call up Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) who doesn’t know where he is either and wishes them good luck. Then they call up C-3PO and Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher) and they don’t where he is either an wish them good luck too. James Earl Jones does the voice for Darth Vader again and his only live action scene is just a deleted scene from the first movie that’s been dubbed over. Harrison Ford is barely in it and even at the end where him and Chewie are fending the family from stormtroopers, he doesn’t even defeat the one he’s fighting. He just trips over his gun and falls off the balcony and Han wins. Then they all get together in the end for Life Day and Leia sings a song about the holidays or whatever. There really is nothing really left to say about this movie because through most of it we’re following these screaming Wookiee who we can’t understand. On the bright side, this is first on screen appearance of the badass bounty hunter Boba Fett. This is in another detour which is a badly animated section of the special that, trust me, you won’t care about. But many people got their first of Boba Fett, and that’s awesome. Nether the less, the special is garbage! It’s annoying, pointless, and just all around unpleasant. Why did CBS air this? Why did the original cast say yes to this? Why did Lucas think this would be a Christmas classic? I can see why everyone involved with it is so ashamed. The film is not even funny in a bad way, it’s just obnoxious! Good god do I hate this movie! In fact, I’m so pissed off, I’m not even going to bother doing my signature sign off. Goodbye! I’m gonna look at better Christmas specials to get my mind off of this. Happy Holidays!
Time to look at the most anticipated film of the year, Star Wars: The Last Jedi! The very film that Disney bullied the market into giving it more runs and 65% of the ticket sales. And so far, it’s the highest grossing movie of 2017 in only 5 days. Good luck Jumangi, The Greatest Showman, and Pitch Perfect Part Whatever, Star Wars is gonna rule the box office again. Let’s talk about it! The plot is about Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) trying to convince a stubborn Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) to help the Resistance fight the First Order. Luke is hesitant because an event happened in the past that made him bitter about the force and life around him. But we also have story #2 with Finn (played by John Boyega) and some other Resistance member trying to find a hacker to break into Snoke’s ship because they’re heavily attacking their fleet. Also in story #3 we have x-wing pilot Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac) trying to fight the backup leader for an unconscious Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher). Wait, is she still a princess? I don’t care. For the backup leader (played by Laura Dern) plans to evacuate their crew instead of fighting back on the First Order’s fleet. Yeah, this film is very messy. Writer and director Rian Johnson tried so hard to separate this movie from The Force Awakens that he kinda strayed too far and made a clustered mess that has thrown the the new Star Wars trilogy off track. There’s key elements from the last installment that are abandoned and interesting ideas that they don’t take advantage of. Allow me to explain. One of the characters from the last one that everyone has been debating is Suprime Leader Snoke (played by Andy Serkis). At first it’s just like “Oh, he’s just the new Emperor Palpatine” and fan theories popped up saying he is a scarred Mace Windu wanting revenge on the Skywalker family for what Anakin did to him. Or stupid fan theories that it’s really a female extra from Attack of the Clones. Good god do I hate mentioning that movie. But Johnson heard the theories and said “No, Snoke is a nobody who is doesn’t matter!”. So, spoilers, Snoke gets killed by Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) is thrown away. We all thought that Luke Skywalker was Rey’s father, or she was somehow related to Obi Wan Kenobi, but we were wrong. Who’s Rey’s real parents? No one. They’re just scoundrels from Jakku who sold her as a child. What a letdown! Remember how shocking it was when it was revealed that Luke’s father was Darth Vader? That was a good twist that allowed to a more interesting story and character development. But something that fans anticipated for adds up to basically nothing. Sure it would have been to predictable if they stuck to the fan theories, but at least get us something! Many of you who’ve just learned Snoke dies before he can be given a character might be wondering why Kylo Ren killed him. Because he wanted to overthrow Snoke, that doesn’t sound familiar, and wants to start a new order with Rey to wipe out the force stuff and make a better galaxy. Basically saying “Good, bad, who cares?”. Now this is an interesting idea that could lead the Star Wars franchise in a new direction. But Rey says “Screw you!” and continues the same story we saw before. So there are good ideas but the film just abandons them for the same, old stuff. The film also suffers from the modern blockbuster syndrome. Where you can’t have a single serious moment without cutting it with a joke. This is in a lot of mainstream movies like the Marvel ones. At points, films like Spider-Man: Homecoming felt like a comedy than a superhero film. You know that we will still like your movie if you have a more serious scene. Oh wait, kids don’t want that because they need funny lines and constant action in order to buy to toys. Cut me a break. When you see Luke start talking about how he’s lost his touch in the force and hope for the galaxy, funny joke about Luke’s alien servants. Yeah, those are in the movie too. The film also kinda stretches the limits of the force. What I mean is that in the original films you have an easier grasp of the force. Wielders of the force can levitate objects, sense a person’s presence, and be a highly skilled swordsman. Sure there’s a line in the film that simple explanations like that are wrong and that it’s what keeps the balance of good and evil stable, blah blah blah space wizards. This film adds more force abilities that are kinda laughable. It’s been established before that Leia has some force in her, but now she can literally survive the vacuum of space and float back to the ship. During the scene, I tried so hard not to burst out laughing in the theater. You know, because other want to see the movie? Maybe I’ll do a full rant on obnoxious movie goers someday. Back to the review. Also in the end fight between Luke and Kylo Ren it turns out Luke is just some type of apparition that everyone can see but can’t touch. Why didn’t any jedi use that before in the franchise? It just puts a black hole in this cinematic universe. Then it’s revealed that ghost jedi can summon lightning from the sky in Yoda’s cameo. Oh yeah, let’s talk about that. In one of the most forced-in scenes (no pun intended), Yoda (played by Frank Oz) makes in appearance where he tells Luke that the jedi will never die, while watching the ancient jedi text, that Luke is keeping, burn in a huge blaze. I am very thankful that Yoda is a puppet and not CG. No joke, in this mainstream, sci fi, action movie they use an actual puppet! Even got Oz to come back and do the voice. Sadly, that nostalgia factor still leans in. Why do we need Yoda, he’s one of my favorite Star Wars characters, but do we really need him in this movie. After the first film was trying to squeeze those nostalgic feelings out of the grown audience, this film, that is trying to distance itself from the franchise, still relies on nostalgia. I know Lucasfilm lended this film to one guy, but you got to wonder that some of these decisions were from the suits and not Johnson. Besides Yoda, they repeat scenes, and even reuse the same dialogue. In that one scene where Rey and Ren, which sounds like a sitcom the more I think about it, are on an elevator, I swear to god that the said the exact same lines that Luke and Vader shared in Return of the Jedi! I don’t know if I confused it but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. But by far, the worst one is the climax. Let’s backtrack it before we get to that. After Rey denies joining Ren in his new order, they fight over Luke’s lightsaber, break it, Rey gets away, and the Resistance learns that the First Order can only track their main ship, and decide to take the escape ships to hide on another planet while the First Order is distracted. Throughout the film Poe tries to fight the Laura Dern character, who has this annoying purple hair that is always distracting, over saving the Resistance. He thinks they should fight the First Order fleet while she would rather retreat while there’s still a chance. In the end, Leia becomes conscious again, knocks out Poe, and joins Dern’s side. You might be thinking why I’m calling her Laura Dern instead of her character’s name is because I only see Laura Dern and not a character. Plus they only say her name once in the film and you’re guaranteed not to remember her name after this movie. Anyway, Leia leaves with the fleet and Dern stays behind to pilot the main ship. Why though, did no one invent autopilot in this universe full of advanced technology beyond our comprehension? Screw it, Poe wakes up next to Leia on one of the ships and is pissed she chose Dern’s side. Leia explains that the First Order’s fleet will be distracted by the main ship which will make them able to slip away. Now Poe always chooses violence over reason, as demonstrated in an earlier scene where risks almost the entire Resistance fleet in an effort to take down a juggernaut star destroyer. At first I thought “Okay, I guess that’s a good lesson for the kids in the audience that violence is never the answer to your problems”, but then that plan backfired as this vast First Order fleet sees the Resistance trying to get away and starts firing at them. It didn’t even take them long to spot them, one guy sees them and starts blowing up their escape ships. It does, however, result in a rather badass move where Dern saves the Resistance fleet by turning the main ship around, putting it into light speed, and cutting through every single star destroyer. Now that’s cool. So you think that’s a good way to end the movie. The First Order’s fleet is defeated, Ren and others get away, the Resistence, and all of them reunite in the end to make another cliffhanger for the sequel. They couldn’t possibly drag it out to 2hrs and 33min, right…RIGHT?!? You didn’t the film was that smart, did you? No, it doesn’t end there, and it leads to the possibly they most shameful, desperate, and pointless part of the whole. The second climax (as I call it) where, this film that wants to separate itself from the franchise, rehashes the battle on Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. Yep, it’s exact same thing, only with fake CG and not good looking models. I do mean the same thing. The enemies are attacking with AT-AT walkers, the good guys send out a small fleet to defend their base, that doesn’t work, and before the bad guys can storm the good guys’ base, they get away. Except this is stupider. When they realize they can’t stop them, the Resistance fleet retreats except Finn, who decides to sacrifice himself to save the Resistance. Now Finn has done basically done nothing right throughout this film. He gets imprisoned at a casino planet, they get the help of a hacker (played by Benicio Del Toro) who later betrays them, and almost gets him and his new friend, Rose Tico, by Captain Phasma. Oh yeah, she still exists. So doing something like sacrificing himself to save his friends can redeem him. Then before he can successfully do that, Tico knocks her ship into his, which would actually kill her and Finn, and gives a lame excuse why. You see, it isn’t fighting that will save us, but love. All while the First Order is literally breaking down the door. Then, like I stated earlier, Ren and Luke’s apparition get into a semi-sword duel. When Ren learns he can’t hurt Luke, Luke says that the jedi will never and good will always triumph. Wait, wasn’t that the point of that Yoda scene earlier. My god is that pointless. How dare you waste a Frank Oz performance! Then Luke dies. Why, I don’t know. They show a shot of him looking at the sunsets, because the first movie, and then just dies. Then the ending just keeps going. We cut to shots of characters talking and you think it will end there, but it cuts to the slave kids on that casino planet. It’s supposed to be like “Oh, there’s always hope for the good in every generation” and I just don’t care! There’s even more I have to talk about like Benicio Del Toro’s wasted performance, the fact that Captain Phasma has armor that can deflect laser blasts yet The stormtroopers still get those crappy uniforms, and more! Overall, this film kinda gets the same reaction as The Force Awakens. It has many flaws, but it’s fine. The acting is good, effects are okay, and it has some good ideas. I think they could try to stray from the franchise a little bit, but this film does it so much that it derails the new trilogy. I honestly don’t know where they’re gonna go from here. So that’s my review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Where do you think the new trilogy is going from here? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
You know now that I think about it, I think Christmas and Star Wars are starting to blend together. Every year there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out and everyone goes crazy. I wonder if someone ever tried to combine Star Wars and the Holiday Season before? Well no time to think about that, I got to…hold on. I’m sorry, this present just showed up out of nowhere right beside me. Don’t really see anyone that could’ve possibly left this here…so I’ll just open it while no one is around. Oh boy, I can’t wait to see what’s insi…wait a minute. No! Oh please god, no! I’ll do anything else than watch this! I’ll shave my hair off, eat Taco Bell breakfast for a day, anything but this! It’s not true, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Net neutrality may be dead, but I’m here to stay. Now it’s time for more Star Wars! Don’t worry, I will get to my review of The Last Jedi soon enough, but I felt I had to go over The Force Awakens first. Yes, the film hype culture made popular, but snobs like me saw as a cash cow. So let’s talk about it! The plot takes place years after the events of the original trilogy. Ruling over the galaxy is the Evil Imperial Empire, I mean the First Order, and the Rebellion, I mean the Resistance, is trying to take them down. We follow Luke Skywalker, I mean Rey, living on a filthy, desert planet called Tatooine, I mean Jakku, who comes across with a secret message from the Resistance named R2D2, I mean BB8. She vows to get the plans to the Resistance, led by Princess Leia, I mean…oh wait it is Leia, and keeping them away from the clutches of the first order, led by Darth Vader, I mean Kylo Ren. Along with her is a wise, old mentor named Obi Wan Kenobi, I mean Han Solo, along with his sidekick Wookiee, Chewbacca. Plus a rouge stormtrooper named Finn, who I think may count as Lando Calrissian, whatever. Obviously you can tell the main problem with this movie. It borrows way too much from the A New Hope! Not joking, it’s that similar. I know they’re trying to distance themselves from the awful prequels, but you didn’t literally have to repeat the same plot as the film that launched the franchise. They don’t even try to hide it, they blatantly show it to you. By having a rag tag group of heroes deliver a droid with a secret message to a rebellion that is trying to overthrow an evil empire, which results in a climax where they have to blow up a planet destroying space station. Besides that shamefulness, the rest of the film is good. Good acting, fun action, decent effects, memorable characters (when they’re not borrowing from other characters), it’s a fine movie. But where it falls is with it’s repeating of old ideas and it’s nostalgia factor. I’m okay with a film trying to be nostalgic, but not to this level. Many of you South Park fans may remember the member berries. Berries that were social satire of how much Hollywood relies on nostalgia nowadays. It feels as though the member berries wrote the screenplay to this movie. There’s hints, Easter eggs, and bringing back old characters. It’s always annoying and makes me want to watch the original movies instead of this one. Maybe it was all a marketing ploy by Disney to get people to buy the original trilogy for $50…hmm. The old actors like Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are once again great as their characters. What about the new characters? Daisy Ridley is good as Rey, John Boyega is good as Finn, and Adam Driver is good as Kylo Ren, nothing much to say. Speaking of Kyle Ren, is he a good replacement for Darth Vader? Driver’s acting talents do shine as Ren and out of all the new characters, he probably has the most development. But he does kind of lack the threatening and imposing figure of Vader. He’s trying, but doesn’t feel as menacing. When Vader got mad, people got scared for dear life. He would kill anyone who failed him, but he always kept his cool. Ren on the other hand comes across as more whiny and unstable. If something bad happens, he’ll throw a fit like a two year old who’s refused on getting ice cream. It doesn’t help that he’s also trying so desperately to be like Vader by wearing black robes, leather gloves, boots, and a mask that hides his face and enhances his voice. Overall, I don’t mind Ren. Along with Ren is Emperor Palpatine, I mean Supreme Leader Snoke (played by Andy Serkis) who Ren follows. When we first see him he looks huge. I first thought “Wow, he’s giant, how are they going to handle this?”, but then it’s revealed it’s a hologram and Snoke isn’t that tall. What a let down of big proportions…sorry for the awful joke. There’s ginger Grand Moff Tarkin who you probably won’t remember and will only make you miss Peter Cushing. Plus the film’s equivalent to Boba Fett, Captain Phasma. Our first female stormtrooper in the franchise that’s so disposable that they literally throw her in a trash compactor in the film. There’s another character who you won’t remember named Poe (played by Oscar Issac), who isn’t bad, but very forgettable. Then there’s some good actors who do virtually nothing in the film like Max Von Sydow, Simon Pegg, and Andy Serkis who I mentioned earlier. There isn’t really much else to say for those wanting a spoiler free review. So leave now if you want to see the movie for yourself! That is if you’ve seen A New Hope then you’ve technically seen it already. Here we go. Han Solo dies! Yep, what Harrison Ford wanted back in The Empire Strikes Back but was refused happened here. I bet JJ Abrams thought it was going to be a huge surprise, but if you were following the plot you’d know he’d die like Kenobi. Still sad that he’s dead though. I also know this will start a trend which they’ll kill off the rest of the old ones in the next two movies. Come on, it’s going to happen and you know it too. Also for you Luke Skywalker fans, he doesn’t show up till the end. They Mark Hamill to film one scene with Luke, and then end it. That’s about all I can say about this movie. It’s an okay movie with all those good things I mentioned earlier, but a bunch of noticeable flaws. Apparently a lot of people loved this movie because it’s the highest grossing movie ever tracking in at 2.066 billion. For me personally, it’s okay. I know some of you want to see my review of The Last Jedi, but there’s several crucial plot points in this one that I felt I needed to go over in order to review the next installment. Now that that’s over with, I can now talk about The Last Jedi…tomorrow. For I’m busy tonight, but I do promise to get to it by the next day. So that’s my review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Did you also see this as cash cow from the beginning? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
I know this is different from my usual posts but you must listen! Tomorrow on December 14, 2017, the FCC will vote to kill net neutrality. What is net neutrality? It is what keeps free speech and tax fees off the internet. Yet companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are trying to kill net neutrality with the help of the FCC. This will result in them taxing what we search and monitor everything that we do. This will also hurt small businesses and cost thousands of online jobs, including my own. If the FCC succeeds, this will result in me, fellow critics, and other online content being censored and taken away their freedom of speech. I love my job, and I want to keep it. But if net neutrality dies, all of us will be out of a job or struggle to keep going. We need your help. The only thing that can stand in the FCC’s way is congress. You can vote to convince congress to prevent the death of net neutrality. Please, I beg you, help stop the FCC from killing net neutrality, save jobs, and prevent heavy monitoring. Join the fight here at https://www.battleforthenet.com/. You and congress are our only hope!
Once again we must look at another indie film either James Franco’s The Disaster Artist. Based on the novel by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, the film follows the life of a young Sestero (played by Dave Franco) trying to be a big star in Hollywood but having issues. When he comes across a mysterious person named Tommy Wiseau (played by James Franco) his life changes as Tommy gives him the courage to go to Hollywood and fulfill his dreams of becoming an actor. They struggle a lot and when they don’t succeed, they decide to make their own movie. That movie would become the famous cult film, The Room, one of the most entertainingly bad movies of all time. Throughout the film we witness the drama, struggles, and disasters that happened around this true story. Or the Hollywoodified true story. Honestly, I was highly anticipated this flick. The Room is my favorite so bad that it’s bad movie, so you can obviously see why. I remember my brother and I watched a few years ago and we laughed our asses off. We often find ourselves quoting the movie, like “Oh hi Mark!” or “You’re tearing me apart Lisa!”. When we first saw the trailer, we were immediately hyped. Now that we have saw it, my brother liked it, but I’m rather mixed. On the one hand, Franco’s performance is great and I’m at least a film like this got made and got so much publicity. On the other, there’s a lot of flaws and relies too much on The Room fanbase. Like I said James Franco is amazing as Tommy Wiseau and gives a performance that probably no other actor in Hollywood today could ever pull off. It’s obvious Franco loves The Room, and the fact that he would actually make this is appreciative. But I’m pretty sure he also relies on the fanbase to give this film profits. Does he think that saying a line from the film will make us go crazy? Though the dialogue and acting from The Room is hilarious, there’s more that made it so memorably laughable. The Room is often said to be the worst movie ever made, because nearly everything in it is done wrong. The acting, directing, editing, story, pacing, just everything really. Franco doesn’t get it because he literally does side by side comparisons of the original scenes and the versions he made. Let’s compare the two versions of the Dozen Red Roses scene. In the original the dialogue is clunky, the acting is cringeworthy, it’s very rushed, and the poor dubbing is so distracting. It’s funny how terrible the scene was done and that no one bothered to fix it. But in Franco’s version it reuses the clunky dialogue, has good sound, at a fine pace, and it’s ruined. Do you see what I mean? It’s too clean to be funny. Being “supposedly” based on true events, shouldn’t the characters be a little interesting. Besides Franco’s Wiseau, the other characters are pretty forgettable. Dave Franco has this same expression of being nervous and concerning on his face throughout the whole movie. He has his moments but just keeps this same expression on his face the whole time. Of course being a James Franco movie he has to put all of his friends in it. So Seth Rogen has a role in this movie, who once in a while has a funny line. The rest just get pointless cameos. It happens every three scenes in the movie. And it’s always awkward and clumsy. Oh look it’s Zack Efron, oh look it’s Brian Cranston, oh look it’s that guy from those If Google was a Guy videos by CollegeHumor. In the beginning of the film, all of these famous faces come out to praise The Room and Tommy Wiseau, who clearly haven’t seen The Room or know who Tommy Wiseau is. It immediately becomes blatant when they treat the film like Citizen Kane and never actually say The Room or Tommy Wiseau. Off the bat the film is taking the Ed Wood approach. Tell a story that shows the life of an eccentric filmmaker who makes crap but is portrayed as a good guy and all the people who critique him are the bad guys. Except where Ed Wood had charm, memorable characters, great acting, good cinematography, and a style to it, this film is mostly absent from that stuff. Franco is great as Wiseau, but everyone else is either phoning it in, or have only given one direction throughout the film. Let’s talk about the cinematography in this movie, it is obnoxious. In preparation for this movie I took a look at some Franco’s early directorial efforts. Just from one clip I saw how bad the camerawork was. So I kind of knew going in that the cinematography wasn’t going to be spectacular. While watching I started to get a bit noxious and I wondered. Is it because I’m tired or is it the annoying camerawork on screen. Yep, this film uses the always classic technique of handheld shakey cam. A technique that audiences and critics hate, but Hollywood thinks everyone loves. Why do so many people use it nowadays, it doesn’t enhance a scene and just makes it aggravating to sit through. It’s used in every scene, I’m not joking! Even in scenes with people talking they’re constantly swinging the camera around that it’s hard to concentrate. Do modern day directors have the same mindset that if it worked for Saving Private Brian than it must work for me. Because it’s so overused! I also know that fans of the book are not gonna like this movie. It’s the Hollywood version where all the dark true stuff is pushed aside for a more romanticized version. The film says that Greg and Tommy were both best buds and always stuck together even in the hard times, follow your dreams all of that crap. Even though in real life Tommy was a manipulative asshole and Greg did his movie not really because they were buddies, but because he was a struggling actor who needed the money. I bet their best friends now, but not as close as the film would lead you to believe. I know a lot of people complain about historical inaccuracies but it’s Hollywood and they’ve doing that since the golden age of cinema. I mean the next hyped bio film from Hollywood is the story of PT Barnum, which is a PG musical starring Hugh Jackman and Zendaya. There’s going to be a lot more complaints on that one. Overall the film is okay, it’s not good or bad. I am thankful that James Franco tried doing something like this that probably have never happened in Hollywood. But it’s definitely not perfect. If you want to see a more better take on a story like this, then watch Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. So that’s my review of The Disaster Artist! Do you want me to do a full review of The Room someday? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Wait a minute it’s not Halloween anymore, what is wrong with you Ben? Well hear me out. Just because it says “Halloween” in the title doesn’t mean it all takes place on Halloween. The story starts on Halloween and goes through the other holidays until it comes full circle. So I could have reviewed on any holiday. Plus I promised I’d do Comic Book Corner once a month and there’s a lot of films I got to review in the future, so I decided to put this out now. And boy do I’ve gotta good one for you today. Batman: The Long Halloween like I said is a Batman storyline about Batman and friends trying to track a killer called Holiday, who obviously strikes every holiday. Holiday mainly goes after mob bosses from mafia families such as the Maronis and the Falcones. Not only is Batman after Holiday, but his villains are too. Seeing how Holiday is taking away most of their targets and they all are frankly pissed off about it. So it’s up to Batman to stop Holiday and his rose gallery as well. The storyline lasts over 13 issues and was published back in 1996-97. It’s a very intriguing story and has many twists and turns. Batman and comic book fans are sure to love. You got Batman doing his detective work while battling an onslaught of villains. You get your typical picks from the rose gallery. Like Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, and…Calender Man? Yeah something that you outsiders may know is that Calender Man is one of the more obscure Batman villains. He was just invented as a one-off character, the villain of the week as I like to call it. He looked ridiculous, his schemes were ridiculous, and he was very easy to track, which is also ridiculous. So rebooting such a silly villain for a serious storyline kinda sounds like a recipe for disaster. Actually no, the Calendar Man is a very important aspect to the story and has a more interesting approach. He’s sort of a Hannibal Lecter like figure that always acts weird and mysterious. No surprise Batman needs him to take down Holiday because they have very similar methods. The rest of the villains are the same as you remember. I like how the author cleverly fitted most of them to holidays. Like Solomon Grundy is Thanksgiving because he’s a flesh eating zombie. Joker is on Christmas because he’s bright and colorful. Catwoman is Valentines Day because of her live/hate relationship with Batman. Poison Ivy is St. Patrick’s Day because she can control plant life (including shamrocks). Riddler is April Fools Day because he’s a trickster. But the only that I can’t figure out is Scarecrow and Mad Hatter on Mother’s Day. It’s so unfitting! Sure it leads to Scarecrow gassing Batman which causes him to start hallucinating about his dead mother, because parents dying blah blah blah. But really, Mother’s Day? Could you have put them on Halloween or another spooky holiday like Day of the Dead? Whatever, it’s fine nonetheless. Besides the villains, there’s also stuff about Batman’s friend, Harvey Dent, trying to catch Holiday as well. This storyline is the one that leads to Dent’s disfigurement which turns him into Two Face. Except where Batman’s treating the Holiday case like any other, it drives Dent to near insanity. Holiday goes after the mafia families and Dent hates them, but now has to defend them. You can see what’s bugging him so much. This results in his relationship with his wife getting neglected, his friends trusting him less, and of course, him eventually getting acid thrown in his face which turns him into a villain. It’s probably the most interesting part of the whole storyline. The other stuff that’s happening in this story is the contrast between the two mafia families, the Maronis and the Falcones. Right when both of them are about to come to a truce, this Holiday stuff comes up and ruins everything, especially with the Falcones. The head boss, Carmine Falcone who many of you might remember as one of the villains from the Christopher Nolan film, Batman Begins, is getting crap from his family like his screaming wife. It’s the less interesting part of the story but it’s not too boring. All of this stuff leads to a twist that’s actually very surprising and that you’ll never see coming. The twist being something I’ll not spoil because I want to encourage all of you to read it. I know, me not spoiling the plot, that’s unheard of! Enough of the story, is there anything else that’s good about this graphic novel? Another thing I must mention is the artwork. I find myself enjoying it because it’s ver stylized and creative. Especially the covers, if you ever have some spare time on your hands, look up some of the covers, they’re awesome to look at. Although some of the designs I’m too crazy about, like the design of Joker. I don’t know, I just find that jawline all messed up and a little silly. But that’s just me nitpicking again. I can’t really say much else without spoiling the story too much. So I encourage you, the reader, to view it for yourself and see what you think. The characters are good, the artwork is good, and the story is great. Check it out and see what you think. So that’s my review of…WAIT A MINUET, YOU DIDN’tT TELL US ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS STUFF!!! Okay, okay, I’ll tell you about the Christmas stuff. So issue 3 is about Joker getting loose and wanting to kill Holiday to lower the competition. He plans to gas all of Gotham City to get rid of him/her and Batman of course comes in to stop him. There’s also Christmas trees, lights, and all that crap. So that’s the Christmas stuff. Does that clear it all up, I don’t care. So that’s my review of Batman: The Long Halloween! Should I review other Batman storylines? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Time to end the original Star Wars trilogy with Return of the Jedi. There’s that saying that third is the worst, and it often applies to movies. This is a prime example of that term. No I’m not saying that this is a bad movie, far from it, but it is the weakest of the original trilogy. This is also the one that is the most edited by George Lucas. Let’s dive in! Continuing from the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) is imprisoned in carbon freeze and kept in the palace of Jabba the Hutt. So our heroes bust in and try to free him. That being Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams), Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2D2, and Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) who’s now a highly trained jedi. Meanwhile the Imperial Empire is rebuilding the Death Star as Darth Vader (played by James Earl Jones and David Prowse) is preparing for the arrival of the Emperor (played by Ian McDiarmid). Just like the first two movies it’s full of space battles, lasers, and memorable characters that will become best selling action figures before the film even comes out. This is still a good movie with good characters and effects (except the special editions), but isn’t the best coming off the heels of one of the best sequels ever made. Obviously the first half of the movie is our heroes trying to save Han from Jabba’s Palace. It goes on interrupted for too long that when the Empire comes back in it’s like “Oh yeah, they’re still in this movie.”. It’s not bad, but I wished they would have kept Jabba in the movie more instead of dumping him in the middle of the film and just completely forget about it. Let’s talk about the Jabba stuff first. I will admit a lot of the alien creatures in Jabba’s palace are very colorful and creative (when they’re not terrible CG add-ins). Like the Rancor, the Max Reebo Band, that tentacle-headed guy, and Boba Fett, who’s back from the last movie. Jabba is a huge puppet, and not a poorly rendered CG add-in that Lucas forced in, which has a lot of expression despite that his face is so large and stretched out. But you don’t want to know about puppets and costumes, no no, you want to know about the music number. In the original cut they had a small song number, Lapti Nek, which though a little cheesy, keeps with the film’s pace and fits with the idea of Jabba’s Palace being a dark dump. Lucas wanted a longer dance number, but didn’t have the time or money back in 1983. Thanks to computers, in 1997 he added a longer dance number that interrupts the film and has heinous CG. Not only is the song, Jedi Rocks, terrible, but in when they show Jabba’s Palace as depressingly crappy place, they add in this light hearted dance number where we see a close up of an alien’s uvula. Thanks Lucas! I don’t know why they needed all of the people to go into Jabba’s Palace? First Luke sells Jabba C-3PO and R2D2 in exchange for Han to be free, but that doesn’t work. Then Leia goes in disguised as a bounty hunter turning in Chewbacca to Jabba, then later at night frees Han. That doesn’t work either because Jabba and the gang catch them in the act. Finally Luke comes in and is tricked by Jabba and is sent into the Rancor pit. Then it turns out Lando was in disguised as one of Jabba’s guards. Why didn’t he free him while he had the chance? Why did they need all of these people have to be sacrificed? Well, so they can have a battle at the Sarlac Pit of course! Except Luke does most of the work. Well what do you expect when one is blind, another is imprisoned as a sex slave, an the other is trying to escape the sarlac pit. I will admit the added in CG effects for the Sarlac Pit is the only CG that is passable, but I thought the original design for it was a gaping hole with tentacles and rows of sharp teeth. Now they show this mouth that looks like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. So Leia chokes Jabba to death, they blow up the place, and just leave. Luke goes to visit a dying Yoda (played by Frank Oz) while the rest fly off in the Millennium Falcon. Then we go to plot #2, as the film reminds you that Darth Vader and the Empire are still in this movie, and rebuilding the Death Star. Yep, just forget about Jabba and all of that stuff, as our heroes now travel to the Empire’s base on the Forest Moon of Endor, where they meet, sigh, the Ewoks. Yeah, I bet all of you 80s kids remember the Ewoks. Admit it, you bought all the toys and watched the cartoons and crappy spinoffs like Caravan of Courage. To be far they’re not that annoying and compared to the future Star Wars characters, I’ll take them. How do our heroes meet them? After a pretty cool chase sequence through the forest, Leia gets knocked off one of the speeder bikes and is approached by an Ewok named Wicket (played by Warwick Davis). Leia befriends Wicket and he helps her in a brief encounter with stormtroopers. Then Luke, Han, and the gang get captured and are taken to the ewok village to be cooked and I guess eaten? Then Luke uses his force magic to levitate C-3PO because the Ewoks think he’s a god because he’s made of gold metal, just go with it. The Ewoks let them go, the gang meets up with Leia, and they tell the ewoks about the Empire which convinces them to fight with them. Yeah, an intergalactic empire with highly advanced weapons against an army of small, bear aliens with weapons so primitive that the Stone Age would call it outdated, argueably doesn’t sound like a fair fight. But the Ewoks actually manage take down a lot of the stormtroopers on the moon. It’s just embarrassing to see the Imperial Empire, which the past two films established as such an unstoppable, evil force; be taken down cute, little, teddy bear like creatures. Wouldn’t have been so much cooler to see Jabba’s men teaming up with the Rebellion to fight the Empire? Like they worked it into the plot somehow instead of dumping them halfway through the movie. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Boba Fett kick more ass instead of being knocked into the Sarlac Pit by a blind guy (that blind guy being Han who’s blindness is a temporary side affect of the carbon freeze). So these toy ads defeat the blaster wielding stormtroopers by using sticks and rocks and logs. But there’s also the rebuilding of the Death Star. While the the gang and the Ewoks are taking care of the Imperial base, the Rebel fleet is trying to destroy the Death Star, which is now more operational. Hmm, a rebel fleet trying to blow up a planet destroying space station that has and easy and obvious weak point, this sounds like the climax to the first movie! You couldn’t think of a better climax that you had to repeat the first one. Whatever, the real good stuff in the climax is what’s happening with Luke. Vader senses that he’s on The Forest Moon of Endor and, in order to save his friends, Luke openly confronts Vader and is taken to the Death Star to meet the Emperor. He also does this because on his deathbed, Yoda tells Luke that in order to fully become a jedi, he must confront Vader one more time. Vader and the Emperor try to convert Luke to the dark side of the force by showing the Rebel fleet being crushed and telling him that his friends are being captured and killed on the forest moon. Like tries to keep control but eventually can’t take it anymore and gets into another lightsaber duel with Vader. Only this time Luke’s more prepared and bests his evil father. When Luke refuses to fight him, Vader taunts Luke by saying he’ll convert his sister, Leia, as well. This causes Luke to snap and unload on Vader till he has him pinned down and chops his hand off. But Luke comes back to his senses and tells the Emperor that he will not kill Vader to prove his commitment to the light side of the force. Then the Emperor gets pissed and start attacking Luke with force lightning. Luke screams to his father in agony to save him. Vader starts pondering about what to do when he chooses the side of his son and picks up the Emperor and throws him down a shaft. This is another scene once again ruined by the special editions. In the original cut, Vader doesn’t speak, allowing you visually to see him struggle to decide what to do. Will he save his own son, or stay a pawn to the Emperor and the dark side of the force. You can tell he’s thinking without a single line of dialogue. Then Lucas thought one day “Remember what I did at the end of Revenge of the Sith with Vader yelling No which ha everyone has made fun of and spoofed? Why don’t I do it again, but put in a scene where it doesn’t fit!”. Yep, before Disney managed to pry the rights away from his hands, Lucas and crew made more changes to the original trilogy for the Blu Ray release. This included dubbing in James Earl Jones yelling “No” again in the scene from earlier. It ruins the scene and makes think of how god awful the prequels were. But he did still keep in the Vader’s death scene. When the Death Star is in chaos, Luke drags an injured Vader to his ship. Before Vader can get on the ship, he falls down and pleas to Luke to take his mask off, even though it will kill him. His reason being that he wants to see his own son with is own eyes. For some reason David Prowse wasn’t available for the scene so they replaced him with actor Sebastian Shaw. Shaw does give a great performance despite the little screen time he has. It shows that even a dark, cruel person such as Darth Vader still has a little good in him. It delivers a kind of emotional scene that sticks with you. Too bad Lucas ruined it again at the very end when Luke sees the ghosts of his mentors, Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi, and his father who’s no longer Darth Vader, but back to being Anakin Skywalker. In the original cut they show Shaw without the burnt makeup, and it feels fitting. In the special editions however, Lucas decide to take out Shaw, and replace with Hayden Christensen’s Anakin. It feels so unfitting, disrespectful to Shaw, and reminds me of how much I hate Christensen’s performance as Anakin from the prequels. At least for the ending celebration they added scenes of other planets celebrating the galaxies freedom from the Empire than making it look like one big Ewok party like in the original cut. Even the John Williams score sounds more like a happy finale to a trilogy than the original Ewok song, Yub Nub. However the added in scenes are full of poorly rendered CG and Lucas thought it would be a nice touch to add in a Gungan yelling “Wesa free!”. Which reminds me of how much I hate Jar Jar Binks from the prequels. I wonder if Lucas does these edits just to piss fans off more. Like saying “Stop complaining about the prequels or else I’ll add more clumsy edits to the original trilogy!”. I know it sounds like I hate this movie, but I really don’t. Though it’s the least greatest of the original trilogy, it’s still a fun movie with great effects, memorable characters, good performances, and yet another amazing score by John Williams. I know the special edition edits can get really distracting sometimes, which is a shame because most of the stuff Lucas edited out is already good. I’d recommend, if you can manage to find one, a copy of the original cut for this movie, or a fan edit that heavily resembles the original cut. At least before if Disney hopefully gives a widespread release of the original cuts on Blu Ray and DVD sometime soon. We Star Wars fans can only hope this 20th Century Fox purchase will finally end up giving us the chance to see the original versions in 4K ultra HD. One more thing I have to say before I end this review is that how much I nag about the special edition edits, I really don’t hate George Lucas. After all, he’s responsible for the existence of the Star Wars franchise, and some of my other favorite action movies like the Indiana Jones series (which I’ll probably individually review someday). I just wish he wouldn’t have to change so much and hide what made his vision a global hit in the first place. Even after 40 years the Star Wars franchise is still going strong, and with the ownership of the House of the Mouse, they’re gonna milk this cash cow for two more trilogies and four more anthology films. What’s that, a Boba Fett movie is in production? Looks like my wish came true. And as you all know, when you wish upon a star, you can make a billion dollar entertainment company hell bent on ruling the world! Or something like that. So that’s my review of Return of the Jedi! Sorry, this review was supposed to come out a lot earlier, but a bunch of stuff came up and I’ve been slowly trying to get this done. Any thoughts on the Boba Fett solo film? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
The Star Wars saga continues with 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. Many Star Wars fans, including myself, consider this the best film in the franchise. And just so happens to be the one George Lucas had the least control over, hmm. Is it the best, or is it an over exaggeration? Let’s find out. Remember the warm ending of the first movie when our heroes saved the day, blew up the Death Star, and receive medals? Well wake up, because the Empire is back and gives the Rebellion a huge ass whooping. As Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) gets a message from ghost Obi Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness) to go to Dagobah System to train with a jedi master named Yoda (played by Frank Oz), all while he’s freezing in the snow. On the other hand, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca, and C-3PO are trying to escape the clutches of the Empire, led by Darth Vader (played by James Earl Jones and David Prowse), in a Han’s malfunctioning ship, the Millennium Falcon. Throughout the film we come across new characters and tons of great effects (besides the Special Editions of course). The main reason many of us consider this the definitive Star Wars movie is for one thing, the tone. The tone is very dark in this movie. The first had some dark moments like Luke seeing Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s corpses burn in flames, or the literal destruction of a peaceful planet, but never to this extent. The dark tone is immediately shown with the first scene being Luke getting attacked by the Wampa and his poor tonton being killed and eaten. The especially dark stuff happens with Darth Vader. This is the film that established him as the menacing monster that he is. There’s nothing wrong with him in the first movie, but he was more threatening in this movie. He doesn’t care who he has to kill or even if he’s losing men and ships. He literally makes his entire fleet go into an astroid field when it’s clearly too dangerous to get through just to get one ship. And if you fail, you get the force choke. Vader isn’t the only villain in this movie, they also introduce the ruler of the Imperial Empire, the Emperor. It’s a small cameo but it gives us a bad guy who’s even more evil than the man/machine who chokes people if they don’t follow through with his orders. The other one who’s worth mentioning is the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Despite him having so little screen time, he has become a huge fan favorite. Maybe it’s just his design and the fact he has a jet pack that shoots missiles. This wasn’t his first appearance to the public, but it was his first appearance in film. Thus, many fans were introduced to him and celebrated by buying his action figure. I heard he was originally supposed to eclipse Vader as the main villain Star Wars was supposed to be a twelve parter. But Lucas got bored with space and reduced it all down to three movies. But we still have our Boba Fett comics, novels, video games, and merchandise! But enough of the bad guys, what about our good guys? Luckily Luke isn’t as whiney as in the first movie, which allows Hamill’s acting to shine. Plus there’s a relationship brewing between Leia and Han that doesn’t feel as tact on as many other mainstream movies. So Luke isn’t whiney, Han’s dialogue is better, and Leia’s on again off again British accent is gone. Everything seems to be fixed. Guinness is back as Kenobi, but mostly appears as a ghost or just his voice can be heard. Need I remind you that he hated these movies. But we have new protagonists. Like Yoda who I mentioned earlier. Yoda is an old jedi master who was forced into hiding when the Empire took over. Frank Oz, who many of you might now as the voice and puppeteer of the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street and Miss Piggy from The Muppets, does a good job performing as Yoda. Once again I must say that a puppet is more better than a CG figure. When Luke first meets him, he acts like a dumb old geiser and has comedic moments where he goes through Luke’s stuff and gets into a brief fight with R2D2, when after a while starts to get better. You can kind of see him as this once great warrior that’s now effected by age. Apparently Lucas hated Oz’s Yoda voice and wanted someone to provide another. But when they couldn’t find anyone else they left it in, and audiences and fans loved it. Then at the Academy Awards, Lucas pulled a 180 and demanded Oz get a nomination for best supporting actor. Leave it to George to make a decision and then change his mind. Besides Yoda, there’s also Han’s old buddy, Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams). Lando is the leader of Cloud City, a supposed paradise that is stationed above the clouds as the name suggests. Williams performs it as sort of a charming smuggler. Cloud City also acts as the place where everything goes wrong. Spoilers beyond this point, so if you haven’t seen it than don’t read any further! Okay, here we go. Lando betrays Han and the gang when they seek refuge at Cloud City, and gives them over to Vader. They torture them and eventually freeze Han in frozen carbonite. This is because Han still owes money to Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba has grown even more furious that he sends out Boba Fett to retrieve him. It also adds to the dark tone seeing such an enjoyable character get frozen and the look of pain on his face is a little gut wrenching. When it seems like Lando breaks the gang free and their about to save Han, Boba Fett gets away with his frozen prison. I’m glad that this film isn’t conventional and offers more than just space battles with lasers. That’s not all, apparently Vader uses the torturing of his friends to lure Luke, who Vader now knows of his powerful force abilities, away from his training so he can freeze him in the carbonite as well. Luke doesn’t end up getting frozen like Han, but he does get his hand cut off, loses his lightsaber, and is revealed a heart stopping secret. Go back to Luke’s training with Yoda. In one scene, Luke goes deep into the swamp and gets a vision of Vader. He has a brief lightsaber duel and chops off Vader’s head. Vader’s mask explodes open revealing Luke’s own face inside. Now seeing this for the first time your like “What does this mean?”. Well hears the answer. It turns out Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. This twist always shocks people when they first hear it. It did to me at least. So yeah this film’s really dark, but can we talk about lighter subjects like the action? Once again he battle scenes are a ton of fun. The best fight scene, and the one everyone remembers, is the battle on Hoth. When I first saw the imperial walkers through that one rebel soldier’s binoculars as a toddler, I was like “I my god, those are huge! How the hell are they gonna take those giants down?”. It’s a fun scene after watching Han put Luke inside a dead tonton. They get the T-47 airspeeder trip up the walkers while the ground take wave after wave of explosions. The effects for the walkers are amazing and still hold up today. Another effect that I find kind of funny is the big worm monster on that astroid. when the Millennium Falcon flies out of it’s mouth and it tries to catch them, it looks like a puppet show. You have the great Frank Oz on set and don’t use him for that scene? Come on! Then again I prefer it over the special editions. That’s right were not done yet, but luckily Lucas doesn’t change a whole lot in this movie. Some of the changes are welcomed. Like the stuff with Cloud City. Landon describes Cloud City as a paradise, yet in the original cut we just get white hallways and an alien or droid pops up once in a while. But in the special editions we see more of Cloud City. There’s windows that show all the buildings, you see more ships flying around, and there are some more beautiful matte paintings. Sure some of the dated CG can get in the way sometimes, but it’s a welcomed change. Another change I find better is the addition of replacing the original design of the Emperor with Ian McDiarmid’s version that would appear in the next movie. Not because f continuity, though that’s fine, but because I always thought the original design looks a little silly. It’s like a cartoon than a menacing figure. I know there was a lot of work that went into it, like filming a person with a mask on and cropping on some chimp eyes, just Google it if your curious. One change I think is worse than the original is the addition footage of the Wampa. This is something I like to call the Jaws effect. Where they wanted to have more of the monster but had troubles that resulted in them cutting it down, but it ends up adding to the suspense and mood of the scene. I find the Wampa scene in the original cut more suspenseful because you don’t see that much of the monster. In the special editions, there’s way too much screen time of him that it’s no longer nail biting. I will admit I’m glad that they used a guy in a suit than a CG disaster, but it still is weaker. It probably is worse for Hamill. True story, Hamill thought the scene was gonna be Luke getting his lightsaber and singing the Wampa’s fur to scare it off, instead of cutting off it’s arm which is what happens in the movie. Hamill is a huge animal lover and seeing Luke cut off the Wampa’s arm and watching it hit the floor was enough. But we get an additional scene in the special editions with the Wampa screaming in pain while bloods soaks into his fur. It’s kind of graphic for a supposed kids movie. Sure you could say Luke senses the that the Tampa is evil, but we don’t know in the movie and Hamill thought the Tampa was like a hungry bear. Do the good changes made have to result in them replacing the original, no, but are definitely welcomed. Besides all of that, the film is great. It’s dark, but has it’s fair share fun moments, as well as give us memorable characters (no matter the little amount of screen time they have), phenomenal effects, and another amazing score by John Williams. Not only do I consider this the best Star Wars movie, but I also consider it the best sequel of all time. It didn’t repeat the first film and gave us something different. And I love every minuet of it. So that’s my review of The Empire Strikes Back! Do you also consider this the best Star Wars movie? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
I originally wanted to do a bunch of reviews of classic Christmas movies and specials for the month of December. But then I said, “Screw it, I’m just gonna review Star Wars movies!”. Yes, before we get to The Last Jedi I think we should go over the original trilogy that started it all. What do you know, it’s been 40 years since the first Star Wars movie came out and was given thunderous applause from audiences and critics alike. It also launched George Lucas’s career. Sure he made films before like American Graffiti and THX 1138, but nothing as big as this. Today, we’re going to look at that film. So put on your costumes and believe the hype, because I’m going to review Star Wars. Let’s talk about the plot (though you all most likely know it by now). A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the universe is full of battles between the evil Imperial Empire and the good Rebellion. Two droids, C-3PO and R2D2, are sent down down to a planet called Tatooine with a message for a man named Obi Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness), who they think can help the Rebellion win the war. But stuff goes wrong and they end up in the hands of Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill). After Luke finds a message from a rebel leader, Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), in R2D2, it eventually leads him to Kenobi (going under the alias of Ben). They team up with a smuggler named Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) and his Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca, to stop the Empire and bring peace to the galaxy. The rest of the film involves prison breaks, laser fights, and blowing up a planet destroying device known as the Death Star. What can I say about this movie? It’s iconic, celebrated, and still is considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. But it’s not a masterpiece. Hear me out. The film has great effects (beside the added in special editions), an interesting mythos, creative designs, and a fantastic score by John Williams. A lot of work went in to this movie. No matter how George Lucas tries to erase it, it all pays off nicely. The matte paintings, models, makeup, it’s phenomenal. I like a lot of the alien designs like the Jawas, Sandpeople, that cantina band, and the one that looks like the devil. Okay the names aren’t that memorable but it’s still awesome nonetheless. Most of them were made by Rick Baker who also did the makeup effects for The Exorcist and An American Werewolf of London. The space battles are the highlights of the movie. There’s something about models being more amazing to watch fighting than CG. Probably because it’s more believable and is actually there. I will admit that by the time the x-wings started to attack the Death Star, I was already rolling around on the floor like a little kid again. There fun scenes that give you what you want. Lasers, explosions, cool spaceships, all the stuff that your inner child loves. It doesn’t feel like a Michael Bay movie where it goes on too long and you don’t care. You care about the characters and your so entranced by the effects, you know when there’s no special edition edits. The mythos is anther thing that everyone loves. Like everyone else who saw this movie, the description of the force is intriguing. A psychic energy that holds the galaxy together, sounds epic and magical. Forget all that midichlorian crap from the prequels, if George Lucas wants to take all the imagination from his movie and replace it with a boring explanation, then just ignore it. That’s why I didn’t title this Star Wars: A New Hope Review. But I digress, the last thing I want that’s amazing is the famous score by John Williams. Williams has composed many great scores for many great movies, but none compare to this one. Just by hearing one note of any of the tracks you can tell it’s Star Wars. Every time the title appears on the screen and you hear that music, it fills me with excitement. But what about the characters? Their all very memorable, but some not in the right way. I’m pretty sure audiences back in 1977 didn’t think about this back then, but it seemed as though Luke was very whiney. Not against the actor Mark Hamill, in fact with Lucas as the director that’s probably what he was told to do, but he always complains the same way a Disney princess does. He wants to be something more and hates where he’s at, all that millennial crap. He’s not the only one who’s questionable. Remember Leia’s on again off again British accent. It comes out of nowhere and then just disappears. How about that corny dialogue that Solo had. But there’s a lot of great acting as well. Like Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi. Even though he hated the film afterwards, he gives a good performance. He plays the whole wise old man character and is believable as a great mentor. But everyone remembers the dar character of Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones, portrayed by David Prowse). Jones’s booming voice mixed with Prowse’s imposing figure makes for a very threatening villain. He’s the most cosplayed Star Wars character, whether it’s kids going trick or treating, or nerds going to cons and screenings. Everyone knows the stuff that Jones has done, but horror fans will remember Prowse from some of the Hammer Frankenstein movies with Peter Cushing. Speaking of Cushing, he’s in this movie too as Grand Moff Tarkin. Just like his portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein, he plays it as a slimy, devious bad guy. Speaking of bad guys, I have to bring up that the storm troopers suck at aiming. I know everyone talks about this all of the time, but can you for once hit something with complete accuracy. How did the Empire take over the whole galaxy? Don’t bring up the prequels, the less we talk about them the better! If you want to see more sloppy storm troopers check out the blooper reel. And of course, I must nitpick the seemingly easy way to take down the Death Star. Your telling me that this planet destroying device that fly through space and time has big hole where one simple laser blast can blow up the entire base? Are you kidding me?!? Sure Rogue One stated that the guy who designed the Death Star was forced against his will to do it, so he gave it a huge weakness (which makes even less sense, why did none of the higher-ups check it over before hand). But no matter how much I nitpick it, Star Wars is still an awesome movie. Even today it’s power is unmatched and still makes millions of dollars across the globe. It shows zero signs of running out of steam sometime soon. Especially now with the supervision of the House of the Mouse. Here’s hoping they don’t copyright strike me. So that’s my review of Star Wars! Lots of people are nostalgic of this movie, what’s your nostalgia level of this? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Oh yeah, you want to know more of the special editions, okay. For those who don’t know, in 1997 George Lucas announced that for the 20th anniversary he’d rerelease the original Star Wars trilogy into theaters. But with a bunch of new groundbreaking CG, which of course ended up being the direct opposite. Fans hated the special editions for changing important scenes and adding in terrible effects. But who cares, at least we can go back to the original, more better cuts, right? WRONG! Lucas thought the special editions respected his vision so much that he basically made it the only available version of Star Wars out there. Yep, those original versions that won academy awards and launched the franchise, forget them. Instead watch these terrible versions with bad CG and added in parts that don’t need to be added in. Except even more changes have happened over time. First the VHS with the stuff on screen, then the DVD release which added in more bad effects, and now the most recent which is the Blu Ray release has yet even more added in crap. For years fans, including myself, have demanded giving the original cuts an updated release, but it has never happened. Not even now when Disney owns it have they really budged. Sure there’s fan edits like Harmy’s Despecialized Edition, or you just own good-conditioned Laserdiscs and VHS Tapes of the originals like I do, but we still want to see justice be prevailed to the original trilogy. But my best quality versions of them are my Blu Ray and DVD collection. There’s of bad CG added in and it’s so blatantly obvious and why Lucas thinks it’s good is anyone’s guess. There are so many parts where these poorly rendered abominations keep getting put in the foreground and it just takes me out of the movie each time. The one edit every fan complains about is the Han shot first part. Everyone knows how the scene goes, Greedo has a blaster pointed at Han thinking he’s gonna kill him, when all of a sudden Han shoots from under the table before Greedo can get the chance to fire. Cool scene and makes Han look like a badass, simple as that. But apparently Lucas didn’t like it, so in the special editions he edited it to look like Greedo shot first and Han just slightly moves his head a little to miss it and fires. Everyone freaked out about it, such a small edit has made an entire fanbase go crazy. Not to mention it’s such a bad edit. They clearly used a simple photoshop tool to make Han’s head move, and it’s it looks like garbage. Then we get a added in scene with a poorly rendered Jabba the Hutt. But wasn’t Greedo’s scene about him executing Han on behalf of Jabba. Then why do we have this scene that makes the scene before it pointless. Apparently this was a deleted scene from back when they didn’t know what Jabba was gonna look like. So Lucas basically took that unused scene and added in a crappy looking, CG Jabba. Granted the Jabba on my Blu Ray and DVD of this movie isn’t as bad as the first version, but still sucks. Plus more of that Han photoshop that’s even worse than the Greedo scene. At least we got that one shot of Boba Fett. That’s cool…right? This Seriously, you can see the blurs. Then there’s stuff Lucas edits over the much better, original effects. Screw you! And this is just the first film’s edits, we got two more movies to go. But no matter how much I hate on the guy, if it wasn’t for Lucas we wouldn’t have Star Wars, or Jar Jar Binks so count your blessings I guess. If you want to know more about the dysfunctional relationship between Lucas and his fans then watch the documentary The People vs. George Lucas. Hope this clears it up. Now if you excuse me, I have to prepare for my review of The Empire Strikes Back.
Now that I’ve reviewed a documentary, let’s get back to comic book movies. Justice League is DC’s answer to The Avengers. I was having serious doubts about this one. Sure Wonder Woman was a huge step up from before, but with Zack Snyder having complete control over this one and seeing how well that worked out, I thought it was not going to be that good. Then I heard Joss Whedon was writing the screenplay and my predictions became a bit more positive. For the most part, I was right. It’s not the worst thing ever, nor the worst DC film, but it’s still not great. Let’s just talk about the plot. Apparently there’s a huge threat on the horizon, a powerful being named Steppenwolf wants to get three objects called Motherboxes, which when together, will morph our Earth into a version of his homeworld. So Batman (played by Ben Affleck) wants to assemble a team of heroes to save the Earth. This includes Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot), Aquaman (played by Jason Momoa), the Flash, and Cyborg. There are some good scenes and acting, but it’s buried by a jumbled plot, bland villain, bad effects, and an obvious tease you can see from a mile away. Affleck and Gadot are once again good as Batman and Wonder Woman, Jeremy Irons is great as Alfred, and even Momoa is a decent Aquaman. However, Cyborg is a little forgettable, it’s nothing wrong with the actor who portrays him, but he doesn’t have much personality and your too distracted by the terrible CG covering him. Then there’s the Flash, oh god the Flash. He’s just straight up comedy relief. He always has to say a punchline no matter what scene he’s in. My brother watches the Flash TV show on the CW, and while I don’t like it, I will admit I would’ve preferred actor Grant Gustin over Ezra Miller. Guess what, my brother also would’ve preferred that too. But the weakest character has to be the villain, Steppenwolf. Now we’ve all seen bland, forgettable villains the MCU puts out every year, but by god, is this one so uninteresting. At least some of the bad MCU villains have colorful designs, this is just as boring an antogonist can get. It also doesn’t help that he’s poorly rendered as well. Is it so impossible nowadays to smear makeup and slap a helmet on a guy that you have to go straight to relying on computers to do the work for you. I’m not anti-CG and I know some people put hard work into this, but could you just make him look like he’s actually in front of the camera for once. Every scene he’s in feels like a PlayStation cutscene. I’m starting to think Warner Brothers does not have a good visual effects team. After watching this, along with It (2017) and Suicide Squad, I’m starting to have doubts. Probably they had to save all of that great CG for erasing Henry Cavill’s mustache for the Superman scenes. Even though that didn’t work either because it always looked weird. Oh yeah, Superman is in this movie. Face it, we all knew he was coming back and that WB thought they could cleverly tease it was stupid. No surprise, the gang, that is never really referred to as the Justice League, tries to fight Steppenwolf and fails, so they decide to literally bring Superman back from the dead. They go so far as to show a scene of the Flash and Cyborg digging up his body. When Superman finally comes back to life, thanks to one of the Motherboxes, he starts out as a bad guy, mostly because he just came back to life and is confused. He first thinks of the Justice League as a threat, because Cyborg shoots at him, and we get a pointless fight scene. Though it is the most interesting part of the movie, and we do get a funny part when Flash realizes Superman is as fast as he is, it completely derails the plot. It makes our heroes look kind of dumb, not because they think that this man who came back from the dead won’t get confused and think they’re hostile, no, but because they leave the last Motherbox unattended while fighting Superman, which results in Steppenwolf easily stealing it and using it start the apocalypse of our world. Nice going, guys! In fact, I think the film would have been better if the plot was about them resurrecting Superman, and him starting out as crazy and thinking the world is a treacherous place. Wouldn’t have that been more better than recycling the plot of Man of Steel? It would’ve also made our other heroes feel more useful trying to take down Superman, instead of them feeling like sidekicks to Superman, who in the last fight is the one that weakens Steppenwolf and saves a bunch of citizens at the same time, while the rest of them either fail at stopping Steppenwolf, or doing something else. While we’re talking about the plot, I knew going into this movie that it was going to be jumbled trying to introduce all of these characters, and it almost was. Hear me out. The film does rush a bit to with characters in order to get to the action, but it also sets up other movies like with some of the scenes with Aquaman and such. Don’t forget the after credits scene with Lex Luther and Deathstroke talking about setting a villain League of their own, and we still have that god awful performance from Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor. Let’s talk about the score by Danny Elfman. Throughout this film, if you listen closely you can actually here the original score he did for Tim Burton’s Batman back in 1989. That’s not enough, in some Superman’s scenes you can here the original John Williams score from Superman (1978). A lot of you probably thinks it comes across as desperate, but I actually the cool, heroic sounding music over the dark and brooding music that the movie’s soundtrack is sadly mostly composed of. I know this film exists to catch up with Marvel, but at least they had solo movies of the characters before bringing them all together. That way it builds character and allows you to know all of them better when they’re all together and it moves the plot along. Unlike this where it stops to introduce these characters and their personalities before getting the plot going. Plus, Marvel at least has their cinematic universe all planned out while DC’s cinematic universe is clustered and confusing. They apparently are planning to have a solo Joker movie outside of the DCEU starring Leonardo DeCaprio as the title character, but there’s going to be another inside of the DCEU with Jared Leto’s Joker. Then there’s talks of Affleck stepping down as Batman and it just keeps changing! If you’re going to have a cinematic universe full of all of these characters, you’ve got to plan it all out first. You can’t just do one thing and decide where it goes. I’m sure I’m going to be talking about more cinematic universes once I get to my review of Star Wars: the Last Jedi. Besides that, this another ehh mainstream movie. It seems as though this film was biologically engineered to be a crowd pleaser. By reusing old scores from better DC movies to even getting Joss Whedon to write the screenplay and re-shoot some of the scenes. If you’re just looking for another generic action flick, this is for you, but for people like me who want their comic book to be a little bit more thoughtful and creative, this is not for me. So that’s my review of Justice League! Sorry for the huge delay on this one, I’ve been terribly sick lately. What do you think of this movie? Leave it in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.