Thursday, January 26, 2023

Darth Vader | Behind The Scenes History

I think that this is funny.  Reportedly, the old actor Sebastian Shaw didn't know anything about Star Wars.  He just read a few lines and collected a paycheck.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Last Of Us Will Never Be The Same

Videogames have become more cinematic, so it is not surprising to see a popular video game adapted into a cinematic-quality series.  So far, I've only seen the first two episodes, but I am impressed.  It is a mixture of The Crazies, The Walking Dead, and A Quiet Place.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Rust (upcoming film)


In 1880s Kansas, aging outlaw Harland Rust comes out of hiding to rescue his thirteen-year-old grandson Lucas, who has been sentenced to hang for murder after an accidental shooting.

cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot and director Joel Souza was injured on the set of the film Rust when a live round was discharged from a revolver used as a prop by actor Alec Baldwin.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Just Darth Vader being terrifying

Video games are becoming more like movies.

The full video game does not make a perfect movie, but it is interesting enough...

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Did you know that in FORREST GUMP...

Star Wars: Premonition | Award Winning Lightsaber Duel | SaberComp 2022

It is amazing how dedicated Star Wars fans make their own quality fiction.  Here we have a Kylo-Ren-Esque villain after a Rey-Esque mother and her child.  The production quality is pretty good for a fan-made short.

Monday, January 16, 2023



A Columbian family is forced to leave their home due to war, and in the jungle they find a magical candle that never burns out and grants each one of the family members a different magical power.  They use their powers to build a small town that becomes a safe haven for refugees.  However, problems arise when third-generation Mirabel is not granted a magical power and the magic seems to be fading.  Some of the family blame Mirabel, even though she is not at fault, and Mirabel goes through a crisis of confidence.

Encanto is a Disney 3D animated musical film with a bizarre premise that is somewhat interesting and could have been something really special until it falls flat on its face.  I haven't been this disappointed in an animated film since I saw Robots, and kind of for the same reason; whatever message the movie is pushing is unrealistic and makes it feel pointless.  Here I am not sure that the movie has a clear message except that if people sing about their feelings then this somehow will make everything wrong in the world better.

It is also one of the most successful properties on the Disney+ streaming service and it has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Some of the critical praise focuses on issues like diversity and Latino representation.

I was hoping that Encanto is a Pixar film, but it is not, which explains why it lacks the qualities that make Pixar films great.

The movie throws around a great deal of Spanish lingo such as 'tio', 'abuela', 'casita', and much more.  It expects you to guess the meaning of the words, which is not hard because every time one of these words is used you are given a visual clue as to what they are talking about.  The film is a very small Spanish lesson, mostly set to music.  Even the title, 'Encanto', means spell or enchantment.

Ultimately the movie doesn't work because it feels like a mess without a clear point. 

Rating:  B-.  It is barely passable as entertainment.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Far From the Tree


Far From the Tree is an animated short that played in theaters before the Pixar film Encanto.

It is a story about an overly adventurous Raccoon kit who gets scolded by her father for getting them into danger.  Then as an adult, she faces the same challenge with her son.  

In this short, the raccoon animation is more cartoonish.  I think that it might have worked better had the raccoons looked more realistic.  

Although it is supposed to be sentimental and sweet, and I get the same kind of vibes I got from "Piper" released before "Finding Dory", it didn't click with me.  It is barely passable as entertainment.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

All Quiet on the Western Front


World War I was one of the most pointless and deadliest wars in history.  It is hard to understand why these countries were at war with each other.  Different nations had become more militaristic, and imperialist.  Because of mutual defense packs, the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand set off a chain of events that led to World War.  As one country was attacked, others felt compelled to join in.

Most of the war was spent in the trenches, with millions dying in pointless charges getting mowed down by machine gun fire while making no real advancement.  The battle lines changed very little.

All Quiet on the Western Front makes no pretense of nobleness nor honor in people trying to kill each other.  Soldiers aren't seen as brave men fighting for a worthy cause.  These young men, teenagers who are practically boys, are sent charging into their likely destruction.  And for what purpose?  Mostly patriotism, but the boys on both sides aren't any different than their enemy.  They are fighting not for a cause, but because they are told that they must do so.

The movie starts with German youth Paul Bäumer patriotically signing up for military service with some of his classmates.  They are told that they will be victorious and march into Paris.  However, any notion of glory quickly disappears as soon as they arrive at the front.  One of the classmates is killed in the first few minutes.

The best battle scene involves the soldiers being attacked by multiple enemy tanks, which looks like Hell on Earth.

The movie is so realistic that it feels almost like watching a documentary.  It doesn't shy away from the horrors of war.  Many people likely will be put off by the film.  As such, it is more of an experience than it is entertainment.  After watching the movie it would be hard to watch other war movies in a positive light.

The film is based on a 1928 German anti-war novel, that would later be banned by the Nazis because it made war look less than glorious.  There were previous movie adaptations in 1930 and 1979, both of which were critically acclaimed.

Rating:  B+.