Friday, November 24, 2023

Andor Is A Star Wars Masterpiece From 1978

Andor doesn't feel like Star Wars because it is not a glitzy comic book movie deliberately reminiscent of Flash Gordon.

Instead, Andor is a gritty science fiction soap opera about living under a fascist regime.  It could have been its own thing unrelated to Star Wars.  The show is character-driven, and almost every single character is outstanding, which is why everyone loves the show.

Neil deGrasse Tyson On Guardians of the Galaxy

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Ben Reacts to South Park: Joining the Panderverse


When I watched the movie 40 years ago, I took the ending to mean that Chance is not limited by doubt. He can do anything because he doesn't know he can't. Although this is malarkey, it does say something about not letting doubt hold you back.

I took the movie to be a political satire where presentation is more important than substance, which the political leaders completely lack.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Siskel & Ebert - The Empire Strikes Back review

1 year ago
"The Empire Strikes Back" is the best "Star Wars" movie and one of the greatest movies of all time. I remember seeing this movie in theaters back in 1980, I was 6 years old. Absolutely AWESOME. Definitely my favorite John Williams scores.

4 minutes ago
I had just graduated high school.  A friend and I drove from a small city to Indianapolis to watch it on a huge curved screen.   We sat in the front row.  This was almost like watching in 3D.  At one point I had to turn my head 90 degrees to watch a ship fly across the screen.

For me, it was an intense experience and a momentous occasion.  This remains my favorite movie.

The big reveal hit like a ton of bricks.  There was much discussion among my friends and I about whether it was true.  People spent three years talking about it.

The Marvels REJECTED by Women, Box office DISASTER leads to PANIC among DEI shills!

Taika Waititi gives Star Wars film update | George Lucas helped on "Dial of Destiny"?

3 hours ago
I really enjoyed Love and Thunder, as well as Ragnarok.  The movie was half comedy and I chose not to take it too seriously.

3 replies

12 minutes ago
So you chose to love the movies unconditionally and watch them uncritically, cool. That means your opinion is useless because no matter how the movie turned out, regardless of the quality, you'd have enjoyed them.

Having standards doesn't make you a bad person, but not having them and enjoying crap means that you're a person that enjoys eating crap.

10 minutes ago
Ragnarok was the right balance. Love and Thunder was a live-action cartoon for 8-year-olds.

3 minutes ago
 @qty1315 This is a straw man argument.  I am certainly critical of movies that aren't entertaining, but I found the mix of comedy and seriousness entertaining.  If you didn't that's okay, but it doesn't mean I lack standards.  It just means that the movie wasn't what you wanted.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

My biggest fear for Star Wars

1 second ago
To put Star Wars in context, in 1977 I was 17 years old.  We were living during the Cold War, where the Soviet Union could be viewed as the Evil Empire, while the fight against the Nazis during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War didn't seem like ancient history, but were still relevant in our minds.  The thought of nuclear annihilation also felt like a very real possibility.

We were going through the worst economic decade of my lifetime.  Some people might look at the events that followed 2008 as being the worst, but the American economy was much more robust in 2008 and able to eventually rebound.  However, the 1970s was just one piece of bad news after another.  The country felt like it was in a giant malaise.

Then came Star Wars in 1977, which to my 17-year-old mind felt like a godsend.  It was a metaphor for a hopeful battle against all the evils that plagued us.

Star Wars became an important part of my life, and it influenced my career toward computers and video game development.  To this day, Star Wars feels like a part of my personality.

At my more advanced age of 63, I notice how violent Star Wars is.  This didn't seem like much of an issue in 1977 when the characters were fighting Space Nazis, because the 1970s felt like an existential struggle against the forces of evil.  For example, Star Wars calls light sabers an elegant weapon, but how elegant is cutting people in half or cutting their heads off?  It would be like calling a battle axe an elegant weapon.

All this makes me wonder how relevant Star Wars is to our current time?  The 20th century was by far the most violent in history, which made mechanized murder on a mass scale feel more normal.  I think that there was less regard for the individual, which is something we take to extreme levels today.

I feel far less threatened by outside forces today than I did after 9-11, or in the 60s, the 70s, and the 80s.

We can still fantasize about a struggle for survival between good and evil, but good and evil in the modern world are less distinct from one another.

This makes me think that Star Wars has to change to remain relevant.  The original movie gave us 1970s characters in a futuristic setting.  The recent series Andor did a great job of giving us modern characters in the same setting and feels more relevant to the time we live in.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


 Nope is a science fiction horror film.  It is available on Amazon Prime.

A brother and sister struggle to run a Hollywood horse-training farm after the death of their father (Keith David from Cloud Atlas.)  Meanwhile, their neighbor (Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead) is running a nearby Western and UFO themed mini amusement park tourist trap.  They all begin to suspect that something alien and dangerous is moving around in the clouds.  The story plays out like a science fiction version of Jaws.

The film makes good use of sound.  We hear faint sounds in the distance that might be screaming.

The movie has a huge plot hole because the characters suspect that something in the clouds is killing people, but they don't try to contact the authorities.  Instead, they want to film this danger so that they can make money and become famous.  Had they contacted the police and successfully made their case, the issue would have escalated up the hierarchy until it eventually provoked a military response.

The movie starts with a truly bizarre scene where a young version of the Steven Yeun character is playing in a '90s sitcom.  A trained chimpanzee on the show goes berserk and kills most of the people on the set.  This is not far-fetched, since chimpanzees are extremely aggressive and violent.  At first, it is hard to understand why this scene is in the movie, but the film later tries to make the point that trained wild animals can still be dangerous, and this just might have something to do with whatever it is in the clouds.

I have often said that cheap science fiction typically will have only one good idea, and those movies stretch their one good idea out for 90 minutes, or in the case of this film, 2 hours.  The story is rather clever, but the pace of the film is a bit too slow.  Fortunately, unlike most films of this genre, they don't wait till the end of the movie for the big reveal.  We get the big reveal halfway through, and the remainder of the film is about the characters responding to it.  As such, the film is more exciting than films like The Vast of the Night, The Signal, Monsters, and Annihilation.  Even though these movies were entertaining, nobody cares about them anymore because their lack of substance made them forgettable.

Despite the rather slow pace, especially in the first half which spends much time building up the story, Nope made me care about these characters enough to keep me involved.  

Rating:  B.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3

 Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, available for streaming on Disney+, is the best of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.  Unfortunately, it is the last since James Gunn has given an emphatic "No!" to any more sequels.  These movies are entertaining enough that I don't see why they can't continue indefinitely, and I really want to see more of these characters.  (Never say never again.)

The film is a bit limited by being a live-action comic book dominated by action scenes, but it has the most character development, centering around the life and backstory of Rocket Racoon.  We get his origin story, along with the villainous character who created him.  Some movies are only as good as their villain, which isn't entirely true here.  Rocket was created by "The Great Geneticist", who has a god complex and considers Rocket to be his property.  As far as villains go, "The Great Geneticist" feels rather routine.

Near the end of the movie, all the characters having gone through an ordeal, embrace each other.  It would have been poignant and brilliant if the movie had ended at this moment.  Some fans might have felt shortchanged and complained.  Instead, the film gives us several more minutes designed to make us feel happy, but the actual ending is pretty fluffy and insubstantial.

There are a couple of scenes in the credits which promise the return of "Star-Lord", which means the Chris Pratt character will turn up someday in a different Marvel movie.

This film is a fun ride, so I only hope that eventually, we will get a sequel.  

Rating: A-.

How George Lucas Got His Revenge

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Hayden Christensen on the Sequel Trilogy

I wonder if he is contractually obligated to not criticize Star Wars? I actually enjoyed watching the sequel trilogy, but ultimately found it disappointing how disjointed the trilogy was. It is possible to enjoy something while expecting and wanting something better.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Is Disney Trying to Fix The Snow White Disaster?

George Lucas’ First Priority

Jett Lucas had a role in "Revenge of the Sith", playing a young Jedi named "Zett Jukassa."  He tries to defend the Jedi temple but gets gunned down by stormtroopers.  In the previous film, "Attack of the Clones", he appears in the background playing the same character but looking much younger.

BTW, George Lucas would give names to all the background characters in his movies.  I heard that he would write a short biography of each one.