Friday, July 12, 2024

The Star Wars: Concept Trailer

I'm impressed.  Before the original Star Wars movie was created, George Lucas commissioned artist Ralph McQuarrie to create some beautiful concept paintings of what the movie might look like.  These paintings helped inspire the visual effects and the look of the film.

Now someone has taken those paintings and animated them with CGI.  It is short but looks terrific.

George MacKay Reveals His Most Dramatic Scene in 1917 Was a Mistake

1917 is one of my favorite movies.

The Bad Batch Is Beautiful - YouTube

The Creator


After an atomic bombing of Los Angeles by AI, the United States is in a war with Japan to destroy all the intelligent robots.  Whereas the Japanese live harmoniously with the robots, the United States is hellbent on their destruction.

Some of the robots aren't that different from human beings. They feel and possibly suffer, and mourn each other when they die.  

Sergeant Joshua Taylor is sent on a mission to capture a new AI weapon, and this weapon turns out to be in the form of a little girl.  Taylor begins to bond with it and he is also on a side quest to find his wife behind enemy lines and uses the "girl" to help find her.  This creates a conflict with his commanding officer who is a little too gung-ho about killing robots.  She is trying to hunt down both Taylor and the girl.

This movie has shades of Blade Runner and the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.  Both movies make you question what it means to be human and if a machine can have human qualities.  The ending is reminiscent of Elysium.

The film shows the suffering, destruction, and utter pointlessness of war, which is emotionally powerful for the audience.

The Creator received positive but mixed reviews.  Some criticized the overall tone and the complexity of the story.  However, the movie was made on a shoestring 80 million dollar budget, and it deserves credit for looking gorgeous, like a much bigger budget production.  It is visually impressive and unique.

This is an epic story that I think will age very well.  It could be remembered alongside Blade Runner.  However, the movie's ideas are better than their execution, and the complicated story feels a bit messy.

Rating A-.

The Creator is available for streaming on Disney+ and Hulu.

This is what Tarantino HATED about 1917 Movie

Friday, June 28, 2024

Is the problem that some Star Wars fans don’t understand or care about the "story" of Star Wars?

7 minutes ago

Hey Thor,

First, I love your analysis; your channels are my favorite on YouTube.

But I wonder if you have taken the wrong approach toward this show.  You seemed so concerned about preserving canon and the message, you appeared to be worried about this show before it started and formed a negative bias.   You make assumptions about the show's message and what it will say about the Jedi.

I previously said that it was too early to come to this conclusion.  I don't yet have reason to think that the show will say that the Sith aren't so bad and have some good points, or call into question if evil isn't really evil, or that the Jedi are responsible for evil.

But I can see why you think these things.  If your assumptions prove correct, and the show breaks cannon and/or blames the Jedi for evil, I will be forced to admit that the show is poorly written in the context of the Star Wars universe.   However, I don't yet know that this is where the show is going.  You very well may be correct, but my impression is that it will go in a different direction.

The cast and director made comments about the series that many YouTubers possibly took out of context.  They developed a negative bias before the show started.  I could be wrong and they were right to be biased against this show, but I am willing to let it play out and see where it goes.

I make these comments because I have really enjoyed the series.  If the show doesn't work for you, I respect that.  We disagreed on the quality of the first four episodes.  I felt that there was plenty there to hold my interest.  

A show lives or dies on the quality of the characters.  You stated that you had little reason to be interested in them.  I became invested in the characters which is a big part of why I have enjoyed the show, despite any flaws it might have.   My first impression left me a bit uncertain, but when I rewatched the episodes I got sucked into the story and the mysteries it presents.

You made comments about the vagueness of the series, but I expected the show to drag out its mysteries.

I hold TV series to an entirely different standard than I do movies.  I realize The Acolyte has a high budget, but it is still not as high as the movies.  It could be better, but not everything is going to be another Andor, and a halfway-decent TV show in the Star Wars universe is enough to be entertaining.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

"The Acolyte" Episode Five: A spectacle without substance

In the end, the show will either make sense or it won't. If some of Thor's predictions are true and the show breaks cannon, then I will be forced to admit that the show is poorly written in the context of the Star Wars universe.

However, I think the reason why I have enjoyed the series is that I haven't tried to 2nd guess and overanalyze where it is going, what its motivations are, and how it is all going to make sense.  I'm willing to wait and let it play out, especially since the show presents itself as a mystery. 

I already agree that it could be better, but I wasn't expecting another Andor or a Game of Thrones.  I didn't have high expectations.  For me, the show is good enough as entertainment. 

I am invested in these characters, especially, Mae, Osha, and Sol, which is a big part of why I have enjoyed the show. 

If the show doesn't work for Thor (and all the other YouTubers) then I respect that. People have different tastes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Acolyte" would be better (or worse) if it wasn't Star Wars? And many more questions...


5:45 The difference between Thor and me is that I have enjoyed the series so far.  The mystery has kept my interest.  

I am dumbfounded about why so many YouTubers hate the show.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

JOHN RHYS-DAVIES Tiptoes Around the Difficulties Working Alongside the Late Great SEAN CONNERY - YouTube

Gettysburg Behind the Scenes: How Jeff Daniels was Cast as Chamberlain

How other shows/franchises do it so much better than Star Wars?

0 seconds ago
I hear all the YouTubers claim that The Acolyte is bad and I am dumbfounded because I am enjoying what I have seen so far.  I get the impression that people don't understand what the show is trying to do.

I acknowledge that there are better shows and that The Acolyte could be better, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the show for what it is.  Not everything will be another Andor, so is it good enough?

Maybe the series will redeem itself for most fans, or maybe it won't.  

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Disney/Lucasfilm, maybe it's finally time to hear out the fans disappointed with Star Wars

Hey Thor,

If we are being honest, not all the hate toward The Acolyte is due to people thinking the show is poor quality although I am sure that is a major factor.  So many people feel "burned" by previous Disney girl-boss Mary-Sue shows that the moment they heard that it has a female lead and a gay director who made some controversial comments that were taken out of context, they refused to watch the show.  This is what my friends are telling me.  And those who feel so slighted are hyper-critical of it for its wokeness.  People have developed a knee-jerk reaction to anything that looks woke because they lump it all into the same basket as Captain Marvel and Rey.  The fanbase has built up resentment, so maybe the practical thing Disney should do is give us some classical male heroes which is what most people like.  There is still room for female heroes as there always has been. 

This is what happened to "Lightyear" which I thought was a pretty good movie.  Because it has a same-sex couple and a blink-and-you-will-miss-it lesbian kiss, there was a huge boycott campaign promoted by conservative talk show hosts.  The movie bombed because nobody watched it.  I tried to convince my friends to watch it, and they refused thinking it was too controversial.  People are reacting to what they hear instead of watching it and deciding for themselves.

I don't think that The Acolyte is bad.  I don't think that the third episode is bad for not revealing all of its cards.  We were told that the show's point was to have a mystery told from different perspectives.  I look forward to watching how the mystery plays out.  However, the show makes story-telling choices that don't sit well with the general audience. 

The Acolyte has enough of a budget that it could be better, but this leads to my second issue regarding Star Wars fans.  They expect perfection.  TV shows never have the same budget as major movies, and even The Acolyte has a lower budget than The Rise of Skywalker, so I am willing to give TV shows a bit more leeway.  I am just grateful that the show is entertaining even if it is not perfect.  Like you, I want it to be better, but that isn't always possible given the budget.  

For example, there was an outstanding George Lucas movie that was effectively turned into a TV show and nobody complained about the show being inferior even though it was.  The show was a huge hit.  The movie was American Graffiti and the show was Happy Days.

I would feel honored if you would comment on this. 

Best wishes, 

John Coffey

Friday, May 31, 2024

Top 20 Greatest Closing Lines in Movies

Star Wars movies and TV shows ranked

Aaron:  Have you ever given a ranking of all the Star Wars films?

Star Wars rankings are controversial. For example, I like the prequels more than most people, and I thought Solo was no better than average. One problem is that it is hard to pick favorites from all the movies I like. Items 3 through 7 are almost a tie.

All this content is available on Disney+ streaming.

So here goes...

1. Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back. (My favorite movie.)

2. Episode 4: A New Hope.

3. Episode 6: Return of The Jedi.

4. Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. (I liked this more than most people. It is underrated.)

5. Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (An epic finish to the trilogy.)

6. Episode 2: Attack of the Clones.

7. Rogue One (The best of Disney Star Wars.)

8. Episode 8: The Last Jedi. (Despite all the problems people rightfully complain about, the underlying story is a good one. This movie had the potential to take Star Wars in a badly needed new direction by saying that you didn't have to be a Skywalker or a Palpatine to use the force. Then J.J. Abrams threw this all away in Episode 9.)

9. Episode 7: The Force Awakens. (Good but the sequels are an incoherent mess because they didn't have a grand plan for the entire trilogy, but instead let each director do their own thing.)

10. Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker (The movie is entertaining, but bringing back Palpatine ruins Darth Vader's sacrifice effectively diminishing Return of the Jedi. I liked this movie less than most people. The plot is like a video game where the characters have to go on multiple side quests to achieve an illogical objective. For example, Rey and Kilo Ren have the same objective to go to Exogol and fight Palpatine, but are fighting to the death over it.)

11. Solo. (Barely entertaining. The story is closer to a made-for-TV series. We get a space train robbery, space gangsters, and a sexual robot. The movie was a financial flop.)

Most of the Star Wars TV series are very good, including the animated ones.

1. Andor. (Takes Star Wars in a new direction by not having space wizards, but focussing on people struggling to live under fascism. The first season was a fantastic story.)

2. The Mandalorian. (The quality of the first two seasons is outstanding. Something happened with the third season, possibly COVID-19 because it is only average at best. The show is going to be turned into the next Star Wars movie in 2026)

3. The Bad Batch (Animated. Sequel series to The Clone Wars series. The story focuses on a group of genetically altered clones who rebel against and try to flee from the evil Empire.)

4. Star Wars Rebels (Animated and introduced a great set of characters.)

5. The Clone Wars. (Animated. The 3D animation looked primitive at first but improved with each new season. By the time we got to the end of The Bad Batch, the animation was extraordinary. Tells some great stories occurring between movie episodes 2 and 3, greatly expands upon the character of Anakin Skywalker, and introduces the fan-favorite character Ahsoka Tano. However, it is uneven, and there were a few dull episodes.)

6. Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi. (I liked this show much more than most people. However, the story and quality suffer from being a TV show.)

7. Star Wars Ahsoka. (A live-action sequel to Star Wars Rebels. I enjoyed it very much but many people had problems with it. Some parts aren't very logical. I look forward to season 2.)

8. The Book of Boba Fett. (A spin-off of The Mandalorian, but it doesn't excel. It also suffers from being a TV show, but I liked it despite many problems.)

9. Star Wars Resistance. (Kid-friendly animated show that is mostly forgettable.)

10. Star Wars: The Young Jedi Adventures. (Made for small children. I didn't watch it)

There are some Lego Star Wars shows that I haven't watched much of.  These are comedies, and what few I have seen are entertaining.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Darth Plagueis: The 'unseen' threat responsible for it all (Battle of the Heroes & Villains)

I'm finishing the Darth Plagueis audiobook.  It is ranked on many lists as the best Star Wars book.

It is very much a prequel to the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.  I think that it ends shortly before Episode 1 begins.  What is interesting is how it shows all the events that lead up to Episode 1.  There might be too much politics for some people, but Plagueis is shown to be the behind-the-scenes mastermind who engineered the fall of The Republic.

Palpatine gets equal time as he progresses from a young apprentice to a Sith Lord.  His interactions with Plagueis are interesting.

Flynn Movie: Deliver the Truth. Whatever the Cost.

This might be interesting.  I'll try to watch it.

Monday, April 15, 2024

"If" this plot leak is true, there's little hope for Episode IX

This is an interesting leak from 4.5 years ago for the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker (The Rise of Crapwalker.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


"Last year, I had a life-changing experience at 90 years old. I went to space, after decades of playing an iconic science-fiction character who was exploring the universe. I thought I would experience a deep connection with the immensity around us, a deep call for endless exploration.
I was absolutely wrong. The strongest feeling, that dominated everything else by far, was the deepest grief that I had ever experienced.
I understood, in the clearest possible way, that we were living on a tiny oasis of life, surrounded by an immensity of death. I didn't see infinite possibilities of worlds to explore, adventures to have, or living creatures to connect with. I saw the deepest darkness I could have ever imagined, contrasting so starkly with the welcoming warmth of our nurturing home planet.
This was an immensely powerful awakening for me. It filled me with sadness. I realized that we had spent decades, if not centuries, being obsessed with looking away, with looking outside. I did my share in popularizing the idea that space was the final frontier. But I had to get to space to understand that Earth is and will stay our only home. And that we have been ravaging it, relentlessly, making it uninhabitable."
~ William Shatner

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Star Wars - 1950's Super Panavision 70

Star Wars reimagined as a 1950s movie. I think that this is AI-generated. We are living in a new age.

Hypothetically, if Star Wars had been made in the 1950s, it would have been like Flash Gordon.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


I can see why Batman vs. Superman got mostly negative reviews. The movie is overloaded with action sequences and drags out too long. But the film is underrated. Between all those action sequences are bits of dialog, so brief that you have to pay attention to keep up, that are gold. Jesse Eisenberg steals the show as Lex Luther. He is a welcome surprise, playing a really manic Luther with some cool dialog.

Post From 4 Years Ago About Video Resolution

 When 4K TV's first came out, some people pointed out that your eyes can't see in 4K. (I know mine can't.) I bought a 4K TV anyway on a Walmart Black Friday sale at a great price.

The 4K designation is a bit deceptive because the 4K refers to the number of horizontal pixels. In the past, video resolutions were designated by the number of lines vertically. Therefore, just so we are clear, 4K is 2160P, and 1080P is 2K.
Old tube TV's broadcast in 480i, which means the video was only 480 lines, and the TV takes two 1/60th of a second cycles to draw the entire screen.
The most you can get out of broadcast TV right now is 1080i. The old TV shows that dominate broadcast TV were recorded on videotape, which is 480i, so that how they are broadcast today. Blu-ray disks are typically 1080P, and DVD's can be as low as 480p. There is a special Blu-ray format that is 4K, but you need a Blu-ray player that supports it.
When movie theaters started using digital projection, the format they used was 2K, and some later movies were shown in 4K. I am one who sits on the front row of a theater when everybody else sits 2/3 of the way back. (That's kind of nice for me actually.) Even with a giant screen in front of me, I can't notice any lack of resolution with a 2K or 4K projection.
My favorite computer resolution is 1440P, which is technically 2.5K, and this is what I use now. This is an ideal resolution for playing games. The Apple iMac that I own is capable of 5K, which is overkill on Apple's part because it doesn't make sense to have that much detail on a 27-inch monitor.
On my computer, I routinely watch videos that are 720P and I never notice any lack of clarity.
So now the industry is developing 8K TV's, which is insane. Your eyes will not see the difference, and there's not going to be any content available in 8K. The new videogame systems that are coming out this year are also going to support 8K, but likely just for content and not for games which will be in 4K instead. Right now you can buy a 98 inch Samsung 8K TV for $79,000. This is insane.

Star Wars Meme Monday with Thor & Naboo (Episode 107) and Special Treat

Star Wars has the bad habit of bringing back dead characters...

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Dee Bradley Baker doing clone voices for five and a half minutes

I realize that not everyone likes animation, but animated Star Wars has some great characters and stories.  The Batd Batch is exceptional.

Not everyone likes science fiction, but I am impressed at how many voices Dee Bradley Baker does.  He voices most of the show.

I am surprised at how enthusiastic the audience is.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny


Time has an interesting way of shocking us with its passage.  When Raiders of the Lost Ark came out on June 12th, 1981, Harrison Ford was 40 years old and his young love interest co-star Karren Allen was 29.  The movie was filmed the year before when the actors were 39 and 28 respectively.  In the latest Indiana Jones film, the Dial of Destiny, Karen Allen briefly reprises her role as Marion, but she is now 72 and Harrison Ford is 83.  The movie was filmed two years ago, but seeing an old-looking Karen Allen is the most shocking scene in the movie.  It reminds us of how old we are.

What can we expect when an 81-year-old actor reprises his role as an action star?  We get a B-grade film that relies on nostalgia to keep us interested.  The movie has everything we could want in an Indiana Jones film, but the execution is not perfect.  The payoff at the end could have been spectacular and should have been spectacular, but it looks computer-generated and cheap.

Reportedly, Steven Spielberg dropped out of the project for a lack of interest.  Had he directed the movie, I think that it would have been better.

The movie doesn't shy away from showing us Harrison Ford's age.  That is the point.  He is a hero who is a bit slow but still capable and brave.  In a way, he is a perfect action hero for an aging boomer generation that grew up and grew old watching action movies.

The best part of the film is the first 21 minutes where they "de-age" Harrison Ford for a World War II Nazi action sequence that is very reminiscent of the first movie.  It looks terrific and is fun to watch.  This sequence by itself is for me worth the price of admission.

The story revolves around a device, The Dial of Destiny, invented by Archimedes that could be used to travel through time.  Although Archimedes was a pretty famous ancient Greek mathematician, this is a pretty hokey story.  However, every Indiana Jones movie has some element that requires suspension of disbelief.  Alfred Hitchcock invented the term, "MacGuffin", to describe some item that drives the story forward, even if that element is not particularly interesting.  Every Indiana Jones movie has a MacGuffin that the bad guys want and that the good guys are trying to keep the bad guys from getting.

Much has been written about the character Helen Shaw played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  She plays Indy's goddaughter who accompanies him on his grand adventure.  The Internet took a dislike to her, mostly out of a fear that she was upstaging the Indiana Jones character, which she sometimes does.  However, it is hard to imagine an old man going on a great journey spanning many countries without some sidekick to assist him.  Her role in the film is necessary, although many people complained about her inclusion being due to wokeness.  Some people also worried that her character was there to replace Indiana Jones, say in the next picture, but this really isn't the case.  This is the last Indiana Jones movie, and Harrison Ford has said that his role will not be recast.

Half the movie consists of chase scenes.  We get at least one too many.

Despite all the flaws, I had a good time watching Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.  The film is so rich in detail, and nostalgia, that it is a pleasure to watch.

Rating:  B+.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is available to stream on Disney+.

The Imitation Game


I wish that I could say that "The Imitation Game" is objectively a bad movie.  The problem is that it is very entertaining, but it is one of the most historically inaccurate films I have seen in recent memory.  I was already familiar with the history of breaking the Nazi Enigma code, so on my first viewing, I noticed a problem with the scene where the code breakers decide to not stop a German attack for fear of alerting the Nazis that they had broken the code.  In reality, these decisions were made at the highest level of the government of Great Britain.

However, on my second viewing, I noticed how the movie is loaded with melodramatic scenes, and I guessed that every one of these scenes is either a complete fiction or a big distortion of actual events.  It turns out that I was right.  The film also leaves out a great deal of actual history giving the viewer the false impression that Turring was solely responsible for breaking the code.

I have a low tolerance for movies that distort history, and it is a problem we see in many films.  Why should I care so much?  Because it miseducates the public about real events.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Remains of the Day

The movie "The Remains of the Day" came out 31 years ago.  I am often surprised by the passage of time.  Anthony Hopkins was 55 years old when it came out, and this was two years after he did "The Silence of the Lambs."
The movie was highly praised for its performances and for its message. Anthony Hopkins was nominated for Best Actor.  The main character is effectively in a prison partially of his own making by being stuck in English tradition and roles.

I remember thinking that the movie was a bit of a bore and a waste of Emma Thompson.  It was delightful to see Christopher Reeve in a small role at the end.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

I Always Hated *STAR WARS* But Then I Watched It...

We are starting to get young people who didn't grow up with Star Wars and are now experiencing it for the first time.


Why Movies Are So Expensive (And How To Fix It)

Friday, February 9, 2024

He is the "Eeyore" of the group. :-)

She watched the prequels first, as a child, which is probably the wrong order to watch Star Wars.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Stargate (1994) Retrospective/Review

Despite the problems with the movie, I enjoyed it.

The TV series was even better.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Should Star Wars fans lower their expectations? Oh, I don't think so...

2 minutes ago 
My problem is that I found many shows, The Last Jedi, Kenobi, Ahsoka, and even The Book of Boba Fett entertaining even though I know that they are flawed.  I prefer higher-quality entertainment, but I still enjoy these shows for what they are.  I also don't judge TV shows by the same standard I would movies because they are lower-budget productions.  The fact that we get halfway decent Star Wars TV shows is a bit of a miracle.  Back in my day, all we got was the original trilogy, and on TV we had to settle for Star Wars wannabes like Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Friday, January 5, 2024

What was Disney's original plan for the Skywalker Family?

0 seconds ago

Very well said. 

I liked the direction The Last Jedi was going in.  Although I would have been just as happy with an entirely different movie centered on the Skywalker Saga, The Last Jedi made me feel that Star Wars was moving in an exciting new direction.  Then J.J. Abrams threw that all away in The Rise of Crapwalker.