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.