Episode 7

So, here Tis. My thoughts on SW7. How could I not, right? SPOILERS ahead. This is but a capsule review. No doubt there are scads of more detailed ones from my brethren.

Overall 6/10. Now I copped some flack for this from family. Let me break it down:

*8/10 for entertainment factor! But,
*It felt a bit stretched about the 3/4 mark. Some of the action went too long and started to drag. Frankly I got a bit bored and wanted the next scene to just start already!
*Kylo Ren was a great villain... until he unveiled himself.  That creepy voice and stalwart height. But his little tantrums were foreshadowing his ultimate personality. After the unveil he was a petulant teenager (and seriously, when did they have him?? In their 50s???) but I suppose that fits with the Luke/Anakin attitude.  But that just meant we lacked a truly sinister villain :( And I do love those!

I'll concede it was interesting watching a villain trying to pursue a darker side and struggling.  I guess I expected more of a change after killing his father ie really come into his own.  I get that he wouldn't get more powerful because killing his father isn't actually what would make him stronger.  But I also didn't really buy his torment - after all, he had to narrate to a melted helmet to make it clear.
I just wanted a really strong villain :(
* I love love love Rey - especially as a role model for my girls. Great casting and she nailed it.
*Finn irritates me. Nuff said
*Poe was great (damn Oscar be short!) but totally saw comeback coming. If you were trapped in a crashed tie fighter would you be able to take off your jacket? No. He's a hell of a pilot though. Having flown a few tie fighters in Rebel Assault they are NOT built for combat (ironically!). [sigh] I miss that game.
*Was disappointed Luke (still my favourite) was just a McGuffin but understand why it had to be that way
*ADORE BB-8 (the thumbs up! GOLD)

*Loved and respected the fact that it looked and felt more true to the original trilogy i.e. creature shop not CGI
*And what the hell was with Domnhall Gleeson's character?  I would've bought it had he been an older Tarkin-type but he lacked gravitas. Also he just seemed like such a dick I reckon some underling would've pushed him off a platform by now!?!? 
*Can't believe I'm saying this but pleased Han Solo died. I couldn't see scope for further character development. And we all remember what happened to Indiana Jones when they tried to ressurrect that beloved character!! Better a quick death now than a loooong strung out death at the box office ;)

It was all these factors that dropped my rating down to a 6.  I was on the verge of a 7 but the fact that they couldn't resist setting up a sequel shits me.  The original film was self contained even though Lucas had a trilogy in mind!!! What is it with the money-men having to lock in that next audience...? Oh right, asked and answered. But this is Star Wars!! The audience IS already locked in and guaranteed to pay!

My sister pointed out that what I've said is it was too much like the original film but not enough like the original film? Yes, I'm exactly that contrary!

The film does seem better in retrospect due in great part to the interviews and tv spots I've since watched. But for me a film must be judged on its own, by performances and cinematic skill, and not by how much I like the actors as people or the marketing gimmicks and junket performances arranged for them! That being said, you must check this out:

And yes, I welled up as the crawl began to climb!

Not your average hostage situation

I'm at Bruce Willis fan. There. I said it.

But my most favourite of his films from recent years is, not surprisingly, not the latest die hard movies (in spite of how much I loved the first ones). It is in fact a little known film call Hostage. 

This is not your average cops & robbers action thriller and to say any more would spoil the twist that makes this so watchable!  Suffice it to say it's definitely worth a look, particularly for the excellent performances from both Ben Foster and Kevin Pollack. Foster's portrayal of the damaged, skeevie juvenile delinquent Marshall is chilling.

NSFK, definitely deserves its MA 15+ rating!

Congratulations Cate!!

It's about time too!!

Now we just have to get Glenn Close, Amy Adams and Ed Harris sorted!

Charming festive fare

With the silly season upon us there are plenty of Xmas flicks out there and any number of lists you can refer to (including one on this blog). But when I need a bit of a lift during the rest of the year I tend to reach for The Holiday. Sometimes you just really need a Hollywood ending!

It has that British Romcom charm but the less than sly self referential humour that can only be American writing.

Now my adoration and respect for Kate Winslet is well documented and Cameron Diaz has comic timing rarely found in Hollywood starlets anymore. I don't really get the whole Jude Law thing but I liked him in spite of myself here. But it was delightful to see Jack Black given a proper romantic lead that doesn't involve Gwyneth in a fat suit. And who doesn't love Rufus Sewell as a villain!

Ps - This movie is also responsible for my adoration of the plummy kid accents in Peppa Pig "you don't like tents?"

The Holiday

Plot: two women, one Brit one Yank, looking to escape from their own personal dramas by swapping houses for the festive season end up finding out things about themselves instead.

Cast: Kate Winslet (The Reader), Cameron Diaz (Knight & Day), Jude Law (Gattaca), Jack Black (School of Rock)

Like this? Check out
Tara Road
While you were sleeping
Notting Hill
Love Actually

To market

Despite my keen adoration for all things film, I still have to bring in some dough to pay for things like, well bread. I am a marketer day to day. Now there are hundreds of films about cops, even more about lawyers and spies. There aren't too many about filmmakers but there's even less about marketing and those that there are are hardly complimentary your Highness ;)

But when I first saw this week's flick I was entranced for I know, and have worked with, kings and queens of spin. They're not optimists, nor pessimists. They don't see the glass half empty or full. They just want to make sure you buy more glasses and fill it with more of their product, edible or not, carcinogenic or not!

Yet this film takes that characteristic and flogs the shit out of it, with so much tongue in cheek it may choke. It's witty, vivacious and wry. And it has a terrific cast lead incontrovertibly by the excellent Aaron Eckhart and is helmed by the director of acclaimed film including Juno and Up in the Air.

Check out...

Plot: Nick Naylor is the king of spin and his client is big tobacco.  Can he spin his own moral responsibilities when his own son questions them?

Cast: Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), JK Simmons (Juno), Cameron Bright (Birth), William H Macy (The Lincoln Lawyer), Robert Duvall (Gone in 60 Seconds), Mario Bello (A History of Violence), David Koechner (Anchorman), Rob Lowe (The West Wing)

Watch the trailer