The best thing about The Last Jedi

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I finally got to see The Last Jedi (after two previous failed attempts, both amazingly sold out afternoon shows, a month after the premier).  I liked it a lot.  My personal rankings of the “main” Star Wars movies is now something like

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Star Wars (A New Hope)
  3. The Force Awakens
  4. The Last Jedi
  5. The Return of the Jedi
  6. The Revenge of the Sith
  7. The Phantom Menace
  8. The Attack of the Clones

But there was something that really stands out.  Spoilers ahead!

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Star Wars at 31

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Apparently Spike TV is running all of the Star Wars movies as a “mega saga event” over the course of the next weekend. I happened to come across their “ultimate trailer” online, which stitches together bits from all six movies. And strung together like that, all those bits suddenly make clear what’s gone so horribly awry in the Star Wars franchise:

The later movies (Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) are certainly much busier than the first three.

But they aren’t any better.

It would seem that George Lucas’ sole “lesson” is “more lasers! more droids! more ships! more explosions! Oh, dear God, many more explosions!” It’s become a cliche that modern filmmakers allow special effects to overwhelm the story; George gives them a play-by-play on how to do that.


The Mongrel Dogs at Sea (4): Review: Next

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Insta Rating: 4 out of 5

OK, it’s a little odd to be reviewing a movie when I’m supposed to be off on a wonderful cruise. But as mentioned before I was pretty wiped out, so I decided to take advantage of the onboard movie theater and catch Next starring Nicholas Cage and Jessica Biel. I remember when this came out but I never got to see it, despite being a sucker for a Philip K. Dick movie

Nicholas plays Chris something, who was born with the very Dickesque talent of being to see the future but only his own future and only two minutes ahead. He’s making a living as a second-rate Vegas magic act and just trying to have a normal life. The only exception to the rules of his talent is that he saw Liz (Biel) at a diner some indeterminate time in the future. He’s been visiting that diner for a week trying to meet her, which he does, acting in a manner which he hopes isn’t too creepy (but which kind of is).
Unfortunately for Chris, there’s an FBI agent who’s somehow become aware of his talent and wants to use it to track down a missing Russian nuclear warhead which has been smuggled into the US. The movie is about bringing Chris around to the greater good and stopping the bad guys.

More below the fold.
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Review: Eragon

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Eragon (the movie)
Cast details, etc., are in the IMDb entry.

InstaRating: 2 out of 5

Having little else to do while school is out, I decided to see Eragon, this season’s epic high fantasy. I went with some trepidation, as the commercials made it seem overwhelmingly, well, cheesy. In hindsight, I had no idea
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Superman: Meh of Steel

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Last night I went to see Superman Returns by accident, sort of. (I went to see Cars but it wasn’t playing — curse you and your occasionally-inaccurate schedules, Yahoo! Movies!) Having slogged all the way out to the theater, and having expectations that I’d see this sooner or later, I bought a ticket to Bryan (“X-Men”) Singer’s attempt to revitalize the Superman mythos on the big screen. I am a fan of the comic book genre, so I had reasonably high hopes.

Be warned: There will likely be spoilers in here.

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