Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So after 40 years, 9 blockbuster movies and numerous games, books and comics, the legendary Skywalker saga comes to an end. Was its worth it? Well according to critics no, not really – Rise Of Skywalker has had the worst reviews of almost any Star Wars film to date.  Are they warranted?  Not really.  Look The Rise Of Skywalker is a mess for sure, the whole trilogy lacking a cohesive drawn out narrative from the start and this for sure plays out as a massive negative here as JJ struggles to pull it all together.  It also is hampered by Carrie Fisher’s death, something that causes narrative issues.  BUT these points aside it’s a good film – spectacular action sequences, solid twists and turns and some great character work by the core cast.  Yup the script is lumpy at times and the film has no logic for it’s major reveals but you can JUST ABOUT put all that aside as the film grabs you up and takes you along on a super fun ride.  So flawed yes, fun for sure, good ending for the saga… maybe.

Best Bit: Death Star!

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema – Love it or loath it it’s the ONLY place to see it

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: A New Hope

 


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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the Last Jedi is good.  On balance it could well be the best true Star Wars film since Jedi and It’s fair to say when it delivers it knocks it out the park – The opening, Rey/Ren, The finale.  Even better watching it back on home video, the misses that bothered me first time around (The long middle section, Star Wars Casinos, the punking out of not one but two characters set up for great things but cast aside) actually made a lot more sense.  It’s still far to say that a better script could have made this up there with Empire, but even though The Last Jedi flirts with greatness it still doesn’t QUITE land it.  This all said it was a really entertaining film, with lots of surprises along the way and twists and turns you don’t quite expect that lived up to expectations and hype.  Hamill is great, Fisher gives one of her best performances and the support cast are mostly exceptional.  Where to next is anyones guess but the final film in this trilogy will have a hell of a job beating this. Recommended.

Best Bit: Finally! Lightsaber action!

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back , Rogue One : A Star Wars Story

 


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The danger is always that when you hype up a film to such a degree that it can only ever disappoint.  And episode 7 its probably the most hyped film ever.  To live up to this hype It would have to be special.  It would have to deliver.  And you know what – for the most part it does.  The Force Awakens is the Star Wars films I wanted.  Great new characters, throw backs to the great characters of old, a simple story, intrigue, a great bad guy and a plot that doesn’t feed you every little detail.  It’s not perfect – far from it – BUT in spirit and execution this film delivers.  It feels like a Star Wars film. It looks like a Star Wars film.  It IS a Star Wars Films.

Best Bit: BB8!

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Return of the Jedi isn’t the best Star Wars film.  That will always be Empire.  But it’s certainly the most watchable (and one I watched the most).  See Jedi is pure popcorn fodder – full of space battles, plot twists, ground wars and lightsaber fights.  The cast here are super comfortable, clearly loving  their roles (well maybe not Guinness) and proxy director Marquand delivers high action from the start. In this current version Lucas’ changes remain mostly in and around Jabba’s palace and still stand out like a sore thumb.  Like most of his additions they just feel so unneeded.  Other changes are okay but I think we all could do with out Hayden Christensen anywhere near this trilogy.  In short – despite Lucas’ best efforts to ruin his films, Jedi remains a perfect send off for the original trilogy. Fun, action packed and full of Ewoks.  Yes I went there… I love the Ewoks.  Thank god then in the end it was a trap!

Best Bit: Attack of the Death star 

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Empire Strikes Back is gritty, dark, challenging and bloody brilliant. Set after the events of A New Hope, it starts to put the pieces together that would form the core mythology at the heart of this franchise.  It’s a shame then that a LOT of those reveals have been ruined by the prequels.  Rewatching Empire the iconic ‘I Am Your Father’ moment becomes shrug rather than the fall of the chair moment it was before.  That said the film is still amazing (escape from Hoth, Cloud City, Fett and more) and even Lucas’ 90’s changes don’t ruin it too much. The Empire Strikes Back is, simply put, the best FILM of this series.

Best Bit: Hoth!

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, Star Wars: A New Hope

 


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Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review
Star Wars: A New Hope was my first major film crush.  It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before (Okay I as probably 4 when I saw it so that’s not saying much) but man 40+ years later it’s still one of the greatest films ever made. From the characters ( A princess, a rogue, a knight) to the set pieces ( escape the Death Star, The final assault, the duel), to the music, editing and everything else… its a film that doesn’t put a foot wrong and is impossible not to love. Star Wars: A New Hope launched a franchise, a media empire and redefined cinema for generations to come.

Best Bit: Escaping the Death Star

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: The Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 


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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is the best of a bad bunch.  I know that’s kinda damning with faint praise but it’s true – the prequels just do not hold up.  Shonky effects are forgivable (just) but shonky acting, direction, script and story telling just isn’t.  In his desire to make a nice 6 film arc Lucas struggles to put all the pieces back together and rather than making things neat, leaves as many questions as he answers.  Yup it’s darker (killing kids… really?) but it’s also sillier with little cohesion between old and new trilogies.  So overall it’s still pretty weak it’s just not as bad as Attack of The Clones or Phantom Menace.  And I guess we can be a touch thankful for that at least… 

Best Bit: Nooooooo! (Joking – probably the opening attack)

Worth A Rewatch: Not overly 

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story , Star Wars: the Clone Wars (TV)

 


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Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So three things stand out rewatching Attack of The Clones.  1. It’s actually paced pretty good.  For a two hour plus film I really didn’t want to rewatch it moves quite fast.  That’s where the positives end.  2.  It has one of the worst scripts I have ever seen on screen.  And I’ve seen (and worked on) some utter Bobbins.  3. Hayden Christensen is by far the worst actor in this film.  He truly stinks up every scene he goes near and has ZERO chemistry with Portman or McGregor.

Look Attack of the Clones was always the weakest of a bad bunch (the prequel trilogy).  But rewatching it I’m reminded just how bad the film is.  The CGI effects, acting, script, dire-logue, direction… all so amateur.  Also in the wider context of the Star Wars films it just makes no sense.  Example (of MANY): Skywalker/Vader met and in fact was related to the family Kenobi would later HIDE Skywalker’s son with.  Right next door to his old home. On his old planet.  Ugh.  Thankfully the film throws enough action at the screen that you don’t notice but man this is not a joy to watch again and has aged badly.

Best Bit: The Clones finally attack.

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

 


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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)  – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Look The Phantom Menace gets a LOT of stick.  It deserves it as well. The film that reignited a dormant (at least in Film) Franchise for a new generation remains very hard film to love.  From rarely mentioned since midi-chlorians, to the lack of force ghosts, bad acting (yup Lloyd I’m looking at you), JaJa bloody Binks, Poor CGI and, yup, trade disputes… Lucas went out of his way to make the simple, lean Star Wars franchise quite baggy. Oh and totally pointless as well hen you reflect back on it.  Yet… The Phantom Menace still has a certain something. The pod race, the final battle, even at times the Jedi.  Oh and THAT lightsaber fight.  It’s not much mind but next to Attack Of The Clones this is a freakin’ masterpiece.  A necessary evil then on a road to a MUCH better trilogy…

Best Bit: Pod Race

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Quick Capsule Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I liked Solo.  It has issues for sure but overall it’s a thumbs up.  But it’s production issues (fired directors, massive reshoots, more reshoots) do shine through the film, especially the first and last act.  The pacing and tone suffer the most with the original directors comic stylings not sitting at ease with Howard’s more pedestrian direction.  BUT these issues can almost be forgotten when you have performances as spirited and fun as Glover and Ehrenreich who do excellently with such iconic roles, leaving you wanting much more.  Harrelson makes a good addition to the Star Wars universe but sadly Emilia Clarke once again fails to shine away from Game Of Thrones.  So far from a disaster, Solo is a worthy if lesser entry to the Star Wars cannon.

Best Bit: Meet Lando

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars Rebels

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