Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

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 from them.  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 not quite a disaster, Solo is a worthy if lesser entry to the Star Wars cannon.

Best Bit: Meet Lando

Worth a Watch:  Just

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

 


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Grosse Point Geek – Solo: A Star Wars Story Reviewed

Grosse Point Geek – Solo: A Star Wars Story Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

 

Film: Solo: A Star Wars Story

 

Director: Ron Howard

 

Principal Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany

 

Plot in a nutshell:  After escaping a lifetime of servitude on his home planet Corellia, a young Han Solo joins the fledgling Empire as a pilot but is kicked out for insubordination and forced to become a a lowly Imperial footsoldier. Fed up with his lot he goes AWOL, meets a certain 7ft Wookie called Chewbacca and falls in with a gang of mercenaries led by Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett.  After a heist to steal some precious fuel called Coaxium goes badly wrong, Han, Chewie and Beckett find themselves in debt to the infamous crime syndicate Crimson Dawn led by a vicious gangster (Paul Bettany) who threatens to kill them all unless they steal another batch of Coaxium.

 

The Good: All the performances are good – Ehrenreich pretty much nails it as Han, Harrelson is always watchable and Glover is excellent as Lando Calrissian. There are also two standout action scenes  – a breakneck paced train heist and of course the famous Kessel run sequence which is very exciting and is the highlight of the film.

 

The Bad: Nothing in this film brings anything new to Han’s story that we didn’t already know, and with the notable exception of one gob-smacking character cameo, Howard and the screenwriters completely fail to expand the Star Wars universe in any significant way. Overall the whole thing is rather flat and very by the numbers – which simply isnt good enough for a Star Wars film.

 

Best Scene: The Kessel Run.

 

Summary: Perfectly watchable and another marked improvement over the much maligned prequels, a really good cast led by Ehrenreich does well and its always great to see Chewie and The Millennium Falcon, but unlike Last Jedi and Rogue One it lacked any edge or bite and was all rather soft and predictable. Indeed i’d go so far as to say that on many occasions it didnt even feel like a proper Star Wars film. Another problem was that it was released too soon after The Last Jedi. Part of the success of the recent Star Wars films is that they are spaced apart by at least 12 months and are real events in the cinematic calendar  – Solo just seems to have appeared without much fanfare in a summer already packed with competition (Deadpool 2, Avengers) and as a result this has taken away the excitement one always feels in the lead up to the release of a Star Wars film. The behind the scenes issues have also not helped matters at all  – i still find it baffling that three weeks before the end of principal photography original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were sacked and replaced by Ron Howard. Ok Howard is a good director, but the guy hasnt had a hit in years and isnt exactly known for directing films of this genre. Perhaps Lord and Miller should have been allowed to finish the film and then it could have been fixed in post production  – sadly we will never get to see their original vision and considering how flat and boringly safe the finished product is, id say that’s a great shame.

Watchable but disappointing.

 

Worth paying to see at the Cinema? Yes

Worth Buying on Blu Ray/DVD? – Yes

 

Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Quick Capsule Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

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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Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Terminator Genysis

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

 

By now you should be pretty much familiar with the basic plot of this franchise, but for the uninitiated here is the story in a nutshell:  In the near future  an advanced computer system known as Skynet has destroyed most of humanity, the survivors form a resistance movement led by a man called John Connor (Jason Clarke). After years of war they find themselves on the brink on victory, however in a last ditch attempt to turn the tide, the machines send a cyborg back in time to the year 1984 to kill Connor’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke) before he is even born, thus wiping out the resistance before it can rise up against them. However in turn Connor sends back one his most trusted soldiers (Courtney) to protect Sarah and destroy the terminator. With me so far? Good because this is where it gets complicated.

 

In this fifth entry in what appears to be a never ending franchise, Courtney arrives in 1984 but finds that Sarah is not the meek and mild innocent he expects, but a battle ready warrioress, who is fully aware of Skynet, and being protected by her own terminator (Arnie) who she refers to as “Pops”. To go any further in explaining the plot would fry my brain so you are just going to have to watch it and figure it out for yourselves. But safe to say that it isn’t that easy to follow.

 

For a long while now i have been very dubious about this film – i’ll admit that the first teaser trailer did look good and it seemed that the mistakes made in Terminator Salvation (2009) had been remedied. However when the full trailer was released earlier this year it was plainly obvious that we were back in the familiar territory of the last 2 sequels. And guess what – I was right.

 

In short, Terminator Genysis is  one of the most painfully average films I’ve seen this year. To begin with the plot is so complex, that most of the time I found myself struggling to keep up – to their credit writers have at least tried to come up with something different, but in doing so they have utterly failed to take into account that the average punter simply wont get it and will just become bored.  Which is precisely how I felt throughout.

 

Furthermore, despite being pretty action packed  – mostly none of the set pieces manage to be remotely exciting and simply involve lots of explosions and running away. In addition the cast are almost universally bland  – Courtney as Kyle Reese lacks any of the edge that Michael Biehn so successfully brought to the role in the 1984 original, Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor certainly tries hard but isn’t a patch on Linda Hamilton, Matt Smith barely registers as a more advanced terminator, the great JK Simmons appears in a thankless throwaway role as a cop and even Arnie seems to have just phoned it in. Indeed the only actor that gets out unscathed is Jason Clarke who is actually very good as John Connor.

 

To be fair director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) seems to have tried his best but simply cant match the flair of James Cameron, plus he has obviously been hampered by budget restraints (some of the VFX are properly shoddy) and the studios stupid insistence on delivering a PG-13 film that will appeal to the masses rather than the core fan base.

 

As you may have read this is supposed to be the start of a new trilogy of films but if they are going to try and emulate the brilliance of the original and its 1991 sequel, they will have to try a lot harder than this.

 

Average in the extreme…

Rating:
At Cinemas now
Will Strong
Grosse Pointe Geek