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: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Star Wars: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Other Cr*p

Plot in a nutshell

Sometime after the events of The Last Jedi, the Resistance are still battling the First Order and Rey (Daisy Ridley) is training to be a Jedi under the watchful eye of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher),  meanwhile a terrifying message is detected coming out of the depths of space  – the evil Emperor Palpatine is alive and threatening to destroy all who oppose him  – its now a race against time to find his whereabouts before he can unleash a vast armada of planet killing ships and bring about the return of the Sith.

 

What worked?

In my view – a lot.

To begin with the story is superb, a rollicking good old fashioned space adventure, spanning lots of different locations, throwing in various McGuffins with some really interesting twists and unexpected turns.

As always with Star Wars, the action scenes deliver in spades, light sabre duels, blaster fights, space battles and endless escapism which had me whooping for joy.

Once again, the acting is also excellent  –  Adam Driver as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo is extremely good and has now become one of the film industry’s most talented actors working today.

I also have to say that Daisy Ridley was brilliant as Rey, effortlessly showing how she has come on leaps and bounds from her rather wide eyed performance in The Force Awakens, the girl absolutely gives it her all here and along with Adam Driver totally anchors the whole film. The ever charismatic Oscar Isaac is great as Poe Dameron, even managing to channel his inner Han Solo with some cheeky one liners and knowing smirks. Finally there is the return of the magnificent Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine  -the stuff of nightmares, seriously evil, and completely beyond redemption  – the guy owns this role so completely that when he’s on screen you just cant take your eyes off him – to say he is incredible in this role would be the understatement of the millennium.

 

What could have been better?

Despite how good the plot was I have to say that it was at times a bit too densely packed and there were some ‘Basil Exposition’ moments that caused me to roll my eyes on several occasions.

The whole thing also seemed somewhat too focussed on Poe, Rey and Kylo which meant that some characters remained underdeveloped or didn’t get enough screen time – for example Billy Dee Williams comes back as Lando Calrissian but isn’t nearly in the film enough, then there is the excellent Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico who finds herself side-lined here in an almost afterthought of an appearance – a decision which seemed to be paying lip service to the hammering she had off the idiotic troll fanboys for The Last Jedi. Lastly, even though he’s on screen for most of the film, John Boyega as Finn isn’t really allowed to shine much at all and is very overshadowed by Ridley, Driver and Isaac – which is a shame as he is a great actor and was very central to the plots of the last two films.

 

Review summary

Very well directed by JJ Abrams, winning performances from Ridley, Driver, Isaac and McDiarmid , cracking action, lots of throwbacks to the original trilogy and an interesting plot with lots of unexpected twists and reveals -Rise Of Skywalker is a fantastic thrill ride that had me completely fixated for its nearly 140 minute running time, yes there are flaws, but to be honest I was so caught up in the whole thing that it really didn’t matter. Wonderful stuff, I loved it.

 

 


Review epilogue

As the Skywalker story comes to a close I thought id share with you some of my thoughts on this incredible film franchise. As most who know me (long suffering girlfriend, long suffering family, the eternally exasperated Phil Hobden etc) will be aware that I have been a dedicated Star Wars fan for nigh on 42 years. For me its always been about the films themselves, I’ve never cared for the expanded universe, the books, the games etc plus I really don’t take any notice of the highbrow critics or rabidly moronic fanboys who still cant see what Star Wars is all about.

For me Star Wars is simply a wonderful fairy story  -one based on all the classic tales our parents read us when we were little –   theres a castle, a hero, a princess, a wise old wizard and a man dressed in black –and  that’s all a fairy story needs to be.

Star Wars represents everything incredible in this world and in life itself-  the ability to rise above your standing, that mastering a skill isn’t ever easy and takes lots of hard work, that failure is the best lesson of all because it teaches us to always try harder,  that those who are older and wiser are in fact pretty much right about everything (even if they are 900 years old) that heroes can be flawed, villains can be redeemed and most important of all –  good will always triumph over evil.

Thankyou George Lucas and may the force be with you – always.


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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

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

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

Collections Hall of Fame Quick Review Star Wars

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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