Movie Review: Solo – A Star Wars Story (2018)

Hey, finally a non-christmas movie. Nice to have a bit of variation. Anyway, let’s go on a space adventure, you scruffy looking nerf herders.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Solo – A Star Wars Story”.

The story follows Han (Alden Ehrenreich), a young and determined guy who wants nothing but to get out of the shitty slum life he’s been part of his entire life. And such an opportunity presents itself when he joins a crew of space scoundrels who have been tasked with delivering a very valuable fuel resource to a notorious gangster. So now we have our “Star Wars” prequel. And while the plot here isn’t anything special, I found it to be a bit of fun. As a big fan of “Firefly” and “Cowboy Bebop”, I have a soft spot for these kind of ragtag space misfit stories. In it’s entirety, the plot is just fine, not something I’d put among the all-time greats. But it’s a fun and fast-paced space adventure, and I don’t mind that.

The characters in this are likable, somewhat interesting, and quite entertaining. Alden Ehrenreich plays the young version of Han Solo. In this, Han isn’t quite the jaded smuggler that we know him as in the older movies, but we see hints of that here as he enters the scoundrel life. He’s quite a fun protagonist. And I thought Ehrenreich was really good in the role, he definitely had a lot of that sly charm one would expect from the character. Next we have Woody Harrelson as Beckett, the guy that Han starts working with who sort of becomes his mentor. A hardened badass with a lot of charisma, he’s quite an enjoyable character. And Harrelson is great in the role. Next we have Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra, childhood friend and love interest of Han. And that’s all I’m gonna say, because any further details would technically be spoilers. But she’s an okay character. And Clarke is pretty good in the role. Donald Glover plays the young version of Lando Calrissian, the smoothest son of a bitch in the galaxy. Not much else to say, he’s a smooth-talking, tricky, and clever guy who could charm his way into the heart of a mountain. And Glover is really good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Joonas Suotamo, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jon Favreau, and more, all doing well in their respective roles (even if one or two of the characters is less than well-realized).

The score for this movie was not composed by the one and only John Williams. Instead it was done by John Powell. And while there are some familiar themes used throughout, he still brought a lot of his own stuff to it to create one of the best scores of the year. I’m not just saying that because of my love for any piece of “Star Wars” music, he brought his fucking A-game on a fair bit of the tracks here. Yeah, the music here is great.

This movie was directed by Ron Howard, and I think he did a really good job with it. He manages to work with a lot of the typical “Star Wars” visual stylings, while also bringing in some stuff of his own, and even a little bit of old school western. The movie is just well shot and has a nice overall flow here that makes it a joy to watch. And the action here too is a lot of fun. Some good shootouts, a nice fight or two… there’s just a lot of fun to be had with the action here. And I don’t think I need to say anything about the visual effects at this point… it’s fuckin’ “Star Wars”, y’all know that stuff is gonna look great.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

While not anything special, “Solo – A Star Wars Story” is a damn fine space adventure full of charisma and fun. It has a pretty good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing/action/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Solo – A Star Wars Story” is an 8,86/10. So I’d definitely say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Solo – A Star Wars Story” is now completed.

You know what another title for this movie could be? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. *Ba-dum-tss*.

Movie Review: The Godfather Part II (1974)

I recently ran a poll on my twitter page where I asked which of four classics that I hadn’t seen yet people waned to see a review of. And at the end of it, this movie came out victorious. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Godfather Part II”.

We follow Michael (Al Pacino), the new head of the Corleone family as he ascends within the crime world, trying to hold on to his empire and his family. And throughout the movie we also get flashbacks to a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), from his arrival in New York during his childhood, to him rising in the mob world as an adult. What I liked about the first “Godfather” movie, and also this is that while it has this sweeping and epic gangster story, it also focuses on the smaller family drama, which gives it a lot more nuance. Yes, it is a very long movie (3 hours, 10 minutes), but it needs that runtime to be able to tell this big and impressive story. Emotional, suspenseful, intriguing, and well written, the plot in this movie is great.

The characters in this are layered and interesting. First up we have Al Pacino reprising his role as Michael Corleone, the current head of the Corleone family. In this movie we see a very conflicted Michael as he has to become the new Godfather, while being pulled in the “legitimate” direction by his wife. And it makes for an interesting character study. And Pacino is fantastic in the role. Then we have Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone. He’s a quiet man with a lot of emotion built up inside of him after some stuff that happened in his past. And it’s interesting to see him go through everything he goes through. And De Niro is fantastic in the role. Diane Keaton returns as Kay, the wife of Michael. She goes through some stuff in this movie, and seeing her try to deal with the shit that comes from her husband’s mob-life is quite fascinating and heartbreaking. And Keaton is of course great in the role. Then we have John Cazale (R.I.P) as Fredo, Michael’s older brother. In this movie you see that he’s a bit of a spineless man who does love his family, but some of his own agendas seem to come first, and it makes him an interesting foil for the other characters. And Cazale is great in the role. And in further returning roles we see people like Talia Shire, Robert Duvall, Richard Bright, Gianni Russo, and Morgana King (among others), all doing very well in their roles. Then we also got some new comers like Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, G.D. Spradlin, Bruno Kirby, and many more. They also do very well in their respective roles. ’tis a very well acted movie.

The music for the movie was composed by Nino Rota & Carmine Coppola, and it’s fantastic. It’s a sweeping and emotional score that fits the world perfectly and helps elevate the scenes to the next level. What I also liked is that it’s not just super serious string tracks, but there are also a couple of more fun tracks for a few moments throughout the movie, and I think that works quite well. Yeah, the music’s great.

Like with the first movie, “Part II” was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (with some writing help from Mario Puzo), and once again he knocked it out of the park. His direction captures the sweeping nature of the crime syndicate plot, while also managing to really elevate and engage during the smaller family drama scenes. I really don’t think anyone could have captured it as well as Coppola.

This movie has been incredibly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #3 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 6 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (De Niro), Best director, Best adapted screenplay, Best set decoration, and Best original score. The movie was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Pacino), Best supporting actor (Gazzo), Best supporting actor (Strasberg), Best supporting actress (Shire), and Best costume design. Fuck, that’s a lot of awards and nominations.

Does “The Godfather Part II” live up to the hype? For me, it does. It has a great story, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Godfather Part II” is a 9,85/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Godfather Part II” is now completed.

And for those wondering, I do prefer the first one.

Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

It has come to this. From James Franco trying to use science to help people, to apes and humans having to reluctantly cooperate to survive… to a war. The end of an era.

Ladies and gentlemen… “War for the Planet of the Apes”.

When the ape colony faces a horrible tragedy, Caesar (Andy Serkis) has to go on the hunt for the army that caused this tragedy to get revenge. So now we have our ape-drama. That’s right, you heard me… ape drama. It’s not so much a straight-forward war movie as it is Caesar’s personal conflict, both against a physical threat and his own inner darkness. And this plot is tense, epic, intriguing, and emotional. Really, it’s pretty fantastic.

The characters here are all interesting as all hell, especially those we’ve gotten to know over several movies. Andy Serkis of course returns as Caesar, our portagonape. And you can tell that he’s in a much darker place here than in the previous movies. He’s struggling with his inner darkness, showing that he’s incredibly conflicted about his path of revenge. And that makes him insanely compelling. And Serkis is fucking fantastic in the role. Karin Konoval returns as Maurice, Caesar’s right hand orangutan. And Maurice is still a great character, the voice of reason. And Konoval is great in the role. Terry Notary returns as Rocket, another of Caesar’s closest pals. And he’s still a badass. And Notary is great in the role. Alright, new people time! First up, Woody Harrelson as The Colonel, a Colonel who’s a bit of a dick and is also the leader of the army that Caesar goes after. And while he at first can seem like a generic evil Colonel type character, you soon learn that he (and the other humans) are just desperate to survive. They don’t wanna be dicks, but they kind of have to so they don’t get wiped out. And Harrelson is great in the role. Then we have Amiah Miller as a little girl that Caesar and crew runs into during their journey. She can’t speak, but she is still quite interesting. And Miller is pretty damn good in the role. Then we have Steve Zahn as Bad Ape, a strange ape that Caesar and crew run into. He is meant to be a sort of conic relief character, which could go to shit very easily in such a dark and serious movie. But they manage to find the right balance of humor and emotion with him to make him fit in very well. And Zahn is great. Really, all the performances here are quite solid.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino and it was pretty damn fantastic. You do get tracks that are the big badass bombastic battle brass ones, but you also get a good amount of tracks that are a bit more quiet for the moments that need something more intimate and emotional. And it all comes together to make a beautiful package that enhances the movie in every way.

The movie was directed by Matt Reeves, the man behind “Dawn of the Planet of the Planet of the Apes”. And once again, he knocked it out of the god damn park. His directing here is big and sweeping, but also tight and personal, never losing sight of the characters among some of the bigger moments. And while this isn’t a straight-up action movie, there are still a couple of action scenes in this movie. And they are big, badass, and intense. The movie is also quite brutal for a PG-13… just thought I’d mention that. And I don’t think I really have to talk about the visual effects, because you already know that they are absolutely incredible. These apes look real. I have trouble believing that this was done with computers, the amount of detail in the fur and movements combined with external effects looks so incredibly real… but this is CGI, and it’s some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” is a fantastic movie, and solidifies this as one of the best trilogies ever. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, and amazing directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *APES!*. My final score for “War for the Planet of the Apes” is a 9,88/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “War for the Planet of the Apes” is now completed.

Apes. Together. Strong.

We now have a trailer for “Alien: Covenant”!

Hello there guys, and merry christmas! Also, happy holidays for those of you who may not celebrate christmas! Anyway, uhm… trailer!

So we have finally gotten a trailer for “Alien: Covenant”, the sequel to 2012’s “Prometheus”. So what is this all about? Well… Crew flies in space, crew lands on planet, crew finds alien life forms, chaos ensues. It’s basically the first “Alien”, only on a slightly different planet and with some other characters. But you know what, I don’t mind. It looks like it will be a thrilling science fiction-horror movie. I am also happy to see the classic Xenomorph egg, with a chestburster flying out of it. Also, there’s a Xenomorph at the end of this trailer and it makes me happy. And finally, Jebuz fucking Crust, this movie looks like it will bring back the gory stuff from the first two “Alien” movies. It really seems like they are going full on Rated R with this thing… which I love! And for those wondering, I have seen “Prometheus” and I thought it was a good movie. Yeah, it’s safe to say that I am excited about this movie. “Alien: Covenant” is set to be released in May of 2017.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you looking forward to “Alien: Covenant”? And what did you think about “Prometheus”? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Enjoy!