Thursday, December 22, 2016

Movie Roundup: Holiday Edition (Feat. Rogue One)

I can't believe I'm writing this post, because it means that the year is almost done. Time goes by so quickly that I guess we must be having a lot of fun, right? Fun = a partially-functioning TARDIS that only sends you forward in time. Anyway, I'm getting off track here. Welcome to the holiday edition of Movie Roundup! If you've been here for previous Roundups, you know that (1) these are not really reviews, they're just my random thoughts about movies I've seen, and (2) there will be massive, massive spoilers. So if this is your first Roundup, consider yourself warned.

Doctor Strange
I was really excited to see this movie for some reason, despite the fact that I was never a huge fan of the character in the comic books. Although, I have been enjoying the iteration of Stephen Strange in the Ultimate Spider-Man series, and the previews looked amazing. So did I like it? Yeah, I guess I did. The effects were pretty mind-blowing, although the story itself was kind of meh. The way he defeated Dormammu in the end was cool, although it reminded me a bit of another Doctor and how he broke out of the Confession Dial prison last season (a fantastic episode).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
My first impression of this film after I watched it was "you know, I liked that more than I thought I would." I guess I didn't really know what to expect going in. Does anyone else think that Newt Scamander is on the spectrum? Oh, and Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald - no thanks. Not sure why they didn't just get Jamie Campbell Bower to do it. Maybe they felt like they needed some kind of flashy hire, like the Los Angeles Rams trying to lure Jon Gruden out of the announcer booth?

The Jungle Book
I wanted to see this one because they apparently filmed the whole thing in a Los Angeles sound stage and created the entire jungle environment with CGI. My thinking was that "hey, if that approach works for this movie, then they could do that for the Spectraland movies as well." So did it work? I thought so. It also helped that this was just a great, well-done story (yes, the original source material is terrific, but modern reboots can sometimes muck up old classics). I think I actually enjoyed this one more than the first two movies in this Roundup.

Rogue One
And that brings us to our headliner. This is a movie for Star Wars fans. If you're not a fan, you will probably be bored and confused. If you are a fan, then let me tell you, you are in for two hours and thirteen minutes of sheer bliss (in case you're wondering, I fall into the latter category). It's like the best Star Wars fan film ever made, which makes sense when you consider that the director is a fanboy himself and he had a gazillion-dollar budget to work with.

Bullet point thoughts:

- I had heard bad things about the Tarkin and Leia reconstructions going in, but I thought they were fine.
- Vader's gait was kind of a feminine sashay, don't you think? His boarding scene at the end was awesome, though. Wow.
- I have to admit, Chirrut Imwe's mantra started to become a little annoying after a while.
- I love love love how they made the Death Star flaw into an actual thing. You know what I mean.
- The music was serviceable, but not memorable.
- Why would Vader and his crew even consider the possibility that the Tantive IV was on a diplomatic mission at the beginning of New Hope? Didn't they see it coming out of the rebel flagship that had just attacked the Imperial facility on Scarif?
- Please, Lucasfilm, don't make it so that Jyn survived and becomes Rey's mother or something like that. I'm begging you.
- I plan on seeing this one again. And again. And again, probably.

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