June 4th, 2018

Been busy in the past little while at the movies.

First off I was at the theatre with youngest son to see Solo.  To borrow the intro from Roger Ebert’s site “As unnecessary prequels go….” and that’s my immediate thought to begin it.   And to borrow from daughter’s words I would say “Meh”…  But for a little more clarity and commentary, I would add that there are certain things that seem more than a little contrived (without giving too much away).   We see how Han meets Chewbacca, and incredibly Han speaks a little Wookie, and demonstrates!   Really??!   Han is a street rat on a planet that makes spaceships, how would he ever even know about Wookies let alone speak and understand the language?   But nevermind.  There is also this new thing about dice which were prominently displayed in The Last Jedi (previously discussed in that epiosde).   Luke makes them virtually appear they are so important.   Now we see where the genesis from them comes.   Does it add anything at all to the Star Wars lore?   No.  Could it be meaningful?  Also no.   So why add it?   The timeline here for me on where to place this episode is a little fuzzy too.  Han was older then Luke, we never really know how much older.  Han to start this episode is high teens, low 20s.  Presumably Luke is born at this time, and about 10 years old.   But maybe not.  Without giving anything away the timeline is upset a little near the end of the film.   You’ll know it if you see it.   As for the performances, I think Woody Harrelson is the best performance as a scoundrel and independent gangster looking for “one more score” before he can retire.  Emilia Clarke is a love interest, and is decent too.  The young man playing Han has some personality and embodies the role ok.   He’s not Harrison Ford and he doesn’t try to be, for which I give him credit.   I have heard other people talk about being bored seeing this, or just not engaged.  To that I can understand it, as in the universe of Star Wars films, this was closer to Episode I or Last Jedi than the better of the films like Rogue One or Empire Strikes Back.
On Netflix I saw that Mother! from TIFF was released.  Alison has already covered this, and I won’t even try to explain this film in any real detail.   It is a mess.  Javier Bardem for me is just not a compelling actor.   Here he plays an aloof, narcissist writer unable to write as he and his much younger wife (played by Jennifer Lawrence) fix up a house that was burned down.  This movie could have ended for me (and I should have stopped watching) in the first five mins after Lawrence gets out of bed and stands in the hallway in a white linen sleep outfit.   But it doesn’t.   There are SO many tight close up face shots of Lawrence that I can count her nose hairs.   This so called “horror” had only two scenes near the end that simply made me take aback.   That was for the sheer shock of what occurred.   I won’t describe it here.   But the level of chaos that ensues from supposedly the written word makes zero sense along the way.   In the end it’s much ado about nothing.   And as your hand raises up to smack yourself on the forehead as credits roll, you will realize that almost two hours of your life will never come back.   The only solace in that, is all those involved in creating this mess, have spent a LOT more than that (just not enough in white linen sleep outfits).
The Best Picture of last year from the Academy’s point of view was Shape of Water.   That film was a tale about a mute woman who assisted and fell in love with the Creature From the Black Lagoon (with notable upgrades).   Netflix has clearly seen this film, and decided to have somewhat of an Interstellar twist on this story.   In The Titan, Earth is dying and large parts of it are uninhabitable (like LA).   Bu rather than finding a wormhole in space near Saturn to go to other possible habitable worlds, here mankind is looking to stay on Titan, the largest moon that orbits Saturn.   The way we do that, is we mess with the genetic make up of man, to form a “superhuman” or as the movie says “you only better”, by changing the DNA and make up of the host person.   This movie stars Avatar Jake Sully Sam Worthington, and the chick from Orange Is the New Black.   They are husband and wife with a young son, and he has volunteered to be part of this team.   Turns out they are transforming these volunteers, and this is where Shape of Water comes in.   I won’t spoil any more.  I may not have spoiled anything.   The one flaw that I have in this picture is when a speaking character is then unable to speak and communicate.   But the whole thing was more than a little silly.   Finishing up with this thought – if you were looking for a new form of human to inhabit and thrive on another planet – how many of them would you think you should send?
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