Posts tagged Star Wars
SHORT FILM REVIEW: A Bad Feeling

Star Wars fans will quickly have their sensors triggered when they note the title of this short film from Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon. It is a nod to a running gag that is said as often in Star Wars films as the classic line “May the Force be with you.” The phrase alludes to a character’s audible dread and the heebie-jeebies warning of something awful, visible or invisible, on their horizon. The characters in those movie moments say it and mean it. In A Bad Feeling, the husband and wife central figures know their trouble, entirely feel it, but don’t announce their fears when they should.

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COLUMN: New Year's Resolutions for the Movie Industry in 2018

Plenty of regular everyday people make New Year's Resolutions, but I think bigger entities, namely movie makers and movie moguls, need to make them too.  Annually, including this seventh edition, this is my absolute favorite editorial to write every year.  I have fun taking the movie industry to task for things they need to change.  You would hope Hollywood would learn from those lessons going forward.  Alas, here we go again!  Enjoy!

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STUDENT-FRIENDLY MOVIE REVIEW: Wonder

I do my best to write professional grade film criticism fit for a formal audience, becoming best friends with a thesaurus and using my big boy words.  By day, I'm an elementary school educator.  At work this year, I've been organizing a special field trip for 5th graders to see Wonder after they've been reading the novel all fall.  This second "student-friendly" movie review is for them and other younger readers.  Revised, this review scales down my review down from an 11.6 Flesch Kincaid readability level to a comfy 4.4 average.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Wonder

Wonder’s buoyant messages are the moving jolt of empathy this generation needs.  Even better, its literal and figurative precepts carry an inspiring weight worthy to last many generations more.  Directed by the good hands of Stephen Chbosky, Wonder is an instant classic, sure to become a new favorite, for its target audience and a winning (and rare) example of a film taking great care to do justice by the book it is based on.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Importance of Fog in Film

One of the most dramatic of all meteorological phenomenon is fog. It can be used to ratchet up tension, conceal terrifying creatures, and even provide important characters with a suitably dramatic entrance.  Spanning genres from horror to sci-fi, mist and fog are more versatile than mere set dressing.  This infographic from Vaping Man shares the importance (not forgetting the scare-factor) that fog brings to the silver screen.

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MOVIE REVIEW: War for the Planet of the Apes

A significant shift in attention and investment has occurred in this series.  Our hearts and allegiances swayed from rooting for the madness of our own mankind to the superior traits of humanity exhibited by Caesar and his ape brethren.  A transformation of empathy like that is downright miraculous.  War for the Planet of Apes is a full-bodied epic of glory and pain that matches and then exceeds the moving importance and heart this rebooted franchise has established in two previous knockout films.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Alien: Covenant

Designed by H.R. Giger and manifested by Oscar-winning special effects puppetry, the unforgettable xenomorph creature that debuted in 1979’s Alien lunged with more menace than suddenness.  The acid-dripping extraterrestrial was an overpowering stalker.  Fast-forward 38 years to Alien: Covenant, and the CGI-boosted effects capable today have accelerated the monster’s lethal velocity to an unhinged and downright bonkers level.  Let me tell you, that’s a dandy of a jolt.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Rogue One

Lags of preparation and mounting conflict aside, there is more than enough big-screen excitement infusing the gravitas that give way to pathos.  "Rogue One" smoothly delves into an untold narrative while providing clever and catchy callbacks and nods to the expanded universe we know is on the other side of the horizon.  Fleshing out key history, “Rogue One” instantly becomes an indispensable companion piece to “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.”  Watching this mini saga and seeing the seeds it plants makes one appreciate the fruits of the 39-year-old classic’s triumphs even more.

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EDITORIAL: My 16 most anticipated films for 2016

2016 looks decidedly less spectacular that 2015 on paper.  I think there is still plenty to love, but I don't think we'll get another pair of $500 million-plus earners like "Jurassic World" (over $600 million) and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  In an annual tradition, here are the sixteen movies I'm most looking forward to for 2016.  I'm a ranker kind of guy, so let the first countdown begin.  Enjoy! 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

No matter where today's "Star Wars" fans come from, all of them want the same thing out of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."  Everyone wants an inspired, entertaining, and compelling fantasy adventure.  They want a return of the emotions, wonder, and heartstrings that stirred and inspired their souls when they first encountered these science fiction fantasies.  With great pleasure and a nearly pitch perfect blend of innovation and reminiscence, J.J. Abrams promised, and now has delivered, all that anyone could hope for with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

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MOVIE REVIEW: Jupiter Ascending

"Jupiter Ascending" is an utter mess of missed opportunity and misguided world-building.  Just as with a majority of science fiction movies, the visual panache is present in astounding detail.  That, once again, is the easy part.  Unfortunately, none of it (and I mean none of it), is created with purpose or direction that becomes compelling and stirring to you as the audience.  None of its creative ingredients work to earn your investment, acceptance, attention, or even your basic comprehension.  

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EDITORIAL: My 15 most anticipated films of 2015

During the shift from December to January, I enjoy retracing what I reviewed and enjoyed from the previous year, but the trailers and previews for next year's films are starting to make an impact.  I can't help but look ahead.  Every year, I wrote an "Most Anticipated List."   2015 looks wildly loaded with must-see films.  Let's make a new list for a new year.  Here are my 15 most anticipated films of this new year.  Enjoy!

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EDITORIAL: My picks for the greatest movie scores

Here's my official list of my top 10 movie scores with three unbreakable ties.  I can't call them the "greatest," but I'll put my list next to anyone's and defend my choices.  My friends and followers kind of poked the bear and encouraged me to make and rank my own list.  Well, I love a good challenge and I knew this one would be easy.  Movie scores and I get along.  

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