WatchMojo’s got a timely list of everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder’s 10 best moments from the Star Wars Saga. WM does a really nice job putting together a highlight reel of Harrison Ford’s time with the character pulling its list from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Force Awakens (nothing from Return of the Jedi?).
The list comes in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s pretty disastrous opening weekend. Adjusted for inflation, it’s the worst opening in franchise history, and considering the film was shot twice, Lucasfilm had a lot of money wrapped up in its second spin-off. Every franchise eventually has a bomb, but it’s usually a film that deserves to bomb. In this case, Solo was doomed even before The Last Jedi’s controversy that alienated a large portion of the fan base that traditionally whips itself into a frenzy for opening weekends. I wrote a column last summer, before The Last Jedi alienated me, begging Lucasfilm to keep Star Wars in December and to stop trying to put the franchise back in May, where it had traditionally opened under FOX. Even though it’s uneven, Solo is ultimately a good film with a really nice cast that sets itself up for even bigger adventures that we likely now will never get to see. I hope we do, but that would take some serious introspection on Disney’s part as to why exactly the film failed to connect. Hopefully they’ll take the lessons they should learn, let future installments breathe, and realize their mistakes. If not, they’re going to have a much more serious problem than a single Star Wars film that lost money.
Sometimes everything isn’t happily ever after for our heroes. WatchMojo has put together a list for a great topic for discussion: movies where the villain ends up killing the hero. The hero’s journey doesn’t always end the way we’d hope (those reeling after this weekend’s Avengers: Infinity War are feeling that). Sometimes a hero sacrifices themselves to ensure their ultimate goal. Sometimes a hero’s goal IS their own death. Sometimes….well, sometimes they bad guys DO win. It goes without saying that unless you feel like you’ve pretty much seen iconic movies GIANT SPOILER WARNING! What do you think of WM’s selections? Off the top of my head, Road to Perdition, Shane, and Logan (which is in a lot of ways an homage to Shane) spring to mind. I think we can definitely find two better selections than The Wicker Man and Batman vs. Superman (seriously, guys?). What other films do you think should have made this list where the hero didn’t make it to the end credits?
Domhnall Gleeson, son of brilliant actor Brendan Gleeson, is only in his mid-30s, but he’s already put together an impressive resume. Breaking out in 2015 when he starred in The Revenant, Ex Machina, AND Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the actor has become one of the my favorite additions to any ensemble. He’s also completely capable of playing the leading man, as he did in About Time and Good-bye Christopher Robin. It’s not enough that he’s a part of Star Wars, Gleeson is also a member of the Wizarding World, appearing in the final two Harry Potter films as the most ginger-friendly family in fiction: The Weasleys. Incredibly versatile and as hard-working as his dad, Gleeson’s future looks very bright.
Continue reading Domhnall Gleeson’s 10 Best Movies
Andy Serkis has to be given enormous credit. It isn’t many (if any other) actors who can say they invented an entirely new way to act. Serkis is the pioneer of motion capture acting, used before in film, but never to deliver the kind of performance the Serkis astounded audiences with when he brought Gollum to the big screen in The Lord of the Rings. Continuing to develop, pioneer, and teach others in the use of the technique, Serkis went on to embody King Kong, Star Wars enigma Supreme Leader Snoke, and create in Caesar for the new Planet of the Apes trilogy a character that surpassed even Gollum in emotional depth and nuance. This type of acting is becoming so common that it needs an Oscar category all its own, and Serkis long should have received a special recognition Academy Award for taking technology and using it to enhance acting not mask or diminish it. He’s one of the most exciting actors that no one gives full credit to, but nearly everyone knows the characters he brings to life, and they’ll live on as long as movies do.
Continue reading Andy Serkis’s 10 Best Movies
This month has been the 40th anniversary celebration of the film that started it all: Star Wars. Seven more films later, with four more on the way (Lucasfilm has announced the third spin-off will be announced for 2020 sometime in June 2017), the film that started with a farm boy is coming full circle with this Christmas’ The Last Jedi. “Who is Luke Skywalker?” is the central question that drove JJ Abrams to get involved with the sequels. After only a brief, cryptic cameo in The Force Awakens, Luke looks to be as central to Episode VIII as any character. We know he’s not the man Rey expects to find. The first trailer for TLJ has him condemning the Jedi. However, Hero Fan Productions “The Last” does a really fantastic job at recapping Luke’s journey, especially in highlighting the parallels with Anakin’s journey and where Luke went right and Anakin wrong. I think TLJ is a continuation of the journey (we do have several decades of catching up to do), and I don’t think we’ll be saying good-bye to Luke until Episode IX. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.