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Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Post #539

So the graphic above of ROTTEN TOMATOES’ STAR WARS movie ratings — as well as some fellow geek-culture friends and beyond — has inspired me to defend my beloved RETURN OF THE JEDI once again. So . . . Ewoks aside (because they’re everyone’s whipping teddies), what the hell is so wrong about EPISODE VI? Granted I was only 9 when I first saw the movie in the theater, but all the Darth Vader (his eternal inner conflict with his better self, which he finally bested) and Emperor Palpatine (such pure diabolical evil, and the Dark Force lightning!!!) stuff left such an indelible mark on my young psyche. And then there’s the Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa twin sibling reveal, Yoda’s cryptic message and (un)timely death. The excellent opening scenes and set pieces at Jaba’s palace — and Jaba himself for fuck’s sake, that fat slab of gangster kingpin, and of course Salacious Crumb, the Sarlac pit, the green light saber, Leia and Lando in spy/infiltration and rescue mode, Leia and Han’s romance, C-3P0 as a golden god, a spectacular space battle with X-Wings (fighter jets in space were my favorite as a child — see: OG BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BUCK ROGERS), the speedster bike chase in the forest, good triumphing over evil and yes, some medium-sized woodland creatures-turned badass to help save the day! What am I missing here?

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Comics-Related Gallery Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy | May the 4th

May the Fourth be with you. Always.

f0nfkgg

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Comics-Related Movies Multimedia Trailer Video

THE DARK TOWER | Official Trailer [HD]

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Comics-Related DC Comics Movies Multimedia

Justice League (Official Movie Trailer)

Looks fun!

 

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Comics-Related Movies

Defending Captain America: Civil War

The way I see it, CA: Civil War (a movie I thoroughly enjoyed both times I saw it at the theater) is that it is a movie that by its very nature is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. The reason I say that is for starters look at its length. Its scope. Its large cast. Many would say it’s too much, mainly because they allow themselves to be overwhelmed by one of the aspects, either separately or collectively. Let’s look at the length. A movie of this scope with this many moving parts would be maligned for being too [insert complaint] if it were 20 minutes shorter. Let’s look at the cast. A movie with war in the title and an internal war at its core is going to need two large factions of folks going at it. That leaves the scope and scale of a movie of this kind. Well, of course a movie smack in the middle of a shared universe narrative is going to require large set pieces and a HUGE (and I mean YUGE!) epic battle between the warring factions. Yet, because of that large scale battle, some were left with the impression that “there’s very little story” or not enough quiet, character moments, which I contend are simply false.

Let’s look at the story itself. Due to previous events that were arguably irresponsible and shortsighted, there’s some backlash, individually and collectively. Steve’s got his issues. Tony’s got his. Bucky’s are obvious. Wanda and Natasha too. Enter T’Challa and there’s a mini-story there with all its ramifications. Same with Peter. Now, let’s introduce some way-back past events that impact Steve, Tony and Bucky dealing with the murder of Tony’s parents at Bucky’s hands – due to sleeper-agent indoctrination. That’s no big deal though. It’s not a big moment for the characters, it doesn’t touch or elevate the emotional core of this conflict and this deepening rift between 2 major players, 2 friends. Surely it doesn’t inspire an emotional climax in said story. [sarcasm]

For some reason, amid all the action and fighting – cuz, y’know, it’s in the action-adventure genre – these deeper moments got missed or overlooked by the movie’s harshest critics.

Had the makers of the movie come lightly on any of those aspects, what would we be saying? We’d be a bit underwhelmed, amirite? I think I’d probably rather be overwhelmed by a movie than underwhelmed. At some point I can come to embrace whatever there’s too much of, but on the flip of that, I can’t compensate for what’s missing.

Ya dig?

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Comics-Related Commentary Movies

Commentary | Star Trek: Beyond

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STAR TREK: BEYOND. It was a highly fun and entertaining movie, right in line with the previous two of this J.J. Abrams reboot. We left feeling like it was really good, and I still have that thought a few days later. Coincidentally, there was a theme that ran through the story, a timely theme of diversity, togetherness and teamwork. Staying together for mutual purpose in order to achieve harmony and to prosper – the common Star Trek theme, of course. But also this: no matter what our sins are in the past or present, in order to make a better tomorrow we need to unify, overcome and forge ahead together.

Upon reflection a couple of days later, something about this movie has me questioning whether or not I was as emotionally engaged in it as I was with the previous two installments. I don’t think it’s the actors’ fault that maybe I’m getting a sense that it lacked a certain amount of depth. Chris Pine as Cpt. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Comm. Spock seemed to do what they could to emote their character’s pathos. I would say that particular criticism would lay at the foot of director Justin Lin. For instance, I should have felt Kirk’s inner turmoil, Spock’s loss and even more inner turmoil, and even Krall, the villain’s century’s long plight a little deeper. I was surprised by the merely 2 hours running time, and maybe another ten minutes could have allowed for the story to delve a little deeper. I dunno, it’s just my opinion that stories/movies that are meant to be epic are even more so when the audience’s emotions are just as engaged as their intellect – amplifying the sense of awe.

In the grand scheme of things, this does not greatly diminish the overall experience, it’s more of a residual concern after the fact for me. Visually the movie was very stunning and impressive. The SFX contained both the great and not-so-great aspects of CGI. However, when scale is a big ingredient, you really can’t escape the necessity of all that CGI has to offer. As the credits rolled I noticed Simon Pegg’s credit as the co-screenwriter. A job done well. Happy to see that, for now, Kirk and Spock aren’t throwing in the towel just yet.

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Broken News Comics-Related Commentary DC Comics Movies

Geoff Johns Now Co-Head of DC Movies

Broken News Commentary: Finally, like with the television division, a comic book guy is in place to be able to ensure that certain other creative minds don’t go too far off the comic book reservation with the movies. A swift move that should be very effective.

The great comics industry journalist Heidi MacDonald writes via her wonderful The Comics Beat blog:

That thud you just heard was official confirmation of the other shoe dropping after the extremely mixed success of Batman v Superman. The last few weeks rumors have been flying about a shake-up at Warner Bros. Pictures…

The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit has all the exclusive major scoop.