Bitching about something because I can · Movies · Spoilers

(SPOILERS) My Thoughts on ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

HEY! The title of this post says Spoilers. In case you missed it, this post contains big-time spoilers! Just a heads-up.

Also, I ramble allot in this.

Another holiday season, another exploitative Star Wars release that will rake in billions regardless of its quality. I’m going to be honest here: I’ve never really liked Star Wars. The first ones are alright, but I think they’ve aged a little worse than people are willing to admit they have. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t exactly raised on Star Wars that I’m not a megafan, but I’ve never really felt like these films are masterpieces. This came to me as bright as it could with 2015’s The Force Awakens. It looked good, sounded good, and some of the writing was solid… but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with it. When I watched for a second time, I’d come to a realization: I don’t like The Force Awakens very much. It wasn’t that it was more of a rehash than a reboot that killed it for me, it was the fact that Star Wars now felt… corporate. The story felt like it wanted to go somewhere, but as I rewatched the film, I couldn’t help but imagine a whole board of brilliant writers having their unique vision turned down so Disney can pump out 20 more Star Wars movies over the course of the next 20 years. In a way, it felt devoid of the passion that Lucas had put behind the original Trilogy – more than the prequels had. This issue only became more apparent as I watched The Last Jedi in a packed theater last night.

So, what did I think of The Last Jedi? Well, for starters, I liked it far more than I had enjoyed The Force Awakens. Despite reeking of overly corporate decisions, there were moments that wowed more than just me. NOW ONTO WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT IT. When Snoke died, the whole audience burst into applause. I didn’t applaud. This surprised me, but only because Snoke is the opposite of a compelling villain. Over the course of 2 movies, all I knew about him was that he isn’t a Jedi, so he’s bad by nature. It looked cool, but it sure didn’t feel cool. What was pretty awesome, however, was when Rey and Kylo Ren kick some ass… only for Kylo to be like “ayy yo I have an obligational contract to be the big bad meanie in the next film, so fuck any of the potentials I might have had as a character in this film k byeeee”. Yeah, that was a little disappointing. Then there’s Luke Skywalker. I didn’t hate his character here, but he underused as a character. His death, also, was far more underwhelming than anything else. He just kind of dies. Apparently, Jedi can commit magical seppuku whenever they feel like it. Why was this never established before? Movie. This is all not to mention the countless plot threads, some of which were not entirely necessary. I am, of course, referring to the moment where Finn has to track down some code breaker. This felt like it just dragged on, with nothing important really happening until the writers gave up on it. Finally, the pacing near the end was way off. I honestly felt like there were 5 different endings within the last 20-30 minutes. The long shot of the ship disappearing would have made for a bad ending, and the writers were smarter than that… but I couldn’t help but feel like it was going to come to a close as the ship left. FINALLY, finally, not all of the logic makes sense. Why does ramming into a giant ship at lightspeed cause all of the smaller ships (which are out of range) to explode? Movie.

With that in mind, there’s a lot to dislike about The Last Jedi. NOW ONTO WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT. The Last Jedi is standard Star Wars fare. This means the acting is solid, it looks and sounds pleasant, the music is undeniably epic, the CGI is well done, and it has plenty of humor. The action sequences, especially, were well done. The Last Jedi, despite its flaws, is actually quite a fun movie that had me near the edge of my seat on some occasions. My favorite part of The Last Jedi, however, is the acknowledgment that all sides of the conflict are total hypocrites and are all wrong in some glaring way. The scene where the codebreaker showing off all the ships the owner had sold until landing on a Jedi one was very well executed and got to the point. Kylo Ren, despite having an arc that went almost nowhere in this film, actually makes a great point about this near the end. Hell, if anything, Kylo becomes a more interesting villain here than he did in The Force Awakens because of this. One of the cooler things I noticed here, more than I did with The Force Awakens, is the evolution of the Star Wars universe from the O.G. trilogy to the newer films. Like with Blade Runner 2049, the idea to mix old technology with new technology actually gives off a vibe that the universe is alive in a way. That is the only comparison between these 2 movies I’ll ever make.

Yeah, and that’s about it. Again, I didn’t hate it. I did come out of the theater bitching to my friends about the various aspects that didn’t work so well, but I can hardly say I regretted my time with this one. If anything, The Last Jedi has made me happy for all of the unique and risky films that came out this year that a corporation, like Disney, wouldn’t do. Films from this year like Blade Runner 2049, Three Billboards, The Shape of Water, and so on prove that the film industry is still creative and kicking.

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Miscellaneous · Movies

Wiener-Dog’s Amazon Page: A case study on how NOT to be a critic

 

Todd Solondz, you might have heard of him. He directed a movie a couple of decades ago called ‘Happiness’, which garnered an NC-17 rating due to its subject matter until it was given a home video release (all of this knowledge is easily accessible through not-so-hard-to-do research). He also directed a few other movies that might not be as messed up as Happiness. I’m not here to rag on him or the people who have more than one good reason for disliking any one or more of his films. What I am here to do, however, is rag on people that only have ONLY one good reason for not liking a specific film of his. Can you guess what that reason is?

DOGS ARE INNOCENT, ANY DARK HUMOR INVOLVING THEM IS AWFUL!!!!

Of course, this isn’t the only thing people have a problem with when it comes to this movie… but those who have been vocal about this one point and almost nothing more are so vocal that any other point is buried under the pile of people who hate this film for this reason alone. I get it, dark humor involving animals (and not humans) clearly isn’t for everyone, but it takes some real convincing to tell yourself that a movie has no redeemable qualities because you can’t handle its twisted sense of humor. What about the cinematography? What about the writing that DOESN’T involve the things you dislike so much? Performances? Music? Lighting? Anything else I’m missing here? Fuck it, dogs are awesome and any actual redeeming factors can go fuck themselves!

*sighs*

It makes sense to me that the Amazon page for this is flooded with one-star reviews, considering Amazon has never been the place for intelligent, quality reviews (the fact that Norm of the North and Nine Lives, two inexcusably bad kids films, have 4 stars – individually – on average – should tip you off to this immediately). The only really really good reviews on there are funny reviews that always get featured on the obligatory Best-of/Worst-of Amazon review(s) videos. To those who have more than one good reason for hating this film, congratulations! You have more dignity than most of the people who wrote 1-star reviews for this film on Amazon. Nevermind that the film has an R-Rating that CLEARLY serves as a warning of the type of content that’s going to be found in this film.

And all of this ties into the point I’m trying to make with this article: REAL criticism is not giving something a score and then vaguely describing why it deserves that score. Even if you have only one reason to hate something, your opinion comes off as agreeable if you take more than just a few short minutes to write a review and then claim your opinion is something that people will look at and say you did a good job of conveying. In short time, the IMDb page for Wiener-Dog gained people who could actually criticize the film without waggling their finger and stating a (sometimes hypocritical, like in this case where dark humor with humans is a-okay, but the same exact gags with animals instead is wrong and cruel) belief that’s meant to be taken as serious criticism. Thankfully, despite its flaws, IMDb doesn’t list this film as one of the worst there are – despite its 5/10 average. Too bad Amazon does, though.

 

Maybe I take this too seriously… scratch that, I wrote an article about internet comments that’s over 600 words long – I DO take this way too seriously. Regardless, I think Weiner-Dog’s Amazon Page (alone) is a great case study on how to not be a critic, even if the people who leave negative reviews on it for only one reason aren’t trying to be a serious critic.

And now I sound silly for writing an article about fucking internet comments…

fucking

INTERNET COMMENTS. Clearly, I’m going to need to be reevaluated after writing this.

For those wondering about the supposed 'hiatus':
I've changed my status to 'I write when I want to write'. The main reason
for the hiatus in the first place is that I'm doing a job for the summer
that makes it so I don't have all the time in the world to write...

but I still have time regardless and I was niave to think
otherwise.
Movies · Reviews · Spoilers

Logan – Movie Review/Thoughts (TINY Spoilers)

Please note: My game and movie reviews are formatted differently.

This is a little late, but I could care less. This is the tale of when Logan saw Logan, as in the film. Since this came out more than a month ago, yet some people still haven’t seen it yet, I’m just going to put this right here: This review contains slight spoilers, I won’t be telling you the majority of the story or how it ends, but I will be discussing minor things that you’ll have to have seen the movie to understand.  There.

I went into Logan anticipating a climax where EVERYONE dies, even the small child. I talked to buds of mine who were big enough dipshits to tell me this… they lied. The movie begins interestingly enough with a location I could have sworn I’d seen before: an appropriately dimmed down version of a (light) blue color that surrounded the scenery, a messed up road, and also a bit of a town. It took me less than a few seconds to remember that this was the teaser for Deadpool 2. As typical, funny stuff that knows what it is and what movie it’s playing before. This was great and one of the best pre-movie things I’ve seen in a while… too bad Hugh Jackman won’t be revisiting his fake silver claws for that film, though.

Then the movie begins. It hits you right off the bat, showing Wolverine (now using his other codename, Logan) having to cut into a bunch of assholes trying to disassemble his car for parts to sell. This was a great way to open this film mainly because it not only shows how violent the film is in comparison to all of its predecessors but also tells the audience about Logan’s weakened healing powers without ever needing to say a word about it. This describes why I loved Logan so much: it’s NOT the typical Super-Hero movie abusing the same formula for profit. There are no quick and cartoony gags or reckless behavior and acts that get unpunished. Like The Dark Knight before it, Logan is a Superhero film only in the sense that the main character has amazing powers and/or special abilities.

From here, the movie goes on to give a pretty awesome show. I’m not a psychopath, but I think the violence here was fitting, as this is what Logan’s powers could realistically do to someone if he used them on somebody. The practical and digital effects for the gore and visuals were also pretty well done, too. The story is one that gets more and more heartbreaking as it goes on, and the finale had me in tears – which is quite rare for me. The characters, for the most part, were decent, but some were obviously there to move along the story and get killed afterward – wouldn’t ya know it, they die. Probably the best part of this film are the performances from everyone involved. Obviously, Patrick Steward and Hugh Jackman fit their roles more than peanut butter fits jelly, but Dafne Keen as Laura, or Logan’s clone, was also amazing here as well and the things she was able to pull off here are outstanding things for any child actor, period.

And that basically describes it. Sorry if this feels rushed or incomplete – I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but haven’t gotten to. For anyone wondering – yes, when I get the chance to, I’ll do more than writing about Video Games and related items.