Three Film Feast: Star Wars (Original Trilogy)

Star Wars OTRoze-Verdict: Possibly the greatest trilogy ever made.

Films;
– Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
– Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
– Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Directors;
– George Lucas (A New Hope)
– Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back)
– Richard Marquand (Return of the Jedi)

Main Cast;
– Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)
– Harrison Ford (Han Solo)
– Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia)
– James Earl Jones (Darth Vader Voice)
– Billy Dee Williams (Lando)
– Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
– Kenny Baker (R2-D2)
– Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)
– Frank Oz (Yoda)
– Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)

George Lucas had a vision, his vision included star fighters, talking robots, Jedi nights, gangster worm monsters, storm troopers, countless planets and a death star. All things that we would have loved to think of. Lucas was so passionate about his project he later produced the final two films independently, with the intentions of protecting his work from being meddled with by film studios. Although a difficult task, he succeeded in making a long lasting trilogy which created die hard fans around the globe.

There’s a good reason why Star Wars is such a classic and that’s because it’s absolutely incredible. From the characters to the locations, it is not short of imagination, it makes me wonder where all this innovation has gone to nowadays. Of course there’s no surprise that George Lucas creator of Star Wars also played a large part in writing the Indiana Jones series which is probably my favorite film franchise to date. It’s not hard to see similarities in both these franchises as the adventure is what the films are all about. What’s great about this trilogy is that it works as a 6 hour film, as the story picks off from where the last one ended. What’s even better is that each film ends satisfyingly avoiding that irritating cliffhanger feeling. Does it hold up compared to films nowadays? Absolutely and probably exceeds them in terms of quality.

I think anyone who can make a robot, that can’t speak, one of the most lovable characters on screen, should get massive praise. Almost half the characters in the franchise can’t speak a language we understand, yet they are memorable and characters we empathize with, most notably Chewbaka, R2-D2 and Wicket the Ewok. That goes for all the characters, they are all interesting and have personalities we can relate to, but they really wouldn’t be anything without the bonds they share. The likes of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and even Lando share a chemistry that’s addictive, it makes us want to see more of them and come out victorious. Another brilliant character is Darth Vader, the very person we’re meant to despise. Even though he was an evil bastard in the first couple of films, I couldn’t help but admire his no nonsense style and persistence. Which is why after the “shocking” ending of The Empire Strikes Back, we realize there’s even more to him than we thought. Nowadays our villains on screen are one dimensional and share similar motives, it’s refreshing to witness such a character transformation of a villain on screen because what initially is a feeling of bitterness towards Darth Vader ends in one of the most emotional and heart warming scenes of the trilogy. I can’t stress how brilliant these characters are.

For a film made 30 odd years ago where CGI was on the brink of development, it doesn’t do too bad of a job. If I’m not mistaken Star Wars was one of the first films to use CGI at its full potential during that time period and prompted future use of it in films like Alien and Superman: The Movie. George Lucas of course went on to build his own visual effects company which is pretty much the reason we have incredible CGI imagery in blockbuster films today. In respect to the time period Star Wars was made, they were smart in using the CGI only where necessary so it didn’t get tiresome or draw attention to its flaws. What I think enhanced the underdeveloped CGI is the costume and set design which is some of the best I’ve ever seen in film. Some may disagree and argue that it makes the alien characters look noticeably fake but there is a charm to it. Knowing that the human characters are acting with objects within the scene makes it all that more convincing, more so than some films nowadays where actors have to pretend that the CGI characters are there with them, most recently Transformers. We are immersed in the lands they explore and the surroundings because the sets are expertly built with emphasis on detail and the location scouting is bold. After the films, it doesn’t just make you want to build a light saber and fight evil, but it makes you want to explore and have you’re own epic adventure as these characters did.

For a time where cynicism inhabited most things in society such as music, media and even films, Star Wars really brought back an optimistic and hopeful perspective on life and the future. It’s a simple story between good and evil, where peoples choices and free will define them, and no matter what, the good will smash the evil. Even though there’s a possibility Luke could turn to the dark side, we never believe it because his character is so pure and likable, he’s the every man, someone we can all relate to, and by the end of the trilogy, someone we strive to be. As well as being a great story, it’s also a lot of fun. Probably the biggest positive about Star Wars is what a good time it is, no matter how many times you watch it, Han Solo’s sarcastic humor and wit will make you smile, as well as the back and forth dialogue between the characters. It really is the definition of a “popcorn flick”, and I think that’s largely down to how passionate George Lucas is and how well the actors know the characters. They play them with so much confidence and awareness of how the characters should be portrayed, that we are able to buy into them. Ultimately the film knows exactly what it wants to be, which is a quirky, fantastical space opera that needs to be watched religiously because “if you’re not trillion at least once every three years, the dark side wins” (How I Met Your Mother reference).

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Trailer Park: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


Verdict: I would buy my ticket today if I could!

Director: James Gunn
Screenwriters: James Gunn & Nicole Perlman
Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, David Bautista, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly

Wow-zers that was a great trailer, now one month off its release I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a marvel film. Was I excited for Captain America: The Winter Soldier? yes, but Guardians of the Galaxy is new territory for Marvel which makes it all that more intriguing. A lot of people have been saying it’s their riskiest film yet and I’d agree but I still think it’s going to make the big bucks. Not only because Marvel films have been killing it ever since The Avengers but because the marketing for this film has been incredibly smart. What makes this film risky is that no one is familiar with the characters, it’s Marvels first property since 2011 that isn’t a sequal. In terms of trailers they’ve done the smart thing in building up from telling us who the characters are to giving us an insight of the plot and the world that they live in.

The first trailer shows the Guardians lined up in a prison booking room where we are introduced to each of them and given background information about who they are. In a way it’s as if they’re previewing the roster just like a football match, and the ultimate effect is to arouse excitement. With this trailer we’re already going in having established who the characters are and what tone the film will take, and we leave with a better understanding of why they exist, the world they’re attempting to save and the villains they will come across, and it’s absolutely awesome. The set and costume design looks incredible, the CGI looks top notch and the characters look badass. In terms of tone it’s not something we’re unfamiliar with, and I get the feeling that we’ll be getting a film with a perfect balance of comedy and action as opposed to Thor: The Dark World which was inconsistent. Originally I was afraid of this approach as it could grow tiresome having seen it before in previous Marvel films. But having James Gunn involved, director of films like Super and Slither, it gives me a lot of hope for this film, as he obviously knows how to balance out the dark with the light, but more importantly he seems to know how to make a fun film. Having Chris Pratt as our lead is also a reason to feel positive about Guardians as he is killing it at the moment and as a fan of Parks and Recreation I couldn’t be happier for him. Overall we could be in for a great popcorn flick to come off a more politically thrilling Captain America film. On the other hand this could be a film that we’ve seen before and may be the first of the Marvel properties to not completely win the hearts of the public.

The Other Woman (2014)

20140425TheOtherWoman3Roze-Rating: 1.5 / 5

Carly (Cameron Diaz), Kate (Leslie Mann) and Amber (Kate Upton) have one thing in common, they are all seeing the same man, Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Even though they all meet in this awkward circumstance, they form a strong friendship which prompts their goal of destroying Mark’s life. What follows is a mixture of emotions for Kate who finds a life without her husband hard to digest but eventually with the help of her two new friends she learns that she deserves better.

This film reminds me of those old school comedies we used to get that only ever offered cheesy dialogue and cheap laughs, but they were strangely satisfying. Films like Daddy Day Care and Meet The Fockers, they weren’t exactly creative in the plot department but they executed their brand of humor in the best way possible. The Other Woman initially seems vapid from its trailers but could have turned out quite empowering for anyone who is unfortunate enough to be with a manipulative cheater. I felt it was stuck in between wanting to tell a light hearted story with a strong message and being a quirky comedy. Ultimately it doesn’t offer either of these things despite it’s efforts. The problem with the comedy is that it feels outdated, with the likes of Neighbors, 22 Jump Street and This is the End, comedies like The Other Woman really need to step it up. I mean the poop jokes are so overdone nowadays, in terms of ways to torture a guy, the possibilities are endless and that’s why the lack of imagination is really disappointing. That being said it seemed to get a relatively positive audience response with a 65% score on Rotten Tomatoes, this could be because of a strong female cast, Kate Upton’s Bay Watch moment or people actually enjoyed this film. I can’t say I agree with the audience tomato meter on this one.

We are given three different characters with considerably different personalities, we have Leslie Mann playing a housewife, Cameron Diaz as a strong minded lawyer and Kate Upton as the girl next door. Having this type of diversity supports its message, saying that no matter who you are, no woman deserves to be used or needs a man to depend on. It would have been effective if the characters weren’t so one dimensional. This is no criticism to the actors because they did well with what they were given, I just think if the film had a clearer direction and really empowered the trio by illustrating its message consistently and having a coherent ending, then it could have been heaps better. Leslie Mann actually has some great moments in the film, where she’s hesitant about leaving her husband, moments that are grounded and realistic as it’s a situation that would be hard to accept for anyone. Moments like that gave the film some potential, to add layers to a story which is largely thin. Talking about moments, Nicki Minaj surprised me immensely. She must have a knack for acting because she seemed so down to earth and reserved, which is not the Nicki Minaj we all know, I weirdly want to see more from her.

As a comedy The Other Woman doesn’t really work for me, there are a few laughs here and there, but for such a talented cast who have experience with comedy, they didn’t utilize them at their full potential. I’d rather see Leslie Mann improv more or bring out Kate Upton’s quirky personality that we’re all so fond of, than see a guy crap his pants. As for a film that empowers women, it too false very short. There’s a scene where Leslie Mann’s character throws her wedding ring into the sea to an emotional song, a scene which is intended to be a defining moment for her character but it runs like a music video, completely cheapening the moment, which represents what the film is as a whole.

Trailer Park: Lucy (2014)


Verdict: Buying a ticket!

Director: Luc Besson
Screenwriter: Luc Besson
Main Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Min-Sik Choi, Morgan Freeman

Coming to screens soon is Luc Besson’s Lucy, probably one of the most exciting films he has been involved with in awhile. Besson of course coming off a bad year with The Family, would like to come back with a success. It’s about time we get a film with a little something different, of course with the surge of superhero movies over the past few years this may become a big hit as Scarjo AKA Black Widow is boasting some badass brain super powers. It’s about time Scarlett Johansson started pursuing action films as we’ve seen her reprise her role as Black Widow three times now brilliantly, and Lucy looks like the perfect film to legitimately cement her as an action star. The trailer doesn’t really reveal anything unique in its premise, as it simply seems like a revenge flick, but when do revenge flicks ever get boring; I mean we have Oldboy’s Min-Sik Choi cast as the bad guy, who is known for having a particular set of skills with a hammer. What makes this film intriguing though is the drug and its effects on Scarlett Johansson’s character, it obviously increases brain power significantly as Morgan Freeman explains, but the abilities that Johansson develops influences a whole bag of baddassary. Ultimately we know to expect some great visuals and action sequences, but in terms of story we’re not really given much to know confidently what direction Lucy’s journey for justice will take her.

Screen Fix Predictions: July 2014

July PredictionsFilms Opening in July;

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Sex Tape
The Purge: Anarchy
Hercules
Wish I Was Here
Begin Again (Critics: 75% | Audience: 79%)
Tammy (Critics: 21% | Audience: 62%)
Earth to Echo (Critics: 55% | Audience: 64%)


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes –
(Rotten Tomatoes Prediction: Critics: 85-95% | Audience: 85-95%) – Cinema Fix

All it took to sell me this film was monkey’s on horses, if they were to release a trailer of just the apes riding horses for a whole minute, I think I would still watch this film. Unfortunately this film looks even greater than monkey’s on horses, and that scares me because I hate going into films with high expectations. But I have a good feeling about this, as it looks greater in scale than “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” with the complex conflict between human and ape coming into play, Caesar seems even more conflicted perhaps sympathizing for humans downfall and the war scenes look incredible. Whatever happens I’m sure it will be one hell of a ride.

Sex Tape – (Rotten Tomatoes Prediction: Critics: 55-65% | Audience: 75-85%) – Cinema Fix

What makes this film so intriguing is how possible the premise is. I think most of us could admit that amongst our worst nightmares, accidentally mass emailing racy photos of ourselves would rank quite high on that list. Unless such photos don’t exist, then good on you, but who can resist nowadays with the emergence of the front side camera, snapchat and the increase of celebrity nudes. The way technology is going, soon being seen naked will be inevitable, as mentioned in the trailer, what even is the cloud?! The comedy seems to be going for a slapstick and sex jokes route, which is fine by me, therefore I will watch this film.

The Purge: Anarchy – (Rotten Tomatoes Prediction: Critics: 40-50% | Audience: 65-75%– Cinema/Rental Fix (Depends what else is opening)

I was not a fan of the first film and couldn’t understand why a sequel was being made, especially with the less than complimentary response it attained. I mean the premise is pretty interesting and makes you think a little bit about how we are as a society surrounded by violence. But the execution was below par and for a thriller it was quite the opposite. Nevertheless The Purge: Anarchy potentially looks entertaining, with a change of formula, now taking the fight to the streets and casting Crossbones (Frank Grillo) as the lead. That being said it could still end up being a mess, but as long as it provides enough thrills to put us at the edge of our seats, it should easily improve on its predecessor.

Hercules – (Rotten Tomatoes Prediction: Critics: 25-35% | Audience: 55-65%– Rent Fix

One word springs to mind when watching the trailer, “ambitious”. It looks visually impressive and usually that alone would get me in the cinema but I get this feeling it will be all spectacle and no substance. I love The Rock and he will no doubt kick ass but what ultimately turns me off this film is his “I am Hercules!” line, it just comes off so flat and expressionless, I cant help but think he may not be as bad ass as I want him to be. Either way I’m sure it will be entertaining and the CGI monsters may just do the trick for some people.

Off The Radar: Premature (2014)

premature-movie-poster-01-1390x2048Roze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

Premature may look like your average teen gross out comedy judging from the unknown cast and budget production, and you would be right to assume that but it doesn’t matter because aren’t the point of comedy films to entertain you and make you laugh? Rob Crabbe (John Karna) is a normal teen coming to the end of high school, but just like any male teen he has fantasies, fantasies causing him to wake up with slimy boxers and an awkward mother telling him to put his own sheets in the wash after walking in on him. What Rob soon finds out is that whenever he releases his special sauce during the day, he lands right back in bed in the same awkward situation as before. Some would find it a burden but eventually Rob embraces it, which could potentially break him out of the “curse”.

I’ve seen enough of these B-movie comedies to know not to take them too seriously, or expect a lot out of them, but something about Premature sets it apart from the others. For one the premise is quite fun, it’s already been branded as Groundhog Day meets American Pie, and I’d say that seems quite accurate. It has the exact same format as Groundhog Day but takes a more gross out, cheap laugh root towards its comedy. That being said the jokes try not to be cheesy or overdone, and that’s probably down to the comedic timing and likability of the cast.

There’s something about Craig Roberts that makes me laugh, it could be his stone cold facial expressions, the fact I can’t help thinking he would look good in glasses or his hilarious delivery, whatever it is it makes me want to see more from him. Improv or not he has some hilariously memorable quotes. An example “It’s a scientific fact that your blood pressure drops when you orgasm, it’s like your balls are shooting yoga through your veins”, classic. He’s already starred in recent hits such as 22 Jump Street and Neighbors, so he must be doing something right. Alan Tudyk also makes a memorable appearance as a college admissions officer who happens to be a widower. I know it shouldn’t be funny but Tudyk somehow makes it funny, big fan of his after his appearance in Transformers 3. Also look out for Adam Riegler who looks as though he was pulled out from a Nickelodeon sit com, definitely a highlight of the film. As for John Karna, he is one of the few unknown leads, in these kind of films, that actually look promising for the future. He may not have done anything groundbreaking but at least I wasn’t trying to pretend he could act which is usually the case for these films, and he made me laugh multiple times which is the goal right?

If the film ever reaches your cinemas, I wouldn’t tell you to go spending money on a ticket, but I would tell you that if you’re like me and find it hard looking for new comedies to watch due to watching them all already, then this is a perfectly fun film for your weekend screen fix.