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Ultimately this is a mega nostalgia trip for fans of Star Wars who can recognise all the little nods and winks to the original trilogy and obviously one to the Prequels for good measure. It succeeds largely as a supplement to A New Hope, answering the big question: "How can photon torpedoes destroy Death Star". Production quality has never been better and the digital realisation of Tarkin is a fantastic insight into his early days, It's letdown by a few characterisation issues since I wasn't quite onboard with Jyn Erso, the main character but by the end I was invested enough to root for the rag tag team at the end of the film. Some moments of brilliance and an exciting third act puts the 'Wars' back in Star Wars and betters the Force Awakens (released a year before). Praise goes to Rogue One for not sanitising aspects of the Rebellion either. A fan pleasing spectacle that deserves a place in Star Wars lore.
Nolan has done it again and created another cinematic masterpiece. I saw this as Nolan intended which was on IMAX and the cinematography is awesome particularly the scenes involving Tom Hardy's RAF fighter pilot trying to make it across the Channel. The film plot is not important since we know that Dunkirk is a story about a land, sea and air rescue operation. Characters are not fleshed out as can be but this helps with the pacing of the story. Time is also toyed with allowing the viewer having to piece together the chronologically the events but again this is done for pacing. Huge chunks of this film was filmed in IMAX and the setting plays very well in the format with wide expansive shots of boats and beaches used to great effect. I strongly recommend that cinema fans see this film in IMAX. Very immersive and powerful.
The law of diminishing returns feels like a rifle butt to the face in this relentless but tedious action sequel to the hugely popular new character franchise. Keanu Reeves is mono-toned throughout this hardly cracking a smile or saying anything of genuine wit while on the run from hired killers, made excommunicado from the mysterious global assassin club.
John Wick is already moving into legendary cult status but along comes with it the same Rambo-type indestructibility. Trained elite assassins have all the shooting skills of a Star Wars Stormtrooper. Wick can survive a six storey drop and so forth.
Casting is good with another 90s hero, Mark Dacascos getting a larger slice of the fim. Halle Berry makes a welcomed addition to Wick's world. Laurence Fishburne again is wasted in The Matrix team-up. He says very little yet again adding nothing although a possible sequel does allude to something more than just 3 minutes of screen time. Asia Kate Dillon plays a High Table Adjudicator but I can't help feeling that this was meant to go to Carrie Ann Moss to complete the Matrix trio. The Matrix connection is undeniable in this movie and I do like the cheeky fan service the film's makers manage to slip in at one point.
The film attempts to capture the action of the club shoot-out of the original movie yet again. However, the staged gunplay is becoming more and more obvious this time around. Wick and co can manage to dispatch an opponent but the other ones seem to stand back and watch. Rinse and repeat fight scenes.
There's a motorcycle sequence in this film which is clearly ripped off from Jung Byung-gil's 2017 movie, The Villainess. However, John Wick's attempt is nowhere near as good, lacking in the same kinetic power. If this film couldn't surpass action set pieces from the past then I had little hope of this film ever exceeding my expectations during the rest of its running time.
The film franchise has lost its freshness. There are some things that work for example the inclusion of Halle Berry and the hotel shoot out but the films need to look at something new for the next instalment
Timothy Dalton's first outing as the super spy stoically does away with some of the clowning around by Moore and it was about time. Moore was showing his age but still raking in success at the box office. But his antics were becoming more parody and frankly embarrassing watching Moore's lecherous advances with the younger Bond girl. It was time to bring Bond back to his roots.
Dalton's take on Bond was closer to the novels and has earned him some serious respect from the hardcore fanbase. To the casual viewer brought up on Moore's later movies, Dalton can be unfairly labelled as the serious Bond. Dalton's Shakespearean acting roots probably contributed to this but he is a far superior actor to Moore. However, despite this, Dalton had to become something of a charismatic Hollywood movie star to help elevate Bond beyond the mere pages of novel. This can be a complaint levelled at Dalton's portrayal.
Personally, The Living Daylights is a welcome return to form. After the likes of Moonraker, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, Bond needed to become less of a superhero and more of an intellectual spy. This happens in The Living Daylights but obviously there are some hang-ups from the Moore era thrown in there. What we get with Dalton is less smooth witty quips but more no nonsense commando but just as suave but not smug.
The film occupies itself with a Soviet Cold War defection intrigue with a female Cello-musician-come-sniper caught in the middle of a massive drug plot. The whole story ends with a great sequence with Bond and the main henchman hanging off a Hercules jet. Some of the stunt work is truly amazing here and Dalton was able to do some of his own. The story is dated now since some of it was set in pre-September11th Afghanistan but that doesn't distract from this film.
This film reintroduced the Aston Martin back in the mix with the awesome Volante. A fitting car for Dalton and provided another great car chase sequence in the Bond franchise.
Overall, this is a solid debut for Dalton and a great Bond film to the franchise. Best of all is that Dalton went on to top his effort in the next film, Licence to Kill!
Having watched The Force Awakens when it was released and I recommended it. That film showed that there could be life after the Prequels. It was something of a reboot. Now, comes The Last Jedi...
The extraordinary thing that this so-called Star Wars movie manages to achieve is to soil (putting politely) on the Original movies and make irrelevant anything that the Force Awakens was trying to set up. The character assassination of Luke Skywalker was by far the biggest letdown. However, into the mix are the most appalling character and story choices ever to be witnessed in Star Wars. Gone are intelligence, romance, and intrigue replaced by dumb, pointless generals, stupid meaningless subplots and extremely non-likeable characters. He even gets the new sequel characters wrong. Rey loses all sense of purpose and why she's central to it all. Poe becomes some guy to be fodder to Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern, a talented actress but wasted in this role) while falling flat on the rogue-like-charm stakes. Leia becomes Mary Poppins Supergirl and Finn stays the same as before.
Director Rian Johnson so rightly gets flak from hardcore fans who actually spend money on merchandise, books and toys and like me carried on interest after Return of the Jedi in ‘83 to the 90s when the resurgence of interest started again with the Special Editions. A case in point was Admiral Akbar is a very much loved fan-favourite alien character from ROTJ but the sheer lack of understanding from Rian allows him to be dispatched so quickly and off-screen! Rian says he is a fan but that's not right. Fandom is about little details as much as the big.
The ever dull Kylo Ren at one point says something along the lines of ‘Let the past die' obviously referring to fans to let the original films and characters go. However, what exactly is Rian johnson and the production team at Lucasfilm are trying to replace it with? Well, here's what we get: Rose Tico - who cares about this character! Luke drinking from a space cow's udder; Leia surviving the vacuum of space; Gender politics, Canto Bight and animal rights (free the space lamas but not the slave children!); Shirtless one-tone Kylo; DJ - who is this guy! Capt. Phasma (now you see her, now you don't); cold-bloodied killer and later cowardly Luke Skywalker! The list goes on. Johnson has gone on record to say that he subverts expectations but surely it has to be done for a reason. The Empire Strikes Back subverted many expectations without sacrificing well-written characters and logical good storytelling!
To me, The Last Jedi killed the Disney Star Wars films and it is little wonder that Star Wars fans like me turned away from Solo a few months after TLJ's release. By far the biggest turn off was the treatment of Luke and it is a small wonder that the latest film is called "The Rise of Skywalker" which hints at some kind of call for Disney to try to redeem itself. It is a testament that while The Phantom Menace was not widely popular but at least spawned arguably better sequels and did not sully the Original movies. The Last Jedi, to me, personally has had a more negative lasting effect and has actually exposed some of the limitations of the franchise as a whole. I clearly remember sitting in the cinema bewildered at first and then bored. For me, this film has not generated any anticipation to watch the next episode. It is, in fact, the worst film of the entire saga.