Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)


After many years of the “Star Wars” franchise remaining stagnant and relatively convoluted, “The Force Awakens” has come to simplify and completely re-think the movie series. JJ Abrams introduction to his bold new vision for “Star Wars” is a one hundred percent faithful visit to a galaxy far, far away that functions as a platform for a new series, a sequel, and a love letter to the simpler, episodic days of “Star Wars” where every film was an ode to the classic movie serials of the golden age of cinema. This time around “The Force Awakens” actively works in fixing many of the mistakes made in the original six films, by actively casting a wide array of heroes and villains to present a more humanistic environment we can dive in to. And I’m not speaking about a wider array of aliens, but racially diverse characters, all of whom have something to contribute.

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Strange Magic (2015)


Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney’s “Strange Magic” is another of the many releases in 2015 I was hoping to love going in, but just couldn’t. “Strange Magic” defeats itself before we even reach the second half of its achingly simple storyline, not because of its simplicity and abundantly detailed animation, but because of its constant musical numbers. It’s not enough the characters sing every five minutes, but the musical numbers eventually blur in to one another resembling more droning white noise than characters expressing their feelings. It inevitably begins to feel like the writers are just trying to stretch an hour long narrative in to a hundred minute film.

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Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion (2014)


“Star Wars Rebels” is something that “The Clone Wars” wasn’t. It’s fun. It’s also simple, and about regular people for once. After so many years of writers focusing on military junk, “Rebels” is about regular outlaws and thieves, all with a hint of “Firefly.” Set after “Revenge of the Sith,” the writers focus on the after effects of the Imperial take over where the galaxy is disbanded and everyone are pretty much in it for themselves. “Rebels” is set before an important milestone in the “Star Wars” timeline. It’s when the seeds of rebellion were planted, and seems to be a show intent on focusing on how the famous rebellion was built and became a force against the Empire that would set the stage for folks like Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo to become heroes.

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The PC Thug: A Little (Final) Rant on “Star Wars”


Don’t get me wrong, I love Star Wars, I think it’s fun escapism that’s dunderheaded but still massively entertaining, but the prospect of the entire series being continued in such a hectic rush is irritating, if only because it feels like a car wreck waiting to happen. I’m glad Disney bought the rights for the series from Lucas, but we’re not sure what difference it will make yet.

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And Now… The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)


A long time ago in a galaxy Far, Far Away, Bea Arthur ran a cantina with her alien pals.

And bandit Han Solo found it in his heart to interrupt his daring exploits to take Chewbacca home to be with his family for Christmas–er–Life Day. Though Chewbacca was explained as being a loner whose only friend was Han in the first film, he found time to bonk Mrs. Chewie and birth some chewbacca babies. So every now and then, I imagine Han has to stay over at his pal’s house, listening as Chewie and his wife argue with one another about taking out the trash, while Han tries to unfold the cot for his awkward sleep over.

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Jedi Junkies (2010)


I’m surprised that a documentary titled “Jedi Junkies” about many fans that have a passion for “Star Wars” really seems to hold up its nose at the fandom. There are moments when the documentary wants to idolize the franchise that George Lucas molded, and then veers in to segments where we’re forced to explore the pitfalls of the fandom. There are even moments that seem to revel in exploring how much of a drag being a “Star Wars” fan can be, and how it’s consumed the lives of the people that follow the fandom so devoutly.

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

last-crusade-quad-poster-mIf anything, while “The Last Crusade” is considered the weakest film of the first three films, director Steven Spielberg teams up the world’s most popular James Bond actor, with the newest adventure hero Indiana Jones. Once considered the finale in the adventures of Indiana Jones, “The Last Crusade” takes another step back and examines the Indiana Jones from when he was a young man. Played by the late River Phoenix, director Spielberg chronicles many of the beats that turned Indiana Jones from a young daring man who cherished hallowed treasures, to an actual man who risked life and limb to return hallowed treasures back to their homes.

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