It might just be me, but I’m almost sure all other wide releases this weekend such as ‘Cats’ and ‘Bombshell’ will be buried under the feet of… marching Stormtroopers. Correct me if I’m wrong! Better yet, tell me off on Twitter. I challenge you! Meanwhile, let’s see everything of note that’s new in the theaters…
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
It’s hard to believe this amazing franchise had such a shaky start back in 1977, with some crews walking off the film set right in the middle of scenes, simply because the clock had struck five! You have to admire Lucas’ determination. Here we are decades later, and the hysteria over its sequels is unbelievable. The best part is, they’re films everyone can appreciate, simply for the effects, scale of spectacle, and score. You don’t need to be a fan to enjoy them.
As for the story in this final installment—the main characters from the (crappy?) #8 are back: Rey (Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega) in particular. A lot of the film is set around deleted footage of Carrie Fisher as Leia from #7. You’ll see the (touching) transfer of leadership to Rey. A few other characters from the original films have returned, and one (evil) person in particular becomes the focal point. The Sith are now amassing a vast fleet from Exogol, for the purpose of enslaving the entire galaxy. There’s also a crystal (tired old reason, but, whatever) Rey and company must acquire, if they want to find the way to Exogol. And hence we go on a grand journey with the Jedi to find it and vanquish the First Order for good.
Cons? There’s nothing new. Same s***, different sequel. The point of helming something this tremendous is to try something different (but, with respect. Subversion was lovely in flicks like ‘Knives Out’ but I thought the Mary Poppins-Leia idea sucked. Sorry)! Still, you probably won’t care, because the pros are mind blowing: it’s such a fun ride. Lightsaber fight scenes, space battles, glorious new vistas on the surface and in space, you name it—it’s all there. The acting is excellent (Driver’s is probably the best of the lot). These two reasons are why I urge you to see this flick, and definitely in a (IMAX?) theater. Seriously—don’t listen to fans moaning about this, that, and the other… just head on over to the theater. This is the sort of film the big screen was made for. Check out the trailer:
By now I’m sure you all know about Roger Ailes, the once-powerful Fox TV executive who was sued out of his position for sexual abuse by Fox employees. Two female employees in particular spear headed his fall. This movie is about those crucial events.
The best part of this flick might well be Charlize Theron’s transformation into Megan Kelly, a Fox network star at the time. It’s flawless. Gretchen Carlson, the ‘Fox & Friends’ morning co-host who sued Roger Ailes first, is portrayed by Nicole Kidman. The third blonde you’ve seen in the movie posters is a character named Kayla Pospisil (played by Margot Robbie) – an evangelical young employee who complies with Ailes’ disgusting requests because he promises he’ll ‘help further her career.’ Kayla symbolizes employees everywhere willing to comply with inane requests from higher-ups in the hope that it will help their careers.
This is an excellent film about the abuse of power, and the way to handle it. Totally worth the theater ticket! Here’s the trailer:
THE TWO POPES
If you’re staying home this weekend with Netflix, this award-winning comedy might be sufficiently entertaining. Reading this, you may think it’s not. After all, it’s just a conversation between two old religious men. Think again! And don’t forget about the explosive scandals involving the Catholic faith that have become commonplace. The script (and dialogue) is brilliant, and the acting by Anthony Hopkins (plays Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013, and was a member of the Hitler Youth) and Jonathan Pryce (plays Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio, who failed to do much during the military oppression of the 1970’s, when the resisting public were callously murdered or otherwise ‘vanished’) only underscores that. Good scripts can elevate even the most (seemingly) boring of subjects. The cinematography is beautiful as well. Check out the trailer:
And that’s it for me, folks! I hope everyone has a restful weekend, and here’s to getting all your gifts wrapped on time! Take care, and I’ll see you right here next time 🙂