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All reviews - Movies (106) - TV Shows (4) - Music (13)

Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie!

Posted : 2 years, 2 months ago on 24 May 2015 07:00 (A review of The Dreaming)

The Dreaming is a very hard album to get into. I won’t blame you if your initial reaction to this album is “what the hell is this?!” There’s no instantly accessible pop hit from the album such as Wuthering Heights or Babooshka. I was in doubt at first that I would ever get into The Dreaming and that I would consider it an album that I would happily come back to listen to again and again. Well after much persistent listening, I now find my aforementioned comments hard to believe. Admittedly I wouldn’t even play any of these songs in front of my relatives; they’re just that weird and would probably turn them off Kate Bush. This is the last Kate Bush album I would recommend for new comers, despite it being a masterpiece.

 

Sat In Your Lap is the Kate song I relate to the most, a real “This was written for me” track; a song which deals with humanity’s pursuit of knowledge and the unwillingness to devote the effort required to obtain it. My own further interpretation of the song is the belief that obtaining knowledge will make you happy and give you a high, yet this only leads to eventual dissatisfaction as you see it’s just a foothill for a bigger mountain of knowledge behind it, yet we keep doing it again and again. Talk about story of my life. Whenever I feel like I can’t go on with a task (such as writing this very review), this song helps inspire me to finish it.

 

There Goes a Tenner is initially off putting with Kate singing in a Cockney accent but the thing which helped me eventually fall in love with it was the moment I deciphered this lyric: “You are Bogart, he is George Raft, that leave Cagney and me (what about Edward G!)”. While Kate is generally not an angry artist, this is a great album to vent off anger, with the title track in particular, a song about the destruction of Aboriginal homelands by white Australians in their quest for weapons-grade uranium. Who writes stuff like this?! Kate does! Get Out Of My House (aka the song in which Kate makes donkey sounds) is terrifying, not to mention they sure saved the weirdest song for last. Like many Kate songs, if anyone else did this it would be moronic but because it’s Kate, it works.

 

The Dreaming is an album which is overlooked by critics and the public but is widely considered among Kate Bush fandom to be her greatest work.  My personal favourite Kate album is ether The Dreaming or The Red Shoes. Kate has never made an album more bonkers than this, which unleashes the weirdo in all of us.



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Oh Kate, My Lionheart

Posted : 2 years, 2 months ago on 24 May 2015 06:59 (A review of Lionheart)

Lionheart is the underdog of Kate Bush’s work; usually dismissed as the inferior, rushed follow up to The Kick Inside. Pfft, what album are the people who say this listening to? Lionheart was released only nine months after The Kick Inside but you would never know it. The album is campy, theatrical and is the kookiest thing Bush has ever recorded but it doesn’t care who knows it. What do you expect from an album which has Kate dressed as a lion on the cover?

 

There’s not a track I dislike here and choosing a favourite is hard. Ultimately have to go with Kaskha from Baghdad, a song which creates such a visualisation in my head with lyrics such as “Cause when the alley-cats come out, you can hear music from Kashka’s house”. The song is believed to be about a male homosexual couple: “Kashka lives in sin they say, with another man”. Is Kashka the name designated to a man? Lionheart has some of the best representations of Kate’s ability to tell stories through her music. Likewise with the song Fullhouse, a particular favourite of mine, contains lyrics real cinematic scope, describing a scene which could come straight from a film noir.

 

Lionheart is probably the most English album ever; Oh England My Lionheart is probably the most English song ever. I’m not an anglophile but when I listen to this song I sure feel like one! An unabashedly romantic to the highest degree, yearning for an England that no longer exists, or perhaps never existed to begin with. I also notice the lyric notes on the CD and Vinyl for Lionheart has those of Oh England, My Lionheart is in Kate’s own handwriting; odd when you consider that Kate apparently doesn’t even like the song.

 

With Symphony In Blue Kate sings from the point of view of a girl who realises the joy of sex is not only what makes life worth living but is essential; “Here we have a purpose in life, good for the blood circulation, good for releasing the tension, the root of our reincarnations”; a liberating mindset from a woman who is only 20.

 

From Kate’s first three albums, I have decided this is my favourite. Lionheart represents Kate Bush’s musical progression;  It’s more varied and thematic than The Kick Inside and feels more complete than Never for Ever (not that I’m putting down those albums, they’re both also amazing), no two songs here sound alike. My advice is to listen to this album on a cold winter’s night, such atmosphere! Grab your tea and crumpets and be whisked away to Kate’s English dreamland. 



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The Kate Inside

Posted : 2 years, 2 months ago on 24 May 2015 06:58 (A review of The Kick Inside)

It was in 2012 in which I had my first exposure to Kate Bush when I heard Running Up That Hill on an ITunes radio station. I was immediately hooked on the song and listened to it many times over the next few weeks. However at this point in my life I wasn’t actively exploring music, although just a few years earlier I had been but my love of cinema pushed music the side for a number years so I only knew Kate Bush as that Running Up That Hill singer. Although I thought Running Up That Hill was an incredible song, I assumed she would have been an artist who I would only like one song from. Otherwise how come I had never heard of her until now?

 

Fast forward to 2014 and I am hearing news reports of Kate Bush embarking on her first series of concerts in 35 years. With this renewed interest in Kate Bush in the media, I heard Wuthering Heights on the radio. “Holy crap!” was my reaction. This was the beginning of my descent into the weird and wacky world of Kate Bush. I HAD to check out this woman’s work. Which I did, followed by checking out the albums, followed by buying them, followed by listen to every song carefully and deciphering every lyric. Kate Bush reignited my interest in music which I had lost over the past few years. How did this woman bypass me for so many years?! Was it due to her reclusive nature, or not having released an album for 12 years of my life (I was born in 1992). I need answers!

 

Kate Bush doesn’t fit into any one music genre. She is a genre!

 

“What’s your favourite music genre?”

“Kate Bush.”

 

Has there ever been another song in history like Wuthering Heights? Even Kate herself has never made another song like it. How many pop songs base their lyrics of classic literature that makes you want to read novel it’s based on. Listening to Kate makes you feel smarter. Kate’s story driven songs such as this always create such a visual image in my head. Although Heathcliff and Cathy are not strictly Kate’s creation, her ability to conjure characters in her songs is unparalleled.

 

Although The Kick Inside doesn’t have recurring theme like her subsequent albums, being more of a collection of songs, every track stands on its own. Kite is the most bonkers and innocent song on the album, James and the Cold Gun reminds me more of Bruce Springsteen, one of Kate’s least Kate like songs but a superb rocker. The Saxophone Song has a very sinister sounding final minute which I can’t help but listen to over and over again. Them Heavy People is one of Kate’s most infectious songs, it will never leave your head, especially the uttering of “Rolling the ball”; admittedly this song can get a little annoying if you listen to it enough times but I still like it. Strange Phenomena is (apparently) about having a period; Kate Bush, daring to go lyrically where no one else dares! Feel It on the other hand makes no effort to disguise that it is about a sex, completely directly and honestly. Wrapping of the album is the title track, which shows how Kate Bush isn’t afraid to experiment with controversial subjects. It’s speculated that the song is deals with a brother and sister who have a sexual relationship resulting in her getting pregnant with her baby and the decision to commit suicide rather than being shame on her brother (just where does she come up with this stuff?). Although we can’t be sure; it’s fun deciphering these songs which are as mysterious as Kate Bush herself.

 

All the songs on the album make me want to jump around the room and mime like Kate does in many of her music videos, although I’d probably look like a mad git if I did so. Pop on the album, dim the lights, sit back with your eyes closed and allow The Kick Inside to kick your own insides. 



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Fortune & Glory

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 18 May 2015 01:10 (A review of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)

*** This review contains spoilers ***

The second instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise is one of those films I thought was beloved for many years until the advent of the internet when I discovered it gets a lot of stick. So hold onto yo potatoes, it’s time for a controversial review of unpopular opinion.

 

I’ll begin my defence of Temple of Doom with discussing the movie’s two not so beloved characters. First up, Short Round. I love this character for several reasons; the first is the endearing relationship he has with Indiana Jones. Unlike Indy’s other companions, Short Round idolizes Indy.[Link removed - login to see] The moment in which Indy places Short Round’s cap on his head after freeing him from the Thuggee cult’s spell, perfectly sums up their relationship and it gets me every time. Short Round saves Indy’s life on multiple occasions; In fact sometimes I wonder how he’s even still alive without him. In comparison to a more beloved character in the series, Henry Jones senior, who almost gets Indy killed on a number of occasions thus rendering the criticism of Short Round being a hindrance to Indy invalid. But I hear you say, Short Round has an annoying voice? So I guess a high pitched voice renders a character’s personality, vulnerability and character arc void? Short Round is like a kid’s fantasy, what’s cooler than getting to be Indiana Jones’ sidekick? Who wouldn’t want to be Short Round? Well I’d rather be Indy himself, but being Short Round is the next best thing.

 

But how do I defend Willie Scott?! I’ve never found the character of Willie to be annoying and I believe one of the reasons for this is that she is punished for her selfish actions throughout the film. Her character is supposed to be unlikable and the movie is fully aware of this by making her receive comeuppance. During the movie her character matures, she shows concern for Indy and Short Round during the later portion of the film and even punches bad guys during the mine cart chase, a far cry from her earlier self. I love this trio of characters, so yeah, what are you going to do about it?!

 

It might seem odd to start an Indiana Jones movie with a musical number but as it captures the 1930’s setting and exotic tone of the series it manages to work. This is my favourite opening scene in the series. Of course I love musical numbers and this is one of the greatest spectacles of song and dance ever put on screen.

 

Temple of Doom is too juvenile? You say juvenile like it’s a bad thing. I like all the weird creepy stuff; the bugs, the monkey brains, hearts being ripped out of people’s chests. It’s repulsive in the best sense of the word. But Temple of Doom isn’t a stupid film. No one ever seems to mention Indy’s character arc of overcoming his selfish streak. During the first half of the film he is only concerned with obtaining his ‘fortune and glory’. Even after visiting the baron village, obtaining the Sankara Stones for his own personal gain remains his only objective. It’s not until he sees his own eyes the children in slave labour that he changes his way.

 

Also why is the raft scene a constant source of criticism? I can understand how Indy surviving a nuclear explosion inside a fridge went too far but the raft scene is perfect sort of implausible B-movie type moment that doesn’t go too far to the point of absurdity. The second half of Temple of Doom is one huge roller coaster ride with the mine cart chase being an actual roller coaster ride. The movie throws so many classic b-movie thrills; a room with a descending spiked roof, a conveyor belt with a crushing roller at the end, a scene atop of a rope bridge. After the trio escape from metaphorical hell, the final kiss between Indy and Willie is one of the most satisfying in all of cinema.

 

But let’s get into the real serious stuff, the film’s portrayal of Hinduism. I don’t claim to be an expert on Hinduism but I’ll attempt to the best of my ability to defend this most controversial aspect of the film. The villains of Temple of Doom, The Thuggee, were a cult who resided in Indiana over several hundred who would strangle travellers and steal their belongings (hence the origin of the term ‘thug’). The Thuggee where followers of the Hindu Goddess Kali, however in Hinduism, Kali is not an evil entity, but rather the goddess of time, change and energy. As what The Thuggee believes is not what Kahali stands for, it makes the villains more interesting as they religious extremists, desecrating a faith for their own selfish gain, such as The Westro Baptist Church to Christianity or Isis to Islam. I believe the filmmaker’s are aware of this, as evident in the scene towards the end of the film on the dangling rope bridge, Just before Indy sends Mola Ram to his death, he utters “You betrayed Kali!”. The more I look into it, selfishness seems to be a recurring theme in Temple of Doom.

 

When a film is labelled for apparent racism I think to myself was there malicious intent behind it? I’m not one for defending the Star Wars prequels but did George Lucas create Jar Jar Binks because he has a prejudice against African Americans and/or Caribbean peoples or is it an innocent oversight? In the case of Temple of Doom the filmmakers where simply taking inspiration from another film, 1939’s Gunga Din, which features The Thuggee as the central villain, and of scenes in Temple of Doom pay homage to.

 

I consider Temple of Doom to be no less worthy a film than Raiders or Last Crusade. Like how Temple of Doom dared to be different and the black sheep of the series, I dare not to bow to the will of popular opinion. What are you going to do about it!? For you see my opinion is always correct, expect for the times when I am wrong, which is never.



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The Return of the Great Adventure!

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 18 May 2015 01:07 (A review of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Indiana Jones is my second favourite movie character of all time. My number one favourite is Han Solo. Yes, the same actor played my first and second favourite movie characters. I don’t care how many mediocre movies Harrison Ford may appear in during his later career, that’s like eternal levels of respect and a miracle that this is even the case.

 

The character of Indiana Jones is the ultimate escapist fantasy. A tough hero who goes on adventures around the world when he feels like it to obtain relics, escapes life and death situations, thwarts the bad guys and gets the girl in the end. Yet Indy is still human like the rest of us because of his overzealous confidence, thinking he’s several steps ahead of the bad guys when he is not, his ability to make mistakes and his irrational fear of snakes. If there’s a scene which I feel sums up the character of Indiana Jones, it’s when he pulls out a gun on the sword wielding Arab, a moment which wasn’t even supposed to be the film (likewise that clothes hanger gag is also truly the product of genius minds.). Making the character an unassuming nerdy professor is the other stroke of genius; It’s the biggest contrast of personalities, yet entirely believable. Just look at any Han vs. Indy debate for people pulling every facet of this character’s personality apart but you can’t blame them. Would Harrison Ford have had the career he had if it wasn’t for Raiders? Or would he have faded away like his co-stars in a galaxy far far away?

 

Does Raiders of the Lost Ark have the best character introduction of all time? The opening of the film tells you everything you need to know about the character of Indiana Jones, as well as having the hairs stand up on your back. Just that boulder alone permeates our culture. Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of those movies which everyone has seen, even those who haven’t seen it. So many frames in the film are ingrained into the subconscious of film buffs and the general public alike. I feel what makes a film moment iconic is when you’re pondering to yourself as you watch it of ways it could be parodied of spoofed; there’s no shortage of that in Raiders.

 

The action scenes on the other hand are unparalleled, full of clever solutions to “how are they going to get out of that moments” such as Indy climbing his way through the bottom of a moving truck. Nazis are the ultimate cinematic bad guys and this was even more poignant in 1981 than today when survivors of the Second World War where still alive. The movie captures and emphasises the fear of Nazis and their quest for world domination; “The army which carries the ark before it...is invincible”.

 

There are shots in Cairo in Raiders which feel very Lawrence of Arabia and I’m not talking about the grand landscape shots. Likewise, in Lawrence of Arabia there are moments which I could swear could have been a shot from Raiders of the Lost Ark. As for the music, I can remember listening to John Williams’ The Raider’s March when I was younger simply to life my mood and inspire me. Likewise the Ark theme feels like a piece of music not of this Earth.

 

The genius behind Raiders of the Lost Ark is the same stroke of genius which made Star Wars so great; I believe it’s all to do with simplicity. They took such a simple B-movie level concept and glorified and made it larger than life. Spielberg and Lucas did it first and better than anyone has since and that’s why these movies have such a widespread appeal and endure the way they do. 



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A Sad Devotion to an Ancient Religion?

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 8 May 2015 12:42 (A review of The People vs. George Lucas)

 In this day and age when people use pop culture as an extension of themselves, it surprises me there haven’t been more documentaries like this (how about a documentary about the decline of The Simpsons?). I hate what has happened to the Star Wars franchise beginning with the special editions in 1997 as much as the next fan, and The People Vs. George Lucas helps ventilate the anger but it is so much more than that. It isn’t just mindless Lucas bashing but does give the man a fair shake.

 

The documentary raises many thought provoking points of speculation about the man. Does he believe that what he’s doing to Star Wars is the right thing? Is he getting revenge on a franchise which turned him into the thing he hated and promised himself he would never become, a corporate entity. It goes to show you how the man is a much of an enigma as the characters in his films, as pointed out in the documentary, the rise and fall of George Lucas parallels Anakin Skywalker’s decent to the dark side. By the end of the documentary, I felt as one of the fans interviewed puts it, “I love/hate George Lucas”. The other major debate raised in the documentary is that of who owns art, the artist or the public and does the public have the right to the material of its own culture?

 

You don’t have to start a Star Wars related conversation before people start talking about their disdain for the prequels or the changes to the special editions, yet no official Star Wars documentary is certainly going to address this, nor do I doubt this documentary would  be shown at the annual Star Wars convention Celebration.

 

The People Vs. George Lucas showcases a large range of fans from the mature to the more childish, to those defending Lucas. The documentary both celebrates fan culture as well as makes fun of it, weather intentional or not (I wonder if the guy who compares Lucas to a Holocaust denier regrets it?). My favourite part of the documentary is the section which perfectly captures the anticipation and undaunted optimism towards the release of The Phantom Menace and the following disappointment and disenchantment.

 

Inter cut between the interviews are an astounding showcase of fan films (recreating scenes from the movies, telling their own Star Wars stories and those ridiculing George Lucas). This along with the perfect balance between the more serious debates related to artistic ethics all the way to the more trivial, such as whether[Link removed - login to see] or not George Lucas raped people’s childhoods, makes The People Vs. George Lucas immensely entertaining to watch, as I’ve now done so several times, making this my personal favourite documentary.



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Fanboys

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 6 May 2015 12:27 (A review of I Wanna Hold Your Hand)

*** This review contains spoilers ***

I Wanna Hold Your Hand follows a group of fanboys and fanboyettes who puts all modern day internet fanboys to shame on a journey to meet their idols. There’s alot of screaming, shouting and overall hyperactivity and I watched the entire film with the biggest smile on my face. Of course crazy over the top comedies like this are my forte and this is one of the most energetic comedies I’ve ever seen.

 

Wendie Jo Sperber and Eddie Deezen (whom I will always associate with Mandark from Dexter’s Laboratory) are the two most hyperactive of the cast members. I find it adorable that these two, one a social outcast and the other puppy dog eyed time bomb being brought together through their insane Beatles’ worship; especially when Sperber tells Deezen, “You’re the only boy I feel I can really talk to”.[Link removed - login to see] Nancy Allen’s scene in which she invades The Beatles’ hotel room and strokes a guitar neck is erotic cinema at its finest. I’d do the same thing as well. Not with The Beatles but there are other celebrities of whom I was in their hotel room I would be rubbing my face against everything they’ve touched and don’t lie, you would to. The other stroke of genius is that we do see The Beatles but never in their entirety; only the bodies are seen but never the faces. If they actually did cast actors to play The Beatles in which we see their faces it would take you out of the film. The film even gives significant attention to Beatles’ haters. One of the film’s characters (Bobby Di Cicco) hates The Beatles so much he abuses Beatles’ fans and even attempts to sabotage their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show; talk about haters gonna hate.

 

I Wanna Hold Your Hand marked the directorial debut of Robert Zemeckis with much of the film’s cast being reunited the following year in the comically less successful 1941 despite also being written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale; I’ve always thought Zemeckis is a much better director than Spielberg.

 

I Wanna Hold Your Hand captures the feeling of having such a strong devotion to something. As you become increasingly attached to these characters you feel that if they really did miss The Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show then their lives really wouldn’t be worth living. 



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Luke Be a Jedi Tonight!

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 4 May 2015 01:20 (A review of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi)

*** This review contains spoilers ***


It’s not easy calling Return of the Jedi your favourite Star Wars film. Were as when someone says The Empire Strikes Back is their favourite they get cheers from the crowd. Call Return of the Jedi your favourite you get boos and hisses followed by rigorous defence of your opinion. Well it could be worse; those who call the prequels their favourite usually get stoned or hanged by a lynch mob.

 

I find Return of the Jedi to be the film in the series which satisfies me the most. I like how it combines elements from both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back from Hope’s light hearted nature and the nostalgic return to Tatooine, to Empire’s darker nature with Luke confronting Vader and the Emperor. But when I think Return of the Jedi I think red wood forests. The forest moon of Endor is such a splendour to look at, and once again proves that Planet Earth is the greatest movie set of all. Having a second Death Star sounds like a lazy idea on paper but I fell they get away with it due to the immaculate execution. The film’s final battle involves ships navigating through the tunnels and into the centre of the battle station making for a dogfight even more exciting than that from A New Hope. This movie also has Bikini Leia, just saying. 

 

Let’s talk about Ewoks shall we. The dismissive statements towards these creatures that the empire was brought down by a bunch of teddy bears I find to be very close minded. I completely agree with George Lucas that they showcase how it is possible for a primitive race to bring down a technologically advanced superpower such the empire as inspired by the Viet Cong’s offence against the Americans during the Vietnam War. I like this message as it’s true that the most advanced technology isn’t always the best means; sometimes less is more. I know many say the idea of Ewoks helping bring down the Empire was highly improbable. Well my answer to that is remember Yoda’s lesson in The Empire Strikes Back, “Judge me by my size so you?”.  George Lucas is alot of things (most anger inducing) but a greedy businessman who would create characters purely so he could market them as toys is not one of the; just look at the man’s charitable activities. If he really wanted money he would have release the original unaltered trilogy on DVD. At least the Ewok’s reputation has improved a little bit over time with fans now redirecting their hatred towards Jar Jar Binks; plus they’re cute little guys! Likewise, Return of the Jedi has too many puppets? I’m used to hearing people complain about movies which use too much CGI but a movie using too many practical effects, that’s a new one. The creature department and their astounding levels of creativity employed for Return of the Jedi hit it out of the park; it’s just a shame people look at this cynically and say they were just trying to sell toys.

 

My favourite action scene in any movie ever is toss between the final car chase in The Blues Brothers and the escape from Jabba in Return of the Jedi (with the speeder bike chase being not far behind that). Talk about a “How are they going to get out of that?” moment; in which they do in a convincing, heart racing like crazy manner. I love how the escape is one big elaborate plan which all our heroes are in on. Also I never understood people’s love affair with Boba Fett, so his death didn’t bother me. To the contrary I find his death to be interesting in how unconventional it is; this tough bad ass who doesn’t go out with a band, but rather dies in a humiliating fashion. I was more concerned with Lando being on the cusp of death! While it’s impossible to go into these movies for the first time fresh unless you’ve spent your whole life under a rock, but I didn’t have previous knowledge that Luke and Leia are brother and sister; which is one surprise the original Star Wars trilogy had for me.

 

The second half of Return of the Jedi is one of the most intense, involving and grand cinematic experiences. Cutting between the assault on the imperial cruisers and the second death star, the assault on Endor and the powerful emotions when Luke is confronting Vader and the Emperor; it perplexes me that people can put down this movie so much. Plus if Vader’s unmasking doesn’t get you teary eyed then there is no hope for you. Revenge of the Sith a Shakespearean tragedy? Pfft, please. This is proper storytelling tragedy. I couldn’t ask for a better finale to a better trilogy. Ah Return of the Jedi, I know people give you flak but to me you’re perfect the way you are, ewoks and all. 



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The Empire Strikes Back, With a Vengeance!

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 4 May 2015 01:16 (A review of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back)

*** This review contains spoilers ***

The Empire Strikes Back is my least favourite of the original trilogy, I guess I just prefer the more light hearted nature of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi (plus when has darkness become a measure of quality?), as well as the sense of closure given by those films but calling it my least favourite is like saying this pizza with 19 slices of pepperoni is it not as good as this pizza with 20 slices of pepperoni. It’s appropriate that the second part of three act story is the dark entry, so the more light hearted third act can act as a release from the darkness and despair.

 

Imagine if Star Wars went in the direction of The Planet of the Apes franchise? It’s a miracle the studio had no input into the film, creating the movie sequel all movie sequels aspire to be. What if it was a rushed out sequel titled Star Wars II? If Jaws started the trend of blockbusters and Star Wars cemented it, then The Empire Strikes Back was the final step in the birth of the blockbusters, by cementing the rules behind the art of the movie sequel but could the film’s quality also due to Lucas not having any input into the writing or directing of the film?

 

Right from the start you can tell the characters are much deeper than the first film. Han and Leia are simply one of the greatest romances in all of cinema. The classic tale of two who pretend of hate each other but are secretly in love, a trope as old as cinema, it’s no surprise the two are posed in the manner of Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara on the film’s poster. The planets in Star Wars are like characters themselves and Degobah is the perfect example of this. There’s such intimacy and poignancy to the scenes on Degobah. Yoda really is a perfect creation, like Obiwan, you do wonder if everything he says is full of crap when you break it down but it doesn’t matter. It’s just a shame the perception of the character has become bastardized because of the prequels. Plus what is it about stop motion that is just endlessly appealing to look at? The way that is doesn’t have the full fluid motion of live action movement but not to the point that is looks choppy.

 

Although the darkest, The Empire Strikes Back is the funniest of the series.  C-3PO constantly telling people about the improbability of escaping the situation they’re getting themselves into never fails to get a laugh. Plus the movie keeps teasing you that you’re going to get to see that iconic jump to light speed shot from the first film, making it all the satisfying when you finally do get to see it.

 

“I am your Father”, the most well known piece of pop culture knowledge. Is there anyone in the civilised world who doesn’t know Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father? Should we try and preserve the secrecy of these plot twists so future generations can enjoy the surprise. 



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The Force Will Be With Us, Always

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 4 May 2015 01:13 (A review of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope)

*** This review contains spoilers ***

Reviewing the Might that is Star Wars part of me wonders if there is even any point. You know that cliché review term “what can I say about this movie that hasn’t been said before?” Should I pretend its 1977 and I’m just back from the movie theatre - if only I could have experienced it firsthand. With the hype underway for the upcoming The Force Awakens (don’t let us down J.J!) I’ve been rekindling my love for Star Wars (the good trilogy, not the crummy one) so allow me to be the zillionth person to give their own perspective on Star Wars.

 

Before I had ever even seen Star Wars I felt like I had watched it before. You could probably recreate the film from parodies. It’s hard not to get caught up in a five hour conversation about these movies, talking in depth about every single frame; these movies turn adults into big kids.

 

I can’t help by get tearful over the beauty of the original trilogy; whether it’s the introduction of Luke Skywalker to the achingly beautiful John William’s score, or Luke and Leia’s scene in which they try to get away from oncoming Star Troopers by swinging on a rope over a drop - but not before she kisses him - such a classic image taken from any swashbuckler. The sights and sounds of lasers blasting or dog fights in space has a charm which I could never tire from. What makes the Star Wars universe feel so human? There is advanced technology but it feels used and it doesn’t always function properly. Also I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again: CGI aren’t anything on practical effects. Part of me doesn’t want to know how they did these effects just to be keep alive the thought of “how did they do that?!” I can still enjoy the special editions despite the changes. It would take a lot more CGI to entirely ruin a film like this.

 

What imagination or imaginations can come up with something so wonderful, which raises the question of just how much of genius within Star Wars can be actually credited to George Lucas? Is the guy an untalented hack who got lucky by being surrounded by talented people? It’s disheartening to think the man may never have been the genius we all thought he once was making the man as much of an enigma as the fictional universe he came up with.

 

Is Mark Hamill’s performance in the original Star Wars the greatest? No but I feel it works in the trilogy’s favour as his performances in Empire and Jedi are much improved just like how the character of Luke matured. But If I’m going to really talk about one Star Wars characters it’s Han Solo. Simply put Han Solo is my favourite movie character of all time. He’s badass, cocky, funny, has a legendary vest, is the most handsome man ever (no, really) and every word of dialogue he utters I would frame and hang on my wall. Yes, he is God himself. Also what gives C-3P0 AND R2-D2 such a great dynamic? They’re both robots and one is essentially a talking fax machine, either way, best robot chemistry ever.

The other thing I love about Star Wars which like many things was sorely missed in the prequels is the entourage of British actors. I don’t want to endorse typecasting but it just isn’t Star Wars without an imperial star destroyer on which every commander on board has an English accent. 

 

The confrontation between Obi-wan and Vader still remains my lightsaber duel in the series. Two old men, minimal movement, no music, choreography as basic as it gets, yet it is infinitely more emotional and substantial than Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen doing somersaults inside a volcano for five hours.

 

Star Wars changed cinema, pop culture and the world as we know it for a reason. Something which has brought joy and happiness to myself and millions around the world (as well as much anger and despair). Many film snobs will dismiss Star Wars as the film which ruined cinema helping being about the end of the New Hollywood era which it total tosh. I could go on and on and on with this review, adding more to it like Lucas likes to add changes to his already existing films but I feel the best way to review what Is one of the most talked about films of all time I too try and convey the sense of emotion and euphoria I get from watching such a film.



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