Tag Archives: Episode VIII

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. FILM REVIEW

*VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

“Amazing. Every Word Of What You Just Said Was Wrong” – Luke Skywalker

2015’s The Force Awakens not only established a new trilogy in the Star Wars saga, the film also paved the way for many more exciting adventures and characters to come to us. While the last film was merely the stepping stones to the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi shows the full potential of a Star Wars movie in this millennium and gives us the best entry since The Empire Strikes Back.

Beginning very shortly after the last film, the rebels are trying to escape the advances of The First Order in one of the greatest cinematic space battles I have ever seen. At the same time, we finally get to see what happens as Rey meets Luke Skywalker (yes, he does get to speak in this one). Rey needs Luke to help with both her own understanding of the force and help the resistance in their fight against the darkness.

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Early in the film, we catch up with Finn, Poe, Leia, Chewie and well…everyone! We also get to see just how much of an impact the destruction of Starkiller Base has had on The First Order. The war is at its high point in this movie and the stakes have never been higher. The shocks are there and the action is breathless throughout, whether it was in space or amongst allies.

One thing we needed in this film was an answer to some of the big mysteries. We get a few answers and there is maybe one or two times in the movie where we have to accept we aren’t gonna be given everything! We also get to physically see Snoke, who inspires much evil and fear in his prominent appearance. Then we have Luke, we get to see what kept him away for all this time and we see just exactly how he feels about the war and his feelings about his nephew, Kylo!

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Same as The Force Awakens before it and the spin-off hit Rogue One, The Last Jedi is a spectacle beyond my mere skills of explanation. The blend of practical effects and the best CGI that money can buy presents us with a depiction of the Star Wars universe that is impossible to hate. While a certain appearance will please the fans of old, one seen of a ship going into lightspeed presents possibly the greatest jaw-drop of the whole film.

Where as Episode VII was the first step back into this world, the new movie embraces what has come before it and ensures us that Star Wars is not afraid to break the cycle. Too many fans were possibly expecting a 2017 edition of The Empire Strikes Back, but that is not the case! Rian Johnson has created a piece which not only slots in perfectly to the established narrative, the film gives a sense of closure to some highly debated questions while keeping our excitement for Episode IX.

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If I could pick my favourite character, I would only change my mind 5 minutes later. Mark Hamill does in this film what Harrison Ford did in The Force Awakens, this is a LUKE SKYWALKER film where as the last part was a HAN SOLO film. Without too much of a spoiler, we get to see a complete story for Luke and the pay-off is incredible.

Daisy Ridley is indeed the heart of the film, Rey is the character we are on the journey with and we do feel her need to learn and embrace the emotions she experiences on this story. Rey and Luke have a dynamic which is reminiscent to Luke and Yoda, but a lot more conflicted. Also, if you had any doubt about Kylo Ren as a villain, Adam Driver shows you in this movie that he is the most dangerous person (if still conflicted within himself) in this universe and someone you do not want to mess with.

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We also get some other characters who shine in the extra screen time. Oscar Isaac’s Poe is fun and inspiring, Anthony Daniel’s C3PO gets a few decent laughs and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran gets to have a lot of fun with John Boyega’s Finn! We also sadly say goodbye to our Princess in this entry. Carrie Fisher has had a lot of attention on her in the last few years and it was her passing which really hit the fans hard. We all knew The Last Jedi was her last filmed appearance in this universe, but I can honestly say that Leia will be going out on such a great note. Nobody could ever replace Carrie Fisher and all I can say is that I wish we had maybe just a bit more from Carrie in this film.

The few gripes I have are just that, almost not worth the hassle. The film is a spectacle throughout and embraces the emotional and intimate beats perfectly. The action scenes remain fantastic and breathless as before. The only main issue I would have would be in the lightsaber battles, you need to watch the film to fully understand why. I just want to say I do like them, but there is nothing that compares to that fight in The Force Awakens!

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With great character progression on multiple fronts, a real push in the story and a great set-up that will probably help for an easier wait for the fans wanting to see Episode IX, this film delivers all it needed to. Sure a few people may not like some of the choices, but you will indeed be surprised by this film and I for one can not wait to see what happens when J.J. Abrams comes back to conclude the trilogy.

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Eight Star Wars Facts You May Not Know

The Star Wars franchise has been around for 40 years, and with the upcoming release of The Last Jedi this December, there is no sign of slowing down for the hit film series. While many fans may know the inside and out of the films, there are a few facts about Star Wars that may have passed you by. Did you know who almost became Princess Leia or the fact that Jar Jar Binks may be more popular than first thought? Have a read of these eight Star Wars facts and I hope you enjoy them.

Ahmed Best Won An Award For Playing Jar Jar Binks

No, I haven’t been drinking too much of that blue milk. Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best is indeed an award winner for portraying the bumbling Gungan, but it is in the best way possible. While little praise was given to the character in the prequel trilogy, Ahmed made a great comeback with him reprising his Jar Jar role in all the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials. It was in the second special where Ahmed Best finally got rewarded for portraying Jar Jar Binks…and it is done really well. No matter what you thought of the character in The Phantom Menace, you will enjoy this video! And also, do we really believe the Darth Jar Jar thing?

Poe Dameron was meant to die

Hard to believe that the best pilot in the resistance wasn’t going to make it past his first film, but we are certainly glad that he did. In The Force Awakens, the character was originally envisioned to be biting the bullet at that point where the TIE fighter crashes onto Jakku. J.J. Abrams apparently thought better of this after casting Oscar Isaac in the part. While Poe was heavily featured in the first act, he was nowhere to be seen till the final assault on the Starkiller Base (and the rescue of the star map). Hopefully The Last Jedi will see him in a more prominent role throughout.

A Woman Originally Portrayed The Emperor

How many of you remember watching The Empire Strikes Back when it was first released? You may have noticed since re-watching the film once it was released on DVD that it had a noticeable yet justifiable change. We all know that Ian McDiarmid portrayed The Emperor in Return Of The Jedi and again in the prequel trilogy (and he was brilliant). But, the Emperor was first portrayed by Marjorie Eaton. Yes, a woman was The Emperor under a lot of make-up and wearing chimpanzee eyes that had been placed on her. While the woman was the body, the voice was by Clive Revill. Thankfully, this is one thing I am glad to have seen changed and Ian McDiarmid is the better Emperor by far!

Jodie Foster, Sissy Spacek and Cindy Williams Could Have Been Princess Leia

There were a few actresses who apparently went for the role of Princess Leia Organa. While we know that Carrie Fisher eventually got the role, her book ‘The Princess Diarist’ reveals that she auditioned for Carrie at the same time, as did the actress Sissy Spacek. Imagine if Sissy was cast as Leia? Also, Cindy Williams apparently went for the role too and also Jodie Foster. While I think Jodie Foster would have been superb, she would have only been 13-14 at the time of filming and definitely would not help to keep Luke and Leia at the same age. Thank goodness Carrie Fisher took the role.

All The Star Wars Films Have Been Shot In England

That is true, if you leave out the poor excuse of an animated film from 2008 (but I do love the Clone Wars show). All the live-action films so far have been filmed in England, starting with the first movie shooting in Elstree back in 1976 (which in turn has become the basis of its own film). Since then, all the films have been shot in England and places around the UK. Yes, certain desert and snow scenes had been shot in other countries, but the Star Wars franchise can honestly call England its home. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Alien and even entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe have since come to the UK to shoot mainly because of the great work made in the space opera franchise!

Loads Of People Have Played Darth Vader

We all know Darth Vader as soon as we hear that voice, even in spin-off movie Rogue One we saw James Earl Jones come back as the lord of the Sith! But, the man inside the suit has changed numerous times. Leading the original trilogy in the suit was David Prowse, he had a great presence and even today at the age of 81 has a powerful handshake that will crush your wrist (and the man is a pleasure to meet). We also have Hayden Christensen in the suit in Episode III. Then we also have Bob Anderson, Gene Bryant, Spencer Wilding, Daniel Naprous and Sebastian Shaw inside the iconic black armour. Plus, one last mention to Ben Burtt who made the iconic sounds of Star Wars which includes the breathing of Darth Vader! Darth Vader is one of the biggest villain’s in the world and it is clear to see how much has gone into the character over the years (and don’t even get me started on the animated shows and video game performances).

Rey’s hairstyle for Episode VIII was kept secret

As we saw in the original trilogy, Carrie Fisher’s hairstyle was changed in each film and each look was considered popular and started trends. With the character of Rey, it seemed to start the trends again with her three buns style in The Force Awakens. But, did many of you notice that in the lead -up to this film that she had her hair covered a number of times? There was a workout photo where Daisy Ridley was shown with a pillowcase around her head to keep it secret. With the success of The Force Awakens and the popularity of Ridley’s Rey, I think it is justified that all these measures are made to keep back any spoilers…including the hair on Daisy’s head (and what about Mark Hamill’s beard or the lovely scar that Adam Driver’s Kylo should be sporting?).

Anthony Daniels Is In EVERYTHING as C3PO!

For 40 years, Star Wars has had many constants in it. The lightsabers, the Jedi, X-Wings, exotic planets, superb villains and a certain protocol droid who has been there for all of it. Anthony Daniels has not been afraid of type-casting by taking his portrayal of C3PO to all the different medias that is available. To make it nine out of nine live-action films, Anthony Daniels will be back as C3PO in The Last Jedi. Plus he has appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, The Muppet Show. Sesame Street, Lilo and Stitch, Robot Chicken and even The Lego Movie in 2014! Also, how many video games and other shows has he appeared in? Anthony Daniels has made C3PO a part of himself and there is no way you could ever have anyone else in this role!

What did you think of these facts? Have you got any facts that you want to share? Message on this post and thank you for reading.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The 17 Films to see in 2017

Well last year I did a list on the 16 films to see in 2016, and I have managed to see most of the films on the list (still got Rogue One to come). But I am already thinking of the goldmine of films that will be taking over 2017. You would be correct with the assumption I have picked a good number of superhero films for 2017, but that is not the WHOLE list. There are a few sequels to some big hits of 2015, a few comedies and maybe a horror or two! A few honourable mentions for 2017 include Rings (which might be fun), Power Rangers (people will watch it, I know it), Flatliners (it is a sequel to Flatliners from years ago, but uses the same title) and Edgar Wright making his cinematic return with Baby Driver. With that, let’s get on to the list.

 

The Comedian

Ok, this is a more original entry to start off the list. This film stars Robert De Niro as comedian Jackie Burke, a comedian once known from a popular TV show, he continues to do a stand-up routine. He finds himself going through a lot of change when he is invited to his Niece’s wedding. After he attacks a heckler at a show, Jackie ends up doing community service. During this time, he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann) and the two make a strong connection. I don’t know what it is, but this film looks great. Robert De Niro always puts in a great performance, and with having a cast that includes Danny DeVito, Edie Falco and Harvey Keitel, this is certainly going to be a hit.

John Wick: Chapter 2

In 2014, John Wick became one of the biggest surprises of the year. Keanu Reeves stormed back into the spotlight as the legendary hitman. The first film was fun, exhilarating and breath-taking. Chapter 2 promises to include a lot more action, a great cast and Chad Stahelski (Director of John Wick) definitely puts the hopes up high on this one. Time to sit back and maybe give that first film a watch again.

The Lego Batman Movie

Before 2014, nobody would have said they could look forward to a movie made from Lego! But, that all changed when The Lego Movie was a box-office smash. Not only was it smart and funny, but was really creative and appealed to people of all ages. This movie, technically a spin-off to the 2014 film, has delivered some major trailers and has made me laugh on quite a few occasions. Taking everything we know about Batman and making him a lot less serious than his usual cinematic outings, Will Arnett will indeed cement himself as an iconic Batman!

Logan

The X-Men films have been filled with good and bad entries. For every Deadpool and Days Of Future Past, there has been The Last Stand and X-Men: Origins. But, Logan looks like it will be a very different film for the series. Taking place some time after Days Of Future Past, We find Wolverine and Professor X as they are supposedly two of the last mutants/X-Men in existence. Logan finds himself looking after a young girl with powers similar to his own (at a time when his powers begin to fail), and he has to protect her from the evil Essex Corporation. It looks dark and serious, not long till this one hits!

T2: Trainspotting

This sequel has been a long time coming (trust me, there is another long-awaited sequel coming up too!). Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and the original cast return for T2: Trainspotting. Set 20 years on from the original, Renton returns to Scotland to make amends with his old friends and attempts to avoid Begbie who has just been released from prison. The first film was funny, shocking and relevant for its time. It looks like Danny Boyle has made yet another great piece for us movie goers.

Ghost In The Shell

Before anyone says a word, I know that adaptations of anime works have failed before (remember Dragonball Evolution?). But, there was something rather promising about Ghost In The Shell when its first trailer debuted a few weeks ago. Scarlett Johansson and the rest of the cast do seem to fit into their roles rather well, and it will be interesting to see this film when it comes out in March. It looks to stay close to its source material and even director of the original anime Mamoru Oshii has shown his positivity towards the project. Well, it will convince me enough to see it!

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2/Spider-Man Homecoming/Thor: Ragnarok

Yes, there are three films, but I have combined them as they are all part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We have The Guardians about to take 2017 by storm, Spider-Man is to make his full debut in his upcoming movie and Thor and Hulk are about to take an intergalactic road trip. The MCU has proved to be the most financially successful film franchise of all time, and it isn’t finishing any time soon. With all three of these films coming out next year and the Inhumans show debuting in IMAX, there is so much to come from this spectacular movie series. If I have to pick, it will be Guardians that will have me most excited. But, all three are on my list and I can’t wait to watch these films.

Alien: Covenant

I was not a big fan of Prometheus, and apparently, it is because of this movie that Neill Blomkamp’s planned Alien sequel has been delayed (NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!). But, Prometheus did have some good set-up and to have this movie tying more into the xenomorphs and the Alien series is worth a watch. Ridley Scott returns for this movie and so does star Michael Fassbender as David (the best character of Prometheus) for what promises to be a step up from the mystery and expand the mythology.

Wonder Woman

The DC Extended Universe has divided fans since 2013’s Man Of Steel, and with 2016 proving to be another year that polarized audiences and critics alike, all eyes are now on 2017 for DC. The first of two entries, we get Wonder Woman in the summer and we are going back to World War 1 to learn about her origins and how she first became known as…Wonder Woman. The trailers make this film look interesting and fun, and will indeed be a big talking point when released. Plus, Gal Gadot back as the title character will indeed be fun.

The Mummy

A remake? With Tom Cruise? And the trailer actually looked…decent?! It is a confusing notion, but I do actually feel excitement towards this film. Kick-starting a new movie universe, The Mummy will see us enter a new world where monsters and beings will come together to terrify and excite us. Also, anyone else excited at seeing Russell Crowe becoming Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? I reckon this could be the new evolution in the action-adventure genre, worth a watch this summer!

Despicable Me 3

Where do I start with this? Despicable Me is still one of the greatest surprises I have seen, I remember leaving the cinema after laughing a lot and feeling a great sense of happiness. The once great villain Gru is about to save the world yet again, this time it is Trey Barker’s Bratt (South Park co-creator) who is causing all the trouble. It looks like the minions will be neatly put back into their supporting role again and I think they are best kept there. I just wanna say, that trailer was bloody brilliant and I can’t wait to see this.

War For The Planet Of The Apes

I was never a big fan of Planet Of The Apes, the original films never really interested me (and the 2001 reboot was…bad!). The 2011 reboot ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ gave a grand new perspective to the ape takeover of the planet and ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ was a breathtaking experience and one of my favourite films of 2014! The new film looks set to continue the trend of the apes making earth theirs and continuing the battle with the humans. The bad news is that we don’t get the human characters from the 2014 film (Jason Clarke was indeed one of my favourite actors of that year), the good news is that we do have Woody Harrelson and who cannot mention Andy Serkis returning as Caesar (give the man a f***ing Oscar already, this part would be nothing without him!).

Blade Runner 2049

Long-awaited sequels have been a big part of modern day cinema for some time now. Some of them make for great cinema (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and some just kill the property altogether (Tron: Legacy. It looked good, but was just pointless). Blade Runner was just yet another hit for Harrison Ford and a sequel was rumoured for decades. The new movie will see Ford return and Ryan Gosling taking on a lead role, also I should mention Denis Villeneuve (director of Sicario and Arrival) is making this film. The sequel to the 1980’s sci-fi classic may have taken a long time to come, but I think we are in very safe hands.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The first Kingsman film definitely took me by surprise. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, he followed Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class with this fantastic movie. With a great amount of comedy, seriously gritty action and a super cast, a sequel was needed. The Golden Circle will continue the story of Kingsman as they team up with their American equivalent to take down a new enemy. It also looks like Vaughn got every bloody actor he can find for this. Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal and even Elton John will be in this movie! The spy genre needed new blood, and this is it!

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Saw: Legacy

I will admit, the Saw series of films is probably a favourite of mine in the horror genre. Sometimes the movies could be really creative and gave such a chill because of its realistic gore and gritty atmosphere. There were moments (the skin glued to the chair in Saw 3D being a big example) when you almost could feel your stomach turn and know it’s too much. But, at its heart, the series was gripping and a punch in the arm for a stale genre (some 2000’s horror films were really bad). The new film may hopefully be a great revival to a once legendary franchise (or a new nail in its coffin).

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Justice League

As mentioned earlier, the DCEU has not had the smoothest start. But, what we do know is that it has now established itself as a fully functioning world filled with many different characters. Justice League will see the famous DC team finally come together on the big screen. Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) come together to save the world from the villainous Steppenwolf. Expect appearances from Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, and many more when this movie hits in just under a year.

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Could there have been a film more highly anticipated than Episode VIII? With the end of The Force Awakens leaving so many with a taste for more, we will finally get to see what happens after Rey finds Luke Skywalker. With the new characters established, the fanbase again at its peak and Rian Johnson (Director of Looper, probably one of the best films of this decade so far) behind the camera for this outing, it shall be a grand adventure. Also, we shall be saying goodbye to our beloved Princess Leia in this movie. Can it be December now please?

What films are you looking forward to see in 2017? Are you upset about the exclusion of XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage or Fast and Furious 8? Let me know what you think, thank you for reading.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

Why We Shall Never Forget Carrie Fisher

The news was indeed hard for any Star Wars fan to believe today, Carrie Fisher sadly passed away following the heart attack she had suffered just a few days ago. As well as the iconic role of Princess Leia, Carrie was indeed a very popular actress who could do comedy and drama well. It wasn’t just the acting which kept Carrie in the spotlight, just watching some of her interviews was enough to brighten your day. Carrie will be kept alive thanks to her unmistakable performances, her family (daughter Billie and pet Gary for example) and the memories that millions of fans will hold for her. Here are some of the big reasons we will miss our Princess!

Carrie Fisher Believed In Star Wars Before Anyone Else

When the film was first in production, a lot of people doubted it would become a success. It did at one point become the highest-earning film of all time. Carrie though was a firm believer that Star Wars will become a success. She honestly thought a lot of people would disagree with her, but aren’t we glad that we did? It shows that she gave the part her all as she wanted it to succeed, meaning that we love this princess because she wanted you to love her and this world which came to us nearly 40 years ago. George Lucas really did well with this piece of casting, and the rest is now movie history at its greatest.

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She Starred In Two Of The Best Films Of 1980

In 1980, The Empire Strikes Back took us back to the galaxy far, far away for possibly the greatest film sequel of all time. But, this wasn’t the only superb movie to star Carrie Fisher. She was also seen in the comedy classic The Blues Brothers, Carrie plays the wife-to-be of John Belushi’s Jake Blues. In the film, her character tries to kill Jake throughout the film to get revenge for leaving her at the altar. It does provide some very comical moments in the film and gives Carrie another very memorable role.

Meryl Streep “Technically” Played Carrie In A Film

A number of years after the original trilogy had left the cinemas, Carrie started writing. Her first novel was a semi-autographical story called ‘Postcards From The Edge’. A few years later when it was adapted into a movie, Carrie Fisher was able to create the screenplay for her own story for the big screen and Meryl Streep was cast as Carrie Fisher Suzanne Vale. When asked why she didn’t take the role herself, Carrie just said she had done it already. But following the sad news, who could possibly play Carrie Fisher in a bio pic for real?

Carrie Was Not Afraid To Take The Mick Out Of Herself

We know that Carrie probably had a lot to deal with after her initial time in the sci-fi franchise, but it would never keep her down. She had well noted incidents such as problems with drugs and also her relationships with Bryan Lourd and Paul Simon. She does take a lot of comments about her in good humour and was not afraid to take the piss out of herself. Check out some of the videos below.

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Gary Fisher

In the last few years, Carrie would always have her faithful companion by her side. Gary Fisher gained his own following with fans and many would love to see him as much as Carrie. The canine companion of Carrie Fisher even has his own twitter, but in the last few hours there has been some very heartbreaking posts. The big question will be, who will now look after Gary? Nobody will be able to replace his Mum, but we will always have them great moments of the two.

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Family Guy And Other Shows

One thing Carrie Fisher did do well was that she could make an impressive mark on the small screen as much as she did on the big screen. Starring as herself in Sex And The City, Ellen and The Big Bang Theory did provide some laughs and her voiceover work on Family Guy as Peter’s boss Angela was indeed favoured by many. Most recently, Carrie had been reprising her role as Mia in the Channel 4 comedy Catastrophe! Her star shined bright not just on big and small screen, but on both sides of the Atlantic.

Legacy As Leia

Whichever way you look at it, Carrie Fisher will forever be known as our Princess from Alderaan. She took the part and made it her own. Everyone remembers her hairstyles, that bikini from Return Of The Jedi and just how much of a badass she is. Carrie also proved with Leia that this was a character who would be seen as a strong role model for young women. You can’t help but think of Leia when the conversation of Star Wars comes up. Let’s be honest, how happy was you when she turned up in The Force Awakens? It made me smile! I know that when Carrie appears in Episode VIII, it will be with a sense of joy but also with a great burdening sadness as this shall be our last outing with our Princess.

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What fond memories do you hold for Carrie Fisher? Will you miss her portrayal of Princess Leia? R.I.P. Carrie and may the force be with you!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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