Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s not perfect, and I’m a little annoyed that they’re still making these… but, now that they are, I think this is the kind of story I’d like to see more of. Sort of putting some shape around the original 6-episode arc rather than extending it. I wish it were more melodramatic. Also a wee long and kind of a bad script? Dumb fan service (I assume we’re due for lots more) and the CGI Tarkin and Leia are huuuuuuge mistakes. Still, seeing Mendelsohn, Mikkelsen, and Whitaker in the same movie? What a treat! Much, much better than The Force Awakens. Filed under: Star Wars.

The Salvation

The Salvation. I feel like Mads Mikkelsen’s face was just begging to be put in a Western. This one sometimes feels like it was assembled from a western-movie kit, but has some really good moments – I particularly like the conversation with the priest in the jail, the parallel funerals, and a silent escape on a train.

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising. I wonder if, seen in a different state of mind, I would call this brooding rather than plodding. So much slow motion and silence, which is punctuated by some astounding brutality. There are hints at good things, but just didn’t do it for me. I’m trying to catch up on the Refn filmography before Only God Forgives, and I definitely have to recommend Drive over this one.

Casino Royale

Casino Royale. I admitted on Twitter that I’d never seen a post-Dalton Bond film and asked for recommendations. This was the clear favorite. I like this reboot. Craig is excellent. The movie is kinda Bourne-y, and therefore great as an action film. It’s kinda eehhhhh if you’re looking for clever spy things. (Chasing baddies by text messages they leave behind on cellphones? Surely it’s harder than that…) It has basically no sense of humor. It’s a bit too long. Appropriately glamorous photography. Soundtrack is nothing special, but I really appreciate withholding the main theme until the closing credits. The arc of storytelling is not the revelation and denial of a grand evil plot; it’s gloomy, reckless Bond becoming Bond. Looking forward to Quantum of Solace!