Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Second viewing (the first). The opening bombing run is really good. I’d forgotten about it – holds up on rewatch. The casino interlude is so, so dumb. I appreciate the visual contrasts in the salt planet battle. Not just the colors, but the scale, like with Finn’s tiny figure juxtaposed with the gigantic tanks in empty space. We need more like that. So many close-ups. Love the tortured silence of Kylo Ren. So depressed, a mindset to just let it all go, burn it all down. Broader theme here of how brash, seat-of-the-pants heroism is often foolish. The writing still strikes me as bad in many spots. I didn’t notice the first time around how the kid Force-pulls himself a broom at the end.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I liked it, overall, and it had just enough small things to drive me a little nuts. Snoke is a misfire (just call Ed Harris! You have the budget!), and so were the various little animals. That one ship’s jump to light speed was sublime. And very good space debris throughout. I like our time with Rey and Kylo, and Poe’s debacles. Finn was wasted, unfortunately. Benicio Del Toro is the best, but I wish they could have found him some other way. The space chase could and should have been gut-wrenching, but something about the cuts and pacing made it just sort of… there. I wonder how I’ll feel whenever I rewatch it again. Of the latest batch, this ranks behind Rogue One. Filed under: Star Wars.
Looper. Solid scifi. Just take a nugget of a concept and let it spool out around a handful of people. It makes movie sense in the moment even if it doesn’t later. I love this vision of a possible future. Dystopic, but not totally dire. Just worn out. Good job with the makeup, and especially how Gordon-Levitt takes on some Willis mannerisms. I love Jeff Daniels’ character. There is some violence that a certain demographics won’t take to very well, but I appreciate that he did it anyway, it fit the story, and that it wasn’t over-the-top exploitative. It was sad. I also liked some of the audio editing and they he played with the sound stage. There’s too much leeenns flaaare. But good movie! Rian Johnson knows his craft. Makes me want to watch Brick again.
Brick. Hard-boiled film noir in modern high school suburbia. Everything was treated very carefully here, and it totally works for me. I could understand how ostensible 17- or 18-year-olds talking like Dashiell Hammett characters might not work for some, though. Some of which characters are clearly set to type (femme fatale, loyal informant, short-fused blockhead, sad-sack, etc.). Most of the movie has great, lively style but isn’t afraid to undercut itself every now and then. Solid score. I say it’s worth your time.