Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones, Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Warwick Davis, Michael Smiley
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 18.12.2016

There are rumors that the Empire is building a great new weapon, called the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance has caught wind of that and hatches a plan to steal the plans for that weapon as they heard that there was a structural weakness that they may use to destroy it. They believe that Jyn (Felicity Jones) may be the key to success as her father (Mads Mikkelsen) seems to be involved with the planning. But Jyn hasn’t seen her father in 15 years and she’s also not all that interested in helping the Alliance. But they do reach a deal and Jyn finds herself accompanying pilot Cassian (Diego Luna) on the mission.

I will probably never be super excited about Star Wars – it’s just not my franchise. But I did enjoy Rogue One a whole lot, despite a couple of lengths it suffered from.

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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Mark Rylance
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Lloyd Everitt, Beth Cooke, James Garnon, Danny Lee Wynter, Michael Elwyn

Benedick (James Earl Jones) and Claudio (Lloyd Everitt) with their superior Don Pedro (James Garnon) just returned from the war. They come to Leonato’s (Michael Elwyn) where they wish to stay for a while. Claudio immediately falls in love again with Leonato’s daughter Hero (Beth Cooke) while Benedick and Leonato’s niece Beatrice (Vanessa Redgrave) fight as much as they’re able to. Pedro wants to see everybody end up together, while Pedro’s half-brother John (Danny Lee Winter) does his best to sabotage everything.

It had been a while that I saw any version of this play, but I remembered that it was funny. And with Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones in the cast, I thought that I was all set for an entertaining evening. But I was wrong. Incredibly wrong. Oh boy, I don’t think I was ever that wrong before.


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The Flight of Dragons (1982)

The Flight of Dragons is a movie by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., based on the novel of the same name by Peter Dickinson and The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson. It stars the voices of John Ritter, Harry Morgan, Victor Buono, James Gregory and James Earl Jones.

Carolinus (Harry Morgan) is a wizard in a world where magic is slowly crowded out by technical advancement and science. He gets together with his three brothers to decide on a course to save the magical world, but one of them, Ommadon (James Earl Jones), wants to see humanity enslaved by its machinery and with that, he starts a war. Carolinus calls on Peter (John Ritter), a young scientist and dragon-afficionado from the future to help them save the world by going on a quest.

The Flight of Dragons is not the subtlest of films. It has one question it asks and explores, that of science vs. magic and it’s quite relentless in the pursuit of an answer and pretty obvious in its imagery. With all the focus on this, other things are a bit lost, such as a decent voice-acting cast or character development. In short, I’ve heard good things about the film but I don’t see its appeal.

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

Dr. Strangelove is a movie by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George, starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and James Earl Jones.

Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) manages to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union all by himself. Since the American government headed by President Muffley (Peter Sellers) doesn’t actually want a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, they frantically try to abort the command.

I have to admit that I was barely conscious when I saw this film. I had been too much to the cinema and I was stressed and tired and I kept falling asleep during the movie – even though I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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