Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (aka Episode IX)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Chris Terrio, J.J. Abrams
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Greg Grunberg, Shirley Henderson, Billie Lourd, Dominic Monaghan, Warwick Davis, Jodie Comer, Billy Howle
Seen on: 19.12.2019

Plot:
Rey (Daisy Ridley) finishes her training as a Jedi just in time as the war of the First Order against the galaxy reaches its full height. Together with the resistance, especially Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac), it’s time to prepare for the last and biggest battle to decide the fate of the galaxy. It turns out to be a battle filled with unsuspected allies and opponents.

I’m not much of a Star Wars person, but I enjoyed this new wave of the franchise so far. Unfortunately, The Rise of Skywalker was a disappointing mess.

The film poster showing an assortment of characters from the film.

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Mark BombackRick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Based on: Pierre Boulle‘s novel
Sequel to: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston, Judy Greer

Plot:
In the ten years since the events of the last film, the world has changed a lot. Most of the humans have been eradicated by the Simian Flu, the few survivors struggling to get by. In the meantime the apes have thrived in the Redwood Forest around San Francisco where Caesar (Andy Serkis) built an entire community and refuge for the apes. But now humans have not only returned to San Francisco but also the woods, looking for an old dam and with it, electricity. But can humans and apes ever coexist?

I rather enjoyed the last film, despite some of the more stupid things in it. But this one here was too stupid: it lost me pretty quickly and after it lost me once, there was no going back.

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Chick Flick #61545132

I’ve been kind of in a chick flick mood for these past weeks, therefore you’ll get the review of yet another one – August Rush. (For my defense, I managed to squeeze in Harsh Times as well, which was very good, very disturbing and had a very good cast – Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez aka the fighting midget from Planet Terror at their best.) 

August Rush was really, really very nice. The music was wonderful, especially the parts where Lyla’s (Keri Russell) cello playing overlapped with Louis’ (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) rock-ish music. I knew Meyers could sing ever since Velvet Goldmine – which is also a very good movie, so go and see it if you haven’t already – but this was a nice reminder. I don’t know if Keri Russell played the cello herself, so no comment on that. Freddie Highmore is cute as always, I can’t believe he’s going to be sixteen in Febuary…
Anyway, back to the topic. The plot was predictable and not really innovative, but who cares when it’s so nice to watch it anyway. The good guys except for the main characters were all black, a must-have in modern, PC films, which doesn’t bother me, just an observation. Robin Williams brought us one of his best performances ever (why, oh why did he do License to Wed? And why, oh why did I watch it?), and seemed to have fun doing it.
So, altogether it was mindless, it was good entertainment but as romantic films go there are better out there.

This warm, fuzzy feeling…

I just watched Waitress. Now that is a happy feeling film. You know, one of those that leave you with this warm, fuzzy feeling in your belly and make you smile uncontrolably…

Adrienne Shelly was not only a good director (I especially liked the scenes where Keri Russell aka Jenna always has the same facial expression during five or so different takes), she also was a very good writer. The dialogues are beautiful, funny and witty. Do I need to say more than: “I was addicted to saying things and having them matter to someone.”?

There are some actors I like and am always kind of glad to see, although they mostly chose crappy movies and/or roles to play and this movie had two of them: Jeremy Sisto (ever since Clueless) and Nathan Fillion (ever since Buffy). It was nice to see them doing a good film for a change.

Perfect.