Review: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

The expansion of the Star Wars universe is off to an outstanding start at Disney and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story just changed the entire game. The first stand-alone film in the planned anthology series, director Gareth Edwards’ war story centering around the legend of the rebel team that stole the plans to the Death Star is a tale many Star Wars fans have clamored to see and the director has delivered a unique, entertaining and satisfying film that will win over hardcore fans and novice alike.

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has been on the run since she was a young child. Her father, research scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), was forced to return to the Empire to complete the design of the Death Star by Imperial Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) which, in turn, sent Jyn into hiding with the help of her father’s friend Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). Fifteen years has passed and the memory of her father still haunts young Jyn.  An imperial pilot named Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) has defected and smuggle a message to the Rebel Alliance with information crucial to their cause. The rebel forces have located Jyn with the hopes of recruiting her to help find her father and discover the secrets of the monstrous weapon. Rebel Officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) accompany Jyn on a mission to retrieve the message from Bodhi Rook on the planet Jedha.

After an encounter with imperial troops, the trio are aided by warrior Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and mercenary Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) who join the cause to help Jyn retrieve her father. Quickly the mission becomes more about the preservation of the galaxy and the team set their sights on stealing the plans to the Death Star at the high-security base on the planet Scarif. The time is now for the rebels to take their stand, to secure the safety of the galaxy and destroy the most valuable weapon in the Empire’s arsenal, the Death Star.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a near perfect cinematic experience. Director Gareth Edwards and cinematographer Greig Fraser elected for a raw, gritty feel to the film and the tone plays to the subject matter perfectly. The script by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy is smart and engaging and doesn’t over complicate the objective of telling this war story. Each frame of the film was envisioned with excitement and respect for the Star Wars franchise and the filmmakers have created an outstanding compliment film to the original trilogy.  Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed and Wen Jiang, the members of the Rogue One team, were perfectly cast in their respective roles. The voice of Alan Tudyk for K-2SO added just enough comedic relief necessary in the right places. Mads Mikkelsen, in his limited screen time, helped enrich the emotional journey for Jones’ Jyn and provide the redemption factor we all come to know in the Star Wars universe. The stand out star in the film to me was Ben Mendelsohn. His menacing performance as the main protagonist never fell into cliche’s and provided a satisfying character arc.

Overall, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an exceptional movie to be enjoyed on the biggest screen you can find. The journey never wearies and it will enrich your love for the franchise a little bit more. Next up…Episode VIII!!

4 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

No

Trailer:

Brand New ‘Zootopia’ Trailer Featuring Shakira’s New Song ‘Try Everything’ is Here!

zootopia-480.0_041.00_0080Celebrate Zoo Year’s Eve with the brand new trailer for Zootopia featuring the all-new original song “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Grammy®-winning international superstar Shakira. The single will be available everywhere January 8th.

The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia, a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph, “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”) and also stars the voices of Shakira, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Nate Torrence, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Bonnie Hunt, Don LakeAlan Tudyk, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Raymond Persi, Katie Lowes, Jesse Corti and John DiMaggio.

Zootopia opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.

Shiny new trailer for all you #Firefly fans from Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s new ‘CON MAN” series

If you are a true Browncoat, you will be overjoyed at the upcoming series written and directed by Alan Tudyk. Very clearly poking fun at themselves and embracing the fandom that has kept both Joss Whedon‘s Firefly and Serenity alive and kicking in the minds of millions, Con Man is the perfect way to celebrate two of our favorite sci-fi heroes and all that comes with being part of such a short-lived but much loved series. The trailer below is filled with surprises and some incredible cameos that we anticipate are just the beginning of this hilarious venture. If you didn’t already know, the entire project was crowdfunded on Indiegogo. This is truly the perfect way to illustrate what a big deal Firefly is/was to fans and celebrate the humor attached to it’s nostalgia. While we’re sad that it was cancelled, we’ll gladly open our hearts to Con Man… and still hold out hope for a future reboot… We have a hard time letting  go.

Michael’s Review: ‘Big Hero 6’- Big Family Fun!

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As a comic book reader and lover, I am ashamed to say I knew next to nothing about Marvel’s Big Hero 6 past a few sporadic reads here and there. The characters were always enjoyable and kept my interest, but it never lead to anything more than a mild fondness, so when I heard there would be a Big Hero 6 I can’t say I was anything more than intrigued. The first Disney animated film to feature Marvel Comics characters since the acquisition in 2009, the characters seemed ripe for an animated romp onto the big screen, but detail changes to core characters left many fans holding their breath and hoping that the animation pioneers wouldn’t turn their beloved characters into nothing more than second rate acts for their theme parks upon the films release. I am here to calm some of those fears and tell you that Big Hero 6 is a lot of fun! Read More →