Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rogue One rakes in 290 million opening weekend!

Movie Title:      Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Grade:   A

Rating:  PG-13, 133 minutes

In a Nutshell:  I’ve been looking forward to this movie ever since I first knew it was "a thing" many, many months ago.  Yep, I'm a bit of a Star Wars nerd.  

For those of you who aren't, the newest installment in the Star Wars universe takes place before the 1977 Episode IV and five years after the events of “Star Wars Rebels.”

The movie brought in an impressive $290 million worldwide during the debut weekend. Wait until it opens on Jan. 6 in China!  Cha-ching!  Have you bought any Disney stock?  

Star Wars’ Episode VIII is scheduled to open one year from now.  Can't wait!!!

Uplifting theme: 
  •  "Trust goes both ways." - Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones)
  • Friendship, trust, loyalty, right vs. wrong, unity, respect.
  • "I am one with the Force.  The Force is with me." - (Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen)
  • When we're part of something bigger than us, our actions have meaning and purpose, even if we never live to see the fruits of our labors.

Things I liked:
  • The CGI and motion capture work are unbelievably amazing.
  • The new characters are great.  There are also tons of fun prop creatures.  K-2S0 is instantly likable, voiced by the delightful Alan Tudyk.
  • The brief references to prior Star Wars movies are there for you to pick up on, but they’re not overpowering.
  • The set pieces look so tangible and real.
  • Felicity Jones is terrific in everything.  She went through special martial arts training to prepare for her action sequences and has even been praised for her excellent trigger control on the weapons.
  • Director Gareth Edwards does a great job showing scale.  He did a great job at that in his last Godzilla (2014) movie too.
  • Lots of great action sequences.
  • James Earl Jones!  We love you!  Welcome back!  Darth Vader with his light saber…classic awesomeness.
  • Girls will be happy to see another female protagonist in this one, as well as in last year's feature Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Ok, so that’s an interesting mind-reading, lie-detecting creature.
  • Incredible motion capture work creating Grand Moff Tarkin and a young Princess Lea.  It was especially fun and crucial to see Peter Cushing in this film, as his presence was linked to the Death Star.  Well done, Lucas Films!
  • Why the Death Star is capable of being destroyed is addressed in this movie.  This film answers a question that has bothered fans for years.   
  • Hammer-head space ship.  Wow.
  • One thing I've always liked about the Star Wars movies is that the people look real, not like glamorous celebrities acting.  Fingernails are dirty, hair is greasy, clothing is grimy. 

Things I didn’t like:
  • It is well known that this film had many re-shoots and you can kind of feel it.  Some of the editing is choppy.
  • The first 25 minutes of the movie are spent showing you a ton of planets and characters.  Be patient.  They'll all tie together eventually.
  • I would have liked to see more back story behind some of the new characters so that we care about them and feel more invested in them. 
  • What’s up with Forrest Whitaker’s voice lately?  It was noticeably weird in the movie Arrival too.  Is he just trying new things or what?
  • Darth Vader is only in this movie for about 4 minutes.  What????
  • This is the first Star Wars film to NOT be scored by John Williams.  The new composer, Michael Giacchino, only had 4 ½ weeks to compose the music for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  Fans of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 might recognize his style.
  • Jyn Erso has a Storm Trooper doll.  Wait, what?  Um…why?
  • There are a TON of things in the trailers that are NOT in the movie.  What the heck?

Funny lines:
  •  “This is a rebellion, isn’t it?  I rebel.”  - Jyn Erso
  • “Don’t choke on your aspirations, Director.” – Darth Vader
  •  "Congratulations.  You are being rescued.  Please do not resist." - K-2So
  • "Are you kidding me?  I'm blind!" - Chirrut Imwe (as they put a bag over his head so he won't see.)
  • "There's a problem on the horizon.  There is no horizon!" - K-2S0
Fun Facts:
  • Two of the the working titles that were considered for Rogue One were “Red Cup” and “Dark Times.”
  • To fill out the hangar, cardboard wings were used on some of the space craft.
  • This is the very first Star Wars movie to actually mention the name of the film in the movie itself.
  • This is the first Star Wars movie to not use or show Obi Wan in any form.
  • This is the first Star Wars movie to not feature an opening crawl.  Ah, sad.
  • Members of the British Armed Forces were hired as Extras to give the battle scenes more authenticity.
  • The fake name that was used to secretly ship the films to theaters was “The Alamo” to discourage any would-be thieves.
Easter Eggs you might have missed:

 Interesting lines:
  • “What will you do when they catch you?  What will you do if they break you? Will you continue to fight?  If you keep fighting, what will you become?” – Saw Gerrera   (these lines were in the trailer, but not in the actual movie)
  •  "You're confusing peace with terror." - Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen)
  • "There is only one kind of prison.  I sense that you carry yours wherever you go." - Chirrut Imwe
  • "Rebellions are built on hope." - Jyn Erso
Tips for parents:

  • There are some subtitles you might need to read for your young kids.
  • There is a lot of hand-to-hand fighting, shooting, and destroying of things.  You’ve seen Star Wars before, right?
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