Movie review: “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018)


“You think everything sounds like a bad idea…”

The Star Wars saga’s very longevity has become, if you’ll forgive the slight Jedi inference, a double-edged sword, laser-honed, amazingly precise despite its innate power and massive destructive capability, and, therefore, deceptively difficult to wield. This was, of course, already the case when a single storyteller, flawed visionary/kindly internet punching bag George Lucas, held the franchise in his eccentric hands; You can bet the issue has only compounded and is now accelerating toward what promises to be a spectacular end since that control was usurped by The Walt Disney Company, a monolithic trillion dollar entertainment conglomerate focused almost exclusively on the generation through perhaps overly dedicated fan service of a veritable Matterhorn of filthy lucre. To wit: Opening weekend box office for Solo: A Star Wars Story – just north of $100 million domestically – was smashing by most any other rational measure, though pillow soft if not scandalous for such a priority representative of the Mouse That Roared. Continue reading “Movie review: “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018)”

Movie review: “Terminator Genisys” (2015)

arnold smile

“That’s the kind of man your son was. (thinks) Is! Will be! Ugh…time travel gives me a headache.”

The original Terminator had the spark of genius. It was something altogether amazing and new. As a stand-alone sci-fi potboiler, and a model of low budget 1980s ingenuity, the story of a young woman under siege by an unstoppable robot assassin from the future is a stone classic. Just typing this sentence makes me want to drop everything and spontaneously rewatch it. Bleak and ruthless, consistently thrilling, pleasingly enigmatic, and, in the end, more than sufficient, The Terminator didn’t cry out for a sequel any more than the wellspring of any action franchise does. The sequel it received, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, was nevertheless a true rarity in the annals of effects-driven blockbuster action filmmaking, functioning as both a signpost along the road, indicating the exciting, innovative way forward for an oft-beleaguered art form, and a de facto destination, dynamic, fully-formed, crowd-pleasing, jaw-dropping. Continue reading “Movie review: “Terminator Genisys” (2015)”