Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first stand-alone film in the Star Wars franchise that's set just before A New Hope and deals with the circumstances of how the Rebels obtained the plans to the Death Star. Although it starts out with a slow pace, it really starts to get going once Felicity Jones's Jyn Erso is tasked by the Rebels to find a man who has a message from her father, one of the top scientists in charge of making the Death Star. Compared to any of the previous films, especially Empire Strikes Back, this is perhaps the darkest the series has done due to its very realistic depictions of war that's done in such a way that reminds one of dark war movies like Saving Private Ryan. The scenes with Darth Vader add a great layer of mythology and fun, especially the end that leads to the start of Hope, though at the same time it shows too much dependence on nostalgia. Other than Jones, the rest of the cast shines just as much and the characters who all play the Rebel group that goes in to steal the plans all have great chemistry. Ben Mendelsohn is very intimidating and scary as an Imperial officer obsessed with finishing the Death Star, Donnie Yen is believable as a blind warrior in tune with the Force, Diego Luna is charismatic, and Alan Tudyk is hilarious as an enforcer droid who is the exact opposite of C-3PO. With a well written story and amazing effects, this entry still has various problems such as the use of CGI to recreate both Grand Moff Tarkin and a younger Leia being too obvious at times and the very last scene conflicting a bit with the beginning of Hope. All in all, Rogue One is still better than The Force Awakens due to not being a rehash of previous films. Over all: 100%
Top list so far:
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Moana
3. Zootopia
4. Doctor Strange
5. Sully
6. Deadpool
7. Captain America: Civil War
8. Finding Dory
9. Arrival
10. Sausage Party
11. Star Trek Beyond
12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
13. Indepence Day: Resurgence
14. The Shallows
15. The Nice Guys
16. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
17. Suicide Squad
18. Jason Bourne
19. Kung Fu Panda 3
20. The BFG
21. Ghostbusters 2016
22. Hail, Caesar!
23. X-Men: Apocalypse
24. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Moana, the 56th film in Disney's animated film canon, is the story of the title character, a Polynesian chief's daughter, who goes on an adventure across the ocean to save her people from destruction with the help of a demigod. Newcomer Auli'i Cravalho, herself born in Hawaii, voices Moana alongside Dwayne Johnson as demigod Maui. The animation is top notch, the story is beautiful and inspiring, the voice acting is perfect especially with the chemistry between the two leads, and the comedy is on top. Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of the songwriters of the movie, which is the strongest part of Moana as the music and songs themselves are far and beyond the best ones anyone can ever listen to even compared to Frozen's music. The fact that one of those songs is done by Johnson himself and does it so beautifully just shows how great and powerful the music is in this film. As a nice little fun note, there are moments in the film wherein they reference several tropes relating to many Disney animated films. Over all: 100%
Top lists so far:
1. Moana
2. Zootopia
3. Doctor Strange
4. Sully
5. Deadpool
6. Captain America: Civil War
7. Finding Dory
8. Arrival
9. Sausage Party
10. Star Trek Beyond
11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
12. Indepence Day: Resurgence
13. The Shallows
14. The Nice Guys
15. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
16. Suicide Squad
17. Jason Bourne
18. Kung Fu Panda 3
19. The BFG
20. Ghostbusters 2016
21. Hail, Caesar!
22. X-Men: Apocalypse
23. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Inner Workings

Disney's animated short before they showed Moana, Inner Workings is a fun look at how certain organs react and what they do during the day of a regular office worker during 1980s California. The organs we see include the brain, heart, lungs, stomach, and bladder wherein the brain leads the body but the heart tries to give the guy some fun. As usual, the animation and CG is top notch and the story is absolutely funny and heartwarming with the one drawback being the overtop way some women look.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A prequel and a spinoff to the Harry Potter film series by J.K. Rowling and partly based on the fictional textbook she wrote in between books, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place in the late 1920s over 70 years before the first film. The fantasy film deals with Newt Scamander, a wizard who works as a magical zoologist as he visits New York City and has to deal with many of his creatures that have escaped from his magical suitcase. At the same time a powerful magical force threatens to expose the Wizarding World to the normal population which is blamed on Newt and his creatures. This being Rowling's first foray into screenwriting she does a great job with only a few hiccups here and there such as the plot being very simple and having been done before. Eddie Redmayne, as Newt, is well cast and plays his insecurities perfectly, with the chemistry between him and the other characters is done well. It's great to see what the world introduced in Harry Potter is like outside of England and in the past. While it was great to see Johnny Depp play the villain, one complaint is how there wasn't a lot of him to really understand or that his reveal at the end was never foreshadowed and just came out of nowhere. Over all: 97%
Top list so far:
1. Zootopia
2. Doctor Strange
3. Sully
4. Deadpool
5. Captain America: Civil War
6. Finding Dory
7. Arrival
8. Sausage Party
9. Star Trek Beyond
10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
11. Indepence Day: Resurgence
12. The Shallows
13. The Nice Guys
14. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
15. Suicide Squad
16. Jason Bourne
17. Kung Fu Panda 3
18. The BFG
19. Ghostbusters 2016
20. Hail, Caesar!
21. X-Men: Apocalypse
22. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Pop Culture Guy episdoe 17: Unknown Spotlight-Drew Struzan