Friday, December 16, 2016

Passengers

Sony is purposefully obscuring a key factor of this movie that isn't so much a shocking reveal as it is the major driving force of the plot. This action occurs very early on in the film, but it's not even hinted at in any of the trailers, so if you don't want to know about it, stop reading now. Consider yourselves warned.

Passengers is a $150 million sci-fi film based on an original idea. It has slick production design, cool visual effects, and it features two of the biggest, hottest movie stars in the world in Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. It's a film that seemingly has everything going for it, but the film can't quite escape the feeling that it's less a modern day blockbuster and more like a '90s movie you'd see in constant rotation on TNT. It has a handful of decent moments, but despite the efforts of everyone involved, there's a hurdle in the story the movie can't quite leap — and it's a doozy.

Passengers
Director: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars has been a cultural landmark for almost forty years, but it took until 2016 to finally get a movie in the franchise that doesn't once utter the name "Skywalker." It's refreshing in that regard, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first film to spin-off from the main saga, has been hyped as a "standalone" movie, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Rogue One does not and cannot stand alone — it's often paralyzingly dependent on the audience's knowledge of the events of A New Hope. Still, the good moments outweigh the bad, and if nothing else, the film showcases flashes of the potential these spin-off movies have to expand the franchise's universe beyond the actions of its most important family.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn