Category Archives: Films & TV

Review of Star Wars: Rogue One

Ah Star Wars, we meet again. Last time I was reviewing a novel now you’re in the form of a movie. I won’t lie I was a little nervous going in; the trailers were good, but trailer quality isn’t a sign of quality. I’m looking at you Attack of the Clones.

I got to see this a few times in theatres and am basing this review off my memory of that experience. I will say right from the start that I was certainly the target audience for this movie, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have problems with it.

Now for those who don’t know the plot is a simple one; the rebels steal the plans for the Death Star, and this shows the days leading to that mission. And it is honestly a fun time, once the mission starts. The beginning and middle aren’t bad, but they feel like they’ve been cut down a lot to save on time. Mainly because there are a lot of characters that all seem to have interesting back stories, and they’re suppose to be a close-knit team, but we don’t get a sense of why that is. We pinball from planet to planet at the beginning, getting a few good moments and some exposition about different characters, but nothing makes these characters quite as memorable as other Star Wars characters. Aside from K-2SO and Director Orson Krennic of course, but K-2SO is just a funny droid, and Krennic isn’t fighting as much for scene presence when he’s on with most of the other characters.

There are three main villains in this film: Krennic is the main antagonist for most of the movie with Grand Moff Tarkin acting as an antagonist to him and Darth Vader stealing a couple of brief scenes. Krennic is almost sympathetic, and I found myself wanting to root for him when he was butting heads with Tarkin. Vader was there for fan service I have to admit, but it was good fan service.

Going off of that, there is actually a lot of fan service and easter eggs to find for Star Wars fans.

The look of the film is also a magnificent visual of what the Original Trilogy (OT) would have looked like if they were made today. The style of the old blended with new technology works incredibly well. I feel here I should make mention that a couple of characters have been recreated with CGI, and some people have said that it was bad and distracting, but I thought it was one of the best CGI effects I have ever seen.

This film isn’t the best Star Wars movie to come out, I’d say it isn’t close to that, but it certainly isn’t the worst by a long shot. If you love Star Wars, you’ll enjoy this, if your not a fan I’d say this is fine as long as you see or have seen at least Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope.

Review of Doctor Strange

Well, better late than never, and boy am I late. I saw this in theatres and am basing my review off of what I remember, but I have a good memory, and this movie did leave a  strong impression on me (for what it’s worth).

I found Doctor Strange to be a very enjoyable, and before I get into the story, I have to first talk about the visuals. This is probably the best looking movie Marvel has ever made. The colours seemed to pop out more, and the aesthetics were unique. And the 3D was gorgeous. This is also probably the first movie that made me feel like it was 3D for the whole experience. Yes, I saw How To Train Your Dragon, and in my opinion, only parts of that movie were in 3D; Doctor Strange is 3D the whole time. Shots fired! Fight me on Twitter.

Before I get into characters and plot, I want to talk briefly about the magic itself. I like how straightforward and elegant it is presented. It does let the viewer get a handle on the basics right alongside Strange and provides a good base for expansion in future movies.

Okay, getting into the plot. Doctor Stephen Strange is a famous and successful surgeon who experiences a car crash that puts an end to his career. In desperation, he travels to Nepal to find a way to restore his life to how it was but discovers a power
and responsibility to protect the world.

Now a lot of people have drawn comparisons between Doctor Strange and Iron Man, but I would have to say that it is only true on a superficial level. Once you get into character motivations and the details, they’re different and distinct movies. I, personally, found it to be an excellent origins story and a good stand alone entry that doesn’t require any knowledge of previous Marvel films. A robust and straightforward plot is sometimes all you need for your story.

To talk about the villains in this film is like talking about paint in a house; they exist to give our hero something to do. They’re very flat and not that memorable like most Marvel villains before them. I could look up their names, but I’m not going to because no one cares. It’s a shame since Kaecilius has some hints of a deeper character.

Lastly, touching on our heroes, Stephen Strange goes through a substantial change over the course of the story. Changing from an arrogant man with everything to a more humbled man who’s lost it all but has a deeper appreciation of people in his life. It’s a tried and true character arc, and a favourite one of my when done right which it is here.

Christine is a friend of Strange’s and fellow surgeon. She stands as an anchor point in the story for the viewer as one of the few characters in the story who does not use magic in the climax. I’m not going to act like her role was a standout one, but I thought she was the best female character Marvel has put on screen. Yes, even better than Black Widow.

Wong and Mordo both bring a serious tone the story. Each one has his lighter moments (Wong provides the best laughs of the film), but a good bit of the presence in the story helps remind the viewers of the gravity of the situation. Mordo has a particular depth to him that may lead him to be one of the best characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Now, the Ancient One had some controversy in the real world by being a white woman cast in a role fans expected to be Asian. Personally, I don’t have a horse in the race, but I find it odd that a white woman casting in a role that is Asian stirs controversy when a black man cast in a white man’s role does not (a.k.a. Mordo). But I don’t judge a performance based on race, I judge it by the actual performance. And to the Ancient One was serviceable. She was more memorable than the villains by a long shot, compared to the other characters around her, she was more of a plot device than anything else. I do remember a couple of scenes with her in them, but it generally was what she was affecting in those scenes that had my attention. In other words, she was a good supporting character.