The New One

Saturday morning I went to go see The Force Awakens again.

Loved it again and seeing it with a Saturday crowd that actually included kids was fun. But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about the new love of my fangirl life.

This is about Oscar Isaacs.

I’ve forgotten David Tennant.

I’ve forgotten Grant Gustin.

I have forgotten each and every Chris.

There is only Oscar Isaacs.

Specifically there is only Poe Dameron.

Poe Dameron

This is the sexiest picture ever!

Oscar Isaacs is adorable, which I knew. But I really want to talk about Poe. One of the things after talking about The Force Awakens with everyone I know, that I decided I liked about it is how the new three are very different types than the original three.

Namely, I kept waiting for Poe to be kind of a dick, because he’s a badass fighter pilot (the best in the resistance) and those kinds of guys are pretty much always dicks in movies. (Specifically, Han Solo is kind of a hug dick in A New Hope.) But Poe, just isn’t. He’s a nice dude, who wants to bring freedom to the galaxy, and I cannot stress this enough…is incredibly incredibly sexy.

Like, I really can’t stress enough how hot he is.

He’s in a movie with Harrison Ford, and I’m not talking about Harrison Ford, who I have been in love with for as long as I can remember.

I was explaining it to a few friends this weekend by saying, “remember what I was like after I saw Thor? It’s like that.” I didn’t have this blog back then. (I had my old blog…it was not as good as this one.)  But I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of Chris Hemsworth and sighing dreamily.

I’ve been doing a lot of that.

I should note, I’ve been kind of resetting my nerd brain…I still have a few weeks of Gotham and Supergirl to watch, but I’m just not quite feeling up to it. I will.

I’m also working on some cosplay stuff for Heroes and Villains Fanfest. (including Poe…probably…I’m going back and forth on it…the only other dude I’ve ever cosplayed was Cap, and that’s different because I wear a dress…there’s a whole girly girl identity thing here that I need to parse out…you don’t care…) and I’m switching up scheduling this week, so as not to report on Sailor Moon on Christmas eve, anyway, you’ll see!

Just letting you know that the tone may change around her in the coming weeks!

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It’s Calling To You

OK, so, I’ll start off by saying simply that I really loved, The Force Awakens. I thought it was funny, smart, well constructed with fun new characters and great action.

I was thrilled to see old friends and happy to meet the new ones. (Rey is everything you’d hope she’d be. So is BB-8) The new Cantina song as written by Lin-Manuel Miranda sounded like…well, I was listening for it, so I absolutely heard his touches, but if you didn’t know, I could see not hearing it.

You should know that I went with a cranky old fanboy who hates everything (Hi John! Thanks for coming and for paying me for your ticket.) and he did not like it.

Well, he liked seeing Han Solo again.

But I loved it. I feel like by now you all probably have some feel for my taste, I’ve been reviewing movies for three years here.

OK, so from now on we’re into spoiler land. I warned you.

 

SPOILER; SPOILER; SPOILER

 

BEN MOTHER FUCKING SOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Organa Solo? Organa Skywalker Solo?)

Kylo Ren, is the so of Han Solo and Princess Leia and he turned to the darkside for, reasons? It’s not elaborated on, but his name is Ben (I love this, shocking no one). And he is strong with The Force, and his parents sent him off to train with his Uncle Luke, because he was TOO POWERFUL, and then he went dark, and now he’s well on his way to become a full on Sith.

Killing his father did a lot towards that.

Yes Han is dead. Yes, I cried. Yes, you see it coming a mile away. It’s fine. It’s good.  Escaping from Harrison Ford’s monster presence was going to be impossible moving forward.

We only get one “May The Force Be With You,” and it comes from Leia to Rey.

Rey does the Jedi Mind Trick. We still don’t know who she is, just that she was abandoned by her family. I still think she might be a Skywalker. Or maybe a Kenobi. Or maybe she really is no one.

Poe Dameron is the SHIT. I love him. He’s a straight up good guy, and doesn’t quite get enough to do, but I kept waiting for him to come back around.

And then there’s Finn. We learn a little about how the Storm Troopers, post clone, are recruited, basically they’re taken as children and trained. They don’t have names, just numbers. It’s Poe who names Finn. It’s very effective. 

So much 0f the language of action films comes from Star Wars it was very cool to see it use the language of other stuff. Notably, the final scene, has Rey, climbing a mountain to reach Luke. Who is only in that scene. And never speaks. This is a huge let down, but the scene itself is right from Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and it’s perfect.

I can’t touch on everything that I loved, but the one thing that really stood out to me was the use of Anakin/Luke’s light saber. Rey finds it in possesion of Mas, the motion cap character played by Lupita N’Yongo, and upon touching it has a vision. Later, Kylo Ren, tries to take it from her, knowing that it’s his legacy. (He’s trying to live up to being Vader’s grandson. Something tells me some one is BAD AT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE END OF STORIES, Mr. Ben Solo…Organa…Solo…Skywalker…)

Anyway, a chosen blade is not a mythological pool that Star Wars ever really played in, so I’m happy to see them dive into it. Captain Phasma, also great. Carrie Fisher’s return was delightful, and R2-D2 and C-3P0 also great. Overall, it was good. Ranks somewhere high above the prequels and just below Jedi. As far as blatant nostalgia trips from this movie season go. It’s better than Jurassic World and not as good as Creed.

 

 

 

 

END OF SPOILERS

Rankings

  1. The Martian
  2. Straight Outta Compton
  3. Creed
  4. Crimson Peak
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Bridge of Spies
  7. Mockingjay Part 2
  8. The Man From UNCLE
  9. Spectre
  10. Ant-Man
  11. Mad Max: Fury Road
  12. Inside Out
  13. Trainwreck
  14. Tomorrowland
  15. Jurassic World
  16. Ricki And The Flash
  17. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  18. Minions
  19. Fantastic Four
  20. Terminator: Genisys
  21. Entourage
  22. Pitch Perfect 2

Trailers

Kung Fu Panda 3 – This is a movie that exists. I sort of forgot the second one existed.

Star Trek Beyond: Please be good. This cast deserves good. They’re great.

World of Warcraft: I know absolutely nothing about this world. But Joe and a few others I know assure me that it looks awesome. I defer to them on this.

Idependence Day: Resurgence: This is a damn good trailer and I want it to be a good movie. I’m still pissed on Mae Whitman’s behalf though. She should be in this movie.

Captain America: Civil War: Poor Bucky, Poor Steve, and I SWEAR TO GOD IF THEY KILL RHODEY I WILL CUT SOMEONE! (But not really…but maybe a little…)

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: I will not be deterred. I will not dislike this movie. I will love it. I will love it if it kills me.

 

Sailor Moon Super S & Sailor Stars Check In: AT LONG LAST!: Episodes 166 & 167

Sailor Stars

GUYS! It’s finally here!

This boring ass arc is over and we’re into the Sailor Stars stuff! And it’s really, really exciting to me.

But first, let’s talk the end of Super S. We get STILL MORE Nehelina backstory, and at this point it’s been like five episodes in a row, and I don’t care that she ate all of her people’s dreams to stay young forever and then they became the creepy circus folks.

I mean, that’s actually pretty cool, but I’m just really over how shitty she is as a villain in general.

Anyway, she pushes the Sailors Moon off of a building and then Usagi grows angel wings and they fly and it’s really, really cool, and why was the finale of this arc so cool, when for the most part it was really super mega boring.

Anyway, Helios tells Chibi-Usa that he can’t stay and she cries and they hug and the Senshi are all, “Why don’t we have boyfriends? The little kid does?” (FEELING THAT.) Also, the Amazoness Girls do something? I don’t know, it was nice to see them, but I didn’t quite understand why they were there.

And this arc is over. FINALLY. It wasn’t that I disliked it, it was just so much wheel spinning for very little pay off, and the pay off came all at once and just wasn’t what I was looking for.

BUT WHO CARES BECAUSE IT’S TIME FOR SAILOR STARS!!!!!!!

OK, so I’m in a bit of a rush here, so I’m just going to highlight what I’ve started flailing over:

  • Awesome new opening with entirely new song! WOW!
  • There is a LOT going on with that Sailor Moon Eternal outfit, like, a whole lot. I like the layered skirt though.
  • BABY HOTARU!
  • PLUTO TAKING BABY HOTARU
  • Chibi-Usa saying she’s going back to the 30th Century, haha, no.
  • Weird disembodied voice promising Nehelina her revenge. (Me last night while watching it, “OMG GALAXIA! YAAAASSSSS!”)
  • MICHIRU AND HARUKA AND PLUTO FIGHT MILLION NAKED GLASS NEHELINAS!!!!!
  • Michiru and Haruka period. I have missed them, and they are awesome.
  • Also they get new powers and new outfits, I can’t wait until I see them in use.
  • Hotaru grows from baby to little girl in a matter of minutes.

I am so excited for this arc, it was my favorite in the manga and OUTER SENSHI ARE BACK!

Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of The Jedi

So those pacing problems I had back in the prequels? (That seems so long ago doesn’t it?) Those absolutely start in Return Of The Jedi. Or at least in the special edition, which is what I was watching.

I know, I know,  I’m a terrible heathen, but my original edition VHS’s have long since been scrapped, and hey, did you know that the stories and dialog are exactly the same in the Special Editions? There’s just some annoying extra CGI scenes, which I guess could ruin it for some people…but really, no. I don’t care that Anakin is replaced with Hayden Christensen at the end and while “Jedi Rock” is pretty damn pointless and breaks up the flow of that scene it’s not like a crime against humanity or anything.

OK, so that’s out of the way now.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Jedi lacks the zippy speed of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and here, I don’t see it as quite as much of a problem. I mean, the scenes in Jabba’s palace are interesting. I enjoy the large Ewok dance parties (Yup, both of them, but I’ve made my opinion on dance parties clear.

I feel like this post is kind of going off the rails.

Which actually makes a lot of sense for Jedi. I feel like I should talk about Luke redeeming Anakin, as I once wrote a whole paper about it, (I got an A-, it’s one of my proudest academic moments, I’d quote the paper right now, but I didn’t feel like looking for it…)  Because, if nothing else Jedi is a little bit off the rails.

But here are some things that are great:

  • Han being jealous for like a second of Luke and Leia, and then she explains that they’re brother and sister and he’s so releived. (PS if Rey isn’t their daughter I am going to be very sad. Unless she’s something equally as badass…)
  • Ewoks. I DON’T CARE. They are adorable and they defeat the Empire and then have a dance party. They are my kind of alien life form.
  • That final Light Saber battle between Luke and Vader. It’s a cool ass fight.
  • The Emperor might as well not be there. He does nothing. I mean, “Good,  good, embrace your anger,” I mean, whatever, he could just not be in the scene and it would still be the best.
  • If we count the prequels as counting, Obi-Wan learned that whole, “From a certain point of view” bull from Anakin…who used it to excuse embracing the dark side.
  • Leia has the Force right? That is made abundantly clear. Don’t screw this up JJ, she better levitate something. And if we really want to go big, maybe have a light saber. SHE SHOULD BE A JEDI.
  • Do you want to know a big difference between Jedi and Empire is? (And no, it has nothing to do with independent contractors, Randal, but thanks for asking) It’s a whole lot less sexy. I mean, we get plenty of resolution. But a lot less Harrison Ford/Billy Dee Williams smolder. Not a fan.

OK, I have exhausted my thoughts on Return of The Jedi. And Star Wars in general, I guess.

BUT, hey, in just over 24 hours, I’m going to be experiencing a whole new chapter in this saga, that once carried me through childhood and adolescence, and is about to enter my adulthood.

Fandom doesn’t get more fundamental to me than Star Wars, and I’m excited to get started again.

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

I know yesterday I spouted about people overlooking A New Hope in favor of The Empire Strikes Back, but the thing is, when you watch Empire, you remember how god damned perfect it is and why everyone decides it’s the best Star Wars movie.

The thing that’s been striking me with the old vs. new trilogy is the pace. The Prequels tend to meander, whereas the originals get going and do not stop, Empire especially, where barely a half hour in, we’ve had Luke attacked by Yeti creature, Han rescuing him and The Battle of Hoth. That there is Avengers style pacing.

It’s also a plus that the two plots, Luke on Dagobah with Yoda and Han and Leia running from Vader are equally weighted and equally effecting. And there’s something uniquely magical about that moment where Yoda lifts the X-Wing out of the swamp. There are so few movie moments like that, that take their time and are still completely thrilling, and more love to throw on Mark Hamill, who, I don’t know if it’s just my new nerdier brain, or a maturity thing, or having seen too many boring *insert yourself here* protagonists, I’ve just been thoroughly enjoying during this rewatch. He’s acting his butt off in this movie, and it’s really cool to see.

I’ve mentioned that I consider Han and Leia’s story to be my favorite love story ever right? I love them, and there’s something so perfect about the scene with their first kiss. You know, the “scoundrel” scene? It’s so good. And Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are the best in it.

Also Lando. I love Lando. I have always loved Lando and feel like Star Wars comes to life when he shows up. (Not that A New Hope isn’t awesome, it is, but it’s just, I mean, Lando, man…) Billy Dee Williams is exceptionally good as well, it just feels like everything is firing on all cylinders.

The thing I want to call attention to here more than anything else though is James Earl Jones’s voice performance. I notice voice acting in a way that I never used to because of my year or so close animation watching and Vader really is a masterful performance, here even more than in A New Hope, and knowing the fact that him talking the Emperor out of killing Luke is saving the only family he has left (that he knows of) does make that scene more affecting, and having just watched the prequels, it’s hard not to see him wanting to save the only connection to Padme he has. But there’s so much emotion in Jones’s voice and there’s a desperation to this performance.

Maybe I’m projecting,  I don’t know, but I thought it was interesting.

I also want to talk about Yoda, and how miraculous it is that this is a character that works at all. I guess it’s Frank Oz being the best at what he does, or a script that willingly plays with how silly he is as a factor, or something, but the ancient tiny Jedi should be ridiculous and for some reason isn’t, he’s instead compelling.

So those are the things that really stood out to me about this, the best Star Wars movie, a title that Empire deserves almost to distraction.

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

The one, the only, the original. I found myself giggling with joy as I got started on this one Saturday afternoon. (I hadn’t even started drinking yet. only drank during Empire…) The thing is, with the nerd world deciding to blow so much smoke up it’s sequel’s ass, it’s easy to forget how really, and truly good, A New Hope is.

The opening sequence which sets everything into motion is delightful and the interaction between Vader and Leia immediately puts us in this world without being an info dump.

Imperial Senate? Rebel Alliance? Alderaan? These words mean something and create exposition in a way that’s just…gah, I could go on and on, but I’ll move on to other stuff.

Luke Skywalker sure is a great character huh? Luke tends to get the short end of the stick in a lot of Star Wars talk because Han is a lot more fun, but as boring, bland *insert yourself into his mindset* protagonists go, Luke is the best. He does have a personality, and it’s one that’s clean and hopeful and fun. (Granted, I am writing this after having watched Empire where we get to know Luke a little bit better.) But he’s also loyal, dreamy and kind of great. And Mark Hamill, is, I mean, he’s just really good at delivering weird dialog, which is a strange compliment to give. “I was going to go down to the Tashi station and pick up some power converters,” is the weirdest line ever, but Hamill sells it as a totally normal teenage activity.

I always forget until I watch again just how good Harrison Ford is, and am reminded why I’ve been in love with him since I was six years old. (I was a Han girl, my sister preferred Indy, this is a defining thing about our relationship.) But he’s just so, so, so interesting to watch and not bad to look at either. And Han is such a deeply fun character.

And then there’s Leia. I’ve written a full post about my love for that character and what she meant to me and I could go on ad nauseum about her, but they’re all just so good, and it’s hard explain how they all manage to be both totally heightened and totally natural at once and it’s wonderful and I love it.

And that’s all I have to say about it.

 

Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of The Sith

OH, Episode III, you beautiful, bloated delightful mess of a melodrama, you.

I have a completely unfounded and ridiculous love of Revenge of The Sith. I know that by any objective scale it is not good, a solid fourth (or fifth depending on your Phantom Menace opinions) in the series, but I still love it all.

I love the final light saber battles between Obi-Wan and Anakin and Yoda and Sidius. I love Anakin’s ridiculously contrived turn to the dark side. I love Padme’s absurd hairstyles. (This is in all three movies, but it’s even more obvious here. Also, I miss Natalie Portman’s curly hair.) I love, “I saw him, killing younglings!” and “From my point of view the Jedi are Evil.” and every inch of terrible, clunky dialog.

But mostly what I love about Revenge of The Sith is the way that it moves everything into place, and completes a circle. The movie literally ends with Owen and Buru holding baby Luke as Tatooine’s twin suns set.

I’m still a little annoyed that the desert planet that we’re going to be seeing in The Force Awakens isn’t Tatooine, but some new planet. Tatooine is where this all began, it’s an important place.

But that’s another topic, I really can’t stress enough how amazing Ewan McGregor is. I’m a big fan and have been for years, but rewatching these movies has really reminded me how exceptional he is. And how much I hope he gets a part in the upcoming anthology films.

The Order 66 sequence and the purging of the Jedi temple have, pretty much since the movie’s release been considered the high water marks of the Prequels and it’s for good reason. It’s a heart wrenching sequence, (made only more emotional from having watched a bit of The Clone Wars, and knowing more about those Jedi and the troops that turned on them.) Christensen is better here than in Clones, but only marginally, and it really does seem like at this point, Natalie Portman was phoning it in. She is really bad in this one, and at this point, it’s hard to call it simply awkward. (Although she does get one great moment, “So this is how liberty dies, to thunderous applause” is a good line, and she delivers it with deep conviction and horror.)

Anyway, as it stands we’re moving into the good stuff. You have to eat your vegetables before you can have desert right? Or like, sit though shitty bread service before eating the main course? I don’t know, this metaphor got away from me…ONTO THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY!