Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Directed by Ron Howard

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany

Music by John Powell & John Williams

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.


My Opinion:

I saw this at midnight last night. I’m exhausted! But I suppose I better do a quickie review before America gets to see this tonight (is that right?). Because I’m sure everyone is just dying to know my opinion as there’ll be NO other reviews to be found for this movie anywhere. Yeah, the other reviews will be much more detailed than mine. You won’t find that here. I’ll make this very quick and just let you know if I liked the latest Star Wars movie or not.

Yep! I liked it. I really really liked it. Not sure yet if I loved it, but… Maybe. I need to see it again. Here’s how I feel about all the new Star Wars movies (I’ve linked to my full reviews):

The Force Awakens: LOVED it. Easily my favorite of the new ones.
Rogue One: Certainly didn’t hate it but didn’t love it. Liked it okay but, overall, it just didn’t work for me. Felt the least “Star Wars” to me.
The Last Jedi: Wasn’t happy with this at first. It has grown on me. I certainly like it much more than a lot of people seemed to but, depending on what they do with the final film, I could end up liking this one much more or much less. Really hope they do the final film right (I want it to be more like The Force Awakens).

My ranking? I don’t yet know until the final film but it’s currently probably The Force Awakens, then The Last Jedi or Solo (time will tell so I’ll make them a tie at the moment) and then Rogue One. My hubby’s order (HUGE Star Wars nut), if you’re interested, is currently: The Force Awakens, Solo, Rogue One, The Last Jedi. I was surprised he has Solo in second place so far but he did thoroughly enjoy it.

So onto Solo… As most people have said so far, this movie is a lot of fun. There seems to be a big backlash against this movie before people have even seen it. I truly don’t understand that. Is it just because they didn’t like The Last Jedi?? Wow, people are hard to please. I was shocked that the midnight showings for this at my cinema were completely dead. One screen had only six people! I love Star Wars and, no, I really don’t want to see its legacy ruined. Yes, I worry that The Last Jedi has started down that path. But let’s see how they handle the final film. And, in the meantime, let’s spend some time having fun with Han, Chewbacca & Lando since they’re fantastic characters we all love. I also saw a lot of people say “Oh, people are saying Solo is fun. That just means it’s bad”. Huh? Since when did people decide that movies aren’t meant to be fun anymore?! I want movies to be fun. I want to be entertained. Fun doesn’t automatically mean bad.



I think the most important thing to me was that they’d get our most beloved characters right. I think we all had our doubts about Alden Ehrenreich but I think he did a good job. Was he the perfect person for this role? Maybe not. But who could be? Han Solo is one of the most iconic (and coolest) characters of all time. Who can possibly do Han Solo justice?? I had no problem with Ehrenreich – I liked him as Han. And Donald Glover is great as Lando but I think we had already accepted him based on the trailers. He’s cool as f*^k. I loved seeing these two characters meeting and, even as I write this, I’m probably liking this movie even more as I think of young Han, Lando, and Chewbacca all meeting for the first time. I adored all their scenes together.


I thought all the new characters were pretty great as well. I’m not sure that I have any new absolute favorites but it’s very hard to top all of the original trilogy characters. I’m not going to get into the new additions, however, as I wish to remain completely spoiler free. I’ll just say that I liked the history that Han had with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), Woody Harrelson and his team of “can they be trusted?” misfits were a joy and the perfect fit to team up with Han & Lando, and the baddies were quite effective – they looked the part and were menacing.


What else can I say? This movie gave me what I wanted. It’ll never top the original trilogy but no new Star Wars movie ever will. I don’t expect that from any of the new movies. I think Ron Howard has done a great job with Solo, especially considering that it was such a troubled production. It stays very faithful to & respectful of the Star Wars legacy and does all the existing characters justice. There are some great “fan service” bits that are a real pleasure but don’t feel at all forced (they aren’t the type you’ll roll your eyes at – they’re just fun). Yeah. Fun! This movie is fun. Fun is good. Fun is what I wanted. It’s okay to have fun sometimes! Solo: A Star Wars Story is a good film and, for me, it’s a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe.

My Rating: 8/10

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Terminator Genisys (2015) Review

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Terminator Genisys (2015)

Directed by Alan Taylor

Starring:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jason Clarke
Emilia Clarke
Jai Courtney
J. K. Simmons
Dayo Okeniyi
Matt Smith
Courtney B. Vance
Lee Byung-hun

Running time: 126 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.

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My Opinion:

First of all, The Terminator is a favorite movie of mine and Kyle Reese is one of my biggest movie crushes (he’s in second place on that list although, at my current age, I’d put him at number one as I’m still totally in love with him). In fact, for years I had planned on naming a son I might have “Kyle” until South Park came along & ruined that idea. Second of all, sequels and remakes annoy the hell out of me (well, some are good – like Terminator 2 and Aliens! Yes, I was in love with Michael Biehn in Aliens too…). Anyway, my point is that I do NOT like favorite movies & favorite movie characters of mine being f*%ked with. It pisses me off! Finally, I hate stupid spellings (screw you, “Genisys!”). So I was feeling very unsure of Terminator Genisys. On the way out the door to see this, I said to my hubby “Let’s go see this shitty thing”. But I still had to see it because of my love for the first two Terminator films. Well, shit. I didn’t hate it….

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Really. I kind of enjoyed this movie. I did! WTF?! I was expecting to hate it. I actually liked it much more than the third & fourth films that I can’t even remember the titles of at the moment because I so completely put them out of my mind. Now, I should make it clear that this movie isn’t that great and it sure as shit doesn’t come even close to matching the brilliance of the first two. However, if you go into it without expecting it to be as good as the first two, maybe you’ll at least get some enjoyment out of it. I’ve watched this one much later than the rest of you and I’ve seen all your reviews pop up but I have yet to read any so I’m not sure what the general consensus is but I’m guessing that most of you don’t like it. That’s fine! I wouldn’t argue with anyone who hates this movie as I can understand why. But, sometimes, even grumpy old movie lovers like me can enjoy a movie that they know they probably shouldn’t. For me, it’s probably just because I liked seeing the characters of Sarah Connor & Kyle Reese once again in the same, yet somewhat altered, situation. I love their story from the first film so I got to kind of relive that again in a different sort of way. It should piss me off but it didn’t and, luckily, I don’t think it’s ruined the first movie for me as I’ll still only really ever think of the first two films when I think of Terminator. To me, I’ll always just see this one as more of a “reimagining” than as a part of the series.

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The thing I was most worried about with this film was that they wouldn’t get Sarah Connor or Kyle Reese “right”. How can they top the original people to play them?! They can’t, of course. However, I thought they were both fine. Sarah Connor is so different in the second film to how she is in the first but I never had a problem with the wussy, girlier Sarah in the first movie – they actually almost went overboard in T2 in making her a little too tough (for me. believe me, though, I like a strong female character!). Clarke’s Sarah is somewhere between the two and I liked her just fine. I do love Clarke as Daenerys in Game Of Thrones, yes, but I didn’t find that distracting as she looks & acts quite different in that than she does in Genisys. Yeah – I was fine with Clarke as Sarah Connor… I bought into her more than I did when Lena “Ceresei” Headey played her in the TV show. However, I was more worried about how Jai Courtney would do as Kyle Reese. I’d only see him in Divergent and hadn’t taken any notice of him. I was prepared to pretty much hate him in Genisys. Well, he’s no Michael Biehn and I don’t want to have his babies like I wanted to have “original timeline” Reese’s, but… Hell, he was fine! I ended up liking him. He’s not super hot but neither was Biehn. And, to be fair, Biehn was never exactly going to win any Oscars, was he? Biehn got the damaged, sensitive thing so right, though – he was perfect in that role and defined Kyle Reese for me. Courtney doesn’t quite manage the “damaged” thing as well but he’s likeable and someone you can imagine this new, tougher Sarah falling for. He even has a slight sense of humor, unlike the first Reese, which at first made no sense but then did when you think about the timey-wimey time travel thing going on (I’ll avoid spoilers as always but these aren’t the exact same characters we already know). There was actually quite a bit of humor thrown into this, mostly involving Schwarzenegger, and it worked fairly well. At least, as well as in T2 where it was also a little cheesy in a couple places.

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Oh yeah! Arnold Schwarzenegger! I’ve not even mentioned him. Lol! I’m such a girl…. Yeah, I clearly love the Kyle/Sarah story. So sue me. I have to be girly sometimes. 😉 Schwarzenegger was good! He was his usual self, really. It wasn’t “weird” seeing him older (which they quickly explained with one little line thrown in). It was great seeing him in this – I always preferred Schwarzenegger to Sylvester Stallone. Schwarzenegger was in far better movies (Terminator, Predator, Kindergarten Cop!). I would think male Schwarzenegger fans will love seeing him in this. But what do I know? I’m a girl who just spent ages talking about Kyle Reese. Oh! We get a little of this:

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Awesome. Love it. One of the most iconic things in movie history. We also get plenty of action – the action is similar to the level we got in T2. I enjoyed all that “boy stuff” too. The (first two) Terminator movies kick ass and I love them. I also love the “simplicity” of the story in the first film whereas Genisys is getting too convoluted. Plus.. they didn’t use the Terminator MUSIC until the end credits. How can you not use such greatness?! One of the best ever movie themes! But, as a lover of the first film, I loved all the little references plus certain scenes are re-enacted as some things are still the same in this timeline (although I do have to admit that seeing one iconic scene re-enacted poorly was just a bit too weird). I sure did love seeing Kyle in the same clothing again, though! Shit… I’m talking about Kyle again. It was fun seeing J. K. Simmons – he sure is popular at the moment but he sure was wasted in his role. I did not like Jason Clarke as John Connor. I’m not talking about what they did with the character (although I wasn’t really a fan of that either) but I don’t think he was the right actor for the role. And, speaking of John Connor, WHY oh WHY did they spoil that big reveal in the movie’s trailer???? Seriously! I won’t say what the big reveal is as some people don’t watch trailers but that has to be one of the biggest spoilers in a trailer ever. Ridiculous – the reveal isn’t even until the final third of the film. Oh well – at least this film’s main three characters worked out okay as that was the most important thing to me. I don’t actually care so much about the story in this – the story has already been done to death. But the relationships worked well, the action was fun (although it’s certainly no Mad Max: Fury Road), and I could possibly fall in love with this Kyle Reese if the first movie didn’t exist.

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Summary:

Terminator Genisys: I enjoyed it! I’d actually rank it higher than a lot of other big blockbusters this year, such as Jurassic World and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I’m not saying it’s necessarily better – I just enjoyed it a lot more. I make no apologies. These things happen! I can’t be snobby all the time… 🙂

My Rating: 7.5/10

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*sigh*

Is There A Scene After The Credits?: There’s just a mid-credits scene that’s really nothing too special – just one of those annoying “we’re setting up a sequel!” moments. You wouldn’t be missing much if you missed it.