Movies

Movie Depth: Solo: A Star Wars Story

One of my intentions with this blog was to do movie reviews, among a myriad of other things that I’ve been neglecting. Lauren is slowly coming back into herself and I’m working on writing more on a little of everything. I thank my dedicated, patient followers. Anyway, this seemed like a good one to start the reviews back up with…


So, I decided on a quiet Saturday. I was going to continue watching Season 3 of The Original Series of Star Trek, but then thought, hey… Avengers: Endgame comes out and I have Thursday night tickets so, let me do an Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon. Went on Netflix and saw that Solo: A Star Wars Story was on and that whole plan went to hell.

I’m glad I didn’t see this one in the theaters. It wasn’t a bad film, but it was deeply underwhelming. It seemed like one of those prequels made solely to throw out Easter eggs for the fan base. My list of thoughts are below.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

  1. Ok, the backstory was decent. An orphan turned smuggler – I buy that. Not as grandiose a background as I might’ve hoped for, but I’ll take it.
  2. So, his name is “Solo” because an Imperial Officer that he was being clever? Come on… That’s on the level of “it takes Juan to know Juan.”
  3. Given how arrogant Han initially was about his relationship with Leia and how he was portrayed about only caring about himself, I found it difficult to believe that he cared so deeply for someone before that, i.e. Qi’ra. But again, I can go with it.
  4. Thandie Newton killed that ish. Girl went out like a soldier.
  5. Han disobeys orders which leads the crew to losing the shipment of coaxium in their fight against Enfys Nest. Beckett’s wife Val has literally just died for the cause. If you were Beckett, wouldn’t you have killed Han instead of apologizing for punching him in the face? Yeah, me too.
  6. Wait, wait, wait!! Qi’ra is just conveniently with Dryden Vos who Beckett is working for???? Shenanigans. (Nice cameo by Paul Bettany, by the way. In fact, the whole cast was quite superb despite the garbage pile of a script.)
  7. Ill-placed, somewhat cute emphasis on what a “good guy” Solo is. He isn’t, though. He’s not a bad guy, but he isn’t good. Again, given what we’ve seen him, I don’t believe that he would be so willing to help Enfys Nest’s cause except as anything, but an afterthought.
  8. Don’t trust anyone. True.
  9. Lando wears capes. Also, he apparently used to wear his hair natural? I wonder at what point int he Rebellion he decided he needed to change it up? (Kind of like Black Widow being blonde in Infinity War – did that piss anyone else off?)
  10. I wonder if, when the original story was written in the 70s, anyone really thought about what the Kessel Run was supposed to be…
  11. I think I would’ve shown significantly more devastation if the love I’d been chasing after for three years abandoned me for the Sith for her own survival. I mean, how can you misjudge someone so egregiously? Also, where was she in The Phantom Menace?
  12. Anyone else feel like Han and Lando ended this movie with no foundation of a relationship whatsoever? Maybe a casual, cordial tolerance at best. Not enough for Lando to later welcome Han to Cloud City. Of course, he betrayed him, but than he helped save him afterwards and I’m just not buying that Lando would even remotely care for anyone’s cause but his own. Lando literally said, “I hate you” and bounced. Speaking of Lando, was he in love with L3 or what was the deal there?
  13. I did like that they threw in a throwback to Lando (or rather Billy Dee Williams) mispronouncing Han. That always bothered me in the original films.
  14. Anyone else notice Ron Howard’s little brother? Again? (Dude’s in everything.)
  15. Han shot first. You saw it. I saw it. That was a nice throw-in for the fans of the original cut in A New Hope that shows Han shooting Greedo first. See… he’s not a good guy. He’s a survivor, too…

All in all, I didn’t feel like this movie really set one up for A New Hope even though the events are supposed to be about ten years prior. The pieces were there. Obviously, Han and Chewy were leaving to find Jabba on Tatooine. But, after doing a little for the cause, why go to the smuggler life? To prove he’s not a good guy? He didn’t convince me either way. And Disney is not convincing me that they can handle any of this.

Overall rating: Meh.


I can do a review for Us (which I saw Sunday), Avengers: Endgame (which I will see Thursday night), or The Last Jedi (because it relates to this and I have a full-blown rant). What do you like?

Books, Mental Health, Movies, Music, Poetry, Random, Uncategorized

Taking Requests

In an effort to improve my writing and get outside of my comfort zone and explore, I thought it would be fun to take requests from the audience. I’ll try my best to write on your selected topics or put words to pieces of art, in addition to the sporadically scheduled program. So let me know if:

1. You have a movie you want me to watch and review, e.g, see Movie Depth: Moonrise Kingdom (2012).

2. You have a book you want me to read and review. (I haven’t done one yet.)

3. You have a topic you want me to pen a poem or random thoughts about, e.g, Trust and Toxicity.

4. You have a piece of art that you want me to write a poem for (ekphrastic poetry), e.g. see Time/Awake, Part 6/Collaboration, Part 2

5. You have a song you want me to listen to and dissect, e.g. Song Depth: Heroin

6. You want any feedback on anything related to my personal mental health journey, e.g. D-Day.

Should be fun!

Movies

Movie Depth: Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

First movie review for a “now playing” film! I’ll try to refrain from any spoilers.

Ok, so I don’t know why, but I really wanted to see this movie for some reason. Maybe it’s because the trailer featured the awesome Imagine Dragons track, Friction. Maybe it’s because Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett make appearances. Maybe it’s because it was nice to see Henry Cavill not be Superman because DC is disappointing all of us. In any case, it was on my to-do list and the film I chose to reinvigorate my movie going.

Here’s my take on the previous M:I movies.

  1. Decent spy film, reasonable stunts, great cast, memorable score/theme, that “I didn’t see that coming” moment. Probably could’ve stopped here. (Remember Emilio Estevez?)
  2.  Aside from a beautiful Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerard collaboration (such as those in Gladiator), we should all try to forget this one happened. It was a self-indulgent conglomeration of stunts and strange facial expressions made at the wrong time.
  3. Redeeming and set the precedent for a few more recurring characters, making it seem like more of a franchise. But after this lengthy film, why couldn’t anyone tell us what the hell the Rabbit’s Foot was?
  4. Ghost Protocol: Ehh…
  5. Rogue Nation: Seemed like someone put some thought into this one. I actually enjoyed it.
  6. Fallout: See below:

Overall, not a bad film, but maintain standard expectations. First of all, I was happy that there was no shirtless Tom Cruise scene, though we couldn’t get away from a gratuitous motorcycle chase and a long-distance run through yet another foreign city. I was happy to see that the plot of this film built on that of Rogue Nation. Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris reprised their roles as MI-6 agent Isla Faust and Syndicate Leader Solomon Lane, respectively. Fallout took on kind of a Watchmen sort of theme. The sentiment throughout the film to justify the actions of the villains, if you will, is that there must be suffering before there can be peace. Read: People die. Survivors come together. Everybody kind of happy. So, halfway through, I’m waiting for The Comedian to fall out of a window or Dr. Manhattan’s cold, unfeeling, narcissism to make its way onscreen. Oh wait, wrong movie. Suffice it to say, this notion has been done before and done again, but this took a somewhat modernized take on its execution. I would say it was successfully done. Other than that, it was pretty much your standard Mission:Impossible film. Or Tom Cruise film. The two have become somewhat synonymous.

Also, Henry Cavill, despite the mustache and the fact that he was kind of an a**hole throughout the film, looked beautifully, muscularly spectacular. But, I’m a sucker for a blue-eyed boy.

If you’ve seen it or plan to go see it, let me know what you think!

Love, Mental Health, Movies, Relationships

Movie Depth: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

This will be the first movie review that I blog. So far, the blog has focused mostly on mental health, but my intent is for it to be a little of everything going forward. My movie reviews will not be traditional ones, in the sense that I am not going to do a rundown of the plot and how well the aspects of the film did or did not fit together cohesively. I simply just want to share my thoughts and feelings from the film. Here goes…

*****

I watched Moonrise Kingdom for the first time a couple years ago. I remember being excited at the prospect of it when it first came out. With Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, and appearances by Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, it boasts one hell of a cast. Alas, I procrastinated.

When I finally did see it, I was so overwhelmed by its simplistic beauty that I could not fully process it. I just knew that I needed to watch it again.

I finally watched it again last night. I still find the film absolutely beautiful to the point that I teared up slightly when it was over. Plus, the combination of classical music, country songs by Hank Williams, and original score by Alexandre Desplat (he did Harry Potter!) made for an amazing soundtrack that rustles the soul.

Moonrise Kingdom is a coming-of-age romantic comedy/drama that follows Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop, twelve-year old children living on the 16-mile long island of New Penzance in 1965. Sam and Suzy are both friendless and outcast among family, but immediately connect when they meet each other at a play. They become pen pals, writing letters that span a year. They decide to run away together for ten days, to discover the island and each other. In that span of time, they’re deep friendship blossoms into love and they desire to be together forever. There are several other aspects surrounding their lives and family that are important to the film, but I choose to focus on Sam and Suzy’s deep-seated love for each other.

Do you remember or have you ever known a time when love was that easy? Sam and Suzy met, stayed in touch via written communication (a lost art), and finally and simply decide to be together. At one point in the movie, they decide to get married. They are urged and begged by another one of the khaki scouts to take time to think about whether they should get married, as it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Sam and Suzy take less than five minutes to decide, with no regrets.

Now, obviously, we cannot let 12-years old get married because they truly don’t understand the gravity it or have the means to care for each other without help. But, it’s interesting to think on how much more complicated we make these decisions as adults… Is it the right time to date? Am I really in love? I’ve only known this person for aa few days, but I’m already wondering if I can be with them for the rest of my life and scaring myself away. Should I even be thinking about that so soon? Should I wait years to admit my feelings? Who should say I love you first? Does everything change after marriage? Should I even bother with getting married? Who needs a piece of paper? Blah blah… blah blah blah. Before we know it, we’ve ruined a perfectly good thing before we even get the chance to have it.

If this movie taught me anything, it’s to seize the moment. Sam and Suzy may not end up together forever. They might grow up and grow apart. But, in that moment on Moonrise Kingdom, they were happy together and love with each other. They cared for each other, wanted to do anything to be together, and were ready to die for each other. They lived the moment, without dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. The anxious adult that I have become is jealous of this and wonders if I’ve ever had a moment that I could describe as encompassing such simplicity and clarity.

On a more personal note, Sam and Suzy are both described as being “emotionally disturbed” children. Their parents did not know how to deal with them. Other children chose (yes, chose) not to like them because they did not understand them. In my battles with depression and anxiety, I’ve looked back and realized that this was often the case in my own life. I chose to retreat with myself more often than not. I know I gave my parents a hell of time and probably, still do. We all have problems, some of us more than others. But, that doesn’t mean, as dismal as the prospect sometimes seems, that there isn’t someone out there for us. We all deserve to be happy. Sam and Suzy eventually gain the respect and favor of other khaki troop members, who ultimately help them stay together out of remorse for their previous behavior. Their parents might never approve of their relationship but THEY do, and they are beautifully ecstatic in it.

Simplify your mind. You might find love where you weren’t looking for it or where it’s always been.