Breaking News: The Title of Star Wars Episode VIII Is Finally Here

Yes! It’s finally official. The next Star Wars will be called The Last Jedi. I am so excited!!! The most exciting thing is the titles usually tell us exactly what the story is about. The Force Awakens was all about the force awakening in Rey. The force also truly awoke in Kylo Ren because now he’ll be getting completed in this next installment. So what is the title of this new Star Wars telling us? Is it simply telling us that this movie will be centered around Luke Skywalker or is it holding some deep secret that is yet to be seen? The reason why I’m saying this is because the Star Wars words are red instead of the usual friendly yellow. That means the tone of this next film is already different than The Force Awakens.

Now that the title is out that means the teaser is right around the corner and I can’t wait.

 

The Football Games Today

Last week had some fantastic games. The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the last nail biting, thirty-five seconds of the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers just managed to escape going to overtime. Now today presents the last two playoff games before the Super Bowl and I am so excited.

The AFC Championship

As always the New England Patriots will be hosting the AFC championship. They will face the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight. The Patriots had a ridiculously easy schedule for the regular season. Their first playoff game was against the Texans who aren’t that great. Now they will finally face a very good team and I can’t wait.

I believe it’s going to be a close game. Both of these teams have good defenses, great quarterbacks, awesome receivers, but the Steelers have something the Patriots don’t have…a very good running back. Levion Bell is an astounding running back who I know will get over a hundred yards in this game. The Patriots are good, which is to be expected, but I don’t think they’ll be able to beat the Steelers. I predict the score will be 27-24 with Pittsburgh winning.

The NFC Championship

Of course this is the game I’m looking the most forward to. The Green Bay Packers will have to go against the Atlanta Falcons. I’m rooting for the Packers because after that awesome game last week it would be terrible if they had to go home. It would also be more exciting if the match-up in the Super Bowl was the Packers going against either the Steelers or the Patriots. I believe this game is going to come down to the wire. The Falcons’ offense is amazing and after last week’s performance they have become a real threat to win the entire Super Bowl. I think the neutralizer for the Falcons will be Aaron Rodgers. If he can evade their defense and put points on the board they have a serious chance of winning. I have no doubt this will be a shootout. The winner of this game will really come down to which team has the least amount of mistakes. I’m predicting the score will be 35-34 with the Packers winning.

My Ranking of the Marvel Movies from Worst to Best

For the last nine years Marvel has been cranking out tons of wonderful movies. Fourteen to be exact. Of course some of the films are better than others. So on that note let me start the ranking.

14. Incredible Hulk (2008)

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I love the Hulk. He’s one of the strongest and most entertaining superheroes in Marvel. His movie however was not so great. There were a lot of corny moments and it wasn’t a well written movie. On top of that the man they chose to be Bruce Banner before Mark Ruffalo didn’t even look like he would turn into the Hulk. The villain was the best part of the movie because at least he was threatening. The fight between The Hulk and the villain at the end is, to a certain degree, entertaining but overall the movie is a C-.

13. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

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I have not actually watched the second Thor movie but I know for a fact it’s better than The Incredible Hulk. The reason why I place it at #13 is because I haven’t watched this movie because I have no desire to. Thor is not high on the list of awesome Marvel characters adding to the reason I gladly skipped this installment.

12. Thor (2011)

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The first part of this movie was very good. I loved seeing Thor’s homeland, Asgard, and the other cool worlds. The story was interesting and had me engaged. And then he fell down to Earth. After that the movie went on a downhill spiral. Natalie Portman’s character, Jane Foster, was annoying. The story was boring. When he eventually found his hammer and couldn’t pick it up I was so done. It was a decent part when that robot thing sent by Loki (who was the most interesting person in the movie) came to the town where Thor was until Thor “died”. Natalie Portman did the worst cry I have ever seen. It didn’t even seem like she was that sad. And then, to top off the corniness, when that hammer came rushing to Thor and he miraculously came back to life the movie dropped even further. Overall the only reason why this movie is #12 and not #13 is because I didn’t watch the sequel. I give it a C.

11. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

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I love Captain America. He’s easily in my top five of coolest Marvel superheroes. His first film however fell a little short. I just recently watched this movie and I was excited. I had seen The Winter Soldier and Civil War multiple times but I didn’t know his backstory except for fleeting glimpses in the other movies. The first half of the movie was good. I loved his transformation. I loved seeing how he became known as Captain America. Peggy was a great character in the movie. Unfortunately after he saved all those people the movie seemed to get real rushed. There was too much slow motion during the action scenes and the story was going at a hundred miles an hour. Within no time it was over. The best part of the film was when he ran out of that building at the end and was in the middle of Times Square. That was pretty awesome. I wished they had utilized Bucky a lot more because the brief look into their friendship was one of the highlights of the film to me. I give this movie a B-.

10. Iron Man (2008)

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This was another movie I’ve watched recently for the same reason I watched the first Captain America. I knew Iron Man but I didn’t know his backstory. The movie was fairly decent. I loved the very first Iron Man contraption he made. That was cool. The villain was great. He was actually kind of scary. I liked the part when he nearly caught Pepper. That was a nail biting moment. I liked seeing the beginning of Tony’s relationship with Pepper because now when I watch Civil War I truly understand why he’s sad that they broke up. And I’m so glad Don Cheadle is now Col. James Rhodes. He’s a much better War Machine. I give this film a B.

9. Iron Man 3 (2013)

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I liked Iron Man 3. It was pretty good. It was funny because Tony Stark is funny. I loved the surprise of finding out that The Mandarin was really the blond haired man. That was a good twist. Especially when he shot Tony’s old girlfriend. That was shocking as well as him turning Pepper into one of those fire people. The one major flaw the movie had was having the little boy in the movie. He was okay but it did downgrade the story a little bit. There’s nothing really bad to say about this movie however. It was enjoyable and I can watch it more than once. I’d say this movie just managed to just get out of B territory to reach a B+.

8. Iron Man 2 (2010)

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As you can see this is my favorite Iron Man film. I really liked this movie. The story was good, the villain was okay but not very memorable, but most importantly this was the movie that introduced Black Widow, one of my favorite superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I give it an A-.

7. Ant-Man (2015)

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This is where things start getting complicated because I really like these last seven movies. I put Ant-Man at #7 because the competition it’s going against is pretty stiff. I did really like Ant Man though. The story of how he becomes Ant-Man is decent. I mean it’s nothing new or original but it is well written. I love the part where he fights Falcon. That is definitely one of the highlights of the movie to me. And Scott Lang is hilarious! I love his take on being a superhero because he’s just a regular guy who just so happened to be chosen to be Ant-Man. He’s not very heroic like Captain America but he is in his own way. Evangeline Lily does a great job as Hope in the movie. I can’t wait to see her in action as The Wasp in the next Ant-Man film. The best part of this movie is the way they lead up to his involvement in Civil War. It’s perfectly done and had me so excited for Civil War. The credit scenes were definitely some of the best out of all the Marvel movies as well. This is however a very predictable origin story that doesn’t have any sort of plot twists so I give this movie an A-.

6. The Avengers (2012)

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The Avengers was a ground breaker in terms of superhero movies. It brought together six heroes to protect the world in an epic showdown against Loki and a seemingly unstoppable alien army. This was a great movie but the reason why I have it so low is because it took about an hour and a half for anything to really happen. The rest of the movie is filled with getting the team together and getting the heroes to respect each other (mainly Captain America and Iron Man) in between bouts of awesome action scenes. There’s not really a story, there aren’t any shocking moments (well except for when Agent Coulson died but he really didn’t die so whatever,) and Captain America was horrible. First of all the writers hadn’t figured out how to fit him in with the other Avengers just yet so he came off as too stern and kind of annoying. But worst of all is that super blue tight suit that they gave him. It is putrid. Thankfully they fixed that problem in the later films. Now I’m not saying this movie is bad, it’s very good, but there are a few problems with it. I give it an A- as well.

5. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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The first Avengers, story wise and villain wise, is better. The situation seemed to be more dire. Maybe that’s because, I don’t know, they were facing an alien army led by Loki instead of a talking robot Tony Stark accidentally created. There was also a lot of joking in the second Avengers. In fact I counted to see how many jokes were in Age of Ultron and there were 84. And I’m sure I missed some. That’s a lot of jokes in a movie that’s not supposed to be a comedy. Even after all that I happen to like this Avengers better than the first one for two reasons. They introduced The Vision and Scarlet Witch to the Marvel Cinematic Universe/MCU. I remember watching this movie for the first time and thinking who’s this red guy. Then when he picked up Thor’s hammer I was stunned. That was too awesome. And Scarlet Witch is simply cool. I can’t to wait to see her again in Avengers: Infinity War. So for that reason I put this movie at #5. I also give this movie an A-.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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This movie was a success. When I saw the first teaser I was already very intrigued. It looked like it was going to be a good movie but trailers can sometimes be misleading. After watching it I loved it. It was very funny and light compared to the other Marvel movies, I loved the new characters and everything was done perfectly. There is nothing I can say is wrong with this movie. The only reason why it’s #4 is because the story is very simple and there aren’t any huge surprises. I am very excited to see the next Guardians of the Galaxy this year to see what they’ll be up to next. I give this movie an A+.

3. Doctor Strange (2016)

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Oh my goodness I absolutely loved this latest addition to the MCU. From the beginning to the end I was riveted. I didn’t know how they could transform Benedict Cumberbatch, a Shakespearean actor, into a Marvel superhero but they did it and he did a marvelous job. His character, Doctor Strange, was surprisingly one of the funniest characters to me out of all the movies. His cape is such an awesome sidekick that I would have to place him in the legendary list alongside characters like Chewbacca. Why this movie was really special is because not only was he great but the characters around him were just as memorable. The Ancient One was perfect and possessed a kind, all-knowing personality that matched her name, Mordo was great and now that he’s kind of turned into a villain it makes his story that much more interesting, and Christine Palmer was a nice addition to the movie because she was the one person who was normal. I loved that they kept her role limited because it made sense. The villain, Kaecilius, was also fantastic. In a long list of forgettable villans he stood out. First of all he is only the second villain in the MCU to actually have a valid reason for what he was doing next to Zemo and secondly he managed to kill The Ancient One which was sad.

To top it all off instead of using brute force to win at the end like all of the other heroes Strange used his wit to save the day. It was a brilliant move that helped this movie stand out. The only reason why this isn’t my favorite Marvel movie so far is because it did have one flaw. When it came to the hospital scenes while he was dressed in the garb of the sorcerers why wasn’t there one person who looked at him with a cocked eyebrow? Everyone in the hospital was acting as if they always see people who look like him walking around. That minor but major flaw prevents me from putting it on top of the leaderboard. I’ll give this movie an A- because as great as it is it’s still an origin story that’s been done a thousand times. I still am very excited to own it on Blu-Ray and I can’t wait to see Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok.

2. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Yes this is the best movie in the MCU to date. This was The Avengers on steroids. I mean when do you get to see twelve superheroes fighting against each other? Um…never. And the Russo brothers did such a great job directing it that it never felt like there was too much stuff going on at once. The story was fantastic, the plot twists were exceptional, the new characters were amazing, and for the first time in a Marvel movie the villain, Zemo, won…to a certain degree. They didn’t kill each other like he wanted them to but he did manage to fracture the Avengers deeply. There are, unfortunately, two problems with this movie. First of all the music for this movie is horrible. Now I don’t say that in terms of it sounding bad. It’s just the fact that there really isn’t any. When there’s an action scene there’s classic action music. When there’s a sad scene there’s a piano. It’s just so boring and basic that I still can’t quite get over it. I love music in movies so to me that’s a big loss. And then secondly the relationship between Captain America and Agent 13. I get it, this is a romance that’s been slightly blooming since The Winter Soldier but it felt very rushed to me in Civil War. It’s like the writers wanted him to have a romance so badly they forced it into the movie without really thinking about it. Did Agent 13 have to be in the movie? No. Was the movie better with her in it? No. So yes, I love Civil War. It’s a fantastic blockbuster that had me surprised at every turn but it had a few flaws. I still give the movie an A though.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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This is my favorite Marvel movie because it’s basically perfect. I love the simplicity of this film. Captain America is strong but he doesn’t have any super awesome abilities like summoning lightning or being able to read someone’s mind. Black Widow is just an assassin. There’s nothing overly special about her. Falcon can fly but that’s with the use of his exoskeleton. And even then it’s not like he can shoot lasers or missiles like Iron Man. His abilities are very basic. The Winter Soldier’s abilities match Captain America’s which ends up in some pretty even matches between them. The main villain of the film, Secretary Pierce, is the best villain out of all the Marvel movies. I remember being so surprised when I found out he was the bad guy. They give this film a certain grit that I love compared to other movies. There is nothing flashy about either of them. There are a few shocking moments, the music is the best of any of the Marvel films, and I love this movie from the beginning to the end. I give it an A+.

So this is my ranking of the Marvel movies from worst to best. I can’t wait to see the next few Marvel films to see where they’ll end up on the list.

 

 

 

Rogue One vs. The Force Awakens: Which One Wins?

It’s been a month since Rogue One has graced the big screen and wowed audiences around the world. In that time I have watched this new Star Wars film three times. I believe because it has been out so long this is the perfect chance to really see how it stacks up against The Force Awakens. Of course there will be spoilers so if you’re someone who still hasn’t seen Rogue One yet please do not read any further.

The Main Characters:

Rey

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In the last two Star Wars movies there have been two female leads. In The Force Awakens there was Rey. In the movie we first find her as a scavenger living off of scraps. She’s been abandoned on Jakku but she never gives up hope that her family will come back for her. She quickly displays her toughness when she takes down Unkar Plott’s thugs within seconds. Then she grows in awesomeness when she flies the Millenium Falcon better than Han Solo himself which is saying something. She’s a mechanic. And most of important of all, she has the force! I remember watching The Force Awakens for the first time and being mind blown when I found out that she was basically the next Luke of the Star Wars franchise. I also love that she never depended on getting rescued but got herself out of sticky situations. And she’ll only become cooler considering that in the next movie we’ll finally find out who her parents are.

Jyn

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In Rogue One there was Jyn. From the commercials and trailers, I thought she was going to be another awesome heroine. And she had the potential to be just as cool as Rey. She came off as tough when she took out those rebels in the very beginning on Wobani. She could take care of herself very well during the dispute on Jedha. After that, however, she never got to really show off her skills again. Cassian was always saving her, her story arc wasn’t that special, and yes, she became the leader of the small rebel group to retrieve the Death Star plans but not really. Cassian was the brains behind the whole operation.

I mean why couldn’t she have helped fight those Death Troopers and Krennic when they were climbing the data tower? If she had Cassian probably wouldn’t have gotten shot. And why couldn’t she and Krennic have gone head to head at the end? I would’ve loved seeing her, after a fierce fight, push Krennic off of the top of the tower and watch him fall as if to say, “That’s for my parents.” That, of course, didn’t happen and she instead got saved by Cassian again! Yes, she transmitted the plans but besides that, the only reason why she was important is that she was Galen Erso’s daughter. Rey is clearly the better heroine of the two movies.

Finn

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Now alongside Rey is Finn. Finn is a great character. He is the first stormtrooper in a Star Wars film to have turned good. That makes him such a different character than anyone in the Star Wars movies. He’s immediately lovable and is hilarious. I loved his growth in the movie. He went from being a man fleeing from the terrible evil of the First Order to co-leading a mission alongside Poe to destroy Starkiller Base. And he fearlessly fought Kylo Ren at the end and did a pretty good job against him. I can’t wait to see what he’ll be up to in the next Star Wars.

Cassian

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Then in Rogue One, there was Cassian. He’s my favorite new addition to the Star Wars universe. To me, his story arc in this new Star Wars film was way more heroic than Jyn’s was supposed to be. I mean when you first meet him he was a cold blooded rebel intelligence officer who was willing to do anything without question for the rebellion. Halfway through the movie, he has the chance to kill Jyn’s father, Galen Erso, but his conscience finally prevails. It’s a crucial moment that eventually influences him to get that ragtag band of rebels together to aid Jyn on her mission to steal the Death Star plans.

Besides Chirrut his backstory is very interesting to me. I hope that sometime in the future he’ll appear in another movie so we’ll get to know a little more about the rebel captain. Yes I love Finn, he’s a great character, but Cassian is just better. He’s more interesting and I really, really wished he hadn’t died so we can see more movies with him.

This category has both movies tied when it comes to the main characters. Rogue One: 1 pt. The Force Awakens: 1 pt.

 The Co-Stars:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe) Behind the Scenes on set during production. Ph: Footage Frame ©Lucasfilm LFL 2016.

This category is pretty straightforward. In The Force Awakens there was Han, Chewbacca, and Poe barely. Han and Chewie were already well known from the original trilogy so they weren’t anything new in Star Wars. Poe wasn’t supposed to live when they first started making the movie so of course his story wasn’t thoroughly developed. In Rogue One there was K-2SO, Chirrut, Bodhi, and Baze. The co-stars in Rogue One were so much more dynamic and thoughtfully written. None of their stories were rushed and they all brought a different skill to the team.

Rogue One clearly wins this category. Rogue One: 2 pts. The Force Awakens: 1 pt.

The Droids:

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Droids are a large part of Star Wars. Ever since The Phantom Menace which was the first Star Wars movie I saw I have loved C-3PO and R2-D2. Even though they’re robots they are just as important as Luke or Darth Vader. The last two Star Wars have introduced a couple of amazing new droids.

In The Force Awakens there was BB-8. I remember when I first saw BB-8 I was disappointed because I thought that he was just another R2 except he had a soccer ball body. BB-8 ended up being such a cute, wonderful droid that he is definitely one of the highlights of the film.

Now Rogue One had K-2SO. A droid like BB-8 or C-3PO would’ve been out of place. His cold personality and bluntness made him the perfect droid to be part of the group. He was also the only character in the movie that made me laugh which was needed to cut through the intense scenes.

For me BB-8 is a better droid because at the end of the day BB-8 is a tangible droid. K-2SO is not. The Force Awakens wins this category. Rogue One: 2 pts. The Force Awakens: 2 pts.

The Villains:

Star Wars is known for their iconic villians, presumably Darth Vader. The last two Star Wars films have presented a few new villains to the Star Wars Universe. This category has another clear winner.

Kylo Ren

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Kylo Ren, besides Darth Vader, is my favorite villain in Star Wars. First of all his outfit is so cool. I love his short ragged, one shoulder cape, his silver lined mask, and his very awesome lightsaber. He also had one of the most surprising moments of The Force Awakens when he took his helmet off and instead of looking like some sort of evil, twisted being like Palpatine he actually looked human. Secondly his story is so interesting because unlike other villains in Star Wars he’s still developing. He killed Han Solo (which is still heartbreaking to this day) and, according to Supreme Leader Snoke, in the next movie he will be completing his training. That means he’ll only get scarier and more evil. I am very excited for this next Star Wars film.

General Hux

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Hux is cool because even as powerful as Kylo Ren is he’s the general of the First Order. It’s terrible because he was the one to come up with the idea to destroy the New Republic. One of my favorite planets in Star Wars is Coruscant so the part where Starkiller Base blows it up is very sad. I’m afraid to see what terrible new ideas he’ll concoct in the next movie.

Captain Phasma

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Captain Phasma is so awesome! First of all she’s the first and only female villain to be in a Star Wars movie. And she is so cool. I love her cape that only goes over one shoulder and her chromium armor is just beautiful. Unfortunately she didn’t have much of a role in The Force Awakens but thankfully she did live so I can’t wait to see her again.

Director Orson Krennic

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) Ph: Jonathan Olley �Lucasfilm LFL 2016.

In Rogue One there was Director Krennic. He was okay. He’s not very diabolical. He is ruthless but I wouldn’t call him truly evil. He’s just a tool of the Empire and Tarkin, who to me was the real villain of the movie, showed him that by taking command of the nearly completed Death Star. He’s not very memorable in the list of villains in Star Wars. The only thing that makes him cool is his squad of Death Troopers which were undoubtedly scarier than him and his beautiful white cape. If he didn’t have those two things he just might be the worst villain in Star Wars.

The Force Awakens definitely wins this category. Rogue One: 3 pts. The Force Awakens: 3 pts

The Story:

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This category has another clear winner. The Force Awakens has a good story. It introduced us to great new characters and situations but this movie was basically a prologue. On top of that it relied heavily on plot points of A New Hope. Rogue One was original, did a superb job of tying the movie to A New Hope, and it was a complete story.

Rogue One clearly gets the point. Rogue One: 4 pts. The Force Awakens: 3 pts.

The Music:

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Music is a central piece of Star Wars. Without that beautiful score John Williams created for A New Hope back in 1977 Star Wars might not have become as legendary as it is now. Michael Giacchino did a great job picking up the essence of John Williams’ score while giving Rogue One a different feeling than other Star Wars movies. I still love The Force Awaken’s music more because as good a job Giacchino did John Williams is still the master.

The Force Awakens ties again. Rogue One: 4 pts. The Force Awakens: 4 pts.

The Cinematography:

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This is the final category so after this there will be a winner. I loved The Force Awaken’s cinematography but it was rather basic and straightforward. The best shot in the entire movie to me was when Rey, Finn, and BB-8 are running across the sand on Jakku with those awesome explosions happening in the background and the tie fighter chasing after them. That was a special moment that stuck in my head since the first official trailer. Unfortunately, that was the only mind blowing shot in the whole movie. Rogue One had multiple mind blowing shots that wowed me. Here are just three amazing shots that had me stunned in the movies.

There was the Death Star eclipsing the sun while blowing the city on Jedha into oblivion. That was a terrifying moment. The giant AT-ACT appearing out of the smoke was amazing because it showed how terrifying the Empire is in the rebel’s eyes. And then finally, when the Death Star appears at the end of the movie like a horrible planet. That was another beautiful shot that stuck with me since the trailer.

Rogue One clearly wins this category. Gareth Edwards did such a great job directing Rogue One I really hope he makes another Star Wars movie. Rogue One: 5 pts. The Force Awakens: 4 pts.

So the winner is…Rogue One!

The Force Awakens put up a good fight but Rogue One just managed to edge it out. I hope the next Star Wars is better than both of these films combined.

The Eagle Huntress and Why You Should Watch It

Why I Loved this Beautiful Documentary

This documentary, narrated by Daisy Ridley, follows the wonderful story of a teenage girl named Ahshopan who becomes the first eagle huntress in Mongolia.

We are introduced to her at a boarding school located in a small town miles from her home. It’s the last day of school for that week and she is taken home by her father on their cute moped. Her family are nomads that live in a simple circular hut in the midst of a vast barren plain edged with beautiful rocky mountains. Her family consists of a younger sister, younger brother, her mother, and her father.

Her father is one of the few remaining eagle hunters in Mongolia. For centuries Mongolian men found eagles and used them to hunt for food to support their families. Since she was a little girl she loved watching her father put on the eagle hunters’ garb and go out hunting. As she grew older her father allowed her to play with his eagle as he saw her interest in being a hunter.

She eventually gets a baby eaglet of her own and then her journey as a eagle huntress begins. This is a beautiful story that shows both her and her eagle’s growth as a team. She faces a little bit of adversity from the male elders who believe that women shouldn’t be eagle hunters but through sheer love of the role she doesn’t let anything sway her from what she wants to do. It was nice to see her father teach her in the ways of an eagle hunter.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when her father teaches her how to let an eagle land on her arm. That scene was powerful because most people (including me) would be mortally afraid to have a large bird like that fly full speed onto your arm. This fearless girl, however, was smiling the entire time and perfectly caught the eagle on her arm as if she had been doing it all her life.

The cinematography was gorgeous. The people who made this documentary filmed it on a low budget but they did such a fantastic job with their drones and cameras you would never know. They perfectly illustrated how expansive and untouched the land was. There’s one part where they’re filming in an area where there is nothing but fields of pristine snow and ice as far as the eye can see. The quiet peacefulness of that area could be felt through the screen.

The videographers perfectly followed the eagles as they flew at all sorts of different speeds. I loved watching the eagles flying over the ground so you could really see how fast they are going. At times they also put cameras on the eagle so you can see the world from the bird’s eyes. It was a very beautiful movie to watch.

I loved this documentary because there are many cultures throughout the world where men are dominant and they don’t let women or girls achieve their dreams. Ahshopan however stepped outside of the box of what Mongolian women are expected to do and did something extraordinary. It’s also beautiful because her father encouraged her to pursue being an eagle huntress rather than stop her. This shows that the world is slowly becoming more inclusive for everyone. I definitely think this is the perfect film to show young girls because it’s empowering. A girl might watch this documentary and want to do something that she thought she could never do until she saw the fearlessness of Ahshopan.

I give it a 93 out of 100 because it does end abruptly. I came away from the movie wanting to know a little more about Ahshopan’s end story but the movie was perfect besides that. There wasn’t much music but they did integrate some here and there, the cinematography was beautiful, and I am so glad to have witnessed another piece of history being written.

If you can’t see this documentary at any nearby indie movie theaters then I urge you to watch it when it’s available on the internet. You will not be disappointed. At the end of the movie you will have laughed, cried, cheered, and enjoyed the simple beauty of Ahshopan’s wonderful journey that, thanks to cameras, has been told.

 

The Music, Miscues and Visuals of Rogue One

Spoiler Alert

I will talk about a few things in the movie so if you haven’t seen it yet and you don’t want to know any details do not continue to read this.

The Music of Rogue One

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One of the best components of any film is the score. If the score is horrible the movie is horrible. Music makes you feel a certain way about certain things in movies. When I found out John Williams wasn’t doing the score for this movie I was definitely worried. Would the movie sound like Star Wars? And if it did would it even sound good? I happened to be very impressed with the fantastic score Michael Giacchino created.

First of all having someone other than John Williams make the score allowed the movie to feel fresh and new. There were many times in the movie when I found myself saying, “This score is awesome.” Particularly my favorite part was the music for Jedha. I loved how he made the music seem warlike while resembling the sound of Saw Gerrera’s suit. The Imperial theme was fantastic too. It felt like something definitely out of Star Wars but nothing like John Williams would ever make. The theme for Chirrut had an ancient tone that perfectly matched him since he’s supposed to be one of the last Guardians of the Whills. The music for Jyn and Cassian was beautiful and perfectly escalated in a saddening way when their doom became eminent. When the light rushes towards them as they’re embracing on the beach the score gets louder and louder until it stops as the light engulfs them. That was a powerful moment that Michael Giacchino precisely composed.

There were many other smaller pieces of wonderful music placed here and there that enhanced parts of scenes. One of these scenes was when Jyn and Cassian were climbing the data tower to get the plans. The music at that part is so, so good. It has a threatening tone because Director Krennic is walking to the data tower at the same time. This is one of those examples where the music made the scene just that much better.

Overall the score for Rogue One is amazing and definitely worthy of humming.

The Miscues of Rogue One

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As perfect as this movie was there were a few mistakes. First of all if this film is supposed to literally be right before A New Hope then where did all of this new technology come from? Where did all of the Death Troopers and Tie Strikers go? What about the Imperial Tank Soldiers? Are we really supposed to be believe that they all just somehow vanished? And the Imperial droids just like K-2SO? What happened to them? The First Order, which was thirty or so years after Return of the Jedi, didn’t even have that much new technology. Now don’t get me wrong. I love the new stormtroopers and ships. They’re very cool. I just wish they hadn’t introduced so many different Imperial things that we’ll never see in the original trilogy.

The use of the force was a little overkill. A lot of normal people were saying things about the force in this movie. Now nearly everyone who said something about the force had a legitimate reason for saying it. However when the rebel alliance were getting ready to go to Scarif and a random man on the intercom said, “May the force be with you” I was a little annoyed. The force in Star Wars is a pretty big deal. If you start just having anyone say “May the force be with you” it’ll take away the magic from that line and turn it into a kind of joke. Having that man on the intercom say that famous line was just about as bad as if K-2SO said “May the force be with you.”

Another miscue is Bodhi’s death. The way they ended his life was a little lackluster compared to everyone else. Every other main character, including Galen Erso who’s in the movie for a max of maybe four minutes, had a death worth remembering. Bodhi however finishes sending a crucial message to the rebel alliance, a stormtrooper spots him in the ship, throws a grenade, he sees the bomb in front of him, and then boom! It’s a strong contrast compared to Chirrut’s memorable demise before him.

And last but not least we come to Jyn. We are introduced to her locked away in what seems like an Imperial establishment. We then see her a few scenes later being taken to an Imperial labor camp. My question is how did she get there? What was she doing in her life at that time to get captured by the Empire? I was left to use my imagination of why she might be there because the movie never gave me an answer. If Rogue One had been that fragmented it would’ve been an entirely different movie.

The Visuals of Rogue One

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Since the trailers I have known this was going to be a visually stunning movie. And after watching it I was happy to see that it was. The very first thing you see is a ship flying across a ring of a planet. This reminded me of something you would see out of Interstellar. The rest of this movie was full of beautiful cinematography and visually appealing shots. I loved Gareth Edward’s vast vision of this Star Wars film. From the beautiful shots of the vast red plains of Jedha littered with giant rocks and half buried Jedi statues to Jyn atop the tall tower on Scarif with X-Wings and Tie Strikers fighting around the building. Those shots were so cool it stuck in my head, among many other things

One of my favorite parts is when Cassian and Jyn are going through the city on Jedha and the camera sweeps upward to show the massive underbelly of the Star Destroyer parked above the city. That is an amazing shot that really displayed the menace of the Empire at that time in the galaxy.

This is also the first Star Wars movie that really made the Death Star scary. Gareth Edwards did an incredible job showing how terrifying it would be if you saw the planet destroying space station in the sky. One of the many shots that accentuated the menace from the iconic weapon is when the Death Star eclipses the sun and blasts the sacred city on Jedha to oblivion. That was a frighteningly beautiful shot that truly enhanced the movie.

Overall Gareth Edward’s vision was stupendous and I hope he gets to make another Star Wars film.

 

The College Football Championship and the Playoffs Are Set

The College Football Championship

Saturday was a day full of underwhelming games. LSU vs. Louisville was a blowout. It was painful watching Lamar Jackson scrambling to and fro, getting sacked mercilessly and getting intercepted. LSU refused to let the Heisman trophy winner embarrass them on Saturday.

Washington’s defense did a fantastic job keeping their offense within range of beating Alabama but thanks to Jake Browning’s timidity and Alabama’s stellar defense they ended up winning a boring 24-7 game.

Clemson beat Ohio State in a 31-0 annihilation. It was a pitiful game that had me believing #5 Penn State should’ve been included in the playoffs instead of Ohio State who they beat earlier in the regular season.

Still the championship has been realized. #1 Alabama will be facing off against #2 Clemson once again. Maybe it’s foolish of me to root against Alabama again but Clemson’s performance Saturday night was very impressive. Alabama however struggled on offense and despite the 17 point difference at the end of the game didn’t really impress me. Clemson’s weakness is their turnovers which Alabama thrives on. They scored 10 of the 24 points off of turnovers versus Washington. If Clemson can keep interceptions and fumbles to a minimum then they really might have a shot at winning the Chamionship.

The Playoffs

Sunday’s games were, thankfully, a little more enjoyable than Saturday’s games. I watched the thrilling Panthers/Buccaneers game which ended in a bittersweet 17-16 finish. The New York Giants/Washington Redskins game was boring and ended with the Redskins not making it to the playoffs. The Sunday night game however was worthy of watching.

Aaron Rodgers proved again why he is always in the MVP conversation by leading them to the playoffs once again after having such a bad first half of the season. The Packers will play the Giants on Sunday at Lambeau Field and I am so excited. I am already predicting that they will win. I think that Eli Manning will make too many mistakes that will cost them the game. Now the Giant’s defense is very formidable but will they be able to stop Aaron Rodgers win he starts to scramble? I don’t think so. If Dallas has to face off against the Packers in the second I think they’re lucky streak might come to an end.

Now this Saturday the Lions will go against the Seahawks. I think they will win this game because Seattle has been looking horrible lately. Yes they have more playoff experience but I think Detroit just might have the edge on them.

In the AFC the Dolphins face the Steelers and the Raiders go against the Texans. These, to me, are both boring games. The Steelers are undoubtedly a better team than the Dolphins and therefore will win. The Raiders lost their starting quarterback and their backup quarterback so as unfortunate as it is they will likely lose to the Texans. It doesn’t matter who wins because I’m already predicting the Patriots will win the AFC. They’re ridiculously dominant and the next best team are the Chiefs. Yes the Chiefs are very good but the Patriots, in my opinion, are just better.

So I can’t wait to watch these games. A month from now the Super Bowl will be here and then football will be over until August again. For right now though I am hoping for a wonderful college football championship and some fantastic playoff games.

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