There are reasons I decided to do this challenge and it was to see epic films and there was an ultimate goal that I wanted to achieve besides hitting number 366. That goal was to be at this very point where I am reviewing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for today’s film. The film takes place some twenty somewhat odd years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III. The Imperial Empire has taken over the galaxy with Emperor Palpatine firm in control. The Rebel Alliance with their backs against the wall discover that an Imperial pilot has defected from the empire with information on a weapon that the empire is creating from the lead engineer himself in Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). After learning this herself, Galen’s daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) will risk it all along with a group of rebels to retrieve the info to help the Rebel Alliance. The film also stars Diego Luna (Milk) as Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) as K-2SO, Donnie Yen (IP Man) as Chirrut Îmwe, Wen Jiang (Chinese Zodiac) as Baze Malbus, Ben Mendelsohn (Australia) as Orson Krennic, Forest Whitaker (Arrival) as Saw Gerrera, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) as Bodhi Rook, Genevieve O’Reilly (Glitch) as Mon Mothma, James Earl Jones (Star Wars: A New Hope) as Darth Vader, and the film was directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla).
Spoiler Alert: There is going to be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away some details or all the details in the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First off, I am going to star this by saying that I really and truly enjoyed the film from beginning to end. I thought it was a great stand alone film that was made to explain some details leading up to episode IV that many of you may have wondered about. Now was it better than Star Wars: A Force Awakens? While it may be a valid question, I find it a little unfair because they are two different films. I loved a lot of the individual performances in this film from people like Donnie Yen who was funny and awesome all at once. Felicity Jones was terrific in the film as Jyn and while Diego Luna may not be Han Solo, he was still very cool as well. This film had Darth Vader and even though his appearance was brief, it gives this an edge over F.A. I have to admit that his entrance was pretty bad ass. This film may have had too many quick hard cuts during a lot of the scenes which would be my only criticism. The story was great and the acting was great and it injected humor right in the perfect spots. The battle scenes were pretty amazing as well and it reminded you why you loved Star Wars. I did think it was very awesome to see the late Peter Cushing in the film once again even though he is not listed because it was a CGI version of him. Wait till you get to the end for the surprise visit that comes then. I think there is very little to criticize about the film, but I’m sure others will find the flaws. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
2016 has truly been the year of the superhero and I am glad that I have been able to share this year with all of you on here. That is why I am happy to share the last superhero film of 2016 with all of you. Ever since the announcement of Doctor Strange to the big screen, I could wait to see it and now it’s today’s film. Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) could be considered one of the best surgeons in the world and he definitely knows it. One day while on his way to accept an award, he ends up getting in a car accident and he loses the ability to fully use his hands. After exhausting every option possible, he heads out to Kathmandu to learn to heal himself through magic thanks to the teachings of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Not to far into the future, his teachings are put to the test when an old protege Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) comes back to destroy the world we know to allow a more sinister being in. The film also stars Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) as Christine Palmer, Chiwetelu Ejiofor (American Gangster) as Mordo, Benedict Wong (Moon) as Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) as Dr. Nicodemus West, Benjamin Bratt (Traffic) as Jonathan Pangborn, and the film was directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister).
Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. I think that when Marvel/Disney tries something new that maybe not everyone in the world knows about, it becomes a hit. I definitely feel that it’s going to certainly be the case for this film which was just absolutely amazing from beginning to end. I saw somebody described the film like looking through a Kaleidoscope and that is partly true with the buildings bending and turning like gears in a machine right before your very eyes. The film is absolutely visually stunning and captivating as you watch in awe with what the cinematographer and the editors of the film gave you. It’s a trip into a zone that Marvel has never been on before and I love it and want more of it. Benedict Cumberbatch is just absolutely amazing, funny, and witty in the film and I cannot wait for more films with him in it. Mads Mikkelsen does an amazing job playing a villain who is so obsessed with the idea of immortality that he sold out his own realm for it. One of the coolest sequences in the film that is off the hook is when Doctor Strange is trying to turn back time so he travels into the dark dimension to visit Dormammu. What happens next is just visual Ecstasy and you have to just soak it in. The film has everything you would want from a Marvel movie, it’s visually stunning, it has a great story, it has those funny moments we love, and it has some kick ass action. What are you waiting for? Go out and see it already! I think this film gives Deadpool a serious shot at the number one spot in my book cause it gets an A+ for a final grade.
After today, there are only 100 days left to the year which means I have a 100 movies left to watch (I know the blog is titled 365, but my mistake cause there’s 366). Believe it or not, there are a lot of James Bond films that I still have to see and so for today I chose to watch Casino Royale which is the first Daniel Craig (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) film in the series. James has just gotten his 00 status and he gets sent into the field for the first time. His immediate result is not a desirable one, but he looks to make it up with a poker game. You see James follows a weapons dealer named La Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) to a poker game in Luxembourg where James will have to outsmart him to stop him. The film also stars Eva Green (300: Rise Of An Empire) as Vesper Lynd, Judi Dench (Skyfall) as M, Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) as Felix Leiter, Giancarlo Giannini (Man On Fire) as Mathis, Caterina Murino (The Story Of My Life) as Solange, Simon Abkarian (Zero Dark Thirty) as Alex Dimitrios, Isaach De Bankolé (The Skeleton Key) as Steven Obanno, Jesper Christensen (Spectre) as Mr. White, Ivana Milicevic (Banshee) as Valenka, and the film was directed by Martin Campbell (Goldeneye).
On the scale of all of the Bond films that I have seen, I actually enjoyed watching this one because it was fun to watch. The series took a dark turn with Skyfall and it continued through Spectre (I still have Quantum Of Solace to watch). This was as fun of a movie to watch as Goldeneye was and it was one heck of an improvement from it’s predecessor Die Another Day. This is definitely a side of James Bond that we had never seen because it was a young version of him who is adjusting to being in the field. We figure out through this film why he has a hard time keeping the ladies (he has no problem getting them). I really liked Mads Mikkelsen as a bond villain, but he’s certainly not my favorite. He’s everything a Bond villain would be and I love his choice of torture (I don’t really love it, it’s just extremely painful to watch). I am in love with Eva Green so I think it’s safe to say that I loved her as a Bond girl. She was the perfect counterpart to James Bond as she matched wits with him on plenty of occasions. The great thing about these films besides the action and special effects is the locations that they travel to. They filmed in the Bahamas, Italy, Czech Republic, and England. Do yourself a favor and give Casino Royale a shot because the film showcases why I love Daniel Craig as James Bond and why I wouldn’t be upset if he returned to the role once again. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because Skyfall and Goldeneye are better than this one.