15+ more Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Reviews – Disney Placates George Lucas + Boyega Under Fire

Why are we still talking about Star Wars?

Because The Mandalorian just closed out on a high note the first season, and Episode IX is still turning and burning in the theaters, ringing cash registers for the gigantic D.

As much as I’d like to move onto many other films, the movie blogs I’m following are still posting reviews and talking Star Wars. They are drawing me back in.

So, who buys this rumor from an inside source that says Disney’s Lucasfilm wants George Lucas back?

the studio want him back, but want him to work in a more official capacity and more “on the record” this time around. It’s likely this new role will give Lucas significant creative control over the direction of the newer Star Wars films that he oversees, unlike his work on Rise of Skywalker, which Lucas allegedly did as a favor to director J. J. Abrams.

Lucasfilm Reportedly Wants George Lucas To Return And Oversee Star Wars

The headline is a bit misleading — imagine the clickbait. It actually is believable that they would give George Lucas some sort of pat on the head consultant role, but it’s obvious by their actions they have no interest in paying attention to any of his creative ideas unless he steps back up and gets in the director chair.

Which, if you watch this video with Mark Hamill’s award ceremony, he’s blatantly dismissive about ever coming back: “No, I’m out of the game.”

At the end of this speech you can fast forward to 2:50 and see Lucas reaction to making more movies

Our favorite stormtrooper renegade, John Boyega, is in a wee bit of a dustup over joking around on social media. Come on, Finn, you know you can’t make any sexual jokes about co-stars characters. This is DISNEY Star Wars, man, the house that Mickey built. Keep those pipe laying comments in the trench for Wedge to navigate and shoot down the Death Star target.

Sorry, I laughed. I’m not really much of a Star Wars fan any more. Haven’t been for years. I did enjoy The Mandalorian and am eager for season two, but theater-wise it’s just been a run of too many so-so to bad movies for me to get all that excited about the feature films any more.

People, we had George Lucas make three more Star Wars films not that long ago. Two of the three were awful. I don’t think Lucas, as great as he was when all cylinders were firing and he wanted to make great movies, has any heart left for it any more. I mean that with all due respect. He’s rich and retired, and wants to stay that way.

If I were him, I’d have no interest in any sort of complimentary consulting role at Lucasfilms. That’s sounds like a good excuse to use his name for promotional purposes. He’s much smarter than that.

Now, we just have to hope younger people will take the torch and make more stories like The Mandalorian.

More Reviews by Others

Just putting the newest reviews I’ve read here, rather than separating by recommended and not recommended.

  1. And in this Corner: “The movie is not as bad as critics have made it out to be. It is certainly not good, but it is also not the worst “Star Wars” movie”
  2. Anthony Herring / Byte: “…when the film works, it truly excels, but when it doesn’t work, it really, really does not.”
  3. Cinema Perspective: “…a rescue mission gone terribly wrong.”
  4. Cole Mushel / The C Word: “I’m going to say that I like this movie, I don’t love it, I don’t even think it’s that great, but I like it. I think I mostly like it because at the end of the day it’s a Star Wars.”
  5. Emerald / My Turn To Talk: “I found the ending neither hopeful nor satisfying, but the stuff that came before it was enjoyable enough.”
  6. Ginger Movie Reviews: “To be the final movie in the Star Wars story, it was held to a very high standard. It did not disappoint me.”
  7. Maria Copeland: “…wasn’t a brilliant film, but it succeeded where it most mattered..”
  8. mrushing02: “To my utter surprise, I liked it, from start to finish. It did something I never expected it to be able to, it not only made me like The Force Awakens more, it actually utilized plot elements from The Last Jedi in a way that almost redeemed them in my eyes. It also found a way to bring the Skywalker Saga to a satisfactory close for me.”
  9. Patrick Why / The Ebert Test: “…does leave a bit of a bad taste due to its almost algorithmic hitting of beats, tying up of loose ends and resolving of call-backs.”
  10. Plenty of Popcorn: “…is definitely worth watching with a friend or two who can interject with outlandish, inappropriately-timed fan theories.”
  11. Riley’s Ramblings: “Actually most things, it wasn’t a bad movie, except for the issues with Kylo Ren and Rey”
  12. Son of Freedom: “While JJ Abrams did pull off a miraculous feat, everything about this trilogy was so haphazard and random that it’s hard to care. The film is too rushed. The characters spend too much time yelling at each other. The jokes rarely land. The retcons and MacGuffins are dumb.” (ed. this is one funny well-written review. Nicely done!)
  13. Stroke of Genius: “I can say I was happy with the way they landed the plane.  As for suspicions and reports about various forms of clunkiness in the process well, that’s kinda how these things go.  Life and art imitate each other, you know.”
  14. The Bad Movie Marathon: “This film is a mess, and I could probably roll with that more if it wasn’t for the fact that a lot of the reason for that is that it backpedalled on TLJ, for better or – more often – for worse.”
  15. The Genre Freak: “In his desperation to please the wide berth of Star Wars fans, JJ Abrams has made a movie that’s both narratively flawed and just honestly soulless.”
  16. The Movie Vampire (3.5/5): “…as easy as it is to pick holes in certain elements of the movie, but pros outweigh the cons in a pretty big way for me.  This is the first time we’ve really seen the cast of the new trilogy working together on a mission and the adventure elements here really delivered for me.”
  17. The Nerdy Critique: “I did enjoy it. But if you start to think about it even the slightest, it crumbles to the ground in a heap”

Want to read 65+ more reviews by others? Check out this post and this one.

30+ more Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Reviews – the future of Star Wars is on Disney Plus + All 9 Films Ranked

Disney didn’t spend billions buying Star Wars to roll out a few movies and call it quits.

The company has already confirmed that audiences will be getting an Obi-Wan Kenobi series, featuring Ewan McGregor as the Jedi Master, as well as a series that follows K-2SO and Cassian Andor from “Rogue One.”

After ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ the future of Star Wars is on Disney Plus

Their streaming service Disney+ is where we’re getting more Star Wars for the next couple years. In 2022, Disney promises another Star Wars movie will appear, but it won’t be dealing with the Skywalker clan.

Ranking All 9 Skywalker Saga Films

Here, then, is my ranking — best to worst — of all the Skywalker saga films (also see Letterboxd list):

  1. Star Wars IV: A New Hope ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  3. Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Star Wars XI: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½
  7. Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones ⭐️⭐️½
  8. Star Wars I: The Phantom Menance ⭐️⭐️
  9. Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi ⭐️½

Based on our recommendation system, only the five of the nine films are recommended to watch. Yes, that means you’re largely skipping the prequels — don’t really need Anakin Skywalker’s formulative years — and the new films. I could make the argument those films are unnecessary, too.

Only The Force Awakens makes the cut because it promised a new adventure with some creative ideas (like Finn being a stormtrooper turned good), but alas most of that was ruined in The Last Jedi and it was probably too far gone to come back to it without major retconning for The Rise of Skywalker.

I am interested in seeing future Star Wars films, but want them to be spinoffs on cool races in places we haven’t seen or been before. The Mandalorian is a promising direction, but we’ll see if more of that unfolds in the future.

SPOILERS ahead, yes, of course.

Reviews by Others

What do other moviegoers think of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?

Recommended

  1. A Taste of Spongey (Rating: Good): “It’s a mixed bag to say the least, and I am disappointed they couldn’t go out with a bigger bang that made it easy to love. I get why people are being harsher but my better nature has to take it over and say that the was movie was good, but not exactly THAT good compared to what I wanted and even on its own.”
  2. Bunkazilla: “A messy, drawn-out, box-ticking, fan-servicing final chapter that, thanks to good acting, Chris Terrio’s script and some ace direction from J.J. Abrams (who shows the same flair for character moments through original action scenes he has done since the ALIAS pilot), still manages to stick the landing.”
  3. Colin McMahon: “I didn’t hate the movie. I walked out of the theater feeling satisfied and a day later that feeling continues. Yes, it’s not amazing, but it’s far from horrible either.”
  4. Confessions of an Unemployed Real OC Housewife (4/5): “Overall, I thought the movie was a great way to “end” the Saga. I honestly don’t think this is the end. I know we have some more amazing things to see.”
  5. Cup of Tea Reviews: “I had a lot of fun. It evoked all the right emotions for me. While I can see the flaws, the movie generated enough good feeling and positivity that I can honestly say I liked it a lot.”
  6. Dexter Discuss: “Not everyone will like it. In fact, some people will absolutely hate it. For me though it was probably the most fun and wild Star Wars film for better or worse. Just don’t think about things too much: take it at face value and you will enjoy it much more.”
  7. dreager (7/10): “The action and effects should still keep you busy though and the film is technically sound. The writing is good and at the very least you can see how there was a lot of effort put in here. I’d recommend checking this film out whether you are a Star Wars fan or not.”
  8. Herjuk’s Blog: “Given what JJ Abrams had to work with following the Last Jedi, this is better than what I expected, it is an enjoyable film, it respects its heritage and honours it where it can.  I doubt many will make it their best Star Wars movie but it is certainly better than many in the franchise.”
  9. I Am The Real Mace Windu (8.5/10): ” The strengths of this film are the cast, the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren and Princess Leia’s backstory. The weaknesses of the film is the heavy plot, the ending kiss, and a character missing from the film.”
  10. Kendall Lacey’s Webworld: “I‘m being vague because I am trying not to spoil things, I‘m also not here to slay the film, I did enjoy it, no doubt, but it will never be up there with IV, V and VI, or III.”
  11. Musings of a Middle-Aged Geek: “…this movie had a lot of tables to wait on, and not everyone or everything will get the same level of service. Given the Hurculean task of trying to wrap a nice, neat bow on nine Star Wars movies over 42 years (not including the standalone movies, TV and streaming spinoffs), I’m frankly astonished that it came out as enjoyable as it did.”
  12. That Review Site (Grade: A-): “As for this movie though, I loved a lot of it, the battles, the duels, the music, and the ending. Just like we don’t complain about the Ewoks fighting in battles with the heroes, 30 years from now, no one is gonna complain about the fairly ignorable mistakes.”
  13. rosslangager: “If the director of the movie won’t approaches these details like they matter, why should anyone else? If cinematic storytelling is such a painfully cheap trick to J.J. Abrams, why give it a second thought, let alone a third or a fourth?”
  14. Sean Ian Mills (7/10): “I loved almost all of the twists and surprises and came out of the movie feeling excited and entertained. A couple of the fan service things made me roll my eyes, but I’m pleased with the overall film. It was all perfectly fine.”
  15. Tony Rossi: “And this moment serves as a fitting ending for the saga of a family that has captivated our attention for generations with morality plays about the struggle between good and evil inside all of us.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. Aaron / TGYK: “I really enjoyed this film, but I would be lying if I said it was one of my favorites. I think it is the worst of the sequel trilogy, but that does not mean it is a bad film!”
  2. Carlo Simone: “In the end this film could have been a lot better, but it could have also easily turned out a lot worse. If JJ Abrams had done a little less pandering to the audience, and spent more time on the script I could be sitting here writing about a great time at the cinema. Alas, it’s not to be.”
  3. Earl Hopkins (5.3/10): “Ten years from now, this trilogy will be remembered for its calculated reveals and safe character choices. It delivered all the ground-breaking visuals and signature plot tropes viewers have been accustomed to seeing. But in doing that, it veered away from what made the previous films uniquely their own. “The Rise of Skywalker” suffered from a lack of cohesion and originality, thus bringing the end of the saga to an unmemorable finish.”
  4. Grant Wilson / Fiction Machine: “Describing The Rise of Skywalker as a good film is to be overly charitable, but it is easier to describe it as a fun one. Spaceships fly around. People exchange gunfire in pitched battles. Good battles evil, and destinies are resolved.”
  5. Isabelle Reviews Movies (Grade: C+): “…it got a bit tiresome and redundant. The pacing was also meandering at times, with a lot of planet hopping and checking in with various characters. I also feel like the newest side characters which consisted of Keri Russell and Naomi Ackie as well as Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) did not have a lot to do.”
  6. La Vie En Rouge: “Now, let it be said: I do not care about Star Wars. It’s a dumb little franchise that was created to sell toys to kids. There’s nothing smart or creative about it. If you like it, fine. But it’s a series of movies that you can watch and turn off your brain off for a while. It’s for children.
  7. Matthew Liedke (2.5/5): “Rise of Skywalker” isn’t bad. It has the entertainment value one expects from a “Star Wars” film and the characters remain enjoyable to follow. However, it fall so short in where it takes its story and many of its characters that it ultimately becomes lackluster.”
  8. Meandering Milieu: “We go from a hard left turn with one film to a hard right turn with the next, which leads to whiplash, and a sense that the story of this last trilogy is more “the clash of egos” than it is “the resolution of a 40 year saga”.”
  9. Movie Reviews by Johnny: “So how do I rate the movie. I can often judge a movie by how many times I closed my eyes and drift off. I counted two times in this film. It was a bit boring. It seemed to have a lot of chase scenes, laser fights, and oh oh…we better get going. Rinse and repeat.”
  10. Not Another Script Guru (Grade: C-): “The result is a clunky by-the-numbers quest that feels derivative at best and like the dregs of appalling fan fiction at worst.”
  11. redmangoreviews: four mini reviews (6.5/10, 7/10, 2/5, 3/5)
  12. Riley’s Ramblings: “It’s not good. I thought I could grant it being “good enough,” but the more I think about it, the less happy I am with this film. J.J. Abrams, stop merrily pooping on my favorite science fiction franchises.”
  13. The Caledonian Critic: “We can barely follow it, we can’t care about it, and it makes our lives worse. Legitimately, I can call this nothing else but the worst ‘Star Wars’ movie, by dint of sheer lack of caring and sheer toxicity of theme. And this is the note we go out on… The sequel trilogy is built on what came before, because it can’t build anything worthwhile for itself.”
  14. The Howler: “To me, The Rise of Skywalker is the strongest film of the sequel trilogy. Rey’s characterization and the trio’s interactions are not enough to make the film live up to other trilogy-closers”
  15. The Stop Button (1/5): “…a disappointing conclusion to a forty-two year-old story. But it’s a far less disappointing conclusion to that story than the one Disney Star Wars started for Ridley, Driver, Boyega, and Isaac four years ago. Though it still manages to be a more disappointing sequel to the previous entry two years ago.”
  16. View From The Cheap Seats: “…it’s hard to say what sort of damage has been done by Episode IX being like this. Overlong, poorly paced, dull, and often very stupid. It brings this era of Star Wars to a close on a terrible note, and makes me question this entire thing.”
  17. Wyatt Crosher: “…we have a flawed finale to what could have been a truly outstanding trilogy of movies. It’s a pretty decent time while it’s going on, but there’s almost nothing I will take away from “The Rise of Skywalker” as a top-tier scene or character development.”

Also see: 35+ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Reviews – Rian Johnson Calls Pandering to Star Wars Fans a “Mistake”

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quote from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

35+ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Reviews – Rian Johnson Calls Pandering to Star Wars Fans a “Mistake”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½ 

The new Star Wars film out, the galaxy is whole, and Rian Johnson is catching crap once again — rightfully in my opinion — for the mess he made of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi⭐️½ 

“I think approaching any creative process with [the purpose of making fandoms happy] would be a mistake that would lead to probably the exact opposite result,” Johnson said. “Even my experience as a fan, you know, if I’m coming into something, even if it’s something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it’s like, ‘Oh, okay.’ It might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing and I won’t really think about it afterwards, but that’s not really going to satisfy me.”

Rian Johnson Calls Pandering to ‘Star Wars’ Fans a “Mistake” | Hollywood Reporter

Don’t get me wrong, Rian Johnson is a good director. He did a good, somewhat clever job with Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Johnson should have made a Star Wars film, just not have played in the sandbox with the original characters. Disney should have had the same person pilot the entire trilogy. Instead what we got was J.J Abrams starting out with a promising first act (which is sort of a soft reboot), Rian Johnson coming in and spinning it a completely different way, and then J.J Abrams coming back to try and close it all out, retconning warts and all.

Leaving viewers in a befuddled state.

This isn’t Rian Johnson’s fault, he should have done Solo or another project — which he is rumored as wanting to do (maybe he changes his mind after dealing with disillusioned SW fans). Not sure that film should be Obi Wan’s story. Personally, I think the next movie should be based on/around Baby Yoda / The Child and that whole mystical Yoda race. Or The Mandalorian and the bounty hunter guild. Then again, we’re exploring that on Disney+ already, so maybe that would be redundant.

As to Johnson’s comments about fans, I disagree with pretty much everything he said. You do have to pay respect to fans. You do have to care about what people have paid to support and love. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni understand this and it’s at least in part why The Mandalorian is doing well. Rian Johnson can carve out his own niche in the vast Star Wars galaxy, there are plenty of places for his grand and maybe cool visions, but The Last Jedi was poorly timed and placed.

Something tells me with the pure volume of reviews I’m coming across that I’m going to have to make multiple critique posts for this film, so I’m going to hold back some of my more deeper analysis on this film, let it gel more, and allow others to weigh in with their reviews first.

As I say before all reviews by others, there may/might/will be SPOILERS. If you don’t want any of those, then the pull quotes below might be as far as you want to travel in this post for the time being.

… you have been warned SPOILERS ahead …

Reviews by Others

What do other moviegoers think of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?

Recommended

  1. Blaine L. Pardoe: “…my expectations going in were pretty shallow.  Imagine my surprise that I was pleasantly pleased with this film.”
  2. Charlie Chat (9/10): ” From start to finish I was engaged in the fast paced storyline.”
  3. Elliot’s View (6.7/10): “The first half of the movie is pretty bad. The second half is pure fan service. Whether or not you enjoy that depends on how much of a sucker you are for fan service. Personally, I am that kind of sucker.”
  4. Fadi Hearts Films (Grade: B): “…this movie isn’t half bad. If you like Star Wars, you will probably like The Rise of Skywalker. It’s a beautiful and fun special effects extravaganza — nearly three hours of popcorn-movie bliss.”
  5. From a Certain Point of View: “Overall, we left the theater as two incredibly happy Star Wars fans! Tobey especially, who has been in this fight since he was four years old, was both relieved and satisfied. This is absolutely a movie worth seeing for any Star Wars fan; in the least to know how it all ends.”
  6. I Am The Kid (3/4): “Despite these attempts and some success at pulling at these various threads, the whole endeavor threatens to collapse in on itself at multiple times during its run. Thankfully the witty banter and repartee help keep things relatively light, the actors drive through some of the more clunky dialogue/exposition, and there are enough real shocks and surprises to counter some of the more predictable elements.”
  7. James Movie Blog (8/10): “Ok seen it again. Without the reviews ringing in my head, a bigger screen and the ability to keep up with the plot. I liked it a lot more this time. Still think it would have been better as two films”
  8. John Freeman: “I really enjoyed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but I do hope it really is the last Star Wars movie because, as fun as the film is, it isn’t a great piece of movie making. Instead, the film is a cinematic palimpsest whose script has been written over so many times that there is at least three different films going on simultaneously all made from traces of earlier drafts and even ideas from earlier movies”
  9. John Scalzi / Whatever: “I was entertained, and having now seen eleven Star Wars films between the ages of 8 and 50 years old, I appreciate when a Star Wars film is consistently entertaining, because enough of them weren’t. And if this is indeed the end of the Skywalker family as a central focus of the Star Wars universe, it ends well enough.”
  10. Jordan and Eddie The Movie Guys (3.5/5): “J.J Abram’s farewell to the Skywalker saga is a an unsurprising service piece to its fans, that forgets to become a great movie in its own right, as its identity and charm gets lost in a flurry of moments and set-ups that never truly payoff in the way they should’ve.”
  11. Katy by the Fireplace: “Considering how much I was anticipating this film, was it worth it? Absolutely.”
  12. Keith & The Movies (4/5): “…is pure entertainment – fun, at times thrilling, with a steady tinge of franchise nostalgia and an emotional punch at the end. It’s far from perfect. The story is messy, there’s enough plot to fill two movies, and some of its characters need more attention.”
  13. Micah Brown: “Despite the nit-pickers and nay-sayers, this was the culmination of more than 40 years of Star Wars, and it ends with perfect pitch on the best of all possible outcomes.”
  14. Mike Ladano (4/5): “…is probably the best ending to a saga we could have expected”
  15. Musings of a Grouch: “Is The Rise of Skywalker a good film? Probably not, but I’ve watched enough film to recognize that maybe most of the Star Wars movies aren’t good films. But they’re something more than just film to me. I know that sounds crazy, so take it all as you will. But The Rise of Skywalker is a great Star Wars movie and a perfect close to this 40 year era.”
  16. Naivesmiles: “TROS is a good movie, a beautiful and well choreographed and well acted one. But it’s also flawed.”
  17. On My Bookshelf: “If I had to pick something wrong with this movie, it would be the plot holes. None of them are major. A few character’s lineages come to question, a few Force powers we never learned of before, and a dash of relationship statuses that we are confused about.”
  18. tccorbett: “Fans have a beautiful Swan Song gifted to them in Skywalker from Abrams who has completely revealed his own fandom for genre and Star Wars specifically in the making of this film.”
  19. The Karlie Chronicles: “This movie, however…it brought it all back for me.”
  20. The Writings of a Jedi: “I know many of you won’t like it. There are already many offering their disappointed angst and frustration with how this film and trilogy went. There is already a divide across fandom over The Last Jedi and the risks it took. That said, there are many of you who will love this. You’re in for a wild ride.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. Bouques & Brickbats: “I appreciate that the diehard fans will rally round to support the film, because, well, that’s what Star Wars freaks tend to do but, apart from a couple of scenes here and there, I can’t honestly say that I enjoy this.”
  2. Cinema Cocoa: “If you enjoyed The Last Jedi, you will find Rise of Skywalker as a retcon; a reversion to safer storytelling. If you didn’t like The Last Jedi, you will have more ammunition against it.”
  3. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “…a spectacular misfire, arriving as one of the most misbegotten blockbusters of the decade.”
  4. Dom / Nardiviews: “Ultimately, I can’t help but feel that Return of the Jedi was a better conclusion to the Skywalker saga than The Rise of Skywalker. The simplicity of the original 1983 ending allowed the character moments and themes to breathe a bit better. The Sequel Trilogy wasn’t necessary for the Skywalker saga; as I said above, it feels more like a soft reboot than a continuation of the story.”
  5. Elliot’s View: “The plots is a mess. The pacing is a mess. There are tons of twists and payoffs for things that were never set up, ruining whatever emotional payoff I was supposed to receive. It’s a travesty what they did to Carrie Fisher. This film fails as a conclusion to this “trilogy” as it is mostly disjointed from the prior two films. This is also in a large part Rian Johnson’s fault as well as J.J. Abrams.”
  6. Film Class Heroes: “It doesn’t feel like a fitting end to the Skywalker saga, it feels like a regrettable midnight junk food binge, it’s thoughtless, unsatisfying, and leaves an awful taste in the mouth.”
  7. Freya / No One Cares: ” a movie that’s mediocre at best and downright horrible at worst by glorifying abusive relationships, retconning everything good about The Last Jedi, pandering to racists, and taking credit for bare-minimum LGBT representation after queerbaiting us for years with Finnpoe.”
  8. Hopkins: “…a broad, bright and loud rallying cry for all Star Wars fans. But during this crescendo, that—according to the marketing—ends the Skywalker saga, there are passages which feel more intimate, played in a lower volume. And that is the problem of this movie: it’s a cacophony. “
  9. Jack Blackwell (2/5): “Almost every scene of JJ Abrams’s colossally messy conclusion to this story has some sort of obvious reference to an Original Trilogy moment, hoping that the shameless pandering will allow fans to overlook lazy writing, confusing editing, and some simply shambolic plot choices.”
  10. Jacob Throneberry (2.5/5): “…is a grand disappointment for such a beloved franchise. Being a lover of film before I am a lover of Star Wars, I cannot truly tell what a major fan will feel about this film. There were little to no risks taken by any of the creatives who worked on this film, and the fan service moments can only hold up for so long.”
  11. Observations of a Student Screenwriter: “This film is more fragile than a china teapot. All the anticipation turns to despair and disappointment very quickly and it’s safe to say the dialogue is what makes it crack.”
  12. Rant or Reason: “The fans were also more forgiving with “The Force Awakens” since it was meant to drum up nostalgia. The “The Rise of Skywalker” is lazy, contrived, predictable and pointless.”
  13. Reviewniverse: “…it is disjointed, far too reliant on fan service and is almost thematically a carbon copy of the original trilogy’s final movie in both ideology and final resolution. And, like the Porgs in the much maligned Last Jedi, there is at least one character awkwardly shoe-horned in here that suggests Disney have only got eyes for selling for replica toys in the Christmas market.”
  14. Sean McConville Reviews (6/10): “I think the people whose opinions should matter are those who were there from the very beginning. My dad who spent a cold 1977 British winter queuing outside a cinema for hours just to see A New Hope told me once the credits rolled that during the final scene of The Rise of Skywalker, he could see his younger self, sat with three of his friends like ghosts of fallen Jedis in total awe. If that happened during The Rise of Skywalker, it must have surely hit a least one right note.”
  15. Tony Jones / Reality Checkpoint: “Forty-two years after I queued for hours to watch the first (or IVth) Star Wars film, I watched The Rise of Skywalker. I enjoyed it, it ticks lots of boxes but for me it’s no more than a decent film in the sequence.”
  16. Tower City Media: “This is the most disappointing Star Wars movie I’ve ever seen for the first time in theatres. I wanted so bad to like this movie and tried to find positives in it and there are some positives, but overall I was absolutely disappointed and it pains me to say that.”

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker, Cats, Bombshell

Week #51 at the box office 12/20/2019 and we’ve got singing felines, sexual harassment and a galaxy at peril, so who comes out on top?

#1 …

Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I looked more forward to watching this movie about Roger Ailes sexual harassment while head of Fox News than the new Star Wars. It didn’t resonate quite as hoped for, but was still vastly better than either of the other two wide releases because at least it was a coherent story.

Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly? She looked incredible with the prosthetic makeup, but her voice imitation was off. Most of the time she spoke it didn’t seem like Megyn Kelly to me who has a very familiar voice with emphasis and pause.

The movie itself kind of wandered as it tried to make a meaningful story of three women who faced harassment by Ailes: Megyn Kelly (Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) who starts the complaint rolling when she’s fired and a fictional composite character named Kayla played by Margot Robbie.

Probably the standout character was the great John Lithgow, who was fattened up to look more like the late Roger Ailes and delivered his creepiness with disturbing subtlety.

It’s the only movie of the three screening wide that is recommended an d it is a soft recommendation.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½ 

Rise and whine, it’s Star Wars time!

I don’t even know where to start with my level of disappointment in this movie. A story that attempts to do so much and yet doesn’t slow down and breathe enough to do any of it dramatically. It’s the last freaking movie in nine parts spanning 40+ years and this is what moviegoers get? It’s not an absolute travesty like The Last Jedi⭐️½ , but it misses mark set by The Force Awakens ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sigh.

Cats ½ 

This was easily the worst movie of 2019 that I’ve seen. Barely any story, song after song after song with hardly any dialogue with mostly the same boring — in front of the building — set, terribly fake CGI, dancing on obvious wires and bizarre singing cat people with music that isn’t very good.

Should have known from the trailer that this was headed toward bad, but didn’t realize how far off the cliff of telling any kind of meaningful this would plummet.

I’m not surprised others are reviewing this poorly. Here’s an idea, don’t make movies out of poems. I can see how it might make an OK play though, because of the lack of need for much in the way of set changes, bizarre costumes and endless stream of music. This is one where if you like the music — and I do like different genres of music besides good rock and roll (this movie has zero rock and roll) — you might find something a little different here than me.

Then again you also have to enjoy a movie devoid of any logical story, characterization or plot. I’ve never seen a musical that played out like this, like 97% music, dancing and song and 3% dialogue and story. Maybe the story is played through the music, but if the viewer can’t get into the music enough to try and focus on the lyrics, then it’s game over.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater recently (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see. NOTE: of all 2019 movies seen in theaters (over 55 movies since August 12, 2019), there have been no 4.5 or 5 star movies rated. Zero. Just hasn’t been anything either of us felt was that amazing. Am hoping there will be at least one before the end of the year .. but time is running out.

  1. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ScreenX
  2. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Dark Waters ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  7. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Hold On ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. Black Christmas (2019) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

If new movie Bombshell doesn’t seem like the type of movie you’re interested in, maybe something else above is still playing that you haven’t seen and want to try. Especially anything toward the top of the list. Ford v Ferrari has 98% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes from audiences. That’s higher than any other “new” movie screening right now that has a decent number of audience reviews.

The Aeronauts ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ started streaming on Amazon Prime. That’s recommended too.

PREVIEW – Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

The end of an era, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is opening wide very soon. Here is what we do and don’t know about this film as of this writing:

  • There is a new kind of Stormtrooper, the red Sith Trooper. Edward Lauder has more details and commentary.
  • Coffee with Kenobi: United Airlines bought a commercial spot that runs starting on Thanksgiving.
  • Chris Smith on a fan who noticed a link between The Mandalorian and Rise of Skywalker.
  • The script almost leaked out thanks to an unnamed actor leaving it under their bed and it being sold on eBay. Glad to hear Disney got it back so it wasn’t spoiled. Thanks David Gonzales:
  • Speaking of the script, before ever putting pen to paper, J.J Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and Chris Terrio had a “long meeting” with George Lucas to get his thoughts on what Rise of Skywalker should/could be.
  • Mike Fleming / Deadline reports Colin Trevorrow is donating his residuals from his work on the film to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, a British center in Berkshire.
  • Eric Ital covers the Twitterverse universally negative reaction to Stormtroopers with jetpacks.
  • Carrie Fisher passed away before this film started shooting, however there was some unused footage in Episode VII that JJ Abrams intends to use in this one:

“We realised we could not possibly tell the end of these nine films without Leia. We realised that we had footage from Episode VII, and we could use it in a new way.”

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker – Leia’s original plan revealed

Here are The Rise of Skywalker official trailers starting with the teaser:

Star Wars; The Rise of Skywalker teaser
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker final trailer OFFICIAL

My Anticipation for this Film

I’ve held off on talking much about Star Wars to date, but now is as good a place as any to share my take on the franchise up to this point in time. The Mandalorian is the most excitement I’ve had for Star Wars in a long time. I feel like Jon Favreau has at least a pulse on what old school Star Wars is about. Disney Star Wars with some very small exceptions (like The Mandalorian) has not excited me.

A special look at Star Wars through the years

When growing up, Star Wars was my favorite science fiction fantasy adventure. I had the figures, followed the comic book (yes, there was one of them) and was all-in for the original trilogy. I was also excited when George Lucas announced he was making more, but a bit disappointed in them being prequels instead of a continuing adventure.

Apparently, when Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney he had scripts or at least treatments for a new trilogy beyond Return of the Jedi and Disney shelved his ideas in favor of their own. Maybe we’ll never know if Lucas’ films would have been better than Disney’s, but I can always dream that we’ll get another George Lucas Star Wars. Doubtful, yes, but nothing wrong with dreaming.

Interestingly, I’ve not rewatched any of George Lucas’ prequels and hope to do that before seeing The Rise of Skywalker next month. I’ve seen the original trilogy several times, including recently. Those three movies are the best of the best again and only brief flashes of what those were I’ve seen in the Disney Star Wars movies. Moreso with The Mandalorian, which has some real good momentum going so far. I’ve always thought a movie on bounty hunters would be an exciting idea.

I was less excited about the adventures of Han Solo and, while I’ve seen that movie it wasn’t as interesting to me as The Mandalorian.

So, with that understood, I’m currently a lukewarm Star Wars fan. Not for many years, really, have I been a diehard fan of the franchise. I’m a fan of The Mandalorian and the original trilogy and some of what was done in the prequels. I really need to revisit the Disney Star Wars movie (one is on Disney+, the other on Netflix) prior to seeing The Rise of Skywalker, to be able to process my feelings on those and to rate and write a proper review.

As of this writing, I have fairly low expectations for The Rise of Skywalker wrapping up the series in any super satisfying manner. In my mind it was already wrapped up good with Return of the Jedi ad everything since has pretty much felt like a money grab more than necessary extension of the original trilogy.

Now, they are just wrapping up the last two movies in the franchise. Am I looking forward to it? A little bit, yes. but not going to wait in any long lines for it and am not even sure if I’ll preorder tickets, so that might mean I won’t be one of the very, very first moviegoers to see it.

Am OK with that.

Between now and next month when it’s released my excitement could increase. It probably will naturally as more is learned, but for now I’m going to see it as soon as I can when it opens like any other movie.. Honestly, I was more excited to see another Rambo and Terminator movie this year then am looking forward to seeing this film. Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ has been the highlight sequel for me in 2019 so far. Can this be better?

Will soon find out.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters wide on December 20, 2019.

Winter 2019-2020 Movies Coming Soon

Repeating my Top 10 New Movies Coming Soon In Fall 2019, am looking ahead to movies coming in Winter 2019-2020. This includes movies with an opening date of as early as December 1, 2019 to as late as March 2020. All these movies have been added to my Letterboxd watchlist.

This list is sorted by most interested to least interested in seeing. Anticipation for a movie will change based on new information that comes out closer to the release date.

  1. Uncut Gems (December 13) – FIRST LOOK -Adam Sandler in a thriller?!?! Sign me up!
  2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½ – PREVIEW – for me this is the end of an era that began in the 70s .Somewhat bittersweet, because I always believed George Lucas would tell this tell, not J.J. Abrams. I have to see this one, even though I haven’t been as excited about this series in a long time.
  3. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – PREVIEW – the story behind what brought down a FOX media mogul, Roger Ailes.
  4. Godzilla vs. Kong (March 13) – FIRST LOOK – monster vs. monster, hope it’s old school!
  5. Fantasy Island (February 14) – FIRST LOOK – the remake of a fun, sometimes dark TV show. Sad that the real Tattoo (Herve Villachez) and Mr. Roarke (Ricard Montalban) are gone, but if it is faithful to the material that inspired it, then yay! It has been confirmed there is no Tattoo in this movie. Would love to have seen Peter Dinklage take a shot at Tattoo. Sigh.
  6. Bad Boys For Life (January 17) – Will Smith and Martin Lawrence doing the buddy cop thing again.
  7. Doolittle (January 17) – FIRST LOOK– Robert Downey, Jr.
  8. Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – February 7, 2020) – previews for this DC comic + the strength of Joker being something different has my curiosity piqued.
  9. Sonic The Hedgehog (February 14, 2020) – FIRST LOOK – videogame movies have sucked for the most part historically
  10. 1917 (December 25) – FIRST LOOK – seeing what one continuous shot is like has attracted me to this war film.

There are more movies I’m looking forward to than the top 10 listed above and undoubtedly there will be surprise anticipated drop-in titles. This is what happened with my Fall 2019 anticipation list, which is why I continue to monitor new movies that are previewed and update.