FlixChatter Review – SOLO: A Star Wars story

Another year, another Star Wars movie. Now that Disney owns pretty much everything, it’s to be expected that they’re going to milk the lucrative SW and Marvel franchise for all its worth. Honestly I haven’t been following much about all the behind-the-scene dramas, apart from the fact that the original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller being fired after several months of production. They still get producing credit but ultimately it’s Ron Howard who gets directing credit as he was brought in for reshoots and finish the movie.

As a casual SW fan, I have enjoyed the newer movies (The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi). So after seeing this one, my favorite is still The Last Jedi, but I really quite enjoyed SOLO. The movie opens with the traditional “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…..” line and we learn that the galaxy is in disarray, ruled by organized crime syndicates competing for the valuable hyperfuel known as Coaxium. On planet Cornellia, Young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) try to escape planet Cornellia for good and we’re treated a pretty thrilling chase scene. Soon we learn how our titular hero gets his name, in a scene that’s treated rather nonchalantly to make any real impact.

The rest of the movie takes place three years later on another planet. Han (sans Qi’ra) encounters a gang of thieves led by Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrleson) and his cohorts Val (Thandie Newton) and a four-armed alien Rio (Jon Favreau). Soon we learn how Han first meet his hairy BFF Chewbacca. Not quite a meet cute but a hilarious and fun intro to the most famous bromance in the galaxy. I have to say the relationship between Han and Chewy lends to a lot of favorite parts of the movie. There’s such a rush of nostalgia the first time Han and Chewy are on the cockpit together.

Everyone pretty much already loves Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian even from the trailer and he delivers! Glover is an effortlessly charismatic actor, but he also didn’t overshadow Alden and the movie is still about Han’s journey. I do enjoy the banters and rivalry between the two, especially involving their most prized possession the Millennium Falcon. Lando’s droid ‘friend’ L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is quite the scene stealer. A feminist, sarcastic robot with a mind of her own, she’s definitely light years away from the cute and submissive droids we’ve seen in the galaxy. There is one particularly hilarious moment between her and Qi’ra that got the whole theater laughing.

Now, how about Alden as Han? There are reports an acting coach had to be brought in to help his performance. Well, I don’t know if swagger is something you can teach, but I certainly think Alden’s got enough charisma and that devil-may-care smugness you expect from the role. I know he’s got comedic chops from what I’ve seen in Hail, Caesar! but I think he’s versatile enough to be an action star. I think it’s unfair to expect him to behave exactly like Harrison Ford as he’s not yet the Han we saw in A New Hope. There is a moment in the movie where I’m like, ‘yeah I can see how he becomes the sexy scoundrel we know and love.’ I’m glad Alden made the role his own instead of just an imitating Ford verbatim. I also like the fact that the movie gives just enough background story on Han without overwhelming us with details.

The supporting cast are pretty good too. Harrelson is always a fun actor to watch and he’s got that unpredictability the role requires. I haven’t seen Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones, but I can see why she’s cast here. She may seem like a sweet, demure girl at first but there’s also whole darker side of her. Unfortunately the romance between her and Han isn’t particularly memorable here, I mean it’s serviceable at best, not even half as interesting as Han’s relationship with Chewy or Lando. Paul Bettany is suddenly everywhere (like Josh Brolin!) as he was also in Avengers Infinity War, here he plays crime lord Dryden Vos (some cape action going on here as well) who has a history with Beckett. I quite like Rio too, and I wish he had more screen time in the movie.

Overall I had a blast with this movie. It’s a proper space adventure, you can even call it a space heist flick. I enjoyed the high-octane action scenes, specifically the chase scene in Falcon. It’s fun and nostalgic. Howard may not be Hollywood’s go-to action director but I remember enjoying the car scenes in Rush, and I think he did a great job here balancing the action and humor. The story might be on the light side and lacking the profound emotional moments like in The Last Jedi, but I think it fits well in the SW universe.


Well, what do you think of SOLO: A Star Wars Story?

……

Super Bowl 2018 trailers: MI6 Fallout | A Quiet Place | SOLO | Avengers Infinity War | Westworld Season 2

Happy post-Super Bowl Monday!

Me & hubby at Mall of America

I normally don’t even watch Super Bowl at all but this year my home state is hosting the big game so I can’t help getting a bit caught up in the spirit of it all. Mall of America was practically a SBLII hub with the teams sleeping on opposite ends of the mall (Eagles at JW Marriott and the Pats at Radisson Blu).

I stayed away from downtown though, I mean it’s freakin’ cold even for longtime Minnesota resident like me (-3˚F temp but feels like -15˚) at the time of the game, plus traffic & parking has been a nightmare this entire week. Yes we’re the #BoldNorth and all but we have to deal w/ this frigid winter and snow all season long, not just on Super Bowl weekend.

I started typing this as the game just wrapped. Congrats Eagles! It was a pretty exciting game actually, though I was really paying attention during commercials to make sure I don’t miss any new trailers!

So if you missed the game last night, or just wanna rewatch those trailers again, here we go…

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT

This is the one I’ve been waiting for! Tom Cruise has recently joined Instagram and has been teasing us w/ a bunch of exciting stills. He even shared the video of how his ankle got broken on Graham Norton which made it into the movie! Well, MI:6 looks like another crazy action flick!!

Pscyhed to see the practically ageless Angela Bassett joining the team (she’s also in Black Panther AND Infinity War, wahoo!!), whichever side she’s on, I know she’s gonna be bad ass! Heck, she’ll be 60 this year but this lady looks like she could easily take out both Cruise and even Superman himself. Speaking of Henry Cavill and his much-ballyhoo-ed ‘tache, just what is the purpose of his facial hair in this flick??

A QUIET PLACE

Now, as you know I don’t normally go for the horror genre. But this one has got me intrigued mainly for the pairing of real life husband/wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and it’s Krasinski’s directorial debut! The trailer looks so suspenseful w/ the family in an isolated place facing an unknown, but terrifying threat. I might wait for some reviews to see if my nerves can handle this movie.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Hmmmm, not really feeling this one. Alden Ehrenreich (who was good in Hail, Caesar!) have huuuuge shoes to fill. I mean it’s hard to get Harrison Ford‘s iconic smirk out of my mind, that playful, smug, sarcastic style we’ve known and love. I love the casting of Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, but it remains to be seen if Alden could be even half as charismatic as Ford in the role. He does have nice hair though 😉

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Ok the entire gang is back to unite against a common enemy! Watching the trailer made me even more pumped to see Black Panther (they scheduled the advanced screening on the evening on the 13th, YAY!!). Amongst the entire Marvel superheroes, I’m most excited to see T’Challa and Cap…

… not only Cap’s got a new haircut, he’s got some new cool, albeit rather strange-looking, shield too!!

HBO’s WESTWORLD Season 2

This is the TV series I’ve been eagerly anticipating! It’s been over a year since season 1 wrapped, and I remember thinking how long we’d have to wait. An entire year! But at the same time I’m glad the writers take their time to make it, and now we’ve only got a couple more months to go ’til season 2 drops on April 22!

“… we’ve lived by your rules long enough… we can save this world… we can burn it to the ground… and from the ashes build a new world… our world.”

The trailer gives me goose bumps!! Yep, the robotic hosts will rule over all… man I can’t wait to see this series!! April can’t come soon enough!

BONUS trailer!

Ok this one isn’t even a movie, but the teasers have been one long, brilliant buildup to … a commercial for Australia!

DUNDEE

What an amazing cast the Aussie Tourism Board managed to assemble for this commercial!! Danny McBride is hilarious as Crocodile Dundee’s supposed son (even Paul Hogan made a cameo), surrounded by the who’s who of Australia celebs superheroes … Thor, Harley Quinn, Wolverine and even Gladiator himself. Apparently the campaign cost $36 mil which isn’t surprising given the scale, but it was a lot of fun to watch.


Thoughts on these trailers? Which movie(s) are you most anticipating?