Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Every now and then James and I watch a Star Wars film together and tonight we watched this one.

Here is my review from the last time watched this back in 2017:

The last time we watched this was in December 2013, you can read the review for it here. My opinions of the film have not changed much, but I would add that some of the dialogue was diabolical.

It was a big improvement over the previous two episodes though, and had some pretty good action scenes.

Nothing has changed. The dialogue remains diabolical, and there are scenes were dialogue is needed but Georgie instead just left awkward silence.

It is watchable, and there are a few good scenes here and there, but it should have been a whole lot better. Poor Hayden Christensen got a lot of flak for his performance which I suppose is partly justified, but I would also blame the poor script, although all of the actors had to endure that. Hayden though got some of the worst lines.

Looking him up on Wikipedia I found that he is still doing the odd film once or twice a year, but most of them are poorly rated. He made a film along with Bruce Willis in 2017 called First Kill, but that was a major bomb (Bruce has had his day).

Georgie is apparently working on the next Indiana Jones film… don’t Georgie, just don’t.

Episode IX is a few months away, and we are looking forward to that very much. I think the new trilogy has been great so far. It is not perfect, but it is certainly light years better than Georgie’s last trilogy.

Date watched: October 5th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2019: 29

Stealth

For reasons I cannot fathom right now, I decided to watch this film again after having seen it years ago, and well remembering that it was a crappy film. It is still a crappy film.

The story is about three ace pilots who fly a new extremely high-tech fighter. They are all quite annoying, mostly because of the buddy-banter, as well as their extremely white teeth. They are not too pleased when a new even more high-tech fighter joins their little squadron, a plane flown by an AI robot thing. It goes berzerb when hit by lightning and causes all kinds of grief, but by the end of the film comes to it’s senses and tries to make up for killing one of the pilots, and of course sacrifices itself to save the two remaining pilots.

A lot of the story is so improbable that it is just plain funny. My favourite was the high-altitude unmanned blimp which carries tonnes of jet fuel for mid-air refuelling… basic physics be damned. I found a blimp payload calculator online that told me in order to lift 1000 kg of payload you would need 1,000,000 litres of helium, which is a lot. The blimp in the film seemed to be carrying much more than that though. But this film was probably written by teenagers and for teenagers, so science and making sense is a low priority.

What was very annoying though was the camera work. In some flying action sequences the camera seemed to be set on a low shutter speed and the cameraman was just wildly swinging the camera around. On top of that more blur was added in with CGI so that not only could I not figure out what the heck was going on, but I also felt rather queasy and unsure of my spatial existence.

This was a huge bomb back in 2005, making a loss of US$111 million, and also making it one of the worst in history in fact. Despite it’s bombiness though everyone involved in this seems to have continued on as normal in their careers, including the director, Rob Cohen. Perhaps it was the huge successes of his previous films The Fast and the Furious (made US$207 million from it’s US$38 million budget) and xXx that saved him, and his next film after Stealth made a huge bucket in profits too (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor).

To erase the memory of this film from my consciousness I must watch something to cancel out it’s negative effects, so the first film that comes to mind is Top Gun… Tom’s pearly whites in that film actually make sense.

I did enjoy writing this entry though, so that is something.

Date watched: September 22nd
Score: 2/10
Film count 2019: 28

Casino Royale

James wanted to watch a Bond film in the weekend, so he chose this one as he has not seen it yet.

I have seen this a couple of times before at least, with my last post about it way back in 2012. So here is what I wrote that time:

I saw this a few years back for the first time and decided to watch it again to see how well it has stood up after seeing most of the older Bond movies.

And I was quite impressed. Daniel Craig was as good as I remember and the rest of the film was much more polished, mature and action-like than any Bond film before it, but pretty much minus the camp Bond humour. That though did not matter too much, this seemed more like a proper action/thriller/spy film that can hold it’s own against the Jason Bourne and Tom Cruise flicks that could have easily wiped out Bond if he did not get up with the times.

Hopefully Daniel Craig does a few more Bond films.

I am in agreeance with myself on what I wrote, but I don’t agree with my score of 8.5 out of 10, it was a tad too generous. There were a few long scenes where the story slowed down just a bit too much and I was longing for some action sequences. The poker game for example dragged on a bit which could have been shortened or livened up a bit with a shootout at some point. And the romance storyline in the third act, which seemed like it was tacked on, was kind of dull… it too needed a shootout scene or at least a car chase somewhere.

But these gripes aside it was still a good Bond film, and solidified Daniel Craig as a very worthy Bond.

Date watched: August 3rd
Score: 7.5/10
James’ score: 7.5/10
Film count 2019: 22

The Informers

Not long into watching this I realised I had seen this before, and looking back through my blog posts I found that I had reviewed it back in September, 2012. No matter, it was kind of worth watching again.

The film involves different characters and follows them as they go through 1980’s high life in Los Angeles. So there is a lot of being high, and one character comes down with a mysterious new sickness, the result of sleeping around too much.

The acting by all is superb, and it should be with actors like Mickey Rourke, Amber Heard, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, and Billy Bob Joe Hank William Thornton. Chris Isaak is in it too, and he did an admirable job of it.

Ultimately though it didn’t really do much at the end. Some of the stories had an ending, some not, and maybe it was not supposed to come to a satisfying end. Basically the film was about despair, loneliness, and helplessness so perhaps the filmmakers were trying to get us all really down.

A whole subplot that involved vampires was cut from the film, perhaps for the best. Then again, it could have spiced the film up more. There was one scene in the film though that did show a remnant of that plot (involving a very nasty and pale-faced character who was trying to buy a kidnapped child). The film was a huge bomb, which is a pity as it was not a terrible film, but I guess most people want a happy ending, and maybe keeping the vampires would have helped.

Date watched: July 6th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2019: 20

The Pianist

This is based on the true story of a Polish=Jew who survived the German occupation in World War Two, directed by Roman Polanski. And it is most excellent. It was a French, German, Polish, and British co-production.

Adrien Brody plays Wladyslaw Szpilman, a gifted piano player who along with his parents, sisters and brothers tries to survive the German occupation after Poland is invaded. Things only get worse of course.

The film portrays the hardship and horror of what the Jews had to go through, some of it quite shocking, and no doubt based on actual accounts of what went on. I didn’t know that a part of Warsaw was used to house all of the Jews in the city temporarily, and was walled off from the rest of the city, like the Berlin Wall.

The acting was absolutely superb from all, as was the direction and the sets. Some of the shots of bombed-out streets towards the end of the film could not have possibly been real, so the CG was most excellent too.

It is a long film at 150 minutes, but it does not feel like it at all.

Not an uplifting film, and not easy to watch at times, but it’s three Academy Awards (out of seven nominations) proves that this is a must-watch.

Date watched: June 1st
Score: 10/10
Film count 2019: 16

Fish Tank

My roll of excellent films continues with this 2009 BBC drama film, written and directed by Andrea Arnold.

As you can see on the poster above, there are a lot of stars which signifies that this is indeed a very good film.

It tells the story of Mia, a rather angry 15 year old who is not going to school and gets into all sorts of trouble. She is a loner and picks fights with the neighbourhood girls, and like her mother drinks a lot. But she is a talented hip-hop dancer, and wants to become a dancer like those she sees in hip-hop videos. She lives with her mother and younger sister, and in the film the mother becomes involved with Michael Fassbender, which is where all of the drama begins.

This is a very raw film, no dramatic music or over-acted dramatics, just a very real look at problems in an East London council estate (depressing-looking places). The acting by all is superb. The girl playing Mia’s younger sister was especially good, she must have been 9 or 10 at the time.

From Wikipedia about the actress who played Mia:

Katie Jarvis, who plays Mia, had no prior acting experience. She was cast for the film after one of Arnold’s casting assistants saw her arguing with her boyfriend in Tilbury Town.

And…

In early 2014, she was reportedly under consideration for a role in the Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens after taking a hiatus from acting to concentrate on her family. However, she did not appear in the film.

She has just finished a role in EastEnders.

Excellent stuff.

Date watched: May 4th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2019: 13

Children of Men

I watched this back in 2008 and recently decided I had to see this excellent film again.

As I wrote in my original post for this it is a brilliant film. It is extremely well made, acted, and told. The story is pretty depressing stuff on the whole, but it ends with hope for humankind.

Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine were all bonkers good, as were the rest of the cast. The cinematography was stunning, especially the long shots which this film is well known for. The dark post-apocalyptic style of the film looked very good, they certainly went to a lot of trouble to make it look that way.

Some of it seemed a bit forced, especially the extras who were trying just a bit too hard to look desperate and downtrodden. No biggie though.

I will definitely watch this again in another 11 years time, and blog about it again of course. Gee, I wonder what Tommo will be starring in then? He will be 67 in 2030.

Date watched: May 3rd
Score: 9/10
Film count 2019: 12