In 1977, the groundbreaking science fiction film Star Wars was released, featuring an opening text crawl describing a period of civil war in which a Galactic Rebellion has won their first victory. “During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star.”
In 2016, Disney and director Gareth Edwards give us a visual representation of this event, the inception of the Galactic Civil War. Jyn Urso (Felicity Jones), the daughter of a reluctant Imperial engineer (Mads Mikkelsen) who is forced into the creation of the Death Star, is sprung from Imperial prison by the Rebellion. Jyn and an unlikely band of anti-Empire figures are tasked with finding Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), which leads them on the trail of the Death Star plans that jump-started the original Star Wars trilogy.
Rogue One is the first “non-saga” Star Wars film, and it does feel distinctly Continue reading Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Movie Review
Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a cocksure neurosurgeon with the mind of a savant, becomes victim to a (rather excessive) car wreck. His hands smashed through the windshield and succumbing to massive nerve damage, he may never practice surgery again. Wonderful parallel shots show his fall from grace in a shot structure that seems almost too elegant for a Marvel film.
When a physical recovery becomes impossible for him, Strange seeks Continue reading Doctor Strange (2016) Movie Review
The cold open to Casino Royale shows, in sleek black and white, James Bond (Daniel Craig, in his debut as the character) waiting in the shadows of an office for a corrupt MI6 agent. Bond explains to the man that he killed his contact. The scene is essentially a gritty fist fight cross-cut with a noir-style confrontation. It is also essentially MI6’s test to Bond, a mission that gives Bond his 00 status (because killing two people while working for MI6 makes you a 00-agent, arbitrarily). Albeit brief, it is a wonderful opening.
We then see a meeting of evil minds. Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), leader of global crime organization Quantum, is setting up private banker (for terrorists) Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) with a terrorist outfit. Later, Continue reading Casino Royale (2006) Movie Review