‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016) Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Review: Did You Know Star Wars Had A Death Star?! Set very nearly before ‘A New Hope’, ‘Rogue One’ tells the story of a group of rebel underdogs as they attempt to gain the plans to the Death Star that were such a crucial plot point, nearly 40 years ago. To that end, much of ‘Rogue One’ feels so much like what you’ve seen before, but in an entirely new light. Somewhat.For starters, since ‘Rogue One’ is situated so nearly before the first ‘Star Wars’ film, painstaking time and effort has gone into emulating the feel of the futuristic 1970s. There’s an air of authenticity, right down to the outdated display on the ship computer screens. While this tasteful recreation is impressive to say the least, it pales in comparison to the more innovative work found in ‘Rogue One’.Director Gareth Edwards is known for his work with giant monsters, and he’s brought that unique eye to ‘Star Wars’. Edwards captures the scale and vastness of space in epic fashion, but then brings the focus down to a more intimate, human eye. Giving these scenes this personal context makes you feel claustrophobic & frightened yet exhilarated, and perhaps best captures what it would be like in an intergalactic war.But as much as you experience the film from the character’s level, I’m afraid I had trouble connecting with them. Mainly the main character, Jyn Erso, whose story…

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‘Office Christmas Party’ (2016) Review

Office Christmas Party (2016) Review: Space Office X For many people, the annual office Christmas party is a droll experience. No one really wants to be there, and it somehow turns the joyous event of Christmas, into a sad lonely affair. ‘Office Christmas Party’ is for those people. It’s an escapist fantasy that brings the reckless and wild goings on of ‘Project X’, to the cubicle rebellion of ‘Office Space’.The story follows the company of Xenotech. It doesn’t really matter what the company does, all that matter is Clay, played by the irreverent TJ Miller runs a failing branch of it. After his big sister Carol, played by Jennifer Aniston, threatens to shut down his business, Clay decides to throw the Christmas party to end all Christmas parties. He hopes that his efforts will win the interest of an investor, save his company, and the jobs of all his employees in the process. ‘Office Christmas Party’ does its job well. It has characters that fit the people you see in an everyday work environment, and it tries to put them in funny situations. Those situations can be low brow, like the HR person who uncontrollably farts in nervous situations, or they can be quite clever, with quips that play on the frustrations of office politics. With jokes that range from the silly to the cerebral, ‘Office Christmas Party’ never loses its genuine voice, making it feel like in the writers room, all jokes…

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‘Sully’ (2016) Review

Sully (2016) Review: Soft Landing As a fairly young, but avid viewer of motion pictures, many of the movies that are based on true stories, are stories I either don’t remember or wasn’t alive to see. However in the ever flowing stream of time, events continue to occur, and then are recreated to be enjoyed from the comfort of the cinema. Recently, there was ‘Captain Phillips’ and now ‘Sully’. Both films about Captains surviving a 2009 tragedy, and both starring Tom Hanks. Go figure.   ‘Sully’ of course is the story of the 2009 forced water landing in which Captain Chesley Sullenberger (It’s a wonder he chooses to be called Sully) landed a commercial airplane with 155 people on board, after both engines failed, on the Hudson River. A story like that is amazing on its own, but is the movie any good? Well yes, but I’m not certain I needed to see it.‘Sully’ is a movie that suffers from its publicity. The sequence of the landing itself is thrilling, and it makes for an incredibly immersive portion of the film, but it’s only a fraction of the runtime. The rest of the movie looks at Sully himself. Tom Hanks gives a, well, sullen performance, as a man who’s suddenly thrust into fame, while dealing with an investigation of the incident. The film attempts to create tension in that investigation of the landing, but it comes across as artificial. The type of dramatic…

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