Tag Archives: Star Wars

leia-anh

Loss: Carrie Fisher – Forever the Princess of Our Dreams

In 1977, the world at large was introduced to a beautiful and bright eyed 19-year-old girl in the science fiction/fantasy saga known as Star Wars. There were many beloved figures in that film and the subsequent sequels, prequels, and even cartoons, but to many, none shown so bright as a star than Carrie Fisher.  Today, December 27th, 2016, that starlight has vanished when, after a heart attack just a few days ago, she passed away.

so many of us will need this today.
So many of us will need this today.

Like many of you, and myself, this will be a heartbreaking affair.  Not only did we love Carrie Fisher and her work, but have grown up knowing her as Princess Leia.  There are a few things about her work that some forget to acknowledge and even admire.  As I was not born yet, but raised on the Disney Princesses, I had an idea of what a Princess should be.  Looking back at the Star Wars films as an adult, Carrie Fisher and the writers had already re-imagined what a Princess should be and absolutely what they could be.

A Warrior Princess - and one with the attitude to match
A Warrior Princess – and one with the attitude to match

I don’t have many words as this is a close loss of an actor as I’ve seen in a while and at the age of 60, Carrie was relatively young.  I do want to draw your attention to a few things that Carrie loved and cared about over the years and perhaps you’ll get a glimpse of her as a person.

Her latest book, The Princess Diarist, which can be purchased here, show another side of the actress we all grew up loving.  Carrie’s struggle with addiction and mental illness made her respected in the acting community as she was willing to speak open and honestly about what so many of us have have struggled with through the years.  I believe her having the courage to be self-deprecating and share her pain is something that should be admired.  She was an active advocate of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and if you feel the need to share something with the Princess you loved, go there are donate so that so many can benefit from their, and her, support.

Her look of loss in the Empire Strikes Back, something that I myself emulated earlier today.
Her look of loss and sadness in the Empire Strikes Back, something that I myself emulated earlier today.

Other than her charities and causes, Carrie Fisher had a few true loves in her life.  One being her daughter, Billie Catherine Lourd, who actually had a brief cameo appearance in The Force Awakens.  Then there was Gary Fisher, her pet dog who was there with her everywhere she went and stayed by her side til the end.  And when she took Gary as her date to the premier of The Force Awakens, it was a love that all could see and easily identify with due to their own love of their pets.  I’m sure we will all mourn for her, but pet parents will know that Gary, who has his own Instagram page, will be particularly lost without his mother.

carrie-and-gary
Gary stealing the charisma from the room
gettyimages-576767586
Carrie Fisher’s longtime co-star and friend Mark Hamill, bringing his own dog, a rescue named Millie, to accompany Carrie and Gary to the wrap party for The Force Awakens

There are not many things left to say about the great Carrie Fisher, but I hope that you were able to learn a little more about the person behind the Princess who stole our hearts so many years ago.  You will be missed Carrie Fisher and we here at IWTMM thank you for your contribution to film and to society as a whole.

Rest in Peace our lovely Princess Leia
Rest in Peace our lovely Princess Leia

-Darkmovienight

Official Rogue One Trailer 2…The Resisting!

Hello fellow Bleary-Eyed Friends!

It’s been a long time since your Uncle Darkmovienight had anything of substance to say, but waking up this morning to a brand new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was just the kick in the pants this old reviewer needed to get out of bed, grab some coffee, oatmeal, and laptop and toss out a few hundred words!

sleep-walking
Although to be honest, I didn’t really wake up or get out of bed, it was more like I tried to use The Force to get my laptop until I had to go over and bring it back to bed with me…

So in this new and beautiful trailer, we’re treated to a little more of Jyn Erso and her rousing speeches, which will surely inspire the tiny Rebellion to take on the massive Empire in all out war.  We also get a look at how the brilliant Mads Mikkelsen is involved in this prequel to the original Star Wars: A New Hope.

"Oh no, hesa said the P-word!"
“Oh no, hesa said the P-word!”

Just tiny bits of musing from the trailer:

  • They said the name of the movie in the trailer!  You know it’s going to be quality when that happens.
  • Gotta love the menacing walk of Darth Vader to the nameless White Shirt.  Will always admit, Vader walking full speed at anyone is just terrifying.
  • Also, speaking of Vader, watching the character of Director Orson Krennic, portrayed by the talented Ben Mendelsohn, seemingly pleading and yelling at the Dark Lord of the Sith shows how passionate he is about this “technological terror”.  Makes me wonder where he is when Tarkin is talking about it in A New Hope.
  • The money shot of the trailer is really the hazy view we get of the completed Death Star rising above the clouds (it’s around the 1 minute mark if you want to see what I’m talking about, but it’s not like you’re going to watch the trailer multiple times or anything…

So there we have it, another fantastic trailer in the books from the House of Mouse and Lucasfilm.  From all the hubbub about re-shoots and changing composers, I believe everyone needs to temper their expectations just a bit.  I don’t think it’ll be a train-wreck, but I also don’t think it’s going to be anywhere near what J.J. Abrams accomplished with Episode VII.  Remember, we’re watching a film directed by the young Gareth Edwards who only has 7 film credits to his name thus far, so we’ll see what he can do.

But if you’re like me, your butt is going to be firmly planted in a seat when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story releases on December 16th.

-Darkmovienight

PS- Need to apologize to all those that suckle at the breast of I Watch Too Many Movie‘s reviews.  We’ve done a terrible job at keeping you up to date with the film world.

gross-hands
Just realized we haven’t had a Monday Morning Shower Report on the Box Office since JULY! You’ve gotta be pretty gross by now…

Although I also blame Hollywood since there really hasn’t been a film of note since Suicide Squad, and when that’s the benchmark, we all know this has been a lousy year of movie-going.  But we’ll try to do our best to update things more and get everyone involved again, especially with a Holiday Season packed with a new Marvel film, some movie about talking to aliens, a new Harry Potter film, new animated Ethnic Disney Princess film, one based on a Video Game Series, and even a film featuring the voice of Liam Neeson!  So we’ll keep you up to date and these films plus more reviewed in the next few months.

Rogue-One-A-Star-Wars-Story-Logo

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Teaser Trailer or Music Really Does Give You Goosebumps

“This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel.”

After months and well over a year of anticipation, the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is here and the above line of dialog sets the tone for the movie itself.

After last year’s unbelievable success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many of us didn’t know where the franchise could take us next or even have a reasonable follow-up until Episode VIII.  This morning, Disney answered our queries with a trailer for the prequel to A New Hope.

And no, I don't think this is what they had in mind for a prequel. Unless there is a funeral scene...that would be funny.
And no, I don’t think this is what they had in mind for a prequel. Unless there is a funeral scene…that would be worth watching.

Rogue One is the first of many canonical movie tie-ins that Disney has dubbed “Star Wars Stories“.  I’m fairly certain they had that already and it was called the Expanded Universe, but those ass-clowns went ahead an tossed that all out.  I’m not bitter at all.

This is the story of Jyn Erso (portrayed by the English actress Felicity Jones).  You might have seen her in the Stephen Hawking documentary film The Theory of Everything.  Other than being an excellent Mrs. Hawking, Miss Jones has mainly done things across the pond.

Sadly not in this across the pond show
Sadly not in this across the pond show…

Jyn Erso seems to be a likable criminal.  And what do likable criminals do best in film?  Steal stuff!  And like every good heist film, the stakes have to be unimaginably high.  In this case, we already know what she’s looking for: the plans for the Death Star.  This is a heavy subject and one quest fans have been wanting to see for a long time.

I can be relatively sure that no one asked for this...
I can be relatively sure that no one asked for this…

Under the hood of this film are some interesting choices for director- Gareth Edwards, best known for the low budget film Monsters (2010) and rebooting the Godzilla (2014) franchise.  I’m completely down with someone new and fresh getting the reins of a Star Wars film, I just don’t know what Disney realize he was the man for the job while watching giant kaiju destroy cities.

"Well, it's gotta be better than this guy. Bring on the Godzilla guy."
“Well, it’s gotta be better than this guy. Bring in the Godzilla guy.”

Also of interest is bringing on a giant in the world of visual effects, John Knoll as a writer.  Knoll has been the Visual Effects Supervisor for amazingly gorgeous films like Pacific Rim, Avatar, and even Star Trek: First Contact.  He also worked on the Prequel Trilogy, but those films still looked good at least.  I wonder how his talents will be utilized as a writer.  Will it be more ambitious or will he have written much more manageable effects?  We’ll see.

There is a wild card in the cast.  Not only do we have Hoban Washburne or “Wash” (Alan Tudyk) and King of Important Plot Development- Forest Whitaker, but we have one of the most mysterious men in cinema: Mads Mikkelsen.  After facing off with Daniel Craig’s James Bond in Casino Royale, he decided to face off against Laurence Fishburne in the critically acclaimed, and down right disturbing, TV show Hannibal.

Please tell me that's Bantha meat. Image and worthwile article curtosy of Vulture
Please tell me that’s Bantha meat. Image and worthwhile article courtesy of Vulture

Seriously, I don’t know who he’s playing, and frankly, I just don’t want to think of him at all.  It’s safer that way.

Oh god it just got worse...
Oh god it just got worse…

Finally, we have the music.  Taking over for John Williams this time is Alexandre Desplat, the composer from the Harry Potter films, to Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.  He also worked with Edwards on 2014’s Godzilla, so it seems the two kept each other’s business cards at least.

What I have to point out is that the iconic works from A New Hope take on such a brilliant and beautiful life here that it instantly breathes that “Star Wars Feeling” into your earholes.  And of course Desplat’s own take of the Imperial March sounds absolutely haunting.  I didn’t even think that was possible.  Also, what’s up with movie trailers using piano to pay homage to the original score?

The rest of the trailer keeps some beautiful sights, combat, and all out war in the open and in the trenches for everyone to see and it’s really something.  Now I’m not shaking with excitement like I did with 2014’s The Force Awakens teaser, but I am really interested in Disney’s “Star Wars Stories” films.  Could be shameless money grab, or allowing more of the Galaxy Far Far Away to showcase more than just Jedi…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 18th and remember, when they debut the actual trailer for this one in September/October- BUY YOUR TICKETS THEN.

-Darkmovienight

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Post Oscar Stuff or Crap that was Okay Last Night

Good morning Bleary-Eyed Fans, did you watch the Academy Awards last night?  No?  Neither did we.  In fact we cared so little, our post was both late, terrible, and unfinished.  Also, as far as predictions, we only got one: Leonardo DiCaprio won his Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Okay, he earned this party
Okay, he earned this party

All I can say is that it seems like a little bit of a pity Oscar.  Not that Leo doesn’t deserve an Academy Award…it’s just that he should have got it one of the other four times he was nominated.  The Revenant just wasn’t that special (and pretty inaccurate).  Oh well, he won, are we done now?

Of course there was a ton of racist issues this Oscars (pretty much like the 87th preceding ones), from boycotting, asking Chris Rock to step down as host, and even the absolutely correct viral statement: #oscarssowhite.  There wasn’t anything we could do and it’s just going to keep happening.  I wish I could say something different, but I can’t. It’s just a despicable time we live in where all people are not created equally.  It’s a shame, but all a movie dissector like myself can do is point it out and choose not to be like those that perpetrate hate and racism.  Although I will say, even though he has quietly slipped into the “B-List” of acting, Chris Rock had some good things to say about it.  I was proud of him monologue (or what I caught snippets of this morning) and while it wasn’t a joke, he didn’t hide anything.

Dude rocked the WHITE suit and told it like it is
Dude rocked the WHITE suit and told it like it is

There are no videos of the full monologue yet, but I’d like to recount my absolute favorite part from Chris Rock’s discussion on race, how awful the Academy Awards are, and how strange the whole damn this is in general:

“But things are changing.  Things are changing.  We got a black Rocky this year.  Some people call it “Creed.”  I call it “Black Rocky.” And that’s a big, that’s an unbelievable statement.  I mean, cause, “Rocky” takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes.  “Rocky” is a science fiction movie.  There’s things that happened in “Star Wars” that are more believable than things that happened in “Rocky”, O.K.?”
*Sweating bullets* Finn can't tell if that was more racist or less...
*Sweating bullets*
Finn can’t tell if that was more racist or less…

Alright, we can agree I can’t fix racism.  But what I can do is report on some of the better things of the night.  Starting with the big winners:

  • Best Picture: Spotlight
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo di Caprio for The Revenant
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson for Room
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
  • Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant 
  • Best Animated Feature Film: Inside Out by Disney/Pixar
  • Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina by Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett
  • Best Original Song: Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith for Spectre
  • Most Awards Won: Mad Max: Fury Road with Six Awards

Let me toss in a bit of thoughts regarding the winners after the jump.

The Hateful Eight or Samuel L. Jackson steals the show…again

the-hateful-eight-poster1

Warning, the following review will indeed be a review of a Quentin Tarantino movie, we cannot do our job without being slightly profane.  Rest assured that no racial slurs will be used, but if you’re offended by gratuitous violence and language, you wouldn’t see this movie anyway, let alone read a review.  Now, on with the show, er, review:

Now I will get into detail about the film and showcase some of its best features as well as a few failings, but first I want to give you a little bit of history regarding the “70MM” presentation you might have heard about for this film.  If you’re not interested, just skip to the picture of the film strips.

Yes, I said history, I promise you'll survive.
Yes, I said history, I promise you’ll survive.

As you’ve likely seen, The Hateful Eight is being shown in this fancy “70MM Ultra Panavision” at select locations.  Most of you will likely not get this opportunity as it requires a theater to rent, borrow, sell their souls for a projector that can handle it, and it’s being shown as a  special “Roadshow Event”.

I threw a lot at you there.  Let me break it down just a little bit in more detail.  I’ll get to the film comparisons soon, and I won’t get too technical here, just take my word for it, it’s an extremely panoramic film that  not only gives excellent detail, but can make landscapes absolutely breathtaking (there were quite a few examples in The Hateful Eight). What really makes this exciting is that this is the first movie filmed in 70MM and shown since 1966.

Yes, it WAS the same year that Adam West's Batman did "The Batusi"
Yes, it WAS the same year that Adam West’s Batman did “The Batusi”.  It’s not like China first synthesized Insulin to save diabetic peoples’ lives, the Batusi had way more of a cultural impact.

I also mentioned the special “Roadshow Event” earlier.  Basically, when TV was first invented, everyone went nuts for this home entertainment miracle and thus stopped spending money at the theaters.

I have a 1080p 55" Sony with great audio and as you can see, I buck the trend.
I have a 1080p 55″ Sony with great audio and as you can see, I clearly buck the trend.

So, what was poor disenfranchised Hollywood to do when their adoring (paying) customers stayed home and watched Batman, the first episode of Star Trek, and The Andy Griffith Show instead of dressing up all fancy like, shelling out the nickles and dimes (or *gasp* a dollar) on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,  El Dorado, or even Batman: The Movie.

As much as I love Batman, I just can't blame everyone for skipping this one...
As much as I love Batman, I just can’t blame everyone for skipping this one…

Anyway, the answer from Hollywood was to make going to theaters an “experience” again.  This came in the format of an old tactic called a “Roadshow Event”.  The premise was simple, limit the supply (the movie release) and people would rush to see a “Special Screening” of Ben-Hur (1959) or It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)- and oh, I made sure that I had the correct amount of “Mads” in the title there.  Genius idea, but without the best distribution methods, no Drones for Lyndon B. Johnson to deliver things…that we know about.

This is where the “Roadshow” portion came about.  They would bring the projector, a full panoramic (and sometimes curved screen, which you might say they were ahead of the…oh forget it, you would probably lynch me for making that joke about modern Curved TVs), and the film from area to area to show the film.  It made for those “Special Events” and got the attention of people again.  While 1966 was the final year a 70MM film was made, Hollywood did okay by reviving an old gimmick with new technology that would last well into the 1980’s:

Oh, and then Avatar (2009) came out and the theater chains found out they could charge a premium...
Oh, and then Avatar (2009) came out and the theater chains found out they could charge a premium for the same gimmick with just fancy new tech…and glasses

Bit of history on the “Roadshow Events” and now just a quick showcase of 70MM film in general.  I’ll do it quick and I won’t have you all do any math.  The 70MM film format had a ratio of 2.76:1 (that means the screen is 2.76 times as wide as it is tall). Compared, most movies today are projected in either 1.85:1 (35MM) or 2.35:1 “anamorphic widescreen” format. High-Def screens feature a 16:9 ratio, which is close enough to 1.85:1, and besides, only nerds like me appreciate.  As I said earlier, this is done to give amazing landscapes, epic scale of set pieces, and almost turning the film into a “play-like quality”.  Just take a quick look below to see comparisons of the different types of film.  I tossed in a true IMAX comparison just for fun.

70MM Comparison
Visual aids, the best thing since sliced bacon
IMAX Comparison
It looks like IMAX is compensating for something…

History lesson is over, let’s talk about all the filthy, gory, disturbing, racist and other offensive non-sense Tarantino loves to showcase in all of his films.

As I said in the title, Samuel L. Jackson really steals the show here.  His character not only progresses much of the story forward, and is the most clever.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Samuel L. Jackson and every Tarantino film, but I think it’s time they take a break from each other.  If you were to look at Tarantino’s IMDB page, you would see seventeen director credits.  All but eight of them, are TV shows, guest directing gigs, etc.  The meat of his directing career, the eight true films, starting with Reservoir Dogs (1992) and leading up to The Hateful Eight, Samuel L. Jackson appears in six of those eight films.

I mean, there is no cardinal sin here since both Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino are both insanely talented, and they haven’t gotten to the level of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton.  The latter two’s collaborations are getting worse and worse as the years go by.  I don’t want the same phenomenon to happen to Jackson and Tarantino.  And like I said, Jackson steals the show.  He’s the one the audience is rooting for and he can do no wrong.  In fact, in this performance, I believe he leaves a little on the table even though his dialogue is crisp and well delivered, it just feels that he’s playing “Samuel L. Jackson” and not the character in the film.

Everyone else has their assigned duties.  Kurt Russel pokes his head out from whatever hole he was in and punches a woman in the face so many times that I wanted to call the cops for assault and battery.  You’ve got other normal Tarantino actors: Michael Madsen and Tim Roth who put on great performances.  I really appreciate Roth who has one of the most prolonged but easily hilarious scenes I’ve seen.  You have to pay attention, but it’s there and it is glorious.  The others involved deliver the script to mount as much tension as possible before we have the “Tarantino Battle Minute”.

I name this particular sequence the “Tarantino Battle Minute” because it happens in every one of his films.  First, there is a seriously long discussion/dialogue featuring one person to a medium sized group.  This is Tarantino’s specialty.  No other writer/director ever produces such authentic dialogue.  It’s natural and in some situations, like half the scenes in Inglorious Basterds, it builds the tension to a serious boiling point.  That’s the second part, the “Tarantino Battle Minute”.  After all the conversations, there is a lightning quick amount of carnage.

Heads are blown off, people disemboweled, simultaneous murders, limbs ripped apart or off, testicles shredded, eyes stepped on, and in one case, the top of someone’s head is cleanly sliced off.  All this will occur in a matter of moments. The longest example is from Kill Bill: Vol. 1 when The Bride destroys the gang known as “The Crazy 88”.  But suffice it to say, the “Tarantino Battle Minute” usually ends up looking like this afterwards:

“YOU DIDN’T MENTION KNEECAPPING.” – DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)
Actual dialogue: “YOU DIDN’T MENTION KNEECAPPING.” – Django Unchained (2012).  I suppose I didn’t mention “kneecapping” up there…

You know these are in the movie.  They’re bloody fantastic (I mean that in the most serious and every way possible).  But, that brings me to a moment of hesitation in The Hateful Eight, I essentially knew what was going to happen the entire time and that’s kind of a bummer.  I know a lot of other films follow a director’s style and exact same formula, but that doesn’t make it any better.  What I can, and will say, is that even though I knew it was coming, it still showcased some of the most ridiculous and gratuitous violence with guns I’ve ever seen.  I say guns because The Bride murders with a blade.

Now some things I can dote on are the cinematography and set design.  I saw the film in its 70MM format, so your experience may vary, but what I felt was true immersion with the landscape and the characters.  It’s something that 3D tries to do all the time, but can’t quite get it right. You immediately see why Tarantino resurrected a decades old film format: not only “just because he could”, but he wanted the audience in that cabin and wanted us to be able to see every detail around us.

That’s really the last thing I can say about the film: the set was perfect. You have eight people in a one-room shack with no where to hide.  The outhouse is indeed outside, along with the stables.  The door has to be nailed shut due to it being broken.  And with all the decorations, tables, bed, bar, fireplace, and eight strangers, it gets extremely claustrophobic and paranoia, even in the audience, looms everywhere.  Tarantino could not have constructed a more perfectly tense location for the characters to interact.

I said "Characters" not Deadpool
I said “Characters” not just Deadpool

I wouldn’t be doing my job very well if I didn’t warn against the coarse language throughout the entire film.  I cannot imagine any of our readers offended by the slurs and curses, but I have to at least say something.  And it really does add to the dialogue.  The film takes place in the Post Civil War time and listening to the transition and moderate to no acceptance of anything or anyone was fascinating.

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

The Hateful Eight is a Quentin Tarantino film.  Everything he does in every other movie he has done is present in this feature.  I can’t imagine this would be your first Tarantino film, so if you like what he’s done before, you’re going to like this movie.  I will say I’m getting tired of Samuel L. Jackson stealing every scene he’s in, but that’s a minor complaint.  Still it kept a little enjoyment from me, not much, but I wasn’t as invested in the character as I usually would have been.  Finally, if you live somewhere that has the 70MM Roadshow, see that version, you’ll be treating yourself.

-Darkmovienight

credentials-energy

I’m a Freak Friday…and Happy New Years!

Good afternoon our Bleary-Eyed movie viewers.  Hopefully you’ve had enough time to sober up from last night’s festivities or you’re like me and went to bed at 10 PM, so you’re just wasting the day away until reality comes back and you actually have to do something.

Not saying every
Not saying everyone is a sweaty construction worker, this is merely a comment on Climate Change- it’s real and we need to wake up before it’s too late!  This photo was taken in December…in Alaska!

Yesterday we ended 2015 with our thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a quick look at some of the most amazing trailers from the excellent 2016 slate.  We don’t have a lot today until we catch The Hateful Eight tomorrow, which certainly looks interesting, but I will say it doesn’t have enough Christoph Waltz for my taste:

Hopefully we’ll have a review for you all on Tuesday and get to tell you what Mr. Tarantino’s film has in store for the unsuspecting public.  Until then, I know many of you may have asked: “Just who are these handsome gentlemen who are telling us which movie we should see and which one we shouldn’t?”

First, I’ll not dignify the “Handsome” remark above as it just wouldn’t be proper.  Lastly, not secondly, I will give you a tiny bit of our credentials from 2015.  I will direct your attention to the picture below:

2016-01-01 16.57.40

What you are viewing above you are 63 movie ticket stubs.  Also, it represents 56 individual films, I mean seriously, you think we wouldn’t see Star Wars twice?  We began this lovely site somewhere in the third or fourth row and hopefully you’ve enjoyed everything we have thrown at you in that time.  If you didn’t, let’s just say we have friends that can change your mind…

Hipsters
“We read “I Watch Too Many Movies” before it was mainstream.  And we’ll totally be sarcastic when talking to you…that’ll show you” – Hipster “Enforcers”

Anyway, other than Hipster Attack Squad Plaid, we wanted to show you we take our jobs seriously here at I Watch Too Many Movies.  We’ll watch good movies, we’ll watch terrible movies, and we’ll watch movies that will likely make most of you sleepy, but watch them we shall.

So keep that in mind, if there is a film arriving in theaters that you’re thinking about going to see, and you’re not sure about it because those supposed “Professional Movie Reviewers” used some fancy words like “Celluloid” in their review.  We’ll only ask you one question?  Who ya gonna call?

Terrible babysitters, not us. Dear god not us.
Terrible babysitters, not us. Dear god not us.

Happy New Years Day everyone and we can’t wait to bring 2016 to a digital device near you…probably in your hands, on the screen, or streaming to your TV, you get the point.

Christoph-Waltz
Ah! There he is! Thank you so much Mr. Waltz, your so kind giving me the credit for your last few Oscars.

-Darkmovienight

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens or How long til Episode VIII?

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

There isn’t a good way to start a review of the most anticipated film of 2015.  But, we have to start somewhere.  And all I can think of is…

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away….

The Star Wars franchise wasn’t in the best of shape.  From 1999 to 2005, George “These are my toys” Lucas released prequels to the beloved Star Wars franchise.  He wrote and directed each film and after 17 years since Return of the Jedi, his creation fell flat.  Perhaps it was an expectation that could not be matched by any film trilogy.  However, The Force Awakens seems to disagree with the anticipation vs. fan enjoyment argument, seeing as it could become the number one grossing film of all time.  That’s right, it’ll pass Avatar by James Cameron.

Can you even remember a quote from this movie?
Can you even remember a quote from this movie?

When the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney was completed (to the tune of $4.05 Billion) in 2012, they wasted no time in announcing new Star Wars films.  A great tremor was felt in the collective fan community.  How could the ‘House of Mouse’ ever do this franchise properly?  Could they possibly do the The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn (which this reviewer thinks is the best Expanded Universe tale ever told)?  What would happen to the excellent Clone Wars animated show?  All questions, but no answers.

Best representation of the above statement.
Best representation of the above statement.

Finally, after what seemed like ages, news slowly trickled out about the state of our Galaxy Far Far Away.

  • From the movie production:
    • Who was the director?  J.J. Abrams.
    • How much CGI?  Lots, but hey they’re using practical effects too!
    • Who are the writers?  Those that did screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, Toy Store 3, and Armageddon (don’t know about that one J.J.)
    • Would the original cast be part of it?  Maybe.

Reasonable expectations began for the film.  Then came the dark times. Clone Wars was cancelled in favor of a new Disney Star Wars cartoon. The Expanded Universe many fans had been reading since the 1980’s was disbanded as canon and rendered to a “Legacy” status. It seemed that our worst fears had been realized, Disney had taken away everything we loved and filled it with hollow promises of movies, shows, and merchandise.  Then a new hope arose in the form of a trailer in November 2014:

In my opinion, that’s when the tide changed.  Instantly everyone changed into a five year old with their Star Wars toys.  Of course a lot of people made fun of Kylo Ren’s cross guard lightsaber, but everyone was pumped and just like that…December 2015 couldn’t get here fast enough for anyone.

"No longer used for just Jedi/Sith battles: the Brand New Swiss Saber will take care of all your galactic needs. "
“No longer used for just Jedi/Sith battles: the Brand New Swiss Saber will take care of all your galactic needs.  Available for 12 easy payments of 1M New Republic credits.”

More trailers came out.  And so did the merchandise.  “Star Wars all the things!” cried every manufacturer and retailer.  I honestly don’t have a problem with this as long as it wouldn’t effect the storytelling.  Now if Luke Skywalker had been playing with the amazing Hot Wheels line while some dialogue, I think there might have been a problem.

There are a lot of things to be said about the film itself.  I could really go into the amazing space battles, which were the center of the action over any lightsaber battle shown.  Truly, it was well done.  Then there was the acting.  Every single person there was excited to be in a Star Wars filmed and their enthusiasm and talent showed.

Sorry buddy
Sorry Hayden, it wasn’t all your fault, you were too young and seduced by George

The old cast really meshed well with the new characters introduced and the delight was very evident on everyone’s face.  The writing, the actors, the sets, the CG, and the thrill…it was all there.  Star Wars is back and I cannot wait for the next iteration.

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

You didn’t need my review to decide if you were going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you were either going to see it or you were never going to see it.  Sure there are plenty questions left unanswered and of course I could really nitpick at details and find reasons why this issue or that issue…blah blah blah.  Nothing I can say will change what you’re going to do.  I can say it’s as simple as this: I really enjoyed the film.  And I hope you do as well.

And today is the last day of the year, and the last post of 2015.  We hope that you all enjoyed our random writing, be it reviews or some of our other content.

Manchicken and I will likely share our favorites from 2015 over the next few days, but the best all around movie in 2015 was The Martian.  There is lots more to say (comedy, action, failures, etc.) but I’ll get to that in another post.  For now, I wish you all a wonderful New Years and hope you’re looking forward to 2016 as I am!

-Darkmovienight

Box Office

Monday Morning Shower Report: Star Wars Broke All the Records

Good morning Bleary-Eyed fans, are you awake enough after your third or fourth viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Well, prepare to drop the soap as we spend some time on how amazing Star Wars did this weekend.

I'm not getting it, I made that mistake once before and someone stole my wallet
I’m not getting it, I made that mistake once before and someone stole my wallet!

1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens- $238M

There isn’t going to be much else to talk about this morning, so we’re going to get really involved with this film.  And from now on, I’m just going to type “Star Wars” as the movie title so I don’t contract irreversible mega-carpel-tunnel syndrome.  Like I said last week, we all knew that Star Wars was going to break records, but had no idea that it would break all the records.  Let me quickly tick off the records it shattered:

  • Largest opening weekend: $238M, previously held by Jurassic World earlier this year ($208.8M).
  • Largest Thursday showings: $57M, previously held by the final Harry Potter installment ($43.5M) four years ago.
  • Largest opening day (FYI, this does include the above Thursday showings): $120.5M, beating the crap out of the Kid Wizard again which previously held it at $91.1M
  • Largest dollar amount per theater of a wide release: $57.6k per theater, with Star Wars releasing in 4,134 theaters.  There really is no comparison to any other movie here, that’s how far it eclipses everything else.
  • Largest IMAX release: $30.1M out of 391 IMAX screens, making extinct the dinosaurs from earlier this year which had $20.9M.  I’ll do the math for you, that’s $77k per screen…
  • International opening of $279M.  They still have India, Greece, and China (opening in January) to go.

The entire global weekend gross for Star Wars was $517M.  If each person who saw Star Wars only once (not the case, but for sake of jaw-dropping figure), then each human of the Earth’s population (7.3 Billion), will have spent an average of $14.12 a ticket.  That’s right, even toddlers spent $14.12 on average to see Star Wars.

"When does this thing
“When does this thing start, we’ve been in line since 2014!”

Honestly, I knew it was going to be big, but I had no idea the power of the Force, I mean hype.  Now it is estimated that the production costs of Star Wars was north of $200M (not including advertising).  If that is a true number, then Disney/Lucasfilm might eek out a tiny profit…

Kathleen Kennedy (CEO of Lucasfilm) seen in her own shower this morning.
Bob Iger (CEO of Disney) seen here .  Not depicted are Kathleen Kennedy (CEO of Lucasfilm) and J.J. Abrams.  They don’t take golden showers…

All this success does cause a little bit of a problem for I Watch Too Many Movies: we’d love to do a review of Star Wars, but we’ve got a few roadblocks in our way.  We don’t want to spoil it for the 1% who didn’t go this week, and those of you who did see it (likely ANYONE who reads this site) you’ve already made up your mind about how you feel about the film and did your own micro-review on Facebook or Twitter.  I think Manchicken and I will give our thoughts on the film separately in the next few days, but I’m pretty sure those opinions won’t differ too much.

"Let's watch it again." -Manchicken and I
“Let’s watch it again.” -Manchicken and I

2) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip- $14.4M

Apparently some film studios decided to find a convenient excuse for their movies failing by sacrificing, er, releasing them against Star Wars. 20th Century Fox pulled this move by releasing the fourth movie in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie franchise.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that being a Babysitter this weekend was quite lucrative. And likely this is the film the babysitters’ took the kids to while their parents went and saw Star Wars in the theater next door.

Seen here taking a group selfie after leaving the kids in the Chipmunks theater
Horrible dressed babysitters seen here taking a group selfie after leaving the kids alone in the Chipmunks’ theater.  Who knows, they may have even used a Lightsaber selfie-stick to take this picture

3) Sisters- $13.4M

Universal pulled this trick with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s new comedy, Sisters.  Apparently this wasn’t a horrible film, so I don’t know if they just dumped it here or had the misfortune of having this weekend booked for quite a while.  At any rate, it’s a comedy, so it likely didn’t cost much to make and the fact that it made any movie this weekend was an achievement.  The audience consisted mostly of women over 25, so that fits squarely in the demographic that grew up watching these two on Saturday Night Live and haven’t seen or don’t care about seeing Star Wars.

Yeah, you would probably be happier watching Star Wars too
Yeah, you two would probably be happier watching Star Wars as well

4) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2- $5.6M ($254.4M Total)

Katniss’ bow, speeches, or constantly waking up in a hospital bed were no match for a good blaster at Star Wars’ side.  After being in the top spot for four straight weeks, the final chapter in The Hunger Games film series finally toppled.  It’s okay, Lionsgate made their money and now they’ll just have to wait for the Blu-Ray/Digital release.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone since it was more or less the same crowd seeing Star Wars.

Startles
Except Startles.  He is continually amazed at the obvious.  We keep him around because it makes us laugh when he watches the movie Memento

5) Creed- $5.1M ($87.9M Total)

Since this is likely the last week in the Top 5 for Creed, there isn’t much to say except we’re looking forward to any type of continuation to this franchise.  Good job Sly, you did a good job here.

That my friends was an intense box office recap session.  I think I need to take a nap.  Sadly, I’ve got movies to watch (I feel like seeing Apollo 13 today), and real jobs to apply for (unless someone wants to pay me for this gig…yeah…didn’t think so).

One thing I worry about is that we continue to teach Hollywood and their evil Tribunal the wrong lessons.  Everyone went to see Star Wars because it was Star Wars and we had faith it was handled properly by J.J.  What they learned: “Franchise all the things!  Revive every film from the 1970’s!  Reboot everything!”  They’ve heard this lesson for so long it’s more of a mantra they chant than something new.

"Oh almighty Box Office master, show us the way!"
“Sequels, franchises and reboots arise!  Sequels, franchises and reboots arise!  Sequels, franchises and reboots ARISE!”

Have a great week my friends and wake up, I know you saw Star Wars four times, but falling asleep in the shower is dangerous to yourself and others.

-Darkmovienight

Yes

Wednesday Wars: Time Moves too Slow (1 Day, 15 Hours Left!)

Morning Bleary-Eyed Fans, it’s Wednesday and you know what that means…

Wednesday Wars

Episode VIII

TIME MOVES TOO SLOW

It is one day before Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases in theaters. Many lives are at stake as no one knows the true power of The Force…of line stampeding. Hopefully your theater of choice has assigned seating.

Millions of people await this EPIC RELEASE without any fear that the Jedi Captain himself, J.J. ADAMS, has messed up the franchise or created another Episode I misfire. We here on “I Watch Too Many Movies” have faith in the living Force that this will not occur.

With this being the final WEDNESDAY WARS until we start getting excited for Episode VIII, we will throw everything we have at this difficult post and hope we find the thermal exhaust port to your funny bone. I guess that means we would kill you or something, but let’s gloss over that for now….

Yoda Joseph Gordon-Levitt finds this funny not. Yeesssssss.
Yoda Joseph Gordon-Levitt finds this funny it is not. With the desperation it is strong.

Even celebrities who got to attend the showing on Monday dressed up. You can see one of our favorite actors, JGL, up there in “Yoda-Face”.  I’m not sure, but I also see The Grinch lounge pants.  Reasons we love him #262.  Another star, Rainn Wilson showed up as a grizzled Jedi along with an adorable Boba Fett:

I seem to remember an episode of The Office in which Dwight did this, but I believe that could have been any sitcom's Halloween Episode
I seem to remember an episode of The Office in which Dwight did this, but I believe that could have been any sitcom’s Halloween Episode…it’s so original that nerds like Star Wars!

Now that we’ve hated with all our might those that walked the red carpet and saw The Force Awakens two days ago, let’s find some things fun in the world of Star Wars stuff.

Today I’ll lead off with a little girl who knows what she wants and her amazing parents who worked hard to get it done for her.  I present to you, a Princess Chewbacca Birthday cake:

Only true warriors are comfortable donning a proper Princess Dress.
Only true warriors are comfortable donning a proper Princess Dress.

I think they did a fantastic job.  Also make note of the little girl’s Imperial Head Band.  Make fun of her and I’m sure her Sith parents will ensure your windpipe closes with record speed.

The next few videos we have, come from the gluttonous geniuses at Epic Meal Time.  In celebration of the release of The Force Awakens, they create an over 70,000 Calorie BB-8 Beef Ball.  While I usually find some enjoyment in their culinary disturbances in The Force’s collective bowls, this one was over the top.  Just watch:

There isn’t much about food that turns me off, but that monstrosity comes close.   And of course they had to create something for breakfast as well.  I don’t feel as nauseated after watching this one.  Presenting the “Blue Milk Breakfast Sandwich”:

Let’s move away from the world of food and allow some disgustingly rich dude to show us all up and create the geekiest engagement device ever created:

beautifully-badass-lord-of-the-rings-inspired-lightsaber

You’re eyes do not deceive you.  That is a beautifully forged lightsaber to go with J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings world.  Instead of enslaving Middle Earth, our Earth, and the entire Galaxy, the individual who commissioned it from the amazing craftsmen at Vader’s Vault used it to merely ask for a someone’s hand in marriage.  All that aside, can you imagine if Sauron had wielded this type of power?  Especially if he had access to The Dark Side of the Force…he’d be one powerful Motherf-

Shut your
-Shut your mouth!  Say ‘Force’ again.  Say ‘Force’ again, I dare you, I double dare you…

Finally, we turn to Saturday Night Live, which has become merely a stage for The Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake to show off how talented they are, has come up with an excellent Star Wars toy commercial that rings all too true and hits close to home:

And yeah, I bought The Black Series figures on Force Friday.  And of course they’re still in their box!  You think I’m going to play with them? Well, I really wanted to but my wife wouldn’t let me.  Something about buying too many toys when we don’t have children.  I don’t know, I stopped listening pretty quickly.

Anyway, we hope you appreciated all of our Wednesday Wars posts this  year.  I also owe a special apology to Drag Queens for our post on the extremely uncomfortable looking Star Wars heels I wrote about on October 14th.  It was definitely not meant to single you all out.  I don’t believe anyone would be comfortable in those things.

We’ve enjoyed doing this segment and plan on continuing with a Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice countdown at the start of 2016. Hopefully we’ll find enough material to keep you all engaged and laughing like a victim of the Joker.

See how I tied Batman to Star Wars: Mark Hammil
See how I segued from Star Wars to Batman?  Mark freaking Hamill.

Lastly I want everyone to get a good eyeful of yours truly.  Dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones premier:

Perhaps Attack of the Clones wasn't the best use of my costume, but I was in HIGH SCHOOL and we all make mistakes.
Perhaps Attack of the Clones wasn’t the best use of my costume, but I was in HIGH SCHOOL and we all make mistakes.  And no, I don’t know why the image is on its side. I’m not good at these new fancy computer tablet hybrids.

Have an excellent Wednesday and make sure to enjoy Star Wars: The Force Unleashed,in theaters this Friday.

I done told you!
DOES IT LOOK LIKE I’M A JEDI?  THEN WHY YOU TRY TO TALK TO HIM LIKE A JEDI?
Oh...
Oh…

-Darkmovienight

Star Trek 2009 Movie Poster

Five minutes away from my computer and the “Star Trek: Beyond” trailer gets released…

Can movie studios please STOP RELEASING TRAILERS THIS WEEK!  Not saying that I don’t appreciate it, but come on!  I’m unemployed here, I have to do something other than update this website!

"I like this job, it's exciting" Yeah Simon, but you'd probably get paid for this.
“I like this job, it’s exciting” Yeah Simon, but you’d probably get paid for this.

Anyway, check out the Beastie Boys’ new music video for “Sabotage” and some quick flashes of a more upbeat Star Trek than the last one. And I finally get to have Idris Elba in a franchise I love.  Also having Simon Pegg writing and Justin Lin directing, you could say I’m more excited for this one than Star Trek: Into Darkness.  If you’ve not seen Lin’s work, just know he’s the guy that did Fast Five (reinvention of the Fast & Furious franchise to make it actually interesting, oh and get The Rock and Vin Diesel to fight each other).

Forget Batman vs. Superman, THIS was the title match in 2011
Forget Batman vs. Superman, THIS was the title match in 2011.  They both played Khan though, it was weird

He also did all of the paintball episodes of the TV show “Community”. Those episodes had the best comedy and action I’ve ever seen since the original Die Hard.  So, you could say I’m excited.  However, I really don’t understand the title of “Star Trek” in this series since most of the action seems to take place on Earth or other planets.  Kirk says it himself in the trailer: “No ship, no crew….”  I would just like to see a little more *stars* in my Star Trek.  Is that so much to ask?

After all, we already had a stationary (pun intended) Star Trek
After all, we already had a stationary (pun intended) Star Trek

-Darkmovienight