Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (dir. Gareth Edwards) 2016

rogue-one-header
I quite like the Star Wars franchise. I see all of them, but there are so many now and they are released in such a weird order that I don’t know whether this was a prequel to the first or the sequel to the third. Whatever it is, it is a very enjoyable stand alone movie.
I watched it in 3D in the I-Max in Waterloo. This is the largest screen in the UK, as they kept telling us, and although that may have enhanced the experience, the special effects are excellent.
Disney have taken over the series, so the aliens have become one level cuter, but this is a war film, so expect battle scenes. It’s not quite The Muppets remake Apocalypse Now, but a few more episodes down the line…. who knows.
I loved the strong female lead, Felicity Jones is great as Jyn. The storyline is simple yet strong, and the whole cast are very engaging. There are some funny moments in the film and the battle scenes had an interesting 1980s retro feel.
It has even been nominated for two Academy Awards, I hope it wins the one for best visual effects, they are very well done.
A very good addition to Star Wars canon.

Red (dir. Robert Schwentke) 2010

hqdefault
Red is available on Netflix. It is an action, comedy, thriller mash-up that does not take itself too seriously.
It has a very famous cast headed by Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker and Morgan Freeman. For me John Malkovich and Helen Mirren steal the show though with great off the wall characters, brilliantly portrayed.  Right through the cast are big names and they all look like they are enjoying themselves immensely.
The movie is an over-the-top version of the  over-the-top 1990s action films, where it more about the guns, the explosions, the car chases and the banter than the story. The story is particularly ridiculous here and it really does not matter because it has the all of the other elements in spades.
Reds is very knowing, in that it pokes fun at all the clichés of the time, while blatantly using them to its advantage. It has likeable, if a bit two dimensional, characters and the  direction is clever and camp.
Watch this if you want a lot of bullets, a lot of bangs and some good laughs but avoid it you want any great philosophical insights.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it.