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It is what it is...and it's not very good.
Let me start off by saying that this movie technically doesn't need to exist. In fact, there's not a single Star Wars movie outside of the original trilogy that needs to exist. The original unaltered Star Wars movies are timeless, stand-alone classics and no amount of prequels, television shows, or further sequels can ever take away from the awe inspiring glory and wonder that those three films brought to the world. That being said, Lucas seems to have a problem with leaving well-enough alone and Disney seems to have a problem with not owning everything in existence and so, here we are with the infamous prequel series and now this latest installment in the franchise which to me, serves as the most forgettable Star Wars movie to date. Complete with an unoriginal storyline that many have pointed out is LITERALLY a re-telling of Episode IV but with a female lead (and a black guy because...you know...social justice and whatnot). Without giving away any spoilers I will stand by this claim based on the fact that anyone who's seen Episode IV can literally pick out the similarities plot point by plot point throughout the entirety of this film. Whether this was an attempt to breath new life into and re-introduce a dying franchise back into mainstream acceptance by presenting a new take on the original storyline that can be better processed by the short attention span of the millennial generation, or a way to try and show that despite the amount of criticism and damage that has been done to the franchise by the almost unanimous hatred for the prequels and various animated TV shows that this series still has a fighting chance at becoming great again, one thing is certain; it's not interesting at all. In fact, say what you want about the prequels, but at least they tried to introduce a hint of originality and freshness into the franchise...albeit a tad unsuccessful to some, but at least they TRIED. On top of that, these new main characters who we've been presented with (with the exception of Fin who is by far the most fun and interesting person to watch in this movie) are completely bland, soulless, and devoid of any kind of the vigor or energy that should inspire the viewing audience to identify with them. It certainly doesn't help that the actors and actresses behind most of these characters are sub-par at best, and even Daisy Ridley's performance is pretty much interchangeable with that of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games. Combine this with slow paced storytelling, effortless dialogue, and high levels of predictability and what we have here is an incredibly boring film. It's not all bad though, as with most of Abram's movies the action scenes are spectacular to watch and there's enough charming humor throughout the movie to keep one from completely losing interest. On top of that it certainly was a treat to see Harrison Ford back again and his performance is without a doubt the high point of this film, and there's plenty of other familiarity with the original series that if anything should satisfy those who considered the prequels to be far too foreign. Personally though, I just wish a little more effort was put into reviving the passion and wonder of the first three movies while ALSO introducing a new take on the story that could serve as a vantage point for an entirely new and refreshed anthology in the star wars series. Bottom line, I'm sure your eight year old will love this movie.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Everyone seems to be missing the point
If your willing to jump on the bandwagon and avoid this movie just because a couple of thin skinned reviewers are complaining about all the blood and all the "n-words", then you might as well just shovel your money into Disney's pockets and see star wars because that's the movie for you. This is the first real piece of cinema that has come to the theaters this year; with all the audacity, the balls, and the fearless will to show anything on screen that real filmmakers are brave enough to commit themselves to. If all these negative reviewers would just look past the blood and the guts, they would find a truly masterful piece of cinematic art that reflects both the expertise and effort that went into making it. The storyline is a simple one, but it's told in a complex, interesting, and relatively unique way that is guaranteed to keep your eyes glued to the screen throughout the entire 3 hour run time of the movie. Tarantino's direction is unparalleled as usual, and the performance of the entire cast combined with the wonderful cinematography and deeply engaging dialogue make for a remarkably fun time at the theater, if your willing to sit through a lot of grisly violence and mean spirited subject matter. And although many people are complaining about the heavy political undertones of the film's storyline, to me that is one of the main components of this film that stands out the most. The plot of this film serves not only as a compelling metaphor for the racial tension amongst the American people immediately following the civil war, but actually manages to outline the visceral anger and unpredictability of the racial tension that the American people are facing today within society. In a world hell bent on purporting sensitivity and being politically correct, it's nice to see a movie that's willing to raise a middle finger to that social stigma so as to hold a mirror to the racial confrontations that are still plaguing the American people to this very day. Obviously this film is undoubtedly the most sick, twisted, and violent of Tarantino's filmography, and I'm willing to admit that it's not for everybody, but for those of you willing to toughen up, keep your trigger happy insecurities in check, and enjoy a mean, gritty, and badass film that offers no apologies for what it does best I highly recommend this film. And for those of you who are willing to let Tarantino's comments about the police force get in the way of your enjoyment of this film, like I said; Disney is more than willing to take your hard earned money.