Tag Archives: Rian Johnson

Top Overrated Movies of 2017 

1.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi

After reading a Five Star review from The Telegraph I let my guard down and allowed myself to be hopeful  for the next installment of the new Star Wars movie; only to be utterly let down by Rian Johnson incongruent story arcs and borderline obsessive/misguided impulse to leave his footprint on the Star Wars mythology.  Needless to say: fans have spoken and critics can keep their Disney privileges where the…

2. The Shape of Water

The main problem I have with The Shape of Water was its plot. It was generic and shallow. It was reminiscing of the plot from “Free Willy”. Its antagonist was a one dimensional 1950’s bigoted stereotype that represented all that is wrong with toxic masculinity. I simply didn’t find him to be believable. Although the movie was dexterously directed by Guillermo del Torro and does have artful dialogue, it was bogged down in its hyper sexualized characterization and one dimensional characters. I simply thought it was an average movie…that just won the Golden Globe for best dramatic picture.

3. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman was an entertaining and refreshing movie. A movie whose main character’s hope, innocence and desire to stand for what is good strongly resonated with me and across wide audiences. However, as a superhero movie, it was unremarkable. The final act crumbles at the feet of its underdeveloped villain and forced super hero tropes.

The critical appraise feels shallow at best and at worst, it feels like a participation trophy that says: job well done, your movie is not an embarrassment to the DC universe.

4. The Square

Where to start? I guess the proper place is by asking: is a movie a work of art if it plays at Palme D’Or? Or is a movie a work of art if it stands by its own merits?

The Square is not necessarily a bad film.  It has great acting and an interesting concept, but it suffers from its own self-aware vanity.  It meanders on and on in its own existential crisis. It’s no wonder why critics related/like so much to this movie, given the self-reflection state of post modernism.

5. Thor: Ragnarok

If there was ever a time where I felt that I was the only one NOT taking crazy pills, it was the day after I saw Thor: Ragnarok. Everyone in the world seems to have fallen in love with the greatest, funniest, best Marvel movie to date. The only problem was that I didn’t. I didn’t think much of it.  Only two things came to mind, actually three:

  1. What a wasted Marvel villain!
  2. Thor is turning out to be quite a comic relief character…not a compliment.
  3. Jeff Goblum cannot do wrong.

Yes, I’ll stake my reputation on that last bit.  Having said that, I hope Marvel humor is playing out, apart from a few chuckles here and there I didn’t think it was that funny. Just thinking about  it, it brings me painful reminders of The Last Jedi…alas, Does Marvel’s humor knows no bounds??????!!!!!

Worst Movies of 2017

  1. Life -Another sci-fi movie with dumb scientist.
  1. Kong: Skull Island- It made Journey to the Center of the Earth (with the Rock) look like a master piece.
  1. Alien Covenant- Why remake Prometheus without editing out its bad parts? It seems that Hollywood haven’t killed off all the dumb scientists because they keep coming up in movies.
  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Although visually stunning…(I love its colors) what Rian Johnson did to the Star War mythology is almost as grievous as the Medichlorian affair, which I will not talk about because it’s too painful!

The Last Jedi…Falters (updated)

I am sad to say but The Last Jedi is an action packed sugar rush that crashes and burns after careful consideration.

Whereas I gave a pass at Force Awakens retelling of A New Hope given the respect that JJ gave to the source material I am afraid that I can’t do the same to The Last Jedi. In story telling there is an internal consistency rule that states that authors should always obey the self imposed rules that they established for their world. In many instances  The Last Jedi  is willfully  ignores those rules in order to serve the plot.  This is perhaps one of the main problems with Rian Johnson’s script.  It aims at creating dramatic tension at the cost of internal consistency.  Even some of the advancement in the Jedi mythology puts into question some of the main plot points of its own movie.  Furthermore,  some of the characters decisions are well out of character. This was something that JJ did very well in Force Awakens, Han Solo felt like Han Solo, but in Johnson script, Luke was unrecognizable. He idealism and optimism are long gone, left in the dust of post modernism. Old age, failure and cynicism transformed this character in something unappealing, something that is not Luke Skywalker. I can understand the change in character if the rational is well articulated, but Johnson script does not take the time to do so. The words of Robert McKee sounds very true on this point: in his book Dialogue he stresses the importance of writers writing from the point of view of their characters. The question is not what would I do if I were this character, but rather what would my character do…absent any explanation the character feels alien and the magic of disbelief is broken.

On the bright side, some of the scene are just beautiful to look at.  The concept design are in good Star Wars form and Mr. Willian score is adequate. However, the constant plot holes, fan service scene, check box for character diversity,  and over active editing damper your mood; not to mention  artistic decisions that impacted the course of Star Wars mythology.

What a missed opportunity and to think that Mr. Johnson is in charge of bringing a new trilogy…Star Wars is not in dextrous hands.

Best,

Caleb