When George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney back in 2012 many breathed a sigh of relief. Even though Lucas was the creator of the immensely popular space opera the reaction his prequel trilogy received was mixed to say the least. A majority of criticism stemmed from the over reliance on green screen and digital effects rather focusing on the grand story telling aspect that made the original films a beloved sci-fi series. Plus the wooden acting and clunky dialogue certainly didn’t help either.
George ultimately decided to give Star Wars back to the fans and let the next generation of young film makers reignite that spark of excitement in all of us who enjoy time and time again traveling to that galaxy far, far away. While Episode VII: The Force Awakens went back to many of the techniques the classic trilogy employed I felt like it stepped into the same foot prints of A New Hope without taking the risk of deviating from a set path and didn’t challenge itself to be different. The other reason I didn’t get behind The Force Awakens as others is we’ve had six movies devoted to the Skywalker lineage the time is right to go explore other avenues of the force.
What gets me excited now that Disney owns the property is the decision that in between the main saga films fans are going to get spin offs that will focus on side characters or various other elements in a limitless universe. The first stand alone, Rogue One, is set to be released in theaters in less then a month and will tell the story of how the rebels were able to get their hands on the Death Star plans. My initial thoughts were for the most part skeptical towards the idea until it was announced that Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) had signed on to direct. While a select few were lukewarm to Edwards’ interpretation of the king of the monsters there is no denying that the man has a keen eye for delivering breathtaking visuals as well as a grand sense of scale. You couldn’t ask for a better choice to direct a stand alone film as every trailer for Rogue One captures the style of the original trilogy in stunning perfection. Having that sheer scope mixed with classic Stormtroopers is enough for me to buy a ticket opening night but if there was any other reason to get on board its the big screen return of the iconic Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.
Nowadays one can’t simply be a Star Wars fan without checking out the official tie-in novel. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel serves as a prequel to the prequel (if that makes any sense) and from the 14 chapters I’ve made my way through thus far its a fascinating/involving read well worth looking into before heading out to the theater on December 16th. I might delve into the novel a bit more on here once I’ve finished it and we’ve all had time to dissect Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as the new year approaches. You can pick up your copy of Catalyst by clicking on the book artwork below.
Synopsis: Tucker & Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids.
True friendships endure through thick and thin no matter what set of circumstances are thrown into the wild and craziness of everyday life. I remember reading once that people meet their true friends are after high school and quite honestly I can’t find any real validity behind that particular statement. Maybe its because at that particular age you’re just a teenager interested in flirting with girls or cracking jokes trying to make people laugh. This is the final part of childhood innocence four years where you prepare to go out into the real world yet you value every memory of hanging out with the people who got your distinct personality within five minutes of meeting one another. This past September has been 18 years since meeting my two best friends and thanks in part to social media and smartphones we’re always in contact with one another. When you’re a teenager a lot of adults will tell you ‘You have a lot of growing up to do’ and looking back at that point in my life I had already matured into the person that I wanted to be. Thankfully I still have two like minded people in my life to make me laugh whenever bad luck reared its ugly head or offered advice when I needed a different point of view. If I had to do it all over again I wish I could go back in time and get a do over on a few things but in terms of my friends I wouldn’t change one thing.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is one of the finest buddy/situational comedies I’ve ever had the pleasure of laughing my way through. It focuses on two friends who enjoy the simple things in life such as drinking beer, fishing, and fixing up a vacation home they bought out in middle of nowhere. Unfortunately for Tucker and Dale they bump into a group of college students who thanks to the Deliverance stereotype think the pair are nothing more than a couple inbred hillbillies who want to cause bodily harm to anyone who enters their turf. One evening while out fishing Tucker and Dale manage to save one of the college kids who accidentally hit her head on a boulder. Because the rest of the group of 20 somethings perceive that the ‘crazy’ hillbillies have taken her hostage they vow to get her back by any means necessary. The extreme bloodshed that follows is due to the college kid’s ignorance as they refuse to think logically or try to communicate with the two hillbillies who end up possessing a lot more common sense than either of them. It’s the basic role reversal which isn’t done much nowadays and thankfully the two actors playing Tucker and Dale (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) along with director Eli Craig decided to rely on a lot of great spur of the moment improvising to make what could have been a ho-hum comedy into an instant cult classic. Don’t take my word for it though track this down give it a watch then laugh, cry, make new memories with friends. Repeat.
Final Grade: A+
Hell is when the VCR starts eating your VHS collection & spitting the remains back out at you…