REVIEW: SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

CAST

Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Man Up)
Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity)
Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Linda Hunt (Kindergarten Cop)
John Tui (Power Rangers SPD)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Kiran Shah (Legend)
Sam Witwer (Smallville)
Ray Park (X-Men)

Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)On the planet Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. Lovers Han and Qi’ra make an escape from the clutches of a local gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with stolen coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his surname, Han says he is alone with no family, so the recruiter gives him the last name “Solo”.Three years later, Han is expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination and is serving as an infantryman on Mimban. He encounters a group of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett. Han attempts to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast—a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Able to understand Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to cooperate to escape. Beckett, aware of the usefulness of a Wookiee’s strength, rescues and enlists them in the gang to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up, led by Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife Val, and the destruction of the coaxium.Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’ yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and is Vos’s top lieutenant. Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits.Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)After reaching Kessel in the Millennium Falcon and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. In the confusion, they steal the coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship through the dangerous and uncharted Kessel Run to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)During a confrontation with Enfys, who tracked the team from Vandor, Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’ strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’ superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’s position. She avoids speaking of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.Donald Glover, Alden Ehrenreich, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him. Han shoots Beckett first before he can shoot him, and with his dying words Beckett tells Han he made the smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys. She offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him a vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a job.Woody Harrelson, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)As expected, the film has been met with huge criticism, which in my opinion is wholly unjust and just another opportunity for so called ‘star wars’ fans to voice their disapproval for Disney. Solo is not the biggest and boldest SW feature by any stretch, but it is true to the original trilogy material without resorting to overly complicated plots, ropey CGI effects and forced comedy. It provides action , excitement, great dialogue, romance and a vast array of alien creatures and genuinely feels like a SW film, albeit with an interesting western inspired spin. Its Star Wars with everything we love about the saga.

REVIEW: PRET-A-PORTER (AKA Ready To Wear)

CAST

Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding)
Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Tim Robbins (Green Lantern)
Kim Basinger (Batman)
Stephen Rea (V For Vendetta)
Forest Whitaker (The Butler)
Richard E.Grant (Game of Thrones)
Lauren Bacall (How To Marry A Millonaire)
Lyle Lovett (The Bridge)
Lili Taylor (The COnjuring)
Teri Garr (Tootsie)
Danny Aiello (Ruby)
Sally Kellerman (Someone To Love)
Tracey Ullman (Into The Woods)
Linda Hunt (Kindergarten Cop)
Jean-Pierre Cassel(The Three Musketeers)
Alexandera Vandernoot (Highlander: The Series)
Sam Robards (American Beauty)
Marcello Mastroianni (USed People)
Sophia Loren (Atilla)
Anouk Aimée (Justine)
Cher (Moonstruck)

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This is an entertaining spoof built around a Paris fashion week, and was actually filmed during that event. It’s a typical Robert Altman film, with multiple story lines, fast cutting from one setup to another, and overlapping soundtracks, which all make it hard to follow at the cinema, and very suitable for rental so it can be replayed. It would take too long even to begin to summaries the subplots and characters, but in addition to a galactically stellar cast; there’s a host of guest celebrities, including lots of couturiers; and of course dozens of models on and off the catwalk, in and out of designer clothes, and in the climactic scene without clothes at all.zk85u
It is always healthyto laugh at powerful people who take themselves too seriously; and by poking fun at the fashion industry and its surrounding media circus, Altman is performing a social service, as well as being a true artist. But I don’t find his satire as cruelly biting as some people do. He treats some characters sympathetically or neutrally – eg the designer played by Anouk Aimée and Marcello Mastroianni’s mystery figure. And even the extreme characters – eg Richard E Grant’s screamingly gay designer or Kim Basinger’s gushing TV reporter – are only a little more exaggerated than some real-life equivalents.
pret-a-porter-film-images-239f4627-49e4-44fa-94fc-ff9ed16f963Apparently lots of critics stalked off in a huff, too. That’s too bad, since the film has lots of good qualities.

REVIEW: KINDERGARTEN COP

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Penelope Ann Miller (The Shadow)
Pamela Reed (Proof of Life)
Linda Hunt (Pret-a-Porter)
Richard Tyson (The Babe)
Miko Hughes (New Nightmare)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
Adam Wylie (Under Wraps)
Angela Bassett (Blank Panther)

Image result for kindergarten copAfter years of pursuing drug lord Cullen Crisp, LAPD detective John Kimble finally has him on a murder charge after Crisp kills an informant who gives him information regarding the whereabouts of his former wife Rachel Myatt Crisp and son Cullen, Jr. Accompanied by detective and former teacher Phoebe O’Hara, Kimble goes undercover in Astoria, Oregon, to find Crisp’s former wife who allegedly stole millions of dollars from Crisp before fleeing. The detectives plan to offer her immunity in exchange for testifying against Crisp in court. To find Crisp’s former wife, O’Hara is to act as the substitute teacher in Cullen Jr.’s kindergarten class at Astoria Elementary School.
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Unfortunately, the hypoglycemic O’Hara gets a terrible case of the stomach flu and falls ill at the last moment, so Kimble takes the teacher’s job. The suspicious school principal Miss Schlowski is convinced Kimble will not last long before quitting. Though overwhelmed at first, Kimble adapts to his new status, despite not having any formal teaching experience or training. Using his pet ferret as a class mascot, his police training as a model for structure of the classes, his experience as a father, and positive reinforcement, he becomes a much-admired and cherished figure to the children.
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In turn, Kimble begins to like his undercover job and considers changing his career. He also deals with a case of child abuse, eventually punishing Zach Sullivan’s father for abusing his son and winning Schlowski’s favor. She witnesses his teaching style throughout and assures him that though she does not agree with his methods, she can see that he is a good teacher. Kimble becomes fond of his student Dominic’s mother Joyce Palmieri, who also works at the school. Joyce is estranged from her husband and will not speak of him.
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After a series of conversations with the gradually more trusting Joyce, Kimble slowly deduces that she is Rachel Crisp and that Dominic is Cullen Jr. Back in California, the witness to the informant’s murder dies after using spiked cocaine provided by Crisp’s mother Eleanor, closing the case because the prosecution has no further evidence. Crisp is freed from prison and immediately heads to Astoria with his mother to search for Dominic. Once at the school, Crisp starts a fire in the school library in order to get to Dominic and holds him hostage after being discovered. Luckily, Kimble’s ferret bites Crisp on the neck, allowing Dominic to run free. Crisp shoots Kimble in the leg, then Kimble fatally shoots Crisp. Eleanor also wounds Kimble in the shoulder and discovers her dead son, but is knocked unconscious with a baseball bat by an enraged O’Hara before she can shoot Kimble.
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Eleanor is arrested, while the unconscious Kimble is hospitalized. During Kimble’s recovery, O’Hara and her chef fiancé, Henry, announce their marriage, inviting him to attend. After recovering, Kimble retires from the police force and returns to teaching at the school, where he reunites with the kids and receives a kiss from Joyce in front of them.Image result for kindergarten copThe film may not be as heavy on the action as some of Arnie’s other movies from the time (80s / early 90s), but on the other hand, it is very funny. It delivers some classic lines from not only Arnie, but also the kids.  Kindergarten Cop proves that Arnie is family-friendly, as well as an action hero

REVIEW: DUNE (1984)

CAST
Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Brad Dourif (Childs Play)
Linda Hunt (Dragonfly)
Virginia Madsen (Highlander II)
Francesca Annis (The Libertine)
Leonardo Cimino (Amityville II)
José Ferrer (Lawrence of Arabia)
Freddie Jones (Young Sherlock Holmes)
Richard Jordan (The Hunt For Red October)
Siân Phillips (Clash of The Titans 1981)
Jürgen Prochnow (Hitman: Agent 47)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Sting (Brimstone & Treacle)
Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap)
Max von Sydow (Conan The Barbarian)
Alicia Witt (Two Weerks Notice)
Sean Young (Blade Runner)
In the distant future the known universe is ruled by Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. The most important substance in the empire is the drug known as melange or “the spice”. It has many special properties, such as extending life and expanding consciousness. The most profitable and important of its properties is its ability to assist the Spacing Guild with folding space, which allows safe, instantaneous interstellar travel.
Sensing a potential threat to spice production, the Guild sends an emissary to demand an explanation from the Emperor, who confidentially shares his plans to destroy House Atreides. The popularity of Duke Leto Atreides has grown, and he is suspected to be amassing a secret army, making him a threat to the Emperor. Shaddam’s plan is to give the Atreides control of the planet Arrakis (also known as Dune), the only source of spice, and to have them ambushed there by their longtime archenemies, the Harkonnens. The Navigator commands the Emperor to kill the Duke’s son, Paul Atreides, a young man who dreams prophetic visions of his purpose. The order draws the attention of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, as Paul is tied to the centuries-long Bene Gesserit breeding program which seeks to produce the universe’s superbeing, the Kwisatz Haderach. Paul is tested by the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam. Paul is forced to place his hand in a box which subjects him to excruciating pain. He passes to Mohiam’s satisfaction.
Meanwhile, on the industrial world of Giedi Prime, the sadistic Baron Vladimir Harkonnen tells his nephews Glossu Rabban and Feyd-Rautha about his plan to eliminate the Atreides by manipulating someone into betraying the Duke. The Atreides leave Caladan for Arrakis, a barren desert planet populated by gigantic sandworms and the Fremen, a mysterious people who have long held a prophecy that a messiah would come to lead them to freedom. Upon arrival on Arrakis, Leto is informed by one of his right-hand men, Duncan Idaho, that the Fremen have been underestimated, as they exist in vast numbers and could prove to be powerful allies. Leto gains the trust of Fremen, but before the Duke can establish an alliance with them, the Harkonnens launch their attack.While the Atreides had anticipated a trap, they are unable to withstand the attack, supported by the Emperor’s elite troops and aided by a traitor within House Atreides, Dr. Wellington Yueh. Captured, Leto dies in a failed attempt to assassinate the Baron Harkonnen using a poison gas capsule planted in his tooth by Dr. Yueh. Leto’s concubine Lady Jessica and his son Paul escape into the deep desert, where they join a band of Fremen, led by Stilgar. Paul emerges as Muad’Dib, the leader for whom the Fremen have been waiting. Paul teaches the Fremen to use the sonic weapons and targets mining production of spice. Within two years, spice production is effectively halted. The Spacing Guild warn the The Emperor of the situation on Arrakis. The Guild fears that Paul will consume the Water of Life. These fears are revealed to Paul in a prophetic dream; he drinks the Water of Life and enters into a trance. Awakening, he is transformed and gains control of the sandworms of Arrakis. He has discovered that water kept in huge caches by the Fremen can be used to destroy the spice. Paul has also seen into space and the future; the Emperor is amassing a huge invasion fleet above Arrakis to regain control of the planet and the spice.
Upon the Emperor’s arrival at Arrakis, he executes Rabban for failing to remedy the spice situation. Paul launches a final attack against the Harkonnens and the Emperor’s elite shock troops at the capital city of Arrakeen. His Fremen warriors defeat the Emperor’s legions, while Paul’s sister Alia kills Baron Harkonnen. Paul faces the defeated Emperor and relieves him of power, then engages Feyd-Rautha in a duel to the death. Paul demonstrates his newfound powers and fulfills the Fremen prophecy that he is the promised messiah by causing rain to fall on Arrakis for the first time ever, as Alia declares him the Kwisatz Haderach.
If you are curious about the film and are familiar with all the bad and discouraging press it has received over the years, yet remain a fan of exceptional fantasy or science fiction, do not be discouraged. You may find that it has elements that may just move you, bewilder you, or tantalise your imagination. You may come to agree, like a growing number of us, that it really is not so deserving of the excoriation that it has suffered at the hands – or pens – of its harshest critics. If you go into it with a forgiving mindset then you may be well rewarded. And then – if you haven’t already – read the saga itself. It is formidably great