Hey Film Folk,
I’ve spent a lot of time in Space this week…
OK, I’m no Neil Armstrong, but I did have some “out of this world” adventures these past few days.
On Wednesday, at midnight, I went with some close friends to catch the new Star Wars film “Rogue One”. I’m going to talk a little bit about it in a minute, but will save any spoilers for my “P.S.” at the base of this blog. So, if you want to avoid spoilers, ignore my “P.S.” section!!
Then, over the weekend, I drove to Liverpool to spend time with my favourite band, “SPACE”.
An evening hanging out with other SPACE fans, close friends, and the band themselves.
I love SPACE’s music, but I am always creatively fuelled by lead-singer Tommy’s lyrics, ideas and energy. I know Tommy well and he’s just the most lovely fella as well.
On this trip, I bought a few pieces of his art from him, and he threw in a few freebies too – so it was as if Christmas came early for me!
SPACE did a great set, and it’s always fantastic to see some of my films being played on the big screen behind them in front of a packed crowd.
I’d highly recommend to filmmakers starting out today, to make videos for local bands and artists. If you start with small acts, and make them music videos and footage to be used on stage, you’ll quickly build up a great portfolio.
This builds experience, skill, confidence and, once you’ve done a few, you can get paid to do them.
Throw into this that many of the best music videos are a simple idea well-achieved, and you can make some great work. They don’t have to be elaborate/expensive films.
So, Rogue One… I saw it at midnight on Wednesday and again on my way back from Liverpool on Sunday. I don’t normally do much in the way of reviews, and there’ll be no spoilers here (there is in my P.S. section).
All I’d say here is that it’s a great ride and that I really enjoyed it. It isn’t perfect, but Disney have essentially made an old-school war film, inside the Star Wars universe. Most astonishingly, this film actually adds to and bolsters “A New Hope”, when typically you’d expect such a venture to damage it.
It’s a great looking film, the people, ships, landscapes all look like a real universe. It doesn’t feel like a load of actors running around in front of a green-screen.
Have you seen it yet? I’d love to know what you think!
You can see “Rogue One” in just about every cinema on Earth.
You can find out more about SPACE the band at: www.spacetheband.co.uk
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for reading,
OK, so I really enjoyed “Rogue One”. I think the story is well written, the film well shot and I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was.
The core idea of having Galen Erso design a flaw into the Death Star is genius. GENIUS. This plot has been written before in war films, with a cheesy “gun to the head of the wife/daughter” approach. That doesn’t work here, as no sane person would ever save their partner/child to doom multiple planets to death (while knowing their family will be killed at some point regardless). One of the flaws in the original film was always the idea that you could destroy the Death Star in such a way, so to write “Rogue One” as they have, is very smart. It bolsters the original, it doesn’t damage it. In fact, the ending when the dots are joined is incredibly satisfying.
I thought it looked great, acting was top notch (especially Ben Mendelsohn who is superb). The cinematography was gorgeous and well thoughts out. It was nice to see some new Star Wars planets introduced, some new landscapes.
CGI Peter Cushing isn’t perfect, but it’s very well done. Humans have evolved to recognise a face from their first moments of life, so it’s incredibly hard to accomplish CGI humans. CGI Leia is perhaps a little too smiley considering everything that’s occurring around her, and maybe a wider shot would have helped sell the CGI.
On the downside, there are some niggles… I thought Saw Gerrera was a poor character, with a rubbish death (very reminiscent of when Ray Winstone’s character just “decides to die” for no reason at the end of Indy 4). Here, Saw needs a reason to want to give up and die, poorer health, self-sacrifice, insanity .etc As it is here, it simply doesn’t work.
We again had a bit too much of a “lower the shields” storyline. Also, the idea of having a system that stores data like that is very odd, the Death Star plans would essentially be a .pdf. With the tech in the Star Wars universe, requiring a physical harddrive to be chosen and taken seems a little weird (am I being too nitpicky?).
Perhaps my biggest gripe would be when Jyn tells Krennic about the flaw in the Death Star at the end! This is exactly the same as when Bond Villains tell 007 about their plots. At the point she tells him, she doesn’t know that it will succeed. It’s written, because the audience need Krennic to die knowing he failed, but that could have been achieved differently.
This is nitpicking though, and I only bother when I’ve really rated something. I really enjoyed it and if the other Star Wars standalone films are in this ballpark (not even quite as good) then I’ll be happy.
Well done to Gareth Edwards and all involved, the force was with them!