Building Hope in ROGUE ONE (2016) + Screencaps

(Diego’s Note: originally written for AE, thought I’d reupload since it’s been almost half a decade since this banger dropped. I’m not 100% as big on this film as I once was but I still think shit rocks and it’s a miracle that it comes together like it does for me. Still one of the most gorgeous blockbusters of the 2010s and I think we should all worship DP Greig Fraser for successfully pioneering the new digital look of Star Wars here and in The Mandalorian)

Early on in Rogue One Felicity Jones’s character, Jyn Erso, tells a commune of rebels, “Rebellions are built on hope.” It’s one of the more poignant lines in Rogue One, but also admittedly melancholy. In what is perhaps the darkest entry in the Star Wars saga to date, hope isn’t just a fleeting thing, it’s as though it’s been snuffed out of this once-magical universe entirely. The Empire’s arm extends across the entire galaxy, the rebellion is currently a conglomerate of uncertain allies, and the last bastion of Jedi history is now grounds for another hive of scum and villainy. How can a rebellion be built on hope when hope’s foundation is continuously pulled out from under them?Continue reading “Building Hope in ROGUE ONE (2016) + Screencaps”

John Carpenter THE THING (1982) Fan Commentary Track

Happy Halloween! If you’re looking for last minute spooky goodness, check out my commentary for John Carpenter’s masterpiece The Thing! It’s mandatory yearly viewing for me on Halloween night and it’s never let me down with entertainment. Stay safe and keep the tricks as treats.

BLADE RUNNERS: MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN

Blade Runners Rick Deckard and Officer K couldn’t be any more different. Deckard is a fundamentally flawed being who has little interest in life, a depressed shell of a man, wrapped up in the lingering mystery as to whether or not he is a replicant. K, not exactly a spry fellow himself, is almost immediately revealed to be a replicant whose only job is to exterminate other generation models. Deckard’s journey is one of revelation in his embracing of humanity, while K longs for a mere ounce of it. Even the respective films start with vastly different declarations.Continue reading “BLADE RUNNERS: MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN”

THE COUNSELOR and the Birth of Ridley Scott’s New Age Ferocity

The filmography of Sir Ridley Scott comes with an abundance of critical acclaim. Occasionally, even the lesser received films like Kingdom of Heaven get a lengthened shelf life thanks to extended director’s cuts that help flesh out narrative and thematic purposes. Scott is a director whose work presents itself with visual splendor and sharp production design that drip with atmosphere. The most common complaint in spite of all this is how, for all their technical strength, Scott films can feel cold. Not merely the look of them but in how they portray people. Lo and behold, when Ridley Scott makes his least accessible film to date, The Counselor, it is unsurprisingly spurned by the masses. And yet, the critical lambasting didn’t allow Scott to miss a beat.Continue reading “THE COUNSELOR and the Birth of Ridley Scott’s New Age Ferocity”

DUEL: Spielberg’s Man and the Elements

Duel is a film directed to near perfection, its technical efficiency meant to highlight on the “experience” rather than have its logistical details parsed out. It’s something elemental, like the villainous vehicle crawled out of the dirt of the seemingly endless California desert that has served as a tomb for so many other drivers. The telephone lines might as well be crosses in a graveyard. What can man do against such rudimentary construct of primal rage? It’s Spielberg’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre. His Earth-Jaws. With so many attempts at bringing in a “proper” third Terminator film, we may as well reconvene and name Duel the secret prequel in the tale of man vs. machine.Continue reading “DUEL: Spielberg’s Man and the Elements”