the simpsons lisa simpson retrospecticus yearbook

Retrospecticus: Monday Morning Movie Quarterback

A few months ago, I said that I was going to take things seriously, and then I did.  The results surprised me a little.  I wrote 38 posts in three months, versus 59 posts over the previous 21.  Despite the extra work, I enjoyed it more than I had in a while, and it seems like you did too: I got more views and viewers … Continue reading Retrospecticus: Monday Morning Movie Quarterback

star wars a new hope concept art ralph mcquarrie yavin iv rebel base

Why Star Wars is so effective at world building

Star Wars Month was both the easiest and hardest theme month I’ve done so far.  It was the easiest because it was clear to me back in September that EVERY movie blog would be talking about The Last Jedi come December, and – unlike horror or DC movies – I actually wanted to see this tent pole.  But it was the hardest because it’s not … Continue reading Why Star Wars is so effective at world building

star wars a new hope concept art ralph mcquarrie x wing death star trench run

Why I wish I would have known about the Star Wars “Despecialized Edition” earlier

As I stated earlier, I saw the special editions of the original trilogy on the big screen in 1997, and I LOVED them.  It was probably more the idea of seeing it in the theater than the special editions themselves (I remember applause in the theater when Han Solo first appeared), but I also have a distinct memory of praising The Empire Strikes Back’s “Darth … Continue reading Why I wish I would have known about the Star Wars “Despecialized Edition” earlier

the last jedi red throne room

The Last Jedi takes the franchise in a challenging new direction

The two most recent entries in the Star Wars franchise weren’t exactly ground-breaking in the way that the original trilogy was, or even the prequels – say what you will, but they were hardly conventional as compared with the original three.  If both The Force Awakens and Rogue One “filled in the edges” of the Star Wars universe, the same cannot be said about The … Continue reading The Last Jedi takes the franchise in a challenging new direction

star wars the force awakens concept art rey jakku star destroyer desert

How better character development could improve Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For the record, it is much easier to act as an amateur script doctor than it is to write something original (as my paltry screenwriting efforts to date prove).  It is also much easier to suggest improvements to a finished film than earlier in its development or production.  In other words, this is more of an exercise for me than any reflection on how good … Continue reading How better character development could improve Star Wars: The Force Awakens

star wars rogue one concept star destroyer shield dock scarif

Why Rogue One is the best looking Star Wars film yet

Gareth Edwards is not my favorite director, just like Rogue One is not my favorite Star Wars movie. That said, Edwards has the ability to compose shots that few modern directors have. His shots don’t just look cool – they look beautiful. More than anything, he’s able to contrast scale better than almost any other big budget director working today. I loved Pacific Rim, but … Continue reading Why Rogue One is the best looking Star Wars film yet

rogue one felicity jones jyn erso tie fighter platform

Other than gorgeous production design, Rogue One adds little new to Star Wars

Rogue One represents several firsts – the first “prequel” since 2005, a self-contained story, and none of the big names of Star Wars save Darth Vader. It tells a story that franchise fans already know, but somehow fails to do much with that story other than make it pretty to look at. Rogue One doesn’t so much build a world as it does recreate the … Continue reading Other than gorgeous production design, Rogue One adds little new to Star Wars