Film: 1917

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We drove over to Cineworld at Rushden Lakes to see the recently released flick ‘1917‘ (after having to cancel last Sunday).

Sam Mendes directs and shares writing duties for this World War 1 adventure. It’s based on stories recounted by Sam Mendes’s grandfather β€” Alfred Mendes β€” and stars a host of famous faces β€” Andrew Scott, Daniel Mays, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Madden.

The story however, pivots around two not-quite-so-well-known faces from the world of movies β€” Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay playing the two central characters. I’ve not ever seen them in anything else, and they’re on-screen most of the time, playing their parts very convincingly.

1917 tells the story of two soldiers with an important message to deliver β€” a message that could save the lives of 1600 British soldiers in Northern France. And that’s all I’m going to say about this just-under-two-hour slice of excellent entertainment!

What makes the film unique is the way it was shot. The term ‘immersive’ is a bit over-used these days, but under the assured direction of Sam Mendes, the camera work and soundscape make you feel like you are there, experiencing every twist and turn (literally!), of our two heroes!

Boy! was it tense in places!!!! πŸ₯΄ πŸ₯΄ πŸ₯΄ πŸ₯΄

To keep the audience engaged, the movie looks like it was all shot in one take giving a very ‘here and now’ live feel to it. Quite how they managed to film it at all, given the camera-unfriendly environment, and in some scenes, the sheer number of cast, is beyond me. If they release a ‘making of’, I’ll be first in the queue!

Go see! The best film I’ve seen in ages
(and I’m a Marvel fan!)
πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Film: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Jo, Janet, Carol, Ann I gave the local Odeon our patronage tonight to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was released yesterday in the UK and US to pretty good reviews, having premiered in Los Angeles on December 16.

It promises a movie that wraps things up nicely across the nine-movie arc (see below) BUT crucially, we’re told, it works as a standalone movie for the non Star Wars geeks amongst us! Co-written and directed by J. J. Abrams (who has a great reputation for writing action movies as well as sci-fi), it’s a long affair, at 2 hours, 20 minutes, and there’s a lot riding on this final instalment!

The Skywalker Saga

Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
(2019)

It’s hard to believe it’s been 42 years since the first movie (Episode IV) β€” how many have you seen?

So far this year, we had mostly abandoned the local Odeon here in favour of the much plusher and newer Cineworld at Rushden Lakes, so why didn’t we go there???
Simples: the short(ish) car-journey there this time of year was likely to be congested (and that goes for the traffic actually in Rushden Lakes car-park itself adjacent to the cinema) and we just weren’t sure whether we’d make it in time!

It’s been touted as the ‘final movie in the Star Wars saga’, but actually, to be pedantic (moi?!), it’s (just) the final movie in the Skywalker series! I wonder how many went thinking it was the final Star Wars movie ever? πŸ€”I can’t them giving up on a cash-cow like this!!

Janet acted as chauffeur and picked us up at 6.45. We were soon parked, and the fullness of the car-park indicated that it was going to be busy!

We were right! In fact, Screen 4 was the fullest I’ve seen it in a long while! Fortunately, we were spared the presence of any super-fans dressing-up and acting out their chosen character for the occasion (that was probably last night!) 😁. Jo had booked us our favourite seats (back row) and we were soon into the abundance of adverts (even more than normal!). Thankfully, just 25 minutes later, the main event began…

And what of the movie? Well, it was certainly fast-paced – no time for even a loo break!! 😬 I think it just about held up as a standalone, but newbies will struggle to work out at times, who’s wearing the black and the white hats! Great music, great acting and some superb CGI (but take the sea-sick pills!).

JJA did a good job of pulling-together the unresolved issues from the previous outings and for super-fans, there’s more than one Star Wars ‘familiar face’ making a welcome return to the screen. This includes possibly the shortest ever cameo by a certain fighter pilot from Episode IV!

I’m dropping it one-star for not knowing how to use an ellipsis, (boo!) but adding back half-a-star for consistency (yay!) as they got it wrong in the previous movie ‘The Last Jedi‘ too! (and probably the other seven!) 🀐

As I mentioned previously, ‘pedantic, moi?! 😁

Go see! It’s a roller-coaster of a movie from start to finish!😍