In honor of George Lucas bringing back the same product for the 20th time around but just making a few tweaks I think it’s only right we discuss the movies coming out this weekend. Truthfully I would talk movies anyway but this was a good segway, and before we jump into anything else we need to discuss The Phantom Menace, which is coming out 13 years later after it’s original release.
Lets take a few steps back here because something has happened to me, as I’ve grown older…
I once was an avid Star Wars defender. Truth is I saw Star Wars late in life (my teens) but once I got it, I was in. I went with my friend Jon to the midnight showing of Phantom Menace in Wisconsin and tried to find the good in it – even Jar Jar Binks. I saw Episode 2 and defended CGI Yoda and also the casting of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. I then went and waited in line for Episode 3 and found myself loving it the 3 times I saw it in the theater.
I was one of the guys, who overly defended Lucas for anything he was doing “wrong” like when he replaced the original Anakin in Jedi, added new scenes to the original trilogy, changed Jar Jar’s voice, and planned to re-release in 3-D (to name a few). I was on board with his excuse that what he was currently releasing was how he envisioned it all along but technology hadn’t caught up yet.
Then… Something hit me. I realized I’m under the force of Lucas and I’ve been defending things I don’t believe in. It makes no sense as to why I’d defend George Lucas. I like Star Wars for what it was and what it did. I came to terms with the fact that Lucas has been adding to something that shouldn’t change. One argument, which is totally valid, is that it’s his product and he can do what he wants. But the other argument is, which is totally valid, is that he’s fucking insecure with what he made so he keeps changing it, and can’t make anything new (and good).
Changing things to 3-D is one thing, but updating a classic is another. I’m not sure Lucas understands that people don’t want new added into the original Star Wars. It took me long enough to learn the name of the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine, I don’t want to be hit with more fictitious names. If you really think about what he’s doing it’s pretty unbelievable… he’s blatantly altering it!
Worst part is… I’m going to see it again! I’m angry with myself and I’m angry I’m under the force of George Lucas and his Santa beard. I digress…
The Phantom Menace is back. It’s currently tracking to make 33 million this weekend. That’s pretty big. I wonder why Lucas didn’t start with the originals. Lucas said he’s releasing new 3-D Star Wars every 2 years. At the current rate we’re not going to get to Jedi until 2022. This just in George Lucas: in 2022 we’re going to have holograms and technology better than 3-D. But you already know that. What are you going to do to Star Wars!?
I should note that this is Valentines Day weekend and the follow movies are the perfect consumer slate before the “Holiday.”
The Vow: Dear John meets The Notebook. Channing Tatum meets Rachel McAdams. What could go wrong? Nothing. Here are all possible scenarios of why you’d see this movie:
You’re a single female and you love Channing Tatum.
You’re in a relationship and you love Channing Tatum.
You’re in a relationship and you’re desperate to have sex with your girlfriend.
You’re in a relationship and the female runs the show.
You’re in high school.
You read the book.
That pretty much covers it, right?
Safe House: Denzel and Ryan Reynolds. It’s amazing how I currently feel about Denzel, he’s still the man but isn’t the draw he once was. It seems like his sweet spot is to play the Training Day/Man On Fire Guy. It’s the “Don’t fuck with me” Denzel. All in all, this movie is intriguing and in a sense is the anti-Vow. Is it the anti-Vow? I feel like this movie is perfect because women love Denzel and Ryan Reynolds.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island: I love The Rock. I really do. I wish this foray in kids movies worked out for him but they just haven’t hit. This is the film you take your kids too when you can’t take them to The Vow or Safe House and Phantom Menace is sold out.
Movies that aren’t geared toward Valentines Day and people won’t see… but maybe should:
Rampart: Don’t know much about this movie but I hear it’s a thriller and Woody Harrelson is great in it. I’ll probably see this at some point… maybe even in the theater.
In Darkness: Another movie I don’t know much about, but it sounds somewhat interesting… maybe a bit slow. The Plot: IN DARKNESS tells the true story of Leopold Soha who risks his own life to save a dozen people from certain death. Initially only interested in his own good, the thief and burglar hides Jewish refugees for 14 months in the sewers of the Nazi-occupied town of Lvov (former Poland).
The reviews aren’t too bad and I heard the director, Agniezka Holland, is very good.
I want to give a quick “not yet a movie but almost there” shout out to two trailers that were released this week:
If you haven’t checked them out I suggest you do. They’re both reboots in their own right but they both look great.
Whatever you see this weekend (if anything) just know that I may be struggling through Phantom Menace at one point or another. Fucking, George Lucas.