A Good Word for the Latest Star Wars

I just saw The Rise of Skywalker, and I loved it. The visual and aural effects were astounding, the settings beautiful, the story fun, most of the main characters engaging, and the adaptations of what audiences love about Star Wars present without being too derivative. This was brilliant high-tech, family-friendly fantasy storytelling. I did think parts of the script were too warm-fuzzy, but not enough to ruin the movie. It was one of the best they’ve ever made, in my opinion. A dramatic scene with Adam Driver* demonstrates the contrast in acting skills between him and Hayden Christiansen, who played the young Darth Vader in those nearly unwatchable prequels. It’s odd how these films vary in quality.

Now I can go back and read the Ricochet members’ analyses of this movie. Judging by their post titles, they seemed disappointed.... [Read More]


Born Rich

Apropos 10 Cent’s post about people bribing their way into school, the 2001 film Born Rich is a fascinating look at some of the people who grew up in the richest families in America.

It started as a school project by Jamie Johnson, an heir to the J&J fortune and was eventually released at Sundance and shown on HBO.... [Read More]


Mini Movie Review: Little Forest a Bright Spot in a Dark Winter

Movie recommendation: I’m watching a beautiful movie on Prime called Little Forest, cheering fare for dark winter evenings. A young woman returns to her rural roots, a Korean farming village, for reasons she can’t fully explain except that she was “hungry” after all the pre-packaged city food. In the gentle plot, she searches for her mother, reconnects with old friends, and cooks lots and lots of comfort food. We are treated to scenes of bubbling pots, steaming soups, and delicate vegetables sautéed at high heat. Much of the action in this movie consists of characters sitting down to eat the lovely concoctions, which is somehow very satisfying. As the cozy winter turns to spring and vivid summer, the viewer is served crisp, colorful scenes of local plant and animal life. All this combined with charming actors and script create a sumptuous work of art.

What delectable edibles have you discovered amongst the garbage of Netflix and Prime?


Pulp Fiction

My Film Group viewed Pulp Fiction (1994) this Monday. It was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino (54). The name refers to the pulp magazines and crime fiction that was popular during the 1960-1980s, as he was growing up. These were known for their graphic violence. From his early childhood, he knew he wanted to make films, and studied the lives and work of other directors in the genre of gangster and crime films. He then went on to develop his own style, as do all great artists. He is considered one of the greatest film makers of his generation. Pulp Fiction was given seven nominations in the Oscars, including for Best Picture. In 2013, it was preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Pulp Fiction is certainly violent, with John Travolta as Vinvent Vega and Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield, two of the most objective hit men you wouldn’t ever want to meet. They are magnificient as two men with a job to do, which doesn’t interupt their very serious conversation about a foot massage given to Uma Thurman as Mia, the wife of the crime boss Marcellus Wallace. Jules is fearsome as he recites Ezekiel 25:17 incorrectly before he puts a bullet in his target. But what he adds does sound biblical, and the sentiments can be found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. The correct quotation, in case you are interested, is, as follows:
Ezekiel 25:17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.... [Read More]


Oscars low ratings

The Oscars is one of those shows that has become a touchstone of popular culture.  Because movies are such an important element of modern American culture, many people entertain themselves by following who is nominated and then anticipating the awards and the patter of the show’s hosts, along with snippets from the films and some video and stage presentations.   It is supposed to be a star-studded celebration of celebrities associated with films, and it generally delivers that.   (I have not watched the Oscars in many years, and am speaking from memory.)

The big news that came out of this year’s Oscars show was the low ratings of the show.   Conservatives blamed the Oscars, saying many former viewers tuned out because they are tired of the tedious and tendentious speechifying and moralizing that have become hallmarks of the show in recent years. Leftist mass media blamed President Trump.... [Read More]