Monday, June 19, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) - Rogue One

Rogue One is about rebels trying to find hope in a hopeless situation.

I saw this in the theater and, while I liked it, I was very depressed after seeing it. I kind of didn't want to watch it again because I knew I would feel the same way. Well, it was easier knowing exactly what was coming. I felt less of a shock. Don't get me wrong, it was still painful, but it wasn't the same sort of grief as when I first saw the movie.

The good: Great characters that you slowly attach yourself to, and feel for deeply as the movie goes along. "I am one with the Force, the Force is with me." Chirrut and Baze stole the show with their incredible friendship and trust. The hopelessness of the entire situation is constantly brought home with all the various problems. And every time you think they've solved it, something else goes wrong - just as it ought to in a good movie. Good triumphs in the end. There's plenty of nostalgia for people who grew up with Star Wars - lots of little references and nods that were enough to take my breath away at times. The uniforms and clothing, in particular, were great. I was also amused by the appearance of a couple of baddies that Luke meets early in his first movie, too. I like the inclusion of the crystals and their importance to the Death Star's weapon - the same thing that powers a lightsaber destroys worlds. But it also was used in Jedi temples.

The bad: Everybody dies.

Also, I think there was something odd with Felicity Jones' makeup in some scenes, as her mouth really bothered me. It's not the same throughout the movie, though, so I think it had something to do with lighting and makeup.

The other thing that annoyed me was the CGI of Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin. Both were overly stiff and clearly CGI. Tarkin was more annoying because there was more of him on-screen, but Leia's wide-eyed look was just wrong. Peter Cushing was a nuanced actor, and the CGI did not do him justice even a fraction.

Conclusion: While I certainly enjoyed this movie, it's far from my favorite of the year. I think it just slips into third place, above Arrival, purely on nostalgia power.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): I've seen Ghostbusters, Rogue One, Arrival, Stranger Things and Deadpool. I need to see Hidden Figures.