Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

4 out of 5

Solo: A Star Wars Story is the comfort food of the scifi world. Meaning that its fans are fussy and demanding. People don’t appreciate the skill shown when you deliver a pleasing product yet will be quick to tell you when you’re off. There is some room for seasonings and flavorings but it’s very narrow. I was worried after I saw the Last Jedi but I liked this movie.

Alden Ehrenreich does a credible job despite the fears of the fans. People are quick to call anyone who is cast as a character as iconic as Han Solo and follows after a star as charismatic as Harrison Ford “cocky.” However, that’s what’s called for in the character. I am a fan of the OT myself but does anyone want to see Han Solo’s antics in an old age home?

It’s almost too bad Han didn’t wear a mask. Masked Star Wars characters are allowed to have multiple actors in the role without irritating the fans. Darth Vader has had different physical and voice actors. The Chewie suit is now worn by a younger man.

I’m a fan of comfort food, so I give this movie 4 out of 5. It’s a credible addition to the Star Wars cannon and I’m a Star Wars fan. Some people may prefer a more cutting edge production but there’re newer franchises for that.


Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein

4 out of 5

I’d recommend this as a good YA book if I didn’t worry its scientific worldbuidling was
to much for modern YA readers. Perhaps it’d be best for an advanced reader who needs
a challenge? Max Jones runs away to join the crew of a starship, and rises to become its
captain after an emergency. It’s a cute story, and it might inspire a young person to
train for a STEM career.

Book Review: George Lucas, A Life by Brian Jay Jones

4 out of 5

George seems to be a talented visual storyteller. He knows how to craft engaging images, but is almost lost when he has to create a movie that requires a plot
and not just pretty images. He works best when he’s got people to collaborate with and fill in his gaps as long as he takes their advice. This became less common when he got older and more established thus the interesting but less engaging Star Wars prequels. Being able to assemble and overlook creative teams is a good skillset but is not one that most artists can emulate. I didn’t find what I wanted from this book, but it was interesting to get this glimpse into his work methods, and his fans may want to read this to satisfy their curiosity.

Movie Review: Metropolis

Writers can learn a lot from movies so movie reviews will be a semi-regular feature if I feel a movie has taught me something writers can use for their works.

Metropolis is credited with being the first #scifi movie.It was released in 1927 and produced by Fritz Lang. It’s best regarded as a historical document. It’s overacting, melodrama, and the fashion sense of its stars is comical to modern tastes. The evil factory uses oppressed blue collar workers never anticipating a time when manufacturing jobs would face automation. It’s set design of the technology is still eye catching. This movie made me grateful for all the progress made in movie storytelling throughout the decades. I recommend this movie if you are a history buff, but not for general #scifi fans unless you have a taste for pulp.

Review: HBO Westworld-Damaging Hosts Unnecessary Expense

Itunes has released season 1 of HBO’s Westworld and I am now able to finally review it. I like it. However, I see a plot hole.

Guests are allowed to act out sadistic impulses and enact gruesome assault, murder and death scenes with their “Hosts” robots. This is meant as a metaphor about God allowing suffering. It doesn’t work as a metaphor for me since what company would allow valuable equipment to be constantly damaged? Especially when the offscreen Board demands cutbacks in the park’s budget. Allowing guests to damage equipment is an unnecessary expense.

This show’s trope might work if Westworld was cast in a far–future, post–scarcity society that could afford to be so wasteful but this is the dawn of sentience in A.I. I figure the Westworld company may not care about the Hosts’ civic rights but what about the protection of their capital and tangible assets?