Skip to main content

The Fan Awakens

In just a few days, the seventh Star Wars movie will premiere in theaters, and I will be there for its opening. I'm older now, so this won't be any late night craziness (there's a 1:00am IMAX screening for those die-hard fans brimming with energy). This will be a 7pm showing, followed by food & drinks afterward with friends, to dissect the goings-on. Sixteen years ago I stood in line at the Savoy 16 for the midnight premiere screening of The Phantom Menace. Dear reader, I can not express to you enough how I hope Thursday isn't a repeat of that experience.

The first new Star Wars film in a decade (and the first without George Lucas's involvement), The Force Awakens promises a lot. I really hope it delivers. J.J. Abrams is at the helm for this installment. He isn't known for his originality, so I expect to see a lot of echoes and throwbacks to the original trilogy (hopefully none to the prequels). At least we'll have Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill on board again, and the newer characters seem like they might be interesting. In many ways, I still can't believe this is happening.

Scroll back nearly forty years, and I remember going to see the original Star Wars at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign. Mom took me and, really, I was too young for it. We left early on in the screening, as I was bored by the two robots endlessly walking around in the desert. A few years later -- still a kid -- I'd watch the movies on home video, and was still bored by the Tatooine bit, but enjoyed everything on the Death Star. For Empire Strikes Back, I liked the scenes on Hoth and the Super Star Destroyer. Everything else felt a bit slow. By the time Return of the Jedi came along I was having issues relating to my dad, so aspects of that film touched me fairly deeply. And what kid could resist the Ewoks?

The original Star Wars movies are forever part of my childhood. Their mania extended to merchandise, of course (which is purportedly how George Lucas made most of his money from it). I would play with friends Lyle and Josh, who had abundantly more Star Wars toys than I did. And then there were the occasional evening fairs at my elementary school, wherein items such as Emperor Palpatine's throne room playset, and the nifty Star Wars cook book would be sold (mom and I made several batches of Death Star cookies. They were quite enjoyable in all their sugary goodness).

So, Thursday evening will soon be upon us. I plan to head to the theater directly from work, as my tickets aren't for any assigned seats, and there will be four or five us, so getting in line at a decent time will be a must. I'm expecting things to be turnt up. The crowds will be massive. I feel for the theater staff who will have to deal with a crazy weekend. I will try not to add much to their work load. And, finally, it's got to be better than the prequels, right?


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.