Solo (2018)

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Warning, this review of Solo is partly my ramblings on the new Star Wars content as a whole.  Skip the first two paragraphs to get to the meat of this Solo review.

I am a huge Star Wars fan and have been for at least 25 years.  While my fandom has calmed down a bit over the years, in my youth you could find me Star Wars books back when they were the only Star Wars content you could get.  I know that I can get quite picky about what's happening with the new Star Wars content and how it is different to the books, now considered legends.  Many of the changes that have been made to the new content, I’m totally ok with, but there are a few changes that I have a harder time accepting.  Star Wars fans can discuss quality vs quantity in both new and old content until the cows come home, but this review is about Solo, not all the other stuff I can ramble on about for ages.

I went into Solo with low expectations, for various reasons, but mostly because I still haven't decided how I feel about The Last Jedi.  With The Last Jedi, I had, and still have a hard time with how they portrayed Luke Skywalker, which is an argument (pro or con) for another day.  Everything is just so different from what I grew up reading, and let's just say that I’m still working through and mourning the loss of the Star Wars I grew up with. I know I will get past it and reconcile my wants of this universe with how it is now being portrayed, and I suspect finding the time to read some of the new cannon will help facilitate the reconciliation.  Really, a lot of the stories from the books I grew up with were pretty far fetched and a bunch of them were down right terrible, but there were some true gems in there and nostalgia aside, those books helped me a lot when I was young.  I mention all of this so that you can understand why I went into Solo, with low expectations, expecting disappointment, but also with cautious hope that I would enjoy it.

I wasn't disappointed!  I have to say that I was truly surprised that I liked Solo.  It is an enjoyable  and fun movie. While the details of Han Solo’s life were changed a little from the previously written legends, the structures are still basically the same.  I am so glad that they kept the basics mostly intact.  This is still the Han Solo you know and love, still hiding the fact that underneath the swagger he is a good guy.  I also think that I would have enjoyed the movie even if I hadn't set my sights low.

At its heart, Solo is a heist movie.  Taking place about 10 years before the events in A New Hope.  Solo and friends need to steel a bunch of stuff to square up various past transgressions with some nefarious people.  It's a pretty basic plot for a heist movie, but it's set in the Star Wars Universe, so that's an added extra cool feature.  Solo has some new faces we haven't met before as well as a few familiar ones in Chewbacca and Lando.  Donald Glover easily fills Billy Dee Williams shoes as Lando, and while Alden Ehrenreich may not look like Harrison Ford, he does an admirable job in the role.  I have to admit, at first I was annoyed that Ehrenreich didn't look much like Harrison Ford, but after seeing Solo, I think this difference actually help me enjoy the movie more then if they found an actor who looked just like Harrison Ford in his younger days. 

Is Solo the best movie of the franchise?  No, I’d argue that Rogue One gets that trophy, but it is a lot better then some of them.  Did Solo need to be made? Nope, not at all, but despite that, it is still a fun and easy movie to enjoy and I think a true Star Wars fan will enjoy Solo for what it is, a fun adventure.  

Deadpool 2 (2018)

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Sequels are tough.  There are so many expectations that need to be lived up to for a sequel to be successful. The expectations of the actors, the studios and most importantly, the expectations of the audience.  There are not that many sequels out there that are better than the original (Empire Strikes Back being one notable exception) but Deadpool 2 comes pretty close.

This is my spoiler free quick review of Deadpool 2.  At the very start of the movie, Ryan Reynolds, as the titular character of  Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, explains that this sequel is a family movie, and in many ways it is.

Synopsis

Deadpool and his team of X-Force members, must save a young misfit from Cable, a futuristic time travelling mercenary.

I enjoyed Deadpool 2.  I don't think that I enjoyed is quite as much as the first Deadpool movie, but that is only because I had no idea what to expect for the first movie.  Having never read the Deadpool comics, I only really knew about Deadpool because of Ryan Reynolds' guerrilla advertising campaign featuring silly photos, quick catch lines and "leaked" test footage. The original Deadpool movie was absolutely fantastic and Deadpool 2 was a really good followup.  Which says something in of itself since most (not all) but most movie sequels tend to disappoint.

Without spoiling anything of Deadpool 2, all I can really say  is if you enjoyed the first movie, you will also like this movie.  It may not be quite as over the top as the first one, but that's only because you know who Deadpool is now.  I am glad that they kept with the feeling of the first movie, keeping it relatively low budget (for a big blockbuster film) which made me feel that this was part of the same movie world, instead of going for something over the top.  I for one am looking forward to the return of Deadpool whenever the X-Force movie comes out.

As for how a movie that features a merc with a mouth could be remotely considered a family movie, you will just have to watch it for yourself...maybe wait a few years before you let your young-ones see it though.

Life of the Party (2018)

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My first movie review!

You may wonder why I've decided to add movie reviews to my website, well, it's all in an attempt to write more.  I don't know how often I will write a review, but hopefully I will make the time to write a review for the newly released movies I see in theatres.  That is my goal in any case.

My movie reviews will likely be short, sweet and too the point, if I liked them or not.  Pretty simple reviews.  

Last night I saw Life of the Party, staring Melissa McCarthy.  A mild-mannered comedy, Life of the Party is a cute movie with a few good laughs.

McCarthy plays Deanna, a middle aged women caught by surprise at her husbands request for a divorce.  Tumbling head first into mid-life crisis mode, Deanna decides to go back to college and finish her degree.  

Life of the Party is one of those movies that you are not missing much if you don't see it.  Early in the movie I worried about not enjoying it as the character McCarthy played, Deanna, was irritating.  Slowly has Deanna grew as a person, she became more likeable.  There is nothing new or unique about the story told in Life of the Party.  You've seen this movie before, a number of times.  That being said, if you need a decent movie to just chill out and watch and have a few laughs, Life of the Party will fit that bill nicely. 

There was this one scene where McCarthy had to speak in front of an audience, and that scene alone is worth seeing this movie.  Oh my, I thought I was going to pass out from not breathing watching McCarthy perform during this scene.  If you have any fear of speaking in front of an audience, you will totally relate.

All in all, Life of the Party is a cute movie, worth a watch, but wait till it's on Netflix.