Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Official Trailer Finally Arrives


Rogue One

The Rogue One official trailer finally came out after weeks of fans waiting for it since last month’s Star Wars celebration over in London.

At first, people thought the trailer would be released during the celebration, but that didn’t come to pass. Then San Diego Comic-Con came and went and still no official trailer. We already seen the teaser, the sizzle reel from London celebration and even a tv spot that aired in the last week or so. Yet, there was still no full trailer. Fans were waiting with extreme patience.

Once news came down that the first official trailer will show during the Olympics the guessing game began on which day it will be. When it was confirmed that it was to be tonight people worldwide began to wait for the trailer to premiere. And waited during each Olympic event. And waited some more. I, myself, decided I needed a nap and left orders to be awoken when it finally did show.

Well, it did show just an hour into my nap and despite being groggy from being woken up that first image of the desert planet with Forest Whitaker and Felicity Jones conversing got my full attention. The wait was long, but it was well worth it and now the wait for the film’s premiere begins.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for a December 16, 2016 release date.

Rogue One Wakes Up the Internet with Its First Trailer


Rogue One

The world has been dying to see the first teaser trailer for the next Star Wars. The most recent one came out at the end of last year and already people wondering why this next one hasn’t already come out.

Well, it will come out this December when the public is flush with money to spend on the holidays (though we all know it’s probably to buy Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tickets as holiday gifts for themselves).

This teaser trailer shows us stuff that happened between Episode 3 and Episode 4. It also focuses on a new hero character which has raised the ire of the most vocal minority (very tiny) of the Star Wars fandom. We’re introduced to Jyn Erso played by English-actress Felicity Jones who we learn is not just a criminal of sorts, but one ready with a smartass quip.

Star Wars has another woman in the lead role! First it was Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Then just the last couple weeks, one of the few redeeming things about Batman v. Superman was the appearance of Wonder Woman. We can’t forget how last year’s Mad Max: Fury Road was being called Mad Max Furiosa Road.

The MRA mouthbreaters and Mary Sue labelers have had it up to their neckbeards of having their beloved franchises being invaded by the opposite sex. They’re already calling for boycotts and petitions to get Rogue One from being released as is. They want their fictional heroes to return to the good ol’ days of privileged, white men who rescued and kissed damsels (even if they to be their sister) in distress.

Their shouts and cries of impotent rage has been drowned out by the massive majority of even more vocal supporters of another female heroine in a fictional universe which dares to posit that dangerous question: can women be heroes? It looks like after Rey and now, with this upcoming film’s Jyn Erso the answer may be a collective and very loud “Yes, Yes, Yes.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for a December 16, 2016 release date or be on hold indefinitely if the MRA neckbeard mouthbreaters get their court injuction to delay its release.

Lisa Marie Considers A Better Life (dir. by Chris Weitz)


I recently had a chance to see A Better Life, the new film from director Chris Weitz that a lot of critics have already predicted will be a major contender for all sorts of awards at the end of the year.

A few critics have said that A Better Life is similar to the classic Italian neorealist film Bicycle Thieves.  Look, let’s be honest.  A Better Life is Bicycle Thieves except Rome has been replaced by Los Angeles and the Italian father-and-son are now an Illegal immigrant and his son (played by Demian Birchir and Jose Julian, both of whom give award-worthy performances).  While Julian struggles to resist the temptation to get involved with gangs, Birchir struggles to pay the bills as a gardener.  Eventually, Birchir manages to purchase a truck even though he knows that just by driving, he’s increasing the risk of being caught and deported back to Mexico.  However, after only one day, the truck is stolen.  Unable (because of their own status as illegal aliens) to turn to the police, Birchir and Julian embark on an increasingly dangerous quest through the shadows of Los Angeles, searching for their truck and everything that it represents (i.e., the better life of the title).

As a director, Chris Weitz takes a low-key, rather subdued approach to the material.  While the cinematography emphasizes the idea of Los Angeles being both seductive and remote at the same time, Weitz focuses our attention on Birchir’s worn, world-weary face.  Each line and wrinkle on that face tells us a different story of struggle and, ultimately, hope for a better life and a better future.  Weitz slips up a little during the film’s final act.  Some of the dialogue gets a bit too heavy-handed, despite the skill with which Bircher and Julian deliver it.  It’s in these scenes that we suddenly start to see the hand of the filmmakers and suddenly, we’re no longer watching the story of a proud man sacrificing so his son can have a better life.  Instead, we’re suddenly reminded that we’re watching a movie. 

I have to admit that, as time has passed, I’ve become a bit less enthusiastic about A Better Life.  It’s one of those films that carries a lot of power when you first see it but then, once you’ve had some time to think about it, it becomes obvious that you’re not so much reacting to what the film is as much as what you wish the film was.  When I first saw A Better Life, much like a lot of critics, I thought I was seeing one of the best films of 2011.  In retrospect, A Better Life is one of the better films (so far) of 2011 but hardly the best.  What it is ultimately is a well-made film that struggles under the weight of its own good intentions.

Still, as I watched A Better Life, I couldn’t help but remember a crowd-pleasing scene from last year’s The Kids Are All Right.  If you’ll remember, that’s the film where Julianne Moore is a professional landscaper who deals with the guilt of having an affair with Mark Ruffalo by yelling at, abusing, and eventually firing Luis, the Mexican who works for her.  You may remember Moore snapping, “What are you looking at!?” and Luis replying with, “I am not looking at anything, that is just my face.”  The line, of course, is delivered in a thick accent and the scene where Moore actually does fire him is largely played for laughs.  We don’t see Luis again for the rest of the movie though Moore does get a throw-away line about how she wishes she hadn’t fired him (probably because she now has to do all dangerous physical labor herself). 

Now. I have to admit that scene bothered me when I saw it and it has bothered me since.  I doubt that the liberal audiences that flocked to see The Kids Are All Right would have found it as hilarious if Julianne Moore had unfairly fired an African-American character who spoke in exaggerated ebonics.  It was as if the audience members were so exhausted from patting themselves on the back for watching a movie that pretended to be about lesbians that they were relieved to have an ethnic stereotype to laugh at. 

To me, it’s because of scenes like that one that we will always need films like A Better Life.