The Last Jedi – Movie Review

No Spoilers

My husband was the person who got me into Star Wars and ever since I set eyes on that hairy beast – Chewbacca, I was in love.

Summary: “The Last Jedi” is a continuation of “The Force Awakens” and tells the story of Rey and her new mentor Luke Skywalker. We also find out more about the back story of Kylo Ren and his turbulent relationship with the Dark Side. We are introduced to a new Star Wars cutie – The Porg – a cross between a penguin, owl and puffin. BB8 also doesn’t fail in perfectly expressing his feelings allowing us to think we understand his language – which I recently found out is called 27th generation droidspeak.

I was glad to see a little more of Princess Leah in this episode. Both Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo) gave great performances. I was a little disappointed in Chewy not getting a lot of screen time, but where he did show up, he was funny, witty and just plain loveable.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you will love this Star Wars episode.  It has the struggle between good and evil, the tug and pull of fear and it’s repercussions, and the grey line between right and wrong. And Star Wars has done something unique – it has brought three generations together to enjoy good, clean American fun. Along with my in-laws, my husband and I, and my kids, we all can appreciate this movie. Where R2-D2 and C3P0 bring nostalgia to my in-laws, seeing BB8 brings fun memories to my kids. Where my in-laws remember the apprenticeship of Luke by Yoda, I remember Yoda’s extraordinary light-saber duel against Count Dooku. Where my children see the hesitancy of Luke teaching Rey, I remember Obi-Won’s same reluctance in teaching Anikan, and my in-laws recalling Yoda’s enigmatic advice to Luke. It’s all there, for all of us to ponder and enjoy. And of course, how can Chewbacca not bring all of us together? What is not to love about all of this?

Although I do love these movies, this one did seem a little redundant. There were some new characters introduced, but it is basically the same general scenario. The First Order, along with Snoke (The Empire with Darth Vader in previous episodes) wants control of the universe, but a few in The Resistance (The Rebellion) are fighting against them. Rey (Luke in previous episodes) is the first of a long lost band of warriors. Throw in a cute droid like BB8 (R2D2) and a love triangle – Rey, Finn and Rose (Leah, Luke and Hans) and we have a basic remake. So the whole story is a little anti-climatic. Nonetheless, I am watching all Star Wars movies that come out.

I am still look forward to the last installment of this series, Star Wars Episode IX, to be released December of 2019. I am also pleased to let you know that a stand alone episode called Solo: A Star Wars Story will be releasing May 25, 2018. I am assuming there will be a lot more Chewbacca in this episode!



War for the Planet of the Apes


War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment of this phenomenal movie franchise. Humans have banded together and their forces are strong again, but it seems the Simian virus has mutated and is now affecting humans in a different way. Caesar and his troop have made the decision to move farther away from the humans and this decision has dire consequences. Along the way, they meet several different characters and the end is sad and satisfying.

My take:

I just can’t get over how detailed the CG was! It is shocking at just how real these apes look! There is a particular scene where Maurice (the orangutan) is trying to communicate with a human and the close up is amazing! For lack of a better word, the CG is beautiful. Overall the story line was okay. The title is a bit misleading – I would have considered Dawn of the Planet of the Apes more worthy of “war” in the title than this one. War of the Planet of the Apes was more of “Escape” of the Planet of the Apes.  The movie does explain more about the devolution of the humans and has hints of a continuation with the introduction of Nova.  There are several humorous scenes that my younger children enjoyed. The movie is not graphically gory, but a lot of apes are killed.  There is a lot of gunfire, arrows shooting and explosions. There are no flagrant bad words in the movie. The movie is moving and Caesar the suffering leader continues to suffer. Andy Serkins, who plays Caesar, does an incredible job as an animated actor. The scenes where Caesar is in emotional pain deserve recognition.


If you haven’t seen the first two movies I would recommend that you see them first before watching this movie. If you liked the first two movies, you will also like this one. I personally liked the 2nd one more, but all my children preferred this one more. My two 8 year olds were entertained throughout the movie, my older boys (12, 14, 19) loved it! I don’t think tween girls would really like this type of movie, mine (11 years old) didn’t care much for it.

Going Deeper:

Throughout the movie I had an underlying thought about what if this was real, how would I react to these apes? More and more science is crossing over into areas like human DNA manipulation, cloning, IVF, gene manufacturing, and other areas quicker than I can form opinions. Then encompassing all this, our country is becoming less religious and more opinionated. Everyone has something to say about what is right and wrong and most have no moral standard except for their own thoughts and opinions. My hope though is when I come upon something scientifically new, that I may test it and hold on to the good and detest was is evil (Romans 12:9)


Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

When I saw the trailer to this movie, I was very excited to see it. The visuals and effects were mesmerizing.  And they are, but that is it. The plot is very bland, the characters are somewhat convincing, and where the movie tries to be emotional, it really comes out wanting. The best actor in the movie was Major’s mother, Hairi (Kaori Momoi). Her scenes (about 20 minutes total) were the most moving, despite the lack of emotion portrayed by Johansson.

This movie is set in a futuristic age where mostly everyone is a type of cyborg – humans with robotic features or robots with human features. Major’s (Scarlett Johansson) brain  is saved from an apparent crash and is the first of her kind. She is all robot except her brain and she struggles to find her identity throughout the movie. Is she a robot or is she human and how can she be both? Throughout the movie she finds out where she comes from, who she was, and how love prevails.

This is a movie set on the uniqueness of the protagonist, and unfortunately she really wasn’t that unique. I was disappointed in this. I am not into sci-fi that much, but even I can recognize a good story in a genre I  don’t enjoy extensively.

Recommendations: I can only recommend this movie to those who like the original anime. (Maybe, because I really do not know if the movie botched the story line of the anime or not.) Also, if you don’t care about movie depth and love great CG, then this would  be a good movie to watch. And to those who like cyborg/internet/sci-fi genres, then this may be a good fit.

To the Christian: The movie is rated PG-13. Frankly, Major looks naked half the time. The suit she wears is very close to looking like her skin, but there is a slight difference. There is a moment when she is very close to another female and it looks like they are about to kiss, but thankfully they don’t. There are cuss words thrown through out. I really don’t think I would let my teenagers watch this. They’re not missing out on much. If they like great CG, I would recommend they watch Kong – Skull Island instead.