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Every Star Wars film ranked!

Charmaine Blake

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“From the sagas debut in 1977 to this months Solo and (almost) everything in between, we rank 14 of the Star Wars films and spin-offs

14. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999)

What a disaster. Never was so much anticipation and excitement loaded into a single movie, which shortly after its release in 1999 became known as A New Crushing of Hope. This monumentally obtuse and dull prequel episode utterly failed to answer 15 years worth of what-happened-next? (or is that what-happened-before?) excitement, and featured the intensely annoying and borderline offensive character Jar Jar Binks.

13. Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)

Warwick Davis plays Wicket the Ewok on his home turf, the forest moon of Endor, in this TV movie. He helps two orphaned human siblings, Mace and Cindel, find their abducted parents. Burl Ives narrates.

12. Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)

A classy cast, including Sin Phillips, arguably gives this movie the creative edge over the first Ewok-centred film. Cindel, the orphaned girl from that film, reappears to help the Ewoks against marauders.

Caravan
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, one of two Return of the Jedi spin-offs. Photograph: Allstar/Lucasfilm

11. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

An animated feature-length one-off that spawned six seasons of a TV series. Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, this drama recounts the story of Jedi knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, and their command of a clone army in the war with the Separatists. Lively appearances from Yoda and Jabba the Hutt.

10. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The third in the prequel trilogy has its defenders, perhaps due to the fact that it brings the threads of a big, baggy story together and creates the origin-myth moment for Darth Vader. The flawed, unhappy Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, is drawn into the ambit of Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, and a great villain is born. Anakin will often tilt his head down and look up, in an awful parody of coyness.

9. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002)

This is the best of the prequel trilogy, due to the appearance of Christopher Lee. He plays the wicked renegade Jedi, Count Dooku, who has a mano-a-mano confrontation with Yoda, which is nothing if not very good value. There are some spectacular battle set pieces that still stand up, especially on the big screen.

8. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

The invention of YouTube in 2005 gave an official recognition to the existence of the bizarrely misjudged one-off Star Wars variety special transmitted once in 1978 and then never again. For years, a sheepish George Lucas pretty much tried to manipulate fans into thinking they had dreamed it. Everyone hated the Holiday…”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/may/24/every-star-wars-film-ranked-solo-skywalker

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Someone recut the ‘Bird Box’ trailer using scenes from ‘The Office’ and it’s too perfect

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“Think The Office is all laughs and lighthearted pranks? Guess again. Drew Boatner proved the beloved NBC comedy can be creepy as hell.

Turns out with a few recuts The Office works perfectly as a Bird Box trailer. Meredith getting hit by a car, Dwight’s fire drill, and Andy punching a hole in the wall can come across as very dark with the right sound effects.

The show also got the Quiet Place treatment back in 2018, which I’m sure made John Krasinski very proud. So maybe instead of a revival fans will entertain the possibility of a Dunder Mifflin horror movie.

There was a once a Scranton Strangler, after all. Who’s to say he can’t strike again?”

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/the-office-bird-box-trailer/

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Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ finds the humanity in awkward teen sex

Charmaine Blake

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‘Sex Education’ is all about the dirty, awkward underbelly of sexuality

Image: Jon Hall/Netflix

“The horrors of teen sex are a universal experience. And Sex Education feels like the extended therapy session we needed to work through all that buried, mortifying trauma.

At first, you might be quick to put the new Netflix series in the same category as other racy teen British shows like The Inbetweeners, Skins, or even Misfits. But while Sex Education mines in a similar brazen youthfulness, it strikes closer to home with a realism more akin to Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade.

Otis starts off as your average, introverted, loser high school “everyboy.” A virgin who’s paralyzingly uncomfortable with his own sexuality, his phobias run counter to the openness of his sex therapist mother, played perfectly by Gillian Flynn. But Otis experiences a spike in relevancy when popular bad girl Maeve capitalizes on his untapped skills as a psychologist’s son and turns him into the school’s sex guru.

But that stereotype-laden summary fails to communicate how Sex Education brilliantly subverts the assumptions made through labels like jock, mean girl, dunce, weirdo, therapist, popular, loser, gay, lesbian, slut (or slag), and virgin.

Boy meets bad girl

Image: Jon Hall/Netflix

Each character’s journey, whether a main plot or side story, is an amalgamation of quietly unexpected revelations. Sex Education knows which trope you expect to play out, and instead delivers a story about real people and the complex mess of contradictions that we are.

Sex Education knows which trope you expect to play out, and instead delivers a story about real people and the complex mess of contradictions that we are.

This largely traces back to how it uses physical intimacy as a way to explore rather than exploit its characters. Despite its title, the sex scenes are decidedly unsexy. The most graphic, like the opening scene with a guy faking an orgasm, are cringe-inducing fiascos of mundane reliability. In another, a lesbian couple tries frantically to……………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/sex-education-review-netflix/

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Welcome to ‘Blade Runner’ year, now where’s my damn replicant

Charmaine Blake

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A new life awaits you, but when?

Image: warner brothers

The confetti has been swept up, the hangovers have almost faded, and there is nothing before us now but huge swathes of 2019.

Which is, as any nerd knows, the year in which the 1982 classic Blade Runner officially took place. And whatever else may happen in this likely very insane year, it’s safe to say that we have utterly failed to live up to the future we imagined back then.

Oh, sure, we created a generalized dystopian atmosphere of despair. That part was easy; we were already well on our way to crumbling infrastructure and rising inequality in the 1980s. The fact that the movie (sort of) predicted an out-of-control climate is no big whoop either; anyone working at an oil company or paying attention to scientific literature back then knew global warming was about to be a thing.

But the Ridley Scott movie, and the Philip K. Dick short story on which it was based, both anticipated major leaps and bounds in our adventurousness and our technological prowess that compensated for the gloom.

Here was a future where most people have departed years ago for “off-world colonies.” Hence the giant blimp seen advertising a new life in them to the remaining residents of grimy Los Angeles. Not only that, but we had created lifelike artificial intelligence in the form of replicants to help build those colonies. True, that part didn’t work out too well, at least not for the victims of six dying rogue replicants who fled back to Earth. But still, pretty impressive tech there, Mr. Tyrell!

On the one hand, it’s something of a relief that we are not as smart as we liked to think. Best not to have malfunctioning robots running amuck, giving poignant yet snooty speeches about all the things they’ve seen that we wouldn’t believe. On the other hand, it would be kind of nice if somebody would go far off-world and see things so they could come back and brag like a hipster about it.

Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty: replicant, hipster, dove-lover

Image: sunset boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Rutger Hauer, who wrote that space fantasy death monologue himself, has never explained how attack ships off the shoulder of Orion could actually catch fire in the vacuum of space. (Maybe that’s why we wouldn’t believe it.) Nevertheless, I say we build attack ships, send them to Orion, and test his hypothesis! (Spoiler alert: We won’t be visiting Orion………………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/blade-runner-2019/

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