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What does George Lucas really think of ‘The Last Jedi’?

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George Lucas and Mark Hamill, who said it was a shame that George wasn’t consulted on ‘The Last Jedi’

Image: Stephen Lovekin/ WWD/REX/Shutterstock/Lucasfilm

Although on the script page George Lucas is a man of too many words, in real life he is a man of too few. Those of us interested in the life of the shy Star Wars billionaire must make do with the tiniest of insights into his thinking about what Disney is doing with his former intellectual property.

So news that Lucas told The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson his movie was “beautifully made,” according to a THR report that quotes his private secretary, needs to be carefully parsed. It may not be the full-on compliment it sounds like. 

Context you must have, young padawan.

Lucas saw his original ideas for episodes VII (The Force Awakens), VIII (The Last Jedi), and IX (still unnamed) thrown in the trash post-Disney sale. He hasn’t been shy about letting us know that. 

In a 2015 interview with the now-disgraced Charlie Rose, Lucas disparaged Disney for saying they wanted to do something “retro” and “for the fans,” whereas he had endeavored to do something new with each movie — whether the fans liked it or not. He compared the situation to having his children held hostage by “white slavers.” 

Lucas later issued a rare clarification, apologizing for the “inappropriate” remark and asserting he was “thrilled that Disney has the franchise.” But it’s notable that his only other public Force Awakens comment was kind of a subtle dis: “I think the fans are going to love it,” he told the only journalist who managed to catch him on a red carpet. “It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.”

Talk about damning with faint praise.

Lucas was much, much more effusive the following year with the release of Rogue One. Director Gareth Edwards enthused about getting a lengthy and praise-filled call from Lucas once the creator had seen the film and loved it. “I can die happy now,” Edwards told Mashable, summarizing the call. “I will take that conversation to my grave. If I could only get one review ever, it would be from George.”

We’re guessing he said a little bit more than “the fans are going to love it.” A positive review makes sense: Rogue One seamlessly connects to the 1970s visual style of Lucas’ original Star Wars in a way The Force Awakens, for all its homage, did not. Rogue One‘s plot aligned it with the kind of against-all-odds World War II picture George always loved. 

And Lucas simply had less skin in the game, since Rogue One wasn’t a saga episode that had replaced one of his story treatments. 

But now here comes The Last Jedi, which is. And the loss of George’s input lingers. Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, said this to Metro just last week: “What I wish is that they had been more accepting of [Lucas]’ guidance and advice. Because he had an outline for VII, VIII and IX. And it is vastly different to what they have done.” 

Hamill then apologized for being a “stick in the mud,” and graciously pointed out that the new movies “are more popular than ever.” 

So George thinks the movie is “beautifully made.” And indeed it is; even the handful of negative reviews for this critically lauded about-to-be-a-hit have heaped praise on Johnson’s visual style. It’s hard to love movies like Lucas does and and deny this film looks amazing, that it just pops off the screen in so many aesthetically interesting ways. (This is not a spoiler; look at the trailers).

But one can think a film is beautifully made and still inherently dislike it — especially if you know what might have been had they made your movie. 

We’ll keep an eye on the creator’s minimalist pronouncements for any further reviews. In the meantime, we can at least state that The Last Jedi is probably George Lucas’ second-favorite (and second least-favorite) of the three Disney Star Wars films so far. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/13/last-jedi-george-lucas-review/

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Cantina Talk: No, Kathleen Kennedy Isn’t Leaving Lucasfilm

Charmaine Blake

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“Stick a fork in it: Solo: A Star Wars Story is pretty much officially a flop. Its performance hasn’t improved since its unimpressive debut and shows no sign of getting a boost. Moreover, judging from the fallout, the movie had more of an impact amongst conspiracy theorists than anyone else. Want proof? Read on.

Is Kathleen Kennedy Leaving Lucasfilm?

The Source: Random online gossipmongers

Probability of Accuracy: Not even slightly true.

The Real Deal: Lets start with something thats quite clearly wishful thinking on the part of a number of Star Wars fans: For the last couple of weeks, there have been rumors that Kathleen Kennedy is stepping down as Lucasfilm president, with Marvels Kevin Feige being named as her potential replacement. This is, to be blunt, complete and utter banthawash. (Look, we’re trying to keep it clean and on-topic.) Yes, Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed, but thats just one failure after three of the most successful movies in recent memory, and Solo had extenuating circumstancesnamely, losing its original directors, which forced a reshoot of pretty much the entire movie. The idea that Kennedy would be forced to step down after thator that fans need to speak up to save her jobis ridiculous, and betrays…..”

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/cantina-talk-62/

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The movie Gotti Earns a 0% score from Rotten Tomatoes

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Image: Brian Douglas/Lionsgate/Emmet/Furla Oasis Films/new york times

The reviews are in for the mobster movie Gotti which profiles the life of notorious crime boss John Gotti. Following the laundry list of excellent mob movies this should be an easy win, but Gotti‘s reviews are apparently the only entertaining thing about it.

The movie currently has a 0 percent Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s right, zero.

Tomatometer ratings are based on “the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show,” provided there are at least five reviews. Personally, I didn’t even know a 0 was possible. 

Among the 18 approved “Tomato Critics,” not one gave Gotti a positive, or “fresh,” review, though we should note that the audience score is currently at 82 percent, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 from 6,678 reviews at the time this story was published

Regardless, here are some of the best snippets from the reviews. 

1. “He may have been a murderer, but even Gotti deserved better than this.”

 – Brian Tallerico for RogerEgbert.com

2. “There’s not really a story here. It’s more a series of recognizable scenes from any number of gangster movies…” 

-Mark Dujsik for MarkReviewsMovies.com

3.”Gotti ends up feeling like a kitschy assemblage of other directors’ ideas.”

-Gary Thompson for Philly.com

3. There are 44 credited producers on the picture (good. lord.), and not one person had the nerve to question just what kind of derivative, borderline nonsensical film was being made.

-Brian Orndorf for Blue-Ray.com

4.  You don’t put the “Theme From ‘Shaft’” in a movie that is not “Shaft.” Come on.

– Glenn Kenny for the New York Times

5. “… the picture is a chaotic assemblage of short, disconnected scenes interrupted by snippets of archival footage, bits of narration and even moments when Travolta breaks the fourth wall by talking directly into the camera.” 

– Frank Swietek for One Guy’s Opinion

6. “While Travolta has his moments, the woefully uneven film too often settles for mobster stereotypes rather than providing meaningful insight into its subject.” 

– Todd Jorgenson for Cinemalogue

7. “John Travolta and E from Entourage turn infamous mob boss Gotti into a scowling bore.”

– Mike D’Angelo AVClub

(Writer’s note: This is just the headline, but OMG what a headline.)

8.  “… the vibrant, rap-infused score by Pitbull, which features three solo tracks by the popular artist, doesn’t quite jibe with the movie’s general style and tone.”

 – Gary Goldstein for the Los Angeles Times

9. “…Gotti is a connect-the-dots disaster — the don’s greatest hits, so to speak — without discernible theme or cohesive narrative.”

-Franke Lovece for Newsday

10.”[Director Kevin] Connolly’s in too much of a rush to get somewhere and doesn’t seem to know what that destination is.” 

– Chris Nashawaty for Entertainment Weekly

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Let’s talk about the shocking ending of ‘Hereditary’

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“Let’s pore over the details of Hereditary like it’s an overdue art project based on our tragic lives.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Hereditary.

Hereditary is the kind of film you need to sit with.

It’s not just that it has a lot of shocking twists, though it does, or that the scares linger in your psyche, though they do. It’s also that Hereditary is dense with details that only reveal themselves upon closer examination and careful thought… or at least a deep dive into an explainer like this one.

Here’s everything you missed in Hereditary.

1. Yes, King Paimon is real

And people really do worship him.

To be clear, Paimon is “real” in the sense that he was not invented by writer-director Ari Aster for this film. Whether you think he’s actually, literally real depends on whether you believe demons and spirits are real. For what it’s worth, mentions of Paimon go back centuries – he’s even included in the 17th century grimoire Lesser Key of Solomon.

“I’m not tied in any way to the occult, so the research was disturbing, but I knew that I had to go there and I knew that I wanted the ritual elements of the film, which are held at a distance and you only get pieces of them, I knew I wanted them to be rooted in something real,” he said to Thrillist. “I was lead to witchcraft manuals that are instructing people on how to cast spells and this and that.”

2. Charlie has never really been Charlie

From the moment we meet her, it’s obvious there’s something off about Charlie. What exactly that is takes a while to reveal itself.

Early in the film, Annie (Toni Collette) explains that when her son Peter was born, she kept him away from her mother, Ellen. When her daughter Charlie was born, though, Annie relented and “gave” her to Ellen. Ellen…..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/06/14/hereditary-ending-explained-everything-you-missed/

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