Solo: a Star Wars Story – Review and Spoiler-Free Analysis

Going into Solo: a Star Wars Story, I had my own fair share of reservations due to production shakeups and even the very idea of this movie. Maybe you’ve heard this before: “No one asked for a Han Solo movie.” “Disney is ruining Star Wars.” “Jon Negroni’s YouTube channel is a disgrace.”

All of these points are valid, but for me, Solo happens to be a genuinely satisfying summer movie, and even one worth analyzing. In the video above, I give a spoiler-free review and analysis of the movie, spending most of my time discussing my personal baggage with Han as a character in the original trilogy, plus a lot of what you can expect overall from his adventurous origin story.

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Incredibles 2 Will Be Way More Successful Than (Some) Think

I don’t usually dive into the prediction game, but this year I’m feeling uniquely compelled to weigh in on the box office future of Incredibles 2, a Pixar film some are strangely underestimating as we close in on Summer 2018.

Will it be #1 for the whole summer? Not necessarily, thanks to Avengers: Infinity War. But here’s my breakdown on how I envision the summer playing out in general, from Deadpool 2 to Solo. Spoiler alert: it involves Disney making way more money than everyone else. In part thanks to Pixar’s latest sequel based off of one of their most beloved movies.

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Loki’s Role in the MCU Doesn’t Make Any Sense

Loki, God of Mischief. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s been the most consistent villain with actual lines (sorry, Thanos). He’s also been a fan favorite for years, often cited as the “best villain” of these movies since obvi-betraying Thor in Thor and puny god-ing his way through The Avengers.

But let’s be honest. Loki’s role post-Avengers doesn’t really make a lot of sense, especially after Thor: Ragnarok. To make my case, I parked my car in front of a park a few miles away from Facebook headquarters (incidentally) and recorded my unfiltered thoughts on the subject. As you’ll observe, I didn’t really prepare for this, but I stand by every word I say. For now.

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Jon in Theory: What Makes a Movie Character Likable?

Have you ever heard a film critic or general film-loving person tell you the characters in a movie were “likable?” I’ve done this too many times to count in reviews and podcasts, but what does it really mean? What do different people mean when they invoke “likable” characters?

I’m not sure if I thoroughly tackle the topic, but hopefully this quick recording lays out a guideline for how I think we should talk about movie characters in ways that are more useful for others. Whether you’re talking to a coworker about the latest Marvel movie or writing a think piece about Midnight Cowboy (which, admittedly, has some seriously unlikable characters).

My main point, which goes beyond general film discourse, is to stop assuming people understand what you mean when you say something that’s commonly said. This applies to basic communication on a whole range of topics, but when recommending a film or telling people what you dislike about a film, this can be especially useful to keep in mind. We all want to be likable ourselves, right?

Hope you enjoy the video, and you can find the Twitter thread I mentioned right here, as well as the video essay thread I brought up and the Marvel Symphonic Universe video.


 

Is Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ Really A Masterpiece? — Cinemaholics

dunkirk

Usually on Cinemaholics, we stick to covering one featured movie and leaving the rest for “mini reviews.” But for the second week in a row, the summer release schedule disagreed with us, so Will Ashton, Maveryke Hines, and I reviewed both Dunkirk and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets this week.

This was a more contentious episode than usual, with most of us differing quite a bit on both of these movies, particularly Valerian. If you’re at all interested in seeing either of these films, our conversation might prove useful.

Just two Mini Reviews this week: Aftermath (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Colossal (starring Anne Hathaway). The latter is a film I saw just this week as a blind buy on Will Ashton’s recommendation.

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What Is Even Going On In ‘Transformers: The Last Knight?’— Cinemaholics

Full disclosure: I was very tired during this latest episode of Cinemaholics, and you can clearly hear it in my voice. For fun, simply imagine that it’s my disdain for Transformers: The Last Knight fueling my weariness and it should sound just fine.

Maveryke and I are joined this week by CJ Mellon from That Kind of Nerd podcast. You may remember CJ from his guest appearance on Now Conspiring last fall, when we discussed the best and worst movies of 2016 (or maybe just the summer?) Unfortunately, Will Ashton is out this week due to scheduling conflicts.

Fortunately, our Mini Reviews were a bit more lighthearted than our featured discussion of Transformers. We talked about GLOW, the new show on Netflix starring Alison Brie, which is about the “gorgeous ladies of wrestling” in the 1980s. Highly recommend now that I’ve seen a few episodes myself. CJ shares his love of iZombie and speaks briefly on Season 3 without spoiling anything. And I gave a sneak peak review of Friends from College, another new Netflix show premiering on July 14th. I’m still working my way through the season, but it’s a solid recommendation.

There are just three things we want you listeners to do if you have a spare moment this week, and it will greatly benefit Cinemaholics:

  1. Email us! We truly enjoy your feedback through the cinemaholicspodcast(at)gmail.com email. It also helps guide our early segments and ease into conversation. So please keep your great emails coming.
  2. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Yes, yes, I know it’s a hassle, but doing this ensures that our podcast stays afloat as we pay our bills and bring on new guests. For those of you who’ve already done this, thanks again for taking the time.
  3. Join our Facebook community. We’re steadily growing and finding new ways to talk to you all, and it’s great to find listeners from YouTube and podcasts mingling in the same group. Thanks again for all of you who’ve liked the page already.

No Cinemahomework this week, but stay tuned for some bonus content in the next few days surrounding some big news stories we didn’t have time to get to in the main episode. See you all next week.

Is ‘Cars 3’ The Best ‘Cars’ Movie? — Cinemaholics

I’ve spent the last seven days or so talking about Cars 3Cars, and Pixar in general, but my recent sit-down with Will Ashton and Kayla Savage on Cinemaholics was a true highlight. We reviewed Cars 3, of course, but we also spent a considerable amount of time discussing the Cars franchise as a whole and why it’s Pixar’s most controversial brand.

We also shared our thoughts on two big movies that released this week: 47 Meters Down and Rough Night. Will Ashton saw the former and Kayla Savage and I saw the latter. Hopefully, you’ll appreciate our newly titled segment at the beginning of the episode, “But Our Emails,” where we took a few minutes to read your messages over the last few weeks.

Send us your questions! Cinemaholicspodcast[@]gmail.com. 

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