From One Side a This Galaxy to the Other…. SOLO a Star Wars Story review

27 05 2018

via From One Side a This Galaxy to the Other…. SOLO a Star Wars Story review

From One Side a This Galaxy to the Other…. SOLO a Star Wars Story review

26 05 2018

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The common critique of this “troubled” prediction, and one which lingers still over it upon its premiere, is that even STAR WARS geeks (who’re about as hopeless in their mindless approaches to filmed drama as Trekkies) had no interest in a Han Solo origin story.  That it was an “unnecessary” movie.

Avoiding the argument that the number of “necessary” films ever made is incredibly small (a list of those few would include KANE, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, JFK, SCHINDLER’S LIST, FARGO, TAXI DRIVER, MASH, 2001 a SPACE ODYSSEY and my own first feature “It All Happens Incredibly Fast”), I met, and still meet that presumptive critique with a simple, “What the Fuck?!”

Solo cocklpit540

Granted, the original STAR WARS from 1977 remains my personal favorite film (and I love the complete Saga in varying degrees from film to film), and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, along with Joseph Cotten’s Jed Leland, Donald Sutherland’s Hawkeye Pierce, and John Turturro’s Barton Fink, is inarguably my favorite film character, but that’s neither here nor there.  I’m just being straight-up before I go any further….


SOLO  a Star Wars story is terrific from its action – intense opening to its mixed emotions climax and a just –  right epilog in a jungle Cantina’s gambling den.



While I’ve never considered Ron Howard – –  movie director Ron Howard – –  as being much more than a competent, and skilled, technician, less a creative force than a shrewd and generally smart broker of his well-chosen collaborators, before and behind the camera, but in SOLO he raises his game an sends this one flying.  The movie has a relentless action – driven pace that is clearly  thought out and constructed for the expression and development of its characters who, in the best STAR WARS tradition, straddle archetype and modern movie naturalism.  There are a wild number of memorable “set – pieces”  (that, smartly, structure the Acts of the Kasdans’ screenplay) but there’s little time wasted on needless visual spectacle – – from a snowbound, anti-gravity train hold – up to dreary, mud-soaked Imperial combat on Mimban and a droid revolution in the unforgiving spice mines of Kessel – – Howard, like Lucas with his 1977 original, shows only what you need to see to be swept along with story (a coming – of -age tale mixed into a post-modernly mash – up of classic American Western tropes and Noir-ish heist – femme fatale – inevitable betrayals, reckoning with the originals influential blend of Kurosawa’s Samurai action-dramas, and the serialized Flash Gordons)  never lingering over the creepily eel-like crime boss Lady Proxima (mo-capped Linda Hunt), the details of a card game or a weird singing duo on a lavish space yacht.


And, yes, the director is again blessed with marshaling a talented bunch of  cohorts, including cinematographer Bradford Young, who keeps the images low – key and almost – but -not -quite murky, befitting a drama in which morality makes for hard -finding and is often up for sale, and composer John Powell’s active score that incorporates and adapts a number of John Williams’ original motifs as well as a new Williams – composed theme for a twenty-something Han Solo.  And, known as an “actor’s director,” Ron Howard inherited a very talented, rightly chosen cast.



Though their appearances are of notably, and effectively, varying lengths, each member of the main cast register as fully realized as they need to be, each with differing ambitions, strengths and weaknesses.  Woody Harrelson is characteristically at ease with just a little high – strung hopelessness in his eyes, as young Solo’s mentor, Tobias Beckett, in the burgeoning galactic criminal underworld.  Emilia Clarke, with her dark hair and penetrating stare, is kind of perfect playing Qi’ra, Han’s teenage collaborator on the mean streets of the shipyard planet of Corellia, both his foil, and love interest, whose basic nature, at the very least, implies what Han Solo will find so challenging in a young, whip – smart, smart – mouthed beautiful Princess from Alderaan.  And Donald Glover aces Lando Calrissian, giving sly realization to all our suspicions about Billy Dee’s  caddish Riverboat gambler with a deadly aim and an eye for the ladies.

But it’s the largely unknown Alden Ehrenreich as Han that makes the movie work so well, as he catches and makes new again Harrison Ford’s off-kilter, always amusing smartassery and practical cynicism and the edge of Solo’s clear pleasure in taking on a challenge if there’s a best possible gain to be grabbed.  Ehrenreich’s definitely taken a quick-witted lesson from Chris Pine’s interpretation of Captain James T. Kirk; in both cases, the actors are smart enough and at ease with themselves to treat their characters as classical roles, and riffing off those basic identities, while still paying attention to the charismatic actors, with their distinct cadences and screwy smiles, who basically created those roles in the first place.



The movie sets up its hopefully assured Part II as Han and his trusty, if short-tempered, first mate, the Wookiee who calls himself Chewbacca (in a very funny short get – to – know – you scene) will probably become smugglers for some legendary crime boss located on an out – of -the -way planet, Tatooine.  Solo’s relationship with Chewbacca is really the picture’s backbone; the way they meet, help each other and ultimately stand up for each other is as smartly executed as it was written, with both emotional broad strokes and peculiar personal touches.  They’ll also likely run across at least one familiar bounty hunter/hatchetman that will give further substance to what’s laid out here in cruel specifics: that Han Solo’s basic nature is a dislike for any established systems of rules and controls, no matter what form it takes: an Empire, an underworld, even, at first, a rebellion.  He’s fine being his own man (no matter if he’s Ford or Ehrenreich).  SOLO doesn’t lay out its politics with the clarity and sharpness of REVENGE OF THE SITH (don’t kid yourself; the STAR WARS Saga is not a simple binary morality play of “good” and “evil”)  –  – but it does an entertainingly good, smartass job of illustrating the relationship of crime and power while it tosses fate and destiny in the air.


EXCLUSIVE! Andy Fairhurst Takes Us To “A Galaxy Far, Far Away…” With 3 Stellar Star Wars Prints

23 05 2018


I was recently sitting outside Hero Complex Gallery talking with fellow PB & T members (Tony and crew) and we all agreed, you can NEVER have enough Star Wars prints.  It’s just one of those properties that can be interpreted so many different ways and STILL command fans admiration an attention.

Lucky for fans, deep in the heart of North Wales, freelance Jedi and Poster Posse member, Andy Fairhurst feels the same way.  Andy has just finished 3 fantastic prints for the original series that have me looking for more wall space.


starwarscloseupAndy incorporated his signature “birds-eye view” with this series as well has a clever ‘secret‘ image within each print.  We spoke with Andy about the series and here is what he had to say….

“It always comes back to Star Wars with me! As much as I love the whole of Geekdom and all it’s wonders…

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Richard Wilkinson’s New Print Series Looks At Insects From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

23 05 2018


From AT-AT Walkers and the Millenium Falcon to Yoda, Jabba The Hut and Greedo, Richard Wilkinson has given the Star Wars Universe a whole new spin with his new poster series.


As the title suggests, Richard has incorporated fictional insects featuring characteristics from vehicles and characters from a galaxy far, far away.  This set of images, which are available to purchase HERE, are part of a book he has in the works called “Arthropoda Iconicus Volume 1,” which will explore other pop culture icons.


Picking a favorite is difficult, to say the least, given that we love them ALL,  but given his unique interpretation of the franchise we love so dearly, we can’t WAIT to see what he comes up with next.


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Life of Brian

17 05 2018

Solo A Star Wars Story Dolby AMC Exclusive Film Poster

1 05 2018

Geek Carl

Solo A Star Wars Story Dolby AMC Exclusive Film Poster

Solo A Star Wars Story Dolby AMC Exclusive Film Poster Solo A Star Wars Story Dolby AMC Exclusive Film Poster

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