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#1 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 11:30 PM

My review of ROGUE ONE: The Uninspired generic "Family Friendly" action movie...

:cough: Let me begin by stating the obvious... Disney is the wrong studio to be involved with the Star Wars franchise. They are a bunch of pencil pushers who are only interested in churning out one "safe" movie after the other. What they fail to realize is the 'Star Wars' franchise is bigger then anything else they've had and it's FAN driven, so millions will go no matter how dark or dialog driven the movie is.

With that out of the way, 'Rogue One' is a poorly conceived, single plot action film that if it weren't for some good acting, decent sets/costumes and the 'Star Wars' name attached, would have bombed at the box office. Why? Because frankly, it's uninteresting. All of the great and interesting dialog scenes that would have helped generate sub stories to keep the audience interested, simply didn't exist. It's as if this movie was a sequel and the previous movie had all the information we needed, yet this isn't a sequel. 'Rogue One' is a unique movie that fits between Episode III and Episode IV, featuring only TWO of the characters from the entire 'Star Wars' Franchise. Yes, there are brief cameo's with other characters, but that doesn't count.

It's as if the filmmakers never watched a single 'Star Wars' movie and/or never understood what made them decent, even the not-so-hot prequels had their moments. Even 'The Force Awakens' was "entertaining" with far more complexity and overlapping plot lines. Still, 'Rogue One' feels more like a dumbed down 'The Force Awakens' then anything else in the franchise. Heck the filmmakers couldn't even be bothered to put the standard 'Star Wars' introductory story brief before the start of the movie. They threw that out the door, even though it COULD have told the audience what they SHOWED over the course of the first 20 minutes, which were a train wreck of back story and filler story to bring the audience up to speed. Three paragraphs could have answered all of those questions, but then they wouldn't have been able to show off the special effects wizardry.

Unlike 'The Force Awakens' which is saved by it's "classic" cast and more similarities to the world of 'Star Wars', 'Rogue One' makes some very well thought out attempts, but doesn't cash in on them. Yes, the cast is good and strong, but they're all worthless underdeveloped characters, thrown in because they're "cool". Yes, the sets are spot-on, but they spoil them by using heavy CG which makes set extensions, ships and space battles, look like every other stupid Hollywood movie. Even technical things like the score, were boring and uninteresting. I was shocked because John Williams had already written so much music for the franchise, all they needed to do was tweak it slightly and they would have had a pretty decent score. The surround mix was very flat, with only a few dynamic hits, but no crispness at all. It's like spent all their time trying to make it even, without even contemplating dynamic range. This is probably thanks to Disney not wanting general audiences complaining about how "loud" it seemed. Even the mix had to be super "safe", which is a load of ballix.

The cinematography was also very uninspiring and flat, with no life or vibrance what so ever. The use of "shaky-cam" hand held photography was an unwelcome sight in a "Star Wars" movie, where cameras mainly cover in medium to wide shots on a moving dolly, crane arm or steadicam. The mere thought of putting a camera on someone's shoulder is blasphemy in the world of "Star Wars". I saw the movie on a beautiful laser powered 4k digital cinema projector at Arclight Cinemas Hollywood. This is a theater with deep rich blacks and high dynamic range color, neither one of which were present in this movie. Some scenes were so flat, it almost seemed like they weren't colored at all. Other scenes were so heavy with CG, the lighting people in the CG world, couldn't match the practical photography what so ever. I felt the practical on-set lighting was fine, no real complaints. Yet the way they captured and colored the scenes, was just not very interesting. The film used Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses, which don't have much squeeze to them, but the filmmakers thought they'd add some distortion, which they didn't. In fact, the film looked spherical to me and it was the same ol' 2.40:1 aspect ratio, even though it was shot with the Alexa 65 which is a 2.20:1 aspect ratio camera. So they didn't get the benefit of a special "wide" format like 'Hateful Eight'. They didn't get the benefit of a "taller" shot. They didn't get the benefit of the anamorphic look either. Nothing about the cinematography was anything but generic every day ho-hum.

Fifteen minutes into 'Rogue One' I was already done with the movie. I was done because the plot was so tripe, it was so been there, done that, I knew exactly how it was going to end. There was no reason for me to waste two hours, but I continued to watch. Then we were introduced to the stupid robot character who was there only for comedy relief. Then everything that came out of his mouth was written for 8 year olds. That was about the moment I was going to walk out. I grabbed my things and was over it, but they threw some eye candy at the screen and I stuck around. I felt bad for the set's and actors honestly because they were playing around in this cool world, that we the audience weren't allowed to explore.

In the end, 'Rogue One' is one rotten tomato, thanks to Disney exec's to scared to release the ACTUAL movie, prior to re-shoots. I could see rough outlines of the original movie as I watched and was dismayed to have not seen the original cut. It's hard as a filmmaker to have your movie taken away, but it's even harder as the masses to watch something that COULD have been great. This movie COULD have been awesome, they sure had so many great elements, but it failed miserably and if audiences see the same movie I did, we won't see the same box office numbers as 'The Force Awakens'. Maybe then Disney will recognize their failure, but I have a feeling they'll make plenty of money and push it under the rug.

6/10 2 and 1/2 stars.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 05:07 AM

Having not seen it, i can't comment. but a friend was raving about how he liked it (he's the storyboard artist on a major TV series).

 

All these things are subjective, so far the reviews on Rogue One I've read are positive, rotten tomato gives it a 84%. The problem with big budget films is that you usually can't take elements to extremes, although in the modern world, a group of rebels (terrorists?) as the protagonists, taking on the largest power could possibly be seen as daring.

 

Knowing the ending is always the problem with prequels, they have to fit in with the preexisting stroy line. 


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#3 John Holland

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 05:27 AM

Tyler I don,t  think we could have seen the same film ! I watched a Imax 70mm film print I loved the cinematography and was amazed by the lovely amount of print stock grain on view . The sound mix was fine and worked very well with the visuals . As a movie I really enjoyed it although it could have been a touch shorter .


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#4 Manu Delpech

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 08:01 AM

The film is very good, not anywhere near TFA, but it has a nice gritty feel, and Edwards is really talented as he showed before on Monsters & Godzilla. Cool characters, solid script, early 20 min a bit messy pacing wise. Third act absolutely killer. Great reception by the audience & critics, so all good for BO. Greig Fraser is a great DP and the movie looks quite good, but I don't think digital suits SW, he said in an interview on DP/30 that he felt digital was right for this movie, saying that basically it would have been counterproductive to shoot on film, have the rushes go to London, etc, which to me sounds like a bogus excuse considering that they did it with EP VII, and are doing with EP VIII & IX (65mm film for the latter). Also, considering that it leads directly to ANH, I just do not understand why you would shoot RO on anything other than film. Anyway, still looks good. 

 

I would be curious to see though the 70mm film print of this, I've never seen a film print of a digitally shot movie, but be interesting. 

 

Otherwise, Tyler, as always, does not disappoint with his regular trashing of movies he doesn't find up to his standards, which is to say, about 99 % of movies released today. No surprise there. Also, since Tyler has no idea what he's talking about BO wise, a spin-off is never going to do what TFA did, and TFA was an absolute beast making 2.1 billion WW, making 936 million DOM alone, which is pure insanity. It was the first SW movie since 2005 and people were hungry, it was an event, a new trilogy. This being a spin-off, and knowing where it goes, while having new characters means that while doing very well (on track for a 150 million + opening this weekend DOM, and probably a billion WW), it will obviously not do anywhere near what TFA did, just look at The Hobbit, or Fantastic Beasts, that's how spin offs behave. 


Edited by Manu Delpech, 17 December 2016 - 08:08 AM.

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#5 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 09:18 AM

There was no reason for me to waste two hours, but I continued to watch.

Just be cool and walk out to buy $200 sneakers.

 

6/10 sounds about right, just like Force Awakens. Tons of budget to hire great individual talents, but no driving soul to make it explode on the big screen.

 

I get more enjoyment out of the prequels simply because the original mind is bringing everything together and nothing feels like a fan film.

 

Waiting for the big fantasy/big hero movies to enter their own post-modern renaissance where they follow Felicity Jones' character getting groceries but in the Star Wars universe so you could see the politics of the galaxy affect the common man. Like Tyler said, slap "Star Wars" on ANYTHING and people will see it.

May as well go out on that limb.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 17 December 2016 - 09:19 AM.

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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:23 AM

My review of ROGUE ONE: The Uninspired generic "Family Friendly" action movie...

 

[snip]

 

Fifteen minutes into 'Rogue One' I was already done with the movie.

 

[snip]

 

There was no reason for me to waste two hours, but I continued to watch.

 

[says it all]

 

Then we were introduced to the stupid robot character who was there only for comedy relief. Then everything that came out of his mouth was written for 8 year olds.

 

[because previous dialogue in Star Wars movies performed by "robots" was positively Shakespearan]

 

 

That was about the moment I was going to walk out. I grabbed my things and was over it, but they threw some eye candy at the screen and I stuck around. In the end, 'Rogue One' is one rotten tomato, thanks to Disney exec's to scared to release the ACTUAL movie, prior to re-shoots.

 

 

 

Came here solely for Tyler's Regular Rabid Rant™, and was not disappointed. Luckily it wasn't shot on Super 8, Tyler would have had a meltdown.

 

This is the first Star Wars movie outside the Original Trilogy that in my environs gets nearly universal praise from both OT greybeards, OT and PT fans, PT haters, and younglings for whom Episode VII was their first exposure to this IP in cinema. To call a sub-TFA box office performance of RO a "flop" or "told you so, female leads and shoe-horned diversity sucks" is akin to having either moronic standards or a totally warped view of the world in the 21st century.

 

Given the forking Disney and the old Lucasfilm guard did with this film, trying out a distinct cinematic aesthetic for the separate anthology movies as opposed to the established episodic movies, I think the differences are pretty stark yet purposefully executed. I think this dichotomy is important, and works better than I thought.

 

I think for a PG-13 movie, this is pretty violent, and anything but a "Disney-type family friendly action movie" Tyler is on about. For Star Wars standards, this is pretty gruesome. Think of all the mutilated LEGO mini figures and Hasbro toys, Tyler – have some heart ^_^ ! I really fail to see how this is watered down "family-friendly" stuff. What do you want? "Gore Wars"?

 

As for Disney executives being scared: POkay I'll bait. Please explain that they were scared of? I was under the impression the C-suite was concerned that the movie would be too depressing and violent, and lightened it up with the re-shoots. But this clearly has not happened as far as hard core Star Wars fans I talked to were concerned back then. In fact those who wanted "war" were not disappointed, and those fearsome of Disneyfication are now relieved and enthusiastic about the IP's multi-layered future.

 

I actually look forward to seeing the movie when back in London at the turn of the years in top projection quality, to competently comment on Fraser's work, technique and technology. For now, I only supported my local Shire's badly-equipped cinema, and concentrated more on the story and plentiful easter eggs for Star Wars regulars than the cinematic and cinematographic aspects.

 

/-M


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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:38 PM

 

 

Came here solely for Tyler's Regular Rabid Rant™, and was not disappointed. Luckily it wasn't shot on Super 8, Tyler would have had a meltdown.


/-M

 

Quite simple for you to block Tyler's posts as to not assault your senses with his verbiage.  


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:38 PM

Tyler I don,t  think we could have seen the same film ! I watched a Imax 70mm film print I loved the cinematography and was amazed by the lovely amount of print stock grain on view . The sound mix was fine and worked very well with the visuals . As a movie I really enjoyed it although it could have been a touch shorter .


I'm sure the IMAX print looked great, that's because it automatically adds contrast. Also, the IMAX soundtrack is 100% remixed compared to the standard theatrical release.

It's unfortunate here in Los Angeles, we no longer have a 70mm IMAX screen for major releases like this. They also didn't strike 35mm prints like they did with 'The Force Awakens'.

On a side note, did they show a trailer for Dunkirk? There were rumors about that.

Also, what was the aspect ratio? Was it 2.40:1?
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#9 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:54 PM

*delete*


Edited by joshua gallegos, 17 December 2016 - 02:05 PM.

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#10 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:05 PM

With that out of the way, 'Rogue One' is a poorly conceived, single plot action film that if it weren't for some good acting, decent sets/costumes and the 'Star Wars' name attached, would have bombed at the box office. Why? Because frankly, it's uninteresting. All of the great and interesting dialog scenes that would have helped generate sub stories to keep the audience interested, simply didn't exist. It's as if this movie was a sequel and the previous movie had all the information we needed, yet this isn't a sequel. 'Rogue One' is a unique movie that fits between Episode III and Episode IV, featuring only TWO of the characters from the entire 'Star Wars' Franchise. Yes, there are brief cameo's with other characters, but that doesn't count.

 

 

I think they skipped the iconic titles, because everyone knows it's a prequel to a New Hope, and explaining everything would've made the entire first act remarkably useless, in a sense that the information would be repetitive. The reason I really loved the film was because I love the Star Wars worlds, and seeing them refined with such rich detail was breathtaking. Felicity Jones was also great in the film, and bringing back Peter Cushing to life was mind-blowing! That alone made me jump out of my seat, and also Princess Leia in the very end, looking exactly like she did in A New Hope. I think for a film that was just supposed to tie in to Episode 4, it was remarkably well made. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's a great holiday movie. It was a great story of sacrifice, it makes me appreciate the franchise more knowing such a backstory. 

 

If anything 'The Force Awakens' wasn't nearly as good as 'Rogue One'.


Edited by joshua gallegos, 17 December 2016 - 02:06 PM.

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#11 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:13 PM

 

 

Otherwise, Tyler, as always, does not disappoint with his regular trashing of movies he doesn't find up to his standards, which is to say, about 99 % of movies released today. No surprise there. Also, since Tyler has no idea what he's talking about BO wise, a spin-off is never going to do what TFA did, and TFA was an absolute beast making 2.1 billion WW, making 936 million DOM alone, which is pure insanity.

The Force Awakens felt too easy, in terms of the characters overcoming obstacles quite easily, that alone made the movie unberable for me. And Adam Driver as a Sith is the worst casting decisions ever! How can Han Solo's son act so wimpy, that was a terrible blunder by JJ Abrams. Not to mention Solo was murdered in such a p--- ass way. 'Rogue One' on the other hand added a greater realism, you actually felt the danger, it was tense, and no one was invincible! JJ could learn a thing or two from Gareth Edwards. 


Edited by joshua gallegos, 17 December 2016 - 02:13 PM.

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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:43 PM

As for Disney executives being scared: POkay I'll bait. Please explain that they were scared of?


They were scared of too much dialog and not enough action. So they added little action bits, none of which have any context. They're just random acts of violence, for the sake of adding "action". Also remember, shooting a storm trooper with a laser, is much different then shooting a human with what looks like a normal gun. When you don't see the persons face, psychologically the violence means much less. The MPAA rating for the film is PG-13 only because the violence is so prevalent.
 

In fact those who wanted "war" were not disappointed, and those fearsome of Disneyfication are now relieved and enthusiastic about the IP's multi-layered future.


Honestly, with a plot so thin, it's hard to know how much the mouse interfered. Clearly the robot dialog and jokes, seemed completely out of place. "Reprogramed" imperial robot is now a stand up comedian? Someone didn't understand what made C3P0's dialog work in the other movies.

So the chief designer of the space station somehow defects and never tells a single soul about it's construction, yet he's smart enough to build in a fail safe that nobody knows about? It would have taken decades to build the death star, but the rebel intelligence wasn't around to figure it out? Nobody just happened to fly by imperial space to have a look-see? All of the data came from defecting pilots? Yet the rebels somehow win? Give me a break... it's absolutely stupid.

Just to remind you, Episode IV, focuses on a single character who through character development, luck and happenstance, goes to fight with the rebels in the 3rd act. The other 2 acts are character development, and for the next 2 movies in that series, we already know who Luke is, we know who Lea is, we know who Hahn is, etc... We know NOTHING about the 'Rogue One' characters. Cassian Andor? What is his story? Why can't he shoot someone? Is he just a lame rebel or what? Jyn Erso? Sure we see a brief moment of her story, but no details what so ever. What was it like living with Saw Gerrera, was she treated well, did she learn how to shoot a gun? Her motivation is to "escape" but why, what is she after?

Ohh and the ending, what an absolute pile of junk. The empire stores it's databanks on a sunny tropical island, in a tower with an antenna on the roof for transmission? Really? Ohh and of course inside the tower there is a 21st century tape library 20 stories high with a robotic arm to grab the tapes. Ohh and somehow the only escape is through a door that opens and closes on it's own, for no reason but to add suspense. Then for some reason the imperial forces couldn't simply cut the power to the facility so nobody could transmit? The bad guy meets the good guy but like some family guy episode joking about how bad movies are, they just sit there and talk for a while? "How's your day?.. Mine is pretty shitty, some asshole broke in and is... wait, YOU'RE the asshole!" LOL What a joke.

Now... 'The Force Awakens' has similar issues, but at least the characters were developed and you felt for their personal missions. I know all about Finn and his defiance. I know all about Rey and her boring life. We know all about Kylo Ren and where his anger comes from. We spend time with each of these characters DURING THE MOVIE, discovering more about them on an individual basis. This is how you build characters that are interesting, that you care about. I didn't care about anyone or anything in 'Rogue One', which is sad because I felt the casting was good and the acting wasn't that bad either.
 

What do you want? "Gore Wars"?


Light saber fights, dynamic characters with real purpose, interesting interweaving stories not just a singular purpose for existing.

Anamorphic, wider angle dolly/jib shots, more color and more contrast.

John Williams sounding score

Decent effin' sound mix that has dynamics to it!
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#13 Giray Izcan

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:49 PM

I wish you got yourself a life my friend instead of going against the grain for no reason.
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#14 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:54 PM

If anything 'The Force Awakens' wasn't nearly as good as 'Rogue One'.


It depends on what your after... 'The Force Awakens' wasn't very good, but mainly because the over-arching plot was contrived and as you pointed out, things happened too easy. I was also disappointed in the planet falling apart and how they were still fighting till the very end, total stupidity.

I agree that Gareth Edwards at least expanded the 'Star Wars' universe, but where he failed was in the characters, as pointed out above. I didn't much care for JJ's interpretation of the 'Star Wars' universe either. He is clearly nowhere near the fan of the series Gareth is, nailing a few things that only fans would care about.

See, Star Wars in it's essence is a western in space. People forget it's all about dialog and characters. Even the prequels were wall to wall character development, wrapped with action scenes. Exploring worlds is cool, but if the characters are uninteresting and flat, if the ride is boring because it's senseless violence, if the plot is so thin they have to resort to violence in order to make it interesting, you've got a problem.

I'm sure ANY serious Star Wars fan, could have written a better story then Gareth did.
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#15 Justin Hayward

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:07 PM

I'm sure ANY serious Star Wars fan, could have written a better story then Gareth did.

 

It's true.  Writing a good Star Wars script is super easy.  Now excuse me while I go beat Tiger Woods at golf.  :P


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#16 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:18 PM

Garett wasn't a writer, but just by watching the film once, I can tell he is an incredibly gifted director. My favorite Star Wars episode is still A New Hope, most likely because of Alec Guinness, he was the actor who gave the entire franchise legitimacy, a Jedi and all this talk about 'the force' would've become a great farce, had it not been for his brilliant performance. I understand what you are saying about the non-stop action, but keep in mind that 'Rogue One' is pretty much a document of a special operation to get the plans for the Death Star, and for what it is, it was very well made. So, all the action is justified, and how much character development do you really need in a film like this? Deviating from the plot would've been distracting, and the emotion of it wall was well translated in the acting as well. This film could've easily been a videogame, it was uneccessary, BUT it brings George Lucas' beautiful universe to life! You gotta admit seeing those familiar places brings a tear to your eye. When I pay to go see a movie, I want to enjoy it, I'll even make an effort to enjoy it, and Rogue One didn't disappoint.

Edited by joshua gallegos, 17 December 2016 - 03:21 PM.

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#17 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:21 PM

I wish you got yourself a life my friend instead of going against the grain for no reason.

I'm not going as extreme as Tyler about this but if you don't put out the seeds of challenging art then momentum never builds to trigger change.

 

I want the cinematic universe stuff in its current form to end as quickly as possible.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 17 December 2016 - 03:21 PM.

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#18 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:29 PM

It's true.  Writing a good Star Wars script is super easy.  Now excuse me while I go beat Tiger Woods at golf.  :P

i hate how the younger fans don't give Lucas the credit he deserves, they all complain about Episodes I & II being horrible, but I actually find them vital in the original saga. What is inconsistent is how the early Anakin Skywalker doesn't speak in a plush manner like his future Darth Vader, the sentence structure and use of words are inconsistent. I do think they're getting carried away by making all the leads female characters, believe it or not gender does set a different tone.
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#19 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:37 PM

i hate how the younger fans don't give Lucas the credit he deserves, they all complain about Episodes I & II being horrible, but I actually find them vital in the original saga.

Lucas was a god damn genius, but not for screenwriting. Film making innovations.


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#20 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:52 PM

Lucas was a god damn genius, but not for screenwriting. Film making innovations.


I disagree. He's not the best dialogue writer, that's for sure. But if you consider the mass Star Wars universe and how he managed to convey to the audience this epic story of the Skywalker family, and their battle to down the Empire, it's uncanny how he managed to do that so effectively. I don't think anyone realizes how much of a genius he is! He did everything, from creating all the exotic worlds, to Han Solo, Obi Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader! Who else can create such great characters?? and his screenplay for 'A New Hope' was beautiful, he even described it as a chess game, you can learn a lot by listening to his commentary on A New Hope, this film almost killed him, all the stress and immense pressure and ridicule. Yet the end result was a timeless adventure space film.
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