June 18

Tag: The Review

Underdogs, if you haven’t seen the new movie, “Tag,” please be aware that this post will have SPOILERS! If you don’t want the movie spoiled, then please don’t read past this paragraph. If you must, then at least check out my affiliate links and know if you have any questions you can check out the Disclaimer on the Promotions page!

 

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This week, a new movie called, “Tag,” came out staring Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, and Jon Hamm. Isla Fisher and Rashida Jones also have parts in this movie making this a pretty nice rounded cast. I actually didn’t hear about this movie until I went to see Deadpool 2 and saw the trailer before the movie started. I recall hearing about this true story years ago on the radio. Tag is about a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for over 30 years. For the entire month of May, it is a free for all for this group who is doing their best to not get tagged. Each member of the group has been it, except one who is rumored to quit after this season so he wouldn’t end his 30 year winning streak.

When we begin, May has started and the last person who was it, Hoagie(Ed Helms) is pretending to want a job at Callahan’s (Jon Hamm) work. Callahan is giving an interview to the Wall Street Journal about the insurance company that he works for, and in the middle of his interview, Hoagie tags Callahan, thus starting the journalist, Rebecca, following this group of friends around and chasing this very unusual story. They find out that Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is getting married and didn’t tell them. Since he is the one who has never been tagged, and there is a rumor that he will retire this year, the whole team decides to go crash his wedding and get Jerry.

What follows next is a hilarious adventure of the group of male friends trying to get Jerry before the clock strikes midnight on the last day of May! We find that there rules that they follow to the letter. The reason the group was not told about the wedding was so the day would go off without a problem, and the bride could have a nice day. For example, since they started this adventure at the age of 9, no girls are allowed. However, that doesn’t stop the support of the women in their lives. They also make a rule that they won’t do anything during the rehearsal, the photos, or the actual wedding itself.

It is really fun to see what lengths this group will go to in order to tag the next person. There is only one winner who has bragging rights for the entire year. The next year, the game starts all over again. They have disguises, dresses, and even take some serious classes to keep one upping each other! While it’s a simple story, it is a story that is funny and kind. The heart of it all is this group of people who keep connected because of a silly child’s game. Is it really that silly, because this group seems to have kept a part of themselves alive that many of us lost as we got older. What is wrong playing a game like this for the rest of your life with people that you love? There are a lot of funny and some surprising dramatic and tough moments in this movie. There is a lot of laughable moments, but this movie may not be for everyone. I think if you show up to this movie in the mood for some light-hearted fun, then you will have a good time. While it’s predictable, it is a fun journey. I would give this move a 4 out of 5 stars just because of the sad part that kind of took us out of the magic a bit. Stay around for the end credits to not only see real life footage of the people who inspired this story, but also to see the cast sing Crash Test Dummies! It is worth it!

 

Have you seen Tag? What do you think? Leave your comments down below!

June 4

Solo: A Review

“Solo: A Review” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions Page. 

 

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WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY! STOP READING TO AVOID ANY SPOILERS! 

 

 

Underdogs, while I am a Star Wars fan, I am not one of those people who can name stray characters, names of ships, or non cannon plot points. I want to say upfront that there is no wrong type of fan of anything. Just because you like something does not mean you have to know all the ins and outs or you are not a true fan. We don’t do that here, so all types of fans are welcome. I am just setting up my level of experience in Star Wars to let you know that while I love these movies, grew up with them, and have read some of the books and comics, I missed a lot of references and Easter Eggs in Solo. That also being said, I can see how this film would be difficult to make just due to the sheer fact that most of us played Star Wars as a child and made up our own adventures. Solo may never live up to our own imaginations and our own creativity.  I don’t think Solo was as bad as everyone is making it out to be. However, I see one glaring thing that the movie missed that really needed to expand upon. That is who is Han Solo?

Here is a short recap of Solo. The movie starts with Han and his girlfriend Qi’ra trying to escape this strange planet that seems to have lots of children and young adults stealing and working for a fish gangster. It seems like they are all afraid of her, but no one is standing up. Han steals a ship and tries to escape, but Qi’ra gets left behind.  Han promises that he will find her someday, and promptly joins the Empire to escape. Three years later, he is fighting in a war with people who are not part of the Empire, and finds a way to join their team. This isn’t before Han makes friends with an awesome Wookie named Chewy! They eventually get into some trouble,with several of the team getting killed.  They also lose the shipment that team was in debt to for Vos, who is part of the Crimson Dawn. Who happens to be Vos’ number one? Why it’s Qi’ra of course! Let’s just say the reunion was strange at the very least.

Han, Beckett, and Chewy along with Qi’ra who was ordered to join them, go seek out a way to get more of the original shipment that was lost. Basically, it’s fuel that they need. Qi’ra introduces Han Solo to Lando, and they set off to get the fuel. Eventually, they get it, but with lots of double crossing, Beckett ends up dead, and Vos is ready to kill everyone! Qi’ra kills Vos and encourages Han Solo to go ahead of her. Instead, she leaves him behind after talking to Darth Maul and we know that she is truly gone. The story ends with Han getting the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a bet during a card game. We also get an idea that the next person Han is going to go see is Jabba the Hut.

 

So, what did we learn about Han Solo? What happened to his parents? Did he have brothers and sisters? What planet did he come from? How did he learn how to speak Wookie? He says briefly that his Father was a pilot, and they weren’t close.  He gets the name Solo from the recruiter for the Empire after he asked who Han’s people were, and he said he was alone. Why is he alone? Did his parents sell him? Was he actually close with his family but had to put it all behind him to survive? Of course, I couldn’t help but to think of Rey in these moments and how close their stories are, because we still know nothing. I still think Han is Rey’s father, but that’s another debate. Here, I am let down because I know just about as much about Han Solo’s life as I did before walking into the movie. Was it a nice adventure? Sure, but seriously, can you actually tell me much about Solo’s life outside of the very few details that I mentioned above?

I have heard people accuse Disney of watering down the Star Wars stories, and having a lot of problems with the line of Star Wars stories coming out. I actually loved “Rouge One” more than “The Last Jedi.” Solo was a nice story, and I don’t blame Disney for not hitting the plot points that I wanted to see. They are keeping this story going so many others can grow up with it just as many of us have done. It was not a bad movie. I was so excited to see some of Jim Henson’s creations and having the main female character be called Qi’ra was pretty cool. That was going to be Rey’s name at one point, but this is a throwback to other Jim Henson’s characters from many years ago. It was pretty cool.

 

I did have an issue with Darth Maul showing up and then having to have it explained to me how in the world he could still be alive. If he was alive, it would have ruined the entire time line. I don’t watch the Clone Wars, so I had no clue that they brought him back to life and he would have been alive and well during this time. While it’s a nice nod to the Clone War series, many Star Wars fans, like myself, have never seen it. I feel it makes things more complicated. Then it goes back to the questions of how much are you taking from this series for the newer Star War Stories? There is a lot of source material out there, so if we don’t know when we walk into the theater if they are borrowing from the comics or a book written in 1988, are we going to be lost. I’m saying don’t make a huge plot point something that people have to go search for in order to make sense of the situation. The amount of knowledge that I have about the Star Wars universe should have been enough to not wonder what in the Hell just happened. If someone was a fan and knew even less Star Wars knowledge (which is fine!) I believe they would be even more lost!  I  think this is an issue that Disney will need to address going forward.

What is my final verdict on “Solo: A Star Wars Story?” It was okay. It wasn’t the best movie that I have ever seen, but it wasn’t the worst. I did enjoy it, but I was let down because I thought that we were actually going to learn more about Han’s past. I still don’t know much about his backstory. I really want to see a Princess Leia movie because she totally deserves her own story! I will give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. It was fun, but not what was expected. I think there was too far of a reach to understand the plot if you don’t know Clone Wars.  I also think they left out too much about the background of Han Solo for us as the audience to know much more about him.

 

What do you think? What was your reactions to Solo? Leave your comments below!

 

 

 

May 21

Marvel Moments That Don’t Make Sense

The post “Marvel Moments that don’t make Sense,” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Underdogs, you all know how much I love Marvel Movies. However, even the best has some story lines that either can be considered a plot hole, strange or just a plain mistake. It’s hard to keep things super straight when you have a huge universe that are working with and around. If you are a fan of a huge multiverse like this, then you can see how hard it can be to keep track of every single thing. Sometimes, things really stick out and make you wonder if they will ever figure this out, or explain away a certain path that was taken. Until then, let’s take a look at some of the things from Marvel that don’t make any sense.

 

Black Widow knew what Bucky Did:

The other day I was re-watching one of my favorite movies “The Winter Solider.”  This is by far one of the best written Marvel movies in my opinion. However, one thing really stuck out to me watching it this time. One of the last moments in the movie, Natasha hands Steve a folder about The Winter Solider, AKA Bucky. She tells him to be very careful about pulling that string and he may not like what he finds. Essential, we get confirmation that Natasha knew what was in the folder that she handed to Steve. This included the fact that one of his missions was to kill Tony’s parents. This knowledge ripped the Avengers apart, because Tony couldn’t handle the fact that Steve knew Bucky had been the one who killed his parents and never told him. I know that I am over simplifying the matter but the fact that Natasha knew all of this made her just as “guilty” as Steve. Natasha had the power to explain to Tony the contents in the file. Instead, she let Tony and Steve fight, and eventually lead several of the group becoming outlaws. Would it made a difference of the outcome? I think it would have because it could have been one more person who understood the delicate situation between Steve and Tony. As of now, their relationship is still damaged badly. I just don’t understand why Steve had to be punished for keeping the knowledge of what Bucky did to himself when Natasha did the same thing. Maybe it had to do with the fact that she had a very long relationship with Bucky herself.

Why is Coulson Still Dead?

Phil Coulson is the heart of Marvel Universe and the Avengers. If it weren’t for his death, the Avengers never would have come together. In the meantime, he has his own show called, Agents of Shield. He has been alive and sort of well for the past several years. He has been in the background, working hard and even cleaning up the messes of Thor. He was heartbroken when Peggy died,and couldn’t take it when Captain America became a fugitive. While other people have come and gone, I can’t seem to figure out why they are still keeping Coulson’s death a reality. Even the Lady Sith knows that Coulson is still alive but Thor does not. I can’t imagine it’s to save face. Shield has been destroyed.  Nick Fury faked his own death, but they all know he is still alive. What is a good reason to keep him dead to the Avengers? They already know that they have been manipulated and lied to in order to get results. Why would you keep this secret for so long for no good reason?


Why didn’t they use any of  the Infinity Stones?

The Avengers had 2 Infinity Stones available to them. One was the stones was inside of Vision, and the second was the Time stone that Dr Strange and Wong protected. While they may not have been able to do much with one or the other, why didn’t they at least try to do something? Once they knew there was an issue why did they at least try to use the Time Stone? They had used it before in Dr. Strange to create the time loop. Why would they try to use it against Thanos? It’s possible that they use of the Time Stone could have created another ripple. But why didn’t they at least try? I guess the Time Stone was used for the possible outcomes, but why could they not use it to go back in time and prevent Thanos from ever getting any stones in the first place?

Those are just a few big questions that I have about Marvel movies that don’t make any sense. I know there are several more but these seem to be pretty big gaping holes. They could have changed the outcome of both the movies and the TV series. What do you think? Which Marvel movie moments don’t make any sense to you?

 

May 16

Top 10 Marvel Scenes

The post “Top 10 Marvel Scenes,” contains affiliate links. For more information, please see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Underdogs, if you haven’t been paying attention, I love comic book movies. For the most part, I say that I was a DC kid, and a Marvel adult. While I still love both, the Marvel universe has proven to be more on top of their game. Not that I don’t enjoy the DC movies, but I prefer the Marvel writers, and the directions they are willing to take their stories and characters. While Marvel has some very funny moments, the ones that stick to me the most are the ones that are raw, hopeless, and vulnerable. Here is my list of the top 10 Marvel moments. I know there are many lists that could be made, but these are some that have stuck with me the most. I hope you have some fun reading these and comment below on what your favorite moments from Marvel. Keep in mind, I’m not including Fox and Sony studios in this list.  Fair warning, spoilers ahead!

 

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1. Captain America’s Reveal:

I’m not going to lie, this one was purely selfish. At this moment, most of us were Peggy Carter, and the nurse in the background. As pretty as he is, this moment was actually very powerful.  This was showing us the the experimental serum that they injected into Steve Rogers, actually worked! It could have killed him, but it also was important for this person to have heart in order to make it through the procedure. The right person for Captain America was picked, and while the road ahead would be hard and bumpy, we can take this moment to admire….pecks! So pretty.

 

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2.We are Groot.

Who knew that this movie about a band of misfits would have such emotional moments! These 5 beings from all over the universe somehow banded together to become something great. They had their moments. They had their fights, but when push came to shove, they become a strong unit that literally could not be defeated. What was so incredible about this particular moment is the sacrifice Groot was willing to give for those he loved. He knew the group was important, and protected them with his life. The only time Groot uttered a different phrase than, “I am Groot,” was this very pure moment.

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3. Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver Death:

This makes me cry every single time I watch Age of Ultron. The very moment that her twin brother is killed, Wanda feels it without any doubt. You can literally see and feel the moment her life rips in half. When she tells Ultron that she just died, I believe her with ever fiber of my being. She died in that moment right along with her twin. It was so painful. It was so raw, and so beautiful at the same time. One of the best moments, even though it was gut wrenching. Marvel, why do you hurt us so, and why do we keep running back for more!

 

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4. Captain American and Agent Coulson:

One of the best characters in the Marvel universe is good old Phil Coulson. While he has his own series now, the Avengers are unaware that their friend is still alive and fighting. Many times, Coulson is a substitute for us, the viewers. He fills our role, as the guy who seems slightly out of place, has a huge heart, and is kind of a bad ass! The way he fan boys over Captain America is wonderful! There is just something so sweet and pure about this admiration and wanting his mint Captain America cards signed.  PS: He was still very mad at Fury for getting blood on his mint cards. I hope someday, he will get his cards signed!

 

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5. Get Help!

While this gag is super funny, the scene in the elevator is truly the heart of the story between these two brothers. Moments before the doors open, Thor has a heart to heart with Loki about going their separate ways and how different they really are from one another. Thor is tired of Loki’s games, and Loki still feels like he is the slighted brother. It is very sad, and very raw. It’s looking at a family member that you have tried to love your entire life, and you do, but you have to let them go and move on without them. Following this very hard moment up with “Get Help,” was pure genius because it shows that relationship, the love from childhood, is still there. It sets up the much harder scene in Infinity War when Loki says, “The sun will shine upon us again, brother.”

 

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6. Avengers Assemble:

This was a movie moment most of us nerds have been waiting for! The moment that Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye stood as one to fight! It was a long road to get to this, with a lot of ups and downs! I remember watching this in the theater and everyone cheering! It is a cheer worthy moment!

 

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7. Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good:

This one hurt. So bad. So very bad. Peter Parker become a surrogate son to Tony Stark. He took the young man under his wing and helped him become an Avenger.  In the Spiderman movie, Tony tells Peter, someone could have died, and that would be on Peter. But if Peter dies, well, that’s on him. When Peter fades away, we see Tony die with him. His pain and suffering is real, and raw. Don’t cry ugly tears… Don’t cry ugly tears…. I’m sorry…

 

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8. Peter and Yondu

“I may not be your Father, but I am your Daddy.” Dear God, who knew how much this funny and light movie would hurt. Yondu had a very complicated relationship with Peter Quill. So much so, that he used to threaten that he would let the crew eat Peter! He never took Peter to his Father, Ego and we find out there is a great reason why. Because Yondu not only was protecting Peter, but he loved him. It goes to show sometimes the best family is the one you create.

 

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9. Tony Stark’s Vision:

The nightmare came from the fact that it wasn’t because his friends died, but because he didn’t die as well. The vision that Wanda gave Tony utterly destroyed him and set up events for all of Infinity War. Most of the Avenger’s were dead in a pile in front of him, with Captain America asking Tony why he didn’t do more? Two strong things are doing on here. First, Wanda was going for their deepest and darkest fears. This is Tony’s, the death of his loved ones. Secondly, it was a true vision for things to come. This was amazing character shifting for Tony, as we see a part of PTSD that wasn’t fully explored until that moment. Now, it is part of who he is, and why he is fighting so hard.

 

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10. Lifting Thor’s Hammer:

I loved just watching all the Avengers and their friends sit around at the party and talk. It was awesome to just see them talk about their girlfriends, tell funny stories of childhood, and even do some flirting. This is truly one of the best scenes because it’s real. Everyone trying to lift Thor’s hammer is also awesome. It’s something that I can see real people doing, which makes that moment even more fun and special with the audience. Marvel truly knows how to connect with their audience and I know many of us were saying how we could be the ones to pick up the hammer!


Those were my top 10 favorite Marvel Movie Moments! I had a lot of fun with this list. I know these may not be the traditional moments people think of, but it’s what I keep coming back for more! They have some great writers, and actors who understand the characters that they play. Also, there seems to be an air of fun around these people, and you want to believe that they really are a team, and really do care for one another!  What about you? What is your favorite nontraditional Marvel Moment?

May 6

The Curse of the Wizard of Oz

“The Curse of The Wizard of Oz,” contains affiliate links. For more information, please see the Disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

One of my all time favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. Like many people, this was one of the first movies that I ever got to see. To this day, I have never grown tired of it. I watch it at least once a year, if not more if it’s possible. This movie was based off the second book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. Every since he wrote this story of the people of Oz, and Dorothy going on her adventure, it has never been out of print. In fact, many different versions of this story exists including stage, and other books based off of this world. This movie is one of the most loved, and of course, one of the most studied.  People think that there many have been a curse associated with the movie. Here are a few examples, and you make up your mind about the Curse of the Wizard of Oz!

 

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Back in the 1930’s, the rules and regulations for make up weren’t anywhere near what they are today.  Basically there were no rules, or regulations, so many different substances and chemicals were used in the makeup, no matter what kind of damage that it could do the person wearing it. For the tin man, they used a toxic combination of paint and aluminum dust. Buddy Epson, who played the Tin Man had to be hospitalized due to complications from wearing this make only during the first 9 days. Because of this, he suffered lung failure and the filming of The Wizard of Oz was shut down for over two weeks. Buddy Epson suffered with issues for the rest of his life due to this choice in makeup materials.

 

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Speaking of makeup, one of the biggest painting jobs had to go to the actress who played the Wicked Witch. Saying it ain’t easy being green is an understatement is an understatement. Actress Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West. She was painted green to make the character a little bit more scary. Her makeup was made with paint and copper. This is toxic to anyone, and Hamilton had to wear a variation of this mixture the whole film. While bad enough to have toxic makeup on every pore, it wasn’t as terrible as what happened next. An accident happened on set when the Witch leaves during the first scene. The fire came too early, and ended up burning Hamilton. The makeup actually made it much worse, and help spread the burns. She ended getting first and second degree burns across her hands and face. She was able to come back to work almost a month later. However, her hands were so badly burned, she had to wear gloves which covered her injuries.

 

The biggest curse and controversy surrounding The Wizard of Oz has to do with the famous hanging. Or lack of hanging? For years, people have debated if their was a person hanging from a tree in the background when the group happily sins that they are off to see the Wizard. This urban legend has been told at countless slumber parties, camp fires, and of course, on the internet. No matter what you think happened, there is clearly something in the background. Some people think that there was a munchkin that hung himself , while others think it was an extra walking around. There are also those who  think it was just an animal. My personal story with this theory is that as far back as I can recall, I thought someone was hanging from the tree. Keep in mind, movies get “remastered” all of the time. This means that they change things, edit others things out, and add things in. Think of the Star Wars movies that you grew up with verses what they are today. They have new scenes that weren’t filmed or finished in the first place. When The Wizard of Oz was remastered, the hanging person was replaced by a big, walking bird. The official story was that this bird was wondering around the whole time, but people misunderstood what it was and thought it was a person hanging.

 

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Most of us called that explanation BS! My thoughts on this matter are what follows. The Wizard of Oz didn’t have any birds walking around. Why would they appear in this one random spot if they aren’t in any other scene? Yes, there were scenes that were filmed and deleted. In fact, there was an entire music number that was cut. No one can seem to find why this random bird was there because it wasn’t in those deleted scenes. Could it be a person who hung themselves? That is truly what I always thought, but I know it could have been people walking around. Unfortunately, like The Song of the South, you will not find an original version being sold of The Wizard of Oz today. They  only show the remastered version on TV as well, so the answer may be lost in time.

Those were some examples of why people think that the Wizard of Oz was cursed. It had a lot of terrible things happen on set, that included some very scary injuries. We aren’t sure if someone killed themselves, but we do know that Judy Garland was abused by the movie studio, and drugged. Her life was tragic and her time on the set didn’t help her any. Her life is worth a blog of it’s own, but it isn’t hard to see that the studios didn’t really care about their stars, and put them in life threatening situations. It’s hard to look at footage from the past because HD didn’t exist. You will not get a clear shot of what happened in that forest. What do you think? Is this movie cursed?

 

May 1

Is Thanos Nature?

The post, “Is Thanos Nature,” contains affiliate links. For more information, please see the disclaimer on the promotions page. 

 

 

Attention: From here on out, you will see Spoilers from Avengers Infinity War. If you don’t want to know, don’t continue to read this post. 

 

 

 

 

Underdogs, if you haven’t seen the Avenger’s movie, please think about reading this at a later time. As you know, I am a huge Marvel fan and was super excited to see Infinity War. I knew going in how tough this movie would be to watch because many of our beloved super heroes wouldn’t make it out alive. Of course, this all comes at the hands of Thanos, the biggest baddie in the Marvel Cinematic universe. He has been a huge presence and threat for the last several years, however it seems as though no one really understands why. Thanos is set on destruction, but what is the point to all of his anger and rage? Is he actually angry? Or, is Thanos not a villain at all, but is actually the one that brings about the cycle of life no matter how hard it seems, and no matter how high the cost is to himself or others.

See the source imageThanos is on a mission of death, but in his view, he is bringing life. He tells Gamora when he took her as a child, he saved her life. While she argued this thought process, he pointed out that she would have starved to death if he had left her. Her home and people were starving and poor. The land was dried up and there was little vegetation to support those who lived on the planet. Now, children’s bellies are full and a land that was once dying is alive and thriving. Thanos is traveling the universe to get the Infinity Stones in order to destroy half of all life in the known universe. Why? Not because he is angry, but because he is determined to bring balance,rebirth, and regrowth. This is a very pragmatic view and he will stop at nothing to obtain his goal, including doing things at a tremendous personal cost. Because of his power and his vision, Thanos also had very loyal followers who were known as the Children of Thanos.

 

Why is all of this important? It is to plant the seed that Thanos is not a hero, nor is he a villain. He is nature and brings with him the cycles of life. It is not pleasant, but it is something that needs to be done. Nature brings life, but it also takes it. The seasons change from death to life, however you can’t get life without death. Nature can be beautiful such as a sunset, beautiful flowers, and green grass. However, it also brings tornadoes, earthquakes, and flooding. Thanos is the one who believes that he needs to bring death in order to have a better life for those who remain after the storm. Could he be correct in this assumption and have to do something terrible and destructive in order to bring balance? The seasons change, but if they didn’t and the natural process of life and death did not happen as it needed, all balance would be lost. This cost could be a lot higher than the lives taken through Nature. If Nature is abused, it will fight back at any cost.

 

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Could Thanos be more like Kali? (This thought process is not meant to be offensive at any way, but a comparative narrative.) If you are not familiar with Kali, she is a Hindu Goddess known for being the destroyer. Kali’s name means death, destroyer, and time. She is also presented as blue and has been accused of having a heart made out of stone. Sound kind of like Thanos? Kali is a warrior, and a killer. She doesn’t just murder for fun, however. She kills to bring balance. While she may seem scary to many, Kali is revered as the Mother of the Universe and has fiercely loyal followers. People see her as a protector. Because she is part of the universe, or was around before the universe as some think, she isn’t good or bad but just is. The universe needs to be restored and that is what Kali’s calling is all about. Doesn’t that seem a bit like Thanos? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali)

 

While the ones that are lost during Thanos’ reign of terror is heartbreaking, could Thanos just be doing a very tough job that needs to be done? There is no arguing that people abuse the planet which is our home. We misjudge it and misuse it, as well as ignore the messages of Mother Nature. Thanos is not a hero, but is he really a villain? He is doing what he thinks needs to be done in order to save the universe and restore balance. However, he does this without much thought or care as to the cost of what he is doing. Never the less, he makes the choice to continue down his path even when he could have walked away, because his goal is so important to him. His children help him with this task, knowing that they too could eventually be part of his deadly solution. Is Thanos a madman, or is he just acting on the cycles of life?

 

What are your thoughts about Thanos? Is he Nature? Does he represent Kali? The Marvel universe is full of mythology and gods and goddess so I think any of this is possible. What are your thoughts? Leave your comments down below.

 

 

March 5

Barnum Greatest Showman’s Scam

Barnum Greatest Showman’s Scam post contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the promotions page. 

This past weekend, I saw the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” This wasn’t something I was planning on, but this was for a birthday celebration so I was happy to go along. Fair warning, this post contains spoiler.  I was very worried because I’m terrified of clowns and this was a story about PT Barnum,who is most famous for his circus. I am also not a huge fan of Barnum, who was known to be  a showman, but he was also known for some pretty terrible things. Since this movie was such a spectacular production, with a fanciful story, this can be considered another great sham done by Barnum. With the beautiful music, clothing, and stars it is easy to get swept up in the magical story. At the same time, it really is hits home with one of Barnum’s favorite quotes. “There is a sucker born every minute.”


The story follows a very, very loose story of PT Barnum’s life as he struggled through tragedy and poverty during his childhood. Supposedly, he had known his first wife, Charity for years and came into contact her while he was working. They fell in love and got married and had two children. Barnum then did a little bit of fraud and got a loan to purchase a museum. On the advice of his starry-eyed children, Barnum goes out to find something alive to put in his exhibits and winds up putting together the world’s first “freak show.” This included the breaded lady, a tiny person, a dog man, and African American artists which was unheard of at the time.  They all worked together and stared in his show. He was highly successful and even was invited to see Queen Victoria.

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While in London, Barnum met up with Jenny Lind, a world famous opera singer. He convinced her to come to the United States and have a show for one night only. It went so well, that Barnum abandoned his family and his freaks and took Jenny on tour. Barnum leaves his every day work into the hands of his partner, Phillip who is falling in love with the Anne the acrobatic artist who was a different race. Again, this would not only be highly controversial, but illegal in some places. Barnum eventually came back to his home after Jenny hit on him and he turned her down. She continued the tour without him for a few more weeks. Barnum got back home in time to see his museum burn down to the ground after people in the city set it on fire after trying to get them out of their town.

Barnum has lost everything and had no money. His wife had left him, and he had essentially turned his back on everyone. He eventually comes around, and with the help of Phillip, they purchase a plot of land by the water and and put up tents to have their show. It ends with Barnum walking away from the project and going to be with his wife and children. He hands over everything to Phillip is now with Anne publicly not matter the cost. The show ends with Barnum and his wife Charity happily watching their children. Everything is wrapped up in great musical numbers, beautiful colors, and lots of dancing.

While it was a enjoyable, it was very long, and very far fetched. PT Barnum was not a great person and they just seemed to gloss completely over any of the horrors he committed. He did a lot of terrible things at the cost of people’s sanity and even their lives. One of tiny man that he cast in the role of Tom Thumb was not a man at all.  He was actually a small boy that he basically bought off of his family and trained him to seem more adult. By the time he was 7, he was a drunk  mess. Barnum then took his distant cousin, Charles Stratton, and gave him the role of Tom Thumb. His experience with Queen Victoria is what is portrayed on screen.

Barnum was known for being a person who worked with anyone no matter the race. This didn’t mean that he respected them. One of the things he did to launch his career was to exploit one of his many slaves. That’s right, he was a slave owner. He put an older female on display and claimed that she was over 160 years old. When she died, he charged 50 cents per person to witnessed a live autopsy, therefore exploiting this women not only in life, but in death as well. She was only about 80 years old when she died. Of course the people in his shows were not really taken care of. They lived in terrible conditions, made to work long hours, and got paid very little. He also took advantage of spreading stereotypes of Africans, Mexicans, and Native Americans. Some of these stories were so damaging that they were believed in popular culture for years.

As terrible as he was with humans, he was even worse with the animals. Several of the animals will killed in accidents due to an animal being in unrealistic conditions. He used them for many dangerous stunts including trying to have elephants take down the Brooklyn Bridge. While the movie briefly touches on finding a mermaid, they never went into the horror of what he did. He was obsessed with trying to find the mythical mermaid and that led to some pretty unsettling experiments. This involved sewing the head of one animal on to the body of another one and putting it on display. Sometimes, they tried keeping the animal alive by killing one and sewing the head on the still living second animal. Eventually, he settled on monkey head attacked to a fish.

It was also deeply suggested that Barnum had an affair with not only Jenny, but several women. They only touched on the fact that he had two children, but he and his first wife Charity had four. Charity passed away and he very quickly married his second wife, Nancy. Years ago, there were rumors of how many illegitimate children that Barnum had. It was rumored that he had a kid in every city, although none of this is proven. It’s all part of the legend.

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A few other things that they just got wrong during the movie are the following. First, the circus was something that didn’t happen for Barnum until he was in his sixties. In the movie, it is portrayed that he started the circus sometime when his girls were around 10 and 12 years old. They also never said anything about his two other children that he had with Charity. Phillip also didn’t exist, but was loosely based on a few people including James Bailey of Ringling Brothers and PT Barnum and Bailey Circus fame. Bailey was not a playwright from an influential family, but an orphan. He was a poor man who died in his fifties and never had a relationship with an acrobat. He was married and he passed away in his fifties. Barnum also was in and out of jail for multiple things including theft and fraud.

While it seems most of the reports of Barnum are terrible, there are just as many people are on the opposite side and suggest that this is all hearsay. Barnum was known in several circles as a man who was not only a human rights activists, but an animal activist as well. He also supposedly was a person who worked for women’s rights. It was also never proven that he said the sucker quote, which would be hard to tie to a person if it wasn’t directly verbally quoted. However, with all the other factors of the very real things he did to animals and humans, it is hard to believe that he really so great. Anything is possible. However, he was a good showman, and a charmer, which could lead to any opinion here. The bad is good press, the good is great for his character. It goes to show how skilled he was at story telling. He was, of course a politician that served several terms in office as both a Democrat and a Republican. That says a whole lot!

At the end of the day, PT Barnum is a story onto himself. He is both fiction and reality at the same time. He is terrible and ground breaking. None of this was really covered in the movie, which makes it so very appropriate. You go out of this movie thinking you know something about his life, but then find out you know nothing. You were entertained, which was the point. Barnum loved that his audience was in on the joke, so maybe this was all a joke about the lack of information about him. It was a story, that’s all. It was a manipulation of the truth which he was pretty good at doing himself.  Was it the greatest show on Earth? No, but there were great parts. It was just to hard to overlook the pacing issues and how they glossed over anything remotely controversial about PT Barnum. At the very least, the music was excellent and this could make a great stage show.

 

 

*Cited Sources www.thehistorychannel.com

 

 

January 29

Five Movies That Wouldn’t Make it Today

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Have you ever watched a movie from your childhood and realized that there is no way in the world that it would work in today’s world? These movies that I am talking about are not the ones from the 1940’s, or the 1950’s. These movies would be from a time not that too far in the past. I am talking about the 1980’s to even the early 2000’s. While we may enjoy these movies, the same story would not work at all in today’s world. Here is a list of the 5 movies that would be vastly different if they were written today. Most likely, they wouldn’t be a very long movie at all!

1.Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle:

This movie came out in 2004. It follows college friends, Harold and Kumar on their adventures to get to White Castle while they are drunk and stoned. They go on an adventure and silliness happens. However, there is no way this movie would take place today due to all the options of deliver. This would be the entire movie.

Harold: I’m hungry, let’s go to White Castle.

Kumar: That’s a great idea, but we are drunk and stoned.

Harold: Let’s use Uber Eats or Door Dash. That way we aren’t leaving the house!

Kumar: Great, I will use the app on my phone.

Roll Credits!


2. E.T.

This beautiful classic movie came out in 1982, It follows an alien who is hiding out with a boy and his family while trying to escape the government. Today this movie would be very different.

Aliens land, everyone takes pictures on their smart phones. They are quickly uploaded to YouTube and the government quickly silences it as a joke. There is no family interaction, nor fear of keeping the alien safe since everyone, everyone is being filmed at all times. The alien would never have a chance to make it to a family, and there wouldn’t be any sort of amazing bike ride, or any phoning home.

3. The Breakfast Club:

This John Hughes Classic from 1985 follows students from very different backgrounds who bond during their detention on a Saturday at school. Today it would never happen.

Students get Saturday school for various deeds done wrong. Some parents threaten to sue the school over harsh treatment and going to school on a Saturday. The students who actually make it to Saturday school never speak because they are on their phones the whole time. Several take this as an opportunity to post Instagram posts about how unfair this whole thing is and how detention is stupid!

4. Overboard:

While there is a remake to this 1987 movie in the works now,  the original story in today’s world would never work today.

A very rich woman falls overboard and forgets who she is. Even though she doesn’t have a wallet or any ID on her there is a plan. The doctors and nurses take her photo and release it to the media. Moments later, she is identified and is able to go back to her family and life after getting the care she needs. She never lives with another family who claims her after she was terrible to them.


5. Edward Scissor Hands:

This fantasy film came out in 1990. While a lovely movie, it would never be made today.

A young man who lived in a strange man’s home is discovered by a retailer. He is abandoned and looks very dangerous. Her survival instincts kick in, and she runs away after dialing 911. The young man is taken into custody and is treated for his hands, and his physiological issues. This takes years and lots of trial and error. Eventually, he becomes part of society while never interacting with the family of the realtor who found him.

 

 

 

While these movies are loved, they just wouldn’t be made in the same way today. Something has been lost in our advance world. We have more ways to keep in touch, but so many more ways to limit imagination. It’s important to be entertained, but it’s also important to have heart. It’s fun to enjoy what was, and hope we still have great stories to look forward to!

 

If you like these movies, try streaming them all on a Fire Stick with the Echo remote!

December 26

Movie Review for 2017

Hello Underdogs, and it’s that time of year where we look back on the year of all forms of entertainment and review what in the world did we just consume. For this list, I am giving you my thoughts on movies that I have seen this past year.  These are not movies that I rented, but went to see in a theater. I paid my own money so all of these thoughts and opinions are my own. I try very hard to not let the massive reviews sway me, but I am human and sometimes they stick with me. Some of these movie reviews have been covered before in my blog, and if they have, I will leave the full link. These are the good, the bad, and the middle ground. I hope you enjoyed the entertainment this year, and maybe you will go see one of these movies that you didn’t consider before. Or, you may stay away from one all together.

The Emoji Movie:

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Full And the Underdog Wins Movie Review Here: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/emoji-movie-captures-society-today/

This movie has made it on the top spot for one of the worst movies of 2017. I don’t disagree with that statement! In fact, it was one of the most offensive movies that I have ever seen. I don’t care that it is one big product placement film, which is one of the biggest arguments that many people have about the Emoji Movie. The reason that doesn’t bother me is because most films are one large commercial. Think back to many of our childhood favorites and you will recall things like food, drinks, and toys associated with that movie. This movie doesn’t try to hide their product placements at all, but makes them part of the story. My issues with this movie were the horrible lesson of fitting oneself into a box. It is not okay to be different, and it’s okay to abandon your goals even after working very hard to get where you want to be in life. This movie had a few laughs, but overall, it reflects the sad state of our world today, and how we just have to label people and things so they will fit into the world. This movie, for me, is one of the very worst not only of 2017, but ever.

Wonder Woman:

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For the full movie review, click here: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/fan-friday-wonder-woman/

Wonder Woman was by far the best super hero movie that I saw all year. In fact it is one of the best movies for superheros of all time! I can’t say enough good things about Wonder Woman. The plot was great, the holes were small, and the cast was mighty. I have been waiting for this movie for years, and I can say for once that it by far exceeded my expectations. After seeing her cameo in the awful Batman Vs. Superman, I wasn’t really expecting much from this movie, and I said as much. I couldn’t be happier to be wrong about a movie before! All little girls need to see this movie. It is about time that kids have a chance to grow up with bad ass females in strong roles. I am so happy to have been able to see this movie!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

For the full movie review, click here: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/star-wars-just-watch/

This is the most conflicted that I have ever been about a Star Wars movie. I love the Star Wars franchise, and this movie split people down the middle for a very good reason. While I have been struggling for the last few weeks about why I feel the way that I do, I have come to one conclusion. The movie needed to be edited better. For all of it’s faults from a story prospective, it can be forgiven if the movie was edited down. There is at least a full half hour that could be cut out of this movie and have no impact on the story whatsoever. This movie will be debated for years, and I am hopeful that the next movie will be the payoff for all of this confusion. This movie has very good and very bad moments. I think people should see it and decide for themselves, but for me, this is a very middle of the row movie.

The Justice League:

 

For the full movie review, click here: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/justice-league-review/

What a year for superhero movies! Some were amazing, and some were okay. The Justice League was okay. I had fun watching this movie, but it there was a lot of disconnect. This is another movie that had a lot of stuff going on, but no real plot. While I wish they would have focused on a darker Superman story line, there was a lot of good set up in this movie for future projects. I really like the Flash, and I’m very excited about seeing Aquaman in his own movie. What made me sad was how they dealt with Wonder Woman in this movie, and how the villain of the story was kind of lame. I am hopeful that the next movie will have a better story, and they will fix the CGI issues. There is a lot of room for growth and I think it is possible!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword:

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While many people hated this movie, I actually loved it. This is a different take on the legend of King Arthur. The story is great, and exciting. There is a lot of humor, and a lot of great set up for a series of films that will sadly never happen. Arthur grows up in a brothel and finds that he is the true king and needs to defeat his evil Uncle. The acting is great, the action is great. Jude Law does an amazing job at being very evil. I am very sad that this movie didn’t do better and there is no reason that I can see that people hated it so much. I think they were told to hate it or something. I bought this movie as soon as it came out and have watched it several more times, and have yet to be disappointed. I think this was an excellent movie and people should really give it a try instead of listening to all those who said it was terrible.

Thor Ragnarok:

 

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This movie was such a surprise, and probably my favorite of the entire year. This movie was pure joy from start to finish! There is a lot of great cameos, and thank God for Jeff Goldblum. I hope he is in more movies because it was a joy to see him on the screen. Everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun in this whole movie. I loved that the majority of the movie took place on a different planet, and loosely was based on Planet Hulk series. For the first time, we really got to see Thor be funny and almost even make fun of himself. The team up of Thor and Bruce Banner/Hulk was brilliant! This will be another Marvel film that I buy as soon as it comes out. I feel as though this is the light  movie before we get Infinity Wars. This was truly one of the best movies of the all of 2017!

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle:

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I will have a full review of this movie coming up. Until then, I think this movie is worth seeing. However, it may be too scary for some younger viewers. I saw it with an 8, 9, and 11 year old. I think the 8 year old may have been a bit too little to see this movie because she was afraid of some of the scenes, and covered her eyes several times. This movie was a lot of fun, and I actually liked it better than the original. This was another fun movie that had some great action. The plot was fairly simple, but it was very clear which path they were going down, which was nice compared to some of the bigger movies this year. I loved the Rock in this movie, and there were a lot of laughs. I would recommend this movie!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2:

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What an excellent year for Marvel! The surprise movie a few years ago was the original film. Now, this is a fun series and I am very happy that we are on the path with these crazy space legends! First, baby Groot is adorable, and I am kind of sad he is growing up in teenage Groot. Star Lord meets his Dad in this movie who is named Ego. Ego is a planet. While as strange as this may see, it actually is a pretty good story line. While there are a lot of laughs, what is not expected is the deep emotions that made me tear up. I know that there is a question if this group will continue to be Guardians of the Galaxy past their next movie, but I sure hope they stay on for awhile, because this is a great team, with a fun and exciting story! One of the best films of the year!

Beauty and the Beast:

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This movie is one of the newest in the line of live action Disney films. This follows the original story fairly closely so there isn’t a lot of surprises. It was nice to see this on screen. It was almost like a combination of a movie, and seeing a Broadway play. I loved the outfits and it was  nice to watch this. While it didn’t blow me out of the water, it is a nice movie. However, this is one that I would tell people to wait and rent instead of seeing in the theater. You already know the story, so there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for anything new or different besides being live action.

Spider Man: Homecoming:

For the full movie review, check out the link here: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/fan-friday-spiderman-homecoming/

I am the first to admit that I wasn’t on board with this movie. This is yet another remake of the Spiderman franchise and I was kind of annoyed that they were starting all over again. Now, I am happy that I was wrong about this and I’m excited about this remake. Tom Holland is a breath of fresh air and brings new life into a character that has been struggling for the last several years. I was happy that they didn’t start with Uncle Ben passing away, and picked up after Civil War left off. On a personal note, it was very awesome to see Jon Favria back on the screen in the Iron Man world. He was one of the people responsible for the might Marvel reboot, and he is a welcome old friend. Go see this movie if you haven’t already!

The Dark Tower:

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This movie is an adaption of Steven King’s novel. When I mean novel, I mean a series of 8 books and an entire scope of stories. While many people didn’t like this movie, I liked it for what it was. There is no way in the world that a single film could cover the ground of this book. However, this movie was meant to set up the HBO series that is coming in the next few years. This is looking to be the replacement of Game of Thrones. I loved the acting, and the story was fine, but it was thinned out too much for many people’s liking. I thought it was okay, and I enjoyed it for what it was. I didn’t go in with a lot of expectations because I knew it could only cover so much ground and they had to pick and choose what to cover. I thought they did a fairly good job. This movie was in the middle of the road, but by no means was it a bad movie.

There was my list of movies that I saw in a theater this year, and my reviews. I think my favorite movie of this year was Thor, and the one I didn’t like at all was the Emoji Movie. Many of these movies were right in the middle of the road, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t worth watching. I hope that you enjoyed these reviews. Please leave your comments on the movies that you saw this year that you liked, and ones that you didn’t!

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December 18

Star Wars: What did I just watch?

Hello Underdogs, this is the official And the Underdog Wins review for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” If you have not seen this movie, want to see this movie without anything being spoiled, don’t read past this paragraph! This will be detailed movie review that includes plot points and opinions. There will be some affiliate links as well for Star Wars. For more information, visit the shameless self promotion page on my site. Last warning for everyone, so if you don’t want to read spoilers, check back here after you have seen the movie.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was this mess. This movie is the follow up the wildly popular and well received movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It picks up right where the last movie left off, and it kind of all goes down hill from there. I knew that the prequels were not going to be as good as they could be, so I was hoping these 3 newer movies would be a formal apology for those movies. It started off pretty well with The Force Awakens, but The Last Jedi left me disappointed, and quite frankly, a bit bored. I am one of the people that grew up on the Star Wars franchise. I wasn’t even born the first movies, but I literally grew up watching and playing Star Wars. The trailer was amazing and I was convinced that this would be the top Star Wars movie of all time. How wrong was I?

There was two separate movies going on in this film. If they would have left out one part, and concentrated on the other, maybe this would have been a better movie. The first part is Rey and Luke, and the struggles of the Force, the Jedi, and training. The second part is a completely pointless side adventure to get a code breaker. This is what I am going to concentrate on first. The rebels are in trouble because the New Order can now track and follow them in light speed. This means that they can follow them anywhere and destroy them on a whim. Never mind that the New Order is technologically advance. They decide to toy with the rebels and basically wait until they run out of gas and die instead of just destroying them in moments. I refuse to believe that the New Order didn’t have this power to end this quickly, and were just danging the rebels like a worm on a hook for entertainment purposes.

While this is going on, almost the entire fleet is destroyed and General Leia is in a coma. This means that the Vice Admiral takes over and refuses to tell anyone the plan even after Poe asks many times. The reason behind this?  So those in charge not needing to  tell some fly boy the plan so they don’t go off and do something stupid. Instead, they stay silent and characters go off and do something stupid anyway.  Finn, new character Rose, and Poe to come up with a very strange plan to go to a planet and get a code breaker to get through a door to destroy the New Order’s ability to follow them in light speed. Never mind that we have seen droids do this very thing over and over again in other movies. This whole thing could have been avoided if the Admiral told everyone the plan, and would have avoided a standoff, and a whole bunch of people getting in needless danger. I have no clue how Finn and Rose didn’t understand that the code breaker would betray them. Everyone knew that was going to happen. There was no point to this at all. All this did was take away from the main story, and boy did that main story need help.

Rey and Luke was a very hard thing to watch as well. At first, watching Luke walk around the island with Rey following him made me smile. I looked at my friend and we both agreed that Luke was already training Rey. Turns out, he wasn’t, he was just being moody. It got so annoying how many times Luke walked away from Rey and seemingly refused to help her. This lead to Rey being open to Kylo and had a strong connection with him. Even though Snoke said he set this whole thing up, you couldn’t fake their connection. It could have been different if Luke would have listened and helped Rey instead of being strange and brooding. Kylo gets it from somewhere.

Rey’s big scene in the pit was pointless. It was set up to be something cool, but there was no pay off at all. It could have been so cool, but instead, it was empty. Plus, if this is true, and not just a thought that Kylo picked out of Rey’s head, her parents are no one. There is no connection with Rey and anyone. I wouldn’t have an issue with this at all if they didn’t spend the entire first movie setting up the mystery of Rey, her family, and where she comes from. This movie did a great job of making everyone in Force Awakens pointless.

We also find out that not only is Luke brooding, but he almost killed his own nephew in a moment of weakness. He read what could have been Ben’s future and saw Snoke taking hold. As Rey said, at that moment, he hadn’t chosen his path and anything could have happened. Luke had almost started to kill Ben, but he woke up and this started him down his very dark path to become Kylo Ren. A scared child had no hope, just like Rey. No wonder these two characters are drawn to one another. I loved the scene with Rey and Kylo fighting Snoke’s guards. It’s very well shot, and visually stunning. However, it was very disappointing to see the all powerful Snoke just get cut in half and that was it.  Kylo takes his place and tries to get Rey to come with him and destroy everything. This means to end this whole past of the Jedi and the New Order and start over. Rey rejects him and this starts the end fight.

The few rebels that are left after the pointless side story, landed on an abandoned rebel  planet. They are in a lot of trouble because they are in a cave with only one way in or out. They have a ram that could break down their door and kill all the rebels. The new New Order headed by Klyo Ren is ready to kill. Instead of letting Finn save the day by flying into the ram, Rose hits him and stops him because she didn’t want him to die. As bad as it got, Luke showed up after a meeting with Yoda, to fight. This leads to a huge stand off between Luke and Kylo, and Luke wins. Why, because we find out he never left the island at all, but projected himself across the universe by using the force. That was pretty cool, but when Luke dies after this, it seems like a huge letdown for not only us, but for the legacy of this character.

By the end of this movie, there are only a handful of rebels left. The universe refused to answer the call for help, so even though it seems like things are hopeless there is still a glimmer of hope in the slave children on the casino planet that they were at to get the code breaker. I guess that was a very thin thread connecting these stories together, but it really was a fine thread. Luke is dead, the rebels are at an all time low, Kylo is the new leader, and Rey is still as lost as she was before.

This whole review seems very negative and it is sad for me to do this. I want to make it clear that even though I love Star Wars. This movie was no where near as good as The Force Awakens, nor did it follow the Star Wars formula. Now, and forever, this saga is about the Skywalker family. George Lucas has said this time and time again. If you move away from the Skywalker family, then you miss something huge. This movie was setting up the Jedi as being pointless, because the force is in everyone. Fine, but how are people going to be trained if they need to be? There is no one left to help. The rebels are almost died out, but it still doesn’t seem as dire as Empire Strikes Back.There were several moments that I love about this film. First, Adam Driver does an amazing job as Kylo Ren. While Rose wasn’t given a great story line, she is a great character. I loved seeing Yoda and I’m not going to lie, I cried a bit. It was heartbreaking to see General Leia’s story line because we know in real life, she is gone. I wish we would have seen more Poe and Finn together, but the few moments we got of them was great. There is a lot of hope in this film, it just misses the mark on several points.