Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi

Here we go, The Last Jedi! I was surprised to find it on Netflix – this is the only Star Wars movie they have on there. I wonder why? Maybe because it’s gotten so many negative reviews, that not many people want to pay to see it.
I am here mainly because the current Captain Marvel controversy is being compared to the uproar that was created by the Last Jedi. So I am very curious.
I’ll preface this by saying that I am not a huge Star Wars fan. In fact, I prefer the prequels to the original trilogy. A lot of it has to do with the prequels premiering during my time – they were the cinematic Star Wars experience for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching those three movies in the cinema. In fact, I’ve seen each of the prequels twice in the cinema, and then several more times over the years on DVD.
So when Star Wars Episode VII came out, I even went to see it in the cinema (which is a rarity for me) to remember the good ol’ days. And I was entertained while I was watching the movie, but it didn’t have a huge impact on me. In fact, it was so bland that I didn’t feel the need to watch Episode VIII, and I’m only watching it now because it’s on Netflix and I wanna see if it’s really as bad as people say it is.

MY REVIEW (contains SPOILERS)
To sum it up: this movie is terrible. You can find plenty of reasons why in the ramblings section down below, and note that I stopped writing things down because it got to be too much. The level of incompetence of these filmmakers is startling. But not as startling as the disrespect that these filmmakers have shown all the Star Wars fans by making this abominable movie. As I already said, I only like the prequels, and even I am personally offended by the way that this movie ruined all the already existing characters and introduced new, insufferable characters.
I don’t want to spend much more time on this, as this dumpster fire of a movie doesn’t deserve to have so much of my energy invested in it, so let me just say EVERYTHING apart from the visuals IS TERRIBLE. Disney clearly doesn’t care about its own legacy, as it keeps churning out terrible live-action versions of our beloved animated movies; and it gives even less forks about other iconic films, so we should have known that the Disney Star Wars would be bad.
Yet they could have been less terrible if anyone bothered to apply sense to making this trilogy. They could have at least hired the same writer to work on this entire trilogy, maybe then some of these characters would have made sense. But I guess no one cares about characters, or story, or legacy, when you have IMPORTANT AGENDA to push. Again, I don’t wanna go into details, because the SJWs deserve even less of my time and effort than Disney does, so I will only say this once – a feature film needs to have a plot and characters, not just blatant political and social agenda. The best films have always had an underlying agenda, but it was not just plastered onto the screen, it was subtly visible among compelling stories and fully-developed characters.
This abomination is so badly written that even when the scenes are supposed to be epic they’re boring as hell. The pacing is off, there’s no tension. In fact, I stopped caring about anyone or anything when Leia turned into Space Jesus. Meanwhile Luke Skywalker apparently died at the end of Episode VI, because the person we have here is his body double, who has nothing in common with the original Luke. Not that Leia is any better, but her character is so perfunctory that it might as well not exist. Finn, who was a promising character in Episode VII, has to suffer through a boring and useless subplot and doesn’t even get his big heroic moment at the end. Po Dameron is a white man, so he has no right to exist in the Brave SJW World. Speaking of which, Strong Purple-haired Lady is a terrible leader, who inspires no confidence in her subordinates, has secret plans that she doesn’t share with anyone, and lets so many Good Guys get blown to pieces before she decides to execute her heroic effort in destroying the Bad Guys’ ships. The effort that makes no sense, just like nothing else makes sense in this movie. As for Rey, I can’t even with that Mary Sue…
Please proceed to my ramblings to see more of my bewilderment and grievances.

RAMBLINGS

  • I hope this is going to be somewhat coherent, given that I don’t remember any actual details of the previous movie. The iconic introduction is being vague about the state of affairs. At least the main idea, as always, is that the Resistance is fighting the Bad Guys.
  • How do they make Domhnall Gleeson look so unlikable? He’s such a charming fellow, but here he’s just repulsive. He’s being a bit too dramatic, no? Again, I’m a fan of the prequels where Palpatine was a more subtle baddie.
  • Oh look, Aunt Lysa fell through the Moon Door and right into the First Order attack ship.
  • Did they just make a “yo mama” joke on Star Wars? I gotta say, this prank call would have been fine in the Star Wars parody, but in an actual movie it doesn’t work.
  • Why is Leia dissing C3PO? Is that an inside joke that I don’t get?
  • These bomber ships are such easy targets. They’re giant and un-maneuverable, of course they’re all gonna get destroyed. And how are the bombs supposed to work anyway? There’s no gravity in space, so you can’t drop a bunch of bombs down the shoot and expect them to land in the same spot down below without gravity. I would buy it if the bomber ships were kamikaze – they crash into the target, exploding all the bombs in the process. But to have the bombs dropped down like that – I don’t buy it. I also don’t buy that the girl was able to catch that remote. She watched it fall past her, and didn’t make a move for it. Unless she has four-feet-long arms, she cannot catch it.
  • Am I supposed to remember why Finn woke up in a jacuzzi bag? Cause I sure don’t.
  • I wish that at least one movie would skip this whole “Battle-scarred hero refuses to go back and save everyone, spends half a movie being persuaded to help, adamantly refuses to help, but then changes his mind at the last hour” routine. It’s only implemented to pad the movie’s running time, and I would rather have a 90-minute coherent film than two-and-a-half hours of pointless rhetoric and will-he-won’t-he fake suspicion.
  • THAT IS SNOKE?! This shriveled old thing?! Hell no! Why couldn’t they keep him as a giant hologram? He was an enigma in the previous movie, and a real threat. But this thing… nope, not working for me. Palpatine was played by an actual human actor and was much scarier than this thing.
  • Adam Driver does look like a child! What a difference the absence of facial hair makes.
  • Luke has a point. Why do they need him so badly? He’s just one man, even if he is a Jedi. They had many Jedi in the prequels, and they all got slaughtered by the Bad Guys. So what’s one man gonna do? I guess the answer is in the original trilogy, but I don’t really like it, and I don’t wanna see it again to get the answers.
  • So, Luke knows that Rey has seen this Jedi Temple before, yet he has to keep asking her who she is?…
  • I know it’s not supposed to be funny, but I laughed when the Bad Guys appeared next to the Good Guys’ ships. I kept waiting for a giant Snoke hologram to beam into Leia’s ship and go, SURPRISE, BITCH.
  • I’ve seen too many episodes of Cinema Sins, to the point where I can’t watch movies normally anymore. Like in this scene where Kylo Ren blows up the Good Guys’ ship and Dameron gets caught in the explosion and thrown across the room, I’m like “He survives this”.
  • “Burning fuel”? What is this, Fast & Space Furious? I don’t know that much about Star Wars, but I’m pretty sure they never had a problem with fuel before.
  • IS PRINCESS LEIA SPACE JESUS NOW?!
  • Subtle vegan messaging is subtle.
  • It IS a cheap move, R2D2. Made even cheaper by the fact that, apparently, Princess Leia can’t be killed.
  • I’m sensing the SJW agenda radiating off Laura Dern. Again, I don’t remember the previous movie at all, as it turns out, but I’m pretty sure that Poe Dameron was the good character then. And now he’s a problem?
  • Fuel, space trackers, other stuff… what a bunch of nonsense. I kind of miss the Senate hearings from Episode I and those giant pod conferences from Episodes II and III. At least there were all kinds of different characters there, and so much pathos. Now there’s a casino? What?! I’m so confused… Are they doing a cross-over with the Matrix? The master code-breaker sounds like the master key-maker.
  • What the actual duck is happening with Rey and Kylo?! Since when can people Face-time through the Force?!
  • Ah, the old “I was cleaning my gun and it went off” defense. I had no idea it worked with blasters.
  • Wait… “Reach out with your feelings”?! I thought the Jedi aren’t supposed to have feelings. That was the whole problem with Anakin in the prequels. Was that all a lie? Is this a lie? Why is this movie so confusing?!
  • No one will be seated during the “Casino Royale” portion of this movie. And now there’s weird horse racing? Why the hell do we need that?! I feel like I’m watching an actual Star Wars movie and a Star Wars parody cut together into one long, idiotic movie.
  • How is there still an hour-and-a-half left?! I feel like I’ve been watching this for about five hours, and there’s still over half a movie left…
  • Oh so this is a Star Wars and Marvel cross-over. Hello, Benicio Del Toro!
  • I can’t with this Finn subplot. Why is this important?! I know they’re supposed to disable some tracker device, but what does Space Horse Casino Royale have to do with it? No wonder this movie is so long.
  • Adam Driver is a much better actor than Daisy Ridley. He conveys more emotions through subtlety than she does with all her shouting and being over-dramatic. It’s like watching the early Harry Potter movies where the over-acting kid actors were obliterated by the adult actors who barely had to move a facial muscle.
  • Are Rey and Kylo friends now? What the fork just happened?! Kylo is the last hope now? And Yoda is back, this time to be an anarchist. Burning books like a child delinquent. Because of course the perfect Rey already knows all the sacred Jedi texts. She was born with the knowledge, as she is perfect. Ugh. Pass my barf bag.
  • Wow, Oscar Isaac looks like he really doesn’t want to be there. I feel you, man, I don’t want to be watching this either.
  • How are Rey and Kylo “seeing the future” now?! This plus Face-timing makes them either the most powerful couple in all the Galaxy, or it makes this movie stupid as fork. I’m gonna go with the second option.
  • This is so boring! And there’s 50 more minutes left, how?!?!
  • I guess the fight between Rey and Kylo and Snoke and those red guards was supposed to be epic and stuff. But it was so boring. And Daisy is such a bad actress that I can’t take anything seriously. Ugh. And people were complaining about Hayden’s acting, yet he was never this bad.
  • This is stupid and pointless. I don’t care enough to comment anymore.
  • Oh for fork’s sake! They can’t even let Finn sacrifice himself?! Because she loves him all of a sudden?! What the actual fork!?
  • I knew that Luke wasn’t really there, and the whole fight with Kylo was fake, but why the fork did he actually die?! And how strong is Rey, who comes from nothing, that she is able to move entire huge piles of rocks with no training?! Didn’t Luke spend years training with Obi-Wan and Yoda? THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
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After Life, Season 1

This is a very personal review. I can’t believe I’m even posting it, but here it is.

What a brilliant show! I just finished the last episode – there’s only six half-hour ones, thank you, British television! So I’m full of the feels, and this is not going to be very coherent. Which, I figure, is perfect for a show like this.
Ricky Gervais continues to surprise me. I know that he’s very funny, with his own brand of humor that many people find offensive, but I like most of his stuff. And I think of him as a comedian – both as an actor and a writer/director. So every time he does something serious and thoughtful, I am amazed at the level of depth, humility and kindness he brings to his creations.
“After Life” is the story of a man who just lost his beloved wife, and with her, the will to live. He probably would have killed himself immediately, if he didn’t have a dog to take care of. So he manages to get out of bed every day, and lead an existence devoid of any shred of happiness or hope. He titters on the brink of death, yet doesn’t cross the line; he manages to anger, but not completely alienate those closest to him. People annoy him, probably because they go on living despite the fact that his world has ended. Worst of all, he claims to not care about his own life to the point where he deliberately puts himself in harm’s way, yet the only people that he’s hurting by his behavior are the people who still care about him.


I recently lost the person that I loved most in this world, and who loved me the most, and this show displayed so precisely all the feelings that I’ve been going through. All the terrible feelings and thoughts that you don’t share with anyone, because they are too dark to put into words. I can safely say that I’ve gone through the lows that Tony has gone through, and I didn’t even have a dog or a cat to pull me from the threshold. I have my best friend of almost 30 years, who lives on the other side of the world, and talks to me everyday through the wonders of modern technology. And the thought of something bad happening to me and her not knowing about it, is really the only thing that kept me from doing something terrible.


I can’t believe I just wrote that. And I can’t believe that I’m going to post it, but what good is a personal blog if you can’t share personal feelings on it? And what good are those feelings if you can’t share them, in the hope that, if nothing else, sharing those feelings can let someone else know that they’re not the only ones going through something so awful.
That’s exactly what Gervais did with this show – he not only showed those who grieve that they’re not alone, but that it’s okay to feel like you’re already dead. Because you’re not really, it’s only a feeling, and that feeling will fade away over time.

“After Life” has many precise quotes about life, death and the impact that people have on the world and the people around them. My favorite one has got to be this exchange between Tony and a widow that he talks to at the cemetery:

Tony: When you’re a good person, doing things you want to do is the same as doing good.

Widow: And you’re a good person, and I’d really rather you didn’t kill yourself. Because that would be a waste. You may not like living much, but you made the world a better place. And don’t give up because then they’ve won.

After Life, season 1

Death March Escape, by Jack J. Hersch

The full title reads – Death March Escape: The remarkable story of a man who twice escaped the Nazi Holocaust.
I would say “remarkable” is an understatement in this context. There have only been a handful of recorded cases of prisoners escaping from concentration camps during WWII and not all of those who managed to escape, ever made it to freedom. Many were hunted down, found and killed; many perished on their own, without food and shelter.
Which is why the story of David Hersch, a man who escaped a death march – got captured but somehow not killed – then escaped again – was taken in by kind and courageous people – and lived to tell his tale… is unbelievable!
And yet that is the story we are fortunate to read in this amazing book. I was going to say “wonderful”, but I’m always hesitant to use such words when talking about horrific events. Yet Jack Hersch, David’s son, wrote a truly wonderful book, in the way that it tells the full story without skipping details or minimizing the horror, yet it’s almost a light read. In other words, you can read this book and still sleep well at night, compared to reading some other books on the subject that leave you with nightmares for days and nights to come.
I loved the way that the book was framed as both the story of David’s life and time in the camps, but also as Jack reconnecting with his father. In fact, the idea of writing the book came to Jack after he happened upon a photograph of his father on the memorial website for the Mauthausen concentration camp. A photograph that Jack had never seen before, of a man who used to be his father before the horrors of WWII. This discovery prompted Jack on a quest to find out as much as he could about David Hersch, and in a way to find out more about himself.
I highly recommend this book to a variety of people! If you’re interested in WWII – this book is for you. If you’re interested in the Holocaust but are afraid of the more harrowing stories – this book is for you. If you’re interested in stories about the strength of the human spirit – this book is for you. If you’re interested in stories of survival against unimaginable odds – this book is for you.
Finally, if you’ve ever wondered if your family has any secrets or fascinating tales to tell – this book is definitely for you, as it will spark curiosity in you to find out more about your own family.