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

A muser and a rambler

I am a reader, a writer and a movie/show watcher. In no way am I a critic. I’m not even sure one can call oneself a critic, and yet so many do. Call yourself a reviewer, if you like, because reviewing is what you do. Meanwhile, I shall call myself a muser and a rambler, since that is what I do – I muse and I ramble.
I love those words! I muse when I’m calm and simply wish to ponder what I’ve learned. My favorite part of the definition of “to muse” is that it’s done to oneself – you muse to yourself. In my case, I muse to myself cause there’s no one else to muse to. Now that I’ve lost my mother, who was the only person capable of listening to my musings and ramblings, I have no one else to share my thoughts with. So I shall muse, and sometimes I shall ramble – which is a more irritated variation of musing – on the pages of this blog. Hopefully, there will be other, virtual people interested in what I have to say.
Still, reviewing is what we are expected to do, at least on the sites like NetGalley, Amazon and Goodreads, so that’s what I’ll also try to do. One of the reasons why I decided to launch an actual blog was to keep my reviews in the same place, or rather to provide the master version of those mini-reviews. Cause as I see it, people don’t need particularly lengthy reviews on those sites. They’re choosing, sometimes in a hurry, whether or not they would like to read a particular book or watch a movie or show. They don’t want to read my ramblings on said shows and books, but they’d probably be interested in some key things to expect and some pros and cons of each item. And that’s what I’ll continue to provide on those platforms.
Meanwhile, the blog will be dedicated to the master versions of those various reviews. In fact, as I’ve already mentioned, there won’t be any reviews here – just musings and ramblings. And yes, there is a difference, which I will try and establish. Or perhaps I’ll come to find out that there isn’t a difference and that would be fine too.
There’s only one way to find out – start writing!

Relaunch – or is it just launch?

I have been meaning to start blogging for a while, and I’ve even blogged before. Mostly in Russian, although there were some attempts at Tumblr and LiveJournal – remember that one? – but I never got used to either of them. And the Russian blog that I was keeping lost its meaning overtime. The blogging void in my life was filled with Instagram and Goodreads, but I always felt like something was missing.
I used to love my Russian blog so much! It was on this website called Diary.ru and it was wonderful! I had some followers, and I followed other blogs. Most of them were personal but with a heavy dose of pop-culture fangirling. It was the perfect balance between sharing your passion for all things movie, book, show and music and also sharing some of your personal thoughts and issues.
I have to say, I miss that in my life. I’m fortunate to have friends in real life, even some who share my interest in pop-culture and reading, but there’s something about belonging to an online community that’s totally different from real life. There’s something magical about sharing your interests with people from all over the world; people you never would have met in real life; people who give you hope that the mass of depressed sheeple you encounter on a daily basis is comprised of fun-loving individuals.
I will strive to reach that balance between personal life and pop-culture fangirling, while also giving you a glimpse into my life in Moscow. I don’t want to have some strict rules for what I’ll be posting, or a schedule of posts. The only goal is to post regularly, if not daily, and to have fun with it. Nothing kills fun for me like rules and schedules. Also, since I have an Instagram account I will be keeping photos to a minimum here, much like I keep the words to a minimum there. It might be weird to separate the two, but I would prefer to write words here and post pictures there, rather than to duplicate identical posts across the media platforms.
Alright, enough introductions – let’s begin!

To the land of budding book lovers

My dear friend Neha, who encouraged me to start a WordPress blog, wrote a lovely piece about our Book House blog. Thank you, Neha!

Literary Lemonades

A few weeks back, I received a Whatsapp text. My Muscovite friend Katya, of whom I talk all the time in my Prochnost updates, was up to something awesome again. She had switched jobs recently and the ‘Kniga Worm‘ that she is (no literally!), she decided to get the kids in her new school get excited about books by, get this, blogging about books!

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Greetings from my happy place!

 

It’s weird to write a yet another introduction for my online personality that’s been established for years. I used to have a fine Russian blog, over on diary.ru – I wonder if the site still exists? – but then it stopped being so fine, after a yet another “upgrade”. How come all these sites and apps get worse and worse with every “upgrade”? What a dinosaur question! But hey, I am a dinosaur!

Anyway, during my diary.ru period I tried a few other blogging sites. Tumblr was confusing – I still have no idea how comments work over there. Twitter was insufficient. LiveJournal – remember that? – felt like a gated community that you needed a special key to get into. And WordPress? It turns out I even tried WordPress, though I have no recollection of that. But when I was setting up this blog today the site informed me that my email was already taken. Would you look at that? It even had my old handle – angelInstead – from my Robbie Williams fan days, which feels like two lifetimes ago. So I promptly changed that name to my new favorite – KnigaWorm – and proceeded to get a paid account, so that I could grab knigaworm.com while it was still available.

Why KnigaWorm, you might ask? That is simple, and directly linked to the title of this post and the featured image. Kniga is the Russian word for book – and yes, I am 100 percent Russian, though lots of people can’t tell that. Which means that KnigaWorm is simply a bookworm, with a Russian touch.

As for this blog, it will be a low-key collection of my various reviews (books, movies, tv-shows, music) with lots of ramblings, and some musings on the various aspects of life. So, just your average blog really.

To quote Stephen Fry, that’s enough verbal fretting for now. Enjoy, comment, subscribe and all that!