REVIEW: The Last Jedi

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

Every critic has their blind spots. For yours truly, it’s action science-fiction. Just in the last decade, the subgenre has given birth to heart-pumping masterpieces like District 9, Inception, and Gravity and they’re the films I most consistently look forward to. (Two of my most anticipated movies this year, point in fact, were Valerian and the City of the Thousand Planets and Blade Runner 2049.)

As a result of loving the sub-genre so much, I can sometimes be dazzled into distraction in a way other genres aren’t able to. The only movies I generally lower my review ratings for tend to be action sci-fi, like Star Trek Into Darkness and Elysium, both of which dropped half a star between my initial reviews and second viewings.

All of which is to say I, like most in 2015, was a little too impressed by The Force Awakens. It’s a really good movie, don’t get me wrong. But I initially gave it 4½ stars and placed it on my Best Movies of 2015 list — a little undeservingly, I’ve come to see, as my rating for the seventh Star Wars entry has settled to an even 4 stars out of 5.

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REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the prequel reboot of the everlasting franchise first started in 1968, found a very interesting and engaging way to tell a modern, tragic allegory but wasn’t ever able to fully let make you forget you knew where the story ultimately had to go. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel to Rise that takes place ten years later, has the same virtue and the same flaw as its predecessor, with better direction but a weaker script. Continue reading