I Stand With Moses Ingram

The world of Star Wars stands for everything that racism and hate are against. Diversity, inclusion, respect, democracy, etc are ingrained into this world. That does not mean, however, that everyone in the fandom is immune from the hate and racism in the outside world.

Earlier this week, Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram spoke out about the racist messages she has been receiving via social media from a small group of fans who are unhappy with her character’s place in the universe.

Ingram is unfortunately not the first SW actor of color to have this experience. Both John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran were also verbally attacked by online trolls. They could not fathom that there are more non-Caucasian characters than Lando Calrissian.

Thankfully, both the upper echelons at Disney and her colleagues have spoken up. Ewan McGregor, as both the lead actor and executive producer of the series, released a video in support of his co-star.

As a performer, Ingram is completely new to me. But in the three episodes that have been released so far, I have become a fan. Her performance is brilliant and I cannot wait to see where she will go in future episodes.

The haters can suck it for all I care. I stand with Moses Ingram.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Review

When the original Star Wars film, A New Hope, premiered in 1977, no one could have foreseen the narrative junctions that have come out of this one movie.

The new DisneyPlus miniseries, Obi-Wan Kenobi, premiered on Friday. Ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith (2005) the Jedi appear to have been wiped out. But a few have survived in hiding. The Empire sends The Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) to find those that are still alive. One of the Inquisitor’s lieutenants, Inquisitor Reva, Third Sister (Moses Ingram) is intent on locating one Jedi in particular: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). His former Padawan, Anakin Skywalker (now known as Darth Vader) is eager to see his former master again

While living under another name, Obi-Wan is keeping an eye on Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely). But Luke’s Uncle and guardian, Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) would prefer that his nephew remains in the dark. Meanwhile, on Alderaan, Princess Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped. Her parents turn to Obi-Wan to rescue their daughter.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is amazing. After watching both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, I thought nothing would top them. I was wrong. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time. There were multiple easter eggs (if you know where to look), many mouth drops, and quite a few expletives. I am already hooked and ready for the rest of the series.

It would be easy to make another soulless sequel. But it is not. It is full of so much love and respect for the material that it radiates from the screen. McGregor is back in perfect form, with the obligatory changes since the last time we saw the character. He is starting to become the grizzled old man who has come to terms with what was and will never be again. But there is still a little bit of hope, just enough to inspire him to pick up the lightsaber one last time.

Do I recommend it? 100% yes. Don’t be surprised if the program makes the cut for “best of” lists in December.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is available for streaming on DisneyPlus. New episodes premiere on Friday.

Star Wars Goodbye GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Halston Series Review

Every decade has its own unique style. In the 1970’s, there was one name that represented the height of women’s fashion: Halston.

The new five part Netflix miniseries, Halston, stars Ewan McGregor as the the iconic fashion designer. The viewer is initially introduced to Halston in the early 1960’s. His salon in New York City is besieged by customers after he designs the hat that Jackie Kennedy wears at her husband’s inauguration in 1961. We then flash forward to 1968 when the business has dried up. Despite being a talented designer, it appears that his once thriving career is in the past.

Then the 1970’s dawns and his wildest professional dreams come true. But as his star grows, Halston’s past and his demons begin to catch up with him. Addicted to drugs and pushing away even the closest of his friends, it appears that his genius and talent will be eclipsed by the shadows he can never get away from.

*Warning: the trailer above contains strong language and images of drug use.

The narrative is nothing short of a Shakespearean tragedy. This man is brilliant, driven, funny, eccentric, and devoted to his friends. Among them is Liza Minnelli (a fantastic Krysta Rodriguez) and the recently department jewelry designer Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan). He is also selfish, full of it, arrogant, and thinks that he has all of the answers. McGregor is superb as the title character, painting a complete picture of a man who myth and mystique is still with us three decades after his passing. It is one of the best roles I have seen him play in a long time.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Halston is available for streaming on Netflix.

Christopher Robin Movie Review

For many of us, childhood was a time of imagination, opportunity and being carefree. Unfortunately, as adults, our experience is the opposite. We are bound by the rules of adulthood (jobs, spouses, families, responsibilities, etc), which can seem colorless andĀ  downright depressing sometimes.

In the new film, Christopher Robin, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is the son of A.A. Milne, the man who created Winnie-the-Pooh. As a boy, he practically lived inĀ  the world that his father created. But as an adult, his reality is quite different. His manager, Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss) can be very demanding. This leaves little time to be home with his wife, Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). On what can only be defined as a life changing weekend, Christopher Robin is reunited with his old friends and rediscovers certain aspect of himself that he had forgotten.

This film is quite wonderful. It was a reminder of not just the joys of childhood, but also the thrill that comes with letting your imagination free. I especially appreciated that Jim Cummings returned to the vocal booth to give voice to both Pooh and Tigger. Underneath it all, the message of the movie is just live and enjoy the moment. It’s brilliant, it’s amazing and I hope that it will become a classic in years to come.

I absolutely recommend it.

Christopher Robin is presently in theaters.Ā 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday-The Impossible (2012)

TheĀ 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami is one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. It is estimated that a quarter of a million lives were lost and 14 countries were devastated by the both the earthquake and tsunami.

In the 2012 film, The Impossible, Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) are a married couple on vacation in Thailand with their children. Then the tsunami hits and the family is torn apart in a futile attempt to outrun the sea. Will the family survive and if they do, will they be intact or mourning the loves ones who did not survive?

While the narrative could have been punched up a bit, knowing that this is based on a true story only adds to the tension and heightens the drama.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)- Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace

In 1999, it had been sixteen years since Return Of The Jedi premiered. Fans all over the world were clamoring to see where George Lucas would be taking his characters after a nearly 20 year absence from the big screen.

Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace was the first prequel that would eventually connect the story lines started in 1977.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a hotheaded, eager, young Jedi who is eager to spread his wings. But his wiser, older master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) knows that his pupil is not as ready as he thinks he is. The evil Trade Federation is slowly taking over the galaxy. Traveling to Naboo with their new friend Jar Jar Binks (voiced by Ahmed Best), they try to warn Queen Amidala, who has already escapedĀ  (Natalie Portman), but her planet has already been taken over.

Eventually finding their way to Tatooine, they meet a a boy named Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd). Qui-Gon Jinn cannot put his finger 0n it, but there is something special about this boy. Now they must get to Coruscant, solve the trade dispute and return the Queen to her throne. But there is something hiding in the shadows, something far more serious and dangerous than any of them realize.

Is it me, or did George Lucas nearly screw up cinema perfection? Episodes 4, 5 and 6 are examples of what fantasy/scifi movies and their sequels should be. George Lucas became just another filmmaker who relies on 3D to keep the audience interested. Which is a shame because he is one of the most respected filmmakers alive. He has some of the best actors in Hollywood in this movie (Portman, Neeson and McGregor) and they are nearly wasted.

Any good filmmaker worth their salt knows that it is not special effects that keep the story moving forward and keeping the audiences interested. It is a good script with interesting characters and a story line that is one step ahead of the audience. Let’s not forget the stupidest character created (Jar Jar Binks) and the use of racial stereotypes that I would have hoped would not be part of Lucas’s writing.

Were the critics wrong? No.

In Fanboys (which I highly recommend), as the characters are waiting to go into the movie theater all decked out in their costumes, one of them asks (please pardon the paraphrasing).

“What if it sucks?”.

While George Lucas partially redeemed himself with episodes 2 and 3, episode 1 will is not a part of the series that I relish.

I do not recommend this movie.

%d bloggers like this: