(Updated July 18, 2017. Originally published June 12, 2016.)
I had the chance to watch “Captain America: Civil War” fairly recently and I have ruminated on it a bit.
This probably reads fairly silly to some of the deeper thinkers out there, but it is what it is I suppose. I’m not going to make a convincing enough argument in this space that anyone should ascribe a whole ton of deep meaning to these kinds of movies, but for whatever’s it worth, they generally make me think a bit. It’s probably fair to say that some blockbusters are dumber than others, and for some, the style of fare that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) churns out (and at 2-3 movies a year, it is by now accurate to call it a churn) just doesn’t do it for them. It’s clearly turned into a significant money maker for the mouse, and the time commitment to consume them all, let alone the repetitive nature of the films are all good reasons to stay away.
That said, I enjoy them a great deal. I appreciate escapism for its own sake, as mentioned above I can take away some decent life lessons and social commentary from them, and perhaps most importantly, they are movies I can bond with my family over. When my son Nate tells me he wants to watch “Thor,” and I can watch it with him, that is an experience I treasure.
I thought I would re-rank these films in the interest of sparking a little debate OR encouraging people to check a couple of them out if they haven’t. Some of this stuff I would recommend above the rest, and I guess that is the point more than anything. Also, this is sort of fun.
A new Star Wars trailer is here! A new Star Wars trailer is here!
Ahem, excuse my delirium.
Honestly, when “The Last Jedi” trailer dropped recently, I was perhaps more intrigued than flabbergasted. As my better half stated, “There’s a lot to unpack there.” And there always is, which makes the release of any new Star Wars trailer always a fun occasion.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time here analyzing the thing … pretty much any nerd with the ability to pause and an encyclopedic knowledge of Wookiepedia is going to do a better job of that than me anyway.
No, I’m falling back into my comfort zone of rankings.
Here, without further buildup, are my picks for the 10 best trailers (including teasers) in the history of Star Wars.
Let’s re-rank the Star Wars films, because … ha, ha, ha! Like I need a reason!
Actually, I even have one: “Rogue One” is making its home video debut right now (I like calling it “home video” to recall the awesome-sauce that was VHS tapes), so now is as good a time as any. I last performed this exercise when there were six films. Now there are eight. And no, I’m not counting the Ewok movies, the Clone Wars cartoon, the Holiday Special, or even that shoddy-looking fan film you think is better than TFA and everyone else just sort of sadly nods at you in abject pity.
One of the best things about Star Wars is how it is an incredible gateway drug. You think you’re sitting there, watching an innocuous fantasy film, and then they drop some nugget on you that gets your brain all worked up, and soon you have more questions than answers … and an insatiable desire to learn more.
“Rogue One” is the natural evolution of one of those threads, what the opening crawl in the first film was really all about. That the film mostly answers one’s questions satisfactorily is basically just the cherry on top … the journey of discovery (and the inspiration of new questions) is the true joy.
Roger Ebert some years ago did a series of reviews of movies he had seen before, but decided to revisit given their general stature or importance to him. He called this series “Great Movies.”
On some subconscious level, I think this was the general area I was trying to slap this particular baseball (my podcast) into … find that sweet spot of the films that matter to people and try to get a solid double out of it. There’s no minimum requirement here in terms of Oscar nods or what have you, but I did want to find the films that people care about … and while doing this, I leave open the possibility that this could well morph into something else. My Ichiro-like metaphor is meant to be “doubly” apt in this way … the sweet spot is subject to change, and therefore so am I.
That said, “Star Wars” is in many ways the perfect fit for The Pursuit of Crappiness, a culturally relevant collection of films with wide critical and public acceptance. Moreover, there’s a lot to digest in these movies and several different directions a conversation can go.
To celebrate the blu ray and digital release of “The Force Awakens,” the seventh film in the series (eighth if you include the somewhat maligned “Clone Wars” animated feature), I got together a bigger group than normal to discuss the film (and eat delicious goodies put together by my wife, Cait). For this episode, I was joined by Twitter personality Alfredo Narvaez, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune reporter Michelle Hunter, and Dash Rip Rock drummer Kyle Melancon — three big fans of the new film and of “Star Wars” in general.
With the change in seasons comes the apparent change in priorities, with my precious, few available minutes (or lol hours) being dedicated to something other than sports. This isn’t always the case in the winter, mind you, but the Pelicans and Kansas State have been highly accommodating by finding special ways to lose at the game of basketball. There are few things more pathetic than losing basketball, and since I have become an authority on the subject by surviving the Jim Wooldridge/Tom Asbury era at K-State, I already feel fully qualified and don’t need to spend a whole lot more time dedicated to it.
Also, Mardi Gras is over and done with. So it’s movie time, especially with the Oscars right around the corner.
I thought I’d share some general thoughts about some of the flicks I’ve seen recently, while also teasing that I might be debuting a podcast on the subject in the coming weeks. It’s something I’ve toyed around with doing for some time, and since I’d like to keep the blog from going completely nihilist thanks to my hatred of basketball mismanagement, I thought, hey, let me produce some content that might actually make me smile, not want to flush my own head down a toilet.
Throughout the course of my life, I have on multiple occasions run into someone who hasn’t seen Star Wars. After I ask them if they are of this planet, I generally get a somewhat snarky response: “I’m not into geeky stuff.”
In honor of these people, who are wrong by the way (I’ll get into that in a moment), I have categorized this post and future posts like it, you guessed it, “geeky stuff.”
I can appreciate a good joke at the joyless’ expense every time.