Solo: A User Review Thread

Discussion in 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' started by DarthSkywalker, May 24, 2018.

  1. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Okay, so here's my full review. Let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a contrarian here. And I'll even admit that my perceptions of this movie may have been a result of going in with lowered expectations after some of the reviews and the box office.

    But honestly? I loved it. I liked it better than all of the new Star Wars films that Disney has put out, and it's about a MILLION times better than any of George Lucas' **** prequels.

    Now, I don't want to go too much into the other Disney SW films, but what I think made this one work was that it had all the fun of The Force Awakens, with better characters and visuals like we had in Rogue One. TFA, for as much as I enjoyed it, does feel really derivative of A New Hope in many spots. I know that's intentional but I didn't think they had to go SO far in their homages. And while I loved Rogue One, it's a very dark and somewhat depressing film, given how it ends. Again, I know that's intentional but there is a part of me that wants to just have fun when I go to see a Star Wars film. And that, I think, was one of my biggest problems with The Last Jedi... aside from some stunning scenes (the opening battle, the fight with the Praetorian Guard) it just felt like kind of a dark, ugly movie to me. And maybe that was the intention. But I didn't love it the way I was expecting to. I also feel like it lacked focus and went on for too long, like Rian Johnson was trying to cram too much in and yet somehow still crafted a movie with a pretty thin story. I don't hate TLJ by any means and I feel the complaints that it "ruined" Star Wars are overblown but it definitely left me with some conflicted feelings about the series going forward.

    But back to Solo. This movie was just a fun thrill ride from start to finish. Alden Ehrenreich does a fine job as the charming scoundrel; he looks and acts enough like Ford that it truly feels like he'll evolve into the man we first met at the Mos Eisley Cantina, but he also doesn't try to just do a Ford impersonation, which is probably what we would have gotten with Anthony Hansgruber or whatever his name is. I know the box office for this film has been disappointing but I truly hope this isn't the last we've seen of Alden's Han. Even if they don't want to do another Solo film, I hope he pops up in the Boba Fett movie or the Obi-Wan movie. Speaking of which, THOSE are two movies I've never felt a need to see, because Boba Fett is still a nothing character in my eyes and we've already gotten a backstory on him (and it sucked), and we've already had three films of young Obi-Wan. Do we really need more? However, after Solo, that Obi-Wan film may hold new interest for me... more on that later.

    Emilia Clarke is also great as the morally complex and conflicted Qi'Ra. [BLACKOUT]I had heard that she may be a villain in this, and though that ultimately turned out not to be true, her character may ultimately go that route if we see her again. And it would make sense. But I'm glad that things weren't predictable in that regard. I kept waiting for her to betray Han because her true loyalty is to Dryden or because she ended up resenting Han for leaving her on Corellia, but luckily that wasn't what happened and it made her character all the better. I loved that she truly cared for him but unfortunately made a deal with the devil (literally! Well, almost).[/BLACKOUT] I also liked that she was very strong and capable (even more so than Han)... I wasn't sure if Clarke could pull off that type of badass character after that (awful) Terminator movie, but what do you know? In the hands of a capable director, she does just fine. Imagine that. #AlanTaylorShouldNeverWorkAgain #JustKidding #Kinda

    Donald Glover's Lando is perfect. I was worried that people were overrating him a bit because the Internet is in love with the guy, but the praise he's received is well earned. He's cocky, funny and you can really see the bromance between Lando and Han begin to form here. I especially loved their exchange towards the end after crash landing the Falcon ("I hate you." "I know."). Again, I hope we see this Lando pop up again somewhere down the line.

    Most of the other characters are great too. Chewie was Chewie as we love and know him, though his initial meeting with Han was nothing like I expected it to be. Great scene. Woody Harrelson is perfect as always; [BLACKOUT]I honestly didn't expect him to betray Han towards the end and it set up a good showdown between the two (and an obvious FU to George Lucas' misguided attempts to "improve" the original trilogy).[/BLACKOUT] L3-37 was also fantastic; I loved the idea of a droid civil rights activist. Paul Bettany's role was small, but he was effective as Dryden Vos and his ship was REALLY cool. It reminded me a lot of Starship Titanic, for those that remember that classic computer game. Actually many parts of the film felt like they had some influence by Douglas Adams, like the evil maggot queen character on Corellia. My only character complaint was the little alien pilot (Rio), who TOTALLY felt like a knockoff of Rocket Raccoon. [BLACKOUT]I was glad they killed him off quickly because that's the only part of the movie that felt really derivative to me.[/BLACKOUT]

    Enfys Nest was also a pleasant surprise. [BLACKOUT]I didn't see the twist with her being a freedom fighter coming at all, and it worked perfectly. Again, this is a character I'd like to see show up in future installments in some capacity. It's funny because I heard some people claiming that perhaps the reason Solo hasn't been doing well at the box office is because it's the only new SW film to feature a male protagonist, and perhaps people are simply tired of that trope. While that may be true, those people are missing out on some truly kickass female characters by skipping this movie.[BLACKOUT]

    And then there's that [BLACKOUT]Darth Maul cameo. I've never really gotten the love for this character before; he barely felt like a character to me in The Phantom Menace because he had like, one line of dialogue (although, when George Lucas is writing your lines, maybe that's a good thing). Yeah, his lightsaber was cool and he looked awesome but he really didn't DO very much at all. But after this scene? Oh yeah, I want more of him. THAT'S what I wanted to see from him in TPM. Real presence. Real intensity. Real POWER over other characters. No one will ever top Vader but Maul could be a close second if we see him again and they continue this plot thread. Now, this scene confused me (and it might confuse other people), because his appearance made me think that this movie took place before TPM. And if so, then that would mean Han is older than Darth Vader and Luke would be young enough to be his son. But then I did some research and found out that Maul actually survived TPM and was outfitted with robot legs (which apparently you could see in Solo but I missed them). Anyway, bring on that Obi-Wan movie if it means we'll see more of Maul (and Qi'Ra).[/BLACKOUT]

    As for the story... I honestly felt it was the best of the new SW films, other than maybe Rogue One. It's very well paced and a lot of fun without going too jokey or silly. I heard some people say that it tried too hard to be Guardians of the Galaxy, but aside from the Rio character, it didn't really have that feel to me at all. GOTG was more action comedy than drama (which is why it works so well), whereas this is still an action drama but with a lot of comedy in it. And that's where SW works best. I watched some of Grace Randolph's review and she said they should fire Lawrence Kasdan... nonsense. The guy is a legend, and he's still writing great stuff. He gets SW a lot more than many of the uptight fans.

    And as for the direction...I don't know how much of this film was Lord and Miller and how much of it was Howard, but that's a good thing. Instead of a bizarre Frankenstein's monster like Justice League, this felt like one film with one vision. So kudos to Howard for pulling it all together. He finally redeemed himself for The Da Vinci Code!

    All in all, I highly recommend this film and I'm sad that it's not doing well at the box office. But hey, at least we got another great Star Wars film.

    9/10
     
    #151 Deck Rickard, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  2. Timebomb

    Timebomb Registered

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    Great review and I agree with a lot of it. I loved it and would love to see a sequel but alas I do not know if we will see one. After this I would love to see what Howard could do with being involved from the start.
     
  3. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Yeah, after seeing this, I’d like to see Howard do more genre stuff. I remember that he was attached to The Dark Tower for a while... I was completely against it at the time but I’m 100% certain he would have delivered a better movie than that POS that came out last year.
     
  4. Aximili86

    Aximili86 Registered

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    Honestly, Kennedy needs to run with more directors like Howard for the spinoffs. Mangold's more arty, sure, but he's an established older presence and knows how to manage a big movie.

    Get Joe Johnston all over one of these things too, stat, screw that retirement notion. Or for a weirder movie someone Joe Dante.

    These guys just all fit the universe to a tee.
     
  5. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Joe Johnston is retiring when he is done with Narnia 4. He's old, LOL! I think he is serious.
     
  6. Aximili86

    Aximili86 Registered

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    Yeah, but that's kinda my point. :oldrazz: I know he's a little hit-and-miss, but no way that guy's career should go out with a whimper like a lower-budget Narnia sequel nobody's going to see. And he has the longtime relationship with Kennedy, sounds like he was the other potential choice to take over Solo - sure if she made the call and asked, he'd probably accept.

    The First Avenger wasn't overly-ambitious or anything, but it's a really solid movie and totally in that Lucasfilm vibe. Just seems weird to me he hasn't really directed anything but a couple of indie things since 2011, given reception to TFA was pretty good and it did decent money.

    Mangold's on Boba, and that'd ideally be the movie Johnston would be most suited for if he was to get one, but still - if the plan is for multiple gangster/underworld movies, throw one that guy's way. You know you're not going to get a production cluster**** like with Solo, at least, and these guys like he and Howard know the material.
     
  7. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    If Johnston directs anything, he should do an Indy reboot/sequel. Cap and The Rocketeer are great WWII period films and his style would lend itself well to an Indy film. Of course, that won't happen for a while because Spielberg is doing another Indy with Ford. But maybe after a few years Johnston will get bored of retirement and throw his hat in to the ring.

    If something like that should happen though, then the question comes up about replacing Ford in his other iconic role. But maybe it would go smoother if they don't try to do an "Indy Begins" kind of story and just make it another adventure? Sorry, I know I'm totally off topic here but I really want more Indiana Jones films and I'm sorry but Ford is just too old for the role. Maybe him and Spielberg can redeem themselves a bit for Crystal Skull with this new one, but even if they do, it should still be Ford's last film in the role.
     
  8. Aximili86

    Aximili86 Registered

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    Yeah, I'm so weird on the Indy thing. Totally on-board with the younger/re-cast Solo and have been from the start, but for whatever reason I just don't want it to happen with Indy, just end it with Ford.

    Unless you're going to go really far back with a really young Indy, but we've covered the really young years with the show way back when. While there's plenty of time in-between, just the idea of Pratt or Cooper or whoever being cast as Indy just bugs the hell outta me. One more for the road with Ford/Spielberg, then Lucasfilm could always expand it out with games and comics and stuff if they want to do stuff set earlier, back in the 20s/30s/40s.

    Not sure why it's any different, Solo and Indy, it's kinda not. But for whatever reason one seems fine to me and the other notsomuch.
     
    #158 Aximili86, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  9. AVEITWITHJAMON

    AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    Great review, I agree with a lot of this. What I did find surprising also was that Solo stuck with me for a few days after watching it. I am actually really looking forward to seeing it again.

    Heck, after Solo I wouldn’t mind Howard doing another Star Wars movie. And yeah his take on The Dark Tower would have been much better than what we got.
     
  10. Aximili86

    Aximili86 Registered

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    Howard does seem to get a little too much hate overall. Yeah, he can be bland at times, the Da Vinci Code type of stuff, but every now and again he throws out A Beautiful Mind or whatever and kicks everyone in the balls with some major brilliance.

    Not a guarantee another SW flick from him would reach any major heights (especially with the box office take here, not sure they'd be that eager for another go-around with Ron now), but the potential's there, especially if he's involved from the start and chooses writers/production designers/DP yadda yadda.
     
  11. AVEITWITHJAMON

    AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    Yeah I don’t see how Howard can take any blame for this, even in the eyes of Disney, but stranger things have happened. I wouldn’t mind him getting another chance in this universe though.
     
  12. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Thanks! Yeah, I felt the same way. I just found the movie so enjoyable that it stuck with me and I really do hope they continue the story of Qi'ra and [BLACKOUT]Maul in some capacity, even if we don't see Alden's Han again. I suppose they could do that if they want to; one would assume that she would cross paths with him again but she doesn't have to. Han is clearly on his way to meet Jabba at the end of the film, so that could more or less conclude his origin story and it puts him right about where he was when we first meet him in ANH.[/BLACKOUT]

    And yeah, I'd be all for Howard directing another SW film. Maybe since he worked with Lucas on American Graffiti all those years ago, he has a good grasp of what makes a Lucas-inspired film work.

    Oh yeah... my one other gripe about the movie was how Solo got his name. I mean, was that really necessary? In a universe where people have last names like "Skywalker" and "Sleazebaggano" is it really so far fetched to believe his last name was actually Solo? that just felt unnecessary.
     
  13. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Well, to be fair, a lot of people have problems with A Beautiful Mind, mainly because John Nash was either bisexual or gay and the movie doesn't portray this at all. He also had an illegitimate son with another woman that he refused to marry because he felt she was beneath him, and he also apparently had a habit of making anti-Semitic remarks.

    Now, I can't totally fault Howard for excluding all of that; virtually every biopic out there is a blend of reality and fiction, and often they're more the latter. It doesn't mean ABM isn't a great movie. But given some of that information, it's understandable why some people aren't crazy about it.

    Either way, Howard is a relatively good and sometimes great director. Backdraft, Apollo 13 and Night Shift are classics in my opinion. And others like Cocoon, Splash, The Paper, Rush and Frost/Nixon are all very good.
     
  14. AVEITWITHJAMON

    AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    Yeah I really liked Qi’ra and I hope we get to see her again at some point. I agree about the ending a,so, I would have liked to see a sequel to Solo, but it still sort of blends in with ANH so it doesn’t really matter if we don’t get one.

    I don’t mind how he got his name, but at the same time it felt a little too ‘real world’ for me.
     
  15. Aximili86

    Aximili86 Registered

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    Oh, as a straight-up biopic in terms of accuracy of course ABM's not a great example, Deck. I sort of suspect that wasn't really the point, though.

    Maybe they should have changed the names, had it "inspired by" Nash rather than go the true-story route. But just in a cinematic sense that's a ****ing monster of a movie, Ron's capable of rising above "workmanlike" director when he's on his A-game. Rush was pretty great too, as far as recent stuff.
     
  16. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Oh yeah, in terms of pure (tearjerking) entertainment, it's a great movie for sure. Probably Russell Crowe's best performance as well.
     
  17. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Gladiator. No question :o
     
  18. Aximili86

    Aximili86 Registered

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    Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?
     
  19. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    A Good Year, dammit! :o
     
  20. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Virtuosity :oldrazz:
     
  21. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Hahaha yes! Sid 6.7! He was actually pretty good in that movie. And he looked like an evil Rick Astley, which made it even better.

    It's been strange watching Crowe's career trajectory. He was like the biggest star in the world for like a year or two and then it all went awry due to his combative nature and gaining weight for that lousy movie he did with DiCaprio, which he's never been able to lose.
     
  22. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    I completely forgot that movie existed, LOL!!! Wasn't that a Ridley Scott film as well? Scott and Crowe were a great combo...until that and Robin Hood :o
     
  23. STARMAN

    STARMAN Rebel With A Cause

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    Saw it now. I enjoyed it far more than I expected to. I liked it better than the last few Star Wars films. Had a good time.
     
  24. Deck Rickard

    Deck Rickard Bright Lord

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    Yeah, that movie was awful. The biggest headscratcher there was why Crowe decided to turn himself into a Glenn Beck lookalike and destroy his body for what amounted to be a crappy part in a bad movie.

    And yeah... the less said about Robin Hood the better. The best compliment you could give that movie is that at least it probably won't end up being as awful as the Eggsy/Jamie Foxx version that's coming out this year.
     
  25. Smilodon

    Smilodon Registered

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    Bradford Young is doing some next level work in this film. Love the low-light photography done in this film - it looks nothing like previous SW films and is perhaps the best looking film of them all. I was particularly taken aback at the strong lighting in the background of the station in Corellia, where Han and Qi'ra were trying to escape, as well as the great use of shadows and darkness on Mimban and Savareen. Just awesomely moody and hazy lighting. Really dug the cinematography in this film.
     

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