Well, it’s a Rogue One kind of weekend, and even though we’ve been totally inundated with Rogue One, this podcaster couldn’t be happier — the film is just that good. Gareth Edwards has constructed a triumph that exceeds expectations, melding modern filmmaking with OG Star Wars modeling for an aesthetic that feels both old and new — and an adventure that explores whole new worlds and new dimensions of the Star Wars canon. To put it quite simply, this movie is absolutely gorgeous, and it tows along with it a storyline and cast of characters that stand up fully on their own, yet seamlessly transition into the greatest space epic ever told. Not a bad job for a guy who basically had two movies (including the indie flick Monsters and the Godzilla remake) under his belt coming in. There will be fawning over Rogue One today, that’s just the way it is.
Alongside our discussion about some of the glory of the film — spoiler free, of course — today’s show will also be diving into other choices at the box office this week (as if you care). Movies silly enough to face “The Wars” spinoff include a pretty intriguing new drama starring Casey Affleck (dude’s got chops) called Manchester By The Sea, as well as Will Smith’s backfiring Oscar bait that feels more like reviewer chum, Collateral Beauty, in which some rich guy facing tragedy writes letters to Love and Death. We’ll talk about it very briefly because, let’s face it, nobody is going to be seeing that thing.
Elsewhere in the world of entertainment this week, we got a ton of new trailers, including the first look at the new Christopher Nolan World War II epic, Dunkirk. Despite the subject matter being beaten to death over the last decade or so — after Saving Private Ryan, it’s a tough row to hoe — but the film looks really interesting, and also boasts an impressive cast. Heavyweights include Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Hardy, though it’s been reported the leads will be mostly Hollywood newcomers, including One Directions member Harry Styles (we’ll reserve judgement for now). Dunkirk tells the story of the evacuation of the region during The Battle of France, in which 330,000 allied soldiers were ushered to safety as the German forces squeezed in all around them. It’s a cool idea, in that it’s not a battle to win so much as an escape, and the film should be well made.
And of course, we must talk about The Fast and the Furious 8, aka The Fate of the Furious. This is the point where one of us alienates the audience by saying how much he wants this franchise to just, please die already. It’s obvious that is a rather unpopular opinion, and if the massive success of the previous film (which broke a billion dollars at the box office) wasn’t enough, the fact that the new trailer broke a record with (count it) 139 million views on YouTube in one day shows that this franchise has more than a little vitality left as it pushes toward its 10th film. As they say, there’s just no accounting for taste.
Moving on, Alan Thicke, one of our favorite TV dads of all time — and a pretty decent Canadian fellow by most accounts — passed away this week while paying hockey with his son at the age of just 69. After all, it wouldn’t be 2016 if it didn’t end in at least one celebrity death. Best known for his work on the ’80s sitcom Growing Pains, Thicke was also a game show host, and even a pretty prolific songwriter in his time. We’re sad to see Mr. Thicke pass on, but on the bright side, there are worse ways to go than enjoying time with your family.
Elsewhere today, we’ll be talking about the latest for the Pacific Rim and Godzilla sequels (which are both made by the same studio, interestingly enough), Bryan Cranston’s latest role as a not-so-nice chap, some new rumors about Margot Robbie’s new female villain flick Gotham City Sirens, and the most recent news about the rapidly assembling cast of Star Trek: Discovery.
We’ll be covering all of that and more this week, so follow us live at 2 p.m. PST, or take our podcast on the road with you by following the links above!