Star Wars: A New Hope – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope.

Story

This is a Fantasy movie, set in a Space Opera setting, populated with characters from Westerns and Samurai movies. It’s a combination that shouldn’t work, but works really well. However, all the set dressing in the world doesn’t make it any less of a stereotyped hero’s journey.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are barely fleshed out archetypes and tropes. The farm boy, the rogue with a heart of gold, the strong(TM) princess, the honourable wizard knight, and the evil dark cloaked former apprentice.

The actors do a great job with what they have, but the weakest part of the movie is the characters’ motivation and personalities. (Something that improves in future movies.)

My biggest gripe is that the bad guys and the good guys treat non-human races as inferior. I’m still annoyed that the droids and Chewy didn’t get medals.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Iconic quips and quotes that are hardwired into geek culture. The movie has some amazing lines and some absolutely terrible ones.

As quotable as the movie is, its dialogue is stilted and filled with pseudo-nonsense that wouldn’t be explained for decades.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

I realize that the special effects were touched up in the version we have, but the touch ups look worse then the actual practical effects. The original effects are utterly fantastic.

John Williams wrote one of the most iconic themes in film history.

Score: 1

Fun

I first saw this movie when I was in my teens. It was re-released in theatres. It was quite the experience, but watching it at home and seeing the wonder in my kids faces was great.

Score: 1

Overall

Iconic and amazing, this movie captures the wonder and joy of going to the movies in a way that every blockbuster wants to recreate. It has its problems, but it’s a great watch.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Over the Moon – JenEric Movie Review

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Over the Moon.

Story

This has all the elements of a wonderful Doorway-style story. (Doorways stories are about youths that find a method of travelling to a fantastic world. Think Alice or Dorothy.) The near-Pixar style sadness at the beginning and the Olaf clone are well done and don’t feel trope-y.

Unfortunately the concept is prettier than the story, and once they reach the moon, the story is disjointed and thin, giving too much room to world building and action.

The ending and the moral are heavy handed and uninspired.

Score: 0

Characters

The kids were interesting and realistic for an animation. It’s great to show a character that is into myth and STEM equally, something that isn’t explored enough. I didn’t really like the whole, “I have a super power” story line, since it was done for cheap laughs and a non-funny gag.

The animal sidekicks are plenty and cute, never detracting from the story or getting too annoying.

The woman on the moon was supposed to feel mythological, like dealing with a god or magic power. She came off more as whiny, entitled, and not too bright. Less like a force of nature and more like a toddler.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was okay. It served its purpose but compared to the complexity of other animated movies I felt like it was a little simplistic. The word humour was well done and the sassyness of the kids was a mirror of reality.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Pearl has now, after two movies, established itself as a studio that can do quality animation. This movie is stunningly beautiful. The detail, lighting, and cinematography are all beyond anything anyone else is doing outside of top tier Disney and Pixar.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think making this a musical was the wrong choice. I think it detracted from the emotion and story. The music was however very good, catchy, and insightful.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie was a lot of fun to watch. My kids were enthralled, my wife and I cried, and I still have some of the songs stuck in my head.

Score: 1

Overall

Stunningly beautiful with a mediocre story. The movie could have been so much better, but is still a lot of fun to watch.

Final Score: 3 stars out of 5