TV & Movies Channel

Star Wars Part 3: Return Of The Script

I’m watching all of the Star Wars movies in a row, starting with Episode I. This is the third part in that series.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released in theaters in May of 2005. Unlike my experience with Episode II, I did see this one in the theater, mainly because I had heard good things about it and I knew it was likely to be (as I thought at the time) the last new Star Wars product to ever have a theatrical release.

The movie’s opening crawl tells us that the galaxy is caught in a state of war and that the separatists, led by Sith Lord Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his second-in-command, the cybernetic death machine General Grievous, have captured Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and taken him hostage...

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Things I Learned from Watching Bar Rescue

Bar Rescue is a show that is on Spike TV. Jon Taffer is called to help out failing bars in the hopes that the bar can become successful again. After watching the first three seasons of the show, it seems to me that he is able to improve the finances of the majority of the bars he fixes.

I haven’t quite figured out exactly what all the “bar science” involves, but can confidently say that the show is entertaining. While I have no interest in opening a bar myself, I still was able to learn a lot about what not to do. There were certain big mistakes that several bar owners made that stand out.

Don’t spend your ...

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Why I’m Backing The Robotech Academy Kickstarter

Robotech Academy logo

Robotech. It’s a hard franchise to love. Which, nowing my penchant for oddballs and underdogs, would probably explain why I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.

I first saw the series when it aired on WPWR-TV in the Chicago area. I still remember my dad telling me about it. He’d read about it in TV Guide and thought I’d like it. As usual, he was right. From the first episode, I was hooked. I watched the series to its inevitable conclusion. Then, I read all of the comic books that retold the story. I bought Robotech toys and other merchandise wherever I could find it.

Then, as all good TV shows do, Robotech went away. But there were rumblings of a sequel to the series. Robotech II: The Sentinels was the name of the would-be followup. Unfortunately, only a handful of episodes of what would’ve been a wide-arcing and ambitious series were ever finished. The stories that would’ve been comprised in those unfinished episodes received a comic-book treatment of their own, as well as a serial novelization.

But for people like me, the die-har...

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Revisiting Star Wars Part 2: Clones, We Got ‘Em

Star Wars Episode II Poster.

I’m watching all of the Star Wars movies in a row, starting with Episode I. This is the second part in that series.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones was released in May of 2002. It’s the only Star Wars movie I never saw in a theater. I’m not really sure why that is, other than the fact that I was so underwhelmed by Episode I when I saw it the first time that I just wasn’t that excited for Episode II. I don’t think I even sought the film out until the hype began in earnest for Episode III, and I figured I should finally watch it.

Attack Of The Clones begins ten years after the end of The Phantom Menace. The film’s opening crawl explains that during this time, a separatist movement, lead by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) has been growing within the Galactic Republic...

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Revisiting Star Wars Part 1: The Phantom Plot Line

Star Wars Episode I Poster

For some time now, I’ve wanted to watch all of the Star Wars movies in a row. Due to the nature of the series, there are a couple of options for doing so.  I could watch the movies in order of production (episodes four thru six, then episodes one thru three) or I could watch them in order of the actual storyline (episodes one thru six). I’m sure there are advantages in following the films in both ways. I decided to go the latter route, if for no other reason than I have a bias towards the higher-numbered episodes, so it’ll be more enjoyable to finish with those.

For those uninitiated in the history of the Star Wars film franchise, the first movie to be released is 1977’s Episode IV: A New Hope, often referred to simply as “Star Wars.” That film was followed by two sequels, Episode V: Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. The “episode” part of the titles didn’t really become a prominent thing until the first prequel, Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. It’s worth mentioning this because during the heydays of episodes four thru six, the episode numbers were only briefly referenced in the opening crawls of each film. They were there to hint at a larger story arc, a nugget to be found by obsessive fans, many of whom returned to theaters multiple times to watch the movies over and over again.

After the blockbuster success of Star Wars episodes four thru six (hereafter referred to as “the original trilogy” for this series of reviews), it was automatically assumed that series creator George Lucas would immediately continue on with the franchise. Return Of The Jedi was released in 1983 and by that time, enough had been uncovered about Lucas’s wider plans for the series that it was understood he’d follow Jedi with the first of three prequels. What no one expected is that Lucas would take well over a decade to deliver Episode I.

Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in May of 1999...

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Princess Mononoke has No Desire to Marry a Prince

This was originally posted on Bitch Flicks as part of their theme week on Child and Teenage Girl Protagonists. They kindly gave me permission to crosspost it here.

Often, when an animated movie has the word “Princess” in the title, the storyline focuses on how she found, and married, her Prince. Princess Mononoke, however, doesn’t stick to that old, predictable, scenario at all. Instead, viewers are presented with several very strong female characters and a Princess that has absolutely no desire to marry a Prince.

The E...

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Fight Club – From Marla Singer’s Viewpoint

This was originally posted on Bitch Flicks as part of their theme week on Women & Gender in Cult Films & B-Movies. They kindly gave me permission to crosspost it here.

Fight Club was released in 1999. It has some spectacular quotes, a great deal of violence, and an awesome cast. When people write about this movie, they tend to focus on the Narrator (played by Edward Norton) and Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt) and the connection between the two.

I’m going to assume that everyone reading this has already seen the movie. For those that haven’t, be warned, there will be spoilers here.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched Fight Club. Every time I view it, I end up noticing something new. How did I miss that before? This time, Marla Singer (played by Helena Bonham Carter) captured my attention. What would the situations in the movie look like from her viewpoint?

Perhaps the easiest way to desc...

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First Wives Club – Don’t Get Mad, Get Everything!

Three women who are in their 40's are wearing business suits and smiling

This post is one that I originally wrote for Bitch Flicks for their “Older Women in Film” week. I did it as a guest post. They kindly allowed me to cross-post it here.

First Wives Club is the story of four women who became friends with each other when they were in college. After graduation, the friends ended up drifting apart. This is a situation that happens to a lot of women. Life gets in the way.

People get married, have children, and (hopefully) find “real jobs”. It becomes increasingly difficult to find the time (or the energy) to socialize with friends who are no longer a part of our day-to-day lives. When you are in your 20’s, you truly believe that you will be best friends forever. You intend to stay connected. Years later, you wonder whatever happened to those friends (whom you haven’t heard from in years).

In the movie, three of ...

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Gender Bias In Doctor Who: A Bechdel Test Case Study And Comparison

Lego minifigures made to look like Doctor Who characters

Disclaimer: While the primary purpose of this post is to publicise and critique The Bechdel Test, some of the content will not make sense if you have not watched Doctor Who since its revival in 2005. You can also expect minor spoilers.

I recently got into an involved conversation on Facebook. The subject at hand was diversity in the British TV show Doctor Who. While the gist of the conversation was that Doctor Who is better than most TV shows, or indeed most pieces of media, at having a diverse and gender neutral casting policy, there were still some concerns. Then somebody brought up The Bechdel Test.

The Bechdel Test is one of the primary ways to test gender bias in media. It has a strong online following in multiple areas of media and even has its own Website...

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Hell Is Other People: The Social Contract of Cinema Attendance & How It Affects The Industry

Rows of seats in a movie theater in front of a screen

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a podcaster based in Bath in the South West of England. For nearly 18 months I’ve been producing a film review show called Raw Footage. In 2012 I saw 120 films at the cinema, mostly in matinees or at off peak times. This was a conscious decision on my part. I am a solitary person by nature and I don’t like the distraction of other people while I’m trying to enjoy a film. On more than a few occasions I’ve watched a film in a cinema screen completely alone. Sometimes it’s unavoidable watching a film in a busy screen and usually it’s OK, but my experiences today make me want to write this piece.

One of the films I wanted to review for my show was “Mud”, the new film by writer/director Jeff Nichols, whose last film “Take Shelter” I genuinely think shoul...

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