Review: Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is Bold But Off-Balance

The Last Jedi Review

Written and directed by filmmaker Rian Johnson (of Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper), Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second entry in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Upon its release in late 2015, The Force Awakens received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and praise from fans worldwide for restoring the saga’s former glory while injecting it with fresh blood. As beloved as Episode VII was, however, one criticism continued to appear: it was too safe; a rehash of George Lucas’ 1977 film. If Abrams’ movie was too safe, then Johnson’s follow-up may prove too risky. ›››

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Must Watch: First Teaser for Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer

“I only know one truth… It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Disney + Lucasfilm have debuted the first official teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the next film in the ongoing Star Wars saga. Directed by Rian Johnson, this film continues the storyline started in The Force Awakens following Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. Daisy Ridley returns as Rey, with John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, and Warwick Davis. Newcomers include Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and others. This is our very first glimpse at the movie, so there isn’t too much revealed here, but there is a lot to think about. I love the visuals, it’s exciting to see Rey getting stronger, but I’m worried Luke may be going bad. Fire it up! ›››

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First Trailer for Dwayne Johnson’s Prison Doc ‘Rock and a Hard Place’

Rock and a Hard Place Trailer

“Don’t squander this opportunity.” HBO Documentaries has premiered a trailer for a new doc titled Rock and a Hard Place, featuring Dwayne Johnson (formerly known as “The Rock”) sharing his experiences with a program he supports. Johnson tells about his own experiences with the law as a youth, and meets some of the kids currently enrolled in a one-of-a-kind boot camp program for incarcerated youth. This looks like a powerful, and hopefully inspiring, follow-up to Ava DuVernay’s incredible documentary 13th – which touches on the troubles with the modern prison system. It looks like Johnson only comes in for a talk once, but maybe he is more prominent in the actual doc itself. I’m curious about seeing this. Check out the trailer. ›››

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Bel Powley in First Trailer for Susan Johnson’s Adaptation ‘Carrie Pilby’

Carrie Pilby

“Life doesn’t always work out as we plan it.” The first official international trailer has debuted for the indie drama Carrie Pilby, an adaptation of Caren Lissner’s novel, directed by newcomer Susan Johnson. The film stars talented young actress Bel Powley in her next big follow-up to The Diary of a Teenage Girl, her break out role a few years ago. Powley plays Pilby, an uber intelligent young woman struggling to fit in. The cast includes Jason Ritter, Gabriel Bryne, Nathan Lane, and Vanessa Bayer. This premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year to mostly positive reviews. This looks like a charming, amusing, super smart comedy about figuring out how intelligence fits in to a dumb world. I want to see this, mostly for Bel Powley. ›››

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Official: Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII is Titled ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Briefly: Lucasfilm has officially announced the new title of the next Star Wars movie – it will be called Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This is the sequel to The Force Awakens, continuing the “Skywalker” storyline and following the characters introduced in that movie: Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren. The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson (of Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper previously) and will open in theaters everywhere starting December 15th, 2017 at the end of this year. No other plot details have been revealed yet, but this is clearly the beginning of their major marketing push over the next 12 months. Fans have been quick to remind everyone that the plural of “jedi” is just “jedi”, so this title doesn’t mean there’s only one. Beyond that, everything is speculation until the first trailer drops – which we hope is sooner than later. Can’t wait! ›››

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