Rogue One

Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen is now the Empire's lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, a vengeful Jyn joins forces with a spy and other resistance fighters to steal the space station's plans for the Rebel Alliance

I went to this new Star Wars flick with high expectations.  J.J Abrams previous addition to the Star Wars anthology was a good first effort for a come back.  But this was supposed to be a true jump off to the franchise with new directors and not the same old George Lucas, Steven Spielberg happy go lucky cutesy story line.  I'm a Star Wars fan but not a fanatic.  I got to see every addition to the franchise and 80% of the movies at the IMAX theater (not the first trilogy).  I was part of the group yelling about the prequels to be directed by someone else but still supported the franchise.  It was difficult to hope that Lucas would all of sudden change his direction with how the franchise would go but it never happen. We all cheered when he relinquished his control to Disney and they put it into the hands of J.J Abrams.  We began to submit our wish list of directors and people and story lines we wanted to see.  From the animated versions to the Star War books.  So when we heard that we were going to see a stand alone version of the franchise i was like O boy, what's going to happen now.  The story line? - rebels try to get the blueprints to the Death Star to give to rebel resistance.  So who could director a movie that could be suspenseful, stay within the Sci Fi genre and respect the fans to say thank you.  In comes Gareth Edwards!!

  I first came into contact with Gareth when I was given the recommendation for his movie he wrote and directed called Monsters .  Which made me watch his second epic which was Godzilla.  I know most of you are like Godzilla?  Really?  Yup Godzilla.  The way he presented the movie and the character was pretty amazing and modern.  One of the things he was able to show brilliantly was not focusing on the details of the special effects, but made you focus on the scene and the why.  His great feat was keeping you interested from within the shadows.  His movies are dark with great  altering back and forward to light atmospheres and dark.  So watching these two movies gave me a good image of what was in store for Rogue One.

The story tells us about a family that has history with the empire but made a decision to walk away.  But like every other Star Wars flick.  No one walks away from the empire.  They come for the father who is a scientist and they need him back for their Grand project.  The Death Star.  But his daughter Jyn gets away and joins a rebel group led by the brilliantly played Forest Whitaker.  We don't see her involvement with the rebels but we see her skills she picked up while she survives on her own.  We are introduced to a few other rebels that are ruthless and know they have to do things that aren't really kosher.   This is a definite change from the other Star War series.  We see the desperation and on top of all of that.  The strong power of the Empire.  You knew the empire was in control in the other movies but this movie you see the cruelness and cold destruction caused by the empire.  I actually felt more angry at their Nazi cold actions than before.  Jyn is picked up by the Rebel alliance and sent on a mission tells her we know who your father is and we need information.  The superficial mission was to capture him.  The real mission was to kill his ass. We see these rebel hunters as real hunters and anarchist.  They are hardened and loyal to the cause.  Not in a light hearted hero way but in a desperation to live and their people to live.  This movie if you haven't all ready heard it is a war movie.  Fighting and killing to survive or stay in charge.   Beach front battles and air to air combat.  No silly Ewoks to spoil the mood either.  You did see Gareth throw a bone to the Star War fans with some cameos and little easter eggs from previous movies.  I believe he did that to connect those back to the overall story instead of just creating a whole new one.  As the modern era of Star wars movies hit the screen.  This I feel is one of the best.  Light a times but forward and steady of what supposed to be accomplished at any means necessary.  Once again as the new series arise.  The movie had great diversity with its characters from lead to supportive.    Great fight scenes, good characters and great supporting story to the franchise.  This is a movie worth seeing and explaining the movie doesn't give the movie its just due.  The scope of the movie really was amazing in IMAX, but I don't think it really needed the 3D.  JS.  This will become a classic and like one critic already mentioned (Rogue One’s Gareth Edwards Shouldn’t Direct Another Star Wars Movie) He has done such a great job that they would place to high of an expectation to top this one.  I think he gets it but don't want his talent to be trapped in this never ending Star War series.  He has already dropped off the new Godzilla movie so hopefully he'll move to other things.    Worth the peso's and Euro's.  


Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.  This amazing director, producer and film writer has cone an amazing job with this emotional documentary.  

I walked into this documentary with a mind set that I knew about the prison industrial complex and how businesses took advantage of the privatization of the system. So I thought I was going to be reviewing my facts and brush through this documentary like thanks for the review. Well the sad part is, you should never assume anything. You learn something new every day and history repeats its self in different forms. What I found out during the opening statements of the documentary was I didn’t really know what the 13th admendment consisted of. Here it is and what I missed:

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865

So as the documentary started showing how the south put in rules like the Black Codes. These laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866, after the Civil War had the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans’ freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt. Black Codes were part of a larger pattern of Southern whites trying to suppress the new freedom of emancipated African American slaves, the freedmen. The defining feature of the Black Codes was broad vagrancy law, which allowed local authorities to arrest freed people for minor infractions and commit them to involuntary labor. This period was the start of the convict lease system

That was the system of keeping African Americans in bondage to continue to make profits. The second system was the Peonage law. Southern business owners obviously wasn’t going to follow any laws against their profit marbins so they created a profitable arrangement of slavery with a system called peonage, in which (disproportionately African Americans) workers were stuck with loans and forced to work indefinitely because of their debt. Peonage continued through Reconstruction and ensnared a large proportion of African American workers in the South. These workers remained destitute and persecuted, forced to work dangerous jobs and further confined legally by the racist Jim Crow laws that governed the South. This brings us back to the prison system. Based on the highlighted portion in the 13th admendment. The government was allowed to have prisoners under the system of slavery or a nicer moniker, under involuntary servitude. The documentary goes into how the movie “birth of a nation” by d.w. griffith shows how the movie denegrated African Americans as sex craved animals with every sterotype known to black people. It also showed how the Klu Klux Klan showed up to be the heros to save the white women from being raped by a black man. The film was screened at the white house for Woodrow Wilson. So what do you think that sends to the country about African Americans? The documentary proceeds what African American had to go through during the time the government stood on the side line while people were being abused on the state level denying them equal treatment and their voting rights. During the early 1900’s, we see the lynching and abuse perpertrated by the Klan and others who wanted to curb the behavior of African Americans. Even during this time, African Americans were still be incarcerated for petty crimes but what turned the prison system into a targeted weapon for minorities was Nixon’s decision to go after criminal activity and drugs. Nixon advisors even stated they would be targeting black people. Then the next president Reagan, talked about having a stronger tone on crime and the drug war. What made policy so divisive is it centered on minorities and not all aspects of the drug war operations. The documentary shows the media showing African Americans being arrested for all types crimes that reenforced the new policies to go after this black criminal element. So when the politicians began running again for the presidency and congress, both parties stepped up with policies that would keep america safe and based on the rhetoric from the politicians and the images by the media, these policies were written. The democrates supported Clinton with his two most devastating polices. Mandatory sentencing and the 3 strike rule. The documentary showed that from the early 70’s to the current 2010’s. The prison population went from low 500k to over 2.2 million. Not because of the increase in crime but because of these draconian laws that not only stripped them of their voters rights but kept them in a system that left them eligible for forced labor.  

I stated all of this to bring you to the current situation. Businesses profiting from incarcerations and the privitatizing of the prison system that are currently using laws to have inmates work for businesses like Wal-mart and Victoria Secrets. It showed the impact of private companies over charging families, inmates and supplying shoddy services to inmates. It is frighting and uncomfortable to know that laws like these are holding back minorities and a system is in place that can be used for profit and reduce the voter roll by having more people incarcerated with criminal records. This is the harsh reality of understanding and doing more about who are your representatives as well as knowing the law when you are dealing with the law. A strong, sad and important documentary that should be seen by all. Understanding each other and what has been feed to all of us (regardless of ethnicity). This realization showed me this was very important and how this film has taught me a lot.

Batman vs. Superman

Batman vs. Superman

It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that's aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet

Ghostbusters 2016

Ghostbusters 2016

Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.