Film Friday #235

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1998)

After watching the original Star Wars trilogy in preparation for The Force Awakens we figured we should also revisit the prequels and so I bought Mr O the trilogy for his birthday. Episode 1 starts with Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) heading to the planet Naboo to try and resolve a trade blockade around the planet. The trade federation isn’t having any of it since their secret Sith Lord adviser actually wants to send a droid army to Naboo to overtake its government. They are forced to flee to an underwater Gungun city with world’s most annoying film character Jar Jar Binks (voiced by Ahmed Best), who inexplicably speaks like a Thai hooker in an inappropriately stereotypical movie from the 70’s. Anyway, they save the planet’s queen, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) and escape in her royal ship but that doesn’t work out either and they crash on the desert planet of Tatooine. Here they meet young slave, Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd). who Qui-Gon soon becomes convinced is the Jedi chosen one, destined to bring balance to the Force. But first they’ll have to get their ship off Tatooine so that Padme can plead her planet’s case to the Galactic Senate and hopefully prevent a war. Unfortunately The Phantom Menace is bogged down with crap CGI, annoying characters – including Anakin – and a strong element of omigodwehavesomanyideasletsdothemallatonce! While it’s not a patch on the originals it’s still a fun universe to spend a couple of hours (and a bit in). 3/5

For fuck sake Jar Jar, no one cares if "you so horny"

For fuck sake Jar Jar, no one cares if “you so horny”. Shut your pieheole!

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Ten years after the events of Episode I, Padme (Natalie Portman)  is now a senator of the Galactic Empire and Anakin (Hayden Christensen) is a Jedi Padawan trained by Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). With the Empire at the edge of civil war as several republics threaten to cede their independence under the leadership of a rogue Jedi called Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) an assassination attempt is made on Padme. Obi Wan and Anakin are called in to protect Padme and unravel who is behind the attempt, which will lead them down a political rabbit hole that threatens the Empire’s fragile peace. OMG so much politics. I know that just having lots of crazy space fights and talking about The Force probably isn’t enough for six whole films but the level of political intrigue going on here requires more attention than I could legitimately manage. And then there’s the relationship between Padme and Anakin. I am not sure exactly how old they are supposed to be but I am guessing based on the first film that he’s about 18 and she’s at least 25. I hope it’s not just me that finds this somewhat creepy. They also seem to have fallen in love just because they were both there since there is zero chemistry or connection between Portman and Christensen. I would like to lay this all on Christensen because he is about as charismatic as a used condom but Portman also isn’t doing her finest work and compared to Leia, Padme is such a pussy. Probably the worst of all the Star Wars movies and even getting to see Yoda in a full light sabre battle with Count Dooku can’t save it. 2/5

Judge me by my size, do you?

Judge me by my size, do you?

Oblivion (2013)

Tom Cruise plays Jack a veteran of a war with aliens called Scavs, which has ravaged the Earth. Jack works with his partner, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) to maintain the drones that protect the Earth from further attack while a faceless government uses fusion reactors to collect the planet’s water for use on human colony on Titan. Although Jack has had his memory wiped he often dreams of the same woman (Olga Kurylenko) and of being at the top of The Empire State Building with her before the war. When a ship crashes on the surface and Jack finds that the woman in his dreams is on board he finds himself questioning everything. Who are the Scavs? What do they really want? And what is the government hiding? I don’t think this film had an amazing critical reception but I really quite liked it. It looked amazing and the premise was fascinating. I am not a Tom Cruise fan but he was good as Jack and has enough charisma to carry the film. Oblivion probably won’t go down in science fiction movie history as one of the greats but it’s definitely worth a watch. Now somebody build me a swimming pool suspended in the air. 3/5


I know I’m 18 years older than you but we totally could be married

Blades of Glory (2007)

Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are the two top male ice-skaters on the international circuit and bitter rivals. Chazz is a hard-drinking rebel known for risky moves and driving the ladies while Jimmy is all about precision and technique and has lived an extremely sheltered life. After the two get into a fight at the World Winter Sports Championships they are both barred from competition for life. But when coach (Craig T Nelson), discovers a loophole in their banning orders that allows them to compete as a male-male pair. They begin to train for the upcoming games but their conflicting styles and distaste for each other causes all kinds of problems, while the concept of a male-male pair throws the ice-skating world into disarray. At the same time Fairchild (Amy Poehler) and Stranz van Waldenberg (Will Arnett) the leading contenders work to eliminate the threat to their title. Whether you enjoy this film will massively depend on whether you find Will Ferrell funny. It’s over the top, bawdy and generally a bit ridiculous. Also there’s nothing particularly new here apart from the unusual site of two men dancing as a pair. I love Will Ferrell so I thought it was absolutely hilarious and Poehler and Arnett regularly steal the show as the very odd van Wildenberg siblings. I have to admit that I spent a lot of the film wondering if Jon Heder hates Michael Cera for basically stealing his gig. Anyway if you’re in the mood for a dumb comedy and Ferrell doesn’t annoy you look no further. 3.5/5


Hold me closer tiny skater


  1. I think this is the first time I’ve seen every movie on one of your Film Fridays, Abbi. And I’d have to say I agree with all of them. Episode II is definitely my least favorite of the Star Wars films, And I didn’t mind Episode I all that much, I actually kind of enjoyed it (unlike most people it seems).

    1. abbiosbiston

      Yay! I am glad you’ve seen all of them. Star Wars Episode I was fun, which kept it at least enjoyable but the second one has had all the fun sucked out of it and that’s why it’s so tedious.

      1. Yea. It makes it hard for me to watch sometimes because Darth Vader is one of my favorite Star Wars characters, and I have a hard time believing such a bad-ass comes from such a whiny kid. I blame Christensen.

  2. Hayden Christensen nearly killed Star Wars. I mean… Vader before he was Vader is just about any actor’s dream role and he wanked it away! It makes me so angry! Lol

    1. abbiosbiston

      It was an absolutely bizarre casting choice. They could have really gone for strong acting talent because there was no need to cast someone to draw in crowds… I mean it’s Star Wars people would have come if there was a monkey in the lead. Not that Hayden Chistensen was any kind of draw anyway. So I cannot see what they were going for since he couldn’t act hus way out of a paper bag.

    2. abbiosbiston

      It was an absolutely bizarre casting choice. They could have really gone for strong acting talent because there was no need to cast someone to draw in crowds… I mean it’s Star Wars people would have come if there was a monkey in the lead. Not that Hayden Chistensen was any kind of draw anyway. So I cannot see what they were going for since he couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag.

  3. Nice reviews, Abbi. Never seen Blades of Glory – never fancied it. Oblivion… Meh. Looked very pretty! But Edge of Tomorrow was so much better. And screw the Star Wars prequels!!! Lol. God I hope The Force Awakens is better than those…

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! I hope they learned some important lessons from the prequels…

  4. Tom Cruise and sci-fi are usually a great mix but Oblivion was kind of lukewarm, too sterile for me. I think he’s still a great star and I’m feeling good vibes from the upcoming Mission Impossible. Good reviews Abbi! 😀

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! I probably won’t see Mission Impossible since I’m not a big action fan. I can see why you found Oblivion sterile.

  5. The greatest movie theater experience I’ve ever had was my first viewing of Episode I. Total silence in the entire theater for the entire film. Glorious. But yeah, the movie itself could have been better.

    And I’ll agree with your Oblivion review as well. 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      I think the anticipation created a sense of total awe but then in hindsight people were like, wait a minute…

  6. Seems you watched a mixed bag here. Amazing review Abbi.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! Always a bit of a mixed bag with me. I like things eclectic.

  7. I’m hardly the biggest Star Wars nerd in thw world, far from it in fact but I do really enjoy the movies. As for Jar Jar Binks I will defend his honour until my dying day, no matter how terrible a character he is, he is and will remain a part of my childhood forever. He is also quite easy to impersonate so that’s always fun. I agree with your Oblivion review and like t9mutant I agree that Edge of Tomorrow is far far better. Nice work with this selection

    1. abbiosbiston

      I can imagine Jar Jar Binks being great for kids. I was 18 when it came out so I think it was too late for me. I definitely agree that Edge of Tomorrow was better though!

  8. great choices this week Abs. I love all things SW and still enjoy the prequels (even with their faults) I actually just watched TPM with my kids on Friday and they also loved it.

    Oblivion was ok and I’ve never had a desire to see Blades of Glory!

    1. abbiosbiston

      I can imagine TPW being amazing for kids. I’m so glad they enjoyed it. I think Blades of Glory has got to be for Will Ferrell fans only.

  9. jennypugh

    A great list! I love Blades of Glory 😀

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s such a fun movie!

  10. Great post. You know how I feel about Star Wars, hehe. Loved how you described Hayden Christensen (I agree, though), and while I think Natalie’s a terrific actress, she is horrid as Padme. I started watching Oblivion a few years back and was enjoying it but for some reason I didn’t finish it and haven’t gotten back. Blades of Glory is fun! Loved the cast, especially Poehler and Arnett (such a bummer that they split).

    1. abbiosbiston

      The whole thing just felt like it could have been better. Great concept terrible execution.

      I loved Amy Poehler and Will Arnett together. I’m really sad they didn’t make it because they seemed so in synch.

  11. Great work here lady! I enjoyed the Star Wars prequels, though not nearly as much as the original trilogy. I should be watching those again sometime soon to prep for the new one. Looking forward to it.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Maybe they want to know who has been filling her. I’ve just turned into The IPC, haven’t I?

      1. … oh man… I think it has finally happened…

    2. abbiosbiston

      I think it’s definitely worth a refresher in preparation for the new one.

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