Your guide to a wonderful movie marathon
Posted by Katooga.PH in , , , | November 07, 2018

Like we always do, we review films after they are finished playing in the theatres and are in their Blue Ray version release.  Our primary goal is to give you a choice of movies for later scheduled marathons on long weekend vacations.

For this outing we have watched Solo:  A Star Wars Story many times already.  We have to continuously watch it as we have been pre-warned about the movie.  Having a lot of bashers already, we thought we might hate the movie as well.  Actually we didn't hate the movie, nor did we love it so much as like the original star wars (Episode 4-6).

It was a so-so film.  The color grading was spot on Star Warsy in feeling except that it didn't have the story crawl in the beginning.  Favorite characters were here like Chewy and Lando.  Other cast members were new to us (we are not die hard SW fans) and we felt were necessary to tell an origin story.

Although the movie had a good pacing, somehow we feel there were still some scenes missing and some situations that were poorly written.  Maybe a director's cut is in the offing soon?  Time will tell of course if they did release such.

Anyway, lets star off with what we liked about the film.

We liked how it started, showing the love story between Han (not yet Solo) and Q'ira.  It showed them in a difficult scene wherein they are like wanted fugitives.  This scene is so quick that before we knew it, they got separated.  We wish that more minutes would have great with them together, but the scene when Q'ira gets left behind is already a great one as it left us hanging and waiting till the time she comes back in the story and meet Han.

We liked also the acting of Woody Harrelson here as Beckett, the leader of a thieving gang, however I can't say this is his best performance to date.  He is a good actor but somehow he just delivered a solid performance here but not enough to stand out among his other acting roles.  I felt like watching his other film, "Friends with Benefits".  His acting here is similar although he pulled each one nicely and separately different.

Another worthy performance was given by Donald Glover.  Although he pulled off his character slightly different with that of the old Lando Calrissian, still we loved his character.  Unlike in the old Lando, we get to see more of his back story here.  He got a lot of screen time here that I almost would suggest the title Solo and Lando: A Star Wars Stories.

The action scenes were great like the train heist and the Kessel Run.  That's it.  Movie ends we go home happy.  Oh wait there's more.

We liked also how the movie tackled the questions of 1) how did Han and Chewy met, or 2) what's with the golden dice, and 3) how did he get the Millenium Falcon.  In as much as these were answered, it were also the things that we didn't like about the movie.

First of the dislikes is the fact that Han had no last name.  There was no such explanation as to why this is so.  Being a highly advanced race already, when he joins to be a storm trooper and he instantly was signed in with no checks whatsoever.  The recruiter even gave him a surname Solo.  What the F.... that simple?  A saboteur can easily sneak in and wreck havoc on the entire ship.  Now wonder they were defeated in Episode Six.  A better question would be, how did the Empire stay on and live for till Episode Six?  Is the rebellion that bad even with the ineptness of the Empire? Oh well.  lets continue.

Han and Chewy met fine.  Great scene, but it was so quick and sudden that I felt the scene could have had a longer feel to it.  Everything was so sudden that we knew only until then that Han can speak Chewy's language.  How??? Where in the story line did it say so.  It was a twist that stunned me midway.

The golden dice was not explained, it was just shown.  He had it already.  There might be an explanation somewhere that I may have missed it.  Please do send us an email what we did miss to

Hmmm what else we didn't like.  Oh the first time they played cards.  Spoiler Alert, Han Solo lost the bet.  The thing we didn't like?  He bluffed having a space ship to gamble and Lando simply ignored it after seeing Q'ira with Han.  That's it?  Wager forgiven? This alone should have given Lando leverage when haggling for his Millenium Falcon to be used in the heist.  And he settled me a measly percentage of the take?  This is not the Lando we know of in Episode Six.

Story line is predictable in most scenes and the most prominent was the last gambling scene between Lando and Han.  We knew already that Han took the card from the sleeve of Lando and we knew he will win the Millenium Falcon.  Bummer.

Other wonderful actors here could have been given longer screen time to give more push for the story but were cut off and some died abruptly.  Thandie Newton playing Val had a strong presence in the film and was dead after a few minutes.  Erin Kellyman although a newcomer for me here, offered a solid performance but was simply shown as a woman in the end.

Leads were a disappointment as we thought Alden Ehrenreich was a great choice to play Han Solo.  Him being physically resembling Harrison Ford, he lacked the charm of THE Harrison Ford.  We did not get to see that smile in Alden.  If you want a surprised and unwitting look for Han Solo, then he is the guy.  But if you are looking for the arrogant and assuming Han Solo of Harrison Ford, then don't look for it here.

Emilia Clark as Qi'ra was not a come on either.  Yes she is good with GOT but somehow we did not see her shine here in Solo.  We can't surely place her during their romantic scenes nor we can't feel here turn to be a bad girl in the end.   We can't feel her performance, we assumed that she was so.

In the end, we somehow got the idea that Star Wars Stories ending should somehow be tied up to a Skywalker Star Wars story but we couldn't place it within its timeline.  When Woody Harrelson died, how was it vital to Han Solo's character in the SW episodes?  With the turn of Qi'ra, how would she fit in that timeline?  Are we to see another Solo movie, a sequel perhaps? 

The movie itself is a huge FAQ about Han Solo and Chewbacca.  That every answers were given fast and quick and like clock work. No more lengthy discussions, everything was there given to you in a silver platter whether you like it or not, as if they didn't care.  No wonder SW fans hated this movie.

As for this writer who loved (not adored the SW franchise) the film is a good watch if you are not picking this film in detail.  If you do have time to kill, then this movie is for you.  It got some nice story line albeit quirky and fast, enough to entertain you till the end.  Please watch it as it is, and don't try to make sense of it and compare, connect it other SW films you have watched before.  This way, you will glad you watched it.  Its just entertainment.  Just don't hold this film in the level of Episodes 4-6.  Maybe you can rank it along Episode 7.

Signing off for now and enjoy your weekend.