Movies: 2018 and Beyond


I stand by it. Its Kathleen Kennedy’s series, youll thrive as long you exist within it. Im not compliaing, ive loved all 4 films and the tv series made under her rule so claearly we share the same view. I only kinda feel sorry for those who dont.


There’s no denying the character development. It was in the simplest of terms written big across the screen at every opportunity (although in a franchise aimed at kids broad strokes are fair enough).

But whether it’s a kids’ movie or not it’s not really good enough to give a major character a role in an episode which is about character development only. That’s soap opera. A good script must do both: give the major characters an objective which effects the story whether they succeed or not, and at the same time develop thier characters. Doing just one of those things is a fail.

And no one has proven this more than Kennedy in recent years with her firings and hirings. There’s degrees of ‘artistic flexibility’ needed when delivering what the suits want and J.J. and Howard appear to be highly flexible.

I’m more in the Peckinpah (or recently Edgar Wright) camp of the producer pays for it and the director directs it - “If they don’t like that then **** them!” (Is exactly what I imagine Peckinpah said daily on every shoot).

When those guys manage to put something together it’s always worth seeing, even if it’s deemed a failiure. The safe-hands guys rairly fail, but it’s a little ‘yeah that was great! What’s next!’

I’m a rooting for the iconoclasts every time. The other guys are, as you rightly pointed out always to some degree, company men.


But I think they did do both in TLJ, so I’m not really sure I’m following what you’re saying.

There was an objective for Poe and Finn. They failed at the objective. But they grew as characters.

Rey / Kylo / Luke’s actions were what affected the story line. And they also developed as characters.


The iconoclasts, however, do not get the job of franchise caretaker, nor do they want it. Terry Gilliam rejected an ALIEN sequel, for example. And while I enjoy his work I don’t think he would have been the right choice.

And really, Kathleen Kennedy knows what she’s doing - just like Barbara Broccoli.


I’m glad Lando is coming back. It makes the sequel trilogy feel more complete. TFA gave Han the floor, TLJ devoted itself to Luke, and IX has Lando. Whether or not that was intended, it has worked out well, IMO.

It’s been something of an elephant in the room - where is Lando and what has he been doing? My guess is he’s been in the outer rim, possibly in retirement and taking it easy. Just for fun I’d like to see him playing cards again, and even cleaning out DJ if he’s still alive. That would be neat.

I’d like some kind of throwback to Solo as well. A mention to L3 would be nice and simple. As for the ending, I’d have Lando go full circle and inherit the Falcon again, flying off into the sunset…maybe with Chewbacca.


In a good script the failure will effect the story in that it means an alternative needs to be found because of the failure, or of course they get caught/die. The point is that whatever happens next in the plot is because of what they did.

Finn returned, having failed, but it mattered not because his colleagues had already decided on a plan (sabotage on the enemy ship) making Finns mission moot.

In hindsight Finns was a subplot that did not effect the story’s tragectory for better or worse. He could’ve stayed in his cabin and only emerged for the end credits and little would’ve changed.

In fact his side kick effected the story more with her melodramatic sacrifice, which Finn was again unable to effect in any way. And having said that her sacrifice did virtually nil to effect story since Luke’s plan was always to sacrifice himself, eclipsing the side kicks sacrifice making virtually pointless.


I’d say to some degree Fincher and Juenet are iconoclasts - certainly auteurs - and that just goes to prove your point that Gilliam wouldn’t have been the right choice for Alien.

An example of that very rare filmmaker who can get a franchise right - deliver the requisite product - yet somehow still take no **** from producers, operating as an auteur, making movies with singular vision is of course James Cameron. A shame the egos of folk like Cameron and Kennedy are too big for one production, since they’d probably make franchise masterpieces together (if they could avoid firing one another).

No doubt, having been producing for a few decades. But she’s not perfect and has produced plenty of howlers along the way. Of course that’s probably inevitable when you’re so prolific. But I think she’s made some particularly poor judgements recently, from allowing Crystal Skull to be a dogs dinner (obviously in thrall to Spielberg) through to the recent spate of sackings and reshoots.

We’ll never know if those movies would’ve turned out better of worse without her ‘input’, but I’m convinced that Edwards Rogue One and lord and millers Solo would’ve been a darn sight more interesting for all their flaws than the ‘doctored’ RO and homogenised borefest Solo that we got off the conveyor belts instead.

It seems perhaps that when it comes to her franchise blockbuster resume she is either in thrall to a filmmaker (Spielberg/Johnson) and blind to their flaws, or she doesn’t trust them and overreacts to their flaws, replacing them midway. I hope she learns to trust her original instincts are question her blind adoration a little more.

Execs are high stakes gamblers, betting on talent. But sometimes they forget that and assume artistic nouse which they don’t truly possess. When a gambler looses nerve they throw in when they should bet and bet when they should throw in.


Ego certainly is part of the thought process, as it is for everybody. Differences of opinion is the bigger part, I believe. Also: loyalty. Kennedy was allied with Spielberg, Cameron with Landau.

While the vision of Edwards and Lord/Miller certainly would have been interesting, one should not automatically assert that the director´s vision would have been better than the final product. Very often the guiding hand of a producer is highly important to shape the final film.

As for producing howlers - it is inevitable, everyone has projects going wrong or turning out to have been bad ideas. Even the master auteurs fail at some point.

And anybody working with the big kahunas like Spielberg and Lucas will find it impossible to dominate them. Also: there are people who like Crystal Skull, and Kennedy might have been in favor of the ideas.

One should never forget, by the way: movies are made under budget constraints, and if directors cannot manage to deliver in time and on budget, they might have great ideas but they will not be great directors. Edwards and Lord/Miller started with great ideas but lost track of time and money - so a good producer had to step in and save the films.

One should rather applaud Kennedy for trying out new talent instead of hiring veterans in the first place. But veterans obviously are needed to keep such big blockbuster films managed. Because during principal photography the main job of a director is to assure that the many people on set work together well and efficiently.

Again, if you only have great ideas but cannot manage people, you will not be a great director but a failed one.


What SAF said.

priority one for all directors, whether you like their film or not, is organising the group to work on a single goal. Your job is to be that paradox of being declarative of the subjective.

Priority 2 is not visibly rolling your eyes when Everyman and his dog declares your subjective view wrong.


Being the producer with those two on one film does sound like trying to solve what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

Though for what it’s worth, I like Crystal Skull more than I do Temple of Doom. It’s an enjoyable 2 hours.


I’m not saying their [Edwards/Lord/Miller] version would be better - that’s fairly subjective anyhow - just that i prefer a flaw version to the ‘company version’. I know using the word ‘company’ is proving controversial, so how about the word ‘corporate’? :wink:

And it’s not looking like Solo was ‘saved’ exactly - perhaps Lord/Millers version woul’ve kicked up a few more ticket sales and better reviews, rather than to the effect of: ‘it’s fun, but nothing original and predictable’ which i’m reading a lot.

But i certainly appreciate the guiding hands of a good producer; they’ve yanked me away from bad choices more than once.



A match made in cyborg heaven.


Not that I want to bring Han Solo back for Ep. IX, but here’s a way to do it:

As I rewatch The Last Jedi, the more I double down on Snoke’s and Luke’s fates, but also dislike Poe’s arc. I would think he was in the Resistance long enough to have already learned the lesson of failure from TLJ, otherwise he’d never have been promoted. Finn being a newcomer, and from the First Order no less, his desire to escape AWOL is more understandable. Rey’s arc is similar to Luke’s from Empire, leaving to confront the villain without completing the training, and it’s clear she couldn’t defeat Snoke without Kylo’s help. Kylo Ren deserves more villain credit for using Rey to off Snoke to seize control of the First Order (he’s now killed two father figures.)

As for Lando, since he was a General in ROTJ he could have easily taken Admiral Holdo’s role. That would have been an interesting confrontation when Poe violates the chain of command–old school versus new. And he couldn’t have been the Master Codebreaker given his role in the plot development. Also, Lando’s actions in both Solo and TESB are pretty despicable, but we already know he redeemed himself in RotJ. But I like the suggestion here that he gets the Falcon back. I don’t think including him in Ep IX is a cheap cameo publicity ploy. Rather, it’s a necessary development given the precedent of the other series’ character returns.

Additionally, I fully expected these characters to die in the sequel trilogy, much the way Qui Gon, Mace Windu, and Anakin’s mother were sacrificial lambs in the prequel trilogy, and Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin in the original trilogy. It’s how the legacy passes to the next generation. These tropes seal Han’s, Luke’s, and Leia’s fates in the sequel trilogy. It’s the only way for Rey, Finn, and Poe to pick up the mantle.

As for Solo, had the original budget been maintained, it would be considered a modest success. And TLJ has performed relative to TFA about the same as ESB to ANH. Perhaps Kathleen Kennedy will learn what Marvel did about trusting the directors they hire (losing Edgar Wright and Patty Jenkins versus letting Taika Waititi and James Gunn shine with their signature visions.)


Ah, but did Mace die? Samuel L Jackson is adamant that Windu is still alive as we’ve seen Jedi survive his exact fate before. Luke did survive having his hand cut off, being electrocuted by Palpatineand falling from a great height…though not all at the same time.


I prefer Mace dead because it strengthens the moment Anakin turns to the Dark Side.

As for IX, I’d like Luke travelling in and out of the spirit world/Force ghost realm. Luke approaches Kylo and he dismisses him as a Force Ghost by waving his ignited saber “through” Luke. Imagine his surprise when Luke’s ignited saber physically blocks Kylo’s. And of course, we saw Yoda interact with the physical world in TLJ.

Luke cut himself off from the Force and lost himself in depression.
Now he’s one with the Force, full of purpose and hope again. That’s his arc.


Halloween (2018) Comic-Con Poster


Looking forward to this one. Joaquin Phoenix was my choice for the Joker (aside from the rumored involvement of Sean Penn) back around the time of The Dark Knight and then the potential of recasting in the follow-up. Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.


I love Joaquin’s work (You Were Never Really Here is the best film i’ve seen this year).

Don’t know how to feel about Todd Phillips (The Hangover) being in the chair. His resume is all laddish comedy, but maybe that will bring an angle much needed in DC’s stale output (barring the excellent Wonder Woman).

Or, perhaps like some comedians (Jerry Lewis) there’s something dark and sinister bottled up inside Phillips that needs a faucet such as The Joker to spray forth from!


Try War Dogs - its probably closer to what he’d do with Joker than The Hangover.