‘Last Jedi’ first impressions

Paige Tico (Ngô Thanh Vân aka Veronica Ngo) hero

Dim the lights, flash up the Lucas Film logo, and even before the title and scroll hit the screen, I’m in. Double sunsets? I’m a kid again.

I hear some people aren’t happy with The Last Jedi. I must admit I found Luke a little off-putting at first. His entire performance as a reclusive, curmudgeonly Jedi—one who is unhappy with his lot in life—is a decades later call back to his famous New Hope whine “But I was going to Tosche Station to pick up power converters.

But there were heroes aplenty who stepped up. Paige Tico, for example, is a true hero. What an opening sequence! She is the Jyn Erso of The Last Jedi, sacrificing herself to destroy the fearsome weapon, the Dreadnaught. And, her sacrifice gives her sister Rose a great backstory and gives a role and screen time to a kind of nobody (or another nobody).

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My Oscar picks (of what I’ve seen in the last year)

Best best picture nominee, that I’ve seen
Spotlight, but I’ve only seen Spotlight, the Martian, and Mad Max: Fury Road (I liked them all)

Best Star Wars thing
Sure, the movie was fun, but the Solo Family Portrait blew me away.


Best real depiction of journalists
Spotlight has been hailed for its realistic portrayal of the process of investigative journalism. Just as important was showing actors looking like real journalists. What stood out for me was Brian D’Arcy James in Spotlight, at right, looking so much like the Times Union’s Tim O’Brien, at left.


Best nominee I’ve met
David Lang, shown below, in the elevator at the Tang Teaching Museum — photo by me. He’s nominated for his composition “Simple Song #3” from the soundtrack for “Youth.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 6.54.31 PM

Best accent to listen to
Saoirse Ronan’s Irish accent rocks.


Best accent to do
Tom Hardy’s character Ivan Locke in the 2013 movie Locke: “Yes, it’s there, it’s there. It’s got everything you’re going to need in there. All the numbers, the sign offs, the road closures that you have to confirm with the police. The drawer above the blow heater.”



Haiku movie reviews, December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Desert-dwelling kid?
Weapon to destroy planets?
— A New Hope returns

Step up (2006)
These kids gotta dance
Ballet, hip-hop, whatever
— You cannot stop them


Chewbacca shares Star Wars behind the scenes

The actor Peter Mayhew has been busy on Twitter, posting plenty of behind the scenes shots from his years of playing Chewbacca. Here are a few.

  1. Its been 30 minutes, here is your gratuitous Chain-mail bikini shot. And look at @HamillHimself shirt! pic.twitter.com/U5RvJDuDpy
  2. Whose a cute little Sith Lord? You are, Yes you are, now give us a kiss!!! pic.twitter.com/F51AuCt6xI
  3. There is no joke to be made here. Move along people. Nothing to see.

    cough#kamasutracough pic.twitter.com/jrFi9w394z

  4. There’s no evidence to support rumors that George wanted to write himself into the movie as Zazzle Moonbr- oh wait… pic.twitter.com/heo5fNWGBO
  5. They said the Wampas were the most dangerous thing on Hoth, but they had forgotten the frost giants… pic.twitter.com/Q7PO7gacGl
  6. Ok, you lot really like pics of a certain princess! Here’s one of Carrie and her stunt double. You’re Welcome. pic.twitter.com/CmHYPPvIpM
  7. #nostalgic so Im going to post some pics tonight. Like this 1 of Harrison, Anthony, Carrie & I sharing a laugh… pic.twitter.com/FblggUaU5e


Is it me or are the 1970s coming back stronger than ever?

Here’s my evidence:

  • On Tuesday, Van Halen releases a new album. (Its first album VH1 came out in 1977)
  • On Friday, Peter Frampton comes to the Palace Theatre in Albany to play Frampton Comes Alive (from 1976) plus other songs.
  • Also on Friday, Star Wars Episode I (the “first” Star Wars, as confused young people who weren’t alive in the 1977 when the real first Star Wars came out, even though it was called “Episode IV”) returns to the silver screen in 3-D.

Now all we need is some new Donna Summer songs in the boom box, and the Pittsburgh Pirates in contention for the World Series.