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by Daniel Stidham

At the end of The Force Awakens, Rey has finally tracked Luke Skywalker to a secluded island and approached the legendary Jedi to hand him his own lost or forgotten lightsaber. The film ends on a cliffhanger, forcing fans to stew on this charged, enigmatic moment for two years until the next installment came around. Well, ladies and Gungans, the next installment is here; and how you feel about what writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) does with this moment may determine whether or not you’ll be on board with the rest of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

At this point I’m jumping straight into SPOILERS so if you haven’t seen the movie and you’re still reading this, consider this your final warning. READ FULL REVIEW

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Can we talk about movie trailers for a minute? I’ve been lucky enough to see a couple of PG-rated movies in the theater lately, a fact I tend to forget until I’m treated to a barrage of trailers for family-friendly CG-fests like Free Birds, Mr. Peabody, and The Nut Job. I generally don’t mind this as they’re harmless enough. There has always been disposable crap marketed at kids just like there is to adults and I’m sure as a child some of it amused me; and of course, some movies with children as a key demographic are genuinely great. There is a reason I bought tickets to The Lego Movie and Frozen, which is how I even came to be aware Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue in the first place. It’s also how I spent two of the most baffling minutes of my life viewing the debacle that is the trailer. READ MORE

Up (2009)
Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Starring: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai
Running Time: 1 hr, 36 min
Rated: PG


Review by Brother Reed

You don’t need a review to help you decide whether or not you are going to see the new 3D animated movie, Up. You already know you are going to see it. The reason? You noticed it is the latest offering from Pixar studios; and because you’ve been paying attention for the last decade or so, you know that Pixar has been responsible for consistent, high-quality films such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Wall-E. With each new movie, the animation gets better as technological advances enable the team of creative wizards to render light and texture with stunning realism. Yet with all these steps forward, they continue to focus on stories full of heart, humor, and relatable characters – which is exactly what you can expect with Up. FULL REVIEW

Cars (2006)
Directors: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft
Starring: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy
Running time: 1 hr, 57 min
Rated: PG

Review by Brother Reed

There are three things that I hate. Yea, four are an abomination to me: movies in which a sport is a central part of the plot, movies in which a horse is a main character, movies in which a dog is a main character, and movies in which Hilary Duff is a main character. Usually a movie will have to pretty darn good to overcome any of these grave caveats. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I liked Remember the Titans despite its sports theme, and Milo & Otis was one of my favorites as a child even though it was about a dog (and a cat). I can’t think of any movie that has survived Hilary Duff’s involvement, but on to the point. Movies about cars fare somewhat better than movies about sports; but it’s a dangerous area nonetheless since NASCAR, at least in some estimations, is a sport. So it was not without some nagging reservations that I went to see Disney and Pixar’s long-awaited latest film, Cars. FULL REVIEW