Movie of the Week: Rogue One

The opening crawl at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope mentions the first victory of the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire. Almost forty years later the latest Star Wars film Rogue One finally tells the story of what happened.

The movie tells the story of Jyn Erso. At a young age she lost her parents when her father, a brilliant scientist, was abducted by the Empire and her mother got killed in the process. Now the Rebel Alliance desperately needs Jyn’s help to search for her lost father. Over the past decades he has been forced to work on the Empire’s new super weapon, the Death Star. And finding him might help to somehow stop the Death Star before it can bring about the end of the rebellion

Rogue One is quite different from other Star Wars films. It is not a fairy tail, but rather a war movie. The lines between good and evil are more blurred than usual. After a slow start the film turns into a fulminant action spectacle with an all-out battle between the Empire and the Rebellion.

Rogue One is a movie for existing Star Wars fans. It makes much more sense watching it when you already know Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope although the latter is strictly speaking the sequel. I definitely enjoyed watching this latest Star Wars film, in particular due to the well placed references to the earlier movies.

Vader in the Odenwald

Silke and I are currently visiting friends in Germany. Yesterday our friends took us to the Felsenmeer in the Odenwald for a nice walk. We picked a tour of 9.5 kilometres which didn’t sound like that much. But Silke and I are Fenlanders and not used to mountainous terrain at all. In the end it took us four hours (including breaks) to complete the walk and we were quite exhausted at the end.

The really positive surprise was how well our dog Vader coped with this long walk, his first long tour after the surgery last year. He ran around the whole time, went up twice as many slopes as the rest of us and even bounced over the boulders when Silke went for a short climb.

vader-in-the-felsenmeer

Vader’s surgery and the recovery period afterwards were hard on all of us. But it was well worth it. Our little dog is fit as a fiddle, maybe better than he has been ever before. 😊

Movie of the Week: X-Men: Apocalypse

The original X-Men movie trilogy was let down by its final instalment X-Men: The Last Stand. The movie plot featured two major storylines from the X-Men comic series which were awkwardly combined. And in the end it did neither of them justice. After the amazing X-Men: Days of Future Past I had once more high expectations for the third part, called X-Men: Apocalypse, in particular because Bryan Singer was directing again.

In X-Men: Apocalypse a group of cultists awakes the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, from millennia of stasis. He wields almost god like powers which he acquired by repeatedly transferring his consciousness from one mutant’s body to another and assimilating each host’s abilities in the process. Displeased with a world ruled by normal humans and their technology Apocalypse decides to destroy civilisation on a global scale. When they become aware of his plan the X-Men lead by Professor Xavier assemble a team for a desperate attempt to stop him. This team faces not only Apocalypse himself but also the four powerful mutants that he recruited as his followers.

Like its predecessor X-Men: Apocalypse combines an action packed plot with strong characters and personal stories. The mutants are portrayed as vulnerable human beings that struggle to cope with the hate and fear for their kind. But the events set in motion by Apocalypse’s rise force them to put these struggles aside, choose a side and join the fight. It is the combination of over the top action and these very human aspects that make this movie exiting and relatable at the same time.

I greatly enjoyed X-Men: Apocalypse. It is a very complex comic adaption with a good script, good acting and excellent special effects. The only letdown was perhaps the odd locking makeup and costume of the main antagonist, Apocalypse. I’m looking forward to more excellent X-Men movies with the current cast.

Taking comfort in the Unfairness of the Universe