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What’s the Story?

Young Han grows up in poverty on Corellia. He manages to escape, but leaves his girlfriend Qi’ra behind. Joins the Imperial Army, then some thieves. The heist doesn’t go so well and he has to talk his way out of trouble with those who hired him and his new mentor, Beckett, and pull another heist to make up for the first heist.

 

What’s the Problem?

Just… why?

My main issue with this film is, why does it exist? Is it here to provide the backstory for all of Han’s previous adventures or so we can learn more about the character? If the former, the only way such a film redeems itself is by being a truly interesting and memorable series of adventures (which this isn’t); if the latter, then it’s worth is determined by what learn about Han?

What We Learn About Han

In the Original Trilogy, Han talks himself up as a hard, world-weary smuggler. He’s seen all that the galaxy has to offer and it didn’t much impress him. As such, it was something of a surprise that in Solo Han is about as useful and tough as Luke was in Episode IV (assuming you stop watching before the Death Star space battle).

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In light of how well the Hulk was done in The Avengers, I watched The Hulk (with Eric Bana) the other day.

Yeah, that one…

 

What’s the Story?

Dr David Banner was working on tissue regeneration in the sixties. He was unsuccessful, but passed something on to his son (because he was a good ethical scientist and tested experimental procedures on himself). As the result of an accident, whenever Bruce gets angry he turns into an invincible green giant. Also, his ex-girlfriemd’s dad was the one who arrested his dad.

 

What’s the Problem?

Daddy issues

The biggest problem with Hulk is that the whole film is about daddy issues. Its all about the repressed memories from Bruce’s childhood. His whole relationship with Betty was ruined because Bruce couldn’t open up to her. And yet Bruce refuses to admit he has a problem.

Worse, it falls into the trap of having repressed memories. There’s the big traumatic event that Bruce has locked out and it’s causing him so much internal pain that the nanomeds assume it’s physical pain and turn him into the hulk to help heal him.

To be fair, his dad is kind of a dick. But it still makes for a tedious film.

Yep. They made the hill’s whole purpose to be Bruce’s big Teddy bear, saving him from the nasty memories. Sigh.

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What’s the Story?

Thor’s adopted brother, Loki, has broken through the dimensions onto earth. To stop him, Nick Fury assembles a group of superheroes – Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Captain America – most of whom have already been the stars of their own major films. Together they try to stop Loki before he manages to open a portal spewing forth an army ready to destroy the earth. Well, when they can resist getting into fights with each other.

 

What’s the Problem?

Joss Whedon wrote and directed a film combining a series of well-made superhero films into one megafilm… and you think I have a problem with it?

You must be new here...

To nitpick, though…

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What’s the Story?

In Mass Effect, Commander Shepard chased down a rogue government agent and discovered he was working for The Reapers – a race of robots that hide out beyond the galaxy. 50,000 years ago they wiped out the super-intelligent Protheans and all life and now they’re planning to come back. Shepard stops them from returning, but no one seems to believe him that Reapers are real.

In Mass Effect 2, Shepard battles a race called the Collectors, who have been abducting whole human colonies. Eventually, Shepard discovers that the Collectors are the Protheans, effectively brainwashed into being the Reapers’ slaves. They’re stealing people and turning them into goo to make a new, human Reaper. Shepard kills it. Still no one believes the Reapers are real.

In the opening of Mass Effect 3, the Reapers attack Earth. Also, the rest of the galaxy. Also, they’re nearly indestructable. Shepard leaves Earth and finds designs for an ancient Prothean weapon to destroy the Reapers: the Crucible. He must now unite all the disparate alien races so they can retake Earth and use the Crucible to destroy the Reapers.

 

What’s the Problem?

First, let me say this is an amazing game. Every choice you make over the last two games comes back into play. And some of those choices are whether your friends live or die. If they died in the last game, they’re absent from this. So any two playthroughs of ME3 are unlikely to be the same. I’ve finished it twice. Once I managed to unite two alien races by making a risky decision and then making a rousing speech. In the other, one of my friends had died in the previous game. She wasn’t there to talk sense to her people, so I didn’t get to make my rousing speech and her entire species was wiped out. My character accidentally committed genocide.

To be fair, you guys were kind of being dicks.

That’s the kind of thing that happens in ME3. Constantly. Little decisions have huge consequences…

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What’s the Story?

A group of British oldies retire to the newly-opened Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in India. Which turns out to be a dungheap. But they learn valuable life lessons about other cultures, etc etc…

 

What’s the Problem?

Nothing, really. It’s an old story, not stunningly original, but it doesn’t fall into cliche and it has fun. It seems mostly to be an excuse to get all of the best British actors together and make a film with them before they, themselves, head off to retirement homes.

If you don't see the film in widescreen, the cast is half the size...

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