Rogue One/Captain Fantastic/The Hollars – Movie Reviews

I rarely watch movies let alone go to the cinema. On long flights and during the Christmas holidays are about the only times I see them.

Last night we took the kids to the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, Rouge One. It was an enjoyable, action-packed war movie, but nothing life-changing and similar to the many Star Wars films in the series. It reminded me of World War II films. The raid on the kyber refinery reminded me of the Norwegian resistance assault on the Nazi heavy water refinery. The scenes of rebel soldiers running across beaches and under palm trees on the tropical planet that held the Empire’s data archive, was reminiscent of the War of the Pacific.

On the plane I watched The Hollars. A synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes below:

John Hollar, a struggling NYC artist is forced to navigate the small middle-American town he left behind when news of his mother’s illness brings him home. Back in the house he grew up in, John is immediately swept up in the problems of his dysfunctional family, high school rival, and an over-eager ex-girlfriend as he faces impending fatherhood with his girlfriend in New York. From a script by Jim Strouse that is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, John Krasinski’s second feature is a poignant look at the bonds of family and friendship.

There are some good characters, especially John’s brother. It reminded me a bit too much of my mother’s death and the impact on my father. It kept my attention but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.

I also watched Captain Fantastic, a story about a father raising his children in the redwood forests of California. The mother dies and he brings the family to civilization to attend the funeral. It has some uplifting moments, but the a bit thin on the portrayal of the pros and cons of such a radical parenting style versus the traditional suburban America lifestyle. I would recommend seeing it and there are some good performances.

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