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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 834
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-19-2016 02:34 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As revenge for the Empire conscripting her father into engineering the Death Star, plucky Jyn Erso leads a rebellion into the Imperial Archives to swipe the plans. In Dolby Vision at the AMC Garden State 16, Paramus, New Jersey.

*****

Mild spoilery things that everybody has all ready heard about ahead:

You might think of this picture as Star Wars Episode 3.75, its plot elements place it some twenty-five years or so after the events of Revenge of The Sith and just before A New Hope, and attempts to explain how the Rebels came into the plans for the Death Star. For those obsessed with the “canon” this apparently sets up a continuity error; I am informed by my niece, Princess Caitlin of Tatooine, that in A New Hope the Death Star plans were said to have been liberated by folks called “Bothans”. So there’s that.

Apart from that little nugget, this is a pretty good entry in the saga. The action scenes are all very well staged, and the requisite final battle scene is very exciting. Felicity Jones is pretty slight and not entirely convincing as the heroine, but the other players are solid. There are some interesting characters introduced, including one that points back to the whole series’ roots in George Lucas’s beloved Japanese samurai cinema (everybody knows that the original movie was an unacknowledged remake of Akria Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, right? Great.). The uppity ‘droid voiced by Alan Tudyk has some great lines and steals scenes. There has also been a somewhat controversial casting choice made: two characters from A New Hope have been resurrected and placed into the movie by digitally recreating their faces and grafting them onto the bodies of other actors. For one of these characters, it works pretty well, for the other, the person in question looks like a badly rendered video game character. I’d say that this later one would have taken me out of the movie, but luckily, it was the very last shot. I suppose this brings up the cinematic ethics of bringing a deceased actor back to life and having him perform lines that he may or not have approved of, but they could, so they did, and the question whether this is a proper thing to do is now up for debate. I would also add on the subject of continuity errors that there is another spectacular one where I felt mildly insulted that the production apparently didn’t think I would notice or care, and frankly makes an important character appear ridiculous. I won’t say specifically what it is, but here’s a clue: it seems Jyn Erso carries a sewing kit with her wherever she goes.

In all a pretty good movie, probably more interesting and certainly more original than The Force Awakens.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1790
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 12-19-2016 03:11 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
> that in A New Hope the Death Star plans were said to have been liberated by folks called “Bothas”.

In the original 1977 version thru the 1997 re-issue, there is no reference to how Princess Leia came into possession of the Death Star plans. I can't speak to any later re-editing of the film.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 834
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-19-2016 03:18 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I stand corrected. After further research, the line appears in Return of the Jedi. Mon Mothma says: "Many Bothans died bringing us this information". Or something.

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Jonathan M. Crist
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 509
From: Hershey, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 12-19-2016 05:21 PM      Profile for Jonathan M. Crist   Email Jonathan M. Crist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As Yogurt notes in “Spaceballs” …. ‘mechandising is where the real money is made”. And Rogue One is all about merchandising… an ethnically balanced international cast chosen to assure success in the most important global marketplace.

That is not to say that Rogue One is a bad movie … it is a perfectly serviceable entry in the ‘scruffy group takes on an impossible mission’ genre. It could have been called: ‘The Dirty Half-Dozen’ or ‘The Five Man/One Woman Army’ or even “The Magnificent Six”. However just like the most recent Kurosawa western update, the stars of Rouge One appear to have been chosen for their diversity - with the action set pieces then subsequently crafted around their particular skill sets.

While Rogue One takes place almost immediately before ‘A New Hope’ - that original now seems like a long time ago and a galaxy far away - one perhaps best described as #Star Wars So White.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-19-2016 06:57 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You contradict yourself.... you start out by saying the diverse casting was for merchandising, but then you shift gears and say it 's to avoid controversy. I'd say the latter is the biggest reason they cast it the way they did. If the U.S. Army were being cast by Hollywood, it'd be 50% women and equally balanced among all the races.

I suppose when the technology allows it, they'll go back and re-cast the original movies with a few ethnicities too, just to make everything consistent.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15887
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-19-2016 07:35 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Johnathan Crist is right, to quote Mel Brooks.... " moichendising, moichendising, it's all about the moichendising. The profit from the movie is Nuttin compared to the kids toys.

Mark

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1293
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 12-23-2016 10:56 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Megaplex at Jordan Commons, Sandy, UT
AUDITORIUM: 14
PRESENTATION: Dolby Digital Cinema
PRESENTATION PROBLEMS: Bored kid kicking my seatback
RATING: Two and one half stars (out of four)

Oh hey look. Proper screen masking.

THE PLOT: A scientist is compelled to return to work by thugs who kill his wife and lose his daughter and...uh...what bargaining chip did they have left exactly? Wackiness ensues.

If you want a dark, moody sci-fi action movie, this is a pretty good one. If you want a fun sci-fi action movie with likable characters who help sell all that merchandise you guys are arguing about, this is NOT your movie. And nothing made that more evident than the kids discussing this after the show. "Dumb." "Not my favorite Star Wars movie."

Not even the snarky droid could save this for them.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-29-2016 05:54 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is definitely not a movie for the kids. We have had a couple of kids walk out, and a couple other kids we had to kick out because they got bored and disruptive.

They're calling this a "standalone" movie. I guess you could argue that the story makes sense even if you hadn't seen the other movies, but it makes a lot MORE sense if you have seen them.

There's been a lot of confusion around here as to just where this falls in the Star Wars timeline...one guy was absolutely convinced that this was Episode VIII, until we proved otherwise to him. And a female friend of mine thought that the main character in this movie was a younger Rey from The Force Awakens. And therefore, also didn't realize that
Spoiler Alert - Click to Toggle

However, most people age 20 and over are digging this movie. Some have been back multiple times. I've heard virtually no griping about the storyline this time, compared with "The Force Awakens" where seemingly every other comment was some complaint about the story being recycled from "A New Hope."

Personally I thought this was just as good as "The Force Awakens" and maybe better in a few respects. I loved the last few minutes especially. It really ramps up the emotion and the connections to the story.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 304
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 12-31-2016 07:43 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
THEATER: Universal AMC, Universal City, CA
AUDITORIUM: 19 (Imax)
PRESENTATION: Trailers for 20 minutes in Imax Laser (house right booth port), then DUNKIRK scene and Rogue One in 15/70 film (house left window port). Flawless changeover.

PRESENTATION PROBLEMS: None. Well, Imax Laser in 2D looks too sparkly. It might have the better black level, but the film brightness is actually slightly more, and the smoothness and clarity is unbeatable. Except when the dark gritty image is just so dark it looks grainy and yukky. That's not a presentation problem, but a mastering one, so I digress... Oh, and the trailers were nauseating. So much for Imax camera technique rules. Anything goes now.

RATING: three stars (out of four). You already know what you need to know about this, so I'll just add that I thought that Force Awakens was more emotionally engaging, but my son thought this was. We both agreed, however, that the final 30 minutes is one of the best set-up and executed battle scenes ever made.

The Dunkirk trailer in 15/70 was an unexpected bonus, was quite intense and thrilling, was the only thing to use the full 1.4:1 screen, and made everything else look visibly inferior. What else can I say?

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 304
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 01-01-2017 10:19 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Too late to edit the post above, but a couple of minor presentation matters should be noted:
The screen hot-spots in the typical and annoying fashion of high-gain screens.
Right at eye level, just left of center, the screen has several abrasions several inches high. As if someone let a ladder fall into it.

By the way, at the bottom of the screen (visible only in the very front) they're storing all manner of stuff, from stanchions and ladders, to what appears to be large cores of film.

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Frederick Lanoy
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: North of France
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-01-2017 12:37 PM      Profile for Frederick Lanoy   Email Frederick Lanoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Saw it in IMAX Laser in Kinepolis Bruxelles. This auditorium has been closed in 2005 due to the lack of content. Kinepolis re-opened it for Rogue One. The film projector has been removed (not cool) and replaced by the dual Laser system (using Barco's projectors). The screen has an aspect ratio of 1.43 (90 feets per 65 high). So very big and quite impressive even for a scope picture like Rogue one.

About the quality itself, the presentation in IMAX 3D was flawless. The picture was bright, sharp with no visible ghosting. I have to say that the projectors seem to be very well aligned. Yet, the most impressive part was the prologue of "Dunkirk". It was a nice surprise to see that the image filled the entire height of the screen. Yet, I still don't understand how IMAX does that with projectors using 1.90 chips. But it works and it looks good !

About Rogue one, the first part of the movie is a little bit boring and confusing. But the final battle is great and I absolutly loved the last scene.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3278
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-01-2017 02:24 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frederick Lanoy
Yet, I still don't understand how IMAX does that with projectors using 1.90 chips.
Where classic Cinemascope presentation typically stretches the image horizontally for a wider image, IMAX Laser stretches the image vertically for classic full screen IMAX aspect ratio. I don't know the specific mechanism to actually do this mid-feature for selected scenes as they sometimes demonstrate (e.g. in SW7).
It seems they can switch aspect ratios within fractions of a second, so I doubt there is an actual mechanical operation involved as with classic anamorphic or zoom lenses.

- Carsten

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Pietro Clarici
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 136
From: Foligno (PG) Italy
Registered: Sep 2008


 - posted 01-01-2017 02:51 PM      Profile for Pietro Clarici   Author's Homepage   Email Pietro Clarici   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm guessing the anamorphic is in place for the entire show, and IMAX DCPs are specially mastered to account for that 1.33x vertical stretch.

Conventional shots that must be shown in 2.39:1 could actually have a resolution of 4096x1290 or so, while IMAX full screen shots could use the full 4K imager. All content would be compressed by 1.33x in height.

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Frederick Lanoy
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: North of France
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-01-2017 03:01 PM      Profile for Frederick Lanoy   Email Frederick Lanoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Carsten. Interesting. Just before the prologue ot "Dunkirk", there was a black and I saw somekind of shadow moving. I thought it was an anamorphic lens for switching to 1.43 ratio. From the auditorium, I could not see clearly the projectors so I have no other clue...

Also during the prologue, there are a couple of shots in 2.39 (less than 5 seconds) so the aspect ratio switchs very briefly from 1.43 to scope and vice versa. And no visible shadows...

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3278
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-01-2017 05:13 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Pietro and Frederick,

I also thought they may keep the full feature within the anamorphic AR and simply 'crop' non IMAX AR content. Now even considering their Laser IMAX systems being 4k, that would mean that most of these tentpole IMAX releases would have less than 4k 'quality' just because of some few seconds or minutes of 1.43 glory...
I, too, noticed that short shadowing of the screen after the preshow when I watched SW7.

But this specific discussion should probably go elsewhere.

- Carsten

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