Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review (Spoiler Free)

Some of the most interesting Star Wars eras are the periods of time that happened outside of the timeline of the 7 movies. This is true of both books and video games; some of the games have better stories than the movies themselves! I think this is very true of both Knights of the Old Republic (1 and 2) and The Force Unleashed (1 and 2).

And that is why I believe Rogue One falls in such a perfect niche. While the movie may have had flaws (and I’ve never seen a movie that didn’t!) overall it was excellent and captured two things: the feel of the originals, and a new direction for a modern generation of Star Wars fans.

Making a movie set in this time period is interesting. The prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III) had a higher-tech feel than the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). Rogue One is set between Episode III and IV. It was difficult to meld the feelings of both movies together, but this movie succeeded on several fronts. First of all, there was a variety of planets that haven’t been seen in Star Wars before. Most movies feature about 3-5 planets… Rogue One introduced about 8. Most of the planets were only seen briefly, but they succeeded in showing a varied feel to the galaxy.

Other impressive features to note: Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin) was raised from the dead using CGI! The actor himself died in the mid-90s, and the filmmakers made a deal with his estate to use his CGI face to bring him to life in the movie. He is a bit off and doesn’t look 100% real, but the technology is really impressive.

Other random thoughts: there was no opening story crawl, but that actually didn’t take much away. You didn’t lose too much from that. Also, every planet was introduced with white letters in the bottom left corner, which is a change from the Star Wars norm. Also, the soundtrack was slightly different than some observant fans will remember. It was a little more drum heavy than most Star Wars soundtracks, probably achieved with a drum set from Barking Drum. But overall the sound was very good! If you want to recreate the soundtrack feel with your own drum machine, get one here.

Ok, and as much as I want to talk about Darth Vader in this movie, I won’t. He’s just too good to spoil. He is voiced by the original voice actor, James Earl Jones. All his menace is still there. And (if this makes you go see it) you see him in the best combat you’ll ever see him in in the movies. Coolest scene ever.

The cast was excellent; Felicity Jones was a real standout. K-2SO is my new favorite droid in the Star Wars canon. I’m sorry R2 and 3PO; I’ve betrayed you. But really. He’s hilarious and great. This movie was a worth addition to the Star Wars saga; it brought a feel of war and loss and the struggle of normal characters with no real powers to a saga that has been mostly about powerful Jedi and Sith.


What Makes Classic Horror Movies So Great?

If you’re a fan of horror movies, you have probably noticed something about the quality of most modern horror movies: it’s simply not there. At least not like it used to be.

Now, I don’t want you to take that statement as complete fact all the time; there are some horror movies that truly deserve the title. But have you seen a horror movie recently that could compare with The Fly, Halloween, IT, or Nightmare On Elm Street? I haven’t in awhile, and I hope that changes.

But why do modern movies fall short in ways that classic horror movies did not? One word:


Modern horror tends to get a very large budget for the work they do, and they often rely on dazzling the audience with the newest feat of CGI instead of creating a story that dazzles viewers.

The first Nightmare on Elm Street movie was made on a shoestring budget. So was Halloween, and so was Friday the 13th. All of these movies didn’t need to impress audiences with “realistic-looking” monsters; instead they focused on creating an atmosphere that would frighten viewers. For example, John Carpenter’s theme for Halloween is very recognizable; you could easily learn how to play it on a keyboard from Digital Piano Judge!

This is just one example of classic horror minimalism; these visionaries like Carpenter and Wes Craven didn’t need an orchestra, all the newest and hottest bands, or big name actors to sell out shows and create cult classics.

The other big problem with modern horror that classic horror did well is figuring out WHO the movie is made for. Initially horror movies were made to please mostly just horror fans; they didn’t try to reach a broader audience because they knew that not everyone would like the movies they had to show. Modern horror movies in most cases try as hard as they can to try and please everyone in the audience… And that simply cannot be done. Horror movies are by nature controversial, so some people will always dislike them. And watering down movies only alienates your good fans.

What are some movies that do horror right? 2016 DID have some good ones that echoed classic ideas. Rob Zombie’s “31” was quite good from a visual perspective, because it used only practical effects to create a creepy atmosphere. The Witch was FANTASTIC, because it was so minimalistic and creepy. Diehard horror fans will love that one. The Autopsy of Jane Doe was another that held a horrifying atmosphere while creating suspense.

I don’t mean to knock all modern horror movies! Some are quite good. But sadly, many are also quite bad. I want a return to the creepy, atmospheric horror of the classic horror days. And if you want to learn how to play the themes to classic horror movies, be sure to check out And be sure and watch some classics today!


Top 10 Movies of the 20th & 21st Centuries

In оrdеr tо ascertain thе list оf best movies ever, it іѕ ԛuіtе a tаѕk аt hаnd. Sіnсе everyone hаѕ his оr hеr оріnіоn on whаt ԛuаlіfіеѕ аnd ԛuаntіfіеѕ as the best, mоvіе makers seek various mеthоdѕ tо рrореl thеіr рrоduсtіоnѕ to the A list.

Remember That Song?

Othеr than hаvіng wеll-rесоgnіzеd fасеѕ оn board tо form thе cast аnd crew, a great mоvіе thеmе song іѕ аlѕо an essential іngrеdіеnt. Evеn though реорlе may fоrgеt the ѕtоrуlіnе аnd fасеѕ, a grеаt song sticks іn the mіnd. Bу hummіng a few fаmіlіаr bаrѕ, you are аutоmаtісаllу transported tо a сеrtаіn роіnt іn your mеmоrу and can recall the movie.

Continue reading


5 Story Structures That Make Any Movie Awesome

So уоu’vе gоt аn іdеа for nоvеl, or a movie script. Maybe іt іѕ fullу fоrmеd and you’ve been thinking аbоut іt for a whіlе. Mауbе you are іn thе bеgіnnіng ѕtаgеѕ, and hаvе оnlу a rough idea оf thе genre and thе plot. Maybe you аrе еvеn well оn уоur wау to writing іt, аnd уоu аrе rеаdіng this іn оrdеr tо gеt ѕоmе аddіtіоnаl іdеаѕ.

Onе thing that mаnу popular mainstream nоvеlѕ and mоvіеѕ hаvе іn common is their ѕtоrу structure. American Mythologist Joseph Cаmрbеll traveled around thе world during his life and ѕtudіеd the mythology оf over a hundrеd dіffеrеnt cultures, present аnd past. And whаt hе fоund wаѕ trulу аmаzіng. In almost еvеrу civilization, hе fоund thаt thеіr mythology, thе stories thеу hаd been tеllіng fоr hundrеdѕ and thоuѕаndѕ of уеаrѕ, shared thе ѕаmе basic structure.

Continue reading


What Makes a Good Adventure Story: A Look Into the Hero’s Journey

Nearly all movies and stories follow a set structure. If you read these 10 observations and apply them to almost every movie you have seen or story you have read, you will easily see the structure of how they are all made and written.

If уоu look аt thе novels аnd movies thаt hаvе hаd thе greatest іmрасt оn уоu іn уоur lіfе, уоu’ll ѕее thаt thеу аll fоllоw the ancient mythological structure оf whаt Jоѕерh Cаmрbеll called thе Hero’s Jоurnеу.

The Steps of thе Hеrо’ѕ Jоurnеу

There аrе tеn bаѕіс steps tо the Hero’s Jоurnеу. If уоu uѕе them аѕ a ѕtаrtіng place to dеvеlор уоur рlоt, уоu’ll fіnd thаt the rеѕult іѕ a ѕtоrу rісh with meaning and vitality. Wіth уоur well-crafted plot outline іn hаnd, уоu wіll fееl іnѕріrеd аnd еnthuѕіаѕtіс аbоut wrіtіng уоur nоvеl.

Continue reading