The biggest release of the week was the biggest film of 2017 (at the box office). Unfortunately Star Wars: The Last Jedi was also my biggest disappointment of 2017. I first saw the film at theaters and was physically mad at it. I damn near hated it. So I watched it again on Blu-ray and what do I think after a second time? I think I might have disliked it even more. My biggest problem with the film is how much of it is unnecessary. On the second viewing, it’s even more noticeable. The casino world that Finn goes and gets Benicio Del Toro’s character is completely useless by the end of the film. The back & forth between Rey and Kylo although somewhat entertaining (especially the lightsaber fight) is also ultimately useless by the end of the film. Most of the film is the Rebellion trying to wait out Hux and be just enough ahead to escape. How exciting! The film is at least 45 minutes too long with characters that serve no real purpose and a waste of Luke Skywalker. I firmly stand by my statement that this movie is worse than the prequels. But people went and saw it although it came nowhere close to the box office that The Force Awakens did because people didn’t go back and watch it multiple times like that one. The film does look fantastic in HD and the sound is also perfect. There are some great bonus features I enjoyed more than the actual movie. It’s one of the most divisive movies of 2017 for a reason, real people didn’t like it and others were afraid to criticize it. A second viewing may have been a bad idea for me. I have very little hope for the franchise going further which is amazing because of how much I LOVED The Force Awakens (which I’ve seen 3 times at this point). Star Wars fans will still buy it though and you probably will too.
Next is Love, Lies and Records which I actually liked. Ashley Jensen plays Kate Dickenson in this drama set in a British register office, where people come to record life’s big events: births, marriages, and deaths. I don’t know if we have an office like that in the States so it was cool seeing something different. Dickenson isn’t married but has children and her sort of stepson comes to live with her. As does one of her coworkers who is transitioning into a woman. She’s trying to cover up an affair she had that one of her coworker’s has video of because it happened at work. It’s a quirky show with a lot going on and storylines that interconnect and I liked it. It’s very odd in a very odd setting and reminded me of The Office or Parks & Recreation but with more drama. Jensen is always good and she handles the lead with ease. There are six episodes and it leaves itself open for more so hopefully more get made because I’d watch them. Definitely recommend the show.
Third we have The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special. As a fan of Robot Chicken (especially their parody specials like Star Wars) and The Walking Dead I was looking forward to this. It didn’t disappoint. The stop-motion animation makes for some great laughter with the world of The Walking Dead. It has some great voiceover work by those you expect in Robot Chicken and a lot of TWD actors as well. The special features are great as well with commentary and an inside look at the show’s making. Robot Chicken fans will definitely want to add this to their collection because I thought it was hilarious. If you aren’t familiar with the show but like TWD, I still recommend it because you will like it as well.
Last we have The Brokenwood Mysteries Series 4. The show has always reminded me of Sherlock a bit with one being more by the book and the other outside the box. But the star of the show is the setting. New Zealand looks beautiful on the show. Series 4 is 4 episodes and if you aren’t familiar with the show, you can sort of jump in without having to know too much. Having seen previous seasons helps, but it’s easy enough to follow along. Midsomer Murders is a good comparison. In series 4 you get a bad parachute, a reenactment killing, farmers fighting over bees and a nursing home mystery that I could see The Simpsons doing a joke about. If you like non-US crime dramas/mysteries, I definitely recommend the show.