Star Wars Goes Rogue

2When Disney ripped the Star Wars universe from the cold dead hands of George Lucas, many were afraid of the franchise’s future. Those people were wrong. There are plenty of times Disney has made epic and costly mistakes, but they typically come in the form of a John Carter or Lone Ranger. Typically, Disney‘s misfires are attempts at future gold-mines in properties no one has had any interest in for over a century. For the most part, Disney knows their shit, and will not risk fucking up an already-existing pot of gold. In this case, that pot of gold is Star Wars.

Let me start off by saying that if you hated The Force Awakens, fuck you. You’re not a Star Wars fan. If you picked it apart and measured its faults against its successes, congratulations, you’re an acceptable fan-boy. But there was no excuse for hating it. In this case, the majority is very right-on.

Scheduled for a December 16, 2016 release, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has released its second and potentially final full-length trailer…and–for a Star Wars fan–it is everything.

For all intents and purposes, Rogue One is a prequel. It occurs prior to the original trilogy, but some time after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. So–this will inevitably be the fan favorite of all “prequel” series…until the Han Solo film comes out in two years, or whatever.

The trailer begins with Mads Mikkelsen, Jyn Erso’s father–confronting Ben Mendelsohn, as Orson Krennic. Galen Erso is a traitor to the Empire, responsible for leaking information about the construction of the Death Star. Krennic is almost a surrogate for Grand Moff Tarkin–tasked with overseeing the Death Star’s construction and reporting to the Emperor. He is tasked with killing Erso…and thus we get this image of a Death Trooper holding a dolly.

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Super bad-ass.

For anyone who’s seen Rebels on Disney XD, the trailer brings to life much of the settings we’ve grown to know and love. This is the Star Wars equivalent to the rise of the Nazis. The Emperor is in charge and any loyalists to the former Republic who attempt to fight the new galactic order are being rounded up or worse. In the midst of the formation of the Rebel Alliance, Jyn Erso (played by the lovely Felicity Jones) is captured as an enemy of the Empire…and scooped up by Captain Andor (played by the lovely Diego Luna), and our adventure really begins.

This is such a continuation from the George Lucas prequels that we’ll get to see some familiar faces from that series in Genevieve O’Reilly and Jimmy Smits who reprise their roles as Mon Mothma and Bail Organa. And let’s not forget James Earl Jones coming back as Darth Vader! But still no word on if we’ll see Hayden Christensen make an appearance.

All of the uniforms, technology, style and joy of the original Lucas trilogy is present here, and it’s very exciting to see a capable writer/director play in that sandbox.

Don’t get it twisted, George Lucas as a visionary creative genius. But he can’t write…or direct.

We get to see some new faces as well. Forest Whitaker plays Saw Gerrera, a Veteran of the Clone Wars, and the first character to transition from the animated series to the live-action universe.

Not only that, but some new fun characters as well such as Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, a former imperial droid with no filter and a wiped memory…and this guy:

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…whose name is Bistan and is referred to as a “Space Monkey”…which, frankly, seems more flat-out racist than endearing.

Space Monkeys and Frost Bane characters aside, this looks to be one of the most diverse Disney casts…or even Star Wars casts of all time, so that should appease the Social Justice Warriors for the time being…until they figure out “Space Monkey” is a slur in a galaxy far far away.

Only time will tell if the Internet will continue to be faux-angry over the back-to-back female leads in their Star Wars films, but I doubt it. The phony rage is played out, and woke nerds have a more important lady to worry about.

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Disney Pre-9/11 Video Vault: First Kid

31996 was a big cultural year for America. We hosted the Atlanta Summer Olympics, which was subsequently bombed by terrorists, killing one person and injuring over 100 more; the first three-parent baby was conceived through mitochondrial donation in New Jersey, of all places; The Ramones played their final show while Bob Dole was officially nominated for President by the Republican Party; the story of the Reagan CIA‘s role in crack cocaine importation to fund the Contras is published in the San Jose Mercury News; and a 3-year old boy fell into a 20-foot deep gorilla enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, ending with Binti Jua, a female lowland gorilla sitting with the boy until he was rescued…basically the opposite of Harambe.

But in the midst of all of this craziness in our country, Walt Disney and Buena Vista Pictures released a little Sinbad vehicle called First Kid.

Like most Disney family films around this time period, it starts off relatively safe in a boys-will-be-boys goof-off kinda way, turns needlessly melancholy, and then gets straight-up bonkers. So let’s begin.

1Sinbad plays Secret Service agent Sam Simms, a fat goofball who is essentially always a cunt-hair away from being fired. Why he’s qualified or continues to keep his job doing one of the most no-nonsense jobs in the country is beyond even him.

Brock Pierce plays the title character; First Kid, Luke Davenport, son of President Paul Davenport, and all-around little piece of shit teenager.

3.jpgThe movie starts out with Luke treating everyone around him, especially his personal Secret Service Agent, Agent Woods, like utter garbage. Woods is kind of a dickhead, but he doesn’t seem to deserve Luke’s bullshit. Eventually, Luke pisses Woods off so thoroughly that the Secret Service Agent grips him up, and is promptly fired…and replaced by, you guessed it, fucking Sinbad.

But don’t sleep on Agent Woods, because he’s not out of the picture just yet.

After seeing Luke get his ass handed to him by that punk bitch Zachary Ty Bryan from Home ImprovementSinbad decides that it’s now his duty to not only teach Luke how to fight, but to help him get laid. Again, Luke is a young adult teenage boy.

Sinbad proceeds to risk his entire career, freedom and reputation, go against Luke’s parents (the President and First Lady, remember), and technically kidnap the First Kid to help him score with some school crush.

1You see, Luke can’t relate to any other kids because he’s constantly under protection and surveillance as the First Kid. He eats lunch alone, and gets bullied by Zachary fucking Ty fucking Bryan from Home Improvement. And even though Luke is a dick to Zachary Ty Bryan as well, we’re supposed to feel bad for him because he cries about not having any friends or family time.

The only time Luke gets to talk to anyone freely, it’s either Sinbad–a grown ass man–or, his mysterious anonymous online-pal “Mongoose12.” Not creepy at all.

Luke and Mongoose12 really “get” each other and chat almost every day. Remember, this is in the mid-90’s, a time where the Internet was new, and we were very naive about child predators using clever pick-up lines like “ASL?

After Luke defeats Zachary Ty Bryan (who we think is the villain of the film), the Secret Service bursts into the school dance and Sinbad is fired and forbidden from speaking to the First Kid ever again. Remember, this is in the mid-90’s when a Secret Service Agent putting a child’s life in danger is met with a slap on the wrist, apparently.

So, while Luke is under “White House arrest” with a homing device attached to him, his bestest online pal, Mongoose12 starts offering him advice on how to escape from the White House and meet up at a local shopping mall…as normal kids do.

But what happens when Luke follows through with this fool-proof plan?

1.gifIt turns out that cool-kid Mongoose12 was none other than Agent WOODS, the disgruntled Secret Service Agent from the beginning of the movie! And he’s gone over the edge. Woods kidnaps Luke, and now the President has to figure out a way to get him back!

Who should he turn to? The police? The FBI? The numerous other Secret Service Agents who aren’t incompetent or homicidal? Fuck no, call up Sinbad! He can’t possibly screw up again!

Oh, and boy oh boy did things get worse because of it. Agent Woods was planning on returning the boy to his parents and taking credit as the hero. But when Sinbad showed up and Woods got found out, he decided he was just going to murder Luke.

Agent Woods tries to shoot Luke but Sinbad takes the bullet. Don’t worry, he lives, and Woods is taken to justice.

In the end, Sinbad is regarded as a hero and given the option to guard to the President (for some reason, based on one act of heroism)…which he declines so he can keep fucking Luke’s biology teacher; a subplot that no one could have predicted.

Then Luke hits a street hockey puck into Sinbad’s stupid face, and that’s how the movie ends.

If you thought that final hostage scene came out of fucking nowhere, you weren’t the only one. Apparently, 1 and a half minutes of the film were cut from its British Home Video release because the scene was deemed too graphic for a PG-audience.

Yikes.

This movie is so bad-ass that it almost became Disney’s first PG-13 movie. Well, technically, The Black Cauldron came the closest…but who gives a fuck?

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Disney Pre-9/11 Video Vault: BLANK CHECK

6Released in February of 1994 amidst the establishment of NAFTA, the violent clubbing of Nancy Kerrigan, the end of the Clinton/Yeltsin nuclear arms chicken-match, Lorena Bobbitt being found not guilty by reason of insanity for chopping off her husband’s cock, and still no sign of Israeli/Palestinian peace, Walt Disney Pictures’ Blank Check was released in theaters making over $30M on a $13M budget, which ain’t too fuckin’ shabby.

Directed by Rupert Wainwright, who you may know from films like number one box office smash Stigmata and one of the worst movies of the 2000’s, The FogBlank Check tells the story of 12-year old Preston Waters and a once-in-a-lifetime chance that all kids dream of!

Preston lives a tragic upper-middle class life with his in-tact loving family, even though his two older brothers are sometimes kinda mean to him. His father (played brilliantly by everyone’s 90’s Dad, James Rebhorn) doesn’t spoil him, because he wants his son to learn the value of a dollar, just like he did when he was young. But fuck that guy, am I right? Let’s get Preston some paper!

After realizing that some of his little ginger piece of shit friends have more money than he does, Preston gets borderline suicidal. That is, until he gets hit by a car driven by a bank robber who had stolen $1M!

Carl, the Bank Robber, panics when the police arrive and throws Preston a “blank check” to pay for his bike, which Computer Whiz Kid Preston makes into a one-million dollar check made out to CASH!

1Things get interesting when Preston runs afoul of the Jewie (read: evil Michael Lerner) Bank Owner, and a Disney Black Guy (read: Wild Thing Tone Loc) working for Carl…the bank robber. Preston manages to sneak the 1 Million Dollars out of the naive hands of the Bank Jew and proceeds to inadvertently rub his new wealth in Carl’s face by out-bidding him for a Castle. Yes, a castle. What kid doesn’t want his own castle. Now who’s got one? Our hero, Preston. That’s who. You know who owns that castle in real lifeSpy Kids-guy Robert Rodriguez. Yeah. Suck it.

1Preston lets the $1M go to his head a bit, using a Macintosh Computer Voice, cleverly nick-named Mr. Macintosh, as his cover. He never gains more money, mind you. This isn’t Catch Me If You Can where he’s writing fake blank checks all over town. He manages to spend exactly $999,667.83 on a private limo-driver/constant babysitter/creepy adult playmate Henry (expertly portrayed by the now-dead Rick Ducommun), private go-cart track, pool with slide extending from the Castle window, an expensive new wardrobe, and fancy dinner dates with the adult woman he’s trying to fuck/undercover FBI Agent Shay Stanley (played beautifully by my childhood crush fulfilled by this almost-sexual movie fantasy, now-paralyzed Karen Duffy).

It all works out, though. The bad guys go to jail, taking the bullet for all of Preston’s financial crimes; Preston learns an important lesson about being a kid and how money isn’t everything; and he gets a kiss from adult woman FBI Agent Shay, finally achieving his first boy-boner.

1In conclusion, so what if Preston’s stated goals in the movie were essentially “murder my brothers…get a girlfriend,” objectively making him a psychopath? So what if the idea that $1M is the same as “infinite money” is a plot device that only a child could come up with? So what that, adjusted for inflation, $1M in 1994 money is $1.6M today, and the CASTLE that Preston buys was sold to Robert Rodriguez 10 years after this film was made for $1.8 million?! So what that the main thing that drives Preston’s week of living the “good life” is a poorly conceived plan to fuck an older woman? So what if Blank Check doesn’t hold up to any plot scrutiny whatsoever? This movie rules the fucking school!

HotDog10
(10 outta 10)

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