A Second Opinion. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Guest Review

A Second Opinion. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Guest Review

www.hypergeeky.comEverything that is wrong with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can be summed up in one thing.

Well, there are a lot of things wrong with Rogue One: paper-thin characters, a middling pace, a largely forgettable (and, within the mythos, unnecessary) plot.

But the tank – the TX-225w “Occupier” combat assault tank, as Wookiepedia tells me – is the perfect vehicle to address Rogue One’s fundamental problem: a superficial guise and muddled tone.
Because while the film purports to be a gritty war drama – tanks! firefights! no Jedi! – it never fully divorces itself from the character of the rest of the series.

And that has serious repercussions.

Star Wars – despite a misleading title – has never really been about warfare. In the series, wars merely act as backdrop and motivation for the melodramatic blood feuds of space wizards: a former slave is seduced by dark magic and rebels against his mentor (the Prequels); a farmboy learns magic to defeat his fallen father (the Original Trilogy); an orphan scavenger discovers magic and proceeds to beat up some goth kid (The Force Awakens).

The climax of these films usually feature a battle of some kind, yes, but it is the emotionally-charged contest between individuals that form their central focus: Luke vs. Vader (the battle of Yavin), Luke vs. Vader (the occupation of Bespin), Luke vs. Vader vs. Palpatine (the battle of Endor), etc.

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Before the New Hope — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Before the New Hope — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review
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Before Disney felt it needed to add A Star Wars Story to the title — you know, for all the uninitiated viewers who needed a green light to go buy a ticket — it was just Rogue One, the first of what could be an avalanche of anthology movies set to release as Disney begins its plans to release at least one SW movie per year from here on out.

Apart from the three new episodes, these standalone movies — the next one is a young Han Solo movie for 2018 starring Alden Ehrenreich as Han and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian — can be viewed either as boons or boondoggles. They are at once many things and nothing — a wasteful cashgrab to extreme purists, an insult to committed followers of the expanded universe, and/or a welcome addition to the family by pretty much everybody else with an open mind.

For the casual fan wondering what the fuss is, Rogue One isn’t a major episode, and Luke Skywalker is nowhere to be found. It does have Darth Vader, and several other cameos, but the focus is on a set of characters who have never been mentioned by name before, and — for all intents and purposes — may never be mentioned in any new movie ever. (Notice I put down “new.”)

So if you have no desire to watch this, but you’re still excited about the Force Awakens and the next two episodes, you won’t miss out on anything critical — though it will ease some of your doubts about the convenient way the plot sort of connects itself. And if you’re partial to the prequels — meesa thinking some of you are — it won’t really change how you feel about those movies.

It will, however, have a profound effect on fans of the original Star Wars movie, the one simply titled Star Wars at its release — it didn’t get the Episode IV or A New Hope subtitle until 1978 or 1981, depending on which source you trust.

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Full Circle — Arrival Review

Full Circle — Arrival Review
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When I first saw the trailer for Arrival, my mind went immediately to Robert Zemeckis’ Contact, the 1997 movie starring Jodie Foster about a scientist who receives and deciphers alien communication.

In Contact, Foster’s character Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Ann Arroway fights setback after setback in order to achieve her goal of finally making contact with an unknown alien communicator. When the alien appears as her father, Ellie’s expectation of seeing something radical, different, or monstrous — and by reason a look at the bigger picture of the universe — is washed away by a mirror that points her back to the human race for answers.

In Arrival, Amy Adams stars as renowned linguist Dr. Louise Banks, who becomes a critical asset for the United States government after an alien ship touches down somewhere in Montana. Eleven other ships have landed in various parts of the world creating fear and tension for their hosts, and no one knows whether the aliens have come in peace or to wage war.

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Full Rotation — Doctor Strange Review

Full Rotation — Doctor Strange Review
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House meets Inception meets Iron Man in a special effects bonanza that sorts out Stephen Strange’s mystical origin story for the silver screen as he goes from world-renowned surgeon to universally known sorcerer.

As one of the Avengers most powerful members, Dr. Strange exists in the comics as Earth’s protector against threats that transcend the physical. Wielding the Eye of Agamotto, Strange basically has a limitless array of powers at his disposal to go along with his masterful intellect.

In his cinematic debut, Strange is more or less the same character — changes were made to make him fit in line with the impending Infinity War. We’re introduced to the character at the height of his arrogance as he pokes fun at public health care, sorts through a drawer full of high-end watches to fit his tux for a speaking engagement, and handpicks his next surgery case.

A strange x-ray keeps his attention too long while he speeds along a coastal cliff in his Lamborghini. He sideswipes another vehicle which sends him spinning through the air and down the face of the cliff until the car face plants into a watery ditch. Strange wakes up in a public hospital with his hands stitched up and filled with pins. He doesn’t need a second opinion to tell him he will never perform another surgery again.

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Answer the Call

Answer the Call

Every year, a new Call of Duty game for the masses. The multi-billion dollar franchise has sold millions upon millions of copies all over the world, has a competitive and dedicated fanbase, and continues to up the ante with each new sequel.


Every week on Geekology, I take a closer look at what’s happening in the geek world. The opinions expressed in Geekology articles are mine and mine alone. Blame me, everyone. Blame me.


The Call of Duty Endowment

It’s like clockwork.

A new year, a new Call of Duty.

With Infinite Warfare, the franchise heads above and beyond to space, and special editions come bundled with a remastered version of its most lauded game — the venerated Modern Warfare.

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Batman #2 Review

Batman #2 Review

www.hypergeeky.comGotham and Gotham Girl have Batman’s respect, but do they have the chops to take over when he’s gone?

Batman #2 drums up an incoming threat that will likely test everyone’s resolve, but we don’t really know exactly what’s coming and to the detriment of the story.

Right now, all we know is that something or someones called the Monster Men are coming, and it’s driving some people crazy. Batman’s handled huge threats before, but it seems like writer Tom King is plotting something huge, though something can be said for speed of the issue’s pacing.

After someone lets Solomon Grundy loose in Gotham City, Batman comes to the rescue. The new Gotham duo, while incredibly powerful, have a lot of learning to do, and both get a taste of that trademark Bat-disapproval — enough to make them both glad they didn’t have to pay their dues as Robins in order to live in Batman’s shadow.

When Bruce goes over tape of the battle, he and Alfred Pennyworth discuss the Dark Knight’s mortality, and it’s apparent that Wayne is coming to grips with being a veteran in the superhero world. He decides to bring the Gotham duo under his wing, so to speak, because necessity demands it.

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Conspiracy Reality — Snowden Review

Conspiracy Reality — Snowden Review
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Oliver Stone’s Snowden biopic opens with a title card declaring the events and characters you’re about to witness have been dramatized.

But anyone with an Internet connection and the ability to Google the words Snowden and PRISM will find the truth that inspired the movie is actually quite terrifying.

In 2013, government contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified government information to the press, sending the intelligence community in Washington into a panic. His actions branded him a traitor to some while others considered him a patriot in the truest form. Believing he wouldn’t get a fair trial due to the Espionage Act, Snowden decided to flee his Hong Kong hotel and seek asylum while the rest of the world pored over the information left in his wake which provided details about illegal activities conducted by the United States government.

The stuff that came out in the news was the stuff of conspiracy theorist nightmares. The leaks put a spotlight on government initiatives and programs like PRISM, an extensive surveillance program that collected and stored information obtained through telecommunications and the Internet. It was also discovered that the NSA had covertly installed backdoor programs into foreign systems around the world that could potentially take down entire networks with the press of a button. Alarming was the fact that these programs weren’t necessarily designed to combat exterior threats — PRISM was used on American citizens as well, and the backdoor programs were installed on computers in ally nations.

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Fact Meets Fiction

Fact Meets Fiction

Say what you will about Edward Snowden, the former CIA agent and United States government contractor who fled the country after leaking National Security Agency information to journalists.


Every week on Geekology, I take a closer look at what’s happening in the geek world. The opinions expressed in Geekology articles are mine and mine alone. Blame me, everyone. Blame me.


Snowden Live

To some, he’s a whistleblower. To others, like legendary pilot Chuck Yaeger, he’s a traitor.

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Whatever your particular thoughts on the man, Snowden and his leakage of sensitive government secrets had a tremendous affect on the United States. On the one hand, conspiracy theorists who believed the government was spying on its citizens had their suspicions somewhat validated. For everyone else, the leak threw several stories out into the court of public opinion. Questions were asked, opinions debated.

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#NotSquadGoals — Suicide Squad Review

#NotSquadGoals — Suicide Squad Review
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At last, the release of Suicide Squad — the movie at the top of my must-see list for 2016.

The first trailer previewed a rogues gallery of misfits — awesome and not — who become forced into some good ol’ fashioned do-goodery. The preview had a bit of humor, our first look at Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and a shot of Batman hanging from the roof of a speeding getaway car.

Couldn’t. Wait.

The latest trailers gave us more of the same, but it was the delivery — they played like the best fan-made music videos. A helicopter launching flares as Brian May goes into full swing for his guitar solo in Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, or Sweet’s high-charged Ballroom Blitz in step with shots of pure kinetic energy.

Unfortunately, we’ve come into a golden age of trailers, where companies can cherry pick the best visuals, break open the plot, and piece together a TLDR version that can make a bad movie look good.

Somehow, people were tricked into seeing Fantastic Four — and half of the scenes in the trailer weren’t even in the movie!

On the strength of its casting, premise and top notch trailers — rumor has it, the final cut of the movie was completed by Trailer Park, the company that created the previews — Suicide Squad topped even Rogue One on the “Want to See” list, but no amount of editing could save a movie with a circular kind of logic that is a means and end to itself in all of the worst ways.

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Flash: Rebirth #1 Review

Flash: Rebirth #1 Review

www.hypergeeky.comAfter Barry Allen tried to prevent his mother’s death, he created an alternate future on the verge of destroying itself. At Thomas Wayne’s behest, Flash went back in time to stop himself, and a new version of the universe was created out of the old that merged the distinct and separate DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm entities.

Until now, Allen believed he was responsible for the New 52 universe, but a sudden appearance by pre-Flashpoint Wally West trying to escape the Speed Force turns everything on its head.

The reveal — you should read DC Universe: Rebirth #1 if you need a primer — is that someone else existing outside of time and place had a hand in creating this new timeline, bending and removing events, relationships, and key factors in order to keep the heroes weakened.

Flash: Rebirth #1 takes readers through what happened before, during, and after Wally West appeared to Barry, starting with a murder case that reminds Allen of his mother’s death — the very thing that kicked off Flashpoint.

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