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This week at the cinema - May 23, 2018

Alden Ehrenreich becomes involved in a dangerous mission in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Alden Ehrenreich becomes involved in a dangerous mission in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Solo: A StAr Wars Story (2018)
Genre: Sci-fi
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Linda Hunt
Duration: 135 minutes
Class: N/A
KRS Releasing Ltd

The new space Western, directed by celebrated film-maker Ron Howard, revolves around the character of Han Solo, made famous by Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars trilogy that began in 1977.

The film is also the second of the Star Wars anthology following 2016’s Rogue One.

The stand-alone Walt Disney origin story is set some 10 years before the events of A New Hope, with Alden Ehrenreich playing a younger Solo at the start of his pilot training when he becomes involved in a dangerous mission.

The film shows how through a series of daring escapades, Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and encounters notorious gambler Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

The film endured a rocky path to the screen. Original co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired midway through production and Disney asked Howard to come in to oversee extensive reshoots.

Critics who liked the film said the director succeeded in making a fun film that should satisfy the franchise’s fervent fans.

“While Solo hasn’t completely overcome the long odds, those harbouring a love of the franchise should come away, ultimately, with a good feeling about this,” wrote Brian Lowry of CNN.com.

And the critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads: “A flawed yet fun and fast-paced space adventure, Solo: A Star Wars Story should satisfy newcomers to the saga as well as long-time fans who check their expectations at the theatre door.”

Ehrenreich won praise from many for making the role his own without imitating Ford but others felt that he did not meet the high expectations for the part.

David Edelstein of Vulture magazine wrote: “Solo: A Star Wars Story hits all its marks except the one it needed to hit most: accounting for one of pop culture’s most cantankerous charismatics.”

The film opens in cinemas internationally today.

Ratings
IMDB: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Empire: 4 stars

Melissa McCarthy is thrilled to return to college in Life of the Party.Melissa McCarthy is thrilled to return to college in Life of the Party.

Life of the party (2018)
Genre: Comedy
Director: Ben Falcone
Starring: Debby Ryan, Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Luke Benward
Duration: 105 minutes
Class: 12A
KRS Releasing Ltd

Ben Falcone (Tammy, Enough Said, The Boss, What to Expect When You’re Expecting) returns with a comedy about a mother who decides to go to college after being dumped by her husband.

The director’s wife, Melissa McCarthy, plays the role of the outspoken woman who winds up in the same school as her daughter. She soon begins a journey of self-discovery while fully embracing the fun and freedom she can handle.

The film received poor reviews. Michael O’Sullivan of the Washington Post described it as a “largely laugh-free exercise in cliché”.

Sandie Angulo Chen of Common Sense Media wrote: “McCarthy is an undeniably talented comedian, but this formulaic college comedy  falls short of her potential,” while Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said: “She allows her laugh instincts to get buried in a blanket of bland.”

The film has so far grossed $36.8 million worldwide.

Ratings
IMDB: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 39%
Empire: N/A

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