<![CDATA[Nothing To Say Here - Dave\'s Movie Reviews]]>Fri, 17 Jan 2020 23:10:40 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Review of Medical Police: Season One]]>Sat, 18 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-medical-police-season-one
by Dave B.
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​The creators of “Children’s Hospital” have teamed up with Netflix to bring us Medical Police. In it, doctors Lola Spratt (Erin Hayes) and Owen Maestro (Rob Huebel) discover a previously unknown virus that is being intentionally released around the world. The two doctors are recruited by a secret division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that is tasked with bringing bioterrorists to justice. Spratt and Maestro journey across the planet searching for the terrorist so that they can prevent the extinction of humankind.
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If you’re not familiar with “Children’s Hospital” it’s an Emmy award winning comedy series that ran from 2010 through 2016, but there is no need to have seen it in order to understand and enjoy this spin-off. Medical Police operates in the same vein of extremely stupid humor as its parent show. For me, that’s not a bad thing, as my comedic tastes are often inclined towards the idiotic (for example, I thought the Baywatch movie was pretty funny). And at times, Medical Police is absolutely hilarious. At one point during episode three, I was laughing so hard that I literally fell off of my couch. Even now a week later, thinking about the balcony scene in that episode will have me cracking up. As a bonus, Hayes and Huebel have good chemistry and great comedic timing together. It’s clear that the cast as a whole had a lot of fun making this show.
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That said, Medical Police isn’t consistently funny. The problem is that with 10 episodes running at about 25 minutes each, there isn’t really enough material to prevent some of the jokes from feeling repetitive and a bit stale. That’s not to say that there is a dramatic fall off in the quality of the show as it progresses. It’s just that the show only has a few notes and despite hitting them well, it has to hit them a bit too often. 
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Overall, Medical Police is extremely stupid and very entertaining. And if you’re like me in, finding juvenile misunderstandings and physical humor to be quite funny, you should definitely check out this show. But from an objective perspective Medical Police is merely “really good” instead of “great” and may have been something truly special if it had been a movie or if it had half as many episodes. Regardless, if you’re in need of a laugh, you can do far worse than giving this show some of your time. 
Rating: 6.5/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: January 17 - January 23]]>Thu, 16 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-january-17-january-23
By Dave B.
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
Bad Boys For Life - In Theaters, January 17
Synopsis:
​"
The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back together for one last ride."
Dolittle - In Theaters, January 17
Synopsis:
​"
After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company.
But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.
The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk’s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar-winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, Bumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar-winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante."
Feedback - In Theaters, January 17
Synopsis:
"
Jarvis Dolan is the star journalist of the successful London late night radio show "The Grim Reality". The evening takes a macabre turn when two armed men burst into the studio, taking control of the show. Their mission: to shed light on a scandal that could spell the end of Jarvis' established career. Forced to continue with the live program, following the script of the assailants, Jarvis Dolan's night will soon become a nightmare."
Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak - Netflix, January 22
Synopsis:
"
In this docuseries, meet the heroes on the front lines of the battle against influenza and learn about their efforts to stop the next global outbreak."
Star Trek: Picard - CBS All Access, January 23
Synopsis:
"
STAR TREK: PICARD features Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The new series will follow this iconic character into the next chapter of his life. "
October Faction - Netflix, January 23
Synopsis:
"
October Faction follows globetrotting monster hunters Fred (J.C. Mackenzie) and Deloris Allen (Tamara Taylor) who, after the death of Fred’s father, return to their hometown in New York with their children Geoff (Gabriel Darku) and Viv Allen (Aurora Burghart). In their new small-town setting, the family must adjust and assimilate while Fred and Deloris try to hide their identities as members of a secret organization.
As the Fred and Deloris become reacquainted with their old hometown and the secrets buried there, Geoff and Viv are forced to integrate into a place they’re unaccustomed to. Geoff deals with the close-mindedness of a local bully and the more reserved Viv tries to make friends in high school."

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<![CDATA[Review of Anna and the Apocalypse]]>Mon, 13 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-anna-and-the-apocalypse
By Dave B.
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​In Anna and the Apocalypse (2018, currently on Amazon Prime), Anna is having a having a tough day. Besides the standard difficulties associated with being a high school student, Anna faces an uncertain post-graduation future. To make matters worse, the zombie apocalypse is about to start, forcing Anna and her friends to battle their way through legions of the undead in an attempt to reach the safe haven of their school. Along the way, the group confronts the uncertainties that are associated with growing up and occasionally break out into musical numbers as they face myriad dangers and heartbreaks.
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The first two-thirds of Anna and the Apocalypse is filled with an infectious energy that makes the movie very approachable and enjoyable, in a sprightly kind of way. The ubiquitous musical numbers are actually pretty catchy. All in all, the first part of the movie reminds me a lot of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Once More, With Feeling” (one of my personal favorite episodes). The main characters are very likeable and easy to root for, and in general there’s a feel-good vibe to the film that is much appreciated. However…
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The final third of the movie is a stark and rapid departure from what came before. It’s dark and depressing. The change in the tone of the film is so abrupt that it nearly gave me whiplash. The writers make some decisions about the fate of some of the characters that can only be described as atrocious. Despite enjoying the majority of the film, I actively and intensely dislike how it ends. 
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Anna and the Apocalypse is a tough movie to recommend because of it’s massive change in tone near the end. If you enjoy catchy musicals, decent performances, and a high-energy script, then you’ll probably like most of this movie. However, my suggestion is to avoid getting to emotionally invested in this film. If you can’t do that, you may be in for some massive disappointments as Anna and the Apocalypse progresses. 
Rating: 6/10
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<![CDATA[Review of Messiah]]>Sat, 11 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-messiah
BY Dave B.
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In Netflix’s Messiah, a mysterious man gains a following in Syria after seemingly miraculously saving Damascus from being overrun by ISIS. After the man accomplishes several more unexplained “miracles”, including saving a girl from a tornado that wrecks a Texas town, he gains an international following. But a hardened CIA agent is determined to prove that the mystery man, now regarded as the Son of God by many, is actually a dangerous fraud.
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Whether or not you like Messiah is largely going to depend on what it is that you want to get out of it. If you’re looking for a well-crafted mystery, or intense action, or a stellar plot, you’re likely to end up disappointed because Messiah has none of those things. The 10 episode series is plagued by inconsistent pacing both within and between episodes. And the premise itself, while not completely implausible, doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny: in this day and age, with all of the technology and skepticism of a thousand generations of people at our fingertips, if someone alive today plausibly exhibits unexplained insight or abilities, it may be premature to bestow the mantle of divinity upon them, but it would be equally premature to dismiss them out of hand without extensive testing. 
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Be that as it may, despite my quibbles with Messiah, it’s pretty entertaining and certainly binge-able. At least it is if what you want to get out of it is a realistic sociological depiction of how individuals tend to respond to things that they don’t understand. And that’s where the magic in this show truly lies. For the most part, the reactions of people who encounter this mystery man (and those who have never met him, but have been impacted by his existence) are very believable. He never claims nor denies divinity, but everyone takes his sayings, teachings, and exhortations as proof that he is or isn’t what they want to believe he is or is not. The writers of this show may not know how to keep a plot moving, but they’re on the ball when it comes to what tends to motivate people.
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Overall, Messiah is a very interesting, if imperfectly executed show and I am recommending it because, despite it’s flaws, it’s engaging. The performances are generally good, most of the main characters are relatively easy to sympathize with (most of the time), and the show makes you want to keep watching so that you can see how everything turns out. All in all, I don’t usually need much more than that to enjoy a show. The insight into human behavior is just icing on the cake. Messiah isn’t perfect, but it’ll definitely do. 
Rating: 7/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: January 10 - January 16]]>Thu, 09 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-january-10-january-16
By Dave B.
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
Medical Police - Netflix, January 10
Synopsis:
​"
From the inimitable team behind Childrens Hospital, Medical Police follows two American physicians (Erinn Hayes and Rob Huebel) stationed at a pediatric hospital in São Paulo, Brazil who unwittingly discover a civilization-threatening virus. They’re soon recruited as secret government agents and find themselves in a race against time to find a cure, all the while uncovering a dark conspiracy at the center of the outbreak. Building on the legacy of its predecessor Childrens Hospital, Medical Police triples as an action-packed thriller, a mystery-wrapped love story and, ultimately, a globetrotting comedy series."
Giri / Haji - Netflix, January 10
Synopsis:
"
Bound by duty and lost in shame. A Tokyo police detective risks his job, family and honour as he travels to London in search of his long lost brother,unravelling the secret that tore them apart. From the producers of Chernobyl."
1917 - In Theaters, January 10
Synopsis:
"
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them."
Just Mercy - In Theaters, January 10
Synopsis:
​"
A powerful and thought-provoking true story, Just Mercy follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice.  After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs.  Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson).  One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.  In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them."
Underwater - In Theaters, January 10
Synopsis:
​"
UNDERWATER is a film that follows a crew of underwater researchers who must scramble to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory."
Les Misérables - In Theaters, January 10
Synopsis:
​"
Stéphane (Damien Bonnard, Staying Vertical), has recently joined the Anti-Crime squad in Montfermeil, a sensitive district of the Paris projects. Paired up with Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djebril Zonga), whose methods are sometimes unorthodox, he rapidly discovers the tensions between the various neighborhood groups. When the trio finds themselves overrun during the course of an arrest, a drone begins filming every move they make."
VHYes - In Theaters, January 10
Synopsis:
​"
A bizarre retro comedy shot entirely on VHS, VHYes takes us back to a simpler time, when twelve-year-old Ralph mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents’ wedding tape. The result is a nostalgic wave of home shopping clips, censored pornography, and nefarious true-crime tales that threaten to unkindly rewind Ralph’s reality."
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts - Netflix, January 14
Synopsis:
​"
The Great Mutant Outbreak of 2017 caused creatures to grow to an incredible size and develop incredible intelligence, forcing humans to scatter for underground. After a giant mutant attack dumps her on the surface far away from her Terrarium home, Kipo gets a crash course on apocalyptic survival. She soon bands together with other surface dwellers -both human and mutant- on her journey to locate home, her father and the missing people of her underground city."
Weathering with You - In Theaters, January 15
Synopsis:
​"
The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…"
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<![CDATA[Review of Lost in Space: Season Two]]>Mon, 06 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-lost-in-space-season-two
By Dave B.
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In the second season of Lost in Space (Netflix) the Robinson family finds themselves separated from the rest of the colonists, trapped on a world with a methane atmosphere. After the Robinsons bumble their way to a reunion with the rest of their group, they come face to face with a seemingly overwhelming alien enemy as well as purely human threats.
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For the record, I intensely disliked the first season of this show. It was boring, predictable, and filled with infuriatingly bad decision-making by the main characters. Lost in Space’s second season suffers from all of the same problems…at least for the first couple of episodes. After that, the show becomes moderately enjoyable…for the most part. The show maintains high quality visuals, while having a story that is engaging and (mostly) well-paced, if not particularly unique. Best of all, unlike the first season where the main characters were all complete idiots, now they’re just the unluckiest people in the universe and kind of dumb. 
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A big problem with this season of Lost in Space is that although it’s a show about familial love, it’s at its worst when all members of the family are together. Part of this is because few of the family members feel like fully developed characters. Part of it is because certain cast members have palpably less chemistry with each other than others and when the entire family is together, things just feel…off. My biggest gripe however, is that every possible thing that can go wrong for these characters ALWAYS does. At least until the miraculous resolution of whatever improbable problem they face inevitably occurs. Overly bad luck and overly improbable resolutions are annoying individually and disastrous when combined, especially when they happen in every episode, for the entire season.
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In other words, while the plot’s premise is ok, its execution is weak. Season two met my expectation of being better than season one, but mostly because it would have been nearly impossible to be any worse. Clearly, that’s not a high recommendation. If you enjoyed the first season, you’ll probably like this one a bit more. If you despised the first season, the best you can probably look forward to is feeling grudgingly ambivalent about the current one. For what it’s worth, Lost in Space: Season Two has demonstrated improvement and is good enough (just barely) for me to give a potential third installment a chance.
Rating: 5.5/10
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<![CDATA[Review of Shadow]]>Sat, 04 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-shadow
By Dave B.
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In Shadow (2019, currently on Netflix), as three empires battle for control of a strategic city, the commander of one of the empire’s armies challenges a rival to a duel to settle once and for all who the city belongs to. This serves as the opening move in a series of complicated plans that pit the stratagems of a king and a general against the indomitable will of a lowly servant who just wants to return home. 
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On the surface, Shadow is a Mandarin-language political thriller crafted into a piece of visual art. Set in ancient China, the movie is filled with political intrigue, machinations, and maneuverings. But underneath the prevalent political drama that takes place, Shadow spends a significant amount of time examining the importance of identity (both how self-identification and how one is perceived by society) can influence the lives of individuals, groups, and even empires. Having these themes play out in an historical martial arts “epic” is fascinating. Further, Shadow is always stylish, with a motif that consists entirely of a black, white, and gray color scheme that is ever-present.
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But while Shadow is stylish, it isn’t always spectacular. In particular, the movie’s fight choreography is decidedly…understated, bordering on unimpressive. The movie’s story, acting, and overall visual execution are engaging enough that this shouldn’t be a major detriment for most viewers, but those expecting a lot of heart-pounding, gravity-defying action may be a bit disappointed. Further, Western audiences may find Shadow’s ending to be a bit more predictable than it is likely intended to be, especially if they are at all familiar with Shakespearean tragedies.
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Overall, I like Shadow. A lot. Despite it’s 115 minute runtime, at no point did I get bored or restless. And although I thought that a movie with a nearly monochrome color palette would be boring to look at, nothing could be further from the truth in this case. Shadow is a visual treat and despite some minor “flaws”, I highly recommend it, particularly for fans of movies that have complex political intrigue and strong emotional content. Watch Shadow. You’ll like it. 
Rating: 8.5/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: January 3 - January 9]]>Thu, 02 Jan 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-january-3-january-9
By Dave B.
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
The Grudge - In Theaters, January 3
Synopsis:
​"
Once you enter, #TheGrudge will follow you home. Producer Sam Raimi brings us a twisted new take of the horror classic."
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<![CDATA[Review of The Mandalorian]]>Mon, 30 Dec 2019 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-the-mandalorian
By Dave B.
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In The Mandalorian (Disney+), a highly skilled bounty hunter goes rogue after becoming attached to one of his targets. His efforts to flee his pursuers are in vain, forcing him to confront the remnants of the Empire while protecting a child with mysterious powers. 
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I’m fully willing to admit that the problem must be with me, because nearly everyone I’ve spoken to LOVES The Mandalorian. Frankly, I don’t. Up until episode seven of the eight episode season, I wouldn’t have characterized a single episode as any better than “okay”. That’s not to say that I dislike the show. It’s mostly entertaining, it’s Star Wars, and it has Baby Yoda. All positive things. And as long as the action is ongoing, The Mandalorian is a pretty fun watch.
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But when the action lulls, and when I have time to actually think about what I’m watching, the show feels rather hollow. There’s absolutely no nuance to anything. The villains are caricatures of villains. The heroes are crafted a bit better, but for most of the time in most of the episodes, everything is so easy for them. Some random person randomly has the right skill at the right time. Bad guys are inexplicably held up for implausible reasons, allowing a last-minute miraculous save. It gets a bit tiring after a while. And as far as character development goes…well, I’ll just say that I hope season two gives us a little bit more insight into secondary and tertiary characters because season one provides nearly none. 
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My belief, backed up by no evidence whatsoever, is that if The Mandalorian weren’t a Star Wars property, people wouldn’t be anywhere near as enamored with it as they seem to be. Yes, it looks good, with quality special effects and the action sequences are generally well-done. But for now, The Mandalorian is long on style and short on substance. Star Wars fans should definitely check it out, but those with a casual interest in the Star Wars universe can safely give The Mandalorian a pass. 
Rating: 5.5/10
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<![CDATA[Mini-Review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker]]>Sat, 28 Dec 2019 05:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/mini-review-of-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker
By Dave B.
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I’m not going to bother giving you an overview of the plot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s laid out for us all in the first 60 seconds of the 155 minute film. And to some extent, that exemplifies what is wrong with this movie. When you combine the soulless monster that is J.J. Abrams' filmmaking with the soulless monster that is Disney, it’s not surprising that you end up with a soulless film. That’s not to say that The Rise of Skywalker isn’t entertaining, because for the most part, it is. I didn’t start getting really bored until the final 30 minutes of the movie. But it’s entertaining in the sense that it’s fun to watch cool CGI and space battles on a big screen. 
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On any other measure of what makes a movie a good movie, The Rise of Skywalker fails. It doesn’t challenge viewers intellectually, it leaves no emotional impact, and we don’t even get the benefit of witty banter because the dialogue is atrocious (Star Wars films have never been known for well-written dialogue, but it’s still shocking how nearly everything said in The Rise of Skywalker is mindless drivel). Basically, The Rise of Skywalker manages to be mildly entertaining and dull at the same time, which is a feat in and of itself. To anyone who has a strong reaction about this film, whether positive or negative, I would say that you’re probably overreacting. Overall, The Rise of Skywalker​ is a less than spectacular finish to this decades-long Star Wars saga. 
In Short...
Premise: Poor
Execution: Decent (in a limited, technical sense)
Rating: 5/10
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