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Blu-ray Review; ROGUE ONE
Movie review: GHOST IN THE SHELL (2017)
DVD Review: DEATH RACE 2050
PHOTOGRAPHY

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAIL:  133 minutes, featurettes, DVD, digital HD copy

VIDEO: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HD MA (blu-ray), English 5.1 Dolby Digital (DVD), French 5.1 DD, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO: Lucasfilm/ Walt Disney Pictures

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 12-16-2016

Blu-ray DVD RELEASE DATE: 4-5-2017

ROGUE ONE is the first of the STAR WARS anthology films and it acts as a prequel/ side story to STAR WARS Episode IV: A NEW HOPE.   It is the story of how a band of rebels were able to steal the plans to the Death Star.  It starts with Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) being taken away by the Empire to build their ultimate weapon known as the Death Star.  He leaves behind his daughter Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) who grows up to be captured by the Empire (who are unaware of her identity), but she is rescued by the Alliance (aka the Rebels) because they want her help to talk with an extremist rebel who has contact with a pilot who defected form the Empire that has a message from Jyn’s father.   Jyn and a group of rebels band together after some of them witness the destructive power of the Death Star in what may be a suicide mission to get the plans which details a weakness that Jyn’s father has built into the design of the Death Star.

 

ROGUE ONE shows the high cost of the rebellion and what one must do to help bring down the Empire.   It is the darker side of the Alliance where the original trilogy shows the more heroic side of the story.   ROGUE ONE is the war movie which is equal parts Dirty Dozen and The Wild Bunch compared to the space opera scope of the original trilogy many grew up with years ago.  Plenty of Easter eggs and appearances from familiar characters (including Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, General Dodanna) liter this STAR WARS movie in addition to mixing it with humor and character development.  You might know the end result, but ROGUE ONE is more about the journey instead of the end.   Epic battles and action scenes are scattered throughout this movie as it saves the best for last on the planet of Scarif.  The black stormtroopers are a great addition along with some other variations.   The Jedis are becoming myth with introducing a Jedi Temple and the former guardians of the temple which include a blind swordsman (think Zatochi) who is sensitive to the Force.    ROGUE ONE expands on the universe created by George Lucas and Gareth Edwards delivers a much more solid movie than his previous directorial effort GODZILLA. Michael Giacchino delivers a score that fits in and honors the music of John Williams (who has composed the music for the seven films in the STAR WARS saga) while the production design is right on target with the other STAR WARS movies.   Fans of the other films will love some or all of ROGUE ONE, but you have to remember this movie isn’t for little kids as it is a little darker than some of the other movies.   All the detail that has went into this movie will reward people on repeat viewings.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

THE STORIES:

A ROGUE IDEA- the genesis of the idea for the movie and the development process for ROGUE ONE

JYN: THE REBEL- a focus on the character of Jyn

CASIAN: THE SPY- the story turns it to focus on Casian

K-2SO: THE DROID- a look at the character of K-2SO with some behind-the-scenes footage

BAZE & CHIRRUT: GUARDIANS OF THE WHILLS- a featurette on the two Asian actors and the characters they play

BODHI & SAW: THE PILOT & THE REVOLUTIONARY- a featurette on the Imperial pilot turned rebel and the extremist rebel Saw

THE EMPIRE- a look at the various characters of the Empire in the movie including Darther Vader, Tarkin, and Imperial Director Orson Krennic

VISIONS OF HOPE: THE LOOK OF ROGUE ONE- the production design and visual look of the prequel anthology movie

THE PRINCESS & THE GOVERNOR- how they used actors and visual effects to put Tarkin and Princess Leia in the movie

EPILOGUE; THE STORY CONTINUES- behind-the-scenes of the movie premiere, but they should have touched on the upcoming Han Solo movie and Episode VIII- THE LAST JEDI.

 

ROGUE CONNECTIONS- a featurette on a few of the Easter Eggs that diehard Star Wars fans will spot references to other parts of the universe and other stories, but not all Easter Eggs are revealed in this brief featurette

 

The movie in standard definition on DVD and a code to download and/or stream ROGUE ONE in HD

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  I love ROGUE ONE despite its flaws in the third act, but this blu-ray isn’t complete in the extras department as the featurettes hint at the making of the movie while leaving out the various theatrical trailers, two featurettes (which are a Target exclusive), TV spots, concept and production galleries, an audio commentary, and the missing deleted scenes that were shown in various trailers.  I have a bad feeling about this that says there is a double dip coming our way in time for the new STAR WARS movie (THE LAST JEDI) when it hits theaters this December.

 

This review is 4-10-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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