Gone to the Movies

For the last two days I haven’t spent as much time as I generally do writing. Instead I’ve been doing a lot of reading and when not sitting about with a favorite book, I’ve been catching up on movies I’ve not seen.

And as you’ll see, should you continue reading, I’m way, way behind in this matter…

The first one I watched is “Wind River,” with Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen (she’s gorgeous, by-the-by) and one of my all-time favorites, Graham Greene. I would add Renner to my all-time favorites list if it weren’t for the fact that he keeps playing all sorts of ‘superheroes,’ when he’s a fine actor who doesn’t need ‘special effects.’

The movie opens with the shooting of a pair of coyotes, so if you are against killing predators, I’d skip the first minute or so of this film. Further, if you are radically against gun violence, you’ll also wanna skip the last ten minutes of the show, because it is fairly spot-on.

Personally, I’m against neither, as a predator must be dealt with whether animal or human and it isn’t always pretty. And I love how justice is meted out to the true predator in this film, and in a most unusual manner.

The next flicker I watched is “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” I found myself laughing quite a bit at the inside jokes and one-liners. It also surprised me somewhat to see so many well established actors playing more than simple cameos, though it would have also been cool to see Bruce Willis in it – but alas, he wasn’t.

And while I identify with ‘Rocket’ for the most part, I can’t help but enjoy getting my “Groot” on as well. By the way — ‘groot’ is Dutch for ‘large.’

Plus, I’m always blown away by ex-pro wrestler and MMA fighter Dave Bautista’s acting ability.  He’s as fun to watch as “The Rock” any day.

Finally, and I mean FINALLY – I got to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” This took me back to high school and the year the original Star Wars (now called the “New Hope,” came into theaters.)

The entire story line felt as if it were a part of the original film and made even more so by the CGI appearance of Peter Cushing, whose been dead since 1994. It was also very cool seeing Darth Vader wielding the Light Sabre once again.

It is enjoyable to see a hat-tip to ronin-Samurai Miyamoto Musashi, who in 1612 defeated Sasaki Kojiro, and is considered one of the greatest Samurai in Japan, using ‘a stick,’ he carved while en route to the fight. In the movie, Danny Yen portrays a blind warrior who believes in the force and kicks the crud out of several Stormtroopers using nothing but a ‘bo,’ or fighting staff.

But I must say the biggest surprise was in the ending. It literally took my breath away and I teared up when Carry Fisher, looking exactly as I remember her sigh from my days on the set of “Return of the Jedi,” turned and faced the camera.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me – I have some TV shows needing binge-watching.

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Tom Darby

Former radio personality and newspaper reporter

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