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Logan Lucky (VOD) - Feb 3
Director: Steven Soderbergh

Main Stars: Channing Tatum, Katie Holmes, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig

Rating: 3.5 out 5

Jimmy Logan (Tatum) just got fired from his job as his undeclared limp has made him a company liability. On the same day he finds out from his ex-wife (Holmes) that she's taking his kid and moving and that he doesn't have the money to legally stop her. Desperate to come up with the cash he hatches a plan to rob the local speedway with his one armed brother (Driver). He even drafts a 'Rules For Robbing A Bank' to-do list he tapes to his fridge - there's just one catch, the guy they need to blow the safe is already in prison and first they'll need to bust him out. Think of this as a poor man's or redneck Ocean's 11 complete with daisy dukes and NASCAR races. I remember seeing the advertisements for this when it came out and thinking it looked like an interesting and quirky film. Sadly it doesn't quite live up to the quirkiness of even the least Coen brothers offering. Still, Adam Driver is slowly but surely growing on me as an actor and it's refreshing to see Daniel Craig doing something other than James Bond, with an American accent no less! Throw in some trashy stereotypical southern hotties (one of which is Elvis Presley's granddaughter) along with female favourite Tatum and you have an entertaining enough but ultimately forgettable flick. Director Soderbergh came out of a self imposed retirement to helm this and it's good to see him back as I've always enjoyed his films.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Theatre) - Jan 14
Director: Rian Johnson

Main Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac

Rating: 4 out 5

After six previous films I'm assuming there's no need for a storyline summary so I'll just dive in. It's a dark time for the rebellion...ok I admit while watching the iconic scroll my first reaction was a bit of an eye roll as the story sounded awfully familiar - especially after the previous installment which felt more like a remake of the first film than a sequel. But once I stopped nitpicking and went with the flow I found myself quickly getting sucked into the universe which delighted me as a child and even today as a jaded adult still occasionally sends a shiver of excitement through me. I'll say this up front that I found it to be much more enjoyable than The Force Awakens which for me had a number of serious shortcomings. Performance wise Hamill is terrific, I got over my misgivings of Adam Driver from before and enjoyed him immensely here, and even the late Carrie Fisher while thankfully having a much bigger part this time felt much more settled into the role. It terms of technical's it looks and sounds like what you'd expect from a Star Wars film - a relentless visual and sonic assault on the senses. There are a few things that bugged me - a WTF?!?!? Mary Poppins in Space moment, an overly long runtime (an entire side story could easily have been cut), and a huge gap in logic concerning a mutiny - but one can mostly overlook them for the bigger picture. Loved by critics and savaged by fans in an unusual reversal from the norm, I personally thought it was great and outside the original trilogy the best film in the long running series. May the Force be with you!