Kevin: CJ you checked out “Solo,” appropriately enough, by yourself this weekend, and it sounds like you did not have much company since the box office numbers were the biggest embarrassment Disney faced this week until Roseanne said “hold my beer.” I was still kind of interested in seeing the film despite the fact that it had no reason to exist other than to make money (which it failed to do), but for some ungodly reason you got tickets for the 8:00 a.m. Sunday show at the Alamo Drafthouse, and I would have felt weird having my third beer of the movie before many people were even getting to church. So since I was not there, I have a few questions:
So what were your overall impressions? Did seeing Han Solo in his earlier days give you a greater appreciation for the character we already loved, or like most of the “Star Wars” properties of late, is this another film that we are going to have to pretend never existed in order to still enjoy the original trilogy?
CJ: First of all, there were like five people in my theater. I severely overestimated the demand for this movie.
Second, I am maybe the one man in America who actually doesn’t care for any of the “Star Wars” movies, so I didn’t have any real expectations going in on what I wanted to see. And it probably hurt me, as I’m sure I missed many Easter eggs.
However, seeing the movie gave me a greater appreciation for what Harrison Ford brings when he’s not always high on weed and actually puts some thought into this character. It also gave me a greater appreciation for knowing when to just leave something be. I don’t need to know why everything is something. I’m fine with the Ford version of Solo without explaining why he does what he does. He’s a charming tough guy, I don’t need a backstory of him getting beat up in school or anything.
How was Alden Ehrwhatever’s performance as Han? I don’t envy the casting director trying to find someone who can fill Harrison Ford’s shoes, but do you remember when they were at one time considering guys like Dave Franco and Scott Eastwood? WTF!
CJ: I’ll put it this way, and I can’t believe I’m gonna say this: I would have liked to see what Dave Franco would have done!
That’s how bad Alden is. He is that guy who goes on and on about how much research he did, practicing how to portray Solo, reading up on the psychology of these antiheros, and then you see the movie and think “and you evidently chose to keep what you learned to yourself.”
Now while Donald Glover is a national treasure and everyone was anticipating that he would steal the show as Lando, I was still skeptical because his casting seemed to indicate his take would be sort of an ironic parody of the character. I would have rather seen someone a little closer to Billy Dee Williams in both seriousness and style, like Anthony Mackie perhaps. Or to put it another way, Donald Glover is to Billy Dee Williams as Eddie Deezen is to Warren Beatty.
Sorry to pop your bubble Kev, but Glover (along with Paul Bettany as the main villain) is one of the only bright spots in this movie. He sounds just enough like Billy Dee, without being a caricature of him, that you realize Glover is the only person who realized that if you play a younger/older version of a previously established character, their voice and looks don’t wildly swing all over the place.
Also, according to a throwaway comment by screenwriter Jon Kasdan, apparently Lando is now pansexual. I’m guessing there is zero indication of that in the film, unless I’m wrong and there are a lot of scenes of Lando fucking men, robots, and maybe that grotesque Maz character who implied that Justin Theroux was good in bed during “The Last Jedi.” Also, I have a feeling Billy Dee might have a different opinion on whether the character he played was supposed to be anything other than a stone cold intergalactic ladies man.
The movie doesn’t really hint at this. At one point his version of C-3PO says he is in love with her, but it’s played as a cocky joke, similar to everything Danny McBride says.
Emilia Clarke. Did no one involved in this movie see how bad she was in “Terminator: Genysis” when they cast her? Also, I saw an interview where she described her character as “badass,” which I think every actress starring in an action/sci-fi film is legally required to do in this day and age.
She’s terrible in this, but her character does have some skills that are fighty. But that would mean spoilers.
Did we get really stupid and unnecessary explanations for how the following things became a part of Han’s character and backstory?
1) His blaster.
I think Woody Harrelson throws it to him in a battle cause he needed a gun.
2) His vest.
Don’t remember that one.
3) Making the Kessel Run.
It’s not a race! I always assumed it was a race! Instead he kinda just re-enacts Will Smith trying to escape the alien mothership in “Independence Day,” except he also stops to look at a map.
4) His association with Jabba.
5) Shooting first.
6) How he can understand Chewie.
He said something about learning it in school. He’s pretty bad at it. Although they never explain how Chewie knows English.
6) How Han apparently grew several inches between this movie and “A New Hope”?
They wanted to explain the FUN things Kevin. Not the plot things. Go back to your mom’s basement nerd!
Now we all know the problems this movie had in production, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller being fired well into filming and Ron Howard taking over. With “Justice League” it was pretty obvious in some parts on what came from Joss Whedon in reshoots. Is there anything here that seems obviously left over from Lord and Miller, or did they effectively remove any semblance of a personality behind the camera? Also, if this is what they wanted, why the fuck didn’t they just hire Howard originally and save $80 million in reshoots?
I mean, these guys have directed the “Jump Street” movies, “The Lego Movie,” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” so, like, no one turned into brightly colored animation and Jonah Hill didn’t show up making dick jokes.
Wait a minute, now I’m confused, why are these guys considered “geniuses” who were unfairly thrown off this movie?
Also, remember when they announced plans for a Boba Fett movie to be directed by James Mangold right before “Solo” came out? Isn’t it pretty obvious at this point that when a studio does this it’s because it is trying to project false confidence in the face of a potential bomb? For instance, the studios behind “The Green Lantern,” “The Fantastic Four,” and “Baywatch” all announced sequels for those films before they came out, and yet weirdly we are still waiting on them. Also, who the hell cares about Boba Fett, he was just a guy with a cool costume.
Years ago Patton Oswalt had a famous bit on going back in time to kill George Lucas because he took cool things people loved from “Star Wars” and destroyed whatever magic they held. Fast forward to now and basically no one listened to Patton, as we are getting more of the same. Frankly, my version of “Solo” would be him just being Dylan from “90210,” throwing his peen in every space lady that he saw and then not calling them back. One day he finds Lando at an orgy, they laugh, they have some cigars, and that is about it. And I don’t know, he gets Chewie from a no-kill shelter or something.
I’ll end by noting that it was just a few weeks ago that we were told that “Solo” was selling more advance tickets than “Black Panther,” and that after “owning” the first half of May with “Avengers: Infinity War,” Disney was now going to own the second half with “Solo.” Not sure what happened to all those supposed ticket buyers who were apparently so eager to see “Solo,” unless Thanos snapped his fingers and made most of them disappear.