Tag Archives: ‘Star Wars’

At the movies: The Top 10 of 2017

10. “The Greatest Showman” A lot of critics hated it, but I loved it. Hugh Jackman is in his element in this feel-great (albeit not historically accurate) movie about circus impresario P.T. Barnum.

9. “Coco” Disney-Pixar dazzles once more in the colorful spectacle the honors the traditions of family, music and paying respects to the deceased. The film expertly captures emotions across the board.

8. “War for the Planet of the Apes” The perfect ending to one of best movie series reboots ever. Andy Serkis is stellar in his motion capture performance as Caesar, in a medium that he has almost singlehandedly defined.

Hear Tim’s take on the year’s top 5 films with Tom Barnard on “The KQ92 Morning Show” (segment begins 9 minutes in).

7. “Logan” Hugh Jackman finally gets his wish and delivers a hard-edged, R-rated story of Wolverine, a swan song to the character flanked by brilliant performances by Patrick Stewart and newcomer Dafne Keen, and expert direction by James Mangold.

6. “The Disaster Artist” James Franco is otherworldly as the director and star in this bizarre opus about Tommy Wiseau, a mysterious film star wannabe with deep pockets who self-finances what many dubbed the “Citizen Kane of Bad Movies” — a film that went on to become the midnight movie cult classic “The Room.”

5. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” The eighth film in the Skywalker family saga not only captures the tone of the original “Star Wars” films, it elevates the franchise to a whole new level with unexpected plot turns and developments by writer-director Rian Johnson. After his stunning debut at the helm of “Episode VII,” it will be exciting to see what Johnson creates for the upcoming fourth “Star Wars” trilogy.

4. “I, Tonya” Several critics have called this movie “The ‘Goodfellas’ of figure skating,” and it couldn’t be more on the mark. Often told from a first-person perspective that breaks the fourth wall, Tonya Harding (brilliantly realized by Margot Robbie), should finally feel vindicated after becoming the most hated woman in America after the infamous Nancy Kerrigan leg-rapping incident before the 1994 Winter Olympics.

3. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” The power trio of Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell gather to realize writer-director Martin McDonagh’s riveting yet darkly comedic tale about a woman who harasses local law enforcement when they fail for years to yield any leads in her daughter’s murder case.

Gary Oldman Darkest Hour

2. “Darkest Hour” Gary Oldman gives a career performance as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in riveting historical tale recalling how Churchill stood up to all detractors as Hitler’s forces came dangerously close to seizing all of Europe and changing the face of history forever. If Oldman isn’t awarded a Best Actor Oscar for this, the Motion Picture Academy will have lost all its credibility.

1. “The Shape of Water” Guillermo del Toro meticulously constructs the most fascinating tale of the year, which feels like an homage to “Creature from the Black Lagoon” yet ventures into uncharted waters by playing up the romantic angle between two central characters that was never fully realized in the 1954 classic. Featuring affecting performances by Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins, along with an iconic turn by Doug Jones as the filmmaker’s version of the gill-man, “The Shape of Water” is easily del Toro’s best.

Honorable mentions: “Dunkirk,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Wonder Woman,” “Loving Vincent,” “Thank You for Your Service,” “IT,” “Split,” “Alien: Covenant,” “Baby Driver,” “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Tim Lammers reviews movies weekly for The KQ92 Morning Show,” “KARE 11 News at 11” (NBC), “The Tom Barnard Podcast” and “The BS Show” with Bob Sansevere.

Review: Rian Johnson brings balance to The Force with ‘The Last Jedi’


AUDIO: Tim reviews “The Last Jedi” on the “KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard. Segment beings 7 minutes in.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (PG-13)

Writer-director Rian Johnson expertly creates the unexpected in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the eighth chapter in the Skywalker family space saga conceived by George Lucas 40 years ago. Naturally, after seven “Star Wars” films (eight, if you include last year’s spinoff, “Rogue One”), the environment is going to feel familiar at the outset of “The Last Jedi,” but the minute that Rey (Daisy Ridley) completes the stirring scene that started at the conclusion of “The Force Awakens” and hands the long-exiled Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) his lightsaber, the unexpected takes hold and all bets are off.

Although virtually no time has passed between the end of “The Force Awakens” and beginning of “The Last Jedi,” the celebration of the Resistance after blowing up the First Order’s Death Star-like Starkiller Base is short-lived. The base, while massive, is only one component of the First Order’s cache of weapons, and its stranglehold on the Resistance has reached a critical point.

With virtually nowhere else to turn, Rey must convince Luke to come out of hiding to help the Resistance before its too late, but Luke’s more fearful of Rey’s Jedi powers and that they may lead her do

wn the same dark path as his former student and nephew, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – the former Ben Solo and son of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and General Leia (Carrie Fisher). Meanwhile, Kylo’s powers are growing as he’s continued his training under the vengeful alien Supreme Leader Snoke (motion capture by Andy Serkis), and their resolve to capture Luke is drawing closer to a reality until Rey marches forth to thwart their plans.

In addition to Hamill, “The Last Jedi” features an expanded role for Fisher, who sadly passed away last year after she completed her work on the film. Because of that, Johnson stayed the course and didn’t alter Leia’s storyline, yet given the circumstances, her dialogue in “The Last Jedi” takes on a deeper meaning and is all the more poignant.

Despite that dark cloud hanging over the film, “The Last Jedi” has a wide range of emotions, from euphoria to dread, with lots of moments of levity in-between. There’s a lot of welcome humor in the film, and a lot of times it comes from the characters you wouldn’t expect. That includes from the new cuddly creatures the Porgs, the inhabitants on Luke’s remote planet in a galaxy far, far away, who are destined to become favorites of fans of all ages.  In the end, “The Last Jedi” is a perfectly blended mix of action, intrigue, humor and emotion, easily making it the best film in the series since “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980.

It’s hard to say where the franchise will go from here with one episode in the Skywalker family saga left, but for the time being, there’s no question that Johnson has brought balance to The Force with “The Last Jedi.”

Lammometer: 9.5 (out of 10)

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At the movies: Top 10 of 2016 (and worst)

From comedy, drama and mystery to action, animation and adventure, 2016 produced a lot of great movies from several different genres. But perhaps the best came from true-life historical tales that haven’t been unearthed for the masses until now.  Find out what the best of the best were in this look at the top movies from last year.

10. “The Finest Hours” An incredible true story of a Coast Guard member’s (Chris Pine) act of selflessness over selfishness – a heartening tale from the 1950s that has amazingly been lost at sea until now.

9. “Kubo and the Two Strings” Laika’s latest and greatest – this time about a boy’s mystical quest in ancient Japan – is a stop-motion masterpiece.

8. “Fences” Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are a powerhouse duo in the big-screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

7. “Deadpool” Ryan Reynolds redefines the superhero genre with a bombastic, laugh-out-loud R-rated look at the origins of the Merc with a Mouth.

6. “Nocturnal Animals” Writer-director Tom Ford takes a big step away from the fashion world with an ultra-intense story within a story about lost love and revenge.

5. “Eye in the Sky” Helen Mirren is a force to be reckoned with and Alan Rickman takes his final bow with grace in this heart wrenching war drama about a dilemma surrounding a pending drone strike.

4. “Manchester by the Sea” Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams deliver two of the best performances of the year in this heartbreaking family drama where a man is forced to return to his hom

etown and must confront his tragic past in the process.

3. “Hell or High Water” Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster command your attention throughout in this smart, intense crime thriller about a pair of bank robbing brothers on a collision course with an aging Texas Ranger.

2. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” The best “Star Wars” film since “The Empire Strikes Back” cleverly fills in the gaps between “Episodes III” and “Episode IV,” with a prequel about how exactly rebels stole the plans to the Death Star.

1. “Hacksaw Ridge” Director Mel Gibson has created an enduring masterpiece with this compelling true story of forgotten World War II hero Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a battle medic who single-handedly saved 75 soldiers, one by one, in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. An inspiring, in-depth look at Doss — the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor – “Hacksaw Ridge” not only best film of the year but maybe the best film in years, and its message of courage, selflessness and sacrifice will echo for generations.

Honorable mentions: There are at least a dozen other films worthy of praise, including “Sully,” “Moana,” “Finding Dory,” “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “Don’t Breathe,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “The BFG,” “Jackie,” “The Jungle Book,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Patriots Day.”

Worst of 2016: The 10 worst films of 2016, in no particular order: “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Office Christmas Party,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Blair Witch,” “Keanu,” “Zoolander 2,” “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Warcraft” and bonus pick, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” (wife’s pick).

Most overrated of 2016: Most critics loved these movies, but I simply didn’t get the fascination: “La La Land,” “Arrival,” “Midnight Special.”

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Movie reviews: ‘Rogue One,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘Office Christmas Party,’ ‘Nocturnal Animals’ on KQRS

Click the audio player below for Tim Lammers’ reviews of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “La La Land” on “The KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard.

Also, visit KARE 11 for Tim Lammers’ reviews of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “La La Land” on “KARE 11 News at 11” with Adrienne Broaddus.

Click the audio player below for Tim Lammers’ reviews of “Office Christmas Party” and “Nocturnal Animals” on “The KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard.