Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Rebels: This Is The Cartoon Series We've Been Looking For

I just never got into The Clone Wars. I tried, I really did. But the dialogue was so kitschy and the performances stilted and wooden that I couldn't keep on with it whenever I tried to start watching the series.

So I've been poorly the last couple of days and, being stuck in the middle of a Star Wars obsession, I decided to give Star Wars: Rebels a go. I'd watched "Spark of Rebellion" a while ago and I liked it but wasn't blown away.

However having watched the entire first season and the second series opener "The Siege of Lothal". It is nearly perfect. The performances were spot on, the writing smart and witty and the characters interesting.

Ezra is just the right side of "bratty teenage boy". Kanan is just the right side of guilt-ridden reluctant Jedi Master. Hera and Sabine are pretty bad-ass. Zeb is perhaps in need of more fleshing out (he's too "comic-relief" heavy) and Chopper is a loyal, mischievous droid (who has a creepy tendency to seek to harm other droids...).

The Inquisitor was a surprisingly scary villain. His cool and calm evil demeanour was a great tonic to the mood-swings of Sith Lords.

The design nods to Ralph McQuarrie's original work are lovely and it is soooo good having our heroes go up against stormtroopers and Imperial officers.

Overall this is a really solid and entertaining series that adds a lot to the new Star Wars universe.

Sunday, 6 September 2015


Jongens is a Dutch coming of age movie featuring Gijs Blom and Ko Zandvliet. Blom plays Sieger, a teenager living with his Dad and brother and on the running team with Zandvliet's character Marc.

Marc is gay and Sieger... well he's "questioning". They slowly fall in love. It is the usual sweet story with the usual bumps in the road. It is shot really well with a great soundtrack and some really good acting which moves it up above the vast crowd of such movies out there.

It isn't perfect however. Some of the actions of the characters don't come over very realistically (Sieger's father picks up Sieger's brother from the police station for joy-riding and by the end of the day has given him a brand new motorbike, for example!). And Sieger's character makes some odd decisions (like arranging a date with Marc, ditching it then fighting with Marc when they cross paths later that evening). But overall it is a really lovely little movie with a good portrayal of those exciting post-pubescent years.

Of course Blom being drop-dead gorgeous helped somewhat too.