Sep 232018
 

Solo: A Star Wars Story might be unnecessary and it’s also not all that memorable, yet it was entertaining enough for what it is and featured some fun action set-pieces and the performance from Ehrenreich.

 

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story
(2018)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Buena Vista | PG13 – 135 min. – $24.99 | September 25, 2018

Date Published: 09/23/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Ron Howard
Writer(s): George Lucas (characters); Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan (written by)
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Joonas Suotamo, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman, Linda Hunt
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 41.0 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Buena Vista Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


I don’t think it’s anyone’s surprise that once Disney purchased Lucas Films they’d exploit the Star Wars franchise and squeeze whatever they could. And… I don’t really have any issue with that so long as they tell interesting and well written stories. The Force Awakens was a solid enough film that re-introduced audiences to a familiar story while The Last Jedi pissed it all away, though I didn’t quite hate that movie, the issues I did have when I saw it in theaters were glaring the second time around.

Now we get Solo: A Star Wars Story and what is there to say: not very much. It was alright… I guess. The “I guess” is what I thought on almost every aspect of the movie. Alden Ehrenreich was good… I guess. The action was well directed… I guess. Do I recommend it? I guess. In all seriousness, the movie is a fine way to waste a couple of hours and was at least a bit better than I expected.

The film follows a young Han Solo (ALDEN EHRENREICH) living the rough and tough life on Corellia, doing what he can to scrounge up the money (credits) to escape with girlfriend Qi’ra (EMILIA CLARKE). However, Qi’ra is captured while Han manages to get passed the border, vowing to come back for her. With really nowhere to go and thugs on after him, Han enlists with the Imperial Navy and flash forward three years later, he’s on the battlefront with no desire to fight. Han attempts to get in with a group of thieves, led way by Tobias Beckett (WOODY HARRELSON) posing as military officers which only lands him in a mud pit where he meets Chewbacca. They form an alliance and escape and manage to catch up to Beckett and his crew who reluctantly allows them on board his ship.

This gang of thieves is on a mission to steal a valuable refined, but explosive, mineral but it goes awry when a group of marauders (pirates) intercept and in the chase, the minerals fall and are destroyed, and two members of Beckett’s crew, including his wife (THANDIE NEWTON), are killed, leaving himself, Han and Chewie remaining. But now they are in trouble with the mission’s financier, gangster Dryden Vos (PAUL BETTANY). When they meet him, Han discovers Qi’ra in Vos’s “employ” and in order to make up for the lost minerals, Han comes up with a plan to steal unrefined material which then has to be taken to a planet where it can be refined and stabilized, that path leading to the infamous Kessel run. However, before they can do it, they must get a fast ship, leading to the meeting of Lando Calrissian (DONALD GLOVER) and his precious vessel, the Millennium Falcon.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfect fine sci-fi/adventure movie. The visual effects were good and I did appreciate actors Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover not merely doing impressions of their respective counterparts, instead attempted to make the roles their own. The other actors gave decent performances as well, from Woody Harrelson as Solo’s mentor to Emilia Clarke sharing some nice scenes with Ehrenreich.

The movie was directed, mostly, by Ron Howard brought in my producers after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired reportedly due to the tone being too comedic and performances more improvised and deviating away from the Lawrence and son Jonathan Kasdan’s script. As it is, Howard’s direction is okay and does keep an even keeled momentum, and with his experience, seemed to keep the film on course. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the footage Lord/Miller shot…

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This release comes with a glossy and embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable (21:44; HD) finds director Ron Howard and actors Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Emilia Clarke, Paul Bettany Joonas Suotamo and Phoebe Waller-Bridge answering a variety of questions about working on a Star Wars movie.

Kasdan on Kasdan (7:50; HD) is a featurette on Executive Producer/Writer Lawrence Kasdan and working with his son, Jonathan on the script.

Remaking the Millennium Falcon (5:36; HD) takes a look at the design of the iconic ship for this movie.

Escape from Corellia (9:59; HD) breaks down the first chase sequence of the movie.

The Train Hesit (14:30; HD) is on the first mission with Han Solo and Beckett’s crew.

Team Chewie (6:41; HD) is a featurette on our favorite wookie and those around in the crew who made the suit.

Becoming a Droid: L3-37 (5:06; HD) looks at Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the sassy android.

 


VIDEO – 5.0/5


Buena Vista launches Solo: A Star Wars Story onto Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. No surprise here, but the picture looks fantastic throughout with bright and vibrant colors with the various planetary visits and even inside a minty fresh Millennium Falcon.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


While the studio continues to give their 4Ks the newer Dolby Atmos tracks, the Blu-ray is *relegated* to a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which is more than effective with excellent depth throughout each action/race sequence, dialogue levels are crisp coming from the center channel and the fronts and rear channels were generally reserved for the score from John Powell who utilizes some of John Williams’ familiar themes.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story might be unnecessary and it’s also not all that memorable, yet it was entertaining enough for what it is and featured some fun action set-pieces and the performance from Ehrenreich was commendable for not merely trying to imitate Harrison Ford. This Blu-ray release has excellent video/audio transfers and a respectable amount of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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