The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Four Stars)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (Three and a bit Stars)
It was an entertainment sort of weekend. A play on Friday night, a movie date with Jonella on
Saturday night and a family movie with Blarney, Barney and the boys for birthday treats on Sunday.
So there was a bit of cultural overload.
The two films couldn't be more different. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a British film starring Lily James and Matthew Goode.
The plot is fairly simple. Juliet (Lily James) is a writer on the rise in post-war London. Her books are going gangbusters and she has been asked by the The Times to write about England post war. She receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams (Michel Huisman) who has come into possession of one of her books and the two start a conversation. Dawsey tells her of the trials and tribulations of the people of Guernsey during the occupation. There is a bit of romance and some intrigue and some glorious settings. This is a movie you go to with your Mum.
What stood out for me is how well the Brits do these war stories. The Brits are a resilient mob and the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society have bucket loads of resilience, from the down to earth Dawsey, The plucky Elizabeth (Jessica Brown Findlay), the dippy Isola (Katherine Parkinson), the be-leagued Amelia (Penelope Wilton) and the stalwart postmaster, Eben (Tom Courtney). The five make an inspirational team as the navigate living under German occupation.
The setting of the Guernsey is stunning as well.
Jonella and I loved it in equal measure - again, it's a great movie to go to on a Sunday afternoon with your Mum. I'd happily see it again - but then, I'm a sucker for English films.
I wish I could say the same for Solo: A Star Wars Story. I'm not saying I hated it - I was just a little underwhelmed by it all. This one didn't gel with me as much as the other Star Wars films have done in the past. Rogue One, in particular, was fantastic. The Force Awakens was also great.
Solo has the standard Star Wars plot ie: Oh-ah must escape a bad situation and fly across the galaxy, oh-ah, the baddies are everywhere, oh-ah once again good overcomes evil. It also has the well loved characters, which I think is its saving grace.
Well that is it in a nutshell. There were some great things about the movie - the droid, L3-37 is very, very funny. Alden Ehrenreich is very good as the juvenile Han Solo.
The movie does give a good view of Han Solo before he met Princess Leia and her tribe of Rebels. A punk and a street kid, he tries to become an Imperial pilot, but his mouth appears to get in the way.
Woody Harrelson is good as Tobias Beckett, but he isn't overly stretched.
The film has some really good bits to it. We find out how Han and Chewbacca met. We find out how Han came to take possession of the Millennium Falcon. We also found out a bit more about the Empire and it's early days. And we now get why Lando Calrissian doesn't like Han Solo that much. (My comment to Barney during the film - isn't he the guy who ends up headless - I think I've muddled up my Star Wars characters.
But this film doesn't have the pace or the heart of other Star Wars films - the direction feels heavy handed - and at times, it feels a bit preachy - but think that of the last Star Wars film.
The other person who got up my nose was Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra - Han's love interest. She just didn't ring true and came across as rather annoying.
In all, not a bad venture, but unlike other Star Wars films, I don't feel the need to rush back to see it again. It's an okay film - just nothing to write home about. For me, it fell a bit flat.