CLONE WARS LEAVING NETFLIX MARCH 7TH.

Well, this one is a bummer.  I re-watched the series a year ago, but it was good to know it was available to grab whenever I wanted it.  If you haven’t watched the show, I heartily recommend watching it while you still can.  Clone Wars was a wonderful series that did a masterful job of expanding the world of the Prequels and improving them in myriad ways, most particularly in the characterization of Anakin.  And of course it introduced Ahsoka, one of my favorite characters, into the franchise.

Clone Wars was very hit and miss, though.  As an anthology series featuring a wide cast of characters, we would often go nearly half a season at a time without a featured role from one of the three leads (Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka).  It had incredible episodes, and it had terrible episodes.  Since the series quickly adopted a four episode serial format, there were some protracted periods of bad episodes.  So if you haven’t seen the show before, you can skip a vast swath of the episodes without missing a beat.

Here’s my own recommended viewing list:

-First 20 minutes of the Theatrical Movie introducing Ashoka.  (The theatrical movie was actually four episodes strung together, the pilot and a three partner.  You can skip the three parter.)

-1X1 Ambush: Yoda’s only starring episode until the series finale

-1X2-3-4 Malevolence Trilogy: great retro feeling story starring Grevious and a super-weapon

-1X22-2X1-2-3 Introduces Cad Bane

-2X5-6-7-8 Landing at Point Rain, Geonosis Trilogy

-2X12-13-14 The Mandalore Plot: introduces Mandalorians, Satine, Deathwatch

-2X20-21-22 Death Trap: introduces Boba Fett

-3X12-13-14 Nightsisters: introduces Nightsisters and Savage Oppress

-3X15-16-17 Mortis Trilogy: IF YOU WATCH ANYTHING WATCH THIS

-3X21-22 Wookie Hunt: introduces Chewbacca

-4X7-8-9-10 Umbara Arc: a cruel Jedi commander goes dark

-4X19-20-21-22-5X1 Darth Maul Returns

-5X2-3-4-5 Onderon Arc: introduces Saw Gerrera

-5X14-15-16 Darth Maul on Mandalore

-5X17-18-19-20 Wrong Jedi:  Ahsoka’s departure from the series

-6X1-2-3-4 Order 66 Arc: Clones discover the existence of their programming

-6X10-11-12-13 Yoda Arc: Yoda learns important new truths about the Force and the future

If you consider yourself a Star Wars fan, you owe it yourself to experience this series.  Like Rebels, it’s 100% canon.  And if you just want to watch a single arc, watch the Mortis Trilogy.  That information will probably be important later on.

MOVIE ROUND UP:

SPLIT.  (IN THEATERS NOW!)  It’s hard to discuss this movie without spoiling things, so I’ll be extremely vague.  This was M. Night’s best movie since Signs back in 2002.  Really the first one from him I’ve enjoyed since then.  James McAvoy was masterful  at playing a variety of different personalities.  It’s a shame he didn’t get an Oscar nomination.  The suspense and mystery of what “Kevin” is doing and why was very engrossing, as was trying to figure out the inevitable MNS twist.  I won’t say anything about the twist except to say the ending was very solid and I look forward to seeing his next movie, something I haven’t said in a decade.

INFERNO.  While it was sufficiently entertaining, I would definitely call this the weakest of the three Robert Langdon movies.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but the movie had a major change from the book that completely ruined the entire purpose of the story for me.  Bonus points for co-starring Felicity Jones though!

JACK REACHER 2.  I didn’t care for the first one, and I found the sequel even more forgettable, despite Cobie Smulders being the co-lead.  I just don’t enjoy seeing Tom Cruise in a small military conspiracy style story with no humor and little action.  And I generally love Tom Cruise movies (note I said movies, and not his personal life!).  It’s like NCIS without the comic relief.