Postcards from the Edge vs Postcards from the Edge

Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher – Book Review

Upon the recent and tragic passing of the wonderful Carrie Fisher, I decided to revisit some of her writing, and first up was Postcards from the Edge. What a wonderful book – fabulous sarcasm wrapped up in self-doubt and the wondrous world of Hollywood in the eighties. It’s mostly told from the point of view of Suzanne Vale, an actress who has a drug issue and is facing reaching her thirties in the middle of a superficial world.

It’s a great read – a quick read, spaced out like a series of vignettes, almost a semi formed book. But what confused me, and made me really want to watch the film is the fact that Suzanne’s mother is mentioned once, maybe twice in the book, but yet is part of the poster for the film – how was this film translated from the book?

Postcards from the Edge (1990) – Film Review

Fisher has taken the key storyline of her novel, Suzanne Vale’s recovery from drug addiction and added in a whole lot of her mother. And with Meryl Streep playing Suzanne and Shirley MacLaine playing her mother, how could you not want more of them! These two women know comedy, and they know drama, and they know that both come playing it real, and even when being over the top. It’s funny and sad and crazy and fabulous.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) Film Review


It’s many years later. Darth Vader and the Emperor and the Dark Side are all gone. Now, there is The First Order. Ruled by a mysterious creature, but still using a huge bunch of Storm Troopers and with a dude with a mask and cape quite similar to Darth Vader. But there is hope, there is a still a resistance, still with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) at the helm. Then there are other good folks who get drawn in – the absolutely delightful Finn (John Boyega), the gutsy and fabulous Rey (Daisy Ridley), the far too handsome pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and they manage to bring back Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), both as kick arse as ever.

After disliking or, at the very lease, being totally disinterested, about the Star Wars films for so long, I didn’t want to see this. Then reviews started coming in saying that it was pretty darned good, and I started to have a slight interest. And then I went and saw it and LOVED IT! What a surprise. It was fun and funny and spectacular. Mind you, I’m not keen on seeing it again, because I suspect that is one of my problems with rewatching the first films too many times – when I knew what was coming, I was far less interesting. Not knowing what was going to happen was awesome, and then there were a lot of things that were just about nods to the past. And that was nice, too.


Star Wars : Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) Film Review


The last of the original trilogy. And I have to say that watching the three of these films almost back to back have made me less hateful. No, I wasn’t hateful. I was indifferent. No, I think now I am indifferent. Previously, I was disliking. Now, I totally see what people love it so much, but it ain’t my cup of tea.

What didn’t I like? Well, I think the problem with no seeing it over a gap of several years means I didn’t really see the character development happening, especially of Luke. It feels as though one second he is a young fool and the next a wise Jedi (or close to) and, despite several films of plot development, I didn’t feel that I’d seen him grow. Also, if the Emperor was that easy to get rid of, why hadn’t they? And seriously, how quickly can you rebuild a Death Star? Like, months? Surely, it should have been decades or longer. Oh, I also didn’t like the ewoks.

What did I like? I liked all the action in the forest. And while a lot of it was really spoilt by the terrible acting and heavy-handed clue giving, treating the audience like fools, it was still pretty. Actually, there wasn’t much more I really liked about it. But I guess the characters had kind of grown on me, and I was glad to see all ended well. Now, the new one? Well, goodness only knows what I’ll think of that.

Return of the Jedi won Oscars for Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Effects – Sound Effects Editing and Best Music – Original Score.


Star Wars : Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Film Review


Okay, so this is the post Star Wars world. And just because things are going well, doesn’t mean that things will continue to go well, and things are now not going well for our heroes. I must admit, I don’t remember the details of this film nearly as much as I remembered Star Wars. Still, not loving this film, but not hating it.

What did I not like? Oh, dear, the acting. Mark Hamill is a lot better in this film, but overall, jeepers, it’s all so terrible and heavy-handed and yawn. Plus, could the scooby gang be any cheesier? What did I like? The ice planet was pretty cool. And there were some cool fight scenes.

The Empire Strikes Back won Oscars for Best Sound and Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction – Set Design and Best Music – Original Score.

Star Wars : Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) Film Review


So, over the last few years, I’ve allowed myself to admit something that brings shame to any self-respecting Gen X geek such as myself; I don’t like Star Wars. And no, I’m not just talking about the apparently god-awful prequels, because I believe I have only seen a part of one of those. No, the original. And I’ve avoided re-watching because I have little interest.

And now, there is apparently another Star Wars film that is, this time, quite good. And I’ve been sucked in to going to see it. And so, I need to revisit the first ones. Because apart from all the usual spoilers, all I really remember clearly are the trash compactor scene, flying through the woods and um, oh, the dead bodies of Luke’s aunt and uncle.

I’m not going to do a plot summary; it’s about wars that happen in the stars. There’s other stuff you should know, but just watch it.

Was it as bad as I remember? Look, no. But I still didn’t like it. I found the acting absolutely appalling, the story quite tedious and I had little interest in the world I was shown. What did I like? The humour – between Han (Harrison Ford) and C3P0 (Anthony Daniels), there are a lot of fun lines. Um, that’s pretty much it. I understand why people love it. I can see the elements that would make it loved and I get why people want to watch it over and over again, and share with their kids and all that. Just… not me. Thanks, though.

Star Wars won Oscars for Best Art Direction – Set Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Effects – Visual Effects, Best Music – Original Score and for Sound Effects, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Alec Guiness), Best Director (George Lucas) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (George Lucas).