Linda and Al Lerner review “Upgrade” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” on Movies and Shakers

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UPGRADE

Want a romp through the big, bold sci fi action thrillers of the 80’s? This is it. Despite the hefty, bloody body count, it’s surprisingly more entertaining than we expected. Think Terminator meets RoboCop with a dash of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

This origin story begs you to compare Han and Lando to the classic Lucas movies and characters. Do Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover stand up to your expectations of the legendary heroes played by Harrison Ford and Billie Dee Williams? There’s action and entertainment here, but, sadly, we think they fall short.

Alden Ehrenreich had big shoes to fill. Ford showed his edgy side surprising Ehrenreich during an interview sternly kidding, “Get out of my seat. Get out of my life!” Ehrenreich is adorable but we were looking for that more edgy Solo. In this film, young Han had already been through enough suffering to have more attitude, but we didn’t see that in his character. We don’t see this plucky kid get beyond his cuteness and his luck. We did like the initial car chase in that beat-up hover vehicle slipping and sliding through narrow rotting urban landscape. It honors Lucas’ love of cars, especially with a pair of lucky dice hanging from the mirror.

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