Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke
Release Date: September 25, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Strap in tight for another out of this world adventure in a galaxy far, far away. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ takes us back and accompanies a young Han Solo (Ehrenreich) as he finds a way to escape his futureless home planet of Corellia and sets off on a series of adventures that would eventually lead him to becoming the legendary hero known throughout the galaxy. Including Han’s first meeting with his faithful Wookie co-pilot and partner Chewbacca (Suotamo), the lessons taught by his indirect mentor (Harrelson) and his first awkward interactions with the smooth talking scoundrel Lando Calrissian (Glover) and his beloved ship the Millennium Falcon.
Directed (at least primarily after numerous reshoots, etc.) by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code) from a screenplay co-written by Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi & The Force Awakens) and his son Jonathan Kasdan (The First Time, TV’s Dawson’s Creek), Howard does a pretty great job at the helm of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ guiding along the gorgeous and amusing fun with ease and largely capturing the heart and tone of the universe. The film also owes a decent share of the credit to the more than capable individuals that comprise the cast including Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!), Woody Harrelson (War for the Planet of the Apes), Emilia Clarke (TV’s Game of Thrones), Donald Glover (TV’s Atlanta), Thandie Newton (TV’s Westworld), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (TV’s Crashing), Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity War) and more, the majority delivering pretty solid and on par performances in each of their respective roles and helping in their own right to make this one work quite as well as it does.
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is a stylish, energetic and massively entertaining journey into the roots of one of the universe’s most noteworthy individuals. Loaded with plenty of visually spectacular imagery and tons of action, laughs and just overall excitement, it may not be anything monumental in the world of ‘Star Wars’ but certainly manages to competently serve up enough out of this world fun and entertainment to satisfy the fans. It also manages to stand alone in the ever-expanding lineup of ‘Star Wars’ films in its own right which allows the movie to still be largely enjoyable and accommodating to those not overly familiar with the universe while at the same time still serving up plenty of Easter eggs and fun little nods to the overall franchise that should more than appease the hardcore fans. Don’t let some of the negative reviews and other social media trifles deter you from checking out ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. It’s certainly not the finest entry in the Star Wars film saga by any means, but it’s still one incredibly fun, fast paced and visually gorgeous adventure that’s well worth taking for any fellow fans of this spectacular galaxy far, far away. Odds are that most Star Wars fans will end up being rather pleased with this wildly fun and relatively lighthearted adventure.
Overall, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is an incredibly fun and fast moving adventure that offers up plenty of action, excitement and laughs while constantly tossing in references and nods that diehard fans will appreciate, and at the same time keeping things largely within the scope of the film itself where important and as a result also making it serviceable for casual fans that aren’t overly familiar with the saga as a whole. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is highly recommended, especially for fellow diehard fans of the Star Wars universe. By no means one of the finest entries in the ever expanding lineup of films in this beloved galaxy far, far away, but by no means the disappointment some might lead you to believe either. Chances are that it will prove well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the absolute least for any fellow fan.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful and provides a sharp, detailed and clean presentation throughout with no noticeable faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up impressively even during the many darkly lit, fast moving and/or heavily populated sequences throughout, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that should have no problem satisfying fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a rather crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to immerse viewers within the fun by sending the score, along with spaceships, blaster bolts, explosions and a great deal more consistently zipping throughout the various speakers, while never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a solid 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds pretty great every step of the way and contributes plenty of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ includes a pretty solid collection of extras, the entirety of which can be found on the BONUS disc which is dedicated solely to the special features. Included on the release are ‘8 Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 15 minutes in length altogether), along with around 90 minutes’ worth of various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life and featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Solo: The Director and Cast Roundtable’ (running approximately 22 minutes), ‘Kasdan on Kasdan’ (approximately 8 minutes), ‘Remaking the Millennium Falcon’ (6 minutes), ‘Escape from Corellia’ (10 minutes), ‘The Train Heist’ (14 minutes), ‘Team Chewie’ (7 minutes), ‘Becoming A Droid: L3-37’ (5 minutes), ‘Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso’ (8 minutes) and ‘Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run’ (8 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Disney – Lucasfilm