“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is the first one-off story of the epic franchise, and it worked pretty well within its parameters.Directed by Gareth Edwards, it leads into “Episode VI,” the original “Star Wars” movie. The actress — an Oscar nominee for “The Theory of Everything” and known for dramas like “The Invisible Woman” and “Like Crazy” — pulls off the tough-girl role convincingly. Felicity Jones plays Jyn Erso, a tough, independent fighter who leads a motley band. “Rogue” is the story of a Rebel squad that steals the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s planet killer that Luke Skywalker would ultimately destroy in the first film. Like “The Force Awakens,” it has a female as the main protagonist.
As for the plot, well, you know where it’s going.‘Paterson’Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” wanders through its story like an improvised poem, which makes sense since it’s about a bus driver who is a poet.In fact, his poems appear on screen as they are read aloud by the author, Paterson (Adam Driver). And there is a new droid — tall and imposing and voiced by Alan Tudyk — that offers comic relief. Nothing much happens in “Paterson.” Our driver mostly kisses his girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) in the morning and ambles off to work, where he takes in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, while people get on and off his bus.
The rest of the crew includes some pretty interesting actors, including Riz Ahmed and Diego Luna.There is also a lot of cool stuff in the movie — like recreating Peter Cushing who played Grand Moff Tarkin, the Empire’s strongman, in the original film. The actor died in 1994, but thanks to digital technology, he and his character have a substantial speaking role in “Rogue One.” In fact, there are numerous winks and references to “A New Hope” including Darth Vader being voiced once again by the great James Earl Jones.
If you wonder where this is all going, then you probably won’t have patience for this Zen-like approach. Call Jarmusch’s film a portrait of an artist who likes his routines. Paterson, by the way, was the home of William Carlos Williams, a poet who continued to practice medicine. Sometimes he hits a bar. All of this is fodder for his writings.
DVDS OUT TUESDAY
NEW FILMSRogue One: A Star Wars StoryOffice Christmas PartyPatersonThe Bounce BackDon’t Hang UpDon’t Kill ItBook of LoveWe Don’t Belong HereTELEVISIONDCI Banks: Season 5