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Director: Rian Johnson Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Benicio Del Toro Running Time: 152 minutes

One thing that should probably be acknowledged about Star Wars before launching into a review of the latest entry to the series is that its cultural footprint is simply too big for anything approaching a consensus to form. Every Star Wars film since the original faced heavy backlash after their initial release. Some were also widely acclaimed at the same time. Some grew their reputation over the years. And some were the prequels. A film that aims to be seen by so many simply cannot please everyone all of the time, even if it tried, but despite the pressure of having to deliver to such a dedicated fanbase and such keenly invested taskmasters at Disney, director Rian Johnson boldly declares never to tell him the odds and instead has made The Last Jedi into the kind of film he knows will entertain one person for certain: himself. Make something for yourself and others usually follow, and those of a like-mind with Johnson will see in The Last Jedi an ambitious, electrifying and reflective blockbuster.

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Ten years ago, teen noir Brick was released theatrically in the US in just two cinemas, which may seem like an inauspicious debut, except the film had already won a Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Festival. ‘Originality of Vision’ is a good way to describe the film, which placed a hardboiled detective story in the middle of a high school, producing an exceptionally confident directorial debut from Rian Johnson, and cementing Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a genuine talent rather than a fading child star. JGL stars as Brendan, a high school loner trying to look out for-and before long, avenge-his ex-girlfriend, solving the mystery of who killed her after she’s drawn into the drug trade of suburban Californian youths. In ten years, Johnson has gone from a small and strange film that he had to raise funds for himself to helming the biggest and most hotly anticipated blockbuster in the world. Is there anything in Brick that suggests one day its director would make the next Star Wars? How much substance is there behind the style that sees high school burnouts, nerds and bullies talking like Dashiel Hammett characters? Film In Dublin breaks this modern cult favourite down, looking at the various elements that come together to make it work.

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