TV Review – The Umbrella Academy – Season 1

TL;DR – While the story was a little inconsistent, it an interesting ride from start to finish.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Umbrella Academy. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We live in a world today where superhero team-up projects are no longer a rare thing hidden in some comic book store. Today people know and understand the thought of a group of people suddenly discovering powers that they can use for good or evil. So in this world how do you differentiate yourself from all the other shows out there? Well, you focus on one thing, and that is family. Family can be complicated at the best of times, and well when you watch The Umbrella Academy you find that I don’t think there ever was a best of times.

So to set the scene, one day in 1989 a miracle happened (or a curse depending on your perspective) when across the globe 43 women gave birth to babies, the only issue was that they started the day not being pregnant. This drew the attention of Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) who went around the world trying to buy as many of the babies as he could … he got 7. However, there were not normal children, with all of them, well most of them, having extraordinary powers. Luther (Tom Hopper) has immense strength and take a beating that would kill someone and get back up. Diego (David Castañeda) has the ability to make anything he throws curve through the air, so he is a man who likes his knives. Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) has the ability to suggest things to people and they are compelled to oblige. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) has the ability to talk to the dead, Five (Aidan Gallagher) can phase through time and space, and Ben (Justin H. Min) can summon tentacles to cause mass destruction. Of the seven, only Vanya (Aidan Gallagher) didn’t develop any powers, being relegated to the sidelines as her siblings go off on missions like stopping a bank heist. All of this is fine but time goes on and families can drift apart even at the best of times. So at the start of the series, many of the siblings have not talked to each other in years, but they are all brought back into the fold when their at best eccentric and at worst abusive father is found dead under less than clear circumstances. Now, for this point onwards, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Extreme Job (Geukhanjikeob, 극한직업)

TL;DR – This is a film that is hilarious, funny, and had me laughing from start to finish.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Extreme Job (Geukhanjikeob, 극한직업). Image Credit: CJ Entertainment.

Review

There are many reasons that you may want to go to the movies. You may want a visual spectacle, an interesting character study, or maybe you just want to site and laugh your heart out. Well, today I look at a film that has the distinction of being not one but all of these things at once. Even better I had no idea about this film before seeing it, other than the title, so I didn’t know I was about to see one of the best films of the year when I walked in. Also just a pro-tip, do not go into this film on an empty stomach, trust me on this one, or at least plan to go get food the moment the film ends.  

So to set the scene, we open on an illegal gambling den as police radios crackle to life with instructions reminding everyone to limit property damage as they repel down the side of a building to block off all avenues of escape. This means no smashing through windows like you are an action star and politely asking the criminal to turn himself in … and that goes about as well as you can expect. The whole team Chief Go (Ryu Seung-ryong), Detective Jang (Lee Hanee), Detective Young-ho (Lee Dong-hwi), Detective Ma (Jin Seon-kyu), and Detective Jae-hoon (Gong Myung), chase after the suspect through the streets of Seoul only for them to have everything fall apart. They are dragged in front of the Police Superintendent (Kim Eui-sung) and berated for their incompetence, with the very real chance that their team will be disbanded. Everyone knows that they are on their last chance when Choi (Song Young-kyu) the head of a rival police taskforce gives them a tip that Lee Moo-bae (Shin Ha-kyun) one of Korea’s big drug players is about to return to the country. So the team has to engage in the biggest stake-out in their history, and it goes about as well as you expect.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Saints of Imperfection

TL;DR – While there was a lot that happened in this episode, it just didn’t click with me the way the rest of the season has.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: Saints of Imperfection. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

We are about at the mid-point of the season and the story of the red lights is still unfolding. However, as we go along, there is still nothing concrete to hold onto, Spock is still missing, the red lights are still an enigma, and who knows what Section 31 is up to. Now while this has been fine up until a point, at some time we need to have a moment of focus. Without that, we get today’s episode that is full of promise and cool moments but is lacking something.

So to set the scene, we start today’s episode in the moments after An Obol For Charon finishes with Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) racing to the engineering section after hearing about Tilly’s (Mary Wiseman) disappearance. When she arrives all she finds is the alien cocoon pulsating on the floor and no Tilly in sight. However, all of that is put on hold when the USS Discovery catches up with Spock’s shuttle, only it is not Spock that makes a graceful exit after it docks with Discovery, but an old friend … though I don’t know if you could call her that. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Orville: Deflectors

TL;DR – Today we find yet another side of life on Moclus, and it’s not great, to be honest.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Deflectors. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

Well, tonight’s episode of The Orville was an interesting one because it was an episode full of contradictions. It is an episode trying to shine the light of prejudice, but in a really ham-fisted way, but then it works when it really shouldn’t. It also contrasts this really serious storyline with a really silly one, and still all works.  

So to set the scene, the USS Orville is preparing itself for a long-term mission into unexplored space by returning to Moclus to get a deflector upgrade. This involves a Moclan engineer Locar (Kevin Daniels) coming on-board to assist, which is a bit awkward because he is Bortus’ (Peter Macon) ex. While this is going on Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) realises in a conversation with Cassius (Chris Johnson) that they both want different things out of the relationship, so she decided to end it, which does not go over well. This is all before Locar reveals a secret that rocks the ship to the core, and may have set in motion something uncontrollable. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – The Wandering Earth (Liúlàng Dìqiú, 流浪地球)

TL;DR –  At its core is an interesting idea, however, it is populated by the most unlikable characters in cinema at the moment  

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Wandering Earth. Image Credit: China Film Company Limited

Review

If you have read any of my reviews you will know I am a fan of Science Fiction. I love exploring the future and what it could be, I love interesting ideas and concepts, and I love the idea of exploring the universe. Today’s movie The Wandering Earth out of China does all of that and more. However as I walked out of the cinema I was not elated, instead, frankly, I was disappointed in how someone could squander such a good idea.

So to set the scene, at some point in the near future the Sun decides that it is ready to turn into a red giant now rather than billions of years from now and humanity has a choice. They can sit there and die as the Sun expands, or they can do something about it. They choose the latter and build hundreds of engines across the planet so that they can move the Earth to the Alpha Centauri system. To make sure nothing goes wrong they build a large space station that travels ahead of Earth to warn them of any danger. The one threat is that before they leave the Solar System they need to perform a gravity assist boost around Jupiter, but then it seems that Jupiter was not ready to let go. As all of this is happening Liu Peiqiang (Wu Jing) the senior astronaut on the Space Station has to watch helplessly as his son Liu Qi (Qu Chuxiao), father-in-law Han Zi’ang (Ng Man-tat), and adopted daughter Han Duoduo (Zhao Jinmai) are caught outside in the emergency and are marshalled into helping the Earth stave off disaster.

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Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map

Article

This week, well two days ago at the time of writing, the new and second expansion for Civilization VI called Gathering Storm was released. It added new Civilizations, City States, World Wonders, Natural Wonders, and most interestingly Geographical Features (see all new features HERE). With that in mind, I knew I had to immediately jump in and update our Full Civilization VI Map.

Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data.

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Movie Review – The Hate U Give

TL;DR – A powerful and unflinching look at life at the intersection of race, power, poverty, and privilege.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Hate U Give . Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

One of the most important aspects of film, or indeed any media, is its ability to help you understand a different perspective. For many people in the world, the police are a source of comfort and protection, who you call when you are in danger. But for many people almost the opposite is true, and it can be difficult to understand why that is. However, that is what film is here to do, and that is what today’s film does.

So to set the scene, Starr (Amandla Stenberg) was only a child when her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) gave her and her siblings Seven (Russell Hornsby) and Sekani (TJ Wright) the talk. No, I am not talking about the birds and the bees, I am talking about what you do when (not if) you get pulled over by the police so you can make it out of it alive. As Starr grew up her mother Lisa (Regina Hall) was determined to make sure she could have the best opportunity available for life and sends her and her siblings to a private school. This makes Starr create two sides of herself, the Williamson side and the Garden Heights side. All of this comes to a head when Starr runs into an old friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at a party. It was a chance to reminisce about the past and how they use to all dress up as Harry Potter. After a gun goes off at the party, Starr and Khalil race to the car, and that is when the world changes for everyone.  

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