TL;DR – Luke Cage starts the season with a slow build, but the tension it creates is amazing, and more importantly it hooks you in for the long run.
Score – 4 out of 5 Stars
Well off the back of both a movie series that keeps going from strength to strength (Team Cap all the way) and some groundbreaking TV adaptions (like who knew that Daredevil could be likeable) Marvel is simply killing it at the moment. Indeed the Netflix experiment itself is still growing exponentially, it’s a service that can show everything from Chef’s Table to Stranger Things and all in between. Within all this, we get the next in the Marvel/Netflix joint project Luke Cage (after Daredevil and Jessica Jones), and like its predecessors, Luke Cage is provocative, but also brilliantly made. For this review we are going to look at the first three episodes ‘Moment of Truth’, ‘Code of the Streets’ & ‘Who’s Gonna Take the Weight’ because they clearly set the scene and the tone for the rest of the season. Now we are going to be talking about these episodes in detail, so to be clear spoilers are now in effect.
TL;DR – A solid film with intrigue and a unique premise, it is well filmed and acted, but also surprisingly reserved by the director
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
So I should start my review with the proviso that I have never read the book (though this is something I am going to fix) so I can’t tell you if Miss Peregrine’s is a good adaptation of the source material, but what I can tell you is that it is a fascinating film in its own right. I should also point out, this is probably not a film for young children, as there are a number of horror elements to it.
TL;DR – A truly amazing film, one of the best westerns I have seen in a very long time, great acting, great filming, and top notch action, this is one to see.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Once again another remake, it seems that 2016 should be subtitled the Year of Remakes, from the ‘surprisingly ok’ Ghostbusters to the ‘why bother’ Ben-Hur, to the ‘joy that was’ Pete’s Dragon. So this week not only do we have a remake, but we have a remake of a remake with The Magnificent Seven, and how did it fair, well really quite good if you ask me.
TL;DR – A great opening episode, that advances the drama, grounds the show, and gives us the groundwork for an interesting mystery.
Score – 4 out of 5 Stars
I’ve been looking for a while now for something to fill The West Wing sized hole in my life and lot shows have tried. Homeland is a critical darling, but I found it a bit meh, Commander in Chief had a good start, but could not escape its premise, House of Cards is brilliantly done, but too depressing for the inner optimist in me, in fact the closest I have got to this is Parks and Rec. So I was really interested to see if the new Designated Survivor could be that show, and from the first episode the signs are quite positive.
TL;DR – It’s not a bad film, but it is more boring that it should be given the exciting subject material.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Edward Snowden is one of those people that invokes a very polarising response from the general public, he’s either a hero or a villain, a patriot or a traitor with very little grey room floating around. Now when I first heard they were doing a movie about Snowden, I was really quite interested because as part of my day job I have actually taught about these issues like intelligence gathering, Five Eyes, Media etc. Also, the original documentary Citizenfour by Laura Poitras is an amazingly well-constructed documentary, informative while being thoroughly engaging, and truly worthy of the Oscar it received last year. So I was able to go see Snowden and how was the final product? … well um … unfortunately, it’s just a bit boring.
TL;DR – A good entry into the 4X genre, but it does not quite have the staying power of others in the field.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
2016 is turning out to be the year of the 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) games, with a number of quality releases not seen since the mid-90s golden age. Already this year we have had the quite good Stellaris, and as well as this, soon we will get the sequel to the great Endless Space and then the next entry into the granddaddy of 4X Civilization. At this point, it should be clear that I love me some 4X, whether it’s turn based or real time, bring it on. So I was interested to hear that one of the classics of the golden era Master of Orion was getting a remake/sequel/reinterpretation, so now that it is out of Early Access I thought I would pick it up to see how it goes. Now I need to say growing up I did miss the original Master of Orion games, I was playing more Civilization at the time and we didn’t have the luxury of Steam or GOG for those more obscure games, but I did get to play some of the games it inspired, like Birth of the Federation, so while I won’t be able to personally compare Master of Orion with the original, I will be able to compare it with the 4X genre generally speaking.
TL;DR – A beautiful film with real heart, it is well filmed, well-acted, and the dragon is a delight
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Well, the Disney remake season continues unabated, and after The Jungle Book earlier in the year (which was a good but not great film – Full Review), they have now reached back into the great magical Disney Vault to remake one of their lesser known films Pete’s Dragon. I do have some vague memories of the original film, that it was this weird look into poor America, but it has been years so I can’t tell you if this is a good remake/reinterpretation/whatever, but what I can tell you is that this is an amazing film in its own right.