TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

TL;DR – What is the future of the Federation going to be? As the war drags on we get a glimpse of two possible directions.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad banner

Review

Today we get Star Trek Discovery’s first bottle episode, and what is a bottle episode you may say? Well, this is a term in TV for an episode that uses minimal effects, guest stars, and filmed only on existing sets. You may have seen many of these before, where say something forces people to stay in one location, or if you are really unlucky you get a clip show like The Next Generations episode Shades of Gray. Bottle episodes are usually created to be cheaper episodes to produce and tend to be looked down on, however, good bottle episodes use the limitations to tell profound stories like the Deep Space Nine episode Duet. So like all good bottle episodes, we spend a lot of Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad getting to know our characters better, and it is a delight to watch. Now as we will be looking at the full episode there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead, so be a bit careful if you have not seen the episode.

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TV Review – Stranger Things: Trick or Treat, Fool

TL;DR – Today we learn that even when people are not the worst, they can still disappoint you

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Stranger Things

Review

It’s Halloween in the quaint town of Hawkins, and with the season there is a time for everything,
a time to make friends and a time to lose them,
a time to make promises and a time to forget them,
a time to get dressed into costume and a time to realise maybe don’t do that at school,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to say hello to a girl in the woods and a time to get hit in the head with a half-cooked squirrel,
a time to reach out and a time to miss the response,
a time to be bold and a time to run away from the all oppressive shadow in the sky,
a time to forget the past and a time to be defined by it,
a time to hold on for dear life and a time to let go,
a time to eat Eggo Waffles™ and a time to channel surf,
a time to wear all denim and a time to do literally any other fashion choice
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
a time to come together as a team and a time to be just the absolute worst, I mean come on Ted (Joe Chrest) The Russians, really, get it together.

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TV Review – Stranger Things: MADMAX

TL;DR – It is a joy to be back in the world, because there is an attention to detail and understanding that you just do get very often

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Stranger Things

Review

Oh Stranger Things, you were a revelation in Season One (see review), with an amazing cast and intertwining storylines that even with starkly different tones it still worked together as a whole. As well as this, it nailed both the films it was paying homage to, and the 1980s in general. So it has been just over a year since Season One, so today we will jump in and start our look at Season Two, and please be prepared as there may be some [SPOILERS] in this review.

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How well did they create Indonesia and Khmer in Civilization VI?

TL;DR – South East Asia is here, and it is a wonderful addition to the game, also a powerful one to boot
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Review

Well, this is a pleasant surprise, when it was announced that we would be getting DLC for the South East Asian region I honestly was not expecting there to be two SEA civs in the game. Indeed, the first Civilization game to have two from SEA was only the last generation’s Civilization V and even then we had to wait for the DLC and two expansion packs before we got it. But I am so happy that we did both of them because both Khmer and Indonesia are fantastic additions to the game, because of their history and also for their civilization bonuses. So in today’s review, we are going to first look at the Autumn Patch that came along with the DLC, then take a moment to discuss the music, and then delve into both Khmer and Indonesia. Now, unfortunately, I just have not had the time to give the scenario a proper go, and I don’t think I will get the chance for a couple of weeks so I won’t be talking about it here. As well as this, this time around I still played on Huge, Continent style maps, but I did have to speed some of the games up faster than Normal speed this time around. Before we move on just a quick note that we have updated our Civilization Map (see here) and City Map (see here) to add Khmer and Indonesia.

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Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

TL;DR – A visual extravaganza, Taika Waititi with the cast and crew gave their all to this film, and it amazing to watch.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a Mid and End Credit Scene

Thor: Ragnarok. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney

Review

Wow, what an amazing end to a film trilogy, and one of the strongest so far for Marvel. I’ve always had a kind of indecisive feeling towards the Thor films so far. They have been a case of fantastic casting matched with just ok storylines. Now when you have Anthony Hopkins going gangbusters, then even a bad script will look good, but overall I just thought the Thor films were ok and nothing more. To be fair, I think it was a testament to the quality of Marvel’s films that while Thor might have been my least favourite Marvel films it was because they were only ok, not fantastic. However, I was honestly wondering with everyone doing their big Cinematic Universes now if superhero fatigue would set in given my relationship with the films so far, but nope this film was a riot from start to end and I highly recommend it. So today we will set the scene, and then have a look at all the factors that went into making the film work. However because of the nature of Thor Ragnarok and its story, we are going to hit spoilers much earlier than we would normally do, so to be on the safe side I am implementing a [SPOILER] warning from this point onwards.

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Movie Review – Happy Death Day

TL;DR – A surprising solid film, even if it is just Groundhog Day with murder

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Happy Death Day. Image Credit: Blumhouse/Universal.

Review

What if at the end of the night you were murdered, but the next day you woke up at the start of the day again, destined to live your life out, day after day after day, each night murdered by the same masked killer. Now, of course, you might be going, ‘isn’t that just Groundhog Day with murder’ and you would be correct, Happy Death Day joins a long list of films/TV Shows using the same narrative device. Now is it as good as Groundhog Day, no, it’s not even the best redo of this narrative device, that would go to the Stargate SG1 episode Window of Opportunity. However, it is still a good film, mostly because you can see some real effort has gone into the production, that plus the entertaining cast and some unexpected emotional themes make Happy Death Day a really good film.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Lethe

TL;DR – What is the future of the Federation going to be? As the war drags on we get a glimpse of two possible directions.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Lethe banner

Review

As the season draws on, we are seeing more and more a growing divide into the future direction of the Federation and Starfleet during the war. Should noble ideals be cast aside in the name of survival? Should the rules of Starfleet be ignored on the front line? This divide is important because as we see here it will mean everything for the next generation of officers.

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Video Game Review – Divinity: Original Sin II

TL;DR – Both brutal and fantastic, it is a return to form for a genre that has not seen a lot of great games recently.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Divinity: Original Sin 2. Image Credit: Larian Studios.

Review –

Back in the day, I use to love Role Playing Games, escaping Taris, becoming the Dovahkiin, finding my favourite shop in the Citadel. However, over the last couple of years, I have found it harder to get into RPGs, into the wonderful worlds that would have ensnared me in the past. I never finished Fallout 4, Witcher 3, or Diablo 3, and I have to admit my love for Mass Effect Andromeda (see review) may have just been a desperate want to be back in that universe. So when I heard Divinity: Original Sin II was out I was hesitant to pick it up given my previous track record, however, I happened to watch Stephanie Bendixsen stream a little bit of it and it looked like a ton of fun. So twenty hours later, I have just left the introduction island of Fort Joy and I thought it would be a good time to put down my first thoughts. Now there may be some [SPOILERS] for the first section of the game, but we only talk about the events up to Driftwood.

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Movie Review – Chasing the Dragon (Zhuī Lóng, 追龍)

TL;DR – Donnie Yen and Andy Lau are both amazing actors, and I just wish they had been given a better movie to show their talents in.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene

Chasing the Dragon. Image Credit; Mega-Vision Project.

Review

I knew nothing about Chasing the Dragon before going to see it other than it was set in 1960s Hong Kong. This was a really interesting time for Hong Kong, and so I thought it would be a great setting for a film. However, to be honest right from the start I did not enjoy Chasing the Dragon at all, I mean it is not that all films have to be enjoyable, but they should at least be captivating. Now I don’t like ragging on something that people have clearly put a lot of work into, but it is a film that has a lot of flaws, unfortunately. So today we’ll look at what went wrong, but also the highpoints as there are some throughout the film.

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Movie Review – Geostorm

TL;DR – Its, well it’s, ok, it’s not great, it’s not awful, it’s just ok.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Geostorm. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review
So there is a satellite system that controls all of the world’s extreme weather, with a flip of a switch you can take out that cyclone barrelling towards the Australian coast, that heat wave over Paris gone, that mark-5 tornado, what mark-5 tornado. It all sounds great, but if you can see the flaw with this plan, well you can see where the film is heading. Overall, it has been a while since I have seen a big scale disaster film, maybe 2012 was the last one, so it was at least interesting to visit this genre. However, just be prepared that this is science-fiction, not science-fact film, I’m pretty sure there are some laws of thermodynamics that get thrown to the wolves to make this movie happen, nor do we have enough material to build a partial Dyson sphere. So overall I found Geostorm to be well fine, it had some things I liked and some others that I didn’t, and mostly they cancelled each other out. So today we will look at both sides of Geostorm, the good, the bad, and the surprisingly Scottish.


So to set the scene, in 2019 global warming sent the plant into a spiral of extreme weather events which killed millions. Looking death in the face, the world on the brink of destruction put aside years of amenity to create the ‘Dutch Boy’, a series of satellites around the world, designed to stop the extreme weather events. The main engineer of the project was Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) a man who is equal parts brilliant as he was obstinate, and after many years of work his brother Max (Jim Sturgess) who is employed by the White House was forced to fire him after a bad Senate hearing. Well three years later, and a couple of weeks before Dutch Boy is meant to be officially handed over to an international oversight team, a village in the heart of Afghanistan is discovered to be completely frozen. The Dutch Boy system had never failed before, and given the potential fallout from the lack of trust, or even a cascade of failures, it was a serious issue. So the Secretary of State Dekkom (Ed Harris) recommended to President Palma (Andy García) that there is only one person for the job, yep fired former main engineer Jake, so up he goes, but the clock is ticking.

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