Movie Review – The Wound (Inxeba) (2017)

TL;DR The Wound sits on the precipice of culture, tradition, and masculinity, and shows the damage on inflexibility.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Wound (Inxeba). Image Credit: Urucu Media.

Review

I have been spending the day brushing up on the many foreign films that I just haven’t been able to see, and the next stop on my trip around the world is South Africa. African cinema is one area where I need to explore more because this is the first film I have ever seen in Xhosa. With that in mind, let’s look at a film that explores the world of becoming a man in a very traditional society.

So to set the scene, throughout the year Xolani (Nakhane Touré) or X to his friends spends his time working and living alone in the city. However, once a year he comes back to the mountains to be a helper in the Ulwaluko ceremony. This is the Xhosa ceremony that marks the transition from boy to manhood. However, while he is there as a guide to help the initiates, X is also there for another reason, because it is the one time he gets to connect with Vija (Bongile Mantsai) a friend and secretly his romantic partner. This year X is being put in charge of Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini) who is considered soft because he grew up in the city and does not care for tradition.

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Movie Review – A Moment in the Reeds (2017)

TL;DR – A very contained film exploring relationships as they form in the intensity of a single moment.      

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

A Moment in the Reeds. Image Credit: Wild Beast Productions.

Review


Today I have been rained in, so with everything I was going to do put on hold, I thought I would take some time and explore some of the films available on-demand here in Australia. The first one I came across was a film out of Finland that explores a bond that is formed over a weekend working in the Finish countryside.

So to set the scene, Leevi (Janne Puustinen) is coming home to Finland after a long time away in Paris. He is home to get some research done on his thesis but whilst he is there he feels compelled to visit his father Jouko (Mika Melender), even though they have a strained relationship after the death of his mother. When he arrives at their summer cottage, Leevi discovers that his dad is renovating it, getting it ready to sell, and since he had no idea Leevi was coming he had hired someone from a job agency to help him. That is how Tareq (Boodi Kabbani) arrives at the cottage, and it is a good thing Leevi is there because Tareq is a Syrian refugee and he doesn’t speak Finish, and Jouko’s English is not that great so Leevi can act as a translator. However, things heat up when the two are left to their own devices and discover each other.

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Map-It – Worth-It

TL;DR – We map out every restaurant featured on Buzzfeed’s Worth-It

Image Credit: Buzzfeed.

Article

Much to my own frustration, it has been a while since I have been able to fly overseas and explore the world. As a way of at least exploring the world and its food vicariously, I have been rewatching Buzzfeed’s Worth-It for like the fourth time.

In the show, the team of Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj, along with Adam Bianchi and Annie Jeong, explore food from around the world using a very interesting formula. For example, if the theme is Hotdogs they will visit an inexpensive, medium, and expensive restaurant to see which is the most worth it for the given price (hence the title of the show).

Image Credit: Buzzfeed.
There is so much amazing chicken in this show. Image Credit: Buzzfeed.
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Video Game Review – Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Expansion

TL;DR – While the big up-front features are interesting, for me it was a lot of the small quality of life changes that really stood out

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Review –

Now, if you have read anything on our site before, you will likely know that I quite like the Civilization series. Well, I have had my hands on the new expansion Gathering Storm for a couple of weeks now and have been able to play a number of games with many of the new civilizations, so I think I have reached the point where I can give the game an informed review. With that in mind in today’s review, we will be looking at the civilizations, the main features, the improvements, and then the production to see what sort of expansion Gathering Storm is.   

So to set the scene, if you are not familiar with the game, Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy game of the 4X persuasion. This means that instead of moving all at once, each player takes their turn to build wonders, move troops, and explore the map or whatever they are trying to do. Your aim is to build the biggest empire through economic, military, scientific, cultural, or religious means (or all of the above). Thus you eXplore, eXpand, eXpolit, and eXterminate. Gathering Storm is the second expansion pack for Civilization VI after Rise and Fall, which has historically meant that this is the last expansion for the game, but we’ll see about that.

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Article – Oscars 2019 Predictions

TL;DR – Today we run through the 2019 Oscars Nominees to predict who we think will win

Article

Today is Oscars day and in a couple of hours, we will know all the winners in what has been one of the more fraught Oscar campaigns that I have personally seen. But as we prepare for the night of glitz, glamour, and maybe not having an awkward opening monologue that still has to live in Hugh Jackman’s shadow, I thought I would take a moment to look at the nominees to give our views as to who we think will win.

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TV Review – The Heights – Season One

TL;DR – This is a show that is filled with clever writing, full of compelling characters, interesting stories, and heart you rarely see.                      

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Heights - Season One. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Authenticity, this is something that content creators across the world are desperate to achieve because it is what modern audiences crave, even if they don’t quite know what it is. Add to this it is easy for people to notice when something is out of place when it is something close to them, like the lives of tradies, or small shop owners, or people living in apartments. So it is a bold move to set a new drama series in a setting that is deeply familiar and even bolder when you pull it off with style.

So to set the scene, The Heights revolves around the people that live in and around a block of apartments called The Tower. While the area around is starting to rapidly gentrify, The Tower is made up of low socioeconomic residents just trying to make their lives a little better. One day as everyone was out enjoying the sunshine with a BBQ and a game of soccer the fire alarm of The Tower rings out. This causes all kinds of frustrations for the residents like Hazel (Fiona Press) who have to evacuate when everyone knows it is a false alarm. When all is sorted, everyone goes back to their lives when a soccer ball gets kicked into a garden but when Pav (Marcus Graham) goes to collect it he discovers a newborn baby among the veggies. Pav an ex-cop runs the baby straight to the local hospital (it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance) into the hands of Claudia (Roz Hammond) a doctor that is new to the hospital and area. Everyone begins wondering whose baby could it be, but there is a lot on everyone’s plate, like a wake and a closing of the local pub, starting a new school, finding a new job, and 100% not telling your mother than you are studying education and not business. Now, from this point onwards, we will be looking at the season as a whole, or at least the first 16 episodes, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.         

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: The Sounds of Thunder

TL;DR –  We get a powerful look at Saru and his world, but it does still feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: The Sounds of Thunder. Image Credit: CBS Studios

Review

Star Trek Discovery is a show that is juggling a lot of different stories all at once. Yes, we have the main drive of the red lights and the red angel. However, we also have The Klingons, The Mycelium Network, Section 31, and more. As the season has gone one, it has been interesting to see how the show brings all these different elements together to help with the central premise or using the central premise as an excuse to look at these different side plots, depending on your perspective. One of those side plots has been the life and biology of Saru’s people and today all of that comes to a head.   

So to set the scene, since we were first introduced to Saru (Doug Jones) we knew there was something out of place with him and why he was the only Kelpien in Starfleet. Over Season One we found out that there was a devastating dynamic on his planet where Kelpiens were not the dominant species. We learned about his threat ganglia derived from the biological need to stay safe. All of this fell into place in the Short Trek The Brightest Star, when we discovered that there were two species living on the Kelpian homeworld, one that preys on the other and that a certain point in their lives all Kelpiens are sacrificed to the Ba’ul. It is murder disguised as ideology, as the Kelpiens believe that this is the will of the universe called the great balance, and they are going to die anyway in the Vahar’ai, so what is the matter. However, in An Obol For Charon, we discovered that the biological shift that triggers the culling was not actually fatal, and every part of Kelpien society was a lie. At the start of this week’s episode Saru is discovering just what biological changes are happening to his body now he does not have a threat ganglia, only for another red signal to blare out, only this time it is coming from his homeworld. 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: Identity Part 1

TL;DR – Today we the best episode of the series so far that builds on everything that has come before and leaves you desperate for more.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Identity Part 1. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

One of the few great things about 2019 is all the great Science Fiction content we are getting across the mediaverse at the moment. One of the interesting examples of this has been The Orville, a show about a bunch of misfits trying to do their best as they explore the universe. It is a show filled with flawed people, but it is also a show filled to the brim with charm. In today’s episode Identity, we get a show that takes everything we know and then flips it on its head.

So to set the scene, it is family time on the USS Orville, with Isaac (Mark Jackson) babysitting Ty (Kai Wener) and Marcus (BJ Tanner) while Claire (Penny Johnson Jerald) works late in sickbay. Everything was going well, bar the fact that Isaac always wins, and so Claire thinks it is the best time to tell the boys that they are dating, which of course they already knew. However, all of this falls apart when Isaac has a seizure and shutdowns in front of the family. There are no life signs, but then is that normal for a Kaylon? No one really knows. In a last-ditch effort, the Planetary Union authorises The Orville to head to Isaac’s home planet and hope that they can fix him. 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 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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