Movie Review – Angel Has Fallen

TL;DR –  I don’t think anything here will surprise you, but it was still a solid action flick, touching on all the big buzzword fears of the moment.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Angel Has Fallen. Image Credit Roadshow Films.

Review

A couple of years ago I popped and on a whim caught a showing of London Has Fallen. It was a perfectly fine if boilerplate action film and overall I did quite enjoy it. Though my mileage was a lot further than a lot of people as I had not seen the first film, so the fact that they hit almost the same plot beats was not as much of an issue. Well the third film in the series is out today and overall it’s pretty much the same as last time, with maybe a little something extra.

So to set the scene, we open with United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) holding off a bunch of goons while under attack only for it to be just a paintball exercise. His old Army buddy Wade Jennings (Danny Huston) runs a training outfit and with Mike probably about to take over has head of the Secret Service he’s hoping he can send some training contracts his way. It is not likely as President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) has but a ban on contract armies. Well one day after visiting a doctor’s to discover how bad his back really is Mike is out protecting the President when they come under attack by drones. When he wakes up all of his team is dead, the President is in a coma and he is under arrest because they think he was the one who set it all up.

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TV Review – Hyperdrive: Season 1

TL;DR – This is part Fast and the Furious, part Ninja Warrior, part tyre-screech aficionado love letter. What a fantastic idea, however, to make an idea work you need execution and here is where it falls down.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Hyperdrive. Image Credit: Netlfix.

Review

Rarely in my life have I heard an idea that clicked as much as I did today “Ninja Warrior but with cars?” I mean just think of that and your mind is racing through all the possibilities. Indeed, watching that first episode it all started to click and then as that episode went on I started to notice things not quite coming together and as the rest of the season went on it was only compounded by one odd moment after another. So today we are going to have a look at a show where there is this interesting divide between ambition and execution.

Hyperdrive is a show all about putting the cars and the experts that drive them to the extremes. The drivers come from America, Brazil, Japan, and Europe and are absolute experts in their fields. Now before we move on I do want to say none of the critiques I have are for the drivers who are clearly doing an amazing job with what they have been given and are clearly skilled technicians and experts in their fields. Each round they go through a set of challenges like doing a reverse 360° turn in-between tight penalty pylons or drifting your car back and forth along the sides chicane trying to hit targets with the back end of your vehicle. All while wanting to be the fastest because if you are too slow you are eliminated. As far as a concept goes you have a winner here and there are a lot of touches that help add to this, like putting the commentary booth over the top of the finish line, or having the targets full of balls that fly out when they are hit, or the industrial setting that really gels with the aesthetic of the race. However, while there are these small touches and some interesting challenges it is soon clear that there are some things that just have not translated as well as they wanted.

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Movie Review – The Australian Dream

TL;DR The Australian Dream is a film that I think every Australian should watch because it holds up a mirror to Australian society and we need to be ready for what it shows.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

The Australian Dream. Image Credit: Madman.

Review

I thought when I sat down to see The Australian Dream that I was ready for what I was going to see. I was a fool. This might be the most important film I have seen all year because it shines the light on an episode that many in Australia feel more than content to sweep under the rug because to do otherwise would mean confronting our history, our way of life, and our commitment to all Australians.

At its core The Australian Dream tells the story of Adam Goodes former Australian of the Year and one of the best Australian Rules Footballers (AFL) to have ever played the game. It is the story of his life, the highs and the lows. However, it is something more than that, it is using the biography to focus in on a problem Australia has had for the last two-hundred odd years and that is how it has dealt with its Indigenous people and well there is a reason that Indigenous Australians call Australia Day, Invasion Day.

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Movie Review – Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

TL;DR – I have used many adjectives to describe Quentin Tarantino’s films before but dull is a new one here.    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene

Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

Quentin Tarantino is a very specific kind of director and sort of puts him in a category where I find a lot of people either love or hate his films. I have found myself falling into both categories in the past with me adoring some of his films like Django Unchained and really not liking some of his other works like The Hateful Eight. However, whatever the case may be, I have always walked out of his films with strong feelings one way or the other, but not this time, this time I walked out looking at my watch to see how much time that took.

So to set the scene, we open in on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) star of the most popular show on TV Bounty Law as he gives an interview with his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Flash forward to the end of the decade and after a failed swing at movies Rick has been demoted to playing the bad guy or ‘heavy’ in other people’s shows and Cliff is still there as his driver and assistant. Well, one day a new opportunity arises for Rick, a real chance at something, but what neither Rick nor Cliff knows is that there are people out there that do not have everyone’s best interests at heart and a friendly smile might hide violent personality.

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Article – A New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television

TL;DR – After a long pause during the 2000s we are seeing a new golden age for Sci-Fi as shows go back into space and more.

A New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television
A New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television

Article

The other day I was working on a review and then something dawned on me, for the first time in a long time I was excited by the many different Science Fiction shows coming out of television. We were going into the stars, exploring the future, and in some cases just getting plain weird. It was a joyous moment because I remember a time when it was like this before and the long valley in-between the two peaks. So today, I wanted to take a moment to talk about where we have come from, what is so exciting about now, and why we are seeing this new Golden Age.

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Movie Review – The Little Switzerland (La Pequeña Suiza)

TL;DR – A fun little film about small towns and that chaos they can cause for themselves.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene

The Little Switzerland (La Pequeña Suiza). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Ah, small-town life. If there was ever a concept that can transcend language and culture it is the chaos that a small town can find itself in if properly motivated. Today we get to look at a film that has one of the more interesting setups that I have seen and uses it to tell a delightful story about what happens when many competing visions clash together.   

So to set the scene, we open in on the town of Tellería which is located in the Castile-León Automatous Community of Spain but they feel they should be in Basque given the vast majority of the town identifies that way. For years the town has campaigned for this and just when it looked like it would finally happen, politics above their heads means that they are stuck as part of a compromise. Well all is not completely lost, because on that same day as the great embarrassment, local son Gorka (Jon Plazaola), heritage specialist Yolanda (Maggie Civantos), and priest Don Anselmo (Secun de la Rosa) stumble across a secret tomb in the local church in it is the grave of the son of William Tell the famous Swiss hero and reveals that it is a lost Swiss Canton. Now, the town has an option because all of a sudden that is more Swiss than Spanish even though they are Basque.          

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Movie Review – Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus

TL;DR – A blast from the past that does the twin jobs of bringing closure to the past but also propelling the series forward.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Back in the day, there was an irreverent, abstract, absurd series about an alien trying to conquer the world. Who spends more time yelling at the camera that accomplishing anything. This was a show that created a world that was based around a power hierarchy of who is the tallest among them and it just works. It was a series that was a half-ridiculous and half-scathing commentary on the modern world. However, it was a show that kind of just ended rather than going out on a strong note. Well, it seems this is the year of the rebooting old cartoon shows, and I could not be happier.    

So to set the scene, it has been ages since the alien Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) and his companion Gir (Rikki Simons) have been spotted on Earth. While he has been hiding, his nemesis Dib (Andy Berman) has been focused on nothing else, including staying on a chair watching cameras forgoing all things like bathing. But when Dib was at his lowest, Zim returns because Phase 1 is complete and Phase 2 ready to start … if Zim could just remember what Phase 2 actually was.

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