Movie Review – Black is King

TL;DR – A visual masterwork and required viewing if you have Disney+    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Black is King. Image Credit: Disney+.

Review

Today we review a film that might be the oddest film I have watched from a conceptional perspective. It is a reinterpretation of the story of the Lion King remake, a movie I thought was okay but not much more. But this reframing is the barest framework the film uses throughout to explore everything from religion to music to race and more. This should not work, but it does.      

Black is King. Image Credit: Disney+.
It explores many themes during its runtime and gives each and every one of them the justice they deserve. Image Credit: Disney+.
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TV Review – Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Siege [Chapter One]

TL;DR – While presenting some new ideas and context for this Transformers world, I couldn’t help but walk away feeling hollow by the experience.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Siege. Image Credit: Netflix.

When it comes to the little franchise that could, Transformers has always been the one ready to well transform itself and come back as something new. From the original Gen 1 to the hit and miss movies, and all the many animated shows in-between. No matter the case, it always has ready to put on a new coat of paint, or fathers and scales that one time, and now is no different. Today we will be looking at a show that takes us right back to the beginning with the War for Cybertron.

So to set the scene, we open amid a millennia-long civil war between the Decepticons led by Megatron (Jason Marnocha) and the Autobots led by Optimus Prime (Jake Foushee). Cybertron, once an ecumenopolis of shining lights is now rubble pocketed with the damage of the conflict. The Autobots however, have been on the losing side of this war, and now are struggling to survive. They need energon to escape on their Arc, but Megatron is planning something worse that may destroy them where they stand, and no one will be able to hide from it. Now we will be looking at the series as a whole, and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Explore It – Out For A Day In Brisbane

TL;DR – Today I got out of the house and just went for a walk for the first time since March

Article

Since March, life has been a state of being at home twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, unless you had some specific event to go to. After a while, that starts to put a drain on your mental fortitude. Also, the lack of exercise plus stress eating has not helped either. Well, yesterday I had the day off and given the good situation that Queensland was in (when I left my door that morning, but we will get into that later) I thought it was time to get out of the house and go for a wander. So I packed my bag with hand sanitiser and a mask, left after peak hour, as recommended, and started my walk.    

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Movie Review – Shine Your Eyes

TL;DR – A film that presents a lot of interesting questions, but I am not sure it answers everything it sets out to do.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Shine Your Eyes. Image Credit: Primo Filmes.

Review

One of the great things about World Cinema is that you can explore whole worlds you don’t know about and see them come alive. I have never been to Brazil or Nigeria, but through cinema, I can experience those stories, the pain and the joy.  

So to set the scene, Amadi (O.C. Ukeje) has been tasked by his family to fly across from Lagos, Nigeria to São Paulo, Brazil. He is in the unfamiliar country for one reason, to find out what happened to his estranged older brother Ikenna (Chukwudi Iwuji). What makes things worse is when he discovers that the story that Ikenna has told his family is a lie, and if he does not find out what happened he might have to take on the mantle of the older brother as is required in Igbo society.   

I am going to start with the fact that as someone from Australia, I do not know if the film represents Igbo society or Brazil. So I am proceeding in this review under the assumption that they do in this regard unless I discover otherwise.     

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Movie Review – The Speed Cubers

TL;DR – A look into the world of Rubik’s Cubes and those who can solve them in under 7 seconds.    

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

The Speed Cubers. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of the great things about documentaries is when they take you into a world that you have no idea about. Today we get a film that does just that, with the world of Rubik’s Cubes. I don’t get Rubik’s Cubes. My brain cannot compute them. The skill involved boggles my mind, so watching it all unfold is a real joy.

Where this documentary works is by offering us an insight into a world that everyone has a handle on but then also something you can’t quite comprehend. I think everyone has played with a Rubik’s Cube at some point in their lives. It is a novelty thing, that let’s be honestly more than a few of us have only finished one because we pealed the colour panels off and switched them around. It is a tactile situation that we can all relate to, so when you see people move their fingers in a blur and shift chaos into order in mere seconds.

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Movie Review – Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey

TL;DR – A film that takes an interesting premise and then does nothing of note with it.     

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

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

Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey. Image Credit: Vision Films.

Review

Today we look at a film trying to be a snapshot of a time and a place, which unfortunately fails on both accounts. Which is a real shame because there is a lot of potential in the direction the film was heading in that just never eventuates. Because of this, our review will be more of a constructive look at some of the ways it went wrong so you can avoid these traps in the future.    

So to set the scene, in 1966, the world is on the precipice of global failure with two nuclear powers on the brink of calamity and the draft for the Vietnam War accelerating. Liza (Mikey Madison) is just finishing up the school year when she runs into the new trumpet player Brett (Sean H. Scully). They lament on the state of the world, and of their mutual issues with their guardians. When Brett, let’s Liza know that he is moving across the country after the summer, they decide to take a trip up the Californian coast while they still can.        

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Map-It Civilization VI: New Frontier Pass – Ethiopia Pack

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization VI (at time of posting) in one map, this time featuring the new addition Ethiopia.

Article

Today we got the latest update to Civilization VI with the newest addition to the New Frontier Pass, and next pit stop into Africa with Ethiopia. So once again, we are going to dive back into the world of Cartography plus Video Games. If you want more detailed information on anything that appears on the map, you can find it at our  Civilization VI Cartographic Educational Database.

 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. As such, no matter how much you try, there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.
We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the map in this update, if you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.  

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TV Review – Street Food: Latin America

TL;DR – A fascinating look into Latin American food and culture.  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Street Food: Latin America. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

A couple of years ago, we got the next evolution in David Gleb’s food documentaries with Street Food Asia. It explored a side of the different countries that you don’t usually see. It delved into everything from food, culture, history, governmental practices and more through the lenses of these street vendors. Today we dive back into this series with a look at its next destination Latin America.   

So to set the scene, we jump across Latin America from Las Chicas de la Tres in Buenos Aires, Argintina, Ré Restaurante, in Salvador, Brazil, Memelas Doña Vale in Oaxaca, Mexico, Al Toke Pez in Lima, Peru, Tolú in Bogotá, Columbia & Rellenos de Doña Emi in La Paz, Bolivia. Every episode takes a glimpse into the cities and the food that drives them.

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Movie Review – Babyteeth

TL;DR – This is a film that is both funny and deeply sad, immediately captivating yet also uncomfortable to watch, full complete yet broken characters    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Babyteeth. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

When I walked in to see Babyteeth, I had no idea I was walking into. Sure, from the wigs I assumed it had something to do with cancer, it also had Ben Mendelsohn, so at the very least I was going to be entertained by that. However, nothing could prepare me for the emotional roller coaster that I would be taken on from start to finish.

So to set the scene, Milla (Eliza Scanlen) is preparing for her last day at school for a while as soon she would be starting chemotherapy as her cancer had returned. While she is waiting to get on the train, someone crashes into her from behind. Moses (Toby Wallace) had just been kicked out of home due to his drug addiction. They run off to get her hair cut, and Milla brings him home to meet her parents Henry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Anna (Essie Davis). It goes about as well as you expect it would.

I do feel that I have to preface my review with the note that moments in this film are painful to watch. So difficult that you want to turn away from the screen because the pain is too raw to bear. I say this because I feel people are going to come away with very different feelings about this film, and I wanted to give a little forewarning before we dived into the review proper. 

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Menelik II of Ethiopia First Look and Analysis – Civilization VI: New Frontier Pass

TL;DR: Ethiopia is here and get ready for it to chuck faith into hyperdrive.

We are getting a new expansion for Civilization VI, well not quite, over the next year we have a season pass, the New Frontier Pass, which will give us several new Civilizations and Game Modes over the next year (which you can find out more information HERE). The next new Civilizations has been released so let’s dive into Ethiopia.

Menelik II of Ethiopia. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.
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