The Boys: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – Confronting, uncomfortable, but entirely compelling.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

The Boys: Season One. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

When I first heard of The Boys, the concept of ‘what if superheroes were assholes?’ I’ll be honest it didn’t grab me. Maybe it was the Suicide Squad fatigue that had set in; perhaps it was the general feel of the time. However, given this is 2020, and what’s the worst that can happen? Well, I am glad I did because a lot is going on here, some unsettling, some subversive, but all fascinating.

So to set the scene, we open with bank robbers driving recklessly through the streets of New York. The truck carriers off the side of the road heading to some innocent bystanders when Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) of The Seven steps in front and takes all the damage herself while Homelander (Antony Starr) flies in and laser eyes the bandits while stopping to take a selfie or two. Meanwhile, Hughie (Jack Quaid) is walking down the street with his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) after finally deciding to move in with each other when one second she is standing there talking. The next she is red mist as A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) runs into her at super-speed after being too preoccupied to see what was coming. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Tenet – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that blasts onto the screen with a roar of trumpets only to get bogged down in its own worldbuilding.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Tenet. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

There are some filmmakers out there whose work has been consistently engaging that every new release gets immediately put on the must-watch list. For me, these are filmmakers like Denis Villeneuve, Ryan Coogler, Roger Deakins, Patty Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Wayne Blair, George Miller, and if I am honest with myself, at the top of that list for me is Christopher Nolan. His film Inception is still on my Top 10 Films list, and his work is always interesting even if like Interstellar the film does not capture me. Well, we live in precarious times, and I was not sure if I was going to be able to see Tenet in some form for a while, but thankfully I did get to see a screening today, and well, I think this is a film that is going to fall in the latter.

So to set the scene, we open in on an opera house in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a group of armed terrorists surge through the band and occupy the theatre. As the police arrive, one van is not what it seems because onboard is a CIA team led by our unnamed protagonist (John David Washington). This whole attack is a ruse to take out an operative whose cover has been blown, and it is our protagonist’s job to get the agent out. It all went wrong, but instead of dying to a cyanide capsule, he wakes up on a boat heading to an off-shore wind farm. It is here where he is informed that he is dead to the world, but a new opportunity has opened up. He is to explore Tenet, a mysterious phrase that is being used by arms smugglers and the like and which could be more dangerous than a missing nuclear weapon.  

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Lowdown Dirty Criminals – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film of two halves, some interesting characters in a story that fails to deliver

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Lowdown Dirty Criminals. Image Credit: Monster Films.

Review

Today we are looking at a film of two halves, which makes it a difficult movie to review. This is because there are aspects where the film shines, and then there are moments where it all falls apart. These two halves create a disconnect that you can’t help but see throughout the entire runtime.

So to set the scene, we open in on Freddy (James Rolleston) and Marvin (Samuel Austin) in a room that is about to explode in gunfire. We then jump back a night where we see Freddy and Marvin in a car as they completely botch up robbing an ATM, severely damaging their boss’ car. From here they are up a certain creek without a paddle. Their boss Spiggs (Scott Wills) gives them one opportunity, they have to kill the guy sleeping with his wife, and it all goes wrong from here.

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High Score: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – It tells birth the history and the human stories behind the rise, fall, and rise again of video games  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
High Score. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Video Games might be considered the newest form of mass media, but they rake in billions of dollars a year outgrossing all in their wake. Since the 1970s, they splashed into this world and raked in first quarters and then dollars and then more and I should say that I been known to pass on much my hard-earned coins to the industry. However, it is old enough that those who started have started to retire and pass on. I have seen a couple of attempts at documenting this history, and they had skewed to being too dry, to being too focused on entertaining, or even built with an agenda in mind. So to see a documentary to walks that line and succeeds is a joy to watch.

So to set the scene, we start back with the first big wave of video games with the rise of the arcade machine in the 1970s beginning in Japan and exploding across the world. We get introduced to this world through Tomohiro Nishikado, the creator of Space Invaders. It shows how quickly the industry can rise, shift, and fall. From here we cart the history of video game up to the Nintendo’s N64 with hints of where it would go in the future.

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How Well Did They Create Ethiopia in Civilization VI?

TL;DR – So how well does Civilization 6 capture Ethiopia with its new entry? It’s raining faith Halleluiah, its rain faith, amen

Review –

With the drip-feed of content coming out of Civilization VI’s New Frontier pack we have already gotten a look at the Maya, Gran Colombia, and now Ethiopia. Given that Ethiopia is the first of these civilizations that has grabbed me, I thought it best to sit down and have a look at just how well they have implemented it in-game. After that, we will also spend a little bit of time looking at the other additions to the game. But to refresh ourselves, let’s take a look at Ethiopia’s bonuses.

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7 Days to Die – Video Game Review

TL;DR – A game of two halves whose disconnect should not work, but I keep coming back.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
7 Days to Die. Image Credit: The Fun Pimps.

Review – As part of the consequences of 2020 (and one of the few that are not bad) is that I have been playing a lot more multiplayer games with my group of friends. While the go-to games of Civilization and Divinity are there, we have also been branching out into new games, one of which is today’s review, 7 Days to Die. Now, I should preface this review with the fact that this game is still in alpha, which means that it is not feature complete. However, given the first release was in 2013, I think there has been enough time to get a good sense of the game.

So to set the scene, 7 Days to Die is a survival horror game set in a post-World War 3 Arizona where the dead now outnumber the living. The survival part of the genre means that you have to build bases, craft new items, upgrade your stuff so you can access new areas, and then rinse and repeat. The horror part of the title comes from the fact that your central adversary in this game is the walking dead, old bitey, or as you may know them by zombies.

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Last Shot – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that is trying to tell an interesting story but is held back by its narrative.     

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Last Shot. Image Credit: Vision Films.

Review

One of the most important things about a film is its narrative. It ties the characters, events, action, drama, well everything together. While the narrative can be a core driver in how successful a film can be, it can also be affected by other elements in the movie for better or worse. Today we look at a film that presents an interesting narrative that unfortunately fails due to a single action of one of its characters.     

So to set the scene, we open with Nick Heirs (Cody Carter) making his way back through the town. He just got released from prison after spending ten years behind bars. Living with his cousin Mark (Carlo Campbell), Nick has to navigate the difficulties of getting a job and working through parole requirements all while living with the ramifications of his past.

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Peninsula (반도, Bando, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that unfortunately cannot reach the heights of its past.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Peninsula. Image Credit: Well Go.

Review

A few years ago, I stumbled across this fascinating Korean film called The Train to Busan. It was a zombie film where every character acted consistently and understandably throughout its run time. In a sea of mediocre zombie flicks, it instantly rose to the top, and since then maybe only Cargo has come close to meeting it. Thus, I was excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel to that great film. However, now I have seen it. I realise I should have modulated my expectations before going in.

So to set the scene, we open in on the day that South Korea fell. With Seoul burning in the background, Captain Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) is racing through mountainous back roads to get his family out on the last refugee boat. While driving, they came across a stranded family with a baby and just kept on driving. They make it to the boat in time, however, as it is leaving one of the passengers turns and before they can stop it all of Jung-seok’s family is dead bar his brother-in-law Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon). Four years later, in Hong Kong living in squalor waiting for refugee status, Chul-min and Jung-seok are offered an opportunity by a local gangster to make some real money. All they have to do is go back to Inchon, in what is now just known as The Peninsular, under cover of darkness and recover a food truck with 20 Million Dollars in the back. What could go wrong?   

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An Easy Girl (Une Fille Facile) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A frustrating mess of a film    

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

An Easy Girl (Une Fille Facile). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of the good things about watching films from around the world is that you get to experience a whole range of new stories. This is usually a boon, however, sometimes it all falls flat, and today, unfortunately, we look at the later.  

So to set the scene, we open in on Cannes on the French seaside where Naïma (Mina Farid) has just turned 16. She is trying to find her place in the world and see her future. At the start of summer her cousin Sofia (Zahia Dehar) who just lost her mother comes to stay from Paris. It is a time for finding oneself under the French sun.

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Star Trek: Lower Decks: Second Contact – TV Review

TL;DR – Super charming and a fun new direction for the franchise.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Star Trek: Lower Decks: Second Contact. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

We are currently living in the middle of a new golden age of Science Fiction on TV, and one of the significant drivers of that has been Star Trek. With Discovery and then Picard, you feel that they are starting to get their groove back. However, when I heard there was going to be a more light-hearted animated series coming out, I felt a bit of trepidation. However, after watching the first episode, I can see I had nothing to worry about.

To set the scene, we open in on the USS Cerritos in 2380 (which for those playing at home is two years after the return of the USS Voyager and twenty years before the start of Picard). The Cerritos is a Federation Vessel that specialises in second contact, which is the follow-up mission after first contact, not as much glory but still significant. Ensign D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) has just come on board from Outpost 79, and this is her first placement on a starship. Her orientation guide is Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) a very straight-laced command track-captain seat hopeful Ensign. However, orientation is soon side-tracked as Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) decides to take D’Vana on a more personalised tour. This gets put aside when they go down to the planet to help the Galardonian High Council with a subspace receiver while things down quite go to plan back on the ship.

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