Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Reckoning – TV Review

TL;DR – Perfectly balances tension and story while flying ahead at light speed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

Landers descend to Ferrix.

Andor Review

As I come to the end of the opening episodes of Andor, which work both as an introduction and second a small arc in their own right, I found that it has captured my heart and my interest. As we dive into Episode 3, we see a world about to change dramatically as past events crash into the present.

So to set the scene, after having to kill two Corpos in Kassa, Andor spent That Would Be Me trying to get the hell out of dodge because while he was cautious on Morlana One, it was only time before they would trace him down on Ferrix. Meanwhile, back in time on Kenari, a young Cassa (Antonio Viña) braved the crashed ship and started smashing it all up. But he might not be the only one there. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Partings – TV Review

TL;DR – As much as the title describes, this is an episode of crossroads, not all of them good.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Harfoots migrate.

The Rings of Power Review

I always knew that The Great Wave would be a hard act to follow. Indeed it would be a hard act to get close to that again. However, I was not expecting this week’s episode to give me pause. Not a significant problem per se. More like when you are walking through a forest, and you stop because you have seen something odd in the corner of your eye, pause. Let us now dive into this week’s episode to explore what I mean.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Harfoots as they begin their long migration north, over mountains, through grasslands, and even some marshes where the dead will lie one day. Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) and her family would have been left behind leagues ago because of their father’s (Dylan Smith) foot and being put in the back of the caravan. However, thanks to the help of The Stranger (Daniel Weyman), who fell from the sky, and much to the annoyance of the rest of the caravan, they have kept up. But in this wood, something stirs, and when there is no food, a couple of Harfoots look like a tasty morsel. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: Just Jen – TV Review

TL;DR – It’s time for the wedding episode with an unexpected guest.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

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

Just Jen Attorney at Law

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

As we reach this middle part of the season, it has been nice to see She-Hulk revel in these smaller character-driven episodes. Where we get some time to get to know what drives the characters and what their motivations are. The good thing this week is that this episode is all that, but also a little bit more.

So to set the scene, while things are going well for Jen (Tatiana Maslany) at work, an unexpected package has put a pause on things. She has been invited to Lulu’s [her high school best friend but since then, they have drifted apart] wedding. This was a moment to show just how well she was doing. Only Lulu (Patti Harrison) insists that there should be no She-Hulk at the wedding. Back at work, Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) and Mallory (Renée Elise Goldsberry) have to work for a client that calls himself Mr. Immortal (David Pasquesi) because all his ex-wives and ex-husbands just found out he is alive. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): That Would Be Me – TV Review

TL;DR – While building on the suspense, you need to be prepared for a slow burn

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

A ship comes into land at Ferrix.

Andor Review

While the era of binging of new content might be over, there have been lessons learned and one of them we see here. You want to have a weekly discussion about your show while still having that event day experience. Andor follows the lead of shows like The Boys and lands both those aspects, which is why we can look at Episode 2 today.  

So to set the scene, Andor (Diego Luna) is in a bit of strife as a trip to Morlana One turned bad as two local Corpos tried to rough him up and ended up dead. Knowing that time is limited, and sooner or later, the Corpos will come looking for him on Ferrix. He must work quickly to get off-planet and out of the corporation’s reach, but after all, his planning. He might be undone from the most unlikely of places. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Heartbreak High (2022): Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR Heartbreak High crafted an interesting narrative with compelling characters in a setting that does not get the coverage that it should

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress

The "Map"

Heartbreak High Review

Ever since Sex Education blasted onto the scene, there has been a big push by networks to jump back into the world of teen coming-of-age series, but written with a level of maturity. While there have been a lot of pretenders, I have yet to see anything come close to capturing that level of honesty in a show, well, that is until today. Today we are looking at a show that feels like a breath of fresh air while also being a call back to an Australian classic set at Hartley High School in Sydney, Australia.

So to set the scene, Amerie (Ayesha Madon) and Harper (Asher Yasbincek) are besties who spend their lives inseparable and then fighting hard. But after a music festival, Harper ghosted Amerie and completely changed her appearance. Amerie is trying to find out why all hell breaks loose when they get into a fistfight. Because all last year, Amerie and Harper spent their time in the abandoned stairwell making a map of all the different sexual encounters their grade had engaged in. So on the day that Amerie losses her best friend, the map is discovered, and Amerie goes from being Amerie to becoming ‘Map Bitch’ before being sequestered away in a sexual literacy tutorial with everyone else on the map, including Darren (James Majoos), Quinni (Chloe Hayden), Malakai (Thomas Weatherall), Ca$h (Will McDonald), Dusty (Joshua Heuston), Sasha (Gemma Chua-Tran), Spider (Bryn Chapman-Parish), Missy (Sherry-Lee Watson), and Ant (Brodie Townsend). Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Kassa – TV Review

TL;DR – This opening episode does not do a whole lot to forward the story, which is fine, because it delves us into a world of intrigue.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

A cresent moon.

Andor Review

When they first announced that there would be Star Wars tv shows on Disney+, I was excited because that was a format that I am sure they would excel in if given a chance, and it had been an oft-rumoured inevitability. Since then, we have gotten the delightful Mandalorian, but then the missed opportunity that was the Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. As such, I came into his series with a bit of concern, but this first episode has brought me nothing but intrigue.

So to set the scene, on a dark and rainy night, we see Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) make his way across a boardwalk to the glittering city Morlana One, part of the Preox-Morlana Corporate Zone in the Morlani system. He is going to the ‘leisure district’ to find out any information about his missing sister when he is accosted by two of the local security forces or Corpos. Taking his leave, Andor makes his way back to his ship when the two Corpos accost him again. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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The Wandering Village – Video Game Review

TL;DR – We have a remarkable base with an adorable presentation. It is just missing a hook to make it excel. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for this game; the game was in Early Access when reviewed  

The Onbu

The Wandering Village Review –

There is a growing joke in my friend circle that if you want to get me involved in a game, then it better have some kind of farming mode. This stems from my early years growing up on city builders, and to this day, I am always ready to dive into a video game that presents a new twist on the city-building formula. The last one to do so was Surviving Mars, where you built a colony in space, and today we look at a game where you build a city on, checks notes, the back of a giant tortoise.

So to set the scene, you were part of a people that had lived their lives in peace in a small fertile valley full of wonder, but eventually, the same toxic spore that had collapsed the rest of the society found you and you were forced to flee. It was a perilous journey, and just when all seemed lost, you stumbled across a miracle, the last of its kind, a giant Onbu, woken by those same spores. Now you have to build a village on its back, and hopefully, together, you can survive the calamity.

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House of the Dragon: We Light the Way – TV Review

TL;DR – The more we try and break out of King’s Landing, the more the story feels small.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this episode.

Danger in The Vale

House of the Dragon Review

Few phrases carry more weight in the world of Game of Thrones than that of a wedding. Whether it is the Red Wedding or the Purple Wedding, no good has ever come from walking down the aisle in Westeros. The bells are ringing today, so the danger must be near.

So to set the scene, tired of the endless stream of poor suiters, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) took the invitation of her uncle Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) for a night on the town in King’s Landing. This led to calamity when Daemon was publicly seen leading her into a house of ill repute. Now Rhaenyra has no choice over who she marries as  King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) makes his way to Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen’s (Eve Best) home on Driftmark to petition them to allow Rhaenyra to marry their son Ser Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan). But over in The Vale, Prince Daemon has returned to great his lady wife, Rhea Joyce (Rachel Redford), and we see a side of him we knew was there all along. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Drifting Home (Ame wo Tsugeru Hyôryû Danchi/雨を告げる漂流団地) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating look back to the power that a home can have over us, more than just four walls and a roof.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

The clouds over an ocean.

Drifting Home Review

At the end of last year, I realised that I had not watched enough animated films in 2021 and that needed to change in 2022. I think I succeeded on that front, but when I looked back, I realised that there was one hole in that catchup, Anime. Today I start fixing that blind spot by diving into a film full of mystery.    

 So to set the scene, in town in Japan at the onset of summer, there is an apparently haunted apartment block about to be torn down. While the old building is being removed to put something better, it is still considered ‘home’ for Natsume Touchi (Asami Seto) and Kosuke Kumagai (Mutsumi Tamura), who grew up there. However, since they moved out, the two have drifted apart as they went through separate lives. One day before they tear down the buildings, Kosuke and a group of boys visit one of the buildings and find Natsume hiding in their old apartment. As more school students show up, a concern about a mysterious boy called Noppo (Ayumu Murase), whom no one has met before but who lives in the building, raises the tension. It is all the building blocks for an argument between Natsume and Kosuke that had been percolating for months. As the two fight, Natsume slips off the roof, but before she hits the ground, a storm envelops the apartments, and the group finds themselves in the middle of the ocean, all alone.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Great Wave – TV Review

TL;DR – This is an episode with joy and tears, warmth and horror, action and romance, and warnings for the future

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Queen regent Míriel walks towards the sounds of crushing water.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Review

When they announced that Amazon would commission a new Lord of the Rings prequel series, many people [including myself] doubted if they could pull it off. Especially when it was revealed just what they could work with given the limited window their licence gave them. However, as I sit back from watching the fourth episode, it has become clear that those concerns were misplaced because few episodes of televisionthis year have moved me as much as this one did today.

So to set the scene, in Adar, we were introduced to the island kingdom of Númenor. A land was once given to man by the Elves, but a land that Elves are now unwelcome, something that Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) discovers first-hand when she is brought there by Elendil (Lloyd Owen). However, there is something behind Númenor’s reluctance, which haunts the dreams of the queen regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). However, things are going from bad to worse in the Southlands because the orcs have returned and are capturing people to dig their tunnels. Still, as Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) stands in chains, he looks in horror as the leader of the orcs is an elf called Adar (Joseph Mawle). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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