The Last of Us – Long Long Time – TV Review

TL;DR – A quiet contemplation of what love is in the face of loss.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

Walking over a bridge.

The Last of Us Review

In our exploration through the world of The Last of Us so far, we have had a pretty point-by-point adaptation from the source material. A fact that many, including me, have deeply respected. However, sooner or later, they were going to make a big swerve from the game’s story, and the question is, how would that work? Well, we will find out a little sooner than I expected with today’s episode.

So to set the scene, in When You’re Lost in the Darkness, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) were charged with taking Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies in the old statehouse. Still, when they arrived in Infected, no one was left alive, and soon Tess had to sacrifice herself to let the others escape. On the road, Joel has few options, bar an old contact Bill (Nick Offerman), who lives in Lincoln, a town near Boston. But it has been a couple of years since he was last there, and Joel does not know if he is still welcome alone. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

Continue reading

The Wandering Earth II (The Wandering Earth 2/流浪地球2) – Movie Review

TL;DR – While frustratingly slow to build, I must say that it captured me in the end.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

MOSS

The Wandering Earth II Review

Back in 2019, this fascinating film slipped onto the scene and fascinated me. The Wandering Earth was one of the most unique scenarios I have ever seen put to film, and a movie with some of the most frustrating characters put to screen. It was this juxtaposition that both delighted and annoyed me. However, we now have a second bite at the pie, and it is time to see if they have learned from the issues of the last film.

So to set the scene, tragedy is brewing on Earth as it is clear that the Sun has prematurely entered its final phase and will soon expand to engulf the planet in the next 100 years. The United Earth Government was formed to find a solution with some form of Digital Life and The Moving Mountain Project being proposed. Time is of the essence as the globe slowly descends into chaos. In Libreville, Gabon, a test engine and space elevator is the first step towards The Moving Mountain Project, but this means it is at a critical phase, and if you could disrupt it at the source, then the whole thing could come crumbling down.

Continue reading

The Last of Us – Infected – TV Review

TL;DR – A more intimate episode of the series that focuses on the realities and hardships of their upcoming journey.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

The gang looking out over Boston.

The Last of Us Title Review

In last week’s When You’re Lost in the Darkness, we got one of the best video game adaptations. It was not just faithful to the overall vibe of the video game. It was also faithful down some of the blow-by-blow action moments of the show. My question back then was would a direct adaptation lack the emotional impact, and we have little to fear there if this episode is anything to go by.  

So to set the scene, it is Jakarta, Indonesia, on the 24th of September 2003 when Ibu Ratna (Christine Hakim), Professor of Mycology, is taken from her lunch by military police. She is whisked away to a lab and asked to look at a specimen. She discovers the impossible, that cordyceps has made the jump to humans. Her recommendation, burn Jakarta to the ground before it is too late because there is no vaccine. In the future, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) are still reeling from the revelation that Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is infected. The question is, do you kill the girl now, or when she enviably turns? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

Continue reading

The Post-Truth World (罪後真相/Zui Hou Zhen Xiang) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A compelling tale of murder and coverup, where there are many potential suspects, and in the end, the truth might be the biggest casualty.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

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

The computer monitor.

The Post-Truth World Review

One of the most essential topics in modern times is the notion of truth and whether we can find it in our news anymore. Can you trust what you see in the news, read in the papers, or skim from the internet? With people yelling fake news at everything, how can you find the real in all the noise? Does the media care about the truth or just a narrative that can sell papers or subscriptions? It is within these questions we find our film today.  

So to set the scene, it is 2012, and all the bases are loaded, as a stadium dresses in yellow to support their team. As the game plays out below, different people’s lives start intersecting and collapsing. It is here where Zhang Zheng-yi (Edward Chen) walks out covered in blood, the blood of his now-dead girlfriend Wang Shi-yun (Tzu Hsuan Chan) and is promptly arrested and incarcerated for life. In 2019, Chang escaped jail by luring Liu Li-min (Joseph Chang), a journalist who ran the popular Dissecting the Society program back in 2012 and was at the stadium at the time of the murder. Today Li-min is trying to get a new title, True Standpoint, off the ground, and the biggest story of the year just kidnapped him. As the city begins a manhunt for Li-min, it is a moment of reflection on whether the truth matters.        

Continue reading

Transfusion – Movie Review

TL;DR – It is a film trying to explore some essential issues. However, it felt like we only got a surface-level analysis.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

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

Blood in the sink.

Transfusion Review

It is one of modern society’s great tragedies, actually no, not a tragedy, embarrassments, that we send people off to war and wars with dubious pretensions, and then we ignore them when they return home. We give lip service to trying to do something about it, but the damage remains. Today’s film shines a light on that trauma and how it can have generational effects.     

So to set the scene, an Australian special forces team in The Middle East infiltrates a secured compound at night. The mission was a success until a surprise combatant sneaks up on the team, and Ryan Logan (Sam Worthington) is shot protecting his team. Back home, Ryan must adjust back to life with his wife Justine (Phoebe Tonkin) and son Billy (Gilbert Bradman), but where the trauma of the past still lingers. But when tragedy strikes, the bond between a father and a son is stretched to breaking point.     

Continue reading

Jung_E (정이) – Movie Review

TL;DR – It sets up an interesting conundrum about a world of combat AIs and then revels the story.     

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.

Many Jung_E's in a row.

Jung_E Review

We are thankfully back at the point where there are multiple new films every week. While this is great, it leads to the problem of trying to find which one of the many you take the time to watch? Well, when you hear that the creator behind Train to Busan has a new film out, that choice becomes quite easy.

So to set the scene, it is the far future of 2194, where humanity has wrecked the planet, and after climate change leads to drastic sea level rises, most humans escape to shelters built near the Luna orbit. With those left on Earth working in the factories. But this respite would not last as some banded together to create the Adrian Republic waging a decades-long war against The Allied Force. Everyone is trying to find a way to win the battle before humanity is wiped out, and for Yoon Seo-hyun (Kang Soo-youn), that weapon is the cloned android of a great leader of the past Jung_E (Kim Hyun-joo), or as she knows her as, mum.

Continue reading

The Last of Us – When You’re Lost in the Darkness – TV Review

TL;DR – A faithful and tense introduction to the series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

The Last of Us Review

I came into this week’s The Last of Us with some trepidation. On the one hand, the series, especially the second game, holds a special place in my heart as it was the streaming event that sucked me into this world. However, since then, many shows have come into this post-apocalyptic space, and some, like Station Eleven, have been transcendent. My question is, has The Last of Us missed the bus, or is it the perfect time to jump back into this world?   

So to set the scene, it is September 26th, 2003, in Austin, Texas, and there is a sense of strange calm as Joel (Pedro Pascal), and his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker) celebrate his birthday as the news reports something weird happening in Jakarta. Joel and his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) have to work a double shift to get the house they are working on fixed. While Sarah is out getting her father’s watch mended, police start tearing up the streets. Hours later, things move from bad to worse as the city implodes, and Joel desperately tries to get his family to safety. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show and Schindler’s List.    

Continue reading

Mapping Bullet Train

Brad Pitt punching a life sized mascot.

Mapping Bullet Train

Back in 2022, there was this odd film that popped into the world, Bullet Train, which took place on a Shinkansen travelling from Tokyo to Osaka. For some, it was their film of the year, but I ended up being much more mixed on the movie. However, there was one thing I was thinking about when I sat down to watch the film – is it geographically accurate? This is what we will look at today.

I have taken the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka before, so I thought this was something I could tick off in the cinema, but some of the station locations are shown very briefly or only in part. It took seeing it on digital release to nail this map down.

Continue reading

M3GAN – Movie Review

TL;DR – A weirdly wonderful film, full of camp and tension.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

M3GAN in a pile of soft toys.

M3GAN Review

Artificial life discovering sentience is one of those thematic moments that can land you on the whole spectrum of cinema. It can be thought-provoking life After Yang, menacing like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or could flip about in between, such as Lost in Space. Today we look at a film that skews more towards the menacing, where we see that Asimov might have been on to something.

So to set the scene, Cady (Violet McGraw) is travelling with her family when tragedy strikes, and she is left alone to go live with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams). Her aunt is not ready to be a parent, and both struggle to bond until Gemma shows Cady what she is working on. A new toy and AI robot girl called M3GAN (Amie Donald/Jenna Davis) that pairs and bonds with her primary user. Everything is going well until one day, when they have a conversation about death.

Continue reading

Awards – My Top 20 Films of 2022

So far, in our awards, we have looked at Action, Animation, Best of Australia, Cinematography, Costumes, Emotion, Fun, Music, Tension, and Worldbuilding.

However, in this last entry into our Best of 2022 awards, we crown our Best Film winner of 2022.

All films are subjective, so our list might look completely different from yours. Of the 102 films we revied last year, 92 had their Theatrical/Streaming in 2022, which is the list we draw our entries from. You can see the complete list of movies HERE.

Much like last year’s list, we have had many staggered releases towards the end of the year. So we may have films here that were released in 2021 for you but 2022 for us, and there may be some omissions here because we won’t get those films until later in 2023.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s dive into the first entry in our list of Best Films of 2022.

Continue reading