Article – Why I Love Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ/Kaubōi Bibappu)

TL;DR – Its music, story, animation, worldbuilding, and characters that you really care for even though they are all broken in some way

Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ/Kaubōi Bibappu). Image Credit: Madman.

Article

A while back I took a moment to write about Why I loved Star Trek DS9 and since it was a great time of writing I have been meaning to get back at it again. I had a couple of choices but with the announcement that Netflix is producing a ten-episode live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop, well I got instantly dragged back in time to my high school days when the show rippled through my life with every beat of those conga drums, and well I instantly knew what to do next. Why Cowboy Bebop? Well, there are a lot of reasons, the music, story, animation, characters, but more than anything, it was the way it shaped how I viewed television and animation as a medium and got me more and more interested with how it is all made. It is also one of the go-to shows, as well as Samurai Champloo (サムライチャンプル), that I recommend whenever someone want to start exploring animation. So with that in mind let us dive into the neo-noir space-western from Shinichirō Watanabe (渡辺 信一郎) all about trying to escape the past and then realising that you can’t, and then also Ed, hello Ed.

In the Cowboy Bebop world, the human race has expanded out into the Solar System when the first Astral Gate (a faster than light transport system) exploded next to The Moon raining down Luna debris on Earth. The world had one choice escape or die on Earth and so they expanded out terraforming the Moons of Jupiter, Venus, creating the crater cities of Mars, and also Asteroid outposts across the Solar System like Tijuana (TJ). By 2071, because the human race is spread out across such a large region of space it has meant that enforcing law and order has become a challenge, so the powers at be implemented a bounty system and so Cowboys spread out chasing bounties and bringing back criminals to face justice … for a fee of course. This is where we meet our crew of the Bebop the ship they travel around the Solar System catching criminals while trying not to have to spend all its bounty on repairs.  

Continue reading

Article – Why I Love Star Trek: First Contact

TL;DR – From the action to the story and the music. First Contact captures a real moment in Science Fiction history and is still probably my favourite Star Trek film.

Star Trek: First Contact. Image Credit: Paramount.

Article

As the march of time continues forth, I was reminded that it has been twenty-three years since Star Trek: First Contact came out in cinemas. Goodness, 1996, such a long time ago, a time when I was not even in high school. However, in all the time since and before I don’t think any Star Trek film has had the same impact on me (though Wrath of Khan and Beyond come pretty close). As the time is right, and we all know how important time is, let’s dive into the joy that is Star Trek: First Contact.

So to set the scene, in Generations the USS Enterprise-D was destroyed by assailants and so a new ship the Sovereign-class USS Enterprise-E was commissioned with all our familiar faces making the transition. However, just with the Enterprise is in the middle of its shakedown cruise the worst possible news happens. The Borg are back. A large cube ship is on a trajectory with Earth but the Enterprise cannot help as Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) was once assimilated by the Borg and Starfleet wants it away from the battle. But to hell with orders, which is good because this time the Borg is messing with the timeline and only the Enterprise can fix the damage before it is too late.

Continue reading

Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Video Games List

Countdown

Because of circumstances in my personal life, these last couple of weeks have been a real drag, to say the least. So I have been struggling to find the motivation to write anything of late as I binge cooking shows on TV. However, you can’t stay stuck on the couch forever, and I thought if I was going to write it should be on something I care about a lot, so bring on those video games. Much like my personal top 10 films list I needed to come up with some criteria to be able to sort through all the really good games I have played in my life.    

  • Games that are beautifully constructed (art, story, etc)
  • They have to mean something to me
  • Video Games that are re-playable
  • Games that engaged me emotionally
Continue reading

Exploring the Past – Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden)

TL;DR – A charming little Science Fiction film even though it does have a few rough edges   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden). Image Credit: Nice Drama.

Review

If you have read our site before, you’ll know that we are all about new Science Fiction films and ways they explore the genre. This year I have wanted to branch out and see how other countries are approaching Science Fiction to broaden my cinematic experience and today we get to do that with Alone in Space a film about being trapped alone in space from Sweden.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Svea XVI an escape ship form a dying Earth, but instead of being filled with colonists/refugees the only ones on board are Gladys (Ella Rae Rappaport) and her younger brother Keaton (Dante Fleischanderl). They try and get through the day, fixing what they can of the ship, scavenging food and stuff in their journeys and talking to the ship’s Japanese AI Otosan. Well one day there is a crash, sending everything on the ship flying. Thinking it was some debris they ignore it and go about fixing the ship only to discover they are no longer alone.  

Continue reading

Movie Review – Drive (2019)

TL;DR – Today I have what might be the easiest pitch I have ever heard, its Fast and the Furious but Bollywood. Well, that is if you can get through the very uneven first hour that is and some super clunky CGI.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Drive (2019). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I like me a good heist film, where you have shifting loyalties, betrayals, convoluted plans, misdirection, and of course a quick exit. So when I heard that there was a Bollywood heist film with a dash of the Fast and Furious and a sprinkle of well-choreographed dance sequences, I knew I had to give it a watch. Well, let’s dive into a world where you need to screech those tyres and aggressively change gears every half a second.

So to set the scene, the Director of Monetary Restrictions Authority Vibha Singh (Vibha Chibber) and her chief of staff Hamid (Pankaj Tripathi) are going about their days, using less than conventional technics to get businessmen to pay all their taxes when they get an urgent message from President’s office. As his aid Ifran (Boman Irani) explains there is a new thief on the scene called King because they leave a playing card with the location of their next heist at the place they have robed. Well the next place they are going to rob is right there at Rashtrapati Bhavan, India’s Presidential Palace. Their only lead is Tara (Jacqueline Fernandez) who runs an illicit courier business so they sent in a double agent Samar (Sushant Singh Rajput) to see what they can find out.

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Man Without Gravity (L’uomo Senza Gravità)

TL;DR – A film that explores the joyous and sad moments if our lives through the prism of someone who falls out of societies prism of normality.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene but there is a kickass song about Batman so that’s something.

The Man Without Gravity (L'uomo Senza Gravità). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Having a baby is one of the most joyous moments in your life, however, it can also be full of dread. Will the baby be okay, will I, what will our future be, have we baby-proofed the house? However, I don’t think anyone has had to deal with “what are our strategies for getting the baby off the ceiling.”

So to set the scene, in a small town in Italy a car races the nearest medical centre as that time has come. Natalia (Michela Cescon) is rushed into that hospital with only her mother Alina (Elena Cotta) at her side. But this is not a normal pregnancy because as the baby comes out it begins to rise into the ceiling with only the umbilical cord keeping it attached. Natalia races out of the centre without leaving her name but when they get home they call the boy Oscar as he is like an American superhero. All it well for a moment until that is the local gossips come around to see the baby.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria)

TL;DR – A beautiful look at how the pain of the past can define us even when we don’t know that it is happening.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria). Image Credit: Universal.

Review

Walking into this film I didn’t know what to expect, I knew it stared Antonio Banderas, but not a whole lot else. Indeed, I think that was the same for a lot of the people sitting around me, with one person mentioning that they “hoped it was more glory than pain.” However, as the film went on it became clear that this was a film about how pain and glory can find themselves intertwined.

So to set the scene, Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) was once a famous film writer/director in Madrid, but these days he spends most of his time in his house alone with his painting and his thoughts. Over the years his body has slowly been causing him more and more pain culminating in major back surgery that he has never really gotten over. Being a filmmaker was everything to him and now when he can’t physically do it anymore he has lost his purpose for life. One day he is contacted by a local cinema who has remastered Sabor one of his earlier films and they have asked him and the lead actor Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia) to come to host a Q&A. The only problem is that Salvador has not spoken to Alberto in 30 years. But more than that, this event starts dredging up the past in all its beauty and dysfunction.

Continue reading