The Films from 2021 That Showed Off the Wonderful Glory of Animation

Animation is a form of filmmaking that is often related to second-tier status, something just for kids. This is by both the organisations giving out the awards and the guilds that are meant to promote their member’s work. However, they are not second-tier films, and in many ways, it is the animated films that push the frontiers of filmmaking and what is possible, and they should be championed for the work they do.     

Animated films can be hand-drawn, stop/clay motion, computer-generated, it does not matter, but all of them show unique techniques of hundreds of artists that bring the work to life.

So without further ado, these are the animated films that showed us the glory of animation in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to go to the full reviews of each of the films 

Continue reading

Explosions, Guns, and Punches, Oh My. The Best Action of 2021

A good Action sequence is something truly amazing to watch, as it can be as expansive as explosions crashing across the screen or more intimate, like a duel between two people. This gives the best action scenes such a range, and in 2021 we were given some genuinely unique spectacles.

For me, the best action scenes excel in every element, whether that be live actions, special effects, digital effects, or animation and bring every facet to shine. It is also the category that looks at some of the department’s people don’t often fully understand, like stunt coordination or the 2nd unit.

So without further ado, these are the moments of action that awed us in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to see the reviews of each film.

Continue reading

Station Eleven – TV Review

TL;DR – This stunningly beautiful show is about the connections we make and how love can triumph even in the darkest of worlds.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan subscription that viewed this series.

Station Eleven. Image Credit: Stan.

Station Eleven Review

I came into Station Eleven not knowing anything really about what I was getting myself into. I had heard vague mentions that it was pretty good, and I knew it was post-apocalyptic, but not much more than that. So I was completely unaware that I would inhale this show in the space of a week and everything about it. It has been a long while since a show has affected me like this, and goodness, what a ride it was.

So to set the scene, one night in Chicago, Jeevan Chaudhary (Himesh Patel) is seeing to opening night of the play King Lear. However, halfway through, something odd happens on stage and star Arthur Leander (Gael García Bernal) collapses on stage. Jeevan rushes to help, but Arthur dies of a heart attack. As chaos erupts around him, Jeevan finds one of the child actors, Kirsten (Matilda Lawler), has been forgotten, so he offers to walk her home. But after finding no one home at Kirsten’s house, Jeevan got a call from his sister (Tiya Sircar), that works at the hospital. The flu spreading across Europe is not usual. The death rate was 999 in 1000, and a kid had arrived in Chicago from Moscow that day. The flu is here, and it will rip through the population in 24 hours. Jeevan has to get supplies and head to his brother Fred’s (Nabhaan Rizwan) apartment, don’t talk to anyone because society is about to collapse. Just one problem, what does he do with Kirsten? Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.     

Continue reading

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 4 (The Gathering Storm) – TV Review

TL;DR – Alas, this week’s episode felt like spinning wheels, holding back the exciting stuff for next week.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 4 (The Gathering Storm). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

I am not quite sure what has happened here. Chapter 1 held so much promise, and Chapter 2 showed that when it was good, this show could be excellent. However, since then, we have seen two back-to-back episodes that have left me wanting, and it is starting to get frustrating.

So to set the scene, we jump back in time to when Boba (Temuera Morrison) discovered that all of the Sand People had been murdered while he was away. Noticing the mark of the Kintan Striders, Boba decides to set the score. The only problem is that they work for Bib Fortuna (Matthew Wood). There is no way that Boba can do this by himself, which is lucky because right at that moment, he sees a couple of flashes in the distance and discovers the body of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) bleeding out from a gut wound and where The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) left her. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 3 (The Streets of Mos Espa) – TV Review

TL;DR – We get a lot more action this episode, but it did feel like it lost some of last week’s substance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 (The Streets of Mos Espa). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

In Chapter 1, my big concern was that the show would keep navel-gazing too much into the past. While in Chapter 2, the show went almost full-past and was better for it. All of this has put my first thoughts in harsh contrast because this week, we get the reverse, with most of it being in the present, yet I think this was the weakest episode so far.

So to set the scene, last week we discovered that all was not as it seems in Mos Espa, as the Mayor (Robert Rodriquez) had let slip that others were looking to take over Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison) territory. Jabba had family, and just that moment, The Twins arrived with their Wookie bodyguard Black Krrsantan (Carey Jones). Boba is looking to try and stamp his authority on the city with everything in flux when vassal Lortha Peel (Carey Jones) arrives and explains that social order is collapsing and a new gang is in town. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading

King Richard – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating picture of a complicated man.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

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

King Richard. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

King Richard Review

There has been a resurgence in biopics in recent years, mainly in the music space. However, if there is one area where we could see more coverage, it would be in the sporting space. Today, we are looking at just such a case, but instead of a sporting star, today we are looking at one of their parents.

So to set the scene, back in the day, Richard Williams (Will Smith) and his wife Oracene Price (Aunjanue Ellis) are raising their five daughters in a two-bedroom house in Compton, California. Richard works night as a security guard, and Oracene works as a nurse. Still, in all their free moments, they are helping their daughters Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) by coaching them in tennis. But for the girls to take the next step, they need to have more professional support, but Richard has a plan for that.     

Continue reading

The Great: Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – There is an absurd chaos on display from start to finish.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Great: Season 2. Image Credit: Stan.

The Great Review

There is something so odd watching something proposing to be one thing but is another. There is a level of tonal dissonance that can take you out of the experience if there is not a deft hand on show. Today we look at a show that dances through history while ignoring actual events for a more engaging story.

So to set the scene, at the end of Season One, Catherine (Elle Fanning) finally made her move on Peter (Nicholas Hoult) with the help of her advisors Orlo (Sacha Dhawan) and Velementov (Douglas Hodge). Catherine had to sacrifice her lover to take the crown, but her love for Russia overtook her personal desires. However, Peter still has some support at court and weeks in. He still controls part of the Palace even though he is now surrounded. Time is short, and the one constant is everyone around Peter and Catherine has made it clear, they need to kill the other. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading

The Green Knight – Movie Review

TL;DR – Visually visceral, narratively interesting, and almost entirely engaging. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this movie.

The Green Knight. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

The Green Knight Review

Everyone has a narrative style that they are just a sucker for, it could be road trip movies or WW2 war films, or like me, it is taking myths from the old and reinterpreting in a modern context. This can be the bombasticness of Greek Legend, the sharpness of Norse Legend, or, as we get today, the weirdness of Arthurian Mythology.

So to set the scene, we start the film with a bucket of water in the face as Gawain (Dev Patel) is woken up in a brothel by his lover Essel (Alicia Vikander). Gawain might be hungover, but it is Christmas morning, and Gawain has duties to attend to. While his Mother (Sarita Choudhury) stays at home, Gawain heads to the keep to the feast of King Arthur (Sean Harris) and Queen Guinevere (Kate Dickie). However, a stranger on horseback arrived during the feast, a man made of bark and leaves, the Green Knight (Ralph Ineson). Walking up to the King, he lays out a challenge, and Gawain is the only one to take up the charge.

Continue reading

The Expanse: Why We Fight – TV Review

TL;DR – War takes a back seat this week as we explore the emotional fallout.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Why We Fight. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Expanse Review

If there is one emotion that films, TV, etc., rely on, it is pain. It is a universal emotion, so it is easy to use without any substance behind it, yet it still appears to have weight. These are the moments that hit at the moment yet make you feel hollow later when you think about it. There is a lot of death and pain in The Expanse, but as we see today, none of it is cheap.

So to set the scene, everyone is still reeling from the attacks across the system, and for the Martians, slow and steady is not the order of the day. They fly their newest stealth ships right through the portal to take Medina Station out of the equation. It is a daring attack. Bar, Marco (Keon Alexander) had made a deal and fortified all of ring space with railguns, killing the MCR fleet in moments. Meanwhile, The Roci has docked with Ceres Station as James (Steven Strait), and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) have found that the ring gates are killing ships, but James’ ultraism falls flat. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 (The Tribes of Tatooine) – TV Review

TL;DR – We get a step up from the first episode in most facets of the show  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 (The Tribes of Tatooine). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

When I opened up the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett, I wondered just what I was going to get. Indeed, I got an episode full of promise, but also, some potential issues raised their heads. I wondered which of these two directions would pull at the heart of the show, and I am glad to say in Chapter 2, it was the first, not the latter.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode Chapter 1, Boba’s (Temuera Morrison) control over Mos Espa looked to be more tenuous than he thought. The Mayor (Robert Rodriquez) showed no deference to the new daimyo and even disrespect. Worst still, someone out there thought that Boba could not take care of himself and set an assassin hit squad. This week, the question remains, who sent a hit squad, and unfortunately for Boba and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), there may be more contenders than everyone thought. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading