Movie Review – IO

TL;DR – This is a film that has the appearance of wanting to say something profound, but never actually gets around to saying much of anything.    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

IO. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In some respects, Netflix has been the saviour of the small concept science fiction film in recent years as cinemas abandon anything but the next tent pole franchise blockbuster. However, for all the wonders of Annihilation (see review) and films like that, there has been a slew of mediocre dull affairs. Today we look at a film that at first look feels like it should be the first, but unfortunately, it ended up being the latter.

So to set the scene, there were many attempts to forestall the coming abyss including making a satellite to harvest geothermal energy from other planets. However, it was all in vain because before they could intact their plan, the atmosphere on Earth turned bad becoming toxic at most lower altitudes. Most people that could leave the Earth did so in a great exodus for the space station IO around Jupiter’s moon Io. There are few people left on the planet but Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley) is one of them, trying to find a way to fix the planet rather than flee it. Well, on IO they have finally stored enough energy to send people off on interstellar colonisation missions, so they are stopping the evacuations of Earth. Sam has one choice, give up her father’s research and get on the last ship out of a dying planet, or be left behind.

IO. Image Credit: Netflix.
Nothing in this film quite comes together. Image Credit: Netflix.

There are many things your film can be, but the one thing you don’t want it to be is dull and unfortunately, this is where we are with IO. In many respects, this felt less like a film and more like the walk-em-ups from video games, except at least in them you can control the walking. It keeps pontificating about issues but it was lacking any real focus. It was so empty that I had to struggle not to fall asleep towards the end when the inevitable plot points worked themselves out.

Now I am not sure if this was the script or the direction or something else, but the two leads Margaret Qualley and Anthony Mackie felt like they were going through the motions, and not in the film. Having a film with a very small cast can make it feel intimate, like every action has weight, not so here. If your actors are not engaged, when you only have a couple of them, there is no escaping it.

IO. Image Credit: Netflix.
While there are some good ideas, they are never really explored. Image Credit: Netflix.

One area where the film does set itself apart is in the design and implementation of the post-apocalyptic elements. Both the reclaimed city and the outpost above the clouds had an interesting design and implementation. I do wish they had focused on this are a little more as it was a highlight, but alas.

In the end, do we recommend IO? No, we don’t. There is a kernel of a good idea here, and it is not that anything stands out as completely bad. It is just that there is nothing to this film, It starts, people meander around, and then it tries to have something profound to say at the end but meh.                            

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched IO?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of IO
Directed by
– Jonathan Helpert
Written by – Clay Jeter, Charles Spano & Will Basanta
Music by – Alex Belcher
Cinematography by – André Chemetoff
Edited by – Mike Fromentin
Starring
– Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston & Tom Payne   

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TV Review – Carmen Sandiego: Season One

TL;DR – This is everything a Carmen Sandiego series needed to be, fun, informative, full of beautiful animation, and a cast giving their all.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Carmen Sandiego: Season One. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I grew up in the age before the internet, yes there was a time even before the internet yelled at you when you wanted to log on. It was an era when you would get games on floppy disks, both big and small, and it was here where I first met the elusive Carmen Sandiego. She was the final boss in an epic quest that took you from the streets of Reykjavik to Sydney and everywhere in-between as you hunted down VILE and recovered the stolen artefacts. When you have one of the touchstones of your first forays into the world of media getting another reboot, you tend to go in cautiously. However, I needn’t of worried because this was a joy from start to finish.    

So to set the scene, we open as Interpol agents Chase Devineaux (Rafael Petardi) and Julia Argent (Charlet Chung) run down the list of places Carmen (Gina Rodriguez) has recently hit, Art Galleries, Banks, … an amusement park …? The only clue she leaves is her presence in all red, announcing to the world who just robbed you. Well tonight she is in Poitiers, France, and the agents will stop at nothing to bring her in, but see Carmen is a master at what she does, and she has a little help thanks to Player (Finn Wolfhard). After a quick escape, Carmen makes it to the train only to be intercepted by Crackle (Michael Goldsmith) someone from her past. Well, since they have a lot of time on their hands before they reach Paris, Carmen relates to him the important story about how she became the world’s greatest thief. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Good Place: Chidi Sees the Time-Knife

TL;DR – With Time-Knife we get the big major push for the rest of the season and it is an interesting one indeed.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

he Good Place: Chidi Sees the Time-Knife. Image Credit: NBC.

Review

For the back half of The Good Place’s third season, we have jumped from Australia and have started ricocheting around the afterlife. Well in today’s episode we get to visit the last name dropped location in the series so far The Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes.

So to set the scene, during last week’s Book of Doug’s (see review) Michael (Ted Danson) and the gang – Janet (D’Arcy Carden), Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto) discover what is really stopping people entering The Good Place. It is not spies in the Accounting Department, it is that the world of 2019 is significantly more difficult to navigate and even buying a single tomato is enough points to send you to The Bad Place. With this information in mind, Michael calls a meeting with The Judge (Maya Rudolph) in The Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes, where she is weakest, to discuss what it is that they can do about it. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Punisher: Roadhouse Blues

TL;DR – This does what any good first episode of The Punisher should, it shows Frank minding his own business until someone comes swinging in to wreck his life.  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Punisher: Roadhouse Blues. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Starting the episode for the first time provoked two very different emotions, the first is that I was not ready to see Stan Lee’s name even though I knew it should be there, and also the way things are going I am starting to watch the last season of The Punisher. You know you try to ignore any external factors when reviewing something, but whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes they barge in on you. So is this the last season of The Punisher, who knows, probably, well if it, if this episode is any indication, they are going down swinging.

So to set the scene, we open in on Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) covered in blood racing down a street only to get cut off. Surrounded there is only one thing Frank can do, he pulls out a machine gun and removes the problem. Cut to two days earlier, and we see Frank enjoying the music in a bar in a small town in Michigan. He is laying low after Season One (see review) staying one night here and there, making sure not to get noticed. But in a moment of happiness, it all gets messed up. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Brother

TL;DR – New faces, old friends, and a new dilemma, sign me up.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: Brother. Image Credit: CBS Studios/Netflix.

Review

The first season of Star Trek Discovery was one that started of interesting, took a bit to find its feet, but by the end of the Season a bunch of people had become a crew, and I was there for it. Tonight we dive back in with a bit of trepidation because they ended the season face to face with the most iconic starship in Star Trek history the original USS Enterprise. So where do you take the story from here, well into some very new territory it seems. 

So to set the scene, at the end of Will You Take My Hand? (see review) the USS Discovery was on its way to Vulcan to both drop of Sarek (James Frain) and also pick up their new captain. Well before they got there, they had to drop out of warp due to an emergency distress beacon coming from the USS Enterprise. In Brother, we start right from where we left off, trying to hail the ship when nothing else worked it was Morse Code that made it through and the Enterprise informed them that Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and two others were coming on board. Well, both Sarek and Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) know who severs on the ship, but Spock is not there. Pike informs everyone that he is taking over command of the ship because of an emergency, you see seven lights just blared into existence across the galaxy, at the same moment, thousands of light years apart. Well since they just got out of a war The Federation is understandably nervous about what this might mean because this is not a natural phenomenon. Well off The Discovery goes, once more unto the breach, which turns out to be literal when they drop out of warp behind a fracturing asteroid. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Orville: Nothing Left On Earth Excepting Fishes

TL;DR – In many respects, this is the most Star Trek-like episode I have seen so far, but in that it feels just okay and that it is missing something.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Nothing Left On Earth Excepting Fishes. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

This is a great time for Sci-fi for tonight I get a new episode of The Orville and Star Trek Discovery. All of this is made all the more interesting because tonight’s Orville feels more like an episode of Star Trek than any so far this season. This gives some characters the chance to shine, but it also feels a bit odd.

So to set the scene, the USS Orville is once again being rerouted to a Starbase to help out rather than exploring, something that is starting to get on everyone’s nerves. But for Ed (Seth MacFarlane) it is all fine because he is using his love smile with Lt. Tyler (Michaela McManus) and Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) can see it. Well, after much thought they decide that it is time to make it public, always a big deal on a ship of this size, and celebrate this by taking some shore leave. Time to get away, see the sights, get harried by some Krill fighters, wait get harried by some Krill fighters. Soon both Tyler and Ed are captured and Ed has to make a choice, will he sit back and watch the love of his life get tortured, or will he give up everything he believes in and hand over his command codes. Now from here on in, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, and as such there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Hitchcock And Scully

TL;DR – Today we go back into the deep past and explore 1980s NYPD while also dealing with the ramifications of today.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Hitchcock And Scully, Image Credit: NBC.

Review

One of the great boons of having a new season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is that you get to explore new stories and in this case that is explore the backstory of two of the shows amazing cast Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller).

So to set the scene, the aftermath of Honeymoon (see review), when Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) stood up to the new Commissioner John Kelly (Phil Reeves), has been a rough transition for the team. This is because Kelly has gone out of his way to punish the 99 for Holt’s deference in his public questioning the return to Stop and Frisk. This has meant that floors have been shut down and space has become a precious creating friction among the detectives and uniformed officers. This is bad enough, but the next round of Kelly’s punishment has arrived when he gets Internal Affairs to look into a case from 1986 run by a young Hitchcock (Wyatt Nash) and Scully (Alan Ritchson). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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