Eternals – Movie Review

TL;DR – Not bad, not great, but a very okay origin story  

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Eternals. Image Credit: Disney.

Eternals Review

We are at an interesting point in Marvel/Disney’s grand experiment in the form of the MCU. Because after 30-odd films and other entertainment productions, Phase 4 has brought us back to the start thanks to the fallout of Endgame. Sequels have given way to origin stories again. Well, today, we dive into the next origin after Shang-Chi, telling a story of people who have been there since the start but whom we are just meeting now.

So to set the scene, at the start of the universe, the great Celestials created life across the galaxy. But soon, creatures called evolved called Deviants that hunted down life. In response, the Celestials called together the Eternals and sent them across the galaxy to protect planets full of life. Ajak (Salma Hayek) the leader and link to the Celestials, Sersi (Gemma Chan), who can change matter, Ikaris (Richard Madden), who can fly, Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), who shoots energy from their hands, Sprite (Lia McHugh) who can project illusions, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) who is a great inventor, Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) who can run so fast, Gilgamesh (Don Lee) with mighty fists, Thena (Angelina Jolie) who can create bladed weapons, and Druig (Barry Keoghan) who can control minds. They arrived at the shores of Mesopotamia and entered the fight to protect life. Today, Sersi is a teacher at the Natural History Museum in London. When a global earthquake hits, everyone realises that something is going very wrong.

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Lost in Space: Season 3 – TV Review

TL;DR is a series that ends on a high note, both beautiful to watch and not afraid to hit those emotional beats.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film

Lost in Space: Season 3. image Credit: Netflix.

Lost in Space Review

When I heard that Lost in Space was getting a third season, I was pleased. There has been a string of adaptations of old TV shows, but few captured the show’s essence yet took the narrative in a new direction, quite like Lost In Space. However, this news was coupled with the knowledge that this would be the final season. Thus, knowing the series is ending help or hurt the narrative, and I am glad to say it is the first.

So to set the scene, at the end of Season Two, The family Robinson was split asunder trying to flee the robot menace. At the same time, Maureen (Molly Parker) and John (Toby Stephens) took the adults of the expedition and caused a distraction. All of the expeditions kids, including Will (Maxwell Jenkins) and Penny (Mina Sundwall), and led by Judy (Taylor Russell), escaped using the alien engine piloted by Robot (Brian Steele). However, they don’t arrive in Alpha Centauri as planned. Instead, they come on top of a ruined planet where they find the Fortuna, a ship once thought lost and home to Judy’s father (Russell Hornsby). But before they could locate the missing crew, a thruster dies on Jupiter 2. The auto-piolet seeing the danger starts emergency landing procedures, and Judy is only just able to get on board thanks to the stowaway Smith (Parker Posey) before it makes a landing on the one habitable part left on the planet. Where they are stuck for a year. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Dune (2021) (Dune: Part 1) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A cinematic work of genius and masterclass in literary adaptation     

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

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

Dune. Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures.

Dune Review

Few films have filled me full of trepidation and promise, like the prospect of another Dune film. Dune is a book series that means a lot to me, and the miniseries fits in as one of those foundational moments where you discover the joys of filmmaking. Add to this the spectacular run of films from Denis Villeneuve from Sicario, Arrival & Blade Runner 2049, one of which was my top movie in 2016. Look, this is a long way of saying I came into this with very high expectations, and can I say that this film exceeded all of them.  

So to set the scene, in an empire that spans the galaxy, the most valuable commodity is The Spice Melange. It extends life, allows intergalactic travel, and can only be found on one planet in the entire galaxy: Arrakis, Dune. The brutal House Harkonnen runs Dune, though its cruel Barron (Stellan Skarsgård) and his nephew Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), commonly called “Beast Rabban”. But their time running Arrakis is up, as the Emperor has decreed that House Harkonnen’s mortal Enemies House Atreides, led by Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), manages the planet. All is well, but Leto is fearful for him, his son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and consort Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). Because while this is a great opportunity, it could also be a trap.

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Star Trek: Discovery – Anomaly – TV Review

TL;DR – This week, we discover just how stuffed Discovery is this season.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Star Trek: Discovery - Anomaly. Image Credit: Paramount+.

Star Trek: Discovery Review –

There are many things that you can prepare for in life. But at any second, something entirely out of the realm of your understanding could snatch you away. As a species, we like to ignore it, even though we all kind of process that reality on any given day. Well, what happens if that something is a black hole five light-years across that likes to pummel planets into dust?

So to set the scene, at the end of Kobayashi Maru, disaster strikes when they save the space station crew. Still, while that is happening, the entire planet of Kwejian is obliterated, killing everyone and everything on the surface. This hits Book (David Ajala) the hardest because he had just started to reconnect with his family on Kwejian. Well, when you have an unknown anomaly, what is the first thing you do? Study it, which is what Discovery is sent to do before panic erupts across the galaxy. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Star Trek: Discovery – Kobayashi Maru – TV Review

TL;DR – Not the show’s strongest opener but still an interesting start to the season

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Star Trek: Discovery - Kobayashi Maru. Image Credit: Paramount+

Star Trek: Discovery Review –

Well … this was probably not the welcome back that anyone wanted, with a completely botched move for the show from Netflix to Paramount+ in international markets. However, after much annoyance, those outside North America are finally getting our look in at the new season.

So to set the scene, at the end of That Hope Is You Part 2, the source of The Burn was located in the form of Su’Kal (Bill Irwin), a scared child left alone on a dilithium planet. Now that there is no chance of a new Burn, the Federation is starting the extended effort of reconnecting with the galaxy. One such trip was to Alshain IV when discussions with Emperor Lee’U (Alex McCooeye) fell apart immediately after discovering that Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Booker (David Ajala) hold a monarch hostage in their ship. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage – Movie Review

TL;DR – At least everyone is having fun this time around  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Image Credit: Sony.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review

The first Venom film was a bit of an odd duck. Like you could see the gears turning in the background, and it was clearly apparent that they found the film’s tone in the editing room and not behind the camera. This led to there being moments of interest in a sea of banal origin faff. Now that they had found their tone, I was interested to see what sort of film they could make, and if nothing else, this is an improvement.

So to set the scene, at the end of Venom, the titular Venom (Tom Hardy) was killed, saving the world from the invasion of other symbionts. However, he is not actually dead but is still hiding inside Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). Still reeling from the news that Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) is engaged, Eddie is invited to hear the final confession of notorious mass-murderer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). However, when Cletus bites Eddie, he takes more than just blood, creating something monstrous.  

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Hawkeye: Never Meet Your Heroes – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a strong foundation, with exciting characters and some nuanced acting.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Hawkeye: Never Meet Your Heroes. Image Credit: Disney+.

Hawkeye Review

To be honest, if there was one of the new MCU shows that did not interest me at all on the announcement, it was Hawkeye. I am not sure what it was that cooled my reception to the series, but it fell completely flat, that is until I saw the first trailer. In an instant, I got what the show was about and went from not interested to engaged very quickly and now, seeing the first episode. I think I was right in that assertion.   

So to set the scene, it is 2012, and a young Kate Bishop (Clara Stack) is listening in on her parents because all is not right with money. But before she has time to process that, her world explodes as the Battle of New York is fought around her. It is here where she first sees Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and after the death of her father (Simon Callow), she convinces her mother (Vera Farmiga) that she needs to learn archery. Today, a now adult Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) is sneaking into Stane Tower for a bet … and accidentally destroys a bell tower in the process.   

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Foundation: The Leap and Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – The worlds come crashing down as damage comes to all.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Leap. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

When I first sat down to watch The Emperor’s Peace, I was not sure what I would get. I had read the novels that jump across time and space, making adaptation a challenging prospect. Indeed, it is not surprising that it has taken this long for someone to give a solid crack at it. As the season progressed, it became clear that the first episode might be the high-water mark for the show, but thankfully it was still always interesting.

So to set the scene, all the future plotlines had led to this point. On Trantor, the manipulations have come to a head. Still, thankfully, for the genetic dynasty, Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) was able to track Brother Dawn (Cassian Bilton), stopping the plan of Azura (Amy Tyger) and her rebels in their tracts. But the question remains, what to do about Brother Dawn, who a pure Cleon is no longer, only Brother Day (Lee Pace) can decide. On Terminus, Anacreons and Thespeians have each other at a gun barrel with the colonists square in the centre. It is a recipe for slaughter, right up until Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) appears out of the Vault surprising all. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Last Night in Soho – Movie Review

TL;DR – Well Last Night In Soho is a film that threatens to go off the rails at any moment yet somehow manages to hold on just by its fingertips   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, but there are images during the credits

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

Warning – This film depicts scenes of abuse

Warning – This film features sequences with flashing lights

Last Night in Soho. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Last Night in Soho Review

Some directors out there have built up such a strong reputation that you know you will be checking out their next film no matter the genre/tone/story. For me, one of those directors is Edgar Wright, who has never once bored me with one of his films. Indeed, we have already gotten his take on a talking-heads documentary this year with The Sparks Brothers, and I was not going to turn down the chance to see two new films from him in the one year. I will say that this is a film that is best seen with as little information as possible, so if you are intrigued, you may want to stop reading here.

So to set the scene, Eloise “Ellie” Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) lives in rural Cornwell but has always dreamed of being a major fashion designer in London. She is obsessed with the style of the 1960s and capturing that time in her work. It was good news for Ellie when she got accepted into the London College of Fashion; thus, she made the long trip into the big city. After some interesting interactions with her roommate Jocasta (Synnøve Karlsen), Ellie moves into a bed/sit in Goodge Place being rented out by Ms Collins (Diana Rigg). This old lady had owned the property for decades. It is perfect for Ellie, but as she sleeps, she visits an apparition from the past, Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), a singer and dancer in 1960s London. 

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Jungle Cruise – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it has its moments and is quite watchable, it also can’t escape walking in the shadows of better films of the past.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

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

Jungle Cruise. Image Credit: Disney.

Jungle Cruise Review

When Disney gets an idea, they tend to go all-in, having many hits and misses. So when a film based on one of their rides worked, well, then everything was on the table. But for every Pirates of the Caribbean, there is The Haunted Mansion or even Tomorrowland, which means that there was a little trepidation going in even with a solid cast at the helm.

So to set the scene, history had been full of stories of the hidden wonders in the American continent. One such story told of a plant, ‘Tears of the Moon’, that could cure any illness, but no expedition to find it ever succeeded. In 1916 London, England, during World War One, Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) is trying to access records from the Royal Society to help her locate it. But they refused to give information to a woman, even when she used her brother MacGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) as a decoy. But a minor theft later, and they were on their way to Porto Velho on the Amazon River in Brazil, they just needed a captain to take them upriver, and tour boat operator Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) just found their next mark.  

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