House of the Dragon: Driftmark – TV Review

TL;DR – The bookends of this episode are full of intrigue. It just falls out during the middle

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Dragons fly over Driftmark.

House of the Dragon Review

I have been wondering why I have been having a bit of a disconnect with the show. The production is just as good as Game of Thrones, the narrative has all the elements that usually capture me, and the cast is giving their all in their performances. After some thought, I can tie it down to the show’s narrative structure being like quicksand underneath, with you never being able to grab a foothold. An issue we see in part today, but maybe for the last time.       

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s The Princess and the Queen, Laena Targaryen (Nanna Blondell) begged her dragon Vhagar to incinerate her after her labour went wrong. At the start of this episode, all of the Targaryens and Velaryons have gathered in Driftmark for Laena’s funeral. However, the growing divides continue to spew forth after Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) took her family from court to Dragonstone, and the accusations of her children’s parentage still linger. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Udûn – TV Review

TL;DR – Could I see some of the plot points of this episode coming? Yes. Did that stop it from ripping my heart out? No, it did not.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

Adar looks over his armies.

The Rings of Power Review

When watching a show or movie, you never quite know when something will connect with you, like really connect with you. Will a story pierce your heart like a barbed arrow and break through even the most hardened layer of cynicism? After not gelling with last week’s Partings, I wondered if the series was running out of steam with me, but nothing prepared me for today.  

So to set the scene, the orcs had completely surrounded Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) and the remaining townsfolk in the watchtower of Ostirith. However, as Adar (Joseph Mawle) and the Orcs storm the watchtower, they find it empty. Well, almost empty. But while this delays the Orcs, the townsfolk know that soon the horde will be upon them and sure enough, in the distance, torches glow. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Star Trek: Lower Decks: Hear All, Trust Nothing – TV Review

TL;DR – A perfect blend of nostalgia and fun.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The USS Cerritos at Deep Space Nine.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Review

I have made it clear in the past when looking at Lower Deck’s First and Second Seasons that I have enjoyed this someone irreverent take on the Star Trek universe. However, in those two seasons, while they may have dipped their toes in referencing Deep Space Nine, my favourite Star Trek show, today, they dive in phasers blasting.

So to set the scene, the USS Cerritos is en route to a meeting to support the USS Vancouver and their trade negotiations with the Karemma. But when the Vancouver was diverted for an emergency evacuation of a colony, the Cerritos and Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) had to take charge. Dropping out of warp at Deep Space Nine, Freeman asks the crew to buy her some time, and Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) suggests pretending to be in awe of the pylons or something. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Avatar (2009) – Exploring the Past

TL;DR –. A tour de force in worldbuilding that still hits those emotional moments even after all this time.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film.

The fly through the floating mountains.

Avatar Review

When Avatar first came out, I, like nearly everyone else I knew, went and saw it, and it might have been the only film ever truly worth paying extra for those 3D glasses. But as the sequel approached, I realised I had not watched the movie since I watched the extended edition when it came out on DVD. I knew I had to catch up again, and there was no better time than when it was back on the big screen.

So to set the scene, it is 2154, and while the Earth is a hollow mess, humans have found a new world to wreck in the Alpha Centauri system on a moon called Pandora that orbits the gas-giant Polyphemus. Even though Pandor looks like a lush paradise, the high carbon dioxide content means you will be unconscious in 20 seconds without a mask. Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), the former marine that lost the use of his legs, has just made the 6-year trip to the planet in cryo-sleep, but he was not meant to be there. His twin brother, a scientist, was killed, but because they shared exact dnd, Jake could sub in for him on the planet as part of its avatar program with the local population, the Na’vi. All Jake has to do is convince them to move from their sacred home because underneath it is the biggest supply of Unobtanium on the planet, and the RDA needs to make their money.

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Aldhani – TV Review

TL;DR – Perfectly balances tension and story while flying ahead at light speed.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

Coruscant from space.

Andor Review

When they said there was going to be a prequel series based on the Rogue One film, I wondered where they would take a story where we already know 100% how it will end. However, the opening trilogy of episodes [Kassa, That Would Be Me & Reckoning]  worked together like three acts of a film, and it captivated me. Now I can’t wait to see how they expand on this world.

So to set the scene, there are debacles, and there is what happened on Ferrix, with multiple dead Corpos, chaos on the streets, and a mess so bad it makes its way all the way back to Coruscant and the Imperial Security Bureau, where Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) was less than pleased. Meanwhile, Andor (Diego Luna) escaped the trap set for him thanks to Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) and has been given a new opportunity. Get dropped off somewhere and run for all this life, or do something to strike at the heart of the Empire. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Don’t Worry Darling – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it nails the style, and the cast is giving their all, there is a lack of substance.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Warning – Some scenes may cause distress.

Cars drive out to the headquarters.

Don’t Worry Darling Review

I am not sure any film has quite had as rough a publicity tour as Don’t Worry Darling for quite a while. It felt that every week there was some new drama going on behind the scenes, real or imagined. While this could have derailed the film for me, I quite liked the first trailer, I enjoyed Olivia Wilde’s first directorial work with Booksmart, and look Florence Pugh, and Chris Pine always give great performances. Which meant I was intrigued to see just how this would all play out.

So to set the scene, we open in The Victory Project, a company town in the middle of the desert where all the women stay home manning the house while their husbands go to a mysterious headquarters working on secret new materials. In a perfect house filled with every modern convenience, Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) gets breakfast ready for her husband Jack (Harry Styles) and watches with the neighbourhood as all the men leave for work simultaneously. She spends her days cleaning the house, making dinner, rehearsing ballet, and drinking with her best friend and neighbour Bunny (Olivia Wilde). The couple enjoys being young and fun, days drinking with friends, and nights partying with the neighbours. Things are going well for both of them. But as they chat at a party held by the boss Jack Chambers (Chris Pine) and his wife Shelly (Gemma Chan), their former friend Margaret (KiKi Layne) questions everything, and soon it has Alice wondering too.  

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House of the Dragon: The Princess and the Queen – TV Review

TL;DR – A time jump that feels like we are missing important details is not the best thing to do in the middle of the season.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

A dragon flies on top of the water.

House of the Dragon Review

If there was one thing that was forwarded back in the first episode The Heirs of the Dragon, it was that we would be getting a massive time jump at some point in the season. Indeed, we have jumped forward a good 10-ish years from last week’s We Light the Way, and in today’s review, we will look at whether this was a wise narrative choice.  

So to set the scene, in the years since Ser Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan) and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) married in less than ideal circumstances, the realm has seen relative peace. However, as Rhaenys gives birth to her third child and the whole realm but her father, King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), can see that they are probably Ser Harwin Strong’s (Ryan Corr). This all gives Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) more ammunition because as Viserys slowly deteriorates, she hopes that her eldest Aegon Targaryen (Ty Tennant) will take the crown. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Jurassic World Dominion (Extended Edition) – Movie Review

TL;DR – While a clear improvement, those improvements are but like sticking band-aids to a broken bone.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this edition of the film

A Dead T-Rex.

Jurassic World Dominion Review

Earlier this year, the newest edition to the Jurassic World franchise was released in cinemas. While it went on to make just over a billion dollars at the box office, Jurassic World Dominion fell thematically flat with me. However, the original Jurassic Park still ranks as part of my favourite films of all time, so when I heard the was an extended edition that fixes many of the issues with the film, well, I had to give it a watch.

So to set the scene, at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the team had a choice to kill all the dinosaurs off or release them into the North American continent, and they chose the latter. We saved them from a second extension, but maybe at the cost of our own lives, which is shown in stark relief as a T-Rex smashes through a drive-in theatre. As the world starts to work out how this new existence will play out, Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Maisie (Isabella Sermon) live a quiet life out of the way, right up until Blue’s child is kidnapped and Owen swears to her that he will get that baby back.

Now, we will not be giving a full review of this film as you can read the original coverage for it HERE. However, we will look at the areas where the extended edition improved the film and where it didn’t.

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Reckoning – TV Review

TL;DR – Perfectly balances tension and story while flying ahead at light speed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

Landers descend to Ferrix.

Andor Review

As I come to the end of the opening episodes of Andor, which work both as an introduction and second a small arc in their own right, I found that it has captured my heart and my interest. As we dive into Episode 3, we see a world about to change dramatically as past events crash into the present.

So to set the scene, after having to kill two Corpos in Kassa, Andor spent That Would Be Me trying to get the hell out of dodge because while he was cautious on Morlana One, it was only time before they would trace him down on Ferrix. Meanwhile, back in time on Kenari, a young Cassa (Antonio Viña) braved the crashed ship and started smashing it all up. But he might not be the only one there. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Partings – TV Review

TL;DR – As much as the title describes, this is an episode of crossroads, not all of them good.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Harfoots migrate.

The Rings of Power Review

I always knew that The Great Wave would be a hard act to follow. Indeed it would be a hard act to get close to that again. However, I was not expecting this week’s episode to give me pause. Not a significant problem per se. More like when you are walking through a forest, and you stop because you have seen something odd in the corner of your eye, pause. Let us now dive into this week’s episode to explore what I mean.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Harfoots as they begin their long migration north, over mountains, through grasslands, and even some marshes where the dead will lie one day. Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) and her family would have been left behind leagues ago because of their father’s (Dylan Smith) foot and being put in the back of the caravan. However, thanks to the help of The Stranger (Daniel Weyman), who fell from the sky, and much to the annoyance of the rest of the caravan, they have kept up. But in this wood, something stirs, and when there is no food, a couple of Harfoots look like a tasty morsel. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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