TV Review – Orphan Black: Season 5

TL;DR – Boy does it finish in a way only Orphan Black could, it has been a ride sestras, one hell of a ride.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Orphan Black Banner 2

Review

Goodness, we actually got here, an end to the wonderful sci-fi series, I say this because the track record of sci-fi shows I love getting their final goodbye is not high. But today we are going to break down the final seasons and look at the things that did work and what didn’t, and take a look at how it all finished. So if you have never watched Orphan Black it is a story about clones, which is not a spoiler because you find that out in the first episode. However, because this is a story about clones it means that lead actor Tatiana Maslany plays at least five main distinct roles throughout the series, and more amazingly each of them feels like a real character. The main story revolves around Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) who has to juggle her past life and impersonating Beth Childs (Tatiana Maslany) who committed suicide in front of her, Alison Hendrix (Tatiana Maslany) who just wants to be a suburban mum and is not ready for her world to explode around her, Cosima Niehaus (Tatiana Maslany) who has devoted her life to science only to find out she herself is a science experiment, Rachel Duncan (Tatiana Maslany) who has lived her life knowing she was a clone and has a detached uncaringness towards her sisters, and Helena (Tatiana Maslany), who has been abused and tormented all her life and turned into a weapon to unleash on her sisters. The seasons revolve around trying to unpick the Dyad Institute and Neolution and more, what are their plans for the clones, and the world.  At this point just a reminder that we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
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Movie Review – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Valérian et la Cité des mille planètes)

TL;DR – Truly beautiful visuals, and fascinating worlds, and … well not a whole lot else unfortunately

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Review

I’ve really been impressed by Luc Besson previous work, indeed, I would probably put The Fifth Element on my top 10 Films of All-time List if I ever got around to making one, which I should, come to think of it. So given everything I have seen of Luc Besson’s filmography, I’m going to be honest, I came into Valerian with really high expectations, indeed maybe that was the problem. So in today’s review, we are going to first look at the production side of things, and the world building, before taking a stab at the story.
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Movie Review – Wolf Warriors 2 (Zhan Lang 2, 战狼2)

TL;DR – Wolf Warriors 2 brings Chinese propaganda films into the 21st century, however, it fails in presenting a solid story and in the production of many of its effects.

Score – 2 out of 5

P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene

Wolf Warriors 2

Review

Well wasn’t this an interesting film, Wolf Warriors 2 is a film creating buzz across the world, and has broken box office records in its home China, so today we’re going to have a look to see if Wolf Warriors II holds up. Now before we start, I do have to make it clear that I have not seen the first film in the series, so I may have missed some of the nuances, however, the film does a good job of giving you all of the basic reminders of what happened, elite soldiers, one sacrificed themselves for the team, and there was a love interest. Which brings us to the start of the film, so let’s dive into the world of Wolf Warriors II. Now to do this we will be breaking down the production elements of the film, and then we will be looking at the story, and finally examining themes at play.
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How well did they create Nubia in Civilization VI?

TL;DR – Nubia is a great, if overpowered, addition to Civ VI, and the updates to the UI are really welcome, but the AI still needs some work.

Nubia Civ VI
Review

So it has been a couple of months since we have been able to do one of these, but with the new Nubia DLC, and the accompanying patch, dropping it is time to delve back in to see how well they have created Nubia. So there are three components to the DLC, first is the Summer 2017 update, then the ‘Gifts of the Nile’ scenario, and finally the Nubian Civilization itself. So to put this review together I have played through the scenario once, and the base game a couple of times with Nubia, as well as trying them out on multiplayer. Also, because I was asked this question last time, all my games are played in the vanilla game (no mods), on the huge map setting, continents, with the difficulty set at King. If you want to read my other Civ VI articles, you can look at my review of Civilization VI, my look at Australia, Persia & Macedonia, and even Civ VI mapped out.
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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Spoils of War

TL;DR – Beware the cornered queen, and Starks reunite

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Stormborn

Review

So today we have reached the half way point in Season Seven of Game of Thrones, and if you thought they were going to let up after last week’s slaughter you will be sadly mistaken. So at the end of last week’s The Queen’s Justice (review) Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) had lost pretty much all the allies she came to Westeros with. Yara (Gemma Whelan) is a prisoner of Euron (Pilou Asbæk) her weird uncle who is making a point to woo Cersei (Lena Headey) like right in front of Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), like dude, that’s a party foul. So the Greyjoys are done, Dorne has been lost as Ellaria (Indira Varma) is chained in the dungeons of King’s Landing watching her daughter die, oh and with Highgarden falling and the apparent death of the Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) #QueenOfThornesUntilTheVeryEnd she has lost the Reach as well. All of this is topped off with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) being outmanoeuvred by his brother leaving Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and the rest of the unsullied trapped in Casterly Rock. Everything, all her carefully laid plans have failed, but when you back Daenerys into a corner, history has shown that this is when she is the most dangerous. Now, of course, there will be [SPOILERS] incoming.
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TV Review – Cleverman: Season 2

TL;DR – A brilliant follow up from Season One

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Season Two

Review

So Season Two of Cleverman has come, hit us hard, and it’s now over. So we have had some time to think back and contemplate on the overarching themes for the season and how it worked, which is what we are going to do today. So today with our review we will look at how Season Two improved on Season One, look at the central themes and characters, and finally conclude on the importance of Cleverman.  Before we start, just a warning that we will be talking about the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS]. Also, this will be looking more broadly at the season, if you what to look at individual episodes, then you can look at our reviews here: RevivalBindawu, Dark Clouds, Muya, Skin & Borrowed Time.
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Movie Review – War of the Planet of the Apes

TL;DR – Apes Together Strong

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

War of the Planets of the Apes

Review

Film trilogies are very precarious things to manage because you have to keep each film working in its own right, but also place it in the context of a greater series. This can lead to all sorts of issues, like power creep when you have to keep upping the last film into ridiculousness, or different creators can come in and you have to balance their views with what is already established, there are studio and contract pressures. All of this can lead to the very common third film fail where things just fall apart, like the X-Men films for example. So given how strong the Planet of the Apes films have been, especially given that they are reboots, I was concerned that they would not be able to stick the landing with the third film. But I was wrong, and I am so happy that I was.
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