TV Review – The Witcher: The End’s Beginning

TL;DR – This is a great introduction to the show by setting up the lore and giving us a taste of everything to come

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Witcher: The End’s Beginning. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Today we look at a show that is really interesting for me. The Witcher has been this series, first books, then video games, that has permeated pop-culture for quite a while after coming out of its native Poland. However, for me, I have tried a number of times to get into it but I keep bouncing out of it. Well given that at the very least Netflix does not shy away from production and Henry Cavill has been ecstatic about being cast, I thought now was the best time to give it one last shot.

So to set the scene, in the swamps near the town of Blaviken a witcher called Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) is hunting monsters. As a witcher, he makes money by killing monsters that towns have put bounties on. However, when he arrives in Blaviken he discovers that there may be more going on behind the scenes that he first thought. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Cintra, all is well, Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) is even throwing a ball much to the annoyance of her granddaughter Ciri (Freya Allan). However, all of that comes to a halt when word reaches them that the evil Nilfgaard has set their sights on the city. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Bard of Blood

TL;DR – This an interesting spy series which is unfortunately held back a bit with inconsistent pacing and the flow-on effects from that.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Bard of Blood. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of my goals this year has been to expand my global cinema intake from places away from the traditional English speaking countries that I am used to. I have not been as successful as I would have liked, but when a new Indian spy thriller drops on Netflix you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I have finished it, wow, is this series a lot, and I think it might also have lasting repercussions.

So to set the scene, in Balochistan, Pakistan, a group of Indian deep-cover spies are in a lude video internet café using it as a cover as they upload important information back to New Delhi. However, before they can finish, they are captured by the local Taliban. Before they can be executed the Pakistani Intelligence forces intercede and save then, not to keep them alive, but to kill them at the right time and place. Back in India, one of the chiefs in India’s Intelligence bureau Sadiq (Rajit Kapur) feels that something is odd so he seeks out Kabir Anand (Emraan Hashmi) code name Adonis but there is bad blood between them over what happened last time in Pakistan. He instead sends Isha (Sobhita Dhulipala) to retrieve him, however, Sadiq is murdered in his home and Adonis is framed, and only he might be able to save the agents because there is a mole in the Indian government and he does not know who they might be. 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 – Wu Assassins: Season 1

TL;DR – A good start to a season however it struggles to keep the momentum moving in the back half of the season.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes in life, it is the simple things that really work. For me, that is a show with a well-crafted story, strong characters, clear action, and with the fundamentals of filmmaking down pact. Now, once you have that, if you want to spice it up with some deep lore, building upon some grand mythology, I am also here for it. Today we look at a series that has the characters, has the action, and the filmmaking, but does not quite nail that story component.   

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm. So let’s break the Wu Assassins down, using those four categories we mention in the introduction.  Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Wu Assassins: Drunken Watermelon

TL;DR – A good start to a season and a good promise for the things to come

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins: Drunken Watermelon. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been a long time since I have seen someone attempt a martial arts TV series in the west and it not be mostly a disappointment. With that in mind, I came into Wu Assassins with a little apprehension but after watching the first episode I have some hope.  

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm.     

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne and Season Eight

TL;DR – While there has been patchy moments this season, I do think they stuck the ending.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne. Image Credit: HBO.

Review


Well, here we are, the final ever episode of Game of Thrones (if you don’t count the multiple prequels in preproduction at the moment). I can still remember that day when I first watched the very first episode as a group of men from The Watch go north past The Wall and discover there was something worse than wildlings waiting for them. A lost queen forced to marry into a barbarian horde to secure her ungrateful brother an army to retake their throne. A drunkard ruling a kingdom though all he wants to do is hunt and joust and fornicate with people who are not his wife. A family of noble people trying to do what is right, especially when it is hard, and being woefully unprepared for the mess they were walking into. Also, the things we do for love. All of those years of story have been building to this final episode, and I wonder can they stick the landing?

So to set the scene, during last week’s The Bells a lot of things happen and a lot of people died. After the death of Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) in The Last of the Starks, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) had become inconsolable, and Missandei’s final word Dracarys sat in her mind so that even when she heard the bells of surrender Dany decided to burn Kings Landing to the ground, not really caring who or what got in her way. The complete slaughter of the capital is something she has threatened since she arrived and finally showed what damage even one dragon can do, insert the nuclear weapons analogies. The capital is in ruins, Jon (Kit Harington) tried to do the right thing and failed, Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) had their whole worlds crash down on them, oh and Euron (Pilou Asbæk) is finally gone. We open with the aftermath as ash and snow still fall in the ruins of Kings Landing and the dead and dying lay among the wreckage. Here Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Jon (Kit Harington), and Davos (Liam Cunningham) walk and see the damage their actions have wrought and the potential hell that they have unleashed. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Bells

TL;DR – The rushed final season is starting to show its issues … badly.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Bells. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

I have honestly been really happy where the final season has been going so far. I liked how Winterfell and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms were these slow-burn episodes giving us some much-needed character development and interaction. I found The Long Night to be a really emotional experience as the dead came and slaughtered. I was ever really jiving with The Last of the Starks up until that last 15 minutes. It was like a speed boat suddenly threw out its anchor grinding everything to a halt. This means for the first time, I am coming into an episode of this 8th season, and the penultimate episode at that, with a lot of hesitation and I don’t know how to feel about that. 

So to set the scene, last week everyone was celebrating their win over the dead and the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) but there was still one big threat on the horizon. Cersei (Lena Headey) still controls King’s Landing, and with it the legitimacy of the throne. Just one problem Cersei captured Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and beheaded her in front of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and well that did not go down well. So we begin today with everyone getting ready for the final push but some people have reservations and one of them is Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) who is finally caught out. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. This week we are going to do something a little different and focus our review on different character relationships because it is through these relationships we see the very highs of this episode and the real lows.  

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Last of the Starks

TL;DR – An episode of two halves that don’t work together, but at least it nails the first part.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Last of the Starks. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

One thing that always resonates in a good show is an impact. When you change the game what is the impact on the characters and the greater world. This is one area that historically Game of Thrones has excelled at, and this might be the biggest impact we have had so far. After the battle comes a moment of reflection, but then what if there is no time because there are still enemies on the board?

So to set the scene, we begin in the moments after the end of last week’s The Long Night. At the end of the battle, Arya (Maisie Williams) was the one who finally stopped the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) destroying all of his minions. However, this was not before thousands of lives were lost, including the leader House Mormont Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey). It was a major victory but also a stunning loss, one that might have set the scene for a safer world but at the cost of putting Cersei (Lena Headey) in maybe an unbeatable position. However, when you have gumption on your side (and also some dragons) anything is possible, maybe. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Long Night

TL;DR – The storm is here, the storm is coming for you, the storm bites.  

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Long Night. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

Have you ever watched a show where over seven seasons of story led to one moment, thinking back for me only maybe Deep Space Nine, or possibly Fringe funnelled everything into one moment. Well, today we have another example to add to the mix, with just about every single person left alive in Game of Thrones all in the same location waiting for the oncoming storm.

So to set the scene, during last week’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms we got a chance to sit back and revisit all the characters that we had gotten to know over the last few seasons, which would have been great if this didn’t have the feel of one last happy moment before the end. Jon (Kit Harington) told Danni (Emilia Clarke) about who he was which yep shocker did not go down well. Arya (Maisie Williams) made it with Gendry (Joe Dempsie), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) plan out their post-conflict lives and we get drunk by the fire. However, at every moment there is the threat of death that will be with them before the morning. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that time is here, and oh wow, just wow. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

TL;DR – A moment to catch our breath before the onslaught is unleashed.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

You know, Game of Thrones is known for its sweeping storylines that explore events happening across continents. However, there are times in the show’s history where a bunch of main and supporting cast find themselves in the one location, and if you know anything about the history of the show, that is never a good thing. Well today, we look at an episode that is the calm before the coming storm, when everything is still but you can see the dark clouds and cracking lighting on the horizon.  

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Winterfell a number of big plot bombs got dropped on us. There was the big news of John (Kit Harington) finally finding out who his real mother and father from Samwell (John Bradley). There was the growing sense that The North is not fond of being under anyone’s rule again. After fleeing from the destruction of The Wall in The Dragon and the Wolf Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) comes across the dead ruins of the Last Hearth and also finds the survivors of The Night’s Watch where they discover that the dead are on the move and heading straight for the Capital of the North. In the final shot, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) arrives in Winterfell only to find Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) waiting for him, and this is where today’s episode starts off. Jamie is fighting for his life after pretty much betraying, or being at war at some point with everyone in the room. With only Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who no one cares about in this case, and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) who people do care about, standing for him. However, while revenge would be nice, the dead are coming and they need every sword. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: Winterfell

TL;DR – In the first episode of the final season all the characters are moved into place, before the onslaught of the coming doom.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: Winterfell. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

And so it begins. When that first episode aired back in 2011 everything was different, and it changed the television landscape in a way we are still feeling today. It is with this that I come to the final season with a little trepidation. I don’t know how the show will end, but I know a lot of the characters that we have come to love over the years probably won’t make it and if any show has prepared us for an unhappy ending, this is it. Well, today we delve into the first episode of the final season as the growing disaster looms.

So to set the scene, at the end of The Dragon and the Wolf all hell broke loose as the big bad used Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) reanimated dragon to blow a hole in The Wall allowing the undead to march through. As we prepare for what is about to hit, armies are moving into place as John Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys arrive in Winterfell with their Unsullied and Dothraki armies … oh and two dragons. Word has reached Winterfell of The Wall’s fall, so Sansa (Sophie Turner) has ordered all of her bannermen to retreat to the capital as the last stand because that is where all the armies, even the coming Lannister’s will go to, but then Cersei (Lena Headey) has other ideas. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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