TV Review – Lost in Space: Season 2

TL;DR – A really great continuation of the first season showing the strengths of this new interpretation at every turn

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Lost in Space: Season 2. Image Credit: Netflix

Review

We are currently living through a second Golden Age for Science Fiction on TV and one of the first really cool examples of that was a new Lost in Space landing on our screens a couple of years ago. It was energetic, delightful, but also had some thematic weight behind it. Well, Season Two is upon us, so it’s time to see how well it did.    

So to set the scene, at the end of Season One, the family Robinson, that is Maureen (Molly Parker), John (Toby Stephens), Will (Maxwell Jenkins), Judy (Taylor Russell), and Penny (Mina Sundwall) along with Don West (Ignacio Serricchio) and Dr Smith (Parker Posey) got launched through a warp portal by Robot (Brian Steele) to protect them. This leads them to land on a planet that is habitable, bar all the methane in the atmosphere. The warp drained most of the Jupiter 2’s power meaning they can breathe and stay warm but not a whole lot else. All of this changes when Maureen notices that there is a patch of lightning in the distance that comes so regularly that you can schedule it, and maybe a lighting jolt is just what the Jupiter 2 needs. Now as we go on there will be some [SPOILERS] as we will be looking at the season as a whole, so just be warned if you have not seen it yet.     

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Movie Review – Abominable

TL;DR – A truly charming film from start to finish.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There are some pictures during the credits that tell a story.

Abominable. Image Credit: Universal.

Review


Films targeted at children often have a perception that they are of lower quality than other forms of cinema. Indeed some of the trailers for upcoming films I watched before this backed that assessment up. But every now and again a film casts off those assertions and shows that if you focus on quality it should not matter whom your target audience is. Well, today we get just such a film, as we explore a monster on the run through China.

So to set the scene, we open in a laboratory in Shanghai scared and alone and not knowing where we are. After hearing Dr Zara’s (Sarah Paulson) intentions for us we flee captivity and that is when you discover the animal fleeing is a yeti. Everest (Joseph Izzo) flees into the city and tries to hide after being hit by a truck only to end up on the roof of Yi’s (Chloe Bennet) apartment complex. Yi is focusing all her life on doing odd jobs so she can earn enough money to go on a tour of China her dad always promised to take her on. But when she finds the injured Everest there is only one thing on her mind, getting him to his home.

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Movie Review – The Kid Who Would Be King

TL;DR – It has a good message, and I give it full props for trying something new even if it does not all completely come together

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Kid Who Would Be King. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

Due to the vagaries of international copyright law, there are some stories that you will see over and over again because they have had the good grace to enter the public domain, which is becoming more and more difficult to do. This means that anyone can make a film based around the King Arthur mythology, and there have been a lot of them, including King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (see review) from a couple of years ago, which I really liked, but I think I was alone in that. Well, today we get a new film based around this mythology, which is trying to do something a little different, even if it doesn’t all quite come together.

So to set the scene, we open with a really well designed animated sequence that gives you in a couple of minutes a quick overview of this particular film’s take on the Arthurian mythology. With Arthur banishing Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) under the Earth, but in a last act of defiance, she cursed the world that one day when the country was leaderless she should return and take what is hers. Flash forward to 2019 and England is just as she predicted … looks at today’s news … yikes they really timed this film well. Well out in Britain there is still but a hope because one Alex Elliot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) runs into a construction yard after being chased by some bullies and finds a rock with a sword in it … yes, that sword … and like all true and noble heroes, he is able to pull it from the rock. This puts in motion a series of events because in four days there will be a total solar eclipse and Morgana will rise.    

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Movie Review – Aquaman

TL;DR – Bombastic, silly, overly long, but still by far some of the best fun DC has made so far.    

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Aquaman. Image Credit: Warner Bothers.

Review

To say that the DC Expanded Universe has had a rough launch up to this point would be a bit of an understatement. Indeed, of all the past films, only Wonder Woman (see review) felt like a coherent film in any great sense. So, more than ever, the first film after Justice League had to hit the ground running, even more so after background conversations that the expanded universe was losing a lot of its big-name talent. Now while Aquaman is not a perfect film, it is a film with a lot of style, and more than most of the films that have come before it was just fun.

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Movie Review – Annihilation

TL;DR – Annihilation is a slow burn that then hits you like a freight train and then messes with your mind till it becomes putty, would recommend watching this, but maybe not at night.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Annihilation banner

Review

What is good sci-fi? As someone who loves this gene in all of its permutations, good sci-fi could be the grand space operas of Star Wars, Stargate or The Expanse, the more character driven works like Moon and The Martian. They can be thought-provoking works like Star Trek or Arrival, or thumping action set-pieces of Mad Max. Now sometimes they can be the weird contemplative works that dip into science, horror, supernatural, blending that hard and soft sci-fi into new and wonderful ways, and today’s Annihilation is the later. Now before we jump in I do have to say because the film begins in medias res, that is it opens on the ending, it is hard to talk about the film without getting into [SPOILERS] straight from the start, even with our setting the scene part of the review. If you have not seen Annihilation you may need to be a bit more careful going forward, as there will be major plot points discussed throughout.

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Movie Review – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

TL;DR – This film is an hour and a half of pure fun, and probably the first video game film to work in a very long time, and some of the best casting I have seen in a while

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

So to be honest right from the start this was a bit of a surprise. It has not been a good year for remakes in 2017, for example, The Mummy (see review) or the Ghost in the Shell (see review) all fell a bit flat on release. Add to this, it has been over twenty years since the first film, and all the information in the lead up to its release did not display Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in a flattering light at all. Indeed, it felt like this was going to be another case of reheating an old franchise rather than trying to do something new, and we are getting a bit tired of this. However, none of this came to pass, instead what we got was a fun romp through the jungle, with superb casting, and sense of knowing exactly what it wanted to do and succeeding in it.

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Movie Review – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

TL;DR – This is a paint by numbers film with no direction or heart, a real disappointment, and the better title is probably Pirates of The Caribbean: Coincidence on the High Seas

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a post-credit scene

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

So here we are looking at the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and I’m sitting here wondering where it all went wrong. The first Pirates of the Caribbean was one of those breaths of fresh air that pop up every now and again, a brilliant standalone film, reinvigorating a genre of film that had disappeared, and it had one of the greatest character entrances in film history. Its two follow-up films which completed a trilogy of sorts were not as good as the first but fine films in their own right. However, the last film felt more like a continuation out of necessity rather than a new story that they felt needed to be told, and this continues in Dead Men Tell No Tales. So at this point, it should be no surprise that I didn’t like the fifth Pirates of The Caribbean film so we’re going to break down what worked and what didn’t and one of those lists is going to be bigger than the other.

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Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

TL;DR – Volume 2 takes everything from the first film and elevates it with an interesting story, beautiful visuals, and some of the best humour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but your mileage may vary depending on a couple of factors.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. There are 5 mid/post credit scenes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney.

Review

Back in 2014 Marvel undertook the biggest experiment yet in this whole expanded universe, it was an ensemble cast which they had not done outside of an Avengers film at that point, its main lead was still a mostly unknown Chris Pratt. Seriously when he was cast he was mostly known as that quirky dude on Parks and Rec, two of the main cast were CGI and one of those only said I am Groot and it was amazing. It was funny, but emotional at places and that opening still makes me tear up, and until Captain America Civil War came along it was my favourite film in the MCU, or maybe still is, I go back and forth a bit here. So it would not be a surprise to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 might be the film I was the most looking forward to in 2017. Now this as a reviewer is something you have to be careful with, you need to make sure your rose-tinted glasses are not blinding you to the flaws, or conversely that you don’t hype it up so much that it is a disappointment no matter how good it is. But I have just come from the cinemas and overall I really loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but I can also see areas that may put people off. So with this in mind let’s start the review.

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Movie Review – Assassin’s Creed

TL;DR – The best movie adaption of a video game, but that was not really a high bar to cross and Assassin’s Creed kind of just stumbles across it.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Assassin’s Creed. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

It is one of those weird things of Hollywood that no matter how many times they try, no one has made a decent adaptation of a video game into a movie. Now part of this has been that people have been adapting video games without understanding what there were, and also there are a lot of difficulties condensing a long interactive experience (sixteen hours for the first Assassin’s Creed game) into a two-hour passive movie. To the point where the most successful and critically acclaim versions of this genre Wreck-It Ralph & Tron used video games as just the backdrop for their story. This can be complicated even further as video games are big multi-billion dollar industry so if you’re making a film, you’re gonna want to franchise the heck out of it, the big problem with last year’s Warcraft (See Review). So within all this mess comes the Assassin’s Creed film, based on the incredibly popular series of games that has the fascinating caveat that you could set it at any point in human history. So how does it go, well for a video game adaptation movie, it goes quite well, for just a movie, it is a bit meh.

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Movie Review – The Legend of Tarzan

TL;DR – There are some aspects of this film that just work, but there are others that just don’t, if you do go to see it you will probably enjoy it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

The Legend of Tarzan. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

Hollywood remaking movies from the past are all the rage at the moment, with Disney doing live versions of their classic cartoons, we’ll have a Magnificent 7 film later this year, and the list goes on and on. This week we have the remake of the Classic Tarzan film/book series with The Legend of Tarzan. As far as reboots go, it’s ok, but there are a lot of issues with it, well one big one really, and all of that draws it down quite a bit.

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