Movie Review – The Lion King (2019)

TL;DR – An animated marvel that unfortunately comes off as a disjointed mess at times   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Lion King. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

I’m going to be honest right from the start here, I had some real trepidation on walking into The Lion King today. I consider the original animated film to be one of my all-time top animated films. In the 25 years since I first watched it, it still holds a special place in my heart, even though those 25 years were filled with hot takes about authoritarianism and plagiarism accusations. However, something about this remake just was not jiving with me. Well now that I have seen the full film I am happy to say that it was not the disaster I thought it would be, but wow does it have issues.

So to set the scene, and if you have seen the original film you can probably skip this section. We open with dawn breaking on a very special day in Pride Rock. Because this is the day that the new prince Simba (JD McCrary) is being presented to the animal kingdom. As Rafiki (John Kani) raised the young cub up in front of all the animals that have gathered Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Sarabi (Alfre Woodard) watch on with pride, but someone is missing. Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) the brother of the king is absent and his absence is notable. He wants the throne for himself and he will stop at nothing to make that happen. Well, one day when young Simba and Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph) escape their watcher Zazu (John Oliver) and take a trip to the elephant’s graveyard an opportunity lands in Scar’s lap.

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Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map – Seas, Lakes, and Bays Oh My! Update

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map, this time with Lakes, Seas, and Oceans

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Article

This week we got the latest update to Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, and along with the boosted Industrial Zones and several pages of patch notes there was the announcement of the game adding water features to its growing list of geographical features. We have mapped Civ VI in the past as part of our Map-It Project, and I am always a completionist, so I thought it would be quick to add in a couple of lakes. Well three solid days of work later and it was not the quick job I expected, but it was a rewarding one as I got to learn more about the geography of the Earth while brushing up on my Māori.

 Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.


We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the map in this update, if you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.  

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data. Also a quick shout out to sonicmyst, God of Kings, Eagle Pursuit, Zaarin and SeelingCat over at the Civfanatics Forum for helping me with some of the obscure lakes I was having trouble locating.    

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Movie Review – The Wound (Inxeba) (2017)

TL;DR The Wound sits on the precipice of culture, tradition, and masculinity, and shows the damage on inflexibility.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Wound (Inxeba). Image Credit: Urucu Media.

Review

I have been spending the day brushing up on the many foreign films that I just haven’t been able to see, and the next stop on my trip around the world is South Africa. African cinema is one area where I need to explore more because this is the first film I have ever seen in Xhosa. With that in mind, let’s look at a film that explores the world of becoming a man in a very traditional society.

So to set the scene, throughout the year Xolani (Nakhane Touré) or X to his friends spends his time working and living alone in the city. However, once a year he comes back to the mountains to be a helper in the Ulwaluko ceremony. This is the Xhosa ceremony that marks the transition from boy to manhood. However, while he is there as a guide to help the initiates, X is also there for another reason, because it is the one time he gets to connect with Vija (Bongile Mantsai) a friend and secretly his romantic partner. This year X is being put in charge of Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini) who is considered soft because he grew up in the city and does not care for tradition.

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Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Article

This week, well two days ago at the time of writing, the new and second expansion for Civilization VI called Gathering Storm was released. It added new Civilizations, City States, World Wonders, Natural Wonders, and most interestingly Geographical Features (see all new features HERE). With that in mind, I knew I had to immediately jump in and update our Full Civilization VI Map.

Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data.

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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 (Zhan Lang 2, 战狼2). Image Credit: Well Go.

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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