The Tomorrow War – Movie Review

TL;DR – An interesting film with a concept that intrigues you, delights you, and also kind of terrifies you.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this film.

The Tomorrow War. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Tomorrow War Review

The Alien Invasion genre and the Time Travel genre are ones that you would expect to crash into each other more often than they do. But there are times when they crash into each other you get fantastic, weird works like Edge of Tomorrow. Today we get another entry into this world with a war that is coming in the future, but we are fighting it now.   


We open with Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) crashing into a city on fire. War has come to this land and left carnage in its wake. Twenty-eight years earlier, in December 2022, Dan is with his wife Emmy (Betty Gilpin), and daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) are watching the World Cup after Dan lost out to another private-sector job when an explosion happens in the middle of the final match. It was not a bomb, but Lt. Hart (Jasmine Mathews) and her team coming back from the future. They are at war with an Alien force, and humanity is losing. They need people from the past to jump to the future and help them fight, or all humanity is doomed.  

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A Quiet Place Part II – Movie Review

TL;DR – It builds upon the world in interesting ways, and when it focuses on Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, it becomes thrilling.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

A Quiet Place Part II. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A Quiet Place Part II Review

The first A Quiet Place was a film that caught me off guard as I got sucked into this world. It is a time where every sound might not be your last, but you need to live as if it could be. Is that twig snap going to get you, or a misplaced nail, or a yelp in pain. It was such an interesting contained film that when I heard they were doing a sequel, I was intrigued about where they could take the story next and a little concerned that they could not strike lightning twice. Now that I have seen it, I don’t think it hits either of those extremes, but when it is good, it is really good.

So to set the scene, we open in on Day 1. Lee Abbott (John Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), and daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) were out in town on a lovely sunny summers day. They’ve gone to town to watch Marcus (Noah Jupe) play in his big baseball game. But as he goes up to bat, a large comet/meteor/something is seen falling through the sky. The family feel something is off, so they and the rest of the town start making their way home when the alien start their attack. Back at Day 474, we find the family in the immediate aftermath of the first film. However, there is no time to stop and celebrate their win or mourn their loss because the house and farm are destroyed, and they need to find some new shelter before the aliens come to finish them off.       

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Pacific Rim: The Black – Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a show with a lot of potential that would have worked a lot better had it not stumbled in critical places.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Pacific Rim: The Black. Image Credit: Netflix.

Pacific Rim: The Black Review

When you hear that there will be an American Animation TV Series, done in the style of a Japanese Anime, based in the Pacific Rim universe, and then set in Australia, well, that is an exciting combination if I have ever heard it. Good or bad, you want to see how it works. With that in mind, let’s dive into this fascinating if flawed world.

So to set the scene, we open in the days after chaos erupts across Australia as rifts open up the centre of the continent. After a valiant fight, it becomes clear that Australia is lost, and the call to evacuate is put out. Everyone had five days to reach Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, or Sydney. While trying to help with the evacuation, one Jager team stays back to stop the Kaijus because their children had yet to leave. They tried to get to the evac point, but they were too late. Instead, they took the group of civilians back to their home base Shadow Basin which was also destroyed. The parents left everyone behind in an oasis and leave to go to the coast to get help. Five years later, Hayley (Gideon Adlon) and Taylor (Calum Worthy) have a fractured relationship as their parents never returned. However, one day Hayley fell down a metal hole and discovers that not all of Shadow Basin was destroyed, with the Atlas Destroyer Jaeger and its AI Loa (Erica Lindbeck) still there. But that discovery becomes a beacon for all the danger in the world. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Occupation: Rainfall – Movie Review

TL;DR – A sequel that improves on the first in every way, full of action, and a ride from the start till finish

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

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

Occupation: Rainfall. Image Credit: Monster Films.

Occupation: Rainfall Review

A couple of years ago, I got to see this little Australian Science Fiction which was punching far above its weight. It was a movie filmed on a minuscule budget that did more with that budget than those with a much larger purse. It was a good representation of an alien invasion film, and full of some great action set pieces. So it was great to see that it was getting a sequel, and I am glad to say it improves on the first film in every way.       

In the years since the first film Occupation, the resistance movement has fought from the hillside towns and villages down to Sydney’s heart. It is a war of attrition and small hit-and-run operations, trying to take the city back one small section at a time. For Matt Simmons (Dan Ewing), this is a battle of zero compromises because it is a fight for their lives. But for Amelia Chambers (Jet Tranter), she is trying to find a diplomatic answer or try to find a cooperative way to work with the other subjugated aliens. However, when Wing Commander Hayes (Daniel Gillies) calls a retreat, and all hope seems lost, a rumour about a new weapon called Rainfall starts to spread. Rainfall could be their one hope, or humanities final downfall.

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TV Review – Rick and Morty: Promortyus

TL;DR – This is one of those episodes that is there to remind you that Rick and Morty or not good people at all

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Rick and Morty: Promortyus. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If there has been one area of incongruity in within the greater Rick and Morty zeitgeist is has been how a lot of people idolise Rick (Justin Roiland) specifically when the show goes out of its way to show that he is not a good person and should not be idolized. Well, today we get another episode that reinforces this message.  

So to set the scene, we open with Rick and Morty (Justin Roiland) walking around a cave, but with weird face-hugging aliens … well over their faces as the name implies. There are walking with some damp slimy eggs when one of the tentacles of Morty’s alien catches on a stalagmite disgorging it and we discover that this is not a disguise they were being taken over. Two dead aliens, later they now need to escape, they just need to get through an entire civilization to do that. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Video Game Review – XCOM: Chimera Squad

TL;DR – it is a game that is something old (The XCOM Setting) and something new (living rather than waring), something borrowed (SWAT mechanics), and something blue (the face of any enemy who just discovered Torque)  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

XCOM: Chimera Squad. Image Credit: Firaxis Games and 2K Games.

Review –

If there is one studio that is the king of turn-based strategy games it would be Firaxis Studios. While they are probably better known for their fundamental Civilization franchise, they have also delved into the world of science fiction, alien invasions, and reloading that autosave because your fully upgraded soldier just missed the one guy standing right next to them and now they are bleeding out on the floor. I have enjoyed the XCOM series in the past, okay not that one alien that pretends it’s a civilian, but other than that, so I was interested when I heard we were getting a sort of sequel/spin-off thingy. Well, I became even more interested when I got my hand on it and I found out just how fun it was.  

So to set the scene, It has been a couple of hears since the end of XCOM 2, and the world has sort of found a new equilibrium as humans, aliens, and hybrids live side by side. There is one place in the world that has been remarkably successful with this, the famous City 31. XCOM has moved from overthrowing an alien invasion to helping maintain order in a constantly fragmented world. Thus the Chimera Squad was created to help local police, but just as they arrive the mayor of City 31 Mayor Nightingale (Nika Futterman) is murdered in front of the squad and you have to work out who did it before the city tears itself apart.

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Movie Review – Shanghai Fortress (Shànghǎi Bǎolěi, 上海堡垒)

TL;DR – There is an interesting concept here, but the film goes out of its way to make its characters come off as bland and one-note     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Shanghai Fortress (Shànghǎi Bǎolěi, 上海堡垒). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been an interesting couple of years for the Alien Invasion genre after being almost abandoned in the years since September 11. Long gone were the triumphant speeches and bold proclamations and in were gritty scenes of dirt and muck. However, then there was a resurgence with different countries taking a look with Attack the Block in the UK and Occupation in Australia to name just two. Well, today we get to see China’s take on the global destruction masterpiece. But will it soar or will fall, only time will tell.    

So to set the scene, in the not too distant future the first manned Chinese space ship brought back a new energy source Xianteng that revolutionised the world. Everything was great but the energy source was like a beacon drawing the aliens to Earth. Starting with Rio de Janeiro the mothership moved across the planet, destroying city after city. In a last-ditch effort, the United Nations and what was left of the world’s government set up base in the last major centre Shanghai. Here they hope to make a last stand and maybe just maybe fight back and take back the planet before more cities like Los Angeles and New Delhi are turned to ash.

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TV Review – Another Life: Full Season

TL;DR – A campy schlocky mess at times, but also kind of endearing when it hits its groove

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Another Life. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We have been living through an interesting time for Science Fiction on TV, with the rise of streaming services we have seen a plethora of new shows and ideas that both look to the future and reinterpret the past. Today we are getting a Sci-fi show that kind of does both, building upon very real concerns in the world but framing it in a style of Sci-Fi that we have not seen in a long time. With that in mind let’s jump in and explore the full first season.

So to set the scene, we open with a normal day on Earth in the not too distant future after the world has been devastated by a second great depression and the great flood. Things are starting to return to some sort of normalcy when an alien ship smashes through the atmosphere flies across the USA and crashes into a field transforming itself into a huge crystalline lattice. Months later, they are still no closer to finding out what the artefact is or wants, but they have picked up a transmission to the Pi Canis Majoris solar system. To work out what to do they send the USIC Salvare under the command of Niko Breckinridge (Katee Sackhoff) out to investigate. Niko had to leave her daughter Jana (Lina Renna) and her husband Erik (Justin Chatwin) behind as Erik is leading the scientific mission at the crash site. But before too long things start going wrong, and we still don’t know if the aliens are friends or foe.  Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Rim of the World

TL;DR –  This is fun adventure flick in the tradition of saving the world being thrust upon young people. A fun cast, a good set up, and a good use of world building.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Rim of the World. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you have read this site before you will know I am a fan of the alien invasion genre, indeed Independence Day is one of my top ten films of all time. So I am always interested to see different takes on the genre, to see where they can take the formula. Today we are looking at the newest Netflix film based around this very scenario, but also more than many films I have seen this year, Rim of the World both knows what it is and what it wants to do, and at all times it succeeds in these core drives.

So to set the scene, we open on the first day of summer camp as kids from around Los Angeles and further come together to have a fun time away. Alex (Jack Gore) is a space enthusiast who likes to live in his world of screens, but there is a reason for his isolation. Zhen Zhen (Miya Cech) has secretly flown across the Pacific to attend the camp in an attempt to overcome her disappointed father. Dariush (Benjamin Flores Jr.) is full of bluster, the rich kid that has it all, and cares more about his sneakers than other humans, but then it is all a shield. There is also Gabriel (Alessio Scalzotto) who no one quite knows why he is here. Rim of the World adventure camp is full of zip lines, canoe rides, and camp counsellors that may have needed more of a background check before starting work, so your usual summer camp. However, while all that is happening the International Space Station is being destroyed because entering high orbit is an alien mothership and as people will find out as the sky explodes, they are not here to make new friends.

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Movie Review – Bird Box

TL;DR – There are moments of real suspense, and Sandra Bullock is amazing, but the structure of the story holds it back by revealing its hand too soon.      

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Bird Box. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

2018 has been a good year for the suspense thriller/ horror films, we have built on the strengths of 2017, a produced such amazing films as A Quiet Place (see review) and Cargo (see review). I bring A Quiet Place up because after the first few minutes you can tell that this is the film Bird Box is going to be compared to the most, and that is not entirely unfair. As they are both suspense post-apocalyptic films where you have to cover one of your senses to survive i.e. sound, or in this case sight. However, this was less the case of copying a more the case of producers seeing that suspense films are back (also they never left but that is an issue for another day) and optioning different books at around the same time. However, while it is a bit unfair to compare the two while watching you can’t help but do so, especially when the differences between the two are probably the reasons why I liked one more than the other.

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