TL;DR – Rick and Morty ends its fourth season on an interesting if odd note.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
This has been a really interesting season with some stand out episodes like The Vat of Acid Episode and those that didn’t quite land like Childrick of Mort. However, now that we have reached the end of the season I wanted to take a moment to look back at both the final episode of the season with a title that you are sure a number of trademark lawyers were engaged to make sure they could use it, and also the season in general.
So to set the scene, back season three (goodness 2017 feels like a lifetime ago) in The ABC’s of Beth, Rick (Justin Roiland) and Beth’s (Sarah Chalke) relationship hit rock bottom and reached a point of no return. Rick offered Beth a choice where he could make a clone of her to live her life here while letting her go off on space adventures guilt free. Well fast forward to today and we discover that Rick did send Beth out on adventures and left a clone on Earth … maybe. Well that clone/or real Beth, it’s complicated, we’ll call her Space Beth to keep it simple, has been upsetting the New Galactic Federation. Which is about the time Space Beth discovered Rick put a bomb in her neck. So Space Beth comes back to Earth for some revenge, and maybe brings the whole Federation army with her. Now we will be looking at the episode/series as a whole and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
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
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.
TL;DR – One of the most Meta episodes of the show I have ever seen, and given that this is Rick and Morty that is saying something
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Well, today we dive back into the world of Rick and Morty, a show that I have loved (see my review for Season Three) but it is also a show that I have developed an odd relationship with. This is because (and I am sorry but I am about to drop the D-word) a lot of the discourse around the show and a certain vocal minority of fans have created an unpleasant environment at times. The first part of Season Four kind of came and went for me, but now we are getting the second half of the season weekly, I thought it would be a good time to give it another go.
So to set the scene, we open in as a weary traveller hops on a train and gets his tickets stamped. He pulls up to the bar to get a drink, but all he gets is a story about how someone wants to kill Rick Sanchez (Justin Roiland). Suffering from one vignette to the next he escapes only to run into another traveller with the same problem and that is when things get weird (which for this show is saying something). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – This is an ambitious return into the world of Ghost in the Shell that exceeds expectation in some areas but I am not sure the overarching story is going to work for everyone.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
There are a couple of shows that serve as a gateway into the world of anime. One of the greats is Ghost in the Shell a grand cyber-punk post-human jaunt into the future. For a lot of people, it was the movie that was their first contact, but for me, it was the Ghost in the Shell SAC. It was this, bright bold explosion, exploring religion, philosophy, what it meant to be alive. Since then I have wondered if anyone could capture that again, and the less said about that movie the better. Well, today we get a chance to see as we dive back into the world of Major Motoko Kusanagi (Atsuko Tanaka/Mary Elizabeth McGlynn).
In the time since the show and movie, the world has become a very different place. The G4, that is America, China, Russia, and the European Union, moved the world into an economical system called Sustainable War, which sounds about as bad as it. This is escalated by the Global Simultaneous Default when all the world’s financial system collapsed at the same time. Since Section 9 had been disbanded, most of the team joined in on the sustainable war effort as a mercenary team called Ghost. They worked their way up from South America and at the start of the series they are travelling through the ruins of Palm Springs. They are there to stop a raid on the gated section of Los Angeles but there is more going on than they first thought. Now we will be looking at the series as a whole and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – It’s fine, nothing amazing but not a complete mess.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
I’ve been quite enjoying the jaunts into the world of Altered Carbon as of late. A world of switching bodies and switching cast members. A world of excesses and a world of death that is only real death half the time. I’ve watched both seasons, so when I heard there was an animated movie, well I had to give it a watch and well … it’s fine.
So after the events of the Second Season (I think, but I’m not entirely sure), we open on the planet Latimer. Here a young girl Holly (Brittany Cox/ Ayaka Asai) is running from her life through the upper streets as air cars and large holograms walk around her. She is being chased by two thugs, who are trying to catch her. Running into a club she is almost at a needle casting facility when a ninja slaughters the two thugs and turns on her. Things are bad but then Takeshi (Ray Chase/ Tatsuhisa Suzuki) arrives to save the day. Teaming up with local CTAC operator Gina (Elizabeth Maxwell/ Rina Satô) they get Holly to the safety of the Yakuza or as it turns out maybe into significantly more danger than she was before.
Now, this is an interesting film, in that we are usually a bit cagier about spoilers with films, but then it is also hard to talk about this film without getting into spoilers for both past seasons and a big reveal in this film. So with that in mind, there will be some big [SPOILERS] around character points going forward but not for the ending.
TL;DR – A love letter to the past and a beautiful story in its own right
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
It has been a long time since Star Trek ventured into the realm of animation, indeed, The Animated Series to this day fits awkwardly into the Star Trek universe thanks to the question marks as to its canonicity. But today Star Trek takes some steps back unto this uncharted frontier with a Short Trek full of joy and beauty.
So to set the scene, we open in on a documentary called The Tardigrade in Space as it explores the life of a humble tardigrade Ephraim flying through space looking for a place to lay her eggs. A place that is warm and safe, which is what she found right up until the moment the USS Enterprise appears out of warp and trashes the asteroid she had picked. But then a starship with a nice warm warp reactor would be the perfect place to lay her eggs, unfortunately, a DOT-7 maintenance droid called Dot has different ideas.
TL;DR – Its music, story, animation, worldbuilding, and characters that you really care for even though they are all broken in some way
A while back I took a moment to write about Why I loved Star Trek DS9 and since it was a great time of writing I have been meaning to get back at it again. I had a couple of choices but with the announcement that Netflix is producing a ten-episode live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop, well I got instantly dragged back in time to my high school days when the show rippled through my life with every beat of those conga drums, and well I instantly knew what to do next. Why Cowboy Bebop? Well, there are a lot of reasons, the music, story, animation, characters, but more than anything, it was the way it shaped how I viewed television and animation as a medium and got me more and more interested with how it is all made. It is also one of the go-to shows, as well as Samurai Champloo (サムライチャンプル), that I recommend whenever someone want to start exploring animation. So with that in mind let us dive into the neo-noir space-western from Shinichirō Watanabe (渡辺 信一郎) all about trying to escape the past and then realising that you can’t, and then also Ed, hello Ed.
In the Cowboy Bebop world, the human race has expanded out into the Solar System when the first Astral Gate (a faster than light transport system) exploded next to The Moon raining down Luna debris on Earth. The world had one choice escape or die on Earth and so they expanded out terraforming the Moons of Jupiter, Venus, creating the crater cities of Mars, and also Asteroid outposts across the Solar System like Tijuana (TJ). By 2071, because the human race is spread out across such a large region of space it has meant that enforcing law and order has become a challenge, so the powers at be implemented a bounty system and so Cowboys spread out chasing bounties and bringing back criminals to face justice … for a fee of course. This is where we meet our crew of the Bebop the ship they travel around the Solar System catching criminals while trying not to have to spend all its bounty on repairs.
TL;DR – This is an
interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
When I say to you Zombie Apocalypse, I think for many people the first thing
you would do is suppress a sigh. As a genre, it has been used multiple times
and these days one could say that it has been done to death as long as they immediately
followed it up immediately with ‘pun not attended’. However, every now and again,
a new show will use the setting to explore something new and today we get to
look at just such a show.
So to set the scene, we open in on Day 42 with Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard)
the only known survivor in his town. 42 Days ago portals opened up over his
town and monsters and zombies came flooding out attacking the town. Some escaped,
some were rescued, but more still were turned into zombies to roam the streets.
Abandoned by his foster family, Jack survives by hiding in his foster brother’s
treehouse and using that as a base of operation. He is trying to find his best
buddy Quint (Garland Whitt) and rescue his flame June (Montse Hernandez), but
first he needs to survive being hunted by a monster angry because Jack poked
its eye out.
TL;DR – This is a well-made
animation, with an interesting story, world and characters. Full of interesting
juxtapositions like magic and technology.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
I was thinking the other day of my joy at the old Monkey Magic stories. It had me wonder that it has been a long time
since I have seen a good travel story where a group of disparate people are
brought together through fate and then discover all their flaws and joys in the
face of shared adversity. Well as fate would have it just a couple of days
later a little surprise dropped on Netflix which was everything I didn’t know I
So to set the scene, we open in on a desert wasteland on an alien (maybe)
planet with a disintegrating moon floating in orbit. Our first clue that this
is an interesting place is the image of a giant bull trampling across the
plains in search of a toilet. We cut to a town on the frontier full of dust,
wood, and a casual disregard for life. There are humans and other creatures,
and all sorts of robots, mechs, and mechanical augmentations. In the streets
walks Sam (A Special Associate Model) (Kamali Minter) from the faraway kingdom
of Botica. She does not seem to fit the tone of the local area, making friends
in a land of gunfights and wanton murder. But she is on a mission to find a
lost prince and the one person who can help her do that Philly the Kid (Kenn
Michael). One issue is that he does not really want to help, also he is cursed
and can’t die, also he had a large bounty on him that everyone is trying to
collect. So Sam, Philly, and Casey (Kamali Minter) a maintenance droid head off
on the mission in their pink coin-operated Mustang that can transform into a
bull. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will
be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – The animation is
fantastic, that characters are charming, and the stories really hit home
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
For a while now, I have been wondering what show is going to fill that Adventure
Time sized hole that is still in my heart. For a long time it was Steven Universe, but with that gearing
up for what might be its final movie I was wondering if anything else would
come along. Well, I don’t know yet if Twelve
Forever will fill that hole, but at the very least it is interesting as all
So to set the scene, it is Reggie’s (Kelsy Abbott) twelveth birthday, but what
should be a time of celebration for her is turned into a disaster when her
mother Judy (Bridget Everett) uses the time to help her move into the next
stage of her life, the one with deodorant, shaving and bras. Reggie does not
want to grow up, all of which is put in the spotlight when all her old toys are
put into the garage sale. However, all is not lost because her and her best friend
Todd (Antony Del Rio) have a secret, they can escape to a magical realm called
Endless Island. They decide to hide the old toys by burying them under the
ground. The only issue is that on Endless Island what you bury has a habit of
coming to life in unexpected ways.