TV Review – Ultimate Beastmaster: Season 2 (No Surrender)

TL;DR – The second outing is a much more streamlined production, learning from the mistakes from the first season, but falls a bit in its casting.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ultimate Beastmaster Season 2

Review

So at the start of the year a small little gem dropped on Netflix called Ultimate Beastmaster, a show clearly inspired by Ninja Warrior but with a big twist. This time around it was a multi-national competition with competitors and hosts from six different countries, with each country getting a different final cut. Some hailed it as the beginning for a new age of global television, I wouldn’t go that far, but it was a nifty concept. Well, it is the end of the year and Netflix has given us a little end of year surprise with Season 2 dropping much earlier than I expected it to. So today we are going to take a look at the highs and lows of Season 2 of Ultimate Beastmaster.

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Movie Review – Chasing the Dragon (Zhuī Lóng, 追龍)

TL;DR – Donnie Yen and Andy Lau are both amazing actors, and I just wish they had been given a better movie to show their talents in.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene

Chasing the Dragon

Review

I knew nothing about Chasing the Dragon before going to see it other than it was set in 1960s Hong Kong. This was a really interesting time for Hong Kong, and so I thought it would be a great setting for a film. However, to be honest right from the start I did not enjoy Chasing the Dragon at all, I mean it is not that all films have to be enjoyable, but they should at least be captivating. Now I don’t like ragging on something that people have clearly put a lot of work into, but it is a film that has a lot of flaws, unfortunately. So today we’ll look at what went wrong, but also the highpoints as there are some throughout the film.

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Map-It: Civilization VI Cities (Base Game up to the South East Asia DLC)

TL;DR – Today we chart out the Civilization VI City List in Map form

Civ banner

Article

So today I continue with my Map-It series by following up on our Civilization Map-It project by this time looking at the city lists of each civ.  It was originally my aim to have all the cities on the big map, but after trying that out with just America it quickly became apparent that it would be hard to read and would clutter an already full map, and this is not taking into account the same city might appear on many different city lists. However, after a while I continued to want to see how the city lists come together and how they play out in geographical space so I decided you didn’t need to put them all on the one map, I could create an individual map for each civilization. Now naïvely I just assumed that I could just cut out the civilization maps from my big map, do a little touch up in places and go for it. Well … that was not the case, with most maps needing to be recreated from the ground up. Now pf course past me was a real pain for present me, but the lure of maps was too strong so here we are with every civilization’s city lists mapped out. Now before we start, I just want to point out that these city locations are not meant to be pinpoint accurate, the groupings and questionable locations of some cities make that impossible. Just think of this more of a general guide of where they are located.  Also for our mobile guests, there will be a lot of images incoming, so even though I have tried to keep them small, now would be a good time to check that you are using wi-fi and not data

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Movie Review – The Adventurers (Xiá Dào Lián Méng, 俠盜聯盟)

TL;DR – Take Bond, True Lies & Oceans 11, add a strong Chinese sensibility, and a dash of French for good measure.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene

The Adventurers banner

Review

Ah betrayal, nothing motivates a protagonist more than trying to find out who betrayed him and left him for dead in prison for five years. Indeed, this is at the heart of what makes The Adventurers work as it blends the gadget work of James Bond, with the camp absurdity of True Lies, and the best heisting from the Ocean’s 11 series, and somehow it all works. Indeed, this is the second heist film that we have had this month with Logan Lucky (review) also in cinemas, and I have to say I liked The Adventurers better.
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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

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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Map-It: Civilization VI (Base Game up to the South East Asia DLC)

TL;DR – Today we chart out Civilization VI in Map form the base game all the way up to the South East Asia DLC

Civ 6 banner

Map-It

So today we continue with our Map-It series by looking at one of my favourite video games Civilization VI. Given the amount of content that Civilization VI has that you can map, and since I do love maps I decided to create two maps, the first map has all the civilizations currently released, and the second shows the locations of all the World Wonders, Natural Wonders, and the City States. So for today’s maps, we are including everything in the base game of Civilization VI, as well as what was include in the Poland, Viking, Australia, Persia/Macedonia & Nubia DLC packs
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Movie Review – The Great Wall (Cháng Chéng, 长城)

TL;DR – The action sequences are some of the best I have seen in a very long time, truly epic in scope, the only problem is you have to sit through a lot of rubbish in between it

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

The Great Wall

Review

The Great Wall is interesting just from its very existence, it is the most expensive movie ever made in China, and it is a real indicator of the continued rise of Chinese cinema and the continued push of Chinese soft power diplomacy. Like Kung Fu Yoga, this leads to some interesting features, but it also leads to some issues. The Great Wall ends up being a film that is dependent on its action sequences because there is not a lot else going for it.

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