Tribes of Europa: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a fascinating world that I think that we have only just scratched the surface of.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Tribes of Europa: Season 1. Image Credit: Netflix.

Tribes of Europa Review

When you think of post-apocalyptic shows or movies, you think of drab banner expanses of nothing where only the best like Mad Max Fury Road can make shine. But that is one of the many different pallets of the world could take. In Tribes of Europa, we get a very different type of post-apocalypse, even if there are some familiar elements.

So to set the scene, in 2029, a worldwide blackout called Black December destroyed civilization as we know it on the planet. The Nation-State as we know it today crashed a burned with thousands of micro-states emerging in their wake. In 2074, those micro-states have started to war over the former lands of Europe or, as it is now called, Europa. It is here where Liv (Henriette Confurius) and her family Kiano (Emilio Sakraya) and Elja (David Ali Rashed) see a plane crash while out hunting an event that would shift the balance of the continent. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Space Sweepers (Victory, Seungriho, 승리호) – Movie Review

TL;DR – An odd film that I loved from start to finish   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Space Sweepers. Image Credit: Netflix.

Space Sweepers Review

I have seen a lot of excellent Science Fiction in the last little while. However, I have been looking forward to something different, something odd, something that does not fit the mould. Well, today we get just such a film out of Korea that blends the farcical with the serious all while screaming around Earth’s orbit.  

So to set the scene, in 2092 the biosphere started to break down on Earth, soon deserts spanned the globe as the plants died off. But all was not lost, led by UTS and its company director James Sullivan (Richard Armitage) people were able to escape into space. Well, the rich anyway got to flee to orbital biospheres in orbit while 95% of people are left on Earth or work on ships clearing up space debris hoping to earn enough money to buy UTS citizenship and escape. One such crew is of the ship Victory, including Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri), pilot Tae-ho (Song Joong-ki), engineer Tiger Park (Jin Seon-kyu), and android Bubs (Yoo Hae-jin). All is going, well not well, when they open up a ship they salvaged and found Dorothy/Kot-nim (Park Ye-Rin) an android girl that everyone in the system is after.

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Cyberpunk 2077 – Video Game Review

TL;DR – A buggy experience that even when you power through it, you find a mostly surface-level game failing to delve into the world they had created

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Warning – Contains scenes that have been reported to induce seizures

Cyberpunk 2077. Image Credit: CD PROJEKT RED.

Cyberpunk 2077 Review –

To be honest, I was wondering if I was actually going to write this review. The discourse around this game has been unpleasant, to say the least, and what difference would be one more voice howling into the void make. I mean, I even found myself cleaning the house to put this off. But in the end, I paid full price for this game, a game that was clearly not ready for release, and also this is my profession, so I kind of owe myself and the working hours I put into this game to contextualise that into words.    

So to set the scene, in a boardroom, on the streets of Night City, or in my case on the northern outskirts of the city, we meet V (Gavin Drea/ Cherami Leigh) as his car is being put together. He is a nomad but without a clan or family anymore and is just trying to get ahead. One uppity sheriff later and he is on the way to meet his contact Jackie Welles (Jason Hightower). All V has to do is smuggle this little crate into the city, and he will have enough money to set himself up. There is just one border crossing between him and freedom … what could go wrong. When he thinks he has survived that skirmish, he is offered a chance to put together the heist of a lifetime involving the mysterious Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves).  From this point forward we will be looking at the game as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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LX 2048 – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film that raised a lot of interesting ideas, but never gives the time to provide them with all the justice they need to work within the story.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

LX 2048. Image Credit Quiver Distribution.

LX 2048 Review

As we move into the future, the digital and real worlds are blending more and more together. Add the fact that it looks like VR finally stuck the landing this time and the future is bright or maybe not. As that line gets fuzzier, what does that mean for human connection? This impasse is the question that the film we are looking at today is asking.  

So to set the scene, in the distant future, the world of the digital and the ‘in real’ have blended thanks to a world where the daytime has become toxic thanks to the Sun’s radiation. Indeed even the briefest exposure to the Sun can create instant and painful sunburn. We meet Adam Bird (James D’Arcy), who is getting the news you don’t want to hear, his heart is failing, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Adam is one of the few people who go out in the day to a physical place to work and also kind of like to live in the real world. His desire to be in the real (among other issues) is why he is now separated from his family in his moment of need, because he does not want to die, or worse become a clone.

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TV Review – Snowpiercer: Justice Never Boarded

TL;DR – All tease when it probably should be starting to deliver.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Snowpiercer: Justice Never Boarded, Image Credit: Netflix.

Review – Well, Snowpiercer the show started in an odd place, with a murder-mystery at the core of the narrative. I was not sure how it could all jell together, but as it has continued, those lines in the sand have become more evident as power shifts have come into the light. This brewing tension has led to an interesting premise, though it is still not clear if they can pull it off.

So to set the scene, the Snowpiercer has continued on its journey in the frozen appocalype of Earth, now steaming through the former Amazon. However, for Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) the discovery that Lilah Jr (Annalise Basso) was the real murderer was not the end of his mission because he stumbled onto something else. For he found out the real power behind Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and ended up in the draws for his trouble. However, everything marches on, and there needs to be a trial because there have been murders, and people want justice. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Why I Love Tron: Legacy

TL;DR – An exploration of a film that effortless blends music, visuals, story, and passion into something that is greater in almost every way.

Tron: Legacy. Image Credit: Disney.

Review


There are some movies that just touch you in your heart, you can’t really explain why? They just fill you with joy and no matter how many times you have watched it, you are always ready to crack open that DVD/BluRay/digital copy/whatever and give it another watch. For me, one such film is Tron: Legacy, it is the hill I am ready to die on and I love it with all my heart.

So to set the scene, in the years since the first Tron, there has been joy and tragedy. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has become CEO of ENCOM International and had a son Sam (Owen Best). However, tragedy struck and took his wife away. Flynn refocused his work and made a huge discovery, something that would change everything but days after finding it out he disappears leaving Sam an orphan. Years later Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has grown up but while he is the main shareholder of the company he basically leaves ENCOM alone, bar the yearly prank, which this year involves sneaking into the company releasing their new software for free and then base jumping off the top of the tower. This might be a big joke for Sam but is not for Kevin’s old friend and Sam’s mentor Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). He lets Sam know that he got a page from his father, the first communication since he disappeared. It came from the old arcade, so Sam goes to investigate and finds more than he bargains when he gets transported into the world of the computer and discovers all is not well on the Grid.        

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Movie Review – Quantification Trilogy

TL;DR – A fascinating experimental film that I think would work much better as three shirt films that one complete future    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Warning – There is extensive use of Strobe Lighting in the second part of the trilogy.

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

Quantification Trilogy. Image Credit: Jeremy Shaw.

Review


Today we look at a film that is truly experimental in scope and form. It is a film that has taken footage from the past (I believe) and then repurposed it into something new. This transformation in tone and purpose through editing is not something I have seen before.

So to set the scene, in the distant future the human race has become extinct, replaced instead by quantum humans and their universal connection to the hive. However, there are some quantum humans that due to a genetic quirk have reverted a little back to their long-dead human ancestors. These Quickeners have gathered together in Area 23 in the long-abandoned American continent to practice old rituals and to find some meaning away from the hive.

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Exploring The Past – Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shinseiki Evangerion, 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン) (1995)

TL;DR – An ambitious series drawing inspiration from multiple religious and mystical frameworks that while pioneering in many respects, completely fails to stick the landing

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shinseiki Evangerion). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Today I get to finally explore the third pillar of 1990s sci-fi anime with the massively influential Neon Genesis Evangelion. For me, this was almost a form of closure given how much I have watched the other two pillars Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell but I never got to see Evangelion. It was also interesting to see a show that has been massively influential to the genre but watching it with 20 years of extra context on top of it. Well if nothing else, the ending stinger to last year’s Desert Bus now makes sense. With that in mind, let’s dive in and explore Hideaki Anno’s work of gods, and angels, and science, and man.

So to set the scene, in the year 2000 a great calamity arouse across the world when the second impact occurred in Antarctica blasting the icy continent to ruin and melting all its ice causing extensive flooding across the world. The UN authority declared that the cause was a giant meteorite impact, hence common term of it being ‘the second impact’ (okay sort of, but also sort of not, it gets complicated). However, this is all a cover, because what really happened is that a creature of great power was discovered under the ice, this Angel was called Adam and something the researchers did trigger him destroying everything. 15 years later, Shinji Ikari (Megumi Ogata/ Spike Spencer/ Casey Mongillo) is running through deserted streets to a pick-up location. The whole area has gone into emergency lockdown for some unknown reason, and that reason turns out to be a second angel that everyone kind of expected was coming. Just before he is crushed, Shinji is rescued by Captain Misato Katsuragi (Kotono Mitsuishi/ Allison Keith/ Carrie Keranen) and taken to Tokyo-3 where a secretive organisation Nerv has their headquarters. The leader of Nerv is Shinji’s father Gendo Ikari (Fumihiko Tachiki/ Tristan MacAvery/ Ray Chase) who is at best distant, but a more fair description would be icy or even abusive. However, Shinji does not have time to process that because he is announced to be the Third Child, and one of only a few people that can pilot an Evangelion which he has to do like now.

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TV Review – The I-Land

TL;DR – This is really a slow burn but then it grabs you as all the different parts start to merge together and you discover what is behind The Island and the number 39.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The I-Land. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of my great joys is watching the TV Show Survivor where they throw a bunch of random people on an island and subject them to the elements and every puzzle under the Sun. It is such an interesting scenario, that I am surprised that we don’t see more people take advantage of it narratively. Well, today we get to look at a show that does just that, exploring a world where you can trust nothing and no one, not even what you can see with your own two eyes.  

So to set the scene, one morning you wake up, but you are not at home in your bed, you are on a beach lying in the sand with waves crashing into you. To add to this you cannot remember how you got there, or even who you are. As Chase (Natalie Martinez) tries to get her bearings she stumbles across KC (Kate Bosworth) and discovers that she is not alone. There are ten of them and no one can remember anything bar waking up on the beach. As they try to find something of their past lives, the reality of their situation dawns and soon the power politics show their heads and worse. 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 – Mortal Engines

TL;DR – This is a visually impressive film, full of moments that make you go wow, but you can see that they have been held back by fitting the whole first book into the one  film   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Mortal Engines. Image Credit: Universal

Review

The Mortal Engines series is one of those books that I have always been meaning to read but just have never gotten around to it. The idea where cities have become mobile and drive around hunting for prey is one of those conceptional ideas that is just genius, and I have a lot of friends that are super excited to see this world brought to life on the big screen. Add to this the fact that you have the minds behind The Lord of the Rings working to bring this to life and I have to say it definitely piqued my interest. Now that I have seen it, I can say I mostly enjoyed it, even if not everything worked.

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