TL;DR – A visual spectacle with some fun moments but not much more
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Mandalorian: The Passenger Review –
It has been an interesting shift watching the episodes of The Mandalorian one at a time rather than all at once. This is especially true of at least the first three episodes that look like they flow from one to another. Well, we can’t get all of it at once, but we can at least get a taste of what is to come, and I’ll take it.
So to set the scene, we open with Mando on the way back to Mos Eisley after defeating the Krayt Dragon in The Marshal. Just before he gets back, he and The Child are ambushed, and his racer is destroyed. After the long walk back he runs into Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in the cantina who tells him that she has a contact who knows where there are more Mandalorians, and she is happy to tell him where they are. The only catch is that the nice Frog Lady (Misty Rosas) needs a ride home … at sublight … and before her spawn becomes unviable. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A fantastic opening episode that brings us back to the world of Mando, but also the world of Star Wars.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Mandalorian: The Marshal Review –
One of the joys of last year was when The Mandalorian came out, and we got week after week space opera goodness. Sure not every episode landed, sure there was some filler, but when it was grand, boy was it grand. Well, 2020 has sort hit us for a curveball, and I was hoping there might be a little good in it and Season Two might be that.
So to set the scene, at the end of Season One, Mando (Pedro Pascal) was given his great commission. He had to return The Baby to its own kind, the Jedi. The only problem is the Empire wiped out most of the Jedi, and the Mandalorians and Jedi are ancient enemies. To find out where to take The Baby, he needs the help of other Mandalorians who just so happen to very good at hiding. But Mando received some intelligence as to where one is hiding and has to take a trip to Tatooine. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – This is a really interesting show in around its characters and setting, however, the overarching plot just does not quite seem to land yet.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
With a new Star Wars film only weeks away, you would think that it would be all everyone is talking about but no, for if you go on the internet the one thing that is dominating pop-culture at the moment is ‘Baby Yoda’. It is almost all-absorbing at the moment and it is telling that Star Wars still has that cultural reach. Well, when some friends asked if I wanted to watch the ‘Baby Yoda’ show, well how could I refuse and it was a fascinating dive.
So to set the scene, in the years following the destruction of the second Death Star in The Return of the Jedi, the Empire has mostly collapsed but the New Republic is yet to really take control. This leaves large parts of the galaxy outside of the core in a state of flux. In that confusion, there are some systems that still work and one of them are the bounty hunters guild because irrespective of who is in power people still ditch out on their bail. This is where we met the titular Mandalorian or Mando (Pedro Pascal) to his well not really friends but more workplace proximity associates. One day he is offered a special bounty by his main contact Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) to work off-books for A Client (Werner Herzog) to find something special, only to discover that the bounty is a child. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – Watching this I discovered
that Orange Juice goes into ever marinade and there is a peach not-pie that has
my name on it.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
There are many reasons to make a food TV show, maybe you want to explore what
drives the top chefs, maybe it is exploring the food that speaks to a place or
time, or maybe you create a TV show so you can hang out with a friend and cook
stuff across America.
So to set the scene, back in 2014 Jon Favreau wrote and directed a film called Chef about someone who quits his job in
a fine dining restaurant to open a food truck. On the film consulting about the
food was Chef Roy Choi who had followed a similar story in his real life. I
have not seen Chef (though that will
likely change in the coming days) it is clear that the two formed a strong
friendship which we see all throughout The
TL;DR – While at first look this might have been just a Star Trek homage or at worst a blatant rip-off. Instead, it finds its feet and becomes a charming exploration of the future and the mess and opportunities that could come.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
I have been wanting to catch The Orville for quite a while but there was no streaming or TV that picked it up here in Australia, so I was expecting this was something that I might only get to see when it dropped on Blu-Ray. But with SBS announcing they had picked it up and would be showing Season Two I jumped on a watched the whole first season in one night, which meant that clown appeared at a very confronting time late at night. But binged the first season I have, and now it is time to jump in and see if it was worth the wait. Now before we dive in, a quick reminder that as we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – It is okay, the story is okay, the acting is okay, the effects, okay well they are more than just okay, but overall it is just okay
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Hmm, okay, well this is an interesting film, it had a dramatic change of directors and tone during production, and it is charting the course for one of the most iconic characters in film history. All of this leads to some pretty big expectations, but also a lot of hesitation because a large course change mid-way through rarely leads to a great end product. However, the same was also said of Rouge One (see review) and that turned out to be really good, by the end. Well, today let’s see if they can capture that magic again, and give justice to the character of Han Solo.
TL;DR – A brilliant relaunch of a much-loved character, which tells an origin story without telling an origin story
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a Mid and Post Credit scene.
So here we are with our first big standalone Spider-Man feature now that he is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before we go on, we should probably take a moment and talk about how amazing it is that we actually got Homecoming at all. Indeed a lot had to fall into place to make this work. I’ve not seen companies work like this, and as well as this since, well maybe since Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Props have to be given to both Sony and Marvel to being able to put aside their differences and making this work, because that would not have been an easy set of negotiations, but they have made the integration almost seamless. So let us begin as we swing into the world of high school proms, alien weapons, explosions, and award conversations about life changes when you become a teenager.
TL;DR – While not a flawless movie, it is beautifully crafted and a great follow-up to the Disney classic.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The Jungle Book continues Disney’s campaign to recreate its classic animated films in live action remakes or hybrid live action. So far we have had the quite bold Maleficent, the serviceable Cinderella, and now it is time to take on Rudyard Kipling’s masterpiece ‘The Jungle Book’. The choice to do The Jungle Book is an interesting one because it is not without its problems, the original cartoon while still a classic in every right, does have some very problematic depictions. As well as this, the author of the original work is Rudyard Kipling and whether Mr Kipling intended to or not his poem “The White Man’s Burden” became a literary justification for a new wave (or at least an intensification) of colonialism and imperialism throughout the world. So while none of this would have been problematic in the 1960s, it is today, and it is clear Disney or at least the director and writer had these issues on the radar when filming. So within this potentially problematic environment, it is really quite interesting to see Disney take quite a risk here, and it is a risk I do believe that has paid off for them.