TV Review – The Last Kids on Earth: Book 1

TL;DR – This is an interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Last Kids on Earth. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

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.

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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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Movie Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Godzilla II: King of the Monsters) (2019)

TL;DR – The action in the third act is some of the best monster action I have ever seen, however, the story is so incredibly dull that it is a slog to get to it.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is some mid-credit important information and a post-credit scene

Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Review

It is odd to see a film that has two such disparate parts that are almost in conflict with each other. Where one part of a film is so amazing that you feel it could be a game changer for the industry. However, there is another part of the film that works so poorly that you wonder how it made it off the drawing board. This is something that actually makes reviewing this film quite difficult because you have to ask how much you should let the story side just because the visuals were so good. Well, today we will try an unpack this all, as we explore Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

So to set the scene, we open the film on the attack in San Francisco in the first Godzilla as we see Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and Dr Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) desperately look for their son amount the rubble of their house. In the years that passed since it is clear that the tragedy irreparably damaged their relationship as Mark is now charting wolves in Colorado and Emma is working for Monarch in China with her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). Emma is working on ORCA an interface that uses biodata to communicate with the Titans. The first trial of the device works as they can control a newly born Mothra caterpillar. However, just when they think it is all going well eco-terrorist Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) attacks the lab killing everyone and taking Emma, Madison, and the ORCA. Which is a problem because if the ORCA can control the Titans, what damage can it unleash?

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Movie Review – Pacific Rim Uprising

TL;DR – Bombastic as always, but it doesn’t set itself apart from what came before, and the story struggles to find its voice.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post title scene at the start of the credits

Pacific Rim Uprising banner

Review

As we talked about in our look back at the first Pacific Rim (see review), I was a real big fan of the original. Guillermo del Toro’s film about giant monsters called Kaijus attacking the cities around the Pacific Ocean being stopped by giant mechas called Jaegers. There was something easy and yet compelling with the setup and the world they created. With Pacific Rim Uprising we get more of the same as the first film yet somehow it feels like something got lost along the way, and that, unfortunately, it just does not work as well as the first film. So with that in mind, we are going to dive into Pacific Rim Uprising to look at what worked and what didn’t.

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Exploring the Past – Pacific Rim (2013)

TL;DR – “At one point a giant mech picks up a cargo ship to use as a cricket bat to take down a giant monster stomping its way through Hong Kong” you will probably know if this film is for you from that snippet alone.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Pacific Rim

Review

Back in the relatively calm year of 2013, how five years can change the world, there was this little gem of a film. It was a homage to the mecha and giant monster films of Japan and at the heart was the simple message that we should all work together. Well, it has been years since I have watched Guillermo del Toro’s monster epic, well at least his giant monster epic, and with the sequel coming out later this week, now is as good as time as ever to dive back into the world of Jaegers* and Kaijus*.

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Movie Review – Kong: Skull Island

TL;DR – Fantastic action, amazing visuals, interesting characters, and the best rendition of King Kong in a long while, this is a must watch film

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

P.S. There is a post-credits scene

Kong: Skull Island. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

The more and more we heard about Kong: Skull Island, the more I had a feeling that Kong was either going to be a masterpiece or a heaping pile of trash, I just could not see a middle ground happening. Well, I was right, Kong: Skull Island is not a mediocre film at all, and thankfully it is not a pile of trash either, instead it is an epic film that makes the most of the characters whilst setting it away from the traditional narrative. The effects alone make it a film you have to see, but it is so much more than just a technically brilliant film, it has a strong narrative, characters you relate to, and one of the more interesting island set ups I have seen since I read Dinotopia, quick aside, can we actually get that Dinotopia film now please and thank-you. Ok so let’s go break down why I think you should go see Kong: Skull Island.

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