Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Movie Review

TL;DR – The cast was terrific, the action was tight, and it was funny to boot.   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Image Credit: Disney.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review

I walked into Shang-Chi with a little bit of trepidation. Marvel has not had a good track record when delving into this realm, with Iron Fist being the low point, but even Dr Strange didn’t get everything right. But this time, Marvel was not just dipping their toes into this genre. It was diving all the way in. Thankfully those trepidations were for nothing as they have nailed it.

So to set the scene, we open with the story of Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung), who discovered a mystical set of ten rings. These rings gave him tremendous power and eternal life, and he used that to take control across the world, both actively and from the shadows. In 1996, he started his mission to claim the one realm he had not concurred, but his expedition to Ta Lo failed with him being the only one alive. At the gates to Ta Lo, he expected to find a guardian. He didn’t expect to find one that outclassed him in every way or that he would actually find love. He and Ying Li (Fala Chen) go home and start a family, but it ends in tragedy. In the modern-day, their son Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) goes by Shaun and works as a valet in San Francisco with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). It is a quiet life, right up until they get attacked on a bus by a bunch of goons sent by his father.

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Gunpowder Milkshake – Movie Review

TL;DR – Stylistically fascinating, tonally inconsistent, and yet still engaging      

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Gunpowder Milkshake. Image Credit: StudioCanal.

Gunpowder Milkshake Review

There has been a real struggle for independent stories to break through in a world of franchises and sequels. So when you see a new film emerge, you want to see it thrive. However, there are still as many hits and misses when you have new ideas as what happens when you are working with a solid franchise base. Today, we look at a film which has aspects of both sides, both the good and the bad.

So to set the scene, we open with a phone beeping off the hook as blood and bullets scatter the room. It is here where we are introduced to Sam (Karen Gillan), who is a cleaner for a secret organisation called The Firm. 15 years ago, a young Sam (Freya Allan) was abandoned at a diner by her mother Scarlet (Lena Headey) after a shootout with the Russian Mob. Now, Sam is here with her handler Nathan (Paul Giamatti), and she is on the last legs with the organisation. All she has to do is hunt down some missing money. What could go wrong?     

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Terra Firma Part 2

TL;DR – A beginning and an end all wound up into one

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek Discovery: Terra Firma Part 2. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Terra Firma Part 1 Review –

Today we continue our walk through the looking glass as we make our mark on the Mirror Universe. But it is also an exciting episode with regards to relationships and even the past as it comes full force into the future.

So to set the scene, we are still on the ISS Discovery as Emperor Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) has decided not to kill her daughter Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) but instead reach out to her in the only language she understands … pain. But the question is – is that enough? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Terra Firma Part 1

TL;DR – Time to dive back through the looking glass … sort of

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek Discovery: Terra Firma Part 1. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

There has been one character this season that has just been there, doing things, usually comments that cut to someone’s core. However, it felt like we were waiting for the penny to drop Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) … well this is the week for that.

So to set the scene, in last week’s The Sanctuary, we discovered that Georgiou’s condition is going from bad to worse, and there is not a whole lot that Dr Culber (Wilson Cruz) can do about it. While this is going on, Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Adira (Blu del Barrio) found a distress call at the centre of where they think The Burn started. This week, with things going from worse to deadly Culber talks to resident spook Kovich (David Cronenberg) who lets him know that they have seen this before and there is no cure. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: The Sanctuary

TL;DR – An episode that balances the personal with the large scale story and that was a delight to see.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek Discovery: The Sanctuary. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

The Sanctuary Review –

We are starting to get to the pointy end of the season for Star Trek Discovery, and many of the story beats that have been thrown out there have begun to come home to roost. Today we get to see three stories based around different members of the crew as well as our first primary interaction with the series apparent big bad.  

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode, we got to see the fruits of Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy / Ethan Peck) labour with the Unification of the Romulan and Vulcan people. But more than that, it was a turning point for Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) in where she wanted to find her home. This week, things get turned on their head, when Book (David Ajala) receives a message from his home pulling the crew, Discovery, and The Federation into a direct confrontation with the Emerald Chain. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Scavengers

TL;DR – An episode where roosters come home to roost.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek Discovery: Scavengers. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Scavengers Review –

There have been a lot of unanswered questions this season that has been left dangling. The first is of course, what or who caused The Burn that devastated the galaxy. Was it a natural phenomenon, was it an accident, or was it on purpose? The second, is what was Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) doing during her yearlong sojourn in the future? Today we get answers on one of those fronts, but also some consequences.  

So to set the scene, in last week’s Die Trying we finally found what was left of The Federation and Starfleet. It had been reduced to about 30 members and is on reactive rather than proactive footing. Well, The Discovery had to prove itself, but it was clear the crew and the ship would be an asset for The Federation, but it was also apparent when it took only one shot to take it down in People of Earth that the ship was woefully out of date. Good thing then that the Discovery has just had a major upgrade, one that went “do you need your nacelles attached to the ship”? This is just the moment that an unannounced cat arrives on the scene. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Far From Home (That Hope is You, Part 2)

TL;DR – The Discovery is back and has to decide if going in guns blazing or diplomatic is the way forward

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek Discovery: Far From Home (That Hope is You, Part 2). Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Far From Home Review –

We continue powering forward in this soft-reboot of Star Trek Discovery as characters continue to crash land into the 3100s. As we go about this week’s episode, we start to see the way this new world works and how it can be used for exploitation. Which means it is a perfect time for some hope.

So to set the scene, in That Hope Is You, Part 1 we get the story of Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) crashing into a planet and trying to re-orientate herself in this new place and time. There was however one big thing missing in the first episode, and that was the USS Discovery itself and all those on-board it. Well, today’s episode wastes no time in revealing what happened to them as they get thrust out on the galaxy onto of a world that was partially blasted. None of the ship’s systems are working, but under the command of Saru (Doug Jones), Lt. Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts) was able to invert the ship and crash land it on an icy glacier. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Red Angel

TL;DR –  It starts on an emotional beat and stays there up until the very last moments.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: Red Angel. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

From the very first episode this season Brother there has been one defining question this season “who is the Red Angel?” well tonight we find out and while I am sure someone out there picked it, I did not see it coming at all.

So to set the scene, we begin the episode where Project Daedalus left off, where Airiam (Hannah Cheesman) was killed to save Control getting access to the data she had downloaded. At the start of today’s episode her body is recovered, her memories deleted, and finally, a memorial service was held where people shared their fondest memories and Saru (Doug Jones) sang as her body was laid to rest. There is a real threat out there and we have to stop it but now Section 31’s Leland (Alan Van Sprang) and Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) are willing to let slip that the Red Angel suit was theirs, or at least it started off that way. It was built when a new time war was heating up with the Klingons a few years ago that ended when both sides destroyed each other’s work. Oh and just a small thing that in one of Airiam’s data files was the scan of the Red Angel and it matches Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green).   

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: If Memory Serves

TL;DR –  In today’s episode the shoe finally drops and it is so much better for it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: If Memory Serves. Image Credit: Netflix/CBS.

Review

It is starting to get to the pointy half of the season and for the longest time, Star Trek Discovery has been holding their cards close to their chest. Which has meant that the last couple of episodes have been falling a little flat with me. Well today, not only do they fix that, they give us a hint of what is to come for the rest of the season, and I can say that I am very intrigued.

So to set the scene, and the end of last week’s Light and Shadows, we discovered two very important things. The first is that Spock (Ethan Peck) needs to go to Talos IV to get help and that Airiam (Hannah Cheesman) had been infected by something from the probe, oh and also that Section 31 can’t be trusted, but I think we knew that one already. Well as we start today’s episode the Starfleet admirals give Section 31 some clear orders in how they should recover Spock after Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) outmaneuvers Leland (Alan van Sprang) showing just how integrated Section 31 is at this point (well will get to that a bit later). However, Pike (Anson Mount) is having none of that and knows a ruse when he sees it. While all of this is happening Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Spock finally make it to Talos IV only to find it is not quite what they thought it would be. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Saints of Imperfection

TL;DR – While there was a lot that happened in this episode, it just didn’t click with me the way the rest of the season has.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: Saints of Imperfection. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

We are about at the mid-point of the season and the story of the red lights is still unfolding. However, as we go along, there is still nothing concrete to hold onto, Spock is still missing, the red lights are still an enigma, and who knows what Section 31 is up to. Now while this has been fine up until a point, at some time we need to have a moment of focus. Without that, we get today’s episode that is full of promise and cool moments but is lacking something.

So to set the scene, we start today’s episode in the moments after An Obol For Charon finishes with Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) racing to the engineering section after hearing about Tilly’s (Mary Wiseman) disappearance. When she arrives all she finds is the alien cocoon pulsating on the floor and no Tilly in sight. However, all of that is put on hold when the USS Discovery catches up with Spock’s shuttle, only it is not Spock that makes a graceful exit after it docks with Discovery, but an old friend … though I don’t know if you could call her that. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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