DOTA: Dragon’s Blood: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR –A little convoluted yet strangely compelling ride through the expanded lore of one of the most popular video games out there.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood. Image Credit: Netflix.

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood Review

DOTA is one of those video games that I know, but I have never been able to get into, and that is not from a lack of trying. It is this phenomenon that I have watched from a distance with this odd curiosity. While the game itself feels like an impenetrable mess, there is a lot of style and intrigue going on, and I know that there is a whole lot of lore built into the game that could be good to explore.    

So to set the scene, we open with a huge info lore dump that you probably don’t need to understand fully. We then cut to the middle of a battle as many militiamen get ripped apart by a dragon that dives in and out of the ground. It is a losing conflict until Davion (Yuri Lowenthal), the Dragon Knight, enters the fray as his squire Bram (Josh Keaton) watches on. It is a glorious battle that dives in and out of the ground, and eventually, it is killed. It a moment of rejoicing. However, Frühling (Matthew Waterson), the captain of the guard, is less than pleased because an elder dragon still sleeps nearby, waiting to attack. But when he goes down into the lair of the best, he finds there is more terror there than he expected. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie – Movie Review

TL;DR – An improvement on this style of story, but an odd juxtaposition holds it back.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie. Image Credit: Netflix.

Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie Review

 

One way that Netflix has tried to differentiate itself in an increasingly bifurcated market has been the implementation of ‘choose your own adventure’ films. These echo back to an old style of storytelling, but while the nostalgia has been interesting, none of them has been able to nail the technique so far. However, if anyone has a shot at it, it would be Bear Grylls for the entertainment factor alone.

So to set the scene, we open in a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa, where we find Bear Grylls (Bear Grylls) running from a lion only to reach his car to find it locked. We then jump back earlier in the day to find Bear inspecting a fence to see that something had broken through and that the fence that should be electric is not working. You have to fix, the power, find a baboon, and stop a lion all before a storm comes in.

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News of the World – Movie Review

TL;DR – A compelling ride through the 1890s with a man trying to his best in difficult circumstances    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

News of the World. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

News of the World Review

There are few actors around that you know going in will always give their best performance no matter what film they are in. One of those few is Tom Hanks who gives his all even in movies that are not that great. Today we get to explore a film that puts him right in the centre of a world going through a difficult transition.

So to set the scene, we open in Wichita Falls, North Texas, 1870, on a cold a rainy night. Here we find a Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) speaking with the fine folks of the town. They are cut off from most of society, so he lets everyone know the news of the time, like a local fever going around or river crossings being cut, for a fee of 10c. On the way to the next town he stumbles across a black man who had been lynched, and the young girl Johanna (Helena Zengel) who he was carrying. She had been taken in a raid by the ‘Indians’, and she had been brought back to what was left of her family. When some Cavalry riders arrive, we discover that Captain Kidd served with the Confederate Army in the Civil War. They tell him to take the girl to the next town, but things are never as easy as that.

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Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a strong entry into the Jurassic franchise leaning both into joy and terror of dinosaurs and what it takes to survive in this world alone.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Season 2. Image Credit: Netflix.

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Review

Last year, a weird experiment actually kind of worked – what if they made animated kids orientated series based around Jurassic Park. It is one of those suggestions that on the face value sounds untenable, but the more you think about it, the more interesting it becomes. The first season was a fascinating ride, set during the fall of the park in Jurassic World. With a strong opener, I was interested in seeing where they could go with it next.

So to set the scene, at the end of last season the group Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Yaz (Kausar Mohammed), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) and Ben (Sean Giambrone) were rushing to try and make it to the evacuation ferry. Unfortunately, they missed the boat and more than that. Ben fell to his death from the tram into the jungle below. Left on the island, the group have to find a way to survive and get a message out of the island. The only problem is that between them and the emergency broadcast beacon is a T-Rex who has happily built her nest out of the past world’s detritus. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Outside the Wire – Movie Review

TL;DR – An interesting film that attempts to integrates some complex issues, but could not make the landing stick.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Outside the Wire. Image Credit: Netflix.

Outside the Wire Review

I have been looking forward to an exciting action science fiction film for a long time. I do like that sort of real, sort of future, mash-up like we got in Edge of Tomorrow, but it is a hard line to get right. Well, today we get a film that walks that line into interesting, even if it clear that they don’t know a whole lot about Ukraine.

So to set the scene, it is 2036, and Eastern Europe (Ukraine) has collapsed into war with the USA controlling to the border to stop the chaos spreading. Along this border, a platoon comes under attack and Lt. Thomas Harp (Damson Idris), a drone pilot breaks with command to kill a potential target but taking out two marines as collateral. As a punishment, he is sent to the front line to meet Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie), an android military officer, to gain some perspective on war’s realities through first-hand experience.     

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History of Swear Words: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – I found the show engaging, confronting, juvenile, overblown, and interesting, sometimes all at the same time.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
History of Swear Words. Image Credit: Netflix.

History of Swear Words Review

Whether you call them ‘Swear Words’, ‘Curse Words’, or Profanity, every single person on the planet has used them at least once, some on a daily basis. But one of the things that I have always wondered was where the words came from because there are many stories, but they usually smell of the words they are describing. This is the series that looks six of the more popular terms of ill repute.

This series’ framing device is sitting down with a full suited actor Nicolas Cage in front of a fire with a drink globe nearby. It is the epitome of class, clearly positioned as a juxtaposition between the framing and the content. We then cut to a selection of experts and comedians as we explain the many different words.

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The Midnight Sky – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film with a premise that does not hold up and then undermines the rest of the narrative   

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

The Midnight Sky. Image Credit: Netflix.

The Midnight Sky Review

I think it is safe to say that I am a fan of the Science Fiction genre. Indeed I try to watch as much as I can get. However, sometimes you come across a concept that just does not work. Unfortunately for all the star power, good acting, and exciting design, today we look at a film that just does not work.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Barbeau Observatory in the Arctic Circle in February 2049 where we are told it has been three weeks since ‘The Event’. The Observatory is being evacuated chaotically, but Augustine (George Clooney) stays behind as menacing red circles appear over cities on maps on the computer monitors behind. Augustine is trying to contact the last mission away from the planet Æther to warn them when he finds that not everyone evacuated with a little girl Iris (Caoilinn Springall) being left behind.        

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Extraction – Movie Review

TL;DR – A solid action film from start to finish   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: Explosive Action
Winner: Explosive Action

Extraction. Image Credit: Netflix.

Extraction Review

Today I begin my power shot through the films that I missed this year, these will be shorter reviews than usual, as I have a lot to get through in preparation for my best-of list. We begin with an action film that is both very old fashioned but also refreshing in some way.

So to set the scene, In Delhi Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) is being a usual teenager going out with friends and visiting clubs right up until police officer kills his friend and takes him hostage. Ovi’s father is Ovi Mahajan Sr (Pankaj Tripathi) a major drug lord in India and is currently incarcerated. The boy was kidnapped by Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) a competitor from Dhaka, Bangladesh. With time being short, the boy’s family hires extraction expert Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) to save his life and well things don’t go to plan.

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Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Earthrise [Chapter Two] – TV Review

TL;DR – Unfortunately the issues of the first Chapter are back

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Earthrise. Image Credit: Netflix.

Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy Review

When the first Chapter came out for the War for Cybertron, I liked some character aspects, but unfortunately, I came away from it feeling a bit hollow. I wanted to see if they could fix some of these issues in Chapter Two, but I am not sure they did.

So to set the scene, at the end of Chapter 1 – Siege, Optimus Prime (Jake Foushee) took many Autobots as they can away from Cybertron on the Ark. However, Megatron (Jason Marnocha) and the Decepticons think the Ark exploded taking the Allspark along with it. Megatron is in a state of despair, as he has no enemy to fight, and the planet is slowly dying. On Cybertron, the few remaining Autobots led by Elita-1 (Linsay Rousseau) try to free those locked up in detention camps. But on the Ark, things are not going well, even before some unexpected visitors pay a visit. Now we will be looking at the series as a whole, and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Death to 2020 – Movie Review

TL;DR – A mockumentary that tries to walk the line between entertaining and informative and often fails even before it stops its narrative to do an ad for Netflix halfway through.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Death to 2020. Image Credit: Netflix.

Death to 2020 Review

I don’t think it is a controversial statement to say that 2020 has been a crap year on many fronts. It was so bad that I forgot some of the bad things that happened only to be reminded of them tonight. When a documentary film titled Death to 2020 comes along … well you have my attention, even when you find out it is a mockumentary that could still be good if executed well. However, I am not sure this one stuck the landing.

Death to 2020 starts in an interesting place because it is a documentary presented by actors playing roles. Right from the start, there is an interesting juxtaposition between reality and fiction as Laurence Fishburne’s calm tones narrate the coming calamity. This kind of set up gives you a lot of potential because it removes you slightly from the material, giving you avenues for comedy and introspection. However, that is a tricky line to walk, and frankly, this film slipped off that edge on multiple occasions.

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