The Sandman: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a genuinely odd series bouncing from one story to the next with the power of a tsunami, yet somehow it all flows together into a grand gothic fairy-tale.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes of abuse and scenes that may cause distress.

The Sandman looks into a sunrise.

The Sandman Review

In 2019, I wrote an article on how we entered a New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television. However, in the last twelve months, we have gotten, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, Shadow and Bone, The Wheel of Time, The Witcher, and more. It is such an incredible rise that I think I need to update my article and explore the new Golden Age of Fantasy on TV, and the next entry into this world is the dark gothic fairy-tale set in the modern world.

So to set the scene, humans go about their day in the real world, but every night they dream, but for some reason, they feel that The Dreaming realm is somehow less natural just because it is filled with dreams and nightmares, and they wake up in the ‘real’ world every morning, well most of the time. The Lord of this Realm is Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), one of the seven Endless, powerful beings that shape all forms of reality. In 1916, when one of his nightmares, the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), goes rogue, Morpheus takes a rare trip to the ‘real’ world to take care of the matter personally. However, at that moment, an incompetent aristocratic occultist called Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) delves into spells he does not understand because he wants to capture Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) to bring back his beloved son, who was killed in Gallipoli. Still, he gets Morpheus and binds him under his mansion for 106 years. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Star Trek: Picard – Penance – TV Review

TL;DR – Every moment, the tension is ratcheted up perfectly, so much so that I gasped when it cut to black and the credits rolled.  

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Picard – Penance. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

Star Trek: Picard Review

One of the most dangerous times for a narrative is when you are setting it up because people have to buy into it or not. Many stories have never gotten out of the gates because they stuffed up those opening moments, too little or too much information, and it all falls apart. Today we get an episode of Star Trek that can perfectly weave the narrow ledge between those two extremes.

So to set the scene, at the end of The Star Gazer, almost the whole team ended up on the USS Stargazer just as the Borg Queen transported onboard and started taking over the ship. Using the ship as a beacon to capture the entire fleet, Picard (Patrick Stewart) had no choice but to set the self-destruct. But then, he did not die. Instead, he woke up back on Earth, at his château, dressed in black with an odd symbol on his chest. This is bad, but what was worse was when he turned around and discovered Q (John de Lancie) standing there. Earth is the head of a great Confederation in this world, and it is Eradication Day. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Keeping Up with the Joneses

TL;DR – On the one hand this film does nothing new, and follows the same patterns and tropes of the genre, on the other hand, everybody commits to their roles, so it actually turns out quite good.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Keeping Up with the Joneses. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

When you go to a Hollywood movie that describes itself as an ‘action-comedy’ especially an American PG-13 ‘action comedy’, it tends to follow a very predictable route, characters are put into a zany situation, there will be some risqué subject material, but not too risqué, and they will drop their one F-Bomb at some point in the film and Keeping Up with the Joneses does not deviate from this at all. Indeed The Joneses fits very comfortably within the buddy-cop, or fish out of water genre, by taking two very different couples and then playing them off each other, and in that interplay hopefully some humour can be found. So the question then becomes can The Joneses solid enough film to sustain its premise for the whole film whilst still being entertaining, and well for me, I think they pulled it off.

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