The Last of Us – Infected – TV Review

TL;DR – A more intimate episode of the series that focuses on the realities and hardships of their upcoming journey.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.

The gang looking out over Boston.

The Last of Us Title Review

In last week’s When You’re Lost in the Darkness, we got one of the best video game adaptations. It was not just faithful to the overall vibe of the video game. It was also faithful down some of the blow-by-blow action moments of the show. My question back then was would a direct adaptation lack the emotional impact, and we have little to fear there if this episode is anything to go by.  

So to set the scene, it is Jakarta, Indonesia, on the 24th of September 2003 when Ibu Ratna (Christine Hakim), Professor of Mycology, is taken from her lunch by military police. She is whisked away to a lab and asked to look at a specimen. She discovers the impossible, that cordyceps has made the jump to humans. Her recommendation, burn Jakarta to the ground before it is too late because there is no vaccine. In the future, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) are still reeling from the revelation that Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is infected. The question is, do you kill the girl now, or when she enviably turns? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

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The Last of Us – When You’re Lost in the Darkness – TV Review

TL;DR – A faithful and tense introduction to the series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.

The Last of Us Review

I came into this week’s The Last of Us with some trepidation. On the one hand, the series, especially the second game, holds a special place in my heart as it was the streaming event that sucked me into this world. However, since then, many shows have come into this post-apocalyptic space, and some, like Station Eleven, have been transcendent. My question is, has The Last of Us missed the bus, or is it the perfect time to jump back into this world?   

So to set the scene, it is September 26th, 2003, in Austin, Texas, and there is a sense of strange calm as Joel (Pedro Pascal), and his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker) celebrate his birthday as the news reports something weird happening in Jakarta. Joel and his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) have to work a double shift to get the house they are working on fixed. While Sarah is out getting her father’s watch mended, police start tearing up the streets. Hours later, things move from bad to worse as the city implodes, and Joel desperately tries to get his family to safety. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show and Schindler’s List.    

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – Movie Review

TL;DR – A bombastic blast of a film that holds its meta-commentary together by the skin of its teeth as it explodes across the screen    

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Nicolas Cage by the pool

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Review

Some actors can pique your interest by their very presence, and I think Nicolas Cage is high on that list for many people. You can just call your film Pig, and people will go see it out of sheer interest [also, you should go watch Pig]. Today, we look at a film that does not just lean into that phenomenon but makes it the central premise of its narrative.

So to set the scene, Nicolas Cage (Nicolas Cage) is at a precarious point in his professional and family life. He is dead broke, his marriage has fallen apart with Olivia Henson (Sharon Horgan), and therapy is not helping his estrangement from his daughter Addy (Lily Sheen). At his lowest point, he is given a lifeline from his agent Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris). A wealthy Spanish benefactor, Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), is willing to pay a million dollars. All Nic has to do is show up at his party, and surely nothing else will go wrong on the Islands of Mallorca.

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The Bubble – Movie Review

TL;DR –  While the central conceit  is good, and the cast is there for it, unfortunately, the concept runs out of steam about halfway through

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

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

The Bubble. Image Credit: Netflix.

The Bubble Review

I don’t think it is a surprise that the pandemic has sucked, impacting every industry, including motion pictures. We have seen films like Spider-Man, where it is clearly filmed in social distancing but were still written beforehand. However, now we are starting to see films that were both written and produced during COVID, and it is going to be interesting to see how it all pans out.

 So to set the scene, in the era of big-budget franchises, one of the somewhat more successful runs was that of Cliff Beasts staring Sean Knox (Keegan-Michael Key), Carol Cobb (Karen Gillan), Lauren Van Chance (Leslie Mann), Dustin Mulray (David Duchovny), and Howie Frangopolous (Guz Khan). Having several successful sequels like Cliff Beasts Re-Extinction, Cliff Beasts Oceana, Cliff Beasts Beijing Beast, and Cliff Beasts Space Fury, the team have come back together to film Cliff Beasts 6. Unfortunately, this occurred during the COVID pandemic, which this documentary explores. How does a film get made in the age of a bubble?       

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The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 7 (In the Name of Honor) and Full Season – TV Review

TL;DR – A lacklustre ending to a frustrating series overall.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene in the final episode

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 7 (In the Name of Honor). Image Credit: Disney.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

Well, we have reached the end of the first season of The Book of Boba Fett and does it end on a triumph? Well no. What we have gotten is a season flailing around in the sand and finding the odd gem, but not much else. With that in mind, let us unpack the final episode and the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, at the end of From the Desert Comes a Stranger, Cad Bane (Corey Burton) kills the chance of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) getting back up by taking out Marshal Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) in a showdown. Meanwhile, the Pyke Syndicate strikes the first blow of the coming war by destroying Sanctuary and killing (probably) Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals) in the process. The oncoming storm is near, all Boba, Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), and The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) need to do is hold out for reinforcements (that are not coming) and hope that the criminal families of Mos Espa continue with their neutrality between a more significant winning power and family about to get stomped on. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole and the rest of the season, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 6 (From the Desert Comes a Stranger) – TV Review

TL;DR – A show that is getting interesting by ignoring its lead … not the best step forward

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 6 (From the Desert Comes a Stranger). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

This week we have an episode that swings wildly from two different extremes. The first extreme is a clear love letter to Star Wars fans with characters and callbacks galore. However, this is also an episode that shows deeply that the creators/writers don’t really care about their titular character.

So to set the scene, at the end of Return of The Mandalorian, the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) ended up getting abandoned by his sect, but not before he obtained a gift for Grogu. But as he arrives at Tatooine to pick up a new ship, he comes across Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), who offers him a job. In this episode, out in the wastes of Tatooine, Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) comes across some of the Pyke Syndicate dealing spice in his territory and takes offence. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 5 (Return of The Mandalorian) – TV Review

TL;DR – Alas, this week’s episode felt like spinning wheels, holding back the exciting stuff for next week.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 5 (Return of The Mandalorian). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

I have been on the record in these reviews that since Chapter 2, The Book of Boba Fett has been badly losing steam. The show has struggled to maintain momentum as it explores two different timeframes with less than stellar results. However, this week we see a remarkable shift back on course. The question is, can they keep it up for the rest of the season. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

So to set the scene, at the end of Chapter 4, it became clear to both Bobba (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen) that war with the Pyke Syndicate is the only option coming to Tatooine and the streets of Mos Espa. However, away from the planet on a Ring World, Din Djarin/ The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) is about to take a bounty only for the Dark Sabre to take a bite out of him. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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We Can Be Heroes – Movie Review

TL;DR – A charming family film created in a style I have not seen in an age, but it just works   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
We Can Be Heroes. Image Credit: Netflix.

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

We Can Be Heroes Review

When I was growing up, this delightful film series called Spy Kids used a very particular style and tone and made a film that worked for all ages. However, since then, I have yet to see a film nail that same thematic direction, well, that is until today.

So to set the scene, it is just a typical day for the Heroes of this world as Miracle Guy (Boyd Holbrook) and Tech-No (Christian Slater) team up to fix a damaged satellite. However, when Miracle Guy goes up into space, he finds an alien armada waiting for him. Seeing the coming wrath, all the active heroes including Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley), Sharkboy (JJ Dashnaw), and Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal) are mobilised. As a precaution, the Heroics Program rounds up all the heroes’ children to keep them safe much to Missy Moreno’s (YaYa Gosselin) annoyance as she does not have any powers. However, when all the heroes are captured, the kids may be the only ones who can save them and the planet.

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Wonder Woman 1984 – Movie Review

TL;DR – In many respects, this is a messy film, but it is also engaging and entertaining from start to finish   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Wonder Woman 1984. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Wonder Woman 1984 Review

Of all the film franchises that have had a rough go of it in recent years, the top of that list would have to be the DC Extended Universe. For a long time, it felt like it was trying to find an identity after the first attempt fell flat and it kept swinging wildly trying to compensate. The first Wonder Women film came out, and for the first time in the franchise’s history, it actually stuck the landing. The question then becomes ‘can they do it again?’ and the answer is apparently yes, yes they can.

So to set the scene, we open back on Themyscira when Diana (Lilly Aspell) was a young girl. It is a festival day where the warriors of the land compete in a grand obstacle course, and of course, Diana wants to join in. It is here where she learns the important lesson that there are no shortcuts in life. As time goes on, we see little snippets of Diana’s (Gal Gadot) life as she hides among the humans but every now and again she dons the mantle of Wonder Women to fight some crime. What she didn’t expect is this crime would unearth something that should have stayed buried.

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The Mandalorian: Chapter 14 (The Tragedy) – TV Review

TL;DR – An episode that is mostly one long action scene, and it just works

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Mandalorian: Chapter 14 (The Tragedy). Image Credit: Disney+.

The Mandalorian: The Tragedy Review

As we have seen in shows recently, it isn’t easy to have long action scenes and pull them off. There is so much that goes into a critical action scene, and it is hard to do that successfully at a film level, let alone with the limited time you get to shoot with TV. Well, today’s episode showed that you could pull it off, with some creativity.

So to set the scene, in last week’s Chapter 13 we learned that The Child or Baby Yoda is called Grogu, but that to get him trained they need to go to the old Jedi Temple on Tython. Well, one hop, skip, and hyperspace jump later they arrive, however, it is soon apparent that they are not alone. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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