TL;DR – We get an exploration of some fundamental philosophical questions, which is Star Trek at its best.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.
Star Trek: Discovery Review –
At its heart, Star Trek has always been about exploring ideas about politics, philosophy, hell, even religion, economics, sociology, and more. This week we get a show that tackles not one but two core dilemmas about society and in ways that leave no clear-cut answer.
So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode, the crew of the USS Discovery used the electrical impulses left by the Anomaly in Book’s (David Ajala) head to discover that the aliens who sent it sent it from outside the galaxy. This week, Zora (Annabelle Wallis), Stamets (Anthony Rapp), and Adira (Blu del Barrio) are all trying to outline where The Anomaly entered The Milky Way so that they can chart in back to the people that made it. With a way forward, Federation President Laira Rillak (Chelah Horsdal) calls a meeting of the Federation and other worlds to discuss how to go ahead from here, just one problem. At the same time, Zora knows the coordinates. However, they are keeping it to themselves. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – This is a weird yet oddly compelling film that will capture you if it is your mood. If it is not your mood, well, it is going to be a bit of a slog
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
The Matrix Resurrections Review –
Of all the films that I have a complicated relationship with, The Matrix series is high on that list. That first film was one of my first entries into the love of cinema, and it still ranks high on my personal Top 10 list. But the sequels also taught me that sometimes lightning doesn’t strike twice. Both are important lessons to learn. However, after all this time, I questioned whether I was ready to enter the Matrix again?
So to set the scene, some years after the end of The Matrix Revolutions, people are still diving into The Matrix. While Bugs (Jessica Henwick) is searching, she discovers a moodle running using old code. Inside, a woman sits talking on the phone, only to discover that the line has been traced and police are on their way. Outside, agents pull up and ask the sergeant why he sent his men in “we can take care of one little girl”, he replies, “no, your agents are already dead”, comes the response. As Bugs follows the program, everything is familiar but wrong. In a way, she can’t put her finger on it. All of this falls apart when one of the Agents notices her and shows a secret portal to a room, the room of one Thomas Anderson, better known as Neo (Keanu Reeves). Okay, so much like Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is a difficult film to talk about because you cannot really discuss it without getting into spoilers at a frighteningly quick pace. So with that in mind, we will give some general impressions and then dive into full spoilers.
TL;DR – This was the perfect way to end such a special show
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
How do you end a show, does it go out in a whimper, in a mess, in a fleeting flame, or do you stand there as a wave of emotion pours over you. I have seen a lot of finales that have stumbled at the last hurdle, some so bad that they cast the rest of the series into question. However, today I get to take a look at one that gets it right as it says goodbye.
So to set the scene, throughout this season the philosophy gang Michael (Ted Danson), Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) have been fighting to save the afterlife. First from a system that just put everyone in The Bad Place, and then from The Judge (Maya Rudolph) who decided to wipe everything away and start again from scratch. However, finally, after everything the gang has made it to The Good Place and it is here that they get to have their best times. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A strong follow up at
the start of the season with some really powerful moments.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
We continue our look at the final chance to save humankind and … well … it’s not been going well so far. With the clock both figuratively and literally running out for both the character and us the viewers it makes even the smallest set back feel larger and that is only the first few minutes.
So to set the scene, at the end of Part 1, we got a bit of a reset with The Bad Place’s mole being discovered. However, all the problems still remain, Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) still thinks this is all the figment of her imagination and is acting accordingly with chaotic abandon. Also Brent (Ben Koldyke) is a mediocre white man from privilege, so of course he thinks the world revolved around him. It is a tough nut to crack but at least Eleanor (Kristen Bell) has the backing of the team … right … Just a reminder that we will be looking at the episode at the whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
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
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.
TL;DR – Season Three blasts forward at the speed of light blowing through what might have been a full season in a single episode
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
One of the things that you have to get used to when you watch The Good Place, is how quickly everything moves. Sometimes the show completely changed up its entire structure in a single click of the fingers. It also means that it does not waste any time whatsoever, and sets up premises that a usual sitcom would play out over a bunch of episodes or a whole season, and then resolve it in 20 minutes.
TL;DR – Season Two took the series in a fascinating direction, that left you wondering where the series would go next. It puts the human in humanities.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I have to be honest that I was a latecomer to The Good Place, I had heard about it in passing of course, but Season One just wasn’t really accessible for me, and when Season Two started and was on Netflix I was snowed under with other projects. Then one day I had a couple of hours free so I watched the first couple of episodes to see what all the fuss was about, and in true Netflix binge style I has soon watched all of Season One and what was available of Season Two and couldn’t believe I had to wait a week for the next episode. So now that Season Two is over, we are going to take a look back at Michael Schur’s sophomore’s outing. Now because we are looking at the season as a whole, there will be [SPOILERS] for all of Season Two and of course Season One, so if you have not watched either season can I recommend that you go binge watch everything and then come back.