Movie Review – Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound & Fury (Sound & Fury)

TL;DR – A fascinating combination of animation and music, all this a real purpose and theme that made it a intriguing work of art.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound & Fury (Sound & Fury). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


Earlier this year I mentioned that back in the day Daft Punk created this animated accompaniment to one of their albums and that it was surprising that no one else had really explored this as well. That was at the start of the year since then we have had multiple artists combine an album release with a short film accompaniment. We have had the highs of Anima,The Bash Brothers Experience, and Guava Island. Well, today we get add another to that list with the truly fascinating Sound & Fury.

While there is a story referenced though some recurring moments, it is more a work that focuses on mood and theme. If I was to label it I would say it is a meditation on a post-apocalyptic world by way of Japanese animation and heaping of Mad Max car action and sheer absurdity all put to a rock anthem. This, I hope, will give you some idea as to just how weird this music video/experience is, but also how fascinatingly interesting it is.

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TV Review – The Last Kids on Earth: Book 1

TL;DR – This is an interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Last Kids on Earth. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

When I say to you Zombie Apocalypse, I think for many people the first thing you would do is suppress a sigh. As a genre, it has been used multiple times and these days one could say that it has been done to death as long as they immediately followed it up immediately with ‘pun not attended’. However, every now and again, a new show will use the setting to explore something new and today we get to look at just such a show.

So to set the scene, we open in on Day 42 with Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard) the only known survivor in his town. 42 Days ago portals opened up over his town and monsters and zombies came flooding out attacking the town. Some escaped, some were rescued, but more still were turned into zombies to roam the streets. Abandoned by his foster family, Jack survives by hiding in his foster brother’s treehouse and using that as a base of operation. He is trying to find his best buddy Quint (Garland Whitt) and rescue his flame June (Montse Hernandez), but first he needs to survive being hunted by a monster angry because Jack poked its eye out.

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Exploring The Past – Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shinseiki Evangerion, 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン) (1995)

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

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shinseiki Evangerion). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

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.

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Video Game Review – Civilization VI: Red Death Battle Royale Mode

TL;DR – Adding aBattle Royale to a Civilization game seems really counterintuitive, that is until you play it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Civilization VI: Red Death. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Review –

In 2019 if there was ever a trend that could be considered the new hotness that every video game company wants a chunk of, well that has to be the Battle Royale mode. For those who may not know, a Battle Royale mode/game is where you have an ever-shrinking map so you need to gear up, get to the safe zone, defeating any enemies you come across, and be the last one standing. This is where you get your chicken dinner, or in this case your escape from a dying planet. But most Battle Royale games like PUBG, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Blackout are first/third-person shooters, surely it can’t work in a strategy game, well I’ve been able to play a couple of rounds so far so let’s see.

My experience with Battle Royale games is not as extensive as some people, however I have played/watched enough of the genre to get a good sense of the common aspects of the game. You have the same phases in a match, when you land you have to roam around quickly to try and get resources, troops from ruined cities, helicopters from raider camps, or even a coveted nuclear weapon. You need to move quickly because everyone else is out there doing the same, so you have to stretch your resources, but not so much that you overburden yourself. Then you might pick off one of the players that were not quick enough while keeping to the ever-shrinking safe zone until there are only one or more players left and you battle it out head-to-head.

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TV Review – 7Seeds: Part 1 (セブンシーズ Sebun Shīzu)

TL;DR – This is an interesting premise and it is playing with some interesting themes, even if it doesn’t quite always come together.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

7Seeds. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In recent years Netflix has been starting to make a big push into the anime arena possible as a way of holding off some of its competitors. Well in the same week that Neon Genesis Evangelion finally made its way on to the streaming service we get an adaptation of one of the most famous manga series 7Seeds. Well, you have animation, set in a post-apocalyptic world, and add a growing mystery, well count me in.

So to set the scene, one day Natsu Iwashimizu (Nao Tōyama) wakes up in the middle of the ocean on a sinking ship. The last thing she remembers is having a big dinner of all her favourite things and then she wakes up all alone. But before she has a chance to process what is going on Mozu (Kazuhiko Inoue) is screaming for her to get into a life raft. The two of them, along with Arashi (Jun Fukuyama) and Semimaru (Katsuyuki Konishi) find themselves on an abandoned island filled with odd creatures and plants. Is there anyone coming to help them? Where are they? Is there anyone left? Well, the answer to that is a large no because a cataclysm has happened. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Rain: Season Two

TL;DR – It builds on the season before and becomes a much more intense show that maybe holds its cards bit too close to its chest.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Rain: Season Two. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Early last year I got a chance to watch the first Netflix show to come out of Scandinavia. The Rain had a fantastic premise with strong characters, overarching story, and design work. Though it was a show where it would have been great to see it take some more risks and chart a more independent course. Flash forward to a week ago and the second season dropped onto the service and at once it captivated me back into this world of post-apocalyptic Denmark.

So to set the scene, one day everyone’s lives in Denmark and at least Southern Sweden changed for the worse. For that day it started to rain, nothing new in Scandinavia, but this time the rains did not bring life, but death. Something we are reminded about in the opening moments of Season Two when we see the carnage once more to give us perspective moving forward. We jump back into the story just when Season One ended with Simone (Alba August), Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), Martin (Mikkel Følsgaard), Jean (Sonny Lindberg), Lea (Jessica Dinnage), and Patrick (Lukas Løkken) escaping from the Apollon headquarters along the barrier wall in Sweden. Just when all hope is lost, Simone and Rasmus’ father Frederick (Lars Simonsen) gives them a location where they might get some help, moments before he himself is killed. So with a plan, they set off for this hidden base, but there could be an even worse danger within because the virus in Rasmus is adapting and changing and it is destroying everything in its path. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – I Am Mother

TL;DR – This is a movie that is contemplative, tension, and fascinating as all get, a must watch for any fan of the science fiction genre.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

I Am Mother. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Motherhood is a concept that does not get as much exploration in the science fiction world. Yes, of course, there is the waring mothers of Aliens, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule. So when you see a science fiction post-apocalyptical film titled I Am Mother, you immediately sit up and take notice and thankfully the final product is such an amazing work of film.

So to set the scene, at some point in the future humanity finally did it, we went and killed ourselves off in an extinction level event. Thankfully, some people saw this coming and hid a facility away in the mountains filled with embryos in stasis and a backup carer if no one could make it. With that Mother (Rose Byrne & Luke Hawker) is activated and sets the process going for the first new human birth, even as the bunker shakes with the last throes of the conflict. Many years later and Daughter (Clara Rugaard) has grown up, living her life under the care of Mother. However, one day something bangs against the airlock and everything she knew gets thrown into chaos.

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