TV Review – Black Summer: Season One

TL;DR – There are moments of real tension but in the end, it fell a bit flat.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Black Summer: Season One. Image Credit; Netflix.

Review

Zombies are a concept that and yes I am going to go there, has been done to death. There have been so many different permeations of the living dead and the impact that they would have on the world it is hard to come into this space and have anything new to say. Well, today we take a look at a show that is trying to find some new space, even if it does not always succeed.

So to set the scene, it has been a couple of weeks since the first infection and society is in the state of collapse. There is still hope that the government can contain the spread of the zombies as fighter jets fly overhead and the military is still working on evacuations. We meet Rose (Jaime King) as she is trying to get her family to the evacuation point so they can be taken to the stadium and airlifted out to safety. Well, all of that falls apart as the soldiers discovered her husband’s wounds and drive off with their daughter leaving them behind. All the commotion draws the zombies from nearby and soon those who are left like Kyungson (Christine Lee), Lance (Kelsey Flower), and Ryan (Mustafa Alabssi) have to flee as chaos breaks out. Broken into groups everyone tries to make it to the safety of the stadium. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – The Silence

TL;DR – This is a film that has unfortunately come out after several other films have done the same premise but better in every respect and because of that this can’t help but feel lacklustre in comparison     

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

The Silence. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes the film business can be tough, where forces outside of your control can completely derail your project through no fault of your own. Today we look at just such a film that in many ways just had the back luck of not being the first one out of the gate. However, more than just that we look at a film that suffers from inconsistencies throughout which really shows when you compare it to those that have come before.

So to set the scene, we open in an uncharted cave system under the Appalachian Mountains where a group of explorers are trying to chart it. When suddenly after breaking through as a rock formation they disturb what was lurking underneath and they are instantly killed by a swarm of creatures that fly out into the night sky. Meanwhile, Ally (Kiernan Shipka) is on her way home after she was mocked because she is deaf and is also frustrated because her parents Hugh (Stanley Tucci) and Kelly (Miranda Otto) are coddling her in response the accident that took her hearing. During the night she is woken up by her parents as something is happening, a terrorist attack, chemical weapons, no it is the Veps and they are killing everything and everyone in their paths.

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Movie Review – Alita: Battle Angel

TL;DR – Filled with excited characters, and interesting action, it is almost a great film, that is until it fails to stick the landing     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Alita: Battle Angel. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

Alita: Battle Angel is one of those films that has been bubbling in and out of the film scene for almost twenty years now. It would get so close to being made and then another setback, and once it was filmed we would get these little titbits every month or so. With all this, I was wondering what we would actually get with the final product because I had not seen the original Manga it is based on so I was coming in blind. Well now that I have had some time to think through it, I can say that it is a film with some truly beautiful moments, some really intense ‘oh damn’ moments, and also is a movie that it falls into the same trap as many films these days and sacrifices the narrative of this film to set up potential sequels in the future.

So to set the scene, in the far future the Earth is covered in large sky cities until one day called ‘The Fall’ everything came crashing down bar one city called Zalem. With the Earth devastated many flock to the one remaining bastion of civilization creating the great Iron City that sprawls out underneath Zalem. No one from the Iron City can enter Zalem, but they all work for the city, in the farms, factories, or as Hunter-Warriors who are bounty hunters in a world where the police no longer exist. In the centre of Iron City is the junkyard, where the people of Zalem throw out all their junk raining it down on the city below. One day Dr Dyson (Christoph Waltz) was scavenging the junkyard for parts for his cybernetic limbs clinic when he comes across a cyborg core with a still functioning brain. He brings her home and repairs her body when she awakes she has no idea what her name was, or what her past was, but she accepts the name Alita (Rosa Salazar) and begins to learn about the dangerous world around her.  

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Movie Review – IO

TL;DR – This is a film that has the appearance of wanting to say something profound, but never actually gets around to saying much of anything.    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

IO. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In some respects, Netflix has been the saviour of the small concept science fiction film in recent years as cinemas abandon anything but the next tent pole franchise blockbuster. However, for all the wonders of Annihilation (see review) and films like that, there has been a slew of mediocre dull affairs. Today we look at a film that at first look feels like it should be the first, but unfortunately, it ended up being the latter.

So to set the scene, there were many attempts to forestall the coming abyss including making a satellite to harvest geothermal energy from other planets. However, it was all in vain because before they could intact their plan, the atmosphere on Earth turned bad becoming toxic at most lower altitudes. Most people that could leave the Earth did so in a great exodus for the space station IO around Jupiter’s moon Io. There are few people left on the planet but Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley) is one of them, trying to find a way to fix the planet rather than flee it. Well, on IO they have finally stored enough energy to send people off on interstellar colonisation missions, so they are stopping the evacuations of Earth. Sam has one choice, give up her father’s research and get on the last ship out of a dying planet, or be left behind.

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Movie Review – Bird Box

TL;DR – There are moments of real suspense, and Sandra Bullock is amazing, but the structure of the story holds it back by revealing its hand too soon.      

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Bird Box. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

2018 has been a good year for the suspense thriller/ horror films, we have built on the strengths of 2017, a produced such amazing films as A Quiet Place (see review) and Cargo (see review). I bring A Quiet Place up because after the first few minutes you can tell that this is the film Bird Box is going to be compared to the most, and that is not entirely unfair. As they are both suspense post-apocalyptic films where you have to cover one of your senses to survive i.e. sound, or in this case sight. However, this was less the case of copying a more the case of producers seeing that suspense films are back (also they never left but that is an issue for another day) and optioning different books at around the same time. However, while it is a bit unfair to compare the two while watching you can’t help but do so, especially when the differences between the two are probably the reasons why I liked one more than the other.

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Movie Review – Mortal Engines

TL;DR – This is a visually impressive film, full of moments that make you go wow, but you can see that they have been held back by fitting the whole first book into the one  film   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Mortal Engines. Image Credit: Universal

Review

The Mortal Engines series is one of those books that I have always been meaning to read but just have never gotten around to it. The idea where cities have become mobile and drive around hunting for prey is one of those conceptional ideas that is just genius, and I have a lot of friends that are super excited to see this world brought to life on the big screen. Add to this the fact that you have the minds behind The Lord of the Rings working to bring this to life and I have to say it definitely piqued my interest. Now that I have seen it, I can say I mostly enjoyed it, even if not everything worked.

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Movie Review – Cargo

TL;DR – A beautiful, haunting, and often brutal look at what we do for those we love.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Cargo

 

Review

There was a time not that long ago where zombies were this interesting subset of the horror genre. Now in a world where every second video game has them as an enemy and we have seen nearly every possible permutation of it on the big and small screen, it honestly feels like we have become saturated with the living dead. Now frankly, this is a great pity because out there in the world of media there are still very powerful works of art being made that deals with these issues, like The Last of Us and Train to Busan. Well, today we are looking at a film that is joining these lofty heights with Cargo.

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