Today we review a film that might be the oddest film I have watched from a conceptional perspective. It is a reinterpretation of the story of the Lion King remake, a movie I thought was okay but not much more. But this reframing is the barest framework the film uses throughout to explore everything from religion to music to race and more. This should not work, but it does.
TL;DR – A solid follow up season that makes up for a lack of subtlety with its themes with some solid acting and emotional drive.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
It was just over a year ago when Stan dropped this interesting little show about a fruit that can make you young again, the only catch is that it grows in the places people died in a great flood. This gave it both an interesting and also very morbid these even before people started going after each other over the plants. I was interested to see where the show could go from there and well now we can see with the second season coming out over the Easter weekend.
So to set the scene, in the weeks after the end of Season One, things in the town of Mullan in rural Australia have been in a state of flux. For some of the residents of the town, life has gone back to normal, but for the others, the lingering effect of the plant is still there even though all the plants are now gone. In the city, the last of the young people from the first season Young Gwen (Phoebe Tonkin) is dancing the night away with her now much older husband Ray (Bryan Brown) causing much mirth from the rest of the people in the nightclub. He decides to let her go enjoy her youth, but she will have none of that. Back in town, a mother Anne Carter (Jacqueline McKenzie) has arrived under mysterious circumstances with her daughter Eva (Ingrid Torelli) and family friend Luke (Ed Oxenbould). Also, the new local priest Father John (Toby Schmitz) is trying to get people back to the church when he finds out that Mullan might have a secret of its own when local creepy guy Shane (Tom Budge) lets slip about what happened. Now we will be looking at the series as a whole and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A fascinating experimental film that I think would work much better as three shirt films that one complete future
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Warning – There is extensive use of Strobe Lighting in the second part of the trilogy.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Today we look at a film that is truly experimental in scope and form. It is a
film that has taken footage from the past (I believe) and then repurposed it
into something new. This transformation in tone and purpose through editing is
not something I have seen before.
So to set the scene, in the distant future the human race has become extinct,
replaced instead by quantum humans and their universal connection to the hive.
However, there are some quantum humans that due to a genetic quirk have
reverted a little back to their long-dead human ancestors. These Quickeners
have gathered together in Area 23 in the long-abandoned American continent to practice
old rituals and to find some meaning away from the hive.
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 – This is a film that starts of in this weird tonally mismatched place and then as we delve deep it reveals the strength on which it is developing.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
There are times when a surprise is really good and then there are times when
you unknowingly walk into a situation that you never expected. Today we have a
bit of the latter as we look at the Korean film Svaha. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, nor even what genre
of film I was about to watch, I just thought it would be a good idea to catch
up on some world cinema before I went to bed. Well, there are many things
forthcoming in the world, but after this film, a good night’s sleep is not one
of them. With that in mind, to put off going to sleep, even though it is 6 degrees
in Brisbane tonight, and hold off the nightmares for an hour or two, I’m instead
going to write this review.
So to set the scene, we open in a small farming town in 1999 where a woman has
given birth to twin girls. However, one of them is a monster, and the doctor
doesn’t think it will last the night. Soon both Geum-hwa’s (Lee Jae-in) parents
are dead but her sister did not die, she lives on hidden by the family not even
taught how to speak. In the present day, Pastor Park (Lee Jung-jae) is given a
lecture at a local theological college. Park is an expert on new religious
movements and cults in particular. He is looking to make sure that they don’t
become a danger as they have been in other countries. However, it feels like he
is more drawn to scandal to make a quick buck than by any real spiritual
connection. One of the many groups he is monitoring is a small Buddhist-adjacent
organisation who has a symbol of a deer on their buildings. But his convictions
are tested when he starts digging deeper and the bodies start piling up.
TL;DR – This is a show that
entrances you and then just when you think you have everything worked out it
shifts the game completely and you are left in awe with what just happened.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I have tried to keep up with all the new sci-fi shows dropping on Netflix, but
occasionally one of them slips through the cracks, and this week we are looking
at one of those with the brilliantly odd The
OA. When a friend highly suggested that I give it a watch I thought I would
get it an episode or two to see how it was and then at some point during Part 2
I looked up to see that it was 3 am and I truly wondered if I should watch the
two last episodes then and there, so that should give you an indication as to how
good the show is.
So to set the scene, we open with a rainy day as people drive over a bridge
when someone records a woman in white running across to the edge of the bridge
and then falling off into the water below. She survives, but won’t tell anybody
her name or where she is from. Meanwhile in a small town, in a housing estate
that was never finished, Nancy (Alice Krige) and Able (Scott Wilson) are going
about their day when someone sends them a link to something online and they
watch at their long lost daughter Prairie (Brit Marling) jump off a bridge.
They race to her hospital, retelling the story of how their daughter went
missing one day seven years ago, they race into her hospital bed where the
woman in front of them goes by The OA not Prairie and does not recognise who
just walked in, that is until she touches Nancy’s face. For you see when
Prairie was taken she was blind but now she can see. Now, from this point onwards, we will be looking
at Part 1 and Part 2 as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – We get to see what Discovery will be exploring for the
first half of the season, and it is an area Star
Trek does not often venture.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
There are some areas of discourse that Star Trek has not really delved all that much in to in its fifty odd years, and one of those is faith. Now, of course, there are references to it in The Original Series and Enterprise, and we do get more of it in Deep Space Nine, but still, the show has been very hands off. Well, last week in Brotherwe dipped our toes into faith, well today we dive all the way in.
So to set the scene, Captain Pike (Anson Mount) is continuing to command the USS Discovery to find out what the deal is with these red lights that appeared with purpose across the galaxy. Today they have found another red light but this is deep into the Beta Quadrant 100s of years away at maximum warp. There is no way any ship could get there, but then no other ship has the Spore Drive. So off to the Beta Quadrant, we go, and nobody was quite expecting to find what they find. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – South East Asia is here, and it is a wonderful addition to the game, also a powerful one to boot
Well, this is a pleasant surprise, when it was announced that we would be getting DLC for the South East Asian region I honestly was not expecting there to be two SEA civs in the game. Indeed, the first Civilization game to have two from SEA was only the last generation’s Civilization V and even then we had to wait for the DLC and two expansion packs before we got it. But I am so happy that we did both of them because both Khmer and Indonesia are fantastic additions to the game, because of their history and also for their civilization bonuses. So in today’s review, we are going to first look at the Autumn Patch that came along with the DLC, then take a moment to discuss the music, and then delve into both Khmer and Indonesia. Now, unfortunately, I just have not had the time to give the scenario a proper go, and I don’t think I will get the chance for a couple of weeks so I won’t be talking about it here. As well as this, this time around I still played on Huge, Continent style maps, but I did have to speed some of the games up faster than Normal speed this time around. Before we move on just a quick note that we have updated our Civilization Map (see here) and City Map (see here) to add Khmer and Indonesia.