TV Review – Jinn Season 1

TL;DR – It has an interesting premise that sucks you in, great cast, great locations, but the story was a bit hit and miss at times.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jinn. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In a world full of stories you can use to draw inspiration from, it is surprising that more shows don’t make use of the mythology and stories from the Arabian Peninsula. It feels like it starts and stops with Aladdin at times, at least in shows that make it to the west. But there are such a variety of narratives that you could draw from to tell interesting stories. Today we are looking at a TV series that is taking that opportunity with Jinn.

So to set the scene, we open in on Amman, Jorden as a school group gets ready for a bus ride to Petra. You have the usual clicks appearing, you have Tarek (Abd Alrazzaq Jarkas), Omar (Mohammad Hindieh), and Nasser (Mohammad Nizar) who are part of the popular crowd and who are happy to torment Yassin (Sultan Alkhail) who they think is telling on them to the teacher Ms Ola (Hana Chamoun). You have the power couple in Mira (Salma Malhas) and Fahed (Yasser Al Hadi), the mythology nerd Hassan (Zaid Zoubi) that just won’t shut up about Jinn. When they get to Petra they start messing around and Tarek takes pleasure in tormenting Yassin, but later that night after a few drinks tragedy strikes when Tarek falls down a canyon wall. However, the question remains, did he fall, or was he pushed, and if he was, what or who pushed him? Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading
Advertisements

Movie Review – Men in Black: International (MIB: International)

TL;DR – A film that is funny in places, has some good effects and cast, but can’t escape its boilerplate plot    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Men in Black: International. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

Back in the day, oh goodness, 1997 was over two decades ago, I had no idea that a moth floating through the air was going to lead to something just magical. That first Men in Black film was like lighting in a bottle, hell I still have that theme song playing in my head from time to time. However, since then the follow-up films have never been able to capture, or even come close to that first film (though the cartoon series almost did). Flash forward to last year when I heard that they were taking another shot at the series, honestly, I felt a bit mostly meh. But then they announced that it was going to be headed by Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. Well if there is a way to get me instantly interested in something it is to cast Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and let’s see how they did.

So to set the scene, back in 2016 Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) arrive in Paris to stop a catastrophe, for the Hive, a destructive species, was about to use The Eiffel Tower to gate onto Earth and take it over. We then find ourselves with a young girl called Molly (Mandeiya Flory) who got to see the Men in Black in action and hid so she never had her memories wiped by the Neuralyzer. Now in 2018, all grown up Molly (Tessa Thompson) tries to find the MIB and after a lifetime hunt, she is given status as a probationary officer and sent to the London Branch where something does not seem right.      

Continue reading

Movie Review – Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

TL;DR – An interesting juxtaposition of the past and present, through music, Bob Dylan, and a very particular look at the 1970s.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Recently I’ve been listing in to a weekly Twitch podcast about music, exploring all the different genres that had no experience with. This has gotten me more interested in exploring the world behind music and Hollywood’s recent biopic spree has helped a bit in this regard. But when you find that a film about Bob Dylan has dropped on Netflix, by Martin Scorsese no less, you stop what you are doing and jump back to the 1970s.

So to set the scene, Rolling Thunder Revue tells the story of Bob Dylan and friends tour across New England and beyond during 1975. This was a year where America was at crossroads, Nixon had just resigned, the Vietnam War debacle was still in everyone’s mind, and economic recession had started in places of the Rust Belt. All in all, it is a time very similar to the one we find ourselves in right now. It is at this moment of flux that Bob decided to get a group of folk/rock pals and do a tour, something he had not done in a while, and we get to see it all.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Midnight Runner

TL;DR – A competent film from first-time filmmakers that shows that struggles of trying to start your life again     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Midnight Runner. Image Credit: Global Digital Releasing.

Review

All filmmakers have to start somewhere, a place where they can get their feet wet, practice their crafts, and work on telling stories. Today we are looking at a film from John Mathis & Jared Sprouse, which is the first feature film from them as both directors and writers, and it is clear this was a bit of a passion project. However, like all first-time filmmakers, while there is a promise, there is also room from improvement.

So to set the scene, Ian (Ben Weinswig) arrives at his Aunt Renee’s (Dawn O’Donoghue) house to come live. While we don’t know what happened in his past life, it is clear from the way people act that something significant happened with him and his parents. Ian is trying to stay out of trouble and restart his life, however, life is not fair and he gets drawn back into a world of violence where you can’t go to the cops because they are in on it.

Continue reading

Movie Review – God’s Own Country (2017)

TL;DR – Much like the Yorkshire Moors that is filmed on, this is a film that is both harsh and yet filled with moments of beauty   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

God's Own Country. Image Credit: British Film Institute.

Review

My family originally came from Yorkshire, so when I spot a film set in the region I always give it a watch to try and connect with my past. Well, I am not sure what I expected when I loaded up God’s Own Country, but what I got was a film that was both frank and also a little optimistic in a world of bleakness.

So to set the scene, Johnny lives and works on a farm with his father Martin (Ian Hart), and his grandmother Deirdre (Gemma Jones). He spends all day grafting on the farm and all night in the local town drinking. Wake up, chuck out the contents of his stomach and repeat. Most of his friends have gone off to university, however, because his dad had a stroke and can’t work the farm like he used to, Johnny has to step up and take all that pressure. Given some issues, Martin calls in some help, as they are about to go into calving season, and Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu) a Romanian farmhand takes the job. There is instant tension between the two because Johnny sees Gheorghe has a manifestation of his failure but he needs the help.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading