TV Review – Wu Assassins: Season 1

TL;DR – A good start to a season however it struggles to keep the momentum moving in the back half of the season.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes in life, it is the simple things that really work. For me, that is a show with a well-crafted story, strong characters, clear action, and with the fundamentals of filmmaking down pact. Now, once you have that, if you want to spice it up with some deep lore, building upon some grand mythology, I am also here for it. Today we look at a series that has the characters, has the action, and the filmmaking, but does not quite nail that story component.   

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm. So let’s break the Wu Assassins down, using those four categories we mention in the introduction.  Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Wu Assassins: Drunken Watermelon

TL;DR – A good start to a season and a good promise for the things to come

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins: Drunken Watermelon. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been a long time since I have seen someone attempt a martial arts TV series in the west and it not be mostly a disappointment. With that in mind, I came into Wu Assassins with a little apprehension but after watching the first episode I have some hope.  

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm.     

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Movie Review – Always Be My Maybe

TL;DR – Charming, awkward, delightful, weird, and a hell of a good time.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – Stay for the mid-credit song

Always Be My Maybe . Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Well, Netflix is currently creating a niche for itself with the romantic comedy genre and today we get to look at another entry into this lineup. However, while some might feel that this is the service limiting itself, I don’t, especially when we get gems like this. Today we look at a film that completely knows what it wants to be, and how best to use their main leads to achieve that as we dive into the world of garage bands and upmarket transcendent Asian restaurants.  

So to set the scene, we open in on Sasha (Miya Cech) who lives with her parents in San Francisco but often spends time alone because her parents work for long hours at their shop. However, Sasha is not really alone because her best friend Marcus (Emerson Min) lives next door and his parents Harry (James Saito) and Judy (Susan Park) teach Sasha about cooking and the joy of using scissors for everything (seriously scissors are an amazing tool in the kitchen). For years they were best friends until one fateful day when Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) became a bit more than friends and then it all fell apart. Fifteen years later, they are both in completely different places in their lives and in different relationships when their old friend and Sasha’s business partner, Veronica (Michelle Buteau) puts them on a collision course with each other.

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Movie Review – Bumblebee

TL;DR – From start to end this film is just fun, with more humanity than the last films combined.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Bumblebee. Image Credit: Paramount

Review

I have always had a difficult relationship with the Transformers films, at the start I was so glad to see them be brought to the big screen. But Transformers I failed to stick the landing, and every other film from then was well … okay, sorry, they are not great. Yes, you get the big fight scenes and explosions aplenty, but Michael Bay’s very particular style just did not match the franchise. All of this combined into The Last Night (see review) which was just painful to watch at times with its awfulness. With all of this, when they announced that they would be doing a spin-off prequel, I gave a sigh in exasperation, as the thought of sitting through a Transformers cinematic universe when it was being handled so poorly was not a great feeling. However, as more information was released, it became clear that this was going to be a different type of film, and after seeing it, I can tell you that this is the best Transformers live-action film to date.

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Exploring the Past – Pacific Rim (2013)

TL;DR – “At one point a giant mech picks up a cargo ship to use as a cricket bat to take down a giant monster stomping its way through Hong Kong” you will probably know if this film is for you from that snippet alone.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Pacific Rim

Review

Back in the relatively calm year of 2013, how five years can change the world, there was this little gem of a film. It was a homage to the mecha and giant monster films of Japan and at the heart was the simple message that we should all work together. Well, it has been years since I have watched Guillermo del Toro’s monster epic, well at least his giant monster epic, and with the sequel coming out later this week, now is as good as time as ever to dive back into the world of Jaegers* and Kaijus*.

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TV Review – Altered Carbon: Season One

TL;DR – Imagine if Westworld and Blade Runner had a baby with Ghost in the Shell as the midwife.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Altered Carbon

Review
What do we do as a society when the body is no longer the final resting place of the mind, or maybe even our souls? Well you get a world where you can wake up the dead and get them to tell you who killed them, where a child in a hit and run can get a second chance at life, where the rich can live forever jumping from one cloned body to the other, and where jail terms can last hundreds of years and you will wake up in a different body than the one you came in on. It is a world of great possibility but also a world of great sadness and inequality. So today we will be unpacking the first season of Altered Carbon an interesting show with highs and lows. However, quickly before we start, I have not read the books this show is based off, as such, I won’t be able to tell you how the show works as an adaptation on the source material. As well as this, because we are looking at the season as a whole, there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – The Disaster Artist

TL;DR The Disaster Artist is … Well, it is certainly … Well um … what did I just watch?

Score – I have no right idea out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a very odd post-credit scene

The Disaster Artist. Image Credit: A24.

Review

Ok let’s get this out of the way right from the start, I have never watched The Room the film by Tommy Wiseau on which The Disaster Artist based on. Have I heard about it? Yes of course, whenever there is a discussion of worst films or scenes or actors or scripts or well you name it The Room is there. So while I have not watched it, I am familiar with it, but I have never felt the need to watch it all the way through. Look I know it has become a bit of a cult classic, but unlike films that have become cult classics like the Rocky Horror Picture Show or Tron, it always felt that people were more than a little mean-spirited watching something just to make fun of how bad it is. But here we are 20 odd years later and so let’s take a dive into the production of what is considered the worst film ever made by some.

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