Stowaway – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that understands the weight of the question it asks and the damage that would do to people.     

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this movie

Stowaway. Image Credit: Netflix.

Stowaway Review

It should come as no surprise to long or short term readers that I love Science Fiction. While the fantastical location of space is an excellent place to set your film, and I enjoy them no matter how they come. What can make a film special is when they use that setting to ponder important questions about the human condition. Today we have a look at a film that delves into crucial Kobayashi Maru territory.   

So to set the scene, we open in as the Hyperion mission on MTS42 is about to launch. Mission commander Marina Barnett (Toni Collette) is setting the ship on a course for a two-year mission out to Mars and back. Along for the mission is Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick), a medical researcher and David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim), the ship’s biologist. You feel the rumble of engines, the shake that makes you think the very ship will through itself apart, but then you break free into the void. Once connected with the main module, they begin the long trip to Mars. However, this is a mission with supplies for three people, but as the title implies, someone else made the journey into orbit.

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Voyagers – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it is clearly treading across old ground, I still found the narrative and the cast to be compelling throughout.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

Voyagers. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Voyagers Review

When you are talking about scenarios that immediately capture your attention, humans escaping Earth to try and colonise another planet to make sure humanity survives is one of those that immediately catches my attention. When it is done well, you are drawn into this world of desperation and struggles of leaving behind what you love for the unknown, but you lose the humanity for spectacle when it is done poorly. Today we look at a film that kind of swings between these poles in parts, but never the less left an impact on me.

So to set the scene, in 2063, the climate on Earth is steadily worsening as the planet warms, leading to the genuine suggestion that humanity might not survive as a species. However, in this moment of darkness, scientists find what they believe to be a habitable planet. The only problem is that it will take over 80 years to reach it with the current technology. This means that those who leave on the trip will likely not be alive when it arrives, and indeed it will probably be their grandchildren, the third generation, that will survive. Given the danger and pressure to get a scouting ship out as soon as possible, they decide to grow a purpose crew that has never seen the big open world so they won’t miss it during the long ride. However, that means they are just children, so Richard Alling (Colin Farrell), their teacher decides to join them on the one way trip into the dark to help prepare them for those moments when it all goes wrong.     

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Space Sweepers (Victory, Seungriho, 승리호) – Movie Review

TL;DR – An odd film that I loved from start to finish   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film.

Space Sweepers. Image Credit: Netflix.

Space Sweepers Review

I have seen a lot of excellent Science Fiction in the last little while. However, I have been looking forward to something different, something odd, something that does not fit the mould. Well, today we get just such a film out of Korea that blends the farcical with the serious all while screaming around Earth’s orbit.  

So to set the scene, in 2092 the biosphere started to break down on Earth, soon deserts spanned the globe as the plants died off. But all was not lost, led by UTS and its company director James Sullivan (Richard Armitage) people were able to escape into space. Well, the rich anyway got to flee to orbital biospheres in orbit while 95% of people are left on Earth or work on ships clearing up space debris hoping to earn enough money to buy UTS citizenship and escape. One such crew is of the ship Victory, including Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri), pilot Tae-ho (Song Joong-ki), engineer Tiger Park (Jin Seon-kyu), and android Bubs (Yoo Hae-jin). All is going, well not well, when they open up a ship they salvaged and found Dorothy/Kot-nim (Park Ye-Rin) an android girl that everyone in the system is after.

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The Expanse: Nemesis Games – TV Review

TL;DR – Today we see the end to it all and the start of something new.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

The Expanse: Nemesis Games. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Nemesis Games Review

Wow, we have reached the end of Season Five, and what a wild ride it has been. In today’s finale, we get to see the culmination of where the plot was screaming towards and the inevitable fallout from when it all goes wrong, or right depending on your perspective.

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Winnipesaukee, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) was desperately trying to let people know that her ship was a trap, without the ability to change this ships thrust or use a radio. This worked, but in that it only made people race to her faster as something was clearly wrong. It is in this race that Marco (Keon Alexander) sends Drummer and her family to intercept the Roci and end James Holden (Steven Strait) for good. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – Super charming and a fun new direction for the franchise.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek: Lower Decks: Second Contact. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Review

When it was announced that the next new Star Trek series would be an animated show that would take a more comedic look at a life aboard a Starfleet vessel, many people treated the news with some hesitation. However, when we got to see the first episode Second Contact, you felt the tone they were going for and how it was able to walk this line between making fun of Star Trek and showing its deep love for the franchise. Well, the full season has finally been released outside of North America, so it is time to dive in and see if the whole run stands up as well.  

So to set the scene, we open in on the USS Cerritos in 2380 (which for those playing at home is two years after the return of the USS Voyager and twenty years before the start of Picard). The Cerritos is a California Class Starfleet Vessel that specialises in second contact, which is the follow-up mission after first contact, not as much glory but still significant. Ensign D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) has just come on board from Outpost 79, and this is her first placement on a starship. Her orientation guide is Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) a very straight-laced command track-captain seat hopeful Ensign. Orientation is soon side-tracked as Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) decides to take D’Vana on a more personalised tour. But as we soon learn Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) has her phasers set on Mariner and is looking for any excuse to boot her off the ship and preferable out of Starfleet. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Expanse: Hard Vacuum – TV Review

TL;DR – The churn continues throughout the Solar System as people find no matter the road forward, dangers await

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

The Expanse: Hard Vacuum. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Hard Vacuum Review

When the rocks hit Earth in Churn and Mother, they threw everything up in the air, both literally and metaphorically. In that one instant, power, alliances, and family all got put up for grabs, and while all of the characters of The Expanse are trying to find their new place in this world, no choice is going to be an easy one.

So to set the scene, at the end of Oyedeng, we watched as Naomi (Dominique Tipper) made a desperate leap from the Pella to the Chetzemoka in a hard vacuum without a suit. It was a perilous journey, and even though it took seconds the toll on her body severe. But as she awakes on the airlock floor, she sees just what Marco’s (Keon Alexander) plan for the Chetzemoka is. The whole ship has been wired with explosives, and on a loop is Naomi’s voice beckoning James (Steven Strait) to save her, but in reality, it is a siren call leading him to his death.  Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Occupation: Rainfall – Movie Review

TL;DR – A sequel that improves on the first in every way, full of action, and a ride from the start till finish

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film.

Occupation: Rainfall. Image Credit: Monster Films.

Occupation: Rainfall Review

A couple of years ago, I got to see this little Australian Science Fiction which was punching far above its weight. It was a movie filmed on a minuscule budget that did more with that budget than those with a much larger purse. It was a good representation of an alien invasion film, and full of some great action set pieces. So it was great to see that it was getting a sequel, and I am glad to say it improves on the first film in every way.       

In the years since the first film Occupation, the resistance movement has fought from the hillside towns and villages down to Sydney’s heart. It is a war of attrition and small hit-and-run operations, trying to take the city back one small section at a time. For Matt Simmons (Dan Ewing), this is a battle of zero compromises because it is a fight for their lives. But for Amelia Chambers (Jet Tranter), she is trying to find a diplomatic answer or try to find a cooperative way to work with the other subjugated aliens. However, when Wing Commander Hayes (Daniel Gillies) calls a retreat, and all hope seems lost, a rumour about a new weapon called Rainfall starts to spread. Rainfall could be their one hope, or humanities final downfall.

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The Expanse: Oyedeng – TV Review

TL;DR – This is Naomi’s episode from start to finish

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

The Expanse: Oyedeng. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Oyedeng Review

The world of The Expanse is dramatically shifting under the feet of everyone in the Solar System. It is a dangerous time, a churn, with everything being up for grabs. It is in this chaos where we find our characters as the threat of death is very real.

So to set the scene, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is still trapped on-board Marco’s (Keon Alexander) the Pella. While she was able to save The Roci and its crew from blowing up Tycho Station, it was at the cost of her freedom. But as she remembers better times, Marco comes in to let her walk free, of at least the ship. For there is something, he wants her to witness. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Star Trek Discovery: That Hope is You, Part 2 & Season 3 – TV Review

TL;DR – The series finale stuck the landing with heart and emotion

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

Star Trek Discovery: That Hope is You, Part 2. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

That Hope is You, Part 2 Review –

For more than we have seen in a while, this week’s episode had a lot to do with two competing storylines that had taken whole episodes to lay the groundwork. It was so much story that I wondered if they would have the chance to make it work, but they did. In today’s review, we will first look at the Season Finale That Hope is You, Part 2 and then we will look at more generally at the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, as we saw in Su’kal, Hugh (Wilson Cruz) and Saru (Doug Jones) are still stuck in the holographic program on the Dilithium Planet trying to reach Su’Kal (Bill Irwin) who has become petrified of the outside. While Adria (Blu del Barrio) was able to get them some more radiation medicine, but time is ticking down. Back on Discovery, Osyraa (Janet Kidder) has given up hope on an alliance with The Federation, and how wants to steal the ship and is happy to blast her way out of Federation HQ to do it. Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Book (David Ajala) are captive on the bridge, but in the heart of the ship, the Bridge Crew and the Spore Data (Annabelle Wallis) have joined together to take the ship back. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Expanse: Tribes – TV Review

TL;DR – Across the Solar System, everyone is trying to find their place in this new world

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

The Expanse: Tribes. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Tribes Review

When the rocks fell on Earth, the world of The Expanse changed forever. There are obvious things like the death and damage, and the fact that more death and damage are yet to come. But in the sense of things, how the Solar System works just shifted like pulling a rug out from underneath everyone’s feet.

So to set the scene, the carnage from Marco’s (Keon Alexander) attacks in Gaugamela have continued to reverberate across the Solar System. However, in last week’s Down and Out, we found the first wrinkle in his plan. He expected the Roci to explode and take Tycho Station with it. Marco is on the back foot for the first time, but maybe it won’t be long as he tries to bring Camina (Cara Gee) back into the fold. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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