TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Q&A

TL;DR – This is a great episode that shows the strength of the Short Trek formula with some truly delightful moments

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Q&A

Review

We are back with another season of Short Treks, one of the more novel experiments that have come out of this third Star Trek TV resurgence. These are a number of shorts in and around the Star Trek universe (mostly but this season not exclusively around Star Trek Discovery). Like last year’s The Escape Artist that looked at Harry Mudd. Today we get to dive back into this world with a fun look at someone’s first day on the job.

So to set the scene, it is Ensign Spock’s (Ethan Peck) first day on the job. After a long flight to Starbase 40, he beams aboard and is welcomed by Number One (Rebecca Romijn). After some pleasantries, Number One decides to show the new ensign the Bridge only for the turbolift to fail on transit giving them a lot of time to chat.

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Movie Review – Quantification Trilogy

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

Quantification Trilogy. Image Credit: Jeremy Shaw.

Review


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.

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TV Review – The Expanse: Season 3

TL;DR – This is and continues to be the gold standard to adaptations of literature, capturing the heart of the books, even if it does not hit every plot beat along the way.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Expanse. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

I mentioned back in my look at the New Golden Age of Science Fiction that The Expanse is one of the best adaptations on TV at the moment. Here in Australia, I got to watch the first two seasons on Netflix and was constantly entranced with just what a good job they did of bringing James S. A. Corey’s books to life. The third season has been tricky to find but today I was able to hunt it down on Amazon and gave it a watch. Well, how does it do? Well, I can tell you that I watched the entire first arc of the season in one session, being so completely engrossed that I didn’t realise how late in the evening it had gotten … so that it is always a good sign.

So to set the scene, we open in the aftermath of season two and the turn that put Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) from a position of absolute power to her running for her life after being betrayed by Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle). Stuck on a ship that has just been fired upon by her own side there is not much hope for escape but then that is why she brought Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) a former Martian marine along. They manage to escape, but they are still under pursuit, and while they were gone the whole solar system has erupted into war and the Jupiter planetary system is ground zero for the conflict. Meanwhile, on the Rocinante the crew are dealing with two big problems, the fact that Naomi (Dominique Tipper) lied to them, and they have done nothing really to help Prax (Terry Chen) find his daughter. With everything falling apart the question is: will James Holden (Steven Strait) going to step in and help stop this war, or is he going to sit back and let others make the tough calls?    

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Movie Review – In the Shadow of the Moon

TL;DR – A fascinating look at an issue and how people would react to it as we watch a man’s life fall apart around him.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

In the Shadow of the Moon. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you want my interest in a film, you need to take something familiar and twist it, say a serial murder with more going on. Of course, once you have an interesting premise, you need to follow it up, which is not always the case, but today we see a film that comes very close to nailing those two parts. So very close.    

So to set the scene, it is a quiet night in Philadelphia when all of a sudden a woman collapses while driving a bus crashing into multiple cars before being taken out but a cement truck. When the police get to the scene they discover that the driver is covered in her own blood after something liquefied her brain. Three puncture wounds were in her neck, which would be bad, but across the city three more people collapse in the same way. Beat cop Thomas (Boyd Holbrook) makes the link between the three victims and after finding a forth still alive they have a clue only to find everything is much more complicated than they ever thought because the Jane Doe (Cleopatra Coleman) know who Tom is and that his daughter is about to be born.   

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Movie Review – Ad Astra

TL;DR – A stunning film exploring the world of one man as it all falls apart around him    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Ad Astra. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

Goodness, it has been a while since I have watched a film quite like this. Where we dive straight into the mind of one character and follow their drive through a slowly deteriorating experience. I think the last film that I watched that was able to pull this off was Arrival and you get hints of that here as well. With that in mind, let’s dive into a murky world of space exploration and the legacy/damage of our parents.

So to set the scene, we open in the near future where humankind has made their first steps into the solar system. One of the main drives is to find out if there is any other intelligent life out there in the universe but of course like all things mining and profit are not far behind. Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is working on the large space antenna that goes all the way up into low-Earth-orbit when a cosmic storm hits and he is thrown from the structure. Landing thanks to a parachute he is taken to Space Command Headquarters where he finds out that his long lost dad Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones) might be alive and might also be the one behind the surge that has killed 40,000 people and climbing. So Roy hops on a rocket for the Moon only to discover not all is what it seems.

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Exploring the Past – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

TL;DR – One of those films that are close but no cigar, but you have to admire that they go at 100km an hour from start to finish    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Jupiter Ascending. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

One of my true joys in life is watching and witnessing a new work of glorious Science Fiction for the first time. Like those moments when you watched Farscape for the first time or watched the flaming guitar in Mad Max Fury Road explode out into the desert sun. However, sometimes it can be just as interesting to watch a film/TV show that is close but just not quite there and today we take a look back at just such a film.

So to set the scene, we open in on Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) who lives with her extended family in Chicago after her father Maximilian (James D’Arcy) was murdered back in Russia and her mother Aleksa (Maria Doyle Kennedy) fled to the States. Jupiter spends her time cleaning rich peoples houses and dreaming of getting out of it all. Well one day she gets that wish after a genetic test shows that she is the perfect reincarnation of the old matriarch of House Abrasax, an ancient alien dynasty that seeded life on Earth all those years ago.  

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Movie Review – Shanghai Fortress (Shànghǎi Bǎolěi, 上海堡垒)

TL;DR – There is an interesting concept here, but the film goes out of its way to make its characters come off as bland and one-note     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Shanghai Fortress (Shànghǎi Bǎolěi, 上海堡垒). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been an interesting couple of years for the Alien Invasion genre after being almost abandoned in the years since September 11. Long gone were the triumphant speeches and bold proclamations and in were gritty scenes of dirt and muck. However, then there was a resurgence with different countries taking a look with Attack the Block in the UK and Occupation in Australia to name just two. Well, today we get to see China’s take on the global destruction masterpiece. But will it soar or will fall, only time will tell.    

So to set the scene, in the not too distant future the first manned Chinese space ship brought back a new energy source Xianteng that revolutionised the world. Everything was great but the energy source was like a beacon drawing the aliens to Earth. Starting with Rio de Janeiro the mothership moved across the planet, destroying city after city. In a last-ditch effort, the United Nations and what was left of the world’s government set up base in the last major centre Shanghai. Here they hope to make a last stand and maybe just maybe fight back and take back the planet before more cities like Los Angeles and New Delhi are turned to ash.

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