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 screening of this film.
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.
TL;DR – This is a show with a lot of potential that would have worked a lot better had it not stumbled in critical places.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.
Pacific Rim: The Black Review –
When you hear that there will be an American Animation TV Series, done in the style of a Japanese Anime, based in the Pacific Rim universe, and then set in Australia, well, that is an exciting combination if I have ever heard it. Good or bad, you want to see how it works. With that in mind, let’s dive into this fascinating if flawed world.
So to set the scene, we open in the days after chaos erupts across Australia as rifts open up the centre of the continent. After a valiant fight, it becomes clear that Australia is lost, and the call to evacuate is put out. Everyone had five days to reach Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, or Sydney. While trying to help with the evacuation, one Jager team stays back to stop the Kaijus because their children had yet to leave. They tried to get to the evac point, but they were too late. Instead, they took the group of civilians back to their home base Shadow Basin which was also destroyed. The parents left everyone behind in an oasis and leave to go to the coast to get help. Five years later, Hayley (Gideon Adlon) and Taylor (Calum Worthy) have a fractured relationship as their parents never returned. However, one day Hayley fell down a metal hole and discovers that not all of Shadow Basin was destroyed, with the Atlas Destroyer Jaeger and its AI Loa (Erica Lindbeck) still there. But that discovery becomes a beacon for all the danger in the world. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – This is a fascinating world that I think that we have only just scratched the surface of.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse
Tribes of Europa Review –
When you think of post-apocalyptic shows or movies, you think of drab banner expanses of nothing where only the best like Mad Max Fury Road can make shine. But that is one of the many different pallets of the world could take. In Tribes of Europa, we get a very different type of post-apocalypse, even if there are some familiar elements.
So to set the scene, in 2029, a worldwide blackout called Black December destroyed civilization as we know it on the planet. The Nation-State as we know it today crashed a burned with thousands of micro-states emerging in their wake. In 2074, those micro-states have started to war over the former lands of Europe or, as it is now called, Europa. It is here where Liv (Henriette Confurius) and her family Kiano (Emilio Sakraya) and Elja (David Ali Rashed) see a plane crash while out hunting an event that would shift the balance of the continent. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – Conflict on a planetary scale that combines orbital mechanics with the chaos of Worms
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Interplanetary Review –
When you play online games with a group of friends occasionally, there will be the call of “what does everyone have?” followed by everyone scanning through their Steam lists for options as a suggestion after suggestion gets vetoed by a different member of the group. Last week this happened with my friends and them someone threw out the request Interplanetary, a game that I played a bit when it first came out in 2015 but hadn’t thought much of it since. Then we discovered that Interplanetary had an Enhanced Edition and well we loaded it up and cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
So to set the scene, Interplanetary is a game set in what I would assume is a very dystopian universe. You play the role of one of the planets in a solar system that has just descended into war. You don’t have access to space ships, but you can build railguns on your planets and rain down fire across the solar system. From a mechanics perspective, Interplanetary is a turn-based artillery –focused strategy game. In your turn, you can build new weapons, resource, or defence buildings. You can pick research to boost your attack, and most importantly, you can fire your weapons. This is a game that takes a lot of inspiration from Hard Science Fiction so where you position your weapons on your planet is essential as it rotates, as it orbits around the sun. To attack, you will need to set an orbital insertion path while taking into account the orbits and gravity of every other planetary body in the solar system.
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
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.
TL;DR – Today we see the end to it all and the start of something new.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
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.
TL;DR – Today we start to see a glimmer of hope amongst all the destruction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Winnipesaukee Review –
When those first asteroids dropped on Earth in Churn, you knew this would be a dark season for the show, which is amplified by the fact that our Roci crew was all spread to the winds when the attack happened. In today’s episode, we get to see the first little hope on the horizon that things might be getting better.
So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Hard Vacuum, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) had been able to interfere with Marco’s (Keon Alexander) automated message that he set up to lure people into a trap. We see at the start of this week’s episode that Naomi’s plan worked … sort of. On the Screaming Firehawk Bobbie (Frankie Adams) noticed that something was amiss, and even Holden (Steven Strait) on the Roci. But the question is, will they see it for the warning it is or think something has gone wrong and hurry into the trap? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – Conflict switches from the internal to the external as Snowpiercer comes under attack from Big Alice
Snowpiercer Review –
Last year there was an odd experiment that hopped on our screens. It was to take a cult classic film and re-imagine it into a TV show. Overall, I felt that Season One had some interesting moments but never got the heights it was aiming for. However, there was some promise here, and that promise was enough to make me want to have a look at Season Two.
So to set the scene, at the end of last season after a protracted revolution Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) agreed to fix the society that runs on steep class divisions. However, a surprise appears with another train coming into the mix at that moment of triumph, an old supply train that somehow has survived the seven years of cold. On that train is none other than Mr Wilford (Sean Bean) who is here to take back the train stolen from him. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – Super charming and a fun new direction for the franchise.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
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.
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.
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.