Star Trek: Lower Decks: Hear All, Trust Nothing – TV Review

TL;DR – A perfect blend of nostalgia and fun.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The USS Cerritos at Deep Space Nine.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Review

I have made it clear in the past when looking at Lower Deck’s First and Second Seasons that I have enjoyed this someone irreverent take on the Star Trek universe. However, in those two seasons, while they may have dipped their toes in referencing Deep Space Nine, my favourite Star Trek show, today, they dive in phasers blasting.

So to set the scene, the USS Cerritos is en route to a meeting to support the USS Vancouver and their trade negotiations with the Karemma. But when the Vancouver was diverted for an emergency evacuation of a colony, the Cerritos and Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) had to take charge. Dropping out of warp at Deep Space Nine, Freeman asks the crew to buy her some time, and Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) suggests pretending to be in awe of the pylons or something. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Avatar (2009) – Exploring the Past

TL;DR –. A tour de force in worldbuilding that still hits those emotional moments even after all this time.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film.

The fly through the floating mountains.

Avatar Review

When Avatar first came out, I, like nearly everyone else I knew, went and saw it, and it might have been the only film ever truly worth paying extra for those 3D glasses. But as the sequel approached, I realised I had not watched the movie since I watched the extended edition when it came out on DVD. I knew I had to catch up again, and there was no better time than when it was back on the big screen.

So to set the scene, it is 2154, and while the Earth is a hollow mess, humans have found a new world to wreck in the Alpha Centauri system on a moon called Pandora that orbits the gas-giant Polyphemus. Even though Pandor looks like a lush paradise, the high carbon dioxide content means you will be unconscious in 20 seconds without a mask. Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), the former marine that lost the use of his legs, has just made the 6-year trip to the planet in cryo-sleep, but he was not meant to be there. His twin brother, a scientist, was killed, but because they shared exact dnd, Jake could sub in for him on the planet as part of its avatar program with the local population, the Na’vi. All Jake has to do is convince them to move from their sacred home because underneath it is the biggest supply of Unobtanium on the planet, and the RDA needs to make their money.

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Aldhani – TV Review

TL;DR – Perfectly balances tension and story while flying ahead at light speed.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

Coruscant from space.

Andor Review

When they said there was going to be a prequel series based on the Rogue One film, I wondered where they would take a story where we already know 100% how it will end. However, the opening trilogy of episodes [Kassa, That Would Be Me & Reckoning]  worked together like three acts of a film, and it captivated me. Now I can’t wait to see how they expand on this world.

So to set the scene, there are debacles, and there is what happened on Ferrix, with multiple dead Corpos, chaos on the streets, and a mess so bad it makes its way all the way back to Coruscant and the Imperial Security Bureau, where Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) was less than pleased. Meanwhile, Andor (Diego Luna) escaped the trap set for him thanks to Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) and has been given a new opportunity. Get dropped off somewhere and run for all this life, or do something to strike at the heart of the Empire. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Reckoning – TV Review

TL;DR – Perfectly balances tension and story while flying ahead at light speed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

Landers descend to Ferrix.

Andor Review

As I come to the end of the opening episodes of Andor, which work both as an introduction and second a small arc in their own right, I found that it has captured my heart and my interest. As we dive into Episode 3, we see a world about to change dramatically as past events crash into the present.

So to set the scene, after having to kill two Corpos in Kassa, Andor spent That Would Be Me trying to get the hell out of dodge because while he was cautious on Morlana One, it was only time before they would trace him down on Ferrix. Meanwhile, back in time on Kenari, a young Cassa (Antonio Viña) braved the crashed ship and started smashing it all up. But he might not be the only one there. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): That Would Be Me – TV Review

TL;DR – While building on the suspense, you need to be prepared for a slow burn

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

A ship comes into land at Ferrix.

Andor Review

While the era of binging of new content might be over, there have been lessons learned and one of them we see here. You want to have a weekly discussion about your show while still having that event day experience. Andor follows the lead of shows like The Boys and lands both those aspects, which is why we can look at Episode 2 today.  

So to set the scene, Andor (Diego Luna) is in a bit of strife as a trip to Morlana One turned bad as two local Corpos tried to rough him up and ended up dead. Knowing that time is limited, and sooner or later, the Corpos will come looking for him on Ferrix. He must work quickly to get off-planet and out of the corporation’s reach, but after all, his planning. He might be undone from the most unlikely of places. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Kassa – TV Review

TL;DR – This opening episode does not do a whole lot to forward the story, which is fine, because it delves us into a world of intrigue.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

A cresent moon.

Andor Review

When they first announced that there would be Star Wars tv shows on Disney+, I was excited because that was a format that I am sure they would excel in if given a chance, and it had been an oft-rumoured inevitability. Since then, we have gotten the delightful Mandalorian, but then the missed opportunity that was the Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. As such, I came into his series with a bit of concern, but this first episode has brought me nothing but intrigue.

So to set the scene, on a dark and rainy night, we see Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) make his way across a boardwalk to the glittering city Morlana One, part of the Preox-Morlana Corporate Zone in the Morlani system. He is going to the ‘leisure district’ to find out any information about his missing sister when he is accosted by two of the local security forces or Corpos. Taking his leave, Andor makes his way back to his ship when the two Corpos accost him again. 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 Orville: New Horizons (Season 3) – TV Review

TL;DR – The terrain constantly shifts out from underneath the crew of the USS Orville, as enemies become friends and friends become enemies.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I streamed this on SBS OnDemand

Ed and Kelly look out over Earth.

The Orville Review

A few years ago, it was announced that Seth MacFarlane, most well known for Family Guy, would do his take on a Space Opera, a show like Star Trek but with more jokes. It was a premise that had me both intrigued and concerned. That is because I was sure you could make that balance work, just that it would be hard, and Season One was rough at times. But by the time Season Two drew to a close, it had wholly found its feet and was soaring forward. Now it is time to dive into the much delayed and possibly final season, titled New Horizons, and if it is the end, at least it went out on a bang.

So to set the scene, in The Road Not Taken, the threat that the Kaylons pose is shown when we see a universe where the crew of the USS Orville never came together, and the galaxy is in ruin. But there is hope, and the team come together for some last-ditch time travel shenanigans to set the timeline right. It worked. But now, everyone on the ship has to work to get it ready for the next attack, and while the refit takes place, there is a lot of resentment brewing on board, with most of it landing square on the lap of the ship’s lone Kalon crewmember Isaac (Mark Jackson). While captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and first officer Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) work to keep the ship together, there are crew members like new navigator Charly Burke (Anne Winters), who lost people in the war and have legitimate reasons not to trust. But they will need to find that trust because the galaxy is on the precipice of collapse. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Westworld: Que Sera, Sera & Full Season 4 – TV Review

TL;DR – While I am not sure it landed its final episode, this season was a successful course correction, and I hope they make that one last test.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

The Man In Black appears from the smoke.

Westworld Review

Ever since the second season of Westworld failed to capture the dramatic highs of that first season, people felt that it could never live up to the hype it built. However, I still found Season Two to be engaging, and even more, it is still the high watermark for the show for me with Kiksuya. I also enjoyed Season Three’s more streamlined narrative. However, there was a feeling that maybe the show didn’t have much more to explore. Well, if nothing else, Season Four showed the latter assertion plainly wrong. With our review today, we are first going to look at the season [or possible series] finale before taking a broader exploration of the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Metanoia, the host copy of The Man In Black (Ed Harris) went on a killing spree, first killing the original Man In Black (Ed Harris) before taking out Maeve (Thandiwe Newton), Charlotte (Tessa Thompson), and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright). Before that can even sink in, he causes the control tones from the tower to infect every human being left on the planet to send them into a murderous rage. As Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) with Teddy (James Marsden) tries to stop the carnage, and Caleb (Aaron Paul), his daughter C (Aurora Perrineau), and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) try to escape it. One thing is clear: this might end sentient life on Earth. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Nope – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film that swings wildly, where you have moments of pure terror, but I am not sure it all comes together in the third act.    

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.

Warning – This film contains scenes that may cause distress.

a feild of waking inflatable men

Nope Review

Today, I look at a film that is quite difficult to review. Challenging in that from a production perspective, I have rarely seen a movie that works as well as this. But from a narrative perspective, there were moments that negatively impacted me that I am still trying to process the day after. It is also a film that is hard to talk about without immediately heading into spoilers that might impact your time with the film. Well, it might be difficult, but I’m still going to take a solid crack at it. As such, it is time to dive into our review of Nope.

So to set the scene, we open on a TV set in the 1990s, a sitcom with rows for audience seating, but only there is no one there even though the applause signs still flash. But we see a chimpanzee sitting with blood on its hands while a lifeless body lies in the background. Flash forward to the current time, and we are introduced to Otis Jr. “OJ” Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya), who works with his father Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David) at Haywood Hollywood Horses. A ranch that trains horses for TV and movie productions. While OJ is doing all the work and wondering where his sister Emerald “Em” Haywood (Keke Palmer) is, he hears something odd coming from the sky. Then what looks like hail starts hitting the ground on a clear day, but it is not hail but metal shrapnel like keys and coins, one of which strikes Otis Sr. in the head. While the siblings struggle to keep the ranch going in the wake of this tragedy, the story of the objects falling out of a plane just does not hold up, and they start to wonder what else might be out there in the sky.

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Prey – Movie Review

TL;DR – a perfect blend of action and tension that makes you sit on the edge of your seat and makes your skin crawl every time you hear the predator’s sound.     

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is something at the end of the mid-credits.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

Naru looks into the sunset.

Prey Review

There are some directors that when you watch their debut film, you know they will soar because this first film is already a master to watch. One of those directors was Dan Trachtenberg, who, with 10 Cloverfield Lane, terrified me when using one location and just three actors. But it has been a long transit between drinks, and I am happy to be able to watch his follow-up, which is a new take on the Predator franchise.  

So to set the scene, in 1719, on The Northern Great Plains in the land which is now called America, lived Naru (Amber Midthunder), a member of the Comanche Nation and a skilled axe thrower. One day when she was hunting a white-tailed deer, the animal became spooked by a loud noise from above. Seeing an alien spaceship in the clouds and interpreting it as a thunderbird, Naru knows it is time for her kühtaamia, where she hunts something hunting her. When a mountain lion takes one of the tribe, Naru, her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers), and a group of young men search through the forest to find him, unaware that behind a cloaking shield, a Predator (Dane DiLiegro) lies in wait.   

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