Dune (2021) (Dune: Part 1) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A cinematic work of genius and masterclass in literary adaptation     

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

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

Dune. Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures.

Dune Review

Few films have filled me full of trepidation and promise, like the prospect of another Dune film. Dune is a book series that means a lot to me, and the miniseries fits in as one of those foundational moments where you discover the joys of filmmaking. Add to this the spectacular run of films from Denis Villeneuve from Sicario, Arrival & Blade Runner 2049, one of which was my top movie in 2016. Look, this is a long way of saying I came into this with very high expectations, and can I say that this film exceeded all of them.  

So to set the scene, in an empire that spans the galaxy, the most valuable commodity is The Spice Melange. It extends life, allows intergalactic travel, and can only be found on one planet in the entire galaxy: Arrakis, Dune. The brutal House Harkonnen runs Dune, though its cruel Barron (Stellan Skarsgård) and his nephew Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), commonly called “Beast Rabban”. But their time running Arrakis is up, as the Emperor has decreed that House Harkonnen’s mortal Enemies House Atreides, led by Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), manages the planet. All is well, but Leto is fearful for him, his son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and consort Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). Because while this is a great opportunity, it could also be a trap.

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Star Trek: Discovery – Anomaly – TV Review

TL;DR – This week, we discover just how stuffed Discovery is this season.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Discovery - Anomaly. Image Credit: Paramount+.

Star Trek: Discovery Review –

There are many things that you can prepare for in life. But at any second, something entirely out of the realm of your understanding could snatch you away. As a species, we like to ignore it, even though we all kind of process that reality on any given day. Well, what happens if that something is a black hole five light-years across that likes to pummel planets into dust?

So to set the scene, at the end of Kobayashi Maru, disaster strikes when they save the space station crew. Still, while that is happening, the entire planet of Kwejian is obliterated, killing everyone and everything on the surface. This hits Book (David Ajala) the hardest because he had just started to reconnect with his family on Kwejian. Well, when you have an unknown anomaly, what is the first thing you do? Study it, which is what Discovery is sent to do before panic erupts across the galaxy. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Star Trek: Discovery – Kobayashi Maru – TV Review

TL;DR – Not the show’s strongest opener but still an interesting start to the season

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Discovery - Kobayashi Maru. Image Credit: Paramount+

Star Trek: Discovery Review –

Well … this was probably not the welcome back that anyone wanted, with a completely botched move for the show from Netflix to Paramount+ in international markets. However, after much annoyance, those outside North America are finally getting our look in at the new season.

So to set the scene, at the end of That Hope Is You Part 2, the source of The Burn was located in the form of Su’Kal (Bill Irwin), a scared child left alone on a dilithium planet. Now that there is no chance of a new Burn, the Federation is starting the extended effort of reconnecting with the galaxy. One such trip was to Alshain IV when discussions with Emperor Lee’U (Alex McCooeye) fell apart immediately after discovering that Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Booker (David Ajala) hold a monarch hostage in their ship. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Foundation: The Leap and Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – The worlds come crashing down as damage comes to all.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Leap. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

When I first sat down to watch The Emperor’s Peace, I was not sure what I would get. I had read the novels that jump across time and space, making adaptation a challenging prospect. Indeed, it is not surprising that it has taken this long for someone to give a solid crack at it. As the season progressed, it became clear that the first episode might be the high-water mark for the show, but thankfully it was still always interesting.

So to set the scene, all the future plotlines had led to this point. On Trantor, the manipulations have come to a head. Still, thankfully, for the genetic dynasty, Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) was able to track Brother Dawn (Cassian Bilton), stopping the plan of Azura (Amy Tyger) and her rebels in their tracts. But the question remains, what to do about Brother Dawn, who a pure Cleon is no longer, only Brother Day (Lee Pace) can decide. On Terminus, Anacreons and Thespeians have each other at a gun barrel with the colonists square in the centre. It is a recipe for slaughter, right up until Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) appears out of the Vault surprising all. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Finch – Movie Review

TL;DR – An emotional journal to find safety in a world that has fallen into disaster.     

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

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

Finch. Image Credit: AppleTV+.

Finch Review

One genre I have always found interesting is that of the lone survivor. Why they were left alone could be from them being forgotten, marooned, left behind, well, anything. Fighting against the elements and even time to survive. Indeed, Tom Hanks is famous for playing a similar situation in Cast Away, so you knew it had to be an exciting premise to get him back into this realm.

So to set the scene, in the not-so-distant future, a solar flare wiped away Earth’s ozone layer exposing the globe to a massive surge of radiation and also setting off a global EMP. This baked the planet, killing nearly all the plants, animals, and of course, humans. One of the last people alive is Finch (Tom Hanks), who has survived in St Louis in the basement of the robotics company he worked at. He has one mission, to finish building Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones) an android, so there would be someone to look after Goodyear/Dog (Seamus) after he was gone. Things were going well until a supercell arrived. It will last for over 40 days, 40 days too long. So they all have to make a trip across the country to safety.  

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Foundation: The Missing Piece – TV Review

TL;DR – All the pieces move into place, and we see where the imminent peril is arriving from.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Missing Piece. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

We have reached the pointy end of the season, with only two more episodes left today, which means that many of the season’s plotlines are crashing towards their conclusions. This week we give Trantor a rest as we see the rest of the galaxy slowly fall apart.

So to set the scene, we open in on Anacreon as a Young Phara (Naisha Kripalani Dhankani) and her brother Ilex (David Jacob Sumod) play in the forest. But as they walk home, a bunch of lights appear in the sky above and rain fire down on the planet below, immolating Ilex in front of Phara. In the present time, Phara (Kubba Sait) has one drive to take over the ship and burn Trantor to the ground. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Star Trek: Prodigy – Dreamcatcher – TV Review

TL;DR – The first episode to really test everyone as a crew.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Prodigy - Dreamcatcher. Image Credit: Paramount+

Star Trek: Prodigy Review

So far this season, we have had a couple of episodes to get to know the crew and set up the scenario. But the question is, what kind of show will Star Trek: Prodigy be? Well, today, I think we got some of the answers towards that.

So to set the scene, at the end of Starstruck, the crew of the USS Protostar discovered that it was best not to just go with it when piloting a spacecraft through danger after danger. After a lot of training from Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), a habitable M-Class planet was discovered in the Hirogen System. Dal (Brett Gray) doesn’t want to explore, but Janeway forces his hand, and they make their descent into the atmosphere. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Star Trek: Prodigy – Starstruck – TV Review

TL;DR – Delightful and a visual spectacle.   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Prodigy - Starstruck. Image Credit: Paramount+

Star Trek: Prodigy Review

It would be best if you asked many questions once you have stolen a spaceship from your tyrannical dictator. The foremost question is, “How do we run the ship?” This week we jump into that very question, as stealing the ship and running it are two very different propositions.

So to set the scene, at the end of Lost & Found, our ‘drew’ managed to get the USS Protostar up and running and escaped the clutches of the Diviner (John Noble) and his henchman Drednok (Jimmi Simpson). However, as they fled, a familiar voice appeared as a holographic depiction of Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) materialised on the bridge. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Foundation: Mysteries and Martyrs – TV Review

TL;DR – All the pieces move into place, and we see where the imminent peril is arriving from.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: Mysteries and Martyrs. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

In the early part of the season, Foundation very much held its cards close to its chest. Its use of multiple timelines and jumping characters was used to obscure the narrative, to mixed results. Well, this week, we get the opposite because as like opening the curtains on the house, we now see all.

So to set the scene, three coming disasters loom large. In space, the hijacked crew of the Beggar see the prize that Phara Keaen (Kubbra Sait) has sort. The fabled Invictus, who is not just a jump ship, but a world killer. On Maiden, Brother Day (Lee Pace) discovers that he might not be ready to play the game of politics with Zephyr Halima (T’nia Miller). Finally, On Trantor, the love between Brother Dawn (Cassian Bilton) and Azura (Amy Tyger) but it is a dangerous game. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Star Trek: Prodigy – Lost & Found – TV Review

TL;DR – This was an episode full of charm that sucked me right into this world and story.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Star Trek: Prodigy - Lost & Found. Image Credit: Paramount+

Star Trek: Prodigy Review

We might be living through a new Golden Age in Science Fiction, but one thing is sure, we are living through a new era of Star Trek with five series currently in production and more on the way. Today we get to look at the latest new series on the horizon that blasted onto the screen full of charm and style.

So to set the scene, off in the Delta Quadrant, there is a prison colony called Tars Lamora. Here the prisoners mine the planetoid for Chimerium, a valuable crystal. One of those prisoners is Dal R’El (Brett Gray), who has dreamed of escaping his confinement and gets close a few times. But his attempts put him on the radar of the ruler of the prison Solum/The Diviner (John Noble), who fears he is working with Fugitive Zero (Angus Imrie). Dal has two options, the nice route with Solum’s daughter Gwyn (Ella Purnell), where he helps her find Fugitive Zero or the bad route with Drednok (Jimmi Simpson). But as he is looking for Zero in the deep core with Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui), they discover something much more valuable hiding in the depths. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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