TL;DR – This series continues to be the benchmark for modern Science Fiction, the benchmark for novel adaptation, and the benchmark for great TV.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Last year I wrote an article about how we are in a new Golden Age of Science Fiction and at the heart of that theses was the joy that was The Expanse. At the time Season Three had come out, and we still were not sure if that would be the end of the TV show. It would have been sad if the show’s story had ended there, but at least we still had the books, which was a little consolation. However, I was overjoyed to hear that it got a last-minute pick-up for Season Four on Amazon, ecstatic when I discovered that it was already greenlit for Season Five, and over the moon now that I have watched Season Four and have discovered the joy that it is.
So to set the scene, at the end of last season, disaster had been forestalled and new opportunities have arrived when thousands of gates to thousands of new solar systems opened up. Fearing the new disaster that could come for an out of control gold rush, or worse a new proto-molecule infection, the powers at be, the new alliance of Earth, Mars, and the OPA work together to set up a blockade at the Solar System side of the network. But before they could get it set up a bunch of Belter refugees took the gamble and broke through the blockade. Months later and somehow the Belter have survived, which is causing Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) all levels of grief because the Royal Charter Energy (RCE) Company has legal claim to the planet and has sent their ship the Edward Israel to what they call New Terra, but what the Belters call Ilus. So who better to go and meditate, well that would be the crew of the Rocinante James Holden (Steven Strait), Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar), Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), and Amos Burton (Wes Chatham). Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – This is a show that works just because of the charisma of its lead, however, it would have been better if it was more condensed
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Without a doubt, The Punisher might be the most difficult character to get right in the Netflix TV Marvel Universe. How do you make a man who murders a lot of people, a lot of people, yet still keep him a relatable character. Revenge driven storylines are thus really hard to make work because of this and for every Punisher or John Wick you have a plethora of others that don’t stick the landing. So the Punisher or Frank Castle first appeared in Season Two of Daredevil (see review) where he was one of the best parts of the entire season. However, the question is can a character like Frank work in a series all by himself? Well, that is what we will be looking at today.
TL;DR – They finally found the right formula for the reboot series and it is glorious, the cast is amazing, the action is good, and every joke hits its mark.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
I think I need to start with some context before jumping into this review, on the whole, I do really like the Star Trek franchise, however, I have not been a fan of this rebooted Star Trek movie series. The first movie had great casting, but the story was full of logical problems and lazy short-cuts, that it removed any real emotional weight to killing off Vulcan, and I just really did not like it (2/5 stars). The second film Into Darkness did a little better with me, as it had some reasonably good character moments, and some interesting set pieces, but the need to recreate one of the most iconic conflicts in Star Trek, and then the ability to not quite pull it off left the movie feeling quite flat (2.5/5 stars). I want to say this upfront so you understand this 5 out of 5 I am giving the film (only the second one of 2016) is not because I am enamoured completely with everything Star Trek, I am giving this film a 5 out of 5 because it has bloomin’ well earned it.