Stowaway – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that understands the weight of the question it asks and the damage that would do to people.     

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this movie

Stowaway. Image Credit: Netflix.

Stowaway Review

It should come as no surprise to long or short term readers that I love Science Fiction. While the fantastical location of space is an excellent place to set your film, and I enjoy them no matter how they come. What can make a film special is when they use that setting to ponder important questions about the human condition. Today we have a look at a film that delves into crucial Kobayashi Maru territory.   

So to set the scene, we open in as the Hyperion mission on MTS42 is about to launch. Mission commander Marina Barnett (Toni Collette) is setting the ship on a course for a two-year mission out to Mars and back. Along for the mission is Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick), a medical researcher and David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim), the ship’s biologist. You feel the rumble of engines, the shake that makes you think the very ship will through itself apart, but then you break free into the void. Once connected with the main module, they begin the long trip to Mars. However, this is a mission with supplies for three people, but as the title implies, someone else made the journey into orbit.

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Magic School Bus Rides Again Kids In Space

TL;DR – A fun trip down memory lane, while learning a thing or two about the International Space Station.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

he Magic School Bus Rides Again Kids In Space. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


 The Magic School Bus was one of those shows that I can’t help but think back fondly on. Like I can still remember an episode where they went inside a decaying log for some reason. So when a new episode of the show popped up in my feed, and one set in space no less, I had to check it out, and I got sent back in time and into the future all at once.

So to set the scene, we skip all the standard preamble and start with the Bus as a rocket blasting off into space. Ms Frizzle (Kate McKinnon) is taking the whole group up to the International Space Station. The astronauts are heading back to Earth, so the team is watching over the station until the next crew arrives the following day.

Continue reading

TV Review – Space Force Season 1

TL;DR – A show full of great actors and talent that unfortunately falls completely flat because it can’t pick a tone

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Space Force Season 1. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review
You would think a show that blends tow of my great loves, politics and space in the one show would be an instant hit for me. Well I do not envy the job the writers would have had on this job. You take one of (though by far not the most) stupid ramblings that was spat out on Twitter by the current President of the United States and turn it a slightly farcical spoof. The balance you would need to pull that off would be a high wire act and as we see today it does not work. Also, I should point out that if you are who has a passing understanding of space mechanics or current political system you will involuntarily cringe throughout the show.

To see the scene, General Mark R. Naird (Steve Carell) is with his wife Maggie (Lisa Kudrow) and daughter Erin (Diana Silvers) in The Pentagon for a big day as he is being promoted to a 4-Star General in the Air Force. However, he is not being promoted to the head of the Air Force but the brand new Space Force in nowhere Colorado. One year later and while things are proceeding Mark’s life has not gone quite to plan with his wife now in prison and a POTUS that wants results and they are not ready to give them.  Now we will be looking at the series as a whole and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

Continue reading

TV Review – Star Trek: Picard – The End is the Beginning

TL;DR – We have a crew, repeat we have a crew, this is not a drill

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Picard – The End is the Beginning. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

Okay, if I am going to be honest, if there is one thing that will always sucker me into a show, it is a group desperate people coming together to form a crew. Well, today, we get to see Picard (Patrick Stewart) do it all again and I am here for it.  

So to set the scene, in last week’s Maps and Legends we learned a couple of important things. First, there is either a Romulan mole in the midst of Starfleet in the guise of Head of Starfleet Intelligence Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) or the head of Starfleet Intelligence is like just kill with Romulan assassin squads romping around Earth … I’m not sure which is worse. Also secondly, we discovered that Picard or JL to his friends has burnt all the goodwill he had left in Starfleet. Well, what do you do when all your options are closed, well it’s time to wing it Picard style. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.   

Continue reading

TV Review – The Orville: Home

TL;DR – In Home, The Orville finally finds that balance between the absurd and the sincere and creates one of their best episodes so far.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Home. Image Credit: Fox

Review

So far this season The Orville have continued on in its mission to highlight the juxtaposition between the absurd and the sincere. Now, this is something that you can completely do, but the show in both Season One and so far this season just couldn’t quite find that right balance. Well with Home I think they really are starting to head in that right direction and it doesn’t hurt when you throw in some great guest cast and beautiful art design help along the way.

Continue reading

TV Review – The Orville: Primal Urges

TL;DR – With Primal Urges we see how The Orville is not afraid to tackle really important issues, but that it has yet to quite get that balance right  

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Primal Urges. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

One of the issues facing the world today is porn addiction, free porn is literally at most people’s fingertips if you have an internet connection and it can be devastating to a relationship. The Orville looks at Porn Addiction in the context of a relationship that has completely soured but there is still a child involved, which is a situation that is very familiar in the world today.

Continue reading

TV Review – The Orville: Ja’loja

TL;DR – This first episode was all about us getting back into the groove with The Orville and its juxtaposition of absurdity and sincerity, but not all of it works.  

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Ja'loja. Image Credit: Fox

Review

I finally got the chance to see Season One of The Orville early this year when it finally got a release down under, and I was struck by how funny and also how many serious issues it tackled. It was not just a Star Trek parody with the first officer and captain being exs, okay it is totally that, but it is also a beautiful sincere look at the work, with some fantastic characters and alien races. Now that Season Two is about to start, I am really interested to see how the show evolves going forward, and can it keep this interesting juxtaposition going.

Continue reading

TV Review – Doctor Who: Kerblam!

TL;DR Kerblam! Is a return to a more classic Doctor Who episode filled with conspiracy, murder, missing people and a call for help, oh and also a fez, can’t forget a good fez.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Kerblam! Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

There has been a lot of discussion regarding this season of Doctor Who and while I have really been enjoying it, there are others where Chris Chibnall’s writing style is just not jelling with them, which is perfectly fair. What will be interesting to see is how people engage with the show in the back half of the season because now all the shows have different writers. We saw that last week with the Demons of the Punjab (see review) where the show talked a deeply problematic time from Brittan’s past with grace, and this week we have a different take as we delve into what I would consider being a more classic Doctor Who episode where conspiracy runs rampant.

Continue reading

TV Review – Doctor Who: The Ghost Monument

TL;DR – Today we get a look at how the team will work together, what drives The Doctor, and also a little snippet as to what the overarching story of the season will be.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who The Ghost Monument. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

There is a lot you have to do in the first episode of a season, especially when you are setting it up as a soft-reboot. You have to introduce the characters and the world, and set the tone for what is to come. However, that is something that can take a whole episode, so you don’t have time for much else. Indeed at the end of last week’s The Woman Who Fell to Earth (see review) we had done all that, but it was a little short with the adventure, the wonder, well one way to add that is to end on a cliff-hanger with our whole team floating in space with no way out. It is one of those instants that you can’t help get captured in the moment even if only for a moment before the logical part of your brain snaps back in to remind you that there is no way they are killing everyone off in episode one. Today we look at the follow up the opener of the season, The Ghost Monument, where we get that sense of wonder and dread as we explore a planet that was once alive and now dead.

Continue reading

Movie Review – First Man

TL;DR – There are times when you will be biting your nails due to the tension, times when you will be in awe, and times when you will be watching the film with tears rolling down your face.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

First Man. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

There are these moments in life that define a generation, they bring everyone together, bonding them in such a way that nothing else can. For my generation, it was September 11, but for my parents, it was the landing on the Moon, and well I know which one I would prefer. They tell the stories of everyone in the street crowding into the house of the one person with a TV and as a community, they watched man’s first steps outside of our planet. While over the years we have got films that have explored around the Apollo Program such as The Dish and Hidden Figures (see review), it is surprising that no one has really tried to take on this particular narrative before. Well after seeing the film I can see why, as it is far from a simple narrative. With this in mind let’s dive into a world where the impossible is made possible.

Continue reading