Awards – The Musical Scores of 2019 That Wowed Us

One factor that I will always look out for with a film and that is the musical score. I can get caught in the world of the music, as it sits in my head in the days, weeks, months, and even the years that come. There is immense artistry in weaving emotions from music, having us slip into the world that is created, fear the oncoming dread even if we do know why, or rejoice in the triumph of that final victory.

Music charts the cinematic world, it guides us, it can lift us up, and it can crush our souls, this is its power. So without further ado, these are the musical score that moved us in 2019. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question and if you click on the banners you will be taken to the full review. 

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Movie Review – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Round Two)

TL;DR – This is a film that feels both incredibly safe but yet also incredibly weird and that dissidence is really odd and is enhanced on a second viewing.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

I have been thinking a lot about Star Wars in the weeks since I first watched The Rise of Skywalker. Was I too harsh with it? Did I let one story beat distract me from the rest of the film? Do I want to see a buddy cop film starring John Boyega and Oscar Isaac? Okay, that last one was an easy answer, of course, I do. However, for the first two, I was truly left wondering, well that is until yesterday when I went with some friends as saw the same film twice in cinemas (not something I have done in quite a while). Which means it is time to explore if a second viewing of Star Wars helps or hurts it and what I found is that it focuses you into the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

So to set the scene, at the end of The Last Jedi everything is in flux. The Resistance has survived annihilation but has been stretched to almost breaking point as The First Order storms across The New Republic. However, all is not dandy for The First Order as well, as their leader was assassinated by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and their main battle cruiser was destroyed. However, just at the cusp of this, a dark voice from the past pierces into the vale. For it appears that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has come back from the dead and is gunning for Rey (Daisy Ridley). Now in this review, we will be going FULL SPOILER discussing some really important plot points. If you want to read our spoiler-free review you can find it here.  

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Movie Review – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

TL;DR – This is a film that feels both incredibly safe but yet also incredibly weird and that dissidence is really odd.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Image Credit: Disney/LucasArts.

Review

Well, it is an interesting time for a new Star Wars film, for maybe the first time in a long time. The last film Solo had a lacklustre reception and had issues in production as did Rogue One, and indeed as did Rise. To add to this, the discourse in and around Star Wars films has just been wholly unpleasant for quite a while. So for the first time in a very long time, I walked into a Star Wars film with a lot of trepidation. Now while thankfully a lot of that trepidation was unneeded, unfortunately, some of it was.     

So to set the scene, at the end of The Last Jedi everything is in flux. The Resistance has survived annihilation but has been stretched to almost breaking point as The First Order storms across The New Republic. However, all is not dandy for The First Order as well, as their leader was assassinated by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and their main battle cruiser was destroyed. The game is set for the final* battle between the light side and the dark with the whole galaxy’s future is at stake. However, just at the cusp of this, a dark voice from the past pierces into the vale. For it appears that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has come back from the dead and is gunning for Rey (Daisy Ridley). Now with this review, we will try to be as general and non-spoilery as possible but there will be a section towards the end that will explore three big story points that will have spoilers but we will clearly label it for you (also if you don’t want spoilers maybe avoid the cast list at the bottom).

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TV Review – The Mandalorian: Season 1 (Part 1)

TL;DR – This is a really interesting show in around its characters and setting, however, the overarching plot just does not quite seem to land yet.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Mandalorian. Image Credit: Disney+.

Review

With a new Star Wars film only weeks away, you would think that it would be all everyone is talking about but no, for if you go on the internet the one thing that is dominating pop-culture at the moment is ‘Baby Yoda’. It is almost all-absorbing at the moment and it is telling that Star Wars still has that cultural reach. Well, when some friends asked if I wanted to watch the ‘Baby Yoda’ show, well how could I refuse and it was a fascinating dive.

So to set the scene, in the years following the destruction of the second Death Star in The Return of the Jedi, the Empire has mostly collapsed but the New Republic is yet to really take control. This leaves large parts of the galaxy outside of the core in a state of flux. In that confusion, there are some systems that still work and one of them are the bounty hunters guild because irrespective of who is in power people still ditch out on their bail. This is where we met the titular Mandalorian or Mando (Pedro Pascal) to his well not really friends but more workplace proximity associates. One day he is offered a special bounty by his main contact Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) to work off-books for A Client (Werner Herzog) to find something special, only to discover that the bounty is a child. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab

TL;DR – In the battle between love and hate, on which side would you be on? This is the question today’s episode asks before emotionally punching you in the gut.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who: Demons Of The Punjab. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

When I heard Doctor Who was going to set an episode in colonial India, you can bet I was deeply concerned. A British TV Show doing an episode on the British occupation of another country, it is a recipe for disaster if handled wrongly, and the title Demons of the Punjab didn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. However, then we got to see Rosa (see review) earlier this season all about Rosa Parks and her struggles, they showed a real understanding of exploring deeply complex historical events, so I had a hope that they would be able to here as well, and I honestly think they pulled it off.

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Explore It – Brisbane’s Cultural District and Southbank

TL;DR – Today I explore the museums along the Brisbane river as I walk from GOMA down to Southbank

Brisbane in Spring. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara

 

Article

I had a day off this week and given it was perfect weather, warm but before the heat of summer hits us, I thought I would take some time winding down Brisbane’s Cultural District among its brutalist buildings, and lush Bougainvillea. All of this is right next to the Brisbane River so it is hard to get lost with that guideline always being there for you. So with today’s Explore-It, we will take you through all the museums, some old, some new, all full of interesting things, and best of all, every place I visited you can enter for free.

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TV Review – The Orville: Season One

TL;DR – While at first look this might have been just a Star Trek homage or at worst a blatant rip-off. Instead, it finds its feet and becomes a charming exploration of the future and the mess and opportunities that could come.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Orville. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox & Fuzzy Door Productions.

 

Review

I have been wanting to catch The Orville for quite a while but there was no streaming or TV that picked it up here in Australia, so I was expecting this was something that I might only get to see when it dropped on Blu-Ray. But with SBS announcing they had picked it up and would be showing Season Two I jumped on a watched the whole first season in one night, which meant that clown appeared at a very confronting time late at night. But binged the first season I have, and now it is time to jump in and see if it was worth the wait. Now before we dive in, a quick reminder that as we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – What is Music?

TL;DR – A fascinating documentary that looks at all facets of music, from slow motion uvulas to metal screaming and everything in-between.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

What is Music? Image Credit: ABC

Review

Music is one of those things that is both universal but also deeply personal, everybody on the planet loves music in some way even if we don’t agree on the particular style. One of the things I have started to look more at as I delve into the realm of cinema is the impact that music has on me, so a series exploring all the different facets of music immediately caught my attention. With this in mind, today we are going to look at the first three episodes and also the number of shorts they have created which seems to be a good barometer of how the series will progress. But before we go on, just a reminder that the show is also being posted online, so you can watch all the episodes here.

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Movie Review – Solo (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

TL;DR – It is okay, the story is okay, the acting is okay, the effects, okay well they are more than just okay, but overall it is just okay

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Solo

Review

Hmm, okay, well this is an interesting film, it had a dramatic change of directors and tone during production, and it is charting the course for one of the most iconic characters in film history. All of this leads to some pretty big expectations, but also a lot of hesitation because a large course change mid-way through rarely leads to a great end product. However, the same was also said of Rouge One (see review) and that turned out to be really good, by the end. Well, today let’s see if they can capture that magic again, and give justice to the character of Han Solo.

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Movie Review – Annihilation

TL;DR – Annihilation is a slow burn that then hits you like a freight train and then messes with your mind till it becomes putty, would recommend watching this, but maybe not at night.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Annihilation banner

Review

What is good sci-fi? As someone who loves this gene in all of its permutations, good sci-fi could be the grand space operas of Star Wars, Stargate or The Expanse, the more character driven works like Moon and The Martian. They can be thought-provoking works like Star Trek or Arrival, or thumping action set-pieces of Mad Max. Now sometimes they can be the weird contemplative works that dip into science, horror, supernatural, blending that hard and soft sci-fi into new and wonderful ways, and today’s Annihilation is the later. Now before we jump in I do have to say because the film begins in medias res, that is it opens on the ending, it is hard to talk about the film without getting into [SPOILERS] straight from the start, even with our setting the scene part of the review. If you have not seen Annihilation you may need to be a bit more careful going forward, as there will be major plot points discussed throughout.

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