Showing posts from January, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) - Teaser Trailer Reaction

After the modest success of 2015's Ant-Man, Marvel Studios returns their surprisingly turbulent franchise-starter with Ant-Man and the Wasp, the second entry into their new trilogy now featuring the addition of Hope / The Wasp to the Ant-team. Given Marvel's incredible track record with trailers, it's no surprise that the one to drop the ball would be the film that hasn't really gained much real interest since its announcement. Other Marvel flicks such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War already had invested interest before their respective trailers were released, and given the response to the recent set photos, Captain Marvel will no doubt elicit a similar response. With Ant-Man and the Wasp though, its entirely possible that the reason there's been so little interest is that Ant-Man itself wasn't a huge success.

Given that Ant-Man was a $519 million modest hit, it's become on…

Star Trek: Discovery - Episodes 10-12 Review

So I finally caught up with Star Trek: Discovery, and while I had initially considered episode-by-episode reviews, the second chapter in the series has so far been so tightly interconnected that separating the episodes would seem odd from an analytical perspective.

The revelation that the USS Discovery crew had arrived in what has been officially titled "The Mirror Universe" (which, according to the internet, was the basis for an episode or story-line in Star Trek: The Original Series), was an intriguing way of re-directing the series' narrative. Initially, the decision made little sense. Surely pushing these characters in such a way would be better suited for a second or third season, and not the second half of the show's first? Surprisingly though, the writers had clearly thought this through, beyond the not-so-subtle foreshadowing in 'Into the Forest I Go'. If there is one problem with this set-up though, its how the revelation is handled.

Despite a rocky…

Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 9 Review

Here we are at the mid-season finale of Star Trek: Discovery, and the ending to the show's "Chapter One". The USS Discovery must protect the planet Pahvo from the incoming Klingon Ship of the Dead. It's human vs Klingon. Lorca vs Kol. And it makes for a very high-stakes ninth installment in the series.

After my disappointment with the last episode, I think it's safe to say that I was 100% on board with future installments of the show. When it could sink to below-average and loose all of my interest and investment in one episode, could the series pick-up again? Well, sort of. I think it's fair to say that 'Into the Forest I Go' isn't a perfect episode, despite all the ingredients being there. For one, the show's darker tone means that the episode is devoid of any particularly strong humour. If there's one thing Discovery really lacks, its a sense of humour. Sometimes a mildly humorous moment will occur, but the show can take itself too ser…

Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 8 Review

'Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum' marks my return to Star Trek: Discovery after nearly two months. The show is already mid-way through the second half of its first season, and I realise that I've fallen so far behind that the smart thing would've been to binge through all the episodes I'd missed. Sadly though, I haven't quite had that opportunity yet, and thus for today I shall only be reviewing Episode 8...and it's a bit of a dud, to be honest.

This episode didn't have anything particularly wrong with it, it has to be said, but the ultimate problem with 'Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum' is that it has absolutely nothing to offer of any real substance. The drama aboard Discovery takes a back-seat for most of the episode - presumably to be continued properly in Episode 9 - leaving us with the main action on the Pahvo. On Pahvo, Michael, Tyler and Saru are investigating this bizarre natural beacon which has formed on the planet's surface. As they explore…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) - Spoiler Review

Having now seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi twice in cinemas, and given that its been a little over a month since its release, I think its now time to delve into spoilers for the film.

Easily my favourite moment in the entire film is...probably not actually a moment. It's more like a whole sequence. That being said, easily my favourite...bit in the film is when Luke finally appears in the film's climax. His goodbye to Leia is a real tear-jerker ("I'm glad you're here for the end), his wink to Threepio is lovely, and then he steps out to confront Kylo Ren and the entire First Order. There's a variety of things to love here: Mark Hamill's subdued performance, the look of sheer joy on Carrie Fisher's face as she sees him once more, the shots of the Resistance members all staring in wonder at the legendary Luke Skywalker, and the way John Williams' score works in some many different motifs through the sequence without even breaking a sweat. It's a be…

The Twelfth Doctor in Retrospect: Series 10 (2017)

So, here we are at the final Twelfth Doctor retrospective, and I think it's safe to say that his third series was his most consistent overall, even if perhaps lacked standout episodes like 'Heaven Sent', 'Mummy on the Orient Express' or 'Flatline' from his first two series'. This, however, the least successful series the show has had since Season 26 in 1989, and featured little merchandise tie-ins, perhaps signifying the need for a complete overhaul in Series 11.

A wonderfully fun and entertaining Christmas Special, tackling superheroes in the Whoniverse in a slightly more up-beat way, even if the Ghost lacks some of the potential parody or satire that could've made this episode stand out more. Justin Chatwin and Charity Wakefield are great supporting stars, while Peter Capaldi seems to have really settled in the role of the Twelfth Doctor, losing some of the anger and moodiness of previous series' and f…

The Twelfth Doctor in Retrospect: Series 9 (2015)

So, after what I felt was very strong debut series for Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, things looked good for his second outing as the Time Lord. Seemingly continuing with Series Eight's style and tone, Series Nine was on course to be an excellent second just ended up very differently.

Following on from where Series Eight left off, 'Last Christmas' had the potential to be a fantastic Who special, balancing Clara's grieving over Danny with a base-under-siege story taking cues from 'Alien'. Sadly, the resulting episode was all that...for the first half-hour. As soon as Clara's said goodbye to Danny, the episode's emotional hook is lost, and the base-under-siege narrative turns into a Steven Moffat take on 'Inception', as the characters fumble their way through multiple dream layers before eventually - and I do mean eventually - waking up. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman have some lovely moments together,…

The Twelfth Doctor in Retrospect: Series 8 (2014)

With 'Twice Upon a Time' behind us and a new era of the show ahead, I thought it'd be a good time to reflect on Peter Capaldi's time on Doctor Who as the Twelfth Doctor in the form of a retrospective. Not so much full-on reviews of each series or episode, but a quick reflection on each installment of his tenure: the highs, the lows, and everything in-between, starting off with...

"DEEP BREATH" In the first of Ben Wheatley's two directorial contributions to Who, we are offered a visual treat for the eyes, with some stellar steampunk imagery in the form of semi-returning villains the Clockwork Droids, as well as offering a very well-handled CGI T-Rex. Peter Capaldi has a lot of fun bouncing between off-the-wall comedy and heroic drama in his third debut (having had a cameo in the previous two episodes), while Jenna Coleman rests the episode's dramatic weight on her shoulders. Sure, some of the character drama doesn't entirely work, and the inclusion…

Comedy of Errors - Why is TV so grim?

Over the past week I've watched three different "current" TV shows: Black Mirror (Season 4), Inside No. 9 (Series 4) and Hard Sun (Series 1). While this is a first for me - I usually fall behind on most TV nowadays for various reasons, in part because there's so much to watch -, I quickly realised why I tend to keep my TV fairly light most of the time.
'Hard Sun' - the new BBC / Hulu original series from 'Luther' and 'Doctor Who' scribe Neil Cross - is  pre-apocalyptic crime drama, which as you can expected from an adult-oriented BBC detective show, is about as cheerful as...well, actually, I can't think of anything less cheerful than that hour of pure misery. The show isn't awful by any means, but it's somber mood often leads to either unintentionally funny moments or just pure boredom. The characters are one-note, dour and self-serious archetypes: the rogue "bad boy" detective and the "damaged" detective with…

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Seasons 1 & 2 (2016/18) - Written Review

With the series now finished, I think it's finally time to look over Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Max Landis' BBC America series, loosely based upon Douglas Adams' books Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, serving as a sort-of sequel to those novels. After two seasons and eighteen episodes, the show has been cancelled by BBC America, and despite the potential for Netflix to pick it up, the recent allegations surrounding the show's creator and showrunner suggest otherwise.
The show follows Todd (Elijah Wood from The Lord of the Rings trilogy) as his life is turned upside-down by a murder in the hotel he works at. Fired, and confused by what he saw there, he meets Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett), a holistic detective who promises to hold all of the answers Todd seeks. Sadly, those answers haven't quite reached him yet. Joining forces with Dirk, Todd realises that the Universe is interconnected in all sorts…

The future of Star Wars - The Last Jedi, Solo and more...

The Star Wars franchise is currently in a strange place. There are some fans who didn't like The Force Awakens - Episode VII in the "saga" films - yet it managed to gross over $2 billion worldwide with generally positive reviews. Sure-fire hit was sure-fire hit, and most people liked it. All good.
A year later and Rogue One comes out - the first in Disney's "anthology" films, set between Episodes III and IV - and was met with very positive reviews, a billion-dollar box office...and some very strong criticisms. If the main critique with The Force Awakens was its unoriginal story, Rogue One's overriding problem seemed to be the characters and the over-stuffed narrative. Seriously, I didn't originally want to start voicing my own opinion so early on, but Rogue One could easily be a good half-hour shorter at least, with some of the unnecessary padding cut out. But, alas, check out my review of the film if you want to know my full thoughts on it. No one d…