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QUICK REVIEW: Blood and Water Season 1

Howdy ladies and gents, I’m back with my first TV for a while in the form of Blood and Water. Now I can’t recall how I found out about this show, I think it may have been due to Simu Liu’s involvement. Whatever the case is, I added to my watch list on Amazon Video recently due to the intriguing premise and as someone who has been residing in Canada over the past year, I wanted to check out more of their original material. So I finished the first season yesterday morning and felt compelled to talk about it as there doesn’t seem to be many reviews about it online.

The plot can be summed up as the following:

“When Charlie Xie, son of billionaire real estate developer Li-Rong Xie, is found murdered, Police Detective Josephine Bradley is brought in to investigate, despite having just been diagnosed with cancer.”

So the story was pretty good and more engaging than I expected. Now I have seen a fair amount of crime dramas and at first, this show was hitting a lot of familiar beats, but after a while, it finds its groove and I was compelled to see how the story progressed especially in the latter half of the season. The major themes revolve around family, legacy, secrets and lies, and uncovering the truth. At first, things play out in a usual fashion, but as we dive deeper into the Xie family drama and secrets and the personal issues that Det. Bradley, my interest kept rising with each episode leaving me wanting more. I think part of that was due to the runtime. Each episode clocks in at around 23 minutes which is 20 minutes less than your standard American show, and with this season being 8 episodes long, it moves at a swift pace, yet feels like it has the appropriate amount of time to tell its story. Also due to the majority of the characters being Chinese, there are more where the characters flow between talking English and their native languages of Cantonese and Mandarin. It is very rare for shows that involve other races to highlight their culture beyond just surface-level material, but this felt like it went deeper by incorporating family relationships, mythology and especially the language into the story in a way that felt realistic and respectable. The presentation is also solid. Visually the show is shot well and has a moody atmosphere highlighted by low lighting and a muted colour palette. And since the show is set in Vancouver it was fun recognising certain exterior locations as well. The music was fine, but one thing I didn’t like was the opening music, it’s just a complete downer and doesn’t have a unique or memorable sound to it.

Moving onto the cast, they were all really good in their roles and only got better as the season continues. Firstly there’s police detective Josephine Bradley played by Steph Song who handles her role very well with subtly. Bradley’s tough, stubborn and doesn’t always play by the rules, but she’s passionate about her job and only wants to help. Charlie Xie played by Osric Chau mainly shows up in flashbacks, but I enjoyed Chau’s performance and his screen time with his family. Loretta Yu also does a good job as Charlie’s widow, Teresa. She had a troubled history with drugs and due to her relationship with Charlie, it puts her at odds with his family. Charlie’s father, Li-Rong ‘Ron’ Xie is played very well by Oscar Hsu. Ron is a man who is prideful and while he cares for his family, he’s a tough and cold businessman who is concerned with his public image. Fiona Fu as Weiran Xie, the matriarch of the Xie family, she carries herself with dignity and while she’s reserved, she can also be ardent and not afraid to speak her mind. Elfina Luk is also quite good as Anna, Charlie’s sister who is the most level-headed of the family and the closest to her deceased brother. And then there’s Simu Liu as Charlie’s brother Paul. He was my favourite. Paul, like his sister, is pretty well-headed and calm, but he holds a lot of pain and secrets which comes to light as the story progresses. By the end of the season, his character was the most captivating character and Liu’s performance was fantastic. I can see why Marvel picked him up for Shang Chi. And finally, Peter Outerbridge was decent as detective Al Gorski, Bradley’s seasoned partner who doesn’t always agree with her but also offers advice.

 In conclusion, Blood and Water season 1 was different than I expected and took a little while to get going, but when it worked it was pretty engaging and overall I enjoyed it. I would recommend it.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2020 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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End of Year Review 2019

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Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to my annual End of Year Review where I look back on the year and highlight certain things that were interesting to me. In my eyes, 2019 has been a year that’s been both fun and dull at the same time. There’s been some stuff that’s worth celebrating and some worth forgetting. So as per usual, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. So without further ado let’s begin.

Video Games

2019 has been a good year for gaming, amidst all the controversy and BS from certain developers and publishers, we’ve had a solid set of games from AAA to indies. And while there haven’t been as many standout games as previous years, it has been more consistent than last year for sure for all console platforms.

Alas, I haven’t played nearly as many new games as I would have liked. Since I had to leave my PS4 with my sister back home I’ve primarily been playing on my Nintendo Switch which has served me well for the most part. But due to timing, lack of funds and no PS4, I missed out on a ton of games this year which makes me sad. So no Resident Evil 2 Remake, no Devil May Cry 5, no Jedi Fallen Order, no Fire Emblem, no Astral Chain, no Super Mario Maker 2 and so on. I briefly got to play Kingdom Hearts 3 when I went home in the summer but not enough to have a proper opinion on it. So I ended up playing some older games like the wonderful Celeste, the fun yet tricky Valkyria Chronicles and of course Smash Ultimate with all those awesome DLC characters which were fun especially with Piranha Plant, Joker and Terry.

So what new games did I purchase this year? Well, I did get to play Blaster Master Zero 2. Now I know the first game was largely ignored during the early days of Switch since everyone was playing Breath of the Wild, but I really enjoyed the original with the additional DLC characters as well. But the sequel just did so much more by refining the controls, giving you new ways to attack enemies, adding more exploration and new planets and the presentation was really good too. I also had a lot of fun with Tetris 99, that game came out of nowhere and became one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a while. Sure it’s essentially a battle royale against 98 other players, but man when you’re in the thick of it competing and making crazy comebacks when other players are trying to take you out. There’s no better feeling. There’s a rush, sense of danger and satisfaction that comes from this style of gameplay. And then there’s Untitled Goose Game, the game that blew up 2019. This game is worth playing just for the funny, foolish, bizarre and chaotic things you can unleash on people as a goose. And while the initial charm did wear off for me after the first few hours, it’s still a fun game to mess with just to see what you can get up to. And finally, there’s Dragon Quest Builders 2, while I didn’t play the full game, I played both demos collectively close to 10 hours and man that game is just as addictive as ever and I really need to get the full game to get lost in it. 😀

Top 10 Games

  1. Blaster Master Zero 2
  2. Tetris 99
  3. Untitled Goose Game

Films

 

 

When it comes to films I would say that even though there were plenty of solid films, this year felt a little lacking compared to previous years (feel like I’ve been saying that every year since 2010 or 2011 haha). That being said there was plenty to enjoy, but there was also a lot of trash, most of which I avoided haha. I saw as many as I could though it was really tough to get out between October to December.

Top 10 Films of 2019

  1. Parasite
  2. Avengers: Endgame
  3. One Piece Stampede
  4. Ip Man 4
  5. How to Train Your Dragon 3
  6. Ford v Ferrari
  7. Doctor Sleep
  8. El Camino
  9. John Wick Chapter 3
  10. Knives Out

I’m sure I’m gonna get shit for my list missing a number of the critically acclaimed films of this year but I’ve only gotten to see a certain amount of films in the last couple months, plus films like Joker and The Irishman, I enjoyed for sure, but they didn’t do it for me like ones listed above.

For me, Parasite was just the best and such a lovely surprise. I’d heard rumblings about how good it was through certain areas of the internet and on numerous occasions its over-hyped BS. But Parasite was a unique, hilarious and unexpected film with twists and turns in many forms. Beyond that I just had a blast with Avengers: Endgame, as it was just an event-based film that wrapped up everything pretty well despite some minor, nitpicks here and there. Talking of event-based films, One Piece Stampede was a session and a half featuring some of the best references, character interaction, action, art and animation and humour the series has seen so far.

While I didn’t love Knives Out as much as everyone else did, it was a really well-made film with a terrific cast and a plot full of humour and neat twists and turns. Ford v Ferrari was better than I expected with great performances from the two leads and Doctor Sleep, a film not on my radar ended up being way more captivating than I expected with great performances, a good story and good references to The Shining.

Also, John Wick 3 was hella fun, just cool hand to hand combat and the expanding nature of that world continues to entertain me. How To Train Your Dragon 3 was a beautiful end to the trilogy, while El Camino was an intense and dramatic continuation for Jesse Pinkman following the events of Breaking Bad and finally Dolemite is My Name was really funny, engaging and it was great to see Eddie Murphy back on top form again.

Honourable Mentions

  • Joker
  • Dolemite is My Name
  • The Irishman
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Promare

Television

With TV there’s been SO many to keep track of this year that keeping up with them all is impossible. There are many I’ve yet to watch or finish like Watchmen, Jack Ryan, Succession, Good Omens, Bojack Horseman, Swamp Thing, all the CW shows and so on. But luckily I’ve got to see some really fun, familiar, new, exciting and crazy stuff this year that’s kept things interesting. I also want to say thank god for the streaming services, now I know there’s too many of them emerging left, right and center, but I love them because their episode counts are much smaller and easier to manage and/or binge. So I’ve found myself really enjoying the new and returning stuff on Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.

Top 10 TV

  1. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
  2. The Mandalorian Season 1
  3. Stranger Things Season 3
  4. The Boys Season 1
  5. Love, Death & Robots
  6. Lucifer Season 4
  7. The Witcher Season 1
  8. Umbrella Academy Season 1
  9. Big Mouth Season 3
  10. South Park Season 23

I’ve really enjoyed returning TV shows like Lucifer season 4 which was so fun and emotional, the third season of Stranger Things had some really interesting, dark and crazy stuff going down and Big Mouth‘s third season continued to be crude, weird, funny and true to life. And South Park‘s 23rd season was alright, but it certainly had its fun moments. With new TV stuff I had so much fun with Umbrella Academy‘s first season, The Boys on Amazon was one of the craziest rollercoasters I’ve ever been on with so much immoral, dark, hilarious and engaging stuff and Love, Death & Robots was one of the most strange, intriguing, beautiful, violent and visually unique things I’ve ever seen. And even though I’m a couple episodes away from finishing The Witcher, I’ve enjoyed that show ever much for its world, mythology, gritty and dirty look, catchy music and the beautiful Henry Cavill. 😀

And as much as I LOVE The Mandalorian for its story, characters, references and amazing music, The Dark Crystal show was incredible and has to take the top spot. I thought it would be good, but it was far better than I or anyone else could have expected. The way it expanded upon the original film with new characters, mythology and references were very impressive. The presentation was brilliant with awesome practical effects and a wonderful voice cast and I only gush about this show because barely anyone watched it and I want people to check it out damn it!

 

Music

With music, I have barely listened to any new music from this year. I have mainly been going back in time to check out music in the ’80s or going through the discographies of artists I know or have discovered over the course of the year. That being said there has been some 2019 music I wanted to highlight. Friendly Fires finally came out of hiding and released their new album, Inflorescent and I really liked it, was a very feel-good and dancy kind of sound (which I will review on here at some point). Also, SG Lewis, who is one of my favourite artists of the last 3 years I got to see twice in London and Vancouver and even got to meet him which was the best thing ever! I also got to see Jamiroquai live for the third time and they were amazing and I even made some new mates in the process!

But my favourite music from this year comes from the brilliant Ludwig Göransson, his work on The Mandalorian had been nothing short of amazing. From the first episode, he created new, enchanting, hopeful, dramatic and new sounds for us to experience in the Star Wars universe. And it all starts with that theme song… It’s SO GOOD! For me its the best and most recognisable piece of music that Star Wars has had since the Prequel Trilogy, yeah I said it and I’m not afraid. 😀

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – The Mandalorian
  2. Coldplay – Orphans
  3. Friendly Fires – Silhouettes
  4. SG Lewis – Blue

My Experience

2019 has been one hell of a ride for me, full of all sorts of adventures, life-changing experiences and lessons. It’s honestly been one of the best years of my life and yet there’s also been a fair bit of struggle. I know I left this blog pretty vacant over the course of this year as I focused on my podcast and went off and tried new things, but hopefully, I’ll have a better focus on it next year as I still have numerous things I would like to share on here. 🙂

So this year I did numerous things but I’ll highlight the main stuff below:

  • I moved to Canada
  • Slowly got back into exercising
  • Went to Bulgaria and met some homies in real life for the first time
  • Experienced my first conventions outside of the UK in Vancouver and Seattle
  • I started networking and collaborating with some people on personal projects
  • I volunteered at a film festival and made some new mates
  • Really got into the groove with my artwork

I’ve just been in an extremely good mood trying new food, going to new places, going to events I’ve never tried and forging new connections with wonderful people. At the same time, I’ve dealt with some depression, a little loneliness, had to deal with some questionable individuals and confront some of my many faults that’s caused me problems this year. But I’ve also learnt a lot and I believe I’ll be much better and focused in the future.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2019 has honestly been one of the best years of my life and while it wasn’t a perfect year and there were some downs, I’ve just learnt so much and been grinning almost all the time so the pros definitely have outweighed the cons for sure. So 2019, its been fun but you can go away now and let’s say hello to 2020!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2019? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2020. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2019 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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Looking Back On Lucifer Seasons 1-3

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? With Lucifer returning via the power of Netflix on May 8th last week, I decided to rewatch the whole show again from season 1 in anticipation for season 4. In addition to that, I have also thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the show as a whole over the last few years, going through it season by season talking about the pros and cons, best episodes and how it has evolved to where we are now. Alas, I couldn’t get this post out on time because of a busy week, but hey, better late than never right? Also mild spoilers ahead!

Ah Lucifer, what a great TV show. If you had told me back in 2016 when I reviewed the pilot episode that this show would become one of my favourites, I would have said “Really? That’s unlikely.” However, the show has only improved from season to season with a great sense of momentum, interesting stories, great humour and drama and a cast of characters with really great dynamics and engaging scenarios. So now I will attempt to condense my thoughts on each season and try to tell you why this show is worth watching.

But firstly what is Lucifer about? Well Lucifer Morningstar is essentially the devil, he used to be in hell but besides to go to Earth to hang around with humans to have some fun which involves normally involves parties, women, sex and using his powers of persuasion/revealing people’s hidden desires to get his way. Along the way, he gets involved with detective Chloe Decker and after they solve their first crime together, Lucifer decides to tag along with Decker to experience new and exciting adventures. And what follows is a police procedural drama with some supernational elements on the side, and we have your standard “case of the week” in each episode, there are character-focused story elements that continue throughout each season.

Season 1

The great thing about Lucifer is that it starts out fairly strong and lays down the foundation for some really intriguing material to come down the line. The pilot establishes all of the core elements that the show would be loved by fans in the future. This first season is not only about Lucifer’s experiencing change not only his personality but also his mortality, but it is also about Decker trying to understand who/what Lucifer is and coming to terms with him becoming a part of her life. Each episode presents something new, fun and exciting to watch mainly thanks to Lucifer’s crazy antics and the scenarios he and Decker get into which helps elevate the standard police drama material.

Character-wise, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) is impulsive, tactical and manipulative, suave and hilarious, but he is also a bit of an idiot and sometimes he can cause trouble without being aware of it. Decker (Lauren German) is a by-the-book detective is cares a lot about her job and family, and while she can be a little too serious, she’s tenacious and good at her job. Dan (Kevin Alejandro) is Decker’s ex-husband and while he’s not always got his priorities in the right place, he’s a good guy, cares for his family and is also a source of humour on occasion. Amenadiel  (D. B. Woodside), Lucifer’s brother is confident, self-righteous and very serious about his commitment to god and following his father’s wishes especially when it comes to Lucifer’s behaviour on earth. Dr. Linda Martin (Rachael Harris) is Lucifer’s therapist who helps to understand his emotions and she has some great interactions with Lucifer over the season. Also, there’s Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), Lucifer’s long-term ally and follower from Hell who enjoys certain aspects of human life but longs to return to hell and has her concerns about Lucifer’s behaviour. And finally, there’s Trixie, Decker and Dan’s child who is super cute and has some fun moments in the show.

Favourite Episodes:

  • Pilot
  • Lucifer Stay. Good Devil
  • Sweet Kicks
  • Favourite Son
  • Wingman
  • A Priest Walks Into a Bar (favourite)
  • Pops
  • St. Lucifer

Season 2

Season 2 takes what worked in the last and magnifies it by 10. I enjoyed how this season was consistent with the last, but created new and interesting scenarios for our established characters. Relationships are tested, new dynamics are formed and struggle is real on an individual level especially for Lucifer, Chloe, Amenadiel, Maze and Linda. This season deals with the introduction of Lucifer’s mother, the ongoing issues related to Lucifer and his relationship with God and more complicated supernatural elements that present new levels of danger for everyone involved. A lot transpires during the season with short and long-term plot points, but for the most part, I found it incredibly fun, hilarious, engaging and helps enhance all of the characters.

I also really enjoyed the new storyline involving Lucifer’s mother, learning about her and the relationship she has with Lucifer and Amendadiel, and the extra background details we learn about Lucifer’s family history. Lucifer grows in this season and though he can still brash and thoughtless, he certainly learns a lot. I also loved seeing the Lucifer and Decker’s relationship develop beyond just being friends to being romantic, seeing Maze and Decker become roommates was a great new change and Linda had a lot of really great moments having great interactions with all of the main cast too. This season also introduced two new characters who would become series staples; Ella (Aimee Garcia) and Charlotte/Lucifer’s mother (Tricia Helfer). Ella is delightful, bubbly, cute, sometimes strange and surprising with her extra skills and history outside of forensic scientist. As for Charlotte/Lucifer’s mother, she’s an intriguing one. On the one hand, her lack of awareness when it comes to human rules leads to some hilarious situations, on the other, she is crafty, deceptive, manipulative and determined. And while she has a twisted sense of logic, she is a caring mother who will do whatever it takes for her children.

There are so much more character and story elements I could mention, but to summarize this is my favourite season just because almost all of the episodes I love because they’re fun, they all have a purpose (for the most part) and engage me on a new level.

Favourite Episodes:

  • Lady Parts (favourite)
  • Weaponizer
  • Monster
  • Homewrecker
  • Quid Pro Ho
  • Stewardess Interruptus
  • Love Handles
  • A Good Day to Die (favourite)
  • Candy Morningstar
  • God Johnson
  • Sympathy for the Goddess
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Crispy

Season 3

This new season introduces Lieutenant Marcus Pierce/Cain (Tom Welling) into the mix with his own demons to take care, but also introduced is the most controversial element of the show so far in the form of the awkward love triangle between Lucifer, Decker and Cain. As much as I and other fans want to see Lucifer and Decker be together, the show seems content with the tiresome trope, “will they or won’t they?’ It’s like the show teases their potential relationship far too frequently that it gets tedious. And that compounded by the Decker and Pierce situation. The two of them have no natural chemistry and besides Ella’s initial speculation, we’re given no reason to believe they’re going to hook up. But because of some arbitrary story purposes, Decker and Lucifer’s relationship deteriorates after so much progress and Pierce and Decker are forced upon us instead. And I wouldn’t mind if they were friends who built to something romantic, but it goes from nothing to something in a few episodes. And watching Lucifer strut and stumble through this season was equally entertaining and frustrating. I know Lucifer is Lucifer and he’s supposed to learn lessons in each episode, however, to see him continuously oblivious to his stupid and obvious mistakes, it was painful and showed how little he’d learnt.

Beyond that, this show still has a lot of great elements. It’s still super fun, hilarious and the dramatic material works well too. Like last season we see the exploration of our characters and some changes to the regular dynamics we’re used to seeing. The return of Charlotte Richards in her original form leads to some interesting material when it comes to her interactions with the cast and the past that she can’t remember. There’s also some good stuff for Dan to get into and this season sees a lot of great development and depth for Maze. Linda and Amenadiel had some interesting stuff to go through together and individually, and seeing more of Ella always makes me happy as well.

In the end, despite a lot of frustration and some stories that didn’t feel as essential as the previous season, when this season works, it works well and officially ended in a really intriguing. Plus the final two episodes had some fun and unique aspects that made them worth watching for sure.

Favourite Episodes:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith (favourite)
  • What Would Lucifer Do?
  • Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards
  • Vegas With Some Radish (favourite)
  • Off The Record (favourite)
  • The Sinnerman
  • Let Pinhead Sing!
  • Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better
  • All Hands on Decker
  • Quintessential Deckerstar
  • A Devil of My Word (favourite)
  • Boo Normal

In conclusion, Lucifer has secretly come along and become one of my favourite shows to watch in the last few years thanks to its amazing cast of memorable and engaging characters, the interesting stories and world building and cool balance between humour and drama. While rewatching this show it has certainly become apparent to me how similar this show is to Castle with the story and character dynamic between Lucifer and Decker quite similar to Castle and Beckett, but I guess that’s why I like it, and despite the similarities, I still enjoy this show for its unique elements. And while the show has some issues when it comes to a bit of repetition and some story shortcomings in season 3, it is a show I love a lot and I can’t wait to see what’s going on with season 4! 😀

Thank you for reading and if you’ve seen Lucifer share your thoughts on it in the comments section below, and I’ll see you soon with my review for season 4, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2019 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Love, Death & Robots

Good day to you ladies and gents, and welcome to the first TV review I’ve done for ages in the form of Love, Death & Robots. I knew after I saw the first trailers for it last month that I’d have to give a watch, and after finishing it yesterday I felt compelled to share my thoughts online. So today I will be sharing my spoiler-free thoughts about this experimental show.

So what’s the show about? Well, it is essentially an 18 episode anthology series full of short stories that vary in tone, length, structure and presentation and relate to love, death and of course robots. The first great thing about the show is its length, these days with so many shows trying to compete for your time and some us (especially adults), don’t have the time to invest in a lot of them not only because of the episode duration but also the number of episodes/seasons as well. Love, Death & Robots is not only 18 episodes, but their duration varies from only 7 to 17 minutes, so getting through the whole thing isn’t too difficult. The issue with that comes with certain episodes feeling like they needed more time to flesh certain elements out or that they end abruptly.

As for the stories themselves, they all vary in quality. Some can be very intense, thought-provoking, disturbing, visceral and magical, other times it can be quite silly, strange, funny, casual and/or pointless. I found my engagement fluctuating from being super invested to disinterested. Some of the episodes felt like they established a whole with rules, mythology and characters you could invest in and wanted to see more of, while others felt like good ideas that needed more fleshing out. Your investment will depend on personal preference and while each episode is worth working, only around half of the 18 episodes left a major impression on me which I shall highlight below.

Favourite episodes:

  • Sonnie’s Edge
  • The Witness
  • Suits
  • Beyond the Aquila (really good)
  • Good Hunting (really good)
  • Shape-Shifters (really good)
  • Helping Hand (really good)
  • Fish Night
  • Zima Blue (best episode)

The performances from the various cast members including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Topher Grace, Gary Cole, Samira Wiley and Stefan Kapičić, are mostly good with some standing out more so than others, however, some voice performances were a little questionable when it came to doing certain accents.

The main draw for this show is its visual presentation which is all sorts of delicious! Now that may be a bit of an overstatement considering that I’m an illustrator and aspiring animator, so naturally, I gravitate towards those elements. But seriously this is some of the most visually striking and impressive material I have seen put into a TV format. The various studios that worked on the show have crafted visuals that utilise live-action footage, CGI, 2D and 3D animation and rotoscoping, and the way some of these styles are used individually or together is nothing short of amazing. I love the level of realism implemented in the 3D material, while some of the unique art direction for the 2D material was beautiful, some episodes had very vivid and beautiful colour schemes and others had incredible camera work with cinematography equal to a really high-quality video game or Hollywood film.

So to conclude, Love, Death & Robots is a fascinating, intriguing and unique TV experience that needs to be seen. While not all of the stories are compelling and some of the stories, subject matter and violence will turn certain audiences off, I feel like I had a good time with the show I would recommend it purely for the visuals alone as that is the show’s strongest element.

So have Love, Death & Robots and if so what do you think of it? I’m very curious to hear your thoughts, especially from any female viewers considering some of the online articles that have been brought up the way some of the women have been treated in the show. Leave your thoughts in the comment below and until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2019 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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End of Year Review 2018

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Good day to you ladies and gents, so 2018 has come to an end and it is once again time for my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! Now I think the year has been pretty good all things considered, I’ve had an interesting rollercoaster of highs and lows, but the pros have definitely outweighed the cons. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2018 was a great year for gaming and looking back on everything that was released this year and comparing it to last year, it really is hard to say which year had the better selection of games to play. The games industry has had a lot of dodgy and questionable stuff going on with the ongoing issues related to gambling and microtransactions to the poor PlayStation Classic to Nintendo’s bad online service to Metal Gear Survive to Bethesda and the never-ending dramas of Fallout 76. But I will say that my overall gaming experiences were better last year because I played a lot more, however, the 2018 games that I did will stay with me for a good while. This year I finally gave into the hype and tried out Fortnight and I dabbled for a little while and gave up because I just wasn’t into it haha. I also restarted Zelda: Breath of the Wild and got lost in that world again and good god that game is SO much fun, the exploration and traversal just put me in a good mood especially when you end up playing for a good few hours. Another game  I also bought Rocket League and discovered the joys and frustrations that come with that game, I also played a fair amount of Fallout Shelter and discovered the addictive nature that comes with micromanagement and expansion, and Pokemon Quest was another one of those games that ended up getting way more of my attention than I expected, like 10 plus! 😛 But here’s my top 4 games:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Spider-Man PS4
  3. Sonic Mania Plus
  4. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu
  5. Dragon Ball FighterZ

Oh look Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is my game of the year, who would have guessed? Haha! 😛 But in all seriousness Smash is my everything, it is my favourite gaming franchise and after the E3 reveal I was all in and the game is pretty much everything I wanted. The game mechanics are as fun as ever, the music selection is AMAZING, the amount of characters to mess with is fabulous and World of Light and Classic Mode are very unique and lengthy, though the former gets a little tedious after a while and the CPU difficulty is a hell of a lot harder than before. When it comes to Spider-Man I think it would have been my game of the year if Smash hadn’t come out, I REALLY had a great time playing that game and I’m still annoyed I never reviewed it back in September. The game is best Spidey game so far with its incredible web-slinging and overall movement, the versatile combat, wonderful selection of suits and a story that takes so many wonderful aspects of Spidey’s source material and adaptations and crafts its own unique and beautiful story that’s up there will the best of the Spidey material. Thanks to the Plus DLC, I ended up revisiting Sonic Mania and fell in love again. And while I still haven’t played Encore mode yet to my shame, I did love messing around with Ray and Mighty’s new game mechanics. As for Pokemon Let’s Go I was surprised by how captivated I was for the first few days. After seeing some of the videos and positive word of mouth around the game when it released I caved in and bought the game. I loved the nostalgic feelings the game gave me from seeing the enhanced visuals to the wonderful soundtrack, and on top of that, the seeing Pokemon in the overworld was cool and the new catching mechanics being easy to do for the most part. Alas, the changes to some of the core mechanics of battling and level grinding and a lack of features from later generations meant that my engagement waned. And finally Dragon Ball FighterZ I only played for a little while but it left a really good impression on me, while I wasn’t very good at it due to its technical aspects similar to the Marvel Vs. Capcom games, but I loved the visuals, the attempt at a story mode and attention to detail when it comes to the voice acting and specific finishing attacks.

Films

For me, 2018 was a good time for films and while I didn’t watch as many films as last year, I feel like I saw most of the films that I wanted/needed to. I had a lot of fun, interesting and surprising experiences in the cinema this year but definitely tried to watch more films at home. Also for those who aren’t aware, I’m only counting films released in 2018, films originally released in 2017 that got a UK release this year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2018:

Top 11 Films of 2018

  1. Searching
  2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Annihilation
  6. Crazy Rich Asians
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. Bumblebee
  9. Whitney
  10. Widows
  11. A Silent Place

Honourable Mentions

  • Bird Box 
  • Incredibles 2
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Overlord
  • Creed 2
  • Sorry To Bother You
  • Blackkklasman
  • First Man
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Ready Player One

Top 4 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2018

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  2. The Predator
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Den of Thieves

Top 5 Surprising Films of 2018

  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • A Star Is Born
  • Bumblebee
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Deadpool 2

Television

Man, my TV viewing experience for 2018 was a far cry from last year and it’s not because I’m getting bored or not interested in what’s available and more to do with the fact that I just haven’t had the bloody time to watch everything like I used to haha. 😛 That being said I was able to check out a good few shows here and there and I will say that most of them were worth watching. From finishing the super fun Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super to enjoying the second season of The Tick to really liking the direction of the first half of season 3 of Into the Badlands (which I hope comes back at some point). When it comes to new shows I liked Disenchantment with its weird sense of humour, world and ongoing storyline, I also liked Altered Carbon for its visual design, an interesting cast, and on Amazon, you had Jack Ryan which was quite captivating with its plot, cast and the concise number of episodes. Daredevil season 3 and Bojack Horseman season 5 have been my favourite TV from this year giving just wanted while also providing me with content I didn’t know that I’d love as well. And finally Lucifer‘s season 3 got really good towards the end, and for a little while my show was cancelled, but then Netflix gave us a miracle and picked it up for season 4, sweet!

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Daredevil (season 3)
  2. Bojack Horseman (season 5)
  3. Altered Carbon (season 1)
  4. Lucifer (season 3)
  5. Jack Ryan (season 1)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 3)
  7. The Tick (season 2)
  8. Disenchantment (season 1)

Music

In 2018 I wasn’t as overly fussed about music as much as last year, there wasn’t much new music that caught my ears, however, there have a been a few new songs that have caught my ears from new and established artists which have made my year quite enjoyable. Interestingly enough a lot my favourite music hasn’t been from mainstream radio but more so from films in the cinema and other places. There have been a good few films with nice film scores from Avengers: Infinity War to Solo to Annihilation to Incredibles 2 and son. But it’s Ludwig Göransson’s score for Black Panther that I’ve remembered with “Wakanda” being my absolute favourite! Firstly there’s the return of Justin Timberlake with his Man of the Woods which was a nice album with a good variety of tracks and a catchy first single with “Filthy“. I’ve also been continuing to listen to SG Lewis and his EP, Dusk has been one of my favourite listening experiences this year with “Aura” being one of my favourite songs of the year. AFI came back with The Missing Man and I really liked that EP especially with the songs “Get Dark” and “Trash Bat“. Also, there’s the Eurovision Song Contest, I haven’t followed this event since 2010 or 2011, but this year had a good number of really good songs, but my favourite was “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso, that song was SO catchy! And finally there’s Tee Lopes, crafter of the brilliant Sonic Mania soundtrack who released his debut album Youinverse which is wonderful, but my favourite song is awesome “Gray City Day“.

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – Wakanda
  2. SG Lewis – Aura
  3. Justin Timberlake – Filthy
  4. AFI – Get Dark
  5. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
  6. Tee Lopes – Gray City Day

My Experience

All things considered, 2018 was a pretty decent year and in a lot of ways has been my best year in quite some time just because, looking back on the year as a whole, I dealt with a fair amount of bullshit, but it wasn’t nearly as troublesome or time-consuming as previous years. As for the stuff I got up to, there weren’t as many crazy adventures but I did have some fun here and there and experienced some things for the first time. Firstly there was my trip to the MCM London Expo with my best friend for our 10 year anniversary since we went in 2008, I also gave blood for the first time after talking about doing it for around 5 years haha, I also attended my first hen do and first baby shower which were surreal and delightful experiences. And I also did my annual volunteering for the 5th year and it was just as fun as ever. But on top of that, I feel like I’ve started to find my creative side again with all the drawing and animation stuff I’ve been doing which has been way more than previous years. Plus my mental state of mind I think has gotten to a place where I’m stable and can live with myself and have a good outlook on life which has been great especially in the last few months.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world, too much to mention, from the ongoing fears and dramas surrounding Brexit to Theresa May and her weir “dancing skills” to the absurd amount of memes we went through from Ugandan Knuckles to Bowsette to the recent Bird Box film. And then there was the death of certain celebrities this year as well, but the main two that hurt me the most was the passing of Jon Schnepp and Stan Lee. Schnepp has been one of my favourite people to watch on AMC and then Collider because he was such a passionate nerd and taught me so much, also her Superman documentary was great and even met him 2015. So his passing just sucked. But then there was Stan Lee’s passing, that felt so surreal and unnatural. I always thought the guy would live forever and it still feels weird to talk about him in the past tense, but I sort of knew he would pass on at some point but I was not prepared at all. I am forever grateful for not only being able to meet him but for all of his creations that made me the person I am today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this year was a good time, had some good and bad experiences, learnt some life lessons and yeah I don’t have nearly as much to complain about which can only be a good thing right? Well 2018, its been fun but its time to say goodbye, and hello to 2019 because it will be a year of big changes for me which I can’t wait to share in due time. 🙂

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2019. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #41

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 41, and after watching a few shows recently I have felt inspired to once again share my thoughts on them online. So today I once again be talking about Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, but I will also be talking about DisenchantmentTom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Bojack Horseman. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Eps 13-25)

Ah, Gundam Wing, after watching those first 12 episodes I was all in on this show, but as the show went on it changed, evolved and then became something more complex than I expect. Seeing the 5 main Gundam pilots go on their own adventures on Earth, unfortunately lose their robots and eventually travel into space to the colonies and continue their mission was fascinating because of how it affects them mentally and emotionally. I thought it was pretty intriguing and surprising to see how the Gundams were this unstoppable force, but as OZ made their advancements in mobile suits technology and had the larger numbers in the army, they were able to take out the heroes and so it really looked like the bad take over especially with how they convinced the colonies that the Gundams were bad and that OZ’s military force was for security purposes. I loved seeing more of the designers behind the Gundams, those dudes were cool, and Lady Une, someone I absolutely hated at first, she ended up being one of the most engaging characters because of her split personality and seeing more of Relena and Zechs was cool especially after Relena learns of her relation to her brother. And though I love Heero, it was really cool to see more of Trowa, his journey was probably the more interesting a varied of the pilots, but Quarte, that dude had one hell of a journey, losing the plot and becoming disillusioned to the mission and going on this crazy hunt to destroy the colonies, that was intense. After finishing episode 25 it definitely felt like the end of an era within this show and it was transitioning into something different with the state of the government, OZ and their military powers, the new Gundams and the state of the original Gundam pilots. I’m still very much invested in this show even if some of the storylines aren’t as consistently interesting as others.

Disenchantment (Season 1)

I remember hearing about this show for the first time back in the summer and then seeing the first trailer just after Comic-Con at thought it was a strange and new direction for Matt Groening considering the setting and characters, but I was curious to see how it turned out. And the initial reactions after the show dropped were mixed to lukewarm to what I’d seen briefly online so I expected the worst, but after the first episode, I was totally on board. I watched the first few episodes in random patches and on finished the last 3 episodes in the last week. So after watching all 10 episodes, I can say that I enjoyed Disenchantment, it certainly has its flaws, but I when it worked I was entertained, I laughed and it was mainly engaged thanks to the characters. I really liked the world, its strange and interesting rules and law, and the humourous approach to most things that shouldn’t be funny like death. The humour doesn’t always land, but when it did I laughed mainly due to the stupidity or absurdity of what happens to characters with well-timed physical or verbal jokes. I love the theme song, I hummed it every time it came on after the first episode haha. But it is the characters that really make the show work, Bean, Luci and Elfo are an interesting bunch of individuals who work really well as a group with their banter and chemistry, I cared about them not only because they made me laugh, but because I liked what they did and how they grew as people especially towards the end of the show (well not so much Luci). I liked how the show felt episode but had continuity over the course of the season, it was surprising to learn where the story was ultimately going, learning of certain mysteries and revelations and having certain plot points from the start of the season finally have pay-off towards the end. And while I appreciated the more heartfelt approach to the show towards the end, at the same time I didn’t feel as emotionally invested as I think show wanted me to be and was surprised that story ended the way it, not in a bad way but just not in an overly satisfying way. But in the end, I enjoyed the show and will watch another season. 🙂

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Season 1)

So this show wasn’t really on my radar, I mean I was certainly curious about it from a distance because it was another Jack Ryan adaptation and I was curious to see if it would fair better than the 2012 film Shadow Recruit with Chris Pine. But last week I had some free time and my mum and I just binged the show over two sessions, and you know what it was some good tv. I’m not overly into political thrillers just because sometimes they can be complex, layered and hard to follow and politics just never holds my interest in films (with a handful of exceptions to the rule). But this show was pretty clear in terms of what it was, how it progressed and concluded. I also enjoyed the cast especially John Krasinski as Jack Ryan, he was heroic, but also impulsive and didn’t always have the right solution for every situation and Wendell Pierce as James Greer was awesome as Ryan’s boss, he’s a bit of a hard-ass, but as the show progresses we learn more about him and he eventually chills out a little bit. I also loved the relationship between Ryan and Greer, they’re normally at odds with each other because of their different tactics but I liked seeing their relationship evolve. Abbie Cornish was also good as Cathy Mueller, and Dina Shihabi was very impressive as Hanin Ali, Suleiman’s wife. And finally, there’s Ali Suliman as Mousa Bin Suleiman, he was really intimidating and quietly intense as an Islamic terrorist and because we learn of his backstory and attachment he is to his family, he ended up being a captivating villain. I also enjoyed how the show didn’t just focus on the Jack Ryan’s perspective, but also on the main villain Suleiman and his motivations so you could understand why he does what he does. One of the best aspects of the show beyond the performances was the rising tension and escalation of danger and chaos, once certain situations start to play out the show just ramps up and never stops moving and that sense of urgency was very engaging and addictive. In a way I thought the overall plot could/would have carried over into season 2, but it was nicely wrapped up over the 8 episodes.

Bojack Horseman (Season 5)

Last year Bojack Horseman became one of my favourite TV shows in recent years because of its dramatic, uncomfortable, yet engaging and humourous content, and after the emotional rollercoaster that was season 4, I was totally ready for the next season. And season 5 has been one hell of a journey, building upon the foundations of previous seasons and presenting new and familiar characters and scenarios resulting in very engaging TV which was very hard to watch at times. While this season didn’t have the same emotional gut punch of season 4, it did have plenty of really insightful, poignant and agonizing moments that remind me of not only how incredible the show is thanks to all the writers, but also how much these stories and flawed characters remind me of real life. It was interesting to see Bojack and the rest of the cast end up making this TV show, and how their stories progressed on and off of the film set through non-linear storytelling, trips out of town, flashbacks and episodes that blurred the lines between fiction and reality. All of it was handled in creative, raw and hilarious ways. I found myself shouting at my laptop in disbelief at some of the stuff that happened on-screen and at several points I just had to stop and take in what happened because some of the issues the show tackles is deep and thought-provoking. .Also, the show’s funny, I’ve never found the show to be super hilarious, but this season may have some of my favourite laughs of the show so far with some of the one-liners and physical humour.

As for the cast is incredible, Will Arnett (Bojack), Amy Sedaris (Princess Carolyn), Alison Brie (Diane), Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Peanutbutter) and Aaron Paul (Todd) deliver some of their best material to date alongside some great supporting and new cast members. I love learning more about Princess Carolyn’s past, seeing what Diane was up to and how she’s dealing with her own drama and the ever surprising and crazy life of Todd has never been funnier. Also shout outs to Rami Malek as Flip McVicker, Stephanie Beatriz as Gina, Issa Rae as Dr. Indira and Wanda Sykes as Mary BethBut. But now I wanted to focus Bojack specifically, he’s someone I really disliked in season 1, but later on I grew to cheer for him, for as shitty as he was and all the horrible things he’d gotten up to over the seasons, I could relate to his emotional state on several occasions and as he started to learn about himself and grow, I just wanted to see him change for the better. And while he does learn and grow, he also has to face up to all of his transgressions, and this season was the first time where I just couldn’t support him, he went to some dark and troubled places that were almost unbearable to watch and I’m not sure he’ll recover from it, but damn Will Arnett did damn good work with is voice acting. And after all of the drama and chaos the season ends in the place that I thought it would, not to give any spoilers, but after everything that happened with Bojack, the final moments of the show felt like the only logical conclusion and it was handled very well. I don’t know if I can handle any more of this show’s crazy and intense drama, but it’s so good that I can’t help but want to see what happens if and when season 6 rolls around.

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen any of these shows and if so what do you think of them? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #40: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Eps 1-12)

Howdy ladies and gents, and after AGES I’ve decided to resurrect What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 40, and like I said before, it has been AGES since the last time I talked about any TV-related material on here. I have watched a handful of shows here and there over the course of 2018, but recently I’ve been revisiting Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and I’ve been enjoying it so much that I just had to write about it. Be careful of mild spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Ah, Gundam Wing, I have fond memories of this show and yet, upon rewatching the show recently I realised how little of it I actually saw. Before getting into this review let me give you a little history, Gundam Wing was the first mecha anime I’d ever seen back on Toonami in 2000 or 2001 and while I didn’t really understand what was going on and it was a lot slower in pace to the anime I’d seen before that Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, but I was enamoured by it because of the difference in serious tone, art style and of course the awesome robot suits and music. I had at least 2 episodes recorded on VHS which I watched many times as a teenager and over the years since becoming a big film fan and becoming well-versed in anime in many genres, I had been meaning to go back to this and watch it properly ,but because I was binging so much live-action TV at uni from late 2011 onwards I just never got around to it until now.

So with that mini history lesson out of the way, what do I think of Gundam Wing? Honestly? I love it. No word of a lie, this show had me intrigued from the beginning from a nostalgic point of view but as the episodes progressed I found myself being more and more captivated by the story and characters. And let me just say this, the first 8 episodes are some of the most engaging TV I have seen in years, for real. This may seem like a bit of an exaggerated statement, but I’m serious, this show has a great sense of intrigue, mystery and style that just gets better as it progresses.

So whats the show about? Well, I’m going to borrow a wonderfully written summary from redcommander27 on IMDB: “In the future, humanity has constructed several space colonies. But the corrupt Treize and his organization Oz have manipulated the United Earth Sphere Alliance into controlling earth and its colonies with an iron fist. To counteract this extreme measure, rebel colonies launch Operation: Meteor; an attempt to smuggle Mobile Suits made of Gundanium alloy to earth to combat the corruption and free earth and the colonies from Oz’s control. One of these “Gundams” is piloted by Heero Yuy, who is shot down and is forced to blend into enemy society. Now up against social issues with a girl named Relena and Oz and its puppets, Heero must unite with other rebels and save his people.

What I love about this show is the way it drops you into the middle of the action and keeps things moving, and while you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, as the show goes on, it fills in the blanks about how we got the present point of the show, why there is so much conflict and the motivations of all the main characters involved. The show also throws a fair amount of information at you when it comes to organisations, certain notable characters and key past events, and while it can be a little hard to follow (especially if you’re not a fast reader of subtitles like me), it can still be understood as some of it gets repeated in the following episodes allowing to connect the dots. I loved learning about the motivations behind those who were for and against war, seeing those in power trying to keep hold of it while others lurked in the shadows waiting for their moment to rise up and seeing people who are committed to their cause and those who have doubt or may wish to defect to the other side. And as I mentioned before I love how engaging the show is, each episode brings up new and interesting scenarios involving the heroes and villains that have short-term and long-term ramifications, and the amount of showing twists and turns that happened in the first 10 episodes was just crazy to me.

And when it comes to the characters I love them all… For the most part. Firstly there are Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei; the 5 Gundam pilots who are part of the space colonies plan to take down Oz. Each of them has different personalities, talents and means of accomplishing their missions, and seeing how they operate individually and then eventually come together in pairs and then as a group is fascinating and fun. Quatre is a calm and interesting pacifist, Wufei is very honourable and values strength, Duo is crafty and hilarious, and Trowa is fairly quiet and emotionally closed off. But it is Heero who is the most notable character, he has the most amount of screen time and he’s quite incredible, he’s very smart, strategic, efficient and committed to his mission. And then there are the bad guys, firstly there’s Zechs, he is OZ’s ace mobile suit pilot, and while he’s bad, he has an interesting backstory, a cool presence and a moral code that makes him someone to root for. Treize is the main villain of the show and is the leader of the OZ, he’s calculated, always calm and plots ahead so when he makes a move it has a massive impact. I also really like Noin, another character who is part of OZ but has her own interesting part to play and Lady Une, Treize’s right-hand woman… Man I hate her, she is such a mean, self-righteous bitch who causes so much trouble for the heroes and you just want to see her get her comeuppance. And finally, there’s Relena Darlian, she happens to be the daughter of someone quite important and because of her unexpected interactions with Heero, she becomes quite important as the story goes on.

And then there’s the presentation. Visually the show is very nice, I enjoy the various designs of the mobile suits from the Gundams to the OZ suits like Leo, Cancer, Pieces and Taurus and how they transform and fight. For a show in the 90’s I think it still holds up pretty well, the action is dynamic, explosive and well-done for the most part, sure there is a fair amount of reused animation for fight scenes, transformations and explosions but I can look past it because it never feels too offensive to my eyes. But what is even better than the visuals is the music, the soundtrack from Kow Otani is frigging fantastic! The music really helps elevate what’s happening on-screen, it covers an emotional spectrum whether it is soft and uplifting or cold and ominous or bombastic and intense. I absolutely love the music during the action scenes whether it is scenes of chaos, heroism or terror, there are some absolutely killer tracks that have a jazzy kind of sound that sounds so gorgeous to the hear that it makes you want to go and buy the soundtrack. Yeah, it is that good.

So yeah if it wasn’t clear already I really have enjoyed my time with Gundam Wing over the last few days, it has been far more enjoyable than I could have imagined and though I am far from the end I am very hyped to see where the story and character go. I would recommend this if you’re interested in some classic mecha anime. 🙂

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen Gundam Wing? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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My Favourite Trailers From San Diego Comic-Con 2018

san-diego-comic-con-logo

Good day to you ladies and gents, so San Diego Comic-Con has once again come and gone, and even though I’ve been interested in this convention  each year it’s come around, this year, in particular, I actually found myself way more hyped than before even though I wasn’t entirely sure of what was going to appear. And this year had a lot of really cool, fun and interesting reveals. A good chunk of which we have gotten to see, and some that we haven’t unfortunately. But anyway, I just wanted to make a quick post about my favourite trailers releases from this year’s Comic-Con. 😀

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Trailer

Now if you’ve followed this blog for a while then you know I was a big fan of Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla from 2014, I know the film has it’s fair share of issues, but I still believe it had a great sense of atmosphere, tension, distinctive visuals, a great film score and brought Godzilla back into the public consciousness in a good way. And while I thought last year’s Kong: Skull Island was fine, a lot of people really liked it and the film teased the larger universe where all these characters exist, and it feeds into this trailer. Good gravy I loved it. The sense of dread and chaos going on throughout this trailer is excellent. I like the choice of that classic piece of music (though I can’t remember what it’s called), I also love the visuals, there’s a love of striking colours from the skies to the creatures, and speaking of the creatures, we’ve got good old Godzilla back but we also see brief shots of Mothra, Rodan and frigging King Ghidorah! I’m also curious to see how this new family fit into the film, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown are great talents and clearly, their family has gone throw some stuff due to Farmiga’s pursuit of the monsters, and it looks like their drama will only get worse. I just hope this human element will be stronger than the last film.

Shazam! Trailer

So we finally, FINALLY got a trailer for Shazam! and it looks good. Now I’ve never been a massive fan of Shazam, but I have really liked him in the animated stuff like Young Justice and Justice League Action, and from what I know of him, the film feels pretty accurate to the source material. This trailer really gives off a fun kind of vibe, the tone and overall presentation are brighter than most of DC’s previous films except for Wonder Woman and there’s a relatable factor that comes with Billy Batson becoming a superhero. Oh and the costume definitely looks better in motion than the recent images suggested. However, some of that humour was a bit hit and miss, and that stupid floss dance made it into a frigging superhero film and that just irks me. Otherwise, bring on April 2019!

Aquaman Trailer

And then there’s Aquaman, I liked this. What really impressed me was the visual style of this film, it feels like a combination of the Zack Snyder style with what was done with Wonder Woman when it comes to the scenes in darkness and scenes in the daytime with muted and vivid colours. I’m liking the sense of scale, the underwater world of Atlantis looks cool and some of the sea creatures look great. And while I know a lot of this material has to be in CGI, it looks a little inconsistent, but I know there will be time to fix it up before release. Right now I’m a little less excited for the film than before because I was hoping for something with a little more of James Wan’s style, but whatever I’m still gonna see it.

Young Justice: Outsiders Trailer

Hooray for Young Justice‘s return! I don’t know if I mentioned it on the blog before, but I LOVE Young Justice, it was one of my favourite TV experiences while I was at uni around 6 years ago, and for the longest time, I thought there was no hope of a third season, but for it to exist and for there to be a trailer, I couldn’t be happier. While I would have liked a fully new trailer without the mini recap of season 2, at the same time it was great to see the crazy and emotional highlights from the last season, and then transition into this new material with all the new and familiar faces, new locations, Darkseid and a whole load of other stuff. I’m just happy to know that it exists and I can’t wait to see it next year!

Disenchantment Trailer

Once I heard about this new project from Matt Groening I was intrigued, but seeing it in action only enhances my excitement for this new show. As much as I’ve loved the classic episodes of The Simpsons and certain elements of Futurama, it is refreshing to see Groening on another project that is different, but feels like it has his style all of it. And that’s the best thing about it to me; the fact that it is different yet familiar, and the fantasy setting mixed in with the humour feels like a nice and strange mix.

Glass Trailer

I quite liked this trailer, so much so that I recently rewatched Unbreakable and Split, and it got me super excited to see what Shyamalan comes up with in this new film. It looks cool, unique and strange. I like how Mr Glass, the Beast and David Dunn have somehow ended up in a mental institution and are being interviewed by Sarah Paulson’s character. When she says that she’s looking at people who believe they are superheroes it does make me wonder how many people she’s come across and if there will be more seen in this film. Either way, it is great to see Samuel L. Jackson back after so many years along with Bruce Willis, I’m very curious to see how their lives have changed and what brings them back together, There’s a lot of possibilities with Glass and that’s the most exciting part for me.

Christopher Sabat and Sean Schemmel Yelp Reviews

This is something I had to include, it was just too good not to. Now while this brief IGN interview was in relation to the upcoming Dragon Ball Super film and the dubbing process of the film and Super tv series. But the main thing that I took away from the interview was Chris Sabat and Sean Schemmel reading angry Yelp reviews as Vegeta and Goku. These are such silly, silly reviews, and hearing Chris and Sean bring their energy to these Yelp reviews really helps sell you on Vegeta and Goku in these scenarios and makes you wish these moments would be animated. 😀

And so that’s my highlights from this year’s SDCC, what was your favourite trailer or announcement from this year’s Comic-Con? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2018 in Films, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for my first TV review in ages and today I get to talk about the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I’m not gonna lie, my interest in this season hasn’t been nearly as high as the Netflix Marvel shows that came out beforehand even though I really enjoyed season 1, but after watching the first new trailer and rewatching season 1, I got really hyped to revisit these characters and see how they develop. 😛 So after seeing the second season, I’m ready to pass judgement in this spoiler-free review.

“New York City private investigator Jessica Jones is beginning to put her life back together after murdering her tormentor, Kilgrave. Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why.”

The second season of Jessica Jones presents a lot of new an interesting scenarios for Jessica in dealing with. Seeing Jessica trying to live in a world after the events of the last season was interesting because of the way it affected her, the people around her and the people of New York City. Like Daredevil season 2, this season of JJ also features flashbacks that help flesh out Jessica’s backstory and it features some of the strongest material of the season with the character development of Jessica and Trish and the emotional history they’ve had individually and together. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t have a central focus until I think around episode 3 or 4 there are a good few things happening here and there, but nothing to tie it all together. And once the story and characters finally start to come into focus, my level of engagement and interest fluctuated a lot. There were plenty of points where I loved what I was watching, where the drama and emotion were on-point and I was captivated in Jessica and some of the other main characters’ stories… However, there are several points where certain storylines felt unnecessary or random and took away screen time from more important ones, also I feel like a great deal of the conflicts, danger and general issues felt fabricated rather than progressing in a natural manner. And this leads to scenarios that were a little silly, unrealistic or frustrating, and sometimes because of the way there are picked up and dropped from time to time. By the end of the season, I felt like a lot had happened, but I was in two minds about how I liked it, I feel like the ideas were there, but the execution could have been better.

Favourite episodes:

  • AKA Start at the Beginning
  • AKA Freak Accident
  • AKA Sole Survivor
  • AKA God Help the Hobo
  • AKA I Want Your Cray Cray (personal favourite)
  • AKA Three Lives and Counting

The cast was really good with the returning cast being pretty good and some of the newcomers settling in with the old ones pretty well, however, it is the way that some of these characters were handled which lead to a mixed bag of people you may like or dislike. Firstly Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones was great, she carried the show with her tough, sassy and witty persona, she has a lot of stuff to deal with and at times I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get her shit together, but even when she annoyed me, she ends still works as a damaged character who had to confront the issues of her past and present. Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker was good, Trish was one of my favourite characters from last season despite her bad decision-making and in this season we learn more about her his backstory, insecurities and weaknesses and interesting relationships with Jessica, her mother and some other people. At certain points I really liked her, but then she made some absolutely terrible choices which made her insufferable. Eka Darville was really good as Malcolm, his character had a good sense of progression from season 1 and I liked how active he was in the plot helping Jessica and doing things for himself, and while he ends up doing certain things I didn’t like, he was still really engaging. And of the returning cast I ended up really liking Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth more than I expected, in the last season she was very cold, calculated and self-serving and that was still the case for this season, however, they took her character in an interesting direction that made me feel for her in ways I didn’t think possible and maybe that was purely due to Moss as an actress, but I found Hogarth’s story to be quite compelling.

I’m only going to talk about a few of the new cast members. Firstly J.R. Ramirez as Oscar Arocho was fine, as soon as I saw him I knew exactly what his purpose would be and sure enough things played out as I expected, that being said he did have a lot more going on in his personal life that made me like him more. Terry Chen as Pryce Cheng was someone who had my interest at first but then became irrelevant and annoying as the season progressed, and the same sort of applied to Leah Gibson as Inez Green, she had an interesting part to play and while she wasn’t all that likeable, she had a more significant role to play than Cheng. And finally Janet McTeer as Alisa was an interesting character, I can’t say how she ties into the main story but she does play a pivotal role which at times was very intriguing and scary and on other occasions quite frustrating too. When it came to the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the show is shot well, and the fight scenes and visual effects look better than before and the use of colour was still pretty good. Also, the soundtrack by Sean Callery was still pretty good with some of the themes being and general sound being carried over from last season in a wonderful way, and season two has some nice new material, but it is not nearly as great as what’s come before.

In conclusion, Jessica Jones season 2 was a decent season to watch, that being said after finishing the show I felt disappointed. There were some compelling story elements, great character development and wonderfully deep and emotional material throughout the season. However, the lack of Kilgrave, the different storylines that had varying levels of interest and frustrating character arcs and choices left this season feeling far less captivating.

So have you seen Jessica Jones season 2 and if so so what do you think of it? And how do you think it compares to season 1 and the other Netflix shows? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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Check Out The Impressions In Motion Podcast!

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? As some of you may be aware I have my own podcast, Film Focus which I have promoted via this blog since I started it almost two years now. But that is not the only podcast I have been part of. Back in September my best homie Chris and I started a podcast entitled Impressions In Motion; a podcast dedicated to the discussion of film, tv and video games.

I still haven’t made up a proper logo for the podcast yet because I haven’t come up with a fancy enough, but hopefully, I’ll be able to sort something out soon. We’re currently on Soundcloud and YouTube and while we’re getting some views on YouTube, Soundcloud is a little lacking at the moment. So I thought I’d spread the word on here and ask you, my blogging homies to help me out and check out my material.

Here are some of the best episodes:

 

 

 

And here’s the latest episode where my friend and I did our top 10 films of 2017:

 

Doing this podcast is a lot of fun for me and my mate, not only because we like to joke around and say a lot of stupid stuff. But also because we’re lovers of film and anime especially, but our interests are so different, so it is fun to hear my friend’s opinion as it informs me on films or something else I wasn’t previously aware of.

Anyway, if you have some free time and enjoy casual yet in-depth conversation about film, tv, video games and stuff of that nature then please check out our podcast, it is fun little time for sure. 😀

Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/impressionsinmotion

Podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1BOjv8CkxiZlJzvgeHHyQw/videos

Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/impressions-in-motion/id1323236990?mt=2

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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