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Showing posts with label Science Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science Fiction. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Movie Review Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi

Movie Review - Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi - youtube.com
The Last Jedi

From the ashes of the Empire has arisen another threat to the galaxy’s freedom: the ruthless First Order. Fortunately, new heroes have emerged to take up arms and perhaps lay down their lives for the cause. Rey, the orphan strong in the Force Finn, the Ex-Stormtrooper who stands against his former masters and Poe Dameron, the fearless X-wing pilot, have been drawn together to fight side-by-side with General Leia Organa and the Resistance. 
But the First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke and his merciless enforcer Kylo Ren are adversaries with superior numbers and devastating firepower at their command. Against this enemy, the champions of light may finally be facing their extinction. Their only hope rests with a lost legend: Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.

Where the action of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended, Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins, as the battle between light and dark climbs to astonishing new heights.


Both directors of the new trilogy are huge Star Wars fans, each with a different mission as filmmakers within the series and each with their own sense of style and vision. Compared to Abrams, whose job it was to create new and likeable characters while thrusting them into a fun and familiar Star Wars setting (a job well done IMO), Johnson's job was to continue the arcs of those characters while somehow subverting expectations. I can't speak for other fans, but I had a strong personal need for the saga to expand on its ongoing narratives, themes and character dimensions in ways that were simultaneously new, familiar, interesting and unpredictable. I didn't want just another Empire the way we kinda got just another New Hope. I knew that to do that Johnson would need to take some risks, and as it turns out he took a lot of them with varying degrees of success. Not everything lands how it should've, but all the A-plot stuff with Kylo, Rey, Luke and Leia worked great for me initially and in retrospect.

Without going into too much detail, VIII suffered mostly from one or two of its subplots, namely that of Finn, Rose and DJ. In spite of their subplot's flaws, perhaps the biggest payoff was one in which DJ helps Finn and Rose to understand that war is far more grey and nuanced than they previously realized, and that the concepts of good and evil are maybe a bit more relative than they'd like to think. This is a concept that is echoed in various ways throughout the movie's various arcs, and its a theme I personally adore, but I wish Finn and Rose had come across it in a more fun and concise way.

One of the most common complaints I've seen of this film has to do with it's attempts at humor. Admittedly, I was caught off guard by it near the beginning, but I quickly and effortlessly found myself enjoying it, and did so for the most part for the rest of the film. I'm not sure I understand why the humor didn't land for so many people, at least not beyond the fact that humor is a very subjective construct. The humor of the prequels suffered greatly because it was so infantile and kid-centric. I think people forget how much humor there was in the original trilogy, but it seems to me that the new trilogy hasn't forgotten, nor has it failed to understand what made that humor more successful. The humor simply needs to appeal to the widest possible audience, young lings and old lings alike. Was some of the humor too “meta” in this film? Who knows. One could easily argue yes or no, but I personally didn't think the humor was specific enough to be truly bad in a meta sense. Overall it seemed fine, and a lot of it got genuine laughs out of me.

I have enormous difficulty taking seriously the opinions of those who say flat out that Episode VIII “sucks” or even of those who somehow loved it unconditionally, although there seem to be far fewer of those in the latter category. Either way, let's not kid ourselves into thinking there has ever been a perfect SW film (although Empire was objectively maybe the closest we'll ever get to one). Empire took plenty of risks that in hindsight paid off beautifully, and I feel quite comfortable saying the same of VIII. As far as risks go, the difference between the two films is that VIII takes maybe one or two too many. Its possible that a few more months in the writer's room probably could have fixed all or most of the film's biggest missteps, but as a realist I understand time isn't always as abundant as we'd like it to be. In the end, The Last Jedi is what it is, and it would have been folly to ever think it could have pleased everyone.

I could follow suit with so many of the Internet's talking heads by nitpicking this film to death, but doing that seems unnecessary and beside the point of cinema. It might be a cynical view, but I think a lot of people kinda enjoy dissecting all the “bad” parts of movies more than losing themselves in all the “good” parts. I simply can't find it within myself to cut off this film's face to spite it's nose like so many people have. When considering the poignantly grey themes of The Last Jedi, doesn't it make more sense to embrace a more “grey” approach to how we experience films? To reference a specific quote from VIII, if darkness rises, shouldn't the light rise to meet it?

With all it's jaw-dropping spectacles, touching character moments and fresh thought-provoking themes, its the sum of Episode VIII's parts that, for me, make it an enjoyable cinematic experience. I have no quibbles about recommending this episode of Star Wars, but I'd try to ignore the Internet's echo chambers.
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Star Wars VIII : The Last Jedi

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Movie Review Wonder Woman

Movie Review - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman - Amazon.com
Wonder Woman

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.


The storyline in a nutshell: Diana leaves her paradise Island of Themiscyra that is magically hidden from the rest of the world to fight alongside men in a war to end all wars.

Wonder Woman is a movie that everyone can comprehend and accept, which is not brooding and polarizing like other DC movies. Unlike many comic book movies that make the main character one dimensional, I have never seen so many profound aspects in a fictitious superhero movie before. It is a movie beyond woman equality, history, war, ethics and even religion. It’s about honor, duty, good, evil, love and doing what is right.

Wonder Woman is a good mix of action helped by the back drop of The Great War/World War I. It is not just plain adventure but has a narrative focused on the increasingly treacherous world with diminishing tolerance and morality. While I don't consider it good to compare, it was inevitable to see similarities with Captain America: The First Avenger.
This doesn’t just create a good visual. After a three-movie streak of stinkers from DC studios, this moment demonstrates what makes superheroes, something Zack Snyder apparently doesn’t appreciate. Heroes represent, not the recourses we’re willing to live with, as with Snyder's Superman, but the aspirations we pursue, the better angels we hope to achieve. We all hope, faced with the nihilism of the Great War, that we’d overcome bureaucratic inertia and face our enemies head-on.

In some ways, this Wonder Woman, directed by relative novice Patty Jenkins, accords with DC’s recent cinematic outings. Diana’s heroism doesn’t stoop to fighting crime, a reflection of cultural changes since the character debuted in 1941. Ordinary criminals, even organized crime, seem remarkably small beer in today’s world. Crime today is often either penny-ante, like common burglars, or too diffuse to punch, like drug cartels. Like the Snyder-helmed movies, this superhero confronts more systemic problems.

But Snyder misses the point, which Jenkins hits. Where Snyder’s superheroes battle alien invaders, like Superman, or pummel the living daylights out of each other, Wonder Woman faces humanity’s greatest weaknesses. The Great War, one of humanity’s lowest moments, represents a break from war’s previous myths of honor. Rather than marching into battle gloriously, Great War soldiers hunkered in trenches for months, soaked and gangrenous, seldom bathing, eating tinned rations out of their own helmets.

This shift manifests in two ways. First, though Diana speaks eloquently about her desire to stop Ares, the war-god she believes is masquerading as a German general, this story is driven by something more down-to-earth. General Ludendorff’s research battalion has created an unusually powerful form of mustard gas. The very real-world Ludendorff, who popularized the expression “Total War,” here successfully crafts a means to destroy soldiers and civilians alike. He represents humanity’s worst warlike sentiments.

Second, this Wonder Woman doesn’t wear a stars-and-stripes uniform. Comic book writer William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman as an essentially female version of Superman’s American values, an expression externalized in her clothing. This theme carried over into Lynda Carter’s TV performance. But this Wonder Woman stays strictly in Europe, fights for high-minded Allied values rather than one country, and apparently retires to curatorship at the Louvre. Her values are unyoked to any specific nation.

Recall, Zack Snyder’s Superman learned from his human father to distrust humankind, and became superheroic only when threatened by Kryptonian war criminals. Diana, conversely, learned to fight for high-minded principles—which she learned through myths which, she eventually discovers, are true without being factual. Snyder’s Superman, in fighting General Zod, showed remarkable disregard for bystanders, his film’s most-repeated criticism. But Diana charges into battle specifically to liberate occupied civilians. The pointed contrast probably isn’t accidental.

Unfortunately, Diana learns, war isn’t about individual battles. She liberates a shell-pocked Belgian village, and celebrates by dancing with Steve Trevor in the streets. But General Ludendorff retaliates by testing his extra-powerful chemical weapons on that village. No matter what piteous stories she hears about displaced, starving individuals, ultimately, her enemy isn’t any particular soldier. It’s a system that rewards anyone willing to stoop lower than everyone else, kill more noncombatants, win at any cost.

In a tradition somewhat established by the superhero genre, Diana culminates the movie with a half-fight, half-conversation with her antagonist. Ares offers Diana the opportunity to restore Earth’s pre-lapsarian paradise state by simply scourging the planet of humanity. (Though Greek in language, this movie’s mythology reflects its audience’s Judeo-Christian moral expectations.) Diana responds by… well, spoilers. Rather, let’s say she simply resolves that fighting the corrupt system is finally worthwhile, even knowing she cannot win.

Wonder Woman’s moral mythology resonates with audiences, as Superman’s doesn’t, at least in the Snyderverse, because she expresses hope. Watching Diana, we realize it’s easy to become Ludendorff, wanting to not just beat but obliterate our opponents. Yet we desire to emulate Diana, standing fast against human entropy and embodying our best virtues. Diana is a demigod, we eventually learn, and like all good messiahs, she doesn’t just rule humanity, she models humanity’s truest potential.


This is by far the best DC to be made since The Dark Knight. Although I remain loyal to Marvel, I am pleased with DC success with Wonder Woman as it is one of the most well rounded, entertaining superhero movies to date.
 
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Wonder Woman

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review Book The Death House

Review Book - The Death House

The Death House - Amazon.com
Death House

Toby’s life was perfectly normal… until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test. 

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House; an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium.

No one returns from the sanatorium.

Living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.

Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts. 
About the Author :

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed horror, thriller and YA author. She has written for New Tricks on the BBC and has an original horror film in development. Sarah was the 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and has three times been short-listed for Best Novel. She has also been short-listed for a World Fantasy Award. She lives in London.
 

Sarah Pinborough​'s The Death House is a stunning, powerful, painful, and yes, beautiful, read. The speculative elements are slight, but all the more intriguing for it. The focus is squarely on the main character, Toby, and the sudden turn of events that lands him in the Death House alongside other children who've suffered the same fate. Its brilliance is in the characters and the whiplash of emotions they (and you) go through during this short, engrossing read. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Lord of the Flies, and light psychological horror should give this a go.
There’s a whole generation of kids right now growing up on a steady diet of YA dystopia, and when they are ready to move on to more solid grown-up fare, here is the book to get them there.

Here is a dystopia we-the-reader don’t even see, don’t have explained to us beyond the barest of bare-bones basics. There’s no scrappy rebellion against the system, no Team This Guy and Team That Guy ‘ship wars.

In this world, kids are routinely blood-tested for some never-named disease / genetic anomaly. The ones whose results come back as ‘Defective’ are, with no warning, picked up by agents in vans and whisked away to a boarding school on an island. There, they just … wait. Every now and then, kids get sick and are taken upstairs to the sanatorium, never to be seen again.

So many questions! The symptoms of the disease seem to vary, the kids share rumors about its effects and history, but none of them know, so neither do we. The nurses and teachers, overseen by Matron, are cool and detached. Lessons are perfunctory. Socialization is pretty much left to fend for itself.
This was a fascinating book, and one I highly recommend. A gothic romance of sorts told as a fable. Powerfully emotional, often shocking and complex enough to keep you on your toes, not so much with the plot twists, which are fairly telegraphed, frankly, but with the way the characters act and react to shocking, horrific, unreal situations.

Not without its flaws, for sure, but the pluses definitely outweigh any nagging negatives. This one will stay with you for a long time and haunt you - the overall affect, like the northern lights described within, is brilliant. A must-read.
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The Death House
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Book Review The Cured

Book Review - The Cured

The Cured - Amazon.com
The Cured

Henry spent eight years chained to a post. Exposed, starved, infected with the December Plague, and mad. During those eight years, the December Plague consumed most of the world's human population, causing the infected to become violent and cannibalistic.

But Henry escaped. And now he's been Cured. He vividly remembers what has been done to him and others. He can also recall the terrible things he did while he was infected. He and his fellow survivors face a world unlike anything they knew before. They are weak, lost and completely alone. Now released from both the madness of the Plague and the cruelty of their captors, they must decide which is more important: survival or revenge.

The After the Cure Series:
Book 1: After the Cure
Book 2: The Cured
Book 3: Krisis
Book 4: Poveglia
Book 5: The 40th Day
About the Author :
Deirdre Gould lives in Central Maine with her three children and husband. She's also resided in northern Idaho, coastal Virginia and central Pennsylvania, but all of them just led her back home.The winters sure are cold, but that just means the zombies run slower. The area is isolated, but that just means the apocalyptic diseases don't spread as quickly. And the storms are bad enough that no one thinks you're crazy for "prepping." It's kind of ideal for a post-apocalypse writer when you think about it.

Want to keep up with the After the Cure series? Join the mailing list here: http://www.scullerytales.com/?page_id=96 to get the latest announcements about the series, special offers and free stories.

When I read the preview for this book I was disappointed to learn it would not revolve around the characters from the first book. But the premise seemed interesting and the writing was good so I gave it a shot. It was incredible! The characters are just as engrossing and it became evident that while it was a different perspective, it was still very much a sequel to the first book, continuing the original story line.
This is not your normal zombie story, it's not told thru a zombie's eyes, but it's just as full of suspense, action, and excitement. I kept finding it hard to put down even for a few minutes and I knew I just had to keep reading. I loved the characters and I felt the pain and anguish that Henry went thru. This is one that will stay with me awhile.
Just remember to read After the Cure before starting on this book. It'll make more sense. Again, really in love with this series. Bringing a human quality to the zombie genre is so unique. Actually thinking of these horrifying creatures as suffering souls is genius. A few grammatical errors along the way, but it didn't distract too much. The characters are fully fleshed out and you are aching to know all of their backstories as your introduced to them. Warning though, major cliffhanger at the end!
 I would highly recommend.
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The Cured

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Book Review Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

Book Review - Annihilation

A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

Annihilation - Wikipedia
Annihilation

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
About the author :
Called “The Weird Thoreau” by The New Yorker, NYT bestseller Jeff VanderMeer has been a published writer since age 14. His most recent fiction is the critically acclaimed novel BORNE, which has received raves from the NYTBR, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and many more. Paramount Pictures has optioned BORNE for film.

VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy was one of the publishing events of 2014, the trilogy made more than thirty year’s best lists, including Entertainment Weekly’s top 10. Paramount Pictures has made a movie out of the first volume of the Southern Reach, Annihilation, slated for release in 2018 and starring Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic.com. VanderMeer also wrote the world’s first fully illustrated creative-writing guide, Wonderbook. With his wife, Ann VanderMeer, he has edited may iconic anthologies. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with two wonderful cats. His hobbies include hiking, reading, and bird watching.


I am being a fan of these types of books, I felt VanderMeer had created the bones of great story, thought the fleshing out of that story was highly problematic and ultimately took what could have been a fabulous book down to merely a good story. It could have been so much more, and that, my fellow readers, is what is so deeply disappointing here. I wanted this to be a five star review, not merely three or four stars.

The bones of the story are truly intriguing - a mysterious Area X along the "lost coast" (the location is never truly identified for us by VanderMeer because God forbid we name anything here because names carry something mysterious about them. Unfortunately, we are never really told what. Names and locations are meaningless? Too confining? To defining? Your guess is as good as mine) where something dramatic and alien and unexplainable has occurred. Little goes in or comes out of Area X - and what does come back out is never who or what we think it is.

As I said, VanderMeer is a good enough writer that he hooks the reader early on and doesn't let go. I read all three books in the series, one right after the other, even though, in my opinion, the series remains vastly overpriced. Yet he is a very good writer and I did not want to wait to get through the series until the prices came down for each book. The first book is definitely the strongest of the three, but my feeling is that if you are going to invest time and money in the first book, there isn't much point unless you are prepared to see it through to the end of the series.

Many reviewers have compared the books to the TV series "Lost." I think the comparison is apt in that the island in "Lost" is mysterious and replete with strange and unexplained phenomenon. But I think the analogy is even more apt than that. Many viewers of "Lost" loved the ending, which I found sappy and saccharine, without any real answers to the questions I asked through-out the whole series. But many viewers became ,more attached to the characters than the storyline, so maybe they didn't care so much that no answers were really provided at the end. I did, however. I wanted real, concrete information to a show I had invested viewing over the course of many years. When I didn't get answers, I felt betrayed and let down.

I think many of the negative reviews of this series reflect this same kind of sensibility. VanderMeer has engaged in the cardinal sin of many writers - getting us hooked on a story, then disappointing many readers by failing to provide a concrete, satisfying conclusion with answers to our most important questions. Yes, you can leave some mystery, but too much unanswered is never a good thing.

I suspect that the author was striving to continue the mystery and lack of conclusive answers that the characters felt when confronting themselves, their motivations, each other, life, the unknown, etc. That the characters didn't fully understand themselves (ie, the mystery of their personhood) or the mystery of Area X, so why should we? I speculate here, but the author probably felt he was simply mimicking Area X in all of its grand mystery (and yes, mimicry plays a large role in the story and no, we are never really told why) and that his mimicry was important to the story.

But the problem is that such an approach is never truly satisfying to a large percentage of readers. What I was hoping for (but never got) was not so much an ending like the conclusion of "Lost" where there are no real answers but we feel so in love with the characters and their relationships with each other that we are not supposed to care our questions go unanswered, but more like the ending to the series "Battlestar Galactica" in which are questions are answered, but the answers are nothing that we really expected. I wanted a refreshing and unexpected surprise at the end. Something I didn't see coming.

You won't get that here. That is not to say that VanderMeer answers no questions about Area X - he does do that by the final book. That said, he just doesn't go far enough with many of those answers, nor are those answers in any way truly a wonderful and unexpected surprise.

Moreover, I failed to feel strongly attached to many of the characters, who seemed "lost" (no pun intended) within themselves. Control plays a strong role in book two, but fades almost entirely away in importance in book three. A lot of times you feel like shaking the characters and screaming "wake up," but they never do, but rather remain mired in their own confused and obscure states of being. Now I get the sense that VanderMeer wants use to revel in this as being a reflection of the utlimate meaning of the human condition, but frankly, it just feels unsatisfying and makes one feel frustrated with the characters. Many times they just meander through the story and their non-stop stream of consciousness fretting and lack of clarity does drag the story down at times.

Ending the story by stressing simply - aren't these characters fascinating in and of themselves and this is just the human condition, to remain an ultimate mystery to us - was deeply unsatisfying to me. Tell me what happens to Control. Tell me what happens to the Earth. Tell me the "why" of Area X. Tell me the "Why" of what happens to the biologist. Or what happens to Saul or the psychologist.
 
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Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Movie Review Arrival

Movie Review - Arrival


When mysterious spacecraft land across the globe, expert translator Louise Banks is sent to decipher their intent. As tensions mount, Banks discovers the aliens' true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten humanity.


This is a divisive film. You will love it or hate it, but you will have an opinion. Why are there such strong feelings? I think it results from the way the film was marketed. Critics came out raving about a new Sci-Fi film and called it wildly unpredictable. The public's interest was piqued. After all, it stars Jeremy Renner so it must be a Sci-Fi action movie, right? Maybe it's like a good Independence Day. Wrong! There is only one explosion in this film and I don't think there was a single gun fired. Whoa! What a letdown, right? No.

This is not a Sci-Fi action film. This is Sci-Fi in the same vein as Contact, Solaris, and 2001. Actually, it is very similar to 2001 in many ways and themes. If you thought 2001 was boring, you will hate this film. This is not a film about aliens. This is a film about how we react to adversity and uncertainty. You may have heard that this is a film about time travel. It's not. No one "travels" through time. This film is about supposing that time is relative (which we know it is) and perhaps even malleable if you understand it well enough. The key to understanding time in this film is language. One aspect I think the film got wrong is contrasting science and language. Science is a language. Science is a way to explain the phenomena around you in formulas that can be shared and duplicated with others i.e., a language. They are not adversarial, but the same.

One thing that surprised me greatly was the portrayal of the military. I think this is probably the truest representation of how military personnel would react. These aren't mindless soldiers. They are thinking human beings with human emotions thrust into a situation of unbelievable significance. Some handle it with fear and trepidation while others approach it with care and concern. If we are ever visited by an alien race, the event will transcend the military. It will transcend the government and even nations. The government does not own or have a right to police our access to foreign visitors. This film portrays very well the moral dilemmas between duty and human emotion.

Are there some problems with the film? Undoubtedly it could have added more steps of suspense along the way--just a few morsels to keep the suspense building even more. I think that would have eliminated some of the "boring" complaints. I also think Jeremy Renner did not belong in the film. He is an excellent actor and it's not like he doesn't act his role well, it's just that he brings too much "Jeremy Renner" baggage to the role for me to accept him completely. Amy Adams was perfect for this role, however.

You absolutely should watch this film if you like thinking about it afterwards. Nothing is spoon-fed to you in this film and you will NOT receive all the answers. Much is left open to your interpretation. It will leave you guessing to the very end. What would you do in the same situation?

If you thought 2001 was a masterpiece (it was) then you will love this film in much the same way. If you thought Independence Day was a masterpiece, don't waste your time watching this.
Having purchase the Blu-ray, I can now speak to it separately from the film. The picture is stunning and one of the best films I have seen. The colors are slightly muted, but I'm sure it's intentional. I just don't remember it being overly dark in the theater.

There are over 80 minutes of extras, although I am slightly apprehensive about watching them. They basically explain the whole point of the film which I feel is better left to your own interpretation. Those who don't like the film won't ever get a chance to see what it was about since they surely won't buy this, but the answers are there if you want them.
 
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Arrival

  • Genres : Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
  • Director : Denis Villeneuve
  • Starring  : Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner
  • Supporting actors  : Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O'Brien, Tzi Ma, Abigail Pniowsky, Julia Scarlett Dan, Jadyn Malone, Frank Schorpion, Lucas Chartier-Dessert, Christian Jadah, Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld, Andrew Shaver, Pat Kiely, Sonia Vigneault, Mark Camacho, Sabrina Reeves, Julian Casey, Tony Robinow
  • Studio : Paramount Pictures
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Movie Review Doctor Who: The Complete Specials

Movie Review - Doctor Who: The Complete Specials  

(The Next Doctor / Planet of the Dead / The Waters of Mars / The End of Time Parts 1 and 2) 


Special features
  •     Disc 1: The Next Doctor
  •     Disc 2: Planet of the Dead
  •     Disc 3: The Waters of Mars
  •     Discs 4-5: The End of Time, Parts One and Two
  •     Doctor Who Confidential
  •     Doctor Who at the Proms
  •     Deleted scenes with introduction from Russell T. Davies
  •     David Tennant Video Diaries: The Final Days
  •     Doctor Who BBC Christmas idents
  •     Audio commentaries
  •     Doctor Who at Comic-Con

This stunning collection of Doctor Who specials The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, Part One & Two is a must own for all Doctor Who fans. The four imaginative, action-packed specials are the farewell to star David Tennant, and Russell T Davies, the mastermind behind the rebirth of the modern DoctorWho. The specials culminate in the dramatic regeneration of the Doctor, giving fans their first glimpse of the eleveDoctor, played by Matt Smith. The specials are packed with a terrific lineup of guest stars includingMichelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), David Morrissey (State of Play, Sense and Sensibility), Lindsay Duncan (Alice in Wonderland (2010), Rome, Under the Tuscan Sun) and many more that we can t reveal just yet!
I've been a Doctor Who fan since I encountered it as a kid in the 80's, and I have been overall very impressed and pleased with Doctor # 10! The specials are great to see in HD! I had seen them before in poor streaming web quality. Waters of Mars had a great spooky atmosphere, and I think is the strongest of the specials. The End of Time - well, my problem is I can't stand the new regenerated Master. He's too campy, and seems to be trying too hard to be an unhinged Joker. The Master is the dark version of the Doctor, cunning, cold, manipulative, foreboding and charming. This Master is none of those things. Plus the lightning bolt throwing? Thankfully "The Next Doctor" is great fun, "Planet of the Dead" is interesting and enjoyable, "The Waters of Mars" is awesome, and the End of Time is mixed.
What more can I say about the 10th Doctor's Specials that hasn't already been said. They're great. The problem I have and this has been a major problem with all of my Doctor Who Blu-ray sets (and I own every Blu-ray for modern Doctor Who available) is that the audio tracks are really screwed up when played through my Onkyo receiver.

It's obviously a codec issue but what happens is that the DTS HD HR (not tobe confused with the lossless MA) audio randomly drops in and out on and either completely disappears or you can only hear certain channels. Although I had the random dropout issues on my other DW sets, the solution to that was to simply to change the audio output on the PS3 from bitsream to linear PCM. This results in no change in audio quality with the only difference really being that the display on the receiver shows "Multichannel" instead of "DTS HD HR."

With this set, however, that doesn't work and the discs become impossible to enjoy. I have done all of my updates and I have tried connecting different Blu-ray players to the receiver with no change and I must not that out of the 400 Blu-ray titles I own, the DW titles are the only ones I've ever had a problem with.
 
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Doctor Who : The Complete Specials
  • Gendre : Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Mystery, Kids & Family
  • Actors : David Tennant, David Morrissey, Michelle Ryan, Lindsay Duncan, Bernard Cribbins
  • Format : AC-3, Blu-ray, Box set, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language : English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles : English
  • Region : All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
  • Number of discs : 5
  • Studio : BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date : February 2, 2010
  • Run Time : 311 minutes
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Movie Review Doctor Who Seasons 11

Movie Review - Doctor Who

Rotten Tomatoes

Doctor Who Seasons 11 Serials :
  1. The Pilot
  2. Rose
  3. The Unquiet Dead
  4. Aliens of London
  5. World War Three
  6. Dalek
  7. The Long Game
  8. Father's Day

Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. A loner, his detached logic gives him a vital edge when the world's in danger. But when it comes to relationships, he can be found wanting. That's why he needs Rose. From the moment they meet, the Doctor and Rose are soulmates. With nothing to hold Rose back (neither her overbearing mum nor her hapless boyfriend), she chooses the Doctor and his promise of fantastic adventures across the universe.

Reviews :

I truly believe Doctor Who wouldn't have become the global phenomenon it is today without the 2005 relaunch of the series. Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. And his companion, Rose, was the down to Earth, average teenager the whole audience could relate to. As they travel together through time, encountering new adversaries, the Doctor shows her things beyond imagination. Some of my favorite stories from this season included "The End of the World" (where the Doctor shows Rose the eventual fate of the planet Earth); "Dalek" (the bitter sweet, but still chilling return of the most famous enemies of the show); and "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" (a gripping and scary two parter set in WWII, featuring zombie kids in gas masks, and the first apperance of heroic heart throb, Captain Jack Harkness). And it all leads up to an exciting two part season finale with a showdown with the Daleks, and a tearful changing of the guard, in which the Doctor regenerates into his Tenth form.

It's a shame the Ninth Doctor only lasted a season, because he was pretty good, and this series was pivital in not only reintroducing the classic series to the modern era, but also laying the ground work for all the important elements that would make the modern era of Who the success that it is today. And the discs are all jam packed with interesting special features, including behind the scenes info about the making of the show, and interviews with the cast members.
Eccleston only played The Doctor for this single season; he did not renew his contract. But his work here sets the ground work for every Dr. Who episode created since. Gone is the absent-minded professor type of the first eight Doctors. Eccleston's Doctor is thoughtful, direct, and action-focused. This is a Time Lord with a plan who doesn't hesitate to do whatever needs to be done and has both the knowledge and experience to solve problems that would confuse others.

He is also a haunted man, regenerating out of the War Doctor (see "Day of the Doctor" from the 50th anniversary specials), the sole survivor of the Great Time War, his conscience thick with the horrors of that war and his role in it, a conscience that makes him more determined than ever to help others -- starting with Rose Tyler in the first episode, "Rose."
 
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Doctor Who

  • Genres : Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Mystery, Kids & Family
  • Director : Graeme Harper, Euros Lyn, Douglas Mackinnon, James Strong, Rachel Talalay, Charlie Palmer, James Hawes, Joe Ahearne, Toby Haynes, Nick Hurran, Saul Metzstein, Hettie Macdonald, Richard Clark, Julian Simpson, Daniel Nettheim, Edward Bazalgette, Keith Boak, Colin Teague, Adam Smith, Paul Wilmshurst
  • Starring  : Matt Smith, David Tennant 
  • Supporting actors  : Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Nicholas Briggs, Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Paul Kasey, Arthur Darvill, Ruari Mears, Freema Agyeman, Barnaby Edwards, Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston, Matt Lucas, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Michelle Gomez, Pearl Mackie, Nicholas Pegg 
  • Season year : 2005
  • Network : BBC America 
  • Producers : Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson, Phil Collinson, Brian Minchin, Piers Wenger, Denise Paul, Denise Paul, Denise Paul, Marcus Wilson, Marcus Wilson, Beth Willis, Diana Barton, Helen Vallis, Peter Bennett, Tracie Simpson, Tracie Simpson, Caroline Skinner
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
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