Blade Runner 2049

This movie is the sequel to a classic science fiction film. The world is kinda crappy, kinda cool, like most movies about the future. Human’s have built super workers known as replicants. They’re made to be obedient and are much stronger than normal. They do all of the off-world work, where rich people are. The planet itself has mostly turned bad.

The Blade Runners are specialized police that hunt down rogue replicants, especially the older models that are not absolutely obedient. And in this movie, our main blade runner, K, makes a discovery about replicants that change the way people will see them.

I don’t think I’ll talk about the plot that much. It’s interesting, I feel, but less nuanced than the first movie. The plot also takes a long time to go places. This movie is long, and slow. Does it need to be that long? Nope. However, I was also engaged the entire time and always looked forwards to what’s going to happen next.

Also, this movie isn’t a action packed. There are a few scenes, but overall, it’s mostly talking and going places. The characters are all really intereting, but I hope you like Ryan Gosling. He plays K, the main character, and he is pretty much in every scene. Still, he plays his part well, and I really enjoyed watching him do his work.

The other characters are all interesting and great to watch as well. Joi is just to sweet and adorable. Luv has a great presence despite only working for the head of the replicant-making company. The other characters K meets along his investigation are all pretty interesting, despite only appearing for a short while. The movie knows how to make an impact with characters. I won’t talk about all of them as some of them are great to experience, but they are all engaging to watch and well-acted.

The plot is interesting and moves along at a slower pace. Things are tied together with wonderful shots of the world. It’s not always pretty, but it is gorgeous and amazing. This movie felt like it was taking me on a journey, even though the setting takes place around the same area most of the time. Unlike some movies that makes things too busy, loud or confusion, Blade Runner 2049 has clear shots. Most every shot is showing off something cool or amazing, but it doesn’t feel crowded. The shots are focused and crisp.

Blade Runner 2049 is really long and slow, but I enjoyed my time there. If you want an action science fiction movie, this is not it. There is some philosphical stuff, but the first movie had less clear heroes and villains. In this film, it’s pretty clear which side you’re supposed to root for.

The great scenery and characters make this film a joy to watch. The acting is great. The investigation is a good reason for K to go to all of these wonderful places. Still, it’s really long. I don’t know what I would want to cut out or make shorter. If they cut some scenes out without me ever seeing them, I doubt I would notice. But I did see them, and they’re all cool.

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Blame!

A wild cyberpunk ride in a worrying future. Blame! is so sci-fi, and I really enjoy it. The world is crap, of course. Actually, the world is gone. The movie takes place on a megastructure city. It expanded wildly when the people that could control the city mysteriously died off. All of the automated parts just kept on going, and that means building and keeping security. Unfortunately, keeping security means killing people.

The structures shown is grand in scale and even then, they don’t fit on the screen. They capture just how large the city is compared to the people living inside. I haven’t read the manga the movie is based on, I do know that it’s quite different. The main characters here are the electro-fishers, a group of people just trying to survive. Zuru is the main electro-fisher we follow. She meets Killy, a super-powerful and quiet man that wants to try and restore control of the city. That’s when things kick off, where the electro-fishers help Killy on his goal.

The movie has fast-paced action scenes, but there is only a few of them. Most of the time, it’s focused on the world. The characters are just there to help explain the world and the city. The characterization is pretty subtle. Killy barely talks and most characters don’t show overt changes. But they do grow over the course of the movie.

The movie has some great mixture of 3D CG and animation. I think. I’m not an expert on the subject. But it does look great and sci-fi. The tone is morose throughout the movie, but the characters don’t feel depressing. It strikes a good balance between slow, quiet scenes and character actions.

Blame! tells a simple part of a much larger and more complex story. For one movie in the world, it works really well and is engaging all the way through. The scenes are well-crafted and the characters are interesting to watch. For those that like science fiction, Blame! is fantastic. For other people, watch it for a slow experience is a strange, terrifying world.

Killjoys, Season Finale

Mm, space battles, space battles everywhere. This season of Killjoys follows from a more coherent second season. Now, war is coming, and Dutch, D’avin and Johnny have to do all they can to prepare for it. Their enemy is Aneela and the Hullen, parasitic alien invaders.

I liked this season, much like the last one. It has a story running throughout, and we get a lot more of the universe as Dutch asks for help from everyone. The characters are all back in fine form. I think Alvis (the Scarback) was underutilized this season. He could have used more scenes and maybe a focus episode.

As for new characters, Aneela is interesting. She’s also played by Hannah John-Kamen, but the Aneela and Dutch are completely different. They sound really different. Aneela has a soft way of talking that’s still really dangerous. It works for her. Zef is a new biology girl for Dutch’s crew. She doesn’t get too annoying, but she is a bit annoying. Pip I liked better. Pip is their, uh, black market guy? He’s fun and it looks like he’ll have more of a role going forwards.

This season feels tight. After a bit of a slow beginning where Johnny was still separate from the group, things pick up as soon as he rejoins. Starting from then on, it’s fun adventures against increasingly dire situations.

Glad this show is renewed. *ahem*

Anyway, on to spoiler thoughts.

Fancy. I didn’t expect it, but he became a pretty big part of this season and he has a great plot. Turin is the jerk as always, but I do like him working with the main characters rather than against them.

The last episode, though, whoa. That changed a lot. I did not expect things to go that way, but I’ll say I was not disappointed. I am looking forward to seeing what’s coming next. The last few scenes were really well done, and I’m glad with the confrontation we got between Dutch and Aneela.

I’m expecting season four to continue with the setup they had at the end of season three.

Dark Matter, Season Finale

Another fun season of Dark Matter! If you haven’t watch the show, it’s really fun. Sure, the show relies on a lot of tropes, both from science fiction and other genres. You want clones? It’s here. Androids? Definitely. Alternate universes? Sure, why not? But it’s always fun when seen through the lens of our main characters, the crew of the Raza.

This time around, though, and this is a spoiler for the end of last season, Ryo Ishida has become their enemy, along with a host of other new problems. The show really is one continuous storyline, it’s not broken up by seasons. So things from previous seasons come back and things from this season hint at future events.

This time around, there’s a bit of a rotating guest members on the ship. While I am disappointed that there’s no new crew member, I’m sure these guest members will be around in the future to help out. The Raza is really starting to get some good will nowadays. And there are still more stories to tell about their past, too.

The show is still fun as always. All of the characters are great. And I can get used to Ryo. While he’s not on the show as much due to him ruling Zairon, he still gets into frequent conflicts with the crew, and we follow his story through the season to a fun conclusion.

Dark Matter is a fun sci-fi show with fun characters and fun stories.

Now here are some spoilers on the last episode of the season.

Wow. I did not expect a full on space battle. They really let things get awesome. And the ending was a huge cliffhanger, once again. It’s the biggest one, yet! And I’m really glad that Ryo is back on the Raza, even if it might be temporary. You really get a sense that he likes the crew and only acted against them because he feels he must. The final shot of him with some other members of the crew is great.

I really want a next season.

 

The Expanse, Season 2

The Expanse, in the first season, was the most science fiction show I’ve seen in a long time. It had everything I wanted out of a sci-fi show. Space, a new way people live, different factions, new and interesting technologies, and something mysterious. But I felt season 1 meandered a bit. I know why, now. It’s the weird reason (perhaps budget) that they do not adapt one book per season. Season one was only part of book one, meaning it did had no overall resolution to anything.

Season 2 finishes up book one, but it still has a similar problem. It starts but does not finish book 2. That leaves the end of the season feeling like how the first one ended. In a sort of why is anything happening sort of phase.

But as a whole, I liked season 2 much more. I think it’s because I get the world, er, solar system now. I get who’s who and how they relate to everyone else. In season 1, I was sort of trying to keep up the entire time, but now I know the characters and get their motivations.

The first few episodes of season 2 were also fantastic. That’s because they are the final parts of book 1, and thus the more exciting parts. Then it ramps down a bit as book 2 starts, but I’m really enjoying it, too.

Bobbie Draper, a new character, is pretty fun to see. She starts out pretty tough and belligerent, but I’m liking her later characterization more. It’s fun but people still know not to mess with her. She is a Martian Marine, after all.

The crew of the Rocinante has an actual purpose now rather than just drifting around trying to survive. A goal gives them some they really needed, a point to being shown. I’ll get into them more in the spoiler section. I will say that Amos was great in the first season, and he’s great here. There’s just something about the way he’s played that makes him the most intimidating guy in the room at all times. And Alex has turned into the fun guy of the group. It makes his scenes great to watch.

As for The Expanse, it has some of the most gorgeous scenes in any TV show I’ve seen. Every time I see the full opening, I get the feels. And there are several wonderfully sci-fi scenes in this season. I’ll also get into that more in the spoiler section, too.

But once again, The Expanse is a wonderful sci-fi show that can’t be matched if you want a fully-realized and complicated world. Earth, Mars, and The Belt each have things they want from each other, and some people will do anything to get it. And with the revelation from the end of the first season, things are about to get much more complicated.

Alrighty, time for spoiler thoughts.

The crew of the Rocinante, Jim, Alex, Amos, and Naomi, now has the goal of getting rid of the protomolecule from the solar system. It does get a bit single-minded to a frustrating degree, especially with Jim. The others are just going along because he’s the captain, and he’s really going to far. The new (probably temporary) addition of Prax is a good one to mix up the crew a bit.

And finally in season 2, I understand what Chrisjen is doing. I really had little ideas during season 1.

This season really brings up some wonderfully amazing shots from Eros, to the final episode of the season. The final episode, in particular, has 2. I’ll admit I did not expect that to happen to the research ship, and it looked amazing. There are lots more during the course of the season, to. They aren’t as grand, but they’re low-key amazing.

The Expanse is a science fiction show that’s well worth a watch. Go get to it.

Jupiter Ascending

A sci-fi film about a girl that is a genetic recurrence of someone important in the past. It’s kinda like reincarnation, except not really. Probability just gave the girl the same genes as someone that died before. Her name is Jupiter, an ordinary girl working as a maid. She becomes embroiled in a property dispute among three rich siblings because as a recurrence, she has rights to some of the property the original person had.

Oh, and Jupiter gets a wolf-eared hunky soldier to protect there named Caine. Oh, and Jupiter is a recurrence of the three siblings’ mother. That’s why all of them want something from her.

This all reads like some kind of teenage fantasy, and the movie plays out a lot like one, too. Caine has antigravity skates, man. Anti. Gravity. Skates. Along with an arm shield that makes him a total badass. He’s a lone wold with a troubled past that never gets fully explained. I’m alright with it not getting explained, actually.

The movie does create an interesting backstory. You find out enough about what’s going on in the universe, though I can’t say any of the plot points suprised me. Either they were really telegraphed, or I just watched too many similar kind of stories. I’m not going to spoil them, but you’ll probably figure out what’s going on long before the movie tells you.

So pretty much watch this for the spectacle. I enjoyed the universe they put forth. The three siblings, being the rich bastards that they are, have all of the best views and finest homes. Yet somehow their guards still all lose to Caine.

I feel like this movie would work much better as a cheesy homage to sci-fi movies rather than trying to be a serious film. They even have certain scenes that seem like it’s tributing something from other movies.

I do like how the Aegis, the space police, is still shown to have some authority of the rich siblings. The siblings have to try to work within the law to get what they want. I also like how no one really cares about Earth other than as Jupiter’s property.

Eddie Redmayne as the main antagonist sibling is the most memorable performance of the show. He’s trying to be really chillax, but then he just starts shouting. It’s pretty fun to watch. Everyone else is prety standard.

I consider the movie alright. I do like sci-fi and this movie is really sci-fi veering into fantasy in a space setting. The universe is well-realized, and they even touch upon the belief system that the universe has. That part’s good. The plot itself is standard, though, and it treats everything seriously, even things has been done a lot of times before.

Just… anti-gravity skates.

Star Trek: Beyond

I’ve probably mentioned this in my previous reviews of Star Trek, but I only watched about 2 or 3 episodes of the show Star Trek, and those were split between Kirk and Picard. I’m really enjoying these new movies as a new viewer, though. It’s just cool going out into the final frontier to explore and find new things for the sake of doing so. I understand that happens more in the shows since the movies need their epic set pieces and main villains, but it’s still just a fun thin to think about.

Now, on to actually talking about Beyond. Kirk really does go Beyond, beyond the known parts of what the Federation has mapped out. He goes on a rescue mission into the nebula, and of course things fall apart immediately. And by things, I mean a big thing.

Kirk is getting more heroic and less abrasive by the movie. I like it. He’s a proper captain now and everyone on board will absolutely follow him anywhere. The other characters are great to see. Spock and Bones together is great. Scotty has a new character to play off of. Uhura and Sulu work together. And Kirk gets to hang around with Chekov. These smaller groups really allow for some fun back-and-forths between the crew.

Still, the movie is a bit predictable. From the moment I saw Yorktown, the space station, I knew what was happening to it at the climax of the movie. Yeah, it’s kind of a spoiler, but you’ll probably have the same thought too the moment you see it, especially if you’ve seen the previous movies. Still, Yorktown is a wonder to behold and a pretty awesome final set piece.

I really enjoyed the new character of Jaylah. She doesn’t overshadow the story while still having some nice moments and development. And she’s pretty darn skilled at a lot of stuff, too. She fits into the crew really well. I hope she doesn’t just disappear like the science officer from Into Darkness.

The main badguy of Beyond is a strange alien with some vicious technology. His name is Krall, and he pretty much hates the Federation’s way of doing things. He talks philosophically a lot, but there never is a real debate about it. It’s mostly just a few short lines between him and the crew.

He’s pretty menacing, but you only find out more about him toward the end of the movie. It surprised me, but it also reminded me a bit of the previous movies. That’s all I’ll say about him.

I’m really enjoying the Star Trek movies. This one is great for actually going to new places and trying to explore. The crew interactions are also great. The background crew still doesn’t do much, but they do feel cohesive and like people that deeply care for each other.

Star Trek Beyond is pretty great.