Independence Day: Resurgence

Ah, this movie brings back memories. Not complete ones. I was young when the first Independence Day came out, but I went to see it, and that movie was so great to me. So I was pretty excited for a sequel. There are many things I concentually like about this film. For one, it takes place in real time. The sequel came out 20 years later, and in their version of the world, 20 years had passed. And society developed entirely differently thanks to the arrival of aliens. I got to see enough of the world, and it looked pretty great until the aliens attacked again.

I still had a lot of fun in the film, though it was overstuffed. The characters weren’t that fun or interesting. Really, there was just a lack of meaningful character interaction all around. And there are a lot of characters around just to be love interests. Aside from repelling the alien invasion, that was the main story arc for about half of the characters.

The movie has a lot of great action scenes in space, in strange locations, and on earth. Thanks to modern cinema special effects, the aliens are now a lot more comfortable taking on humans on foot. I say it works well. The first film, they were mysterious. Now, humans have studied them for twenty years, so the time for mysterious is over. It’s time for aliens to bring in the big guns, hard. And that they do. Their new mothership is really impressive in scale.

Overall, there was a lot of character and plots they could have cut from the movie. But on an individual level, I don’t know which ones they should cut. I was entertained by most of the side plots. They might not be necessary, but I wasn’t bored following them. Perhaps I would remove the pyschologist (David’s new love interest).

One side plot I really liked was Julius (David’s father). He had the least to do with anything, but his part showed off more of what normal people was going through while the invasion was happening. It wasn’t dark, either, but a rather different take on everything to the story.

What I really like about the film is seeing the kids of the first movie now all grown up and taking the charge in the fight. Despite both of them being played by different actors, it was still nice to see.

But the film overall is just an excuse for a lot of space battles and explosions. The characters aren’t compelling enough, and there are too many of them. And the big epic speech wasn’t as great as what we got in the first film. Or the speech from Pacific Rim. Or Lord of the Rings. And that’s a shame.


Star Wars Rebels, Series Finale

Aw, it’s over. It was quite a wonderful journey. Star Wars Rebels is an animated show set in the Star Wars universe. When it first started, the exact timeframe was a bit ambiguous. All we knew was that it was some time before Episode 4 and after Episode 3, closer to 4. It started off as a bunch of individual episodes on the crew of the Ghost, including Jedi Kanan and his new apprentice, Ezra Bridger. Together, they get a lot of growth throughout the series with Ezra becoming pretty formidable in his own right.

But wait, doesn’t that mean there are other Jedi out there in the Universe when Luke should be the only one around? Well, the series does explain that.

The other members of the Ghost are all great, as well. And as always, Star Wars really knows how to make a cool and engaging droid character, even if Chopper only speaks in beeps. All of the droids are legimate characters with their own stories at times.

As the show goes on, it gets more and more settled into the galaxy of Star Wars. I was really glad to find out it only takes place a few years at most before Episode 4. And towards the end of the series, it was probably right before the start of Rogue One.

The last season of Star Wars Rebels starts several long storylines instead of a few shorter ones. They really put the characters through a lot of stuff, but they come out better and stronger than before. It’s a bit of a change, but it really makes the last season feel grand.

The final conflict goes back to Lothal, Ezra’s home planet. The show started there, and it ends there with the Rebels trying to get the Empire off and retaking the planet. To do that, they call in all the allies they accumulated over the course of the series. None from the Rebellion, though, since the Rebellion is busy dealing with the Empire in other locations. So it’s just their little rebel band.

It brings the show back to a more initimate setting, where everyone is important and has a stake in what’s going on.

The show also doesn’t forget about mystical Force stuff. There was a lot of wonder in the previous seasons, and there is a lot of it in this season. The Force feels so wonderful and amazing here. There are quite a bit of amazing pieces going on.

Star Wars Rebels is a great addition to the Star Wars story. It might feel a bit kiddy at times, but then at other times they go and do some serious stuff that shows a lot of heart from everyone. And as the show gets more settled into the galaxy, it just gets better. I so want more from the animated side of Star Wars. Perhaps a sequel series, eh? The ending left much to be explored.

Cloud Atlas

I fee like I need to read something to process what I watched. Alright, I’m exaggerating a bit. This movie tells six (I think) stories about the same characters that get reborn in different times. That means the same actors are playing multiple people. Individually, I understood all of the stories aside from the future of Neo Seoul. Combined, I’m not sure if it was worth the effort.

Does the premise of the movie work? Having the same actors in their different lives throughout time? For the most part, yes, I enjoyed that. It added some extra emotion to scenes. For other characters, it was pointless to have same actors playing them.

The makeup was done pretty well, though. There were times I didn’t even realize characters were played by the same actor. However, I could always tell when characters were wearing a mask.

The stories are cool pretty cool and cover a wide range of styles and tone. And while the movie jumps around a lot, I was never confused by what was happening. I could keep track of what story I was in and at what point of the story, so good on the editing.

But taken as a whole, it doesn’t feel as grand as it wants to be. I already mentioned that above, I know. the stories all chain together, but it’s not hugely important to figure out how they link. Out of the plots, I enjoyed the After Fall one the best. I think it’s cool and shows off a interesting world.

Hmm, this sort of feels like the movie where I would pick up on new information on a rewatch, but this movie is almost 3 hours long. Once is enough for me. It was a fun ride, though, that I enjoyed. All six stories were pretty fun to watch, and they stayed coherent through a lot of jumping around. If you have time to spare, its a fun story with many different tones going on.

Also, the ending credits was cool seeing which actors played which characters. That was fun.

The Orville

This show, this is my favorite new show of the season. Almost everything about this makes me happy. The marketing for this show misrepresented it as a comedy. It is not. This is a serious show about a union that explores the galaxy and tries for diplomacy first. The show is serious, the characters are more laid back, despite being military. It’s a lot like scrubs. The situatiions that characters are put into are dangerous and potentially dire, but the characters themselves are jokey and more like regular people.

Alright, I admitted this in my Star Trek movie reviews (I think) but I only saw a few episodes of Star Trek. From what I hear, this show really captures the tone of the show, including some of the cheesiness. It’s also hopeful and optimistic about what we can achieve in the future along with our alien allies. There are a lot of world, or rather, galaxy-building hints dropped in this first season that I really want followed up on, but they have built an interesting place that I want to explore and know more about.

The crew are all great. Each episode focuses on one or two of them while the other’s act as backup. And I like everyone. While the show is written by Seth MacFarlane, and he also plays the captain, the show doesn’t focus on him more than anyone else. He plays Captain Ed Mercer, a likeable guy that is sometimes awkward, but he shows off multiple times why he’s the captain. He is does his job well and tries to treat everyone fairly.

His first officer is Kelly Grayson, who is perhaps the most serious member of the crew. She mostly has great scenes with other crew members, but she’s also really good at her job, and we get to see that a few times over the season.

Next up is Bortus, the second officer. I think he has the least amount of focus, but his mannerisms are great. And he pretty much steals the scene whenever he’s the focus. Sometimes even when he’s not. Alara is the security officer, and I think she has the second-most development out of all the cast. She’s a great character, too. Great at what she does, but insecure about other things.

The pilot is Malloy, who perhaps has the second-least amount of focus. But he is great friends with everyone, and that plays well across the show. There’s Lamarr, the navigator, who initially starts out pretty normal, like anyone else. He gets a bit of focus later on that could build into something cool. We’ll have to see next season.

Doctor Finn is the ships medical officer. I think she has some great moments now and again, and I actually enjoy the scenes with her kids. They start off annoying, but they quickly become endearing. I think some more scene of her and them together will be great. The last crew officer is Isaac, the science officer. He’s perhaps my second-favorite of the crew. He’s a robot trying to study human life and interactions. Much like Bortus, he’s a scene-stealer, but he also has his science knowledge that I like.

The show goes to a lot of interesting scenarios. I say scenarios because most of the places they visit still look vaguely earth-like. Probably budget and stuff. But the crew has to deal with something interesting each time, and there’s not always a good solution to the problem. They just have to do their best.

This season was far too short. I really like The Orville and want more of it! It is not a parody, it is an homage and a serious show about a group of explorers and the situations they need to handle.

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.


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.