The United Federation of Planets is touted as a utopia in which poverty and hunger have been eliminated, and equal rights have been ushered in for all. If we ignore some of the discrepancies we see on screen and just accept it at face value, then it is a multicultural society in which anyone of any race can happily pursue whichever way of life they desire. What a time to be alive. Continue reading
Long-time readers of this blog will know that I’ve watched and reviewed a lot of terrible sci-fi movies. And, much as I enjoyed picking them to pieces, it saddened me that a genre I loved so much seemed to churn out so many duds. Forunately, the likes of The Martian and Pacific Rim kept me going, ensuring that I didn’t abandon sci-fi completely.
Enter Annihilation, the film adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer’s novel of the same name. Annihilation quietly landed on UK Netflix in March, and I soon picked up a positive vibe about it from both friends and Twitter. In due course, I gave it a go myself. Continue reading
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, precious resources such as water and gasoline are controlled by vicious biker gangs. When the eponymous Max Rockatansky is captured by Immortan Joe’s War Boys to become an unwilling blood donor, it looks like the end of the road. At least, until he becomes involved in a rebellion by Joe’s trusted lieutenant, Imperator Furiosa, who has made a break for freedom along with Joe’s wives – a group of fertile women held against their will. Continue reading
Spoiler warning: I will discuss the ending!
Dispatching the last of the guards, George Smiley climbed onto the rooftop of the Fortress of Evil. The wind ruffled his hair as a familiar figure turned to greet him.
“So, we meet again, Mr Smiley,” drawled Karla, taking a drag from his cigarette. “I thought I warned you not to come after me.”
“This ends now, Karla!” exclaimed Smiley. “I’ve come to put a stop to your evil schemes.”
“Oh George, George,” laughed Karla, shaking his head. “You always were so naive. All this time, I’ve been watching your every move. And now you’re too late to stop me. With this one remote control, I can launch the warheads and start a nuclear war. What can you do to stop me?”
With a mighty roar, George Smiley hurled himself at Karla, despite to wrest the remote out of the other man’s hand. Smiley was no stranger to martial arts, but his opponent’s strength was superhuman. Only the thought of what would happen if Karla succeeded in his plan spurred Smiley on to keep fighting.
The above scene is in no way drawn from anything that happens in John Le Carre’s Smiley’s People – neither the original book, nor the TV adaptation which is the subject of this review. The only reason I wrote it is to drive home a point – how delightful and refreshing it is that such a scene is completely absent. Continue reading
Continuing on from my appraisal of season 3.
Even though it’s technically just the second half of a twelve episode run, season four definitely has a bit of a different flavour. The overall feel of these episodes is ever so slightly less bleak, and the show even dabbles in slightly happier endings.
There’s also a definite shift in the dialogue, with plenty of blunt language and jokes about sex. Continue reading
Admiral Cornwell has entrusted Discovery’s mission to Qo’nos to mirror Georgiou, the only person ruthless enough to carry it out. Despite her misgivings, Burnham goes along with the plan, but can Discovery really bring an end to the war? Continue reading
Some years back, I enjoyed Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror on Channel 4 – seven episodes exploring how advances in technology could lead us to dark and dystopian futures. It wasn’t easy viewing, but overall it was definitely worth the emotional investment. One might even argue that The Waldo Moment, in which a foul-mouthed CGI bear runs for political office, was a dire warning not to dismiss the Trump campaign.
Flash forward a couple of years, and Black Mirror returned, in the form of twelve episodes commissioned by Netflix. Even though the first six of them were released over a year ago, I’ve only just binged all twelve, and I felt like saying a little about each of them. Continue reading