Sluggish Reaction: Edge of Tomorrow

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I watched Edge of Tomorrow on TV recently and wanted to throw up a quick reaction and share my thoughts on the movie. In short I expected a generic alien invasion action movie, which is basically what it is but the ‘Live.Die.Repeat’ time travel plotline gave the film a fresh feel and meant you didn’t spend the whole movie on a beachhead or fighting through a devastated city.

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Tom Cruise plays a military PR official forced into front line combat. He dies within minutes of entering the battlefield but finds himself repeating the same day and same battle over and over.

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Eventually he meets Emily Blunt’s character, a hero of humanity who has had a similar experience and trains him by repeatedly killing him. Eventually their knowledge of the battle becomes so great they can navigate with ease.

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The aliens, known as ‘mimics’, were suitably alien and threatening but the plot wisely didn’t focus too much on them, instead focusing on the dynamic between Blunt and Cruise as they fought their way towards an endgame.

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The use of death as a reboot was used well to keep the story fresh and was often hilarious with Cruise dying unexpectedly at any given moment then catching up to where the story left off. It also led for surprises as we as the audience could never be quite sure if we were witnessing the characters do something for the first time.

The story has everything you’d expect from a Tom Cruise action/SF flick but it’s unique storytelling style plus great performances and action sequences make this one stand out as well worth a watch.

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Species of the Week: Isu

Isu

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Earth

Notable Members: Juno, Minerva, Jupiter

Fandom: Assassin’s Creed

Appearances: Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed III

 

More commonly known as the First Civilization or ‘Those Who Came Before’ the Isu were an advanced race who rules the earth for millennia. They created humanity and used their technology (now referred to as Pieces of Eden) to control them. An uprising led by Human-Isu hybrids known as Adam and eve coupled with a solar cataclysm led to the end of their culture though they continued to influence events and  guide the Assassin Brotherhood through their technology centuries later. 

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed III which is why I picked this race for this week. Obviously I’m waaay behind on the series so I don’t want to research much more for risk of spoiling myself – in fact, learning the name Isu was a spoiler for me!! Anyway engaging with the real-world quests and uncovering the technology of the mysterious First Civilization has always been a favourite part of the game for me and I may come back to this race when I’ve uncovered more of their secrets.

Star Wars for very young kids – part 2

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We’re living in a great time for Star Wars fans who want to introduce their younglings to Star Wars but don’t want to expose them to too much violence. In this post I’ve selected episodes from Season 2 of Forces of Destiny that have no fighting or at least keep the action to a minimum.

You can read my post about season 1 episodes HERE

Shuttle Shock

Shuttle Shock is a fun adventure featuring BB-8. Kids adore the little droid (especially when he does his trademark thumbs up!) so it’s an instant favourite. The episode is an interlude in The Last Jedi with Finn and Rose en route to Canto Bight. They come across some giant space jellyfish which shock the shuttle and present mild peril but they aren’t particularly scary in themselves kids love the bright colours and they don’t appear too scary.

Jyn’s Trade

Jyn’s Trade is a sweet episode featuring Jyn Erso having a run in with an adorable Chadra-Fan child who steals her necklace in the hopes of trading it for some food. After chasing the child and retrieving her necklace she realises that all the child wants is to eat so she willingly gives her food.

The Path Ahead

“Can we watch Yoda in the bag?” is something I’ve heard often. This episode features more of Luke’s training on Dagobah and the wise master teaching his pupil to trly on the force to navigate. But seeing Yoda wriggle into Luke’s backpack and his classic chuckle is a great way to introduce kids to Star Wars. I would definitely say this is my number one recommendation, especially as it ties so closely to the Empire Strikes Back scene.

Porgs!

This episode features Chewie and R2 on Ach-To dealing with some pesky Porgs who steal wiring from the Falcon. After chasing them down they help the creatures find better materials to build their nest and leave them in peace. Kids love the hilarious Porgs and it’s a great way to introduce them to Chewie and R2.

 

These are the episodes which feature no weapons or violence of any kind. The following videos do feature them in a limited sense but I still feel they’re suitable as they don’t feature violence in a direct way.

 

Porgs!

Another episode on Ach-To with the pesky birds, this time causing problems for Rey when they activate her lightsaber then run off with it. I’ve added it here because the lightsaber is activated but it’s never used as a weapon and it is retrieved safely by Rey.

Monster Misunderstanding

I add this one here hesitantly because it does feature blasters firing, but never at people. The Sando Aqua Monster is ramming a building on Naboo. I tell kids that the Naboo guard are trying to scare it away as the blasters don’t appear to be harming the creature at all. The Sando Aqua Monster is less scary than it’s appearance in Phantom Menace and never directly attacks Amidala or other characters and, when reunited with it’s child, is seen playing peacefully in the ocean. Personally I think it’s fine for young kids, but you might want to watch it first and make your own judgement.

 

And that’s it for Forces of Destiny. However there are plenty more videos for young kids out there, including the growing collection of Galaxy of Adventures shorts so I’ll be back soon with another post!

Species of the week: Kel Dor

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Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Dorin

Notable members: Bo Keevil, Plo Koon

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Resistance, Prequel Trilogy, Clone Wars

 

The Kel Dor come from a planet with an atmosphere toxic to most  other species. This requires them to wear breathing equipment in what is considered a normal environment by most other species. Their species were most famous for their expert pilots; including Jedi Master Plo Koon and experminatal stunt fighter pilot and Ace Squadron member Bo Keevil.

 

OK so I haven’t seen much of Star Wars: Resistance but the fact that he is a Kel Dor has made Bo Keevil a favourite character of mine. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a sweet-looking experimental ship with multiple wing configurations that I would have given my left arm for a toy version of as a kid. We need more Bo Keevil!!!

Sluggish Reaction: Avengers Endgame trailer

 

I really liked this trailer. It showed very little, but just enough to get me seriously hyped for this film!!

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Recaps of the heroes and their journeys was a smart play but it did remind us that this is the journey we’ve been building to since 2008

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I didn’t recognize the voiceover during Cap’s segment, is this a new character or am I missing something?Avengers 3

This isn’t going to end well!! I’m imagining Barton turning around to pick something up and then finding his daughter gone. Interesting to see her training with her Dad as I know Clint’s daughter takes up the mantle of Hawkeye in the comics,Avengers 4

I liked the black and white sequence reminding us of what has been lost.Avengers 5

Some pretty cool action sequences not giving much away. This one of Nebula stood out to me, I’m wondering if she’d the one to end her father’s life and avenge her sister.Avengers 6

Aaaaand here comes the money shot!!! These new white suits took me back to being a teenager geeking out about comics. It’s amazing the impact a change of outfit can have and they just look so slick. I’m wondering if time travel will be involved which requires specialised armour? Oh and Tony’s back, guess he gets off the spaceship then!Avengers 7

I liked this little scene between Thor and Captain Marvel. I don’t recognize the woman on the left. I’m wondering if she’s the same person who did the earlier voiceover.

Honestly I didn’t need a trailer but I’m really excited to conclude this story now!!

Species of the Week: Tardigrade

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Designation: Unclear, possibly sentient

Homeworld: Unknown, possibly none

Notable members: Ripper

Fandom: Star Trek

Appearances: Star Trek: Discovery

These exotic creatures were able to connect to the mycelial network of spores scattered across space and as such could connect to the experimental Spore Drive on the USS Discovery and perform as a navigator. When released to space the creature was able to jump through space independently.

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They were named as such because of their likeness in both characteristics and appearance to the microbial creatures of the same name found on Earth. They are incredibly resilient, shrugging off phaser fire and melee weapons and inflicting massive damage when threatened. 

 

I’m slowly making my way through Star Trek: Discovery and I’m enjoying the mix of aliens they’ve got and the commitment to effects on background as well as key characters. The plotline with the Tardigrade was fun and I’d like to see Ripper and more of his kind make another appearance (for all I know they do, but I s’pose I’ll find out!)

My Two Credits: 2 reasons you should play Republic Commando and 2 things you might want to know

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Star Wars: Republic Commando is this month’s Games with Gold title on Xbox Live. Here’s my take on the game and why you should get it…other than it’s free!!

1. The Squad System

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Usually I’m all for story over gameplay but the squad system on Republic Commando  was particularly memorable. You play as the leader of a squad of four clone commandos. As you look around you can use the d-pad to direct clones on your squad to perform specific actions, such as breaching doors, manning turrets and  engaging enemies. I acknowledge I don’t play many games but I haven’t played anything like it apart from Halo 5.

2. Live the Clone Wars

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The game puts you in the heart of the Clone Wars, battling the Seperatists and other enemies such as Trandoshan Slavers across a variety of planets. The campaign was relatively short but each mission was challenging in a fun way with a variety of enemies to fight and mission objectives to complete. The game itself is Legends now but there’s nothing I’m aware of that contradicts the new Canon so you can really put yourself into the Clone Wars.

Ok these are two reasons to play the game, here are two things you should know.

1. The game is a tie-in to Episode III

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One of the missions has you rescue Tarfful, the leader of the Wookiees seen in Revenge of the Sith. It felt awesome to play this game and then see the results of one of your work on-screen at the cinema!

2. The games spawned a series of books

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The characters in the game continued on in a series of books written by Karen Traviss, which explored their role in the Clone Wars, their Mandalorian heritage and how they dealt with Order 66.

OK, just a quick one today. But like I said if you’re a Star Wars fand and an Xbox Live Gold account holder you can get this for free so, honestly who not?!!

It’s no longer free but you can also see my review for Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy HERE

 

Species of the week: Kelpien

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Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Kaminar

Notable members: Commander Saru

Fandom: Star Trek

Appearances: Star Trek: Discovery

 

Kelpiens are a species native to the agrarian world of Kaminar. On their world there are only predators or prey and their species are the prey. As such they have extremely heightened sense and abilities including threat ganglia that instinctively raise in the presence of danger. Very few of their species venture offworld and Saru was the first member to leave and join Starfleet.

I’m getting into Star Trek: Discovery and I like the design of Saru who has a modern aesthetic that still would feel at home with classic Trek races.