Tag Archives: Movies

Species of the Week: Geonosian

Related image

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Geonosis

Notable Members: Archduke Poggle the Lesser

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, Darth Vader

 

Geonosians were an insectoid race native to Geonosis and arid, desert planet. They lived in a hive culture with Queens ultimately in control over various castes including mindless worker drones, winged soldiers and administrators who wielded significant power. They rose to prominence due to their large  factories which mass-produced battle droids for the Seperatists. After the conclusion of the war the Empire sterilized the whole planet to preserve their secrets and the race became extinct apart from one solitary queen.

I’m watching the Clone Wars series for the first time and I really enjoyed the invasion of Geonosis. The big-scale battle was well done and the horror element as the clones sneak through the cave while being attacked by solider drones popping out of the shadows. Like most fans I gripe about Episode 2 but the Geonosians were a great design.

 

Advertisements

The Force Awakens Revisited: Blogga’s Essential Guide to Planets

 

Join me as I look back the The Force Awakens and do my best to catalogue every planet featured in and associated with the film

 

As I promised in the video here is Star Wars Explained’s theory about why Starkiller Base could actually be Ilum

 

Thanks for watching/reading – more nerdy over-analysing coming soon!

Sluggish Reaction: Indepedence Day Resurgence

Image result for independence day resurgence

I caught up on Independence Day: Resurgence when it was shown on TV and after it had sat in my DVR box for a while. Watching it confirmed my decision after watching the trailer that it would be a fun watch, but not worth shelling out to see at the cinema.

Image result for independence day resurgence

The whole setup of humanity being united and better equipped but then easily overcome by a much bigger spaceship felt too much like a rehash of the first one. Humanity had all these amazing weaponry but they basically did nothing with it and were on the ropes quickly. Of course the whole underdog thing is more compelling viewing but it just felt repetitive to me.

Image result for independence day resurgence

What they should have done, in my opinion, is spend more time on the mystery of this alien object that they shot down. This to me was much more intriguing and as the movie ended with the promise of humanity taking the fight into outer space that suddenly got me interested but far too late into the movie.

IDR Mothership

The film managed to capture what the first one did so well, massive destruction. I have to admit I was impressed with the scale of the mothership but the problem is it’s been released after two decades of disaster movies so the devastation it’s landing caused didn’t have anything new to offer in terms of spectacle, no matter how well executed the sequence was.

IDR gun

Again the whole technology thing didn’t really work for humanity. Most of the tense moments came around them charging these giant guns, which were always destroyed first. I just couldn’t stop thinking they if it takes ten seconds to charge shouldn’t you have been charging them ten seconds ago?!!

For a fun evening watch on TV it was just fine, but that’s all it was and it’s unfortunate it had such big shoes to fill and that it took too long to still be relevant. I do hope they make a third so I can see the fight go to space and I look forward to seeing it eventually from the comfort of my own home!

Sluggish Reaction: Tomb Raider (movie)

Image result for tomb raider

So I’ve been catching up on my video game adaptations recently!! I’ve had this on my Netflix watchlist for a while and finally got around to watching it. It was a fun ride and I was glad to hear from Movie News Net that a sequel is in the works.

Plot

Richard Croft

After her father goes missing Lara abandons her life as an heiress and makes a living as a courier while keeping up her martial arts and agility as well as her keen mind and ability to solve puzzles. The latter comes into effect when she is compelled to declare her father dead in-absentia  and uncovers a puzzle that leads her to an ancient tomb where an ancient Japanese Empress with the power to kill with merely a touch is said to be buried.

I thought the plot opened up well and built up to the final confrontation as well as setting up for a larger conflict, which again I’m relieved to hear is going ahead.

Lara Croft

Image result for tomb raider movie lara

I liked Lara’s portrayal in the film by Alicia Vikander. She struck a good balance between posh and relatable with her character having seen how the other half lived. Also, reflecting the change in direction for the game franchise Lara is tough but certainly not invincible, she is agile but not superhuman and she is skilled but not infallible and when she took up her bow it was refreshing to see her miss some shots rather than turn into Hawkeye with no context.

All her skills were set up by either flashbacks to her life at Croft Manor or by her street-smart life as a young adult. She looked scared when things were scary and acted out of necessity. The more down to earth approach worked well for the film.

Action

Image result for tomb raider movie oh come on

For the most part the action was fine. As I said Lara didn’t abruptly become some sort of superhero and the fighting felt realistic for what you’d expect from an inexperienced yet very capable and determined young hero. The one downside for me was the set-piece with the broken plane which just went on for far too long – in fact I shouted “Oh, come on!” at the exact same time as Lara, which just took me out of the movie.

Verdict

The movie was good…not great, but good. Unlike Assassin’s Creed I couldn’t put my finger on any major flaws and I perfectly enjoyed it. It didn’t blow me away, but then I wasn’t asking it to. I enjoy the games but I’m not a diehard fan so I don’t have any attachment to them for this film to fulfil or disappoint. What I was expecting was an engaging action film with a strong female lead and on that score it absolutely delivered.

Species of the week: Outriders

Designation: Non-sentient

Homeworld: Unknown

Fandom: Marvel [MCU]

Appearances: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

The Outriders are a mindless race who serve and obey Thanos and his black order. They don’t use weaponry but their four arms, sharp teeth and superhuman strength combined with their large numbers make them a formidable threat. Thanos used them to overwhelm the defenses of the planets he wished to conquer, including Earth.

I’m going to avoid Endgame spoilers so I won’t say much other than I thought this race was well used as a threat that could challenge the Avengers even if purely by numbers. Plus they look great!! I don’t know much about the comics but they seem like a pretty faithful interpretation of this image I saw.

Sluggish Reaction: Assassin’s Creed (movie)

Image result for assassin's creed movie poster

I recently(ish) watched the Assassin’s Creed movie on Netflix. As a big fan of the video games I was eager to see how it worked on-screen and the result was…ok. I’ve read a lot of very negative reviews and I don’t think it deserves all the flack it got but despite a lot of positive elements and strong performances it just didn’t quite resonate as it should have.

Basic Plot

Image result for assassin's creed movie callum

The story starts with Callum Lynch, a death row inmate who is subjected to lethal injection and wakes up in an Abstergo Industries facility. He is greeted by scientist Sofia Rikkin and put into the Animus, a machine which allows him to live the memories of his ancestor Aguilar.

Image result for assassin's creed movie

Aguilar is sent on a mission, during the Spanish Inquisition, to protect a Prince. The Prince’s father has hidden the Apple and artifact of value to the Templars, the mortal enemies of the Assassins. Slowly as he is put into the Animus Callum gains not only the memories but also the abilities of his ancestor and begins to question his loyalties.

What’s good then?

Image result for assassin's creed movie action

The action scenes are phenomenal and I would recommend watching the movie just to see Aguilar and his partner Maria in action. The fluid movement is like an amped up version of the game and made me ashamed of the bumbling idiot I turned Ezio into so often. The action is also very true to the game with the characters performing hidden-blade assassinations, acrobatic combat and leaps of faith which looked incredible and  more importantly fit into the action of the movie without feeling like fan service.

How does it connect to the games? (Skip to next section to avoid SPOILERS)

Image result for assassin's creed movie animus

Simple answer – it doesn’t. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the film should stand on it’s own feet. However I was hoping that the inclusion of Alan Rikkin, the elusive chairman of Abstergo, would make some clear connections to the games, but the movie gradually makes it clear that it belongs in it’s own timeline.

 I’ll try to break down the two key differences that separate the film and the games. First is the Animus, which instead of being a bed involves a mechanical arm suspended from the ceiling making the use replicate the movements of his ancestor exactly. Sofia states that this is the only model and was designed by her so no grumpy Warren Vidic!!

Image result for assassin's creed movie apple

Next is the Apple. There is a possibility the Templars could be lying but they strongly suggest they don’t know the origins of the Apple and there’s certainly no mention of Those Who Came Before or any other Pieces of Eden. Understandably bringing in a human precursor race might have been a bit much for a movie-going audience but the lack of origin for the device felt a bit odd when we know so much in the games.

Other than that it does follow a broad brush stroke similarities with the Templars warring against the Assassins for centuries and the Assassins having experienced a recent purge, leaving their influence diminished.

So what went wrong then? (SPOILERS END)

Image result for assassin's creed movie sofiar

Often with films it’s hard to nail down quite what’s missing but here’s what I think could have improved the movie.

Firstly more Aguilar. As I said the action sequences were phenomenal and his journey was really interesting but towards the end it just felt rushed so they could trigger a final sequence in the modern day world.

The ending itself seemed confused, with the Templar’s overall plot unclear, Sofia’s motivations kept changing and the open ending felt too abrupt. It’s hard to say more without spoiling the film but I would say the final act felt rushed in lots of ways and that was they key letdown of the movie who’s first two acts were solid.

That said the film definitely feels like Assassin’s Creed so if you’re prepared for a bit of a bump at the end I’d say still strap in and enjoy the ride!

Species of the week: Drabatan

Homeworld: Pipada

Designation: Sentient

Notable members: Pao

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Rogue One

The Drabatans were an amphibious species. Their world was harvested for resources by the Empire, displacing many and causing them to sympathise with the Rebellion.

Been watching Rogue One this weekend. So many great background species but Pao really stood out for me. I was glad to see at least one alien on the Rogue One team and you couldn’t help but feel elated at his battle cry along with all the main cast and supporting human fighters.

Sluggish Reaction: Edge of Tomorrow

Related image

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.

Image result for edge of tomorrow tom cruise

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.

Related image

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.

Image result for edge of tomorrow mimic

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.

Tom Cruise death

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.

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!!

Avengers 1

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

Avengers 2

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!!