Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

This was / is the only Marvel MCU film i didn’t see at the cinema. Work and anxiety issues prohibited me from it. So on its release on Disney +, it was a necessity to sit down and digest it over a seafood salad. Which was lovely, btw.

The tragic loss of our hero and friend Chadwick Boseman threw the fate of this sequel into indefinition but the writers have very fondly crafted his loss into the movie. The opening, silent Marvel Studios logo pays a wonderful homage to the fallen legend. Of course, the trailers have all spoiled the reveal of the new Panther, but if you ask me, the film would have stood happily by itself without the Panther character – its far more about Wakanda, and the greif of T’challa’s mother and sister.

Its first stumbling block is its choice of antagonists. Namora is a Hermes-style flying fish person. His people are BLUE. Live UNDER THE SEA. They may well have called the film “Aquaman: Avatar Forever”. They ride around on whales (like Aquaman), they live in an underwater city (like Aquaman), and Namora himself has the acting range of a coral reef (like Aquaman).

Basically a genius child prodigy (exactly like America in Dr Strange) has invented a Vibranium-detector and it turns out that Wakanda isn’t the only place on Earth you can find it. So us nasty humans try to steal it, get caught up in a huge revenge plot by the sea people and then Wakanda has to get stuck in the middle.

Plot is silly, check. Its MCU. But then the child builds a Mighty Morphin Power suit. “Ironheart.” Jeez. Talk about a drop in quality. In fact, the CGI throughout is awful. I mean, obviously, compared to films of ten years ago its good, but this is the MCU. This is post -Avatar: Way of Water – i really would have expected more from this cartoon of terrible.

Angela Basset and Letitia Wright absolutely steal the show – and make it worth the watch. My particular highlight (there weren’t many) was the banter between Shuri and her royal bodyguard Okoye (Danai Gurira); a classic double act.

The rest of the film is startlingly forgettable. The Queen gets some excellent scenes and theres a smattering of decent lines, but other than that is a bit average. Its nice exploring the world a bit more, but, ultimately, its a just another film in the franchise, and hardly stand out. Come on Marvel, you’re better than this.

That said, it truly is a love letter in memory of Chadwick, and for that it excels.

And…what the hell with Martin Freeman?

Star Trek: Prodigy S1

After a bumpy start, this show undergoes one of the greatest redemptions of late. Let me explain its ins and outs, and the profound affect it has had on me.

The opening episodes, where we are introduced to misfit no.1 Dal R-el, (Brett Gray), an outcast trapped on a prison asteroid and who knows nothing of his past (cliche number one of many). He attempts an escape, and unwarily stumbles upon a hidden starship, the USS Protostar, a gleaming, shiny modern starfleet vessel that doesn’t quite look as silly as the Discovery. He is then joined by various other misfits; Gwyndala (Ella Purnell), whose father is the despotic tyrant running the asteroid – and whose mining plans are to find the aforementioned Protostar); Jankom Pog,(jason mantzoukas), a tellurite who has a penchant for engines; Zero, (Angus Imrie), a non-corporeal floating piece of nebula inside a hovering suit, reminding me of a Zeriod from Terrahawks; Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui), a humungous rock person who looks like The Thing from Fantastic Four; and finally an amorphous blob called, obviously, Murf, after the girl from Interstellar.

I happily admit i struggled. I’m possibly too old for the cartoonish antics and the fist-into-face morals that seem intrinsic to these modern cartoons. Its all about friendship, and working together. Now don’t get me wrong, its lovely to see the kids being sent messages like this, its very important. But for me, it wasn’t the cartoons that delivered this to me. I was brought up believing in teamwork when Red Squadron took down the Death Star. Friendship was the running banter betwix Venkman, Stanz and Spengler. Love was, well, “I Love You, ” “I Know”.

But i knew something was coming. Something i had no right to be excited about.

The Protostar has a resident hologram. The mentor for the band of merry gumblewits that had stolen it. Somebody to teach them the meaning of Starfleet and galactic harmony. And that hologram takes the form of Janeway.

You see, as much as i adored The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, it was truly Voyager that turned me into a die-hard Trekkie. The (mis)adventures of the displaced crew and their journey home from the middle of the Delta Quadrant were my first VHS’s that i ever bought myself. The very first video i spent my pocket money on was Season 3 video 2: The Chute / The Swarm. The Chute, to this day, is likely my favourite episode of the whole show. So for me, Captain Janeway is my Captain. I am often out voted, with Stu preferring Picard and Mark preferring Sisko. I don’t conform. Before either of these two i’d even pick Archer. Hate me.

So Hologram Janeway is aboard the Protostar, and the initial salvo of episodes bring each characters story forwards and establishes them as a crew, young and ready to learn, despite their differences. Hints at a little cliche romance between Gwyn and Dal hangs in the air. Its all standard stuff, introducing the world of Star Trek to younger viewers.

But then things heat up. I was first alerted to the unexpected by the excellent “Time Amok” (which is a neat little homage to the history of Trek), which revolves around the timey wimey plot involving different areas of the ship slowing down depending on their distance from the temporal explosion. An excellent concept, an excellent episode.

The big reveal comes with the finale of Part one of the series. You see, it turns out the Protostar’s original captain was none other than CHAKOTAY (i had goosebumps, and i hadn’t even been hit with the biggie yet)… and that a certain Vice Admiral is desperate to find her first officer. Yes, you guessed it, JANEWAY. Not some lame hologram, no, the real deal, complete with silver sheen to her hair.

And its not just a cameo. The whole show then starts to revolve around her pursuit of the Protostar, and even her crew get big parts to play.

The highlight of the whole show is when Dal and Janeways minds are swapped (“Mindwalk”), allowing Kate Mulgrew to flex her comedy muscles as Dal struggles to act-Janewayish to her crew. Her jogging on the spot in the turbolift had me in tears.

At its heart, the arc of the show is devilishly clever and sinister. The kids want to get to Starfleet, but hidden inside the belly of the Protostar is a construct which will turn any starfleet vessel against itself. So they can’t talk to the people they want to join, and they can’t ask for help. (opening comms creates a link for the construct to do its menace). Great hook, and the finale is devastating to watch.

Season Two is on its way, but we are left open to wonder just whats going to happen. Theres hints that they won’t be aboard the Protostar next season…but something else. Its the hunt for Chakotay, trapped in time.

My money is on the Voyager-A.

Now with Chakotay and Janeway on board the show, who will be see next year? Picard has reunited the TNG crew…will Prodigy do the same for Voyager? Will be get to see Kim – finally promoted? Paris. B’Elanna? The possibilities have me horripilating.

Second star on the left, straight on till morning.

Oh….and that theme tune. Engage!!

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

The first Avatar came out in 2009 and made box office history with a global taking of $2.9 BILLION DOLLARS. Utterly insane. With that, obviously we’d get a sequel. But, contrary to Hollywood’s usual trope of shoving out a follow up with nary a care for quality, James Cameron’s highly anticipated sequel has been 13 years in the making. Not doing things by halves, though, Cameron is releasing another (rumoured) THREE of these CGI extravanganzas, bringing the total to five. Its hardly a rival to the likes of The Fast and Furious franchise or James Bond, but its certainly more than we expected.

Avatar (2009) is a hippie high budget metaphor for the value of nature and Humanity’s mindless aim to eradicate our world’s rainforests in the search for rare wealth. It could have been dismissed as a load of nonsence with an awful script and in-your-face environmentalism – but somehow the world was captivated. Perhaps it was the spectacle; the ground breaking realism of the computer generated moon of Pandora was mindblowing. Enough to dwarf the wooden performance from its lead, Sam Worthington.

Avatar 2 exceeds my expectations. Read on.

We are treated to a wonderful introductory sequence that covers what has happened since the events of the first movie. This feels right, seeing as we have waited 13 years for the film, it fits that the events are set a similar number of years later. In the intervening years Sully (sam) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have given birth to three kids (two boys and a wee girl) and have adopted a female girl who is the child of Sigourney Weaver from the first film. Interestingly, Sigourney also voices the teenage child. And her parentage is…well, i’ll leave that to your theories. Oh, and theres a young boy on the base “Spider” whose father is stupidly obvious but who is brought up Na’vi-friendly.

The film then delivers a nasty gut-punch. The humans return to Pandora and on landing, devastate the World Tree and half the rainforest. fast forward a year…

the Na’vi are raiders, let militaristically by Sully to upset the human supply lines.

The villain of the piece is Quaritch (Stephen Lang) – but he was killed in the first film!! Yes – this time we have a Na’vi “recombinant”, a clone bred from Quaritch’s DNA and embedded with the memories before he died. A terrific sci-fi idea and one that is not wasted.

Quaritch retains his death-grudge with Sully, and vows to kill him. So Sully and his cliched family up sticks and head to the oceans of Pandora, seeking asylum with the turquoise water Na’vi.

And there we have. The next two hours are a mix of family drama, children fighting and bullying, outcast cliches and beautiful underwater imagery. Oh. And did i mention a massively upsetting moment when a f*cking hovercraft butchers a huge Pandoran whale in order to drain its brain fluid. I was close to tears. Its a powerful message about the evil of the whaling industry.

Its by no means perfect. The script is dire; cliched, textbook dialogue. The plot is cookie-cutter and almost identical to the first film: characters arrive in new place, become friendly with the intitially unhappy locals, then get attacked by a battalion of humans searching for some rare material (this time age-stopping whale brains).


Its shockingly beautiful. The underwater scenes, the pandoran creatures, the rousing music, the explosions…amazing. Cameron knows he has a very very high standard of special effect on show here – so he sets whole action scenes in rain, underwater and gleaming with lightshows from sunrise to sunset, and even through the night.

And the best thing… i forgot the Na’vi were fake. They are astoundingly realistic. From the minutest of facial ticks, ear twitches and nose-scrunching to their ridiculous height and alien movement. Its only when you see them next to humans you go, “oh shit they’re not real!”

The occasional moment of humour shines too. Sam Worthington proves that despite a face as beige as a vauxhall corsa, his alterego Na’vi is oscar worthy.

A tremendous achievement in cinema. Don’t wait till DVD or stream. See it now on the big screen. The biggest you can find.

Dr Who – The Power of the Doctor

Okay. Its finally here. How many years have we been hyped now that this day would come. The definitive ‘end of an era’; when Jodie Whittaker hangs up her awesome long jacket, her iconic and subtly LBTGQ+T-shirt and her sonic screwdriving answer to everything macguffin, and when Chris “Chibbers” Chibnall hands back the reins of Dr Who to previous showrunner Russel T Davies.

But lets address the episode itself before we tackle the bigger picture. Needless to say this review contains spoilers, but unless you’ve been buried in a hole the last two months i reckon you’ve already heard about the game-changing cliffhanger, which i will also address later.

We begin the episode needlessly on a fancy space train, which highlighted for me something sinister. The plots of Nu-Who feel so lacklustre that in order to maintain its viewers attention it has had to develop two rather shitty attributes; one, the use of special effects to create ridiculous scenarios for the Doc and crew to battle through – this train sequence, the bit at the beginning of “Legend of the Sea Devils”, the swordfight in the same episode. Huge ‘action scenes’ that are there simply to impress the generation now watching dr who. Now don’t get me wrong, i love action. The motorbike chase in the 96 tv movie, the kawasaki chase in Day of the Daleks, the various Christopher Ecclestone and David Tennat run-montages, with awesome thundering music. But in Jodies reign the action scenes seemed excessive. Spectacle over story.

The second shitty attribute? Prepare to unview me folks because i present a controversial opinion: Thasmin was terrible. The need to put in a woke lesbian attraction between the Doc and Yas seemed so forced and leftfield. I don’t know whether to blame the actors or poor writing, but there was no obvious chemistry unless the plot required it specifically. But this is what the ‘fans’ want, apparently. They want a decent science fiction story sidelined by some whiny companions saying they’ve fallen in love with the Doctor and are devastated she doesn’t feel the same. I’ve lost count with the number of unrequited loves i’ve encountered, yet its the end of the world and ‘doesn’t make any sense’ that the Doc doesn’t fancy Yas.

So. The Cyber-Masters (cyberised time lords) kidnap a young girl of unknown origin who turns out to be an ancient space-borne time-eating alien from the Old Times, but was only a girl because…er, no that wasn’t suitably explained. Basically so that the entire viewership thought we were going to get some resolution of the crap Timeless Child plotline. Which we didn’t, by the by.

The plot itself from now on wasn’t complicated, but it lacked…coherence. I have an infinitum of questions that can all be answered by saying ‘it would look cool’, or ‘because thats what we all want to see’. I agree and disagree. Ace parachuting off the UNIT building INTO the TARDIS was awesome, but the whole time i was wondering why Tegan thought her best option was to run back into the Lions Den and take the stairs, which were literally crawling with Cybermen.

The Master’s Boney M scene arose as a highlight, effectively displaying the batshit craziness of the Master, but harking back effectively to a similar scene in “The Sound of Drums” so many years earlier. The Cyberman looking at the Dalek amidst the madness is one of the few pieces of humour that hit the mark.

My highlights, however, are pretty obvious. If i gave you three guesses you get it in one. Correct; the other Doctors. Seeing Peter, Colin and Sylvester on screen as their relevant Doctors was an absolute dream. Particularly their scenes with their appropriate companions, resolving an unspoken grudge between Tegan and the Fifth, and Ace and the Seventh. The highlight of these highlights of course, was the wonderful and surprising appearance of Paul McGann, now his third on-screen appearance as the 8th Doctor. Why oh why can’t we get a series – even just a couple of specials – with him as the Doctor?

My WTF moment, and not in a good way, was when the Doctor was forced to regenerate…into the Master?? But not really. I’m sure there was some ridiculous explanation of why Jodie became the Master, but the Master’s body remained lifeless. Where did our Doctor go? I guess somebody will try and tell me that she regenerated into her next persona, but the Master somehow interjected with his own mind and became that next persona, but why then did he keep his face? the silliness wouldn’t bother me so much if they’d explained it, even with glorious technobabble. But they didn’t. Lazy.

So the rest of the episode that has gone unmentioned above did so because it was boring, confusing narratively, and badly edited.

The end then. With the Doc finally ditching Yas and – emotionally – asking to regenerate by herself – she stands on the end of a famous landmark, utters some one liner about tagging the next actor…and then regenerates.

Into David Tennant. Microphone drop. What?

Maybe redemption is to come with the 60th Anniversary.

OH. I should comment on the title. The Power of the Doctor. The power is that this character has existed since 1963, and had since affected countless lives, formed an entire culture, and has become an icon of British TV. I may have outright hated some episodes, but i’ve seen every one. The power of doctor who has had an indefinable influence on my entire life. I can’t ignore that.

The Power of the Doctor – my idea

What follows is the a detailed breakdown of the plot of the episode I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN, (had i been given that miracle) or DID WRITE in one of the weird mutiverse versions of reality. It will likely bear no resemblance to the version we are all about to watch; but i would be interested to see how much things are different / or the same.

Bearing in mind my brief was the following;

  1. must wrap up the events leading up to this story, providing RTD a reasonably blank slate to kick off on. Blank in so far its a TV program that has been about for 59 years.
  2. Must feature celebratory cameos of some companions of past-doctors.
  3. must be a centenary celebration of the BBC
  4. must feature the Master predominantly, with likely Daleks as well.
  5. Must end with Jodie Whittakers regeneration.
  6. plot must be insanely epic.

The Doctor recieves a distress call she cannot possibly ignore – from her old pal Dorothy Ace McShane, who has been taken hostage by The Master and his race of CyberDalek hybrids. Ace says she has been captured and is being held inside the Master’s TARDIS, currently masquerading as BBC television centre. She also mentions that another old friend is in the prison with her – Tegan Jovanka!

The Doc demands what evil deeds the Master is trying to to inflict upon the Earth – but it turns out hes not interested in the Earth at all. Rather, his beef is with her, and the Time Lords. He has discovered that he was double-duped. The Gallifrey he destroyed was a duplicate formed by the Time Lords for that very reason – to make him think he had won, but divert his attention from the true location of his people. But they’re not his people – are they? The Timeless Child was never the Doctor – it was always the Master. He was lied to. So in revenge, the Master intends to invert his Eye of Harmony, and using the Doctor’s DNA, erase EVERY SINGLE TIME LORD from existence. In every reality, in all time lines.

With the Eye of Disharmony growing inside BBC Television centre, the Doctor must pull out all the stops, calling in favours from all across the cosmos to come to her aid. It turns out that she has left a hell of legacy – the power of the doctor has spread far and wide, and her friends swarm to assist her.

But it turns out the only way to stop the Eye of Disharmony from destabilising and destroying her friends is to sacrifice herself.

The Doctor’s regeneration energy and her own TARDIS’ eye of harmony neutralise the Master’s weapon, and he is thrown back through the rift into the original unknown dimension from whence he came, all those thousands of years ago.

Ncuti wakes up in UNITS medical bay, and the Doctor is born anew.

Then a bue police box materialises on the street outside and the Doctor and Donna emerge. “Whats going on Doctor? Why are we here?”

“Something has gone wrong. Very, very wrong. And i need more than one me to fix it!”


And now i’m going to see what they actually did, with four minutes to spare…

Prey (2022)

I literally only heard about this about two / three weeks ago; i had no idea it was in production. A sad time when how much out of contact i am with the film world, when a bleeding Predator film can creep on me. Next you’ll be telling me a National Treasure TV show is in development and will literally be out soon. That would knock me for six. I used to be so in tune with the heartbeat of entertainment, knowing years in advance when films were coming and allowing the formation of pre-opinions. (ie that Dungeons and Dragons film is going to be great. Even if its rubbish. I have decided.)

Anyway, i digest.

Hearing about a new Predator movie is like…i don’t know. Hearing someone is making you dinner, tonight, and ‘its your favourite’. Because it means you’ll either go home to a pile of absolute nonsence that someone completely misinterpreted about what you liked and didn’t like (Tuna Salad, AvP: Requiem), or you’ll get something flatline generic (spag bol, The Predator), or you’ll get something fetchingly close to what you want but not good enough (cod fishcakes with dauphinose potatoes and greens, Predators / AvP). What you won’t get is Mackerel goujons, hand cut southern fried wedges and tossed vinegarette salad.

The problem is of course, if i wanted that i’d watch the original Predator. Or at a push Predator 2. What i don’t want is a rehash of the original, nor do i want something trying something new with the franchise that will ultimately lead to failure.

Prey could easily have fallen into a pit trap of terrible. It could have been stupid, cheesy, silly, a barrel of nonsence filled with too many nods to the original that would make you turn it off and watch the original.

But no. Theres something oddly attractive about watching a native american fight against a more primal version of the scary multiple-mandibled monster. All the lead actors are of native american ancestry so theres a fair level of authenticity; there’re subtle hints to the bigger picture unfolding in the wider world (the mass slaying of buffalo on the Great Plains by fools from Britain and Europe), and history happening nearby, but none of that’s relevant. This is a claustrophobic action piece about survival.

…yet also a hard hitting story about coming-of-age, spiritually and socially, in a culture quite unique to the Native Americans.

I am worryingly close to saying this film is a pitch perfect 10/10. What i can tell you without a shadow of a doubt: its the best Predator film since Predator. And Predator IS flawless.

But the franchise couldn’t produce another strike of lightening. So lets hope they won’t try.

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

We’re back in the MCU again and this time no multiverse nonsense, which is nice. We don’t have to expect cameos from other variations of the franchise or anything. BUT that’s because the franchise is messy enough at the moment. The last time we saw Thor he was off with the Asgaardians of the Galaxy…

…and that’s where we join him. On another classic Thor adventure. In my opinion we’ve descended into too much self-parody; Thor isn’t a superhero we can adore and worship – he literally turns up, steals the thunder from the Guardians and then proceeds to wreck the place as he kicks the ass of some awesome looking bad guys. It reminds me of the scene in Ghostbusters when they went, saw and kicked Slimers ass – absolutely no care for the collateral expense. Now, if played for comedy value then okay, I understand…but what if you were the head of the people who’s entire city is rendered a pile of shattered glass simply because Thor wanted to make a spectacle of his victory.

The plot then: Gorr has a daughter, whom he loses to the desert in a rather harrowing scene, as he pledges faith to the Sun God via a pilgrimmage. Unfortunately, upon meeting the God, it turns out he’s an arrogant sod and cares not for his followers. Embracing a scary looking weapon called the Necrosword, Gorr slays the sun god and pledges himself to a dark cause; to rid the universe of Gods.

Of course, with Asgaardians being Gods, things start heating up for Thor as he then is called upon by Sith (yep, same actress) to help battle this God-Butcher. And so he has to return to New Asgaard on Earth, as Tessa Thompson (established in Ragnarock) needs help. Except she already has help… for Jane Foster is back, and has Mjolnir.

Thus beguns a romantic comedy. Doesn Thor still love Jane? Does Jane still love Thor? Does Thor still love Mjolnir? Where does that leave Stormbreaker? Can we all just be friends and stop the God-Butcher before he reaches “Eternity”, where his one wish will be granted? (presumably to rid the universe of Gods?)

DO NOT GET ME WRONG: the film is thoroughly entertaining in the way only Marvel can be. It draws the right line between true drama and utter silliness; its provides us with genuinely ridiculous concepts – the God Palace of Omnipotent City, the Rainbow-riding skyboat pulled by Goats – but you consume it all with nay a nod to sense because all the actors are so believable.

Chris H is obviously so comfortable in the role and loving every second of it. It was nice to see Natalie Portman back, certainly, and Tessa Thompson was amazing. But it was Christian Bale, throwing aside that stereotype of arseholiness to be both genuinely creepy and insane comic book villain. Russel Crowe’s cameo is both unforgettable and outrageous, as he proudly displays comedic timing and a sense of humour that would surprise you. Plus he retains his now trademark choice of awful accents. I’m looking forwards to the inevitable Russian submarine movie where he plays a Scotsman. Or something equally masterclass.

The films major success however falls to two things – 1) the use of the kids in the plot. They are central. Giving each and every one of the poor wee tots the power of Thor for the finale is a stroke of genius. All the kids watching are going to go home, immediately pick up something in their house and run off screaming, imaginary lightening streaming from their eyes and them embracing every moment of their wonderful childhood.

2) Stormbreaker. Steals every scene its in with more character presence / comedy timing / dramatic stares than the entire cast of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. You’ll think i’m mad reading this, but wait till you see the movie.

But its imperfect. Annoyingly so. The wackiness is so at odds with some of the more dramatic moments that you’re brought out of the flow; Jane is given amazing powers and yet those powers are killing her. Oh – we said something serious, quick, have the rock man say something funny to counter it. And if you didn’t think screaming goats are funny ten years ago then you’re going to have a whale of a time here.

Its an enjoyable dance of jokes and silliness, but it falls far from classic marvel. Its certainly nowhere near as good as its predecessor. It does however, standalone. It doesn’t set things up for a sequel until the traditional mid-credits scene, and even then we’re not sure whats being said. No hints as to what might happen in the future – in fact… I don’t even know what the next Marvel film is? Is there another one this year?

Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)

The ‘final’ instalment of the sequel trilogy hits cinemas and… well, i read a review entitled ‘why the new Jurassic World is a dumpster fire”. Wow.

I wouldn’t class it as a dumpster fire. It has pyrotechnic elements, certainly – but its better than its predecessor by a long shot.

So the plot follows on from that dumpster fire that went before; little clone girl releases dinosaurs into the world and now the giant reptiles that used to inhabit the Earth pre-massive-planet-killing-meteor and most child’s imagination are melding with our own lives. Huge prehistoric whales are devouring sharks, Velociraptors are running untempered through what looks like Canada… its a nightmare.

Except its not, apparently. Its all being normalised, really. Which is, lets be honest, what would probably happen.

But this isn’t the plot of a film, its the backdrop. We need a decent, boiling plot to hook our interests and keep us awake and invested. And that, boys and girls, is not what we get.

The last remaining character from the franchise whom we haven’t seen – Dodson ; yup the five minute appearance from the beginning of JP who is working for Ingen and wants Nedry to steal dino-DNA, is back, and is a seemingly outright psychopath who cares for no one except himself. 2-dimensional villain of a comic book.

JW: Dominatryx’s problem is that it presents too massive a scope and then retreats into clasutrophobic environments with characters we care little about. I still don’t know what Chris Pratt’s character name is, nor do i care. Owen…Teale? Owen…king? Larry Owen? The original JP was a bright, scary action film whose scenes leapt from MASSIVE to small scale kitchen claustrophobia because there were a limited number of dinosaurs about, and it felt connected. Intense. Edge of your seat.

Its a film of three halves. Unfortunately the first half is a boring slump through world-building and then some annoying setup regarding Dr BD Wong and his grasshoppers and some stupid financial / legal / TV movie idea about selling products to fix a problem the corporation set up. Ummm… aren’t there meant to be…ah, dinosaurs…in this dinosaur movie?

The second and third halves are unfotunately mashed together, and without further editing cannot be watched seperately in the cinema. So we have to sit through every dull and contrived scene with Captain Clean and the Little Clone Girl before we get the genuinely film stealing awesomeness of Sam Neil, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, back being the characters they were AND being developments there of. Trust seasoned character actors to return, and immediately become the best things in the movie.

The VERY cleverly judged moment with Ian Malcolm and that fire torch – oh my heart was thumping louder than T-Rex footsteps.

Its not rubbish and it needs to be seen, even if only for the aforementioned trio and the various awesome looking dinosaurs.

Line; “No, the phones aren’t working because everything is on fire.” CLASSIC.

As Ian Malcolm himself might put it, here is an explanation of the JP franchise in a way a mathematician might see it.

Jurassic Park – one T-Rex = film is brilliant.

Lost World – 2x T-Rex = film is brilliant.

Jurassic Park III – Spinosaurus is bigger than T-Rex, film is bad.

Jurassic World – Abdominous Rex is bigger than T-Rex – film is bad.

Fallen Kingdom – Indoraptor is bigger than T-Rex – film is bad.

Dominion – Giganoughtasaurus is bigger than T-Rex – film is bad.

The moral of the story is simple. Steven Spielberg should ALWAYS direct jurassic park movies.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Eps3-4)

Its finally here. Ever since the famous line “when we last met i was but the learner. now i am the master,” – and now we have an episode-long fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the clone wars and one of the greatest Jedi of our time, and Darth Vader, arguably the most famous bad guy in the history of cinema itself. A clash, truly of the titans.

Starting strong; Obi-Wan is still reeling emotionally after discovering that Anakin in fact survived the whole burning shenanigans on Mustafar and so we can expect he won’t be force-running into head on conflict. And Darth is fucking terrifying as he descends from his ship and snaps necks and kills civilians left right and centre. This is an evil man, burned by hatred and pain and out for righteous one-sided violent revenge.

So then we dissolve into a game of Evade the Vader (like i used to play in beggars canyon back home). We’re on some blue-ish sand planet that reminds me of the various generic coal mine sets as seen in Taken / Superman 3 / classic 70s doctor who, and one or two lightsabre clashes followed by…yes, you guessed it, more running. Obi-Wan’s getting his 10,000 in.

And then Vader is finally defeated and we realise Obi-Wan is still the jedi mas…wait what? Obi-wan has been pwned? He’s lying on the ground having the cloak burned off him by a red-misted asthmatic in a cape?

There are two ways to look at the turn of events. A) Be annoyed. God dammit we’ve been thinking Obi-Wan is a god amongst men every since he panned Anakin’s ass on those hovering platforms over the lava river. Why is he being beaten like such a punk here?

or B) i call this the last jedi option. Obi-Wan has become weary. Order 66 wiped out not only half the Jedi but all his friends, near enough. And now the Inquisitors have been hunting down and annihilating all remnants of hope. Thinks are dark and bleak. And in this time he discovers his greatest mistake of all time is still alive – he is not in a good place. So, we’ve been set up.

Set up, that is, for a redemption arc, we are. Obi-Wan is going to have to face his fallacies, and get back in shape if he’s to stop Darth Vader’s bulldoze through the last hope in the galaxy.

Episode 4 is slightly anti-climactic given that we just had Darth Vader burning the shit out of my screaming childhood hero, but its nonetheless an excellent follow-up to the creepy cliffhanger of Inquisitor Riva closing in on the young Leia.

I found myself seeing callbacks to the detention centre scenes of A New Hope, with Obi-Wan sneaking about between cells hoping to rescue his young companion. My outright favourite moment however, was Obi-Wan revealing he has very faint memories of a lost brother, but they were separated before he entered the way of the Jedi. Its a touching moment reminiscent of a classic scene from old-doctor who, when the Second Doctor comforts Victoria during a siege of cybermen.

There’s a lot of hoo-haa now about what we want to see before the end of the show – but with Season 2 now greenlit, we’ve got a lot more time to play with before…well. Vader needs to have his arse kicked again before the ultimate duel we’ve ever seen – but i reckon Obi Wan needs a bit more guidance before that happens. Guidance, perhaps, from an old master…

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Eps1-2)

There has always been something sitting at the back of my mind, quietly incredibly excited. The advent of the Star Wars live action TV shows started with a bang in The Mandalorian and i truly believed we were about to get the Star Wars i wanted (the cartoons were good and the games excellent, but they didn’t feel real.) The Mandalorian S2 took things to a new level with some needed injection of outright nostalgia. Book of Boba Fett trudged an unsettling line between okayish and unsatisfying, still delivering some excellence but also…well, being a bit boring. Not rubbish, by any standards. Just boring.

Obi Wan Kenobi comes along…what am i to think? Ewan McGregor has always inhabited a special part of my young adulthood for being Obi-Wan, but also because i just like the guy. He’s inspired me in life and in movies – i particularly love Christopher Robin, unashamedly. And Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

I want to be excited, i want to look forwards to it, but i’m not sure.

“Master Yoda told me to mindful of the future.” – Obi Wan

“But not at the expense of the moment.” – Qui Gon

Damn it Neeson you’re right. I’m damned excited about this show and i’m not afraid to say it. Getting the original cast in to play their characters is spot on, and we get Jimmy Smits, Joel Edgerton and even Hayden fricking Christensen (but the latter not quite yet). Who knows who might turn up. I’ve already seen rumours, so lets just see.

You don’t need to know the plot, do you? Surely you know. I mean, is a non-Star Wars fan going to be watching this? Surely not? Oh, if you insist.

Tasked with ‘keeping an eye’ on Luke, son of Anakin Skywalker, left for dead on Mustafa, Obi Wan has taken on the moniker of Ben and is living a quiet, mundane life on Tatooine, heckled hilariously by this awesome Jawa and stealing food for his ugly anteater-camel. Uncle Owen just wants to raise Luke as his own and believes Ben’s presence is a danger itself. Jedi hunters come to town and all of a sudden things are just as bad as they ever were. Because one of the Inquistors has made her personal mission to take down old Obi-Wan… and there’s not just the one Skywalker child to threaten.

The show takes a turn i did not expect AT ALL by following Leia. Whoever came up with that idea needs a medal, because it caught me off guard. Well done.

There are four main points of note in this opening pair of episodes that has me glued to the rest of the series, hands down. So at this point the conclusion is thus: its brilliant. I loved it. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen it yet…

Point one: the characters. Okay so i didn’t like that guy from the Eternals. He looked too un-Star Warsy (kind of like that guy from Line of Duty turning up in Rogue One). But from the Jawa to the three / four Inquisitors, oh yes. Particularly Moses Ingram’s obviously unstable killer. And Sung Kang harrah! And Rupert Friend’s Grand Inquisitor, what a series villain he’s going to be…WTF???

Point two: She just killed the Grand Inquisitor???

Point three: Needles from Back to the Future 2 / 3. Oh, i hope there is more casting like this. I love this sort of thing.

Point four: that moment, that emotional punch in the gut when Obi-Wan Kenobi is told that Anakin survived. Oh god. It hadn’t even occured to me that he wouldn’t have known. This huge reveal…its massive. We’ve all known, we’ve ALWAYS known, i guess, most of us, that Darth Vader is alive and…well, as well as well can be… but Obi Wan didn’t. Not until THAT moment. My heart stopped. It was phenomenal.

So, its brilliant. I think it is, anyway.

And if they don’t have Qui-Gon’s force ghost turn up before the end i will eat my lightsabre (which happens to be a replica of Obi-Wans, haha).

Oh and did you spot the wee Temeura Morrison cameo? Sweet.