Category: Film Review

Lost In Space (Netflix Tv Series Reboot)

Lost in Space Reboot 2018, Netflix

Genre:  Sci Fi, Family in Peril in Space

Released Date: 18 April 2018 in the UK

Cast:

  • Toby Stephens as John Robinson
  • Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson
  • Ignacio Serricchio as Don West
  • Taylor Russell as Judy Robinson
  • Mina Sundwall as Penny Robinson
  •  Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson
  • Parker Posey as Dr Smith

 

Lost In Space (Netflix TV Series Reboot)

I am happy to see this classic TV sci fi series Lost in Space return for a deserved 21st century reboot.

I remember rushing home from secondary (high) school to watch the original series (seasons), running for 83 episodes  from 1965 to 1968.  The first series was made in black & white as colour TV was two years away. The second series introduced colour. Along with ‘Voyage to the bottom of the sea’ and ‘Dr Who’ (1963 to present)  & ‘Star Trek’ (1965 to present , were and still are my favourites  as with my friends.

Lost in Space is based on the classic 1812 novel  ‘Swiss family Robinson’, about a family ship wrecked and castaway in the East indies. The Robinson family learn  how to survive and become self reliant.

1965-1968 Family, Don West with Dr. Smith & Robot            The 1998 Movie cast

The 1965 modern sci-fi reiteration sees a family of would be forerunners of planet colonisers along with the co pilot Major West and an unwelcome stowaway, enemy agent, Dr. Zachary Smith. Smith was sent aboard to sabotage the Jupiter 2 space craft. He succeeds but gets trapped as the spacecraft is lost in space. Smith brilliantly played by Jonathon Harris  continually tries to thwart the family. In later episodes Smith becomes toned down & more comic. His bantering with the robot assistant (who becomes regarded as part of the family) is popular.  The Robot’s frequent utterances of “Danger, Danger, Danger Will Robinson!”  Smith gets into all sorts of escapades with aliens etc., dragging the family with him.  My male school friends & I liked Penny Robinson as she was our age.

The 1998 movie generally keeps the same characters & roles, but is  darker than the 1960s innocent TV show. Gary Oldman is excellent as Dr. Smith. technical evolution of SFX (special effects) and CGI (computer graphic imaging) add to the story.

Now the 2018 series approaches and the show’s trailer shows what looks like brilliant SFX and CGI  now de rigeur for a successful screen sci fi  creation. This time some tinkering with the characters. A mixed race daughter, a reformed rogue finding a family he never had character which replaces that of upright major Don West. Dr. Smith is now portrayed by a woman, which will be interesting as we see how the characters develop.  The popular human constructed family robot is replaced by a  mysterious  alien robot found on planet they land on.

2018 Space Family Robinson

The New Dr. Smith

 “Danger, Will Robinson!”  Alien robot – friend or foe?

My only regret is that they did not keep the original classic shape I like for the Jupiter 2 spacecraft. I am looking forward to the series.

Jupiter 2 Spacecraft

Original 1960s version

Movie version

Netflix 2018 series version

Favourite School-Theme Dramas & Films(Orient)


Having just watched A Love So Beautiful, I am still suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I have watch the said drama, almost non-stop for a period of almost three weeks. Over and over.  I watched it first without subtitles and then with. I just couldn’t get enough of it. But it is coming to an end.

I dare say I might rewatch the whole thing over again because it has become my favourite.

There are many school-theme drama on offer from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and China which are really good.

Below is my list, which is a work in progress and not in any order.

Favourite School-Theme Dramas & Films (Orient)

 

77 Heartbreaks – Film Review

77 Heartbreaks – Film Review

I watched this film late last night and I quite enjoyed it.  It was very interesting concept, pity the script was not well written. But there is a very good germ of idea in there.  🙂

The story would have been more believable and would have appealed more to lovers and those who had broken up if the writer did not try to make the story a makjang or a series of circumstances.

The story is about a woman and a man who have been together for the last 10 years.  Over time, the woman started to feel as if she was taken for granted by her boyfriend.  She was not his priority anymore.

And just to elaborate on this, they were supposed to be going out for a movie, which the girl had bought tickets a couple of weeks previously.  She was waiting for the man, who said that he was in the middle of traffic but really he was in a wine bar.

As she can’t wait any longer, the girl wandered off into a shop, where she saw beautiful colourful notebooks, which has 77 written on the cover.  She got talking to the owner of the shop and apparently the notebook is some sort of diary.  To diarise transgression of a love one 🙂 ( I think, I was so tired I can’t cope with the subtitles).  Apparently 77 is the magic number or the maximum you can forgive faults of those you are in a relationship with.

Eva, the leading lady, bought a pink one and the first entry to her diary was the non-show of her boyfriend, Adam, to their movie date.

Before long, Eva had her 77 instances why she was falling out of love with Adam.  He was self-centred, immature, in with the ladies and lack common sense.  Who would buy a white chesterfield sofa, so huge there was nowhere really to put it?  Yes Adam.  Who in their right mind would say they quit their job while in the middle of foreplay?!!!  Adam! He was a lawyer but quit his job to become a mentor in kick-boxing.  Oh Adam! 🙁  Who would go on a holiday without finding out how to get to the destination?  Adam. Who would give a ring box without the ring but a pink paper folded in small heart shape, saying she has his heart.  Adam! 🙁  Who would go drinking and come home, half dead and sick.  Adam!  Who would comfort you when you have a family emergency, like when your father died?  Not Adam!

After so many of these unlovable moments, Eva had had enough and packed her bags.

Before Eva’s scent can fully evaporate around their flat, Adam brought home another girl and even promised to marry her.

The film is rather one sided.  Adam had so many faults but Eva have as well but the script did not show this.  I supposed the script was concentrating on getting the 77 heartbreaks 🙂 🙂 🙂

Anyway, Adam got hold of the diary and realised why Eve left him.  He was curious to know what was on the 77th?!!!  He told the current girl he was living with the he still loves Eve.

During a wedding party of Eve’s friend, Adam sabotaged the wedding presentation to proclaim that he wanted Eve back.  It was strange that the married couple did not scream and shout when their wedding day was hijacked?!!!

Anyway Eve had a change of heart when Adam said that Eve did not give up on Adam immediately because she knew that without her Adam is lost.

Awww

Next scene, Adam and Eve went back to their flat.  While in the bathroom, Eve found a pink contact lenses case.  She then knew that Adam had had another girl staying in their flat.

She left again and this time for good, when it was the end of the film.

By the way the 77th reason was that Adam did not use protection with her, so she got pregnant.  Adam said that if she gets pregnant, there is no problem, as he will marry her.  Seeing that he was so immature and untrustworthy, Eve had an abortion without telling Adam.  She is a bit of hypocrite, how can she have an abortion without telling Adam.

I think the film is quite good, if only the script was written better.  In any case, it is worth a watch!

 

Steve McQueen’s The Blob film

The Blob poster

Steve McQueen’s The Blob film

There was something from my timeline in Facebook this morning from Dr Who and the TARDIS   querying the film watched as a child that gave me nightmares.

I actually have an easy answer to that.

It was The Blob, which I saw when I was 5 or 6 years old back in Manila, Philippines.

I remember this blob which roles on to people and consumes them.  As it eats more people, it grows larger and larger.

I had nightmares after watching it.  I remember particularly a nightmarish night when I was very ill with malaria as a child.  In my dream, I was being chased by the blob which somehow metamorphosed into huge letters.  The letter ‘E’ was vicious :), it was turning and rolling and was after me.  I used to have this kind of nightmare till my early adulthood.  So it is really necessary not to let children watched films not suitable for their age.

The film, The Blob, was a young Steve McQueen starrer.  It was made in 1958, way before he became really famous.

The story goes that Steve and Aneta’s characters were on a date in the Lover’s Lane when Steve saw a falling meteorite, which caused a bit of a bang as it fell nearby.  Steve and Aneta decided to investigate.

They found a very distress man, whose hand had swollen up.  They saw something on it.  They took him to the doctors.

The doctor found the thing on the hand rather strange so asked Steve and Aneta to go back and look at the site what it was from.

Steve and Aneta found nothing really so decided to return to the doctor to report only to see the blob engulfing the doctor.

Steve and Aneta run to the police station, who investigated but could not find  the ‘blob’ so they sent home Steve and Aneta for wasting police time.

The blob is growing and growing as it consumes more people.  Finally the police took action as more and more are reporting sighting.

Steve and Aneta snuck out of their house and do more investigation of their own.  They found that the blob can’t take extreme heat.

In the end, the blob was frozen and dropped into the arctic to eternal repose.  As most horror films do, the end always tantalise.  The blob is not dead, only frozen.  But what if the arctic is not frozen anymore?!!!

I thought the film was actually pretty decent.  A lovely lazy weekend viewing.  It can be a family viewing, just gauge your children’s reaction if they find the film anyway at all frightening.

I think, this film needs another viewing. Hope youtube got it.

 

Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

Major

Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

We started the week by going to the movies.  The movie of our choice was Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlet Johannson, a very capable American actress (I still remember her in the Horse Whisperer as a child actress).

The film has a tinge of that excellent iconic film, Blade Runner of the early 80s, starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young as well as that heart-thumping performance of that excellent actor, Rutger Hauer.  It has that apocalyptic feel to it.

The story was based on a Japanese manga, of the same title, thus some unfounded controversies have surfaced.  The selection of Scarlet to play the Major is a typified Hollywood whitewashing in the eyes of a few.  Apparently whitewashing is when a white actor is cast to play a role of ‘historical’ non-white’ which is deemed rather racist.

I can think of a few Oriental actresses that would have made a good Major, Korean Han Ji Won for one.  However the film was made especially for world cinema goers and because it is fast-paced there are so much to see, too much goings on; reading subtitles or listening to heavily accented actors delivering their lines would definitely be a challenge and may detract viewers from fully enjoying the film in a cinema, where there is no access to rewind button. LOL

Asians are perplexed about this issue.  The Japanese audience did not mind, in fact they were expecting an A-list Hollywood star to play the role for worldwide audience.

Being from the Orient myself, I did not have any problems with the casting of Scarlet.  It was me who proposed to Peter to go and see the film as soon as we saw the trailer a few months back. I still remember how good Scarlet was in Lucy.

It is those pc brigade and pressure groups, who are stirring it up, thereby influencing prospective audience and fans into altogether not going to see the film, thereby missing a good movie.

I believe this controversy has affected the movie a lot and thus there were news that the film had flopped in the box office.

This is sad as the film is rather good.  Scarlet did very well playing Major.  And the story is a good hokum to tell. A very plausible scenario that could happen in the future.

Ghost in the shell is about the rise of technology.  So much so that some scientists working for Hanka Robotics, presumably based in Japan, started experimenting on creating human robots as weapons.

There were pockets of activists and bloggers working against the excessive  technology that is being implemented.

The irony was that these activists against technology were carted off to the lab and experimented on one by one until No 99 was the one deemed ‘perfect’.  Number 99 had the brain of the activist Motoko Kusanagi encased in a perfect mechanical body.  Motoko had been completely brain-washed and told that she was Major Mira Killian, working against terrorism.

Motoko or rather Major in her new guise had become a killing machine.

As I said the film is fast-paced and thrilling, worth a watch even for just the sheer ingenuity of the SFX and CGI.

In the end if we allow such pressure and over political correctness to influence movies and entertainment, the movie industry will be run aground.

Let us not be sheep corralled in PC machinations.

Movies & Books

Something to consider:

Never judge a book by its movie.
– J.W. Egan

solePeter, who is an avid reader of Dean Koontz’s novels reckons that the movies made based on Koontz’s books have not done his stories justice, like Stephen King’s.  Dean Koontz’s still needs his own Shawshank Redemption or even the Green Mile which are excellent movie adaptations of the King’s books.

I think the Harry Potter movies were a credit to the books. I think it was because J.K. Rawling ensured that she was in consultation throughout the making of the film.

………………………………………………………………………………

Gone With The Wind was a novel by Margaret Mitchell.  This won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1937.  The book was subsequently made into a movie which became iconic starring Clark Gable and Vivienne Leigh.  The film is one of the longest films ever made lasting an interesting 3hours and 58minutes.

The Giant Mechanical Man Movie

Last night Jean & I chatted about what movie to watch  on TV, normally we watch stuff on Netflix.  As we have been watching a steady diet of action, crime horror, thriller movies. Jean suggested a romantic movie. Normally I guess men would not opt for watching these movies by choice, in order to not become in touch with their feminine side 😉

Anyway, I said OK and let’s have a look at the choices. I scrolled through the titles on offer. I came across one I thought sounded vaguely sci fi I like 😉

It was titled ‘The Giant Mechanical Man‘, it is directed by Lee Kirk. The synopsis sounded interesting so we watched the film. I must say that I enjoyed this off-beat & charming movie. This indie movie excellently conveyed loneliness at not being understood, feeling awkward socially and a bewilderment with today’s society. There is fine acting by all the main cast.

Spoiler alert!

The movie is about a man & a woman both well-educated, single & in their 30s, who though not knowing each other, live near each other.  Whilst not exactly mis-fits, they both still don’t know what they want out of life and find it too hard to conform to what is expected of them by their families and some friends. Janice(Jenna Fischer) is a shy woman, who is still trying to get to grips and navigate her way through adult life, trying to cope with jobs, relationships etc.

Tim(Chris Messina) is devoted to being a street artist.
giantmechanicalman3_zpsb53969ca

Janice Meets her future Man

Janice Meets her Future Man

He is a good listener!

He is a good listener!

Each day he becomes a silver-painted and silver suited giant( he wears stilts), android business man, complete with a silver brief case. When he finds a spot/pitch in a street, he performs his living statue, mechanical man mime act. He makes enough to pay the bills. His live in girlfriend does not understand him and tires of his lack of apparent ambition and so breaks up with him.

Janice loses her latest temporary job and the temp agency who find her work, lets her go because of complaints about her attendance and lack of interest. She is evicted from her apartment and forced to move in with her overbearing and interfering younger sister Jill (Malin Akerman) and her husband Brian (Rich Sommer). Janice is pressured by sister & brother-in-law to date Doug (Topher Grace), who is an egotistical self-help guru (probably socially inept and who tries to cover up by blustering) .

While out walking alone a few time, Janice sees this giant mechanical man street artist performing and is intrigued, she sees him as fellow non-conformist and kindred spirit. Janice tries to talk to the street artist, but part of his act is to remain silent and act oblivious to people.

Both Janice and & Tim search for a job (Tim finds he needs to supplement his street performing income). Both find low paying menial jobs at the local zoo (Janice eventually realises her potential in the job and gets promoted). They meet & chat while working and Tim recognises Janice as the lady who caught his eye while he was performing. They become good friends and realise they have much in common. Janice & Tim begin to date and become lovers. Tim has not yet told her that he is a street performer. However Tim becomes upset when as his alter ego, performing one night, he sees Janice walking with the persistent pompous Doug, who has his arm around her (much to her annoyance). She finally dumps Doug. Tim stops contacting her, she becomes sad and while out walking sees the street artist performing and walks up to him and desperately needing someone to talk to, she tells of her feelings for Tim, to the silent artist. He then looks down at her and smiles, she recognises the artist is Tim and the rest is history…living happily ever after 🙂

Where PDAF Fears to Tread

Poverty is a widespread problem in the Philippines; 22 per cent of the population live way, way, way below under the breadline. And yet is not given the priority it needed.
The corrupt and greedy have got thier noses in the pork trough while the poor have scraps to live on
This must change with the increasing revelations about the Pork Barrel PDAF scandal.

Money is there but not distributed fairly as we have learnt from the Janet & Jeane Napoles scandal. We have also learnt that they spend monies into non-priority projects like that Luneta Flagpole costing several millions of pesos.

Until community leaders, senators, congressmen and the president of the Philippines think of the people first rather than themselves and their status, there is no way out from this worsening condition of indigence.


The film delivers what it meant to do in such a big way. It does not patronise poverty but rather shows a clear indictment of how living under the breadline is all about. There are no tears, no sadness but of stoicism, laughter and acceptance which made the film/situation more heartbreaking.

Number Stations Still Going For The Spy Audience

Number stationBeing interested in the great game as all things espionage is known, I read about this particular method for sending coded secret signals to spies in the field.  Those clandestine operatives that are hidden among us tune in at certain times to certain shortwave radio frequencies.  A sequence of spoken numbers is broadcast automatically to the target agents who could be anywhere in the known world.  The agents  copy and transcribe the numbers using deciphering methods  such as ‘one time pads’ to decode the numbers into a meaningful message. One time pads are unbreakable if used correctly and as the name stated,  the encryption is used only once then disposed of.

Number Stations Still Going For The Spy Audience

Those radio amateurs (HAMS)  that ‘surf’  shortwave channels are fascinated by these mysterious emanations from the ether.  Anyone with a decent shortwave receiver should be able to pick them up. Thought to be a relic  of  the Cold War, this means of covert communication is still a valued tool to contact secret agents anywhere!

We recently watched a good action thriller movie called ‘The Numbers Station’ (2013) starring excellent actors John Cusack and Liam Cunningham with Malin Akerman.
I was pleasantly surprised as the movie managed to make the unglamourous and probably monotonous subject to non-spy enthusiasts quite exciting 😉
numbers station -banner

Where the transmitting stations are located is a mystery,  and of course spy agencies deny that they exist.  A British number station is rumoured to be based in Cyprus?
The best known of the number stations was the “Lincolnshire Poacher”, which is thought to have been run by the British Secret Intelligence Service.

Below are two YouTube items

Star Trek – Into Darkness

Just got home from the cinema.  We went to watch Star trek Into Darkness.

CumberbatchWhat can I say?

Having watched the film, I was so taken by Benedict Cumberbatch performance.  He made a good villain, it was so good he stole the show from the original lead stars.  Whenever he was on screen you will watch him more than anyone.  His screen presence was so powerful that I may become one of his cumberbitches!  LOL

He’s never look more magnetic.  His hair, his eyes!!!

This new film is part of the reboot movie from J J Abrams starring Chris Pine as Shatner’s Captain Kirk.

It is different from the former Star Trek movie francise.  It was felt the scenario was getting tired and been played out.

To make it not to be out of the StarTrek story line altogether, it was rebooted, meaning the stories are now based on a parrallel time line with certain differences.

Spoiler Alert……  Please do not read if you are going to see the film.

images (4) The film started with Captain James Kirk and Dr Leonard McCoy running for dear life. As part of the Enterprise mission, they were in that planet observing and studying “ancient” civilisation and investigating why a volcano was blowing up. Unfortunately the “natives” saw them and went after them. The cinematography at this point was fantastic. It gave us a view into what it might be liked if a planet is under a red sun, ergo, the process of photosynthesis may be absent thus there is no manufacture of chlorophyll that give the plants its green colouring. Anyway Kirk and Mccoy were running amidst beautifully coloured red giant trees and also from white as chalk half-decaying human like beings.

The story is very good, fast paced, make sure not to drink too much so not to go to the loo and miss any of the scenes.:)

There were some very human humour touches which pertain to the blossoming love story of Uhura and Spock.

I feel that the relationship between Uhura and Spock sacrificed a bit of the close friendship between Kirk and Spock.

I think the beauty or rather the relevance of Spock is his logical approach that reason alone matters.  Ergo giving him a girlfriend decry his logic.

Another potential permanent character was introduced which was played by Alice Eve, daughter of Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan. She was Carol Marcus, a physicist with an expertise in weaponry. I must say at first she was just a bimbette. She did not look the part of a scientist at all as shown when they were looking at the new torpedo aboard the Enterprise, Alice, bless her was so out of place, she was just a very pretty blank canvas, someone like Rachel McAdams would have been a perfet Carol Markus, feisty and spirited. oh well.

In previous stories of Star Trek, Carol Markus had a relationship with Captain Kirk and they had a son. Probably this is what it would lead to in later films of Stark Trek.

Zachary Quinto was brilliant as young Spock. His characterisation was very faithful to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock.

By the way Leonard Nimoy had a cameo in the film.  Goodnes, he was old. Young Spock was asking the help of the older Spock on how to best deal/defeat Khan.  I can’t help thinking when Spock said that he can’t really say, I wanted young Spock to say “bugger off then” LOL

The rest of the mainstay characters were also brilliant. It was like watching old friends. They made the roles believable based on the original ones.

Karl Urban played the younger Dr McCoy with mannerisms and attitude eerily like those of the late Deforrest Kelly’s rendition.

Chekov was cute and Russian.

Scottie played by Simon Peg was manic but you would want him to be always on your side. He is a genius engineer.

It was sad when Bruce Greenwood’s Admiral Christopher Pike died. I felt like crying with Kirk. Admiral Pike was the one who recruited Kirk into the academy.

Chris Pine was a handsome Kirk and played the role well enough but he doesn’t have the charisma of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. Shatner’s has good humour and yet a strong character.

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