A Quiet Place [2018]

“I could’ve carried him. I should’ve carried him. Who are we if we can’t protect them? Who are we?”

Set in an apocalyptic future, this tense sci fi/horror film follows a family’s struggle to stay alive in a world where aliens with super sensitive hearing hunt humans.

I thought that the acting was great and the film built tension throughout, but it didn’t overdo the jump scares which is what I anticipated. The sound for the film was actually spectacular, its use of music though minimal was brilliant and with purpose, and the sounds of the family’s interaction with the things around them was used expertly to further the tension. I loved that there was a lot of crunchy, repetitive sounds like waterfalls, corn kernels, the sound of grass moving with the wind; all usually sounds that inspire calmness but instead they were juxtaposed with terror thus turning everything on its head!

It also posed a question of what is most important in times of survival and pain, and the answer director Krasinski provided is ‘Family’. I heard a saying once that you “have to eat a lot of shit for your kids” and the parents in this film are no exception. The love for their kids in this is palpable and everything they do is for the survival of their children. Despite the constant, day and night threat to the family, they still continue to value the small things that make a place a home.

A Quiet Place is smart, the pacing of the film was good; I never got bored or wanted it to end. In fact, I was surprised when the film actually did end. I had been on the edge of my seat and did not take my eyes off of the screen once.

Great film. I cannot wait to see A Quiet Place 2.

Justice League [2017]

“I’m putting together a team of people with special abilities. See, I believe enemies are coming…”

I told myself I would never, ever watch this film (having watched Batman v Superman and being less than impressed… in truth I fell asleep at the cinema… says everything you need to know really) but here we are… I have seen the animated TV series and animated film versions prior to this which I think are the BEST, so I had pretty high expectations..

What I noticed first was how defined everything looked. The CGI was spectacular at times, and then others it looked like they really skimmed to keep things under budget. I was also struck by how similar some elements of the story was to that of Marvel Avengers film, complete with bad guy looking for cubes (erm hello tesseracts made of pure energy, I have seen you somewhere before… come on brain, think…).

There were WAY too many long shots of the super heroes looking off into the distance, looking hella strong to really sell the emotion of the story at that point in the film… I was not sold.

The dialogue was pretty uninspiring, though it had its moments. Usually in a Justice League film Batman will do a rousing speech and everyone including the viewers get behind them and believe in them because of the strength of Batman’s resolve… in all other versions of Justice League, Batman is at the centre of the team. He’s their leader and the lynchpin that holds it all together. Unfortunately Batfleck’s portrayal of Batman in this was so unconvincing that I sort of ignored that he was in it. He became such a background character to me and I lacked real respect for him. There’s a part where The Flash asks Batman what his super power is and Batfleck says “I’m rich” but he says it in a smarmy white rich man way. Obviously this is a true and inescapable fact – Batman IS rich – but you just know that Kevin Conroy Batman would have delivered that line sarcastically and low key like he kind of hated himself for it and wanted to play it down. It shows that Batfleck didn’t give due consideration to the weight of his delivery of the character, including inflection which can turn your Batman from a loved hero to an annoying turd. Batman is loved. He’s so well loved that DC films have mostly been riding on Batman’s coattails for years and Marvel has puked out hundreds of films in the meantime but Batman is such a brilliant and multilayered character that it doesn’t feel like an imbalance of sorts… There are a million different ways you can cut it but to his core he is and always will be Batman. To go into a portrayal so arrogantly like I GOT DIS and then poop all over it… I don’t have the words to express my annoyance at this… Don’t even get me started on Batfleck’s special and inconsistently applied Batfleck voice…

I was originally skeptical about the pick of Ezra Miller for Flash (I had loved Grant Dustin’s version as TV Flash), however, I think Miller’s version was loyal to Flash’s true nature, i.e. boyish, cute and goofy. He ended up being the only real high of the whole film for me, so I went from being intent on not liking him before it began and by the end I was giggling and clapping over him, and I adored his interactions with Superman. In fact it is those little moments that really hold the film together otherwise it would be totally pointless. I also really liked one moment in the film where Superman was going apeshit and Lois Lane turns up and they share a tender moment and you can feel this tremondous pain and humanity in him and the love he feels for her is so precious. In that moment he goes beyond being a symbol of strength, to this almost tangibly special otherness. I think they touched on it a little in the film, that earth is every bit as much Superman’s as it is Batman’s, that he’s not just super but also just a man and there’s a lot at stake if they are to lose and that’s why they can’t have this lil reunion without him. There should have been this good pause from Superman where he contemplated his humanity and the fact he is as vulnerable as a human.. I really wanted that to be developed more but it wasn’t. That essence just disappeared and it went back to being JUST ANOTHER AVERAGE ACTION FILM.

I really think the writing let this film down. The name Justice League should have heralded a higher quality of script that just wasn’t there, but despite that I strongly believe that better casting of Batman could have saved the film even despite a shitty script because Batman is a gamechanger.

So all in all, pretty mediocre film. Not a total waste of time, but I would highly recommend using your time for ANYTHING ELSE. For instance, seek out Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [2010] instead, which is a WAY better Justice Team film. Sorry Batfleck.

Game of Thrones [TV, final season]

“Winter is coming…”

So, a while ago when GOT was on TV and episodes were being released one at a time, I remember that I got to season 7 episode 5 and then decided that I wanted to wait it out until the end of the season so I could binge watch it in one go. I stayed away from any mention of GOT after that in case I heard any spoilers about the final episodes/season, and forgot about the show for years, occasionally thinking about finally completing the show. Due to the covid situation and being furloughed, obviously I have a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to finally do it. So I binge watched the entire series, and wanted to unpack my thoughts on the last season of the show. I had heard a lot of negative things about the end and have my own thoughts to throw into the hat…


At the end of season 7, Jon Snow heads to Dragonstone to meet Daenerys Targaryen and ask her permission to mine for dragonglass which would help the North to defeat the undead army, which has breached the wall and will shortly hit the North and the realm of men. They begin a romantic relationship and also get proof that the undead are real to take with them to attempt to meet with Cersei and her cronies and ask them to set aside their differences and fight together. They do so at great personal cost to Daenerys as one of her dragons is killed by the White Walkers and is turned. Cersei agrees for them to use her army. However unbeknownst to them, this is a lie. Cersei intends to let Jon’s allies, the Wildlings and Daenerys’ Unsullied army and Dothraki dudes fight it alone so that she can take them out when they are at their weakest. Jaime, her brother/lover, decides to do the honourable thing and heads North to help fight against the undead.

In season 8 they head North, regroup and prep to fight. Jon tells Daenerys that he has learned who his true parents are and that he is the true heir to the throne, but that he does not wish to pursue it. Bran Stark becomes the bait to the Ice King and awaits him at the Godswood in Winterfell. The fight itself is long and bloody. The snow makes it hard to see and the armies are pushed back to Winterfell. One of the remaining dragons on the human side is killed. The other is attacked on the ground and leaves Daenerys with only her swordsman Jorah to defend her. Both Jon and Daenerys attempts to kill the Ice King and are unsuccessful. Jon heads to the castle to attempt again and is prevented from getting any further by the dragon that was turned. The Ice King gets through to the inner part of the castle to the Godswood and kills Theon Greyjoy to get to Bran. As he pulls his sword to kill Bran, Arya Stark jumps on his back and kills him/it and the entire undead army explode. The humans celebrate their wins. It is clear that the North do not really trust Daenerys as their queen but Jon clearly loves her and has pledged to support her claim of the throne, but she is upset about the news that Jon had told her about his lineage and considers him a threat to her claim. The latter part of the season involves the remaining army heading south to Kings Landing to try to take the throne. Daenerys advisers try to tell her to be cautious about her strategy and consider the lives of the innocent citizen’s of Kings Landing, but ultimately she ignores them (particularly after Cersei has her aid/best friend Missendei beheaded). The army breaches the city, and are terrified by the dragon. Cersei stays waiting in the red tower visibly upset when the town falls and her soldiers announce their surrender. And then something in Daenerys snaps and she has her dragon burn down the city, including the citizens. Cersei and her bro – who Tirion Lannister helped escape from the Unsullied camp – die after being crushed. Jon speaks to Daenerys and it is clear that she will continue her path until others are similarly ‘liberated, to which Jon kills Daenerys to prevent further bloodshed. Her army leave. The lords of the houses agree Kings and Queens will no longer inherit their position through the bloodline, choosing Brandon Stark as their King. Tyrion is chosen as hand of King. Jon is sent to the wall to live out his days. THE END.

Soooooo there’s a lot to unpack here. Here are the things I don’t understand about the last season and the show in general I guess…

  • Following the epic battle of the undead, the battle at Kings Landing seems extremely anticlimactic in comparison. I went from crying out of sadness of the dead, joy at the Ice King’s death along with the awesome ninja way that Arya killed him/it, only to feel medium and borderline apathetic about the remaining episodes of the season when every preceding episode in the show for YEARS had been well written and an epic rollercoaster. It felt like the season/story should have ended with the battle against the undead, but instead ended with a paltry battle in comparison.
  • I don’t understand why Daenerys spent the entire season trying to convince people that she is not her father, nicknamed The Mad King, only to destroy that in a single moment. We were told “we are not our parents”. She spends seasons being calm, considered and cares deeply for people, releasing whole cities from slavery, listening to her advisers and considering her choices with great care, only to kill millions. Was it just the power going to her head? Was the love for people merely superficial? Was she so jealous about Jon’s claim to the throne and the peoples love for him that she decided to murder millions? She doesn’t seem angry with him at her last scene, if so. Does the fight against the undead and the toll upon her loved ones change her? Was Jorah the only thing stopping her from breaking point?
  • Cersei waits in the tower until she is defeated. Instead of acting in her self interest and trying to survive – we are shown throughout the show that she is ruthless and will do anything for herself and Jaime to survive – she waits to die and is soon crushed by some falling bricks. Being the prevailing villain throughout for eight seasons, hated by all, it feels like a bit of a cop out to not have any one of her many enemies take her out. It literally could have been anyone, but it was a brick that did it… Even banishing her to the wall would have been a more satisfying plot, or having her die choking on a piece of toast or one of the wines she always drinks. But no… it. was. a. brick.
  • The above feels particularly at odds with the fact Arya Stark had Cersei at the top of her assassination list throughout the show for the murder of Ned Stark. She held onto that for years, hunts down others who have wronged her and then last minute decides this is something she no longer wants…. it doesn’t make sense.
  • There are a number of storylines that end up going nowhere and there is no real clarity:
    • The Direwolves in the series always save the Starks’ and others lives throughout the season. Only two remain by the end. Ghost who was Jon’s wolfy, and Nymeria, who was Arya’s. The latter we seem to see in a moment where Arya is treking about and is narrowly killed by it and its doggy pals… but then the wolfy never comes back. In fact, the direwolves loyalty (and bravery and the large parts they have played throughout the show is never honoured or really mentioned.
    • Why was Sam spared by the White Walkers and others not? I had a personal theory long ago that the Old Gods were at odds with the New Gods, and that the 7 New Gods represented the 7 sins, that they were a symbol for the sins that people were newly following which caused them to forget all about Old gods and the Godswoods. Gluttony, greed, wrath, etc. My theory was that you would only be spared if you were truly virtuous and prayed to the Old Gods, which seemed to make sense when they passed by Sam without killing him. But then the tree folk confirmed they created the Ice King to help them win a war against humans, the relevance of Old and New Gods and the reason for not killing only some people was lost. What was it all about?
    • What is the real consequence of Arya double crossing the many faced god? It seems there is none to her.. it appears it was only a prolonged training montage for Arya, and that is all..
    • Ser Ilyn Payne was on Arya’s assassinate list but he disappeared from it. He definitely did not redeem himself to her like The Hound did before he was struck from it, so why did she forget about it by the end? She certainly had not forgotten Cersei off her list…
    • All the Sparrows were killed by Cersei. Why was there no retaliation, either from any remaining Sparrows or the people of the city who agreed to the King’s announcement earlier in the show that Crown and Church belonged together..?
    • Ellaria Sand of House Martell was made to watch her daughter die to poison in a cell in Kings Landing but we never see what becomes of Ellaria. It seems that plot line, despite Cersei saying her children mean so much to her, goes nowhere.
    • Additionally the armies of Dorne have pledged their support to Daenerys but then they are nowhere to be seen in the Great War nor beyond. We only see the new Prince of Dorne who is the only unrecognisable person in one of the final scenes where the lords and ladies vote their new King/Queen….
    • Jon’s claim to the throne isn’t even brought up at the final lord/lady meeting.
    • Neither that of Gendry’s claim to the throne.
    • What happened to Daario Naharis? Or the nation’s that Daenerys freed? Why did they not send troops to save their Queen during the Great War? We all know how quickly news travels in the realm.
    • What happened to Meera Reed? She helped Bran survive, at great personal cost, but disappears.
    • Where was Yara and her army during the Great War? She promised to help Daenerys should they fall, and we know Yara and her men were courageous, yet they never came in the hour of need.
    • Additionally what happened to Yara’s justice towards her Uncle? Why was she not the one to avenge her father’s death? His death ended up being a pathetic tussle on the beach with Jaime Lannister. Seemed totally pointless.
  • Cersei was told a premonition of her future by a magical lady witch person that she would have three children and that they would all be shrouded in black, implying that they would all die. In actuality she had four: Tommen, Marcella, Joffrey and a fourth child through Robert Baratheon which died very young. Anyways, numbers aside, this premonition obviously weighs on her as the seasons go by and she blames herself for her children’s deaths. However, something the TV show missed out which was in the books was the she was also told that when “your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you”. Valonqar translates to ‘Little Brother’, which would imply that it was predicted that Tyrion would kill her. That certainly would explain why Cersei is so convinced her whole life that Tyrion is a killer and hates him. She is suspicious and hateful of Tyrion throughout the show and the premonition would have helped explain their difficult relationship but weirdly the bit about the premonition was omitted from the show.
  • A MAJOR plot hole, and something which really went amiss, I think, is that Bran is a warg…. He can see the past and the future. He is more than just a teller of stories, like Tyrion claims him to be (his reasoning for naming him King). He can also control people as we see through Hodor for seasons/years. He only, however uses his skills to tell people that Jon is on his way, and that Jon’s ancestry is that of Targaryen only for nothing to come of it. One of the biggest surprises for me in that last season is the moment where Bran meets the Ice King, who he has been pursued by for years, and he waits by the Godswood tree and does…. nothing… nothing… I half expected Bran to take over the Ice King’s body, take out the other Kings/Ice commanders and then take the Ice King’s own life, or alternatively use his mind power to pin him down while Jon – who had fought the Ice King on numerous occasions and looked to be the obvious character to do the deed – but it was Arya in the end. Now, I’m not saying I’m complaining that Arya did it. It was the happiest moment I felt in the whole last season and I sobbed happy tears but setting something up for seasons only for those things to be nothing leaves viewers feeling empty… He could have also warged into any person at any time and helped defeat them, preventing many deaths. He could have warged into Cersei. He could have warged into Daenerys and prevents millions of people dying. He could have warged into the undead dragon. But that ability wasn’t used. It wasn’t even really acknowledged all that much…. Oh Bran can just see stuff… like when Jon is coming home… and when Jon is going for a poo poo.. That last one I made up…
  • The group of lords/ladies voting on their new King at the end of the season allow the North to have independence on Lady Stark’s request without even debating it. They have been 7 nations for thousands of years, they have just proven that they cannot survive a potential future White Walker threat without every nation working together… why accept that?
  • Is the threat from the White Walkers really over? Earlier in the show it is mentioned that they came once before and were defeated, and then they came again. We just saw the Undead defeat a Dothraki army of experienced warriors in what, 15 seconds if that? Could they come once more in the future? Is that a concern? Or no? If not, why is there even a Wall anymore, or The Night Watch? Or was it just to make Jon commander of the watch again so he could watch over the Free folk as Mance once did?

There are so many unanswered questions I have that were not addressed, or not addressed well. It seems a shame to me that GOT could have been so well written only for the author/show writers/whoever to fumble it. That said at the end of the show Tyrion tells Jon that in discussion of what to do with Jon following him killing Queen Daenerys and their decision to send him to the wall to live out his days, that none of the lords and ladies came away feeling very happy about the ending and that he supposed that it meant it must have been a good compromise. Perhaps that is a little message to us watchers out there. We all watched patiently for years while GOT killed off all our beloved characters one by one, villains got away with things, and when it comes down to it are we happy with the ending? Well in a word, no….

But hey I guess it was a good compromise and I did, however, very much enjoy the journey. <3

Westworld [TV series, season 1]

“We can’t define consciousness because consciousness does not exist. Humans fancy that there’s something special about the way we perceive the world, and yet we live in loops as tight and as closed as the hosts do, seldom questioning our choices, content, for the most part, to be told what to do next.”

Since the original Westworld film is the one of my favourite sci fi films, I was very resistant about watching the series despite so many people telling me I should watch it. I have finally gotten around it. I was worried previously that the series would be an exact replica of the film, like so many have done before with some of my most loved films, and the film would not be done justice. I am glad to see that this is not the case. Westworld the series uses the same concept of robots gone wrong + wild wild west but instead of just being a slasher type horror, it is an onion of many layers and twists and turns which stands apart from the film of the same name whilst delving even deeper into consciousness and what makes humans human.

The robots (or ‘hosts’) on this grand amusement park are intended as an expensive vacation for humans, allowing them to blow off some steam from their stressful day jobs. The hosts loop through set storylines which have been carefully curated and managed by a group of ever-watching science-dudes. Things start to devolve, the hosts begin remembering past iterations of their lives and question their realities, and in that are able to break their own coding and access their more devious survival traits.

What I like most about this series/TV show so far is that the timelines are not necessary linear and you are left with this uneasy feeling, not knowing whether to trust what you are really seeing and wondering who the FUCK is Arnold. The Westworld film served to show us how monstrous robots are, but in this series humans are equally under the microscope and it’s they who are shown to be the real monsters.

10/10! Love the series. It’s done an amazing job with the namesake and I am watching season two as I type!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker [2019]

“We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.”

This episode sees Rey and the gang return for the ninth edition, continuing the fight against the Order (this time the Order means BIZNEZ). Check it out, it’s on NOWTV at the moment.

I really enjoyed this film. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I found episode VIII to be a little silly, and worried this final episode would be no different and end up feeling anticlimactic. But surprisingly, it was better than I imagined. Rey kicked butt, there were moments where I thought all hope had been lost, moments where I felt elation, moments when I felt despair and sobbed… and throughout Rey and Kylo Ren/Ben’s relationship development (I don’t mean romantic, but relationship to one another) was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind little sprout that grew from the darkness into something amazing.

Above all that though, what I enjoyed most was this feeling like I could truly see what the force was by the end, see it moving through people. The films have always touched on what the force could allow someone to do, e.g. someone floating some rocks, someone pretending to be somewhere they were not, someone dangling a person by the neck off of the ground or stopping someone from getting away… but in this latest trilogy I could finally see interconnectedness (at least between Jedi) and that its power lived in all who could harness it despite distance and despite death.

“In life, there is the Force. In the Force, there is life. And the Force is eternal.

Wonderful end to the new Star Wars generation. All in all this film really invigorated my love for Star Wars and I can’t wait to see what else the SW has to offer us.