Category Archives: Sci-Fi

Déjà Vu (2006) Review

Time: 126 Minutes
Denzel Washington as ATF Special Agent Douglas Carlin
Paula Patton as Claire Kuchever
Jim Caviezel as Carroll Oerstadt
Val Kilmer as FBI Special Agent Paul Pryzwarra
Adam Goldberg as Dr. Alexander Denny
Director: Tony Scott

Doug joins hands with the FBI in order to investigate a ferry explosion. Using a technique that enables him to look into the past, he also tries his best to save a woman he knows.

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Déjà Vu is possibly one of Tony Scott’s best movies, a stylish action thriller that’s enjoyable throughout.

Déjà Vu takes a familiar sci-fi/time travel concept and handles it in an exciting way. It gets into certain concepts with time bending and wormholes, and while it might not make the most sense, I was willing to go along with what they were saying. There’s also a surprising amount of emotional depth; this is probably one of Scott’s more sentimental and sincere films, with themes involving love transcending time and space. There’s a ton of exposition (mostly to do with explaining time travel), but it worked well enough for me. It is paced very well across its runtime and culminates in a spectacular final act.

As expected, Denzel Washington gives an excellent, charismatic and earnest performance in the lead role of the detective. It also has a solid supporting cast. Paula Patton and Adam Goldberg are good, and Val Kilmer has enjoyable chemistry with Washington.

Tony Scott directs this very well with his familiar style, especially with the cinematography, saturated colours and editing. The action is great, very stylish and frenetic. The standout set piece for me was a car chase where the pursued and pursuer are in two completely different time periods.

Déjà Vu is an entertaining and well directed time travel action thriller from Tony Scott, with creative and exciting set pieces, a surprisingly engaging story, and a good cast of performances led by Denzel Washington.


Paycheck (2003) Review

Time: 119 Minutes
Ben Affleck as Michael Jennings
Uma Thurman as Rachel Porter
Aaron Eckhart as James Rethrick
Colm Feore as John Wolfe
Peter Friedman as Attorney General Brown
Paul Giamatti as Shorty
Michael C. Hall as Agent Klein
Director: John Woo

Michael, a reverse engineer, is pursued by the policemen on charges of murder and treason. Suffering from amnesia, he is forced to piece together his past while on the run.

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For some time I did hear about Paycheck, an action movie from John Woo starring Ben Affleck. I heard it wasn’t that good, but decided to check it out because of Woo’s involvement. Despite the mixed to negative response, I am glad that I checked it out.

This is one of the rare times where John Woo directs a sci fi movie. It’s a suspenseful identity thriller and has the classic plot of a protagonist who had his memory erased and is trying to figure out what is happening. It plays somewhat like an Alfred Hitchcock film, and apparently Woo did have him as an inspiration for this. The premise is intriguing, but the execution is disappointingly just okay, not fulfilling the potential. Parts of it made me wonder whether it was directed by the wrong person, especially considering it’s based on a Phillip K. Dick story. The end result felt like a worse version of Minority Report. Even Woo’s work is a bit restrained by his standards, and that PG-13 rating doesn’t help. While it doesnt make the most of its premise, it is at least enjoyable, and works as a light and fluffy blockbuster. The plot isn’t anything special, but is interesting enough and I was engaged to see where it would go next. It keeps up a good pace, and I was entertained over the 2 hour runtime.

Ben Affleck is decent as the main character as he’s trying to figure out what he’s involved in. The rest of the cast including Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti and Aaron Eckhart are also good.

So far out of John Woo’s filmography, Paycheck felt the least like one of his movies. Still, it is directed with a lot of energy, and even some of his trademarks make it into here. It’s sleek looking, and the action scenes are well shot and entertaining to watch, even if they don’t come close to reaching the action heights of Woo’s other films.

Paycheck is not one of John Woo’s best movies by any means. It doesn’t make the most of its premise and potential, but is nonetheless a twisty, energetic and entertaining sci-fi action thriller. It’s enjoyable enough, but isn’t one that’ll stick with you.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) Review

Time: 137 Minutes
Age Rating: M – Violence, horror scenes & content may disturb
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Donald Sutherland as President Snow
Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
Mahershala Ali as Boggs
Natalie Dormer as Cressida
Director: Francis Lawrence

After realising that she is no longer fighting for survival, Katniss Everdeen sets out to assassinate the tyrannical President Snow and liberate the people of Panem.

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After the rather underwhelming Mocking Part 1, we finally get into the conclusion of The Hunger Games saga. I can gather a general consensus on each of the movies, The Hunger Games is generally well received, Catching Fire is loved and known as the best of the movies, and Mockingjay Part 1 has a more mixed reception and generally known as the worst. However, the reactions to Mockingjay Part 2 are a little all over the place. While it has its issues, I still like the movie overall.

For what it’s worth, I think Part 2 is best seen back to back with Part 1. Part 2 does a good job at making everything feel dramatic and big, and translates the bleaker moments from the book. The stakes are high; the already dark story gets even darker, plenty of named characters die, and it shows the consequences of war. I was engaged with the story a lot more than I was with Part 1. The middle act is the strongest part of the movie with some really tense action sequences. There are also some great moments in the third act, but some of the resolution felt a little rushed, despite the story being split into two parts. The ending was somewhat anticlimactic, but that’s unfortunately the nature of the book too.  Some of the pacing is a little weak and it has some of that Mockingjay Part 1 issue of having scenes stretched out longer than they needed to be. Despite the issues, I found Mockingjay Part 2 a satisfying enough conclusion.

Once again, there are some great performances, with Jennifer Lawrence delivering as usual and Josh Hutcherson doing some great work and having much more screentime compared to the last movie. Those two are essentially the leads of the film, and they do very well in their parts. The supporting cast in Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright, Mahershala Ali, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Dormer, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone give commendable performances, but most of them are a little under-utilised and sidelined, more so than in Part 1. That being said, Sutherland as main villain President Snow is still a standout in his scenes.

Francis Lawrence’s direction is pretty strong once again, and has a great handle on the movie. There’s some great imagery and cinematography, a good mix of solid practical and CGI effects, and some tense and large action sequences.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 again suffers from the choice of splitting the last book into two, and despite the amount of time given to the story, the conclusion still felt a little rushed and anticlimactic. It isn’t 100% satisfying, but is still pretty good, and benefits from the strong direction and performances. It’s at least better than Part 1 and potentially even better than the first Hunger Games. Catching Fire might be the only really great movie in the Hunger Games quadrilogy, but I liked the movies overall.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Review

Time: 123 Minutes
Age Rating: M – Mature themes and violence
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow
Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
Stef Dawson as Annie Cresta
Mahershala Ali as Boggs
Natalie Dormer as Cressida
Director: Francis Lawrence

After putting a permanent end to the games, Katniss Everdeen, Gale, Finnick and Beetee join forces to save Peeta and a nation that she has inspired by her courage.

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As I was rewatching the Hunger Games movies, I was curious about what my updated thoughts on the Mockingjay films would be, specifically Part 1. After such a surprisingly great sequel to the first movie in Catching Fire, the first film of the two-part conclusion was rather underwhelming. While I do like it more now compared to when I first watched it, it still has its issues.

Mockingjay Part 1 is not without its strengths. With a much slower pace and approach, it does touch on the more political aspects, and gets into things like the rebellion and propaganda. There are also some very strong and powerful scenes and sequences which work really well. While I wouldn’t call the writing bad, it’s not that good either. I do know that adapting Mockingjay was a bit of a struggle, because while it’s been a bit since I read the book myself, it is widely known as the worst of the trilogy. But what didn’t really help is that they decided to split the shortest book of the series into two parts. I can only assume that the decision was made because previous adaptations of books with younger fans in the early 2010s like Harry Potter and Twilight did that too. Compared to most people, I’m not inherently opposed to the splitting the book into two movies. It does at least set the stage for Part 2, plus having an extra movie presents the opportunity to expand on a lot of things with the story and characters. Unfortunately, the outcome is not that good. While I wasn’t uninvested, the story is a little dull, and is filled with a lot of exposition. Not much happens in the plot and while you could make an argument that its more of a character piece for protagonist Katniss, it doesn’t really pull that off either. Characters don’t really change or develop that much and a lot of it feels like filler. There are long stretches of dialogue or emptiness and, it can’t help but feel like padding. I’m all for changing things up, but if they really wanted to commit to making Mockingjay a two parter, they really should’ve done more in that first movie.

For what its worth, the performances helped to keep me invested in the story. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is one of the best parts of these movies. So much of the movie relies on her, and while there isn’t as much development as I would’ve liked for her character here, Lawrence sells every scene. Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright, Elizabeth Banks and Sam Claflin reprise their roles and as usual deliver, with Sutherland, Hoffman and Harrelson being the standouts and Hutcherson making the most of his limited screentime. The new additions were pretty good, especially with Mahershala Ali, Natalie Dormer and Julianne Moore.

After the success of Catching Fire, it’s not surprise that Lionsgate got Francis Lawrence to direct every Hunger Games movie afterwards. While his work here doesn’t reach the heights of that previous movie, it’s solid overall. The visuals are great, and they help to bring across the setting. It is definitely lacking in action, but the action scenes here are fine if a bit too shaky with the camera at times. James Newton Howard’s score as usual is pretty good too.

Mockingjay Part 1 was better than I remembered it being. The great performances and solid direction made it decent enough for me, and it even had some really good scenes and moments. However, it is definitely the worse of these four movies. While the structure of the story itself is fine, so little happens in the movie (both in plot and character) that they might as well have made Mockingjay into one long movie.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Review

Time: 146 Minutes
Age Rating: M – Violence
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow
Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith
Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
Lynn Cohen as Mags Flanagan
Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
Director: Francis Lawrence

After Katniss and Peeta’s victory sparks hope and possible rebellion from the citizens of Panem, the two are targeted by the Capitol that wants to quell the revolution before it is too late.

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When I heard about the upcoming adaptation of the Hunger Games prequel (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes), I decided to rewatch the original movies. It has been years since I had watched them, mostly back at the cinema. While I hadn’t exactly looked on YA adaptations fondly, in the past few years I admit I sort of missed that era, and it doesn’t feel the same without them. The first Hunger Games was pretty good, but felt like it could’ve been much better than it was. Catching Fire however is a notable step up in quality, and improves on the first movie in every way.

In some ways the first movie was solid, the worldbuilding, the characters, the setup was there. They were done decently, but felt like they were lacking something. Catching Fire handles all of this much better, it’s a great sequel with a solid script. It has been a while since I read the book, but I heard from many more familiar with the source material that it improves from the book. The plot is gripping and makes sense, the pacing is steady, yet the movie flies by. I found myself more emotionally invested in the story, and the characters felt more real. The first movie was already pretty dark from its premise, but the sequel is even darker. You really feel the oppression and weight of everything with a sense of dread, mainly everything regarding the Capitol. The worldbuilding is very solid, it doesn’t try to rush into the hunger games and actually spends a good amount of time away from it. It ends with a cliffhanger which has you wanting to check out the sequel immediately afterwards.

Much of the cast were solid in the first movie, but they do feel stronger on the whole here. Jennifer Lawrence was already good as Katniss Everdeen and is even better in Catching Fire, really conveying everything that her character has to go through. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are also pretty good as Peeta and Gale, though they don’t really stand out much in this movie. Other returning actors Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks are also great again in their parts. The biggest notable improvement of the returning actors/characters however is seen in the main overarching series villain President Snow, as played by Donald Sutherland. Snow appeared a few times in the first movie, but he never felt like the main villain or much of a threat. Catching Fire does a stronger job at establishing him as that, upping his screentime. As far as villains go, Snow isn’t anything special, but Sutherland plays him with such menace that his scenes are standouts. There are also some newcomers to the series who play their parts really well, including Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright.

Francis Lawrence directs, and while I don’t want to rag on Hunger Games director Gary Ross, Lawrence is a notable improvement. It’s really no surprise that he would go on the direct the rest of the Hunger Games, including the upcoming prequel. It’s a very well shot movie and there are some stand out sequences. There’s this particular impressive moment where the aspect ratio changes seamlessly as Katniss enters the game. While I could get behind some of the action of the first movie, it cuts way too much. The action of Catching Fire is better; it’s a lot easier to see, abandoning the quick editing and shaky camerawork, and the violence still feels really punchy when it needs to. James Newton Howard’s score was great, and the soundtrack on the whole is solid.

Catching Fire is by far the best in the Hunger Games series and is up there as one of the best YA adaptations. It improves on the first movie in just about every way, from the tone, writing, direction, action, and with some great performances. If you watched the first Hunger Games and thought it was just okay, I’d recommend checking out Catching Fire because its even better.

Dual (2022) Review



Time: 94 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence, offensive language, sexual themes & content that may disturb
Karen Gillan as Sarah/Sarah’s Double
Aaron Paul as Trent
Theo James as Robert Michaels
Beulah Koale as Peter
Director: Riley Stearns

Upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, Sarah opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a sudden and miraculous recovery, her attempts to decommission her clone fail, leading to a court-mandated duel to the death. Now, she has one year to train her mind and body for the fight of her life.

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I was interested in Dual ever since I heard that it was the latest movie from Riley Stearns. I hadn’t seen Faults, but I liked The Art of Self-Defense, and was intrigued what he would make next. I checked it out without seeing a trailer, only knowing going in that it involved two copies of Karen Gillan, and co-stars Aaron Paul. It’s nowhere near as good as The Art of Self-Defense but on the whole, I liked Dual.


From the beginning, Dual establishes itself as being set in a somewhat futuristic world, with the practice of cloning yourself being a thing that some people openly do. So this setting makes this Stearns’s most ambitious project so far. Much of the movie feels unnatural and off kilter, especially with the dialogue, and not everyone will go along with this style. It’s almost like a mix between The Art of Self-Defense and a Yorgos Lanthimos movie. However, I liked that tone. There’s a lot of dry and darkly comedic writing, effective deadpan delivery, and a mix of tones. It is funny but there’s also a sadness and bleakness to it, especially with a fear of being replaced or abandoned. There’s definitely a lot of elements with potential, but some aspects could’ve been better. In some ways it feels caught between this off kilter tone and a more grounded natural one, and I think it could’ve leaned towards the former. Most of all though, I don’t think it lived up to its potential. It lost steam over time and is really lacking in the third act, particularly with the ending. The end is rather underwhelming and isn’t that interesting, despite the potential from the rest of the movie.


Karen Gillan gives very committed performances as the lead character and her twin. There are some issues with her performance and character though. There are times where the character is supposed to be emotional and it doesn’t really hit. Sometimes the performance Gna be a little too cold when the film sometimes calls for humanity. Some of the writing doesn’t help, there isn’t a lot of complexity to the character. Still, Gillan is good in her parts. The supporting actors play their parts well, but the standout was Aaron Paul as Karen Gillan trainer. He knew what kind of movie he was in and delivered some great deadpan comedy, some of the funniest scenes was his. He’s definitely a highlight of the film.


The direction of Riley Stearns is on point and is in line with his writing style and tone. It’s very well shot, and it benefits from a great and tense score from Emma Ruth Rundle.


Dual is a little disappointing considering the talent involved, and doesn’t quite live up to its potential. However it’s still a decent and effective enough dark comedy, with nice deadpan humour and good performances from Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul. If you liked any of the past films from Riley Stearns, I think it’s worth checking out.

The Book of Boba Fett (2021) TV Review


The Book of Boba Fett

Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett
Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand
Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin/The Mandalorian
Matt Berry as the voice of 8D8
Jennifer Beals as Garsa Fwip
Carey Jones as Krrsantan
Sophie Thatcher as Drash
Jordan Bolger as Skad
Creator: Jon Favreau

On the sands of Tatooine, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy’s underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt’s old territory.

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Normally I wouldn’t be interested in any film or tv show focusing on Boba Fett; despite the character’s popularity I wasn’t that into him. However, I liked Temuera Morrison’s appearance as Fett in The Mandalorian Season 2, so that had me interested in him leading his own show. I went into The Book of Boba Fett open minded and while I enjoyed it, I was left underwhelmed.


While The Book of Boba Fett was off to a fairly rough start with sluggish pacing, I thought it was a decent exploration of its title character, and it expanded on him in some way. There’s even an episode where it shows Boba Fett spending time with a tribe of Tusken Raiders; it was very interesting and honestly the whole show could’ve focused on that. In fact, the flashbacks ended up being more interesting than the actual present-day storyline focusing on Boba Fett becoming a crime lord. The crime aspect ended up being a wasted opportunity and wasn’t as interesting as it could’ve been. The plot is incredibly uneven with what it chooses to focus on, and as said earlier, the pacing is sluggish. The writing felt undercooked and poorly conceived, almost as if the premise wasn’t enough to carry an entire show. Now for some mild spoilers for the latter part of the series. Episode 5 and 6 primarily centers on The Mandalorian and everything he’s getting up to and while it is interesting especially in contrast to what Boba Fett was doing, it is a notable divergence of the main story. Thing is that they easily could’ve just brought the character in as a notable supporting role for Boba’s show, but there are further developments with Mandalorian and Grogu that basically makes the show essential viewing so you are ready for season 3. So yes, at a point it becomes Mandalorian Season 2.5. Boba Fett isn’t in episode 5, and episode 6 he’s essentially a non speaking cameo. This means that 72% of this show is actually about Boba Fett. Not helping is that episode 6 does some worldbuilding that doesn’t feel relevant to the story of The Mandalorian, so its not even enjoyable on that front. For what its worth though, the finale is entertaining enough just with the action, but by the end the show doesn’t feel satisfying.


Temuera Morrison plays Boba Fett, and honestly most of my enjoyment of the character comes from his performance. I do have an issue with the character though. There is a deliberate shift in his personality; no longer is he a ruthless bounty hunter, and he’s now an amateur crime lord who intends to rule with respect instead of fear and violence. I’m fine with the development, but it rushes through all of that and it is jarring. Also, much of the source of unintentional comedy in the show is Boba Fett wanting to be a crime lord but not wanting to do any crime and hating crime, almost like he hasn’t had the concept of his job explained to him. Another prominent character is Fennec Shand as played by Ming-Na Wen. She didn’t have much character development in the Mandalorian, but that was easier to look past since she only appeared in a few episodes. However, she doesn’t really do much in the Boba Fett show either. It is like her only purpose here outside of being an ally to Boba Fett is to contrast his now honorable character with her more ruthless bounty hunter. The rest of the supporting characters aren’t particularly interesting to talk about. I can talk about a few spoilerish characters however. Pedro Pascal’s The Mandalorian stole the show when he appeared, as to be expected. Cad Bane is a bounty hunter from many of the animated Star Wars shows and made his live action debut as one of the main villains of the show by the end. His inclusion definitely screams fanservice and won’t be notable to people who aren’t familiar with the character already. However, he was entertaining enough and worked in his scenes with Boba Fett. On a more negative note, The Mandalorian Season 2 ended with CGI Luke Skywalker (which I have many complaints about), and unfortunately he makes a return here in the 6th episode; I pretty much hated all of his scenes. Regardless of whether Mark Hamill had any involvement in the performance or not, he just feels so artificial and lifeless, not helped by the uncanny valley de-aging CGI.


I found the direction and technical elements to be a bit of a mixed bag. Tatooine is such a dull and tired setting, and it feels empty in all the wrong ways. The Volume may have been revolutionary especially in how it was used in Mandalorian, but its faults are quickly shown in Boba Fett. I think that Episode 5 was by far the best directed of the series (incidentally much of it isn’t on Tatooine). On the whole, the action is rather basic, the editing is messy, and the CGI is hit and miss. On the bright side, Ludwig Göransson returns from The Mandalorian to compose the score for this show, and it is really good as to be expected. Easily the most consistently strong part from the show.  


I should clarify that I don’t hate The Book of Boba Fett, in fact I enjoyed it. I like some of the performances and characters, it has some good ideas and moments, and overall, I’m glad that I watched it. However, it is easily one of the worst things in Star Wars when it comes to live action movies and shows. As seen by the shift of focus in episode 5, the show was ill conceived from the start, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the writing was rushed. The writing is undercooked, and even much of the technical elements are a mixed bag. If you like the Mandalorian but don’t have an interest in this show, it might be worth watching the last 3 episodes at the very least, so you’re prepared for Season 3. Otherwise you aren’t missing much if you don’t check out the show.

After Yang (2022) Review


After Yang

Time: 96 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Coarse language
Colin Farrell as Jake Fleming
Jodie Turner-Smith as Kyra Fleming
Justin H. Min as Yang Fleming
Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja as Mika Fleming
Haley Lu Richardson as Ada
Director: Kogonada

When his young daughter’s beloved companion, an android named Yang malfunctions, Jake searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife and daughter across a distance he didn’t know was there.

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After Yang was one of my most anticipated films of this year. A couple of years ago, I watched Columbus and was very surprised, it was incredible and lingered in the mind long after watching. Naturally I was interested in what director Kogonada would make next. Finally his next film is here, this time a sci-fi movie starring Colin Farrell. His sophomore feature is released about 5 years after his debut movie, but the wait was well worth it.


After Yang is a very contemplative and meditative movie, and such it really takes its time, especially at the beginning. It might turn off some people who aren’t interested in a slow burn, but I was invested in everything that happened. Despite being set vaguely in the future, much of the setting is kept vague, and it is deliberately focused in telling an intimate story. It uses advancements like robots to help to serve the story, and not necessarily be the focus. Essentially, After Yang is a movie about coming to terms with a potential death in the family. There’s a lot that can be taken from this movie. Without providing the context in the plot I can say that a major part involves memory and losing time. With it involving robots, unsurprisingly it is a movie about what it means to be living the life of a human being and to be alive, but also what it means to be in a family. It even covers adoption and racial identity. After Yang is a very thought-provoking film, especially with the conversations between characters. Its very bittersweet, yet tender and heartfelt, and it sticks with you long after watching. There are some issues I had, even though I liked how it ended, it felt a little abrupt. There is also some corporate conspiracy subplot that was introduced during the movie, but it doesn’t amount to anything. It might’ve been intended as a bit of worldbuilding, but this surveillance part came up more than a couple of times that it distracted a little bit.


The cast are all great, everyone gives such convincing performances. Colin Farrell is the main focus of the movie and is the standout. This is some of his best work, very subtle yet very powerful. The rest of the cast playing the family are really good, Jodie Turner-Smith, Malea Emma Tjandreawidjaja, and Justin H. Min as Yang the robot. Haley Lu Richardson is also great in her small but notable part.


As I said earlier, the main reason I was interested in After Yang was its director Kogonada. His work on Columbus was fantastic, and once again he delivers here. Like with Columbus it has a very calming and dreamlike atmosphere, and the cinematography is outstanding and stunning, with some aesthetically pleasing visuals especially with the production design. It’s incredibly edited, especially in the way that they portray memories. Finally, the soundtrack from Aska Matsumiya is beautiful and entrancing, perfectly accompanying the relaxed and mediative vibe of the movie.


After Yang is another fantastic movie from Kogonada. A mediative, intimate, existential yet beautiful reflection on life, loss and humanity. Its visually stunning, directed incredibly, and made even better with the powerful performances from the cast. I highly recommend watching it if you haven’t already, it’s one of my favourites of this year thus far.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) Review

'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' Movie Stills


Time: 109 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] contains violence & offensive language
Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator
Nick Stahl as John Connor
Kristanna Loken as the T-X
Claire Danes as Katherine “Kate” Brewster
Director: Jonathan Mostow

A powerful cyborg from a post-apocalyptic future appears in search of a drifter. Soon, he must protect himself and his companion from a deadly robotic threat.

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The first two Terminator movies are widely regarded as action sci-fi classics. However, the following movies in the series has been receiving a rather mixed reception. That being said, I like them all, and that extends to Terminator 3. Made and released over a decade after the excellent Terminator 2, Rise of the Machines is enjoyable despite its many issues.


The biggest problem of Terminator 3 is how similar it is to Terminator 2, to the point where it almost feels like a copy. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator goes back in time to protect John Connor from a more advanced Terminator, and there are plenty of one liners and action scenes. It doesn’t help that much of it feels like it is on autopilot. The plot is less interesting, the characters aren’t as strong, and there’s not nearly as much emotion or depth to it, despite some of the opportunities presented here. The attempts at comedy are increased, but come across as being more forced, and I think its goofier than it was intending to be; the scene in which the Terminator gets his clothes here is an example of this. While some one liners are memorable, they were more misses than hits. That being said, I was fairly entertained with the movie, helped by a tight pace. It is also elevated by a surprising third act, with the bleak ending being a standout. While I can see why people wouldn’t like it, it is at least admirable. It is a bold move for a franchise movie to end on such a nihilistic note. At the same time, you get the feeling that it could’ve been more impactful had it been handled better.


Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as another Terminator sent back in time, and is solid as usual even if he’s feeling a bit tired here. One thing working against him is that he just feels like a copy of his Terminator from Terminator 2, only he’s not as good, almost like an empty shell. His characterisation isn’t as strong and doesn’t feel as human. At the same time, there are plenty of human moments where he acts like his Terminator 2 counterpart, despite not having humanising moments like he did with young John Connor. The rest of the cast aren’t as good. Nick Stahl and Claire Danes are fine as John Connor and his future wife Kate, but are forgettable. Terminator 3 is a logical and accurate continuation of where John Connor would go after stopping Judgment Day, but they don’t do much beyond the first act. Danes is also fine with what she is given but is underdeveloped despite playing a major role in the movie. Then there’s the new villain Terminator, this time it’s the T-X as played by Kristanna Loken. While the idea had potential, the execution has much to be desired. It’s a female Terminator and that’s all that’s going for her. She wasn’t menacing, she was hard to take seriously and was a step back after the Terminator villains.


Jonathan Mostow directs this, overall his work is just okay but unsurprisingly pales in comparison to James Cameron’s work on the previous movies. Much like the writing, a big part of the problem is that it just feels like a copy of Terminator 2, except not as good. It doesn’t have much of a style of its own. Its also feels on autopilot, not helped by the generic score from Marco Beltrami. That being said, the action scenes are quite entertaining. It can be a bit messy and sloppy at times, but at the very least goes all in with the bonkers action. An early chase scene involving a truck in the first act particularly shines. While there is clearly an overreliance on CGI and the effects haven’t aged well, there are still some good practical stunts.


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a decent enough sequel, Arnold Schwarzenegger is entertaining as usual, the action is fun, and there’s some aspects that are well done. The problem is that its just pretty much just a copy of Terminator 3, only not done as well. The only purpose of the movie seems to be the direction of its ending, and even that could’ve been handled better. Still, it’s okay if you manage expectations going into it.

The 6th Day (2000) Review


The 6th Date

Time: 123 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] contains violence & offensive language
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Adam Gibson
Tony Goldwyn as Michael Drucker
Michael Rapaport as Hank Morgan
Michael Rooker as Robert Marshall
Sarah Wynter as Talia Elsworth
Robert Duvall as Dr. Griffin Weir
Director: Roger Spottiswoode

In the distant future, human cloning technology falls into the destructive, corrupt hands of a multinational corporation. But one man refuses to be a pawn in this deadly conspiracy.

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I have been meaning to check out The 6th Day for some time, I knew it as another Arnold Schwarzenegger action sci-fi movie. However from what I heard going into it, its not exactly one of his most beloved movies. It definitely has a lot of problems, but I liked it overall.


The story of The 6th Day definitely has some holes and issues; it starts off intriguing but becomes less interesting as it progresses. I liked the slightly futuristic setting with the technological advancements, some of those predictions are even accurate to today. It also raises some interesting ethical questions, especially about cloning. However, the movie is not clever enough to do anything interesting with those ideas, like its in completely the wrong movie. As a result, it is all over the place tonally, it has dark and disturbing implications with the future but has plenty of silly moments. However there is a charm to the movie, ,and I think The 6th Day does work better as a silly Schwarzenegger film with sci-fi elements than a serious sci-fi movie about cloning. The movie definitely succeeds when it has fun with its premise, and it definitely has those moments. While the overall plot isn’t memorable, there are some individual sequences which are. It is also a funny movie and has some great one liners.


Arnold Schwarzenegger leads The 6th Day, and this is definitely not one of his best movies or performances. However, he’s as enjoyable and charismatic as ever, handling the action and the one liners with ease. Robert Duvall has also done much better in other movies, but he’s decent in his screentime here. The villains aren’t anything special but work well enough for this plot, from Tony Goldwyn as the main antagonist, to Michael Rooker as one of his henchmen.


Roger Spottiswoode directs The 6th Day, and his work here is fine. Some of the CGI is very early 2000s and is dated, but it can be enjoyably silly. There are some entertaining sequences, and I liked the futuristic setting shown in the movie, especially with the technology and weapons. The action isn’t fantastic but between the laser shootouts and car chases, its fun and well shot.


The 6th Day is not a good movie, despite an intriguing premise and ideas, it really doesn’t utilise them to their fullest. Out of Arnold’s action movies, its not one of his best. That being said, I still had fun with it. The cast are decent, and the action was at least entertaining. It’s definitely no Total Recall, but if you’re a fan of Schwarzenegger, then The 6th Day has enough to make it worth checking out.