31 August 2014

Doctor Who S8E2 "Into the Dalek" rejuvinates an old enemy

Daleks. Easily the most overused, least surprising enemy that the Doctor has to face whenever they show up (and they always show up). The look of dismay on my face as the Next Time section of "Deep Breath" showed us these now cheesy, boring villains expressed my feelings about these enemies perfectly - they are simply no longer interesting, having been over exposed to audiences for the past 7 series, and I actively dreaded their inevitable return in this series.

It turns out I'm wrong.

"Into the Dalek" breathes new life into these tired old tubs, making them feel both genuinely threatening and more complicated than the obviously evil, hate-filled, genocidal maniacs (that are coincidentally useless when confronted by The Doctor) that we have seen in the past. Rusty, as the Doctor calls him, is a broken Dalek. Barely functional, but also radically different from his kin, this is a Dalek unlike any other - this is a Dalek that hates Daleks, instantly intriguing the Doctor. Shrunk down to microscopic size, The Doctor, Clara, and the soldiers who found Rusty agree to enter is body and repair what is broken.

28 August 2014

Lucy is silly, pulpy goodness

Director Luc Besson is most well known for Leon: The Professional, the shockingly good film that everyone should see at some point. It is this directors name on Lucy that got me excited about the film in the first place, advertised as a female led sci-fi/action hybrid. The story follows Lucy (unsurprisingly), a student living in Taiwan, who is tricked into delivering drugs to an international gang by a new boyfriend. They quickly force her into becoming a drug mule for a new experimental drug that is placed surgically inside her body, threatening her and her family if she fails to do as they wish. The bag containing this drug ends up breaking, giving Lucy a huge dose of this new drug, resulting in her being able to utilise more than 10% of her brains capacity, with super powered results.

27 August 2014

Doctor Who S8E1 "Deep Breath" shows promise

I am not a long term Doctor Who fan. It was the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor that peaked my curiosity in the show, and had me watch all the episodes from the beginning of the "new" episodes in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston to the end of Matt Smith era within the period of a few months, having watched Time of the Doctor (the final Matt Smith episode) merely weeks ago.

I would now consider myself to be in the strange position of being well-versed in the world of The Doctor without actually being a fan. The show fluctuates between good and bad episodes frequently, with the "rules" of time travel and the functionality of certain devices (the Sonic Screwdriver being the worst for this) being inconsistent from episode to episode, rewritten as the show progresses, often as some kind of Deux Ex Machina in order to resolve the hole that the writers have written themselves into. I say this as a kind of disclaimer, that I am by no means a long-term fan of the show, very much willing to admit flaws when they exist. That being said, I seem to be in the minority when I say that Deep Breath was a good start to the new season.

1 August 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy is a ton of fun

It's a well know fact that Marvel Studios take risks, a tradition that started during production of Iron Man. Based on a second tier superhero that few people had heard of, starring an actor that was still trying to get his career back on track after highly publicised substance abuse problems, the script hadn't been completed when filming began and much of what you see in the finished product is improvisation. The result? A critical and financial success, paving the way for Marvel Studios to create some of the highest grossing films ever made. The risk had paid off.

This, however, feels like a bigger risk than Iron Man was. With James Gunn at the helm, Guardians of the Galaxy takes the action of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into deep space, following Peter "Star Lord" Quill, Gamora, Drax the Destoyer, Groot and Rocket Racoon as they attempt to save the galaxy from Ronan the Accuser, a Kree supremacist who is attempting to destroy Xander, home of the Nova Corps, an intergalactic peace keeping force.