Mass Effect And The Rebirth of Optimistic Science Fiction Part 1

Mass Effect: Andromeda is released tomorrow. Unfortunately, due to the lack of an Xbox One, I won’t be able to play it. However, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that I bought ‘Mass Effect,’ the game that started the science fiction franchise. And what a game I picked up. I’ve recently played the original game (for at least the fourth time), and each time reinforces the brilliance of it. Not only is a great game in and of itself, but it’s also a different kind of science fiction that we’re used to today. It’s not post-apocalyptic or a dystopia, but a science fiction universe thriving with enthusiasm and glory. It’s a refreshing change from the grey, dull and depressing science fiction that we see all too often in video games and films of the modern age. Continue reading

Ideas For Star Wars Spin Offs…Episode II

star wars

Over the five years (at least!), Disney will bludgeon us over the head with Star Wars films. Not only will we see Episodes VIII and VIX, but we will see spin-offs as well. The first one, released this year, is called Rogue One, and centres on the Rogue Squadron preparing to attack the first Death Star. Other ideas have been bandied around, such as origin stories for Han Solo and the ever popular Boba Fett. However, I’ve been thinking of some fairly obscure spin off stories myself…again!
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Ideas For Star Wars Spin Offs!

star wars

Over the five years (at least!), Disney will bludgeon us over the head with Star Wars films. Not only will we see Episodes VIII and VIX, but we will see spin-offs as well. The first one, released this year, is called Rogue One, and centres on the Rogue Squadron preparing to attack the first Death Star. Other ideas have been bandied around, such as origin stories for Han Solo and the ever popular Boba Fett. However, I’ve been thinking of some fairly obscure spin off stories myself…
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Review: Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) (Better Than The Prequels?)

the force awakens(SPOILER-FREE!)

“This is a rescue!”

We all hoped that ‘Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ would not sink to the depths of the prequels. I can confidently say that it doesn’t. If I’d have written this review straight after seeing it, I probably would have agreed with most of the early critics: ‘TFA’ is a four or a five star film! It captures what ‘Star War’s is all about, something the prequels singularly failed to do (bar a few scenes here or there). It gave me similar feelings of exhilaration to when I first saw the original Star Wars trilogy, all the way back in 1997. However, after overcoming those heavy feelings of nostalgia, I can say that there are flaws that prevent ‘TFA’ from being a great film. Continue reading

Review: Star Wars: Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (2002) (Things Can Only Get Better?!?!?)

attack of the clones

“I shouldn’t have come back”

‘The Phantom Menace is a bad film, but mention of it will always be consumed by the sense of disappointment many felt after watching it. You’d think that after the negative reactions to Episode, George Lucas would try his hardest to make ‘Episode II: Attack Of The Clones’ a better film. Maybe he did try, but to no avail. ‘Attack Of The Clones’ is undoubtedly the worst Star Wars film to date. JJ Abrams could film two chimps fighting with sticks and make a more entertaining film than AOTC. Jar Jar Binks may have a reduced role, but all of the other flaws and failures of Episode I are magnified in Episode II. Silly plot developments, sillier action set pieces, wooden acting and endless talking (within a dire script) make for an excruciating experience. And did I mention the love story? One of the worst love stories in cinema history? Here we go… Continue reading

Review: Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) (The Jar Jar Binks Show!)

the phantom menace

“I have a bad feeling about this”

So, we come to Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (and the beginning of the prequel trilogy). I made myself re-watch the prequel trilogy to prepare for ‘The Force Awakens.’ I dreaded it. ‘The Phantom Menace’ has to be one of the most disappointing cinematic experiences of my life! Although not the worst of the prequels (Episode II takes that hallowed position!), it is simply a bad film. I watched it back in 1999, and even my 13/14 year old eyes knew I was watching a film that had nothing to do with my beloved Star Wars trilogy. Yes, it had familiar names (C-3P0 and R2-D2! Yes, I know them!), aliens and places. But the spirit, feeling and quality of the original trilogy was sorely lacking, instead replaced by trade negotiations, CGI sprites and backgrounds, wooden acting, and an awful script. And of course, Jar Jar freaking Binks… Continue reading

Review: Star Wars: Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi (1983) (Full Of Diminishing Returns?)

ReturnOfTheJediPoster1983

“The Emperor Is Not As Forgiving As I Am”

Time has not been kind to Return of the Jedi. As a child, it was my favourite of the original trilogy. As an adult, it is my least favourite. If ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ was just another sequel to Star Wars, rather than the middle part of a trilogy, I’d expect it to be like ‘Return of the Jedi.’ ROTJ repeats the Death Start storyline of Episode IV, as a typical Hollywood big budget sequel would do. Of course, there are more explosions, more action and more characters, in typical Hollywood big budget sequel fashion. But looking past those things, there’s very little that contributes to resolving the many plot threads dangling from ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ The Oedipal storyline between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader is the most (and perhaps only) satisfying aspect of ROTJ, but it’s sometimes lost among the nonsense happening elsewhere. Continue reading

Review: Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

the empire strikes back

“Laugh it up fuzzball!”

How can I review a film that I’ve watched countless times since opening the ‘Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition’ on Christmas Day, 1997? Yes, that’s how I began my review for Star Wars, and that’s how I’ll begin by review for Return of the Jedi! Let me just say, here and now, that The Empire Strikes Back is one of my Top 10 Films. Funnily enough, it’s the one I liked the least when I first watched the Star Wars Trilogy, but I needed maturity to fully understand and appreciate Episode V. Now, when I go back to re-watch the Star Wars (Original) Trilogy, it’s the one I most look forward to watching. It’s dark, emotional, inspiring (just listen to Yoda!), gut-wrenching, and very, very funny. Epic set-pieces push forward the story, emotions and characters in a way that is very rarely seen in cinema. Not only that, but it has one of the greatest endings/cliffhangers in cinema history. And, of course, it’s the greatest Star Wars film yet… Continue reading

Review: Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) (A Long Time Ago…)

star wars

“We seem to be made to suffer”

How can I review a film that I’ve watched countless times since opening the ‘Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition’ on Christmas Day, 1997? I’d heard so much about it, but missed it until I asked for the trilogy as a Christmas present. At one point, I knew the entire script, the sound effects…every second of the film was ingrained in my brain! How can I repress those memories to produce an unbiased review? The answer: watch it with a Star Wars virgin…my fiancée! She had never seen the trilogy before, and blatantly refused to watch them. However, she caved, and a few nights ago, I showed her one of the films that defined my late childhood… Continue reading