I was so excited to see a new Godzilla coming out on Netflix. I had been waiting to see what the next iteration of the world’s most famous monster would be since the amazing Shin Godzilla came out in 2016. From the trailer. I was interested in the CG Anime style it went with because I thought they could go places with animation where live action could never go. Just look at Godzilla the Animated Series. No, not that Godzilla the Animated Series. The OTHER Godzilla the Animated Series. They did some groundbreaking work.

I’m kidding, of course, both series are awful abominations of the worldwide phenomenon created by Tomoyuki Tanaka .

Unlike their American counterparts, Anime has seen some of the most CONSISTENT epic animated fight scenes of all time (and I think the top 10 are all in One Punch Man). The point is, I was excited to see where Hiroyuki Seshita, the director of Blame!, Knights of Sidonia, and several episodes of Ajin, would take the epicness of Godzilla. The trailer made me excited too.

So, before I continue and talk about the plot and such, let me say this. It was okay. If you are a Godzilla fan, then you will like the movie, if you aren’t a Godzilla fan, then why are you here anyway?

Okay? Okay.

That being said: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD.

Brief synopsis for those of you who don’t remember the first part of the movie: it’s been a long time since humans have been able to exist on Earth, because Godzilla is too awesome and destroyed everything. So for a while, humanity has been roaming the stars looking for somewhere else to live. It didn’t go well, a bunch of people died and our hero, Haruo, was put in jail because he tried to not let people die, and the higher-ups of the spaceship are bureaucratic politicians.

They decide their best course of action is to go back to Earth, and fight off Godzilla. Luckily for humanity, Haruo is hell-bent on defeating Godzilla because the monster killed billions of people, and humiliated the ones who survived. Haruo has a plan in mind, and the various decision-makers agree. They fight and ultimately kill Godzilla in a spectacular self-destruct type fashion. Then they realize they only killed one of Godzilla’s offspring, and the true Godzilla emerges, and he’s even more awesome than when he destroyed humanity the first time. The humans decide the best option is to run as fast as possible. Which, by all accounts, was an extremely good idea.

See, the ship wasn’t gone for the small amount of time they all thought. It was actually gone for 10,000 years, and then they figure out they were gone for over 20,000 years. Through all this time, Godzilla has been alive… and growing. He is now over 300 meters tall (over 980 feet), and has increased in power to well over 9,000.

They don’t talk about power levels in the movie, to be clear, I could just tell.

So that’s the plot, more or less. They also meet some aliens, and there’s a lot of technobabble about how Godzilla got the way that he is and how to kill him, and whatever. All the rest of the movie was a little, take-it-or-leave-it, and I was finding it a little difficult to pay attention. When they got to Earth though, I was totally into it.

They find out that plants have evolved, because of the harsh climate Earth developed, by growing metal-like cells as opposed to the soft, squishy plants we have now (except for Australia’s Gympie Gympie plant. Seriously. Stay away from that thing). In a scene, a guy uses a knife to cut a sample of fern, except his knife just breaks over the fern’s leaves.

My actual reaction was as follows:

“Whoa.”

It looks less impressive written down, but I thought specifically, “whoa.” So be careful around the plants, for sure. But as if hell-plants weren’t enough, some other creatures crop up. These flying monsters called Servum (basically Godzilla-plated pterodactyls) put the humans back in their place, and remind them how weak they are. Seriously, the Servum are awesome. They look like the offspring of a Xenomorph and a dragon and are about as powerful as that sounds.

Not-Godzilla was pretty cool, too. He was big and formidable and did a lot of damage to the humans trying to get their planet back, but the reveal of the true Godzilla was… just wow. After the moment passed, and mid-sip of my drink, I realized my mouth was hanging open a little. I said aloud “that’s awesome” to no one in particular. His scale isn’t understated, and I believed he was a 20,000+-year-old monster who had a particular distaste for humanity. He was on screen for maybe 3 minutes, but it made the entire movie worth watching. With one swoop of his tail, he blows pretty much everyone away. I couldn’t tell if they showed off his famous atomic breath in this or not. They might have called it something else, but they did say it registered over 900 gigawatts, and that made me think of my contractual obligation to insert a joke into the article (see power level line above).

I’m so excited to see the next in the series, Godzilla: The City Mechanized for the Final Battle. The title is a little clunky in English, but nonetheless, I am anxiously awaiting its arrival!

So Godzilla: Monster Planet-

Worth it? Yes.

See it? Sure.

Award-winning? Not so much.

Fun? Totally.

I suggest you see it if you want to, and don’t see it if you don’t. While you wouldn’t really be missing anything truly amazing, I believe it’s worth slogging through the middle to see how awesome the writers and directors made Godzilla: Monster Planet.

Coming together, all is one and one is all in us, in me, this is what you must master to perform alchemy.

This season of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood takes place in two sections. The majority of the season is focused leading up to a huge climatic event known as the promise day. One can imagine this is in reference to D-day when the American forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. The day of reckoning as it is known. And all of our favorite characters are revving at full throttle.

This season might I say has the most kickass opening to the show yet! It displays incredible animation and is a much more delightful show to sit through than the slum that was season 3. However, a major complaint with this season is how it treats one of our favorite characters. Our primary supporting female character Winry Rockbell takes a huge backseat in this season. She’s mainly only used to advance the plot which might not sit well with loyal fans to the show. That said the action we get between her and Edward is rather laughable at best and heartwarming to listen to. It’s clear that the series is hindering on the conclusion of her and Ed being a family someday.

Unlike season 3 we don’t get that much concentration on backstory or filler. There is one episode that deals with the origins of Xerxes and the homunculus but it’s a small departure from what we already know. I would say this season biggest contributor is the sheer action it holds it in. There are two episodes in particular that leave you on the absolute edge of your seat to see what happens next.

From the north of Fort Briggs to the fields of Resembool and then back to Central Command there’s little to hide when the trouble comes looking for you.

Our youngest hero is the one who takes the biggest beating in this season as he proves useless to stop his body from pulling him back to the portal beyond. It’s actually quite ironic that much of this season is spent with Edward and Alphonse being separated. Luckily though we see the defeat of a great foe, and the desperation of allies turning in victories for a change. As we figure out how alchemy can be used for good for a change instead of so much evil, it turns out it might be too late. The enemy has carved the final crest of blood and finished the underground circuit of tunnels. Just as everything seems to spell an end the hero emerges at the last minute to seal the monsters away in a massive cage, only at the cost of his son giving his last.

Now that the enemy no longer tries to hide their face its all fair game to take them out. And it’s interesting when we see a fabled enemy turn into a faithful ally. How humorous it is when the sin it represents is one that may not be half as bad to feel inside. I love it when a plan works perfectly and we have some wicked fight scenes in this season, not to mention the return of some very old characters we once thought would never come back. It’s welcoming to see returning faces and it adds to the stakes that our heroes carry to win the war. The only order they must follow is, “Don’t die!”

As we brace for the impact our heroes race back to Central to stop the nefarious plans of Father but are caught in a massive battle. As it is revealed the identity of the final and most powerful homunculus, Pride, otherwise known as Selim Bradley, the Fuhrer’s own son. Kimblee the crimson alchemist actually takes a backseat too in this season as he is forced to do Pride’s bidding. I’m sure though that we’ll get to see him again in the net season. I find it quite intriguing when Ling, being controlled by Greed, manages not only to take back his body but actually break Greed through a line in the show that is by far my most favorite.

“You gave up on something you wanted, you don’t deserve to call yourself greed!”

As I’m sure you can imagine this is my favorite season of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It’s refreshing to see our character have so many wins after taking such a beating the past 3 seasons from the enemy. I get the feeling though that the fight has only just begun. Trust me when I say you’re gonna want to see how this ends people. There’s no stopping the hype train now! I thoroughly enjoy the high points and its low points of this season right up until the very end as I’m sure you’re aware the final episodes of the season take place in one single day, the Promise Day.

Surrounded on all sides, and unarmed from their allies. This season of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is pretty slow and full of lots of filler. It doesn’t end on much of a cliffhanger either unlike the previous season. The opening for this season is also fairly dull in my opinion. This is obviously a low point. There were some new avenues explored though that were not seen before.

The two brothers start off wandering after a confrontation with the enemy only to find out the enemy is leading the charge. While his son lurks in his shadow he might be the greatest shadow of them all. Allies let alcohol become a sense of relief to sway their worrying souls, buying trinkets and flowers to impress their loved ones while their loved ones are held, hostage. The backstories behind the loved ones deepen more and more as the loved ones grow older and perhaps more beautiful, the alchemists stay cold and desperate, clinging to the vestiges of their sanity and their disposition. Not much lies ahead and no one knows where to turn.

Allies of relatives emerge and are quick to assume rank above the brothers. Telling them that they too hold secrets that they keep locked away. As pressure builds, a massive new foe appears seemingly oblivious to everything. One has to wonder if all the enemies are oblivious to the true plan about to unfold. The main antagonist of the series emerges in this slow season. Tension builds quickly as he plays with the people and moves them to his will. Everything is orchestrated perfectly, as a massive underground network of tunnels is discovered guarded by an elusive predator. The purpose of the tunnels holds an even darker truth than before.

As the two brothers continue to refuse the use of a philosopher’s stone to do their bidding or to pay the toll to get their bodies back, they are forced to watch the stone be used against them. Neutral Evil comes forward not taking any side and just wanting to use power for power’s sake. To kill because he can. Only driven by the curiosity of who will win, is a huge price to pay for what some people would look at as foolish.

Humor plays a large role as some choose to hide their feelings from others as a means for safety. Some unusual backstories are explored too through means of coercion and insecurity. I chuckled quite a few times and felt sorrow for our characters. Wondering deeply about how they choose to resolve this issue of corruption in the ranks of those higher-up than them. This season is about staying together when it might be clear that it would be best to drift apart. Drifting apart allows the enemy to grow complacent, and keeps them entertained. Our characters will have to get creative in order to talk to one another safely because just running away to hide where no one is watching cannot work forever.

People borrow money from one another as the enemy strips them clean of their assets. Some grow stingy, but to tell the truth, it’s mostly in jest for future plans that they hold dear to their heart. While guilt weighs on them for their past mistakes and the war they were a part of they like to think that condemning themselves to eternal punishment would be a just reward. Others wouldn’t be so kind to let them do that much to their chagrin. It becomes clear that they must unite and fight for their country if they wish to survive. On a brighter side, one of our primary characters from last season Ling gets what he desires, and in doing so leaves his friends behind to serve his new master. His friends receive his message and rejoice thinking he is alive and well, but rather than go to him decide to regroup and recover from the deadly encounters they have faced. I have a feeling though that while Ling took a backseat in this season, he will most certainly play a bigger role in the next season.

The chance at being immortal is used as an excuse to get people to tell the truth. Taking the bait like a squealing pig and then being sent to die like a groveling child. When the two brothers travel far north, one receives upgrades while the other struggles to hide their ambitions. Getting really excited by his newfound strength he chooses to act like an idiot to get the upper hand on the enemy without killing them. This makes for some entertaining imagery and playful animation. I can’t say for certain that this is my favorite season of the show. It’s definitely weaker than season 2, but with so much great stuff unfolding it’s hard not to get sucked in at this point. You just gotta keep watching to see how it all plays out since so much is left to judge. What could be so important about our main characters that the enemy would refer to them as sacrifices anyway?

This week’s episode gets off to an unexpected start, but we’ve grown to expect that in this space-set season, haven’t we? This time the digression is in service of introducing a new character, Flint (Coy Stewart). We meet Flint as a lowly scavenger trying to survive in the space station housing the remnants of humanity, but he’s about to become something much more.

He’s not the only one going through changes. Upon arrival at the space station, Fitz is informed by Enoch that he’s now “Boshtok,” a space marauder of unlimited wealth and unapproachable ferocity. Those Han Solo references last week weren’t a joke; Fitz is now fully in hero mode. He swaggers enough to impress even Kasius, but Fitz really only has eyes for one person in the room. Enoch offers to introduce him to Simmons, but Fitz has no time for that. Sneaking up to Simmons from behind, he whispers a heartfelt speech that should make any FitzSimmons shipper faint. I mean, just look — even though the universe separated them once again, across space and time this time, he still managed to find his way back to her. “The universe can’t stop us,” he says. And then, to top it all off, in a moment shippers have likely been waiting for years, Fitz even proposes to her…

…but, unfortunately, he didn’t know about Kasius’ implants that prevent his servants from hearing anything other than the voice of his master. So let’s hold off on the wedding bells for now.

In the meantime, it’s time for Flint to face his destiny. Along with a gaggle of other humans, Flint is assembled for exposure to the crystals. The mist comes up from vents beneath them, but when the mist clears, Flint is gone. One good thing about this season is that the villains are not dumb. The Kree knows Flint’s newfound Inhuman powers aren’t at work here, but isn’t sure what the actual answer is.

It is, of course, Yo-Yo…

True to its name, “Rewind” tracks back the story a good 74 years to pick up last season’s cliffhanger in the moments after everyone vanishes from the diner. Except for Fitz. Just a few moments after the team is grabbed, a military unit shows up and arrests S.H.I.E.L.D.’s lone remaining agent. He spends six months trying to figure out what’s happened, while also processing his PTSD in the wake of his Framework experience. Thankfully the action ramps up when Lance Hunter comes out of the cold to help bust him out (of course, the two send coded messages through letters to the editor while complaining about soccer teams).

It’s an interesting direction to take the story, covering such an extended amount of time so quickly as Fitz stews in a 10×10 jail cell with nothing but books and soccer to keep him (at least a little) sane. Sending the team through time presented an interesting opportunity to approach Fitz’s mission to save them, and they absolutely go big with the ideas. Fitz uses a cryochamber to travel through time the “long way” to reach them while waiting on Enoch’s ship safely hidden away from Earth. He also hides a box of supplies within the Lighthouse (the site that will eventually be the last remaining human base on the broken planet), complete with a hand upgrade for Coulson.

For the nerdiest among us, it also begs the question of time paradoxes and alternate universes, since Fitz doesn’t technically disappear through time. He jumps in a cryochamber and spends more than 70 years floating on his own, with no real escape plan to return to the present. It’s bold, to say the least. So did life go on without the team all that time? Did an alternate future Fitz eventually return to present-day Earth while the “younger” version of himself is still frozen waiting to fix the future? Or are we simply going to create a completely different reality by whatever the team does (or doesn’t do) to possibly prevent this cataclysm? So many questions.

As for the personal stakes: Despite the time, it’s clear Fitz is still grappling with the darkness inside him. We see him put a gun to Enoch’s head with no hesitation while pushing him for information, to the point it even takes Hunter by surprise. He might’ve spent 72 years on ice, but the version of Fitz that wakes up in 2091 (thanks to Enoch we finally have a year for that future date) is still damaged and reeling. He talks about his relationship with Simmons as if they’re cursed to be torn apart by fate, and at this point, it’s hard to argue. It’s become a trope unto itself in this show, so when that reunion does happen, it better be worth the wait.

Let’s be honest, everyone has their own “favorite” Doctor and favorite episode for that matter so I’m sure that my list will be different to many others! However as a fan for decades, I definitely have a preference so lets countdown my favorite Doctors over the years!

13. Second Doctor-PATRICK TROUGHTON (1966-1969):

The Second Doctor was very different to his predecessor. A more playful, whimsical air disguised dark undercurrents and a sharp mind. And as the Doctor changed, so did the adventures. Trips into Earth’s history gave way to besieged Moonbases, Martian Ice Warriors and Space Pirates. Not to mention the heyday of the emotionless Cybermen, whom the Doctor froze into their ancient tombs once more. It wasn’t until he was put on trial by his own people – The Time Lords – for interference, that the Second Doctor was forced to regenerate. Although he was a good actor and got a position as one of the earliest doctors he failed to meet the expectations of many viewers.

I am not a student of human nature. I am a professor of a far wider academy of which human nature is merely a part.

12. Seventh Doctor-SYLVESTER MCCOY (1987-1989, 1996):

The TARDIS is attacked by villainous Time Lady the Rani, triggering the Doctor’s next regeneration. His Seventh body was both a spoon-playing clown and a master of deep dark secrets. He toppled empires in a single night, entertained in the circus of the Gods of Ragnarok and played chess with the ancient and evil Fenric. McCoy portrayed a pompous Doctor Who who further tanked the show’s ratings. The show basically got canceled after McCoy’s three-season tenure.

Time will tell. It always does.

11. Eight Doctor-PAUL MCGANN (1996, 2013):

After dying on the operating table, the Doctor regenerated into his eighth form in a hospital morgue, on December 31, 1999. Mercurial, frenzied and prone to bouts of amnesia, the Eighth Doctor teamed up with Grace Holloway to save the world from being pulled inside-out by the Master’s hijacking of the TARDIS. He was given a chance to prove himself in the role again in a 2013 mini-episode in which his decision to fight in the Time War gave us John Hurt’s the War Doctor. For that, we owe him our thanks.

I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there.

10. Fifth Doctor-PETER DAVISON (1981 – 1984):

Clever, considered and kind, the Fifth Doctor’s world was one of fascination and science. He relished the recursion of Castrovalva, solved the mystery under the sinking sands of Frontios, and came face to face with the Silurians and Sea Devils once more. Infected with a deadly virus and with only enough antidote to save one, the Fifth Doctor sacrificed his life to save his friend Peri.

For some people, small, beautiful events are what life is all about!

9. First Doctor-WILLIAM HARTNELL (1963 – 1966):

An exile from his homeworld, wandering space and time in his trusty TARDIS with granddaughter Susan, the First Doctor appears to be a frail old man. But don’t be fooled. With a chuckle and a twinkle in his eye, he has an unquenchable thirst to explore, and a knack for getting himself into trouble doing it.

After preventing the Cybermen from absorbing the Earth’s energy and with his body “wearing a bit thin”, the First Doctor collapses to the TARDIS floor and begins to change…Although William Hartnell deserves praise for being the first actor to play Doctor Who, his take weighed heavily on the stern outsider alien side and less so on the parts that made Doctor Who more humanlike and caring in the seasons to follow.

Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.

His “recreation” in the most recent episode was quite well done and the irascible old gentleman seemed to come back to life!

8. Third Doctor-JON PERTWEE (1970 – 1974):

As part of his sentence from the Time Lords, the Doctor was forced to begin his exile on earth with a new face. The Third Doctor was confident, bold and brash, but with a soft paternal side, reserved for those he cared about. His action skills served him greatly and cemented the Doctor’s role as humanity’s greatest defender, something that would carry on in following seasons.

Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.

7. Sixth Doctor-COLIN BAKER (1984 – 1986):

Never understated, the Sixth Doctor was an explosion of colors, words, and emotions. Passionate, sometimes quick to anger, this was a Doctor you did not want to make enemies with. Maybe it was the excess of the ’80s that was to blame for Colin Baker’s version of Doctor Who (and his colorful style) being, well, pretty nuts, in a clinical way. And like Sylvester McCoy, he was working against the falling popularity of the show.

Rest is for the weary, sleep is for the dead.

6. Ninth Doctor-CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON (2005):

The sole survivor of the Last Great Time War, scarred by the terrible things he’d seen and done, the Ninth Doctor was an intense and emotional incarnation. Hiding his psychological trauma behind madcap wit and frivolity, he took Rose Tyler to see the end of the world, inspired Charles Dickens and showed that for once, everybody could live. Sixteen years after the show went off the air, Christopher Eccleston stepped into the role as the Ninth Doctor. He’s almost universally praised for his dashing, though overly serious, take on the role.

The past is another country. Nineteen-eighty seven’s just the Isle of Wight.

5. Twelfth Doctor-PETER CAPALDI (2013-2017):

Granted a whole new regenerative cycle by the Time Lords, the Doctor experienced an explosive and unprecedented thirteenth regeneration, ending the Siege of Trenzalore. A new Doctor – with a sharp face, bushy brows and boggle eyes. The Twelfth Doctor immediately teamed up with his old chums The Paternoster Gang (Vastra, Jenny and Strax) as he dealt with a bout of post-regenerative stress. Every new Doctor Who actor deals with a certain amount of skepticism from fans and must win them over. Much can be said for what Peter Capaldi has brought to the role, we can say just that he was one of the best actors and that he enjoyed and loved his role.

Never be cruel and never be cowardly. And if you ever are, always make amends.

4. The War Doctor-JOHN HURT (2013):

Born from the Eighth Doctor’s choice on Karn, at the height of the Last Great Time War, this incarnation was the Doctor’s darkest secret. A battle-hardened warrior, rather than a healer. A man who saw so much death and destruction in the Time War, that finally, at the fall of Arcadia, he proclaimed “No more”. Fun fact: At 74, Hurt was the oldest person to play the Doctor and appeared alongside Smith, who at 26 when signing on, was the youngest person to play the role.

Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.

3. Fourth Doctor-TOM BAKER (1974 – 1981):

From witnessing the genesis of the Daleks to preventing the death of the universe at Logopolis, the Fourth Doctor was an adventurer on an epic scale. Armed with a gleeful smile, swashbuckling charm and righteous morality, he defeated Sontarans. If there were a quintessential Doctor, then it would be Tom Baker. No one has held the role longer than Baker’s seven years. Fans loved his unpredictable, strange take on the character, a reminder of the Doctor’s alien origins.

There’s no point being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.

2. Eleventh Doctor-MATT SMITH (2010-2013):

Hugely energetic, occasionally flirtatious, and by his own admission, “a madman”, the Eleventh Doctor combined youthful looks with an old soul. Crashing into the lives of Amy Pond, and her boyfriend (later, husband) Rory, he solved the mystery of the time-erasing cracks in the universe, escaped his own death, restarted reality and even found time to marry River Song. At 26 when he started the role, Smith was the youngest and probably the best actor to portray the Doctor and surprised viewers with his acting chops.

The universe is big, it’s vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.

1. Tenth Doctor-DAVID TENNANT (2005-2010):

Waking on Christmas Day in his new form, the Doctor fought the Sycorax high above London, where he lost a hand but grew a new one with remnant regenerative power. Travelling with Rose and Mickey he battled Cybermen, werewolves and possibly, the Devil itself. Tennant breathed life into the character. He didn’t shy away from the softer sides of the doctor and also made the character quite the romantic, an extremely likable lead.

Everyone has nightmares; even big scary monsters from under the bed have nightmares.

 

Would you agree? I was really torn between 4 & 5 as I wanted to push Capaldi and Eccleston higher, but Hurt did an excellent job as the War Doctor. I don’t know if he’d have been as good if we’d had a season with him. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

 

There’s a lot to be excited about this year movie-wise, what with Infinity War coming out. But, with Marvel and Disney eclipsing any other movie releases happening, let’s talk about some movies coming out that you may not know about, but should be excited for.

First up, Annihilation. If you saw the Last Jedi, then you probably saw the trailer, but I still want to mention it, because it looks fun. It’s directed and written by Alex Garland, who also wrote 28 Days Later, and Dredd (the most underrated movie ever), and it’s starring Natalie Portman.

-Record Scratch-

Side note: I just looked at Garland’s IMDB page, and I was shocked to see he announced a screenplay for a Halo Movie which sold to Universal Studios for $10 Million. There isn’t a lot of info about production or anything, but I still wanted to share. I’ll update as soon as I know anything.

The trailer for Annihilation was pretty awesome. It gave a good sense of the world and what the movie is about without giving too much away. I’ve been craving a good Sci-Fi monster movie, and this seems like a good fit. I’m excited to watch Portman shoot some crazy cross-breed monsters. Comes out February 23 on a wide release.

Next up, The Endless. After successful festival screenings, and reeling from the mild success of their previous movie, Spring  (which is a great little date night movie if you and your significant other like romantic horror), Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead write, direct, and star in a movie which kind of seems like how I wish the Village would have turned out. From what I gathered in the trailer, two brothers visit a cult they used to belong to, and some crazy things happen. Cults creep me out anyway, but when it seems like reality isn’t what we thought it was, finding out the truth can be scary too. Endless gets a limited release on March 23rd, and you bet I’ll be there.

I also stumbled across a movie called God Particle. At first I didn’t notice much about the movie, so I used my Google-Fu and found out it’s actually the third installment of the Cloverfield Series. The only things I know for sure are as follows. It may be set aboard a space station, and when the situation gets a little hairy, the astronauts are going to have to battle their way out of it. According to a article from IGN however, this also may not be the plot. As we’ve seen with the previous Cloverfield movies, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see a name change and get more details closer to the April 20 limited release. So stay tuned.

Alita: Battle Angel comes from the minds of James Cameron and Yukito Kishiro (the author of the Manga by the same name). Though the design of Alita sits nicely in the deepest part of the uncanny valley, it seems like the film will use the look to its advantage and tell a story, rather than just using it as an aesthetic. The cast is killer too. Rosa Salazar from Maze Runner, Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Rodriguez, Casper Van Dien from Army Dog (ahem I mean Starship Troopers), and Mahershala Ali, who was incredible as Cottonmouth from Marvel’s Luke Cage series. Alita gets a limited release on July 20th.

The last one I’m including in the main text here is called Mortal Engines.  Basically, post-apocalyptic Earth, people roaming around hunting each other, et cetera. However, instead of the Mad Max method, Mortal Engines is using giant, motorized cities. So London itself is literally hunting down small townships for resources. I love that idea. Mark it down, I’m seeing it. Also Hugo Weaving is in it. So…yeah.

That concludes my top 5 non-Disney movies to see this year. Seeing as Disney now owns roughly 99.9999% (this is based on no actual numbers) of the movies and t.v. shows we see, I know it can be hard to escape their expert marketing team, so I hope this has helped you figure out what else is out there. In that spirit, I’ve even included a few honorable mentions below. They’re no top 5. Maybe they are, like a middle 5. Happy viewing!

Honorable mentions go to:

Pacific Rim: Uprising doesn’t look like it’s going to be as much honest, unbridled fun as its predecessor.

The Predator. Written and directed by Shane Black, a.k.a. Hawkins from the original. Again, not a lot of info here. IMDB claims it’s a remake of the original movie from 1987. When/if the trailer drops I will have more opinions about this.

Lara Croft looks like another campy Lara Croft movie. Honestly, I’m not excited. I loved the gritty and real feeling of the newer games, but it doesn’t look like they translated that feeling of helplessness and fear to the movie too well.

Curvature looks like a low budget time travel movie which I’m sure will be very ok. But hey, Linda Hamilton is in it so…

Captive State is a movie set after the alien invasion about what life is like (seems like it could be ok).

 

Daisy seems rather indifferent to the fact that she’s been captured by Kasius — much less that he also seems to be drawing a significant amount of blood from her. Though he still talks plainly, Kasius is clearly somewhat threatened by Daisy’s presence. Not just because she’s the so-called “Destroyer of Worlds,” but also because the prophecy foretold that multiple S.H.I.E.L.D. agents would return from the past to overthrow his order. He’s already connected that Simmons and Daisy must have come together, since neither have Metrics, but now he needs to know if there are more out there he should be looking for. After paying Deke his literal piece of silver for betraying Daisy, Kasius instructs him to find other time-travelers.

In the meantime, Kasius loops Daisy into his main business of training and then selling powerful Inhumans. Here Daisy meets a telepath, capable of hearing other people’s thoughts whenever his earpiece implant is turned off. That makes him capable of predicting and countering his opponents’ moves, which Daisy doesn’t think is necessarily fair. But she and the other SHIELD agents are still getting used to the alien morality of the station. As the telepath explains, he doesn’t mind being sold off, because his family will be compensated, giving them a better chance at survival. And here, survival is everything.

I must say, I greatly enjoy the constant tension in this season’s future setting. A particularly thrilling sequence comes when Kasius decides to interrogate Daisy and Simmons about how they got here; if their stories don’t match, then he’ll know they’re lying about being the only ones from the past. Daisy says that after Fitz killed their teammate Jeffrey Mace, she took Simmons to a diner to talk about their feelings, whereupon they were seized, knocked out, and woke up here. At first it seems impossible that the stories will match, since Kasius’ implant prevents Simmons from hearing well. But it turns out the telepath doesn’t just “hear” thoughts, he can also transmit them, allowing Simmons and Daisy to sync up their details. For now they’ve evaded suspicion, but being so close to Kasius means the telepath has picked up on his thoughts as well … and they seem to indicate a plan to destroy the station at some point in the near future, rendering his selfless sacrifice moot. So Daisy decides it’s time to shake up the rules a bit around here. And the rest i think you need to watch and see for yourself…

“Alchemy, the science of understanding, deconstructing, and reconstructing matter. However, it is not an all powerful art. It is impossible to create something out of nothing. If one wishes to obtain something, something of equal value must be given. This is the law of equivalent exchange, the basis of all alchemy. In accordance with this law there is a taboo among alchemists, human transmutation is strictly forbidden. For what could equal the value of a human soul?”

This quote rings out throughout all of season 1 episodes as a prelude before the episode begins, it reminds us of the sin the Elric brothers have committed but it does not tell us how they will fix it.

This season centers around one big event that takes place in central Ametris as Colonel Roy Mustang attempts to uncover the mystery behind General Maes Hughes death. As Roy still plans to succeed Fuhrer King Bradley as the rightful ruler of the country a large monstrous man with an insatiable appetite goes on a rampage targeting the Ishvalan emissary that’s been attacking state alchemists. The attractive woman continues to cause havoc and infiltrate the military through her seductive behavior. It comes to light that she is in league with the monstrous man and the Fuhrer. They are dubbed as Homunculi. Artificially created humans made fro alchemy.

When an innocent soldier is framed for the death of Maes Hughes, Roy helps them fake their death, causing an uproar among the Elric brother thinking he committed murder on their friend. Livid with fury, Edward is restrained and separated from Alphonse to return to Resembool to meet up with an ally. They then travel to the abandoned ruins of Xerxes, the kingdom that was destroyed in one night. They meet an old friend and discover a dangerous secret.

New characters with compelling motivations emerge in this season. Ling yao 12th prince of Xing, Fu, and Lan Fan his companions, and Mei Chang. Oddly enough they comes to Ametris from a different country to the east known as Xing. It is assumed that this Xing country is an alternate version of China since it is already confirmed Ametris is an alternate version of Germany. We also get introduction to 3 other countries surrounding Amestris that explain the current war that is happening around the country. Drachma to the north, Creta to the west, and Aegis to the south are all battling it out against Ametris. Or perhaps, Amestris is trying to increase its borders? It’s hard to say who the primary antagonist is in this season, as when the brothers come to terms with their father Honhenheim, it’s revealed he harbors no animosity to them.

A greater concentration is focused on finding the philosopher’s stone as Edward and Alphonse respectively, struggle to find motivation to continue their quest. They actually are separated for much of this season up until the very end where a massive climax unfolds. Winry takes a backseat as she struggles with being helpless to change anything. Her misery unravels as she discovers the truth behind how her parents died and who killed them. She comes face-to-face with the heinous crime of murder and falls in love with a man who she never thought possible.

Alphonse actually becomes more powerful now able to transmute without need for a transmutation circle just like his brother. And amazingly, the first death of a major enemy is accomplished through the flaming powers of a powerful ally. It comes to light that there is a true conspiracy hiding inside the military, and everyone seems powerless to stop it. Another ally’s life is lost and more, as the gang struggle against the overwhelming power of the enemy. Edward makes a striking promise to Winry as she leaves them to return to Rush Valley where she holds a promising job as an automail mechanic.

This season is definitely an huge leap from season 1 in terms of animation quality and plot development. It has a slow start but has a massive finish and a very exciting conclusion that leaves the viewer rushing headlong into season 3. Watching it a second time it flies by and keeps my eyes glued to the screen. It’s a rush of excitement and mystery when you find out how the homunculi are in control of the military and more. How powerful and deadly they are, even to the point of fatally injuring a major character in the series. One has to wonder if they can be defeated or who really leads the homunculi, only to be known by the name Father. At the very end Edward comes face-to-face with the truth about what they left behind in Resembool when they burned down their old house. He discovers that there is hope for Alphonse and that he can be returned back to normal before it is too late.

Generally, when I think about Science Fiction (aka Sci-Fi or SciFi), I think of futuristic things, like faster than light travel, robots, and grandparents knowing how to use computers. But these ideas aren’t a recent invention. Ancient Indians were writing about flying machines as far back as 1100 B.C.

Clearly, attempting to look into the future is something we have done for a long time, and something we continue to do. Sci-Fi, especially in film, has such a powerful impact on modern society, but how did Sci-Fi make it to where it is today? Let me start from the beginning. The first Sci-Fi movie ever.

Enter: the 1902 film, Le Voyage dans la Lune, (aka A Trip to the Moon). Known for being the first Science Fiction movie, it came out only 2 years after movies actually began telling a story. Seriously, before that, movies were just filming a horse running or filming a train. It’s riveting stuff here, people. Super interesting.

A Trip to the Moon was part of a movement that changed that. Turns out people like being told stories, and being able to watch the story unfold right before their eyes was even better. And no surprise, Sci-Fi was pretty much immediately well received, too. The first Academy Award given to a Sci-Fi movie was 2 years after The Oscars were established in 1929 (Best Actor was given to Fred Mard for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1931).

As a film junky, I am contractually obligated to mention Metropolis, and how important it is as a movie. The visuals are absolutely stunning, especially for a 1920’s movie. So stunning, that I just watched the whole thing in one sitting, even though it’s a silent film. It’s on Netflix right now; you can go watch a remastered version. If you can make it through all 2.5 hours of it without falling asleep, you’re a better person than me, and I will name you “King/Queen of Sci-Fi”. Even though the movie wasn’t initially well received, it raised the bar for visual effects in movies.

The 1930’s and 40’s had a bit of a rough time putting out movies in general, what with all the economic turmoil and whatnot, but oh man the 50’s… After those folks at the Manhattan Project invented the A-Bomb, people’s imaginations went wild with what SCIENCE might do. Also, remember 1947 was an important year for the genre because some farmer saw a weather balloon crash in a field in New Mexico. JUST A WEATHER BALLOON.

In any case, the 1950’s are regarded as the Golden Age of Science Fiction, but the important movie I want to talk about here is Destination Moon (1950). If I had to pick ONE movie which made Science Fiction what it was today, it’s Destination Moon. It saw MASSIVE success for its time, bringing in the 2017 equivalent of 52 million dollars. This is even more impressive when you realize the budget of the movie was the 2017 equivalent of $6 Million. Studios suddenly realized they could make huge profits off Sci-Fi movies. Which is good for people like me, who want to only watch Sci-Fi movies.

The 60’s took a step back from Sci-Fi films a bit, significantly fewer of them came out.  Doctor Who began showing on TV in the UK and of course 2001: A Space Odyssey was released later in the decade. Though directed and partially written by famous Obsessive Compulsive, Stanley Kubrick, the other writer you may NOT know was Arthur C. Clarke. Known for The Fountains of Paradise. Clarke’s work deserves its own article, and I promise we’ll get to “Hard Sci-Fi” eventually.

Spielberg famously called 2001, “The Big Bang of Science Fiction”, and its influence cannot be understated. The huge amount of people who name 2001 as the movie which made them want to make movies is astounding. However, I think Sci-Fi’s influence goes back further than that and calling 2001 “the beginning” doesn’t give enough credit to the films of old.

Then the 70’s rolled around, and space travel was fresh on everyone’s mind. Could have something to do with the moon landing, but who knows. Now I’m going to do something a bit controversial here: I’m going to include Star Wars in this discussion, with A New Hope being released in 1977. I know I will probably get hunted down and nerded to death over this. If you call Star Wars “Sci-Fi” you’ll be bombarded with the “Well-Technically’s”. They are right of course, Star Wars is technically a Fantasy movie, but its influence on Science Fiction is undeniable, and the series is still dominating the market today.

The folks of the 1980’s, when they weren’t too busy watching all the new Star Wars movies, were enjoying a new Sci-Fi craze, the Post Apocalyptic movie. I didn’t think the 80’s were so bad. In any case, Mad Max was exploding as a series, and we saw the rise of the Terminators. It’s interesting that every decade has a culturally relevant “fear” as the enemy.

I love the idea of 1930’s farmers chatting with each other about robots. Or 1950’s mechanics yelling “Klaatu barada nikto” across the shop. All along Sci-Fi has had a way of staying relevant. Perhaps helping us to escape our fears, or perhaps helping us to confront them and imagine a more adventurous life. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see where Sci-Fi will go in the next few decades. What will the next big fad be? Maybe the idea of an alien race puppeting the government? Maybe, and I’m just spitballing here, some like… lizard people come to take over, and they can shapeshift into people or something? The possibilities are endless, and I’ll be right here watching.