I read this book a couple of years ago and while I’ve been on a bit of a LitRPG quest recently, I recently came back to this universe with Shadows of the Fall (Duchy of Terra Book 8) which was quite enjoyable. I thought, however, that before we get into what happened in that book, it made sense to explain everything that had come before so you had a full and complete grounding.

In the Terran Privateer, the Earth is on the brink of a technological renaissance with the discovery of inertialess hyperspeed drives, and compressed matter armor. However, this discovery puts them square in the crosshairs of the universe at large which they realize when an alien armada destroys the UESF (United Earth Space Force) and takes control of the Earth.

While this occupying force is a self-proclaimed benevolent race, the remaining government of the Earth determines their only hope is with Captain Annette Bond. Bond commands the Tornado – Earth’s only experimental hyperspace cruiser & provided with a letter of marque, she sets off to find allies and technology that she can take back to Earth to help remove the occupying force.

Written by Glynn Stewart, the Terran Privateer is a much more ambitious story and universe than the one that I previously read in his book Space Carrier Avalon. In this universe, there are a host of different aliens, each with their own motivations and desires, and the Earth is almost an afterthought to the larger struggles at play.

Characters (4.0)

While there are other bit characters around, from the old French Admiral to the lonely tech genius, this story is all about the lonely Captain Annette Bond and her struggles to save Earth from the perceived tyranny of alien occupation.

Her story actually starts before the invasion when we learn that she was drummed out of the service by other officers when she tried to bring a rapist to justice. While a bit heavy-handed, it does serve to give her a bit of justification and validation, but it is sad that none of the other officers backed her as it’s hard to believe a worldwide navy would allow such corruption to continue.

Now, while I stated the story is all about Captain Bond, I might have been fibbing just a bit. When we talk about important characters, we cannot afford to ignore the alien occupiers themselves. As the story progresses we learn that the A’Tol Imperium truly is benevolent. While they might be occupying Earth, they do so in some respects to help keep humanity safe. For along with the A’Tol, another race of slave trading aliens is also on Earth’s doorstep.

When discussing the aliens of the A’Tol – one we get exposed to over the course of many books is K’Tana. Her introduction helps us understand the A’Tol in a way that would otherwise be impossible. While her inclusion is convenient as a plot device and guide, it is also well done and I can excuse it due to her unique circumstances.

Plot/Story (3.5)

The overall idea of the story is quite good. Earth being taken over by aliens and a single, lone starship captain forced to find a way to help remove the heel of the alien oppressors sounds interesting.

As we gradually learn more about the A’Tol and their inability to lie along with the other aliens in the universe at large, the underlying story becomes even more interesting. In some ways it echo’s the challenges of Battlestar Galactica but perhaps with a mix of Mos Eisley added to it.

As we continue to learn more about the technology and the differences between the core and rimward empires, new mysteries and puzzles are introduced. Bond and her crew do seem to navigate these waters with a bit more aplomb than you’d expect of the first humans to meet aliens, however, I’m willing to give that a pass. Also, the characterizations and motivations of the aliens and how “human” they are, might be a bit too generic also. There were no real motivations that would not make sense to us which was I believe a real miss.

Opinion (4.0)

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book – I’ve read quite a few of Glynn’s books over the years that I hope to review in future posts and this series is one that I’ve enjoyed through 8 books and counting.

I will say that there are some elements of risk that I feel is missing from the book. I do not think any of the key characters are ever really in danger and Tornado itself seems to gradually become a Mary Sue in its own right as she continues to get upgraded and more powerful. In fact, while in the early stages she would struggle to defeat a single vessel from the A’Tol imperium, by the latter stages of the book, she’s become quite capable of defeating a small task force on her own.

Recommendation (4.0)

In the early stages, you’d think this series somewhat similar to Weber’s Honor Harrington books, but you get quickly disabused of that notion in a positive manner. Weber spends chapters and even books on character and world-building which can become excessively tedious. Fortunately, that is not the case here. The book starts off with some decent action and that trend continues throughout.

This book does however offer a bit too easy a path for Annette Bond and her crew though as they quickly stumble across an interpreter and guide. A guide that is able to surprisingly take them to the only place in the quadrant able to upgrade their ship and help them retake Earth. This giant space station hidden away from sight is the Tortuga of space and has technology that can magically retrofit and upgrade Tornado into a force worth reckoning.

As with any good adventure story there are a few twists and turns along the ride but I have to say that the surprise at the end was…well…surprising. There are some overtones of LGBTQ preaching in the book, but in all honesty that didn’t really bother me too much. With the way the world is right now, I don’t really have an issue with it except perhaps to say the sexual natures of any of the characters are somewhat inconsequential to the story as a whole. Having that information in the story did nothing to either add or detract from the story in my opinion.

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While I’ve been writing on this site for years, I’ve recently fallen a bit further behind in my posting duties which I plan to rectify. One reason for my getting back into the game is the inspiration of my daughter. She’s only recently started blogging and writing and her site – Mayas Bookshelves – is doing really well. Of course, as a teenager, she has a bit more time than I do, but I won’t let that stop me!

So without further ado, let’s talk about Life in the North. This is the first book in a still in progress 10 book series. Written by Canadian author Tao Wong it is the quintessential LitRPG and was one of the earliest books in the genre for me. In fact, it is quite possibly the book that got me hooked on LitRPG itself.

With that being said, Life in the North might not initially jump out as a LitRPG as while it does have elf’s and orc’s, they are very different to those from any Tolkein book you might consider as gospel. Within the System Apocalpyse universe dungeon worlds are created when an abundance of raw mana needs an outlet.

This outpouring of mana forces animals to rapidly mutate and change becoming much more dangerous. John Lee discovers this change while on a camping trip in the Yukon. Stuck in an area significantly higher than his basic level, John needs to rapidly acclimate to the changes in the world if he wants to survive.

Plot

John was on a camping trip trying to escape from the problems in his life when the world changed all around him. When Earth becomes a dungeon planet, monsters start spawning all around him.

As a bit of a gamer and geek, John intuitively understands the changes, but his camping location in the Yukon has him starting in a location well above his current level. While this location does afford him with some unexpected benefits and bonuses, his initial survival is very much in doubt.

With very little in the way of weaponry or skills that can help, John struggles to escape the campground and make his way down the mountain to civilization. However, after making his escape he is shocked to find that he has not in fact gone insane as he half hoped for. With death and destruction all around him, the System Apocalpyse has transformed the Earth itself and everyone on it.

Characters

John Lee is our protagonist of choice but is not the only character of interest at all. Along with John we’re introduced to a wisecracking spirit that helps John navigate the changing world.

Along with John and Ali, we get a whole host of other interesting characters which include orcs, elves, and other fantasy tropes. In this case, however, the elf’s, minotaurs, orc’s, and others are actually alien species that have chosen Earth as a new home.

Setting

Dungeon worlds offer lots of rewards but with those rewards comes significant risk. John and the surviving humans have to quickly make their place in this new world. John himself manages to acquire a mecha suit with overtones of Iron Man as he continues to grow in skills and ability.

While he’s advancing, he also understands his limits and knows when it is best to fight and when it is best to cut and run. However, John is the hero you need and not necessarily the one you want. He continues to put himself out there in an attempt to save as many humans as possible.

Unlike traditional LitRPG books with a focus on the fantasy element, with Life in the North, the LitRPG elements are more SciFi in nature. While monsters abound so do lasers, guns, machines and robots giving the story a nice twist.

Writing

As a LitRPG quite a bit of the book covers different abilities and how they work. There is also a lot of focus on the character sheet as individuals advance through levels and grow in their abilities and capabilities.

I will be honest that I often end up skipping the character growth and counting of different levels as it’s not really necessary for me in understanding the story. However, with that being said, it doesn’t take you out of the story too much.

Final Opinion

While I’ve read lots of LitRPG books since this one – check out my review of Land of the Undying for example – it was one of the first and one that I’ve actually read several times.

At this point I’m nine books into the series and while there are some growing pains along the way, this book got me started on the series and I think its a solid and enjoyable read.

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I just watched Upgrade on Netflix and overall its a really fun and enjoyable movie that brought back some nostalgia from the late 90s for me. Some of you might recall some of the older gun films like Christian Bale’s excellent yet often forgotten Equilibrium or films in a similar vein from the 80s and 90s? For those of you that are fans of this type of movie this will be right up your alley.

With Upgrade, you have a Luddite in a very interesting future with self-driving car technology everywhere and drone surveillance along with evil cyborgs and more. He just happens to be a mechanic and engineer who restores old vehicles which is how we meet him. He’s busy building a new car for a tech billionaire who has just happened to develop a new hardware chip that will provide humans with great abilities. Basically an “Upgrade” to our current capabilities and will let us work with computers in ways we’ve not yet even considered.

While initially dismissing the functions of the chip Grey and his wife are traveling home when they are forced off the road as their self-driving car seems to have a malfunction. They end up in a bad area of the neighborhood where Grey’s wife ends up being shot along with Grey himself. Grey survives the shooting but wakes up to find himself in the hospital as a quadriplegic and Aaron – the tech billionaire offers a solution where he can implant Grey with his chip to solve or to return him to functionality. Unfortunately, the “mugging” left his wife dead.

While the police seem to have all the tech in the world they are unable to find the killers and Grey eventually comes succumbs to temptation and has the chip implanted. Very quickly the situation changes as the chip is much more than it seems. When it starts to talk to Grey the situation changes dramatically as does the story itself.

Grey eventually starts to search for his wife’s killers and he is a comedic ninja in his performance. The way he moves and acts is exceptionally good while at the same time being very robotic as it should be. Over time we find that the individuals who actually killed his wife were also upgraded and suspicion is initially pointed towards Grey’s wife’s company. I won’t ruin the ending for you as I do think that this is worth watching. However, I do think that there are a couple of glaring holes that should have been addressed.

— spoilers below —

  • If Grey was actually the target then why was Eron trying to shut off Stem in the first place? Would it not make more sense to let it take control as it was intending to do?
  • If Eron was being controlled right from the beginning why did he implant Stem with the restrictions that were there?
  • When Jamie talks about not letting them win who’s she talking about? What does she know?

I hope you get this a chance to give this one a shot as I really did enjoy it and I would recommend it for anyone looking to waste some time.

Here, we provide you with our top suggestions of the best virus outbreak movies to watch during the COVID-19 lockdown. This list is full of underrated movies related to the topic of a virus outbreak that people are watching right now amidst the Coronavirus spread.

Best Pandemic and Virus Outbreak Movies to Stream during COVID Lockdown

So, if you are bored from watching all your regular seasons and comedy shows during this quarantine period, get ready to enjoy watching these spectacular and suspenseful movies about the virus outbreak. Most of these movies can be easily accessed via Netflix. If not, you can easily access them via other free movie streaming sites.

Here is our carefully compiled list of suggestions (from lowest ranking to the highest one) for you to choose from about the best movies about virus-outbreak to watch during the COVID-19 lockdown:

5. It Comes at Night (2017)

This movie was directed as well as written by Trey Edward Shults. It was released on June 9, 2017, in the USA. It Comes at Night is a horror-virus outbreak movie about a deadly, contagious virus that spreads around the world. The movie revolves around the characters of Paul, his wife Sarah, and their son, Travis. This helpless family isolates itself into strict quarantine as the fatal virus eats up the world.

The movie starts by showing the death of a man, Bud, who is also the father of Sarah.  As the virus continues to infect and kill a large number of people, Paul, Sarah and Travis isolate themselves inside of their home. Interaction with the outside world becomes limited and only during urgent times of need.

However, their regular quarantine-routine is disrupted when another helpless family arrives at their doorstep, seeking food and shelter. As the movie progresses, the uneasiness between the two families continues to thrive. This movie keeps its viewers guessing. It’s full of mystery, suspense, uneasiness, and mistrust.

IMBd rating: 6.2

Movie duration: 1hr 37 m

4. The Crazies (2010)

This movie was released on February 26, 2010 (USA) and directed by Breck Eisner. This virus-outbreak thriller is underrated and one of our favorites and is a must-watch for all.

The Crazies shows an explained and strange plane-crash, after which a toxic virus infects the citizens of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, which is a farming-town. This strange virus slowly turns its prey into a deadly psychopath. A young couple, that is still unaffected, is also quarantined during this outbreak. They fight hard for their survival along with the help of other citizens, including the sheriff David Dutton. This movie belongs to the mystery-thriller genre but also depicts unity by showing how the citizens stick together for survival.

IMBd rating: 6.5

Movie duration: 1h 41m

3. Contagion (2011)

This virus-outbreak movie was released in the US, on September 9, 2011. It has been directed by Steven Soderbergh and is filled with emotions of paranoia, darkness, thrill, and mystery. This movie is capable of giving you the chills this quarantine season.

The movie starts by showing the character of Beth Emhoff, who dies soon after her return from a business trip. The cause of her death was flu or some type of infection, still unknown to doctors. Her younger son dies the same day, too. Her husband, however, is immune to this deadly virus. In this mysterious virus-outbreak thriller, doctors, government officials, and regular citizens find themselves in a difficult situation because of this pandemic. The CDC (U.S Centre for Disease Control) continues its work on finding a cure for this virus. Check out of our detailed review of Contagion here.

IMBd rating: 6.7

Movie duration: 1h 46m

2. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

This mystery-genre piece of art was initially released in the year 2007 in London, on April 26. It is a sequel to the movie 28 Days Later and has been directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. This movie was able to gain attention and positive hype shortly after it was released.

Another suspenseful-thriller that is based on the topic of virus-outbreak, 28 Weeks Later starts by showing that the American army is trying to restore order and re-populate the quarantined city 6 months after a virus-outbreak in Great Britain. This virus is called the “Rage Virus” in the movie. Everything is progressing towards restoration and getting things back to normal until a man, carrying the Rage virus, enters the city of London and starts the cycle of virus-spread all over again, through unknown means.

IMBd rating: 7.0

Movie duration: 1h 40m

1. 28 Days Later (2003)

This movie was initially released on 27 June 2003 (USA). It has been directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland. This horror-genre received great feedback after it was released. 28 Weeks Later is a sequel to this mysterious-thriller.

The movie starts when an ignorant and naïve group of animal activists invade a scientific laboratory and set all the monkeys free from their cages, despite the scientist’s warnings of not releasing these monkeys because they’re contagious. Shortly after the monkeys are released, an immense number of people are infected throughout Great Britain. The movie shows a character in a coma, Jim, who’s also been involved in a bicycle accident. As he wakes up from his coma, he observes that London has become desolate. Jim manages to meet some more survivors of this deadly virus and they all make a small group and head-off to Manchester. They set in for the fatal journey, but they have no idea what they’ll face next.

IMBd Rating: 7.6

Movie duration: 1h 53m

Conclusion:

In the above-mentioned list, we have provided you with a variety of movies, ranging from the lowest ranking at number 1 to the highest-ranking at number 5. The list mentions our favorite underrated movies related to virus-outbreak that you can watch right now during the COVID-19 lockdown.

These mystery-based thrillers are never going to disappoint you. Remember, the choice is yours to make. So, choose any one of these suspenseful virus-related movies and get ready to take yourself on an emotional but interesting roller-coaster ride!

The upcoming movie, The Woman in the Window is a mystery thriller inspired by the 2018-thriller novel with the same title by A. J. Finn. The message is simple – curiosity is one of the biggest boons and vices for our-kind.

The Plot of The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window features the female protagonist – Anna Fox who prefers being alone. Anna is a drunk addict and tries to overcome her anxiety by taking pills. She also suffers from severe agoraphobia that prevents her from leaving the house.

Anna being housebound and drunk spends her days spying on her neighbors, until one day she witnesses an attack in the window of Russell’s home that no one believed her. Anna takes a path that is intensely exciting and highly mysterious. The thriller presents an almost otherworldly premise which sounds like something supernatural.

Anna’s life begins to turn upside down when she attempts to report what she saw, and soon everything is being questioned: Is Anna being hallucinated? Is it alcohol and pills? Or is there a reason no one wants to believe her. The Woman in the Window seems similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window where a photographer spying on his neighbors witnessed a crime.

The Woman in the Window Disney

The Woman in the Window Cast: Who is in it?

The main cast for an agoraphobic woman is headed by Amy Adams in The Woman in the Window. The American actress has gained international fame for her comedic as well as dramatic roles.

Amy Adams

She is best known for playing Lois Lane in the DC Universe, Superman’s love interest. Besides this, the actress has notably appeared in Arrival, Vice, Catch Me If You Can, American Hustle and Sharp Objects.

Julianne Moore; an American actress who plays the role of Jane Russell, joins Amy as a supporting actor. Jane is the mother of the family that moves in across Anna’s house.

Julianne Moore The Woman in the Window

Julianne is widely regarded for her depiction of emotionally disturbed women on-screen. She gained significant prominence after starring in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. She also performed a tremendous job in The Big Lebowski, Still Alice and Crazy, Stupid Love.

Gary Oldman plays the role of Moore’s on-screen husband. He has won an Oscar, three BAFTA Awards, two Critic’s Choice Awards, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Oldman is known for appearing in movies like Harry Potter, Darkest Hour and Air Force One.

Brian Tyree Henry is best known for playing Paper Boi in ‘Atlanta’, is also a part of the movie’s cast. Fred Hechinger, Anthony Mackie, and Wyatt Russell are among the other cast members.

The Woman in the Window is directed by Joe Wright known for the famous Pride & Prejudice. The British filmmaker is also known for his other noteworthy movies like Hanna, Anna Karenina and Darkest Hour.

The screenplay for the thriller of the movie is written by Tracy Letts. Danny Elfman composed the movie’s music score while Bruno Delbonnel handled the cinematography.

Valerio Bonelli contributed to the editing of The Woman in the Window. The production companies attached to the movie are Fox 2000 Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions while 20th Century Fox has its distribution rights.

The Woman in the Window Official Trailer

The Woman in the Window Release Date: When Does it Premiere?

The Woman in the Window was supposed to be released on May 15, 2020, in the United States. But due to the COVID-19, the official website for the movie has removed the date and scheduled it to just May 2020.

The exact date of the release is unknown. Owing to the pandemic outbreak, it is decided that the movie will be scheduled at any time possible keeping the global concern into consideration.

But one thing is certain: The Woman in the Window will be an intrigue-filled thriller with jaw-dropping suspense. Since the movie will give a Gone Girl vibe so it will hold a thousand and one secrets with its riveting characters.

The one positive about this whole pandemic thing is the extra time it’s given me to spend on catching up on Television and Movies. There is so much out there now that a geek like me can enjoy, it feels like there is simply not enough time in the day! Bloodshot is a case in point.

Based on the Valiant comic book series of the same name, the movie Bloodshot is all about Vin Diesel and his nanobot infused form. Now, I’m not really a fan of the Fast and the Furious franchise but I do really like Vin Diesel. Aside from his epic portrayal of Groot (!) from the Guardians of the Galaxy, I really loved him in The Chronicles of Riddick. The subsequent films were not as good, but the first one was really enjoyable.

Bloodshot, however, is potentially the start of another franchise different to Riddick and the Fast and the Furious. Here, elite soldier Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is resurrected by scientists using nanotechnology. The former elite U.S. commando, after dying before the opening credits, wakes up on a hospital gurney inside a gleaming skyscraper to find that his body has been donated by the military to science — specifically, the firm Rising Spirit Technologies, whose founder Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce, sporting a bionic arm, two-day stubble and an untrustworthy twinkle in his eye) has resuscitated Ray, turning him into a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier.

Now it initially took me a little bit of time to figure out where I’d seen Dr. Emil Harting previously, but I realized quickly that he’s been a Marvel baddie before. You might have recognized him earlier, but in case you didn’t – welcome the Mandarin from Iron Man 3. As soon as I realized who I was looking at, I knew he was not all sunshine and roses as he’d initially pretended to be. I know, comparing a character across literally two different universes is probably not the best strategy. After all, you cannot judge a book by its cover right? But, suffice it to say, I was right!

With an indestructible body and brute strength, the slain US Marine Ray Garrison is revived as ‘Bloodshot’ – a biotech killing machine like no other. Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) breathes new life into Garrison’s body but robs him of all the memories of his past life. A life that is cut short by a psycho killer, who kills Ray’s wife Gina Garrison (Talulah Riley) in cold blood, before killing him too.

Based on the Valiant Comics character with the same name, ‘Bloodshot’ sets off with a solid premise for a revenge drama. Add to that, a wholesome dose of sci-fi tropes, give the narrative a thrilling leap of imagination. Like the microscopic ‘nanites’ running in Ray’s bloodstream that can magically heal fatal injuries and give him unbridled power.

Ray is now (a) plagued by amnesia and dim memories that may or may not have been implanted; (b) powered by microscopic “nanites” that have been injected into his bloodstream, giving him the power to heal grievous injuries like magic, punch holes in concrete pillars and conduct Internet searches without opening Google Chrome; and (c) programmed to be a killing machine.

With all of this going for him, you’d think that Ray would have an easy time? Sadly as we discover during the course of this film, all is not as it seems. Ray is actually being mind-controlled. The death of his wife and his death are both staged by Dr. Harting in an effort to remove his business parties. Through the use of some fairly decent computer programs and CGI, they make Ray see a different face each time and then let him do his stuff.

Bursting with both the lighting schemes and emotional depth of a Michael Bay film, “Bloodshot” is the kind of cinematic distraction that suddenly seems, if not necessary, wholly welcome. It’s the kind of a film where a bad guy goes “arrrggggh” after being shot repeatedly, as if grievous bodily harm was no worse than a mild case of food poisoning, the sort of film where a horny Vin Diesel rips off his shirt and declares that his hot wife is the reason why he fights for America, goddammit. It’s the kind of film where those things happen within the first five minutes, and it only gets sillier from there.

The computer graphics and visual effects showing the bionic smarts look real, but the same cannot be said for some of the set pieces. Action, for the most part, is quite an edge of the seat, especially, the one in the elevator. Even Bloodshot himself (he is never, ever referred to as Bloodshot) seems popped right out of an action-hero mold that was played out a decade ago: a kickass soldier who knows how to throw a punch but who never quite learned how to take direction from his superiors. 

Overall, ‘Bloodshot’ is a decent attempt that scores on its ambitious sci-fi imagination and a superhero, who is always ready for action. As one of the last movies to premiere in theaters before the coronavirus pandemic shut down social gatherings, Bloodshot has had a terrible journey to existence. Once upon a time, the Vin Diesel-led action movie based on the comic book from Valiant Entertainment would have kicked off a new cinematic universe built around its superheroes. 

Creating a cinematic universe is hard, if not impossible, and as Hollywood moves into triage to salvage this year’s releases, extending them into 2021, the idea of a new one just seems increasingly absurd.

The economics of the entertainment industry are being entirely upended, and a return to the previous status quo seems increasingly unlikely. Marvel movies will likely be fine with some reconfiguring, DC films will likely stick around, and mega-franchise like The Fast and Furious movies or Star Wars is probably not going anywhere. But the era where studios actively try to catch the cinematic universe wave? That trend might be over for everyone but the biggest players in Hollywood, a strange period in history brought to an even stranger ending.

OK, I’ll start this post with a confession. I’d probably not have watched this movie if it wasn’t for the current crisis we’re all probably experiencing in one form or another. My general genre is Superhero and SciFi and while I enjoy a disaster movie as much as the next person, it’s often a summer popcorn flick (Tornado, Earthquake etc.) vs. something as real as a virus. I know, I’m a bit typecast that way, but I like what I like!

That being said, I really did like this movie! Now that could be because of how real it is and how close to reality it feels with everything we’re all going through. I mean the cast does not hurt at all with some major names scattered throughout the production. I mean Gwyneth Paltrow is in it, if even just for a measly 5 minutes!

For those of you that have not seen it, give it a try as its available on Netflix and is trending pretty highly. The story, in a nutshell, is that Beth Emhoff (played by Gwyneth) returns from a business trip to Hong Kong. She’s not feeling too well and fairly soon after her return she starts to feel ill. Initially believing it to be nothing more than a cold or flu, she starts to have seizures and dies at the hospital.

Her husband (Mitch) played by Matt Damon seems to be immune but unfortunately, her young son is not & he ends up infecting some other students at his grade school.

As the movie progresses we see others around the world also infected and impacted and in many cases succumbing to the virus. When the CDC (Center for Disease Control) steps in with the WHO, the search is on to find out where this virus came from, was it manufactured or did it evolve, and how can it be cured.

There is no magic bullet in terms of a cure here. Scientists work long and hard as do medical professionals to try and combat its spread. I’d almost say that in some ways, the professionals portrayed on screen are less altruistic than what we see in the real world which is one nice thing. They are on the front lines and doing everything they can to combat the spread and ensure that as many people as possible survive. Just as in real life, some of the characters we’ve grown invested in also get infected as this virus does not seem to be as age or health-specific as Covid19.

Another thread to the story is that of the whistleblower/journalist/blogger played by Jude Law. As a private citizen, he is in some ways outside of the normal channels but is in the early stages trying to get the word out about the virus. However, as the movie progresses his initial Knight in Shining Armor stance is shown to be a bit more venal. Sadly this does seem to be a role Jude Law often fills!

As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic. We’ve already seen it in some small ways with the panic buying of toilet paper and cleaning supplies. This could easily come to pass and it frightens me. Fortunately, stores in Canada seem to have the majority of supplies once more, but this is something that could quickly change.

I don’t think I’d ruin anything for you if I told you that eventually, they survive. This movie came out in 2011 and if you’re like me, you’re probably watching it to ensure that there was a happy ending. While the death toll in this movie is alarming, there is an eventual end to it.

If you want to watch a believable movie that seems to get things right and still give hope, give it a shot. The science and technology all ring true. Sadly some scenes of violence and looting are also what you’d expect to see.

This year’s Oscar nominee, 1917 is pretty much the resurrection of Saving Private Ryan. Though not as engaging as Enemy at the Gates, 1917 successfully manages to trigger the same emotional sensation that we experienced while watching Saving Private Ryan for the first time.

1917 movie review

For 20 years, we never witnessed the likes of Saving Private Ryan until the release of 1917. Even the 1917 official trailer was convincing enough to set high expectations. It is amazing to see how humanity somehow holds on even amidst war. The picturization of 1917 doesn’t come closer to that of Band of Brothers but still, the crew has done a tremendous job to let us feel the hostility of World War I after over 100 years. It is pretty close to what we see in Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) must-watch documentary.

The rat scene, the muddy ditch filled with decaying bodies, and the rats feeding on dead solider, the hostile river current and riverbank being the final resting place of some soldiers, everything triggers an undesired sensation and it forces us to acknowledge the sacrifices our great grandfathers made.

Watching the official trailer – They Shall Not Grow Old, you’ll easily identify the familiar face and I am pretty much sure it isn’t by chance that George MacKay resembles this guy in the pictures below.  

They Shall Not Grow Old

Sam Mendes pretty much seems convinced by Spielberg’s storytelling in Saving Private Ryan. At times it feels as if both movies have merged for instance when Lance Corporal Blake tries to cheer up Lance Corporal Schofield by recalling a story while walking through the abandoned self-destroyed German weapons. This scene suddenly replays Ryan recalling an incident from his good old days with his brothers.

1917 movie story

1917 keeps you engaged but at times, it slows down too much for a minute or two. The plane crash seems too much fabricated considering the fact that the jet on fire almost seems to chase the protagonists like a well-targeted bullet.

1917 movie plane crash

Whoever narrated or fabricated this incident could have made it look a bit realistic. The ease with which the German pilot is shown to have stabbed Lance Corporal Blake signifies who careless Blake was and we couldn’t expect this from a professional soldier especially when he knew he had a serious undertaking on his shoulders.

Thank God, we don’t see too much of bloodshed the likes of which we witnessed in the beech scene of Saving Private Ryan or throughout Band of Brothers. We must appreciate the use of the surprise element in 1917. The rat dropping the food pack and the gunfire just before Schofield has to jump across the drowned-slopped bridge over the canal.

1917 movie best scenes
1917 schofield gunshot scene

What is Absurd in 1917 ?

Schofield manages to escape constant bullet fires even running through straight narrow paths and it seems too much. I mean, how many missed shots could you expect from a soldier especially when the distance is less than 30 meters. These scenes could have been improved. There could have been a better strategic movement dodging the German gunmen but who could we blame? Like fishermen, soldiers are also known for recreating tales and repeating them with such rigidity that we have to believe them, at least considering the fact that they are the only eyewitnesses.

A strange thing happens to Schofield just before he falls back a few stairs below after two gunshots, one fired by Schofield himself and the other from the injured German soldier. The scene made us believe that something threw the Lance Corporal and it resembled nothing else but a bullet strike. But when Schofield wakes up, he suffers from a head injury caused by his falling downstairs. Where did that bullet go? If it never hit him, why would he act as if he was shot, ultimately taking a head injury?

From the historical viewpoint, it seems as if the premise of 1917 has been misplaced. There is no record of runners being chosen at random in WWI. Runners were trained for this purpose and received exclusively specialized training. No matter who’s brother is there fighting upfront, the selection of runners had always been matter taken seriously. Every battalion had a communications/signals element and runners played an important role. Runners wore large armbands ‘Brassards’ to make them easy to be identified because soldiers had orders to make way for runners in order to ensure timely delivery of urgent messages. Nobody was authorized to question runners.

Why Watch 1917 ?

Despite a few blunders, 1917 is significant of exceptional technical filmmaking and the movie stands a strong chance of winning the Oscar this year. If you loved Saving Private Ryan, you are definitely going to have a great couple of hours watching 1917.

If A Quiet Place (2018)amazed you two years ago then you must have been eager to know more about A Quiet Place Part II. The movie is scheduled to release in March 2020 and we are going to share everything about A Quiet Place 2 we know so far.

A Quiet Place 2 release date

A Quiet Place (2018) – The Surprise Hit

They call it a surprise hit because there had never been too much hype about A Quiet Place (2018) before its release. It was a moderate-budget movie but still, it managed to hit the jackpot worldwide. The intense thrill is what helped A Quiet Place (2018) to be a major unexpected hit. The movie featured a young family that found itself struggling to survive around terrifying creatures. The mysterious creature tended to hunt anybody who produced sound. Under the direction of the screenwriter and director, John Krasinski, A Quiet Place Part II seems to pick up from the point the first movie left off.

A Quiet Place 2 – Release Date

A Quiet Place Part II is scheduled to release on March 20, 2020. On January 1st, the first official trailer for A Quiet Place 2 was released. The trailer gives a hint of new faces as well as some familiar faces from A Quiet Place (2018). For all the fans of the first release, the trailer is encouraging because they are once again going to see their favorite characters back in action.

A Quiet Place Part II Official Trailer

Credit: Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place Part II Cast

For those who want to see the familiar characters from A Quiet Place (2018) the good news is that Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds, the members of the Abbott family, are back in action. The newcomers in A Quiet Place Part II include Gladiator star Djimon Hounsou and Peaky Blinders star, Cillian Murphy. Their roles are still unrevealed.

A Quiet place 2 Cast

A Quiet Place Part II Movie Plot

Amazed at the overwhelming success of A Quiet Place (2018), screenwriter Krasinski began working on the script for the sequel just months after realizing the response from the viewers. The insiders are confident that Krasinski picks up the plot from the point at which the first part was ended. Abbott family will once again attempt for further efforts to survive under mysterious circumstances. You might see the remaining members trying to find any other survivor after the destruction of their farmhouse.

A Quiet Place 2 story

As per the official synopsis, we can confirm that A Quiet Place Part II will begin shortly after the deadly events. Abbott family is going to face another spell of terror while they fight hard in an anticipation of making it to a peaceful environment. It is once again going to be the hard trial, the fight in silence!

But there will a twist because the Abbott family is going to finally realize that there is something more going on. The only foe they knew, the creature hunting anything producing sound, is not alone and there is something more they need to protect themselves from.

A Quiet Place 2

As per the trailer, the Abbott family is shown with the farm on fire as a reminder of the chaotic end of the first part with Regan trying to figure out the key and Lee passing away. The family will do anything it can to ensure the protection of the new baby.

What to Expect from A Quiet Place Part II ?

It is important to note that A Quiet Place Part II hits theater just a week after the release of Godzilla vs. Kong. And more importantly, A Quiet Place Part II will be out just one week before the highly anticipated Mulan. The competition will surely be tough but we can easily predict that A Quiet Place Part II is set to give a tough time to its competitors. Long-term success depends on how it manages to impress the early-viewers.

If you ever loved The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly along with some other magnificent Clint Eastwood titles then Red Dead Redemption 2 is what you must consider reliving the thrilling adventure of the West. The RDR2 is arguably the best action game with breathtaking graphics – not aesthetically appealing but realistic. The good news is that Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Game is now available.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC – Rockstar Games Offical Trailer

Yes, the launch was disappointing because of the initial technical complications but the developers have done a great job to eliminate all the issues.

Red Dead Redemption 2 – Typical Theme of the Old West  

Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably the finest open-world epic Rockstart Games ever released. The second edition is basically the prologue to its predecessor – Red Dead Redemption. Vanderlinde Gang holds the center stage and you play Arthur Morgan – the member of the very gang who feels the guilt of killing and stealing but finds no escape from life as an outlaw.

Image result for Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC Official Trailer
RDR2 – Rockstar Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 Missions

The total storytime is approximately 60 hours through which you undertake a variety of missions. And this time could extend to the additional 15 hours if you include the epilogue. How come could someone ignore Billy the Kid – the famous robbing of the moving train is one of the missions you have to complete. Intense firefights, calming the runaway horse and drinking with the gang members, you experience everything as you pass through different missions. Missions in Red Dead Redemption 2 are entertaining and challenging at the same time.

Red Dead Redemption 2 train robbery

Red Dead Redemption 2 – Side Quests

Side quests add to the thrill, some are random whereas some take place at fixed locations. As long as the random side quests are concerned, I’ve realized that they always happen along roads. The beauty of these quests is that you are never mentally prepared but still you have no choice but to deal with the situation at hand. Occasionally, I find these side quests more engaging than the main missions.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Side Quests

Red Dead Redemption 2 – Entertaining Stuff

Apart from the main missions and side quests, Red Dead Redemption 2 also features some entertaining activities such as hunting, fishing, drinking, and playing blackjack. Basically, these activities help you to grab some cash. For Arthur or any other individual living in the Old West, accumulating ammunition and maintaining the quality and performance of the weapons is highly significant so cash in the pocket becomes extremely handy.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting

Red Dead Redemption 2 Reveals the Vastness of the West

You have to keep moving and when doing that, you often find hardly any civilization around. But here is the catch, you always are vulnerable to a blind bullet. You never know when and where the gunfight could trigger. This is what forces you to keep your eyes and ears alert.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Shooting

If you have played Grand Theft Auto V or Grand Theft Auto IV, you’ll easily realize the similarity of the cover mechanics and shooting between GTA and RDR2. Getting headshots is easier because as soon as the enemy is on the radar, the weapons automatically lock onto him. Apart from rifles and pistols, you also have the luxury of hurling Molotov cocktails and dynamite to deal with the enemies. I’ve realized that the lock-on mechanics aren’t efficient when you are on horseback. The movement and ever-shifting terrain make it tough to get a clear shot. You have the option to disable auto-lock but the problem is that free-aiming isn’t really as comfortable and precise as you’d like.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC horseback Shooting

Realistic Animations – But at a Cost!

No doubt, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an impressive game in terms of graphics and realistic animations. The problem with such high-end graphics is that the gameplay becomes tougher. While playing Arthur, I felt being a bit heavier because of the deliberate slow movement. For instance, if you have to cancel an action, you find it virtually impossible because Arthur takes too much time to complete the move (the animation cycle has to complete). The developers have done a great job of introducing the Dead Eye feature (time-slowing) so that you could easily line up shots.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur Morgan

Relive the Unforgettable Past

Let them say what they want to say, the fact is, the Old West has been an unforgettable chapter in American history. The truth is that we all respect and honor those who lived through the tough times and created history. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a nice tribute to the magnificent American West.