Its been a slow week with a lot of my time spent keeping up with the news and development on the BLM movement. It wasn’t til late in the week when I actually watched something that wasn’t on youtube
Agents of Shield Season 7 Episode 2
This week’s episode was pretty interesting, the team had the opportunity to intercept the super soldier serum before it reached The Red Skull. We also learn more secrets about the Koenig family tree as Enok gets left behind and reveals the secrets of the chronicom. Next we see some cracks forming in the directorship of Shield as Daisy seems to be undermining Mac’s authority. Interestingly we see Deke and Freddy develop their relationship, I wouldn’t be surprised if they develop their relationship further with Deke staying behind with him. Finally we see May who I have a feeling will be the real villain of the series, possibly infected with the Shrike and potentially have the ability to mind control Yoyo who’s inhuman ability is working as intended.
Altered Carbon Season 2
I tried. I really did. Season 2 came out a few months ago and while i enjoyed aspects of season 1, there wasn’t enough intrigue for me to check out season 2. Until now that is, i had some time to binge a season in the background and i thought, this is as good as anything. I was wrong. I really liked the idea of having different actors play the same character but the execution missed the mark. I’m sure the writers, cast & crew worked really hard but this isn’t the show for me right now. I’ll probably give it a go again in a few weeks when i’m in the mood for something that requires me to concentrate.
Friday was on Netflix and it’s been a long minute since i last saw it. It’s a pretty interesting formula, a social realism film in the form of a coming of age comedy. It deals with career choices, identity, aspirations, substance abuse and what it means to be an adult.
Craig has recently been fired for being accused of stealing boxes. He has a choice of getting another job or falling into a life of crime by passively supporting his friend smokey. Craig is surrounded by a variety of characters who help him figure out who he wants to be and who he doesn’t. He aspires to be with a well educated woman, a friend of his sister while at the same time, he’s dating a woman who seems quite immature. His father tries to be a good role model, a hard working man that teaches him the value of life while on the other side there is the neighbourhood bully who won’t hold back on physical violence.
The main plot follows smokey selling weed that has smoked, for a drug baron who is now asking for payment. Smokey pressures Craig to smoke weed, roping him into his problem. The 3rd act involves a driveby and an altercation that shows the difference between an immature mistake and an act that could change someone’s life for the better.
I’ll see if I can find Next Friday and see how that develops the characters going forward. Again, it’s on Netflix and it’s a pretty good watch.
The Ten Commandments
They really don’t make movies with this level of grandeur. Based on the Judeo-Christian story of Moses, this creative retelling brings the “greatest story every told” to the silver screen. From the looks of it, they spared no cost and really went all in making an instant classic for many of the Abrahamic faiths to enjoy.
I have a strong personal connection to this movie, I had an uncle who passed away 2 or 3 years ago now, in my youth, every year he used to call to ask if the 10 commandments was on TV, especially around Xmas time and to tape it on VHS for him. Interestingly it there is a dubbed version of it in Urdu for Christians in Pakistan but with the Islamic names for the characters.
For those of you who don’t know the story of Moses, this is probably a good watch to get the broad aspects of what happens. For those who do know the story, this is a very moving take. As a Muslim, I’m not sure on the permeability on the depiction of a prophet in this sense, the best i can say is you take the good and leave the bad. For my fellow Muslims who aren’t familiar with the Islamic of the story of Moses (Musa a.s), this is a very fast and loose depiction, i recommend you watch a few Islamic lectures on the stories of the prophets, Mufti Menk has a great series on this.
As I was quite familiar with the Islamic story of Moses, I found this film very moving. From the opening scene of the Pharaohs commandment, the depiction of the baby in the basket and the most moving for me, Moses and the Burning Bush. it was quite hard to hold back my tears seeing the way Moses bowed down when he heard the word of God.
This isn’t the only version of the Moses story in film, there is the Disney version The Prince of Egypt which i hear is pretty good and the more recent Exodus from 2014 which pretty much removed all of the religion from the story. If you can find the 10 commandments, i think it’s available for rent on Amazon, I highly recommend you check it out
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
It was dirty of them to bait and switch Jeff Goldblum, plastering him in the marketing material and only having him in 1 scene that was split in 2 and put at the start and end of the movie. Nonetheless, there aren’t enough dinosaur properties for the whole family to enjoy so I’ll try my best to be lenient.
Fallen Kingdom takes place after Jurassic World bringing back Pratt & Howard to reprise their roles as Owen & Clair respectively. I find Chris Pratt’s character annoying in Fallen Kingdom, it’s like he’s trying to be Starlord but without the character development. Allow me to explain, Peter Quill was a young boy who lost his parents & was abducted by aliens and raised as a space pirate. Him walking around like a manchild, pretending to be a cowboy, dealing with pop culture illiterate aliens in space worked as elitist humour. We, rhe audience got it but the confused expressions on the aliens’ faces added to the humour & classic throwbacks.
Taking that kind of character and removing the callbacks & aliens just leaves you with a manchild. They tried to make him “a man’s man” with him building his own lodge in the woods and having the mercenaries talk to him as an equal but I couldn’t see it. Maybe they wanted to go down the route of ex military Steve Irwin, a rugged dinosaur vet who knows his way around a gun but it didn’t come through on screen. There may have been more character development for Pratt’s character but it seems to have been left on the cutting room floor.
Maybe my expectations let me down. The idea of a sequel is that it’s meant to be bigger and bolder than the previous movie, yet this seems so much more scaled down. I’m sure they had a solid idea lined up as the first half was pretty good. But i’m guessing CGI dinosaurs cost a lot of money & they probably cut their losses and re-wrote the 2nd half. I feel Jurassic World was a much better movie as they had to earn the justification to reboot such a special franchise. It had a great cast, tight story, you genuinely cared about the side characters & their story. In the fallen kingdom, a lot of those stories were thrown out, along with the characters. Even the new characters felt a bit too inclusive for the sake of inclusion, I’d have preferred they spent time working on one good quality progressive character than doing injustice on 2 characters that don’t get enough screen time.
The 2nd half of the movie is interesting from a plot and franchise perspective, it seems like they’re laying the groundwork for a 3rd movie and they touched on some interesting topics. They’d be pretty cool to explore in a non jurassic park property. I understand that in the 90’s classic the quote “they were so focused on if they could they never stopped to ask if they should” was pretty heavy, but the movie wasn’t a hit success for that, jurassic park work when you get humans and dinosaurs in set pieces. The raptors in the kitchen, the t rex and the caravan, the Nemesis like Spinasaur, they made the movies memorable and spectacular. I couldn’t really say the same about the Fallen Kingdom that seems to have forgotten that.
Again, the main positives i can take from this are the handful of scenes on the island in the first half of the movie, the 2nd half becomes a sudo mad scientist flick and that’s a pretty interesting direction for the franchise to go.
Anyway, Jurassic World The Fallen Kingdom is on Netflix for those of you who want a mindless watch – its not that bad, i just expected more from it.
– Agents of Shield S07 E02
– The Ten Commandments
– Altered Carbon Season 2
– Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom