Psycho-Pass, Anime Tv Series (2012)

Throughout history crime has always been a problem in every country. With so many people living on this planet, there will always be people who find a thrill in committing a crime. Even though law enforcement has improved in the past centuries, it has never been succesful in completely wiping out criminal behaviour. And I don’t think there will ever come a time when crime will be a thing of the past. But what if there was a way to fully eradicate crime in our society?  And what would that world be like? It is this very intriguing storyline that is the focus for the anime series Psycho-Pass. And let me tell you in advance….what a fantastic roller coaster ride this has been!

Psycho-Pass takes place in a future Japan, where people’s minds are being continuously monitored for their mental state. The system responsible for monitoring these states, Sybil, can pretty acurately predict in this way the chances of a person planning to commit a crime. The data that is collected in this way results in a person’s Psycho-Pass rating. When the rating is above a certain number, a special unit of law enforcement is called in to either apprehend or kill the suspect. Psycho-Pass focusses on the young rookie Akane, who has just entered unit One of this special brand of police. Not quite prepared for everything that is thrown her way, on her first day she has to work together with her new colleagues. However these colleagues, the so called Enforcers, are themselves latent criminals. The Enforcers are placed under the guidance of normal police agents, who have a license to apprehend or even kill them should they pose a danger to the public. Akane soon realises that the job she has taken on might be more than she signed up for. Especially when a ruthless criminal appears who seems to have found a flaw in the Sybil system….

image

One of the things that I find very important in anything I watch is that I can have an attachment to the characters. And oh boy, does this Anime have a truly wonderful mix of those lined up. The main Enforcer Kougami was a character that I pretty much liked from the very first minute he showed up. Everything he does has just got a very sense of coolness to it, and I also enjoyed the constant conflict that seemed to be inside him. The young rookie Akane, also went through an amazing journey throughout this series, and I loved the way how her character developed throughout the show. The rest of the cast, most notably the old Enforcer Masaoka and the villain Makishima, are also seriously entertaining.

The storyline of the series is the absolute highlight of this anime. It deals with a lot of themes, and it gives you a lot of food for thought at the end of this show. One really has to wonder about the morality of a society where everything you do or think is being monitored. The show has a lot of surprises and twists in store throughout it’s 22 episode run. The animationstyle is very cool, and I especially liked the use of colour in this anime. Lastly the music in the series adds to to the overall atmosphere of the show, and makes it an even more interesting watch. This review would not be complete without mentioning the Dominators (pictured below), the weapons that are used to subdue or kill the potential criminals. This was really one of the greatest pieces of hardware I have ever seen in an Animeseries. The first time I saw it being used in Lethal mode, I think my jaw must have hit the floor.

image

I have pretty much nothing negative to say about this series. One could argue that there were a few slower episodes in the series, but that would be nitpicking. Overall this is simply a very entertaining sci-fi epic, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes movies such as Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell. I have heard that the 2nd season for this series has been a bit of a disappointment. I always judge things for myself, but it would be a real shame if that were to be true. Psycho-Pass is simply put, Anime gold, and is one of those series that is an absolute must watch.

I give Psycho-Pass a 9 out of 10 score.

Advertisements

Farewell, Carrie Fisher…

I usually don’t make posts like these, but for this one time I will make an exception. I just read the very sad news that Carrie Fisher, who played the role of the iconic Star Wars character of Princes Leia, has died at the age of 60. Apparently this year has not yet taken enough from us.

What to say to news like this. Pretty much everything you say about it, is just not enough. So I am not even going to give it a try. Carrie Fisher will live on in the work she has done, in the hearts and minds of every Star Wars fan. To coin a phrase that pretty much is going to be read in every item you will read about this “The Force will be with her….always”. Nothing seems more appropriate…

Special Features Presents: First trailer released for Alien Covenant

So, a bit of a weird thing to release on Christmas Day to be honest, but today the first trailer for the upcoming Alien movie saw the light of day. Alien Covenant is a follow up to Prometheus and will act as a prequel to the Alien franchise. Confused? Well let me explain if you are not completely up to date with these movies.

In 2012 director Ridley Scott, the original director of the first Alien movie, released the movie Prometheus. The movie received very mixed reviews, as a lot of people had expected it to be a movie in the style of Alien. While Prometheus did take place in the same universe, and was most certainly a prequel to the Alien franchise, it was a whole different type of movie. It was a science fiction epic, that dealt more with mankinds first encounter with an alien race, than with the type of horror that made the Alien franchise so well known. As such there were quite a few fans that were disappointed by the film. I for one loved it. The cinematography of the movie was truly spectacular and I really liked the small details that were put into the film that referenced the original classic.

Alien Covenant, although being a sequel to Prometheus,will be a true Alien movie, and promises to be a truly horrific experience. Again directed by Ridley Scott, I hope this movie will become just as tense and scary as the first Alien film. This first trailer already has some very creepy moments. I do have to warn you when you watch this one: this is a red band trailer. That said it features some bloody scenes, and curse words. You have been warned! And remember…..in space no one can hear you scream…….

Thank you…..

So….it is almost Christmas, and I wanted to take this opportunity to make a kind of different post this time. In short I want to thank you: the people who have been reading my posts, have supported this blog in some way, given me support, in short all of you 😀

 A look back at the past….

image

It has now been a little over six months since I started this blog. My first post was for the Korean dramaseries D-day, and honestly I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I just figured one lazy sunday night, I would browse through the app store and see if there were any apps that allowed you to create your own blog. That is pretty much how I came across WordPress. Eventually (with the help of some all knowing You Tube videos) I created my website, and published my first post.

And now six months later, I am still writing and having a blast. And this is only because of you, the people who spent time at my blog. One of the most fun things about blogging is the incredible amount of wonderful people I have met along the way. I love reading other blogs (honestly there are so many good ones out there, that are seriously awesome), and interacting with people. That for me has been one of the great thing ever since starting this blog.

The future…..

image

So what’s next? The coming year I will continue to write posts, about everything that I have been writing about the past few months. So you can expect more Anime reviews (Psycho Pass, Steins Gate, Moribito are coming up, to name but a few), but also movies, books, boardgames, tv series, etc. With 2017 right around the corner, and so many cool things to look forward to, I hope to make next year even better.

So that brings me back to the beginning: Thank you all very much, for all the time that you have spent reading my posts, writing a response, or hitting the like button. You are all awesome and wonderful people, and without you, this blog would simply not exist. With Christmas coming up in just a day, I hope you will all have a great time. And even if you don’t celebrate it, have some great time off.

Thank you for reading, and see you at the next post! 😀

image

Special Features Presents: Things to look forward to in 2017 (Tv series)

As much excitement as there is in the cinema next year, there is just as much to enjoy (if not even more so) on the small screen next year. If I am being totally honest there are times when I can enjoy watching a television series more than a movie. Don’t get me wrong, I am an absolute movie addict: that will never change. But the television series that are being made in this day and age are sometimes better than a movie. For one thing it can develop characters better (as there are more episodes to explore a character’s motives). And as it takes longer, you can enjoy something even more than a movie, especially if it is a series that does things right. And with the budgets on tv series being almost as big as there big budget counterparts, the scale of certain shows is at times just off the charts. So following are 5 shows that I am looking forward to the most  for next year.

Voice (Korean drama series)

Korean drama series are fantastic. Just as in anime, there are so many series that you can choose from, ranging from romance, to historical drama, to action, there is a show out there for everyone. Voice is a series that will be released early next year, and promises to deliver a really good thriller. So far only small teasers have been released, but they already show the tense and gritty atmosphere of the series. Voice will deal with two detectives on the hunt for a brutal serial killer. The lives of the families of an emergency call center team are being threatened by this killer, and so the countdown is on to find him before it’s too late. I really enjoy movies about serial killers, and this one looks like it might take on the likes of films such as Seven and Silence of the Lambs.

 

Attack on Titan: season 2

Do I really need to explain what there is to be excited about for this one? Attack on Titan has become a juggernaut in the world of Anime and it is just simply put an amazing and exciting series. Fans have been waiting for ages for the release of season 2, and finally we now have confirmation that we will be able to see it next year in april. I usually watch shows after they have completed a full season, but I already know that I will make an exception for this one. The wait has been long enough. All I can say is that no matter his much I looking forward to this one, there is always this slight sense of unease that it might not be as good as season 1. With so many time to prepare for it though, I hope the creators have done their best to create an even better experience this time around.

 

24: Legacy

Before the Walking Dead became my number 1 alltime favorite tv series, there was 24. The realtime television series featuring Kiefer Sutherland as the hero Jack Bauer, has been a rollercoaster ride throughout it’s 9 seasons. Part of what made the show so exciting was Jack Bauer, the seemingly immortal but also very tragic anti-hero, that will always remain my favorite television character. (Not even the Walking Dead will change that). Next year 24 returns, but this time without Jack Bauer. One really has to wonder about the wisdom of that decision. Still, having seen the trailer of the new series, I do have to admit it looks good, and there are also some very good actors involved. Therefore I will give it a chance and keeping my fingers crossed that 24 will be able to live on without Jack Bauer.

 

Stranger Things: Season 2

Stranger Things was for me personally the best television series of 2016. It was a love letter to everything that I enjoyed about the 80’s. The music, the characters, the storyline, everything in this Netflix original series was just simply put: perfect. It has been a huge succes and therefore it came as no surprise the series would get a second season. With a series that was this good, one really has to wonder if they are able to maintain that high level for the second season. Whatever the case might be, I really can’t wait for this series to return. When it does I am seriously going to bingewatch it in one day. So far the only trailer that has been released for it, has in a truly original way, given us all the episode names for the second season.

 

Prisonbreak: Sequel

Prisonbreak ended it’s run after four seasons in a very satisfying way, and with what I found to be a touching and fitting end. Some people thought that the show went on too long, and getting more unbelievable with every season that followed. I personally loved it, even it’s fourth and final season. When I heard about the fact that the series would not only return, but also would feature a character who everyone believed to be dead, I could not help but wonder: How and why? Whatever the case, after having seen the first trailer for the new season, I found myself getting excited for it regardless. Prisonbreak has always been a personal favorite of mine, so hopefully this short follow up will do it justice.

So there you have it. The shows that I am looking forward to the most for next year. Are any of these shows that appear here on your list? Are there any other things you are looking forward to? Let me know in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading!

Special Features Presents:Things to look forward to in 2017 (Movies, Part Two)

And here it is, part two of the movies I am looking forward to the most for 2017. (You can find part one right here). Are these the only movies that I am looking forward to? Ofcourse not. Next year definitely promises to be an exciting year for movie buffs, and there are a couple of great ones heading our way, that have not been included on my list. Justice League, the Mummy, Spiderman: Homecoming, all look like they are going to be really cool movies. I am just not as excited about those, as the ones on these two lists. So to continue here are the last 6 movies :

Blade Runner 2049

Yes, I know. Do we really need a sequel to a movie that is 34 years old, and was an absolute classic? Sure: I am skeptical about this one as well. But after seeing the first trailer for this today, I can honestly say that I am cautiously optimistic for it. First off, we have Harrison Ford returning as Deckard, which is awesome. And the director Denis Villeneuve who has made such great films as Prisoners and Sicario,  has yet to disappoint. The teaser accompanied by some great music, looks very cool, and seems to retain the atmosphere of the original film. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for it.

 

Resident Evil: The final chapter.

This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure I have to admit. These movies are cheesy and almost venture into the B-movie category, but I can’t help it, I really enjoy watching them. With this movie promising to bring the story of the saga to an end, and a final appearance of Mila Jovovich as Alice, I hope the movie brings things to a satisfying conclusion. Well at least until we get the inevitable remake, reboot or whatever you wish to call it.

 

The Fate of the Furious

Vin Diesel and crew return for another installment in this enormously popular franchise. Sadly without Paul Walker, who’s untimely death still brings a sadness to my heart. The new movie promises to be more spectacular than ever, as the first trailer certainly shows. Yes it is completely over the top action, with impossible stunts and cheesy dialogue, but oh boy are these movies a lot of fun to watch. I would never have even guessed that this series would make it to a part 8, but I am glad it did.

 

Logan

Hugh Jackman returns in his iconic role of Wolverine, in which he tells us will be his final time. Although he has made this statement before, this time it might be the truth as there are at least no immediate plans for a new X-men movie. The new film is based on the highly popular comic book story Old Man Logan, in which we get to see a really vulnerable Wolverine. With captain Picard, excuse me Patrick Stewart, returning as Charles Xavier we are going to be in for an emotional and exciting ride for one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

With Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel made on of their funniest movies to date. A perfect blend of comedy, sci-fi and action, with out of this world characters, it was an instant hit. Next year the long awaited sequel makes it’s appearance, and it will be great to go back to see all those fun characters in action. As with any sequel it is always a question if it will be just as good as the first one, but after seeing the first trailer for it, I think it is a safe bet.

 

Star Wars Episode VIII

Well, this last one on my list is probably not a real surprise. Next december we will finally return to the galaxy far, far away in the way it should be done: a new real Episode in the Saga. It will be awesome to finally see Luke return into action, and find out some answers to a lot of unanswered questions. At this point not a lot is known about this one, not even a title yet, but I would not be surprised if we get to see a first trailer for this one somewhere in january. Hopefully the movie will be just as enjoyable as The Force Awakens

image

So as they say in movies, that’s a wrap! As always let me know in the comments section if there are any movies that you have on your list for next year. Next up will be a post for the things I am excited about that will appear on the small screen next year. I hope to release that one just before Christmas. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Rogue one: a Star Wars story, American movie (2016)

Before I am going to start for real with this post, let me just point out to you that I am huge Star Wars fan. I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen the original movies, and own a lot of novels and other merchandise. When the news first arrived about Disney taking over the franchise from Lucas I was filled with fear. And yes I do know that may lead to the Dark Side. My fears pretty much disappeared last year with the release of Episode 7. I loved it from start to finish, and felt it really did justice to the galaxy from far, far away. One thing I did remain skeptical about were the plans for the stand alone movies. The first one has now been unleashed upon us with Force. Today I saw the film for the first time, and the question is, was I worried about nothing?

image

Rogue One might best be described as Star Wars episode three point five, just to give you a point of reference. The Empire is planning to build a terror weapon to rule the galaxy, and for that they turn to a scientist called Galen Erso. Galen has no love for the Empire, but has no choice but to assist in building the weapon, as his wife and young daughter Jyn are both threatened to be killed. Years later, Jyn has grown up, and has now become a bit of a rebel but is also pretty much a loner. By pure chance however she meets up with a member of the real Rebel Alliance who has been searching for her. Things have become very dire indeed, as the Empire has almost finished building their planet killer. When Jyn finds out that her father might be the one who has pretty much designed the weapon, she is determined to find her father at all cost. With a group of like minded individuals she sets out on a path that will take her to her father, and which might bring a new hope to the galaxy…

image

So there we have it, the first ever standalone movie of Star Wars. Was it a worthy addition to the Star Wars legacy? I would have to say yes. There are many things in this movie that worked, but it also has it’s flaws. One thing is for sure: this movie is very dark. It is basically a warmovie set in the Star Wars universe. As such, there is some light comedy in the film, but it mostly has a very serious tone to it. The fun things that were truly enjoyable in this film, were the many easter eggs that the movie contained. Any Star Wars fan, will really get a kick out of discovering those. And I am pretty sure that I even might have missed a few.

We get introduced to a whole new cast of characters, and most of these were very enjoyable. Felicity Jones did a fine job in her portrayal of Jyn Erso, and it was also very nice to see Hong Kong legend Donnie Yen having so much fun in his role of the blind Chirrut Imwe. Ben Mendelsohn was also superb as the villain, the evil Director Krennic, a character you are definitely going to hate. The best character however was the robot K-2SO, who produced some much needed comic relief.

image

The pacing of the film however, was the thing that I felt was not handled very well. The first part of the film felt slow. At those times it also felt that for a reason I could not quite put my finger on, that I wasn’t watching a Star Wars movie. The last 45 minutes of the film though, were absolutely fantastic, and contained one of the best battlescenes of the entire Star Wars franchise. It also shows how desperate things really were for the Rebellion.

At the end of the film there was a question that popped up in my mind though: do we really need these stand alone movies? Even though I liked the movie, it just is not as good as the original trilogy films. As I said this one is a worthy addition to the Star Wars franchise, but with these movies now being released every other year, one has to wonder if this won’t simply become a question of quick cash in films. We will have to wait and see I guess. I do have to admit that the film was truly better than I had expected, and I did enjoy it for the most part. If you are a fan of the Star Wars universe I definitely recommend seeing it. And now all that’s left to do is wait for episode VIII and ofcourse see Rogue One for a second time. May the force be with you…..

I give Rogue One a Star Wars story a 8 out of 10 score.

The Damned, American/Spanish movie (2013)

It has been quite a while since I last reviewed a horrormovie. Not because I don’t like them, but at Halloween I watched so many of them, that I kind of went cold turkey after that. But as with most addictions, they usually pop back up again, and that is also the case with my horror movie addiction. Then again, the movie I am about to review would almost make me go cold turkey again.

The Damned tells the story of David who is about to get married for the second time in his life. While in Colombia he visits his daughter Jill with his soon to be wife Lauren. Jill is not very happy that her dad is about to get remarried, but eventually agrees to go back with her father, together with a camera crew that is making a documentary with her. While in a ferocious storm, David loses control of the car he was driving in, and they all get stranded. While walking back to civilisation they eventually come upon an old mansion. At first the owner of the mansion, an old man, is reluctant to let them inside. Eventually though, he agrees to let them in, but it soon becomes clear that there is something not quite right. To their shock and horror they come upon a young girl trapped in the basement of the mansion. Who is she, and why did the old man keep her locked up? The answer to that question might be more shocking than they realise…

Yes, it is one of those movies again. A couple of people take a wrong turn, get stranded, and eventually have to fight something or someone to stay alive. Yawn. This concept is really getting old. Is this movie a total loss because of that fact? Well no, not quite. There are a couple of scenes in the movie that make it worth the watch for the horrorfans out there. The acting is also fairly decent, but nothing really spectacular. The movie takes a while to get going, and just when it seems things are about to get interesting, the end is near. There is something that almost redeemed the movie though, and that is the pretty unexpected twist at the end. That was cleverly done, and at least to me it came as a bit of a surprise. In the end though, it was just not enough to save this pretty mediocre horror flick.

I give the Damned a 5 out of 10 score.

Child 44, American/Uk movie (2015)

Tom Hardy is an actor whose star is definitely on the rise in Hollywood. He has played the iconic villain Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, and has also replaced Mel Gibson as Mad Max. Both of those were big budget blockbuster movies, but one would almost forget that he is just a terrific actor, that can handle pretty much every role that they throw at him. Anyone who might have seen the small movie The Drop, should know what I am talking about. Child 44, based on a best selling novel, shows another example of his briljant acting skills. Even though the movie itself has it’s flaws, it is worth seeing for his performance alone.

Child 44 takes place in Moscow in the year 1953. Leo Demidov is a rising star in the Russian secret police. One day the child of his closest friend is found dead at a railroad. The death is ruled as an accident, but it soon becomes apparent that there is something far more sinister going on. A serial killer that preys on young children has entered the heart of Russia. Leo is the one who is determined to find him, and bring him to justice. However it is a task that is easier said than done as his own country states that murder is a disease brought on by capitalism. If Leo continues on the path he is taking, he will be branded a traitor. It becomes increasingly more dangerous for him to investigate the case, and meanwhile the killing continues…

image

Child 44 has a lot of good things going for it. Most notably the cast which consists of the likes of Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace and ofcourse Tom Hardy. The acting in this movie is exemplary, and Tom in the role of Leo definitely shows why he is currently one of the best actors in Hollywood. But Noomi Rapace playing his wife is also very good in her role. Another thing this movie does well is create a very gritty atmosphere. Everything in this movie feels very dirty, and one really gets a feel of what it would have been like to live in Russia in that age. (And let me tell you that was definitely no picnic). Where the movie falls short is in the script department. The movie runs for more than two hours, which would not be a bad thing, were it not for the fact that the pacing at times is too slow.

There are also a lot of storylines going on at once, and that at times feels like they tried to put too much into one film. This is a real shame as this movie definitely had the potential to be a classic, especially considering the amount of talent involved. That said this movie is still well worth seeing. Tom Hardy simply plays one of his best roles to date, and the cinematography is also done very well. Even though the movie is long and does have it’s slow points as mentioned above, I still found this movie to be enjoyable enough. If you are looking for a dark and gritty thriller and are willing to accept a few of the weaker points of this film, you could do worse than this one.

I give Child 44 a 7 out 10 score.

 

Special features Presents: Things to look forward to in 2017 (Movies, Part One)

Well, it’s almost over. And by that I mean this year. Everybody is probably already making preparations for Christmas, and maybe even thinking up some New Year’s Resolutions. In 2017, we have a lot of cool new movies and tv shows heading our way. This three part series will feature the movies and tv shows that I am looking forward to the most for next year. So to kick things off, here are the first five movies.

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

One of my favorite anime series to date, Sword Art Online, will finally continue. Honestly I wish they would have gone for a new season instead of a movie, but I will take it anyway. It will definitely be great to see Kirito and Asuna return for another adventure. Set after the events of season two, it will feature a new game that, how it could it be otherwise, has it’s own set of challenges and dangers. And ofcourse it would not be Sword Art Online if things would not go horribly wrong. If the trailer is anything to go by, we are definitely going to be in for one hell of a ride.

 

Ghost in the Shell

The live action adapatation of Ghost in the Shell has already been the target of a lot of controversy. Being blamed for “whitewashing” by casting Scarlett Johansson in the role of the beloved Major, the movie was already written off by a lot of fans. Things changed however with the release of the trailer a few weeks back. It actually looked pretty spectacular,and seemed to maintain the spirit and atmosphere of the original anime movie. Ofcourse trailers can also be deceiving, so we just have to wait until the movie itself to form a real opinion. Honestly though I am looking forward to it immensely, especially after having seen the first trailer.

 

Transformers: the Last Knight

Yes, we get another one. It’s Michael Bay, it will feature explosions, a story that serves no other function than to deliver action scenes, but I actually happen to like these movies. They are simply put great action flicks, and are just mindless fun, which is sometimes all I am looking for in a movie. Sure, the original Transformers cartoon series will always be the best, but I do think that this take on the franchise is not bad at all. The first trailer for it, was released a short while ago, and it looks epic. I especially like the music that is featured, and it is great to see veteran actor Anthony Hopkins join the cast.

 

Dunkirk

My favorite director, Christopher Nolan, returns with what will hopefully be yet another spectacular and blockbuster movie to add to his impressive resume. The director of the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and Inception, this time will try his hand at a warmovie. Dunkirk features an impressive cast, and knowing Nolan, it will also have a very intelligent script as well as some impressive action sequences. It is going to be interesting to see how this will turn out, as this is an entirely different movie than what he usually directs. However it will turn out I will definitely be there in the front row to check it out.

 

Alien: Covenant

Ridley Scott returns with this sequel to his Alien preview, Prometheus. No trailer has been released yet, but that probably won’t be much longer. Prometheus was a disappointment for a lot of people, as many were expecting a tense and claustrophobic horror movie. I loved Prometheus myself, and found it to be a very cool looking science fiction movie. This sequel however promises a return to the original concept of the Alien franchise, and that definitely sounds very awesome indeed. The first poster for the movie is very effective and pretty much says it all.

image

And that’s it for this first part of the movies I am looking forward to for next year. The second part for this series I will be posting later this week, and you can also expect a post about a few new series that I am looking forward to for next year.

So, are any of the movies featured above also on your list? If not, what are you looking forward to for next year? Let me know in the comments section below, and as always thank you for reading!