Tag Archives: Sci-fi

Knights of Sidonia Season 2, Anime tv series (2015)

I watched the first season of Knights of Sidonia quite a while back. (You can find my review for it here). While the series started off pretty slow, and was definitely not without it’s flaws, it eventually started to grow on me. Now recently D from Dtalksanime has started on this show, and I thought this would be as good a time as any to start watching season 2. First though, if you have not yet subscribed to the fantastic blog of D, do that first. They have great reviews on anime, post that are always a joy to read, and not only that they are great to talk to, so seriously what is there not to like: subscribe….now. So for those of you who are not exactly up to speed as to what this series is about I will give a very short discription. Obviously this anime takes place in the future. Humanity is on the brink of extinction fighting an alien race called the Gauna. A gigantic colony ship called Sidonia, is pretty much all that remains of the human race. Think Battlestar Galactica, but with subtle differences.

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The second season of this anime continues the story that began in season 1, and picks up almost right after the end of the first season. Garde pilot Nagate Tanikaze is out with his group about to engage a new and gigantic Gauna, that threatens to destroy the Sidonia. But just when the fight is about to start a new enemy enters the scene. As if one Gauna is not enough, two are more than a handful. It is right at that moment that something strange happens. The second Gauna engages the first one, and destroys it completely. Utterly baffled by this strange behaviour, the crew of Sidonia don’t know what to make of this. Is this new Gauna friend or foe? The answer to this question lies within Sidonia itself, and might hold the key to winning the war against the Gauna once and for all.

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So…Knights of Sidonia season 2. Where to begin? The first season of this anime was often criticised for it’s lack of character development. You never quite felt an emotional attachment to them, and that makes it hard to get invested in a series. With this second season it almost seems like they are trying to remedy that flaw, as the series spents much more time with the characters themselves, and focusses less on action. This would not be a bad thing were it not for the fact that this often resulted in a few pretty boring episodes, where not much of anything happened. I don’t mind slow, if it is going somewhere, but often there were just some things in the series that I felt could have been left behind.

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The series shines in the episodes that featured action, and it was during those episodes that I really enjoyed it. There were a couple of very cool Mecha fight sequences, especially during the last few episodes of the series. In the end though I found this second season not quite as good as the first one. The pacing was at times simply to slow, and I felt my mind starting to wander off, which is usually not a good sign. I had hoped that this season would answer every question that was still left unanswered, but the series ends without a resolution. There is still no official confirmation that this series will get a third season. But I honestly wonder if I will even bother watching it when it does get a release. I was pretty disappointed by this second season. Still, there are enough moments that do make it a worthwhile watch, especially if you liked the first season. Just be prepared to not see anything really surprising though.

I give Knights of Sidonia season 2 a 6 out of 10 score.

Caliban’s War, a science fiction novel by James S.A. Corey (2012)

There are a lot of well known science fiction franchises out there. Ofcourse everybody has probably heard about Star Wars and Star Trek. Unless, to use a science fiction term, you have been living offworld. But in the world of science fiction novels, there are so many well written stories, that in many ways they sometimes rival these established franchises. A couple of years back I came across the novel Leviathan’s Wake written by James S.A. Corey (which is actually a pen name of two writers). It set up an epic science fiction universe, with a great storyline, and fantastic characters. The first novel paved the way for the sequels, and to date 6 novels have been published in what has become known as The Expanse.

Caliban’s War is the second novel and pretty much picks up the story where the first part left off. On Mars we meet a female supersoldier called Bobbie. When her entire platoon gets killed by a monstrous creature, she is the sole survivor. It seems the deadly protomolecule, that was believed to have been killed, has somehow managed to survive. But who is behind this? With both the Earth and Mars government on the brink of all out war, it is up to Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante, heroes of the first novel, to find out the truth. A fact that is easier said than done. With a massive conspiracy and Holden’s own fears threatening the survival of the entire universe, time is running out….for everyone.

Caliban’s War has been a page turner from start to finish. Where Leviathan’s Wake started off somewhat slow, this book pretty much comes running out of the gates from page 1, and does not stop until the finish. A book such as this can only work if you can feel what is at stake and a establish a bond with the characters. And in that regard the book succeeds on both counts. Jim Holden and the rest of the crew of his ship, were already great in part one. But in this book we get to know them even better, and as such care about them even more. But also the new characters, most notably Bobbie and the foulmouthed, old but incredibly strongwilled lady Avasarala, were very worthy additions.

What I liked about this novel is the threat that looms over everything. You constantly feel a sense of doom that there is something very wrong, and that not everything is as cut and dry as it may seem. Without spoiling the ending for you, expect a massive cliffhanger that will leave you hungry for more. Luckily that more is already there, as you can keep on reading by checking out part 3, Abaddon’s Gate. And if you are not into reading, the books have been turned into a television series called The Expanse. I have yet to see this one for myself, but from what I have heard it is supposedly very good. I highly recommend Caliban’s War for everyone who loves good science fiction, with great characters and a touch of conspiracy.

I give Caliban’s War a 9 out of 10 score.

The Terminator, American/Uk Movie (1984)

It almost feels like I am starting a new trend here on my blog, reviewing classic Schwarzenegger movies, but I can assure that this is just pure coincidence. Having watched Predator two days ago, I also found myself drawn back to the Terminator franchise. It was just me being lazy on a sunday, flipping through movies, and deciding that I was just in the mood for another film that just seriously never gets old. What is amazing though is that this film already dates back to 1984. I really am getting old.

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Sarah Connor is a waitress at a diner who lives a pretty normal but not very exciting life. However she will soon get more excitement in her life than she signed on for. When women who are also called Sarah Connor are getting killed, she begins to get the feeling that she is being followed. She finds refuge in a dance club while waiting for the police to arrive. But then a huge individual aims a gun at her, and just as he is about to pull the trigger, the big guy gets shot by a young man. Introducing himself as Kyle Reese, he tells her to come with him, if she wants to live. And not a moment too soon, because at that moment the man who almost killed her is getting up and starts the pursuit. Escaping together with Kyle, he tells her that the person that is following them is not a man, but a machine, a cybernetic organism called the Terminator. He and the Terminator come from a future where mankind is almost wiped out by an automated defense system called Skynet. Sarah ofcourse does not believe him, but as the night continues she is soon forced to reconsider. Meanwhile the Terminator continues the hunt, and it absolutely will not stop….ever….until she is dead….

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Now unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, it is almost impossible to have never heard of this classic movie. It created one of the most iconic oneliners ever put to film “I’ll be back”. It pretty much became Arnold Schwarzenegger’s trademark. Now what to say about a film such as this. The term classic is an understatement. It really redefined the action movie genre at the time. It featured amazing special effects (even though they are somewhat dated now), and terrific action sequences that these days you hardly see anymore. But ofcourse another thing that was so great about this film were the characters.

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The Terminator itself, played by Arnold, could not have been cast any better. It is the role that made him an instant superstar, and honestly nobody could have done a better job than him. Kyle Reese, played by one of the most underrated actors ever, Michael Biehn, is also one of those characters you will never forget. Heroic in every sense of the word you feel an instant sympathy for the man who travels through time to save the woman he loves. And then ofcourse there is Sarah herself, played by Linda Hamilton, who grows from being a simple waitress into the saviour of mankind. Great stuff.

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Now seven years later, the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day came out. Technically superior, it is almost always being hailed as the better movie. I disagree however. As much fun as the sequel was, I think the original Terminator had a much more gripping and tense atmosphere. Throughout the entire film, you felt a sense of desperation and hopelesness, much more so than in part 2. Unfortunately though, the franchise is now pretty much dead. Terminator Genisys, released in 2015, became a box office disaster and because of that any future plans have been put on hold. With the rights now back in director James Cameron’s hands I still have hope though. So who knows: maybe he will be back. (Oh come on, you knew that last line was coming right ?).

If you have yet to see this movie, track it down ASAP. Yes, some of the effects are now a bit dated, but is is still and always will be a fantastic film, and one that every scifi and action movielover should see at least once in his or her life.

I give the Terminator a 10 out of 10 score.

 

Predator, American movie (1987)

Everybody who likes monster movies probably has a favorite one. Looking back at the past, there have been so many good ones it is hard to pick a favorite. But for me, the choice has never been hard. At least not after seeing the monster in what some consider to be one of the best action films ever made (myself included). It was a film that was made in the 80’s and featured a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in his golden age of movies. The name of that film was Predator.

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In Predator a group of special commandos led by  the battlehardened Dutch are sent on a rescue mission deep in the Central American jungle. A group of hostages have been taken by guerrillas, and it is up to Dutch and his group to get them out. At least that is what they are being told. It soon becomes clear, that they are not the first ones who have been sent out on this mission. When they come across the butchered remains of a former rescue party, things are beginning to get very weird. How is it possible that a group of trained soldiers can be caught so completely by surprise? And why would a group of guerrillas skin people and leave them hanging in the jungle?  Dutch and his men are about to find out the horrible answers to these questions. A thing that is not of this world has made the jungle his own personal hunting ground, and the hunters will soon become the hunted.

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There are certain movies that you have seen so many times, and that still manage to entertain every single one of those times. Predator is one of those films. This is 80’s action film making at it’s best. Schwarzenegger is superb in his role as Dutch and delivers some of the best oneliners out of all his movies. (Who can forget the classic “Get to the chopppppaaaaaa” ). But the real star of the film is the Predator. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the monster and I almost felt my jaw hitting the ground. Yes Alien is cool, I will not dispute that, but for me Predator will always be the favorite. The creature is just simply put: badass and the ultimate cool guy.

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Ofcourse the story in this film is almost non-existent, but seriously who cares about that, when a movie delivers this much tension and terrific action. Accompanied by a fantastic score made by composer Alan Silvestri, there are so many scenes in this movie that are incredible, that it is hard to pick a favorite. Even though this film is now 30 years old, it has withstood the test of time very well. If somehow you have missed out on this film back in the day, track it down if you can. It is a classic action movie, that everyone who has even a remote interest in action films should have seen at least once in his life. Next year we will get a new Predator movie, sadly without Arnold reprising his role. I highly doubt it will be as good as this one though.

I give Predator a 9 out of 10 score.

 

Special Features Presents: Childhood Cartoons

A few months ago I published a post about Childhood Movies (you can find it here). It featured a lot of my favorite movies from my own childhood, and that I really enjoyed back in those days (and to be perfectly honest, I still enjoy watching them). But one of the really great things of the 80’s were the fantastic cartoons. I remember getting up early on saturday morning, switching on the television, and just sitting back watching all of your favorite cartoons back to back. So I thought it would be nice to make a post that brings us back to those days, and feature some of my alltime favorite 80’s cartoons. Most of these are now available on dvd boxed sets, to relive your childhood. The thing that may surprise you the most when you rewatch these great cartoons, is the amount of stuff you still remember from certain episodes. Even though most of these are almost 30 years old now. So without further ado, here they are counting down to number one.

8. Gi-Joe

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Gi-Joe was my least favorite cartoon. The story about a special group of soldiers fighting against the evil forces of Cobra, was for me never as much fun as the other series on this list. It was a highly popular show though, and the toyline also made a lot of money. Still, I did watch the series, when nothing else was on, and kind of enjoyed it at times. It certainly featured some great characters, and a cool villain in the form of Cobra Commander.

7. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

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One of the cartoons that probably everyone who grew up in the 80’s remembers. From the powerful theme song, to the fantastic characters, this cartoon is a true gem. Taking place in a fantasy world called Eternia, the most powerful man in the universe has to protect the planet from the evil Skeletor. This series was incredibly popular, and even spawned a live action movie featuring Dolph Lundgren in the role of He-man.

6. She-ra Princess of Power

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Because of the success of He-man a spinoff series was made which featured his sister She-ra. And honestly I liked this series even better than He-man. Also taking place in a fantasy world, She-ra had a great nemesis in the form of Hordak, who actually was once the mentor of Skeletor. The series was a bit lighter than He-man, and featured some great humour as well. There were, ofcourse, also a lot of guest appearances by her brother He-man.

5. M.A.S.K.

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Mask was a truly terrific cartoon. Matt Tracker who always lead the mission and the hero of the show had assembled a team of men to fight against the evil organisation of Venom. Equipped with special masks that gave them all kinds of powers, and transformable vehicles, every episode was packed with action and featured some memorable characters and some great storylines. Unfortunately in the second season of the series, the storylines were gone, and instead it became a pretty weird series where the heroes had to race against Venom in order to win the day. Still, I have fond memories of this great cartoon, and I still enjoy watching it to this day.

4. Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

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I think this series is one of the first truly great science fiction epics I have seen in my life. Even though most of the episodes could be watched on their own, it had a storyline that progressed throughout the series. The hero of the show Jayce, went in search for his missing father Audric together with his friends. Opposing them were terrible monsters that were mistakenly created by his father in an experiment that could have prevented starvation, called the Monster Minds. Led by the terrifying Saw Boss, the creatures stopped at nothing to prevent Jayce from finding his father. A very underrated and in my opinion still utterly fantastic cartoon.

3. Inhumanoids

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Now this was a very shortlived cartoon, which, when looking back on it today I still find very strange how this could ever have been found suitable for children. The series featured truly terrifying monsters that preyed on the human race. Opposing them were the Earth Corps and a few benovelent creatures. With a narrative that progressed from episode to episode, this was one of the more unusual cartoons from the 80’s. This series is still very enjoyable to watch, even though it has only a few episodes.

2. Transformers

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One of the most popular cartoon series of the 80’s it will always be one of my alltime favorites. The story about the two robotic races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, is one of the few franchises that is even today still very well known. And ofcourse the toys that the series was based on are still incredible to look at, and are highly coveted by collectors. When the cartoon was cancelled in America, the show continued in Japan. Also known as the Takara series, it continued the storyline,and went in a very different (but no less enjoyable) direction. Transformers will always be a fun watch, and one of the true highlights from my childhood.

1. Robotech

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My number one series, and one I have been a fan of for more than 30 years now, is called Robotech. An Americanised version of three totally unrelated Japanese animeseries, it featured three generations of humans that had to deal with the threat of an alien race. With main characters dying, a storyline that was truly powerful (especially the first segment of the show: the Macross saga), it was a unique series. Robotech has a very strong and loyal fanbase, and that is the reason that Robotech still lives after all these years. This year will see the release of a new comic book series, and a live action movie is supposedly still in the works. If you have yet to see this magnificent series, try to track it down in any way you can. It is an awesome cartoon, especially if you like Mecha anime shows.

Final thoughts

And that brings us to the end of this post and this trip down memorylane. Now ofcourse this list is not complete. There are a lot of cartoons from the 80’s that I have not featured, such as Visionaries and Inspector Gadget to name a few. That is not to say that those were not fun to watch, but I did not find them good enough to include in my personal top 8 shows. These are the series that I enjoyed the most, and the rest just fell short.

So that brings me to you. What childhood cartoons did you watch? Are any of these included on the list above? Are there any others you might have enjoyed, or maybe you have never heard of a few that are included above. Let me know in the comments section. As always thank you for reading, see you on the next post!

 

 

 

Steins;Gate,Anime tv series (2011)

Timetravelling. From movies such as Back to the Future and The Terminator, it has always been a concept that is endlessly fascinating. And why not? Would it not be incredibly awesome if one day the concept would become a reality? And where would you go? Would you travel to the past and correct certain mistakes that you have made ? Or would you head into the future and see what your life would be like there? Whatever choice you make, it will never be entirely without consequences. Who is to say that correcting a past mistake might not end up resulting in a future that is even worse? And when you already know what might happen in the future, would that not take the fun out of living your life? A lot of movies that deal with timetravelling deal with questions such as these. The highly rated and fanfavorite Anime series Steins;Gate is definitely no exception to this rule.

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When Steins;Gate starts we meet up with the strange and pretty goofy character Rintaro Okabe. He sees himself as a “mad scientist” and pretty much can’t stop talking about that fact. Seeing conspiracies everywhere, he also runs a labarotory in his appartment together with his friends the loveable Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. One day Rintaro attends a conference about time travel, a subject that has become a complete obsession for him. A firm believer in the fact that this can really be achieved it is not long after that he and his fellow lab members find out by accident that there definitely is a truth to this fact. Unfortunately however, Rintaro and his friends are about to find out that playing with time has it’s consequences. Ironically enough the imagined conspiracies Okabe has been afraid of all his life, will soon become a reality. And the lives of everyone he loves, as well as the fate of the world itself will hang in the balance….

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Steins;Gate has been recommended to me be my so many people that is was a very hard show to resist. Featuring time travel, one of my favorite science fiction concepts, already had me interested in it. Seeing the very high ratings this show has received over the years, I expected a lot from this series. And…..I am sorry to say that these expectations were not met. The first half of this series is just incredibly slow. I don’t mind slow series at all, but with all the quirky and crazy things happening in the beginning it was at times hard to stick with it. But I already knew that, as everyone kept saying that the series would redeem itself in the second part. By the time I had reached episode 12 the series really did change. It became very dark, and it was almost as if you were watching an entirely different show.

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Although the second part certainly had a lot of amazing twists, and some very clever timetravelling concepts, I still could not get into it enough for me to truly enjoy the series. One thing I did enjoy though were the characters. Rintaro reminds me a lot of Mel Gibson’s character from the briljant movie Conspiracy Theory. Completely nuts at times, but still a lot of fun to watch. The same goes for his childhood friend Mayuri, who is simply adorable, and one of those characters that you just instantly care about. The animation style and music also really fit this series. Even though there are certainly shows out there that have a higher level of animation, it just seemed right for this show.

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The plot of this series is clever, but because of the sometimes weird humor in the series, I often had a hard time wondering what this series wanted itself to be. As a comedy it certainly worked at times, and there were also quite a few episodes in the second half of the series that had me on the edge of my seat. Overall though the series was a bit too slow for my tastes. I have no regrets watching this, and it really is one of those series that does keep sticking around in your mind, which I guess is a good thing . Maybe in a few months time I will rewatch this series and might even rate it somewhat higher. For now though I can not help but feel slightly disappointed by the show after the incredible amount of hype this has received. As with everything, this is just a matter of opinion, so certainly don’t take my word on it alone. Go and judge this series for yourself, but do take your TIME for it though…..

I give Steins;Gate a 7 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: My five favorite Superbowl trailers (2017)

Earlier this week one of America’s biggest events was held: The Superbowl. Now I pretty much don’t care about sports. Yes I admit it, I am lazy that way. I at times get tired just by thinking about sports. For me the Superbowl is just about one thing: the release of some cool new trailers for upcoming movies and tv series. Following below, counting down from number five to one, are the trailers that I was excited about the most this year. Enjoy!

5) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Now, actually I was pretty surprised that this one ended up on my list. The movies for this franchise went downhill pretty fast after the first one was released, but admittedly this trailer looks like the films might finally be heading in the right direction again. The trailer features some very cool looking stuff, and honestly I am cautiously optimistic for it.

 

4) Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was one of those movies I went to not knowing what to expect from it. And in the end I was completely blown away by it. It was fun, pure and simple fun. This new trailer promises more of that same fun, and I can’t wait for it’s release later this year.

 

3) The Fate of the Furious

Yes, I know, the Fast and the furious franchise is getting crazier with each installment that is being released. The action is so over the top though, that I can’t help but enjoy these movies for what they are: big budget popcorn movies. And there is nothing wrong with that. This new trailer shows that the action will be even more insane this time around.

 

2) Ghost in the Shell

From all the trailers featured in this post, this movie is the closest to being released. And I can’t help it, but I think it looks awesome. The trailer really captures the spirit of the Anime in so many ways. Ofcourse I have no idea if the movie itself will do the same, but I do know that I am looking forward to it immensely. Keeping my fingers crossed for it.

 

1) Stranger Things Season 2

This was the trailer I was looking forward to the most, and it did not disappoint. For those of you who have yet to see this series, you can read my review for it right here . This was the best tv series I have seen last year, and this short teaser let me have goosebumps all over again. It will be very hard to even reach the same level as the incredible first season, but this teaser already has me excited that they might actually pull this off. The only downside? We have to wait until Halloween for the release.

 

So there you have them, my five picks for the best trailers of the Superbowl. Ofcourse there were numerous other trailers released. So let me know in the comments section below what your favorite trailers were. Thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

Ghost in the Shell, Japanese (animated) movie (1995)

In a few weeks time, the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell will make it’s appearance in the movie theatre. Steeped in controversy, because of the “whitewashing” of it’s principal character, there has been a lot of debate amongst anime fans of whether or not this movie will be any good. Honestly, I am not going to adress that issue, as I think there has been enough talk about it. I do have to say that I am quietly optimistic for it. The trailers that have been released for it are seriously awesome, and Scarlett Johansson really looks the part in her role as the Major. Ofcourse throughout movie history there have been so many good trailers for a film that in the the end turned out to be utter rubbish, that this really does not say much. Still I am keeping my fingers crossed for it, and am looking forward to the end result. One would almost forget that the original Ghost in the Shell animated movie, is now 22 years old. With the live action adapatation lurking on the horizon, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to revisit this classic movie.

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Ghost in the Shell takes place in the year 2029. Humanity has changed a lot and has become dependant on cybernetic bodies that can access a vast network that pretty much connects the entire world. In this very dark and bleak world, Major Motoko Kusanagi, a female cyborg together with her partner Batou are part of an organisation called Section 9. Section 9 is entrusted with the public security, and receive numerous missions to take out those who threaten the safety of humanity. When a mysterious hacker known only as the Puppet Master makes an appearance, Motoko is entrusted with the case. Just who is the Puppet Master, and what does he want? Kusanagi is about to find out the answers to these questions, and the truth might be more incredible than she first expects it to be. It all comes down to one thing in the end: what makes someone human?

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Ghost in the Shell is an animated master piece that everyone who even remotely likes Anime should see at least once in his or her life. Even though this movie is now 22 years old, it has not become dated even one bit. The animation is still absolutely breathtaking. Crisp visuals, with amazing backgrounds make this a movie that you want to watch over and over again, if only to spot things you might have missed the other times. The storyline in the movie, might not be for everyone. It is multilayered, and has so many different aspects to it that makes it at times hard to follow. Even repeated viewings might not answer every question you might have. But that is also part of it’s appeal, as this is a complex puzzle, that is a lot of fun to figure out.

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The heart of this movie though is the character of Major Motoko Kusanagi. She has been and always shall be my alltime favorite anime character. I just love the way how she can both be seriously badass, and incredibly vulnerable at the same time, as she struggles with trying to find her own humanity. And it is a very fascinating struggle to watch. This review would not be complete without mentioning the absolutely amazing soundtrack by the hand of master composer Kenji Kawai. The haunting opening theme sets the tone for the movie, and still sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. The music is a very important aspect of this film, and the movie is not the same without it.

After all these years it was an absolute joy to revisit this classic anime movie. It is a film that still impresses, and one that I highly recommend. Sure it isn’t perfect, but it comes pretty close to it.

I give Ghost in the Shell a 9 out of 10 score.

Transformers: Age of Extinction, American/Chinese Movie (2014)

Growing up as a kid in the 80’s was a lot of fun. Especially with all the cool toys that were around back in those days. From Gi-Joe to He-man, every kid had a favorite toyline. For me it has always been the Transformers. There was just something incredibly cool in the way you could transform a truck into a robot. The basis for these toys were ofcourse the cartoons that aired on saturday mornings. I look back upon those days with fondness, and even today I still enjoy the franchise immensely. In 2007 the Transformers finally got made into a live action movie directed by Michael Bay. Reactions from the fans were mixed, but most were pretty negative saying the action director had absolutely no respect for the original source material. This year the fifth installment will see the light of day, again directed by Bay. I thought that was a good opportunity to revisit the fourth movie released in 2014.

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Transformers Age of Extinction is set five years after the events of the previous movie. It is a dark time for the Autobots as they are being hunted by the humans that they have been trying to protect all these years. A Black Ops government unit is in charge of these hunts, aided by a sinister robotic bounty hunter called Lockdown. Optimus Prime, badly wounded, has so far managed to escape the fate of his comrades and is in hiding. A mechanic called Cade Yeager comes across Optimus, and not knowing he is a Transformer, takes him home. Just when he is about to start repairs, Optimus reveals himself to Cade. Yeager convinces Optimus that he is a friend, and means him no harm. However, it is not soon until all hell breaks loose, when the Black Ops team arrives on the scene. Forced to flee, Cade and Optimus must try and survive, and find the remaining Autobots. There are worse things going on though as Prime’s oldest enemy might not be dead, and the survival of the entire human species hangs in the balance…..

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If you have seen the previous three Transformer movies you pretty much know what to expect in this one. A lot of explosions, slowmotion shots, carchases, in short a typical Bay movie. As said, a lot of Transformer fans hate what Michael has done with this beloved franchise. I pretty much see these movies as a reimagining of the cartoon series of old and have not had any problems with them. I like them for what they are, big blockbuster popcorn movies, with lots of cool special effect sequences, and nice action. Sure, storywise they leave a lot of things to be desired, but honestly that is not what you go and see these movies for anyway.

The biggest draw of this fourth one, was the appearance of the fan favorite Dinobots, and in that regard the movie did not disappoint. There was something seriously awesome in the way Optimus Prime charged into combat on the back of Grimlock. The bountyhunter Lockdown was one of the coolest robots of the entire movies series to date, and provided some great fight sequences. Actionwise there is again enough to enjoy, and in that regard Bay pretty much never lets you down. That said though, this movie is way too long. Running close to three hours, the movie should have had some things cut from it, which would have benefited it in the end. The cringeworthy humor from the previous films is somewhat toned down, but has unfortunately not disappeared completely. Acting wise Mark Wahlberg in his role of Cade Yeager does a decent enough job to provide a good character. Stanley Tucci, always a very good actor no matter what role he is cast in, also is a welcome addition to this movie.

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In the end this was, in my opinion, one of the weaker installments of the Transformers movie franchise. Don’t get me wrong, there is still enough to enjoy if you liked the previous parts. It is pretty much the length of the movie that for me caused me to like it less than the other three movies. Supposedly the fifth movie wil be the last part to be directed by Bay, but this is something that he has now said so many times, that it is hard to believe. I for one would not mind seeing another director take the helm, and see if more can be done with this franchise. At least more than meets the eye…..

I give Transformers: Age of Extinction a 7 out of 10 score.

A wind named Amnesia, Japanese (Animated) movie, 1993

Memories. They pretty much are a part of our everyday lives. I would even go so far as to say they also define a lot of who we are. Some memories you will cherish forever: your first kiss, the first time you saw a particular movie or countless other happy events from your life. There might also be memories that you would rather forget and could live without. Whatever those might be, I think it would be even more dreadful to lose your entire memory. All the things you have experienced in your life, gone forever, not knowing who you are anymore, or your friends, and everything that is you. It is this frightening prospect that is the subject for the movie I am about to review.

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In A wind named Amnesia, a powerful storm sweeps across the world, causing the entire human race to lose all their memories. Everyday things like flying a plane, driving a car, and even talking, all of it is gone in an instant, causing society to collapse overnight. In the ruined wasteland of America, a young man called Wataru travels in search for answers. I am not going to say how Wataru still has certain abilities (that would be spoiling things for you), but just suffice it to say that he does. One day he comes across a mysterious woman called Sofia, who seems to know a lot more about the catastrophy that has befallen the Earth. Just who is Sofia, and why does she know so much? Pursued by a relentless robotic unit called a Guardian, Sofia and Wataru encounter a number of people that try to survive in the ruined world. The question is will Wataru find the answers he is looking for, or will the Guardian end it all before he finds out the truth….

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It is funny how time catches up to everything. This movie takes place in the year 1999, but I really have no, erm, memories about an event like this taking place in that year. That said this is a very good movie. It is actually one of the first Japanese animated movies I had ever seen, and it was always the storyline that drew me in for this one. I think it is very original, and it really shows what would happen if everyone were to forget everything. And with a frightening disease such as Alzheimer’s it is not altogether unrealistic. The animation, even though dating back almost 25 years now, still looks amazingly good.

Even though there is action in this movie, and also some mild fanservice, this film is more of a drama than an action movie. As such, there are certain points in the film, where it slows down, and that might not be for everyone. Still, I wasn’t bored by this movie for a single moment, and it was very cool to see it back again after so many years. If you like post apocalyptic films, with an original story, and don’t mind seeing somewhat older animation, I highly recommend this one. It is one of those films that will remain in your memory…..forever.

I give A wind named Amnesia a 9 out of 10 score.