Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

10) Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

I love Harry Potter. These books were my childhood and I loved the movies but this feels like a cash in. Franchises are in at the moment and who ever owns the movie rights to Harry Potter has realised there’s lots more money to make here.

I have some hope because Rowling’s involved so it should be decent, but I don’t like Eddie Redmayne that much. I think he’s way over rated. Although I kind of liked him in Jupiter Ascending because his performance was so over the top and entertaining.

I want to like this so much and I just want more Harry Potter. There are so many stories to tell in that world and I’m disappointed that we are getting another lead who’s the typical lead for pretty much all Hollywood movies.

 

Batman v Superman

9)Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This is another movie that I really want to like but I have a feeling that I won’t.

Mostly that’s down to Zac Snyder directing and the choices he makes. Like hiring an inexperienced actress to play Wonder Woman based on what she looks like rather than talent. I’ve got nothing against Gal Gadot, she’s an actress and this is her job, and I don’t like all the body shaming that went on when she was hired. I think the criticism should be on the choices Zak Snyder is making. Wonder woman is an icon and one of the most well known female super heroes ever. They should have got an actress who was really experienced to play her. Like they got Ben Affleck to play Batman. Instead they get a woman who’s not done a lot of acting and you know they hired her because she’s hot or pretty or sexy or what ever. When that shouldn’t be the basis for hiring the actress to play wonder woman.

And if they hadn’t made other sexist choices I probably wouldn’t be as sure about that but we still haven’t gotten a female led super hero movie where someone actually puts effort in to make a good movie. And that’s a criticism levelled at marvel as well.

But this is meant to be why I’m excited for this movie. Well all of the above is why this isn’t higher on my list. And this is only the second movie in the DC cinematic universe so they don’t have my trust yet.

What I’m excited for is Batman v Superman. I’m sceptical about how much I’ll like the movie but even the trailers are getting me excited. With Batman promising to make Superman bleed, and Superman destroying the bat-mobile just by letting it crash into him.

I’m hoping that even if I hate the overall movie there will be lots of awesome moments that I can get excited about. It doesn’t matter how many times I explain this movie to my dad, he still doesn’t believe Batman can fight Superman.

 

Suicide Squad

8)Suicide Squad

This is higher up my list than Batman v Superman because it’s not Zac Snyder directing but we still get Batman and the Joker. Add to that Harley Quinn and Will Smith playing one of them (I don’t know the DC universe that well). This looks exactly like my sort of movie. I’ve bought some of the comics so I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

 

Finding Dory

7)Finding Dory

I hope this won’t be one of those occasions where Dory was a good side character but only tolerable in small doses. A lot of people felt that way about Minions and while I liked the movie I get where they’re coming from.

I liked Finding Nemo but I don’t love it the way other people seem to and I’m pining all my hopes for this movie on one character. I love Ellen, and Pixar doesn’t usually make bad movies as long as you don’t count Cars.

 

Star Wars: Rogue One

6)Star Wars: Rogue One

After seeing The Force Awakens I’m fully on board with Star Wars in a way that I wasn’t before. Now I’m invested in these movies being good.

They’ve finally got characters I can relate to and care about. I don’t know all the details and things that happened in the other movies because I can’t remember and rewatching them isn’t a priority. But even I understand what stealing the Death Star plans means to the Star Wars universe.

I hope that some of the anthology movies explore different parts of the universe and get away from this one part.

There must be so many stories you could tell. I know they’ve decided to make all the books not canon anymore (as if it matters what they say, I’ve got my own head canon for most things I watch and get all fannish about so really that seems like a giant waste of time trying to dictate to me what is and isn’t canon) but there’s got to be some good stories in all those books.

I’m not that interested in a Han Solo movie, that’s exactly what we need, keep the Star Wars universe small and go back to it being about white straight cis gendered able bodied men. That list has a lot of adjectives they should choose to change at least one in their main characters.

 

Ghostbusters

5)Ghostbusters

A sci-fi movie with all female leads who are also really funny. I don’t know how they can screw this up to make me not like it.

All I can say is, it’s about time. About time that women were recognised as a legitimate part of the audience who have money they can spend. About time that a female lead is surrounded by other women and not just men. About time that all the whiny idiots get ignored and people realise that, like when women go see movies about men and can relate on some level to them because we are all human, so to can men go see movies about women and relate because women are also human.

All the controversy surrounding this movie is ridiculous and irrational but then no one ever said misogynists were rational.

The first Ghostbusters movie isn’t being taken away. You can still see it. And don’t worry the amount of male leads in the movies is still far ahead of the number of female leads. Just look at this list. I’d say most of them have male leads.

Although Finding Dory has Dory replacing Nemo so maybe they’ve got a point. Don’t worry though it’ll still be a few more years before we’ve replaced all the male parts with female ones.

 

Captain America: Civil War

4)Civil War

The last Captain America movie was so good and I want to like this one so much but the civil war story line in the comics was terrible. It was all over the place and inconsistent between different books. It was also when I stopped reading comics for a while.

I have mixed feelings about this because it can’t be the same story line as in the comics. None of them have secret identities so they’ve got to frame the issue a different way.

Also in the comics it was Iron man who was meant to be right. The pro registration side was the right side and cap was on the wrong side. But due to crappy management of the entire thing it didn’t across that way.

So it worries me that they’ve got the civil war story line in a Captain America movie. I’m not much of a fan of Steve Rogers. I hated Captain America: the first avenger and I didn’t much like him in Avengers Assemble either. He grew on me a little bit in the Winter Soldier. But now they’re pitting him against Tony Stark who’s one of my favourite super heroes and I don’t want to watch a movie where they make him the villain. He won’t be the main villain but he could be one of the bad guys.
Despite all that I love the marvel cinematic universe and I want to see what they’re going to do with it. I trust them enough to be fair to all the characters (unless it’s a female character then you’re screwed). And after seeing the trailer where Steve and Bucky fight Tony and Tony cradles a broken Rhodey I’ve got to admit I’m getting excited.

The directors are the same guys who did Winter Soldier and who are going to be doing Avengers: Infinity Wars part 1 and 2. So I have a lot invested in liking this movie.

 

The Conjuring 2

3)The conjuring 2

The first one was so good. A horror movie where I actually care about the characters shouldn’t be something different and new but so many horror movies have awful characters and I can’t wait for them to die. So there’s no tension and it just becomes a guessing game of who’s going to get it first.

The Conjuring actually had characters I liked and where as most horror movie franchises seem to be based on the villains (Freddie kruger, Jason, Michael Myers) these are based around the Warrens who are the heroes.

It’s a good basis for a franchise and I can’t think of any other horror movies that have done this. There’s scream but Sidney doesn’t go out looking for serial killers to fight. They find her.

Anabelle was a huge disappointment and a giant step back for the franchise but there were so many people in the cinema when I went to see it and that’s unusual for a horror movie.

 

X-men: Apocalypse

2)X-men: Apocalypse

Days of future past is one of the best super hero movies ever so I’ve got really high expectations, especially with Bryan Singer back as the Director. Jennifer Lawrence is back as Mystique and it’s Hugh Jackman’s last time as wolverine in an X-men movie.

I’m so excited for the apocalypse story line. X-men was what got me into comics. I used to watch the cartoon and then one day I saw an X-men comic in amongst the magazines. I didn’t buy them consistently until I was older and had a part time job but I was always on the lookout for X-men stuff.

Apocalypse is such a good villain and so far Bryan Singer hasn’t made a bad X-men movie for some inexplicable reason, despite making some really bad movies.

 

Deadpool

1)Deadpool

He’s one of my favourite super heroes and I didn’t think we’d ever get a movie about him because it’s Deadpool. He’s violent and a lot of what he says isn’t for kids so to get a good Deadpool movie you need it to be more adult and that cuts out all the kids they want to make money out of.

Blade is the only adult super hero movie I can think of and it’s a bit old now. So this will be refreshing to have a different sort of super hero movie for a change because I doubt the rest of them will be anything unique.

The director has also confirmed that Deadpool is pansexual so this will be the first super hero movie with a queer main character. At all. I’m not just talking about being the main title hero. I can’t think of any queer character in any super hero movies. Or science fiction movies. Or fantasy movies (I’m going to do some research. There’s got to be one). So it’s kind of a big deal.

Of course he’s got a girlfriend in the trailer so I don’t know how much he’ll be expressing his sexuality. I doubt we’ll get much, if anything that will make it impossible for other people to deny it. That’s how I judge representation now. If it’s only implied and can be denied by some bigot then it’s not good enough. We’re in 2016 it’s time to stop pandering to the bigots.

The only thing that’s making me apprehensive is if his sexuality is a joke. Because that seems to be the only time when sexuality, other than heterosexuality, is allowed to be expressed. To make the male straight audience uncomfortable and so they laugh.

Can this movie not be homophobic? Or biphobic? Or panphobic? It’s really not a lot to ask.

I’d like to come out the other side of this movie not feeling like shit. It can be a bad movie (I’ll probably still enjoy it) but can it not be homophobic. They’ve got my hopes up by actually being aware that other sexualities exist beyond straight. I so want to like this movie.

They’ve got the marketing for this movie so right. They obviously understand Deadpool in a way that the creators of X-men Origins: Wolverine didn’t.

Review: Starve #2

Story:

“The scathing look at foodie culture and celebrity chef fandom continues. Think Anthony Bourdain in a Transmet world.”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Starve #2

Review:

The environmental and criminal excess message gets a little more heavy handed this issue as he tracks down a fish that’s thought to be extinct, and if you can find it, costs 100grand per pound. So not only is it exclusively for the wealthy they’re also flaunting their wealth to people who probably can’t afford to eat on a reality TV show.

It does raise some interesting points though. Like why would the wealthy continue to ignore an environmental problem that eventually will effect them just so they can continue to spend more and more money to pretend it’s not happening.

It’s again something that’s going on now and is kind of fascinating. How can you ignore a problem like that? I guess some of it is blissful ignorance but in this day and age it’s hard not to be aware. That’s something you have to work at. You have to shut your mind down at any evidence. And I guess it’s a bit of fatalism. Loads of people think the world’s going to end anyway so I guess you might as well die comfortable.

I just don’t understand how you can be aware of a problem and not help solve it if you are in the position to do so. That’s probably why I’m finding this comic so fascinating.
So Gavin and Sheldon go out drinking thinking they’ve got a lot of time to the next competition but the chef in charge hates Gavin and changes the times. Somewhere between issue 1 and issue 2 Gavin made it to the finals.

We also meet another chef this issue who does what she does for the love of it and not to get rich or famous and Gavin considers joining her as she makes him an offer to start up their own restaurant. It’s a criticism of celebrity culture and doing things to make a a lot of money quickly. Getting rich and being famous aren’t everything.

I don’t like the cover. The fish is placed strangely and I don’t think it looks good. But it does stand out so I guess it does it’s job.

I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see him defeat everyone in the first round or in any of the other rounds. The enjoyment I’m getting out of this book is having rich selfish people get what’s coming to them and I want to see more of that. It’s still interesting but maybe I’ve been exposed to too many dystopian stories for this to hold my attention for long. The message also seems to be taking priority over character building and his winning moment this issue felt a little fake to me because of it. Gavin’s getting developed as a character but no one else is and I don’t know how long he can sustain a series by himself.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review: Starve #1                                                                                              Next Review: Starve #3

Reading Challenges of 2016

So I read about Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge and got all excited. This resulted in a lot of googling and finding other challenges and then it got a bit out of hand and now I’ve committed myself to loads of them when I’ve never even bothered to do one before.

Hopefully some will double up. I’m also aiming to read 120 books on Goodreads. Last year I aimed to read 70 books and I read 114. The year before my goal was 60 and I forgot to track most of the books I read.

I’ll try to remember to link to them as I go along because most of the challenges have reviews as part of the challenge.

Book Riot: Read Harder Challenge 

  1. Read a horror book
  2. Read a non-fiction book about science
  3. Read a collection of essays
  4. Read out loud to someone else
  5. Read a middle grade novel
  6. Read a biography
  7. Read dystopian or post apocalyptic
  8. Read a book published the decade of your birth
  9. Listen to an audiobook that’s won an audie award
  10. Read a book that’s over 500 pages
  11. Read a book that’s under 100 pages
  12. Read a book written by a transgendered person
  13. Read a book set in the middle east
  14. Read a book wit an author from souteast Asia
  15. Read historical fiction set before 1900
  16. Read a first book in a series by a person of colour (recommendation: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler)
  17. Read a non super hero comic that debuted in the last three years
  18. Read a book adapted into a movie then watch the movie and debate which is better
  19. Read a non-ficiton book about feminism or about feminist themes
  20. Read a book about religion
  21. Read a book about politics
  22. Read a food memoir
  23. Read a play
  24. Read a book where a main character has a mental illness

Classics challenge 

  1. A book from the 19th century
  2. A book from the 20th ccentury
  3. A book by a female author
  4. A translated book
  5. A book by a non-white author
  6. An adventure book
  7. A fantasy, science fiction or dystopian book
  8. A detective book
  9. A book that has a name of a place in the title
  10. A book that was banned or censored
  11. Re-read a book you read at school
  12. A volume of classic short stories

Worlds Without End: Roll your own reading challenge

Here’s where it got a bit out of hand because I signed up to 28 of their challenges, which ranges from 6 books to 100 books each, but it’s meant to be a challenge and I always get in over my head.

  1. 12 awards in 12 months: I chose the ‘master’ reading level of 12 books because I don’t usually pay attention to awards but with all the recent controversy I feel like I should start.
  2. LGBTQ speculative fiction (they have their own LGBTQ resource so that helps): I chose the ‘Oscar Wilde’ reading level of 12 books because despite wanting to read more diverse books I’ve barely read any LGBTQ books.
  3. Listomania – pick 12 books from any lists on their site: The ‘listomaniac’ reading level of 12 books because I love lists.
  4. Second best – any books nominated for awards but not winners: The ‘also ran’ reading level of 12 books.
  5. Published this year: the ‘nebula’ reading level of 12 books. 24 books at the ‘hugo’ level seemed a bit much.
  6. Unloved – neither won or nominated: The ‘heartbreak hotel’ reading level of 12 books.
  7. Women of genre fiction – (they have their own Women Authors page): The ‘apprentice’ level of 12 books
  8. Cat quest: The reading level of ‘lolcat’ which is 6 books. I love my cats but I don’t want to read loads of books about cats. I’d also like to note the other reading levels are ‘Cat-astrophe’, ‘cat fancier’ and ‘chairman meow’.
  9. Science fiction from Australia: The reading level of ‘cherry ripe’ which is 6 books
  10. Punk’s not dead: The reading level ‘Joey Ramone’ which is 12 books
  11. Read the sequel: The reading level ‘blue fish’ of 12 books
  12. Series A to Z: The ‘entire alphabet’ reading level of 24 books. For this challenge I only have to read one book from 24 series, not all of the books in a series for each letter.
  13. Science fiction masterworks: The ‘master’ reading level of 12 books.
  14. Space opera: The ‘shai hulud’ reading level of 12 books.
  15. Star wars: I picked the ‘obi wan ken-obi’ level of 6 books because there was no way I was picking the ‘Anakin Skywalker’ level (as stupid a reason as that sounds). The other levels are ‘Yoda’ and ‘emperor Palpatine’ but that was too many books considering my interest in star wars is minimal.
  16. Tie-ins: the ‘journeyman’ reading level of 9 books. I might have gone for the higher level but I’ve never read a tie-in that I thought was really good. They’re mostly quite bad.
  17. Author! Author!: the ‘virtuoso’ reading level of 20 books
  18. Big fun in a little package novella reading challenge: the ‘large’ reading level of 18 books
  19. Tor.com short stories: the ‘wizard’ reading level of 96 books
  20. Discoveries in genre: the ‘explorer’ reading level of 6 books
  21. Genre non fiction: the ‘savant’ reading level of 6 books. That’s the highest reading level for this challenge. Ihave loads of books of this type and I love reading them.
  22. In translation: the ‘linguist’ of 9 books. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a translated book so I figured I’d start off slow.
  23. Io9 best of 2015: the ‘master’ reading level of 36 books which I think is the entire list.
  24. The weirdness: I picked the ‘worshiper of Dagon’ reading level of 9 books. There’s also ‘resident of arkham’, ‘Student at Miskatonic U’ and ‘High Priest of Cthulhu’ reading levels but even I can only put up with so much weirdness.
  25. 2016 I have just have to read more of that author: the ‘completely obsessed’ leading level of 12 books.
  26. Triumvirate (trilogies): the ‘novem’ reading level of 9 books
  27. New books of 2015: the ‘halogen’ reading level of 13 books.
  28. 2016 books I’ve read this year: the ‘voracious’ reading level of 100 books. This one should be easy it’s just keeping track of all the books I’ve read. So as long as I remember to track them as I go and don’t have to do it all at once at the end of the year there won’t be a problem.

So that’s 313 books if I don’t double any of them of them up and don’t count the 96 short stories from Tor. There’s no way I could read that many books in a year because I have other things I’d like to do in 2016.

The last reading challenge is from Panels and is about comics so shouldn’t be a problem because I read a lot of comics.

Panels: Read Harder Challenge

  1. Read a self-published comic.
  2. Read a feminist comic.
  3. Read a comic featuring one or more teenage protagonists.
  4. Read a superhero comic whose race or gender has been swapped from the original or traditional hero.
  5. Read a complete run of a comic.
  6. Read a comic based on a book and the book it’s based on.
  7. Read a graphic biography.
  8. Read a comic that was originally published in a language different from your own.
  9. Read a comic set in space.
  10. Read a collected web-comic.
  11. Read a comic with at least one creator of colour.
  12. Read a comic set in Asia by an Asian creator.
  13. Read a superhero comic NOT by one of the Big Two.
  14. Read a slice-of-life comic not set in the U.S.
  15. Read a comic that has been adapted from a T.V. show or movie (not vice versa).
  16. Read a comic about a real-life historical event.
  17. Read a black-and-white comic.
  18. Read a watercolour comic.

This shall be my master post where I keep track of what I’ve done and how far I’ve got to go because I am notoriously bad at keeping track of these things. I even forgot to post this back in January.

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #3

Story:

“Gabby’s best friend Cindy remained on Earth at the end of her last adventure with the Doctor – a decision Cindy immediately regretted! Now, with only Gabby’s sketchbook of unseen adventures to guide her, she must find her way back to the Doctor… but sinister forces already have her under surveillance!”
Read more about the issue on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures (year 2) #3

Review:

I found this issue a bit boring. The journal theme was a good way to recap a lot of stuff and show how traveling with the Doctor works but I’d rather read the actual adventures.

I’m being a but cynical but that felt a bit like they were making a pitch to new readers. Here are the reasons why you should read Doctor Who. Although there is a reason in the story for the journal to be there. Gabby gave it to Cindy when she refused to come with them so she could read about their adventures. Now she’s regretting not going and the journal is making that feeling worse.

I’m also really glad that this issue turned out not to be a complete recap for the entire issue. I don’t like it in TV episodes and I think I’d hate it in a comic when I could just go back and read previous issues. And I would have bought the issue for new story it’s not like TV.

It’s also funny that this is a Doctor light issue because the TV show had Doctor light episodes to save money and give the actors a break. None of those reasons apply to comics. Although some of the Doctor light episodes have been some of the best (Blink) so maybe that’s what they were going for because some of the reviews I’ve read seem to like this as much as those episodes. Limitations do breed creativity. And while I like quiet episodes that explore character this didn’t quite do it for me.

The main action of the issue happens when the journal starts predicting the future and it freaks Cindy out. This spirals into the characters from the cult of the black pyramid having to save her from someone who wants the journal.

Then the best cameo ever happens and I become more forgiving of the parts I didn’t care for. I’m not going to reveal who it is but I really hope it’s not just a cameo and they’re in the next issue. Hell I hope the next issue picks up from this point. If you’ve watched the early new Doctor Who episodes you’ll know who it is and if you haven’t then I’m hyping it up for nothing.

I like this cover better than the others because I think it represents Doctor Who better as the fun mostly optimistic show it is. Cindy’s reading the journal and she’s lit up with wonder or excitement while panels of adventures float behind her. I wouldn’t have put it past them to have her sat on a park bench looking serious maybe with a little rain cloud floating above her head.

And the cover actually matches the art inside. But not the first style of art which is the journal part of the issue. The second part where Cindy is involved and the art is more ordinary. Let’s hope we’re done with gloomy covers.

I liked this issue and Gabby’s writing about how she sees the Doctor but also summing up Doctor Who being a thrill you won’t forget but also dangerous. Hopefully we’ll get Cindy traveling in the next few issues.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2
Next: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #4

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Story:

“It’s chaos aboard Presley Station, as the corrupted Shan’tee – conceptual beings from a different order of reality – prey on the human colonists, while on the gas giant below, vast storms conjure up winds of horrifying speed — that threaten to tear the Station apart! Caught in the middle of the chaos: the Doctor and Gabby! Can the Doctor find the counter-melody that brings peace back to the Station? And can the ever-humming Gabby keep herself from singing – to stop her mind being invaded by a sentient song?!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Review:

It picks up where the last issue left off. The doctor running through the falling buildings as the Bovodines stampede above. He actually makes it to the TARDIS which doesn’t usually happen because the writers like to cut him off from it to stop an easy way out of the story. This time he needs it to get up to the space station.

The doctor’s figured out that the nocturnes are not a natural virus but that someone is attacking the Shan’tee because they don’t like the peaceful relationship between the humans and Shan’tee.

Smokey, the Shan’tee that we met last issue, stows away on the TARDIS and helps the doctor with getting past the security on the space station that attacks them because it doesn’t recognize either of them as humans. I like that the Doctor’s temporary companion for this issue is non-humanoid. That doesn’t tend to happen either.

While this is happening Gabby gets to take charge of the people panicking at Presley station as more stampeding Bovodine’s are heading towards them about to destroy everything. And they’ve just found out the virus can now jump to humans. The doctor left her there to be safe but she’s a companion so anywhere she goes is never safe.

This story could have benefited from being another issue long as we were only just introduced to these characters and this interesting world and it’s already over. Another issue would have allowed them to explore the planet more fully and give the story room to breathe. The solution feels a little abrupt and giving it longer might have felt more satisfying.

The art work is still as brilliant as the first issue. I like this cover better than the first one. It’s more representatvie of Doctor Who is but still too gloomy for what happened in the issue.

A satisfying enough conclusion to the first arc but could have been better and I hope the next story continues with interesting ideas.  (I really didn’t have a lot to say on this issue)

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review: Doctor Who #1                                                                Next: Review: Doctor Who #3

Review: Starve #1

Story:

“UTENSILS DOWN, HANDS UP! WELCOME TO STARVE! Once the world’s most famous chef, Gavin Cruikshank’s been in a self-imposed exile for years. His little foodie television program has since evolved into STARVE, an arena sport that pits chef against chef for the pleasure of their super-rich patrons. It’s a stain on a once-noble profession, and Chef Gavin is ready to go to war to stop it. Two things stand in his way: his arch rival Roman Algiers, and his adult daughter Angie, who probably just wants her dad back and acting normal.”
Continue reading “Review: Starve #1”

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #1

Story:

“Looking for rest and relaxation, the Tenth Doctor and companion Gabriella Gonzalez take a trip to Earth Station Presley, a mining platform around an enormous gas giant – and home to one of the most spectacular sensory experiences in the universe!

The gas giant is a perfect example of human colonists living in harmony with indigenous life – in this case, the Shan’tee: conceptual beings perceived by humans as hauntingly beautiful music!

But the Doctor and Gabby are walking straight into a war.”

Read more about it at Goodreads

Review:

It’s year two of the tenth doctor adventures and we’re back to issue number one again so they can get more new readers. To be fair though it is a good starting place for new readers so there is some justification for renumbering the series back to number one. That being said they probably could have continued as they were. At least this isn’t as bad as when Marvel do it in the middle of a story.

This is the kind of story that benefits from being in comic form and is exactly what I want them to do. These are Doctor Who stories that they’d have a hard time telling on TV because it’s out of the scope of TV.

The world building feels well thought out and like they’ve put a lot of effort into it. The Doctor and Gabby arrive on a planet where humans live side by side with two other species. It’s all harmonious so you know it’s going to go wrong. It’s also kind of refreshing that humans can live with other species and the Doctor notes this too. Usually the humans end up being the problem and the Doctor has to save them from whatever they’ve made angry.

You’ve got the Bovodines who produce air for the planet and other gases that the humans trade with other worlds. Then there are the Shan’tee which are beings we can only perceive as living music. It’s just the right amount of weird mixed with science that Doctor Who does so well. I think the formula might be take some fantastical idea and add a physics word like quantum to make it science fiction.

It’s a very compelling story for mostly being stuck in one place with the crisis only happening at the end. Being a first issue it’s mostly set up. There’s almost a bit too much exposition between setting up how the three species live together, how the Shan’tee exist and the problem they’ve been having with the plague. But between Gabby’s enthusiasm for the beautiful planet and the constant music she can always hear and the interesting concept it doesn’t get boring.

The only thing is the cover is a bit boring and doesn’t really represent the tone of the comic. In the story everyone’s fairly happy until the end but the cover looks grim and generic. It’s just the Doctor and Gabby in front of the TARDIS looking serious. And the art is completely different to what’s inside which is not something I’m a fan of.

Year two starts off with a great issue and hopefully this run will continue to be better than the current episodes of the TV show. At least we’ve only got one more season and we get a new showrunner. The news of Moffat leaving actually made me feel like writing about Doctor Who again. So yay for that, I’m ready for a new creative team. And I can’t wait to read the next issue.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Next: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Doctor Who: Five Hundred Eyes

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

They get to the Oasis and find Tegana but Barbara doesn’t believe his story and it gets her into trouble. While Marco Polo has enough of the Doctor and attacks him. They save him by explaining condensation.

Recap:

The water’s run out and Marco’s wondering where Tegana is because he sent him to the oasis to get water. He thinks Tegana’s got lost and they’ve managed to move the caravan forward a bit but this is probably it for them if they don’t get water soon.
Ian says it’ll be hot again soon and they should get started but Marco says they should stay where they are. Barbara notes that the Doctor and Susan are still in the TARDIS but Ian says to let them sleep.
The Doctor wakes up and realises condensation has gathered inside on the walls of the TARDIS. So he gets Susan to collect water from the walls.
The Doctor takes the water to Marco but he’s angry because he thinks the Doctor has been keeping water from them. I think he attacks the Doctor because a lot of shouting happens. Ian gets him to stop and they then explain condensation to him. He makes the Doctor drink the water first in case it’s poisoned.
They manage to reach the oasis because of the TARDIS water and they find Tegana. He says he had to wait for some bandits to leave and he heard they were going to the north.
Marco wants to leave the oasis because it’ll be dangerous to stay. Barbara walks off still suspicious of Tegana and Tegana tries to convince Marco he shouldn’t trust them because of their story with the water.
The doctor thinks he’ll have the TARDIS fixed soon but Marco’s making them move on and he doesn’t like all the rushing about.
Barbara doesn’t believe Tegana’s story of the bandits because it was so cold last night and it’s unlikely they’d want to be out in it. I think bandits would brave the cold for whatever they’ve got planned.
Ian decides to ask Tegana because he thinks he’s going to be truthful about betraying them apparently. He asks how many bandits there were and why didn’t they light a fire. Tegana doesn’t really answer.
Marco tells the Doctor when they leave the oasis the TARDIS will be locked and the key handed over to him. The Doctor tells him he doesn’t realise he’s talking to a man of superior intellect. Well if you’re so smart why haven’t you outsmarted him yet.
Then it’s back to Marco’s voice over telling us about the journey. They’re going to a temple.
They arrive at Tun-Huang and talk about the cave of five hundred eyes where a load of evil men lived. Susan wants to know more and Ping promises to tell her later.
The doctor hopes to get on with some work now that they’ve stopped. Ian points out he doesn’t have a key but the Doctor says he’s made another.
Barbara wants to talk to Ian about Tegana but he blows her off so he can listen to Ping’s story about Aladdin. She goes on for a while and it’s not very interesting. I’d prefer they get on with the plot instead of dragging it out like this.
Then Ian decides that what this episode needs is a vocabulary lesson and a bit of a history lesson because it wasn’t going slow enough as it was. Then the cave of five hundred eyes is mentioned again and I’m beginning to think we’re never going to get to this cave.
But then Tegana goes to the caves to visit a man called Malik to get news about their plan. He is taken to another man who tells him he failed at Lop to meet their man but the other part of the plan is going well. They’ve gathered an army and it’s marching to another city. He tells them about the TARDIS and they plan to capture it and kill every one. Malik has noticed a woman in the outer cave.
The woman is Barbara who has followed Tegana so of course she gets kidnapped.
Back at the caravan and Marco is angry that Barbara is gone and that she‘s allowed to wander alone. I’d call him sexist but she does get kidnapped every time she goes off on her own. He tells the Doctor to stay where he is and no one else is to move while he goes to look for her. I get the impression he’s regretting keeping them. All they’ve done is cause him trouble.
Back in the cave of five hundred eyes the men holding Barbara are gambling and laughing menacingly. Not sure why they needed to show us that. It’s not like we’ve forgotten Barbara has been captured.
Susan and Ping think they might know where Barbara is because she was very interested in the cave of five hundred eyes and try to convince the Doctor that’s where she’d go. They think she’d go by herself because Marco and Ian would probably try to stop her.
The doctor catches Chenchu listening to them so he asks the man where the cave is. Susan insists on going with him but he’s determined to go alone because he’d get so far by himself. He’d get distracted by something shiny and forget about Barbara or decide he doesn’t to rescue her after all. But he relents quite quickly and lets Susan and Ping come with him. Chenchu tells them they can’t go at night because they won’t come back alive but the Doctor ignores him.
At the cave and Susan is frightened of the eyes. The Doctor looks at the carvings and says it’s quartz. Susan reminds him he’s meant to be looking for Barbara and not admiring the carvings.
The man the Doctor questioned has gone off to Tegana and tells him he told the doctor where to go.
The Doctor’s had enough of looking because he says he’s got enough work to do in the TARDIS. They find something of Barbara’s and all begin shouting for her. Susan then finds a statue and starts screaming because we didn’t have enough screaming this episode when Barbara got captured. It’s a bit of a weak cliffhanger compared to Tegana pouring away the water last episode.

Thoughts:

This episode was way too slow with not a lot to keep me interested. Ping’s story dragged and there were lots of moments where nobody said anything but I’m sure they were doing something so it would have been better as the original video. This episode really felt like a history lesson. I know it’s meant to be educational but it’s so forced. The only bit they managed to make entertaining was when Marco attacked the Doctor for keeping water to himself and the only way to save him was to explain condensation.
The singing sands managed to hold up without the Doctor but this episode wouldn’t have. He’s the most entertaining part and he doesn’t get to be mean enough. I like that he gets distracted and has to be reminded of what they’re doing.
I continue to dislike Ian but he didn’t have enough to do this episode to be really annoying so that’s a plus. Barbara gets captured again but at least it’s because she’s active in the story (following Tegana to the cave and doing her own investigating) instead of just because she’s a woman.
I like Susan and Ping’s friendship. Susan’s a bit of a trouble maker and tries to scare Ping but she’s gotten wise to it by now.
I have a feeling this is going to really be dragged out and they’re going to tour all the educational places in the desert they can think of. It might not be so bad but half the time the audio is bad and I’m not sure what they’re saying.
This cliffhanger seems to be the weakest so far. Barbara has been captured but the immediate threat is Susan screaming and that’s the moment you’re left with. It’s not making me want to watch the next episode.
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Doctor Who: The Singing Sands

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The caravan travels through the desert but a sandstorm stops Tegana from escaping and soon the water supplies run low.

Thoughts:

It’s been three days since Marco polo has taken charge of the TARDIS. He’s enduring the Doctor who’s doing his best to be difficult and rude but we don’t get to see any of that just hear about it in Marco’s voice over.
They’re crossing the Gobi desert and Ian asks Marco about the water. Marco says they have enough but lots of people die crossing the Gobi desert because of lack of water.
Ian and Marco then play chess and in the past they’d use a word instead of checkmate that means the king is dead.
Elsewhere Barbara reassures Susan that they’ll get the TARDIS back. Susan wants to be among the stars and worries that the Doctor’s sulking but Barbara says he’s feeling defenseless because someone he considers a primitive has taken his advanced tech.
They talk about the Doctor knowing everything and Barbara mentions that then he’d be able to take them home. Susan doesn’t want to say goodbye to them and hopes it won’t be soon.
In her tent with Ping Susan comments on how it’s peaceful in the desert and she’s never seen the moon rise. So Ping promises to call her when it does.
Back in the other tent Barbara says the desert is very beautiful but Marco tell her not to be fooled because it’s still very dangerous.
Ping wakes Susan up and they go outside to look at the sky. They see Tegana and Susan wants to follow him for some reason. I guess the plot is calling her.
At the stables Marco comments on the horses being restless because they can sense there’s a sandstorm on the way. There’s the reason for Susan following Tegana so they can all get stuck in the storm.
Somewhere out in the desert Susan’s had enough of following Tegana and wants to go back but Ping doesn’t and asks Susan who’s afraid now. That’s the reasoning Susan used to get Ping to go follow Tegana with her.
It gets hot and they decide to go back but not before they get caught in the sandstorm. They argue about if they should stay where they are or try to get back to the caravan.
Barbara wakes up and Ian tells her what’s happening with the sandstorm. It’s very loud and it kind of sounds like laughing. Apparently people hear voices in the storm and that’s why it’s called the singing sands.
They notice Tegana’s gone but decide they can’t help him. Then they discover the girls are gone and Barbara wants to go outside to look for them but Ian and Marco stop her.
I think they sound an alarm or something so the girls can hear them but it’s really poor audio and I’m struggling to hear anything.
The storm stops and Marco says they won’t leave until they find the girls. Then the girls turn up with Tegana and they say they went for a walk. Marco’s angry they didn’t ask first.
Tegana found them and he says he was also on a walk but he told the guards he was going. Marco gets annoyed and says that the guards are to inform him if anyone else tries to leave the camp. So there goes Tegana’s plans for escaping before the poisoned water is found.
The doctor is still asleep and has managed to sleep through everything happening.
The next day and Marco’s worried because they had to stop for the day due to the storm and so they’ve wasted one days worth of water which could be fatal in the desert.
Back to Marco’s voice over and progress is going well.
Susan doesn’t believe that Tegana went for a walk but Ping thinks he’s telling the truth. I guess she’s more trusting.
In another tent Tegana asks about Marco’s journal and he says he writes it because it interests him.
They find out the water is poisoned and Marco blames the water on bandits. He’s never had it happen to him but other caravans have. They get weak from lack of water and the bandits attack.
They look at their options and Marco decides they’re going to an oasis that’s not nearby but it’s closer than the end of the desert. He’s worried that if they go back to Lop the bandits that he thinks poisoned the water will attack.
Tegana refuses to go with them. He’s going to return to Lop but Marco says he’s coming with them because he’s responsible for Tegana.
Later in his voice over Marco has started to doubt his decision. They’ve been making less and less progress each day because of lack of water.
The caravan has stopped because the heat of the day is too much with no water. Marco says now that the worst of the sun is over they’re going to start traveling again soon.
The doctor complains about lack of water and this is the first we’ve seen him this episode. They now have no more until they reach the oasis.
Tegana says he will go to the oasis and bring back water. He tells them to wait for him where they are but Marco says they will continue to push on towards the oasis.
The doctor collapses in the heat and Barbara asks if they can put him in the TARDIS so he’ll be more comfortable. Marco says yes and Susan can go with the Doctor but Ian and Barbara will stay with him. They have no water left and they’re counting on Tegana.
Meanwhile Tegana is at the oasis with water and taunting Marco about his lack of water by pouring the water he has away.
This episode actually managed to keep up the momentum of the last episode and not drag things out with endless talking. I didn’t expect them to get to the problem of the poisoned water so quickly.
The Doctor is noticeably absent and I’m assuming that’s more to do with William Hartnell needing rest or something than a choice by the writers. He only turns up at the end and quickly faints. I like the idea of him taking every opportunity to insult Marco Polo though and slow him down. I just wish I got to see it.
I’m not clear on why Susan wanted to follow Tegana (there were parts I couldn’t hear very well) but it just seems like a way to get her stranded out in the storm.
I like the ending of Tegana being their only hope and he’s pouring their water away. It’s another very good cliffhanger.

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Review: Jurassic World

Story:

Two brothers visit Jurassic World for the first time. Their Aunt Claire runs the park and they haven’t seen her for quite a while. This also happens to be the time when the new hybrid dinosaur gets so smart it hatches a plan to escape. So now there’s 20,000 people on the island with the brothers lost in the park and the hybrid dinosaur hunting for sport.

Review:

I spent the first part of the movie waiting for that moment that would be similar to seeing the dinosaurs for the first time in Jurassic Park and it never came.
This movie’s biggest problem is there’s no sense of wonder with the dinosaurs but that does make it fit what the movie is about. Which is getting bored with things and wanting bigger better faster.
It’s fitting since it’s a movie where a boy is more interested in his phone than in the dinosaurs. This movie feels like a criticism of sequels having to be bigger and have higher stakes than the last. Because if that’s what makes a sequel good then Jurassic World succeeded.
This time it’s 20,000 people instead of a handful and the hybrid is bigger than a T-Rex and smarter. But it’s not a good movie. It’s an okay movie. So by failing to be as good as the first it proves it’s point that bigger is not always better.
The dinosaurs are the only redeeming factor of this movie because the characters certainly aren’t interesting. I think they knew they didn’t have to try to get people to go see this. All they had to do was create an okay movie and people would see it. In huge numbers apparently because it’s broken the box office.
I like the hybrid dinosaur but it’s presented as irredeemably evil because it hunts for sport not to eat. This is so we don’t feel bad when they decide it’s got to die.
But if hunting for sport is the deciding factor for if something is evil then there’s a whole load of humans who need to die. But what else can you expect from a Jurassic Park movie. The first one was great but on top of all the questionable science it had a greedy lawyer who got eaten on a toilet.
I think all of the movies demonised people in suits. Apart form the third one. There they get rescued by a guy in a suit on a beach with a megaphone. My point is that morality is very black and white in the Jurassic Park universe.
In this movie you know who’s going to die but it’s still fun seeing how bad he’s going to get before that happens and how exactly it will happen. Hopefully in the most ironic way possible but I’m not that picky. As long as he dies by dinosaur I’m good.
I think the science is better this time round. Actually let me rephrase that. I think the questions around the implications of the science are better this time round. The first one didn’t seem to understand what scientists do. Which is to use other scientists research and build on it to create progress.
I don’t have a problem with cloning animals as long as they aren’t suffering. They’re not people, they don’t have identities so they’re not going to have an identity crisis when they realise they’ve been cloned.
The only question raised in Jurassic Park that had any merit was when Doctor Saddler questions putting dinosaurs into an ecosystem that’s been without them for millions of years.
Where as Jurassic World deals with what happens when you mix two species. That’s two sets of instincts hardwired into the hybrid’s brain. What would happen? I don’t think they delved into that enough. I think it would be fascinating to explore the instincts of the dinosaurs that got mixed and how it creates conflict. But I guess the hybrid is mentally unstable if that’s what they’re implying with the whole killing for sport thing. It’s hard to tell what’s caused this behaviour because it’s also been raised in isolation and so doesn’t have any manners any way.
The main character is a career woman and she doesn’t want children and the movie treats that as bad. It’s a lot of sexist crap that’s very annoying.
Chris Pratt pretty much plays Star Lord again but without the dance off. Watching Guardians of the galaxy I felt let down by having the hero be the same hero you see everywhere. But I don’t feel as let down this time because I wasn’t expecting a movie that would break the expectations of the genre.
After all this is a dinosaur movie it’s going to be stuck in the past. There’s going to be criticism of the strong career woman who doesn’t want kids and needs a man to make her life complete. This isn’t too bad it’s in the background. It all gets overshadowed by the dinosaurs thankfully. They’re both likable enough that you’re not rooting for them to die.
We also get a bit of a reverse on the trope of the man saves the woman and she kisses him because she realises she loves him. Basically the woman acting as a prize for the man’s heroism. It’s only a very small moment though in a movie that otherwise keeps the gender roles strict.
Of the two brothers the little brother is the one who likes the dinosaurs and the older brother is such an ungrateful little sod at getting to see dinosaurs that I’ve completely sided with the littler one. I refuse to learn their names. I don’t know what the kids in the first one are called and I don’t care here either. They were just there to get uptight career woman into the park so we can all laugh at the stupid woman running around chasing dinosaurs in heels.
I don’t know why I’m being quite so sarcastic about this movie because despite it’s problems I enjoyed it. It was never going to top the first one but it beats the other sequels by a lot.
This movie is for you if you like dinosaurs and want to see obviously immoral people get eaten. You don’t need to see the previous movies ( you should have seen Jurassic Park ) but there are little easter eggs that it’s enjoyable to spot and one returning character that I enjoyed watching. There’s also set up for a sequel but I’m not sure where exactly they’re going to go with it.

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