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Life Review – “In Space, No One Can Hear You Monologue”



Release date: March 24, 2017

Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)

Director: Daniel Espinosa

MPAA Rating: R (for language throughout, some sci-fi violence and terror)

Screenwriters: Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya


Life, a space horror thriller starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, revolves around an international crew of astronauts on a mission to study and, most importantly, keep secure the first Martian life form discovered by humans. If you’ve seen the trailer, or have seen any movie about space ever, you know that the mission…doesn’t go well.

The movie, which reunites Reynolds with Safe House director Daniel Espinosa and the writing team behind Deadpool, does accomplish its mission. Unfortunately, that mission is: “Be a so-so third date movie that people will talk about until they get to their cars and then forget once someone brings up whether or not to get ice cream.” That’s not to say that there aren’t generally funny moments (delivered almost exclusively by Reynolds) or that there aren’t generally surprising or scary moments (the most surprising of which also includes Reynolds). There are a bit of both but, when it’s said and done, it feels like you’ve seen it all before.

The movie opens with the crew preparing Reynolds for what looks like an unnecessarily dangerous space walk to capture a probe returning with the Martian specimens. This is all presented as one continuous long take, which is interesting and ambitious but lacks the real ‘Wow!’ moments of a movie like Gravity and has zero real suspense. Despite some pretty good anti-gravity effects, the scene’s sense of, “That was kinda cool, I guess” sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

After the single celled specimen is brought on board, much to the delight of Ariyon Bakare as ‘Dr. Guy-Whose-Fault-Everyone-Dies’, it begins to grow at an alarming pace, much to the concern of apparently no one besides Reynolds…but only kinda. There is something extra frustrating about apparently super intelligent scientists using super intelligent words to describe the super idiotic things they are doing that will get them super killed. The first act is super chock full of that.

Gyllenhaal is there too, his job is mostly to share a few moments of lukewarm sexual tension with Rebecca Ferguson and delivering contrived monologues. My god…the monologues. At about the fifth, which begins with Gyllenhall staring into the distance and recalling, “I remember when the Challenger exploded…” I groaned. By what felt like the 12th, as he recites Good Night Moon, I was actively rooting for the alien. Oh, and the alien is named Calvin, which is distractedly non-threatening, adding to its overall underwhelming presence.

What follows is a game of cat and mouse as Calvin grows bigger and smarter while damaging crucial parts of the space station, setting up a fight for survival on two fronts. The script doesn’t seem to know how to keep both going at the same time, however, and a lot of time is spent explaining why we should feel tense in the scene. There are a few moments of heroic self sacrifice and tense “We’re not gonna make it” moments to keep you semi-interested but by the time you reach the hard to follow twist ending, you’re already thinking about that ice cream.

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes



Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2



A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  



If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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