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Reviews

Spider-Man: Far from Home
(2019)

Another entertaining film in the MCU.
Spider-Man's return to MARVEL was something that was inevitable in the end: Sony couldn't keep the iconic mascot for themselves so they decided to share the film rights of the character with Disney and MARVEL. Thus, Spider-Man: Homecoming was born and its sequel, this year's Far From Home: where Peter Parker is on holiday in Europe and he'll come to terms with his own sense of responsibility and belonging in the world.

Far From Home is another solid entry in a very thorough film franchise: and it helps that Spider-Man's an equal favourite superhero of mine, equal to Superman and Batman. This film extends the web-slinger's legacy and shows he can still be re-imagined in many ways to fit today's very demanding cinematic landscape. Also, even though there are plenty of post-Endgame twists addressed in this movie, it has some rather nice ones of its own making: one in particular which was NEVER teased or implied in the trailers (or rather, make that TWO secret twists).

Spider-Man's here to stay, and it seems like the best is yet to come. Who knows? I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes next.

South Park: Trapped in the Closet
(2005)
Episode 12, Season 9

Controversial; and BRILLIANT!
South Park never pulls its punches when it comes to hot-button topics such as religion, politics or economics: and this episode did exactly that back in 2005, when Tom Cruise was in the middle of promoting Mission Impossible III. Trapped in the Closet is the world's greatest expose on the world of Scientology, from Lord Xenu himself to John Travolta's questionable sexuality (also taking jabs at Cruise himself) and how religion's become a hot-spot for financial exploitation and administrative corruption and deception.

This destroys Scientology in beautiful ways only South Park can. It's an honest deconstruction of the planet's stupidest belief system and shows that faith in what's right (i.e. REAL science and knowledge) ultimately wins the day. Though not everyone gets their happily ever-after in this episode, Stan's all the wiser having in on the church's asinine policies and beliefs it uses to exploit their followers, but at least HE has closure if no one else does in this episode, and we the viewers are in his shoes.

This episode is brilliant, self-deprecating in its criticism of an American-born institution and 110% accurate in capturing the essence of its subject matter.

This episode's a television masterpiece.

The Phantom Menace Review
(2009)

Probably the most legendary film review on the internet.
Mr. Plinkett is a film-fluent yet socially-ignorant critic whose obsession with cinema is totally contrasted by his take on reality and his hilariously out-of-touch perspective on society and respect; it's made funnier when we see how his knowledge on stories and beats gives him certain wisdom that he willingly ignores in life. He picks this infamous film apart: right to the bone, everything ranging from the story to the characters and development over the movie's run-time are analyzed and dissected to the nth degree.

I love this review: it holds a single film up for judgement against modern cinema itself and clearly shows how The Phantom Menace simply doesn't hold up to its cinematic predecessors, Star Wars or otherwise. While I enjoyed the movie when it came out, even I can admit and willingly point out things wrong with the movie. That's the fun of criticism; you can still be critical regardless of whether the targeted work is good or not and still say something meaningful in the end. This review is one of the most entertaining, sincere and outright hilarious things I've ever seen. It's a masterpiece not just of internet culture and fandom itself, but also film criticism and how self-awareness, and awareness of other's mistakes, leads to learning stuff you never knew you wanted to know at all: in this case, how a fictional serial killer knows more about story structure than late-90s Lucas did when he made the prequels.

I LOVE this review and the series which follows is equally brilliant. It's fantastic filmmaking, criticism and a thorough analysis of cinema that even Roger Ebert (a man who rated The Phantom Menace 3.5/4 stars) praised for its open-ended dissection of 'The Hero's Journey'.

Love, Death & Robots
(2019)

Gets Everything Right With Anthology Storytelling.
Love, Death & Robots was originally going to be a feature length reboot of Heavy Metal; it's pretty damn stupefying knowing the path they ultimately decided to go with: an animated series of self-contained stories on Netflix where there are no true restraints on the contents of the stories or visuals. These stories are perfect trips for video game fans, sci-fi fans (like myself) and even comic book fans who just can't get enough of their far-and-wide alternate universes in fiction.

Netflix is truly raising the bar for mainstream filmmaking, and this series shows that it doesn't conform to nostalgia-driven things like 'Stranger Things' all the time, but that even in an age where people love familiarity with their stories there is still a desire to see something new, inspiring and insightful. Love, Death & Robots is exactly that kind of ecstasy; it's an experimental trip that's both familiar yet satisfyingly new and bold. I'd say that my favorites would have to be 'Alternate Histories', 'Good Hunting', 'Sucker of Souls' and 'The Witness'. To be fair though, ALL the episodes are pretty good. They each cover their own respective genres just nicely.

If you want to check out Love, Death & Robots but haven't gotten around to doing so because you're still yet to make up your mind, do yourself a favor and watch this pronto. It's a Netflix-Must!

This Netflix-Must gets 4.5/5 stars.

The Last of Us
(2013)

Naughty Dog's Corwning Achievement.
The Last of Us is what you get when you try to make a zombie horror story into a form of art; in this regard the game succeeds tenfold thanks to its sense of desperation, desolate fallout from society's collapse and not pulling its punches with its raw emotional gravitas. Joel is an embittered man whose daughter is killed at the start of the game, and from there onward you can see how people become VERY distrustful of one another in the face of an apocalypse like no other in gaming. And this is all part of the game's greatest critique: breaking down the human condition to its barest form; the best and the worst of it.

This game came about when Naughty Dog split its Uncharted development team into two: one worked on Uncharted 3 whilst the second team worked on this game; and considering that both games essentially shared a lot of the same talent and commitment to the final products. The Last of US, however, has become something of a cultural milestone in gaming; it's like a prestigious film that swept the Oscars when it came out and soon gets discovered by many other people down the line years after its release. Naughty Dog deliberately made sure that people don't confuse this game with the Uncharted franchise by making one very simple directorial note: the game's not about the spectacle of surviving swashbuckling set-pieces straight from Indiana Jones movies, but you have to survive as a human being desperately clinging to your dear-life as doom is literally right around every corner in The Last of Us: zombies, looters, bandits and militia are all vicious hellbent on killing you: the player.

The story's very deep, easily worth investing your time and emotions into; the gameplay is intense, unpredictable, technically gorgeous and the zombies are terrifying enemies that can kill you within the span of a few seconds if you're not careful. Naughty Dog loves having single-player and multi-player gameplay becoming hand-in-hand experiences that can co-exist instead of focusing on one over the other (i.e. Microsoft with Halo emphasizing multiplayer). The Last of Us showed that the video game can be thought-provoking art that doesn't confine itself to industry norms on every discernible basis.

This is an apocalyptic story with heart, one of survival endorsing hope for humanity, an experience where your unease is exactly that of the characters you're playing throughout the story, and the fight for survival lingers over this world like a haunting specter that will never go away. The Last of Us is an experience to be had for gamers everywhere. It's a landmark.

Hercules
(1997)

Very enjoyable entry in the Disney animation canon.
Hercules went through many iterations before finally landing on the big screen in 1997: Kevin Spacey was originally considered to voice Hades and the project almost came to being an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey, but was promptly cancelled after that story was deemed too weak for an animated comedy and so Hercules was chosen when that pitch fell through.

This is a very entertaining film that's self aware of when it was made (during the 90s) and its liberties with the source material are perfectly natural choices for the story and happy-go-lucky direction it takes. Sure some of the choices haven't aged well (Disney's in-joke about merchandising and franchising is used in the film at points) but the animation is gorgeous and still very sharp in its distinction from the rest of the Disney movies at the time. I know there were critics who took issue with this aspect of the film at the time, but come on guys: it could've been those Beatles cartoons from the 60s for Pete's sake; or jeez, it could have been one of those straight-to-dvd knock-off films made to 'cash in' on Disney releases that were popular back then.

Hercules is energetic, fast-paced and vibrant fun for film-goers everywhere. I say give this movie a go if you somehow missed out on seeing it in the 90s: be it at the movies or repeat-viewings on VHS tapes.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
(2019)

A Fantastic Action Flick!
John Wick is proving itself to be a masterful franchise in action cinema; it takes gun-fu, martial arts and car-chases to a whole new level. Its neon lighting is spectacular and its balancing of spectacle with the story is further proof that these films can make its action sequences relevant to the main character's arc and not just serve as substance-less eye-candy. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is like poetry written with bullets and blood, and I can't wait to see where this series goes from here (if there is anywhere to go from here). It's fast-paced, cuts to the chase and no-nonsense with driving its characters into unparalleled danger.

As the bookend chapter of a trilogy it wraps up its arcs very nicely and seamlessly. I love how this series deals with a hit-man desperate to survive and uses EVERYTHING at his disposal as weaponry in a never-ending arsenal for Keanu Reeves' spiritual successor to his iconic take on Neo in The Matrix movies. John Wick is like Travis Bickle mixed with Batman, James Bond, John McClane and Leon the Professional. This guy could possibly beat the crap out of Solid Snake and Sam Fisher if he were given the right opportunity (perhaps even Jason Bourne as well?).

This film is a beauty filled to the brim with action and tension around every corner. It's what bad action movies want to be, and what movies of its ilk strive to be in the end: locked and loaded fun that doesn't pad out its sequences with talky baggage, just cut to the chase and don't make the script stretch things unnecessarily.

John Wick 3 is fantastic!

Fortnite
(2017)

My last review was taken down/refused upload.
I'm fine with others loving the game openly (more power to them) but they shouldn't try to shove their obsession of the game down everyone's throats. As an avid gamer, I personally didn't like what I saw when my little brother offered me to play the game. I was confused, overwhelmed and the game's lack of player-progression really threw me off big time. I love games like Super Mario 64, Goldeneye, Metal Gear Solid, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Red Dead Redemption and Mario Kart 8: I'm a fan of games that don't require internet-dependence in the first place. I'm a fan of the immersive player-driven experience as opposed to pay-to-win stuff that, I think, is ruining the game industry and giving it an unnecessarily bad rap.

If there's anyone out there who doesn't like this review of Fortnite and vote 'no' on the helpfulness button, I understand; you're allowed to like the game to your heart's content, but don't force others to like it as much as you do. Love for any given work is a thing of volition, as in it's something people discover on their own over an imprecise amount of time. I get what they're going for: open-ended worlds populated with Battle Royale galore ready for the players to build whatever they want. That's not really my cup of tea. I love pre-existing worlds that I can lose hours of my time to in an effortless way. I love open-world stuff that encourages exploration of a world that seems like it's always been there. I just don't think Fortnite's philosophy on gaming is in sync with gamers who were born during the 80s or 90s. I believe in play-to-win, not pay-to-win and that's that.

Fortnite is a technical marvel that has its audience and knows its place in the market: and I consciously agree to disagree with that trend. I give it 1.5/5 stars.

Chernobyl
(2019)

First episode review.
Chernobyl is scarier than any recent horror movie because this catastrophe really happened; and its effects are still felt throughout Europe to this day. Back when the USSR still existed and was the world's second strongest economy, bested by the United States This horror story of nuclear power and political failings is just as terrifying, potent and shockingly relevant as it was in 1986: that's not something people of today should have to worry about but it is absolutely true in every way.

Chernobyl deals with history in a way that makes you think about 'behind the scenes' politics relating to any Earth-shaking event and the fallout of such chaos affecting the people who've got no say in the matter (e.g. firefighters). This is power play on an astronomical scale and it doesn't rely on aliens, space rocks or killer machines to convey a sense of utter desperation and horror; this is historical fiction about an event that still stands out as the world's worst ever nuclear disaster. Man vs science has never been so disturbingly unsettling the way it's shown here: and frankly we need more filmmakers to show that humanity's failings can be seen as the necessary learning curves to lead to greater, more reassuring success as long as we address the problems and solve them all. What I'm really trying to say is that truths cannot stay hidden and that they'll always come out sooner or later, especially if countless lives are held hostage to that secret.

Chernobyl is 2019's most terrifying television event, and probably its most effective horror movie. It's a 5/5-star achievement.

Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne
(2019)
Episode 6, Season 8

A conclusion built up over the years: and THIS was the best they could do?
I still love Game of Thrones as a whole and it'll be fondly remembered for years to come; it's just that the conclusion has pissed fans off (like myself) for good reason: they were expecting nothing less than perfection for this sprawling historical fantasy epic.

The direction was actually pretty solid if it wasn't undermined by the rushed and 'cliff-notes' style of writing. There's finally closure to character's arcs, we have been on a journey, but this is one where less is... well, less. I'm disappointed by this finale; it's concluding a show I loved (and will still love in spite of everything) that deserved to spend its time closing the chapters on the world's favourite television program.

I love you Game of Thrones fans: I feel your pain, but it's not the end. It's like John Lennon said: 'Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.' And by that I mean your life and love for the source material.

Game of Thrones: program's still great. This episode: not so much.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
(2009)

This game was, and still is, hours of fun and adrenaline for all gamers.
Uncharted 2 is gaming's equivalent of the Indiana Jones franchise (move over Tomb Raider) and it's what the National Treasure films want to be but fall short of. Nathan Drake is like a surrogate son of Indiana, and his comrades are like that of Raiders of the Lost Ark: colourful people who compliment the 'champions' of the story and the villains are also very much true to their nature making it easy to know who to route for in Drake's journey to find the 'Cintamani Stone' before Zoran, a Serbian war criminal, does. It's also among gaming's most cinematic outings.

The foundations for the story are simple but effective, and the gameplay was unprecedented in 2009: it took some of the ledge-grabbing mechanics of Assassin's Creed and applied it to action set pieces like we'd never seen on a gaming console: a level taking place on a train, you outrun a truck, you have to fight a helicopter whilst grounded and the spectacle of the game's graphics and environment is drop dead gorgeous. Uncharted 2 is a game's game and it's got some self-awareness in the dialogue as well: just adding to the fun and making the whole experience that much more seamless in its sense of awe.

Uncharted 2 gets 5/5 stars. It's one of gaming's finest cinematic endeavors and its love for the player's sense of fun and adventure is only comparable to The Legend of Zelda series. It's an accomplishment through and through.

The Simpsons Movie
(2007)

Enjoyable movie undercut by its source material's greatness.
The Simpsons have no doubt been a longtime American icon dominating the world stage of pop-culture ever since they came into being in 1987 thanks to the Tracey Ullman Show. The show's had MANY great episodes throughout its 90s run, it's had some hits but notable misses in the 00s, and the show's still a thing in the 10s. And then you have the movie: a culmination of years and years of small-screen storytelling and it's just okay. It's amusing and harmless, but it's not really anything else.

I love these characters and this town: so why does the movie fall short of that legacy? It's something to do with the lackluster script, the generic 'save the world' scenario it's trying to parody (ultimately succumbing to the problem it's mocking) yet it's still watchable. It's no classic but it's still okay for all age groups to put on and watch, even if it's just noise in the background.

The Simpsons Movie: it's a movie that's trying to surpass other movies while not trying to truly makes its own cinematic impressions. 3/5 stars.

Léon
(1994)

An action film among France's greats.
Leon: The Professional is a great film that's an action movie showing Europeans know how to make overly familiar territory (Brooklyn) something fresh, new and hyper-energetic for the mid-90s. It's an outcast's story focusing on a compassionate hitman whose life is turned upside down when Mathilda, a little whose family was shot and killed by the psychotic Norman Stransfield, is suddenly thrust into his life and forcing him to make a change in his blood-soaked life.

It's a very energetically directed film and this shows Luc Besson knows how to make intimate stories of redemption into something more than the sum of its parts. This film's got cinemtic references, family bonding, regret of the past, and even a little girl trying to find her place in 90s Brooklyn. It's also got some FANTASTIC action sequences too.

This would have been mundane had it been a movie from Hollywood directed by Brett Ratner or Michae Bay, and it shows that action cinema doesn't need to be beholden to action blockbuster stock characters. This is action cinema with a beating heart and a ridiculously good sense of fun.

Leon's oodles of fun.

Avengers: Endgame
(2019)

I'm eager to write about this yet I'm also afraid. There's so much to this movie!
***Minor Spoilers (that may be significant for some)***

Avengers: Endgame is what happens a group of devoted filmmakers set up shop and pay off a decade's worth of storytelling on the big screen in a bombastic yet surprisingly satisfying way. First off, to prove I saw the movie, it starts off with Clint's family getting 'dusted' right after the SNAP in Infinity War. And from then on, it's a post-disaster movie trying to address the previous movie's aftermath. All the while it becomes a Back to the Future-like adventure on steroids and it even has Terminator callbacks as well. And it's got the emotional gravitas of Toy Story 3. Oh: and Thor's chubby in this, and a MASSIVE troll online whenever Korg needs him to be (in ### ######). It's got taught writing with just as focused direction telling a story through the action as opposed to action taking over the story.

SEE THIS MOVIE! It's as much movie a movie can get this year! And we've still got PLENTY of other goods on the horizon still.

5/5 stars.

Dune
(1984)

An interesting slice of cinematic history that doesn't live up to David Lynch's best works.
Dune is a fascinating beast of a movie that was riddled with production troubles well before the cameras got even close to rolling a single frame of 35mm celluloid; it was in production before Star Wars but IT in turn influenced Star Wars in terms of production, story and scope. So how did the film adaptation turn out considering it was in development since the early 1970s? Well, David Lynch finally got to direct the film but was denied 'final cut privilege' for the movie by the producers: and the end product suffered greatly from this. It's not unwatchable (it's got some great shots contrasted by HEAVY exposition) but it's a film frustrated with itself for not being something greater than it could have been.

Dune takes a classic book from 1966 and brings the 80s Hollywood extravaganza niche to the project: for the most part it's watchable but it's far from perfect. Star Wars already drained the core elements from its source material: the Bene Gesserit (The Jedi and The Force), the Empire (Galactic Empire), and even the Spice Melange (the Spice Mines of Kessel) were used as leverage for the original Star Wars movie. That's the trouble with adapting longstanding literature: the story may cover things other movies have since explored in their own inspired way.

Is Dune a decent movie? Yes. Is it flawless? Heavens no, but its historic significance in undeniable in the face of cinema itself. Is it bad? No; but it's not particularly great either.

Dune gets 3/5 stars. It's a fair space-opera romp that is sure to be watched by all devote Star Wars fans out there, because without the book the franchise probably would never have been a thing in the first place.

Mortal Engines
(2018)

Very underwhelming effort from Peter Jackson.
Mortal Engines is 2018's most derivative film and very underwhelming effort from the man and production team who brought us The Lord of the Rings and King Kong; now here comes his latest project and it's a Star Wars rip-off that takes from Bioshock, Mad Max, The Golden Compass and The Terminator. It's a spectacle backed by a frustratingly derivative story which doesn't compliment the otherwise beautiful visual effects.

The whole treatment of the hero's journey in this movie is so ham-fisted and predictable that it's a surprise this film hasn't been ironically memed on the internet yet. The hallmarks of modern blockbusters are all here: explosions galore, deuz-ex machina and convenient backstory discovery from unfamiliar faces and a twist ending that 'explains everything'. This is the kind of film that would inspire cliche-driven drinking games thanks to its by-the-numbers script, stereotype leads and placeholder film score. The bests thing about the film is the visual effects, but they're not enough to warrant a viewing on their own.

I'm disappointed in this film: it's not a good moviegoing experience, but it's a good laugh to be had. Mortal Engines gets 2/5 stars.

Shazam!
(2019)

The real Captain Marvel journey starts here.
Shazam! has finally come out after years of development and false starts: and I'd dare say that it's not only the best Captain Marvel interpretation, it's also the best Superman film. This film is to Superman what Galaxy Quest is to Star Trek and I'm very happy to make that comparison because this is a superhero film's superhero film; it's fun, colourful and vibrant, lively and bold, headstrong and ambitious. It's what blockbusters want to be so badly and few have managed to achieve cross-appeal so effortlessly.

Shazam! has finally done for Captain Marvel what Superman: The Movie did for The Man of Steel.

This movie gets 4.5/5 stars.

Us
(2019)

Enjoyable horror that's got some confronting commentary on US.
Jordan Peele played with people's funny bones when he was in 'Key and Peele'; now the guy's leaving his mark on the horror genre with 'Get Out' and 'Us': two films that have been part of the 2010s' horror craze that make commentary on American racism and classism. The guy's got a knack for trying to make people uncomfortable thanks to his understanding of all things funny: so inverting his comfort-zone sense of humour through discomfort and African-American suburbia in his two recent features is an oddly fitting creative choice for the guy.

This film's got callbacks to 'Jaws', 'The Shining' and 'The Birds' whilst trying to make its sense of dystopian different to that seen in 'A Quiet Place': The world of 'Us' is an uncomfortable undertaking of humanity's darkside taking physical form. It's almost indirect commentary on the alt-right movement that's plagued the world since 2016; and honestly it's a bold thing to be doing that in the world of modern horror. The scares aren't in the jumps or monsters; it's ourselves.

Though the film's horrific and unintentionally funny at times, its message and intention is clear and very important in 2019.

I give 'Us' 4/5 stars.

Resident Evil 2
(2019)

More than a simple remake: it's one of gaming's best reimaginings.
Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the original 1998 sequel to Resident Evil: the game that started it all back in 1996; and what a legacy the franchise has left for gamers all around the world. This rendition of Resident Evil 2 is more than just a graphical update of an older game: it brings a classic into the modern era of next-gen gaming with newly refined controls, re-written script, photo-realistic graphics and edge-of-your-seat horror taken to the next level.

Capcom has brought a new classic into the world: re-infusing an already great game with fantastic gameplay upgrades and unparalleled tension and bringing it all into the 21st century.

Shrek Retold
(2018)

More entertaining than the last two Shrek movies combined.
Shrek Retold is the love-child of everyone's favorite ogre becoming cinema's ultimate internet meme. Over 200 people remade the original classic into something transformative, ridiculous and downright hilarious for anyone watching it all the way through. It's an amusing mix of filmmaking, internet meme-culture and modern fandom as a whole: it's truly a piece embodying culture of the late-2010s in full swing. Part guerilla, part animated bliss, part non-linear storytelling, part fourth wall breaking, all awesome and funny!

We have the internet's first 'homegrown' absurdist masterpiece.

Nikita
(1990)

Imagine if there was a James Bond film... that was all about a Bond Girl.
La Femme Nikita is an uber-90s extravaganza from none-other than Luc Besson. The story involves a criminal given one of two choices: become an assassin or die. And that's the long and short of Nikita's story, laying the ground work for France's response to the modern James Bond films, but much more extreme and grittier deaths to it. It's a movie that was made during the 80s-90s aesthetic crossroad, the same sort of thing that Goodfellas managed to achieve when it was made a 'film of the decade' right before running headlong into a decade that gave us the likes of Toy Story, The Usual Suspects, The Matrix, American Beauty, and so on.

Nikita gets 4.5/5 stars.

A Star Is Born
(2018)

Very good remake that shows familiarity doesn't have to be mundane.
A Star is Born is a long-gestating remake of the 1937 original, and congrats on Bradley Cooper's job in directing this movie! He did a rather great job giving the film the feel of a modern rock concert whenever he and Lady Gaga are on-screen singing their hearts out to the audience. It's really a showcase to show that Lady Gaga CAN be a leading *ahem* lady given the right material and taught direction.

This film's story of rags to riches is familiar yet still inspiring for this day and age, and I'm happy that this film wasn't driven by cynical motives in order to be made. It's a love story told through two love-birds making a big splash in the music industry.

A Star is Born gets 4.5/5 stars.

Captain Marvel
(2019)

Enjoyable prequel to the MCU canon.
Captain Marvel is the only MCU film to date where the character has 'Marvel' in their official title; and even though it's not the MCU's greatest film, it's still great time-'killing' entertainment. This will become a perennial favourite for families craving more superhero action-adventure movies to add to their already expansive library. Its 90s references, Superman parallels and Samuel L. Jackson make a pretty good time to be had at the cinema. Though its main character arc is uncannily identical to Thor's journey in Thor Ragnarok it does its job well, and it's feel-good Hollywood through and through in the end.

Captain Marvel gets a high 3.5/5 star-rating.

Doctor Who
(1963)

Over half a century on, and Doctor Who is still sci-fi's most innovative franchise.
When Sydney Newman commissioned this series at the BBC in 1962, nobody expected Doctor Who to become the cultural barrier-breaking phenomenon it became after JFK's assassination in November, 1963. But alas, the show's first ever serial, An Unearthly Child, was re-aired a week later and Doctor Who became an overnight phenomenon that gave people happiness and entertainment after JFK was taken from the world too soon. Of course the following serial that made Doctor Who something more than a trending franchise in the 60s, and that serial which helped Doctor Who shoot right up into the pop-cultural stratosphere , was the story: 'The Daleks'. This story introduced The Doctor's most iconic enemies, The Daleks: cybernetic monsters from the planet Skaro who would shout 'Exterminate!' whenever they kill their prey. And thus science fiction would never be the same after Doctor Who left its mark in a post JFK-assassination world.

This show has gone on to become an out and out classic in its own right, being assessed, loved and critically revered as other British classics like Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, 'I, Claudius', The Avengers, Thunderbirds and so on; all for very good reasons. Doctor Who's brought along with it SO many classic stories comparable to the best episodes of Star Trek, like 'Genesis of the Daleks', 'Inferno', 'Earthshock', 'The Ark in Space', 'The Web of Fear', 'The Caves of Androzani', 'The Talons of Weng Chiang', 'Pyramids of Mars' and MANY more! These stories never needed high-budgets to execute their high-concept stories: just fleshed-out scripts that were complimented with great actors. Sure the show sometimes succumbs to corny acting from its extras and some of the stories do seem derivative, but overall Doctor Who still makes for some great television watching.

What makes Doctor Who so great anyway? Well, I think it all comes down to the elasticity of its creativity and using the sci-fi genre as a backdrop to ground as many of the series' stories and rules as possible. Sure it bends those rules sometimes, but does that make it boring in the slightest? Hell no. Its non-linear approach to sci-fi world-building is also part of what makes it great: each story can be seen in a non-specific manner if you like. You can essentially mix-and-match whatever Doctor Who stories you'd like to sit through as long as you see all the episodes of that given story. It's like a storybook but in episodic television form. Some franchises can be described as having that very same non-binary appeal to other fandoms like those into Star Trek and Star Wars (which Disney should understand and respect fans' desire to have non-binding canon or orders for how to appreciate their things). Everyone (who's a Whovian) has their favourite Doctor, and mine is The Fourth Doctor because of his beaming smile, his jelly babies and all-round good-guy vibe that adds to his already heroic and fearless demeanor. He's the ultimate Time Lord and many people's childhood icon! Need I really say anymore as to why Doctor Who's great?

Doctor Who gets 5/5 stars. It's more than a show; it's a goddamn legacy in and of itself. One of the very best there is.

Monster House
(2006)

Still as underwhelming as when I first saw it at the movies.
I was twelve when I first saw this at the movies, and watching it again it still feels as nonsensical and stupid as it was when I first saw it. The animation just doesn't seem right, the plot has too many conveniences with the eponymous house and its backstory is a bit cliche. The kids are okay, but the adults in this are terrible and the story builds up to a disappointing resolution that leaves you wanting something else. It's pretty empty to me, and I remember why I didn't like it all that much when I first saw it at the movies. I'm sorry if this review offended anyone reading it, but I didn't like this movie; and I still don't. But hey, to each his/her own.

Monster House gets 2/5 stars.

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