The 4th Kelvinverse Star Trek Movie Shelved

The news broke that the 4th Kelvinverse Star Trek movie is now shelved! The untitled film which would have been the fourth in the franchise which began with 2009’s J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Trek” has been “shelved.” The film, which in one iteration would reportedly have brought back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk in a time travel adventure, first ran aground in August 2018 when Hemsworth and James T. Kirk actor Chris Pine reportedly exited the film over budgetary issues. The last film in the series, “Star Trek Beyond,” was released in 2016.

What does this mean for Star Trek? Well, along with Star Trek : Discovery, which will launch it’s season 2 premier in a few days, we also have the Jean-Luc Picard series which is on the way and is being developed. Along with that there seems to be the push to have a few more series based in the Star Trek universe and have like a Marvel or DC kinda cross over thing happening. I am not sure if that will be the case and if all the newer series will be during the same timeline (the Picard series will be set 20 years after the events of Star Trek : Nemesis so atleast that show will be set in the 24th century).

What I really hope is that they return to the core of Star Trek and make it more about exploration – both in the physical realm and what it is to be human (or Vulcan or Trill or Klingon) rather than what we have had so far in recent years. I wasn’t too happy with the Kelvinverse, with the exception of Star Trek : Beyond; a movie which felt like it was true Star Trek and not littered with JJ’s drivel. I want a strong franchise set past the events of Nemesis and have a strong crew that will take us forward.

Venom (2018)

Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, it stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.

The Life Foundation, headed by genius founder Carlton Drake, has a spaceship in space exploring the nearby systems. A probe from the spaceship discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms and they capture 4 samples. One escapes and causes the spaceship to crash in Malaysia when on it’s way back to earth. The Life Foundation recovers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where they discover that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often fatally reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock accidentally finds a confidential document about the start of human trials in the possession of his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney preparing a lawsuit defense for the Life Foundation.

He confronts Drake about this in an interview, which his boss meant to be more of a fluff piece, and this leads to him being thrown out of the office buildings, and losing his job and getting Anne fired. She bricks up because of this in anger and moves on. Eddie, struggles on his own and tried to make ends meet as the months pass by. Six months later, Drake’s symbiosis trials are closer to success, though one of his symbiotes dies due to carelessness. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, is one of the test subjects.

Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but the symbiote possessing her transfers to his body without him realizing, leaving her dead. Brock escapes and soon begins displaying strange symptoms. He reaches out to Weying for help, and her new boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, discovers the symbiote on examining Brock. Drake exposes Skirth to the remaining captive symbiote, which ultimately dies. This leaves the symbiote inside Brock as the only known surviving specimen. Brock fights off the goons as the symbiote forms  around his body as a monstrous creature that fights off the attackers. It introduces itself as Venom to Brock as and explains that the comet is searching for planets where the symbiotes can possess and devour the inhabitants. Venom offers to spare Brock if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal, and Brock comes to enjoy the superhuman attributes that the symbiote imbues him with.

Brock breaks into his former employers’ office to turn in evidence against Drake but is corner by cops as he attempts to leave. Anne seems him transforming and takes him in to see her new boyfriend, Dr. Lewis, at the hospital. He explains that the symbiote is slowly rotting Brock’s internal organs. Brock notes that the symbiote has two weaknesses: high-pitched noises and fire. Although Venom claims that the organ damage can be prevented, Anne uses an MRI machine to help Brock separate from the symbiote. Brock is then captured by Drake’s men. Meanwhile, the fourth symbiote, Riot, makes its way from Malaysia to San Francisco by hopping from body to body. It bonds with Drake, who agrees to take Riot in a Life Foundation space probe to collect the rest of the symbiotes and bring them to Earth. Weying reluctantly bonds with Venom so they can free Brock.

Venom back with Brock again, goes to stop Drake/Riot as the symbiote is now convinced that earth has to be saved. Venom damages the probe as it takes off, causing it to explode and kill both Riot and Drake. Weying believes Brock is no longer bonded to Venom after this, and that Venom also died in the explosion. However, the pair remain secretly bonded and set out to protect San Francisco by killing criminals. Brock also returns to journalism, and in a mid-credits scene he is invited to interview incarcerated serial killer Cletus Kasady, who promises “carnage” when he escapes.

The storyline and pacing isn’t the best and it feels very chaotic. They spend too much time without the Venom character and it feels like they could have avoided that by cutting out uninteresting stuff. I wasn’t convinced by Hardy’s performance during the first half of the movie but when he bonds with Venom, it’s much better. Special effects are good, action sequences are generic. The film went on to be an unexpected box office success, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2018 with over $855 million worldwide – though why I don’t know. 7 outta 10!

The Predator

The Predator is a 2018 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Fred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in the Predator film series, following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), and Predators (2010). Black had a supporting role in the original film, while John Davis returns as producer from the first three installments. The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown.

A battle in space ends up with a Predator creating a wormhole in space to evade the other ship, pilotted by a larger one (the Ultimate Predator). He reaches earth and crash lands in the woods of Mexico. Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna and his team are attacked by the Predator on a hostage retrieval mission. McKenna incapacitates the Predator and has its armor mailed off. Government agent Will Trager has Quinn captured and brought back to be interrogated. Traeger also takes the Predator to a lab for experimentation and observation, recruiting evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket to study it. We learn that the Predator has some human DNA, meaning at one point the alien species experiment with our DNA to enhance theirs. The Predator awakes, breaks out of its bonds, kills lab workers, but spares Case before leaving, as was then unarmed and naked (to use the decontamination chamber).

Meanwhile, the packages with the Preadtor armous that Quinn sent to a PO Box address ends up in his home address where his estranged wife Emily and their autistic but extremey clever son Rory live. Rory opens the box and works on the devices which leads the Ultimate to earth. McKenna is bussed off with a group of other government captives, including ex-Marine Gaylord “Nebraska” Williams, military veterans Coyle and Baxley, helicopter pilot Nettles, and Lynch, another ex-Marine. They see the alien escaping and take over the bus and attack the Predator and rescue Casey. When the Predator leaves, they head over to McKenna’s estranged wife, Emily, where he expects to find the Predator armor he mailed off. Rory has taken the helmet as a trick of treat mask but inadvertently leads the Predators to him.

McKenna and the others find his son just in time to stop a pair of Predator Dogs from ambushing the boy. The Predator chases them into a nearby school. They start to give the Predator’s armor back when the larger Ultimate Predator arrives and kills the first. They flee, and the second Predator sets out to retrieve the lost technology. Bracket concludes that the Predators are attempting to improve themselves with the DNA of humans and, presumably, other planets’ inhabitants. The team flees to an abandoned barn, but Traeger finds them, captures them, and shares his theory that the Predators anticipate that climate change will end their ability to retrieve human DNA for further hybridization, so they are scrambling to retrieve it before it is too late. Seeing Rory drawing a map to the spaceship, Traeger takes the boy away to go to the ship. The team escapes and goes after him with the help of a brain-damaged Predator Dog.

The Ultimate kills Lynch and tells the group using a translator that he plans to give them a head start  before it hunts them down. The Predator quickly kills off most of the team. Traeger tries to use a Predator weapon on the alien but accidentally kills himself in the process. He then takes Rory into his ship as his autism eflects an advancement in human evolution and is therefore worthwhile in the Predator hybridization, and flies away in his ship. McKenna, Nebraska, and Nettles land on the ship’s exterior, but the Predator activates a force field. This slices Nettles’ legs off, and he falls off of the ship to his death. Nebraska sacrifices himself and slides into the ship’s turbine, causing it to crash. McKenna sneaks into the ship as it crashes and attacks the Predator.

After the crash, Bracket arrives, and the three manage to overpower and finish the Predator with its own weapons. They pay their respects to their fallen comrades with trinkets representing each one before heading off. The end scene has McKenna and Rory are seen in a science lab watching the opening of cargo found on the Predator’s ship. A large gauntlet is found and attaches itself to a scientist nearby, transforming into a full body metal armour or Predator Killer suit before disarming upon not finding any Predators in the area. We assume this leads to a sequel or two when this armour will be put to use.

This movie is a mess. A violent, gory, cluttered mess. It’s bad. Really bad. The dialogues are cringe-worthy. The acting – Olivia Munn is someone I like a lot but just watch her explaining about what the Predator is doing to enhance themselves using DNA from other creatures like humans and – it’s awful! It was almost like she knew it was terrible and hence hams it up! Her facial expressions were comical. The other characters were bad too – I was rooting for the giant Predator the whole time. 5.5 outta 10!

The Search For Spock’s Horses

So I had posted in October that I was planning my 2018 Star Trek movies rewatching. This is something I do every 2 years and usually towards the end of the year, November-December. I have watched the first 3 films and I was reminded of something.

As a kid I only remember the Star Trek Motion Picture but I don’t remember watching the full movie. I am talking about when I was 7-9 years old, (1983-85) though the movie came out in 1979. But that’s when I remember my extended family watching and talking about that film and how excited they were then an Indian actress, Persis Khambatta, had a major role in it. The only other Trek movie I remember watching before I became a Trekkie at the age of 19 in 1995 was Star Trek III : The Search For Spock.

Back in the late 80s & 1990s we had memberships in a few VHS video lending library. And at one small one in Palarivattom, I remember picking up the Search for Spock as I was curious about the franchise. I must have been 13 or 14 at the time and didn’t know much about Star Trek. For some reason, I remember this movie having the Klingons riding on horses. I dunno why but that’s what I remember even though it’s not in the film. Although when I later watched the movie many years later, I did not remember the story but I was trying to look out for the horses.

This time too on Sunday, when I was rewatching the movie for the 10th time, I was looking out for the horses. No horses anywhere!

Ranking The Star Wars Movies, Redoux

Back in April I did my first ranking of the 11 Star Wars movies (including the Ewok ones) at the time. After watching the Solo : A Star Wars Story film a few weeks ago (Or like I call it, When Hanny Met Chewy) I just had to redo the ranking. And…I also have a change having watched The Force Awakens for the second time, I put it above Rogue One. I guess my ranking can change over the years but that’s what fun about doing lists. So here is my new ranking of the Star Wars films.

  • IV – A New Hope (1977)
  • III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • VI – apply for a small loan Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Rogue One : A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
  • I secured bad credit personal loan – The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
  • Solo : A Star Wars Story
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)

The Search For Star Trek DVDs

I have been looking but failing to find all the first 10 Star Trek movies on dvd in India. Unless it’s for some crazy money. This is crazy. It’s Star Trek! STAR TREK! I have the last 3 ones which are from the reboot/alternate universe or Kelvinverse movies from 2009 to 2016 onwards but I want the first 10. The ones that are near and dear to me.

Ofcourse I could get them on Amazon.com but the price in dollars vs rupees is also crazy. I’m gonna wait and see if I get some freelance online work that I was contacted for and if so, some of the payment is pretty good. Like $100 for one job and if I can get a couple of those or more (like I was told) then I can buy these sets that I really like and have them displayed in my collection and watch the movies on dvd finally.

But it’s crazy being a movie fan in India and finding it so difficult to get proper dvd releases at decent prices. Why do you think Indians pirate movies via download a lot? The crazy prices when we want to buy legally would kill us.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story (or simply Solo) is a 2018 American space Western film based on the Star Wars character Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the second Star Wars anthology film following Rogue One (2016). Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany. The plot takes place approximately ten years prior to the events of A New Hope, and explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who join a heist within the criminal underworld.

When you look at it one way, it’s a movie about when Hanny Met Cheewy! LOL, I could not resist. Anyway, what’s with the prequels that is bogging down scifi these past few years. Lovers Han & Qi’ra who grew up together as orphans on Coreilla, escape from the clutches of a local gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with stolen coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his surname, Han says he is alone with no family, so the recruiter gives him the last name “Solo”. 3 years later, due to insubordination he is now an infantry man fighting on Minban.

He meets conmen & smugglers Tobias Beckett, his wife Val & Rio Durant who are posing as soldiers and he is dumped into a pit to be eaten by a beast when he almost rats them out. The beast turns out to be Chewbacca (who eats humans apparently) and he speaks in Woookie language to join forced and escape. Beckett, impressed by Han’s resilience, lets the two on board and enlists them in the gang to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up, led by Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife Val, and the destruction of the coaxium. Knowing his bDryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’ yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and is Vos’ top lieutenant.

Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits. After reaching Kessel in the Millennium Falcon and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. In the confusion, they steal the coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship through the dangerous and uncharted Kessel Run to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.

Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’ strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’ superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’ position. She avoids speaking of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.

Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him, shooting Beckett before he can return fire. With his dying words Beckett tells Han he made a smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys, who then offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him a vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a job.

Altogether it felt like a movie put together to show “hey, here is where Han got the Falcon, here is where he met Lando and how Chewbacca became his side-kick”. High praise for Woody, who is always good, and Emilia Clarke who is awesome too in her role. 7 outta 10!

Buying DVDs To Start A Collection

Well I have finally done it! I have dipped my toes into the dvd collection world and made my first proper purchases of dvds. So, usually I would get pirates copies (what are sold as dvds but are copies with cheap print outs of the dvd covers) and the Torrents ofcourse, like most of India and the developing world does. But things have changed a lot since then. Now we have legal options for downloading or streaming movies like Sony LIV, HotStar, Amazon Prime or Netflix. While those are getting really popular and are available for less money on a monthly or yearly basis, I still crave the physical media.

So on checking prices for movies on dvd online in both Flipkart and Amazon India, I short term loans for students uk finally made my first 3 purchases. I wanted them to be from the original movie series but it’s still Star Trek and that’s fine in my book. So I bought the Kelvinverse trilogy movies of Star Trek (2009), Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016) on a great deal. They are individual cases and all that, though I do remember seeing a box set I think. But these are for great prices on a limited deal. Infact, I could have gotten it even cheaper had I placed the orders last night. But I waited till morning and thus lost the Star Trek Beyond dvd that was selling for a cheaper rate.

It’s gonna be slow and I won’t be able to afford to buy many dvds on a monthly basis but I will build my collection. Blurays are out of the question for now. But someday that too will be easier to buy.

Village of the Damned

From 1995 we have Village of the Damned is a 1995 American science fiction-horror film directed by John Carpenter and a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which in turn is based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The 1995 remake is set in Northern California, whereas the book and original film were both set in the United Kingdom. The 1995 film was marketed with the tagline, “Beware the Children”, and stars the late Christopher Reeve (in his last film role before being paralyzed), Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, Mark Hamill, and Meredith Salenger.

In the quaint coastal town of Midwich in California’s Marin County, we see a sort of fog or mist pass through during the early morning hours and everyone including humans, animals and birds fall unconscious the same morning at 10 am. The military comes in and when their men cross the town border they fall unconscious too. 6 hours later everyone wakes up at the same time and find a couple of people died in accidents. Later they discover that 6 women, of different ages, are now pregnant including one woman who hasn’t had sex in months and a virgin teenager. None of the women seek abortions, and later all the babies are born simultaneously on one night – five boys and five girls, though one female is stillborn.

The children are all healthy and sound, but have pale skin, unusually soft, flat-sided platinum blonde hair; fierce intellect, and cobalt eyes. However, they do not appear to possess a conscience or personalities. The children display eerie psychic abilities that can result in violent and deadly consequences whenever they experience pain or provocation. Except for David, the others pair off as they know they are supposed to mate later in life. David is smaller, and is unlike the rest of the children in that he has a capacity for human emotion, and compassion. He and his mother Jill McGowan (the local school teacher) share a brief conversation about this, displaying empathy and remorse. The children’s leader is Mara, the daughter of a local physician, Dr. Alan Chaffee.

Even as a baby, Mara exhibited vengeful tendencies with regard to the use of her abilities, using her mind to force her mother to boil her arm in hot soup and commit suicide by jumping off the cliff. The children, who are by now known to have a hive mind, eventually move to the local barn as their classroom and for survival. The town folk learn that there are other colonies of blackout children in foreign countries, but due to their inhuman nature they were quickly eliminated, in some cases at the cost of destroying the entire town. Government scientist, Dr. Susan Verner, is forced to show the children the preserved stillborn baby she secretly kept to study, and the preserved corpse is seen to be undeniably alien. The children collectively force her to fatally stab herself.

An angry mob gathers to kill the children, but the leader is forced to set herself on fire and burns to death, and later the state police are mentally controlled into shooting each other in a chaotic gun battle. Using a method that Susan taught him, Alan hides his thought from the children by envisioning a sturdy brick wall and then plans to detonate a suitcase filled with explosives. The children begin to suspect that Alan is hiding something, and they slowly “destroy” the wall. Finally, Jill shows up, but the children stop her and attempt to use mind control. David, tired of this, rushes to her defense and knocks Mara over. The children turn on David, but Jill rushes him from the building. As soon as the children discover that Alan is hiding his knowledge of the bomb, it detonates in an enormous explosion, killing Alan and the alien children.

Jill and David, however, are safe in a car fleeing the site; she says that they will both move to a place where nobody knows them. David looks off into the distance as they drive away. I wish they could have made a sequel to this. I like the cast and the acting. It’s a good enough film for a late afternoon spin. 7.5 outta 10!

2018 Star Trek Movie Rewatch

Since 2014 I have decided to do my Star Trek movie marathon every two years. So in November of that year I started watching all 12 movies that were released until that point. Remember this is only the movies since the series will take a much longer, longer time to get through all the shows and episodes.

I did the same th cash loans unemployed ing in 2016 but this time I had the 2016 release Star Trek Beyond to add to the list. So this year as well we will have the 13 movie Star Trek movie rewatching that is due every two years. I guess I will start in November but since I have a 3 day weekend coming up this week due to Friday being a holiday, I could actually start it earlier. Nah, I guess I will wait for the new tv to arrive and start then. Which could be next weekend!

Question is should I start with The Motion Picture (1979) which is the first ever movie or start with Star Trek (2009) the reboot/alternative timelime/Kelvinverse? I usually start with TMP but this year I guess I could start with the 2009 movie. Oh well, I will decide once I start it off.

Superhero Stuff

Is anyone fed up or getting superhero movie fatigue? Not me. I hope the MCU carries on and on for a long, long time. As well as the DCEU grows and makes more movies and becomes as successful as the MCU. I do not see myself ever getting tired of it, though I do think more than 3-4 superhero films a year can be tedious.

I am excited about the upcoming films like Auquaman, Captain Marvel & the as of yet unnamed 4th Avengers film. I hope there will be a Ben Affleck Batman movie (or 2 or 3) and we are going to get Shazam, Wonder Woman 2, Cyborg & The Flash as well a new reboot Green Lantern film as well  by the time 2020 is done and dusted. That is good pacing.

Unlike a lot of fans I never was a big comics fan. I read some Superman, Batman, a bit of the Avengers, some Iron man, Thor, a bit of Green Arrow & Green Lantern and The Flash as a kid. Spiderman on tv as the cartoon but never read many comics and watched Batman & Superman movies and Wonder Woman on tv. I had never heard of Black Panther, Dr. Strange,  Deadpool, The X-Men, Captain Marvel etc until the movies were announced. My superhero was the Phantom, whose comics were very popular in India and which I read after moving here back in 1987.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and the original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg as executive producers.  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplin joining the cast.

Set 3 years after the events of Jurassic World, a  small team of mercenaries arrives on the abandoned Isla Nublar to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. After successfully collecting a bone fragment, the team’s survivors barely escape the island following attacks by the Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. As a US Senate hearing debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct John Hammond’s mistake of cloning them. Hammond’s former partner, Benjamin Lockwood, summons Claire Dearing, who has started the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals, to his Northern California estate.

Lockwood and his aide, Eli Mills, reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary and Claire is needed to help reactivate the park’s dinosaur tracking system to locate the animals, particularly Blue, the last surviving Velociraptor. Although they are estranged, Claire recruits Jurassic World’s former Velociraptor trainer and Blue’s alpha, Owen Grady, to help capture her. Things go wrong and it turns out that Mills has hired a mercenary team led by Ken Wheatley to capture 11 dinosaurs on the black market. They also use Blue. They will also unveil the Indoraptor, a new genetically-modified dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu using Indominus rex and Velociraptor DNA. Wu wants Blue’s DNA to create an enhanced Indoraptor but after Blue is shot and bleeding badly, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez uses T-Rex blood, that Owen and Claire took from a doped up Rex, for a transfusion.

At the  Lockwood’s estate, Mills & Gunnar Eversol auction the dinosaurs and the Indominus rex fetches a royal sum of $30 million. After his granddaughter, Maisie, informs Lockwood about the auction, he confronts Mills, who murders him. Maisie is later revealed to have been cloned from Lockwood’s deceased daughter and is the reason John Hammond, who opposed human cloning, ended their association. The dinosaurs are transported to Lockwood’s estate and caged. Zia and Franklin narrowly evade capture, but Owen and Claire are apprehended and confined. Owen incites a Stygimoloch into breaking open their cell. They find Maisie, who leads them to the auction where the Indoraptor is being sold despite Wu’s protests that it is a prototype.

Owen disrupts the proceedings by luring the Stygimoloch into the room. In the ensuing chaos, Wheatley tranquilizes the Indoraptor to extract a tooth as a trophy, but it feigns sedation and escapes, killing him, Eversol, and others. The Indoraptor hunts Owen, Claire, and Maisie throughout the mansion. Zia releases Blue, who attacks the Indoraptor, causing it to fall through a glass roof to its death. When a hydrogen cyanide gas leak threatens the caged animals, Maisie is unable to let them die and frees them, despite Owen’s objections. The Tyrannosaurus devours Mills and tramples the Indominus bone, destroying it. Owen, Claire, Maisie, Zia, and Franklin escape safely, while Blue and the other dinosaurs escape.

In a new U.S. Senate hearing, Dr. Malcolm declares the beginning of a Neo-Jurassic Age, where humans and dinosaurs must learn to coexist. The closing scenes show the freed dinosaurs roaming wilderness and loans quick cash outer urban areas.

To be honest this film did not capture my attention and imagination the way the first two did and the previous movie did. It just lacks actual thrilling moments and is kinda predictable to be suspenseful at all. I do love the way they did the dinosaurs. I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

The Beyond (2017)

The Beyond is a 2017 independent science fiction thriller film written and directed by Hasraf Dullul. It was Dullul’s first feature film as a director and is loosely based on the 2014 short film Project Kronos. The movie is shot like a documentary. The cast is mostly working actors like Jane Perry, Nigel Barber, Noeleen Comiskey, etc.

In 2019 an anomaly, nicknamed The Void, appears above the Earth. Communications are disrupted, there is a power outage on the International Space Station (ISS), and an astronaut, Jim Marcell, goes missing (presumed dead). Alex Grant (Barber), Head of Exploration Missions, reveals that this isn’t the first time the anomaly has been encountered, as it first appeared in 1990 when it was visible for two months before mysteriously disappearing. The Space Agency, run by Gillian Laroux (Perry) sends probes into the anomaly. Communication with the probes is soon lost, but data analysis reveals it might be a wormhole, with a planet-like structure on the other side. Cosmologist Jessica Johnson (Comiskey) argues that this could be a first contact event. Despite resistance from her team, Laroux wants to send astronauts to investigate further.

Astrophysicist Professor Jakob Brukiehm (David Bailie) who says it would be suicidal to send  to send astronauts to investigate further due to the gravitational waves. The only feasible solutions he says are robotics or probes. Strange orbs then begin to appear in the sky and The Void starts emitting waves. Concern rises about the threat posed by The Void and The Spheres. A secret US military organisation offers its classified robotics technology – Human 2.0 – to help solve the Space Agency’s dilemma. Human 2.0 was designed to fuse human brains with synthetic bodies to create more robust soldiers. The US military argues this technology will allow the Space Agency to send an astronaut successfully into The Void.

After they go through a few candidates, wheelchair user and drone pilot Carl Roberts (Tom Christian) is selected. However, the procedure to fuse Roberts’ brain with the synthetic body fails and Roberts dies. After struggling with her decision, Jessica Johnson volunteers to be the next candidate and this time the procedure is successful. The US military also produce a Human 2.0 soldier to accompany Johnson on her mission, with this version containing unspecified weaponry. Johnson and the 2.0 soldier are launched into The Void, with Johnson reporting beautiful lights before disappearing. Five days later the mission returns unexpectedly, but when the capsule is recovered only Johnson is in the craft, with no sign of the Human 2.0 soldier. The craft looks like it has been in space for a very long time.

By the time Johnson regains her consciousness, scientists retrieve data from her brain and discover several years of memories have been made – far more than the week since she was launched into The Void. As people begin to panic, military begin to attack the spheres. Johnson wakes up and reveals what she remembers after the communications blackout. She says there was a lot of light and when she closed her eyes the Human 2.0 soldier was mysteriously transported out of the craft. She says the soldier looked fearful and kept looking at his arm, which detonated like a nuclear bomb. She passed out and awoke on a planet. On the planet she met Jim Marcell who communicated to her that everything was going to be okay. The Space Agency is sceptical about Johnson’s memories, although Laroux is hopeful this means Marcell is alive and The Void and The Spheres are not malicious.

The solar system is them destroys and debris heads towards the earth Suddenly The Spheres begin to change and form a protective barrier around the earth. The realisation dawns that the presence of The Spheres has been completely misinterpreted as an attack, whereas they’d been sent to protect the earth. The Void disappears. Marcell is detected in the Arizona desert unharmed but without any memory of what has happened. In the aftermath of the events, a new solar system appears, with another planet almost identical to earth, offering new hope for humanity. The film ends with Human 2.0s on Earth 2.0 encountering the lifeforms from The Void.

A very ambitious and original storyline and film and it shows how much you can do with a very limited budget. The documentary style makes it almost credible but it also makes it lack excitement and energy. 6.5 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : STAR TREK ALIEN SPECIES

As most readers and people who know me personally will know, I am a huge Star Trek fan aka Trekkie. I love the franchise to death and it is my favourite scfi & favourite anything of all time. So if I were not following humans in the future, what alien race would I like to see stories about? Here is my top 11 alien races from the Star Trek universe.

  • Klingons
  • Vulcans
  • Ferengi
  • The Borg
  • Cardassians
  • Romulans
  • Ocampa
  • Xindi
  • Trill
  • Bajoran
  • Betazoid