Star Trek: Picard S1E2 “Maps and Legends” Review #100WordReview @SirPatStew @StarTrekPicard

A Romulan plot appears to be afoot within the Federation which, if confirmed, would constitute an act of war. Duty and principle compel Jean-Luc Picard to tackle it head-on — with or without the support of the Federation. Episode two, “Maps and Legends”, is compelling and involves much more show and far less tell than episode one, although it does kick off with a long Dan Brown-style expository scene. Such moments are missed opportunities to build suspense. None-the-less, “Maps and “Legends” was riveting.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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© Bre-entry #Brexit #Rejoin #FBPE

The UK has finally left the European Union after more than three and a half years of chaos. Whether you agree with Brexit or not, I think we can all agree that it’s good to resolve the issue and move on.

Apart from the additional two year transition period, 2020-2021, that is.

And apart from the people already campaigning for the UK to rejoin.

So this looks like an issue we’ve never be rid of.

With that in mind, “Brexit” means “the British exit from the EU”; I hereby copyright “Bre-entry” and “Brentry”: British (re-)entry into the EU.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Star Trek: Picard S1E1 “Remembrance” Review #150WordReview @SirPatStew @StarTrekPicard

It’s been twenty years since Jean-Luc Picard retired from active duty. Haunted by dreams of his friend Data, who gave his life to safe Picard’s 20 years before, and the destruction of the planet Romulus, Jean-Luc has retired to the sanctuary of his idyllic vineyard to ponder the past. But his attempts at a peaceful existence are disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious guest.

There are a couple of very nice action sequences, and a lot of Patrick Stewart sitting around staring into space and smiling like an avuncular but semi-senile philosopher. And an old foe is hinted at. But nothing much happens. Episode One, “Remembrance”, felt like the first 15 minutes stretched to fill 46.

Is this your typical Trek? No. Does “Remembrance” hint at great things to come? Yes. Did it seem slightly pointless. Also, yes. A solid and entertaining, albeit uninspiring, opener.

3/5

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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© 2015-2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

You might have noticed some of my recent posts having notices at the bottom along these lines: “© 2015-2020 Bryan A. J. Parry”. I mean, how can a tiny blogpost take five years to write? I haven’t gone mad, it’s just that I had to stop blogging for a bit, hence I piled up quite a large backlog of stuff. I am always writing. Therefore, I’ve got scores of unpublished drafts. It’s so annoying that I have a life to live which is causing me to not post as often as I like; if only I wasn’t alive, I could post every day! And ironically…

© 2019 – 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Star Trek: Picard (Season 1): Preview

Star Trek: Picard is the seventh* and latest series of the franchise. A retired Jean-Luc Picard is tormented by the death of his friend Data and the destruction of the planet Romulus. We find him doing what everyone does to recover from tragedy: farming courgettes or whatever. However, stuff happens, and that means there’s only one man who can fix it: stereotypically English, Frenchman Jean-Luc Picard. The ten episode first season airs on Amazon Prime on the 23rd of January 2020. We know that Philipa Georgiou from Star Trek: Discovery and, every wanker’s favourite, Star Trek: Voyager‘s Seven-of-Nine will feature.

I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I’ve seen and own every episode of every Trek. However, unlike many Trek fans (both the terms “Trekkie” and “Trekker” are for losers), I don’t like The Original Series with Shatner and co, and, whilst I loved The Next Generation, my favourite Treks are actually Deep Space 9 and Enterprise — ya know, the Treks where everything is effed up. Therefore, news that Star Trek: Picard features swearwords doesn’t in the least bit cause my tachyon matrix to go into flux, as it has some fans.

No, what causes me concern is that, like Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 4, or like Harrison Ford in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, or like Harrison Ford in Blade Runner: 2049, this smacks of an old and failing actor cashing in on something he did years ago when he was still actually good. Easy money for old rope. That, and Stewart has stated that with this series he is responding to Brexit and Trump (really??). Plus, Stewart is producing this, so it will likely all be unedited, self-congratulatory pap.

Having said that, I can’t wait! I do love Stewart, and not just for Trek. I’m not that bothered if they take Star Trek off in all sorts of funky directions; we have the six series we love, so what’s the point in rebooting those? We have them already! Why not let’s boldly go where no fan has gone before? Set course for Seventh Heaven, Number One!

*The Animated Series doesn’t count.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Netflix Film Review: Unforgettable (2017) #100WordReview @netflix @thefilmreview @kermodemovie @theisabellakai @rosariodawson @KatieHeigl @geoffstults

check out my film review and Netflix blog at https://filmmovietvblog.wordpress.com

Julia (Rosario Dawson) has just clawed herself out of a violently abusive relationship. Her reward: super job and wonder-man David (Geoff Stults). But her new life is shattered by David’s “tightly wound” ex-wife Tessa (Katherine Heigl) who cannot, and will not, accept that she has been replaced. Julia battles the demons of her past to overcome everyone’s doubt and her new foe.

With a title like Unforgettable, this film is almost asking to fall on its face. The truly compelling central performances by Dawson and Heigl stop this being a waste of time, but a classic it is not. Trite, boring.

2/5

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Netflix Film Review: Fractured (2019) #100WordReview @netflix @thefilmreview @kermodemovie @fracturedfilmUK @_SamWorthington @lilrabe

check out my film review and Netflix blog at https://filmmovietvblog.wordpress.com

A troubled couple, Ray and Joanne (Sam Worthington, Lily Rabe), stop at a petrol station where their daughter’s arm gets Fractured in a fall. They rush to the nearest hospital, but something is terribly amiss. Pushy staff keep mentioning organ donation. And when daughter Peri (Lucy Capri) and Joanne disappear during an MRI, the hospital deny they checked in — or even exist at all. Ray must fight to save his family and prove his sanity.

A kind of horror Flightplan, we are kept guessing until the end: abducted family, or imagined family?

Unsettling, thrilling, but slightly shlocky. A good romp.

3/5

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://rue-morgue.com/framework/uploads/2019/09/Fractured_1x1-1024×1024.jpg

New Year’s Resolutions 2020 #NewYearsResolutions2020

As a world-weary late adolescent, I gave up on making new year’s resolutions, mainly because you/I never follow through on them properly. Therefore, it felt like lying to myself to even bother making them at all. Then, in my late twenties, I started making them again because, ya know, fear of impending middle age and failure and all that. But, yeah, once again, my resolutions were somewhat incomplete. So I gave up again for a year or two (2018 and 2019).

But now I’ve got my resolution mojo back! What I’ve learnt from the mountain of failures in my life is this: I think the key to making successful resolutions is (1) to make them achievable (i.e. “SMART“) goals, (2) make very few goals, but make them important ones, as quality is better than quantity.

With that in mind.

  • GOAL ONE*: get down to my wedding weight (2013), which was pretty healthy, by the 31st of December 2020. That is, 14st 5lb (201lb, c. 91kg).
  • GOAL TWO: achieve B2 level in Spanish; if timetables allow it, I’ll also successfully take a B2 DELE (official Spanish exam).

I have other things I want to achieve, as well, but I think I need to keep things SMART and achievable.

Both goals are very achievable. GOAL ONE, the weight goal, is roughly a pound of weight loss a week for the whole year, or 4-5 pounds a month. Extremely achievable. A healthy weight loss is 2-3 lbs, no problem. GOAL TWO, the language goal, is also highly achievable as I am already B2 for some skills in Spanish and B1 or B1+ for others. I just need to set aside certain hours a week as part of a routine and then stick to it; I’m not starting from nought here!

Both goals are immensely achievable, especially if I start right away and take the tortoise slow-but-steady approach. But there’s another component to achieving goals; they need to be things that you really, really want. A lot. And I do.

See you this time next year for Groundhog Day! ;-D

*all caps is the electronic equivalent of carving it in stone, doncha know.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Random Quotes 3: Brecht

Would it not be easier… for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?
Bertold Brecht

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Netflix Film Review: The Boy Next Door (2015) #100WordReview @TheBoyNextDoor @JLo #TheBoyNextDoor @ryanAguzman @Netflix @thefilmreview @ianmnelson95 @Lex_Atkins @KermodeMovie

check out my film review and Netflix blog at https://filmmovietvblog.wordpress.com

Having recently separated from her philandering husband, lonely teacher Claire (Jennifer Lopez) has a night of passion with her new next door neighbour: young, sexy-but-smart Noah (Ryan Guzman). Yet when Claire tells Noah she made a mistake, Noah won’t accept it and starts his reign of stalking terror.

Despite The Boy Next Door being a paint-by-numbers thriller-stalker ideal for playing cliché bingo, it’s very entertaining. Great pacing, logical follow-through, and the acting is mostly convincing — although Guzman increasingly hams as the tension rises.

A good film? No. Entertaining? Undoubtedly. Unoriginal and sometimes absurd, The Boy Next Door is a guilty pleasure.

3/5