Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

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When his father goes missing and is presumed dead, former Pokemon trainer Sam journeys to Rhyme City, a high-tech utopia where humans and the multi-colored, super-powered animals live in harmony. There, while searching through his dad’s apartment, he encounters a Pikachu, who, shockingly, can speak English. Pikachu claims to have known Sam’s father and says that the man is not, in fact, dead. Realizing that there may be a chance to save his dad, Sam teams up with the talking, lightning-tailed mouse, and sets off to unravel the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Continue reading

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Love, Death & Robots (Season 1, 2019)

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What if the world were ruled by yogurt? What if a couple had a civilization in their fridge? What if the military recruited werewolves to hunt terrorists? These questions and more are asked and answered in Love, Death & Robots, a brand-new Netflix anthology series. Consisting of 18 animated shorts from different directors, the stories have no narrative connections, and all feature different tones and art styles. The only real thing linking them is the motif of science fiction, and even that’s tenuous, since several of the stories, like the aforementioned werewolf film, would more comfortably fit in the fantasy genre. Even so, the series is engaging enough, with plenty of unique ideas and slick visuals to keep you invested. According to the show’s producers, David Fincher, and Tim Miller, their only objective was to “make something cool.” And, in my opinion, they more than succeeded in that regard. Continue reading

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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In the future, a catastrophic war has left the Earth devastated. Now, the last remaining humans live in a trash-covered, overcrowded metropolis, Iron City, which sits below a floating utopia, Zalem. Iron City’s inhabitants dream of going up to Zalem, but are not permitted to. And so, they do everything in their power, stealing, bounty-hunting, gladiatorial combat, to enter the flying paradise. In the midst of all this, Dr. Ido, a scientist who came down from Zalem years ago, finds a cyborg girl in the trash, realizes she’s still alive, and so rebuilds her. The girl, whom he names Alita after his deceased daughter, can’t remember her past, but possesses incredible abilities, including knowledge of the long-dead martial art Panzer Kunst, which was used by soldiers during the war. Things only get more complicated when Nova, a man up on Zalem, begins recruiting people down on the ground, including gangsters, bounty hunters and hit men, to bring him Alita’s heart. Will she survive? Will she find out who she is? Well… Continue reading

Blade Of The Immortal (2017)

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When her parents are slaughtered by a ruthless group of swordsmen, teenaged Rin seeks out a ronin named Manji, who, rumor has it, cannot be killed. This gossip turns out to be true, as we see Manji being able to recover from what should be fatal injuries, including several instances where he re-attaches severed limbs to his body. Manji is reluctant to help her at first, knowing, all too well, what the price of vengeance is, but eventually agrees, seeing in Rin a shot at redemption. So the two set out in search of the wicked swordsmen, and what follows is 151 minutes of spraying blood and flashing steel. Continue reading

Death Note (2017)

While doing other people’s homework, angry nerd Light Turner stumbles across a mysterious book with the words “Death Note” written on it. And by “stumbled,” I mean it falls from the sky, and hits him on the head. Anyway, when he opens it, a strange, spiky-faced demon named Ryuk appears before him, and explains that if Light writes a person’s name in the book, and pictures their face while doing so, he’ll be able to kill the unlucky soul. Realizing that this gives him virtually unlimited power, Light uses the book to kill off bullies, murderers and terrorists, eventually creating a god-like persona for himself called Kira. Some people love him, since he’s basically ridding the world of evil. Others hate him, since he’s essentially deciding who is worthy of life and who isn’t. Either way, the police, led by an eccentric detective called L, are brought in, and begin investigating Kira’s identity. This puts the pressure on Light, and his bloodthirsty girlfriend, Mia, who start to realize that, shock of all shocks, maybe killing people off indiscriminately is bad. Continue reading

Ghost In The Shell (2017)

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In a dystopian, futuristic Tokyo, the line between humanity and technology has blurred. Virtually everyone is “enhanced” in some way, possessing cybernetic limbs, eyes, or, in the case of the film’s protagonist, an entire body. She is the first of her kind; a human consciousness, or “ghost,” inside an entirely robotic body, or “shell.” As such, she is stronger, faster, and more intelligent than regular people, and has absolutely no fear of death or injury, since she can just be rebuilt after being destroyed. This makes her the ideal police officer, and that’s precisely what she is, a member of the elite Crime Fighting Unit, Section 9, which takes down terrorists that threaten this new world. But when several high-ranking scientists of a prominent robotics firm wind up dead, and she and her teammates start investigating, she learns that there is more to her origin, and the man perpetrating these murders, than meets the eye. Continue reading