Reviews Science Fiction Television

The Silent Sea on Netflix: Entertaining

I watched The Silent Sea on Netflix this last weekend. It’s a South Korean drama about a trip to a research station on the moon. As you can imagine, not much goes right for the crew tasked with finding something and bringing it back.

There are English subtitles and an English dub (I read the subs, because I like to hear the actor’s original voices).

The show has eight episodes and they’re just long enough.

The Silent Sea was suspenseful and had enough action to keep me entertained. I’ll avoid spoilers and just say that they did a good job doling out the information when it was needed, and the actors were well suited to their roles.

Although it was good, there are a few things I think could have been done better, but overall, I enjoyed the time I spent watching.

If you have a chance to see this one, give it a shot. :)

Reviews Science Fiction Television

The Orville: A review at three episodes in

I’m not all that sure how I feel about The Orville, three episodes into its first season. It’s a fun—and funny—show, and I’ve enjoyed the first three episodes quite a lot. I’ve also spent a little too much time wondering at the derivative nature of the show. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t quite what I got.

Here’s the thing. I adored Galaxy Quest, probably because it managed to skewer Star Trek: The Original Series in a way that felt like love and yet still retain its individuality and bring plenty of original and unique content to the screen. In other words, it had something all its own, outside of the show it was parodying.

The Orville hasn’t done that. There’s nothing really original about The Orville and sometimes the show feels like it actually belongs in the universe it’s trying so hard to spoof. I can’t actually tell, because although it’s funny in places, it doesn’t really feel like parody.

On the other hand, I’m still watching, and I plan to keep watching, because there’s promise there. I like it. But my favorite episodes of Star Trek (any incarnation you want to imagine) have always tended to be the humorous ones, and the same goes for most of my other science fiction favorites like Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Humor gets me almost every time.

That’s what The Orville feels like, instead of a straight up parody. It feels like a humorous episode of a Star Trek series that hasn’t yet been added to the universe but is coming soon. In other words, a little too close to the source material to really let me love it.

If you want to watch (and I recommend you do give it a try).

Other: FOX’s website for The Orville. (Might be free viewing available.)

Books Movies Reviews Science Fiction

Quick Sci-fi Movie Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner Movie Poster

I saw The Maze Runner movie yesterday and the movie was better than I expected for the first in a planned series (I hear the sequel is already being planned/filmed). Although there’s the requisite non-ending that leaves us hanging a bit, the movie actually felt pretty complete—certainly more complete than a few spoilers on the web had led me to believe it would be.

The Maze Runner movie appears to be part of the dystopian sci-fi genre, although without listing out spoilers to explain why I think that, I can’t really say definitely that it’s anything more than a science fiction film.

The Maze Runner Movie
Teen Wolf isn’t the only place where Dylan O’Brien shines as a performer.

I left the theater satisfied that I’d watched a full movie and not just a piece of one. That said, I’m thinking I’m going to read The Maze Runner books because I really don’t want to wait a year and more just to find out what’s really going on. Some people say the movie had significant changes from the book; some say the changes were minor to the overall plot. I guess I’ll find out for myself.

The acting was good, the maze was clever, and the movie moved really fast, especially considering I expected it to drag in places like so many other movies based on YA books. I was surprised that the nearly two hours went by super quick.

Dylan O’Brien is a great actor. Of course, I’ve known that for a while, because I’m a huge fan of his role on Teen Wolf. But this movie really just emphasized that he has skill.

Several of the other actors stood out, but I’m not certain of their names so I’ll just use their character names: Alby, Minho, Gally. Newt was kind of bland, but the actor playing the role seemed competent—I’d watch him in something else.

Anyway, this is just my quick review of the movie, and if you’ve been on the fence about watching, like I was, go ahead. The cliffhanger is nothing to be scared of and the rest of the movie is great!

Fantasy Reviews Television

Hemlock Grove, a Netflix Original Series Let-down

The Monster Is Within

In the shadows of a rusted Pennsylvania steel town, the mangled body of a teenage girl is discovered. As they hunt for a monster among them, rumors mount and many of the eccentric residents become suspects, from the newly arrived gypsy family to the wealthy Godfrey clan. In the twisted world of Hemlock Grove, everyone hides a dark secret. From director Eli Roth (“Hostel”) comes a chilling supernatural series based on Brian McGreevy’s novel.

Series is at Netflix.

Although I watched every last episode of the season 1 available on Netflix, I had mixed feelings about the series, not the least of which involved some serious reservations about the ending.

The moment went kind of like this: you mean I watched all that for all this?

I gave the series three stars because even though I didn’t love it, if a season 2 makes it to Netflix, I’ll watch at least the first couple of episodes to see where they’re going next.

Still, by the end, I felt like I was watching horror moreso than paranormal or fantasy, which was more what I expected when I started watching.

I wonder what the book was like? I saw a movie tie-in edition with a new cover on Amazon tonight.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

But does Hemlock Grove have “the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right?” I wouldn’t say that…. Not if the book doesn’t add something that an almost 10 hour series didn’t have.

Not at all.

Disagreement welcome if you have comments about the book or series. :)

Sci-fi fantasies