Clone Wars 1.03-1.04

1.03 “Shadow of Malevolence”
With the help of his Padawan, Ahsoka, and Jedi Master Plo Koon, Anakin utilizes new long-range Y-wing bombers to lead a bold strike on General Grievous’s warship, the Malevolence, and its destructive weapon.

1.04 “Destroy Malevolence”
Padmé Amidala and C-3PO are taken hostage by General Grievous, leaving Anakin and Obi-Wan to save the senator and complete the destruction of the Malevolence.

Clone Wars 1.01-1.02

So Ko-Katan turns up in the Mandalorian. Turns out she was a character in the animated series ‘The Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels’. It’s time to go back and catch up. I watched ‘The Clone Wars’ when it first arrived around 2008-2009 So this is a re-watch/refresher of the seven season show.

 

1.01 “Ambush”
Jedi Master Yoda must face off against Count Dooku’s dreaded assassin Asajj Ventress and her massive droid army to prove the Jedi are strong enough to protect a strategic planet and forge a treaty for the Republic. Ventress fails against Yoda, so Dooku tells Ventress to kill the king of the planet, who wants to sign the treaty with the Republic. Yoda protects the king from Ventress, who then flees.

This first episode seems to have the objective of showing Yoda as a bad-ass warrior and leader. He does show this, but only at critical times in the plot when needed. Otherwise it’s up to the troopers to blast the enemy.

The writing also emphasis’s the humour and flippancy in the droid army. They are clearly al the low end of the AI spectrum.

 

1.02 “Rising Malevolence”
An attack by a devastating new Separatist weapon—the powerful starship Malevolence—leaves Jedi Master Plo Koon and his clone troopers struggling to survive until Anakin and Ahsoka can find them.

This episode kicks off a long story involving Count Douka and Anakin Skywalker. It also introduces  Ahsoka, his padawan apprentice.

Spear Destiny

Chase Baker and the Spear of Destiny
(Chase Baker #11)
by Vincent Zandri (2017)

One of the church’s great relics has been stolen by a surviving member of the Nazi SS. A man by the name of Adolf Rickman. The relic is none other than the spear of Longinus.

Is that a thing… yes it is !

The very weapon that pierced Jesus Christ’s side while he hung from the cross on Golgotha.

If Chase can’t recover the spear, it will be used by Rickman and his neo-Nazi cohorts, to create a brand new evil Fourth Reich.

Yet again, and for the last time Chase gets to save the world, OK – just the Pope. In the most absurd way possible.

Possibly Zandri has finally realized just how ridiculous these plots have become and goes all out in the final episode.

And it is a fun ride, despite an army of enemies who have been issued with weapons using ‘Stormtrooper Mode’.

 

Mandalorian 2.03

The Mandalorian
“Chapter 11: The Heiress”

Once at Trask, the Frog Lady reunites with her husband and the Mandalorian boards a fishing ship following a clue he had on other Mandalorians, which reveals itself as an ambush.

They are rescued by three other Mandalorians who have another mission for the Mandalorian. One of them looked familiar. It was Katee Sakoff.

Katee Sackoff as Ko-Katan and Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica

Another action filled adventure. However it does appear that the Mandalorian can easily communicate with the Frog people.

Misty Rosas plays the Frog Lady

Raised Arizona

Raising Arizona is a 1987 American crime comedy film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

It stars Nicolas Cage as H.I. “Hi” McDunnough, an ex-convict, and Holly Hunter as Edwina “Ed” McDunnough, a former police officer and Hi’s wife. Other members of the cast include Trey Wilson, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, Sam McMurray, and Randall “Tex” Cobb.

This film I saw originally in the cinema at the time of its original release. I remember it as this was one of the last films I saw that had an interval. This occurred when the guy bangs into a cactus. I thought it was the main character, but it turned out to be someone else.

Watching it again, some scenes were familiar – where John Goodman extracts himself from the ground, covered in mud (and other things) is memorable. And the ‘I’ve got the pin’ moment in the final confrontation I knew, but forgot it was part of this film.

Overall it’s a fun film despite the dark and criminal nature of the story. Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter are perfectly cast. Plus there are a few familiar faces that have appears on lots of American TV over the years.

So despite being 33 years old, it holds up very well. And it’s 31st on the American Film Institute’s ‘100 Years…100 Laughs list’ and 45th on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies” list.

 

ST:D 3.05

Star Trek Discovery: Episode 3.05
Die Trying

So the crew of the discovery makes it to Federation HQ. It’s shrouded in a force field and hidden away from the galaxy.

The guy in charge is the very photogenic Fleet Admiral Charles Vance. Possibly a reference to science fiction writer Jack Vance.

Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance

The admiral is suspicious of the crew and keeps them at a distance. But with a medical crisis underway, he eventually gets their help to retrieve a seed from a stranded spaceship. This must be a future version of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway.

Off they go, and with the usual pyrotechnics and CGI they retrieve the seed, only to leave Security officer Nahn behind.

Rachel Ancheril as D. Nahn

So that’s one mission done. Here’s hoping the rest of the season doesn’t descent into a mission-per-episode and looses its long plot arc.

Superman’s Dead

The Death of Superman is a 2018 American animated direct-to-video superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is based on the DC comic book storyline of the same name. The film, which chronicles the battle between Superman and Doomsday.

This was a rather adolescent film. Firstly, the character design of superman just looks wrong. And the voice doesn’t match the character. In fact all the male characters sound very similar. The only voice actors of note are Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) and Rain Wilson (Lex Luthor).

The graphic design is basic and  functional.

The film is rated as 92% on rotten tomatoes, by the experts (?).

Unfortunately the story really lets things down. There is some time spent on establishing the relationship between the major characters.  As if anyone watching would not be aware of the Superman/Clark Kent/ Lois Lane  relationship.

But the main story is:
Creature Villain shows up, starts destroying things.
After everyone in the Super Hero League gets punched around and put down, Superman shows up.
Big battle at the end; beast dies; superman killed (but is he ?)

There is nothing special here. It’s just the biggest punch that wins the fight. No co-ordination between heroes, no revelations of motivation or reason for the beast. Nobody tries to find a weak spot of vulnerability of the creature.

It’s all very boring and predictable.

 

OHRTROMPETE

OHRTROMPETE by Leitnerjoe

Here is a rare find from Munich, Germany by Johannes Leitner recorded from March to May 2020.

Instruments include Fretless WAL MK1 Basses, Clarinet, E-Bow and MIDI Keyboard. It ranges from funky to rocking and experimental. This reminds me a lot of Bill Laswell in the tone of the bass. I had Bill’s ‘Baselines’ on LP for a long time.

Wal Mk1 Bass Guitar

Quassi

Mareas by Qüassi

Qüassi is an instrumental music band from Mendoza, Argentina that ranges from Jazz-Fusion to progressive rock and experimental electronics. There is a similarity to el tuno elastico from Jerez, Spain and a little of Agent 22.

Incompetence

Incompetence
by Rob Grant (2004)

In the not too distant future the European Union enacts its most far reaching human rights legislation ever. The incompetent have been persecuted for too long. After all it’s not their fault they can’t do it right, is it? So it is made illegal to sack or otherwise discriminate against anyone for being incompetent. And now a murder has been committed and our possibly incompetent detective must find out who the murderer is.


The author seems to have left the plot outline in the novel. You can feel as it moves from one pre-defined scene that is ‘comic’ to another marked ‘backstory’ and finally as the story ends ‘action’.

Each set piece is well done, the comic scenes are silly and amusing. The action does work. The problem is that as a whole, it just doesn’t add up to much.

So it’s a detective looking for a murderer, but the plot meanders through so many scenes that don’t move the story forward. It could have done with a good editor to provide some cohesion to the story.