The Wheel of Time (Premiere) | Fast Paced and Engrossing

Rafe Judkins (Showrunner), Robert Jordan (Novels)

CAST
Rosamund Pike
Daniel Henney
Zoë Robins
Josha Stradowski
Madeleine Madden
Marcus Rutherford
Barney Harris
Michael McElhatton

Review: I think I became aware of “The Wheel of Time” book series at about the same time that I started to read Brandon Sanderson‘s “Steelheart – I was not even half-way through that book that I was trying to find out what else did Sanderson wrote, and found out that he penned the remaining three out of the 15 books of The Wheel of Time after Jordan’s death. Anyway, since I’ve read “The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1)” I was glad to see this world come to life because there are a few things that I was looking forward to and this show delivered, faster than I expected them to.

The first three episodes are good, not only they look great, the cinematography on some of those wide shots are stunning, but we’ve been presented with most of the main players in a digestible and quite comprehensive way.
In the pilot episode alone we’ve seen a few Aes Sedai from different Ajah – I think that’s the right word, though they haven’t said it yet, it’s the name for the different groups of Aes Sedai, each one having their own purpose and rules – The series has already given us an inkling as to what the red Ajah Aes Sedai stand for. We’ve then even seen a Dark friend, Whitecloaks, a special prisoner and of course a particular gleeman. The show is also…sexier than I would have guessed with some characters are already in a relationships – and I can already see the ensuing drama they’ll bring – others take baths together. Let’s hope the drama is used wisely.

The Two Rivers five also got a decent chunk of screen time enough to give us a sense of who they are, but the focus is on Moraine – and her Worder, Lan, who’s got a nice tush BTW. There are changes from the books but that’s no big deal. However I was surprised about Perrin’s situation, I figured something would change that but I did not expect it to go like that. Rand seemed brattier at some point and I did not miss that he’s got the bow and arrows as well as his sword while Mat was stripped of a lot. Egwene is fine but Nynaeve is really striking, mostly due to Robins who easily pulls focus. She also needs to drop that hair care routine because I’d be bald if it was my hair.
I get expediency but the way the group do easily followed Moraine and Lan didn’t make much sense particularly when they didn’t know they were in danger before the attack. It’s not like they felt watched or something. They were rounded up and convinced to go on that journey quickly. I wouldn’t have been convinced that the Trollocs were specifically after me given how the events unfolded.

There are clever little moments throughout the show, for one they’ve showcased the Whitecloaks’ hypocrisy, they hunt and kill Aes Sedai and yet they advise you to seek one if you’re wounded by Trolloc poison?

I like how Moraine is portrayed here – Pike is amazing in the role – whether through action or words she is more in the gray area, which makes for an interesting character. She’s as much of a badass as the others, in fact I also loved that the villagers weren’t helpless and too afraid to defend themselves. Moraine’s action scene in the pilot was just awesome, great VFX and an impressive display of her powers.

The Wheel of Time‘s pacing goes from 0 to a 100, which works extremely well in most areas, they’re nailing almost everything in this adaptation. The show’s captivating and what’s to come seems promising.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the partner links below:

The Wheel of Time | Trailer 2

  • Writers: Robert Jordan (Novels), Rafe Judkins (Creator)
  • Directors: Uta Briesewitz, Wayne Yip, Salli Richardson-Whitefield, Sanaa Hamri
  • Stars: Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, Madeleine Madden, Daniel Henney, Sophie Okonedo.

The first trailer gave us a good taste for the visual identity of the show, which looks amazing by the way, but this one gives us more story and action. I’m a little over half way through the book, but the show is very close to what I was picturing. We got a few good looks at the Trollocs and The Children of the Light, who by the way look far more dangerous than what

The Wheel of Time premieres on November 19th on Amazing Prime Video.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

The Last Duel | This Movie Will Piss You Off

This historical drama directed and produced by Ridley Scott sees the reunion Ben Affleck (ZSJL, Paycheck) and Matt Damon (The Martian, The Bourne Identity) on film since Good Will Hunting (1997). The film also stars Adam Driver (Hungry Hearts, This Is Where I Leave You) as Jacques Le Gris, Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) as Maguerite de Carrouge, in this adaptation of Eric Jager‘s book about the last legally sanctioned duel in France’s history.

Premise: In 1386, after the squire Jacques Le Gris is accused of a heinous crime, King Charles VI (Alex Lawther) declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.

Review: The story is told from three perspectives, one from each of our main characters, Jacques Le Gris, Jean De Carrouge, and Lady Marguerite. The perspectives are interesting in showing how each individual see themselves and the others involved.

The first perspective lays some foundation on the circonstances surrounding the duel besides the crime Le Gris is accused of. However, when the second perspective arrives and seemingly starts from the beginning – with minor differences – I was rolling my eyes waiting to see how the crime in question would be seen in that perspective. It didn’t turn out like I expected, I thought they’d be more of gray situation, more doubts as to who’s telling the truth but there’s no argument to be had. So from then on I got steadily angrier, I even said aloud “what the F” wondering how this was his account of the crime. I am not trying to pin modern morals onto the past but I can’t help if I’m pissed at what’s going on. I was also glad not to have read the book, because if I had I don’t think I would seen this movie.
As for the third perspective, it just adding insult to injury, pouring more salt to the wound, I saw red and doubted how this duel would be resolved. The duel itself is a high point in the movie action-wise but it’s also a point of contention for me because the outcome was a toss up, and it was not about justice.

The cast did an amazing job, there are subtle but meaningful differences in their portrayals in each of the perspectives. Driver even manages to make his Le gris’ belief that he did nothing wrong beside adultery believable. Damon and Comer were excellent.

The Last Duel took me on a wild emotional ride that barely abetted my anger in the end.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

The Wheel of Time | Trailer

  • Writer: Robert Jordan (Novels), Rafe Judkins (Showrunner),
  • Directors: Uta Briesewitz, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Wayne Yip
  • Stars: Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, Madeleine Madden, Daniel Henney

The Wheel Of Time premieres on the 19 November 2021.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

Zack Snyder’s Justice League | Highlighting Where The Big Mistakes Were Made

I can’t call myself a Zack Snyder‘s stan. The first time I even heard of him was in 2006 when 300 came out. Since then I went to see Watchmen (2009), which I liked; Sucker Punch, that I loved – I don’t care I like it -; Man of Steel, which was awesome, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is my least favorite of the bunch – shocking I know. All of that to say that I’m not part of Zack’s army or whatever his stans’ name is but I’ve always admired some of his creative choices, whether it is in casting or visuals, I’ve always found them interesting and out of the box. Some kind of signature that you recognize right away, just like when you listen to music produced by artist with a particular style (e.g. Missy Elliott & Timbaland). I watched the 2017 Justice League and at the time the I thought it was jarring but ok, if you don’t think too much about it.

Premise: After the death of Superman, Steppenwolf, an evil and powerful alien returns to Earth with his parademons to retrieve the Mother Boxes left long ago by his master Darkseid. Inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his new-found ally, Diana Prince to face this new enemy. Together Batman and Wonder Woman seek the help of a team of super powered beings to stand against this new threat.

Review: For some reason I wasn’t dreading the four hour length of this movie. I don’t know if I normally would have since I’ve binged eight to ten hour shows. Nevertheless, giving how long this movie is, I should have been antsy, paused it multiple times but I didn’t, I was captivated. I did rewind a few scenes but for the most part I just watch. If you’ve seen the 2017 Justice League there are chunks of this movie that you’ll obviously would have seen. This might give you some trepidation, because depending of how scaring the stupid bits of the 2017 movie were to you, you can’t help but wonder if you’ve signed up for another serving those. So yes I was anxious at the beginning but the more the movie made some kind of sense the lower my apprehension got.

The story here makes more sense, I mean a lot more sense, it’s not perfect, but given what we got in 2017 it’s close to masterpiece. It also clearly looks like it is old film footage, I mean at least 95% of this movie if not more was shot in 2015-2016 or whenever they shot the original movie. This mean that with all this footage that already existed Warner Bros give us Justice League (2017) how? The best bits of that film is, it seems, from the original movie. This reminds me of SAS: Red Notice that I saw days ago, it’s an ok movie but it pales in comparison to what it could have been. In that case, everything they needed to make a better movie was in the book the movie is based on. But I guess someone wanted to make it their own so they messed it up by changing what didn’t need to be changed. Here I feel like the same happened, they had everything they needed, it was shot, in the can, but somehow they still messed it up.

The characters look better, I’m not talking brightness or color of costumes but of intelligence and competence. The Flash doesn’t seem as weird, well he’s weird but not…dumbed down. He seems like an excited rookie with a lot of power and only scratched the surface of his potential; someone who’s a bit socially awkward. And his runs look better. Cyborg is very well introduced here, he has so many layers this movie sets up Cyborg first and then introduce us to The Flash and Aquaman. The way Cyborg is portrayed here makes the 2017 movie problematic but I have a theory about that. Aquaman shines in the quiet moments. Wonder Woman is badass goddess warrior who has a big heart and it shows. She moves like superhero, and a competent one at that. In this movie she is almost on part with Superman, not just a juiced up chick. She’s brutal or compassionate when she needs to be. Here in this movie It makes Wonder Woman 1984 look worse. Steppenwolf looks like an alien, he’s ruthless and has a solid arc, he makes sense. I understands his motivations. Superman is barely there but used effectively. He bookends the movie, giving how powerful this character is, this movie would been wrapped up real quick if he showed up early. He’s a weapon, a big threat.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is not a perfect movie, the score and soundtrack is a bit off for me, maybe not used very well. However, it tells a story, the plot makes sense, the characters have arcs and are used with intelligence. It has great action sequences, it is darker, and simply works. The epilogue and post credit scenes are like a f you and I love it.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

The Rook | Review

Loosely based on Daniel O’Malley’s novel “The Rook Files“, this TV series stars Shameless and The Path alum Emma Greenwell, costars Joely Richardson and Olivia Munn.

Premise: Myfanwy Thomas finds herself at Millennium Bridge in London surrounded by dead bodies with no memory of how she came to be there. She soon discovers that she is an agent with supernatural abilities in a British secret service called the Checquy.

Review: The Rook is an interesting show, it’s intriguing, sleek, and mysterious but it’s one of these shows that would probably be better to read. I could totally see where the internal monologues and feeling would come in. The show is slow at times, I watched the first three episodes the week they came out. At the end of these episodes I wanted to see more but I was wishing for those last scenes to be a few minutes longer, because they’d often end the episode on some sort of bombshell.

The narrative did not exactly feel episodic more like an 8 hour movie with many ups and downs, and yet making it a bingeable show. That’s why I stopped watching it weekly and waited to see all the episodes at once. Besides I was traveling at the time so binging was conviennent.

That being said the actors were amazing, it was nice to see Emma Greenwell in this role. I may not have connected the dots at first but subconsciously I knew I was watching Milkov’s sister from Shameless. Joely Richardson was a dream and it was interesting to see in Olivia Munn in another TV show. I’ve only seen her in the Newsroom and loved her there.

As a book adaptation it’s middle of the road but the potential is there and I’d watch a second season.