Passengers – the worst experience could mean the greatest adventure

Imagine you are on a mission to colonize a planet called Homestead II. The journey is supposed to last 120 years, all passengers are placed in This triggers the tooltiphibernation pods. Suddenly you wake up, you are  groggy but the main computer tells you this is normal. You get scanned and checked and then the computer shows you the way to your room.

On the next day, you get out of your room and realize it’s too quiet. There are 5.000 people inside the ship. But there is no one to be seen.  Who never had a dream or a nightmare similar to this? This is how the movie Passengers begins. What would you do in a situation like this? You still have 90 years before arriving at the new planet and before the others wake up. You have 90 years of solitude before you.

Passengers – a summary

Starship Avalon is taking 5 thousand colonists plus crew to another planet. This journey will take 120 years and the passengers are supposed to wake up 4 months before arrival.  During the journey, though, the ship encounters an asteroid belt and gets hit. This causes a malfunction and one passenger is now awake: mechanical engineer Jim Preston.

After a whole year of isolation, having only an android bartender  as company, Jim is desperate. He is thinking about suicide. Meanwhile he tried everything possible to go back to hibernation or to access the bridge of the spaceship without success. One day, as he is checking the pods he sees Aurora Lane’s pod and starts falling in love with her. He sees her video profile, reads her books (she is an author). It is almost as if he knew her.

There comes the big question and struggle. Should he wake her up and sentence her to die on the ship with him? If yes, how could he ever tell her the truth? She would certainly hate him, wouldn’t she? In the beginning he lets her think an anomaly woke her up too. But he knows, he will have to tell her the truth someday.

 

Thoughts and opinions

No surprise here, it is a sci fi movie again. Even though the story had some big problems, the special effects  and the pace of the story pleased me a lot, in general. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing and she works quite well with Chris Pratt. But the way Jim started stalking Aurora’s life and woke her up is a bit creepy, if you ask me.

 

SPOILER ALERT HERE:
Yes, in the end everything is oK and they live happily ever after on the spaceship. On their own private world, quite literally. But he did sentence her for a premature death when he decided to wake her. Did he have a right to do that? I don’t think so. After she wakes up we find out all the plans she had for the future, all the things she wanted to do and accomplish.  She wanted to see the future. To be the only person alive to have had the experience of going to a colony and going back home 200 years later. Without aging much. And he took that away from her.

Is a love story really worth it? What’s worse, when he woke her up and got obsessed about her he did not know if it was going to work. If they would have chemistry, get along. He was very selfish in my opinion. Or am I being too rational here? Maybe he thought it was love at first sight. And love conquers it all, right? But isn’t trust a big part of it too?

What do you think? What would have done in such an impossible situation?

 

 

 

Who knew breaking out of prison could be so much fun: a Prison Break marathon

When I heard Prison Break was having a revival I decided to have a Prison Break marathon and to watch all the old episodes before it started. I must admit I was positively surprised by how much I liked it. The producers found (in most episodes) a way to keep us hooked to the story. Always wanting more. Always wanting to watch the next episode as soon as possible.

Here goes a trailer in case you don’t know what I’m talking about or if you aren’t so sure if you watched it or not.

Prison Break – the plot

Basically, the series starts as Michael Scofild tries to break his brother out of prison. His brother Lincoln was accused of killing the vice-president’s brother.Lincoln swears he didn’t do it. And his brother believes him. So we spend all of the first season inside the prison, preparing for the escape. As the plan develops some other inmates get involved in the project. Some of them are not such good people. Or maybe they are.

Season two focuses on  what happens to them right after they escape the prison. The life on the run. Being hunted by the police, FBI and the Company. Some stick together longer, while others go their own ways right after the escape.

Season 3 was a shorter one, as Michael is sent to prison in Panama. Michael and Sara were already on the boat, with the money, readyto go when everything changed. Michael ends up in Sona, which is a prison that is run by its own inmates. There, Michael has to deal with the rescue from a man wanted by the Company. This time he only has a week to do it.

The fourth and final season shows their lives after the escape from Sona. The Company is still after them. But this time they decide to change the game and to attack the Company first. Everyone is after something called Scylla, so Michael decides they are going after it too. They find some strange and unexpected allies along the way. Enemies become friends and friends become enemies.

My thoughts

I loved the way season one started. It had the right amount of adrenaline, drama, love, funny moments. They also managed to find a way to inspire those, who like myself like to ponder about life, to think about some key issues. What are we ready or capable of doing for the people we love? When is time to give up? Is there ever time to give up? Does the end always justify the means? Throughout the series Michael is conflicted with decisions like that. He has to hurt people he cares about to be able to help others, for example. Is that worth it?

For me, seasons 1 and 2 were amazing. Of course, sometimes they pushed it a little too hard. Making Michael face a few too many problems. But disappointing was season 3. Maybe I was not the only one, as the season only had 13 episodes. Not sure if they cut it short because the ratings were bad or if that was the plan all along. In season 4 they picked it up again. They changed things a little, but as with so many series before and after, at some point we get fed up with seeing the same scenario over and over again.  The ending itself was quite surprising, though as one of the main characters died.

One of the things I liked the most about it were the complex and complicated relationships. As friends, like the one between Sucre and Michael or even the one that forms between Michael and Mahone (the FBI agent hunting them in season 2). But also to see how some people like T-Bag try to change.Is it possible to change who we are? How much is the environment responsible for who we become?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Break

Revival – what to expect

I am not sure what to expect from this Prison Break revival. From what we already know, we will be sent back to prison with the main character. Is this going to leave a sour taste of déjà vu? Maybe. I must admit that I am at the same excited and worried. It feels a lot like we are going to see it all over again, just in a new country. I hope they got creative and changed it up a bit.

Here you can see a video explaining a bit of what to expect from it. It also shows a lot of the actors working on i giving their points of view. Enjoy! 😉


Another independence day – 20 years later

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Do you remember the original Independence Day movie? It wasn’t that great but it had the advantage of being the first of its kind. After that, science fiction movies became big again and also the way Hollywood presented us alien invasion movies had changed. I still remember the scene when the spaceships appeared and were so big, they blocked the sun casting a huge shadow. That, for me, was impressive.

 

In the second semester of last year a sequel was released. I only watched it last weekend, though. The ratings were not so good, so I was not that excited about it and waited a bit. Although it has many elements from the first movie, this time it did not impress me. Maybe because this kind of production got so much better after the original started this movement. I almost feel like for a sci fi, it was a good comedy. If you know what I mean.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the special effects were spot on! They also managed to bring back many of the original actors. It was nice to see that it was not just a sequel in the name. But I found myself laughing more than worrying about the invasion! There is something seriously wrong with this film. I only wanted to bite my nails towards the end when some of the good guys were being attacked from all sides and the maneuvers they did were pretty cool and you stopped breathing for a second there.

Other than that, even  the romantic couple was not that impressive. A shame really. The movie had so many great elements but something was missing to glue it all together with just the right amount of adrenaline. The fact that some other species heard our distress call and decided to come and help was pretty cool, though. Of course, we took our allies down 🙁 Another interesting point is that, in the movie, humanity united after the attack. They also managed to save and use some of the alien technology to improve life on earth. That was a nice touch!

Towards the end we see them talking about intergalactic relations and travelling. Is there maybe a third movie coming? I know Star Trek already deals with intergalactic relations gracefully but I would like to see a new perspective to that. Especially because the friendly alien says there is a planet full of refugees from other planets destroyed by our common enemy. I guess we will have to wait and see!

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GoT prequel – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

 

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I read the book A knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a GoT prequel in December 2016 and the book is just brilliant! Any GoT fan who, just like me, feels sometimes lost because we hear about a lot of facts that happened in the past (in the series and in the books) but never in detail, will find some answers with the tales of Dunk and Egg. The book consists of 3 tales or novellas: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight which had already been published as part of other books.

The story happens around 100 years before Game of Thrones. We see Aegon Targaryen (the father of the mad king) as a boy, travelling through Westeros with a knight called Sir Duncan the Tall, or just Dunk for friends. They embark on many adventures together. The book just flows, is very easy to read, having less description of the landscape and places than the GoT book series.

The story happens in a time when Targaryens still reign, but conflicts inside and outside the family make it a dangerous place for a prince to be outside the walls of a castle. That is why Aegon, known as Egg, travels incognito as Duncan’s squire. Always keeping his hair short as it would help people identify him. Sir Duncan is a true hero (which is something unusual in Martin’s world, where everyone has a dark secret) and his loyalty to Egg, to  the truth and to what is right are quite refreshing.

In this first book we also learn a bit more about the famous Blackfyre Rebellions where we had bastard Targaryens  fighting against legitimate Targeryen children for the Throne. It also helps us understand  more of the feudal system of Westeros. We are presented to forefathers of Houses Baratheon, Stark, Frey as well.

The book helped me understand how the mad King came to power (his father was the fourth son of a fourth son – so had very few chances of becoming a  king), how the Targaryen family was already weakened, even before Roberts rebellion and, of course, the dynamic of the Seven Kingdoms while under the rule of one family for hundreds of years. It is totally worth reading! If you are a fan of GoT you will not regret it! Am looking forward to the other books 🙂 !

 

 

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GoT prequel

 

New series that you should watch (or not) and why

The year is coming to an end and I guess all the series that will be released this year have already been released. I must say that in the first semester, well actually almost until October, I thought this was a very bad year for series. Besides Luke Cage, Stranger Things and Billions I could not find other new series that excited me.

But then, there came October! I wish I had less work or my days were longer because on top of many series that I follow coming back, some very interesting new series started. I still have a list of new series that I have not had the chance to check yet: 3%, the new Gilmore Girls, The Crown, Chance, Shooter, Falling Water and so many others. Have you started waching any of those? If you have, please let me know what you thought!

Below you will find my top 5 (very very hard picking only 5). Some like Pure Genius are not on the list because I haven’t watched many episodes yet, but the more I watch the more I think it should be on the top 5.

In the text I will not focus on  general top new series, but on top series by genre. and let me start with comedy. I must say that it is hard for me to like any comedy series. Usually they are too dull for me (I am very picky). Last year there was Fuller House that was OK, but this year I found Speechless. This series is just amazing! It is funny, intelligent, discusses some important issues in a very light way. One of the things that impressed me the most about the show, besides the actress that plays the mum of the family who is just amazing, is the main character and how they turned a story that had everything to be a drama into a very light and intelligent comedy. It was really refreshing.

There has always to be a new doctor or hospital series. This year though, they innovated. On Pure Genius we see a hospital for lost causes or for very difficult cases but the main focus is the technology and how technology can help cure people or treat people. I have not seen the entire first season yet, but so far it is just an amazing series to watch. It is perfect for geeks, but also for people who like doctor series, it has romance, a bit of drama and some funny moments. You should ckeck it out!

A theme that is also recurrent lately is the end of the world scenario. We have all the zombie apocalypse series, we had Falling Skyes and Revolution and now we have the Aftermath. I am still not sure what I think of it, as it mixed a strange disease with some biblical and sci-fi elements. We have spirits/demons possessing people, skinwalkers, mythical creatures, and the whole end of the world survival problem. If you are open-minded and don’t mind not having all the answers or understanding why some things are happening you can give it a try!

On the sci-fi historical front this year we have Timeless. It is a great series for history buffs! Imagine having a time machine a going back in time and meeting important historical figures as Abraham Lincoln, Bonnie and Clyde, 007 and many others! Well, in each episode that’s what happens, you go back in time to an important moment in history to try and save it, as there is someone trying to change the past. I just love history and so, I have great fun and am amazed that something like this could maybe be possible some day!

Netflix rocked this year with at least 3 series so far (that I’ve watched): Luke Cage, Stranger Things and Designated Survivor. As many of you probably already watched Stranger Things as it was a big hit this year and we already had an episode on Luke Cage, I will focus only on Designated Survivor. It is perfect for those who love 24 hours, Homeland and all those series that mix politics, CIA and FBI, terrorism and international issues and lots and lots of action. I mean, by the choice of the main character (Kiefer Sutherland)  you can already know this show is going to be amazing. So there is a bomb that kills the entire US governement and the only survivor is the designated survivor of that evening, the secretary  of housing (way down the power ladder) who is played by Kiefer Sutherland. He is not a leader and has a country divided by fear and other people trying to gain power right from the start of his mandate.

Billions comes into the sort of series like Suits, White Collar, or even movies like The Wolf of Wall Street. I don’t now of any series that discusses a similiar issue in this way. You have a billionaire who became a billionaire right after the September 11 attacks and he is very excentric. He is being investigated because some people think he cheated and still cheats to make so much money with investments. The series is full of intrigue and nothing is as it seems. It also gives you an interesting view into the life of billionaires and of what is possible with that kind of money.

As for Westworld, please listen to our podcast, where we compare it to another series that has humanoid robots, Humans.

 

A strange doctor

doctor-strangeI must admit, I wasn’t very excited to watch this movie. I thought it was going to be just one more hero movie. The perfect guy fighting against a villain. But thank god I did not let my prejudice stop me! The movie is just amazing and goes way beyond hero vs. villain.

A small summary to get you situated before we discuss deeper issues. This is the 14th Marvel movie and could be considered an action/adventure/sci-fi type of movie. The story starts with a well known neurosurgeon (Doctor Strange) who is also a bit arrogant. He is in a really bad car accident and loses the use of his hands. After that he is lost, because he defined himself as a surgeon and now he cannot be one anymore. He then starts looking for treatments all over the world when he hears about the case of a patient who was a paraplegic after an accident and who is walking again.  This man, Jonathon Pagborn tells him that he visited many healers and sorcerers and that Strange can find answers in Nepal.

Don’t worry, I will not give you any spoilers! In Nepal lives a sorcerer called the Ancient One. The Ancient One has a few disciples and one of them becomes the villain of the story, Kaecilus. He wants to summon Dormamu, a being from the Dark Dimension, where time does not exist an all are immortal.

I think I love this movie so much because for me, topics like multiple dimensions and the power of the mind are just so exciting! If you like topics like that, you are in for a treat! 🙂 Portals to travel to other places, artifacts to play with time-travel, the existence of other dimensions, the use of magic, the existence of magical objects, under other things, can be seen in the movie.

Well, as it is a Marvel production I don’t need to emphasize the quality of the production, special effects and crew (actors and actresses). I thought it was refreshing to see a movie focusing on a topic that is actually discussed by physicists and so is closer to reality, as the possibility of the existence of other dimensions and how reality could be different there.

I can only say it was worth it and suggest you watch it too! Even if you usually don’t watch heroes movies but like the topics I mentioned before, open your mind and prepare to be blown away with Doctor Strange. Enjoy and don’t forget to share with us what you thought of it!

After learning the new words, choose your study mode to have access to games that will help you remember them longer while you have fun. Just like here:

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Harry Potter and the cursed child

cursed-child

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I received this week the 2 new books from JK Rowlings, The Cursed Child and Fantastic beasts. I read The Cursed Child in 2 days (it took me 2 days because I am working a lot) and LOVED it! The story is amazing and it is very easy to read because it is the script of a play (theater), so you basically only have dialogs.

The book starts exactly with the last scene from the eighth Harry Potter movie (seventh book), 19 years into the future. But as the story develops, we also revisit some scenes and events from the past.

It was soo nice ‘meeting’ old friends again and seeing how they are doing in the future! Now they are married, have kids, jobs…  The world is different but the enemy is still the same.

If you are a big fan of Harry Potter and are not sure if you should give the book a chance, think again! It is soo worth it! I know some people feel cheated, because JK Rowling said there would be only 7 books, but I really think that she just wanted to make Potter-fans happy and give them a taste of what could be, what happens after “they lived happily ever after”. And she did it gracefully!  This book plus the series of books and movies about the fantastic beasts should keep fans entertained for some time. 🙂

banner-1165979_640 SPOILER ALERT!!

From this point on, I will give spoilers about what happens in the story.

Harry’s’ son Albus Severus Potter travels to the past to try and save Cedric. He wants to undo some of his father’s mistakes. The relationship between Albus and Harry is very complicated. Albus is not in Gryffindor, but in Slytherin and his best friend is Draco’s son Scorpius.

One thing that is discussed in this book that was not during the previous ones are the possible repercussions of time travelling. When Harry and Hermione travel back in time to save Buckbeak and Syrius Black, nothing else changed. I always thought it was strange. But here we really can see the ‘butterfly effect’. When Albus and  Scorpius go back in time to the Triwizard Tournament the first time,  minor changes happen in the future: Ron and Hermione don’t get married, so they never have Rose  (Scorpius loves Rose) but the second time everything is changed, Voldermord is alive, Harry Potter is dead. Changing even the smallest thing in the past could have enormous consequences.

In the end, of course, everything goes back to normal but not before a few surprises, like the fact that Voldermord had a child with Bellatrix, a girl. This girl grew up and calls herself Delphi. She is the one who instigated Albus and Scorpius to go back and change the past. She wants to save her father. When she sees that this is impossible, she then tries to prevent him from attacking Harry, because this was his biggest mistake.

I can just recommend the book, the plot and the rhythm of the story are just amazing!

 

After learning the new words, choose your study mode to have access to games that will help you remember them longer while you have fun. Just like here:

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