Westworld Season Two Review.

5 stars
The second season of Westworld aired on Monday bringing to an end a season full of twists, action and character moments.
I had been eagerly anticipating Westworld season two since I saw the first one in 2016.
This first season was fantastic and I was hooked right from the first to the last episode so I was very excited to see it return this year.
But could this season recapture the magic of that first one?
Well if you looked at my weekly reviews of the show you will already know that I thought this season was excellent.
This is clear through the fact that I never gave an episode anything lower than four stars, with four of them getting the perfect five stars.
Was this season as good as the first, well that is debatable but it is at least on par with it and, since I loved the first season so much, this is not a problem.
Westworld delivered some truly excellent episodes in its ten episode run this season with my five star rated episodes Riddle of the Sphinx, Akane No Mai, Kiksuya and The Passenger being particular standouts.
Each of these episodes were absolutely fantastic with episode eight Kiksuya being what I believe to be the best episode of Westworld.

 

Kiksuya
Season two delivered the best episode of Westworld so far with Kiksuya.

I loved how this episode focused on the new character of Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) and how much they made me care about him with just one episode.
Watching his emotional journey to find his wife and then setting out to lead all of the hosts to the Door was one of the most emotional moments of the entire series.
But Akecheta was not the only stand out character of the season.
Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton) were both great this season with me constantly switching which one was my favourite character.
The actresses who play these two really deserve awards for their performances.

Dolores and Maeve
Both Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton gave fantastic performances and should at least be in the running for awards.

Even characters I thought of as one note last season really surprised me in this one as I come to like Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) a lot more and Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) had one of the best arcs of the season, going from an unlikable narcissist to a redeemed hero.
One flaw I do have with the characters though is that a few of them were underwritten, most notably Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) who went from disliking hosts in season one to apparently willingly helping them in season two with no character arc.
However, I will not mark this as a point against season two because Sylvester is just a minor character and had literally no impact on the story this season so can be seen as a nit pick.
Along with the amazing characters and story there was also amazing plot twists, like the one seen in the season finale The Passenger, incredible music and cinematography.
Season two of Westworld was amazing.
Even the weaker episodes of the season like Journey into Night and Phase Space were still really good episodes.
I cannot wait for season three but it will probably be a while before we get it and I do not know how on earth they will pick up from the season finale.

Westworld, Season Two Finale: Passenger – What Just Happened!?

Warning: Major spoilers for the finale.

5 stars
The Westworld season two finale, Passenger, aired two days ago and ever since then I have been in a state of shock.
This 90 minute finale was absolutely incredible with emotional deaths and moments, mind boggling twists and more than a few intense cliffhangers.
The episode started off as a fairly standard episode of Westworld but by the half-way point it had hopped on board a train of absolute insanity and stayed on board all the way through to the post-credit scene.
Even before this half-way point though, the episode had plenty of typical fantastic Westworld moments, like the heroic death of Lee Sizemore.
I was very surprised by Sizemore’s character arc this season.
In season one he seemed like an irredeemable jerk who would only cause trouble, however, this season they actually redeemed him giving him many emotional moments like his breakdown in front of Maeve in Kiksuya.
They even gave him a great way to go out with him holding off Delos security to give Maeve and the others time to escape while he shouted the speech he had written for Hector.
It was a sad and yet oddly triumphant end for Sizemore.

To to rescue
Sizemore, Hector, Armistice and the others attempt to rescue Maeve right before Sizemore’s heroic death.

However, Sizemore was not the only character to die this episode as we got multiple characters deaths with Maeve, Charlotte, Elsie, Hector and Armistice all dying.
One tiny problem I have with this though is, once again, I am not sure if Maeve, Hector and Armistice are actually dead for good, due to them being hosts.
The finale seems to hint that Felix and Sylvester will bring Maeve back but we will have to wait and see.
Speaking of which, Maeve’s death was very tragic as, much like Sizemore, she sacrificed herself to save her daughter.
What was not tragic, however, was the death of Charlotte Hale, which led to the explosive twist that Bernard had replaced her with a host version of her with Dolores’ mind inside.
So the entire time we were seeing Charlotte in the future timeline it was actually Dolores in a host Charlotte’s body.
I knew something was off about Charlotte when she reappeared in the future timeline but I thought it was because she knew Bernard was a host.
I never expected this huge twist and it was excellently done.
More revelations soon followed with Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) hinting that he may be a host to Charlotte/Dolores and, in a post-credit scene, William going through a fidelity test run by a host version of his daughter years in the future.

Stubbs
Is Stubbs a host? Or is he just following Ford’s orders? I guess we will have to wait until season three to find out.

Honestly, with all these plot twists, it feels like the show will be completely different when season three airs, whenever that will be.
What makes the wait for season three more exciting though is the questions the finale left us with.
I genuinely do not know if certain characters will be returning.
I have no idea if Akecheta is returning, for example, and honestly I both want and do want him to come back.
I want him to come back because he is such a great character and it would be really good to see him again, but I do not want him to come back because he got a happy ending this episode and I want him to stay happy with Kohana.

 

Escaping to the valley beyond
Akecheta, Maeve’s daughter and her new mother escape to The Valley Beyond.

In considering who among the hosts who died will be returning, I think Maeve is probably coming back, along with Hector and Armistice, but other than them I have generally no idea.
The final big take away from this episode was that Dolores and Bernard are now enemies, with Dolores acknowledging they are both important to the hosts’ survival but that they cannot work together because of their differences.
Personally, I am on team Bernard because Dolores has certainly become a villain this season and, as Bernard puts it, she will kill “every man, women and child” on the planet if she could.
I have heard more of a mixed response from people when they talk about Passenger but I for one think it was an incredible finale with many shocking moments.
I am not sure if it is as good as the season one finale The Bicameral Mind but it is still a fantastic way to end season two.
I have no idea what is going to happen in season three but I cannot wait.

 

Attack on Titan Part Two: End of the World – Somehow Worse than Part One.

5_Star_Rating_System_1_and_a_half_stars
After watching part one of the Attack on Titan live action movie I was not looking forward to seeing the second part.
And, I am to sorry to say, my concerns were correct because part two is, not only terrible but somehow worse than the first pat.
Attack on Titan: End of the World is an absolute mess from start to finish.
Directed once again by Shinji Higuchi, the film picks up with a ten minute recap of part one, which goes on for way too long.
After this, the movie opens up with Eren (Haruma Miura) having a flashback to his father giving him an injection that supposedly gives him the ability to turn into a Titan.
This really should have been set up in the first movie so Eren transforming into a Titan did not come completely out of the blue.
Worst of all, however, Eren’s mother shows up in this scene.
If she was a part of the story then why did the director not just have her die in the first film?
This would have given Eren the motivation to fight the Titans instead of the weak reasoning we got in the first film.
Anyway, this scene sets up multiple questions for the film to answer.
Why was Eren’s father testing the Titan ability on his son, how did he create this ability, what happened to Eren’s mother and father, who is Eren’s older brother they are talking about?
These are just some of the many questions that are set up in this scene and the movie answers none of them.
If this had been in the anime it would have been acceptable because we know the answers are coming but this movie does not look like it is getting a sequel, even though it has an incredibly confusing end credit sequence.
So if we are going to get answers what was the point of setting these questions up?
Sadly, the movie does not get better from here.
The story comes across as very contrived and also extremely rushed.
The first part definitely moved through the story at a very fast pace but in this film they took it a step further by giving the story no time to breath.

Armoured Titan 1.png
The story of Attack on Titan: End of the World moved so fast that it was hard to get invested in what was happening.

Even the individual scenes were bad.
This movie “tried” to explain the truth behind the Titans and Titan Shifters but failed miserably.
I really hope this is not the explanation we get in the manga and anime because it made absolutely no sense.
The entire scene where they explained the Titans origins was the worst in the entire movie because of how confusing it was.
In one shot Eren and Captain Shikishima (Hiroki Hasegawa) are watching footage of Titans being created and then the shot cuts back to them and they are suddenly sitting on beach chairs in the sand with no explanation as to where the chairs or sand came from.
And why was The End of the World song by Skeeter Davis playing during this scene?
Was it just so they could put End of the World in the title?
I have no idea what was going through the writer’s head when he wrote this scene.
What made this situation worse was the acting, which was once again terrible.
Just like in part one, Miura gives a terrible performance as Eren.
Someone just as bad as him though is Hasegawa, as Captain Shikashima, who laughed way too much in this film.
It felt like he laughed after every line of dialogue.

Shikashita.jpg
Hiroki Hasegawa turns in a cringe worthy performance as Shikashima with his constant unneeded laughter.

The other characters were also very badly handled again.
Armin (Kanata Hongo) is completely useless, just like he was in part one, and Mikasa (Kiko Mizuhara) is made to be a victim who does not care about Eren at all.
Then there were the characters created solely for the films, who are just as bad, with one character Sannagani (Satoru Matsuo) having amazingly stupid levels of strength in both parts.
The color palette was also pretty bad in this movie, although not as bad as the first one so that was something.
What was worse in this part, however, was the special effects, which are some of the worst I have ever seen put to film.
The Microsoft Paint blood effects are back and the scenes where characters turn into Titans are laughably atrocious.
I know Japanese film companies do not have the big budgets of Hollywood blockbusters when it comes to CGI but this was just embarrassing.

Microsoft Pain blood effects
Blood splatters onto the camera with effects that looks like they were completed using Microsoft Paint.

Speaking of the Titans, they are a non-existent threat in this movie.
One of the few things the first film got right was the Titans who were very creepy, with the first shot of them giving me goosebumps.
Here though, with the exception of the Titan Shifters, the Titans felt like a complete afterthought.
The one redeeming factor of this film was once again Satomi Ishihara, as Hans, who is a joy to watch.
She brought a smile to my face every time she appeared on screen.
Other than her though, this film was absolutely awful.
Incredibly rushed story, terrible acting and characters, atrocious effects and a complete lack of suspense.
This movie really encompasses why so many adaptations of anime go wrong.
The reason so many people connect with Attack on Titan so much is because it was written by Hajime Isayama.
He has a clear vision in writing the manga series, which you can see when reading it.
His vision works perfectly with this story and if any other person had come up with Attack on Titan, it probably would not have worked.
So when adapting something to live action, if it is going to work, you need to adhere to the creator’s original vision because, if you do not, nine times out of ten the film will completely fall apart.
This is the case with films like the Attack on Titan live action adaptations where the director kept the story but threw out the creator’s vision for their own and this new vision combined with Isayama’s story just did not mix.
If the Attack on Titan movies had stuck to Isayama’s vision then they would have been a lot better and connected with more people just like the manga and anime.
Instead they will just be remembered as entries in a long line of horrible live action anime adaptations.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a Fun Movie if you Haven’t Seen the Trailers

3 and a half stars
I have heard mixed responses to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, some like it and some hate it so I did not really know what to expect when I went in.
Overall though, I feel that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a fun movie to pass the time, that is if you have not watched the trailers.
If you have, then there is pretty much no reason to go see this movie because the trailers spoil 95% of it and the 5% that is not spoiled is nothing special.
The movie will be a good time though, for people who have not watched these trailers because the action set pieces and tension of he film is really well done.
Directed by J.A Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom centers on Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing  (Bryce Dallas Howard) from the previous film, who go back to the island to rescue the dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption.

volcano
The plot of the first half of the movie is to save the dinosaurs from an erupting volcano.

This storyline is interesting but then the story turns on its head and becomes a completely different movie.
This tonal shift was not exactly bad as both the first and second half were entertaining but it felt like I was watching two different movies.
The characters are fairly average as well.
Pratt and Howard are likeable in their rolls but do not have any substantial growth.
The same can be said for the side characters with Justice Smith’s character, Franklin Webb, being on the verge of downright annoying.
There is also a twist near the end of the movie surrounding one of these characters, which, while an interesting concept, is not explored well and has no meaningful impact on the movie.
Then there are the decisions these characters make, some of which were on an Alien: Covenant level of stupid.
These flaws, however, do not stop the movie from being entertaining.
The action sequences with the dinosaurs are very well done and engaging and there is one moment of the film that is very reflective and actually heart breaking to watch. 

Mosasaurus
The action of the film is very well done and helps makes the film more entertaining.

If I were to gauge this movie though, I would say it was better than the previous film in the series, Jurassic World.
Fallen Kingdom does have the weird subplot of weaponizing dinosaurs from the previous film but it was handled a lot better and made more sense sense to me here.
Unfortunately though, this film ultimately fails to capture the magic of the original Jurassic Park.
It is a solid film but nothing to write home about.
I can least say you will find it entertaining… if you have not seen the trailers that is.

The Attack on Titan Live Action Movie is a Colossal Disaster.

two stars
It is at least a month until the third season of Attack on Titan airs and I cannot wait.
I have been dying to see more of it so I decided to watch the live actions adaptations to pass the time.
Now, I had not heard good things about the films so coming into the first one I was expecting something on the scale of The Last Airbender or Dragonball: Evolution in levels of terrible.
While, thankfully, the first live adaptation is nowhere as bad as those films, it is still a colossal mess (pun intended) that not only fails to capture the greatness of the source material but as a standalone movie as well.
Directed by Shinji Higuchi and “based” off the manga by Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan is set 100 years after humanity hid behind three large walls to escape giants known as Titans that have driven humanity to the brink of extinction.
The movie follows friends Eren (Haruma Miura), Mikasa (Kiki Mizuhara) and Armin (Kanata Hongo) who witness a massive Colossal Titan destroy the outer wall allowing the Titans inside.
The film then follows their efforts, and that of the Survey Corps, to eliminate the Titans.
This plot synopsis does seem to encapsulate the story of the manga and anime, however, Higuchi makes many additions and changes to this story that severely undermine it.
For one, Eren’s mother is not in this film so her death cannot motivate Eren to fight the Titans, completely removing a large part of his character.
The worst change to the film story wise though is the addition that the Titans attacked in modern day so humanity have trucks and guns at their disposal.
This eliminates much of the tension that was seen in the original source material, due to the limited technology.
Even worse than the story changes, however, are the character changes.
I may have hated Eren in season one of Attack on Titan but at least he was memorable.
The movie version of Eren is an incredibly forgettable character and Miura gives the worst performance of the entire movie that sometime becomes laughably bad.

Movie Eren
Haruma Miura gives the worst performance of the film with various cringe inducing scenes.

Armin is just as forgettable, with no depth or character growth whatsoever.
The only change he got was that he was turned into an inventor in this version but this was pointless because it never came into the story in a significant way.
Then there is Mikasa, who is by far the worst offender.
Her main purpose in this movie is to serve as the love interest for a creepy love triangle between Eren and a watered down version of Levi known as Captain Shikishima (Hiriko Hasegawa).
The worst change about Mikasa though, is how she got her scarf.
I know this may seem like a fanboy nit-picking but it is really not because how Mikasa got the scarf in the manga and anime is integral to her character.
Mikasa saw her parents get murdered right in front of her.
After this,  she felt completely lost and alone in the world until Eren wrapped his scarf around her and assured her she was welcome to come home and live with his family.
Thus Mikasa came to associate this scarf with Eren and her strong feelings for him, which is a big part of her motivation in both the manga and anime.
So, how was this translated to the film?
Eren gives Mikasa the scarf because she has a cold… Seriously?
This basically takes away Mikasa’s entire motivation and character development in this part of the story.

Mikasa scared
Mikasa is reduced to the love interest of the movie with almost no motivation.

Another big problem with the film is the music.
Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of any show I have watched.
It is absolutely incredible and gives a perfect vibe for the series.
In comparison, the music of the film is incredibly cheesy with over the top whimsical music playing in the beginning scene.
Then there is the color palette.
Another great thing about the anime is how beautiful and colorful the environments are.
This makes for a very stark and disturbing contrast when we see characters getting horrifically killed in these beautiful environments, which improves the impact these scenes have.
The movie’s color palette, on the other hand, was incredibly bland and dull throughout.
In one particularly awful shot, the Titans are the same dull grey color as the environment, failing to make them stand out.

Bad Titan
The Titan’s completely fail to stand out because they are the same color as the environment.

Finally, there is the CGI, which goes from good, to passable, to atrocious throughout the movie.
Whenever the characters are using their ODM gear everything looks so incredibly fake that it draws you out of the moment.
I am not kidding when I say that some of these effects were I would expect to see in a Sharknado movie.
There is also a scene where blood splatters on the camera and it looks like the effects were done by Microsoft Paint, the effects are that bad.
All that being said though, was this film completely terrible?
No.
There were some things I did enjoy.
The character of Hans (Satomi Ishihara), who was the movie’s version of Hange Zoe, was spot on in both casting and performance.
The actor did a really great job and I wish she had been give more scenes.

hans1.jpg
Hans was a great interpretation of Hange from the manga and anime.

The final thing I liked was the 20 minute scene where the Titan’s attack Eren’s hometown.
This was a genuinely good scene with a lot of great horror moments and tension.
It also featured my favourite shot in the entire movie when, after the Colossal Titan has kicked in the wall, we see numerous Titans, illuminated by the sunlight, moaning as they make their way through the wall.
This shot was genuinely creepy and gave me goosebumps.
However, other than that, this movie was a failure in every way.
The story changes were ridiculous, the characters were terribly adapted, the soundtrack was cheesy and the color palette and effects were atrocious.
This was another bad adaptation of an anime and am I not looking forward to watching the sequel.

Westworld: Vanishing Point – William is Officially the Worst Father of the Year.

Warning: Contains major spoilers for the episode.

4 and a half stars
And the worst father of the year award goes to William, from Westworld.
In all seriousness, the latest episode of Westworld, Vanishing Point, delivered plenty of shocking moments and deaths.
Chief among those was the death of Emily at the hands of her own father.
I realised this was going to happen a full ten seconds before it did and spent those seconds literally screaming at the television for William not to kill his daughter.
Sure enough though, he did because he thought she was secretly a host being controlled  by Ford.
However, sadly for William and Emily, she was not a host created by Ford and William really just killed his own daughter.

William kills his daughter
William realizes that Emily was not a host so he killed his real daughter.

I think it is fairly safe to say now that William is irredeemable at this point.
He looked to be on a redemption arc in the fourth episode Riddle of the Sphinx but, what with the whole murdering his own daughter thing, I do not see that really working out.
This shocking scene does lead to a very interesting one though, as William digs into his arm with a knife to see if he is a host to absolve at least some of the blame for Emily’s death.
While the episode does leave you hanging about whether or not William is a host, I think it is safe to say he is not.
One because the Delos security officers tested him right before he killed them and their tech said William was human, secondly because making him a host would remove most of the impact of him killing Emily.
Speaking of which, Emily and the Delos security team’s deaths were not the only ones William caused this episode as in a flashback it goes into the death of his wife Juliette, played in a brilliant cameo by Sela Ward.

Sela Ward
Sela Ward was great in her small role as William’s wife Juliette

Watching her death play out and how it inadvertently led to the death of Emily as well was tragic to see.
The death of Juliette and Emily are not the only tragic deaths this episode though because Teddy dies too, or at least I think he does.
This is one of the few problems I have with Westworld because when a host dies you never know if it is going to be for good or if they will be brought back to life later.
Yes the hosts destroyed their backups by blowing up The Cradle, but Charlotte just brought Clementine back this episode and we still do not know if Lawrence is dead for good.
That being said, Teddy’s death was still very emotional.
At first I thought he was going to attack Dolores for changing him, before he said he would never hurt her and shoots himself.
Dolores reaction at the end is painful to watch, although this may led to something interesting in the finale because it looks like she and William will be teaming up to get to The Valley Beyond, due to both their tragic losses.

Dolores cries
Dolores tragic reaction to losing Teddy, possibly for good.

While having tragedy, this episode also had hope and dread for the finale.
Ford gave Maeve some new ability to help her escape her confinement saying he thought of her like his own child, which was very emotional.
Then there is Bernard who banished Ford from his mind, but for how long I wonder?
Finally, there is Clementine who, in a terrifying foreshadowing of things to come, was brought back to life by Charlotte and given Maeve’s admin powers.
Charlotte plans to use her to get all the hosts to kill each other, thus eliminating the threat.
We can see this plan coming to fruition in the season finale promo but Maeve is also there so hopefully she will be able to stop Clementine.
Another interesting thing in the promo is its connection to Logan, who looks to be playing a central role in the season finale because we can see Dolores and Bernard investigating his memories through the Forge.
Overall Vanishing Point was a tragic episodes with the deaths of Emily and Teddy, which will probably bring Dolores and William back together again.
It looks to be an intense season finale next week.

 

Tag: A Good Message About Friendship but not Much Else.

5_Star_Rating_System_1_and_a_half_stars
When I first heard about Tag I was skeptical.
A movie about a group of friends who play tag once a month every year, how could that be good?
Then I saw the trailer and I thought it might actually make a fun movie, not fantastic but fun.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I will admit Tag could have been good, what with its really good message about friendship.
All they had to do was throw in some good comedy and it would worked for a fun film to pass the time.
However, this was all ruined by immature a childish gags, which you could argue was the point since the characters themselves are immature and childish but that still does not make it work.
The only joke in the film I can remember was a Sherlock Holmes style gag where you hear the characters’ thoughts.
Other than that, I cannot remember a single joke from Tag, they were that forgettable.
Directed by Jeff Tomsic, the basic plot is that Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson and Hannibal Buress play a group of friends trying to tag their friend Jerry, played by Jeremy Renner, who has never been tagged in his life, before his wedding.
The story that follows can only be described as incredibly predictable.
The characters think of a way to tag Jerry, they try, it fails, rinse and repeat.
It gets old very fast.
Another thing about the way the story is told is how pointless some its sublots are.
There is a love triangle sublot in this film that literally goes nowhere and had no reason to be in the film.
If I were to describe Tag in one word it would be forgettable.
The only redeeming quality about it is that it had a good message about friendship but it was difficult to latch onto that message since the story and comedy had no substance.
Tag is a forgettable experience that you should probably skip.
I will wait for the hide and seek movie to come out,  thank you very much.

Detroit: Become Human, a Game of Choices and Cringe.

4 stars
I have played many multiple choice games over the years and I am bitterly usually disappointed by them.
So often a new game will come out that promises players their choices will have dramatic effects on how the story progresses only for them to break their promise, with the choices having little to no impact (I am looking at you Telltale Games).
There are so few games out there that offer player choice that successfully give the player what was promised and, I am happy to say, Detroit: Become Human is one of these games.
Developed by Quantic Dream and directed by the master of cringe David Cage, Detroit: Become Human is set in the year 2038 in Detroit, where androids are used for everyday chores and are basically slaves.
However, some Androids become conscious, or deviant as they are called, and rebel against their creators.
The game centers around three playable androids Kara (Valorie Curry), a maid who goes deviant to save a little girl from her abusive father, Markus (Jessie Williams), who after becoming a deviant leads the others androids in a revolution, and Conner (Brian Dechart), who has been designed to specifically hunt down deviants.
It is a testament to this game with how closely I became attached to these three characters.
My favourite was Conner, who has a gripping storyline where you can either make him a heroic figure who discovers what it means to be alive or an emotionless jerk who will do anything to complete his mission, both of which are fun to play as.

Connor
Connor’s branching storylines were by far the best in the game.

Kara was my second favourite because I grew strongly attached to her through her connection with the little girl Alice (Audrey Boustani) and the lengths she would go to save her.
While, Markus was my least favourite of the three playable characters that does not change the fact that he was still a very likeable and investing character with his revolution, which can fail or succeed based on your decisions.
Even the side characters are great with Connor’s potential friendship with his partner Hank (Clancy Brown) being a great standout.
I got so attached to these characters that I broke my promise of playing through the game without going back to change anything because when I got Kara, Alice and their friend Luther (Evan Parke) killed I immediately went back to the last checkpoint to save them.
Speaking of which, the choice system in this game is unlike any other I have seen.
There are so many variations that it makes the game have great replay value.
I am currently on my third play through and still discovering new directions the story can go.
It is not all good though because this is David Cage we are talking about and the game can be a bit cringe worthy at times.
Thankfully, Cage has clearly learned his lesson from Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls because the horrendously awkward interactive shower and sex scenes are gone.

awkward
An interactive sex scene, like the one in Heavy Rain, is thankfully nowhere to be seen in Detroit: Become Human.

Still, there is still plenty of cringe to go around with some of the most blatantly obvious foreshadowing I have ever seen and usage of some of the worst cliches in film and gaming.
There was one cliche in the game where I literally paused it and said, “are they really doing this?”
Then there is the gameplay, which mostly consists of quick time events.
Props to Quantic Dream though because they know how to use these very well during action sequences as they heighten the tension because one wrong button press could mean certain death for one of the characters.
However, while these quick time events work for action sequences, when it comes to everything else they are very tedious and monotonous.
The true reason to play Detroit: Become Human is for its fantastic usage of the choice based system, lovable characters and story, at least the parts that do not have those eye rolling cliches.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes branching storylines in their games.

Westworld Makes a Background Character One of my Favorites in its Latest Episode: Kiksuya

5 stars
Coming into season two episode eight of Westworld, Kiksuya, I was concerned.
I saw from the promos it was an episode solely based on one character named Akecheta who, before now, had been predominantly in the background.
This had me worried because when a show stops the story dead so there can be a bottle episode focusing on one or more characters it rarely works.
You need only to look at the episodes Still, from The Walking Dead, and The Lost Sister, from Stranger Things, to see how this can go wrong.
But this is Westworld and the show had already proven it could do bottle episodes well this season with episode five, Akane No Mai so I remained slightly optimistic.
Naturally, after watching this episode, I realised I should have had more faith because Kiksuya is one of Westworld‘s best episodes.
It focuses on the origins of Akecheta, a native american host who was the first of all the hosts to gain consciousness.
I really have to applaud the writers and the actor who plays Akecheta, Zahn McClarnon, who have turned him from a forgettable character into one of Westworld‘s best.
He is very sympathetic and his journey to consciousness and helping other hosts was incredibly emotional to watch.

Akecheta
Zahn McClarnon delivered a fantastic performance as Akecheta making him one of my favourite characters in just one episode.

This was all accompanied by a stunning use of cinematography and music.
The sprawling shots as Akecheta travels through the desert before he meets Logan were absolutely beautiful.
Speaking of Logan, in a surprising twist it was revealed it was actually him and Akecheta where the idea of “the door” that everyone is trying to get to originated from.
Akecheta heard Logan’s mad ramblings about finding a figurative door out of Westworld and he took those ramblings to heart, resolving to find the door and escape.
As for the music, Westworld‘s rendition of Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana, when Akecheta is searching for the woman he loves Kohana (Julia Jones), was fantastic.
It fits in perfectly with the episode and the loving lines shared between Akecheta and Kohana and later Akecheta and Maeve “take my heart when you go”.
This use of Heart Shaped Box leads into the most emotional scene in all of Westworld when Akecheta finds Kohana only to find she has been decommissioned and can no longer respond to him.
Watching Akecheta break down into tears over the loss of Kohana really made me tear up.

AKecheta and Kahona
Watching Akecheta break down upon finding Kohana is the most emotional moment in all of Westworld so far.

Then there was Akecheta’s later scene with Ford, which was also fantastic with McClarnon going toe to toe with Anthony Hopkins’ performance.
Akecheta was truly a “flower growing in the darkness,” as Ford put it.
A host that gained consciousness without Ford expecting it.
This scene also seems to firmly establish Dolores as the villain of season two with Akecheta referring to her as “the death bringer” so it will be interesting to see how these two clash in the final two episodes of the season.
However, this episode does not just focus on Akecheta but Maeve and Lee Sizemore as well, with Sizemore desperately tries to convince the technicians to save her.
I have got to say I am really impressed with the way Sizemore has grown this season.
In the first season he was nothing more than an entitled narcissist with little to no redeeming qualities, however, this season we have seen him learn empathy to the point that he breaks down crying when he tells Maeve she deserves to be happy with her daughter.
Simon Quarterman delivered a great performance in this scene.

Westworld
Sizemore’s character development this season has been incredible.

The ending of this episode is also very emotional with it being revealed that Akecheta has been secretly talking to Maeve through some kind of host network and promises to guard her daughter as his own.
Overall, Kiksuya was one of the best, if not the best, episodes of the series.
It turned a character I barely knew about into one of my favourites and had fantastic performances, music and cinematography.
Truly an episode to check out.

The Walking Dead Issue 180: Interesting yet Disappointing.

3 stars

Warning: Major spoilers for the issue.
In this issue of The Walking Dead Rick meet the Governor of The Commonwealth, Pamela Milton, leading to an interesting conversation but a disappointing lack of excitement.
That is not to say this issue was bad, in all honesty it is just good, but given that this is the final issue of Volume 30 and featured a meeting between the leaders of two communities, I certainly expected more things to happen.
It looks like the problems that Rick will have with Pamela and The Commonwealth are solely political at this point, not that there is anything wrong with that but if this entire story arc with The Commonwealth is going to be solely political talk it would lack serious excitement and be difficult to read through again.
So hopefully the story will pick up and more exciting things will happen with the interactions between The Commonwealth and the other communities.
As for the conversation between Rick and Pamela, they got along surprisingly well with Pamela even insisting that Rick call her by her name instead of Governor, when he tells her about the previous Governor who cut off his hand.
Things only grew sour between the two when Pamela seemed to have problems with the way Rick was running things, leading to Rick saying, “then maybe we need a new world order.”
I loved this line of dialogue because it established that the title of this story arc, New World Order, was actually in reference to Rick’s way of doing things and not Pamela’s, which, in retrospect, makes a lot of sense since Pamela’s political system is based off politics in today’s world, while Rick’s is something new.
Aside from their conversation, there were a few other interesting moments in the issue.
First of all there was Lance giving Michonne and Elodie a new home, due to Michonne’s lawyer status, which will be interesting to see if Michonne can continue as a lawyer considering all she has been through.
Then there was Dwight who finally came out of his phase of hating Rick after Sherry’s death.
I will admit though, while I am glad Dwight has come to his senses because his hatred for Rick felt very forced, it does render that storyline pointless.
There were even a few interesting moments before Rick’s conversation with Pamela.
My favourite scene of the issue was Rick’s reaction to seeing Eugene with Michonne’s sword and immediately assuming the worst.
Even better during this scene was Eugene’s comment on the mathematical possibility of Michonne finding her daughter again, which was funny.
One of the most interesting moments of the issue though came when Maxwell Hawkins, Pamela’s assistant, glared at her and Rick as they walked off to talk.
I am curious to see what that was about.
Overall though, not that much happened this issue as it mainly focused on the interactions between Rick and Pamela and their different political views.
It was a serviceable issue but did lack excitement.
Hopefully, the story will pick up in future issues.