TV Review: Love, Death + Robots 3/3

Love, Death + Robots is an anthology series from David Fincher and Tim Miller that is available on Netflix.

Lucky 13

Directed by Jerome Chen

Animation Studio: Sony Pictures Imageworks

Based on the Short Story by Marko Kloos

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Lucky 13 is about a military transport that is considered jinxed and given to a rookie pilot who quickly bonds with the vehicle.

This is another favourite of mine. Again, fantastic visuals here. The character’s are all but photo realistic. I quickly recognised the main character by voice as well as looks. It was like watching Samira Wiley on screen! That’s how good the animation is in this episode. I’d be interested to see if they used motion capture on her face as it is that good. But that’s not just why I like this episode. The story is told at a solid pace and has some fantastic action keep the episode really interesting. I got invested in the bond the protagonist, ‘Cutter’ Colby has with Lucky 13 pretty quickly. You feel the emotion of this episode pretty heavily as it comes to its conclusion.

Definitely one of the strongest episodes for me.

Zima Blue

Directed by Robert Valley

Animation Studio: Passion Animation Studios

Based on the Short Story by Alistair Reynolds

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Zima Blue is the story of an experimental artist. It is also the one in the entire anthology that doesn’t really do anything for me. It’s beautifully animated, although the character designs weren’t my cup of tea. The story was way but never grabbed my attention. I did like the overall message of the story, but as a whole it didn’t do a lot for me.

Blindspot

Written and Directed by Vitaliy Shushko

Animation Producer: Elena Volk

This one is a super fun heist movie with robots. What more do you need to know folks?!? It is a fast paced, action filled thrill ride with ups and downs, entertaining characters and like the rest of this series, beautiful animation. It’s a really nice change of pace and just good fun!

Ice Age

Directed by Tim Miller

Animation by: Digic Pictures, Blur Studio, and Atomic Fiction

Based on the short story by Michael Swanwick

Script Adapted by Phillip Gelatt

This is the only episode which isn’t fully animated. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Topher Grace as a young couple who move into a new apartment which has a very old fridge in it. They soon discover there’s a civilisation living in the ice box.

It’s a fun story that has a good pace and Grace and Winstead are good on screen. The animation is good and the story zips by at a decent pace.

It’s an interesting episode, but doesn’t stand out a lot. The change of visual styles, like having actual humans in it, does change it up a little from the rest of the anthology.

Alternate Histories

Directed by Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres

Animation Studio: Sun Creature Studio

Based on the Short Story by John Scalzi

This one is a series of examples of what would have happened to the world if Adolf Hitler had died earlier in life than he did.

This one was okay, albeit a little long. Like all of these episodes, the animation is great and the design suits the story well.

The Secret War

Directed by István Zorkóczy

Animation Studio: Digic Pictures,

Based on the Short Story by David W. Amendola

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

The Secret War is a World War 2 era story that is set in a Soviet wilderness. Soviet soldiers are fighting an enemy that is revealed as the story goes on. It’s a very sombre piece that has some fantastic action and an animation style and design that fits the era it’s et in as well as the tone of the film.

The big bad in this story I really liked. The design they had really got my imagination going. The final confrontation is epic. It gave me what I wanted from the and finishes the anthology off on a high note.

 

TV Review: Love, Death + Robots 1/3

Love, Death + Robots is an anthology series from David Fincher and Tim Miller that is available on Netflix.

Sonnie’s Edge

Directed by Dave Wilson

Animation Studio: Blur Studio

Based on the short story by Peter F. Hamilton

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Sonnie’s Edge tells the story of a woman who operates a pit fighting monster and is undefeated.

I liked Sonnie’s Edge. It kicked the anthology off well with some fantastic action in A pit in A grimy underground Fight Club. This sequence is really brutal and raw and pulls you in as it raises the tension as the fight progresses.

I really liked the design of this one. From the setting to the monsters to the characters.

If there was a video game of the fight pit from this game, I’d be first in line to buy it.

Three Robots

Directed by Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres

Animation Studio: Blur Studio

Based on the short story by John Scalzi

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Three Robots is about three robots who are touring a human city after some apocalyptic event. I’ve got to admit, I do like a good post-apocalyptic story and this one didn’t disappoint. The fact it has a nod to the Terminator films didn’t hurt.

This story has some good humour, I should have guessed it was adapted from a John Scalzi story before it popped up in the credits. A favourite joke is when Xbot 4000 looks up a reference!

This is one of those stories that has a lot going on that is under the surface of the story of these three sight-seeing robots, and the conclusion of the story was fantastic and has a truth that humanity really needs to start thinking about.

The Witness

Written and Directed by Alberto Mielgo

Animation Studio: Pinkman.TV

The Witness is about a woman who witnesses a murder and is then pursued by the murderer.

Like all of these shorts the animation is beautifully done, with a couple of moments where it was very beautiful, but the style wasn’t my favourite. That’s not a criticism, it just wasn’t my favourite. It’s a little jarring how it’s ‘shot’ at times, but it’s so well done it helps set a chaotic vibe to the story.

There is a moment where the woman is on the run and where she goes and what she does there is a little out of place for me. I don’t have a problem with where she’s gone, it’s more that I’m not sure she’d do what she does there. Maybe if they showed a scene where she was pushed into it then it’ll feel more like it belonged. What makes up for it is the ending of the story which made me wonder what was really going on here.

Suits

Directed by Franck Balson

Animation Studio: Blur Studio

Based on the short story by Steven Lewis

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Steven Lewis may not know this, but he wrote this story for me! No one else, just me! Thank you Steven Lewis for writing this short story. Thank you Franck Balson for directing it. Thank you Philip Gelatt for adapting the screenplay. Blur Studios, thank you! It looked amazing! And thank you David Fincher, Tim Miller and everyone else who put this story together!

If you haven’t guessed this story is so far up my street it’s in my living room!

Suits is basically about a group of farmers that have to defends their livestock, their lands, homes and loved ones from creatures who appear out of portals. In mechs. Yeah I’m grinning like a kid just thinking about this story. It is a straight forward story that has action, humour, and heart to it. I’ve got to mention the chickens and the cows. Having grown up as a farmers son, the cows and chickens are kinda spot on!

My only complaint is there’s a moment where there’s a power cut, but there’s not real follow through or explanation. But that’s a super minor note that I’ve added so I’m not gushing about it too much.

Sucker Of Souls

Directed by Owen Sullivan

Animation Studio: Studio La Cachette

Based on the short story by Kristen Cross

Adapted script by Philip Gelatt

This is the typical archeologists awakening something that shouldn’t be woken up. I like it though. Although the animation style wasn’t my favourite, again very good just not my cuppa tea, it fit the story well and was a nice change of style from the previous stories. I really dug the colour palette in this one. It was another element that added to the tone of the story which made the story stronger.

I did prefer the big bad’s initial look when it was first uncovered as opposed to its later appearance. I found it more intimidating.

There are some damn funny one liners in this one as well!

Wrapping up this one, I wasn’t completely sold on the ending but it wasn’t a bad ending. Definitely a fun one.

When The Yogurt Took Over

Directed by Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres

Animated by Blow Studio

Based on the short story by John Scalzi

Adapted script by Janis Robertson

When The Yogurt Took Over is a documentary about how yogurt took over.

As I was watching this I remember thinking, ‘yeah, I bet this is a John Scalzi story’. I don’t really know what to say about this one. The story is fantastic, the animation design fits the story perfectly, as does the score and the narration. (note: I hope whoever thought of casting Maurice LaMarche as the narrator for this story got a good bonus. If you know cartoons you’ll know why, if not. Google it).

Despite the light, goofy tone of the story there is a dark undertone here that has a message but like all good speculative fiction, it doesn’t smash you over the head and lets you enjoy the story for what it is.

Check in tomorrow for part 2/3

Break Down Is Done

The last ten thousand words of Earth, After Liberation have ben broken down into chapter sections and now its’ ready for me to go through it. I’m going to give it a couple of day before I start that though as I need to spend a little time on Project Apollo and The Residents before I get stuck into it again on Monday.

For now though, I’m off to settle in with Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Last Week

This last week has not been very productive. Aside from Wednesday when I went to a write-in with my local NaNo group I haven’t really done much writing. Monday, I really can’t remember what I done. Tuesday I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy (yes, again) with a friend and on Thursday I was out with my work colleagues for a meal. Last night I was really wiped out so i just chilled out and watched RoboCop (2014) again.

Once I got home this afternoon I cleaned out the hen houses (we’ve just brought five more chickens) and I’ve watched the football and worked on the timeline for The Residents. Now I’m watching The Birdcage.

So basically I’ve done pretty much sod all this last week, so this coming week I need to pull my finger out and get cracking. I’ve decided what to do for my NaNo novel for this coming November, which is the sequel to what I wrote last year; Earth, After Liberation. So this next week I’m going to be going through my edit notes and make the changes I want to last years NaNo novel. The beginning of the follow on novel has been in my head since last year. I’ve decided to do this one because it’s in a universe that I’ve already created and as I’ve got The Residents and Project Apollo quite actively on my mind I don’t want to have to start from scratch with something new.

I really need to get stuck bad into Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. I’m enjoying this one but as I’ve had a busy week I haven’t found the time to read much.

 

I’m going to end on a sad note. I, like many people, grew up watching Robin Williams entertaining the world. Whether it was Mrs. Doubtfire, Jack, Jumanji, Patch Adams or my personal favourite, The Birdcage. I’m not going to get into how he died or what may have lead to his death. To me he was a once in a generation talent who could not only add the comedy but also the drama.

I’m going to miss seeing him on our screens.

Rest In Peace Mr. Williams

The 2nd Draft is DONE!

Okay, so I should have written this on Sunday, but I forgot and the last couple of nights I’ve been busy.  As you can see by the title of this post I completed my 2nd draft of the vampire collection I’ve been working on and it’s now in the safe hands of Beta readers. I did have feedback on two of the stories from a friend and she said she loved them 🙂 ( I know you’re thinking ‘she’s his friend, she’s meant to love them.’ believe me, this friend would tell me if she didn’t like them).

Now I’m dancing between The Residents and Project Apollo; Chrystalyn and I would like to get started on The Residents soon so we’ll be aiming to up our planning in the next couple of weeks. The story and characters and the world building is pretty well thought through at this point so I think we’ll be focusing on planning and research. Project Apollo is growing well, despite the odd hiccup,  but I’m not sure when Owen and I will be looking at getting cracking with this again as we have a lot to do before we can start writing. We haven’t spoken of schedules yet but I’m not sure we’ll be ready to really jump in this side of December, if not early 2015. If I’m honest I want to spend most of my writing energy on The Residents and be doing the planning bits of Project Apollo around The Residents. This last ten days I’ve been editing the vampire collection and working on developing notes for Project Apollo. This seems to be quite a good way for me to work; having a primary project and a secondary project. I like having two projects on the go as when I get stuck on one I can flitter over to the second and then as I’ll be planning and not writing I can exercise a different part of my brain 🙂

 

That’s all for now, I’m going to shut everything down and get a chapter or two of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi read.

 

p.s. Guardians of the Galaxy was AMAZING!!!!!!!

A Quick Update

After a bit of a stutter when I finished the red-penning I managed to have a good day yesterday and tonight I’ve gotten through another one of these vampire stories. I’ve now done five of ten, I’m not saying I’m halfway through as I know some of the coming stories are in the six to seven thousand word range. I’d like to get another one done during the week nights and then hopefully get the rest wrapped up on Sunday.

Reading wise I’ve been getting stuck into Old Man’s War by John Scalzi and I’ve got to say this is a fantastic book and if it keeps it up I’l be very happy. I’ve read some good books this year and this one is easily up there so far 🙂

Speaking of which, I’m off to crack on reading it 🙂

Get Sh*t Done Month

August is my get sh*t done month. I’m aiming to get the 1st draft of Project Apollo done and off to Owen and I want to have a short story, that’s all but done, ready to be sent off to the sci-fi magazines.

How easy is this going to be to achieve? That depends on a couple of things. The day job is a big one. This time of year my day job (valeter at a car sales) is quite demanding on the body. This glorious summer we are having here in the U.K. is awesome but it does sap ones energy when working a physically demanding job and at the moment we are busy. Which is absolutely great but it takes more of the body’s strength. Yesterday was a prime example, although not to warm I had a lot to do so come the evening when I got home I just could not get going with the words. So I got an early night and despite a few non-work related hiccups today I’ve got home and knocked out over 1100 words tonight *does a little dance* That’s the most words I have written in one day for a long time, and it feels good 😀

I’d also like to get back into a bit of reading this month as well. The last two books I have read have been amazing (Redshirts by John Scalzi & Blood In The Past by Jordanna East) so I was more then a little anxious at the prospect of starting a new novel. So I read more of Judge Dredd Vol. 1 but now its time to dive into a novel again and I’ve chosen The Drawing Of The Three (The Dark Tower Book 2) by Stephen King.

So that’s the plan, lets see how much of it I actually get done!

20130729-220713.jpg