Mockingjays, detectives and Japanese generals: this week on screen (#SFWApro)

While I still think THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay, Part Two (2015) could have been combined with the first film, I must admit it didn’t hurt the end product—it doesn’t feel padded the way The Hobbit did. And it doesn’t hurt to have Jennifer Lawrence showing she can handle anything from tragic loss to WW II-style morale-building Why We Fight speeches; Donald Sutherland as the malevolent Snow is also impressive in a more understated role).  Very good. “I’d have saved myself a lot of pain if I’d given that bread to the pig.”
SyFy’s FEROCIOUS PLANET (2011) neither entertains nor qualifies for the book as the parallel-world setting is just a random world with monsters, rather than an alternate history. John-Rhys Davies plays an arrogant senator in what’s presumably a Sliders shout-out, and Stargate: Atlantis’s Shephard is the dishonored military protagonist. “It didn’t feel like an earthquake it felt like we were—sliding.”
ZATHURA (2005) is the Jumanji copy-cat in which two squabbling brothers and their sister are swept up by the eponymous space-adventure board game and find themselves battling killer robots, killer meteors, killer aliens, etc. This is much poorer than Jumanji, as it has no actors comparable to Hunt, Williams or Dunst, and the setting doesn’t seem as natural for a magical game as the former film did. However various events in the story make it qualify for my book much better than the first film. “They turned the thermostat down to 48 degrees!”
RESISTANCE (2011) is set in the alt.history that follows from the failure of D-Day and the invasion of Britain,with a couple of women caught between the Nazi forces who’ve recently occupied their Welsh village and the British forces ready to punish anyone who collaborates. This didn’t work—it would double bill better with Went the Day Well (British vs. covert invasion) than an actual alt.history like It Happened Here. “A couple of weeks and it may be over.”

Having just finished the UK Life on Mars I wrapped up the sequel series  ASHES TO ASHES in which DI Alex Drake (Keely Hawes) found herself back in the past a decade after Life‘s Sam Tyler. While this started off blandly, it picked up second season as Alex began investigating whatever happened to Sam Tyler; in the third and final season, we find out and I must admit it’s not what I expected. This almost takes it out of qualifying for the book, but given it’s been presented as time-travel up to this point, it’s going in anyway. In it’s own right, too much a straight cop show a lot of the time to work as well as its predecessor. “Come on, you didn’t think this was a real police station did you?”

OdanobunagaAMBITION OF ODA NOBUNA was a one season anime series that takes the same premise as Battle Girls: Time Paradox: Yoshi is flung back to the age when the great General Nobunaga (art by Kano Motohide, all rights to current holder) united Japan under the shogunate, only to discover Nobunaga and the other war leaders are women. The explanation here is simpler than the previous show—first-born women are allowed as war leaders—but the time travel isn’t explained at all; unlike Battle Girls there are no time-paradox twists down the road, just Yoshi and Nobuna working to unify Japan (and overcome finding each other obnoxious and irritating of course) so I could skip a lot of this. In its own right, probably better done than the first show, though Battle Girls had a more impressive Nobunaga. “The man he gave his life for chose to die like a dog!”

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1 Comment

Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel, TV

One response to “Mockingjays, detectives and Japanese generals: this week on screen (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Quasi-final time travel TV post (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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