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Free Willy (1993)
I grew up with this beautiful movie
22 February 2021
Last of Us 2's aquarium scenes reinspired me to watch Free Willy again for the first time since probably the 90s.

It's heartbreaking how awful we humans treat animals, especially Orca whales.

Free Willy holds a special place in my heart as I grew up watching it in the 90s. It's also the first time I remember seeing Michael Madsen, a staple guy of Tarantino's (my favourite director) movies.

Free Willy ignited my interest in Orca whales as kid, and is a great companion movie to the documentary Blackfish.
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Tarantino is the best filmmaker in history
18 February 2021
I had to watch this movie twice, and watch a bunch of reviews, and watch that amazingly satisfying ending multiple times in order to settle on the feeling I have about it now.

I think Tarantino is the best filmmaker in history now. I love all his movies, and this one really is brilliant, especially the awesome and hilarious ending. 10/10
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Tarantino's best by a wide margin
16 February 2021
I love everything about Kill Bill, and this is pure masterpiece through and through
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16 February 2021
Daniel Day Lewis is monumental in this film, I cannot think of a better performance. The movie itself is incredible of course, but DDL carries it all the way.
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So what the 'ell we marching for?
13 February 2021
I was born in 1989, and grew up with LOTR. They have remained my favourite movies since they came out. I didn't think anything could top them, but honestly I feel that "They Shall Not Grow Old" is Peter Jackson's best and most important work yet.

I am a British patriot at heart, my ancestry is fully British (English and Scottish) dating back as far back as can be traced. If called to defend my country from a genuine and plausible threat, I wouldn't hesitate. However I have always thought that WW1 (and 2) was a pointless waste of life on all sides, as is shockingly communicated in this stellar documentary, the likes of which I hadn't seen before. The notion of doing everything possible to avoid war is strongly expressed in this film. Sadly though, the administrations of our countries seemed all too happy to sacrifice millions of us, and for what? We are suffering the consequences now in 2021 with the slow internal rot of our once proud and upright nations. What are we doing a nation now? What is our heading or purpose? We're just sitting here while foreign interests swamp us, whether it be China, or Islam, or whatever else that continues to undermine and degrade what Britain once was. What were our countrymen in the trenches fighting and dying so valiantly for when 100 years since their sacrifices (our present day of 2021), our country is less British than ever? The very notion that the entire world can be British amd live in Britain is like a spit in the face of everyone who fought and died in both world wars. London and Birmingham is more like Africa or the Middle East now than it is Britain. We are losing our homeland. Then I look back to WW1 and 2 and want to warn everyone of the fate of our nation, that with their millions of deaths came the weakening of our nations and thus the flooding that we're now subjected to with our traitor leaders rubbing their traitor hands with glee as they get rich and we sink.

We fought the wrong enemy (Germany). We should have allied with eachother in friendship (all European nations) and not bled ourselves white.

I honestly fear for our countries in that within 100 years from now we may well be looking back at who we once were in WW1 and be unable to recognise our ancestors, them who were blindly led to their deaths just like we are now being swamped and sunk. I want to show them all our present day, and ask them, tell them, to not go into that pointless war and waste their lives fighting those who we should have been friends with rather than foes. No more brother wars!!
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Amazing movie
11 February 2021
I have always loved this movie since I first saw it in the 90s, it's one of the best adventure / western movies I've seen.
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Attack on Titan: Brave Volunteers (2021)
Season 4, Episode 9
A welcome return to decent animation
8 February 2021
Last week I gave Ep.8 an 8/10 because I thought the animation in that episode looked like a storyboard version of South Park.

However the animation in Ep.9 looks good again, and I'll give it a 9/10 due to the intrigue and suspense being great. My only gripe with this episode is that it feels like it could have been better somehow, and that the animation, although good, still looks like it could have benefited from more time. I don't understand why the AoT directors decided to set themselves such a tight deadline. They could have avoided fan backlash for this season if they would have given Wit or Mappa (or whatever studio) as much time as they required to make the product as good looking as possible. Afterall this is AoT, one of the greatest series ever made. It feels like an unnecessary self-sabotage to rush to the finish line just like Game of Thrones did. Rushing pretty much always comes at a sacrifice of detail, which is obvious just by looking at the animation itself (not the CGI). Nobody can say honestly that Season 4 looks as good as previous seasons. I'm of course glad to have a season 4, but it definitely looks rushed.
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Lincoln (2012)
A masterclass of acting, writing & directing
5 February 2021
What an amazing movie is Lincoln purely for the stellar acting, dialogue and direction.

My favourite scenes are those with Sally Field whose scenes in this movie bring me to tears.

Of course DDL is brilliant as Abe himself, as are the entire emsemble cast that all put on powerhouse performances.

Lincoln is almost 2 and a half hours (which flies by), but it feels like I could watch an entire series of this, as it's that brilliant.

I give it a 9/10 because my only real gripes are that it's not longer, we don't get even one visceral battle scene apart from the relatively vanilla one at the intro, and that we didn't get to see more of Jared Harris as Grant, or to see much of the Confederates' or Democrats' side. Hwowever it is a movie specifically about Lincoln, so the lack of other perspectives os forgivable.

Honestly this film does nearly everything right that an engaging movie needs to, and does it so well that I wanted more.
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Attack on Titan: Assassin's Bullet (2021)
Season 4, Episode 8
1 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I am a huge AoT fan since 2013, and gave 10/10s to multiple episodes of this season so far... BUT I have to be honest with this episode, so here goes:

Firstly, obviously someone was gona get killed by Gabi in this episode because of the episode title and her face being the thumbnail. Spoiler alert :( Admit it, we were all waiting to see who she kills. I thought the situation was gona be better written than how it turned out to be, as honestly it felt like something out of Legend of Korra.

The way Gabi got onto the airship felt very contrived and unbelievable because it was clearly shown how fast the airship was moving, but the ODM wire she boarded it with somehow never moved for a full minute while she was trying to get it to work?? That was just stupid. Also that gunshot just so happened to hit the one guy under the ship, and he happened to fall right in front of Gabi, and the ODM gear happened to be working still and not move atall even though the ship it was attached to was moving very fast. I audibly said "Oh come on!!" at that part.

Apart from that grievance with the episode, it was otherwise awesome, but I'll give it a 8/10 not a 10/10 because of: 1. that unbelievable way she boarded the ship, and 2. the way Sasha went out, for me that wasn't atall the sharpest writing AoT has come up with and I felt quite cheated and robbed by it in fact. I mean when Gabi boarded the ship and fired... the framing of the scene made it look like a roulette chance wheel that happened to land on Sasha being the one getting killed, and then gave us a very brief consolation flashback of her. So quick and sudden, and we didn't get to see anything of Sasha this season atall. In fact, although I do like Mappa's animation, I wasn't sure who it was who got shot as it's harder to recognise the characters now in their new art style. 3. The previous episode left us on a cliffhanger that we would get a Reiner vs Eren third round, but within 20 seconds of the episode opening, it was over, and Eren didn't even try to grab the Jaw titan back off Reiner to eat him, but instead gave a copout line "we're both out of energy", even though Reiner was fresh and had only fought for 20 seconds, and Eren in no way looked out of energy himself, just he said he was and that was that. Come on!!

Actually... I anticipated this episode being subpar (in writing) in comparison to the episodes leading up to it, as it built up the plot in such a way that was very reminiscent to Game of Thrones backing itself into a corner.

I reckon this review will get a lot of downvotes coz I didn't give it a 10/10, but I have to be honest and that's what I thought of the episode, sorry!!

Edit: upon rewatching the episode again, I actually prefer the other animation style for the characters and their faces, not the Mappa one, as the Mappa one looks like a big downgrade in emotive conveyance and depth perception. In places the animation looks horrible, almost unwatchable. It's all washed out, unappealing to the eye, void of depth and substance, and makes me miss Wit's use of warm colour and expressive animation. Rushing out a product due to time constraints is no excuse, give me quality that takes years to produce rather than rushed unfinished stuff.
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Firefly (2002–2003)
Perfect for what it is
1 February 2021
The show was cancelled before its time, yet what we did get from Firefly is still my favourite show ever. It's hilarious, epic, brilliantly written, perfectly cast and acted, and each time I watch it feels like coming home to good friends and a warm hearth. 100/100 :)
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Vikings: The Last Act (2020)
Season 6, Episode 20
Horrible as expected
1 February 2021
I love the first 4 seasons, then it just died a slow confused meandering death of meaningless shallow episodes and wafer-thin plot & dialogue.

For a time, my favourite 3 running shows were Game of Thrones, Attack on Titan, and Vikings... and pretty much all of us expected GoT to keep the crown until the very end, but it prematurely self-abdicated and killed itself, then Vikings rotted from the inside once Ragnar left, yet Attack on Titan stood tall, and for me has taken the crown between those three as best consistently awesome show. If only the show-runners for Game of Thrones and Vikings would learn from AoT for their next ventures so not to disappoint anyone again.

Anyway, Vikings as a show is great until the end of season 4, then it's not worth the time, other than for a laugh and cringe-fest, in my humble opinion.
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Dominion (2018)
Essential viewing
31 January 2021
Some people call documentaries such as Dominion "vegan propaganda".

The definition of propaganda is essentially "lies and misleading info". I would challenge anyone to highlight even one piece of information in Dominion that is a lie or an any way misleading.

The fact is that non-human animals (that humans exploit) are the most oppressed beings on Earth. Several trillion animals are killed and exploited (against their will) every year, all of which are entirely unnecessary in our modern world in which we have access to over 20,000 edible plants between which all essential nutrients are bio-available.

If we don't need to hurt and kill animals to live healthy long lives, then why do it?
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Attack on Titan (2013– )
One of the best ever
31 January 2021
Season 4 is halfway through already, and I have gone back once again to re-watch the previous seasons, and it truly is a masterpiece on all levels. I had to pause S1E06 just now to write this review as 9 minutes into that episode had me crying again.

I have been watching AoT since 2013, eagerly awaiting each new episode and season, and it's hard to believe the series is ending very soon. "Don't be sad that it's over, be happy that it happened", and all that...

For a time my top 3 running shows were GoT, Vikings, and AoT. Sadly, GoT collapsed before the finish line, Vikings slowly fizzled out in quality after its fourth season, yet Attack on Titan has held strong and not only remained brilliant, but actually improved in many ways as the show progressed, which is incredibly rare.

I still to this day listen to the amazing soundtrack while doing other things, and each time I return to watching the show, it's hard to pinpoint anything bad about it really. And I know some people will say that AoT is overrated, and I might have thought that at some points in the show also, such as at various points in Season 2 and 3, but when you see how it all connects together and makes overall sense in the macro, some seemingly weaker aspects or things that appear nonsensical, overly contrived or dramatized at the time, make sense upon revisiting it, or at least that was my experience.

Anyway, I would give Attack on Titan a 10/10 simply because it is so intensely watchable, engaging, inspiring, epic, thought-provoking, anti-war, spine-chilling, horrifying at times, emotional and tear-inducing.

If you liked the early seasons of Game of Thrones, Vikings, Breaking Bad, Fullmetal Alchemist, and other similar shows, then Attack on Titan is indeed for you.

Now to slowly endure the agonising anticipation for each new and final episode of the last season...

P.S. - a good companion documentary to this is Dominion (2018)
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Berserk (1997–1998)
What GoT could have been...
25 January 2021
Game of Thrones could have learned some integrity and consistency from Berserk, rather than imploding.

Berserk is a 10/10. Watch it. NOW!
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The ultimate anime
25 January 2021
I first watched FMA in 2012, then FMAB shortly after, then both again back to back, and honestly they feel like two complementary pieces of a complete story, and I can't exactly choose which is the better of the two as both present great aspects. Although I do feel FMAB is more casually rewatchable. Either way, FMAB remains the benchmark of great anime (for me at least).

Other series may challenge that throne such as Berserk, and possibly Attack on Titan when that series is finally concluded.

FMAB starts, bridges, and completes its story pretty much perfectly, which is incredibly rare in the world of TV shows. I was hoping that GoT could take the throne for GOAT, but it imploded at the finish line.

If you love great stories done well, look no further than FMAB, for it truly deserves a 10/10.
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Attack on Titan: Assault (2021)
Season 4, Episode 7
25 January 2021
I wrote a longer review of this episode, but for some reason it wasn't published?

Visually, this is the best CGI I've ever seen in an animated series. Mappa have raised the bar higher than ever in that regard with this episode. Just wow!

As for the episode itself, for every second I was on the edge of my seat, eyes agape, verbally letting a few "holy ****s" throughout.

I've been with AoT since its release in 2013, eagerly awaiting each episode, and of course there are certain standout and viscerally memorable moments throughout the entire series, such as Armin plugging the wall with the boulder in Season 1, the Female Titan pursuit and confrontations, and especially Episode 17 of Season 3, which also is the only other AoT episode to score a perfect 10 in IMDb thus far, which shares a certain common blonde-haired denominator with this new episode, arguably the most relatably human character of the entire show.

Soundtrack and sound-design wise, this episode is phenomenal. Man the entire episode is just stellar and, dare I day, perfect.

Seven episodes down, nine to go... (at least?). I don't know whether to be hyped or to cry that it's ending soon... but either way, if the show keeps up its integrity and quality that its displayed in this episode, then AoT will go down in history of one the absolute greats.
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Wolfwalkers (2020)
Almost a 10/10...
21 January 2021
I first watched Secret of Kells in 2010 and was blown away. I since then have seen all of Cartoon Saloon's films, and up until watching WolfWalkers just now I felt that Song of the Sea was overall their strongest, yet Wolfwalkers may now co-hold that title...

WolfWalkers is a beautiful film in every sense of the word. It is of course (like its predecessors) artistically captivating, and adds new animation techniques and striking art direction that made me go "wooaahh" multiple times, and have to pause the film and look at it all properly many times. It has callbacks to Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea both with the choice of animation as well as story beats and themes. It also reminded me other animated films such as Pocahontas (especially with the main villain), and Princess Mononoke. Speaking of which, the studio Cartoon Saloon now feels like an Irish Studio Ghibli in some ways, what with its very distinct animation and story styles, as well as its poignant expression of Irish folklore and mythology. It is very clear how much love, attention to detail, and passion for their craft that everyone involved has, and yet again they have produced a masterpiece that I consider to be one of the best animated films I've seen, and I've seen a lot!

My only tiny gripe with the film is that it felt like it ended too quickly, after a very long (but great) build up. However maybe that's just my own projection, as afterall the overall message of the film remains to be very potent indeed.

I hope this movie will help with the push towards re-wilding and bringing back wolf populations, but respecting them this time rather than treating them with contempt as we did before.

Wolfwalkers is a wonderful film for all ages, and made me cry multiple times throughout. Beautiful, thank you Cartoon Saloon!
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12 December 2020
Truly amazing and jaw-dropping, one of Ghibli's best, not to be missed by anyone who loves great films.
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Studio Ghibli's best.
12 December 2020
I really love Studio Ghibli, and for me, Princess Mononoke is their best.

Although the most well-known and highest-rated is Spirited Away, I have always preferred Princess Mononoke. Its beautiful visual spectacle, plot, and romance are truly great.

Good companion films to this are The Man Who Planted Trees, Avatar, and Seven Samurai.
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Titanic (1997)
One of the best
12 December 2020
I have watched Titanic dozens if not hundreds of times since I first got it on VHS as a kid in the 90s. I hadn't watched it for many years until the past few days when I watched it a few times in a row, and really appreciated it on a deeper level I felt, or maybe just remembered how truly great it is.

Sure it has its cinematic flaws, such as seeing waves lapping at the shoreline next to the set when it should be the Titanic in the middle of the ocean. But then again all films have their little quirks and errors scattered throughout. Despite those found in Titanic, the emotion that the film makes me feel is unmatched by any other movie. It is pure magic from start to finish, many times throughout the film my eyes well up with tears, or outright balling.

It's one of the few movies that I would pay good money to see again in a massive full theatre.

I really don't know why it's not in the IMDb top 250, when many films on the list are trash in comparison to Titanic, in my opinion.

Titanic is in my Top 10 of all time, alongside Lord of the Rings, Hero, Kimi No Na Wa, Princess Mononoke, and Lonesome Dove, and others.
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Fun to watch if you just have a laugh at it
24 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
LOTR are my favourite movies ever. Nothing will likely ever top them.

The Hobbit trilogy was fun, makes me laugh every time, often at the films more than with them. I do love the sheer awkwardness of basically every scene, I wonder if it was intentional or by accident, or both?

The acting is amazing, but you can definitely see how stressed the production process was. I feel bad for Peter Jackson and the tough situation he was forced into by the studios. Either he makes three films himself in New Zealand, or the studios move the production to Europe without him. Kind of checkmate really. Couldn't have been a nice work environment atall, and it really shows in the scrappy final production, with extreme reliance on CGI and exposition that keeps going forever.

Often the makeup continuity is all over the place. In some scenes, Kili and Thorin look like Klingons out of Star Trek, and the next minute they look completely different, not like dwarves but like attractive pop/rock stars.

Unlike the LOTR films which are seamless right through, never once breaking immersion, the Hobbit trilogy has a hard time even creating immersion in the first place, as it's really difficult to watch these movies and not see the production process and flaws everywhere. There are scenes that are amazingly good at creating immersion however.

For me, LOTR feels like a commitment to sit down and watch, in a good way. The Hobbit trilogy is more of a fun romp that you can relax and laugh with.

The worst thing about the Hobbit trilogy is how none of the plotlines have any payoff by the end. It's really quite disappointing and sad. We journey with the dwarves and all the amazing cast of characters for 3 long movies, and by the end it all kind of just fizzles out and then it's over. What happened with Bard? Why did Thorin have to die that stupidly? It's all so sad...

Oh well, there's always hoping for Jackson to make a Silmarillion movie ;)
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Vikings (2013–2020)
Amazing start, questionable as it went on
17 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I genuinely felt that Vikings matched and even surpassed Game of Thrones at various points in its first three seasons, especially Vikings season one. I really loved the mysterious and exciting start the show has. Ragnar is the most perfectly cast lead-character I think I've ever seen in any piece of media, period. He is incredible and so convincing in his intensity. Many times I felt I wanted to join him, and wished there would be a leader in this modern day like him I could rally to. Naturally I was bitterly disappointed when the show killed him off, and waited with baited breath in hopes that the show would continue its excellence. Sadly, it did not. Nobody else in the cast managed to fill the gaping hole that Ragnar left. it even felt that all of the cast were better versions of themselves with Ragnar involved.

Scenes that still stick out in my mind as amazing are: 1. The entire homestead life that Ragnar, Lagertha and their family had. 2. Lagertha and her children hiding in the boat on the water, that scene was electric. 3. The mushroom blood orgy in the temple at Uppsala, that was trippy. 4. That berserker who was hired to track Bjorn, I think it was, and the whole Floki pursuit scene when he was hiding underwater. 5. The many awesome shield wall battles that occurred, especially the opening of season 2 I think it was, with that Jarl who ends up getting blood-eagled. 6. That blood eagle scene was visceral and incredible. 7. Lagertha's battle scenes were amazing. and a bunch more, damn I feel like rewatching the show now, but sadly just like Game of Thrones there is no ultimate payoff to the whole story, it kind of meanders and fizzles out, even though they're still making new seasons, I just stopped caring as the newer seasons are boring and strung out unnecessarily. I really find that Christian zealot priest in the later seasons to be more of a point of hilarity than anything.

The move to make Ivar the lead character killed the show for me. He's interesting as a side character, but the show just couldn't make him compelling enough as the lead, certainly not compared to Ragnar. Maybe it's because of the seasons-long build up to certain battle scenes that end up being massive disappointments, such as that Great Heathen Army battle that ends with Ivar running away etc. Boring!!

in 2013 both Vikings and Game of Thrones were the best shows around, now in 2020 I just don't care about them anymore. Vikings has more rewatch value than GoT in my opinion now though, because of GoT's extreme implosion at the end that now makes GoT unwatchable for me. At least Vikings' decline wasn't a total self-destruction like GoT was, there is still some value to Vikings' later seasons, albeit definitely not the edge-of-my-seat stuff from Seasons 1-3.

The height of Vikings and GoT was sooo incredibly good, why did they both have to ruin themselves how they did? It's so sad...
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Ghost of Tsushima (2020 Video Game)
Brilliant, GOTY, yet could be improved in minor ways
25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
For me, Ghost of Tsushima is the best game since Red Dead Redemption 2, and is even better in various ways, although could be improved in other ways. Ghost reminded me a lot of the amazing 2006 game Okami, and I think the two games are great companions to eachother.

I really love Ghost a lot, it's super fun, beautiful, captivating, interesting to play, the music is amazing, the game and story flows very well, doesn't hinder you or slow you down (in most places) when you just want to play fast, and lets you roam pretty much anywhere right off the bat, except of course the second portion of the game which is locked until you finish all of the main missions of the first portion. So if you wanted to, you could speedrun the main story missions without upgrading anything, then progress right to the more challenging parts of the map super quickly. Or you could do what I did on my first playthrough; to do absolutely everything on the south island before progressing to the north island.

I've played through this game multiple times now, and intend to keep playing and trying all the different combat and armour styles, charm combinations, and playstyle options. That being said, I wish they'd make a fan feedback system by which players can submit improvement suggestions and vote on the best ideas so the developers can get an idea what the fans think would improve the game the most.

I've been meaning to play on Kurosawa mode (black and white with tinny audio), but haven't yet as the colour, presentation and sound design of this game is just too good to turn off. I will play Kurosawa mode though at some point, just to experience it.

My initial score for this game was an 8/10, and Game of the Year. I prefer it over The Last of Us Part 2. As good as Ghost is in its strong points, I felt it was let down by some gripes and immersion-breaking stuff, including: 1) The Japanese audio lip-sync is noticeably off, as the facial/lip animation was only designed for English audio. However that is forgivable as the Japanese voice acting in this game is superb, much more emotive and expressive than the English voice acting in my opinion. Plus you won't notice the lip-sync issue that much if your eyes are fixed on the subtitles most of the time. 2) Although the combat is fun and satisfying, it can feel janky at times, meaning you'll have to be super-refined in your target acquisition to make sure you're hitting your desired target as sometimes it feels like although you intend to aim at one enemy, it hits a different enemy. 3) Various portions of the map feel empty and void of activity compared to games such as Red Dead Redemption 2, or Grand Theft Auto. I think they could have included more things to do, or expanded upon existing ideas. For example, the predator hides thing; in Red Dead 2 the hunting and crafting system is comparatively super-detailed and expansive, whereas in Ghost it is very simple. I like the idea that killing deer is frowned upon in Tsushima, but that idea could be expanded upon such as villagers denying you service, or making supplies and ammo cost a lot more, or you get a bounty placed on you, and tracked down by bounty hunters or something. 4) When you free hostages or prisoners, they just stand there and don't do anything, they don't even walk off, they literally stand still. 5) Hard mode was too easy. 6) Lethal mode (when they released it) felt even easier than Hard mode, as even though you receive more damage, you also deal more damage, making killing enemies easier, not harder. 7) Once you beat the game and have done all the things, the map feels empty. All your friends are nowhere to be found. Various castles and forts are closed and cannot be entered anymore.

However, when the game got an update of Version 1.12 / 1.13, including a much needed New Game Plus (which lets you play the game fresh with all of your acquired upgrades and weapons, as well as being able to earn Ghost Flowers with which to buy new charms and armours, and a Lethal Plus difficulty, which actually feels satisfying to play), as well as a multiplayer in the form of Legends Mode, my score went up from an 8 to a 9/10. There's still a lot of stuff they could improve upon, as highlighted in my list of gripes shown above.

My other gripes for the initial game are/were:
  • No multiplayer or co-op campaign (now there's a multiplayer in the form of Legends Mode, but still no co-op campaign).
  • No new game plus (now there is one, with some satisfying improvements, but still a lot of my gripes are unfixed).
  • No mission replay option from the main menu.

Additional improvement suggestions: 1) Bamboo strikes could be expanded upon, making achievements or a reward/trophy for doing harder/more combinations. Currently the bamboo strikes are sets of 3, 5 and 7, based solely on square, triangle, X and circle. There could be a Bamboo Temple or something, with a bamboo strike combination of like 44 buttons, which gives you a reward of a bamboo saddle or bamboo heavy armour which allows your horse to trample enemies or something.

2) There could be a Fox Temple you can reach after bowing to all the Fox Shrines from where you can gain a fox ally that sniffs out supplies for you, or guards your body when you're killed something. Also there could be a Fox or Kitsune Armour that allows you to channel Fox Energy at your foes.

3) There should be a bunch of tougher enemies, as even on Lethal Plus, it feels easy. The Dance of Wrath and Heavenly Strike are cool ideas, but could be utilised more creatively, such as some rare enemies being able to use them.

4) I think Ghost could utilise a bunch of ideas from games like Okami (combat and puzzles), Red Dead 2 (crafting and hunting), Zelda (balanced economy), etc.

5) With the Inari charm, you can end up having at least 30,000 supplies by the end, which are unusable. Make the economy more realistic and balanced!

6) Make weekly challenges.

7) Make more Curse charms (currently there are three), and make a trophy or in-game reward for beating the game with them all equipped. The three available right now are:
  • Curse of Frailty (Iron Will is disabled)
  • Curse of Misfortune (No resources or ammo gained from enemies)
  • Curse of Exhaustion (Resolve costs twice as much).

Now here's some ideas for Curse charms I thought of just now:
  • Curse of Rust (Your weapons degrade with use and time, requiring constant repair or replacement, requiring more supplies)
  • Curse of Blindness/Deafness (Focused Hearing is deactivated)
  • Curse of Theft (Enemies can rob you of armour, resources, ammo and supplies when you die or get stunned/poisoned)
  • Curse of Storms (All enemies' health, awareness, and aggressiveness is doubled, including duels)
  • Curse of Mist (when you die, the map's fog of war resets to unexplored)
  • Curse of Imprisonment (You can get captured and imprisoned)
  • Curse of Invasion (Enemies can re-occupy liberated encampments and territories after you die or get captured)
  • Curse of Allies (Friendly fire is turned on, meaning you can hurt/kill your allies in battle, such as with Ghost Weapons' blast radius)
  • Curse of Desolation (You lose all your supplies, ammo and resources upon death)
  • Curse of Starvation (You will starve to death if you don't consume food/supplies regularly)
  • Curse of Kitsune/Ninetails (Hidden description in game. Concept open for development/refinement. This curse will appear in one of your random charm slots, erasing the charm it replaced from your inventory. There is a slight chance that either a fox which guides you to a shrine, or one of the humans in the game will turn out to be a Kitsune, a Ninetails. Upon petting a fox after bowing to a shrine, or interacting with or freeing a hostage, there is a slight chance it will shapeshift. You can increase the chances of this happening by wearing either of Tomoe's masks (the white one or the dark one). Which one you wear will determine what kind of Kitsune will transform. Thereafter, the curse is hardlocked into that charm slot. The only way you can unlock it is by finding that Kitsune who gave you the Curse, and doing battle with it. However, it could turn out to be a Lightning-wielding Ninetails with the ability to mimic/copy all of your current abilities and use them against you. If you don't find the Kitsune before the end of the game, all of your charm slots will be hardlocked as Curse of Ninetails, and you will have to ascend the highest peak in Tsushima to do battle with its hardest form.)

8) Make more uses for the Ghost Flowers as currently you can earn way more than you can actually spend. With 200 ghost flowers (for example), you could buy another charm slot. There could also be more charms, such as:
  • Charm of Mercy (Allies can revive you when you're downed)
  • Charm of Okami (You can earn the ally of Okami Amaterasu, who runs around the map with you and fights alongside you. The presence of this ally by your side will increase the chances of a Kitsune revealing themself)

That's all I can think of for now. Now going back to playing the game some more.... might come back here to edit this review sometime
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I cry buckets every time
24 October 2020
I'm writing this review as I watch Fellowship again right now. I was 12 when Fellowship first released in the cinema, and LOTR defined my life ever since for many years, and the trilogy has remained my favourite movies, with no others that come close. They made me cry in the cinema, and in every viewing since. I can put on even a brief portion of the films, and the feelings come rushing back. Everything about these three movies is perfect, in my opinion, especially the amazing music that is so perfectly crafted that I can't think of a better movie soundtrack. The only OST that matches it is the Halo game soundtrack. Both the Halo and LOTR franchise began in the same year (2001), and were the two major pillars of my life since childhood.

It's crazy to think that this trilogy began almost 20 years ago. I wonder if anything will ever touch LOTR. I suspect it will remain the all-time pinnacle of cinema, at least for the sheer love of them it has inspired in its vast fanbase.

I think that the extended editions are indispensable and feel much more complete than the original cinematic releases. They are definitely worth watching in one sitting, back-to-back, which will take from wake til sleep, with breaks in between for second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper.

Although I think Return of the King is the greatest possible ending to the greatest trilogy ever made, I still feel Fellowship of the Ring, where it all began, is the most rewatchable and comfy of the three. It has an air of enticing, dark and foreboding mystery that always captivates me. And that ending... what a cliff-hanger. I still remember the excitement it first created in me for the story's continuation, and the year-long wait for The Two Towers to release in the cinema. I would pay good money to see them all in a large and full theatre again.

And the video games... I played most of them I think. I still play Battle for Middle Earth, i.e. the Edain mod.

I can't imagine what my life would have been like if the LOTR films had never been created as they were, as they have been that important to me for well over half of my time alive at this point. They played a part in inspiring me to travel, to pursue filmmaking, and most importantly to get me interested in Tolkien's works.

I am so thankful to everyone who were a part of creating them, as they are easily the greatest treasure of cinema.
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Westworld (2016– )
16 August 2020
Season 1 is amazing. Intensely re-watchable, one of the best things put to television.

Season 2 made me laugh and cringe in places where the show-runners didn't intend I think, albeit having some poignant and interesting scenes and ideas.

Season 3, although technically a part of a show called "Westworld", never had any scenes in the wild west, but was nearly 100% based in a modern city with some futuristic tech involved. Felt like it took a page out of the meandering random seasons of Battlestar Galactica where it went nowhere and was saying nothing.

And now there's going to be a Season 4? Why? It feels like a dead show now.
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