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Angel of Reckoning (2016)
I have no real issue with low budget. In fact, given a great script and one room as a set with good direction and editing you can make a good film for under a thousand. Sadly, this film had none of those things and I was being generous giving it a rating of 2. Now, I rarely blame the actors as a bad director can easily manage to make the greats come across as talentless. The editing deserves special mention as they hadn't even bothered to cut sound correctly with some dialogue spoken at a distance from the microphone being used in closeup. Sadly, you really need to give this one a miss. Bad editing, a terrible script and brutal direction leaves nothing worthwhile in its wake.
Space Milkshake (2012)
A strange gem in a big universe!
This film completely passed my radar and I only came across it by accident. Some well-known actors in a film that draws on the same dead-pan humor and special effects as Red Dwarf.
Kristin Kreuk looks great as usual. Amanda Tapping gives a good performance not too far removed from her character on Star Gate and, as expected, George Takei from Star Trek does a great voice for a very unusual visitor to the space station.
Personally, I liked it. Just don't expect Star Wars - the budget wouldn't have stretched that far. Don't take it seriously and just go along for the ride. It's daft in places - but laugh-out loud in others. Worth a watch!
Popstar to Operastar (2010)
This engaging series ran for two seasons.
The first was entitled 'popstar to operastar' and the second 'soapstar to operastar'. With that, there were few derivatives left - 'sportstar to operastar' perhaps? Myleene Klass presented extremely well with a slightly over-polished performance and the two main judges were Katherine Jenkins and Rolando Villazón - both superb performers but, as always Rolando's voice was like a perfectly tuned instrument.
It's a shame the same couldn't be said for the participants, though there were several surprises - notably Claire Richards and Darius Danesh (the former from the successful pop group 'Steps' and the latter third in Pop Idol). It was a lovely series but, alas, any series founded on the premise of trying to get non-opera singers to sing opera was always going to have quality issues with the performances.
I personally enjoyed the series and would have welcomed a third and final run.
SGU Stargate Universe: Epilogue (2011)
Back to the Frontier
This is an extremely good episode - neither action-filled nor ground-breaking, but excellent non-the-less. Faced with starting life with nothing but their hands and the clothes on their back, they created a frontier village. No, you can't build hdro-electricity generators within months without mines to mine the ore, smelting plants to extract copper and tools to work with. Faced with the same dilemma, I would be proud to have achieved the same in such a short space of time and I'm an engineer. We saw an alternate life for these key characters - filled with adversity, hope and achievement. This season has upped its game and, despite the continuous omission of humour that would have ensured its success in the ratings, it's still very good science fiction.
The series is set in a large apartment block (apparently a work in progress) located in the old Bedlam mental hospital. The reactions from our small audience were very mixed - between finding it very addictive to others (including myself) who found it to be a badly written piece of entertainment. The actors are all very competent and give their best but the characters are not well developed and so much more could have been achieved by making this first episode a two-parter with a more involved story and a rich tapestry of background for the building and its inhabitants. Hopefully, as the series progresses, it will find its feet.