Tag Archives: neil maskell

HUMANS (2015 – 2018) – My rating: 8/10

Humans is a science fiction television series.  Written by the British team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley and is based on the Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans, the series explores the themes of artificial intelligence and robotics, focusing on the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the invention of anthropomorphic robots called “synths”. The series was produced as a joint effort by AMC in the United States as well as Channel 4 and Kudos in the United Kingdom.

Humans start out with a couple of men wheeling, what looks like mannequins, into a warehouse filled with row after row of synth, which is short for synthetic and is the name given to  AI’s, which are sold as household maids.  AI is an acronym for artificial intelligence. The mannequins are shown to be unlifelike, wearing nothing more than underpants (men and women alike). The next scene takes us to the Hawkins family, which consists of husband Joe Hawkins (Tom-Goodman-Hill), wife Laura Hawkins (Katherine Parkerson), oldest daughter Mattie Hawkins (Lucy Carless), son Toby Hawkins (Theo Stevenson), and youngest daughter Sophie Hawkins (Pixie Davies). Joe is trying to manage his home, children, and a wife who is overworked as a lawyer.  Overwhelmed with his overflowing plate, Joe goes shopping and purchases a synth.  When his wife returns home after five days away, they argue because Laura is opposed to having a synth because of past circumstances.

Five weeks earlier, five synths who are low on charge, are traveling as they look for a place to settle, charge-up, and regroup.  A couple of synth poachers kidnap synth, Anita/Mia (Gemma Chan), and deliver her to a scientist named Hobb (Danny Web)Leo Elster (Colin Morgan) and synth Max Elster (Ivanno Jeremiah) conduct a fierce search for her, to no avail.  synth Fred Elster (Sope Dirisu) and synth Niska (Emily Berrington) also befell to the same fate.  So far, Anita is the only one who hasn’t been in touch with Leo and Max, causing Max to believe the two have been destroyed or reprogramed.

I really liked Humans, the subject was a lot like Better Than Us” except the synths are motivated by different circumstances. George Millican (William Hurt) as a retired artificial intelligence researcher and widower who suffers memory loss and physical disabilities is a special and brilliant addition to the series. George forms a special bond with his malfunctioning and outdated caregiver, synth Odi (Will Tudor).   The synth goes into hiding, some are reprogrammed, some are discovered, some take on proving they are more human than the world thinks, and some live to fight the good fight.  The liaison between the synth and the life they are fighting to live is Humans.  There are a host of characters introduced into the series with many plots and sub-plots.  You’ll find Humans exciting and somewhat emotional.  Eight episodes were produced for the first series which aired between 14 June and 2 August 2015. The second eight-episode series was broadcast in the UK between 30 October and 18 December 2016. A third series was commissioned in March 2017 and aired eight episodes between 17 May and 5 July 2018. In May 2019, Channel 4 announced that the series had been canceled. The series is now streaming on Prime Video. If you like fantasy and science fiction, you will probably love Humans.  I recommend you binge-watch this one — Check It Out!

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (2017) – My rating: 8/10

I was pleasantly surprised when King Arthur: Legend of the Sword turned out to be a pretty descent movie.  Lots of noise and lots of fuss over a legendary fictional sword that been planted permanently into the ground for decades.  The story is a legend we’ve heard before but is always fun to revisit.  While this was not the best remake I’ve seen, it was one of the better movies being featured at this time.

Mordred, (Rob Knighton) who is a warlock has an army that he plans to use in order to defeat Camelot, thereby ruling over all of mankind while wielding his magic and power with an iron fist.  His plans were foiled only by his beheading thanks to Uther Pendragon, (Eric Bana) thus saving Camelot.  But wait, Uther has a ruthless, evil brother, Vortigern (Jude Law) who continues Mordred’s plan of a take over of Camelot, killing Uther and his wife.  However, in all the killing and excitement, he overlooks Uther’s baby son who is saved because he was hidden in a small boat and drifted down stream where he was found and raised by prostitutes in Londinium and renamed Arthur.

Arthur, Charlie Hunnam grew up as a commoner of the streets, well known and well liked.  He is also quite skilled as a fighter as has 2 best friends, Sir Tristan “Wet Stick” (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Backlack (Neil Maskell), as well as a mentor who is also a highly skilled fighter, Sir George, (Tom Wu).  Of course Arthur has no knowledge of his true lineage and when forced along with other men of his age to try and pull the magic sword from its current resting place, he protested despite successfully retrieving the sword.  To help Arthur, who is now in grave danger, is The Mage, (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey) a woman identified as an acolyte who works for Merlin and supports Arthur as well the resistance, which is lead by Sir Bedivere, (Djimon Hounsou) a former knight of Uther’s.

If you’re familiar with the story, you know that the sword holds special powers and ensures that the owner will rule the land but first he must be able to pull the sword from it’s resting place, which no one, until now, has been able to do since the only one who can, is the true royal heir to the throne.

I found this version, directed by Guy Ritchie, to have been exiting and well acted.  I was thoroughly entertained and especially loved watching Djimon Hounsou who I’ve always thought of as “eye candy” run around fighting and flexing his muscles.  Also, the special effects were spectacular, especially the sea witches who were a mass of several women.  If you’re looking for a descent movie, check out King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

 

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