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 George forms a special bond with his malfunctioning and outdated caregiver, synth Odi (Will Tudor).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!
Posted in LOCAL TV & CABLE CRITIQUES, SciFi/Fantasy, STREAMING
Tagged Agnes, Akie Kotabe, Anatole, Anita/Mia, Astrid, Athena Morrow, Bella Dayne, Billy Jenkins, Carrie-Anne Moss, Colin Morgan, Danny Webb, David Elster, Dino Fetscher, Ed, Edwin Hobb, Ellen Thomas, Emily Berrington, flash, fred, gemma chan, George Millican, Harun Khan, Hester, Holly Earl, Ivanno Jeremiah, Jack Derges, Ji Dae-Sun, Jill Drummond, Jill Halfpenny, Joe Hawkins, Jonathan Aris, karen, Katherine Parkinson, Laura Hawkins, Leo Elster, letitia wright, Lindsey Kiwanuka, Lucy Carless, Manpreet Bachu, Mark Bonnar, Marshall Allman, Mattie Hawkins, Max, Milo Khoury, neil maskell, Neil Sommer, Niska, Odi/V, Pete Drummond, Phil Dunster, pixie davies, Rebecca Front, Renie, Ritu Arya, robert, Ruth Bradley, Sam Palladio, Seraph Sam, Simon, Sonya Cassidy, Sope Dirisu, Sophie Hawkins, Spencer Norways, stanley, Stephen Boxer, Theo Stevenson, Toby Hawkins, Tom Goodman-Hill, Tristan, Ukweli Roach, Ver, Will Tudor, william hurt, young Leo Elster
Rocketman is a biographical musical based on the life of Elton John. The film is directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall. The movie follows Elton from his early days as a child prodigy to his slightly older years at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership and success with Bernie Taupin. The film is titled after John’s 1972 song called “Rocketman”. I wasn’t quite sure the film was going to be any good because the trailer appeared to show the movie a little on the silly side. To my surprise, not only is it a serious movie, I also found it to be really good.
As a very young child, Reginald “Reggie” Dwight (Matthew Illesley) is raised by his cold hearted mother, Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard) and more caring grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones), while his father Stanley (Steven Mackintoch), is away serving in the Royal Air Force. Young Reggie (Kit Connor) shows interest in playing the piano, and soon begins studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Reggie’s father Stanley, who has never shown any love towards his son, eventually abandons his family after Sheila has an affair with another man. An older Reggie (Taron Egerton) takes up an interest in rock music artists like Elvis Presley and begins performing in local pubs, before joining a band called Bluesology.
As an adult, Reggie changes his name to Elton John and tries to find success with Dick James’ (Stephen Graham) publishing company under the management of Ray Williams (Charlie Rowe). Williams introduces Elton to songwriter Bernie Taupin (James Bell) and the two quickly form a friendship, with Bernie accepting both Elton and the fact that he is homosexual. The duo impress Dick with the song “Your Song” so he sets up a performance for them at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. The audience loves Elton’s performance. At a party afterwards, Elton feels abandoned when Bernie leaves him to be with a woman. Elton is approached by a very attractive man named John Reid (Richard Madden), who is a music manager attracted to Elton. The two sleep together, being careful not to reunite until later, as Elton had not come out as gay yet.
Reid’s influence over Elton causes him to spiral into a life of debauchery as his career takes off and he becomes a successful musician, embracing a flamboyant stage persona. After Elton appoints Reid as his new manager, Reid starts to manipulate him and insists that he come out to his mother and father as gay so they can help hide Reid and Elton’s sexual relationship from the press. Elton’s mother bluntly informs Elton that she was already aware of his sexuality and doesn’t care, telling him that he’s facing a life of being alone forever. Elton finds his father but doesn’t tell him that he’s gay, upset by his father’s happiness with his new family and ignorance of his old one. Struggling with his parental issues, as well as Reid’s increasing abuse, Elton becomes addicted to alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, and sex. Making matters worse, Elton witnesses Reid cheating on him with another man, and at a house party later that day, consumes a dangerous amount of drugs and alcohol. Elton attempts suicide by jumping into his pool while drugged to the nth degree. He is rushed to the hospital and not long after is forced back on stage to continue his performances.
Rocketman is an extremely entertaining movie. It is well acted and Elton John’s music “rocks”. Elton John’s life was pretty complex and Rocketman revealed many aspects of his life. All three actors who portrayed Elton were brilliant. Between the very, very young Reggie and the oldest Elton, I can’t say who was the better actor. Before Elton John started wearing such flamboyant outfits, I don’t think a large amount of the population knew he was gay. I’m not sure his lousy upbringing and his depression was evident either. Despite the omission of the Queen of England Knighting Elton, the movie was pretty accurate and definitely exciting as well as entertaining. Rocketman sort of took on the flavor of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. However, Rocketman was released at a most inopportune time, amidst “Godzilla” and “Ma”, which were two anticipated films and one week after Walt Disney’s Aladdin, as well as two weeks after the very hot John Wick: Chapter 3. This meant box office sales would be shared between all four of these movies. None the less, I highly recommend “Rocketman” — Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged arthur, bernie taupin, bryce dallas howard, celinde schoenmaker, charlie rowe, dick james, doug weston, dr. maverick, elton john, elton's, fred, gemma jones, ivy, jamie bell, jason pennycooke, jimmy vee, john reid, kamil lemieszewski, kiki dee, kit connor, matthew illesley, rachel muldoon, ray williams, renate blauel, richard madden, sharon d. clarke, sheila eileen, stanley, stephen graham, steven mackintosh, taron egerton, Tate Donovan, tom bennett, wilson