Archive for the ‘review’ Category

Doctor Who review: Time tumbles out of control in The Doctor Falls

July 3rd, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Simon Ridgway/Ray Burmiston/BBC)

This is a post-UK broadcast review of Doctor Who: The Doctor Falls. River Song always warned the Doctor against spoilers, so be sure to watch the episode first. Doctor Who, season 10, airs on Saturdays at 6:30pm UK time on BBC One, and 9pm EDT on BBC America.

Bookends are a common theme in the final episode of season 10 of Doctor Who—the reading material in between places Missy and the Master in the same time stream, and the 12th Doctor and, tantalisingly, the first Doctor also collide in the final moments of The Doctor Falls.

And the seed was there from the very beginning of Steven Moffat’s swansong season at the helm of Doctor Who. “Never underestimate a crush,” the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) tells Bill (Pearl Mackie) in The Pilot, after he manages to see off the ever-advancing, drippy goth monster Heather (Stephanie Hyam). In The Doctor Falls, Heather returns to bring Bill back to life and mend her broken heart. All the while, Bill is oblivious to the fact the Time Lord is still alive, albeit fatally wounded.

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Posted in bill, cybermen, Doctor Who, heather, missy, mondasian, original doctor, review, the doctor falls, the master, The Multiverse | Comments (0)

Doctor Who: World Enough and Time review

June 25th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Simon Ridgway/Ray Burmiston/BBC)

This is a post-UK broadcast review of Doctor Who: World Enough and Time. River Song always warned the Doctor against spoilers, so be sure to watch the episode first. Doctor Who, season 10, airs on Saturdays at 6:45pm UK time on BBC One, and 9pm EDT on BBC America.

Season 10 of Doctor Who has been incredibly lopsided—floating in and out of decent stories, while teasing us with a subtle Missy narrative that is finally, tantalisingly coming to full fruition in World Enough and Time. It’s just a shame that the engines have been on reverse thrust a little too often over the past few weeks.

There have been some good standalone episodes and an excellent opening to a deeply disappointing trilogy. The popular sci-fi-on-a-shoestring-budget drama has also failed to bring an instant hit with any of the new monsters introduced over the last 10 weeks: too much cheap CGI in the absence of made-you-look, made-you-jump detail, perhaps with the exception of Knock Knock and its quirky use of 3D surround sound. And while lead performances have been one of the highlights—particularly with the introduction of Bill, played by Pearl Mackie—some of the flimsier scripts have made the series feel like a washout.

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Posted in cybermen, Doctor Who, doctor who review, episode 11, john simms, missy, review, season 10, the master, The Multiverse, world enough and time | Comments (0)

Colossal review: Everyone has a monster, most aren’t this fun

October 1st, 2016

Colossal, a modern take on kaiju films starring Anne Hathaway, officially enjoys wide release in the US starting today (4/7/17). Ars was lucky enough to catch the film early at last fall’s genre-centric Fantastic Fest 2016, and we’re resurfacing our review (which originally ran on 10/1/16) accordingly.

Warning: This review contains minor spoilers for Colossal.

AUSTIN, Texas—The film Colossal currently doesn’t have a publicly-available trailer, let alone a release date. But it aired at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, sparking hurried whispers of “Anne Hathaway’s kaiju movie” among #FilmInternet. Those four words made up all the prior knowledge I had when the title slid into this week’s genre-centric Fantastic Fest for its US premiere.

Having seen it, I can now confirm: Anne Hathaway appears in this film, so does a kaiju monster. But pitching Colossal as Hathaway taking the Bryan Cranston role in the most recent Godzilla sells writer/director Nacho Vigalondo’s latest work so, so short. Instead, Colossal proves to be an incredibly fun mishmash of well-established genres with two extremely accessible characters at its core. Over the course of 110 minutes, things shift fluidly between rom-com and monster film, dark horror and art-house indie. All the while, Colossal does its best kaiju impression, leaving tropes of each mashed in its path.

Everyone’s from a Mainline, USA

Burnt-out online writer Gloria (Anne Hathaway) has been losing the eternal battle with NYC. She drinks too much, works not enough, and may be involved in an emotionally abusive relationship with Tim, a successful suit-type. It all comes to a breaking point after one too many midday, inebriated return trips to their apartment. Tim has Gloria’s bags packed and ready for departure.

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Posted in Ars Approved, Fantastic Fest, film, review, The Multiverse | Comments (0)

Riversimple Rasa review: Is this hydrogen car the future—or just a gimmick?

April 20th, 2016

(credit: Alun Taylor)

Specs at a glance: Riversimple Rasa
Body type 2-seat, 3-door hatchback
Power source 8.5kW Hydrogenics hydrogen fuel cell
Transmission Four wheel-mounted electric motors
Power 16kW continuous (55kW peak)
Torque 4x 60Nm continuous (170Nm peak)
Chassis Carbon composite monocoque with aluminium crash structure
Bodywork Self-coloured thermoplastic panels
Steering Unassisted rack and pinion
Suspension Double wishbone (front)
Semi-trailing arm (rear)
Tyres Michelin 115/80R15
Top speed 60mph (97km/h)
0-60mph Under 10 seconds
Fuel tank capacity 1.5kg (hydrogen)
Extra power storage 1.9MJ (lithium-ion hybrid capacitors)
Rated max range 300 miles (485km)
Weight 580kg (1278lbs)
Wheelbase 2272mm (89.4in)
Dimensions 3673mm (144.6in) x 1630mm (64.1in) x 1332 (52.4in) (LWH)
Base price TBA

An industrial estate on the outskirts of a sleepy spa town in deepest Powys, Wales, may not strike you as the obvious place to find an ambitious little hydrogen vehicle maker with plans to revolutionise the way we power, drive, and own our cars. But it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.

Why not? Well, if you drive seventy-five miles to the south-west from Riversimple’s HQ in Llandrindod Wells, you end up in Swansea, once the home of William Robert Grove who in 1842 pretty much invented the hydrogen fuel cell. And it’s a hydrogen fuel cell that part-powers the Rasa, Riversimple’s funky little two-seater prototype.

“Part-powers?” I hear you ask. While the majority of electric and hydrogen cars currently on the market are essentially conventional designs with battery or fuel-cell-and-battery power sources, the Rasa—the name comes from tabula rasa, the Latin for blank or clean slate—is the result of altogether more clever thinking. I’m inclined to use a word I usually avoid like the plague—holistic—to describe Riversimple’s view of automotive design.

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Posted in Cars Technica, electric car, fuel cell, hydrogen car, rasa, review, riversimple | Comments (0)

Review: Tesla’s new Model S P85D—double your engines, double your fun

May 24th, 2015

In its December 1997 issue, Road & Track published the first US road test of the otherworldly McLaren F1. The issue became one of the most famous in R&T’s history due to the 12+ page review of a car that the stateside automotive press hadn’t yet had a chance to spend a few days of unchaperoned time. The daily-driver details about the famous 240mph Lamborghini destroyer inspired true awe. The review, done with a privately owned F1 on loan to the magazine, contained superlative after superlative. The F1’s 627bhp BMW-built V-12 could rocket the car from 60 miles per hour to 160 miles per hour in the time it took to pour a glass of water.

“Surely,” I thought as I read and re-read the review with the fervor that only a teenage boy could have for the hottest of hot cars, “I’ll go my whole life and never get the chance to drive anything even remotely that fast.”

Turns out I was wrong—I had to wait 18 years.

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Posted in Cars Technica, electric cars, electric vehicle, Elon Musk, Features, Gadgetology, model s, model s p85d, review, Tesla, tesla model s, tesla motors | Comments (0)