Killjoys (2015: Season 1)

Killjoys Poster 3From Space.com: Killjoys follows a trio of reclamation agents as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant planetary system on the brink of a bloody, class war.

Leading the Killjoys team is Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), a gorgeous, former assassin with a complicated past; her loyal partner John (Aaron Ashmore), a witty, technical wizard with a vulnerable heart; and his estranged brother D’avin (Luke Macfarlane), an elite soldier with an expertise in combat tactics. Together, the three Killjoys form a highly accomplished team of bounty hunters, each with distinct and valuable specialties to offer as they navigate the culturally rich, politically complex, and economically polarized worlds of The Quad. Canadian genre icon Amanda Tapping guest stars as a fiercely clever scientist, whose charismatic charm keeps her true intentions concealed from the Killjoys.

Why I Chose It: When I saw this show advertised on the Space website I was attracted by the premise of bounty hunters in space.

The Review:

I actually watched this season at the end of the summer, but it’s been one of those shows that I can’t seem to get out of my mind. I’m very eager for the next season to come out! I grew up with shows like Stargate SG-1 and Star Trek, so I think it was only natural that this show appealed to me.

From the very first episode I swooned over the characters in the show. John and Dutch are best friends, and their characters compliment each other incredibly well. I really enjoy John’s character as the funny tech-smart agent, but I have to admit it was Dutch’s character that made me smile. She’s sassy and clever, and can totally kick everyone’s butt. But she’s also got a huge heart, and you can tell she truly cares about John.  Once D’avin is introduced, the team becomes even stronger and more dynamic, and I absolutely love the trio.

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The first of episodes of the season were fanastic. I was impressed with the world building and the quick establishment of the different political, social, and policing systems. The overarching explanation of the reclamation agents – a.k.a. Killjoys – really intrigued me, and I love the badass attitudes the characters have while they establish their roles in this world. I also loved the gorgeous settings and variety of environments that the characters encounter.  The show really hits the ground running and the first few episodes had me totally hooked.

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While the start of the season wowed me, the middle of the season definitely slowed down. Unfortunately it was less impressive after such a powerful start, and I was largely concerned that each episode would simply become the Killjoys hunting down a new warrant, and result in repetitive story lines. Thankfully, the season opened back up in episodes 5 and 7, as the characters go through some powerfully emotional events. I am so impressed with how much depth each character is given in such a short amount of time, and how complex their backgrounds become. I am also blown away by the display of acting skills from the three main actors, and cannot wait to see more of them.

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In summary, I have totally swooned over this show. I love the setting, the complex political and social systems, and the structure of the reclamation agents’ roles. Add to that the amazing cast and dynamic characters, and I am itching for the start of the next season. Between Killjoys, Black Orphan, Face Off and Dark Matter, I have become a total Space channel junkie, and my favourite Saturdays are spent watching their shows! If you’re into fast-paced science fiction, or stories of agencies that work beyond government control, definitely check this one out!

Rating: 4 / 5

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The Giver (2014)

The Giver Poster 2From imdb.com: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world. Featuring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, and Odeya Rush.

Why I Chose It: I have been curious about this movie ever since hearing that Lois Lowry’s novel would be adapted into a film.

The Review:

First, I absolutely fell in love with how this community was created visually. In the book there is an understanding that everything in the community is the same: that houses were all the same; everyone has the same bike and clothing; etc. Yet to see it visually I was very happy, and we were treated to that lovely aerial view of the community where we could see that the very trees were planted in rows. There is such a visual impact of the symmetry and design that has been meticulously created within this community.

The Giver Community

I also loved that technology, medicine, etc, was streamlined in the movie, and it had a futuristic yet simplistic feel to it. Everything was simple and easy, and the citizens never have to question anything, because everything is provided for them. A big win for me was the repeated shots of cameras on top of poles, etc, giving the idea that the citizens were always being watched, without ever needing to explain. I think visually, the movie did a great job of showing that though everyone seemed carefree, things might not be as they seem.

I have heard some negativity regarding how the love story was stressed more in the movie than it was in the book, but I actually think it was a smart choice. Jonas did have feelings for Fiona in the book, so the story line is not unfounded. But more than that, I think it would be hard to convey visually how Jonas is now experiencing emotions that simply don’t exist in his community. A smart solution to that is to show him falling in love. This emotion shows the growing differences between Jonas and his community, and was a great way to communicate this disparity to the audience.

The Giver Jonas and Fiona

Finally, my absolutely favourite part of this movie was the way they showed the different memories that Jonas receives from the Giver. They have these amazing montages of all different people, religions, music, dancing, and even animals. Many were positive, though some were not. They were interesting to watch, but more than that I felt it accurately conveyed the idea that there is so much these people don’t know and have never experienced, so much history and culture that no longer exists. I really fell in love with these montages and I think they were incredibly effective in conveying a large part of the story in a very short amount of time.

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Obviously a big part of what worked for me in this movie was visual. I do feel that this movie communicated a large part of the story visually, rather than through storytelling, and I think that’s part of what made it so good. Concepts like emotions and memories can be hard to communicate, and I was very impressed with the route that was taken. If you like the book, I would say definitely check this one out, because it’s a really nice adaptation.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

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