Movie Review: One Child Nation

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😸😸😸😸½  Rated 4 1/2 out of 5 Happy Lap Cats

One Child Nation is a very personal documentary, made by director Nanfu Wang when she had her own first child and began to seriously consider, for the first time, the implications of China’s one child policy, which she had been born and raised under. Wang had relocated to the US years before her son was born, so her pregnancy was unaffected by the harsh government program, which was in force from 1979 to 2015. But the internalized trauma from growing up in that environment, from events she didn’t even realize she’d absorbed, began to affect her attitude toward her own pregnancy, so she set out to examine the wide-ranging effects of China’s long-term push to gain control of its population size.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 4: On the Principles of Horsehound Recap

Burt Watches Fire: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." -- Lieutenant Kilgore, Apocalypse Now
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” — Lieutenant Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

Episode 4 opens on darkness and the sound of automatic weapons fire. Gradually, Burt Harlow’s face is revealed, lit by flickering, orange flames. He sits on the back of a truck and watches a large fire in the distance, on the order of several buildings. There’s a man with a gun several feet away. Burt notices the flames are slowing down and goes to the man with the gun, who is wearing a 3 River Phoenixes jacket and surrounded by a dozen bodies.

The camera pulls out to reveal that they are at the old racetrack and this is the night Katherine Harlow was left for dead. The man with the gun is Joel Kelly. He was the third man on the scene that night, along with Burt and Bash, and the man who drove the truck, but he was a Phoenix, not yet a full Brawler.

Burt goes to Joel and jostles him out of the trance he seems to be in. Now Burt begins to create the legend we heard Matty and Johnson tell Ethan in episode 3.

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Charmed Season 2 Episode 10: Curse Words Recap

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It’s Jordan’s 26th birthday party and make or break time for his family curse. Maggie’s job in this episode is to keep him alive until the stroke of midnight in hopes of breaking the curse forever, but the ghost of the witch who cursed his ancestor does everything in her power, including possessing Swan, to keep the spell intact. Meanwhile, Abigail asks for Harry’s help in overcoming the poison she’s been given. Sensing that Abigail might not be completely honest about what happened, Macy tags along to Abby’s new Seattle apartment to lend a hand. Mel and Ray continue to investigate the people who are after him, while also working through their issues.

Recap

SafeSpace is hopping with Jordan’s birthday bash. Swan even brought him a sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free cake that’s shaped like a boxing ring. It’s cute, but Jordan looks like he might prefer to look at it instead of eat it.

Maggie has been staring at Jordan staring at her all night, and it’s not because they have adorable crushes on each other. She’s watching him because she’s trying to keep him alive until midnight, when he officially turns 26, since all of the men in his family die at age 25 due to a witch’s curse. He’s staring at her because he knows she faked her own death and is curious, but we won’t be talking about that until later.

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Charmed Season 2 Episode 9: Guess Who’s Coming to SafeSpace Seattle Recap

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The Vera-Vaughn witches return from their winter hiatus with the Darklighter once again in play and another family member back from the dead. SafeSpace Seattle has a new billionaire owner with some ambitious ideas that could interfere with the sisters’ use of the command center. Macy finds him intriguing and wants to know more, both professionally and romantically. Jordan deals with the consequences of Parker’s attack.

Recap

Maggie and Jordan’s idea of a friend date has evolved into pretend muggings on dark city streets. Parker spooked Jordan with that jealous attack before the holidays, and he wants to be sure Maggie can protect herself.

When Maggie gets home, Mel is boiling a kettle of water on the table using her new superpower of molecular manipulation. She’s just achieved a new personal best of under 30 seconds from cold water to steam, but they both agree the power needs a cooler name.

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Avenue 5 Season 1 Episode 2: And Then He’s Gonna Shoot Off… Recap

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This week on Avenue 5, the passengers learn even more about the mysteries of gravity. NASA reaches its/their/her/zir limit. Everyone discovers that patience really is a virtue, but not many of the souls onboard Avenue 5 are virtuous. And the sexual tension begins to mount between Ryan and Karen.

Yes, it’s another wild and unpredictable week for the cruise ship that might become a moon of Saturn, a ship which now has a few of its own moons. More on that later.

Recap

Episode 2 picks up at the exact moment where episode 1 left off, with Ryan about to address the passengers in the atrium. Karen quickly tells him not to insult them by lying, because they already know the truth. Once the truth is involved, Ryan is already in over his head, so he passes the baton to Billie, who isn’t used to speaking to laymen and uses fancy words like “propellant” that future people can’t understand.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 1- Remembrance Recap

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There was tons of excitement in my household when Star Trek: Picard was announced, and, as fans of The Next Generation, there was no doubt that we’d be watching when our favorite captain returned to the screen. Captain Picard is like the father I wish I’d had, and right now we all need his wisdom and patience.

The first episode, Remembrance, doesn’t disappoint. Like all of us, Patrick Stewart and his alter ego, Jean Luc Picard, have aged a few years. Like many of us, Jean Luc has had a few experiences that have changed the way he thinks about the world. Captain Picard was always a bit of a rebel, from that time he ended up with an artificial heart after a reckless bar fight, to those other times that he went rogue and saved the galaxy with Q. But several years before the pilot of Star Trek: Picard, he finally went too far, in the estimation of Starfleet Command. Starfleet itself finally went too far in the wrong direction in his estimation, as well, so they parted ways.

The beginning of the pilot finds Jean Luc just where you’d expect, tending his family’s vineyard in France, with a few aliens hanging around, attempting to keep him out of trouble. He manages to think about making wine, his lost friend Data, philosophy, fomenting rebellion and his dog, Number One, all at once, while his two Romulan caretakers almost visibly want to tear their hair out trying to keep up with the shenanigans of their elderly charge.

It’s good to have you back again, Jean Luc. You’ve been missed.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 12: Killshot Pt. 1 Recap

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Episode 12 is part 1 of Emergence’s two part season (series?) finale, so it’s all about building the characters up for their big finish. Jo and Brooks go even more rogue than usual. Piper looks for an ally to help her save Benny. Helen wants what Piper has and will motivate Emily however she has to in order to get it. Chris monitors Benny in jail and does excellent police work.

I question how Brooks made it into the FBI and whether he’s secretly given Jo a lobotomy. Emily is a delight, as always. Someone give Maria Dizzia her own show.

Recap

Helen and Emily sit down for a meal and negotiations. An AI named Justin acts as their server, providing Emily with a huge, sharp knife that’s completely unnecessary for the meal. Helen prattles on about how she and Emily are both innovators, Mothers of the Evolution, who should work together and share resources rather than fight each other. Helen just wants Emily to give her Piper’s abilities, then she’ll share her considerable wealth with Emily and set her free.

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Manifest Season 2 Episode 3: False Horizon Recap

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So many amusing things happened on Manifest this week that I can’t resist commenting on them, so here’s a recap.

Mick treats Jared like dirt in order to get Zeke out of prison, because those two are legitimately the worst. Grace’s baby makes her hallucinate black dragons. Mick, Zeke and Cal share visions of a horrific plane disaster, which they see as a positive bonding experience.

Ben and Vance decide that lying to Saanvi, tricking her into helping them find the Major and not telling her she’s in mortal peril is A-OK. Saanvi is not okay with this scenario and is smarter than the three of them put together. She has a plan for dealing with them.

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Avenue 5 Season 1 Episode 1: I Was Flying Review & Recap

Review

HBO’s Avenue 5 follows an ill fated space cruise ship that gets knocked off course while on a three hour tour month long trip around Saturn. Though they aren’t technically lost at sea in space, the inflexibility of their ship’s technology and their new trajectory mean it will now take them 3 years instead of a few weeks to return to Earth. This comes as unexpected news to the crew, passengers and billionaire designer of the luxury cruise ship, who will now have to figure out a way to survive together for the foreseeable future.

We’ve seen this story many times before, from The Swiss Family Robinson and Gilligan’s Island to Star Trek: Voyager and Stargate: Universe. Creator Armando Iannucci puts his own spin on the story by adding a dash of The Poseidon Adventure’s disaster, campy black humor and all star cast into the mix, along with a healthy dose of dystopian corporate greed and incompetence.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 11: Applied Sciences Recap

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This week, Jo and Brooks return to Southold to continue their investigation, with the help of Abby and Emily. Chris and Alex get help from one of Alex’s engineering friends, who makes Alex an offer he may not be able to refuse. Piper spars with Helen and plays on Benny’s emotions as she attempts to get back to her family.

Guys, I think Helen is building Chronicoms to take part in Agents of SHIELD’s season 7 Time War for Planet Earth or whatever they’re calling it.

Watch Agent Carter season 2, Cloak and Dagger seasons 1&2, and Agents of SHIELD seasons 4-6, then tell me I’m crazy. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in season 3 of Runaways. Emergence could be a 13 episode long crossover prequel to AoS S7. But also a stand alone show in its own right.

Recap

Helen visits a man an AI who’s just sent his family off on a trip. She questions his commitment to their mission and he assures her that it’s as strong as ever, no matter what someone might offer him to turn traitor. She thanks him for his dedication, then kills him the same way she killed Alan Wilkis, by driving a rod up through his chin into his forehead, while they are standing outside, in his front yard, in broad daylight, where any of his neighbors could see.

Bold.

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