Tag Archive: Best of 2021


 

Review by C.J. Bunce

Last year Netflix delivered what Blade Runner creator Philip K. Dick would have flipped over–the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s Japanese and American half-hour anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus With a second season of the brilliant Blade Runner anime up in the air, Titan Comics is offering the next best thing.  This week the TV series continues in the first issue of Blade Runner: Black Lotus–the monthly comic.  This past May we previewed the comic here at borg.

So how does the comic compare to the TV series that made our annual best TV of the year, kick-ass heroines, and the Borg Hall of Fame?

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

When I previewed Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series last month I’d hoped writers Jeff Bond and Gene Kozicki (a visual effects artist on the series) would dig deep into the unique style of the very futuristic series.  I am happy to say I was not only not disappointed but dazzled by the level of work completed for what could have been the next major science fiction franchise.  What does the future look like?  Going back to Syd Mead’s future-defining work on films like Blade Runner, you must count as the next futurism visionaries production designers Grant Major and Gary Mackay.  Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series delivers photographs of props and sets that viewers didn’t get to see in the series, providing another level of behind-the-scenes production design not ordinarily seen in this kind of “making of” book.

Continue reading

 

Even creator Philip K. Dick would be impressed with the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s 2021 Japanese and American half-hour anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus Is the mysterious drifter Elle a young woman with amnesia or a new type of replicant that can fool the Voight-Kampff test?  What does it mean to be an android or cyborg with feelings and memories?  Those were the questions asked in the series, and this summer the story continues in Titan Comics’ new monthly comic book, Blade Runner: Black Lotus.  Get your first look at the covers for the first issue, a look inside, and a peek at Issue #2 below.

Continue reading

Just because Netflix canceled after only one season 2021’s best sci-fi TV series, best western TV series, best space fantasy series, best retro fix, with the best TV soundtrack, best costumes, best actors and guest stars, and best borg on TV, doesn’t mean we can’t keep reliving the fantastic live-action reboot/homage series Cowboy Bebop One more way we’re going to do that is with Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series, coming next month from Titan Books.  It’s the official companion book to the Netflix TV series featuring concept art, sketches, behind-the-scenes photography and interviews with the cast and production crew.  Check out a preview below, courtesy of the publisher.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

Writer-director David Koepp knows how to make a good movie.  He’s written the scripts for Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park, for Raimi’s original Spider-Man, for De Palma’s Mission: Impossible, and the list goes on, to include some horror work.  In You Should Have Left, Koepp adapts German writer Daniel Kehlmann’s novel of the same name.  The film is from Blumhouse, which lately has produced horror that is less slasher and more appealing to mainstream viewers.  You Should Have Left is a pulse-pounding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and barely earns its R rating.  It also proves you don’t need a big cast and big budget to make a fantastic movie.  You Should Have Left, a 2020 sleeper you probably overlooked, is streaming now on the free Peacock app.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

Last year’s premiere season of the All Creatures Great and Small rated in our borg Top 10 television series of the past decade as well as scoring as best drama, best new series, and best British series in our year-end review of 2021.  The charming, funny, historical drama is back in the States with its second season, now airing weekly on PBS Masterpiece.  After the lovely Helen called off her wedding to Hugh–following a night stranded with #2 town veterinarian James–in last year’s Christmas season finale, what direction will the series take viewers next?  Luckily the show’s writers don’t miss a beat, settling right back in as James returns from a visit back home, back to plenty of work.  For those that missed the first season, now is a good time to jump aboard.  Don’t think this will be a short-lived series–it’s so good a third and fourth season are already locked in.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

The new Saurian travel simulator tie-in companion book Saurian: A Field Guide to Hell Creek is a combination of several great things.  It’s a non-fiction trip to a sort-of Jurassic Park.  It’s time travel–the kind Ray Bradbury wrote about in The Sound of Thunder, where you are transported back to the last years of Earth’s dinosaurs, specifically those found at the Hell Creek formation in South Dakota.  And it’s a true naturalist’s field guide, imagining that you are onsite, observing an ancient ecosystem firsthand.  Since we can’t actually do that, it relies on the next best thing: the results of research from published science from the current leading paleontologists.  If you have ever loved exploring the possibilities of the past posed by dinosaurs, this book is for you.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

I reviewed the movie on its opening weekend in October here at borg.  The movie is a true triumph for fans of director John Carpenter.  Of the ten (yep, ten) prior sequels to the 1978 original that set off an entire genre of movies, Halloween Kills is the most faithful to the original story.  On the screen it was great fun seeing Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her starring role as 1970s survivor Laurie Strode, along with  actors like Charles Cyphers back as the sheriff, Nancy Stevens as the doctor’s assistant, and Kyle Richards as the grown-up little girl.  In Halloween Kills: The Official Movie Novelization, author Tim Waggoner digs into this great story, amplifying the characterization, and making everything that flashed quickly past the movie audience have deeper implications.  He digs into the timeline of events in 1978 as the modern-day return is revealed moment by moment on that single day in 2018 that is spread over this final trilogy of movies.  You’ll be hard pressed to read a better horror tale or movie novelization this year.

Continue reading


Review by C.J. Bunce

I’d wager even story creator Philip K. Dick would be impressed with the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s new Japanese and American half-hour animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus Is the mysterious drifter Elle a young woman with amnesia or a new type of replicant that can fool the Voight-Kampff test?  What does it mean to be an android or cyborg with feelings and memories?  Those are the questions asked in the first five episodes of the excellent new series, now streaming on Adult Swim and the Adult Swim app.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

The new Netflix series Cowboy Bebop, an adaptation of the 1999-2001 anime series, is so good, so well-written, so jazz-filled, stylish, cool, and sexy that you won’t deny it’s the best streaming series yet.  It’s not only the best science fiction series in years, but also solid noir, solid space Western, peppered with martial arts action.  If you loved the space life of Firefly, the dark future Earth noir of Altered Carbon and Blade Runner, and the lived-in future realism of Alien and Outland, you’re in for some great television.  Funny dialogue, actors inhabiting their characters, cool noir vibe, the drudgery of life as a space pilot and exploits of a space bounty hunter.  It’s as good as TV gets.  It’s as good as sci-fi and space westerns get.

But what’s the best part?  The music?  The style?  The characters?  The lived-in sci-fi world?  The dog?  Or the year’s coolest borg character?

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: