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Napoleon | For All Mankind, Season Four

A bit of a mixed bag for Apple TV+, to say the least.

Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character in Napoleon
 

I've noticed that I've been letting my points in these posts get longer and longer to the point that they're creeping away from being sentences and evolving slowly towards becoming full-blown paragraphs. This unfortunately got me back into my old mindset of feeling like I have to write a certain amount, when I really, really don't as this is just a way to get my thoughts out to avoid them cluttering up my head.


So the 'reviews' below might seem quite light in comparison to previous posts but should get across the same points that I would've wanted to make anyway.

 

MOVIES

- You never know what you're going to get in terms of quality when it comes to Ridley Scott, and Napoleon definitely felt like a lesser work of his.


- The pace is absolutely electric, flying through Napoleon's career, but almost every sequence comes across as insubstantial as a result.


- It's not helped that Napoleon is depicted as a pretty pathetic guy for most of the running time, which Joaquin Phoenix's performance absolutely cements.


- Speaking of Phoenix, he's fun to watch as always, but the lightning pace of the movie means there's not really enough time for him to give the character any real depth.


- Watching this movie will most likely have you wondering how he ever managed to become Emperor of France or conquer so much of Europe, when he seems so ill-suited to manage either feat.


- I'll admit that everything at least looks fantastic from start to finish, although I feel that's kind of a given with it being a Ridley Scott film.


- I can't really recommend Napoleon, because while it may be an easy watch, that's because of how lacking in depth it is rather than being due to resembling a good movie. [3/10]


GAMES

- Very little played over the last week, with Euro Truck Simulator 2 seeing the most action as my go-to for unwinding, although I'm hoping to finally finish Baldur's Gate 3 in the very near future.


TV

- In contrast to how poor I find their movies, Apple can at least make decent TV shows, even if For All Mankind's fourth season can only really be described as 'just' good.


- There's a bunch of new characters that I struggled to get used to thanks to so many different story strands that it felt like I never got enough time to get to know them.


- I do have to admit that I already knew how this season was going to end, which didn't ruin my enjoyment of actually watching the ending, but did kind of spoil the second half of the season.


- Knowing where things were going, I could see the pieces being moved into place and all I'll say is that parts of this show can move at a glacial pace sometimes.


- Spoiler alert: I'm glad the show killed off Sergei (Piotr Adamczyk) and put Margo (Wrenn Schmidt) in prison, because I've never liked the two as a couple, or Margo as a character full-stop.


- Spoiler continued: Their 'romance' has always cost other people extra stress, duress and been outright damaging for others, mainly due to Margo's selfishness and I'm just glad that can't happen anymore.


- Spoiler ending: I do have to wonder if Aleida (Coral Peña) is going to be revealed as queer, because her devotion to Margo goes waaaaay beyond anything that would fall under being just friends.


- As for the rest of the show, while I do have issues with how slow some plots can move and how little time there is to get to know characters, at least it feels like there's always something happening.


- Saying that, this is the third Ron Moore show (following Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Battlestar Galactica) that have dealt with union storylines and things are getting a little over-familiar for me.


- Now I acknowledge that this will only really be a problem for those who have also seen those shows (and on DS9 it's only a very, very, very small piece of that show), so it won't bother most.


- I am absolutely pro-union and think they are a huge positive for workers, but there were more than a few story/character beats that felt like I'd seen them before in a sci-fi setting, because I had.


- Still, this fourth season continues For All Mankind's upwards arc in quality as far as I'm concerned and am definitely interested in seeing where it goes if given the opportunity to play out the full story. [7/10]

 

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