Written by Adrian Thoen
The game space Powered by the Apocalypse occupies has become fairly bloated in the last five years. With any mechanic that becomes popular, there is a high chance of the output becoming diluted with less than stellar content. One genre that designers have made multiple attempts at using the PbtA framework with has been space opera/science fiction action. It’s this type of game that designer Adrian Thoen has sought to leave his mark on with the ever evolving Impulse Drive. Thoen credits Firefly, Mass Effect, and Farscape among his influences and they can be felt in every aspect of the game.
Power Rangers (2017)
Written by John Gatins
Directed by Dean Israelite
In the Pacific Northwest town of Angel Grove, five disparate teenagers are brought together when multicolored stones are unearthed. These coins imbue them with superhuman powers and lead the quintet to a subterranean alien craft buried millions of years prior. The inhabitants of this vessel, Alpha 5 and Zordon, inform the youths of an impending attack on their planet. The only way to stop this growing force of evil is to somehow unlock the power within their coins and become the Power Rangers, defenders of life.
Written by Brian Nelson & Steven Shainberg
Directed by Steven Shainberg
Renee (Noomi Rapace) is a single mother in Kansas going about her life when a flat tire leads to her abduction by a mysterious cabal of scientists. She’s put through a series of torturous experiments, gets loose and goes climbing through the vents, only to discover she’s a part of the dumbest conspiracy ever, which you can likely guess in the first 20 minutes of the film. My mind is still boggling at how these actors, who are pretty good, could be in a movie like this.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Written by Nicolas Wright & James A. Woods, Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich, and James Vanderbilt
Directed by Roland Emmerich
It has been 20 years since the aliens invaded Earth and decimated many a landmark building. Humanity has recovered quite well, using the leftover technology to make multi-centuries’ leap in a couple decades. A base has been established on the moon to continue harvesting the remaining technology and Earth is surrounded by a network of defense satellites in case bad guys happened to come again. Humanity has ended all war, and everyone loves each other now. Well, you know what that means? An even bigger alien ship is coming to destroy even more things, this time so big it has it’s own gravitational field. Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, and some new faces come to the rescue in a film that delivers something the audience was clamoring for: Brent Spiner’s bare ass.
A Cure For Wellness (2017)
Written by Justin Haythe & Gore Verbinski
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is a young up-and-comer at a prestigious New York investment firm. He’s tasked with taking a journey to the Swiss Alps to recover the company’s CEO, Roland Pembroke. Pembroke left for a wellness center high up in the mountains and has just sent a letter implying he is never coming back. When Lockhart arrives, he meets Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs), a mysterious young woman (Mia Goth), and is pulled into a mind-bending conspiracy that dates back a hundred years.
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Written by John Logan, D.W. Harper
Directed by Ridley Scott
Ten years after the events of Prometheus, a colony ship named The Covenant is traveling from Earth to a new planet carrying over 2000 colonists in cryosleep. An ion storm forces the crew to wake and deal with ship repairs. In the fracas, a crew member dies, and the rest are less than excited about going back under. Just their luck they intercept a faint transmission from a planet that never seemed to come up in any company surveys. The captain makes the decision to investigate, and thus the crew of the Covenant crosses paths with the aftermath of the last film and the beginnings of a new franchise….I guess.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, dir. James Gunn)
The Guardians have made a name for themselves and now act as heroes for hire. They finish up their latest job, protecting the energy source of The Sovereign, a genetically engineered “perfect race” but run into trouble on the way out. This leads to Peter Quill meeting his father for the first time, a strange man named Ego. Meanwhile, Yondu and his Ravagers are hired by a party disgruntled with The Guardians and wanting revenge. Gamora is also dealing with family issues (her vengeful sister Nebula), and everyone else seems to have their own interesting arcs as well.