Monday, 11 December 2017

47 Metres Down: DVD Review

47 Metres Down: DVD Review

Entirely predictable but nonetheless fluffily entertaining, the obsession with sharks is once again mined in Johannes Roberts ticking time thriller, 47 Metres Down.

47 Metres Down: Film Review

Centring on sisters Lisa and Kate (This Is Us' Moore and Vampire Diaries Holt respectively) who are on a holiday in Mexico together, 47 Metres Down is a strong advertisement for maybe never taking that seems-too-good-to-be-true off-the-beaten-track holiday experience.

Rankled by a recent break-up Lisa is wary when a couple of locals offer her and her thrill-seeking sister the chance to go into a shark tank and go underwater. But talked round by Kate, the duo embark on the trip overseen by a grizzled, bandana-wearing Matthew Modine.

However, when the cable snaps, sending the duo down to a seabed depth of 47 metres, and with air supplies running out, the pressure's on to get them out of the deadly waters.

47 Metres Down: Film Review

Providing generic jump scares and a plethora of sisterly bonding and issues working out, 47 Metres Down is as disposable a piece of mid-year entertainment as Hollywood's likely to offer up. It starts out nicely with a subversion of the shark attack idea in a pool, and a dropped glass of red wine releasing a blood-like trail.

As was demonstrated by Blake Lively's lithe-body-in-a-bikini shark box office hit, The Shallows, there's still plenty to be mined in the old primal terror storyline of man (or woman) versus the elements. And while 47 Metres Down suffers from a lack of clear vision as it rests on the sea-bed thanks to dark murky shots, there's still the requisite amount of claustrophobia on show with close-ups of the girls demonstrating their plight.

While the end's signalled by a wordy explanation of a warning of the side-effects of diving, 47 Metres Down settles for a calm, very familiar horror set-up (hook ups with unknown locals, who may be too good to be true) before unleashing a frenzy of moments towards the end guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat.

47 Metres Down: Film Review

If you're willing to settle for generic moments and a degree of predictability, 47 Metres Down, with its relatively affable and familiar leads may prove the cinematic fish food you could chew on during the continuing winter months. 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Prepare for STAR WARS™ The Last Jedi™ Season

Prepare for STAR WARS™ The Last Jedi™ Season

Prepare for STAR WARS™ The Last Jedi™ Season
Pick your side as the First Order and the Resistance once again ignite the flames of war across the galaxy. Your journey continues with new heroes, vehicles, and items, along with daily quests and weekly challenges.

NEW TRAILER: Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War

NEW TRAILER: Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War

Here it is - the new Avengers: Infinity War trailer, releasing in cinemas on April 25, 2018.


Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse trailer

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse trailer

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the creative minds behind “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street,” bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a ground-breaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. 

“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

Win a copy of Kedi

Win a copy of Kedi

Thanks to Madman Home Entertainment, you could take home a copy of KEDI on DVD, out now!

Win a copy of KediAbout Kedi

Hundreds of thousands of cats roam the streets of Istanbul, neither wild nor tame. 

This is the story of seven of them. 

For millennia, cats have roamed the city of Istanbul. Granted freedom and respect, they wander in and out of peoples lives, an essential part of this rich and proud city. 

Claiming no owners, they live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame. 

They bring joy and purpose to those they choose to adopt, acting as mirrors to the people of Istanbul and allowing them to reflect on their lives in unique and touching ways.

To win a copy, all you have to do is email your details to this address:! 

 Include your name and address and title your email KEDI!

 Competition closes December 16th

Win a Coco prize pack

Win a Coco prize pack

To celebrate the release of Disney Pixar’s latest film, Coco, we have a Coco themed prize pack to giveaway. 
Win a Coco prize pack

Prize pack includes Sticker Set, Bookmark Set, Notebook, Stationary Set, Mini Speaker and a Sling Bag. 

The family feel good of the holiday season, Coco opens in cinemas Boxing Day 


To win this prize, all you have to do is email your details to this address:!

Include your name and address and title your email COCO!

Competition closes December 16th

American Made: Blu Ray Review

American Made: Blu Ray Review

Tom Cruise packs on the charm in this hybrid of the recent War Dogs and Narcos which is based on a true story.
American Made: Film Review
American Made: Film Review

Cruise stars as Barry Seal, a TWA pilot in the late 70s who's so bored with work, he deliberately causes turbulence to amuse and irritate in equal measure. Spotted running contraband by CIA spook Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson), he's offered to come work for the good guys.

Recruited as a reconnaisance pilot snapping pictures of Central America, Seal is soon inducted into both sides of the conflict after being spotted by Pablo Escobar's rising cartel. Shot down and offered the chance to run drugs from Colombia into the US, Seal soon finds himself entangled and playing both sides for plentiful fiscal reward.

But Seal's life is further complicated when he's forced to run guns into Nicaragua at Schafer's behest after being busted with the drugs...

American Made: Film Review

Dialling down the mega-watt grin and over-enthusiasm plays greatly to American Made's charm and ensures that the unfolding story of a man trapped in his own bastardisation of the American dream.

Sure, Seal knows what he's doing and there's no Sopranos-esque anti-hero at play here - and Cruise and his returning Edge of Tomorrow director Liman are smart enough to know that holding back and concentrating on the apparently true story is the way to go with this piece.

Packing in adegree of incredulity and playing matters straight as well as threading in news reports from the time give the film a shaggy dog edge that's ripped straight from the pages of the "It's so crazy it couldn't be true."

However, it also helps that Cruise never once feels like he's acting, imbuing Seal with a degree of humanity and vulnerability as he finds himself ingratiated in the world within.

While it's fair to say some of the surrounding edges never quite rise as perhaps they are hinted at earlier on (the local sheriff, the hillbilly wastrel brother-in-law) when the action of American Made concentrates on cruise's Seal and the tightening vice of his amoral attitude the film's more than a pleasant surprise.

It's very much a romp, brought to life with the breath of its lead actor and the seamless energy of its direction - and it may actually surprise you as it weaves its tale of criminally-led derring do.

American Made: Film Review

Above all, it will remind you of the sheer charisma and power of Tom Cruise when he's not over-performing.

If anything, dialling it down and playing the role to hand instead of anything more packs American Made with a tremendous coke-fuelled joie de vivre and reason to view it. 

Call of Duty WWII: PS4 Review

Call of Duty WWII: PS4 Review

Developed by Sledgehammer Games
Published by Activision
Platform: PS4

The annual Call of Duty release is a thing many are passionate about.
Call of Duty WWII: PS4 Review

From its first person shooter days to the multiplayer and subsequent side campaigns, the game's a much anticipated event that still manages to enthrall as many as it does.

This time, the World War II setting gives Call of Duty a sense of place and time, thanks to some excellently visualised maps and created environments to fight in.

The latest iteration of the game feels in many ways like it's gone back to basics, with a core gameplay attitude of taking on the opposition and keeping things simple.

Its campaign follows the 1st infantry division as they take part in various battles on the European front. It's your typical war story with a infantryman brought in to the earlier combats and finding his feet - progression is as you'd expect and there are elements of the cinematic in the game, as well as the emotional.
Call of Duty WWII: PS4 Review

Interestingly the campaign becomes more about survival than slaughter - and this is something which is lost a little in the multiplayer (though the server's proved difficult finding games with that in COD WWII's early days).

Multiplayer is the usual frantic boots-on-the-ground scramble you'd expect with hints of carnage in among the trying to achieve your various goals. Whilst it may be that occasionally you respawn too far away from the game itself, and you can frustratingly be picked off before you'd expect to be, there's much to admire in the solid execution of the multiplayer itself, even if the game occasionally doesn't want you to get amongst it thanks to server problems.

Nazi zombies arise and arrive in the new co-op mode and again, this offers a lot of thrills to the player looking to follow and shoot where necessary. It's a welcome return for the sub-genre of the game and there'll be much for the fan to engage with.
Call of Duty WWII: PS4 Review

Ultimately, Call of Duty WWII feels like a solid and playable entry into the canon.

There's an emotional depth in the campaign that's interesting and an engaging level of play throughout - it may feel like Call of Duty WWII is the franchise going back to its roots, but just because it does, doesn't mean that Sledgehammer Games have jettisoned everything that's been learned along the way.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Life is Strange: Before the Storm Final Episode Date & Trailer

Life is Strange: Before the Storm Final Episode Date & Trailer

New trailer featuring Season Finale footage available now

Hi everyone,
Thank you for the overwhelming support for the last two episodes of Life is Strange: Before the Storm. We are excited to fully reveal the third and final episode in this series, Hell is Empty,which will be available on 20th December for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC (Steam).
In our brand-new ‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 3 trailer’, we see Chloe struggling to keep grasp of the events unravelling in front of her as we hurtle towards a dramatic conclusion and the consequences of your all your actions so far. As her friendship with Rachel Amber reaches new heights of emotion, Chloe uncovers a dangerous revelation that will require her to find the courage and strength to make some of the toughest decisions of her life…
The Ep.3 trailer is available to view from:

“The whole development team at Deck Nine have poured their hearts and souls into this game”, said Jeff Litchford, Vice President at Deck Nine Games. “We’re truly humbled by the amount of love and passion the fans have shown so far. We are now nearly ready to release this last episode and excited to finally help fans shape the conclusion of this amazing story.”
LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM is set in Arcadia Bay, three years before the events of the first game in the series. Players will take on the role of a rebellious 16 year-old Chloe Price who forms an unlikely friendship with Rachel Amber; a beautiful and popular girl destined for success. When Rachel’s world is turned upside down by a family secret, it takes this new-found alliance to give each other the strength to overcome their demons.

GTA Online: The Doomsday Heist Coming December 13 – Watch the Trailer

GTA Online: The Doomsday Heist Coming December 13 – Watch the Trailer

GTA Online: The Doomsday Heist Coming December 13 – Watch the Trailer

A billionaire tech mogul, an idealistic intelligence agent, a socially awkward conspiracy theorist and a neurotic supercomputer have been forced into an unlikely alliance to save San Andreas from total annihilation. 

As apocalyptic threats mount from enemies unknown, you and your criminal crew are enlisted to un-tangle mysteries and eradicate threats spanning from the bustling streets of downtown Los Santos to the ocean floor and all the way to the inner depths of Mount Chiliad in an epic new online adventure.

The Doomsday Heist is coming to Grand Theft Auto Online on December 13th.

Ubisoft reveals Versus Mode For Mario + Rabbids® Kingdom Battle

Ubisoft reveals Versus Mode For Mario + Rabbids® Kingdom Battle

To download all assets please visit the press extranet:

Sydney, AUSTRALIA — December 8, 2017  Ubisoft has announced the Versus Mode, a new local two-player game mode for Mario + Rabbids™ Kingdom Battle, free for all players on Nintendo Switch™ from December 8, 2017. The critically-acclaimed game receives a free update, a new local Versus mode where two players will use their tactical skills to play against each other on the same screen (sharing a pair of Joy-Con™ controllers or using the Nintendo Switch™ Pro Controllers) to fight on unique and evolving battlefields.

Click image below to view trailer.
•           Players will freely pick three different heroes among the eight from the main game. And for each character, they will choose among three unique pre-sets with specific statistics and skills to create their own strategy
•           Surprising and random bonus items are dispatched on the battlefields, confering additional actions, double damage or other advantages to the player who achieves to get them
•           Every battle can be customized with various settings, from adding a timer or limiting the number of turns of the battle, to removing all the items for a pure tactical experience

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the story of an unexpected encounter between the most famous video game character, Mario, and the irreverent and chaotic Rabbids as they join forces to restore the Mushroom Kingdom, which has been torn apart by a mysterious vortex.  Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is already available on Nintendo Switch. For more information on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle please visit

The Disaster Artist: Film Review

The Disaster Artist: Film Review

Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Seth Rogen
Director: James Franco

There will be a large portion of the audience who've never heard of Tommy Wiseau or his film The Room.
The Disaster Artist: Film Review

Released in 2003 to riotously bad reviews, and dubbed the Citizen Kane of Bad movies, The Room has since gone on to be a money-making affair that revels in its awfulness, terrible writing and appalling acting.

With an opening sequence that gives some A-list Hollywood names and talking heads the chance to voice their appreciation for the film, James Franco's film delves deeply into a bromance and a Carpe Diem attitude that evolved from Wiseau's friendship with collaborator Greg Sestero (Dave Franco).

Based on Sestero's 2013 book 'The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made', James Franco's affectionate re-telling of how it all came to pass is nothing short of affectionate and life-affirming.
The Disaster Artist: Film Review

Charting the friendship that grew from Wiseau and Sestero's initial meeting at an acting class in San Francisco in the late 90s, it's the classic tale of jealousy and success in the Hollywood realm.

When Sestero (Dave Franco, genuine, bubbly and full of hope) begins to get a degree of success and a girlfriend (Alison Brie, underused), Wiseau's fragile insecurities begin to bubble up and threatens to derail the duo.

But deciding to channel it into writing his own film, after a casting agent says he'll never be more than a villain, Wiseau was galvanised to self-fund, write and direct The Room.

The thing that works about The Disaster Artist, is quite simply, the reverence that it holds for its subject and its central protagonist.

James Franco is utterly mesmerising as Tommy Wiseau, disappearing completely into the role and channeling both Wiseau's idiosyncracies and quirks. But no character piece, what Franco does is make his Wiseau both human and fallible, never leading him to being an object of mockery (which could so easily have been done).

An intrinsic knowledge of The Room's sheer awfulness isn't necessary, as the infectious film-making on the display and peek inside the Hollywood machine is nothing short of contagious.
The Disaster Artist: Film Review

Complete with late 90s/ early 2000 period details, and a taut eye for the central duo of Sestero and Wiseau (others outside the orbit tend to get a little short shrift unfortunately), The Disaster Artist is nothing more than a chasing your dreams tale.

But under Franco's watch, and by refusing to exploit either the story or its general eccentricities weirdness, it becomes a film that shows why the power of Hollywood continues to live and why those who step outside the norm continue to thrive in its wake.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Kedi: DVD Review

Kedi: DVD Review

Cast: Cats, Istanbul vistas, People
Director: Ceyda Torun

It's perhaps no surprise that a documentary about cats is as fluffy as one of the feline's tails.

Kedi Film Review

But it's also perhaps no surprise that this gentle doco is as amiable and as universal as they come.

Against the backdrop of Istanbul's streets, so beautifully captured and brought to life on the big screen, Kedi follows seven different cats with distinct personalities and a grip on the people who inhabit the streets and live their daily humdrum lives.

With Torun running a street level rig, the film follows the pussies as they weave their way in and out of people's lives, shopfronts and cajole them to feed them.
There's no ground-breaking reason for Kedi to exist; it's simply a case of documenting life on the streets.

However, what emerges from the cod-philosophising of the nameless faces that extol the virtues of the rampant animals running amok in a friendly way, is a sense of community and a sense of belonging that these critters engender.

Despite the odd hyperbole spun by some of the anthropomorphizing and projecting tendencies of the commenters (one woman draws a long bow between how the female cats stand strong and upright in their dignity, whereas women of their religion are cowed and oppressed and that she "doesn't see elegance in women like that anymore"), what starts to emerge is a city with a tremendous sense of heart above all else.

As is mentioned early on, the cats have been there for thousands of years, and have seen empires grow and fall; they are as timeless in the fabric of the city as those who look after them.
From the baker who has an open tab at the vets to help to the sailor who feels duty bound to hand rear a litter of kittens whose mother has disappeared, this is the milk of human kindness writ large on the screen. Along with furry feline interactions - whether it's cat looking like it's been caught on camera stealing fish or another staring photogenically down the lens, there's something for all animal lovers here, though the more hardened cinema-goer may find parts of their own fur bristling as time goes on.

Slow-mo close-ups will look radiant upon the big screen and the film-makers in their gentle touches do nothing more than desire to elicit a sympathetic "Aww" from those subjected to this endless parade of cute.

Unlike the viciousness of former fest outing White God's canine uprising, Kedi has a soothing tone and deceptively simple ambitions to fulfill which it hits with relative ease throughout; it aims to showcase a city awash in humanity, with a co-existence of cats and their masters, basking in the glow of simpler times.

Kedi may not be cinematic catnip to the likes of Gareth Morgan, but there's a strong case to say that any animal lover or family seeking a gentle outing will be entranced by the warmth of this microcosm of furry life. 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom first trailer

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom first trailer

It's here - your first look at Jurassic World.


Director: J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls)

Written By: Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), Derek Connolly (Jurassic World, Kong: Skull Island)

Cast: Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment.  

Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.  

Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. 

 Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds: PS4 Review

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds: PS4 Review

Platform: PS4
Developer: Guerrilla Games

There's no doubt that Horizon Zero Dawn has been one of the more successful new IPs of the year.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds: PS4 Review

The post-apocalyptic romp that put you into the world of tribes fighting robot dinosaurs and creatures with a deeply engaging story for its protagonist Aloy was never anything but a joy.

With winter coming in the Northern hemisphere, it seems no surprise that a new DLC for the title would drop, covered in frosty snowy goodness - and so it is with The Frozen Wilds, a DLC which feels like a whole new world rather than a simple bolt-on to current existence.

Set in the snowy north, in a region known as The Cut, the game may hint at colder edges, but with a fiery protagonist known as the Scorcher, it seems unlikely that things are going to cool down.

While the game unlocks a third of the way through the main Horizon Zero Dawn playthrough, it's worth making sure that you have got Aloy past level 30 in terms of upgrades, because the DLC's fairly tough in its execution and takes no prisoners in its desire to get rid of you.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds: PS4 Review

The challenge is worth it though, and along with some truly impressive frosty vistas, it reminds you why Horizon Zero Dawn proved to be such a boon .

This time around, everything's the same, but not as familiar as you'd expect.

There's a little more structure in terms of what's needed of Aloy - clearing out camps takes time to see down the Banuk tribes and result in a final boss fight; Tallnecks lay beneath snowy climes and need gifting a life before they can be used to your advantage and there's a fiendish new twist on corrupted zones as well that requires a bit more skill.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds: PS4 Review

New weapons and a new outfit are on offer in quests meaning the need to find merchants is a little less necessary - there's plenty to remind you why Aloy's world is so enticing.

Worth investing in as a complete experience, The Frozen Wilds DLC has some stunning visuals, some deeply engaging gameplay and a great female protagonist - really, there's no better reason to dive in.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Borg vs McEnroe: Film Review

Borg vs McEnroe: Film Review

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gunadson, Stellan Skarsgard
Director: Janus Metz

Tennis and its rivalries seem to be de rigeur in the back half of the cinematic year.
Borg vs McEnroe: Film Review

First there was Battle of the Sexes, and now fresh from opening TIFF this year, comes a rather arthouse look at the rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the Wimbledon final of 1980.

Essentially more a psychological piece which favours a more rounded look at the Swedish legend Bjorg, Metz's film is a curious beast; one which is content to look at the sporting rivalry and suggest this pair have more in common than they do in conflict.

Gunadson's calm veneer gives a brief insight into Borg, but the film's writing favours him anyway, with more time spent exploring how he was as volatile in his early days as McEnroe, the tabloid-dubbed SuperBrat, was on court.
Borg vs McEnroe: Film Review

From seeing Skarsgard taking the young Borg on and mentoring him away from his explosive rage to a more pristine and precise form of gameplay, the film's interests lie in showing the pair have a common ground that's more unspoken than it is explained.

It doesn't stop Metz being quite basic with the delivery of this set up - he prefers to use quieter soundtracks for Borg's current state of mind and backstory, whereas McEnroe, who's served up only the briefest of an insight into his past, is given loud brash music to show the difference. It's not just that it's heavy-handed, it's a little jarring.

Thankfully, despite the relatively formulaic and stress-free delivery of the Wimbledon final, Metz's leads shine through to deliver great cinematic lobs.

LaBeouf is a simmering mess of a man as McEnroe; he's one who's riddled with doubt and anger at his brash, brazenportrayal in the media (seems almost biographical in retrospect).

And Gunadson's calm quiet delivery speaks volumes to both the fragility of Borg and his reputation as he chased the fifth consecutive Wimbledon win.
Borg vs McEnroe: Film Review

Ultimately, Borg vs McEnroe serves up a few lobs and volleys as well as some back and forth for a sports rivalry film. It's definitely got loftier arthouse ambitions and it almost meets them.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: PS4 Review

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: PS4 Review

Published by Bethesda Studios
Developed by Machine Games
Platform: PS4

BJ returns in the game that 2017 potentially called for, given what a weird year it's been - and given how simple Wolfenstein 2's MO is - blasting the hell out of Nazis.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: PS4 Review

OTT action, combat and story-telling has always been the Wolfenstein way and it's no surprise to relay that the latest does all of that and more as BJ Blazkowicz heads up a rag-tag team of resistance fighters who want one thing only - to kick the Nazis out of America.

Beginning on air-ship where BJ is brought round after the events of Wolfenstein: The New Order, it's up to you to wheel yourself around in a wheelchair and shoot the hell out of those who get in your way. Once that's done, the story takes another turn and you're forced into a fight on the ground to pull together a team to stop the New Colossus' nemesis, Frau Engel, from winning the day.

In a weird way, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is all about empowerment.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: PS4 Review

From besides the obvious with taking down Nazis (and after 2017's Charlottesville riots and other such rises of the Far right, it feels incredibly timely), Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus's desire to give you the power from a wheelchair to face foes feels fraught with frank promise and vulnerability.

As you wheel yourself around with much of your own body failing, it's a sign that fighting back isn't wrong - and is the right thing to do. Coupled with the fact that BJ's attitude is driven by a desire to protect, it's a smart message to get going.

Hurtling through corridors, taking out commanders before reinforcements can be called and fighting enemies with laser fire weapons may make you recall Doom's recent outing in all its shooty-glory.

But Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is smart enough to balance character and story with the OTT elements, giving it a kind of unexpected grounding that proves very worthy of your time.

It's not that it's easy either - even on the simplest setting (for which the game mocks you) some enemies can be hard to kill off leading to your death before you realise what you've done wrong again. All guns blazing may work sometimes, but it's not always the smartest way to execute the game.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: PS4 Review

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus's cut scenes give the game a cinematic edge and an emotional resonance - it lends a feel of a recruitment video in some ways, which is no bad thing, but proved to be the surprising edge on the game that had been unexpected.

At the end of the day, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus's MO is simple - to let you blast away through a series of levels and end your opponents with grisly deaths - thanks to its simplicity of execution, its ease of gameplay and controls, it achieves that and more.

In many ways, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is an unadulterated guilty pleasure of a blast.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Sonic Forces: PS4 Review

Sonic Forces: PS4 Review

Developed by SEGA
Platform: PS4

After the success of Sonic Mania, it was perhaps inevitable the blue spikey one would return again, cresting a wave as popular as the rings he pursues.
Sonic Forces: PS4 Review

The latest Sonic installment sees the Blue one banished after being vanquished by Dr Eggman and a band of evil brothers, including the likes of Metal Sonic, Chaos, Shadow the Hedgehog. But this is where you come in - as the latest recruit to the team, it's up to you to try and save the day by subbing in for Sonic across a series of levels.

In a sort of resistance fighter movement, Sonic Forces puts you squarely into the action, but at times, holds you back from fully engaging.

The levels are woefully short, seeing you barely getting into your stride before it's even over - which is a real shame.
Sonic Forces: PS4 Review

Because the mix of first person and then side-scrolling 3D mean the game's a little tricky to control at best, and downright impossible at worst. And yet, when it really hits its straps, Sonic Forces kicks off to a level that reminds you why Sonic the Hedgehog was just so damn iconic originally.

Perhaps it may have been best if there was a stronger more sharper focus in some of the levels and didn't leave you feeling like you were ping-ponging around the game, but while Sonic Forces' short story and short levels hint at much more, it's frustrating at best.

Ultimately, Sonic Forces feels like bite-size Sonic gameplay; a lot of it works, and a lot of it doesn't - but all up, the game's inconsistencies don't allow it to feel like the fluid cohesive game it could so easily have been.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Better Watch Out: Film Review

Better Watch Out: Film Review

Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould
Director: Chris Peckover

Mixing Home Alone with Lionel Shriver horror cum Loved Ones nasty seems like a neat twist on the usual concept.
Better Watch Out: Film Review

Chamber horror piece Better Watch Out aka Safe Neighbourhood manages to make it partially work but there's a distinctly uncomfortable after-taste left as it plays out, despite the snowy Christmas setting.

DeJonge plays babysitter Ashley, who's left in change of Levi Miller's Luke when his parents (Patrick Warburton and Virgina Madsen) head out on a festive night out.

Luke's been desperately in love with Ashley for years and decides tonight's the night to make his move and his feelings known. But things go awry when it appears there's a stalker outside threatening the pair of them...

To say more about Better Watch Out is to reveal spoilers, but suffice to say that its three-hander initially starts off well, with a tart and bitter taste to offset the usual saccharine setting of the Christmas film.
Better Watch Out: Film Review

But this thriller strays a little too uncomfortably into unsettling territory, given current climates and the Weinstein saga, and its victimisation MO sits queasily more than anything else.

It's not to detract from any of the central performances and the intriguingly acerbic tone early on.
However, what transpires later in the film is just nigh on nasty with its darkness and the flip in tone is either going to appeal or see you running for the hills.

Mixing Home Alone vibes (and Carol the Bells) with the horror genre yields mixed rewards for Better Watch Out.

Usual horror films see you invested in certain characters and while Better Watch Out effectively tries to subvert and undermine what you're expecting to see, it does it with such viciousness that it's borderline schizophrenic and sadistic.

That may be some of the point here, but when the villain of the piece is revealed a third of the way in, the film shifts its horror tropes for a psychological edge that's as uncomfortable as it is confronting.
Perhaps it's a statement on the evil perpetrated by some intruding into the rich kids suburbs but the film delights in its nasty nefariousness.
Better Watch Out: Film Review

There's an unsightly wickedness which haunts this holiday season flick and while it's to be commended for doing something a little different, the desire to not exactly condemn its perpetrators is as unsettling as you'd expect. Especially in these sex-accused times, and post-Weinstein world we live in.

You'd Better Watch Out indeed - because naughty or nice, this film has a way of getting under your skin in the most uncomfortable way possible. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

LA Noire: PS4 Review

LA Noire: PS4 Review

Developer: Team Bondi
Published by Rockstar Games
Platform: PS4

In 2011, the publishers of Grand Theft Auto released a crime game that very much shook the boundaries of what to expect for the police procedural.
LA Noire: PS4 Review

With its take on Hollywoodland and its combination of open world maps and GTA similarities, the game was understandably an easy hit, giving the platforms something cinematic at a gaming level.

Meshing film noir in both plot and aesthetics, it's the tale of a copper on the beat and later a police detective in 1947 LA. With various crimes and progressions through differing departments, from Vice to Homicide, the game tracks the life cycle of Cole Phelps and sees you assessed from all angles.

With the usual tropes of the genre covered from femme fatales to corruption, LA Noire could be accused of taking the lazy route, but what it actually does is create a game and atmosphere that's second to none and an evocative atmospheric take on the usual films you'd see in the cinema.
LA Noire: PS4 Review

From elements of LA Confidential to hints of the Black Dahlia, everything's covered in Rockstar's game and it's all the better for it.

With characters that rise and situations that feel authentic, the engagement with the game and its mechanics is evident from the start.

Unfortunately, the graphics haven't quite been rendered upto the spec of the machines it runs on - and while others like Crash Bandicoot and to some degree Ratchet and Clank may have got a spit and polish, this year's LA Noire seems to have lost out in some of the technical finesse you'd have expected from a remaster.

It still looks good, but in parts, frankly, it does look like a last generation console  game and that's a shame.

One of the tweaks Rockstar's made is in its interrogation scenes with the blurred lines in testimony and confessions being a little more tied up with what plays out on screen and a bit more in sync with the keeping of the game.
LA Noire: PS4 Review

Ultimately, what the remaster of LA Noire may lack on a technical level, it gains from the gameplay - involving and evocative and with a depth that's engaging, it's more than enough to keep you at the scene of the crime throughout.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Your Name: Blu Ray Review

Your Name: Blu Ray Review

Released by Madman Home Entertainment

Mixing J-Pop, time travel,body swapping and Japan's pre-occupation with natural disasters, Your Name is quite the genre bending anime.

Already raising more at the Japanese box office than Princess Mononoke, the film's continued success atop the charts (taking around 98 million US) is leading many to claim Shinkai is the natural successor to the potentially retired Miyazaki.

It's the story of two high school kids, Taki and Mitsuha, (Kamiki and Kamishiraishi) who live in very different parts of the world. Mitsuha lives in a small village where there are no facilities (but bizarrely two pubs) and who dreams that she would like to wake up one day in Tokyo as a boy. Taki is a boy in Tokyo, whose high school life is as normal, and who dreams that he becomes a girl in a small village...

Connecting these two's lives is a comet strafing through the skyline, whose appearance only once every 122 years seems to signify something unusual...

Your Name's lushly created visuals and comic light touch make its 2 hour run time worth it.

Shinkai's world is based in the now, rather than Miyazaki's which has always lingered in the past, a touch which makes the Tokyo skyline stand out while Mitsuha's small village feels bucolic and contemporary too.

While the music interludes that hit in parts feel like a bizarre music video - they personally grated and jarred the experience, there's a degree of the body swap story landing as well as it should and feeling relatively fresh despite a tired old trope. With no real rhyme or reason given early on for the swaps, the Freaky Friday elements work well - and while there's comedy of Taki living in a girl's body (and obsessing over the parts any teen world), there's also a poignancy of Mitsuha living a life in another world.

As the two lives tangle closer together, Shinkai brings a reflective nature to the story-telling, abandoning the frivolity and levity for something all the more philosophical and elegant. While there's definitely an argument that the film could drop some of its run time, the beauty of the anime and the contrast between Tokyo and the mountain village are gorgeous to revel in.

Your Name ends up being more thoughtful than its body swap premise promises - and ultimately, it's a sign that anime continues to surprise and thrill. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

DOOM VFR Now Available for PlayStation VR and HTC VIVE in Australia and New Zealand

DOOM VFR Now Available for PlayStation VR and HTC VIVE in Australia and New Zealand

We're pleased to announce that DOOM VFR is now available in Australia and New Zealand for PlayStation VR and HTC VIVE. 

Developed by id Software, the studio that pioneered the first-person shooter genre and modern VR, DOOM VFR brings the fast-paced, brutal gameplay of DOOM to an all new experience in virtual reality.
Doom VFR
Players will immerse themselves in the DOOM universe like never before, while seamlessly traversing across the UAC facility on Mars and the depths of Hell, as skills are put to the test through intense combat and challenging puzzle-solving.
DOOM VFR is a new game experience within the universe of DOOM, set shortly after the demonic invasion on the UAC’s Martian research facility.

 Players assume the role of the last known human survivor who, under a top-secret UAC operational contingency protocol, have had their consciousness transferred to an artificial brain matrix. 

They will have to restore operational stability to the facility and use any means necessary to stop the onslaught of demons. 

Raw: DVD Review

Raw: DVD Review

Already the enfant terrible of the festival scene after viewers at Cannes apparently fainted and vomited during screenings, French director Julia Ducournau's stylistically nourishing body horror may have already put some off.
Raw, aka Grave, from French director Julia Ducournau

However, this tale is more one of coming-of-age, self-acceptance, sibling rivalry and the usual outsider trying to fit in story that cinema so often delivers.

The waif-like Garrance Mareillier (who carries more than a passing visual reference to Zoey Deutch via way of Isabelle Adjani) is Justine, who, as the film begins, is heading to enrol in the veterinary college frequented by generations of her family.

At a roadside cafe, there's uproar when her mother discovers the slop mashed potatoes Justine's been served come with a sausage within. Surely, no cause for concern - however, Justine and all her family shun the carnivorous ways and are staunch vegetarians.

Dropped at the college, Justine is thrown into a brutal hazeing ceremony that afflicts all newcomers - forced on all fours, and herded like cattle to an abattoir, the first year students are dropped deep into a world of work, partying, hedonistic almost Bacchanial excess and plenty of flesh on show.
Raw, aka Grave, from French director Julia DucournauJustine reunites with her sister, Alexia (Rumpf) who's also there and has been for a few years. Initially reticent, the duo reform and repair some of the brittle bridges that scatter siblings - before an unlikely bond is discovered and a hunger awoken in Justine...

Raw may have at its core a tale of cannibalism, and there's certainly enough pleasures of the flesh put upon the screen, but the hybrid of horror and occasional shocks is more riddled with an atmosphere of unease and suspense than an outright desire to induce nausea in its audience.

It's perhaps pertinent if you are of a queasy disposition to take degrees of caution, but certainly the gore on the screen is a lot less effective or bloody than Raw's reputation would suggest.

More startling is director Julia Ducournau's commitment to this fearless debut; it pulls together elements of every coming of age film you've seen. From elements of Ginger Snaps to the hedonism of Trainspotting, via way of startling and striking imagery (some of it ripped from Carrie), the film crackles with visual flair throughout.

It helps that Mareiller's aloofness sells the other-worldly edges of what plays out, and as the rapacious hunger within is awoken, she manages to sell the almost feral transformation incredibly well and sympathetically as the principles tangle and conflict with the primal urges within.

From hints of her being seduced into the almost cult-like world of the pledges to looking at meat on a counter, Mareiller does more with little than you'd expect to see and the restraint adds much to her character who's simultaneously coming of age and trying to find her place in the world. It helps that these themes are not new, and have been explored before - but rarely with the pertinence and female point of view leading the way.

The script hints a lot at what's going on, and there are delicious double entendres that come to life as the film ends - indeed Justine's told that "an animal that's tasted flesh isn't exactly safe", but there's a studious once over with Raw that almost veers into parody in the final cinematic furlong.

Raw, aka Grave, from French director Julia Ducournau

It's not that the gore hits a crescendo, more that the score hits a one louder approach that threatens to topple the audaciousness of what's already played out. Certainly, Ducournau would have benefited from being a little more hands-off as the film veers towards its darkly twisted denouement.

With escalating sibling rivalry at its core, Raw's feral and visceral in parts, drowning its coming of age observations and cannibalism in its female point of view.

Coupled with a fevered lead whose occasionally dead eyes hint at the conflict and the primal hunger within, Raw's certainly a film not for all tastes. But for those willing to surrender themselves to its deft stylish touches, and its hints of horrors as well as its outright taste for shocks, it's one hell of an experience, and one hell of a fiery debut.