Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Overwatch: PS4 Review

Overwatch: PS4 Review

Developed by Blizzard
Released by Activision
Platform: PS4

With 21 characters to choose from, a handful of scenarios to explore and a family friendly approach to the online shooter, it's fair to say that Overwatch, from the Warcraft developers, is a game that's more than worth playing.

As its recent BETA demonstrated, the game's tremendous strengths lie in the ability to see you working as a team to carry out a common goal and celebrate that victory or defeat.

Set in a technologically advanced future Earth, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers and oddballs have formed the Overwatch movement. But that lies ruined now - however, there's still a call for heroes.

Let's get this out of the way now - Overwatch's weakness is a lack of a campaign mode. Much like the maligned Battlefront, it's a shame that the Blizzard team didn't look further into this for the first person shooter and expanded the world without question.

And the reason for that disappointment is that the game is so much fun in its positivity soaked multiplayer that it's a shame it's not more widely explorable. As the developers have announced, they wanted this Overwatch game to be a plus experience for many, and based on the short bursts of multiplayer, it's easy to see why.

Assembling a group of players for a 6 versus 6 play-off in modes such as Assault (does what it says on the tin), Escort (where you guard a moving payload), Assault/  Escort (a mixture of the two) and Control (your typical seize and defend), the online FPS is fun to be part of - thanks to its wide variety of heroes and ease of play.

Powering up the heroes' special defence / attack capabilities relies on time more than anything and patience but unleashing their super-powers can be deadly if used well. However, the ethos is definitively on team-based co-operation - even at the menu stage, when selecting teams, you're advised against having too many of one type of character and unbalancing everything within.

The scope is purely on emphasising team goals, and potentially, that's where a traditional single player may feel a little disadvantaged. You may feel alienated without the technology to communicate and if one person decides to be part of a team that blocks the opposition from leaving their safe house without unleashing weapons upon them, your game is pretty much screwed before it's even begun. (This choking point is perhaps the single biggest bug-bear of Overwatch - it's easy to win when you don't play by the rules).

That said, and the lack of campaign grumble aside (bringing with it the threat of the game becoming obsolete without new content other than a weekly challenge), it's actually easily accessible, colourful and fun.

Bright, breezy graphics combined with immense playability and the desire to start all over again with a whole new cast of characters make Overwatch quite the game to dive into. Including doling out medals at the end and selecting a play of the game give you something to strive for other than victory and its general warmth and fuzziness makes levelling up and the inevitable grind something less than a chore.

All in all, Overwatch is on the cusp of brilliance.

Its online mode is fast, colourful fun that rewards immersion and there's no denying the pick up and playability of the title - it's to be hoped that outside of the weekly challenge, more will be added in - it'd be a shame if this was consigned to obsolete a few months down the track - especially when it's a welcome breath of positivity in FPS.

(Also you should check out the wealth of content including hero profiles, comics and more at the official Overwatch site)

The Hateful Eight: Blu Ray Review

The Hateful Eight: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by Roadshow Home Ent

Cinema's enfant terrible returns with his eighth outing, a sprawling epic yet intimate film about justice, simmering tensions and life after the Civil War.

It's the story of bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who are powering through the wintry Wyoming landscape in a stagecoach on their way to Daisy's appointment with the ultimate hangman.

But as the storm sets in deeper, Ruth finds two others on the road seeking shelter; one is former union soldier turned bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson in usual commanding form) and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) the soon-to-be new sheriff of Red Rock where both Ruth and Domergue are bound.

Holing up in a stopover cabin until the storm passes, the quartet find a bunch of new unexpected faces. Forced to seek shelter, Ruth begins to feel uneasy as the pot starts to boil over with mistrust...

Age has not diminished Tarantino's cinematic fire and The Hateful Eight is further proof that he intends to rattle the cage and polarise the audience for as long as he can.

This potboiler chamber piece, so beautifully shot with its evocative use of the Wyoming landscapes in the opening moments, rattles with as much Tarantino DNA as you'd expect - and indeed hope for.

With his trademark dialogue in full effect, this film feels like his most mature take on character and does much to build a world that's pretty much set in one place (in fact, great swathes of The Hateful Eight feel like a stage play painted on a bigger canvas).

But here's the kicker with The Hateful Eight - it appears that everybody lies and everybody is particularly nasty.

Whereas previous films have had edges that help you latch onto those you're watching in some way or other, The Hateful Eight has a delightful penchant for ripping your sympathies from asunder.

With the very briefest of back stories for some of the characters, Tarantino delights in presenting you with eight people who are only there to be hated and whose ultimate fates are all tangled up in the post-Civil War resentments that will linger for years to come.

Ultimately, as with most Tarantino flicks, the film becomes swathed in as much blood as there is raging bile below the surface of all of these men. They are antagonists more than anti-heroes in the truest sense, with each layer of nastiness revealing yet more below the surface of every single one of them. And as the story evolves over its six wryly dark chapters, it's clear Tarantino's desire is to subvert audience expectations and draw on various TV western genres to paint this tapestry with more than just blood, and instead infuse it with gallows humour.

As ever with Mr Tarantino, depending on your tolerance for violence and colourful language, The Hateful Eight will be as much a personal film for everyone watching it. It's quintessential Tarantino though as it pours all the ingredients into a pot, stirs them around and stands well back ready for the powderkeg to ignite.

Of the cast, Jackson provides his usual commanding presence as the Major and steals the scene with one story which may or may not be true, but is certainly likely to never be forgotten; Goggins and Dern gel in a generational way and give the Confederate conflict a face that's never likely to be forgotten, thanks to Goggins' hillbilly stylings. Tim Roth channels Terry Thomas with his turn as Red Rock's hangman. As the sole woman (for most of the film) Jennifer Jason Leigh impresses with a turn that is more about what's unsaid than actually said - and her final scenes give rise to the meshing of the western with traces of horror as she stands like a Carrie figure in your traditional cabin-in-the-snowy-woods.

Mixing mystery, Cluedo,  post Civil War politics, elements of The Thing (thanks to evocatively shot and lit exteriors in the wintry surrounds), a terrific Ennio Morricone score, some stunning cinematography courtesy of long time Tarantino aide Robert Richardson, a deeply verbose script which borders on shaggy dog story and teeters dangerously close to needing an edit at times, historical elements of justice on the frontier and post the War, and an ensemble which work incredibly well together, The Hateful Eight is nothing short of a seething experience that makes you work for its rich rewards.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of the Shadows: Film Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of the Shadows: Film Review

Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney
Director: Dave Green

If the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was more of a surprise than expected, then the second, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of the Shadows is perhaps a depressing sign that this series has already lost its way.

This time around, as Leo, Donatello, Raphael and Michaelango live underground unable to take the credit for their takedown of arch enemy Shredder last time, sinister plans are underway to break Shredder out.

However, things get more complicated for the quartet when it turns out top scientist Baxter Stockman (Perry) is behind the break and a scientific purple goo that activates primordial DNA within humans. So with Manhattan facing a greater danger than ever before, the team is on the case - but with fractures growing between the four, is the danger more threatening to their own future than just the city?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of the Shadows is a film that skews incredibly young and that stays true to its comic book roots / kids TV cartoon.

The problem is that the resultant on-screen hotpotch feels like a film that shows its 2 hour run time.

While the Michael Bay produced first film was a definite popcorn brain at the door type flick, this latest is more of an action film that simply shifts from one set piece to the next, with brain whirring going through the motions to stop you thinking too deeply about anything going on.

Whether it's sidelining the bad guy Shredder (already an empty cypher) or turning too goons into CGI warthog and rhinoceros, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of the Shadows lacks a coherence of execution that's galling to sit through.

Action sequences are shown from multiple takes, with explosions given precedence for the multi camera approach as if to dull your brain into submission. Equally, the turtles free-wheeling through the Manhattan skies at the start seems to exist solely to ensure that you can see what the CGI does, rather than emphasise their growing unhappiness at being confined to the shadows.

This is a film that sacrifices the main characters and moments for spectacle - and the great majority of those sequences are jettisoned to show off the Orc-like Rocksteady and Bebop's CGI creations. It's a shame as the turtles' existential dilemma is quite a meaty one, with them finding themselves torn between a life in the shadows as unknown heroes or stepping out into a world of judgement.

But this thread is squandered in favour of more dunder-headed CGI antics of a pair of farting animals. It's understandable that the makers have gone younger for this film, but they still stop short of going the whole hog and embracing the younger market it's clearly aimed at. It's a tonal mish-mash that feels like it's struggling for an identity and a relevance in today's market-place where action blockbusters offer more smarts than simply eye-candy.

With mentions of other franchises with Raph intoning "What would Vin Diesel do?" and Michaelangelo coming across a Bumblebee Transformer in a Hallowe'en parade, this film isn't interested in feathering anything other than its own nest and universes, and consequently feels like it's yet another franchise that's lacking in soul.

Fox and Arnett are forgettable and without any kind of spark at best, Arrow star Stephen Amell is simply boisterously shouty as Casey Jones and Laura Linney looks detached at best as a police chief. Equally, Perry comes dangerously close to mugging as a Nutty Professor type boffin. These are humans who are second fiddle to the turtle teenagers, and it shows throughout.

While fans of the TV series and comics may be happier with this Turtle outing as well as younger members of the audience, but quite frankly, the turtles have come out of the sewers and so has the overall soulless execution and story of this film.

NZFF Reveal a May Title

NZFF Reveal a May Title

The First Monday in May confirmed for NZIFF 2016

Good afternoon, on Monday, the last Monday in May, we reveal the exciting news that the latest documentary from Andrew Rossi (director of Page One: Inside the New York Times) will screen as part of NZIFF in Auckland and Wellington.

Announced online Monday 30 May

The First Monday in May
Needing a good fix of Anna Wintour ever since The September Issue? This behind-the-scenes documentary covers her oversight of the 2015 Met Gala, a celebrity extravaganza that raised $12,000,000 for (and at) New York’s Metropolitan Museum and launched the Met Costume Institute’s blockbuster exhibition, ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’. Wintour shares the film with Andrew Bolton, the engaging, confessedly starstruck Brit who curated the exhibition with filmmaker Wong Kar-wai as guest creative director.
With Costume admitted to the Museum’s pantheon, some ask how much space can there be at the Met for the commercialism and celebrity culture that accompany it? The more the better, we discover, at least on the first Monday of May each year. Produced in part by Condé Nast, First Monday touches lightly on the cultural and political quandaries negotiated by the curators of a show that celebrates Orientalism in Western fashion. What filmmaker Andrew Rossi does best is observe the meticulous organisation behind so much sheer opulence, revel in the flamboyance of one percenters at play – and harken closely as the imperious Ms Wintour gets it all so very right. 
“Catnip for fashionistas… Andrew Rossi’s dishy documentary goes behind the scenes of the lavish and star-filled annual Met Ball (otherwise known as the ‘Super Bowl of fashion events’).” — Frank Sheck, Hollywood Reporter

The full NZIFF programme will be available online from Monday 20 June 7pm, and on the streets from Tuesday 21 June for Auckland and Friday 24 June for Wellington. NZIFF starts in Auckland on 14 July and in Wellington from 22 July in 2016.

GTA Online: Further Adventures in Finance and Felony Coming June 7th

GTA Online: Further Adventures in Finance and Felony Coming June 7th

GTA Online: Further Adventures in Finance and Felony Coming June 7th

In Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, become a proper boss – and climb to the top of the GTA Online criminal hierarchy with your own Organization HQ.
Further Adventures in Finance and Felony continues a player’s mission to become the ultimate criminal kingpin of Los Santos and Blaine County in one of GTA Online’s biggest and deepest updates yet.

A giant leap up the corporate ladder following the VIP experience of Executives and Other Criminals, the Finance and Felony update gives players the opportunity to expand their organization and become CEO of their own Criminal Enterprise.
The Pegassi Reaper, one of the new vehicles befitting your elite status.
Acquire a high-rise office and special warehouse properties to begin buying and selling a range of contraband across the city, all the while fighting the LSPD and the rest of the southern San Andreas criminal underworld for access to the rarest items and the biggest profits.

Further Adventures in Finance and Felony combines all new gameplay with a host of special new vehicles, exciting new features and much more.
Associates recover Special Cargo in Buy missions arranged by the CEO.
Look out for more details along with the official trailer coming next week.

F1 2016 Announced

F1 2016 Announced



SYDNEY, 30TH May 2016 - Codemasters® have announced that F1™ 2016, the official videogame of the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™, will include the most immersive career mode ever featured in the franchise. F1 2016 will release onto PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC (via Steam) this winter.

F1 2016’s new career mode will take gamers deeper into the world’s most glamorous, exciting and prestigious motorsport, both on and off the track. The life-like recreation of the sport will be further enhanced by the addition of the sport’s iconic Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car, as well as the introduction of the challenging new street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE.

“F1 2016 is a massive step forward for the franchise”, said Lee Mather, Principal Games Designer at Codemasters. “The new career mode sits at the heart of the game and allows gamers to create their own legend over a career that can span for up to a massive ten seasons. Beyond improving upon the fastest and most thrilling on-track racing experience in gaming, F1 2016 uniquely offers the drama and vehicle development that goes on behind the scenes. A rich car upgrade system is fully integrated into a new and deep practice development programme which mirrors the tests carried out by the teams in real life.”

Mather continued: “The career mode, together with the re-introduction of the Safety Car, the first inclusion of the Virtual Safety Car and a number of other unannounced improvements means that F1 2016 will have more new features than any other year of the franchise.”

In the new career mode players select an avatar to represent them within the game world as well as choosing a number to take with them through their career. They are then free to choose from any of the FORMULA ONE teams, all with different goals and expectations. It may be more challenging to start further down the grid, but it will also be easier to exceed team expectations. Players can earn contracts and move from team to team, or choose to develop their favourite team into a championship contender.

To complement the on-track experience, and to expand the realism of the Career mode, F1 2016 includes stunning hospitality areas for each team that act as the player’s game hub. In this area they will work with their Research and Development Engineer and Player Agent to develop their progress both on and off the track. To further enhance the immersion, players will also be able to spot other key figures from the paddock within the hospitality areas.

In what is already a very exciting season, the 2016 season sees Azerbaijan become the latest addition to the FORMULA ONE calendar, with capital city Baku playing host to what could very well be the fastest street circuit of the season. Early screenshots show off the new time of day editor which allows players to dramatically customise the visuals of the race experience. The brand-new Haas F1 Team makes their debut in the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, and in the process become the first all-American-led F1 team in three decades.

Dragon Quest Builders announcement

Dragon Quest Builders announcement


SYDNEY, 30TH May 2016 – In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the beloved DRAGON QUEST® series, Square Enix Ltd., today announced that the latest entry in the series, DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS™, will across Australia & New Zealand in October 2016. In this all-new building adventure, players will use their creativity to build a variety of unique tools from the materials they gather, and rebuild towns and cities to restore life to the shattered world of Alefgard– a human realm destroyed and plunged into darkness by the menacing ruler of the monsters, the Dragonlord.

In DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS, players are tasked to construct a wide variety of structures as they receive ever-more extravagant requests from expectant citizens eager to find a new home. Explore with the freedom of sandbox gameplay, combined with an immersive and charming DRAGON QUEST story – battling with iconic DRAGON QUEST monsters and interacting with gorgeously designed 3D characters along the way. With an intuitive control system, DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS will have you building the towers and castles of your dreams in no time!

To watch the official trailer now, visit: https://youtu.be/_iSRidjaAWw

DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS will arrive across Australia & New Zealand in October 2016 for the PlayStation®4 Computer Entertainment System and PlayStation Vita (digital only). For more information visit: www.dragonquest-game.com 

Generations ago, the realm of Alefgard was plunged into darkness when the hero fated to slay the terrible and treacherous Dragonlord, the ruler of all monsters, was instead tricked into joining him. Through this vile villain's magical machinations, mankind was scattered to the winds and robbed of the power to build. With even the idea of creativity relegated to mere legend, the people of Alefgard wander the ruins of their former home, scrounging and scavenging in the dust to survive. But now, a legendary figure arises - a hero chosen by the Goddess herself - who sets out to return the power of creation to the people of Alefgard. Only when the wonder of imagination has been returned to the land will mankind be able to overthrow the evil Dragonlord once and for all!

The Lady In the Van: Blu Ray Review

The Lady In the Van: Blu Ray Review

Released by Sony Home Ent

Based on renowned English writer Alan Bennett's play and reuniting the star with the director of the Olivier Award original play, it is, as the title card suggests, a mostly true story.

The one woman acting tornado that is Maggie Smith returns to the role she made famous in London's West End as Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman who lived in a van in Camden around the 1970s when Bennett inhabited the region.

With all the neighbourhood turning their back on Mary and seeing her as an eyesore and a beggar, Bennett (an uncanny impression and nuanced performance by Alex Jennings) allows her to park her van in his driveway. However, rather than this sojourn being a brief one, and much to Bennett's endless chagrin, Mary ends up staying some 15 years - and despite all of Alan's desires, becomes a part of her life.

Simply put, those who don't know Alan Bennett and won't be able to appreciate Jennings' spot-on enunciation and diction of the playwright whose Talking Heads made him famous, Maggie Smith will be the star attraction.

With her sheer force of presence and quirkiness that's a softer Downton approach, this Dowager of the driveway is pretty much going to strike a chord with anyone who's got a soft spot for cheeky irascibility. She's not loved by the inhabitants of the road and doesn't fit in with their middle class aspirations and judgements (the neighbours are wonderfully headed up by the ever solid presence of Roger Allam and Frances De La Tour), but there's a parallel with Bennett's mother and his terribly English guilt at leaving her alone up north.

Hytner employs a steady hand with the direction and the gentle story, which is as parked as the van in the driveway. Splitting Jennings in two to show the conflict and the consciences is a nifty touch and Jennings brings an edge and an empathy to both sides of Bennett the conflicted do-gooder and Bennett the writer looking for inspiration.

But it's Smith whom the film favours, as the layers of reason for her condition gently peel back. And while the emotion of these reveals never quite hits a crescendo or catharsis worthy of the journey, there is plenty of humour on the whimsical way. (No wonder given she's reprising a role she's already made famous on the stage).

Nobody emerges as a fully formed character and there is an odd touch with the real life Bennett being inserted into the narrative towards the end, but you can't deny The Lady In The Van has an amiability and an affability that makes it a gently easy watch, guaranteed to do well with an older audience.


Sunday, 29 May 2016

DangerMouse: DVD Review

DangerMouse: DVD Review

Rating: PG
Released by Roadshow Home Ent

There's a special place in my heart for Danger Mouse, the cartoon that was part of my formative youth.

With its terrible line in puns, great voiceover work from the likes of David Jason as DM and the late Terry Scott as Penfold, along with some silly storylines, it was a cartoon about a secret agent that revelled in the silliness and farce of the late 70s vaudeville but updated it with 80s sensibilities.

So there's trepidation about the update of the Cosgrove Hall animation - and one that's not initially allayed by the awful update of the iconic theme tune.

But the show itself is actually nothing short of brilliant.

Updated with a fresher look that's more in line with the Nickleodeon sensibilities, the show's lost none of its sheen, preferring to stick to the overall hilarity and DNA that made the original such a hit.

With a voiceover from Come Dine With Me's Dave Lamb, great work from Kevin Eldon as Penfold and a brilliant turn by Alexander Armstrong as DM (who sounds like a younger David Jason) - not to mention Stephen Fry as Colonel K, the show's as nutty as it ever was. Concentrating on the puns and over the top silliness, Danger Mouse is great fun.

The only bum note is the update of Baron Greenback who is a little left behind due to a different take on the villain.

That said, overall, the 7 episodes in the updated DangerMouse are great yarns. Clocking in at only 11 minutes they zip by and with their meta touches, never outstay their welcome.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Revenant: DVD Review

The Revenant: DVD Review

Released by 20th Century Fox

The savagery of survival is just one of the elements explored in the adaptation of the 2002 novel by Michael Punke, The Revenant brought to the screen by Alejandro G Innaritu, the award-winning director of Birdman.

Already nominated in the Golden Globes for both its lead actor and director, the film’s about Leonardo Di Caprio’s Hugh Glass , an 1820s frontiersman in uncharted America. When the group he’s working with are attacked by Pawnee Indians, they’re forced to flee. And things get even worse when Glass is mauled by a bear and is left for dead by those charged with his care….

While The Revenant is essentially a spiritual piece about rebirth and revenge, Innaritu’s created a film that’s visually rich. Working with his cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, Innaritu’s made a great fist of the backgrounds on offer in the wilds as well as ensuring the fight for survival is intensely personally shot. A final shot is surprising and ensures The Revenant is burned into your brain as it leaves.

The story’s not exactly original, given the themes of vengeance and the rape of the land from Native Indians and while it’s adapted from a book, it’s not entirely successful in making the transition.

Narratively, the Indians provide the impetus at the start only to disappear as the story progresses and then re-appear when it suits (a thread about a chief’s abducted daughter seems to dawdle and lose steam as it circles the main thread) before re-appearing on the scene at the end. Equally, the French elements in the hills who seem so instrumental in Glass' group's demise are tossed casually to one side.

But perhaps in many ways, this is the way to structure the at times viscerally raw story of this fur trapper because it's Leo's film through and through.

After the intensity of the savage CGI bear attack (a sequence which only shows a few animated cracks as the bear protects its cubs in the most vicious way possible), Glass is left physically shattered and with a slashed throat and therefore our actor without a mouthpiece.

But Di Caprio manages to seethe and struggle through, with a physical performance that is both commanding and watchable. It's helped by a few surprising moments of breaking the fourth wall - notably in the very last shot - but not in the way we've become accustomed to. Fuelled by revenge and a desire to survive instilled in him by his slaughtered wife, Glass's journey, both spiritual and physical is a compelling one. By depriving him of a background and injecting him with a raw primordial push to live, Inarritu almost makes him mythical like Clint Eastwood's Man with No name (even if Di Caprio's throaty whisper is Dirty Harry like towards the end)

Poulter, Gleeson and Hardy deserve mention too as supporting players in this wilderness tale. Perhaps Hardy as the antagonist of the piece Fitzgerald is the one who emerges with a bit more of a rounded character as he expands on his own past and his scalping at the hands of the Pawnee Indians is a subtle tale, showing the horrors of colonialism and the anger of the natives. But his nagging self-preservation starts to strike a chord and make a lot of sense as he compels others to leave Glass behind.

While this odyssey could have done with an expeditious trim of some 20 minutes, there's no denying the power of the visual execution of The Revenant. Doused in spiritual edges and executed with visual precision by Inarritu, this tale of man vs nature with lashings of personal vengeance sprinkled liberally throughout becomes a story of resilience and a film of bravado.


Newstalk ZB Review - Tickled, The Nice Guys and Alice Through The Looking Glass

Newstalk ZB Review - Tickled, The Nice Guys and Alice Through The Looking Glass

This morning on Newstalk ZB, I took a look at Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe's buddy comedy The Nice Guys, as well as David Farrier and Dylan Reeve's doco Tickled. And Johnny Depp in Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Take a listen below:


Friday, 27 May 2016

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands E3 material revealed

 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands E3 material revealed





Collector’s Editions Available for Pre-Order

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – May 26, 2016 – Ubisoft has kicked off its E3 festivities with a brand new trailer for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Wildlands, the latest in the best-selling Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise, and unveiled pre order details on Xbox One, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

To view the trailer click the image below

Developed by Ubisoft Paris, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is the first military shooter set in a massive and responsive open world, entirely playable in single-player or up to four-player co-op. Players will discover Bolivia a few years from now, a country turned by the vicious Santa Blanca drug cartel into a narco-state.

Sent behind enemy lines, Ghosts will have to cripple the Santa Blanca cartel’s operation, breaking alliances between the drug lords and the corrupt government, and saving the Bolivian population from the cruelty of El Sueño, Santa Blanca’s ruthless leader. To do so, players will have a total freedom of choice to accomplish their missions how they want and watch as the world reacts to their actions.

“As a part of the Tom Clancy franchise, authenticity is one of our pillars. Our goal has been to build the Ghosts as credible Spec Ops that can face the roughness of the Bolivian multifaceted landscape,” said Eric Couzian, Creative Director on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. “Ghosts are survivors and hunters, they can blend in all sorts of environments, leaving no trace except in the heads of their terrified enemies. We want players to feel this power.”

Furthermore, Ubisoft has also announced that the following premium editions are available for pre-order now, in addition to the standard game:

·         The Deluxe Edition available for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands in retail and digital stores contains the Standard Edition and the digital Deluxe Pack which includes: the Huntsman rifle and motorbike, 3 emblems, 3 weapon camos, 3 character customization items and an XP booster. The physical version of this edition will also include 2 extra physical items: an in-game map of Bolivia and the original soundtrack of the game.

·         The Gold Edition available in retail and digital stores which includes the Season Pass, giving players access to two major expansions as well as exclusive digital content featuring equipment packs, an exclusive vehicle and epic weapons, and the digital Deluxe Pack.

·         The Calavera Collector’s Case, exclusive to Uplay Shop, comes with all the equipment to operate as a Ghost plunged deep dive into Bolivia to take down the vicious Santa Blanca cartel. This includes the Gold Edition alongside the Ghost’s Audio Headset replica, a fully functional headset for PlayStation 4, Xbox One* and PC. Last but not least, this Collector’s Case also contains a Santa Blanca Cartel Skull, an in-game map of Bolivia, the original soundtrack of the game, a Bolivian carrying pouch and 3 postcards of Bolivia.

·         The Fallen Angel Edition, includes the game, Fallen Angel figurine, the official soundtrack, game map of Bolivia and Season Pass giving you access to two major expansions as well as all the deluxe pack in game content.

·         The Limited Edition, includes the game, an exclusive steelbook and The Peruvian Connection mission set.

Additionally, fans who pre-order the game will also receive a bonus mission, “The Peruvian Connection”, in which they will embark on a perilous mission among the high mountains of Bolivia to break the alliance between the Santa Blanca and Peruvian Cartels.

The Big Short: DVD Review

The Big Short: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Universal Home Ent

It seems like the housing crisis and crash is Hollywood's topic du jour.

With the searing 99 Homes not far behind in the cinematic window, the director of Anchorman brings us the true story of what happened when four outsiders predicted the housing bubble bursting in the mid-2000s and used it to their advantage and to expose the banks' stupidity.

The first to see the flaw is Dr Michael Burry (Christian Bale), a Mastodon loving, bare-footed analyst who works for Scion Capital; but his plan to bet against the banks provides a few ripples thanks to a wrong number call to Steve Carell's Mark Baum. His group begin to make some enquiries and start to see Burry's idea has some legs and decide to buy in as well.

Based on The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, Adam McKay's film isn't afraid to engross you in the technical babble and the small print of the credit default swaps that precipitated the downfall.

It's also not afraid to realise that it's quite a dry and serious subject and so has its director use various conventions to shatter through the tedium. Chief among these is Ryan Gosling's character Jared Vennett whose breaking of the fourth wall invites an audience in and plays to the film's cocking a snook MO at the stuffiness of its material. Equally, when the story's about to get to some crucially excruciating techno-babble, McKay isn't afraid to cut away to the likes of Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie in a bubble-bath to provide the necessary explanations. It's a clever narrative touch that veers on being a little too smart early on and borders on treating its subject with irreverence, but McKay is fully aware that these moves ensure an audience pays attention to an ongoing issue that's still a problem.

Of the main cast, it's really only Carell as Mark Baum (who's based on Steve Eisman) who feels like they have an emotional connection for you to latch on to. Troubled by the suicide of his brother, and wrapped tighter than a coil in his anger and arrogance, Baum is the only one who feels like a real character and the only one to express an unease at the implications of their benefiting from the banks.

It's a fascinating edge that could have done with a little more exploration, given that the others are essentially anti-heroes who are truly more one dimensional cut-outs populating the picture.

There's an irony in the ever-so-slightly-overlong The Big Short over the way these guys rorted the system that was up for exposure and there are lessons to be learned, but perhaps the biggest message from this almost flashy stylish docu-drama is how much Adam McKay's underplayed his directorial hand. His execution of this film and its ensemble cast will ensure the message of concern over the banks and the housing bubble will get through to the masses - even if it occasionally teeters into didactic but well-needed territory.


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