Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween in GTA Online: Double GTA$ Bonuses, New Western Seabreeze Plane and More

Halloween in GTA Online: Double GTA$ Bonuses, New Western Seabreeze Plane and More


It's Halloween in Los Santos, which means it's time to terrorize the neighborhood while reaping the benefits of a litany of bloodcurdling bonuses and deadly discounts.
In addition to Double GTA$ & RP on the new Adversary Mode Condemned and a special Halloween Playlist running through November 6th that features the new Inferno Transform Race, Lost Vs Damned and Slasher, become your competition's greatest nightmare with Double GTA$ & RP on any of the following modes today, 10/31 only:
·         Lost vs Damned
·         Slasher
·         Beast vs Slasher
·         Come Out to Play
·         Transform - Inferno Race
There's also 25% off all returning Halloween content - including the Fränken Stange, Lurcher and the demonic LCC Sanctus - as well as the Duke O'Death - now through November 6th.
Escape the ghouls and costumed crazies in style; whether you're landing on a desert runway or splashing down right next to your private yacht, the Western Seabreeze is a business class option for every occasion and locale. And if you’re the kind of high-earner who might have need of a machine gun and bomb bay, don’t worry, there’s plenty of room. The Western Seabreeze is now available for purchase at Elitás Travel.
For those who are a bit squeamish, there are plenty of other GTA Online bonuses to take advantage of through November 6th. In addition to the continuation of Double GTA$ and RP on Smuggler's Sell Missions and Double GTA$ Salary for Bodyguards and Associates, join a different sort of mile high club and earn Double GTA$ and RP on the Stockpile Adversary Mode.
As a reminder, simply log in through the 6th to claim a GTA$400,000 award, which will slip into your Maze Bank account by November 13th.
Flush from selling product, flag capturing and other generally illicit activity, you can use some of that hard-earned scratch to take advantage of 25% off the following items:
·         Western Company Besra (Jet)
·         Nagasaki Blazer Aqua (Special Vehicle) - both Buy it Now and Trade Price
·         Hangar Custom Shop Add-On
·         Progen GP1 (Super)
·         Grotti Cheetah Classic (Sports Classic)
·         HVY Insurgent (Off-Road) - both Buy it Now and Trade Price
·         Lampadati Toro (Boat)
·         All Melee Weapons
Get lifted with this week's Premium Race & Time Trial events, now live through November 6th.
·         Premium Special Vehicle Race - "Drop Ship" (Locked to Ruiner 2000)
·         Time Trial - "Observatory"
Launch Premium Races through the Quick Job App on your in-game phone or via the yellow corona at Legion Square. The top three finishers will earn GTA$ and you'll get Triple RP regardless of where you place. To take a shot at the Time Trial, set a waypoint to the marker on your in-game map and enter via the purple corona. Beat par time and you'll be duly rewarded with GTA$ & RP payouts.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War: PS4 Review

Middle Earth: Shadow of War: PS4 Review

Released by Ubisoft
Platform: PS4

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor back in 2014 was a gaming revelation to those wanting to deep dive into a RPG.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War: PS4 Review

With a combat system that built on memory and revenge, the game had a personal touch that was compelling as the campaign progressed.

So it is with Middle Earth: Shadow of War, a game that takes the best elements of the first one and continues them on a better path in the latest.

This time around, the Nemesis system helps create a more personal touch to the marauding Orcs you face - whether it's giving them personality or a connection to your path, it's fascinating and deepening as the game progresses.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War: PS4 Review

Already Tolkein fans have taken exception to the storyline, but what emerges from Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a war campaign that's as good on the system as any others. In this latest, the undying human ranger Talion and his ghostly elf companion Celebrimbor have forged a “New Ring,” a powerful weapon to help them fight back against the dark lord Sauron and his endless army of orcs.

It's up to you to recruit commanders, tackle orcs and generally fight the good fight.

The sonic background created in Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a strong one, with the controller coming to life with ghostly voices as you either enter the Wraith world or probe the mind of an Orc for information you need. Also, it can provide immature giggles when you pop their head like a grape.

Gear helps you build up your army and inventory, and the dreaded Loot crates appear too which is a game choice shame that continues to blight most AAA releases these days.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War: PS4 Review

Ultimately, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, complete with its Nemesis system, sense of scale and depth make for an engaging and enriching way to spend your gaming nights - it's not all perfect and while the cut scenes can prove to be a pain, there's nothing more exciting in a RPG like this than planning and executing the ideal campaign.

It's a stronger sequel to the Shadow of Mordor, and its open world ambitions make Shadow of War something worth playing for hours on end.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Geostorm: Film Review

Geostorm: Film Review

Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Andy Garcia, Ed Harris
Director: Dean Devlin

It's not that you expect much from a film like Geostorm.
Geostorm: Film Review

A film with definitive B-movie ambitions, born of the chaos and cash cow created by the likes of Sharknado, Geostorm has potential for CGI silliness with a modicum of emotional stakes - if done correctly.

And yet, it's so determined to squander that for something average that would barely get top billing on a very bad day on TV.

Loosely, the plot goes a little something like this - in 2019, against a backdrop of undeniable climate change, the world's united to build a series of space satellites called Dutch Boy to control the weather. But when a series of errors causes concern and threatens the world, the original creator Jake Lawson (Butler, all smirk and side-talking) is sent to the stars to sort it out. 

However, a conspiracy that threatens the globe is gradually being unveiled.
Geostorm: Film Review

Geostorm blew most of its cinematic wad in its trailers, where it revealed most of the admittedly poor CGI and showcased some of the dull edges of the dialogue.

But this wannabe Armageddon rip-off and family squabble / rift healer piece fails to fully entertain or embrace any of its inherent silliness to great effect.

Sure, Harris and Garcia play it with earnestness and sincerity, but Butler's C-movie aspirations do little to help as Devlin moves the pieces around the board in a typically formulaic and unoriginal manner.

A massive conspiracy that seems made over-complicated to carry off scuppers any logic and soon the holes in the plot are as big as the holes in the sky as the clouds form.

With weather FX that look like they're left over from Into The Storm and a cast of people who espouse wooden dialogue and barely emote, Geostorm's hampered by even a basic failure to carry out its ambitions.
Geostorm: Film Review

When the end comes, it's a relief because this cinematic Geostorm's done little but blow a lot of hot air, and delivered nothing more than an inane fizzer that not even your hardied storm chaser would bother getting out of bed for.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Spookers: DVD Review

Spookers: DVD Review

Released by Madman Home Entertainment

Kiwi director Florian Habicht is a habitual film fest offender.

His latest doco takes a look at the New Zealand institute of Spookers, a fright fest themed attraction based at the old Kingseat psychiatric hospital.

Andy and Beth Watson run the park and have set about making sure its cast of horrifying workers have a good solid workplace, as well as ensuring that visitors to the place get scared enough to deliver their own Code Browns.

Spookers: NZIFF Review
Spookers DVD Review
It's into this world that Habicht and his non-intrusive camera and soft questioning approach head in - and what emerges from Spookers, in its first half, is a film that captures the quirk of Kiwis and the heart and soul of those who live there. Whether it's asking a zombie bride if they go to the supermarket wearing the outfit or revealing a depth to one woman who works in insurance and who channels her frustration into the scares, Habicht has an eye for ensuring there's as much heart as there is offbeat material in the film for us all to latch onto.

But it's in the back half of Spookers that it feels a little like Florian's lost his way.

Relying increasingly on more performance art pieces which feel fresh and enticing early on,  than any kind of ongoing narrative, it feels like Spookers becomes a touch repetitive and lacking in anything new to say, other than to compound its previous speakers who talk of their connection to one another.

That's not to deny the power of those stories - and while Beth and Andy seem grounded, the range of their workforce appear to have a whole heap of issues that they have to contend with. From mental health to actual health issues, the sense of community behind the make up is pervasive in Spookers and deserves to be applauded.

More interestingly the former patient and nurse of the hospital get to deliver their views on how the attraction is now, providing a contrast in perception and an ideological conflict with then and now. Habicht allows his speakers the time and space to breathe thought into these beliefs and is also smart enough to not belittle anyone in his film.

There's no denying that Spookers is an essential piece of Kiwiana and a quirky celebration of the power of family, both adopted and parental, but if the back half's structure were a little tighter and perhaps the journey a little more strongly plotted, Spookers could have risen a bit more strongly to the top

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Watch the L.A. Noire 4K Trailer

Watch the L.A. Noire 4K Trailer

Watch the L.A. Noire 4K Trailer
Watch the new trailer for L.A. Noire, presented in 4K Ultra HD. For the optimal viewing experience, go full screen on a 4K enabled monitor. 

The story of detective Cole Phelps' rise through the LAPD ranks as he investigates a string of crimes in 1947 Los Angeles, L.A. Noire for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch will be available on November 14th, along with L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files for HTC Vive, which features seven select cases rebuilt for VR.

For more from L.A. Noire and to pre-order the game, visit www.rockstargames.com/lanoire.

Assassin's Creed Origins Out Now

Assassin's Creed Origins Out Now


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — October 27, 2017 — Assassin’s Creed® Origins is now available for the Xbox One video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 Pro computer entertainment system, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. The game will launch on Xbox One X on November 7.

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a brand new vision for the franchise embracing Action-RPG elements where players level up, loot, and choose their abilities to customize their very own skilled Assassin. They will experience a completely new combat system allowing them to attack and defend multiple enemies at once and equip ultra-rare weapons against unique and powerful bosses. A revamped narrative experience allows total freedom for players to choose and complete quests at their own pace, each telling an intense and emotional story full of colourful characters and meaningful objectives. With an entire country to explore, from deserts to lush oases, from the Mediterranean Sea to the tombs of Giza, players will fight against dangerous factions and wild beasts as they explore this gigantic and unpredictable land.

Click image below to view trailer

For further information about the Season Pass, the Standard and Collector’s Editions of Assassin’s Creed Origins, please visit: http://store.ubi.com/assassin-s-creed-origins
For more information on Assassin’s Creed, please visit: assassinscreed.com
For the latest on Assassin’s Creed Origins and all of Ubisoft’s games, visit the UbiBlog: http://www.ubiblog.com

Brigsby Bear: Film Review

Brigsby Bear: Film Review

Mixing BE KIND REWIND mentality with traces of UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT, BRIGSBY BEAR is a low key lo-fi tribute to 80s TV and fan culture.

But scratch below and underneath that, it's about something fundamentally deeper.

James Pope (Kyle Mooney) spends every day in his room, watching a show called Brigsby Bear, about a hero who saves the universe on a regular basis.

Brigsby Bear: NZIFF Review

Under the watchful eye of his parents (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams) James obeys them and avoids leaving the house because of pollution in the air.

But one day, when he's taken from the only world he's known, he finds the only way to cope is to try and imbue others with the love of Brigsby Bear.

Essentially, Brigsby Bear will be seen by many as a quirky low beat comedy that sees a slight oddball having to reintegrate, and whose mouth lets loose some very odd things for laughable effect. (To say more is to spoil the journey, and while this hints there's a big reveal, it's perhaps pertinent to say there's not, merely to acknowledge much of what happens denies the film its MO).

But at its heart, this bittersweet film is about the ongoing effect of trauma, PTSD and ongoing coping with a momentous change in life that sees everything known uprooted.

In watching James try to fit back in, Kyle Mooney's underplaying of his re-assimilating and repeating phrases is entirely reminiscent of Agent Cooper's reincarnation in Dougie Jones in Twin Peaks' latest season.

Sure, there's a childlike naïveté at play here as the infectious enthusiasm for the show is spread around (in that way that the uncool becomes retro cool), but there are also signs that James is a deeply traumatised individual who despite the coaxing around him is unable to cope with his return.

Granted those involved don't ladle on the undertones here and the subtlety pays off in swathes, but at its core,there's an undeniable sadness and rebirth at play here and it's conflicting to see it play out.

At the end of the day, Brigsby Bear is blessed with an innocence of execution which is both charming and deeply upsetting. Its central message is powerful and it's to be hoped what it's saying isn't lost on audiences willing to look past its quirks and charms. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider: PS4 Review

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider: PS4 Review

Developed by Arkane Studios
Published by Bethesda Games
Platform: PS4

Billie Lurk's back in the third Dishonoured game to hit stands.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider: PS4 Review

If you're familiar with the games, there's little new on display here in terms of gameplay; stealth, killing and hunting.

But what Dishonored: Death of the Outsider does is thrust you into a game about the supernatural and engross you in the world within.

When Lurk tracks down Daud after Emily Kaldwin being reinstated on the throne, she finds herself given supernatural powers and into a mission involving the Outside and the Void, as well as a mysterious prophecy.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider: PS4 Review

Giving you a main new ability called Displace, which is essentially like teleporting, you can leave images of yourself around and about to get to where you need to.
This is one of the prime new abilities of Death of the Outsider and it lets you do some pretty cool stuff as you head around the world, trying to get the better of people without them knowing it.

Equally the power Semblance where you can "wear" someone's face and wander around is pretty impressive and adds a level to the lurking that Billie does to help achieve her aims.

With elements of Hitman in the game's execution as you build to your ultimate target, there's perhaps the feeling that the gameplay is a little familiar, but that said, the immersiveness of what happens and how it plays out is quite compelling and engrossing as well.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider: PS4 Review

It may be short and sweet, but Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is yet more proof that more isn't necessarily better and if a game does what it needs to do how it needs to do it, then it's all the worth while investing time within it.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Win a double pass to see Madame

Win a double pass to see Madame

To celebrate the release of Madame, out in cinemas November 2nd, you can win a double pass!

About Madame

When a surprise guest turns up to one of Paris's fanciest private dinners hosted by rich and powerful expatriates, the hostess Anne (Toni Collette) is horrified...there will be 13 seated.

To avoid bad luck and bad manners, she asks one of her maids, Maria (Rossy de Palma) to dress in fancy clothes and join the party, masquerading as a wealthy Spanish woman.

  To win a double pass, all you have to do is email  your details to this  address: darrensworldofentertainment@gmail.com or CLICK HERE NOW!

Include your name and address and title your email MADAME!

Competition closes November 2nd

Win a double pass to see Only The Brave

Win a double pass to see Only The Brave

To celebrate the release of Only The Brave on November 9th, you could win a double pass to see the movie!

About Only The Brave

Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots

All men are created equal… then, a few become firefighters.

Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities and their country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in United States.

Most of us run from danger but Hotshots run toward it – they watch over our lives, our homes and everything we hold dear, as they forge a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire.

To win a double pass, all you have to do is email  your details to this  address: darrensworldofentertainment@gmail.com or CLICK HERE NOW!

Include your name and address and title your email BRAVE!

Competition closes November 9th

Win a double pass to see JIGSAW

Win a double pass to see JIGSAW

To celebrate the release of Jigsaw, in cinemas November 2nd, you can win a double pass to the movie!

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise.

As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for ten years....

To win a double pass, all you have to do is email  your details to this  address: darrensworldofentertainment@gmail.com or CLICK HERE NOW!

Include your name and address and title your email JIGSAW!

Competition closes November 2nd

Win a Thor Ragnarok prize pack

Win a Thor Ragnarok prize pack

To celebrate the release of Thor Ragnarok in cinemas October 26th, you can win big!

Thanks to my friends at Walt Disney NZ, I've got an awesome Thor: Raganarok prize pack to give away.
Thor Ragnarok

To celebrate the release of Thor Ragnarok, we have one Thor prize pack to give away, worth $ 167. 

Prize includes 1 x ‘Thor Ragnarok’ Snapback Baseball Cap, 3 x ‘Thor Ragnarok’ Glow-in-the-dark t-shirts, 1 x ‘Thor Ragnarok’ Notebook, 3 x ‘Thor Ragnarok’ Card Wallets, 3 x ‘Thor Ragnarok’ Sticker Packs and 3 x ‘Thor Ragnarok’ Pin Badges. 

From the Director of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor Ragnarok hits cinemas October 26th #ThorRagnarok
To win this pack, all you have to do is email  your details to this  address: darrensworldofentertainment@gmail.com or CLICK HERE NOW!

Include your name and address and title your email THOR

Competition closes November 2nd

Star Wars Battlefront II Beta: PS4 Review

Star Wars Battlefront II Beta: PS4 Review

Two years ago, around this time of the year, there was the sound of a billion voices crying out simultaneously.
Star Wars Battlefront II Beta: PS4 Review

This was not the destruction of Alderaan, but merely the collective excitement of Star Wars fans getting their hands on the Battlefront BETA and being excited at what lay ahead.

Now with Star Wars Battlefront II on the way, EA once again decided to unveil a Beta to give fans a taster of what lies ahead in the second iteration of the game, due in a few weeks' time.

And the general feeling is that it's much the same for the second one, but with plenty of little tweaks from the fans.

Admittedly, the new game comes with the much needed single player campaign, but other than a trailer, there was nothing much to see in this Beta. Which was a real shame, given that it feels like a missed opportunity to placate the fans who felt ripped off.
It looks fairly epic, but one suspects the proof will be in the playing, so time will tell.
Star Wars Battlefront II Beta: PS4 Review

Elsewhere, Star Wars Battlefront II beta gave you the chance to play the map of Theed from the Clone Wars and battle your way against clones. Shooting feels a lot more controlled than previously, but it has to be said at times, it's hard to tell if any damage is rapidly inflicted on your opponent or it's like flies being swatted away.

But the game does feel smoother, and graphically, it's gorgeous. Though not that you get time to take it all in - doing so puts you slap bang in the middle of respawn land.

And respawning is a lot quicker than previously, ensuring you can get a good game out of the time if you're prone to dying repeatedly.

The main pull of Star Wars Battlefront II was the Galactic Assault, a space-set battle that takes the best bit of the VR X Wing experience and gives you more control of your ship.

It's again been polished and made sure to stand a little better to those who are new to flying but without alienating the old guard.

The game also wisely has dispensed with tokens that spawn all manner of power ups, preferring now to let you gain points to meet your goals.

It's also generous with the points too, meaning that you can get there - with just 3 games, the maximum level was hit, showing the generosity and ease of the new system.
Star Wars Battlefront II Beta: PS4 Review

It's to be hoped that Star Wars Battlefront II doesn't become like its predecessor.

The servers to that game now barely register enough action to make it worth loading up, and while there was one game that had to be abandoned during the BETA because of a lack of players, it looks like this one, with its single player campaign will keep people engaged for longer.

It looks like the Force will be with us for a while longer.

Final Portrait: Film Review

Final Portrait: Film Review

Cast: Armie Hammer, Geoffrey Rush, Clemence Poesy
Director: Stanley Tucci

A sort of Waiting for Godot piece about a man getting a portrait painted by a master, Final Portrait requires a bit of patience and a lot of goodwill to see it through.
Final Portrait: Film Review

Hammer plays James Lord, who's been asked by Geoffrey Rush's Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti if he can paint his portrait in 1964 Paris. Flattered by the offer and on holiday in France, Lord agrees expecting it to be a few days at most.

However, Giacometti's eccentric style and the fact he's distracted by muse and prostitute Caroline (Poesy) means nothing goes according to plan.

Final Portrait may appeal to those who appreciate the artist and what they go through, but with an occasionally stultifying pace, it's punishing at times for those expecting anything other than sedate.
Final Portrait: Film Review

Thankfully, both Hammer and Rush inhabit their characters well and while Hammer's Lord is a little prim and proper, he eventually gives way to some cracks later on in the film and you see his patience crumble.

More impressive is Rush who makes his eccentric maestro frustratingly approachable and a character worth watching. Gradual tics and dismissive doubts plague Giacometti and it's intriguing to watch it unspool, even if it is punishing to bear at times.
Final Portrait: Film Review

Ultimately, while Tucci's eye for the arts leads to some bizarre directorial choices (jerky cam movements seem at odds with the subject matter), his desire to present the artist and their method of work is actually canny in places.

Final Portrait isn't one for everyone, and while it's a frustrating experience at times thanks to its real depth of character study, those who appreciate the arts may appreciate some of the insights on show here.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review

Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Hiddleston, Karl Urban
Director: Taika Waititi
Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review

Increasingly, Marvel's cinematic universe appears to largely be abandoning its dramatic edges and opting for humour to wow the crowds.

In a trend majorly signalled and kick-started by Guardians of the Galaxy's first outing, humour has become a crutch for the last batch of films, and is threatening to overthrow any dramatic investment you may have in the ongoing series.

It's a leaning followed - perhaps to the very extremes of the spectrum - by Kiwi director Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok, the latest Marvel film to hit and the third stand-alone for Chris Hemsworth's golden-haired god.

Troubled by visions of Asgard falling and Ragnarok destroying all, Thor returns home to find Loki's Odin imposter ruling the roost (and allowing Anthony Hopkins to play fast and loose with the king of the gods).

But when the real Odin passes on, the true threat to Asgard rises, in the form of the missing Hela (Cate Blanchett, all emo and Maleficent style-costuming). Angry at being written out of the planet's history, Hela decides to re-ignite her appetite for destruction.
Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review

However, when Thor rises up to face the challenge, he finds himself stranded on the planet Sakaar, as a prisoner and forced to fight against The Hulk, gladiator-style at the whim of the Grandmaster (an obtusely eccentric Goldblum).

The day-glo blast of colour and 80s matinee style vibe of Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok is a colourful distraction.

Waititi continues to bring clarity and a distinctive edge to the dealing out of action scenes, handling CGI and clear-cut action as masterfully as he did Hunt For the Wilderpeople's final chase sequence.

And he's infused the trappings of the Marvel with a lighter touch, that, in all honesty, at times threatens to over-power the final mix. There's so much Kiwi humour in this that it feels, at times, more hokey-pokey than Marvel hokum.

Unfortunately, the dramatic edges are frayed under the strain of too much humour; stakes never feel woefully threatened enough and the eccentricities and lighter feel veer dangerously close to overwhelming.
Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review

Once again, the villain of the piece (in this case, Blanchett's Hela) never feels like too much of a threat, with the familial feeling all too familiar.

While Waititi's film manages to keep things intimate in some sense of scale and action, the price of the comedy for Thor: Ragnarok's dramatic raison d'etre is threatening.

It's easy to understand why Hemsworth found the latest Thor iteration appealing - essentially, it gives him a chance to showcase his comedic side (and also helps him to stray away from the po-faced Thor we've experienced before). Coupled with Ruffalo's Hulk, the pair form a buddy movie in the middle part of the film as they try to escape.

It's not that the 80s drenched, synth-scored and candy blast of colours Thor: Ragnarok isn't fun by any stretch of the imagination. And it certainly isn't that Waititi's not to be commended for his eye behind the camera.
Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review
As a scavenger, Tessa Thompson is perhaps the film's MVP - a booze-swilling swagger disguising a secret. Her turn gives the film a frisson of cool that's needed and grounds it in a slightly stronger edge.

Ultimately, it's the story-telling which lets Thor: Ragnarok down a little. With the drama not as strong as it could be, the fun elements are Waititi's trademark unlikely characters in mundane settings.
And while it's a comedic tour-de-force for Hemsworth, it's certainly a Marvel film that doesn't potentially quite stand up to repeated viewings.
Thor: Ragnarok: Film Review

Waititi deserves saluting for the crowd-pleasing elements of Thor: Ragnarok overall, and there will be many who feel the fun edges make it a cinematic night out worth taking, but in this mind, it feels like Marvel's reaching a crisis point as it's gone as far as it can on both fronts, and is in danger of humour being the constant crutch and hook.

With a plethora of more releases planned and scripts to be written, it almost feels like we're bordering on breaking point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A new direction needs to be found quickly if the continued cinematic saturation isn't going to be too much for repeat viewers and audiences to bear, and those searching for dramatic nourishment don't go wanting.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Maudie: Film Review

Maudie: Film Review

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke
Director: Aisling Taylor

Canadian artist Maud Lewis may be well known to some but not others.
Maudie: Film Review

However, if there's any justice, Sally Hawkins' portrayal of the cowed artist should see the film garner wider praise and Oscar nominations when the time is right.

Hawkins is Lewis, who starts the film cowed and knotted as she clasps desperately at a paint brush with ageing limbs. Rattled by her brother's insistence on selling the familial house, Maudie heads out to get a job after seeing an advert placed by Ethan Hawke's gruff and brutish Everett, a loner who works at the orphanage but has no tolerance for waifs outside of those walls.

Inevitably Maudie starts working there and the relationship develops. But as Maud discovers her own voice, the love story takes another twist.
Maudie: Film Review

Anchored in a stunning turn from Hawkins who imbues the physicality of Lewis with an underplaying and underpinning of her condition rather than overly relying on it a la Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, Maudie is a slow, at times, sedate examination of the lives and love of two people.

Maudie: Film ReviewHawke's Everett may be a little impenetrable at times, but it's in the subtleties of the relationship that Maudie grows to life. Taylor uses some small touches to show the shift in between the pair, and throws in a touch of tender humour as well to reverse the roles.

Less successful is the passing of time, which is marked in the usual ways but feels muddled as their lives go on, leaving the viewer uncertain of the world and time zone they inhabit. Granted, their simple meagre existence settles them outside of such concerns and the spotlight of the story is purely on them, but odd touches from Taylor don't help add to the timelessness of a story, and merely do more to mark it out.

Ultimately, Maudie is a film which is a portrait of a woman and her curmudgeon; it's blessed by a distinctly human and subtle turn from its leading lady, and if there's any justice come awards season will be rightly recognised so.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Shots from the final day of the Armageddon Expo 2017

Shots from the final day of the Armageddon Expo 2017

The Armageddon Expo 2017 wraps up in Auckland today.

Here are some shots from the 2017 Armageddon Expo, which is now wrapping up.

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