Monday, 30 April 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Trailer Reveal

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Trailer Reveal

Eidos-Montréal to Deliver Lara Croft’s Defining Moment

SYDNEY, 30th April 2018 – Square Enix®, Eidos-Montréal™, and Crystal Dynamics® today revealed the full trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider™, the latest entry in the critically acclaimed and award-winning Tomb Raider® series. Created by a team of veteran Tomb Raider developers at Eidos-Montréal, in collaboration with Crystal Dynamics, the game will be available on September 14, 2018 for the Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One X, PlayStation®4 system and Windows PC/Steam®.

Watch the full Shadow of the Tomb Raider Trailer
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.
The star of the critically acclaimed 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and the award-winning Rise of the Tomb Raider®, Camilla Luddington, makes her return as Lara Croft® with yet another stunning performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
“Thanks to their incredible expertise, knowledge of the franchise and outstanding creativity, Eidos-Montréal, in collaboration with Crystal Dynamics, is delivering a powerful experience with Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” said Yosuke Matsuda, president and representative director of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. “Shadow of the Tomb Raider will take the series to new heights and Lara Croft to new depths.”
Shadow of the Tomb Raider will challenge Lara Croft in new and unexpected ways,” said David Anfossi, Head of Studio at Eidos-Montréal. “Our team has created a diverse set of skills, combat techniques and equipment for players to master, and they’ll certainly need them if they hope to survive the deadly jungle environments and tombs.”
Last Friday night, Square Enix welcomed fans, community leaders, press, and industry influencers to events in Montreal, London, and Los Angeles so they could experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider.  Now, a wealth of information, screenshots, and more is now available at
For full details on pre-order items, the Season Pass, key beats in the upcoming campaign, and more information on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, please visit the official website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Related Links
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Sea of Thieves: XBox One Review

Sea of Thieves: XBox One Review

Studio: Rare
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: XBox One

Sea Of Thieves has arrived on the gaming ocean waves with as much fanfare as you'd expect for a title from a studio that's always been a pioneer.
Sea of Thieves: XBox One Review

Their latest has a very simple MO - you're a pirate, doing piratey things in a pirate's world.

Operating from first person perspective and thrusting you - whether you like it or not - into the multiplayer world to crew your ship and carry out various, Sea of Thieves is clearly aimed at being a co-operative game that wants to get you to work with mates or people you don't know.

But there's little else to it unfortunately, and it emerges as slightly underwhelming at this point, once you realise that all it is, at its core, is a simple go and grab something, protect it and return it.

Grind is the name of the game, and it's a little tiring to be frank in places.

Even though it's more fun with mates, and the whole Pirates are evil ethos which permeates the game is part of its MO, Sea of Thieves does suffer from a feeling that all your good work can be undone by some blaggard who simply wants to rob you. (Though, in fairness, that's what a pirate is.)
Sea of Thieves: XBox One Review

Graphically, the game's cartoony edges and the fact it presents the most wondrous water ever
committed to console history are big pluses.

There's a certain silliness that pervades proceedings, with sea shanties and cannon ball firing that's kind of catchy.

But much like the PUBG experience has been marred by the fact that the whole thing feels incomplete, Sea Of Thieves similarly suffers from a launched a little too early syndrome.

It's taken a while to get into games, and servers have been plundered by problems with too many gamers getting in on the action and it not coping. That's a frustration, especially given the numerous tests that Rare deployed.

Ultimately, as well, a lack of deeply immersive content makes Sea of Thieves hard to fully hoist the black flag of approval.
Sea of Thieves: XBox One Review

Sure, it's wacky fun and good for a gaming night with mates, but with a solo campaign that lacks depth and a reason to live, and not quite enough to keep you sailing the seven seas, there's a feeling that a content roadmap needs to be put out there.

All in all, Sea Of Thieves is commendable in parts, disappointing in others.

It has the potential, but at the moment, it feels like the treasure chest is half-full when it could be brimming over with golden gaming swag.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Maze Runner: Death Cure: DVD Review

The Maze Runner: Death Cure: DVD Review

The Maze Runner series has generally been a good and ambitious YA adaptation from James Dashner that's pandered to little of the excesses of its literary genre and provided a good whack of dystopia for those missing The Hunger Games franchise.

The conclusion, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, arrives on screens after a substantial delay due to Dylan O'Brien being injured on set and filming being put back. After a three year delay, you could be excused for not remembering exactly how it The Scorch Trials ran into this latest. (Certainly, the latest has no desire to recap the series for newbies.)

Maze Runner: The Death Cure: Film Review

With their friend Minho kidnapped by nasty organisation WCKD and apparently betrayed by Teresa (Pirates of The Caribbean and Skins actress Scodelario), what's left of the Gladers, headed up by Dylan O'Brien's Thomas, set in motion a plan to storm the city, snatch their friend and escape from the trials and adults once and for all.

Opening with a pre-credits' heist sequence that blows any potential for brooding out of the water, Wes Ball's The Maze Runner: The Death Cure seems intent on settling for action over anything else, as it pulls together the strands from the first two films.

Unfortunately, what emerges is somewhat hindered by a lack of real emotional edge (potentially due to the exorbitantly long yet unavoidable delay) and prefers to favour solid yet formulaic sections of action over anything else.

The set pieces are delivered dependably by Ball, but there's little flair in the formulaic here, more a solid representation of what you'd expect at this point in the series. As the revolution grows and the parallels of shadowy organisations gunning down their own populace seems to draw on one of Mockingjay's darkest scenes, Ball handles it all with gusto, if storyboarding it unremarkably to generic execution.

Essentially an extended jail break movie, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure's break-in-to-break-out ethos gives the Gladers the chance to be on the front foot throughout, rather than looking like victims and lab-rats.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure: Film Review

O'Brien's solid if lacking a little charisma and it's left to Brodie-Sangster and the ever dependable Poulter to deliver some of the heart and humour that's sorely needed.

Much of Maze Runner: The Death Cure's MO is the unspoken love affair between Brodie-Sangster's Newt and O'Brien's Thomas, and certainly the betrayal by Thomas' ex Teresa never quite reaches the emotional peak and fruition you'd hope for and expect with involvement.

In terms of villains, Gillen's smirking Janson's on hand to provide conflict, but the conflict never quite builds on the promise of previous films, and feels rote at best.

Parts of the film are narratively convenient, and the use of the zombie-like Kranks feels more shoehorned in to allow parts of the story to progress, even if logic and behaviour never follow through and develop consistency within their own world.

However, that's been problematic of the series, one that's content to use characters to propel the action, rather than to engage with - and certainly the ethos of the lab rats / children conundrum is never anything but skin deep.

And with the scale of an apocalypse building, you'd expect Maze Runner: The Death Cure to have higher stakes, but by concentrating on the Gladers' insular world, and falling back only on the outside world when it needs to punctuate moments, Ball's Maze Runner conclusion feels more like it's slightly fumbled the scope of what it wants to achieve - and certainly its conclusion feels lacking in a wider resolution.

In the wash, Maze Runner: The Death Cure is a solid and just about watchable, if overlong, action film that never quite achieves the emotional highs of its mysterious first outing. 

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Downsizing: Blu Ray Review

Downsizing: Blu Ray Review

With an eye on the insignificant and how small can mak a big difference, director Alexander (Sideways) Payne's Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig (briefly) clearly has lofty ambitions.
Downsizing: Film Review

Juggling genres from sci-fi to hippy utopia to humanitarian issues, Payne's film is such a mish-mash of anything that it slightly struggles to garner its own identity.

Set in a world where over-population is a real issue and where scientists have discovered there's a way to shrink people and their possessions down and relocate them to gated communities, Payne's film centres on Paul and his wife, the average middle American.

A terribly bland Damon plays Paul, an occupational therapist and middle American, who's stuck in the humdrum way of his life - unable to get into a new home with his wife (Wiig, who's in the film far too briefly), they decide to downsize.

Enticed by the idea of becoming millionaires and having everything they always dreamed of as part of the process (wealth and property are multiplied in value under the irreversible scheme), the pair decide to undergo the process.

Downsizing: Film Review

However, while Paul completes the procedure, his wife panics and leaves him before beginning - meaning that Paul is destined to find his place alone in LeisureLand, the community set up for smaller people.

Soon discovering the problems of the outside world still exist in Leisureland (crummy jobs, bad neighbours), Paul's dream of Utopia ends up more like a not for U-topia and he seeks his place in the world.

Toying with ideas of insignificance, a microcosm of a society that's less than idyllic, and a satire that has little to no bite, Downsizing aims for profundity but misses with a distinct thud.

It's helped little by Damon playing as bland as the script demands, time jumps that are less than crucial and add little to the drama.

Payne seems lost to know what to do with the little people, even throwing in some apparently timely talk of little people's rights - all the elements are in place in Downsizing, but frustratingly, the jigsaw is so messily assembled, it feels too much of a jumble to care about.

There's also the disturbing edges of Paul the white man American saviour in parts of the film, as the sadsack Damon tackles European attitudes, and Payne rolls out a thinly veiled Asian stereotype in Thai dissident and one-legged cleaner Ngoc Lan Tran, played by Hong Chau.

Downsizing: Film Review

It's uncomfortable in the extreme and while the excuse script calls for it may be generous at best, it certainly doesn't sit right as the back half of the film meanders to a Lilluptian conclusion.

Ultimately, the fact that Downsizing has had its dramatic teeth shrunk down narratively does it no favours.

There's a kernel of a great idea here, and a doomsday-preppers style story which could have been smartly and cleverly executed. But the clever premise of Downsizing is squandered in an indulgent script and story which shrinks and shrivels as much as its titular characters.

The only way to perhaps enjoy Downsizing is to massively shrink any expectations you have before going in.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Win a double pass to see TULLY

Win a double pass to see TULLY

Synopsis: A new comedy from Academy Award®-nominated director Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”). 

Marlo (Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron), a mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass). 

Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis).

Tully hits cinemas May 10

No Ordinary Sheila: DVD Review

No Ordinary Sheila: DVD Review

The name Sheila Natusch will be familiar to anyone who loves nature and anyone who's from the lower reaches of the South Island.

Director Hugh MacDonald's gentle film biography takes in the life of Sheila Natusch, with better access than most given he's part of her family.

Starting off in Stewart Island where Natusch was born (nee Trail), MacDonald uses a Kim Hill Radio New Zealand interview with Natusch herself to help paint a lot of the scene, as well as Sheila's own writings. From growing up with a fascination for the wildlife and a strict father to Natusch's friendship with Janet Frame after they bonded at teacher's college, the depth on display here is fairly exhaustive, even if MacDonald knows which bits are best excised.

No Ordinary Sheila: NZIFF Review

Using some stunning wildlife footage and shots from around Stewart Island itself, (a nice quick cut montage manages to show the range of what the island has to offer), the scene's set for Sheila's interests to be awakened.

Essentially a social document of growing up and life in the south from when she was born in 1926 on Rakiura, this telling of a life story is amiable stuff. It helps that it's centred so laconically by Sheila herself , a fairly upbeat sort of a character, whose enthusiasm is never in question throughout.

Very occasionally, there are some sadnesses on display, giving Natusch a more rounded edge. Be it the lack of children or the rejection of her Animals in New Zealand book by a publisher written off when one error was clocked, the more human frailties are brought to the fore by MacDonald's use of footage and other's questions.

But with an ethos of "If I'm going to look back, that's what I want to see", the toothy Sheila is a tough old bird, with an attitude which many could learn from - but sadly, most of the audience for this piece won't unfortunately be the youngsters they're looking to try and inspire, with a feeling that perhaps an older generation or a clutch of people from the South will benefit better from this gentle portrait.

It could occasionally do with an edit, and it's not always entirely convincing chopping and changing from different interviewers to tell the story of her life with soundbites or interview moments, but when the spotlight shines on Sheila, there's evidence of the spirit and the inspiration which shine through.

Quite a handy social document as well as salutation to one of New Zealand's pioneering naturalists, No Ordinary Sheila is genial fare, which is fortunate to be blessed with the cunning dry wit and warmth of its quintessentially Kiwi subject.  

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Win a Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War prize pack

Win a Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War prize pack

Win a Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War prize packTo celebrate the release of the crossover event movie, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War, you can win one of four prize packs, worth $45 each!

Each pack contains the following:
1 x bag
1 x umbrella
1 x notebook
1 x cap
1 x pin
1 x card wallet.

Witness the deadliest showdown of all time - Avengers: Infinity War in cinemas now #Avengers #InfinityWar

The Post: DVD Review

The Post: DVD Review

With hot button topics like a President angered by the press doing their job, potential censorship of news and a woman making her place in the patriarchy, it's easy to see why The Post is proving to be such a cinematic firecracker.
The Post: Film Review

But in truth, director Steven Spielberg's take on All the President's Men and to a degree, Spotlight, seems more Mr Hanks Goes To Washington and genial than savage as you'd hope.

Apparently rushed into urgent production to tackle the current US climate and the reaction to President Trump, fake news et al, The Post looks into the cover-up of the Pentagon Papers back in the early 1970s.

When The New York Times took papers from the US government that purported to show the truth of the Vietnam war, they found themselves in the cross hairs not just of the authorities, but also of the provincial new-kid-on-the-block newspaper, The Washington Post.

With an injunction slapped on the Times, The Post, under its editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks, in a dogged and ruthless everyman turn) decides to step in to try and make a name for itself - but battle lines are drawn morally and financially with Meryl Streep's Kay Graham under pressure as she tries to helm the newspaper empire and get it floated to ensure its future success.

The Post is the kind of worthy Oscar-bait drama that thrives on its contemporary themes present in a story from yesteryear as it riffs on All The President's Men and feels bizarrely, like a prequel..

The Post: Film Review

There's never been a more pertinent time to present a film such as this, and even if it does use its ensemble cast to maximum effect, it still can't but help to allow Spielberg to proffer up his trademark over-sentimentalising moments as well.

From a speech of Streep's character decrying the Post is "my company now" after bemoaning the fact it was her father's, her husband's to the reveal of the Court verdict which blatantly emphasises the message that freedom of the press is vital in this day and age, there's a touch of heavy-handedness with which the Post indulges itself.

And there are moments where the film chooses to explain proceedings, rather than present them, that feels a little like it's pandering to the masses.

Yet, despite these moments, it's a superior piece of film-making.

Hanks and Streep deliver strong and solid performances which smack of potential peer recognition, and certainly there's a lit touch paper quality to the stories they deliver.
Despite it all though, their stories are universal and both Hanks and Streep rise to what's needed of them and deliver with panache and verve.

It may be that Spielberg's done his version of Capra and Mr Smith Goes To Washington and hits a few familiar tropes throughout (a typical montage of actual journalism being done being one of them), but he does so engagingly and for the most part, enticingly.

If ever a film about journalism were more pertinent, more timely and more urgent, then it would be a surprise.

Expect to see The Post's jabs rewarded come Oscar season - and even if it had been better had it been a little more subtle, this film, with its love of news, the old school printing presses and the fight for truth and justice, manages to be as compelling as it should. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Avengers: Infinity War: Film Review

Avengers: Infinity War: Film Review

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Elisabeth Olsen, Karen Gillan, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Pom Klementieff, Sebastian Stan, Zoe Saldana, Tom Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman - and many, many more.

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Avengers: Infinity War: Film Review

With a cast list as long as the page count of War and Peace, and capping a decade of Marvel films, it apparently has all led to this.

After numerous teases, various hints and gradual reveals, the Avengers, still ruptured after Civil War factions and broken by various continual conflicts, now face their greatest threat - Thanos (Josh Brolin).

A despot of intergalactic infamy, and emerging from the cosmic shadows, Thanos is collecting six Infinity Stones, aka the McGuffins of the franchise which have been glimpsed before.

With the Avengers and their various allies determined to stop Thanos and his army waging war on reality, it looks like this is the battle to end all battles - the fate of Earth, the Avengers collective and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

After countless build ups and the growing feeling that the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise has become stale with comedy elements undercutting any sense of drama, there's a real feeling that Avengers: Infinity War has to draw a line in the sand, and lay down some stakes for all involved.
Avengers: Infinity War: Film Review

For a large part, Avengers: Infinity War walks the tightrope of uncertainty for all the characters you've come to love (thanks to repeated over-exposure over the past decade) and imbues proceedings with an occasional sense of dread for some.

However, the writing keeps a lot of it emotionally grounded with themes of sacrifice and human selfishness and fallibility mingling and bubbling away throughout thanks to some briefly engaging interactions.

But it has to be said, that doesn't stop Avengers: Infinity War from becoming, at times, Avengers: Infinity Bore - nor does it feel like some of the inherent emotional heft falls flat.

With its straight-into-the-action-and-peril proceedings picking directly up from the end of Thor: Ragnarok and the Asgardian survivors facing off a ship from Thanos, the film decides to simply settle a lot of proceedings on the punch-fight-exposition-fight-exposition-fight method.

It's well executed as it bounces around the globe and into space, but there's definitely an over-riding feeling of weariness as the relentless CGI action kicks and smashes its way through (and certainly, a couple of scenes creak under the weight of being generated and rendered).
Avengers: Infinity War: Film Review

It tries to fights the curse of quite obvious writing in parts with lots of patently obvious signposting (all of which are too spoilery to discuss) and doesn't quite succeed at times, and there's definitely a feeling of set-up throughout.

As a sense of spectacle, Avengers: Infinity Wardoes deliver what the rabid Marvel fanboys want - a team up of epic proportions and scale and the Russo brothers deliver it mostly with considerable aplomb. Handling the unwieldly character roster with ease, most of the cast get a moment or some time in the spotlight (albeit with brevity and largely through a fight scene or two - and certainly Hulk's reunion with Black Widow is a massive disappointment), and it's a relative reward for the decade of set-up.

The Guardians provide the obligatory (and occasionally annoying) laughs as usual after entering to Rubberband Man, but teeter dangerously close to ripping the stakes' foundations from under proceedings with their flippancy. And disappointingly, Wakanda's involvement feels piecemeal, rote and written to provide a Phantom Menace fight redux sequence in the final act.
Avengers: Infinity War: Film Review

However, it's Brolin's motion capture Thanos who impresses most in Avengers: Infinity War.
Built up as a major threat in the preceding films, Thanos is a relatively complex and solid villain with the emotional depth and degrees of tragedy which give weight and heft to proceedings and parts of his motive. This is the villain the Marvel Cinematic Universe has needed and the threat that comes from him is as tangible as it is terrifying.

There is a feeling though throughout Avengers: Infinity War that death should have come knocking a bit more and certainly for some of the bigger names within the ensemble to truly hit the emotional mark, and while the oddly audacious but curiously emotion-free downbeat ending is to be lauded, it does reek of the usual tropes of the genre - ie fantasy deaths never really tend to stick, and slightly feels like a quick "this can be done over" in the next film - and certainly, there is a distinct lack of feeling permeating the screen.

Epic in popcorn entertainment and scale, but disappointingly limited in parts of its narrative, the at-times soapy and occasionally narratively uneven Avengers: Infinity War may feel like Marvel's trying to clear the table in lieu of the next phase, and setting up for the next one. (Though the time to be daring and dispatch with the post-credits sequence has been squandered with this one).

It possibly could have done with easing up a little here and there, and giving space to breathe, however, in terms of rewarding the fans of the franchise, Avengers: Infinity War certainly ups the game, even if it still doesn't really take the bold chances and daring gambles it could have easily afforded to after a decade and 18 films.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Florida Project: DVD Review

The Florida Project: DVD Review

Film-maker Sean Baker has always found the camaraderie in verite.
The Florida Project: Film Review

Whether it's the friendship between Dree Hemingway's 21 year old and elderly Sadie in Starlet or the bond between those screeching on the street in Tangerine, the reality of friendships, along with their ebbs and flows, have been central to his catalogue.

Expanding that out for The Florida Project, Baker widens his view to the residents of a crummy motel run by Willem Dafoe's patient and paternal Bobby.

The purple motel sits near Orlando's Disney World, its hint of promise and dreams so close by - a place where the rich and families go to fulfill their dreams and inhabit an escapist world of fantasy.

But for the residents of said purple pastel motel escapism is also on their minds - but their form of escapism is to hope for an end to a desperate scrabble for money and to ensure their motel rent is paid.

The Florida Project: Film Review

It's into this world that Baker thrusts us - but from the viewpoint of a clutch of rambunctious kids who hurtle around the motel and its nearby tourist haunts with varying degrees of boredom.

Whether it's conning those visiting the local vendors for ice cream money (because they claim, they have asthma and the doctor's ordered it) or playing in the motel and turning off the power, their lives are about the freedom of escapism, the pursuit of naivete, unaware of the cruelties of the world around them.

Chief among these is Moonee (breakout star Brooklynn Prince, both vulnerable and brassy and up there with Beasts Of The Southern Wild's child actor Quvenzhané Wallis) whose mother Halley (Bria Vinaite, discovered on Instagram by Baker) is scaling the walls of desperation to feed her child and earn money.

While more a freewheeling tale than a specifically strong narrative story, The Florida Project's exploration of the socio-economic damage done in America is as compelling as it is depressingly vibrant.
The Florida Project: Film ReviewWith a young cast of unknown actors filling out the leads more than admirably thanks to their natural performances, the film's strength comes from its trajectory of uncertainty. There are moments you can see what's coming and much like most of Baker's work, there's a breaking point that pushes it all to the extreme.

There's an irony in the fact The Florida Project was the original name for Disney World and now the reality of the disparity of the wealth means motels like Bobby's are more like projects and slums - there's heartache to be had here.

Whether it's in a child being forced to leave with his dad and having to give away all his toys for space in the car, or the begging of Halley from a friend for the basics like food, the film's unflinching in its world view.

But here's the crux with The Florida Project - it's never, ever judgemental.

Baker has a way of imbuing both his characters and his situations with a sense of propriety. He swerves from judgement on actions, merely presenting the facts of any given situation and the potential devastation it could cause.

And while the ultimate ending doesn't exactly feel like it's being true to its subjects, shifting from reality to fantasy, there's a lot to love on the journey itself.

It's a crucial difference in this film-making - and while he's slowly becoming the deliverer of the less fortunate or the world less-oft glimpsed, he's also becoming their champion.

Thanks to restraint, heart and sensible heads on all, The Florida Project emerges as both a free-falling descent into reality and an ultimately inspiring and grounding eye-opener to all.

Win a copy of Coco

Voice talent:
Gael Garcia
Benjamin Bratt
Edward James Olmos
Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Mi
guel dreams of becoming an
accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Despera
te to prove his talent, Miguel
finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead.
After meeting a charming
trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordi
nary journey to unlock
the real story behind Miguel's family history

Win a copy of Coco

To celebrate the release of Disney Pixar's Coco for home viewing, you can win a copy!
About Coco:

Starring Gabriel Gael Garcia,  Benjamin Bratt, Edward James Olmos

Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz.

Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead.

After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

To enter could not be easier!

Voice talent:
Gael Garcia
Benjamin Bratt
Edward James Olmos
Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Mi
guel dreams of becoming an
accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Despera
te to prove his talent, Miguel
finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead.
After meeting a charming
trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordi
nary journey to unlock
the real story behind Miguel's family history
To win a copy, all you have to do is email  your details to this address: or CLICK HERE NOW!

Please label your entry COCO

Competition closes May 1st

Win a copy of Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle

Win a copy of Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle

Jumanji Welcome To The JungleTo celebrate the release of Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle, you can take a copy home!

About Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Rhys Darby

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose.

What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it.

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

Please label your entry JUMANJI

Competition closes May 1st

Monday, 23 April 2018

BurnOut Paradise Remastered: PS4 Review

BurnOut Paradise Remastered: PS4 Review

Platform: PS4
Developed by Criterion Games
Released by EA
BurnOut Paradise Remastered: PS4 Review
BurnOut Paradise Remastered: PS4 Review
Burnout Paradise Remastered is the kind of arcade game you find chewing through hours of your life.

The kind of retro game you may sneer at because its graphics are a little last generation, its ambitions anything but lofty and its gameplay so simple even a four year old could pick it up and run with it.

And yet, for all of these reasons and little else, it's damn near close to addictive as hell.

Recalling the simplistic nature of early Need For Speed games, Criterion's remaster is really only about one thing - pedal to the metal fun.

Dumped in the open world of Paradise City, where the grass is grey and the cars are retro pretty, you simply drive from one thing to the next.

BurnOut Paradise Remastered: PS4 Review
From races to stunt runs, takedowns to smash ups, Burnout Paradise Remastered wants little else but some quick fix driving.

Certain challenges see you take out other drivers within a time limit and have you hurtling through spaghetti junctions aimed at getting from one point to the next.

It's another iteration of Outrun et al; you unlock new cars then smash them off the roads to add to your collection.

The map is simple enough but its lack of being able to place markets irritates after a while and you have to know where you're going. And the lack of clear pointers over what to do can sometimes lead to aimlessly driving around the map, looking actively for what next.

Graphically the game looks retro and it plays like any arcade racer: with that hint of drift, that touch of underside and that button pressing of brakes- it's all a relatively slick combination that won't trouble the grey matter at all.

With a late 00s soundtrack and a bubblegum approach to being online or offline, Burnout Paradise Remastered wants you to play along, to forget and forego any flaws and to ensure that you're here for a good time, not a long time.

The open road welcomes you - and sometimes a blast from the past is all you need in a modern day world.

Win a double pass to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Win a double pass to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

To celebrate the release of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society in cinemas April 26th, you can win a double pass!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel SocietyAbout The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

London, 1946. Juliet (Lily James), a charismatic and free-spirited writer receives a letter from a member of the mysterious literary club, started in Nazi-occupied Guernsey. 

Her curiosity piqued, Juliet decides to visit the island. There she meets the delightfully eccentric members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, including Dawsey (Michiel Huisman), the rugged and intriguing farmer who wrote her the letter. 

As the secrets from their wartime past unfold, Juliet’s growing attachment to the island, the book club, and her affection for Dawsey will change the course of her life forever.

Competition closes April 30th

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Last Flag Flying: Film Review

Last Flag Flying: Film Review

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Steve Carell
Director: Richard Linklater

Director Richard Linklater's latest sprawling work has hints of humanity and approaches tragedy in a slightly different manner.
Last Flag Flying: Film Review

But at times, the well-meaning falls into the ham-fisted as he leaves some of his desires feeling over-wrought.

It's 2003, and Steve Carell's moustachioed and muted former medic, Larry "Doc" Shepherd, enlists two of his former platoon, Sal (a nihilistic Bryan Cranston) and Richard Mueller (Fishburne, restrained) to help bury his son who has been killed in Iraq.

However, as the trio reunite, old tensions resurface, and struggles of the past threaten to overwhelm the emotional reason they've come together.

Steeped in melancholy, and overly long, Last Flag Flying has a lot of "actoring" going from its protagonists as they tread the occasionally predictable road-trip route.
Last Flag Flying Film Review

Sal treats everything with alcohol, leading to Cranston bringing the energy and the agony to the piece as his opposed-to-the-military character treads a familiar arc; Fishburne's now-turned-preacher Mueller seems to forego a lot of his beliefs as he reunites with his past, and Carell does little except mope throughout, weirdly imbuing his Doc with a sense of grief that's palpably delivered, even though hardly anything is said. Ultimately, their relationship seems to be one of the Sal's Devil and Mueller's Angel on Doc's shoulders, but it foregoes this conflict for more obvious routes, which disappoints.

In between the meandering diversions, Linklater overplays some of his hand as the roadtrip progresses.

Repeated hectoring of the fact it's 2003 and over-use of some of the anachronisms of the time (no internet, mobile phones first coming in) threaten to overwhelm the film and drown the bittersweet with a sense of catchphrases and irritations.

But in the more silent moments, when Linklater hints at the futility of the death of those in combat incidents that are not directly war-related and in the moments where the army's vehement denial of anything other than dogma is laid bare, Last Flag Flying has a heft that finds a different and satisfying way to tell an overly familiar tale.
Last Flag Flying: Film Review

Shaggy and free-wheeling it may be, and this may totally test your cinematic patience as the collective gulfs are dealt with, but somehow parts of Last Flag Flying commit to a veracity that's worthy of investment.

Its end feels rushed, and the emotional pay-off is not quite as strong as it should be, but the sombre tone gives Last Flag Flying a truth that's hard to deny and an under-cooked commitment to showing what war does these days. It's a subtle salute to the Armed Forces, but its predilection with tropes and familiarity can't help but swathe the lead trio's commitment to their characters with a sheen that's at times, stifling.

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