Saturday, 30 November 2019

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: PS4 Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: PS4 Review

Released by Activision
Platform: PS4

The latest first person shooter is the 16th installment of the Call of Duty series.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: PS4 Review

The sixteenth - meaning other iterations of the series have barely moved on from the first person shooter mechanics of the series.

Though this one also serves as a relaunch of the Modern Warfare series as well.

Set in modern times, it follows a CIA officer and Brit SAS soldiers as they take on rebels from Urzikstan (fictional, though it may not be) fighting Russians who've invaded. So far, so gung ho, and so slightly tapping into modern worries and fascinations.

However, that's also what's controversial about Modern Warfare, its villainisations and its desire to tap into tropes and stereotypes that could enrage if it was placed in a lazy campaign story. The problem is that the campaign is perhaps the best part of Modern Warfare, a tense and gripping series of orchestrated moments and sequences that compel you from beginning to end, even if they may slightly enrage you as well.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: PS4 Review

Slickly produced, the first person elements are the closest COD has ever really gotten to a grey area of gaming, a queasy mix of conscience and shooting.

The game's multiplayer is as ever, solid, but in a world where we're bombarded with arenas, battle royales and all kinds of shooters, it has to work hard to keep you engaged and not enraged when you're picked off.

Thankfully, the addition of extra maps in the game after launch has helped immensely - and with levels like Ground War and Gunfight really mixing things up for the casual player, it looks like, against all the odds, Infinity Ward's Call of Duty is strongly back in the game.

Friday, 29 November 2019

New in GTA Online: Vapid Peyote Gasser, Double Rewards on Biker and Nightclub Sell Missions, Heist Finales, Racing Modes, and More

New in GTA Online: Vapid Peyote Gasser, Double Rewards on Biker and Nightclub Sell Missions, Heist Finales, Racing Modes, and More

The all new Vapid Peyote Gasser is here to bring you retro edge, vintage style and the kind of old-school engine that sounds like a flaming bearpit. What this supercharged drag racing veteran lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in just about everything else.
The Vapid Peyote Gasser is available to purchase now from Southern San Andreas Super Autos.
So your mid-life crisis is in full-swing and you've bought yourself a chopper and a leather jacket. Maybe you've even fallen in with a roving pack of tattooed roughnecks. Modern outlaws pushing product through any owned Biker Business will be happy to learn that all Biker Business Sell Missions are dishing out 2X GTA$ & RP all this week.
Nightlife mavens are also set to earn a pretty penny: Nightclub Sell Missions will reap Double Rewards and Nightclub Income will be boosted to 2X until December 4. Don't forget to empty your Wall Safe on the reg to keep the cash flowing.
Those seeking to earn big scores hand over fist can tackle a trio of Heist finales this week for a serious pay bump - get a world-class wrecking crew together and take on the finale missions of The Fleeca Job, Humane Labs Raid and the Pacific Standard Job for 2x GTA$ & RP payouts.
If you prefer to ride solo dolo, pull down Double Rewards by taking on the first of 10 new Time Trials in Freemode or by burning some serious rubber in the Stunt Series.
The Lucky Wheel in the lobby of The Diamond Casino & Resort gives players the opportunity to win GTA$RPclothing and much more with a simple daily spin. This week's top prize is a heaving mound of true American muscle - the Bravado Gauntlet Hellfire.
After a hard day's work bringing home the bacon, grab a glass of Macbeth from the bar and stumble over to the Casino Store to peruse a rotating shipment of clothing from brands like Bigness, Broker and Blageurs, as well as works from artists so important that they only have one name. That's real power.
Startup costs and a swath of premium vehicles are discounted significantly this week - take advantage of deals on real estate properties, supercars and more:
Real Estate:

  • Casino Penthouse, Add-Ons & Renovations – 40% off
  • Biker Clubhouses, Add-Ons & Renovations – 50% off
  • Biker Businesses, Add-Ons & Renovations – 50% off
  • Facilities, Add-Ons & Renovations – 50% off
  • Nightclubs, Add-Ons & Renovations – 60% off
  • Hangars, Add-Ons & Renovations – 60% off
  • Arena Workshops – 60% off
  • Arena Workshop Add-Ons & Renovations – 60% off
  • All High-End Apartments – 60% off
  • All Yachts – 60% off

Racing Vehicles:

  • Progen Emerus (Super) – 40% off
  • Principe Deveste Eight (Super) – 60% off
  • Dewbauchee Vagner (Super) – 60% off
  • Übermacht SC1 (Super) – 60% off
  • Progen T20 (Super) – 60% off
  • Übermacht Revolter (Sports) – 60% off
  • Lampadati Viseris (Sports Classics) – 60% off
  • Annis Savestra (Sports Classics) – 60% off
  • Vapid Dominator GTX (Muscle) – 60% off
  • Vapid FMJ (Super) – 60% off
  • RC Bandito (RC) – 60% off

Military, Weaponized & Aircraft:

  • Mammoth Avenger & Avenger Upgrades– 60% off
  • Western Company Cargobob – 60% off
  • Western Company Cargobob Jetsam – 60% off
  • Mammoth Hydra – 60% off
  • B-11 Strikeforce – 60% off
  • FH-1 Hunter – 60% off
  • Volatol – 60% off
  • Mammoth Tula – 60% off
  • Buckingham Akula – 60% off
  • Buckingham Luxor – 60% off
  • Buckingham Luxor Deluxe – 60% off
  • RCV – 60% off
  • Mammoth Thruster – 60% off
  • Weaponized Declasse Tampa – 60% off
  • Declasse Scramjet (Sports) – 60% off

Twitch Prime members who linked their Twitch and Rockstar Games Social Club accounts can buy the Lago Zancudo Bunker and Fort Zancudo Hangar 3499 for a rebate on the base property after purchase, as well as an extra 10% off all of the vehicle and amenity discounts listed above and 60% off the Benefactor Terrorbyte. To ensure access to future benefits, make sure to visit Twitch Prime and sign up.
Stay tuned to the Newswire for more details on forthcoming GTA Online updates in the coming weeks, and head over to the Social Club Events page for all current special events, bonuses and discounts.

Thursday, 28 November 2019




Good afternoon,

In case you missed it, the latest Modern Warfare game update is available now on all platforms simultaneously, offering another slew of free content!

This update contains a variety of new content, including game modes, Featured Playlists, and three new Special Ops experiences you can play with friends via crossplay and cross progression.

As usual, in addition to the new content, developer Infinity Ward is releasing a number of quality of life, tuning, and play balancing updates. The patch notes are live on Reddit here.

Read the full blog post here.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Frozen II: Film Review

Frozen II: Film Review

Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff
Director: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

How do you solve a problem like Frozen 2?
Frozen II: Film Review

The first film was such a mega hit, and resolved all of its issues, that making a sequel complete with earworm songs like Let It Go was always going to be a fool's game.

But six years on from when Frozen melted our collective cinema-going hearts, Elsa and Anna return to life in Arendelle.

In this latest, Elsa (Menzel) finds herself lost, compelled to answer a song she keeps hearing from an ancient forest in an enchanted land she remembers from her childhood...

So the gang ventures into the woods to save their kingdom and Elsa's soul.

More emotionally resonant and darker than the first film, Frozen II offers vicarious delights that may well be lost on some of the younger end of the audience.

Yet, both Lee and Buck may well be banking on the fact their initial audience has grown up more and is more willing to tackle the darker themes of maturity and what life's about - and yet they're still willing to throw in Olaf goofing around to keep the younger ones entertained, and to show Elsa busting out superpowers like an animated Captain Marvel.
Frozen II: Film Review

The film this time throws up some truly gorgeous animation, some scenes which technically excel - from a dancing darting water horse to an almost electric light-led power ballad from Menzel (Into The Unknown, one of the film's best), the animators aren't keen to rest on their laurels, even if some
of it may be lost on their audience.

While the songs have more of a Broadway feel this time, and are less interested in becoming the stuff of nightmares on car journeys, it's fair to note they're not as instantly memorable, even if they are enjoyably presented onscreen.

The film skirts with plenty of themes; it builds on the sisterhood from the first's subversion of true love, dabbles with climate change, and touches on colonialism.
Frozen II: Film Review

However, its biggest disappointment is with the flirtation with giving Elsa a girlfriend - her only solid interaction outside of the core group is with a native female from within the enchanted forest, and there are hints of more. But it's frustratingly left on the vine, and only for the subtleties to be picked up on.

Ultimately Frozen II may leave those expecting a redo of the first a little cold. But for those wanting something more epic, something that moves on from the whimsicality of the first, Frozen II more than meets the expectation and delivers.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Square Enix Releases Marvel's Avengers Official A-Day Gameplay Footage

Square Enix Releases Marvel's Avengers Official A-Day Gameplay Footage


Opening Level Features Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
in an Epic Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge

Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix® released the first official gameplay video for Marvel’s Avengers. Watch as Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor battle Taskmaster and his army of mercenaries in the opening level - a Hero tutorial where players learn the unique powers of the Avengers

Marvel’s Avengers is a story-driven, third-person action-adventure game. Players will reassemble and rebuild their Avengers roster in an original, cinematic single-player campaign, then battle solo or online alongside friends in new missions around the globe. They can also customize Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and harness their unique powers to defend the world from escalating threats for years to come.

Marvel’s Avengers begins at A-Day, where Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor are unveiling a hi-tech Avengers Headquarters in San Francisco — including the reveal of their own helicarrier powered by an experimental energy source. The celebration turns deadly when a catastrophic accident results in massive devastation. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband. Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and the world in peril, the only hope is to reassemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Marvel’s Avengers will release simultaneously for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, and PC on May 15, 2020.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Doctor Who Series 12 new trailer

Doctor Who Series 12 new trailer

Here it is, the brand new Doctor Who Series 12 trailer.
Doctor Who Series 12

Starring Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole, the new series is rumoured to begin on New Year's Day 2020.

Take a look at the brand new Doctor Who Series 12 new trailer below.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Borderlands 3 - Free content update available now

Borderlands 3 - Free content update available now

Borderlands 3’s Next Free Content Update Available Now.
Play for Free on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 This Weekend

Takedown at the Maliwan Blacksite, Mayhem 4, expanded bank space, and other exciting updates arrive as part of the game’s latest patch

Hey Vault Hunters! Whether you’re a hardened veteran or a total newcomer, Borderlands 3 has something for everyone this week.

For vets, the game’s November patch is now live. This patch addresses multiple community requests and provides new free content for all players, including the raid-like Takedown at Maliwan’s Blacksite and a new twist on late-game challenge content with Mayhem 4. For newcomers, Borderlands 3 will be free to play on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this weekend. Plus, all versions of Borderlands 3 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Epic Games store will be on sale for Black Friday (full details below).

In Takedown at the Maliwan Blacksite, Lorelei has recruited the Vault Hunters to destroy a top-secret weapon Maliwan has been developing at its blacksite. This new permanent addition to Borderlands 3 is designed for squads of players who’ve completed the main story campaign, so expect a serious challenge. Respawning is disabled, though you can still save yourself with Second Wind or be revived later by your teammates if certain conditions are met. 

Mayhem 4 is the new highest level in Mayhem Mode and provides an even tougher challenge by further increasing enemy health, though it also increases loot drop chances and adds a brand new set of Legendaries that can only be obtained while playing with Mayhem 4 activated. Mayhem 4 also slightly adjusts the random modifier system, randomly rolling just one positive modifier for players and one positive modifier for enemies. Note that Mayhem levels 1-3 are unchanged.

In addition to adding new playable content, today’s patch also addresses multiple community requests. Today’s update includes:

·       Bank Expansion: All characters now begin the game with 20 bank slots instead of 10. By acquiring additional Storage Deck Upgrades from Marcus’s shop on Sanctuary III, players can expand the storage bank to 300 total slots;
·       Dedicated Loot Pools for Bosses: All bosses have been updated with new loot pools that give them dedicated Legendary items to drop. Players can now discover which bosses drop their favorite gear and more easily farm for those specific items;
·       Additional Vending Machines: New vending machines have been placed across multiple maps;
·       Target Dummy: A target dummy now appears in Sanctuary III’s firing range, allowing players to safely test their weapons;
·       Thank You Weapons: Two free “thank you” weapons – one for lower-level players and one for Level 50 players – are available through the in-game mail system.

Beyond new content, this patch also adjusts end-game character balance and addresses a number of concerns reported by the community. For a comprehensive look at the adjustments made by today’s patch, please refer to the full patch notes here.

For players who haven’t yet experienced any of this content, now’s the perfect time to dive in. Across Europe and Australia, the Standard EditionDeluxe Edition, and Super Deluxe Edition of Borderlands 3 will be available for up to 40% off for a limited time on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Epic Games store. Sales pricing starts on November 22 (PlayStation 4, Epic Games store) and runs through December 2, though the exact timing varies by platform and region. Please check with participating retailers for more details.

Additionally, Borderlands 3 is free to play this weekend on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

For additional Borderlands 3 assets and information, please visit or

2K is a wholly owned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Knives Out: Film Review

Knives Out: Film Review

Cast: Daniel Craig, LaKeith Stanfield, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Jaden Martell, Katherine Langford, Don Johnson
Director: Rian Johnson

Director Rian Johnson is no newcomer to the mystery genre.

His earliest Brick dabbled in similar territory, but for this latest, a slickly produced and polished piece of Poirot-esque fare, he heads to subvert some of the conventions while following others of the murder mystery.
Knives Out: Film Review

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) is found dead the day after his 85th birthday, there's a house full of family suspects. Enter southern fried detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) who was given an anonymous envelope stuffed with cash to solve the case, and who always gets his man.

Knives Out comes out the door firing on all cylinders, like most murder mysteries do.

Flash editing, quick cuts, a series of suspects given a moment in the glare of the spotlight and a whodunnit to relish all pull you in to the whimsical world Johnson's set up.

Yet within moments Johnson plays a trump card, swiftly pulling the rug from under your cinematic feet, giving the film its heart and its emotional in, and signalling his intentions to subvert everything. To say more is to derail the film, but suffice to say the commitment to the story while playing with the genre tropes, and plying it with laugh-out-loud one liners makes a big difference. (An early Murder She Wrote moment is guffawable).

Slickly edited, exquisitely shot and reminiscent of Agatha Christie, Jonathan Creek and most other crime series, Johnson knows a quirky detective is the glue to hold the story together. On this charge, Daniel Craig makes for a watchable lead, a dogged investigator with a drawl.

Sure, there's the usual let's-get-everyone-together-in-one-room-to-reveal-it moment, and the multi-talented cast are too many and too sidelined in the back half of the movie, but for the large part Knives Out is a good time at the movies, a film that's not as clever as it initially thinks it is, but which commits to its premise and carries you along on a rollicking good ride.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Win a double pass to see Knives Out

Win a double pass to see Knives Out

To celebrate the release of Rian Johnson's new movie Knives Out, you can win a double pass to see the movie in cinemas from November 28.
Knives Out

About Knives Out

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate.

From Harlan's dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan's untimely death.

With an all-star cast that includes Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer and Katherine Langford, Knives Out releases on November 28

All you have to do is email your details and the word KNIVES!
Competition ends December 2nd.

Email now to 

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Farming: Film Review

Farming: Film Review

Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kate Beckinsale, Gug Mbatha-Raw, Damson Idris, John Dagleish
Director: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Bleak it may be, but equally sickening and compelling, former Lost and Oz actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje lays out a coming-of-age drama that grips as much as it occasionally frustrates.
Farming: Film Review

Based on the true story of Nigerian Enitan (Idris) who was placed in the care of a British family by his parents, "farmed out" for the hope of finding a better start to life in a UK divided by Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speeches. But thrust into the home run by Kate Beckinsale's Ingrid (one note, and relatively stereotyped and underdeveloped), Eni begins to feel alienated and is broken by the lack of love and care afforded him.

Pushed to the edge, and into a pit of self-loathing, Eni falls into rejecting his culture, his heritage and his identity, and falls in with a group of skinheads, the Tilbury Skins, headed by Dagleish's Levi (easily one of the best villains of the year, dead-eyed, ominous and terrifying).
Farming: Film Review

Rote in parts, with some awful Lahndon accents, as well as jumping back and forth to Eni's mother,

Farming's sociopathic edges take time to show through.

But when they do, and the skinheads arrive and our totally broken lead falls apart, Farming genuinely shocks in the same way American History X did..

Akinnuoye-Agbaje doesn't scrimp from the details of the horror, or allow you an easy escape in terms of viewing, filling the screen with 80s UK nihilism, a mirror to a society tearing itself apart with hate and violence.

It's here that Farming makes its viewing as compelling as it is sickening, as in other parts of the movie, the generic tropes and hollow descent into eventual redemption don't quite measure up to what's proffered at the end - a rushed reality check.

Characters such as Beckinsale's mother and Mbatha-Raw's teacher feel less than real, ripped from the pages of a book, giving Farming a feel of stereotyped TV movie fare. It's no This Is England, or the TV spinoff, but it does have moments of pure dread and evil seeping in.
Farming: Film Review

Thankfully, the stunning pairing of Dagleish and Idris as the tormentor and the victim gives Farming a sharpness of focus that is worth hanging onto, a thread that spins a tightly sickening web around the viewer, and makes the emotional beats land as they truly should.

It is not to detract from the story Akinnuoye-Agbaje is looking to tell, but if parts had been beefed up this would have been a searing drama, a white knuckle ride to hell and back. But a lack of some character depth robs the insights and horror of some of the heft they should carry. It's not to say they don't, because when they land, the moments are utterly repugnant and disgusting, as they should be.

Ultimately Farming is unrelenting, its redemption feels too briefly mentioned, and the rawness of the central actors a little too numbing to fully embrace and only endure.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ready Or Not: Film Review

Ready Or Not: Film Review

Cast: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Ready Or Not's mix of comedy and horror sometimes treads a fine line between successful and thrilling and sometimes, it meanders too much on the wrong side - but it's never less than compelling thanks to the grit and determination of its lead, Samara Weaving.

Weaving plays Grace, the new bride of Alex, the heir to a gaming family, who've made their money and whose members are worried Grace is nothing more than a gold-digger.
Ready Or Not: Film Review

On their wedding night, Grace is told it's a family tradition to play a game - and it's her random choice. She draws a game of Hide and Seek which has, unbeknownst to her, has deadly consequences...

Ready Or Not is a pulpy wannabe horror, occasionally subverting genre thrills and skirting some commentary between the rich and the poor.

Yet, at times, as mentioned, the film's not quite sure which way it wants to go under its Radio Silence directors and script.

Scenes of tension and horror are undercut by over-the-top moments of laughter as well as sentiment, which sometimes feel misplaced in the mix. The tonal jumps mix in with the utterly ludicrous plot, and while the film plays with all of them, skating between genres, its true success comes in its heroine.

Weaving is stoicism personified, a satire on the woman taking on the patriarchy (by wearing Converse under her wedding dress, natch) and dealing with the family from hell. She's never empowered enough to kill, adding a layer of the poor don't sink to the rich's level commentary within. But there's enough of her on show to make for a compelling heroine to root for from the beginning.

In an over-the-top laissez faire finale, Ready Or Not reveals its hand, and gives its cat and mouse game the cult feel it's clearly aiming for. But played more for laughs than outright horror, it sometimes makes it difficult to fully care or engage with anyone but the heroine as she tears into societal norms,

That's no bad thing, and while Ready or Not may offer some vicarious thrills, they're fleeting and the class war premise is left as nothing more than a simple and entertainingly brief rollercoaster thrill ride.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Angel Has Fallen: Blu Ray Review

Angel Has Fallen: Blu Ray Review

It was inevitable, really.

Angel Has Fallen: Film Review

Given he'd saved the President, saved London and had a happyish ending, it should be no surprise that Presidential lucky charm Mike Banning (Butler) would be in the firing line.

And given three years has passed in each of the release cycles of Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016), it's time for Angel Has Fallen.

Bruised, battered and addicted to pills after the rollercoasters of the job of the Secret Service in the previous two outings, Banning is starting to feel mortal. Tempted by the possibility of the top job at the Secret Service, his world's turned upside down when the entire Presidential secret service team is wiped out - leaving him as the sole survivor.

Framed for the attempted murder of the US President, Banning goes on the run, determined to prove his innocence...

Angel Has Fallen: Film Review

Reviving cold war politics, throwing in some "timely" barbs about Russian collusion, and dumping some machismo on the idea of private contractors benefiting from war, Angel Has Fallen does little to build on its surprise success of the first film.

Choosing instead to go for elements of The Fugitive and a bad episode of 24, Butler deals with lots of pained close ups to show his ailing state, and deals out plenty of killshots as sense and sensibilities go out the window.

Beginning with what seems like a gun porn secret service recruitment Call of Duty style video and ending with an extremely passable and well-executed finale, Angel Has Fallen has glimpses of something beyond the C-grade action banal genre it's clearly pitching for.

Butler's Banning looks shabby, like he may not make it (though really, there's never any true doubt) but yet in his interactions with Danny Huston's quietly calm mate-turned-bad-guy, there's a feeling of two veterans lost in a world that no longer needs them in the way they were needed first time around.

Angel Has Fallen: Film Review

The action sequences are, in truth, executed in a fairly workmanlike way; there's nothing special or spectacular in the explosion porn that's on display - complete with slowmo. And yet, in its finale, Angel Has Fallen delivers a sequence that may be familiar in many ways, but is nonetheless compelling to enjoy.

And then there's Nick Nolte.

As Banning's dad, and at his shaggiest, this doomsday prepper off-the-grid paranoic is one of Nolte's most grizzled and begotten roles. But it's worth it alone for some of the lines he dishes out, which have to be seen to be heard.

Ultimately, Angel Has Fallen isn't smart enough to be taken seriously, and never really rises against its rote execution. It's flabby too, with its 120 minutes run time being the longest of the trilogy and also the most needlessly long.

Angel Has Fallen may wrap up the surprise trilogy, but in truth, this series was done with the first one - it may try to be contemporary here, but you've seen it all before. It's time this Angel had its wings clipped. 

Monday, 18 November 2019

Hail Satan?: DVD Review

Hail Satan?: DVD Review

Hail Satan?'s high-level trolling documentary is something of a wry amusement as it starts, but what emerges later on is an expose of the widening schism between the US and the freedom of expression.

Director Penny Lane's doco serves to show the contrasts between those in the Satanic Temple and their perception in the media. After all, some of the chapter are part of a beach-tidying commitment for a year.

Hail Satan?: NZIFF Review

It appears the message is one of benevolence, and those levelled with criticisms of going to hell are met with a "I believe it and I'm very supportive of it" response that's both amusing and also indicative of the good nature of those in the Temple.

As the so-called Satanic Panic spreads, and the more trolling and playing with media the Temple does, Lane pivots perceptions and the doco becomes an intriguing look about how different people are treated over events, rather than as themselves.

A tongue in cheek approach seems to be Hail Satan?'s raison d'etre, but it also by weaving in video interview clips and media stunts seems to give the doco an offbeat feel that's hard to shake, but worthy of smiles. However, Lane never resorts to mockery of her subjects, and the piece is all the better for it.

Less religious fervour, more a plea for tolerance, Hail Satan?'s devilish charms are not hard to resist.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Late Night: DVD Review

Late Night: DVD Review

Aiming to smash the glass ceiling, but ending up more just politely tapping on it, Mindy Kaling's comedy Late Night will feel familiar to fans of the vitriolic Larry Sanders Show from the 1990s.
Late Night: Film Review

In Late Night, Kaling plays Molly Patel, a plant worker who ends up being a diversity hire on Emma Thompson's Katherine Newbury's late night show. Newbury is a legend, and has been on the circuit for years, but the show's on the wane, with viral clips and interviews with YouTube stars punishing them in the ratings.

So when the head of the network (Amy Ryan) decides to move Newbury along in favour of a newer foul-mouthed host (Barinholtz), Molly is caught up in the last great offensive to keep ratings high.

Essentially a romantic comedy with a side of showbiz and a dash of social commentary, Late Night treads the boards of familiarity with such geniality it's hard to fully hate it.

But the film lacks a punch that would translate to some interesting barbs and commentary on women in the workplace and women on TV. It feels like Kaling's written sadly from reality, but is a little too frightened to make the commentary needed to help it land in ways which would give it its power.

Late Night: Film Review

There's an underdeveloped romance sideplot, which swipes at MeToo, and a sweet relationship between Thompson and Lithgow that brims with reality and depth.

Yet it's not enough to make Late Night feel anything other than undercooked at times.

Thankfully, Thompson makes great fist of her barbed and occasionally bitter Newbury. You can see where it's coming from a mile off, but the joy of seeing an older woman in a lead in this is clearly what Kaling wanted for the film, and the fact the reality of late night TV in the US is scarcely inhabited by women speaks volumes.

Kaling plays on her innate likeability repeatedly, and the result is a fair film that offers some laughs - it's just with a sharper eye for the targets and a few wittier barbs, it could have been unstoppable. 

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Concrete Genie: PS4 Review

Concrete Genie: PS4 Review

Developed by Pixelopus
Released by Sony Interactive

It would have been a perfect game for the now defunct PS Vita, Pixelopus' Concrete Genie is a pleasant mix of Life is Strange and painting, with elements of the Unfinished Swan thrown into the mix.
Concrete Genie: PS4 Review

You are Ash, a small town kid who has a penchant for doodles and a mind for creativity. Against the backdrop of the darker town of Denska, Ash is bullied, mocked for his paintings and his thoughts.

When bullies scatter Ash's drawings, he chases them down - but in a mysterious lighthouse, one of his favourites, Luna, comes to life and begins to guide him on new adventures and drawings....

Concrete Genie is a sweet, neon-coloured graffiti blast.

Using the DualShock to create paintings within the landscapes and tagging everything and anything, the game's creativity comes to life. It takes a bit of getting used to in terms of firing up the brush and moving the motion sensors around - and ideally a PS Move capability would be perfect (or the aforementioned Vita).

Thematics are handled in a solid fashion, and it's clear Pixelopus is talking more about wanting players to have fun than be judged for their work, literally leaving those behind the controller to have a blank canvas with which to work from.

It may be simple in its approach, and relatively short in its overall execution, but Concrete Genie is effective in its messaging. It encourages creativity within Denska, demands innovation and leaves you with the reward for it.

Concrete Genie may be short, but it's certainly sweet enough to deliver a finely tuned gaming experience for all ages.

Friday, 15 November 2019

The Lion King: Blu Ray Review

The Lion King: Blu Ray Review

The new version of The Lion King is visually phenomenal.
The Lion King: Movie Review

Imagine the Planet Earth team had been tasked with creating a photorealistic version of the Disney classic and ensuring your nostalgia rush was catered for as well, and you can encapsulate the goosebump moments of the Circle of Life as the sun rises above the plains.

It's an astounding feat that showcases what Favreau began with The Jungle Book and has once again raised the bar in terms of what visuals can offer - especially on the biggest screen available.

And yet the 2019 reimagining of The Lion King does little to tamper with the original's formula, other than dressing up the CGI and presenting the story as is.

Unfortunately as well, the emotion is somewhat lacking once the visual dazzle of the opening starts to fade, and you realise this is a spectacle above all else - whereas the original Lion King had heart, heart-stopping moments and heartbreak in spades.

The Lion King: Movie Review

It's partly due to the impassive nature of the lions' faces, from the cubs through to the leaders via the insidious Scar - the lions themselves can do little to emote, reminding you the cartoon faces of the original were so expressive, so OTT in places and so helpful at searing the whole thing into your heart.

Consequently, iconic lines and story beats feel simply like they're read aloud at a cast reading, and lack the effects the original had. Scar, while looking slumped and emaciated compared to Mufasa, lacks the cartoon villainy that made Jeremy Irons' delivery so delicious. The hyenas fare better, their dead eyes and sneers helping bring the menace and darker edges vividly to life.

And there are odd moments when the creatures don't actually seem to interact with their surroundings too, as if placed on top rather than in environments. Gravel doesn't move under their feet in the Elephants' graveyard, and there's a rather curious relationship with grass.

These sound like minor niggles - and in fairness, they are; but given how superlative Favreau's crafted his FX team to deliver, it's the small things which stand out in Disney's latest revamp of their cartoon catalogue.

Thankfully, Timon and Pumbaa (Eichner and Rogen respectively) add much to proceedings and serve to enliven events after you begin to feel the scales falling away from your digitally-impressed eyes.

The problem is ultimately that the 2019 version of The Lion King, while overstuffed with animals, is never its own beast - there's hardly a moment within that doesn't remind you of the original.

It's not enough to be a fatal flaw for the Lion King, and certainly in terms of spectacle, the film overdelivers in a wonderful way; but is it likely to be as timeless as the original's more basic edges?

That seems distinctly unlikely, and while audiences will adore this version in the way Disney wants, you'd be hard pressed to say it's anything more than nostalgia that helps you feel the love tonight. 

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Disney+ NZ reveals details of its streaming content

Disney+ NZ reveals details of its streaming content

The hotly-anticipated launch of Disney+ – Disney’s all-new streaming home for entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic – is drawing near. 
Disney+ NZ reveals details of its streaming content

Come November 19, Kiwis can enjoy the Disney cinema experience from the comfort of their couch, bingeing on everything from nostalgic Disney classics, including a special remake of Lady and the Tramp, to Disney+ originals such as The Mandalorian, a live-action Star Wars series.

Disney+ has just announced their first official NZ content list. 

The exciting announcement has been shared on the DisneyPlusNZ Instagram platform with a content piece showcasing the wide breadth of content that will be available for New Zealanders to enjoy when they sign up.  

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