Sunday, 31 May 2020

Monos: Film Review

Monos: Film Review

Director: Alejandro Landes

With a visually arresting start and an intriguing opening, Columbian film Monos is an intensely taut drama that is as compelling as it is an examination of the feral spirit that lies within us all.
Monos: Film Review

It's the story of a group of teenage troops, who inhabit a mountain top and who are training. Given a cow and a hostage to look after, the octet descend into a chaotic state when things go awry.

In the scheme of life, what happens is minor, but the ripples are wide-ranging and powerful.

Landes' film holds back many details of the wider world, preferring instead to place the viewer in a world of intensity and a powderkeg waiting to ignite. All that's proffered is about The Organisation and even that's scraps at best.

They could be training as child soldiers, and it could be a parable about loss of innocence in Columbia, but robbed of the wider perspective in parts, Monos makes a struggle of that side of its drama.
Monos: Film Review

However, as an examination of a teenage mini society, Monos is life through a prism, a swirling cauldron of efficiency and terrifying consequence.

Thrillingly shot and nervously scored, Monos gets by largely on its visuals and its inherent sense of unease - there's something compelling afoot in these mountains, and thanks to Landes' power opening, Monos is a sickeningly unsettling drama.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

PlayStation 5 unveiled

PlayStation 5 unveiled

PlayStation will finally unveil more details of its PlayStation 5 line up on Friday June 5 at 8am.

Jim Ryan of Sony says: "With each generation, from the first PlayStation to PlayStation 4, we aim higher and we push the boundaries further, to try and deliver better experiences for our community. This has been the mission of the PlayStation brand for more than 25 years. A mission I have been a part of nearly since the beginning.  

There are few things as exciting as the launch of a new console. While this road to launch has been a bit…different, we are as thrilled as ever to bring you with us on this journey to redefine the future of videogames.

We’ve shared technical specifications and shown you the new DualSense wireless controller. But what is a launch without games? 

That’s why I’m excited to share that we will soon give you a first look at the games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday. The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. 

Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware. This digital showcase will run for a bit more than an hour and, for the first time, we will all be together virtually experiencing the excitement together.

A lack of physical events has given us an amazing opportunity to think differently and bring you on this journey with us, and hopefully, closer than ever before. 

This is part of our series of PS5 updates and, rest assured, after next week’s showcase, we will still have much to share with you. 

Friday, 29 May 2020

Neon NZ Movie Review - Blinded by the Light

Neon NZ Movie Review - Blinded by the Light

You've seen Blinded by the Light many times before, and in many different iterations.
Blinded by the Light: Film Review

The very familiar coming of age tale, set in Luton in England in 1987 centres around Cara's Javed, a young Pakistani man who yearns to be his own person, but who's stuck at a crossroads.

When Javed ends up going to college, he finds his world is irrevocably changed when he's gifted two Bruce Springsteen tapes, and being at the age of discovery, the doors of his perception are blown wide open by the Boss' music and lyrics.

But in the background of Javed's life lurk the National Front, the possibility of love, and the inevitability of a showdown over his desires and his dad's directives...

Blinded by the Light has an energy that bursts through the bubbling cheesiness which seeps in almost immediately.

Chadha is less interested in reinventing the wheel in this music-inspired movie, and more interested in perhaps showcasing a story that was prevalent in 1980s UK life, but rarely recorded. The indolence and ugliness of racism lurks casually in Javed's life, and while Chadha's only interested in occasionally using it for drama, the evocative montage of 80s Britain under Thatcher which begins the film serves only to showcase the good and the bad of the era.

Blinded by the Light: Film Review

Elsewhere, the film's cornball and corny dialogue sags a little in the excessive 2 hour run time - an expeditious edit could have given the film a pep and zap that it needed in parts as it spins its all-too-familiar tale.

There's a heart here, but rather than leading with the drama, the film hits every dramatic cliche and and services its leads ahead of the script; yet there are moments when the film excels, such as Chadha's reveal of a daytime club, and the heady thrill of youth within. These are the moments that Blinded by the Light could have had more of, not ones which feel rote and almost ridiculous.

It may be sweet, and crowd-pleasing at times, but Blinded by the Light does little exciting with the musical genre except to pillage someone else's back catalogue to sell nostalgia and probably Spotify soundtracks (in this case, the Boss) .

However, don't be surprised that in the year Rocketman soared to audience success and Bohemian Rhapsody won big, Blinded by the Light will have your heart tapping away in your seat, even if your head is warning you repeatedly against doing so.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Last of Us Part II State of Play reveals extended gameplay

The Last of Us Part II State of Play reveals extended gameplay

Naughty Dog has just revealed an extended gameplay sequence for their upcoming The Last Of Us Part II game, due out on June 19.

It came as part of the State of Play broadcasts, and offered a more indepth look at what lies ahead for Ellie and Joel in the sequel to The Last Of Us.

Watch the extended Last of Us Part II gameplay below.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Neon NZ: Movie Review - Angel Has Fallen

Neon NZ: Movie Review - Angel Has Fallen

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. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Arctic Justice: DVD Review

Arctic Justice: DVD Review

Voice cast: Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, John Cleese, Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Houston
Director: Aaron Woodley

Sometimes, animated family fare is simply a story and some animation, no deeper message, and nothing more profound to espouse.

So it is with Arctic Justice (known globally as Arctic Dogs), a climate change awareness piece with lashings of self-belief served up for an audience.

Arctic Justice: Film Review

Arctic fox Swifty (Renner) is a wannabe delivery dog in the small Arctic township of Taigasville.

Yearning to be "put to the test, so he can deliver his best", Swifty has gone most of his life unnoticed, other than by his polar bear friend PB (Baldwin, solid and gruffly warming) and by his potential love interest and town engineer, Jade (Klum, relatively one note).

When the dogs of the ABDS delivery service go AWOL, Swifty gets his chance to step up - but uncovers a wider conspiracy, masterminded by walrus OVW (Cleese, in raspy maniacal mood).

Arctic Justice feels very familiar, with its animation recalling many other elements of prior films.

A despot in the form of OVW with Puffin helpers? Very Minions and Despicable Me.

A mate who even looks like a whiter version of Sulley from Monsters Inc, lead foxes who look like they could come from Zootopia, there's a distinct feeling of deja vu in this animation.

Arctic Justice: Film Review

There are some zanier touches from James Franco's Lemmy, an albatross who's a few fish short of a picnic, but they're few and far between and really needed more of them to be inserted throughout.

While the climate change message is present, it's hardly pushed down people's throats, but it becomes ever more clear toward the end as Swifty and his pals face an extinction event for their town.

Worthy messages of being more than "just" a somebody work nicely too, and while some adults will identify with the slight at the monotony of jobs, Arctic Justice does enough for the younger kids to keep them happy throughout - but potentially not the adults.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Neon NZ movie review - Late Night

Neon NZ movie review - Late Night

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. 

Disclaimer: Neon NZ provided a review code for access to this film

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Neon NZ movie review - Annabelle Comes Home

Neon NZ movie review - Annabelle Comes Home

The Conjuring Universe continues to proffer more cinematic goods, as the appetite for horror shows no sign of lapsing.
Annabelle Comes Home: Film Review

The latest sees the Warrens transporting Annabelle home and confining the malevolent mannequin in their artifacts room, blessing the casing and putting up lots of Keep Out signs to stop people trespassing.

But when Ed and Lorraine head away from the weekend, leaving ten-year-old daughter Judy (a quietly nuanced McKenna Grace) in the hands of her babysitter, Annabelle gets out, awakening all kinds of chaos in the demonic room.

There's no denying that Annabelle Comes Home is effective at stretching out its conveyor belt of scares, and orchestrating the kind of spooky atmospherics the series has become known for.

There are some nice moments as the curse of Lorraine's visions appear to have been passed on to the daughter, and there's a familiar theme of being ostracised for their beliefs after their experiences, but Annabelle Comes Home is less interested in nuances, more in pulling back the curtain and giving you a jump scare a couple of moments after you've expected it.

Annabelle Comes Home: Film Review

Dauberman shoots it all well, there's the requisite number of spooky scenes and sequences, and there are plenty of close ups of the glass-eyed doll as you expect it to jump at you.

But in truth, after a while you feel like the contents of the demonic room are being rolled out as potential spin-offs. There's the Hellhound case from the past, the haunted Shinobi, the wedding dress that melds with its wearer, the haunted boardgame - they all feel like they're jostling to see which could work for future audiences and extend the universes further after this seventh entrant.

Haunted house cliches collide with a degree of claustrophobia, and an element of a small cast gives Annabelle Comes Home the tautness it requires.

However, this really is the cinematic equivalent of the ghost ride rolling into town every year as part of the carnival.

Deep down, you know what to expect, you enjoy the ride for its nostalgia or for the attempted tweaks the organisers have put in to keep it fresh - but buried underneath its smoke and mirrors tricks, this franchise needs to stop heading down the generic route, get back to genuine deep scares and psychological scars or it'll deserve to be confined to its grave.

Disclaimer: Neon NZ provided a review code for access to this film.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Neon NZ movie review - Good Boys

Neon NZ movie review - Good Boys

The sex comedy has gone about as far as it can do in modern gross out terms.

Yet, never once has it wandered into tweens' territory, something which producer Seth Rogen and his team acknowledge but dare to go there anyway.

Good Boys: Film Review

In the latest comedy to burst out of the ranks, Good Boys follows a close knit trio of young sixth graders, the self-named Beanbag Boys, led by Jacob Tremblay's Max. Friends since their younger years, the trio find themselves invited to a kissing party where Max's crush will be.

But when their plan to learn about the opposite sex goes awry , they're sent on an adventure that pushes them out of their comfort zone.

It may send the idea of naivety to the edges, and a lot of the gags may centre around the sixth graders' misunderstanding of sexual posturing, but Good Boys offers some solid laughs in among the gross out behaviour.

Once you get past the whole "should tweens be talking / doing this," there's a vein of something in Good Boys which transgresses the cute and crass with some ease. There's also something to be said for the way the film mines the inevitable peer pressure of tweens these days to understand sex and their misplaced braggadacio of understanding between friends - certainly while the laughs come from here, they also come from a place of sweetness and an inherent understanding of the pressure constantly imposed on children's lives.

Good Boys: Film Review

The trio are sweetly matched; from Tremblay's conflict over friends and girls, via loudmouth Thor's preoccupation with musical theatre to Lucas' compulsive need to tell the truth (breakout star Williams), this group feels real, and the push and pull of friendship is cleverly explored during the no-longer-than-it-needs-to-be 90 minute run time.

It will be easily dismissed as a Superbad: The Early Years, but Good Boys, while nothing superlative, deserves to stand on its own two feet, mixing drugs, sex and comedy with a nice touch of sweet observations, the film offers a solid night out with solid laughs at a universal experience.

Disclaimer: Neon provided a promo code for access to this movie.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Neon NZ kids movie of the week - Abominable

Neon NZ kids movie of the week - Abominable

Dreamworks' latest dials up the cute, channels a bit of Kubo and the Two Strings, and showcases Chinese leads - so in theory, it should be a home run.

But the tale of Yi (SHIELD's Chloe Bennet) and her quest to return a furry Yeti back to Everest at times suffers from an over-familiarity of themes and ideas, rendering parts of it too much like deja vu.

Abominable: Film Review

However, it's in the subtleties and the beautiful evocation of some of the sum of its parts that Abominable justifies itself on the big screen.

It's the visuals which soar in Abominable, not the characters. Sure, there's comedy Peng, the basketball-yearning youngster who bonds with Everest in a kind of dude-bro relationship that brings some of the funnies the kids will love; and there's a silly snake that pops up from time to time to amuse, but much of Abominable's characters are sadly forgotten when the film's over.

The aforementioned evocations of landscapes, of giant Buddha or of the lunacy of a blueberry attack from the sky soar, lifting the King Kong chase scenes early on from a kind of mental checking out that may attack parts of the audience during the film.

But when the group surf a field of yellow daffodils towards the end, Abominable finds its visual groove, a symphony of magical mixing with the mystical proving to be the bright vibrant compelling colour touch the script desperately needed.

Abominable: Film Review

Izzard is serviceable as an English villain named Burnish (a sly nod to a mix of Carl from UP and Mr Burns from the Simpsons - hence Burnish perhaps?), and Bennet has earnestness aplenty as Yi the strong and yet vulnerable heroine throughout. Animation on the Yeti is stunning, mixing Toothless visuals with white furry edges and blurring the line between pet pooch and cutesy Yeti with aplomb.

(Though little with the Yeti is better than the opening POV escape which hints at the menace within.)

Ultimately, heading into safe territory does much to harm Abominable's chances of standing the test of time, but it's perfectly enjoyable-in-the-moment animated fare that's more interested in evocative visuals than deep meaningful storylines.

Disclaimer: Neon provided a promo code for access to this movie.

PlayStation launches free demo of Iron Man VR

PlayStation launches free demo of Iron Man VR

PlayStation announces free demo of Iron Man VR. Available for download today!

We’ve all been there: running around with outstretched palms, firing imaginary repulsor blasts at unseen adversaries as we soar across make-believe skies. Why settle for imaginary when PlayStation VR lets you live it? PlayStation is excited to announce that you can download a free demo of Marvel’s Iron Man VR later right now on PlayStation Store! In this extended playable demo, you’ll get a taste of the full game.

The demo includes:
  • “Malibu” tutorial mission
  • Interactive Stark Jet cinematic starring Tony, Friday & Pepper Potts
  • “Out of the Blue” Stark Jet gameplay mission
  • Flight Challenge optional mission
  • Advanced Combat Challenge optional mission
  • The above is just a small slice of the main game, but by the end of the “Out of the Blue” mission, you’ll start to feel like Iron Man as you fly, shoot, and Rocket Punch through some of Tony’s Ghost-hacked, Stark Tech drone problems.

What’s more, download this free demo to unlock the exclusive Molten Lava Armor Deco when you purchase the full game!

There are hundreds of PS VR games and experiences currently available worldwide, with many new games on the horizon, so keep an eye out. For now, grab your PS VR headset to suit up as the Armored Avenger in an original Iron Man adventure that’s full of humor, heart, and suspense.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Neon NZ movie of the week: Midsommar

Neon NZ movie of the week: Midsommar

Director Ari Aster's next project after Hereditary is a descent into a psychological freefall, rather than an out-and-out freakout fest.

The ever wonderful Florence Pugh stars as Dani and Jack Reynor stars as Christian, her feckless boyfriend. When something happens to Dani (an event best left unspoiled, thanks to the pre-titles play out of dread), the pair try to get back on track.

Midsommar: NZIFF Review

Invited by Christian to tag along to a trip to a commune in Sweden where he and a handful of mates are heading for research, Dani finds her uncertainty in their relationship escalating.

It's exacerbated by the pagan rituals and lifestyle of those at the Swedish midsummer festival in Hälsingland .... but there's more going on than any of them realise.

If Hereditary was psychological terror, then Midsommar is the break-up album.

A sprawling, slow-moving descent that's in no rush to unveil its hand, the film's commitment to unsettling can be interpreted in many ways.

Whether it's a take on Americans crashing European ways of life and disrupting cultural matters, or simply a feeling of off-kilter unusual behaviours, Midsommar's desire to unnerve is there from the start - and carefully telegraphed.

Artfully executed by Aster, and beautifully choreographed by DP Pawel Pogorzelski, and blessed with a turn of frailty and subtlety by Pugh as she negotiates extreme trauma, Midsommar is more about the horrors of human behaviours than the appearance of the supernatural and what it can entail.

There are lashings of humour throughout, but as the crescendo of the creepy builds, there's more a sense of uncertainty rippling through this Wicker Man / League of Gentlemen hybrid folk horror and bucolic beastliness.

The horror comes in the consequences, and the reality of what's next - and while the conclusion may infuriate some and feel derivative to others, what Aster's done is essentially cycle back to the beginning's themes.

Midsommar is less a dream, but even less a nightmare - it's a waking breathing feeling of insomnia, and it's stiflingly good because of it.

Disclaimer: Neon provided a promo code for access to this movie.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

2K Announces Mafia Trilogy

2K Announces Mafia Trilogy

A close up of a logo

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An Offer You Can’t Refuse: 2K Announces Mafia: Trilogy

Live the life of a gangster across three distinct eras of organized crime in America with Definitive Editions of all three Mafia games from 2K and Hangar 13

Mafia II remaster and re-introduction to Mafia III now available,
built-from-the-ground-up remake of the original Mafia to launch on August 28

Sydney, Australia – May 20, 2020 – 2K and its Hangar 13 development studio have announced Mafia: Trilogy, a new collection featuring the only interactive entertainment series that lets players live the life of a gangster across three distinct eras of organized crime in America.

Combined, the critically acclaimed Mafia crime dramas have sold-in more than 18 million units worldwide. Now, for the first time on modern consoles, experience all three entries of the revered action-adventure series together in one definitive organized crime saga. Mafia: Trilogy includes:

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition – The built-from-the-ground-up remake of the beloved classic;
  • Mafia II: Definitive Edition – The ultra HD remaster of the fan favourite;
  • Mafia III: Definitive Edition – The re-introduction of the award-winning narrative masterpiece.

To view the Mafia: Definitive Edition Trailer click the image below
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Players who purchase Mafia: Trilogy digitally prior to August 28 will be able to access Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition immediately on PlayStation® 4, Xbox One, and Steam, and will be able to download Mafia: Definitive Edition as soon as it becomes available on August 28. The Mafia: Trilogy physical edition will release in full in Australia and New Zealand on August 28.

To view the Mafia II: Definitive Edition Trailer click the image below
A group of people walking down a dirt road

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Mafia: Definitive EditionMafia II: Definitive Edition, and Mafia III: Definition Edition are also available for purchase individually. The Definitive Editions for Mafia II and Mafia III are available today within the Mafia: Trilogy and as standalone purchases on Xbox One, PlayStation® 4, and PC via Steam, and will be coming to the Epic Games Store and Stadia at a later dateBoth Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition feature all original bonus add-on contentplus completely remastered 4K compatible visuals for Mafia II.

Mafia: Definitive Edition – the centrepiece of the collection – launches August 28 as a comprehensive, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up remake of the original Mafia, complete with an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories, and additional cutscenes; all-new gameplay sequences and features; the same stellar game engine that powered Mafia III’s best-in-class cinematics; and other enhancements. It’s the Mafia players remember, only much more.

“The original Mafia made such a lasting impact on how video games can tell serious stories, and we know how much the series' fans still revere it,” said Haden Blackman, President and CCO at Hangar 13, who led the development of Mafia: Definitive Edition across the studio’s offices in Brno and Prague, Czech Republic; Brighton, United Kingdom; and Novato, Calif. “Nearly 20 years after the Mafia series started, we now have an amazing opportunity to introduce this beloved game to a new generation of players and give long-time fans a chance to relive Tommy's story with a stellar modern presentation, as well as new story elements and gameplay features.”

To view the Mafia III: Definitive Edition Trailer click the image below
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Players who pre-order Mafia: Definitive Edition – as well as players who purchase the digital version or pre-order the physical version of Mafia: Trilogy – prior to August 28 will receive “The Chicago Outfit” bonus add-on content for Mafia: Definitive EditionThis content pack includes:

  • Exclusive Player Outfit: The Don;
  • Exclusive Vehicle: Smith V12 Limousine;
  • Exclusive Weapon Skin: Gold Semi-Automatic.

Furthermore, players can sign up for a 2K Account to unlock these bonus items for each game:

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition: Black Cats Motorcycle Pack;
  • Mafia II: Definitive Edition: Made Man Pack;
  • Mafia III: Definitive Edition: Classico Three-piece Suit & IL Duca Revolver.

Mafia II: Definitive Edition will be automatically granted to all existing owners of Mafia II on Steam today at no additional cost. Additionally, all existing Mafia III owners on PlayStation® 4, Xbox One, and Steam will be upgraded to Mafia III: Definitive Edition today at no additional cost. Customers who own a combination of titles will receive special reduced-price upgrade offers to complete their trilogy via in-game menus within each of the Mafia titles.
To learn more, please visit, and stay tuned to @MafiaGame on Twitter for additional information on Mafia: Definitive Edition starting in early June.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad: TV Review

Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad: TV Review

You'd be hard pressed to find another more genial TV show in these coronavirus times.

Essentially a travelogue cum father son bonding experience, Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad sees the Chase presenter Bradley Walsh head on a road trip with his son, Barney.

Just turned 21, Barney is a youthful puppy of a lad, a floppy haired, wide-grinning bundle of enthusiasm who's never short of a smile and a desire to get his dad out of his comfort zone.
Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad: TV Review

His dad is older, wiser, but still has an irascible streak that clearly needs to be amused. Walsh Sr is the cheeky dad you've always wanted, a presence that brings out the best of everyone, and never really stops entertaining - he is the consummate professional, but he's still also the guy you'd happily have a beer with once filming's stopped.

Roughly four decades separate the duo, but to be frank, they are father and son goals; their relationship is warmth and geniality - it's hard to imagine them falling out over illegal drinking or not doing homework while sneaking out.

Season 1 saw the boys head from LA to New Orleans, resulting in moments such as seeing Walsh Sr put in an attempt to follow in the footsteps of John Glenn and pushed into centrifuge training, or enjoying an impromptu motorbike ride on the infamous Route 66. It's beyond genial, and difficult to deny.

Season 2 puts them back in the RV and into the Florida states before heading north,taking in Ernest Hemingway's birth place, diving with sharks and some hoverboarding.

And it's easy viewing, nothing challenging, but immensely entertaining.
Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad: TV Review

It's a bite-size travelogue that doesn't challenge the viewer, offers some mini guides to some of the US' more memorable areas, and given we're all unable to travel currently, it offers hope and areas to bookmark in future. But it proves the Walsh charm lives on, and that being game for anything proves to be out-and-out entertaining.

Quintessential family viewing, it shows the Bradley Walsh charm juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down. Perfect family fare, with as many laughs as it has heart, Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad is the quintessential viewing experience during lockdown times. And to be honest, outside of them as well.

Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad airs TVNZ 1 on Mondays at 7.30pm and on TVNZ OnDemand.

Monday, 18 May 2020

The Last of Us Part II - Inside the story

The Last of Us Part II - Inside the story

The Last Of Us Part II is being released in June, which is but a few weeks away.

To that end, Naughty Dog has released some more information about what's coming up.

Take a look at the story video below.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Win a copy of Bad Boys For Life

Win a copy of Bad Boys For Life

To celebrate the release of  Bad Boys For Life, thanks to Sony Home Entertainment, you can win a copy.

About Bad Boys For Life

The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life

Marcus and Mike are forced to confront new threats, career changes, and midlife crises as they join the newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department to take down the ruthless Armando Armas, the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel.

To win, all you have to do is email your details and the word BAD BOYS!

Email now to 

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Bad Boys For Life: Blu Ray Review

Bad Boys For Life: Blu Ray Review

17 years after Bad Boys 2 exploded onto screens, the apparently final outing for Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's buddy cops series has arrived.

In all honesty, it may have been better to be shelved than to try to relive and recapture some of the former glories of the franchise.

Bad Boys For Life: Film Review

In this latest, Mike Lowery (Smith, still looking flash as the Miami cop) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence, appearing in some scenes like he's struggling) are forced to reassess their lives when the past comes calling - and brings with it the Grim Reaper.

With one apparently last score to settle, the duo's forced back into a world not all of them want to be in...

Bad Boys For Life's elongated script drawing out moments doesn't help matters here.

It's rarely better than when both Smith and Lawrence are allowed to get back to their bickering best, but even that feels a little muted in parts, when really it should have soared higher because of the obvious chemistry between them.

Sure, there's a tale here of personal demons coming back to haunt and of looking to family and friends as being more important than your legacy, but Bad Boys For Life doesn't really build on that promise, preferring to go with racial stereotypes for the villain that's as outdated as ever in the current climates (but which some Trump supporters will adore, and those still smarting from Rambo's outing last year will groan at) and action that's solid but never spectacular.

As mentioned, Lawrence looks in parts like he's struggling to deliver a flat script, and where there should be comedy, there are, aside from one genuine laugh-out-loud moment from within a plane, warning signs of tumbleweeds lumbering into view.

Had 20 minutes of the Gemini Man style script been excised and the pace tightened along with some of it being beefed up, Bad Boys for Life would have been passable action movie fare.

As it is, it's less than memorable thanks to feeling stale and forced, and in parts more risible than it should be - instead of sending these bad boys off into the sunset, Bad Boys For Life has seen them hobble into retirement like some lame mules desperately in need of being put into pasture.

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