Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Wellington-shot movie Reunion releases its first trailer

Wellington-shot movie Reunion releases its first trailer


Featuring a stellar international and local cast including Julia Ormond and New Zealand’s own Emma Draper, Cohen Holloway and John Bach, the film is an original and exhilarating psychological thriller that challenges the perceptions of objective reality and subjective truth.

Reunion movie


Emma Draper plays Ellie, who returns to her childhood home, heavily pregnant and reunites with her estranged mother Ivy, played by Julia Ormond. Following years of separation, their initial awkward interactions gradually fall into the familiar dynamics of previous years. But the old house conjures disturbing memories for Ellie who is haunted by her dead sister, Cara. As Ellie grows more erratic and confused, Ivy tries to comfort her and contain her increasingly strange behaviour. When past trauma and the anxiety over her unborn child finally sends Ellie over the edge, she discovers the hidden, horrifying reality of her family that she never expected.


Written and directed by SXSW and Venice Orizzonti award-winning filmmaker Jake Mahaffy (Free in Deed, Wellness), Reunion was shot in Wellington.



Directed by: Jake Mahaffy

Written by: Jake Mahaffy

Starring: Julia Ormond, Emma Draper, Cohen Holloway, John Bach.

Reunion releases November 5.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

The Broken Hearts Gallery: Film Review

The Broken Hearts Gallery: Film Review

Cast: Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo and Bernadette Peters.

Director: Natalie Krinsky

There's nothing wrong with a good rom-com.

Although it's very easy to be very cynical about the familiar paths they follow and the story beats they hit.

The Broken Hearts Gallery: Film Review

However, The Broken Hearts Gallery has one secret weapon in its arsenal - its Australian star Geraldine Viswanathan.

Viswanathan is Lucy, a New York City- based relationship hoarder who keeps memorabilia from break ups and exes and who really has a problem moving on. As her friends politely put it early on, she's gone from sentimental to full-mental.

When wannabe gallery owner Lucy's dumped by her partner and sacked from her art job, she hits a funk. 

But having met boutique hotel developer Dacre Montgomery's Nick by mistake and in a moment of genius, Lucy decides on an art gallery that showcases material from exes. That becomes a viral sensation, putting Lucy back on the up...

The Broken Hearts Gallery is a zingy, lively romcom that descends into the expected schmaltz and tropes of the genre in its final 20 minutes.

However, it soars in large parts because of its lead.

Viswanathan's unending energy, quirk and upbeat portrayal of Lucy is a star-in-the-making turn. It's hard to be cynical when confronted by her work in this, which builds greatly on the comedy she brought to Blockers and the drama she had in Bad Education. 

Equally impressive is just how much diversity and empowerment there is in this film.

The Broken Hearts Gallery: Film Review

Sure, you can argue in large parts it fails the Bechedel Test, but quite frankly, who cares? Krinksy's commitment to female friendship, group mentality and mates is utterly winning. That's not to say supporting characters aren't underwritten either - there's a full roster of solid stand-alones who make the film what it is.

Ultimately, The Broken Hearts Gallery is a breezy film that offers much to the rom-com genre without massively subverting it. It will break your heart and leave your sides splitting too - it's a none-too-timely reminder that good comedies are rare beasts - and stars in waiting like  Geraldine Viswanathan are all too rare, and excellent to watch.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Ready or Not: Neon NZ Film Review

Ready or Not: Neon NZ Film Review

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. 

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Mafia Definitive Edition - Launch Trailer

Mafia Definitive Edition - Launch Trailer 


Mafia: Definitive Edition


is Available Now





Mafia: Definitive Edition is part of the Mafia: Trilogy, which 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.


Saturday, 26 September 2020

Civilization VI - Byzantium & Gaul Pack Out Now

Civilization VI - Byzantium & Gaul Pack Out Now

Civilization VI Byzantium and Gaul pack out now


Byzantium & Gaul Pack Available Today




The third DLC pack in the Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass, the Byzantium & Gaul Pack, is now available on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Mac and Linux! Below are the key features:


  • New Leader: Basil II of Byzantium
    • Includes unique Dromon Ship and Tagma units, unique Hippodrome district, Taxis civilization ability and Porphyrogénnētos leader ability
  • New Leader: Ambiorix of Gaul
    • Includes unique Gaesatae unit, unique Oppidum district, Hallstatt Culture civilization ability and King of the Eburones leader ability
  • New Optional Game Mode: Dramatic Ages (requires Rise and Fall or Gathering Storm expansions to play)
    • Civilizations always enter Golden or Dark Ages every era that feature more potent bonuses and penalties.
    • Instead of Dedications, players will gain access to powerful new Social Policies like Golden Policies and updated Dark Policies that offer more flexibility and power.
    • Dark Ages in particular are more dangerous than ever, as players in Dark Ages will have a portion of their empire immediately fall into Free Cities, and Free Cities can exert pressure on other cities.
  • New World Wonders: Biosphere, Statue of Zeus
  • New Map Script: Highlands



The Byzantium & Gaul Pack is the third of several bimonthly DLCs coming to Civilization VI as part of the Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass, which brings eight new civilizations, nine new leaders, six new game modes and more to the critically-acclaimed strategy game. The Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass is priced at $59.95; the Byzantium & Gaul is available for individual purchase at $13.45.





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Friday, 25 September 2020

Utopia: Amazon Prime Video TV Review

Utopia: Amazon Prime Video TV Review

Dennis Kelly's Utopia was a bonafide cult classic in the UK.

Launching in 2013, the conspiracy theory drama followed a group of misfits who believed the comic they adored, Utopia, was a document that predicted all manner of diseases and illnesses. Dismissed as conspiracy nuts, the show took a turn when it proved the ragtag bunch right, and that everything they feared was real.

In all honesty, it's hard to match the two season mystery which was both apocalyptic and exceptionally well-crafted.

And for fans of the UK original, the Amazon Prime Video version, which launches today, will feel like a pale comparison to what's transpired before, with some parts feeling weirdly like cosplay do-overs.

Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn has crafted the remake and the producers have craftily thrown on a "Based on" line to ensure there's a bit of distance from the original.

However, the story is still the same, and based on the two episodes previewed for the purposes of this review, some of the story beats and even sequences are exactly the same.
Utopia: Amazon Prime Video TV Review

A bunch of young adults are obsessed with underground graphic novel, Dystopia, which appeared to predict several world diseases. When word gets out of a sequel, Utopia, found by accident and auctioned off at a comic con, the group, who's never met before, join forces to buy the book. 

But without any warning, two hitmen arrive on the scene and quietly and meticulously begin trying to find the book, wiping out anyone who's seen it, and searching for the graphic novel's mythical protagonist, Jessica Hyde....

It's fair to say the US remake of Utopia is a polished vehicle, that has some degree of timing - a series about a viral outbreak and a global conspiracy being released in the middle of a pandemic couldn't be more timely if it tried.

However, Gillian Flynn's writing doesn't quite cut as loose from the original as it wants - and certainly some of the characters feel like basic elements have been thrown onto mannequins that lack a degree of charisma. 

It's a tough proposition to match the original, and maybe non-fans of Dennis Kelly's trail-blazer will get a reasonable buzz from this stylish dive down the rabbit hole.

However, the main leads in the series lack the necessary sparkle to kick the series off - two of them appear to be star-crossed lovers who have been ripped from the pages of a young adult novel, and who have little outstanding moments during the first 2 hours of the show.

Thankfully Happy Death Day's Jessica Rothe as Sam, the go-getter of the group, the and Desmin Borges' Wilson Wilson, a Utopia paranoia case make great viewing companions and give the series the relatable edges it needs. 

Unfortunately Christopher Denham's hitman Arby feels like a straight impression of Neil Maskell's monotoned menace - and lacks the horror of the original.

It's emblematic of the minor problem with the US remake of Utopia - the menace simply isn't there.

The original series opened with the hitmen quietly and calmly gassing their targets before killing them - a shocking sequence that set the tone of unease that never let up during the UK's two seasons. Here, the Utopia of America is a little too sanitised by comparison and definitely in the first episode never delivers any of the same chills or sense of anxiety that got viewers sitting bolt upright.

Some of that comes to the fore in the second episode (which has an incredible ending that commands an urgent viewing of the third), but again these are broad brush strokes that are repeated from the original. Introducing more characters and widening the conspiracy edges helps a little, but it feels like the horror and meta edges of a current day situation, pandemics and viral diseases haven't been fully formed or narratively fleshed out.

While the US version of Utopia is a big budget affair, it certainly does offer some thrills. It's just that said thrills pale into comparison with the UK original, and which doesn't feel like it's got the strength of direction to pull into something as compelling and sickening as it could be.

Utopia launches on Amazon Prime Video on Friday September 25. For the purposes of this review, Amazon Prime Video provided screeners.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Four Kids and It: Film Review

Four Kids and It: Film Review 

Cast: Michael Caine, Paula Patton, Matthew Goode, Russell Brand, 

Director: Andy DeEmmony

British children's novel Five Children and It may have had its first life in 1902, but Edith Nesbit's book was also given a charming do-over in the form of a kids' TV series which ran in the 90s.

The 2020 film version (not the first of its kind) has its own charms, but they're intermittent at best in this remake that's come from the Jacqueline Wilson book of the same name.

Four Children and It: Film Review

When the Trent family heads to Cornwall, the two kids are devastated to find their newly-divorced dad (Goode, relatively effete in a thankless role) is bringing with him his new American girlfriend (Patton, stereotyped and cast aside) and her two brash unhappy kids in an attempt to achieve domestic bliss.

However, the kids make a discovery down on the beach that changes the holiday for good - a reluctant wish-granting sand fairy creature known as the Psammead who can make it all come to pass for 24 hours only.

But the Trent kids aren't the only ones who find the Psammead enchanting - the nefarious lord of the land (played with chutzpah and plumminess by Russell Brand) is also searching for the creature...

As mentioned, Four Kids and It as intermittent charm, and has some relatively likeable leads in the form of the kids.

The adults are less successful being there solely to irritate the children and feign anger at their squabbling. Not so Russell Brand who breathes a bit of life into the bad guy role he's been handed, giving his Lord Trent the kind of broad brush strokes a villain needs without deigning to steal any of the scenery.

Four Children and It: Film Review

Michael Caine adds a venerable note or two to the Psammead (a sort of cross between ET and a bunny) but is woefully held back from launching a grumpy tirade or two which would have given the film a much-needed edge.

Four Kids and It skews younger, with many under 10s likely to find some laughs and silliness where necessary, but adults may struggle to see what the old school raison d'etre is. 

Nesbit's book may have been a warning about being careful what you wish for (a message that's easily caught by any viewing audience) but Four Kids and It's dogged determination to stick to an old school format and lack of magic may prove a minor turn off for audiences during school holidays who are used to slicker less corny and gentle material.

There's some heart in the kids' performances and Michael Caine more than breathes life into the Psammead, but Four Kids and It needs a bit more sparkle to stay in the memory longer after the cinema's lights have gone up.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Neon NZ Film Review

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Neon NZ Film Review

Lee Israel won't be a name familiar to many.

But thanks to an exceptional turn from a downbeat Melissa McCarthy, a few more people will be aware of what the literary faker did.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Film Review

A failing writer facing extremely hard times and needled by Tom Clancy's success, Israel's unable to sell her agent (a tart Curtin) any ideas, but hits on an apparent goldmine when she discovers a letter from a subject she's researching.

Trying to sell it, but upon being told she can get more for more personal letters, Israel hatches a plot from desperation and begins faking literary letters. Enjoying the spoils of her lucrative market, and finding her voice for the first time in years, Israel ends up enlisting Jack Hock (Grant, in flamboyant mode) to help with her scam.

However, the authorities are edging closer to being onto her game.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a great reminder that McCarthy can do more than simply broad comedy; in this one, there are signs of repressed anger and frustration that she channels well by underplaying, rather than her usual modus operandi of broad comedy laughs and easy hits.

As a result, Israel is a deeply empathetic character, even though what she's doing is so obviously criminal; along with Nicole Holofcener's script, which gives scenes the zing they need, lots of Can You Ever Forgive Me? works well.

Grant's never been better - imbuing his rascally coke-dealing flamboyant with flourishes that mean every single scene he's in is a joy to behold; and he spars well with McCarthy.

But this is McCarthy's film without a shadow of a doubt; her quietly frustrated take on it all lends the film an edge of engagement and a warmth to undercut the prickliness that lies within. There's an outsider vibe to both Lee and Hock, but rather than make them victims, the actors and script embed them in proceedings and give them a life beyond the text.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Film Review

There's a delicious irony that McCarthy brings her best work to someone channelling someone else, but Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a surprising film that enchants, amuses and engages - it's some of McCarthy's best work yet. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

1917: Neon NZ Film Review

 1917: Neon NZ Film Review

Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth, Daniel Mays, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott
Director: Sam Mendes

Schofield and Blake, (MacKay and Chapman) two young British soldiers during the First World War, are given a seemingly impossible mission. 
1917: Film Review

With time against them, they must deliver a message, deep in enemy territory, that will stop their own men, and Blake's own brother, walking straight into a deadly trap.

But with the clock ticking, the duo face deadlier dangers than they could realise as they tread the trenches and the mistrust within the ranks.
1917: Film Review
1917: Film Review

In all honesty, director Sam Mendes does nothing new with the bones of the story of 1917.

There have been countless rescue missions/ one last mission war stories told before (Saving Private Ryan being the most famous) and Mendes’ tale of two soldiers tasked with stopping a doomed final push is hardly new - more an intimate tale set against the backdrop of a grander canvas.

And yet, in among some truly naive dialogue and some narrative contrivances that border on unbelievable, 1917 enacts one major coup - namely its one shot ethos, set in real time.

Imagine a more relaxed episode of 24 but with no less of the tension but less of the shouting and the real time(ish) exploits in 1917 start to merit some viewership rather than a familiarity dismissal.

Mendes along with cinematography from Roger Deakins sets the film apart - from an opening shot that takes two soldiers from a glen, weaves them through trenches and ends in a final mirrored shot that echoes the opening.

In between these bookenders, our pair of young heroes go through hellscapes, rendered with panache by the visuals team and undergo much more than any soul should take. But yet, your engagement with their mission feels forced and distant, therefore some elements don't land as perhaps they could - or should.

The emotional level doesn’t quite pull together as it should, with aforementioned contrivances and ropey dialogue jarring occasionally. And some sequences are clearly in existence to add to the necessary joining of the story.

But where 1917 works is in its immersive take on what war means and how it affects people.

It's here that the visual chutzpah comes together, and here that you get sucked into the action, such as it is. Complete with landscapes that are hellish and visually eye-popping, 1917 works better in parts than compared to the sum of said parts.

Ultimately, 1917 may well be a journey, but it's one that while successfully instigated at a technical level, falters at the more human edges that produce the most effective of war stories.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Dolittle: Neon NZ Film Review

Dolittle: Neon NZ Film Review 

Leaning heavily into the eccentricities and the weird Welsh whisperings of the titular character, the CGI heavy Dolittle comes across as a strange mix of Willy Wonka-cum-Jules Verne-cum Aladdin that never quite settles on a tone.

A wafer thin plot involving the grieving recluse being forced out of hiding to try and help save a terminally ill Queen Victoria is just the jumping off point for Downey Jr's Dolittle to head off with a menagerie of creatures and a potential apprentice in tow.

But the film is also there to give the man who imbued Iron Man with such gravitas a chance to make gorilla noises as well - it's that kind of movie.

In truth, it's not a mess, more an incoherent folly that dogs Dolittle throughout.

While the talking animals will amuse the kids, what they're saying will amuse the adults less, given most of it is relatively flat comedic fare that lands with nary a punchline.

The CGI is on overload, and maybe a little more breathing space would have given the frantic fare a bit more of the emotional appeal that it needs to counter the general broadness of the comedy and the attempted hits.

Dolittle: Film Review

Downey Jr's Welsh accent isn't entirely convincing to start off with, and there's definitely a feeling some of it was redubbed afterwards, but it's the mumbling, withdrawn approach that ever so slightly holds this hero back from fully grasping the screen. He never seizes the moment, and while there's some Chaplin-esque clowning to be had, there's no defining moment for this incarnation of Dolittle.

Yet, there's also an other worldly old time quality to Dolittle, a film that wafts by insubstantially on more innocent fare (witness Sheen's cartoon pantomime villain) and feels  like it's from yesteryear as it flits quickly and awkwardly from one scene to the next.

Ultimately, this Dolittle is less a case of the man who could speak to the animals, more a case of should he have done so in the first place.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Win a double pass to see The Secret Garden in cinemas

Win a double pass to see The Secret Garden in cinemas

To celebrate the release of The Secret Garden in cinemas September 24, thanks to Studio Canal New Zealand, you can win a double pass.

About The Secret Garden

THE SECRET GARDEN tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx - Genius, The Little Stranger), a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents.

The Secret Garden

When they die suddenly, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven (Academy Award® and BAFTA-winner Colin Firth – A Single Man, The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Baby) at Misselthwaite Manor, a remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Medlock (BAFTA-winner Julie Walters – Mary Poppins Returns, Harry Potter, Mamma Mia) and with only the household maid, Martha (Isis Davis - Guilt, Electric Dreams) for company.

However, Mary begins to uncover many family secrets...

From the Producer of Harry Potter and Paddington, comes this beautiful adaption of the classic book, THE SECRET GARDEN – In cinemas September 24.

Enter below!

All you have to do is email your details and the word GARDEN!

Email now to 

Competition closes September 25.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Becky: Film Review

Becky: Film Review 

Cast: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale

Director: Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott

Gleefully unhinged and schlocky as they come from about halfway through, Becky is a vengeance film that puts its Cabin in the Woods versus the Nazis ethos to good use.

Lulu Wilson's Becky is still raw with emotion after the death from cancer of her mum. Sprung early from school by her dad (Community's McHale), she heads to the woods on a break. However, Becky's surprised on arrival by a visit from her dad's new girlfriend and her son.

Becky: Film Review

And she's even more surprised when dad reveals he's about to remarry. Running off and hiding in the woods, Becky is even more shocked when a group of neo Nazis, led by Kevin James' Dominick, show up on the doorstep, searching for a key...

Becky doesn't hold back from the necessary violent edges when it needs to - and is all the better for it.

James turns in a surprisingly restrained and villainous performance as the brooding leader of the baddies, but his character's motivations are left weirdly vague in a way that detracts from the film's sense of urgency. However, he exudes the menace needed and gives the film the bad guy it needs.

Equally impressive is Lulu Wilson, whose character is described at one point as "vindictive and strong-willed". Wild-eyed and grappling with grief, loss and jealousy, Wilson's Becky becomes a force of nature halfway through that any film would use for OTT requirements. However, Wilson's stripped back turn helps turn her into a tool of vengeance and revenge with ease during the home invasion elements.

Becky: Film Review

It's a good thing too, because the script's more ludicrous edges and sense of convenience begins to outweigh the film as it races towards its end. 

Granted, Becky is the kind of film you watch after a few beers or as part of a marathon, but thanks to James and Wilson's performances, that's no bad thing.

Friday, 18 September 2020

The Third Day: Summer: Neon NZ Review

The Third Day: Summer: Neon NZ Review

Television of unease doesn't come much better than new psychological thriller, The Third Day. Even if the answers aren't quite as enticing as the questions posed early on.

Jude Law stars as Sam, a former social worker who now runs a garden centre with his wife. On a road somewhere he makes a call to an unknown person, his voice edged with desperation and urgency. 

Stumbling into a woods, Sam sees a girl apparently playing a game - but when the game turns nearly deadly, Sam rescues her and offers to take her home, an offshore island called Osea, separated from the mainland by a causeway that only opens a few times a day due to flooding.

The Third Day: Review

So The Third Day begins - and the new series from Dennis Kelly, the creator of Utopia never really lets up with its mystery and intrigue, as it sends Sam and the viewers on a trip that messes with both the head and reality.

The Third Day is split into 6 episodes, and three sections. 

The first three episodes, subtitled Summer, concern Sam and his time on the mysterious island of Osea.

The second three, entitled Winter, concern Naomie Harris' mother Helen as she visits Osea with her daughters. 

Sandwiched in between is a 12 hour immersive event, the screening details of which have yet to be revealed. 

The Third Day: Review

It's fair to say that the limits are pushed in The Third Day's first three episodes (episode one of which is now available to view on Neon NZ, and which plays Tuesday nights on SoHo in NZ) which make at times for uncomfortable viewing, even if you are familiar with The Wicker Man, The League of Gentlemen and Midsommar.

But while the reveals in episodes two and three help piece together the portentous jigsaw puzzle, they're not as massively earth-shattering as perhaps you'd expect; equally though, they are not on Lost levels of disappointment.

It's in the thrill of the journey and the steely determination of Jude Law's Sam that The Third Day gets its power.

With Law's continually furrowed brow and director Marc Munden's use of close ups, The Third Day has a very real tendency to unnerve as it spins its story. It's helped by Law's edgy performance that suggests confusion as he searches for answers on Osea. 

But it's greatly exacerbated by the likes of Paddy Considine and Emily Watson as the owners of the local pub, and Katherine Waterston as one of those visiting the island for its pagan festival. Sure the folk horror genre has undergone a revival thanks to Midsommar, but at its heart, The Third Day appears to be more a treatise on grief and how it affects personally those involved.

In Jude Law's Sam, the unsettling tipping point seems to ever be closer (opening moments show Law sobbing uncontrollably by a stream as a piece of clothing is placed in and left to float away) but Law never proves showy in his portrayal.

It's part of the success of Kelly's The Third Day that nothing is overplayed - from the score to the startling use of over-exposed colours and odd imagery that's dropped seemingly randomly within, the script and its delivery know well that understated adds to the oddity of proceedings and the unnvering nature of some of the dialogue.

The Third Day: Review

Ultimately, the first part of The Third Day provides some kind of conclusion.

Granted, it may not be the game-changing set of answers that is provoked by the initial questions, but the three episodes do feel like a complete whole that reward for the three hour investment. It's perhaps enjoyed more with an open mind and with a spoiler-free attitude. Fans of the genre may get more from The Third Day, but even casual viewers will be rewarded with the intrigue of a psychological jigsaw and the powerhouse central performance of Jude Law.

The Third Day airs on Neon and on SoHo on Tuesday nights. The first three episodes were supplied for the purpose of this review

Thursday, 17 September 2020

PlayStation 5 price and release date revealed

PlayStation 5 price and release date revealed

This morning, PlayStation has finally revealed the price of their new console, the PlayStation 5.

PlayStation 5 price

The new console will cost $399.99 US or $499.99 US.

New Zealand prices mean $819.95 or $649.95.

PlayStation 5 NZ price

Not only that, PlayStation has revealed the PlayStation 5 will release on November 12 in New Zealand and November 19 in other parts of the world.

There's been speculation PlayStation was set to release details after Xbox last week revealed the price and release date of its XBox Series X and XBox Series S consoles. 

PlayStation 5 release date

You can watch all of the PlayStation 5 showcase again below - including extended looks at Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Death Loop, Village and the God of War: Ragnarok reveal.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) today announced launch date and price details for its highly anticipated next-generation videogame system, PlayStation®5. SIE also revealed new updates to the PS5™ game portfolio, including Final Fantasy XVI, Fortnite, Hogwarts Legacy, and a new God of War title.


On November 12, PS5 will launch in seven key markets: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. The global rollout will continue on November 19 with launches throughout the rest of the world*, including Europe, Middle East, South America, Asia and South Africa. The PS5 Digital Edition will be available for a recommended retail price (RRP) of NZD$649.95, and PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive will be available for an RRP of NZD$819.95. Pre-orders will be available starting as early as today at select retailers in New Zealand.


Both PS5 models use the same custom processor with integrated CPU and GPU for high-fidelity graphics up to 4K, as well as the same ultra-high speed SSD with integrated I/O that will deliver lightning-fast loading. Both PS5 models also offer a deepened sense of immersion through the DualSense wireless controller and 3D audio capabilities, so players will enjoy the same transformative gameplay experiences regardless of which PS5 they choose.


“Since we first announced our next generation console last year, we have received astounding support from developers and gaming fans all around the world, and it’s truly humbling,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “Now we are just a couple of months away from launching PS5, which will offer a new generation of experiences that go beyond players’ expectations of how games can look, feel, sound, and play. We can’t wait for our fans to experience for themselves the incredible speed, the heightened immersion and the breathtaking games on PS5 when we launch this November.”


Adding to its growing games portfolio, SIE today unveiled several new titles coming to PS5, including:

  • Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition (Capcom)
  • Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix) 
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s Security Breach (Steel Wool Studios and ScottGames)
  • Hogwarts Legacy (Warner Bros. Games)
  • A new God of War title (Santa Monica Studio)


With titles such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Demon’s Souls, the breadth of unique gaming experiences coming to PS5 represent the best lineup in PlayStation history. Exclusive titles from SIE Worldwide Studios will be priced at launch from NZD$109.95 to NZD$139.95 (RRP) on PS5.


To support the PlayStation®4 community as they transition to the next generation when they’re ready, SIE will launch PS4™ versions of a few exclusive titles: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy A Big Adventure, and Horizon Forbidden West. While these three games were designed to take advantage of PS5 and its unique next-gen features like the ultra-high speed SSD and DualSense controller, PS4 owners will also be able to enjoy these experiences when they launch. The PS4 digital versions of launch games include a free upgrade on both PS5 consoles, while the PS4 disc versions of these games include a free upgrade on the PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-Ray disc drive.


In addition, SIE today revealed the PlayStation Plus Collection**, a curated lineup of PS4 games that defined the generation, which will be available to PS Plus members to download and play on PS5. The PS Plus Collection features critically acclaimed games, including Batman Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, Persona 5 and many more.


SIE also announced the price for the following accessories that will launch alongside the PS5 console:

DualSense™ Wireless Controller (standalone) – NZD$124.95 (RRP)

·         PULSE 3D™ wireless headset – with 3D audio support and dual noise-cancelling microphones NZD$179.95 (RRP)

  • HD Camera – with dual 1080p lenses for gamers to broadcast themselves along with their epic gameplay moments NZD$109.95 (RRP)
  • Media Remote – to navigate movies and streaming services with ease NZD$54.95 (RRP)
  • DualSense™ Charging Station – to conveniently charge two DualSense Wireless Controllers NZD$54.95 (RRP)


For more information, please visit:


*Availability in each country subject to local import regulations. PS5 launch date for China is still under exploration and will be announced at a later date.

You can pre-order the PlayStation 5 at Mighty Ape now for day and date release.  And also now at EB Games.

PlayStation 5 showcase

PlayStation 5 showcase

Get a look at the future games and hardware of the upcoming PlayStation 5 with Sony!

James Bond: No Time To Die - Meet Safin

No Time To Die - Meet Safin

Ahead of the most anticipated film of the year, No Time To Die, ahead of its release on November 12. 

Let us introduce you to the villainous Safin – played by Academy Award®-winner Rami Malek - who might be 007’s most terrifying adversary yet.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

The Trip To Greece: DVD Review

 The Trip To Greece: DVD Review

Cast: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, the wonders of Greece
Director: Michael Winterbottom

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan reprise their Trip persona for the fourth time.

And while the third time is apparently the charm (not so in The Trip To Spain's case), it feels like now really is the time to wind up this over-inflated travelogue series for good.
The Trip To Greece: Film Review

It's something which those involved have said will happen with this Hellenic outing, but in parts, this film feels like a retread of everything that's gone before and a greatest hits package of the Coogan-Brydon relationship.

Except in parts, this trip around Greece, as the pair follow Odysseus' journey, delves more in the maudlin and melancholy, a welcome touch from the incessant one upmanship that's been seen so many times before. Sure, the banter between Brydon and Coogan becomes more desperate as the duo tackle more impressions, but it really does start to grate the fourth time around.

This time, it's peppered with touches of the portentous as Coogan trumpets being known for his BAFTA for Stan Laurel, but hints at being tired of only ever being awarded for work playing other people; and Brydon's continual talk of being a light entertainer feels more savage as the legacy suffocates him rather than leaving him feeling fulfilled.

As with the previous films, this has been crafted out of the 3 hour TV version, and most of the intricacies and rhythms of the food tasting and the locations have been scythed through - which is a great shame.
The Trip To Greece: Film Review

The star of the Trip is still Winterbottom, whose eye for magnificent shots is evident once again.

But Brydon and Coogan prove to be game enough company - from a swimming competition that's more an old man's pissing contest to the constant jabs, their exploration of friendship is a more poignant and potent affair to spend time with, rather than a tiresome retread of who can do the best impression.

If this Trip to Greece truly is the last, it's a welcome end to the series which should have been a two course menu, rather than an endless degustation of middle-aged mimcry and midlife melancholy.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Cut Throat City: Film Review

Cut Throat City: Film Review

Cast: Shameik Moore, Kat Graham, Demetrius Shipp Jr, Eiza Gonzalez, T.I., Ethan Hawke, Terrence Howard.
Director: RZA

It's easy to see what director RZA is trying to do with Cut Throat City.

Combining the controversial topics of life for the African-American community after Hurricane Katrina and police violence against black people, the story of four childhood friends is clearly aiming to push some buttons as it spins a very familiar story.

Moore and Graham are newlyweds Blink and Demyra, who've been "underwater long before Katrina came" and are struggling. Blink wants to be a comic artist, but when his last attempt is thrown back in his face, and facing economic reality, Blink's sent down a path of desperation to provide for his family.

As the quartet scrabble to survive, they turn to robbery and the criminal world of Cousin Bass (played with calm and menace by T.I.) but find themselves in over their heads....
Cut Throat City: Film Review

Cut Throat City has some fresh things to say in its story, and occasionally RZA brings it to the fore with its clever use of framing it all within Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

But for the most part, this is a familiar retread of old themes, wrapped up in street and rapper stylings of dialogue that are more about posturing than emotional depth.

Thankfully Shameik Moore has a magnetic presence that makes his character feel soulful and his plight and desperation feel tangible. But to be frank, he is the only one of the cast that feels as fully fleshed out as is necessary for any level of investment.

Yet, as the film continues its overlong journey to an inevitable denouement of tragedy, there's little new here except a series of Hollywood big name cameos and some mightily impressive tailoring.

Narratively, things aren't helped by some logic loops - especially in the film's final sequence where one last heist takes place. It's here that RZA shows his hand with his anti-police message in a way that feels heavy-handed, clumsy and to be frank, unbelievable in its execution.

It's moments like these that prevent Cut Throat City from truly soaring above - even with the hard work of its mainly likeable cast. There is a fire in this gangster film that works best when it's restrained, and works powerfully when it's centred around the frame of Hurricane Katrina and its after effects, and of the power vacuum that's filled by undesirables.

When it tries too hard, the bluster is sadly evident, and ultimately distracting.

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