Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Professor Marston and The Wonder Women: DVD Review

Professor Marston and The Wonder Women: DVD Review


Feeling more like an episode of Masters Of Sex, with some kinkiness thrown in as well, it's no surprise that Professor Marston and The Wonder Women releases the same week as Justice League.

Professor Marston and The Wonder Women: Film Review

Centring on Evans' Professor William Marston aka the man who created the Wonder Woman comic and his wife Elizabeth (Hall), Professor Marston and The Wonder Women details how the renowned psychologist developed the feminist comic in the 1940s.

While lecturing at Harvard, Bella Heathcote's Olive Byrne catches the eye of William and his wife, and she's invited to join them in an intellectual three-way as he looks to develop the lie detector.

Frustrated at his lack of breakthrough, and with his wife unable to secure a PHD from anywhere, the two find their energy centred and re-focused with the introduction of Olive - not to mention, an attraction as well.

Professor Marston and The Wonder Women is a curious film, one which takes the time to build up the central relationship and dynamic of the trio, but falters at anything else outside of it.

Professor Marston and The Wonder Women: Film Review

Beginning with Marston facing a 1940s panel chaired by Connie Britton's Josette Frank who's unhappy about the content of the Wonder Woman comic, the film flashes back to the development of the relationship and as a result, the film's raison d'etre seems to slightly suffer in the process.

Perhaps it's due to an expectation of the Wonder Woman side of things garnering attention, but in truth, the germ of the idea that comes late in the piece feels a little rushed and the outrage which sees people collecting and burning the comics feels piecemeal and under-developed.

Far more successful is the examination of the trio, the introduction of bondage and the embracing of the polygamy side of things (even if questions from the children don't appear and a stereotyped neighbourhood brawl feels more perfunctory than anything) serves the film better.

Central to proceedings is Heathcote's mix of innocence and desire. Her Olive, even if she does appear to be channeling a younger Heather Graham in looks, adds much to the yearning among the learning atmosphere that writer / director Robinson seeks to build.

Professor Marston and The Wonder Women: Film Review
The societal clashes rear their head late in the piece, and as the comic house of cards begins to collapse and the relationship falters, you genuinely feel for the trio and feel the accusations sting that others hurl at them.

Ultimately, Professor Marston and The Wonder Women is beautifully shot and offers up some stellar performances from the central trio, but its lasso of truth tends to loosen when it casts itself wider and tries to latch on to anything else which isn't related to them.

Society may have the ties that bind in Professor Marston and The Wonder Women, but the way the stories loosens itself from the shackles of Hollywood's more traditional trysts and tropes gives it a sensitivity that's hard to ignore, an eroticism which is occasionally contagious and a narrative that intrigues deeply. 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Doctor Who: Complete Series 10: Blu Ray Review

Doctor Who: Complete Series 10: Blu Ray Review


Released by Roadshow Home Entertainment
Rating: G

Doctor Who: Complete Series 10: Blu Ray ReviewPulling together Peter Capaldi's final season as the Doctor and Pearl Mackie's debut as his plucky companion, Bill, the complete series 10 of the BBC show is a mixed bag that gets some things right and others not so much.

As usual, it's elements of the story-telling which hold Who back, but then given such an equal footing of actors in the first half of the episodes, including the return of Matt Lucas as Nardole, there's a great reason to engage with the show.

Mackie impresses as Bill, a naturally curious companion, but no slouch in the emotional and intellectual fronts either. Mackie certainly owns the screen within moments and Steven Moffat's writing helps solidify it all very early on.

But it's Capaldi's work which also helps the latest run - a genuine vein of sadness persists in the Doctor's being grounded on Earth and charging with looking after a vault with a mysterious entity housed within.


It's in the final episodes that this season finds its feet, wrapping back to the menace of the past and also cleverly segueing into the very first regeneration. Delivering one hell of a personal cliffhanger in episode 11 ups the ante and while writer Moffat falls back on his usual retcon lazy ways, there's a real feeling of danger that's been lacking through the season.

It helps that both Capaldi and Pearl Mackie as companion Bill have brought their A game to this series - the acting's been sensational even when the scripts have been as wobbly as the sets from back in the 1970s of the show.


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Happy End: Film Review

Happy End: Film Review


Michael Haneke returns to the festival circuit with something purporting to be lighter fare than his usual, but still with some of his usual concerns.

Centring on a construction dynasty and their gradual unravelling, a truly stellar cast taking on various roles as the Laurent family.

When the company's rocked by the ground giving way at a venue (an allegory much to be applied to the family itself), the various pressures on the Laurent clan become apparent. Combined with a suicide attempt from a family member and a patriarch determined to go on his terms, there's a lot to deal with for them all...

Happy End: NZIFF Review

Happy End may be a comedy, but it seems to have forgone the laughs for something a little bleaker.

It's really only in its last 10 minutes that the humour seems to come to the fore and the film adds a few lighter touches. Described as a satire on bourgeois values, Happy End is a little lacking and frankly, in places, a touch dull as things happen off screen which are supposed to be of emotional consequence and leave you frustrated at what to cling on to.

With swathes of time devoted to a chatroom conversation in its full pixel glory, there are times when Happy End can sorely try your patience.

Where it not for Isabelle Huppert's calm composure, Toby Jones' presence and a searing turn from a young newcomer Fantine Harduin as a child entered into the dynasty, this would be sorely close to walk-out territory.

Haneke may be playing with some familiar themes of suicide and euthanasia, and there are some moments blessed by a scion of precision dialogue, but Happy End's wide varying eye means that it rarely feels like it settles on one subject for long enough for you to emotionally engage with. 

Watch Extinction's New Action-Packed Features Trailer | Iron Galaxy and Modus Games Highlight Story, Combat and Gameplay

Watch Extinction's New Action-Packed Features Trailer | Iron Galaxy and Modus Games Highlight Story, Combat and Gameplay



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Watch Extinction’s New Action-Packed Features Trailer
Iron Galaxy and Modus Games Highlight Story, Combat and Gameplay

Sydney, Australia – February 16, 2017 — Overnight, the hard-working developers at Iron Galaxy and Modus Games published a new video showcasing much of whatExtinction has to offer players when it launches on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and PC on April 10, 2018.


Story and Features
The world of Extinction has always been at war with itself. When a giant portal opens in the land of Dolorum, the massive threats only spoken of in children’s fairy tales suddenly come to life. Our hero in this story is named Avil, a new trainee inducted into an ancient order known as the Sentinels, dedicated to preserving the knowledge of the monstrous threats called Ravenii – and the techniques to eliminate them. Unfortunately, the Sentinel order has degraded over the years and Avil is now the last hope for humanity.

Skill-Based Combat
Known for their work on fighting games, Iron Galaxy has applied their expertise to the action-adventure genre. Avil has a wide variety of skills and attacks he can execute on the horde of minions trailing in the wake of each Ravenii. Players can cancel into almost any attack they want at any time, switching seamlessly between single strikes, sweeping area of effect (AOE) attacks, knocking enemies into the sky for an aerial combo, and more.

Defending Dolorum        
Avil’s key to permanently eliminating the Ravenii is the Rune Strike. This wicked attack can be used to dismember the massive ogres, and can be further powered up by saving people, killing Jackals, destroying Ravenii armour, dismembering the Ravenii themselves, and accomplishing objectives within each mission. One fell swoop is all Avil needs to stop a Ravenii, but these giant beasts won’t make it easy.

Gameplay and Strategy
All of the options Avil has when traveling through the city, he can also use on Ravenii, such as running vertically up a surface or using his whip to grapple to new heights. There are many types of Ravenii, each with their own attacks, armor and weapon combinations, and behaviors. Avil will need to overcome the challenge of climbing up the massive monsters, removing their armor, avoiding spikes and other obstacles that might hurt him, while also dodging the giant’s attacks long enough to perform a devastating Rune Strike and decapitate the Ravenii. Prioritizing competing objectives with the threat of civilians dying and towns being destroyed is what will truly test the skills of the player.

Extinction will launch on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and PC on April 10, 2018 and is available to pre-order now!

For more information:

Secret of Mana Out Now & Launch Trailer

Secret of Mana Out Now & Launch Trailer

EXPERIENCE THE ENCHANTING ADVENTURE OF
SECRET OF MANA NOW

Complete Remake of Classic Game Now Available for PlayStation®4, PlayStation®Vita and STEAM
 Square Enix Ltd., today invites players to discover the beloved magical adventures of Randi, Primm and Popoi in Secret of Mana®, the highly-praised entry in the respected Mana series, which is now available for the PlayStation®4PlayStation®Vita and STEAM.
Originally released in 1993, Secret of Mana is a total remake of the original title, bringing the complete experience of the legendary adventure to modern audiences. Along with the classic, magical story and fun single player and offline multiplayer action, additional new features are included, such as:
  • Brand-New Presentation – a total 3D graphical overhaul and brand-new voice-overs bring the characters to life in new and exciting ways, while retaining the charm and personality of their original appearances.
  • Rearranged Soundtrack – at any time players can switch between the original soundtrack and a brand-new rearranged score, including a new orchestral arrangement of the much-loved ‘Fear of the Heavens’.
  • New Interlude Episodes– building upon the charm of the original, new /narrative scenes help enhance the story’s presentation and provide extra insight into the magical Mana-filled world.
  • Gameplay Adjustments – play the definitive version of the classic game, with new features and systems in place to update the game for players on modern hardware.
Secret of Mana is now available physically at select Australasian retailers for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and digitally for PlayStation®4, PlayStation®Vita and STEAM. For more information visit: www.SecretofManaGame.com.


Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Party: Film Review

The Party: Film Review


Cast: Patricia Carkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall
Director: Sally Potter 


The Party: Film Review

Continuing the British desire to only unburden repressed feelings in social gatherings, Sally Potter's The Party builds a fragile house of cards at a soirée, only to consequently scatter the deck without any food being served.

Opening with a 'how did they get here?' moment, the black and white melodrama plays out with some acidic aplomb by the troupe of players.

All gathered to celebrate Kristin Scott Thomas' Janet's ascension to ministry and politics, a group of fractured and apparently fragile friends begin to unravel in only the delicious way the Brits know how.

As the group comes together, Timothy Spall's Bill sits solo in the front room, hunched and haunted on a chair, with a wine glass in one hand, and with a near catatonic look on his face. But as the night goes on, everyone comes under scrutiny in some form or other.

Like a scab being ripped off or an itch incessantly being scratched, The Party's thrills come from the unexpected turn of events and the inevitably entangled revelations.

Perhaps it teeters perilously towards the end with disbelief, but Potter's black and white film crackles with dry acidity and typical scorn throughout, all topped off with a deliciously dark dry tragedy languishing within. It's fraught with spoilers to unveil what transpires within, but needless to say the troupe of players from Spall's distanced Bill, Thomas' haughty and yet easy to humble Janet, Patricia Clarkson's acidic April to Cillian Murphy's on edge Tom, all delivering in spades.


It helps the script is laced with one-liners and withering moments, as the sourness of the situation becomes more evident. In many ways, the film feels like a play with its whirling deliciousness on words and desire to ratchet up the moments to near contrived, but in Potter's hand, the curt run time feels just about right; any more would over-egg this pudding and any further reveals would push this dangerously close to cliche.

The Party's power lies in the picking over of the relationships and the unbinding of those ties; it's thanks to all involved that the polish and sheen comes tumbling from the screen; in black and white and close up, every detail is nuanced; from Spall's heavily white flecked beard to Murphy's drug-induced sweats, Potter's camera captures every subtlety.

This is most definitely one party to RSVP to

Overwatch Free Weekend Kicks Off 17-20 February

Overwatch Free Weekend Kicks Off 17-20 February


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Overwatch Free Weekend Kicks Off 17-20 February

Hi,

Attention, recruits! If you haven't already had the opportunity to suit up and save the world as one of the heroes of Overwatch, now's your chance!

From 17-20 February AEDT/NZDT, we're calling on all prospective agents: assemble your teams and dive in during the Overwatch Free Weekend on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.

During this free weekend, we're making Overwatch's full roster of 26 heroes and 17 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn loot boxes, and unlock a variety of different customisation options.

If players decide to purchase Overwatch after test driving the game, they’ll get to keep any progress made during the weekend—as long as they use the same Blizzard, Xbox Live, or Sony Entertainment account that they played on.

To learn more, please visit: https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/blog/21508380