Sunday, 24 September 2017

Personal Shopper: DVD Review

Personal Shopper: DVD Review



Olivier Assayas reteams with Kristen Stewart after last year's NZIFF outing The Clouds of Sils Maria, a surprising film that won the erstwhile Twilight star a prestigious acting award.

This time, Stewart plays Maureen, a twin whose other half Lewis has died from a heart condition which she shares. However, Maureen is a medium too, who spends her night trying to contact her dead brother, believing his spirit still to be in the house.

By day, Maureen is a personal shopper for a model, who's never home and who exchanges notes with her charge. But Maureen's unhappy with her lot, decrying that spends her days "doing bullshit".


Her life changes though when she encounters a spirit in the house - and then starts to get anonymous texts...

Mixing a concoction of atmospheric ghost story (via the likes of The Others and The Orphanage) with a psychological sideline in stalking proves to be an intriguing proposition for Personal Shopper. It's a film that very much benefits from Stewart's performance and subtleties.

As the medium  negotiating the spiritual world, she's very much a Ghostbuster, desperate to connect to ensure closure as she begins to give way at the edges. Spending nights alone and days equally alone in her haute couture job, her dissatisfied detachment from the world around her is well played by Stewart, who uses fraying mentality and fragility to beneficial effect. She conveys the degradation of her mental condition with the slightest of tics, twitching fingers et al.

Sequences in the home at the start of the film are well orchestrated by Assayas who creates a soundscape and atmosphere that's easy to buy into - even if occasionally frustratingly, he decides to cut a scene short by fading to black unexpectedly. But the unease and discord that's unleashed on Maureen early on is nothing compared to how suspenseful a text conversation becomes in Assayas' hands.


With the deftness of simply holding the camera on the phone as messages fly back and forth with various pauses, the whole thing becomes a bizarre masterclass in the art of suspense as this portrait of grief and yearning for more (both in this life and the next) unfolds.

Stewart's unease is palpable within the looping rhythms of tedium within her day and while some may feel in comparison to the broader emotional strokes that Assayas achieved in Clouds of Sils Maria this is lacking. But that's to dismiss Stewart's presence throughout and to do a disservice to Assayas' tale of disconnection.

It's essentially a spooker of a film, a film that builds to crescendo within its oeuvre and a film that defies convention or easy definition.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Rough Night: Blu Ray Review

Rough Night: Blu Ray Review


Owing more than just a spiritual debt to Peter Berg's 1998's Very Bad Things and 2011's Bridesmaids, and coming off the back of the sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves Wonder Woman the new Scar Jo ensemble comedy Rough Night starts strongly before faltering in the back half.
Rough Night: Film Review

Scarlett Johansson flexes her comedy chops as Jess, one time party girl and now political hopeful. On the eve of her wedding to Peter (Downs), she's pulled into a bachelorette party organised by college friend Alice (Bell, initially amusing and loud, latterly loud and screeching) in Miami.

Along with former college friends Frankie (Broad City's Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoe Kravitz) as well as Jess' new Aussie chum Pippa (McKinnon, the film's MVP) the quintet hit the clubs and party.

But things spiral out of control back at their rented beachside house when a stripper they've booked is accidentally killed...

There are some genuinely funny moments in the front-loaded first half of Rough Night, as director Lucia Anello (also known for Broad City) plies the film with some crafty, yet familiar, nods to female rivalries and friendships, as well as demonstrating that the girls can be just as bad as the boys.

Rough Night: Film Review

In particular, the pre-credits sequence set in 2006 when the gang was at college, sets Rough Night's stall out in the raunch and rude stakes in a way that will appeal either to the chicks night out at the flicks or to those liquored up and looking for some easy laughs.

A clever off-the-cuff gag involving a champagne bottle and an airport setting elicits a genuine belly laugh, while simultaneously demonstrating how on edge society's become.

However, once Alice's jealousy over Aussie Pippa is explored, and the stripper dispatched, the film settles for borderline average tropes and predictable laughs as it tries to untangle the mess it's created and push the envelope a bit further.

Easily the film's MVP, McKinnon's mix of dodgy Aussie accent along with unexpected one-liners keeps the unpredictability stakes high and provides the lion's share of the film's amusement as the screeching and hysteria sets in from the girls.

Bell's an easy contender for being irritating as the shouting starts, but manages to keep just on the right side of amusing and quirky.  Johansson plays it relatively straight, keeping the glue of the group together after some earlier quirks are established and displayed, but she's less the star of the film than you'd expect. Grazer and Kravitz feel a little sidelined as the film goes on, being more interested in exploring the three-way between Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon as its main dynamic.

Rough Night: Film Review

Rough Night is not a savage skewering of stereotypes or a clever flipping of premises (even though the male bachelor party is more set against a backdrop of wine tasting), but it's a solid comedy that starts to run desperately out of steam as the film goes on.

It ends up in the inevitable sap and predictable sentimental gloop that you'd expect and that, to some degree, the target market will possibly want.

It's nowhere near as raunchy as it could get, and perhaps feels watered down as the squabbles come to the fore - it does occasionally work for the absurdism that permeates but disappoints that it doesn't demand more of all of its relatively likeable ensemble.

Less likely to give a cinematic hangover and more likely to struggle to be remembered after the lights go up, Rough Night, amongst its dysfunctional diatribes, makes a case that this kind of comedy film is still in rude health, even if trail-blazing isn't in its ambitions or execution. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Project Cars 2 launches today

Project Cars 2 launches today






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Your ultimate driver journey begins Friday, September 22nd
Project CARS 2 brings home all the authenticity, beauty, and passion of racing action as never before.

On Friday September 22nd Project CARS 2 powers its way onto the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One, and PC for the much-anticipated worldwide release of gamescom 2017’s “Best Simulation Game”.

Project CARS 2, the second installment in the critically-acclaimed Project CARS motorsport franchise developed by Slightly Mad Studios, takes the franchise and its fans into a blistering new era of motorsport racing simulation.

With the largest track roster ever seen on console, 29 motorsport series featuring 180+ cars from dozens of elite brands, and four full seasons of grip-altering weather across 140 revolutionary “living” tracks, Project CARS 2 brings home all the authenticity, beauty, and passion of racing action as never before.

To celebrate the September 22nd release comes the Project CARS 2 Launch Trailer that features “Silence”, a track that has been hailed as one of the greatest Trance Anthems of all time, and which has now been revisited by Rhys Fulber, co-founder of the electronica band Delerium, specifically for the Launch Trailer.

Taking the song's tempo down to 100 BPM to highlight Sarah McLachlan's sublime vocals, Rhys Fulber has created a new cinematic techno dub remix of “Silence” to welcome 2017’s definitive racing game, Project CARS 2.

Project CARS 2 is rated G. The game will be released on 22nd September 2017 for the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One, and PC. Find out more and keep up-to-date at the official Project CARS 2 website: http://www.projectcarsgame.com/

FINAL FANTASY XV Comrades Release Date & Trailer

FINAL FANTASY XV Comrades Release Date & Trailer


 



LONG-AWAITED FINAL FANTASY XV
MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION ARRIVES NEXT MONTH
Famed Composer Nobuo Uematsu’s New Song “Choosing Hope” Debuts in FINAL FANTASY XV


SYDNEY, 21st September 2017 – Square Enix Ltd., have today announced that, for the first time, FINAL FANTASY® XV  players will soon be able to create their own avatar and join up with three other friends to take on epic quests and battles in the game’s first and only online multiplayer expansion titled “Comrades.” Starting 31st October, players will set foot as a survivor from the Kingsglaive to find out more about the disappearance of Noctis after the events in Chapter 13 from the main game.

As members of the Kingsglaive, players equip royal sigils that grant special powers from the Lucian bloodline. Players can then strategise and create a balanced team to take on a variety of quests. In addition to multiplayer quests, single player quests are also available for players to enhance their characters.

SQUARE ENIX® also released a trailer featuring a brand-new track, “Choosing Hope” composed by Nobuo Uematsu and sung by Japanese singer Emiko Suzuki. The new trailer is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mgDEsSAZSGk

FINAL FANTASY XV MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION: COMRADES will be available on 31st October for the Xbox One and PlayStation®4 system. The expansion requires FINAL FANTASY XV and purchase of either MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION: COMRADES or the Season Pass. Players also require an Xbox Live Gold membership or a PlayStation®Plus subscription.

More information on the MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION: COMRADES can be found here: https://finalfantasyxv.com/gb/comrades/

Monster Hunter: World - Official Release Date and Pre-Order Details!

Monster Hunter: World - Official Release Date and Pre-Order Details!



Good news, hunters!

Today Capcom confirmed that Monster Hunter: World will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One globally on January 26, 2018. A PC release will follow at a later date. Capcom will also begin pre-orders today including bonus incentives for the standard version of the game or the newly announced  physical collector's editions. In addition, Capcom also released assets including a new trailer for the game showcasing various new monsters as well as a peek at Astera, the base of operations for the Research Commission as they explore a new world.

The TGS trailer shows the wild and wonderful variety of creatures featured in the game, from the lizard-like Pukei-Pukei with its extending tongue, to the terrifying monster Nergigante. The beautiful but dangerous Coral Highlands stage was also unveiled – don't stand around too long gazing at the gorgeous scenery or you might risk ending up as monster fodder! Players have a wide variety of gear to assist them in navigating the fantastical environments in the game, including the Glider Mantle. You can use this to extend your air-time after a jump and, as seen in the new trailer, in some areas, you may even be able to catch a lift on a rising wind draft to quickly reach higher ground.

Players that pre-order Monster Hunter: World on either Xbox One or PS4 at participating retailers will receive access to special pre-order bonuses, including the Origin Set Armor and the Fair Wind Charm talisman*, which offer improved starting defense and offense stat boosts for the hunter as well as a useful gathering skill. Please check with your local retailer regarding which bonuses are available.

*Please note that the Origin Set armor and Fair Wind Charm talisman may be made available through alternative means at a later date.

The physical collector's edition includes a physical copy of the game, voucher for the Deluxe Kit (contains Samurai Set skin, three gestures, two sticker sets, plus an extra face paint and hair style option for the hunter), plus an art book, high-quality flagship monster statue, and soundtrack CD, all bundled in a custom collector's box.

For attendees of Tokyo Game Show later this week, please stop by the Capcom booth for a chance to play a new quest in the Wildspire Waste location. 

Jasper Jones: Blu Ray Review

Jasper Jones: Blu Ray Review

Released by Madman Home Ent

A coming-of-age story, adapted from a Craig Silvey novel, that's carried wonderfully by its young leads, Aussie drama Jasper Jones is a veritable ripper.

Set in a quiet Aussie village in the late 60s and centring on Levi Miller's 14 year old Charlie, the story sees him thrown into being asked for help by the town's outcast Aboriginal Jasper Jones.

Jasper fears he'll be blamed for the hanging girl found in the woods (as he remarks tellingly to Charlie, "What was your first reaction?", a sign of the times and of the instant judgement of small communities) and so together the pair try to solve the mystery of the death.

Jasper Jones: NZIFF Review

But that's not all Charlie has to negotiate; he has a Korean neighbour whose lives are under fire because of Vietnam tensions, he has a mother who's frustrated and he has a burgeoning relationship with the sister of the missing girl to negotiate as well.

Seeded into the background of Jasper Jones are inter-racial tensions, friendships and relationships, even darker material that ventures dangerously closely to spoilers and a commentary on small town perceptions that's all too familiar.

But director Rachel Perkins doesn't stir any of these up for pure titillation; she merely throws everything into the mix to create a compelling whodunnit and a deeply layered story that has social commentary seeded all the way through.

While the adults do good work, notably Dan Wyllie as Charlie's dad, a mix of compassion and understanding obvious from an understated role, it's not actually their film in many ways.

It helps that the younger end of the cast - Miller, Angourie Rice (who plays the sister) and Aaron McGrath (Jones) shoulder the great burden of the darker edges of the script with veritable ease. It may be a familiar journey in some ways (growing up, realising death and darkness is all around) but what Jasper Jones manages to do, is to ensure these themes are freshly presented and subtly enacted.

Ultimately, Jasper Jones manages to be a compelling and diverting story that's as engaging as it is well crafted and it's a reminder that even the most familiar of tropes and genres can appear fresh when given a steady and strong directorial eye and a great cast. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

XBOX ONE X available for pre-order in NZ today!

XBOX ONE X available for pre-order in NZ today!



The wait is over! The Xbox team is pleased to confirm the launch date and pricing for the arrival of the world’s most powerful console in New Zealand.

The Xbox One X will join global launch celebrations, launching in line with global markets on 7 November with a recommended retail price of NZD$749.

Starting today, Kiwi gamers can pre-order a standard edition 1TB Xbox One X console for NZD$749, via EB Games, JB Hi Fi, Mighty Ape, Noel Leeming, PB Tech, The Warehouse or Harvey Norman.

We have also announced that the list of Xbox One X enhanced titles has grown to more than 130 and counting, including new adds like Far Cry 5, L.A. Noire, Greedfall and Okami HD. 


Last month at gamescom, we unveiled pre-orders for the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, a limited edition console designed for our biggest fans. Thanks to you, we saw record-setting sellouts in the first five days, making Xbox One X the fastest-selling Xbox pre-order ever with more Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition consoles pre-ordered in the first five days than any Xbox ever.
We know you are anxious to get your hands on the world’s most powerful console and so today, I am excited to announce Xbox One X standard edition pre-orders begin today. Local retailers around the world, including Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com, are opening up more pre-orders for Xbox One X, so be sure to get yours today.
When it comes to games, we’re thrilled to announce that you’ll be able to enjoy more than 130 (and counting!) new and existing games enhanced for Xbox One X to take advantage of its full power, including Far Cry 5, L.A. NoireGreedfall and Okami HD. We set out to make Xbox One X the best place to create and experience games, and hearing how our partners are excited and committed to Xbox One X confirms our vision. See below for what some of our partners had to say about their experiences with Xbox One X. And for more information explaining Xbox One X Enhanced program, visit our Xbox One X Enhanced titles list and check out this video with our very own Major Nelson and Head of Xbox Console Marketing, Albert Penello.
“It’s a crazy powerful box. [Shadow of War on Xbox One X] will be the prettiest possible version of the game [among consoles]. We have some dev kits which also load a lot faster. While in development it’s extra nice to load a giant world in a matter of seconds so we can iterate faster. But it will also have faster loading times for players.” – Bob Roberts, Middle-earth: Shadow of War Design Director, as quoted in GamesRadar+
“The experience of the game is the same across all of the different platforms. We try to make sure the game shines on every platform the best it can. Having said that, the Xbox One X version is absolutely the most beautiful version.” – Ashraf Ismail, Assassin’s Creed Origins Game Director, as quoted in WeWriteThings
“Bringing a PC game to Xbox, Microsoft makes it really easy…So it really just comes down to making the gameplay good. And especially on Xbox One X, two hours after we got the dev kit it was running at 4K, 60fps. That thing is very powerful. It was that easy. I think we were expecting it to take a little longer than that, but no, it was a cinch.” – Jonathan Rogers, Path of Exile Lead Programmer, as quoted in GamesRadar+
Xbox One X joins the Xbox One family of devices this holiday alongside Xbox One S and the recently-announced Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels bundleMinecraft Limited Edition bundleShadow of War bundle and Madden NFL 18 bundle – all also available for purchase or pre-order now. And of course, all your existing Xbox One games and accessories are compatible across the Xbox One family of devices.
We’re grateful to you, our fans, for your continued enthusiasm and to our developers for all their excitement for supporting Xbox One X as we march toward launch.




Video forList of Xbox One X Enhanced Games Grows to Over 130, Console Pre-orders Available Today

Destiny 2: PS4 Review

Destiny 2: PS4 Review


Platform: PS4
Developed by Bungie
Released by Activision

Destiny 2 is likely to chew through your time.
Destiny 2: PS4 Review

Which is no bad thing as we're all well aware how popular Bungie's first iteration of the game was with millions of online players battling it out in a quest to gain light, loot and love.

The sequel takes the good of the first game (of which there was plenty) and builds on those foundations to make an experience of relative success.

It all kicks off in a way that wrongfoots you as your Guardian returns to the Last City to find it under siege from the mysterious Red Legion arm of the Cabal. With the Traveller apparently destroyed, and you facing an uncertain future in a world without light,
it's up to you and your damaged Ghost to try and recoup some of your losses, and team up with other Guardians to restore order to the Galaxy's chaos.

Story wise, Destiny 2 is a more simplistic stream-lined affair.

The assault at the start (which was the basis of the BETA recently) gave a feeling of Nier Automata's gut-punch prologue in terms of you powering your way through a difficult fight, only to have a loss beat you directly in the face and send you down-trodden into the rest of the game.
Destiny 2: PS4 Review

Yet with Destiny 2, it's an almost galvanising underdog fight back type experience which spurs you on to greater things.

Thrust onto another world with a ragtag bunch of fellow Guardians feeling their own way, the game builds you up as it builds its narrative up.

Various quests propel the single player action along and push you further into the story. But at the same time, the online events and campaigns also feature into what's going on, giving you the chance to detour or avoid.
The gameplay itself feels stronger this time, and the clunkiness of some of the dialogue first time around is missing, but it feels more fluid and natural the deeper in you go.

By setting the game in the European Dead Zone as you begin, the game's more grounded and recognisable feel adds plenty to proceedings. Sure, one of the early missions sees you looking through a church, but it's better than simply marauding through a wasteland desperately shooting at anything around and looking for cover.
It means the setting is more lively and feels more intuitive with cover areas less obvious and a "what would you do in the real world" entering into proceedings.

But one of the earlier frustrations is spawning which can sometimes put you back down in front of a barrage of bullets that then pick you off, but it's a minor niggle that's early into the game.
Destiny 2: PS4 Review

There's a lot more character in the voicework too - be it Nathan Fillion's flippant tones or your own Ghost, the game feels more vibrant with the time and care which has been thrown in - and it deepens the engagement a lot more.
Granted, it's still about loot (more of which feels more forthcoming this time) but the grind is worth it.

And while the online servers have bizarrely booted players out in the early stages, there are signs that Bungie's doing more to combat this.

All in all, Destiny 2 does ramp up the game and the stakes, but it also takes a moment to deepen the experience, something which some online shooters fail to do.
By adding in a depth and enriching the overall atmosphere, Destiny 2 feels like a definite step forward for the shooter series.

Minecraft Better Together Update is Here

Minecraft Better Together Update is Here


THE BETTER TOGETHER UPDATE IS HERE!

Play the new Minecraft on Xbox, mobile, VR and Windows 10 today!
The big day is finally here!
It’s probably the most significant update we’ve made in Minecraft’s recent history - we’re releasing a new version of the game that lets players on Xbox, mobile, VR and Windows 10 play together!
And not only that! It lets you access oodles of player-made goodness on Marketplace! It lets you take that Marketplace goodness from one device to another! It lets you play your Realm on console (for example), hop off, then pick up where you left off on your phone! It lets you join massive servers, with communities numbering in millions of players and eccentric minigames to suit every taste!
And that’s just the stuff we’re doing on top of the core game itself. This new version of Minecraft also introduces the supported platforms to parrots, banners, armour stands, stained glass, fireworks, new world start options, new game rules, host options, the recipe book and loads, loads more. All that, andit lets you marvel at the True Beauty™ of coarse dirt for the first time! Wow! Coarse dirt! Just, wow.
The work doesn’t stop there. We’ve got loads more cool stuff to show you with this new version of Minecraft - for example, did you know you can share invite links to Realms now?! You can! (Except on Xbox One - we’ll be getting that working in the very near future.) So stay tuned: we’ll be talking about more of the new Minecraft’s magical features soon!
You can get this fancypants new version of Minecraft for free if you already own an edition of Minecraft for Xbox One, and you’ll get the Better Together Update automagically on Android, iOS and Windows 10. If you own the Xbox One Edition of the game on disc, be prepared for a short wait before your free download of the new Minecraft is available - we'll work as fast as we can, but it may take a day or two to process all the requests!
We’re still working on getting this new version of Minecraft ready for players on Nintendo Switch. We want to make sure that everything is ready to bring this platform onboard, and there’s a lot of work to do to make that happen. After all, no one has ever done anything like this before in the history of gaming. We expect to be ready with the free Better Together Update on Switch this winter.
Got questions about how this update works, how to get it, what it means for you or what happens to your old stuff? Check out our newly updated FAQ!
Got bugs? Submit them here: bugs.mojang.com!
Got feature requests, comments or feedback? Speak your brains here: feedback.minecraft.net
In the meantime, read all about how YOU helped us make this update by participating in the beta, or peruse the changelog in coarse-dirt-induced wonderment:

New Features:

  • Stained Glass
  • Fireworks (with Elytra boost!)
  • Parrots
  • Banners
  • Armor Stands
  • Jukebox and music discs
  • Recipe Book
  • Book & Quill
  • Ravines
  • Coarse Dirt
  • New world start options: Starting Map; Bonus Chest; Trust Players
  • New game rules: Show Coordinates; TNT Explodes; Natural Regeneration
  • Added '/tickingarea' command to create areas that still update when no players are there
  • Player permissions
  • Zombie Villager spawn egg
  • In-game host options
  • Paper doll viewer
  • Outline selection toggle
  • In-game player names toggle
  • HUD opacity toggle
  • Expanded Xbox Live multiplayer world settings
  • New loading screens with funny and helpful tips
  • How to Play screen
  • Remix 3D export functionality (Windows 10 only)
  • New achievements
  • Server Partners
  • Realms invite links
  • Mash-up Packs and Texture Packs will now decorate the main menu and in-game HUD

Tweaks:

  • Rebalanced most of the game sound effects and music, such as rain being much quieter
  • It is now much easier to see underwater after drinking a Potion of Water Breathing and Potion of Night Vision
  • Blaze Powder is now needed to fuel brewing stands
  • Ice blocks are now transparent
  • Maps can now be held off-hand and show the heads of players' skins
  • Locator maps now track the owner's position, regardless of dimension
  • Worlds can now be set to Invite Only, Friends Only, or Friends of Friends
  • Various improvements and changes to navigating the user interface
  • Redesigned button mapping and added Pick Block for controllers
  • Render Clouds and Fancy Leaves can now be toggled in Video Settings
  • Skins can now be changed from the pause menu
  • Chat messages can now be muted
  • Items picked up are now animated on the hotbar
  • Stained glass and banners will now spawn on End Cities
  • Increased the default player limit on worlds from 5 to 8 on higher-end devices
  • Block placement speed now matches the player's movement speed
  • Temperature decreases with height and it can now snow at high elevations
  • Observer blocks have updated textures and will now blink red when outputting a redstone pulse
  • Adjusted the color that flashes when mobs are attacked
  • Brick Blocks, Nether Brick Blocks, and Clay Blocks have been renamed to better differentiate from other items
  • Underwater particles
  • Jungle leaves are now transparent on higher-end devices when Fancy Leaves are enabled
  • Changed the sound effects for Creeper explosions
  • Added sound effects for placing Eyes of Ender into portal frames and opening The End portal

Bug fixes:

Too many to mention. My favourites are: making cats purr again, preventing bats from swimming underwater and stopping llamas from creepily turning their heads to stare at you while riding them.
We can’t wait to see what you all build together!

Destiny 2 - Global Launch Success

Destiny 2 - Global Launch Success



OF THE YEAR TO DATE WITH PC LAUNCH STILL TO COME

Destiny 2’s Concurrency Hits All-Time High for the Franchise

Destiny 2 is Largest Ever Day 1 Sales Globally for PlayStation Store


September 20, 2017 – Bungie and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), delivered the world-renowned, first-person action game, Destiny 2, to players across the globe on September 6 on PlayStation®4 systems with additional, timed exclusive* content, and Xbox One (PlayStation®Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription, respectively, required for significant features).  The original Destiny became the biggest new console video game franchise launch in history, and Destiny 2 surpassed the original’s records for engagement and digital sales in launch week.  This universe will welcome players in on a new platform next month for the first time on PC.  Destiny 2 PC is available for pre-order now and is coming October 24th at retail and as the first non-Blizzard game to be offered digitally via Battle.net®, Blizzard Entertainment's online gaming service.

"With franchise pre-order records broken, and record day-one performance on PlayStation Store, it’s exciting to see engagement at the highest ever week-one concurrency for the franchise. "Destiny 2 is off to a strong start as the #1 console gaming launch week of the year to date," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision.   "With the PC version yet to ship, Destiny 2 sets the stage for being one of the biggest video game entertainment events of the year."

Bungie CEO, Pete Parsons, said, “We hit some great milestones this week with our community.”  He added, “We are blown away that we’ve had eight days in a row in Destiny 2 where we’ve seen more than one-million concurrent players grace our worlds. It’s equal parts inspiring and humbling, and we’re looking forward to showing everyone what’s coming next!”

For the third year in a row, Destiny is the #1 console-only game viewed on Twitch by minutes watched.  Destiny 2, including its two betas, had more than 600M minutes watched on Twitch before the raid, a fan-favourite, endgame, 6-player gameplay experience started.  The raid, called “Leviathan,” went live for players on Sept. 13 globally and immediately shot to the #1 position on Twitch based on total concurrent viewers. 

Destiny 2 takes players on an epic journey across the universe to defend humanity from annihilation.  The game welcomes new players to the universe, as well as those who have been devoted to the universe since the beginning, with an array of modes and activities to explore.  In the story of Destiny 2, the last safe city on Earth has fallen and lay in ruins, occupied by a powerful new army.  Players must master new abilities and weapons to reunite the city’s forces, stand together and fight back to reclaim their home. 

In Destiny 2, every player creates their own character called a “Guardian,” humanity’s chosen protectors.  Players can choose from playing the cinematic, story campaign, venturing into the expansive destinations to joining in cooperative modes including Strike missions. For competitive players, Destiny 2 offers intense 4v4 multiplayer matches in ‘The Crucible’. An all-new, community-oriented feature to be implemented in Destiny 2 started rolling out on Tuesday, and is called the ‘Guided Games’ system and helps players find groups to team up with to tackle Destiny 2’s most challenging activities.

Destiny 2 is rated M for Mature.

Also available are Sony PlayStation®4 timed exclusives* which include a competitive multiplayer map, a three-player cooperative Strike, a blue and white coloured ship, specialized gear sets, and an exclusive exotic weapon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXZYMVqwvDQ.

For more game information, visit www.DestinyTheGame.com and follow the official Destiny social channels on Facebook and @DestinyTheGame on Instagram and Twitter. The community can interact directly with the developers at www.Bungie.netFacebook, @Bungie on Twitter,Instagram and www.Twitch.tv/Bungie on Twitch.  
        
About Bungie
Bungie is an independent, employee-owned game development studio dedicated to creating hopeful worlds that inspire passionate player communities. For more than two-and-a-half decades that purpose has led to the creation of some of the industry’s most celebrated gaming franchises, including MarathonMythHalo, and Destiny. Today, Bungie is focused on creating new experiences and adventures for the Destiny 2 community to share


Tomb Raider: First look

Tomb Raider: First look


Here's your first full trailer for Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander


The first look images for TOMB RAIDER are here.






About TOMB RAIDER
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, “Tomb Raider” is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. The film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina,” “The Danish Girl”) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (“The Wave”), with Oscar-winner Graham King (“The Departed”) producing under his GK Films banner. The film’s production began on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.

“Tomb Raider” also stars Dominic West (“Money Monster,” “300”), Walton Goggins (“The Hateful Eight,” “Django Unchained”) and Daniel Wu (AMC’s “Into the Badlands”).
Shooting on location in South Africa and the UK, Uthaug directs from a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography George Richmond (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”); production designer Gary Freeman (“Maleficent”); Oscar-nominated editor Stuart Baird (“Skyfall,” “Gorillas in the Mist”); and costume designer Tim Wonsik (key costumer, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”).

DIRECTOR ROAR UTHAUG (The Wave)
"Being a longtime fan of the game, it’s important to me to honor the Lara Croft legacy and capture that spirit. It’s great to know that there’s such a passionate global fan base for Lara and her world, and our commitment to that will be evident in our movie. What’s different about this “Tomb Raider” movie is that it’s an origin story for the big screen, focusing not only on Lara’s strength and physical accomplishments but her humanity. We see Lara as a young woman, smart and capable but largely unfocused, and follow her on a dangerous journey that will push her to her limits in every sense, and allow her to hone the skills she needs to ultimately become who she was meant to be. As Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander is brilliant. She brings great depth to a complex role that is both physically and emotionally demanding. We hope this film will delight fans around the world and add another intriguing chapter to the Tomb Raider story."

PRODUCER GRAHAM KING (The Departed, Blood Diamond)
"I’m excited to be a part of this new Tomb Raider story, which introduces the origins of Lara Croft and delves into the humanity of this character. Alicia Vikander is a gifted actress that brings so much to this role. Our director, Roar Uthaug is extremely passionate and has an eye for scale as well as gritty realism. It’s been a wonderful experience shooting in various locations around South Africa and we hope that using these actual locations will give a grounded sense of reality. It’s our goal to make a film that will not only delight fans but enthrall a world-wide audience."

TOMB RAIDER releases in New Zealand cinemas in 2018.
 

Kedi - Film Review

Kedi - Film Review


Cast: Cats, Istanbul vistas, People
Director: Ceyda Torun

It's perhaps no surprise that a documentary about cats is as fluffy as one of the feline's tails.

Kedi Film Review

But it's also perhaps no surprise that this gentle doco is as amiable and as universal as they come.

Against the backdrop of Istanbul's streets, so beautifully captured and brought to life on the big screen, Kedi follows seven different cats with distinct personalities and a grip on the people who inhabit the streets and live their daily humdrum lives.

With Torun running a street level rig, the film follows the pussies as they weave their way in and out of people's lives, shopfronts and cajole them to feed them.
There's no ground-breaking reason for Kedi to exist; it's simply a case of documenting life on the streets.

However, what emerges from the cod-philosophising of the nameless faces that extol the virtues of the rampant animals running amok in a friendly way, is a sense of community and a sense of belonging that these critters engender.

Despite the odd hyperbole spun by some of the anthropomorphizing and projecting tendencies of the commenters (one woman draws a long bow between how the female cats stand strong and upright in their dignity, whereas women of their religion are cowed and oppressed and that she "doesn't see elegance in women like that anymore"), what starts to emerge is a city with a tremendous sense of heart above all else.

As is mentioned early on, the cats have been there for thousands of years, and have seen empires grow and fall; they are as timeless in the fabric of the city as those who look after them.
From the baker who has an open tab at the vets to help to the sailor who feels duty bound to hand rear a litter of kittens whose mother has disappeared, this is the milk of human kindness writ large on the screen. Along with furry feline interactions - whether it's cat looking like it's been caught on camera stealing fish or another staring photogenically down the lens, there's something for all animal lovers here, though the more hardened cinema-goer may find parts of their own fur bristling as time goes on.

Slow-mo close-ups will look radiant upon the big screen and the film-makers in their gentle touches do nothing more than desire to elicit a sympathetic "Aww" from those subjected to this endless parade of cute.

Unlike the viciousness of former fest outing White God's canine uprising, Kedi has a soothing tone and deceptively simple ambitions to fulfill which it hits with relative ease throughout; it aims to showcase a city awash in humanity, with a co-existence of cats and their masters, basking in the glow of simpler times.

Kedi may not be cinematic catnip to the likes of Gareth Morgan, but there's a strong case to say that any animal lover or family seeking a gentle outing will be entranced by the warmth of this microcosm of furry life.