Saturday, 31 March 2018

Better Watch Out: DVD Review

Better Watch Out: DVD Review


Mixing Home Alone with Lionel Shriver horror cum Loved Ones nasty seems like a neat twist on the usual concept.
Better Watch Out: Film Review

Chamber horror piece Better Watch Out aka Safe Neighbourhood manages to make it partially work but there's a distinctly uncomfortable after-taste left as it plays out, despite the snowy Christmas setting.

DeJonge plays babysitter Ashley, who's left in change of Levi Miller's Luke when his parents (Patrick Warburton and Virgina Madsen) head out on a festive night out.

Luke's been desperately in love with Ashley for years and decides tonight's the night to make his move and his feelings known. But things go awry when it appears there's a stalker outside threatening the pair of them...

To say more about Better Watch Out is to reveal spoilers, but suffice to say that its three-hander initially starts off well, with a tart and bitter taste to offset the usual saccharine setting of the Christmas film.

Better Watch Out: Film Review

But this thriller strays a little too uncomfortably into unsettling territory, given current climates and the Weinstein saga, and its victimisation MO sits queasily more than anything else.

It's not to detract from any of the central performances and the intriguingly acerbic tone early on.
However, what transpires later in the film is just nigh on nasty with its darkness and the flip in tone is either going to appeal or see you running for the hills.

Mixing Home Alone vibes (and Carol the Bells) with the horror genre yields mixed rewards for Better Watch Out.

Usual horror films see you invested in certain characters and while Better Watch Out effectively tries to subvert and undermine what you're expecting to see, it does it with such viciousness that it's borderline schizophrenic and sadistic.

That may be some of the point here, but when the villain of the piece is revealed a third of the way in, the film shifts its horror tropes for a psychological edge that's as uncomfortable as it is confronting.
Perhaps it's a statement on the evil perpetrated by some intruding into the rich kids suburbs but the film delights in its nasty nefariousness.

Better Watch Out: Film Review

There's an unsightly wickedness which haunts this holiday season flick and while it's to be commended for doing something a little different, the desire to not exactly condemn its perpetrators is as unsettling as you'd expect. Especially in these sex-accused times, and post-Weinstein world we live in.

You'd Better Watch Out indeed - because naughty or nice, this film has a way of getting under your skin in the most uncomfortable way possible. And that's not necessarily a good thing.


Friday, 30 March 2018

The Man Who Invented Christmas: DVD Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas: DVD Review


Cast: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Miriam Margoyles
Director: Bharat Nalluri
The Man Who Invented Christmas: Film Review
The Christmas onslaught of movies is now upon us.

And while some titles will sleigh, sorry, slay your will to live, Bharat Nalluri's The Man Who Invented Christmas is actually a lively flick that meshes Dickens with elements of Doctor Who and the Muppets Christmas Carol.

A rather madcap Stevens plays the author Charles Dickens, who's touring America on the success of his books. But in October 1843, following three flops, his career was flatlining.
Deciding to self-publish his next release and despite the financial pressure of having to provide for his family, both near and estranged, as well as a generous nature which sees him giving those less well off than himself, Dickens may have bitten off more than he can chew.

With deadlines fast approaching and ideas barely forming due to interruptions, Dickens is facing disaster....

The Man Who Invented Christmas is the kind of knock-about drama fare that laces Christmas feelings with the much beloved story of A Christmas Carol.

At times, like an author's fever dream, the script and pace races through Les Standiford's The Man Who Invented Christmas with such aplomb you worry that it won't all hold together.

Channeling elements of both Doctor Who's Tom Baker, foppishness and boggling eyes, Stevens' hyperactive Dickens feels more like literary necromancer rather than fully-formed literary genius but the titular romp certainly breathes a great degree of life into a well-worn tale.

More successful are the moments which see Dickens proffering a peek into the formation of characters which then go on to haunt him until the book's done - much like Marley's ghost and the others stalk Scrooge.

The Man Who Invented Christmas: Film Review

Plummer, as Scrooge delivers a venerable turn, managing to pull in some earnest touches on the miser; equally, Susan Coyne's script is peppered with knowing winks and nods to other Dickens' material - at one point, he meets a policeman called Copperfield.
The Man Who Invented Christmas: Film ReviewIt's these touches and the general knockabout feel of The Man Who Invented Christmas that mean it never quite outstays its welcome.

While some of the flashbacks and the daddy issues feel a little trowelled on, most of The Man Who Invented Christmas is spiffingly amusing and deftly delivered.

There's a great feel of the familiar being given a fresh once-over and while most Christmas fare can be stifling with mawkishness, Nalluri (Spooks: The Greater Good) handles it all much better than any seasonal visit from the in-laws. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Justice League: Blu Ray Review

Justice League: Blu Ray Review


Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot,  Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Henry Cavill, JK Simmons, Jeremy Irons
Director: Zack Snyder

The Avengers had it after numerous build up films, and while Suicide Squad signalled DC's intentions to let the baddies have all the fun first to cinematically buck the team-up trend, it was perhaps inevitable that the squad team up event would ultimately arrive.

And that it has now - albeit more with dramatic deja vu and some moments that genuinely engage and amuse among the appallingly executed and shonky CGI - should come as nothing of a surprise to those who've been following the rapidly-bloating superhero genre.
Justice League: Film Review

Following on from Snyder's much-derided Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the critical success of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, Justice League arrives with a degree of weight of expectation to see if DC can properly launch a squad franchise for future incarnations. (Though baffingly, Jason Momoa's Aquaman will get an origins film after this one releases).

With Superman dead after the tussle with Batman, the world's awash with chaos, with an increase in terrorist events and general hoodlums.

As if that's not enough, Batman's wandering around in a kind of funk, awash with ennui and with hair flecked with grey - even Alfred (Irons) wryly notes at one point that one misses the days when the biggest problems they faced were wind-up electronic penguins.

Diana Prince (Gadot, a little less wooden this time around) is faring a little better, protecting those in peril and persuading Bats that they need more people on their team to help combat a growing problem, which threatens the world and as usual, involves a MacGuffin.
Justice League: Film Review

Enter Ezra Miller's Barry Allen aka The Flash, the quip machine and nerdy heart and soul of the piece. His touch of levity doesn't go too far a la Thor Ragnarok, but signals DC's intentions to perhaps add a degree of humour.

Sadly, he's the only one of the new additions who's not saddled with reams of exposition for their introduction - unlike Ray Fisher's Cyborg, and Jason Momoa's Hawaiian influenced Aquaman. Their involvement isn't so much shoe-horned in, but clearly laden with necessity that could have been cleared up in an origins film.

The main issue with Justice League isn't so much that DC's pulled together something that feels like a revamp of intentions for the DCEU, but more that due to superhero cinema overflow, feels like a rather unfortunate piece of deja vu, that suffers once again from a lacklustre villain and definite feeling of lack of threat to all. It certainly undoes some of the good work done by Wonder Woman in terms of narrative and execution.

A series of cubes that threaten the world - pretty sure that was in an Avengers film.
A series of flying insect creatures that threaten the world - again, pretty sure that was in an Avengers film as well.

The sense of deja vu in this heroes assemble film is almost stifling, it feels like much is an identikit of all-too-familiar elements and tropes.
Justice League: Film Review
Its denouement is perhaps its weakest point, a muddled mess of CGI weakness that feels dark, muddied and narratively laughable thanks to its deus-ex-machina.

And while for a DC effort, there's no denying this is a massive step-up in terms of delivery and signalling of intent, it never quite reaches any highs that you'd hope for, and settles more for a run-of-the-mill middle of the road blockbuster that's let down poorly by badly executed CGI and a rote plot.

Ultimately, while there are parts of Justice League that show the DC universe is righting itself, there are not enough of them on show in the film among the dullness that pervades. There's no denying Justice League is the creative leap that DC wanted, but there's also a persistent nagging feeling that the genre is reaching the end of its shelf life, and this should-have-been hit-it-out-of-the-park piece is more a film that never managed to convince itself to reach for greatness. 

Dragon Quest XI Announced

Dragon Quest XI Announced



DRAGON QUEST XI ARRIVES THIS SEPTEMBER
The Epic Beginning to a New Adventure for PlayStation 4 and STEAM

SYDNEY, 29TH March 2018 – Square Enix Ltd., today announced that DRAGON QUEST® XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age™ will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and STEAM® on 4th September 2018.
DRAGON QUEST XI is the long-awaited eleventh entry to the series from series creator Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama and composer Koichi Sugiyama.
The game follows the perilous journey of a hunted Hero who must uncover the mystery of his fate with the aid of a charismatic cast of supporting characters. With a quest that takes players across continents and over vast oceans as they learn of an ominous threat facing the world, DRAGON QUEST XI brings a massive, beautifully detailed world to life, with finely tuned turn-based combat and an immersive story that will appeal to fans and newcomers alike. 
Featuring tons of side-quests and mini-games that provide enough content to keep you playing for well over 100 hours, the Western release of DRAGON QUEST XI will also feature several upgrades and enhancements that were not in the Japanese version of the game, including:
  • English Voiceover - to bring the charismatic cast of characters to life
  • Draconian Quest - a hard mode that offers additional challenges for more experienced players
  • Overhauled Menus & UI - with graphical enhancements and more intuitive navigation
  • Camera Mode - allowing players to take in views of the beautiful landscape, character renders and ferocious monsters in detail
  • A new dash function and many other system enhancements such as improved character and camera movement

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Blu Ray Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Blu Ray Review


Hope is a great deal of things to a great deal of people.

But in the Star Wars universe, it is more than just a tangible concept - it exists to rekindle nostalgia or to quash the sad memories of what has previously passed.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Film Review

And so it is with Star Wars The Last Jedi that the hope rises again in Riam Johnson's thrilling and ostentatious entry into the space opera, now in its 40th year.

After the nostalgia bath of The Force Awakens, there was a lot of hope to deliver with The Last Jedi and it delivers on its promise.

With the First Order rising, the rebellion lies in tatters, forced on the run and bring pursued by Domnhall Gleeson's pale and obsequious General Hux.

With supreme leader Snoke determined to snuff any whiff of rebellion out, it's up to Rey to try and bring the last great Jedi Luke Skywalker back to the fight.

However Luke is determined to have no part in this, believing hope is dangerous and that the Jedi must burn and end.

However Oscar Isaac's rebellious Poe, complete with John Boyega's displaced Stormtrooper come up with a plan to save the fleet and give Rey the time she needs to re-recruit Luke back.

But a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, hope is running out...

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Film Review

To say that Brick director Rian Johnson's Star Wars vision is audacious and as emotionally rich in parts as The Empire Strikes Back is no mean claim (even if the final third of the film feels forcefully tacked on).

By expanding out the universe and still concentrating on the main players, even when he's populating the film with a raft of races and new faces, there's still a focus on what matters.

But it's not all perfect in this overlong entrant into the franchise.

A reliance on humour at the start tonally upends what you'd expect from a film like this - and whilst it's initially welcome, there's a danger that the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok  humour is about to overwhelm in a film that does surprise in many ways.

Thankfully, the jokes are put on the back burner quite quickly before they grate, and the cuteness of the new arrivals Porgs is underplayed, confined to a Puss-in-Boots moment, and the film gets into what really matters.

Whereas The Force Awakens wallowed in nostalgia, and meta-nods to the originals, Rian Johnson's view of the universe takes elements of prior films and twists them into new iterations of his own.

There's an otherwordly casino, complete with a bastardised version of the infamous Cantina song; there are hints of Kylo Ren's journey taking elements of Darth Vader's arc, there's the infamous Hitler debate being given life, and most familiar of all, there's Rey being schooled in the ways of the Jedi by a reluctant Luke Skywalker.

It's an impressive world that's been created, even if there is a feeling sometimes that those within it don't exactly have enough to do.

Certainly the film's flabby B-plot suffers and there's a definitive nagging feeling that there's a mid-film slump in parts, but when it comes to spectacle, Johnson more than delivers and gives more for his newcomers to do than simply lip-service.

It still remains to be seen whether the likes of Rey, Poe and Finn will become as iconic as Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie - and the over-reliance on BB-8 as a deus ex machina is troubling, no matter how deliberately crowd-pleasing it is.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Film Review

But there's much to adore in this Star Wars.

Principally, it comes down to the old school troupe - in Mark Hamill's wearied and burdened turn as Luke; his backstory reveal hints at how hope has gradually started to dwindle in one who was so optimistic and eager. The tragedy's apparent.

And none more so than with Carrie Fisher's final full film turn as General Leia Organa.

Saddled with the real life tragedy of her untimely passing, many of the fallen Princess' scenes feel loaded with more pathos than you'd expect - but there's one scene towards the end that will leave you close to experiencing your own Force choke, thanks to its exquisite beauty.

Credit must also go to Adam Driver this time too - his petulant Ren has a bit more depth in The Last Jedi, feeling less like a child on the verge of a tantrum, but a torn, deflated and defeated soul struggling to cling on to what's left of what makes him him.

Ridley's solid, but still Rey is given to exposition rather than naturally feeling her way along the narrative.

Ultimately, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the film you're looking for.

An examination of the distractions of hate and rage, of bitterness and regret, of hope falling and rising, of the crushing feeling of both defeat and victory, of destiny and of small players making the big difference in the eternal fight - all reasons that the original saga was so loved.

It's infinitely better than its predecessor, and it sparkles with the Star Wars depth, magic and dust, despite some of its occasionally baffling flaws. 

Ready Player One: Film Review

Ready Player One: Film Review


Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, TJ Miller, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg
Director: Steven Spielberg

It's perhaps no surprise that Steven Spielberg helmed the film version of the Ernest Cline book.
Ready Player One: Film Review

It's almost as if the director was given a toybox, chock-full of things from his own past and his cinematic loves, and told to make a family film that was a sugar rush of fun, nostalgia bingo and little else.

So it is then with the highly-anticipated Ready Player One, a film that's as superficial and hollow as one of the season's chocolate treats, but looks as shiny and welcoming.

In the year 2045, Tye Sheridan's Wade Watts lives in a VR world, as the real world is a none-too-welcoming place. Sectioned off in the Stacks, a series of vertical caravan park slums, the inhabitants spend their time in the Oasis, a VR-led world that's as much Second Life as Geek heaven.

Living off the "you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone" ethos to avoid the fact "reality is a bummer", Wade is chasing a series of keys laid down by the departed Oasis founder Halliday (Rylance, a nicely pivoted turn of fragility and meekness).

With the promise that anyone who finds these could take over the empire, everyone's out to get it - including Ben Mendelsohn's corporate bigwig baddie Sorrento...
Ready Player One: Film Review

Ready Player One is a candy-filled flick, pumped full of sugary nostalgia and geeky Easter Eggs.

Certainly, the Oasis is a hive of activity and creativity - and bizarrely the real world is devoid of any colour and texture.

The resultant mix means that emotional attachment is enforced and attempted by voiceover and exposition, and Spielberg's desire to get to the first set piece, a CGI race that takes on King Kong, means the emotional beats are completely off immediately.
At least Pixels had the good grace to try and throw some character development before going hell for leather with its gameboy sensibilities.

It's not a crippling blow to Ready Player One, but it does render the emotional attachment little more than a shallow and hollow experience, one that sacrifices good dynamics for broadstrokes blandness from its leads - and subsequently squanders Sheridan's previously demonstrated depth.

There's no denying the set pieces, thrown repeatedly at your face, revel in their nostalgia blanket, with hundreds of easter eggs and gamer nods hurtling toward you on the screen.

It's here that Spielberg's eye for spectacle and desire to entertain in a family friendly setting come to the fore. But the tonal mix doesn't quite work - it's never fully kiddy enough to hit the straps, and hardly adult enough to warrant justice to some of the material.
Ready Player One: Film Review

Certainly a tribute sequence to The Shining and the Overlook Hotel is a great touch - but also, there's an element of Scooby Doo there, where there should be genuine fear and perhaps horror.

In many ways, this is the petard which hoists Ready Player One and foists it into forgettable fare.

Along with cheesy dialogue, brush strokes characters and a lack of a real villain (despite Mendelsohn's best attempts), Ready Player One emerges as perhaps a victim of its own zig-zag route to its denouement.
While the CGI delivers a spectacle to rival Avatar and banish the ghosts of the Polar Express, the story's refusal to adhere to any kind of emotional beats reduces it to a mere pixelated outing of a film.

In terms of spectacle, it delivers what you'd expect; but with its cartoony as hell ethos, Ready Player One squanders the chance to embrace a degree of profundity, thanks to a desire to satiate a quick fix.
Ready Player One: Film Review

Not exactly Game Over, but Ready Player One may have needed a little more development work to ensure it was a film that would be a welcome nostalgia treat when rolled out annually on the small screen.
It engages but the involvement is only brief; it provides vicarious engagement in its virtual world, but saddles its real world with nothing more than a fleeting investment.

Surrender to those rhythms and you'll be happy - go in expecting more, and you'll feel like you're watching someone play a video game, rather than experience it firsthand.

Early Man: Film Review

Early Man: Film Review


Vocal cast: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Timothy Spall, Rob Brydon, Maisie Williams
Director: Nick Park

Aardman animations are a stellar bunch.
Early Man: Film Review

Able to shape gold from plasticine and clay models, the studio's been more than capable of turning out comedic perfection since the Vaudeville-inspired Wallace and Gromit came to prominence.
That their proclivity for ensuring the humour is universal, clever and crafty and has been recognised so, means that Early Man's inability to match up to previous highs is, frankly, disappointing.

Nick Park once again takes the helms of this flick, the story of caveman Dug (Eddie Redmayne) who lives with his tribe in a world after the meteor hit the Earth,

A charming pre-titles sequence sets the scene, with quippy subtitles like Neo-Pleistocene era, an actual time, but also a subtle blink-and-miss-it nod to Aardman's choice of animation materials perhaps?

Trapped in a kingdom with other lesser dreamers, Dug and his gang find their way of life threatened by the arrival of Lord Nooth, and the arrival of the Bronze Age.

When Dug finds himself in their world, he's offered a challenge by Nooth - win a game of football or he and his people must forever quit their forest...

So far, so sports underdog.

And this is perhaps the biggest surprise of Early Man - the fact that it's essentially a riff on England's World Cup continual failures post 1966 in the faces of foreign teams.
Nooth is given a French accent, a reminder of the sporting rivalries of yore.

It seems mean to knock Early Man, which in fairness, is very passable family fare.

But given this is the company that brought us the never-less-than-brilliant Wallace and Gromit, the wonderful Shaun the Sheep film, it does pale in comparison.
It's also perhaps no surprise that Dug resembles Wallace with his big overbite grin and Dug's constant pig--pal HogNob has the temperament and expressiveness of a Gromit style ancestor.
Early Man: Film Review

It seems in many ways that Park's chasing his own highs, as much as Early Man chases and evolves the idea that continual football losing nations can still win tournaments (as everyone in England nods repeatedly in agreement.)

The inventiveness is occasionally there - be it in replay puppets which channel Punch and Judy in their football replays - or in the odd one-liners and sight gags that pepper the film at certain points.
There's also a nod to sporting sexism as Maisie Williams' clearly gifted footballer is denied the chance because she's a girl, all washed up in elements of Escape To Victory.

Overall, Early Man lacks perhaps the loose zaniness and masterful touches that Aardman's gifted us with in the past.

It still entertains, but it's never quite as evolved or as clever as it aims to be - and while it's essentially a celebration of the beautiful game (and perhaps a sly commentary on how cavemen play it), it never quite manages a romping victory that you'd expect or hope for.

Love, Simon: Film Review

Love, Simon: Film Review


Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Tony Hale
Director: Greg Berlanti

The pantheon of rom-coms and coming-of-age films is fairly full.

But it's fair to say that the adaptation of Becky Albertalli's acclaimed book, packs the sort of punch and zing that John Hughes would have been proud of.

Even if it does inhabit a world where consequences are rarely explored, and everyone behaves in a slightly sanitised way.
Love, Simon: Film Review

Robinson is American teenager Simon Spier, who, by his own confession is "just like you."

He has a pretty normal life, with liberal parents and a solid bunch of friends as he negotiates his way through high school.

However, as he admits early on, he has a huge ass confession - he's gay and in the closet.

One day, through his school's shared internet, he spies a note from Blue, someone in the school who is also dealing with their sexuality. Simon decides to drop Blue a line and a friendship and connection begins to form - and Simon tries to find out who of his peers this potential love interest could be.

Genial and harmless, this teen film is perhaps as heartfelt as you'd expect, without delving too deeply into preaching.

Love, Simon: Film Review
In many ways, it normalises its central message, a touch which makes it worthwhile as Simon negotiates his way through a life that seems relatively perky, happy and overly caffeinated - it's a fantasy take on high school life and the lack of reality over the pains faced by many.

But that's no bad thing here, as the energy of the piece, coupled with the relative charisma of the lead, and the charm of the relationships manages to carry it all along.

Sure, there are some grounds for the whimsical dismissal of the whole blackmailing angle which plays out as Simon's forced to try and make one of his female friends like the nerd; and there are certainly issues when conflict arises and is treated in a very piecemeal, narratively necessary way later on.
Love, Simon: Film Review

Regardless of these minor speed bumps, Berlanti imbues a good 80 percent of this film with a winning formula that's likely to see it as successful in the mainstream as it wants to be.

It's still galling that a film like this has to be labelled as the "gay teen rom com a generation's been waiting for", but Love, Simon makes a genial case for a degree of timelessness, living in such a world of carefree verve that it's annoyingly compelling.

In the back third of the film, despite the real representation of Simon's parents when faced with the truth about their son, the film falters and stumbles, fumbling the pass it's been expecting the whole way through.

But ultimately, what emerges with Love, Simon is the kind of high school film and timeless romcom that's winning for the Insta-generation.

Friendships feel genuine, interactions (for the most part) feel truthful in a fantasy construct and Simon's arc proves to be rewarding enough.

Meshing 10 Things I Hate About You moments with solid dependable performances all round (even Veep star Hale's over-the-top principal can't bring it down), it provides the sort of endearing care-free  blandness that's rewarding and enjoyable enough to warrant the cost of a ticket.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Ferdinand: DVD Review

Ferdinand: DVD Review

Based on the Munro Leaf 1936 novel The Story of Ferdinand, Blue Sky's latest animated fare is squarely aimed at pushing an anti-conformist message to kids viewing.
Ferdinand: Film Review

Cena plays Ferdinand, a bull who'd rather smell the flowers than fight even though that goes against the grain of the farm where's he's being raised as a bull to take on a matador.

However, when Ferdinand's father is taken to the arena and doesn't return, Ferdy makes a break for it, finding a new owner in  a little girl and her flower-growing father. But one day when Ferdinand's stopped from going to the annual flower festival and despite the warnings from his owners, he makes his way into town.

Seen as a monster, captured and returned to the bull-rearing farm, it looks like destiny's taking its course - unless Ferdinand and his new goat friend Lupe (MacKinnon) can turn it around.

Lacking some of the zanier edges to keep the younger audiences amused, Ferdinand flirts with darkness as it explores some of the reality of what happens to animals and in particular, what happens in the bull-fighting ring.

While Cena makes for an affable big-lug of a character, complete with softer edges, Ferdinand's adventure never fully embraces the wacky until late in the day when it heads to Madrid, and a chase sequence which has vitality, joie de vivre and great sight gags.
Ferdinand: Film Review

But it's a long road to this point - and the filmmakers' desire to not go too dark (for obvious reasons, it's a kids' film) means they flirt with moments that consequently feel under-developed. There's a meat factory near to the bull-rearing farm, there's some shots of a matador threatening Ferdinand (in a badly edited final sequence that loses some coherency) and there's plenty of indication of how meat is murder.

Yet, despite that, Ferdinand never quite finds its feet - it knows that to keep the younger audience in check it needs some lunacy, which it gets with a bull/ horse dance-off, but it's few and far in between.

It's all perfectly affable and solidly animated, but Ferdinand lacks the wow factor, or a stronger emotional trajectory to carry it along.

Not exactly terri-bull, but a no-bull attempt at doing something worthy, Ferdinand's mixed approach to the subject means it never quite hits the marks it should do - but it will keep the kids amused, for some of its duration at least. 



FAR CRY® 5 IS NOW AVAILABLE

 FAR CRY® 5 IS NOW AVAILABLE




UBISOFT® ANNOUNCES FAR CRY® 5 IS NOW AVAILABLE

Join the Resistance Against a Fanatical Doomsday Cult As Far Cry ® Comes To America

Sydney, Australia March 27, 2018 — Today, Ubisoft® announced that Far Cry® 5, the latest instalment of the critically acclaimed Far Cry franchise is available on the PlayStation®4 Pro computer entertainment system, PlayStation®4the Xbox One family of devices and Windows PC.

To watch the launch trailer click the image below

Set in America, a first for the franchise, Far Cry 5 offers players total freedom to navigate a serene-looking yet deeply twisted world as the new junior deputy of fictional Hope County, Montana. Players will find that their arrival accelerates a years-long silent coup by a fanatical doomsday cult, the Project at Eden's Gate, igniting a violent takeover of the county. Under siege and cut off from the rest of the world, players will join forces with residents of Hope County and form the Resistance.

Far Cry 5, developed by Ubisoft Montreal in collaboration with other studios*, is a first person shooter set in a completely open world. Players will have the freedom of choice, wrapped in an immersive story with memorable characters, where they can experience Far Cry Moments: unpredictable and unforgettable moments in the game. Players can play any way they want, including recruiting Guns for Hire, Fangs for Hire, and a Friend for Hire, which allows players to play the entire game in co-op, a franchise first.

Far Cry 5 also includes Far Cry Arcade, the biggest and most versatile map editor mode for the Far Cry series. In Far Cry Arcade, players can create new scenarios by utilizing assets from other titles in the series as well as other Ubisoft franchises, including Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed Unity, or Watch Dogs®, for solo, co-op or competitive experiences.

Players can also purchase the Gold Edition of Far Cry 5, which includes the base game, season pass and bonus content. The Far Cry 5 season pass transports players to uncanny adventures across three unique settings with the upcoming DLCs - Hours of Darkness, Dead Living Zombies and Lost on Mars - and more. On top of that, players who purchase the season pass for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One get Far Cry 3® Classic Edition at no additional cost.
For more information about Far Cry 5, please visit farcry.com and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/farcry.usa and on Twitter at twitter.com/farcrygame or hashtag #FarCry5.

For the latest on Far Cry 5 and other Ubisoft games, please visit news.ubisoft.com.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Ingrid Goes West: DVD Review

Ingrid Goes West: DVD Review



A satire on the social media loving generation and a dark drama as well, Ingrid Goes West is the cautionary yet all too familiar tale of Ingrid (Parks and Rec star Aubrey Plaza).

Ingrid Goes West: Film Review

Obsessed with a woman she's never met other than through Instagram, Ingrid's institutionalised after pepper spraying the woman at her wedding because she never received an invite. Upon release and with the spectre of her mother's death licking away at her background, Ingrid forms a new obsession with Elizabeth Olsen's Taylor, an Insta-celebrity whose life appears perfect.

Ingratiating her way in, Ingrid becomes firm friends with Taylor after moving out west to be near her....

In many ways, Ingrid Goes West is a Single White Female for the Insta-generational millennial on the go.

For those opposed to social media, it's a satire on the reality behind the filters, and while it loses its bite later on (bar its last scene), the film's desire to showcase the vacuousness of Taylor's life with Ingrid's borderline depression is a strong step for the Hollywood game to take (particularly in this ongoing war of Influencers and strategies).

Ingrid Goes West: Film Review

As the soulless and lost Ingrid, Plaza is perfect, both encapsulating he dizzying highs of the social recognition and the gnawing desperation of the ignorance; she pulls off this indie with veritable aplomb and makes Ingrid both a nuanced, empathetic and yet obscene human being as well.

A breezy Olsen makes Taylor both empty enough and appealing, and while Russell gets some good lines as her beleaguered husband, who wants the earlier version of his wife back before she was an internet celeb, Straight Outta Compton star O'Shea Jackson Jr brings subtle life to the neighbour who's got an attraction to Ingrid.

Ingrid Goes West: Film Review

While Spicer makes the film quite dark at times, this BFF dramedy has some serious bite and commentary to the social media generation and the divides within. A warning perhaps to the vacuous generation and the phone-obsessed millennials, it may fall short in its final 20 minutes, but all in all, Ingrid Goes West deserves to get more than just a social media thumbs up. 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Daddy's Home 2: DVD Review

Daddy's Home 2: DVD Review



Daddy's Home Two: Film Review

There's a moment in the ill-conceived and pathetically executed sequel to Daddy's Home where Linda Cardellini's character says she'll "leave you two morons" to it.

That's a general feeling as the lack of laughter malaise falls over you like soft snow in the weak sequel to the already pushing it first film from a couple of years back.

In this latest, it's coming up to Christmas time (much like Bad Moms Christmas) and Ferrell's baby Brad and his co-father Dusty (Wahlberg, initially sneery but eventually lost) decide the kids are suffering being buffered between parents.

So in the spirit of the holiday season, they decide to hold a together Christmas - which is then scuppered by the arrival of Dusty's absentee macho father Kurt, who's apparently a NASA shuttle pilot. When Kurt mocks Dusty for his softer approach to parenting and scoffs at Brad's wimpier father (John Lithgow), the rivalries between the pair are stirred up again.

Daddy's Home Two: Film Review

Daddy's Home Two is a weak, unfunny film that provides zero laughs unless you're completely off your face on seasonal cheer. It's a family feud that lacks passion.

It has a truly bizarre finale, which tries to celebrate the joy of going to the movies and has everyone singing Band Aid's ode to famine, Do They Know It's Christmas, in a foyer.

In between that, there are barely any laughs to fill even the worst Christmas crackers on sale.

Standard, formulaic and in parts a retread of the first, the film's got nothing of a heart and very little in terms of memorable. Firing slapstick at Ferrell seems to be lazy this time around, and the moments that are supposed to see you spluttering merely see you end up yawning.

Daddy's Home Two: Film Review

Gibson adds a bit of energy to this, but even his presence can't add much to Wahlberg and Ferrell's apparent coasting through the script.

There's a bizarre pro-NRA gun moment in the film too which seems desperately at odds given America's record with shootings this year and feels ill-conceived and executed.

All in all, Daddy's Home Two is a series of episodic psychological battles which give you little and feel like they've been contrived by committee rather than anything else.

It's a very average, very middle-of-the-road fare, that depressingly may amuse some.
But in many ways, Daddy's Home Two is one hell of a turkey that sticks in your throat like other leftovers at this time of the year.