Review

Johnny Dangerously – Michael Keaton With An Adverb!

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Oscar season is upon us and it is a fantastic time to be a film fan. The other day I was sat with some friends discussing the nominated actors/pictures etc. when I brought up a little known gem tied to Michael Keaton. People sat, confused faces twisting when I mentioned it. Johnny Dangerously, the 1984 gangster parody film that almost kick started Michael Keaton’s career as a film actor. When I found out that no one I knew had seemed to even hear of this film my heart sank, It’s sad that when people think of Keaton they only think of Beatlejuice and Batman (And now Birdman) but never bring up this little beauty. So here I am giving it a little bit of attention and affection.

Johnny Dangerously Is a tale about a young immigrant trying to make money for his family and ends up joining a local gang. However this film is so much more than just a simple tale of rags to riches, the comedy in this film is not only incredibly funny but timed and executed perfectly by the like of Michael Keaton. It’s use of breaking the fourth wall is reminiscent of films like Blazing Saddles or Airplane. The characters are memorable and there are some rather good performances from the likes of Danny Devito, who makes a small appearance. With jokes ranging from sight gags, to slap stick to satire this film epitomises what parodying really is, and shows us just how dead it has become.

Filled with quotes and one liners, especially from Johnny’s rival Danny Vermin, this film will have you beside yourself laughing. Even over 30 years since its release the comedy and jokes are still easily accessible and funny due to the nature of the film. Honestly I can’t really say enough about this film without spoiling it but all I would say is that you haven’t seen it then go out and grab yourself a copy. It’s sad that such a funny and well put together film doesn’t ever seem to get the credit it deserves and with Keaton getting nominated for an Oscar it couldn’t be a better time to see where he started his career.

 

-Grand Pickle

88. Magnum, "It shoots through schools."

88. Magnum, “It shoots through schools.”

 

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The Theory of Everything- Review

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Directed by: James Marsh

“A wonderfully put together film, coupled with a phenomenal performance by Eddie Redmayne.”

I have never been a dab hand at science, or anything for that matter. The only really good impression I can do is of a man with no talent. So when buying a ticket to see James Marsh’s the Theory of Everything, I was a trifle concerned. I assumed that even the most layman explanation of one of Stephen Hawkins’s ideas, would’ve left me scratching my head wondering when the staff were going to hand me a Winnie the Pooh colouring book. I braced myself for the moment I would be handed some crayons, and ask politely to wait in the corner, until the biopic of one of the world’s greatest minds had finish. I’m pleased to say that this film is neither baffling, confusing, or boring. It is in fact brilliant.

Based on the life of the great physicist Stephen Hawking, this is a wonderfully put together film, coupled with a phenomenal performance by Eddie Redmayne. It’s a performance that may just seal the deal of an Oscar. Starting in Hawkins’s early school years where he meets his sweetheart Jane, (Felicity Jones) the couple seek to battle Stephens debilitating disease-motor neuron syndrome (MS). Both Redmayne and Jones give a wonderfully evocative and convincing performance that, on numerous occasions, draws heartbreaking light on living with MS. Redmayne acts the role of an MS sufferer so convincingly, that you completely forget he’s an able-bodied actor.

As Stephen Hawkins’s story is told over the years, the film does a sterling job of both outlining his life and his work in a comprehensible and coherent way. There are no moments in the film where the pacing seems to drag. It’s also eager to show the achievements Hawking has made, despite his crippling battle with MS.

Verdict

Whether you already possess a wealth knowledge on Stephen Hawking or not is irrelevant, and wont mar the enjoyment if you (like me) don’t. The filmmaking is solid as are the acting performances, and provides an interesting insight into one of the world’s greatest physicists.

4.8/5

Luke H

The Book Of Mormon – Bit of a change from Frozen!

Hello everyone! I apologise from the deepest recesses of my being to all of you for not uploading in an absurd amount of time. I’m not going to make excuses because I doubt you care so in the immortal words of the pythons lets “GET ON WITH IT!”.

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Recently I had the displeasure of growing another year older. I’m sure you’ve all been there. And like most years I received presents. This year though I got a present that was indeed rather special, you see for those of you who don’t know I am a massive South Park fan. Actually probably more like a massive Matt Stone and Trey Parker fan and ever since I heard about their spectacular new musical titled “The Book Of Mormon” I have been wanting to see it more than anything else. The dilemma I faced though was at first it was only in America and then once it moved to the U.K. It was a bit out my price range, mainly because it is only shown in a single theatre in London. Now for some reason the greater powers have seen fit to bestow me with an incredibly generous girlfriend that knew this. So yeah, if you haven’t guessed it yet, we went to see The Book Of Mormon. I mean seriously if you had trouble seeing that one coming you should probably get help. We’re worried for you.

Now just to say that I was going into this thing with high expectations would be an understatement. I purposely distanced myself from anything that might give the game away or tell me just that little bit too much about what happens in the show so that when I got to finally see it I would have no anticipation of what was to come and could really experience it all for the first time. One thing that really took me by surprise though was the level of showmanship and presentation. It’s well known that Trey and Matt are perfectionists and are always totally hands on with their work but I honestly didn’t think that would be so clear on the stage. And talking of the stage boy do they use it! This isn’t the type of show that would translate to the screen or really any other art form for that matter and that just is a testament to the care that went into crafting it. I mean why make a stage show if you’re not going to the use the stage to its full advantage?

The music and songs are catchy and cleaver and like with most of their humour sometimes outrageous. They have this skill of taking something really witty and blending it with the most childish things to really help deliver the jokes. It’s very pythonesque in that respect. The songs themselves are expertly written by Trey and Robert “Bobby” Lopez, The writer and director of the other comedy musical Avenue Q and who more recently had critical acclaim when him and his wife wrote the music for Disney’s very own Frozen. Yep that’s right, Frozen. What’s more is that they manage to catch you off guard with a lot of the show and I don’t just mean the humour. The characters are all really well portrayed and excellently crafted and you genuinely feel an emotional attachment to them.  There is a level of emotion that you really don’t expect when going into the show. Everyone feels believable and real which then in turn makes the funnier parts even more so. Anyone here that has seen the South Park Movie though will already be aware of the skill with song lyrics and music of Trey and Matt but are thinking what about dance numbers? Well have no fear, some of the dance numbers in this show are some of the best I have seen and again they work the dancing into the joke or scene. Every movement is done for a reason, which it is evident, and like with the use of the stage they use the dancing to great effect.

In terms of Story I will give you a brief synopsis as I really don’t want to give anything away. It’s about two Mormon teenagers that get sent to Uganda for their Mission. Chaos ensues. The main characters Elder Price and Elder Cunningham are phenomenal. A.J. Holmes really shone as Elder Cunningham and was quite honestly a revelation and I am shocked that I had never heard of him before this musical. Just to clarify as well that I am of course referring to the British version of the cast  as that is the one that I watched. All of the actors in the show were very good at personifying their respective characters but one other that really stood out was the character of Elder McKinley played expertly by Stephen Ashfield. Again Stephen just brought a certain presence to the character whenever he was on stage and although wasn’t in the show a massive amount still managed to make his parts really memorable.

If you are a fan of comedy, musicals or even just Mormons then this is the show for you! what’s even better is that because of the theatre that the show resides in I can say to you that there aren’t really any bad seats. You are able to see the entire stage comfortably from wherever you are so don’t worry if you can’t necessarily afford the most expensive seats .

A.J. Holmes as Elder Cunnigham

A.J. Holmes as Elder Cunnigham

Tickets start from £39.75 and are on sale online and from ticket offices, The show is preformed at The Prince Of Wales Theatre in London.

 

10/10 Must watch!

-Joe

 

Locke Review- Directed by Steven Knight

 

 

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“An interesting, well written film even if bearing a somewhat muted ending.”

 

Tom Hardy is an actor now associated with big Hollywood blockbusters. Ask anyone about Hardy, and some will point at Eames from the loud crash and bang thriller Inception, most will point to Bane from the Batman Trilogy. This is an entirely different film altogether. This film is put together on a much smaller budget, and is staged in an even smaller set. However just because Tom Hardy has traded his usual place of standing amidst the chaos of an anti gravity hotel or a network of eerier subterranean tunnels for the comfort of a BMW 5- Series, this isn’t a film to be disregarded.

 

Locke is the story of one man’s life unraveling over the course of a single car journey. Ivan Locke (played brilliantly by Tom Hardy) is first introduced to us as a pragmatic man who has it all. He has a successful job, a loving family, and tomorrow is set to be the crowning moment of his career. But after a series of phone calls, he is forced to put all that he has built in his life on he line.

 

For those who have seen any trailers or commentaries of the film, would’ve probably seen that this film has been sold as a nail-biting thriller. However after watching all 90 minutes of the film, I would summarise that this is more of a drama than a thriller. Those seeking heart-pounding action will therefore have to look elsewhere. Set entirely in the inside a car with the lone Tom Hardy, the film’s plot is carried by faceless callers on a hands free phone. They’re predominantly comprised of Locke’s wife (Ruth Wilson) a co-worker named Donal (Andrew Scott) and a woman named Bethany (Olivia Colman) whom is having Locke’s baby.

 

As each of the phone calls unravel the mystery behind Locke’s reason for taking an unscheduled detour, the dramatic tension continues to build as bit by bit we watch Ivan Locke’s life begins to crack and crumble. Tom Hardy delivers a stellar and engaging performance which (in a film this understated) is essential. This film bears no attempt to detract from the acting with fancy CGI, car chases, gunfights and people being shot in the face. Instead, it takes the innovative approach to simply focus on one man and his mistakes. Bearing this challenging role in mind Hardy does incredibly well to give his character depth, and the accompanied voice acting helps sustain your interest right from start to finish.

 

It is a big strength that the film is also incredibly well written, for if it wasn’t this film could’ve quite easily been a dull, uninspiring mess. Everything from Ivan’s background, to the mistakes he has made has be fastidiously considered and carefully crafted. This makes for some quite touching, amusing and memorable moments throughout.

 

However this film isn’t without its weaknesses. It’s an interesting, well-written film that for me possessed a somewhat muted ending. As his journey comes to a close and we finally come to terms with the changes of Locke’s life, the film makes an attempt at a resolve on some aspects of Locke’s life. This hinders the closure of the film leaving you with an uncomfortable ambiguity as to how Ivan Locke is going to confront the situation he has found himself in.

 

Verdict

 

4/5

 

Even with a muted ending, the acting and well written tale that has been woven into this original piece of film making definitely deserves a watch.

Luke H

Ready Player One Review- Ernest Cline

“A cross between matrix and Time Bandits that makes Ernest Cline’s sci-fi debut a provocative read.”

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Some argue that today we live on little more than borrowed time, as day by day we use up more of earth’s dwindling natural resources. Such a view brings with it a view of future years being ridden with poverty, pollution and social depression. It seems that in Ernest Clines novel “Ready Player One” that view is now a reality.

The novel is technically set in two places. The first is in a dystopian future not too far from our present day. Poverty and pollution is a rife on the planet, and those who manage to survive amongst the starvation and filth usually end up killed in one of the many wars or terrorist attacks. The second is a sprawling alternate virtual reality named “OASIS.” Accessed through the use of virtual headsets and computers, the OASIS is a magnificent utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live, play and fall in love on any of the tens of thousand planets. It comes as no surprise that most of humanity uses the OASIS as a means of solace from the dismal reality around them.

Amongst these two settings lies the novel’s main protagonist Wade Watts, a rather nerdy teenager living in the squalor amongst the slums of America. Everyday he jacks into the world of OASIS under the name “Parzival” and looses himself in the virtual adventure from dawn till dusk.

The opening of the book doesn’t dither in pleasantries, immediately opening with the death of the billionaire inventor of OASIS James Halliday. With no heir to inherit the massive billion-dollar empire, Halliday prior to his death, decided to conceal within the vast labyrinth of the OASIS an Easter egg. Soon after the televised announcement of his death, riddles created by Halliday were released to give players clues as to where the egg may be hidden. The first player to find the egg wins not only complete control of the OASIS, but also the entire of Halliday’s 240 billion dollar fortune. For years people have obsessively searched the OASIS, including Wade.

Not too far into the book, Wade deciphers the first riddle and discovers the first key needed to find the egg. This inadvertently makes him a worldwide sensation and suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors and corporations. They not only pose a threat to Wade in the OASIS, but also in the real world as they try to kill him before he discovers Halliday’s egg. The continuous transition between reality and fiction works well throughout the novel. It keeps you engaged by the fact that for Wade, the billion dollar contest presents a clear and present danger for him in real life as he gets ever closer to finding the egg.

As each riddle is deciphered it soon becomes apparent that Halliday’s love of the 80s has been the basis for each challenge in the contest. Any fan of classic video games, the 80s, and Monty Python flicks can’t help but smile at this point. As Wade approaches each challenge, the obstacles are littered with 80s references, brandishing its styles, music and great films of the era (such a the famous War Games film starring Matthew Broderick.) Targeting such an era plays to both the novels strengths and its weakness. If you are a fan of classic video games, and the 80s era, then this novel will serve as a superb blast from the past. However if you’re more of a reader that prefers to live in the new and now, then it is likely that you will struggle to connect with the story and its abundance of 80s references.

Along the way numerous characters are introduced in the OASIS such as Wade’s best friend “Aeich” who (like Wade) has become an obsessive hunter for Halliday’s egg. The book even goes as far as to give Wade a sci-fi VR love interest named “Art3mis.” Whether it be the brash banter between Aeich and Wade or virtual femme fetale of Art3mis, they add depth to the novel and serve as a soundboard for vital information pertaining to Halliday’s contest. Along with the friends accompanying Wade through the story, a villainous organisation known as IOI serve as the main antagonist. They systematically kill anyone who comes close to finding the egg. It isn’t before long that they turn their attention to Wade and his friends.

On the whole the novel is clearly written, well structured and builds to great intensity as you read your way to the concluding climax of the book. Along the way it poses interesting questions as to whether technology is really benefitting humanity, as well as presenting thought provoking ethical dilemmas throughout. However, given the interesting and complex nature of the story the actual style of writing is simple, perhaps too simple. Its style most certainly isn’t as abstract and complex as a Palahniuk novel. At times Cline leans a little too much into telling instead of showing. This issue is particularly prevalent when the novel delves into the real world away from the OASIS. It takes a very linear structure of “I did this, then I did this and then I did that.” This almost wordy listing of actions can in areas become exhaustive and dull when in reality it should be fast paced and engaging.

Verdict

The book has some issues of show and tell and being a bit specialist with its 80s interest in places, however the originality and fantastic Matrix-esque sci-fi story makes it an entertaining novel for any budding geek or gamer.

Luke H

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Review- Not A Disney Castle In Sight!

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Hey everyone! doing my review a little early this week as for once I am prepared. I know right! bet you’re glad you were sitting down for that bombshell. Anyhoo If you haven’t guessed by the title (Then I’m seriously worried about you. Get some help.) this is a review about the latest Marvel film Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Now I’m a big comic fan boy and even I was surprised when Marvel announced that this film was going to be made especially when there are many other, much more popular, characters just waiting in the wings, *cough* Deadpool *cough*, but the more that emerged about this film the more I started to get really excited. The film looked like it was taking the Marvel universe to new plains and was going to open the gates to all the Sci-Fi story lines and characters Marvel has in its locker. The cast choices, while at first left me confused, were fantastic and after seeing trailer footage I was ready to see what was in store. Then I remembered Disney owned Marvel and I cried a little inside. Yes Avengers was epic and set the standard for the genre but since that first outing I have to be honest Marvel films have been a little hit and miss for me. Cap’ America 2 was decent, nothing to shout from the roof tops but stood its ground well, Thor 2 was a little meh but then again so was the first and Iron Man 3 was like watching a child fail at sport while their overly aggressive parent shouts at them to keep going. I was apprehensive.

Now this movie puts all those others to shame. After the little BSA ticket it’s just like BAM! right into the film. No logos or nothing. After a short set up the Marvel logo flashes and the film carries on and introduces the main character, his name’s Peter Quill(Chris Pratt) by the way, all the while doing the obligatory opening credits of who worked on the film. Luckily they don’t stop what’s going on and shove it in your face who made this movie, instead they put the names in corners and at the bottom of the screen to leave you to enjoy what you’ve paid to see. Now this may seem small but I feel like it sets the tone for a film. It says “Hey! We ain’t fucking around with your fancy pantsy ego boosting shit! We’re here to entertain you so you’re gunna need to pay attention from the get go! Capiche?” and I love it.

Now this is a spoiler free review so I won’t tell you any story specifics but this movie actually has a rather good one. The story is neat and tight and constructed rather well. You’re given enough information that it’s easy to follow but not so much that it becomes overly predictable (granted there are a few clichés dotted here and there but they’re forgivable). The ending to a lot of comic films I feel are where they get let down the most with the majority not having the satisfying feeling that films should have, in particular with final/boss battles. This film, and this is just my opinion, doesn’t suffer from this at all. The finale is just as epic as it should be and the ending is incredibly satisfying! Oh and for all of you that are reading this wanting to know the after credit sequence all I will say is that Guardians takes to the comic book trope like a duck to water.

The acting is some of the best I have seen in a comic book movie and every character feels real and really brought to life. I was most apprehensive about the WWE wrestler Dave Bautista being cast as Drax as wrestlers haven’t exactly made the best actors but He does incredibly well in the role and, other than the fact his arms are the size of my head, you wouldn’t have guessed that acting (don’t start with that wrestling is basically acting crap) wasn’t his first profession. Vin Diesel does incredibly well in the role of Groot with, and this isn’t sarcastic, some well delivered subtle voice acting. Same goes for Bradley Cooper as Rocket(Racoon). Zoe Saldana shows us again that she’s a fantastic actress in her role as Gamora . And not forgetting Chris Pratt who brings it all together in with a performance of the highest calibre.

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A lot of the time during this film I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching this generations Star Wars. God I’m going to get slaughtered for that comparison but its honestly true. The epic scale of everything and the level of detail in the different races and species that feature was very reminiscent of episode 4-6. It has the same strange charm about it as well. The film did something that most films of this genre can and that’s fill the viewer with that sense of wide eyed wonder. Sure super hero films do that for kids but kids get that same sense when they discover that the light in the fridge turns off when the door shuts. I’m talking about that feeling in Adults. Honestly try and think back to the last film that left you with the feeling of amazement. I have to go pretty far back. That makes me sad. The visuals were just brilliant especially(and I can’t believe Im saying this) in 3D. Yeah, really. It genuinely does add a depth to a lot of the action and sequences and there were a few moments where I was just like “3d was made for this kind of shit!”. The CGI was some of the better ones that I’ve seen and the mixture of practical props and CGI really work well.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Is quite possibly my favourite Marvel film to date and is definitely worth the price of a ticket to go and watch. I would give it a solid 8.5/10. It really does entertain but it still can’t shake the knowledge that you’re watching a good comic book movie not just a good movie and for that reason I can’t score it a 9. So very close though.

Oh and the soundtrack is fucking awesome!

 

Thanks for reading!

-Joe

Deconstructing Harry-Review

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“A surreal comedy that is both innovative and witty.”

 

Deconstructing harry is a comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. The film tells the story of a successful writer named Harry Block (Allen), who draws inspiration from his own personal experiences and writes them into stories. Inevitably, given his numerous affairs and disastrous marriages, drawing from these experiences alienates more than a few individuals that have been involved in his life. The film in fact opens with one of his former lovers furiously confronting him, clutching his latest book in her hands. Inside the book is a detailed re-imagining of their nefarious relationship, with little other than the characters names being changed. The enraged former Mrs Block then proceeds to chase Harry onto the roof firing a revolver at him along the way.

 

Whilst there are many clever cut-aways and deviations, the central plot features Harry driving to a university that once expelled him, to receive an honorary degree. Along the way he is accompanied by an old friend, a prostitute and his young son (whom he has just kidnapped from his ex-wife.) During the journey there are numerous flashbacks and cutaways, some of which include segments of Harry’s writing. The film gets particularly interesting when Harry interacts with his own fictional characters. Here, the more surreal elements of the films come into play including segments in which a man (quite literally) goes out of focus and Harry visits Hell.

 

These cutaways and continuous time lapses could’ve quite easily run the film into the ground and made the plot a mess, but it hasn’t. The film’s structure is superb. The writing is also sound, and contains many witty remarks and great one-liners about sex and religion (two of my favourite subjects to ridicule and joke about.) It is also enjoyable to see some big names in films just doing small and modest roles before they became Hollywood big shots. Surprise cameos by Toby Maguire, Robin Williams and Mark Strong all play small but interesting fictional characters in Block’s writing.

 

One issue with the film that some may have however, is the time lapsed jarring that occurs through out the dialogue in the film. Every now and then the dialogue between two characters suddenly skips to a later point in the conversation. On occasion this can throw you off. Quite why Allen has chosen to do this likely remains up for debate, but personally I feel it is to show the deviating attention in Harry Block’s own mind.

 

Verdict

 

Whether you are a writer or not, this is a surreal comedy that is both innovative and witty, making it a sure fire hit for all.

 

4.5/5

Mario Kart 8- An Overdue Review

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Hello there! I apologise for the lack of content from me for the past few weeks, been a little bit mad. I’ve been meaning to review this game for absolutely ages but every time I sat down to write one up another game just came along and distracted the ever loving shit out of me. But finally I’ve gotten around to it.

 

Mario Kart. Now unless you’ve had your head under a rock for the past decade you will have heard of this franchise and know what its about, so im gunna move swiftly onwards and not treat you like morons by going over the premise. Mario Kart 8 is the reason we’re here folks and Mario Kart 8 is what we’ll get. This game is fucking amazing. Period. It was actually the sole reason that I went out and bought a Wii U and boy oh boy I wasn’t disappointed.

First off let me say that this game is beautiful. Sometimes lost if you play split screen but hugely noticeable when played single player, or in the replays at the end of a race, the detail in every little thing just astonishes me. My personal favourite are the textures for DK and Bowser, It’s just something about their scales and fur that send a shiver through my body and make me go “oooooooh!”. Granted those aren’t great examples of little details as I mentioned earlier but just be patient and let me get to it, after all im just one man! Things like tracks in the sand and clouds (there’s a cloud level in case you were thinking I had gone insane and thought you could drive through the sky, what do you think Im a fucking idiot? what’s the matter with you?) that actually last for quite a while and actually make you feel like you’re driving on said object. The levels themselves are well constructed and an absolute joy to race on, granted a few take a couple of runs to get used to them but that’s the same with any racing game. The new anti-gravity sections of races adds a new element to the game and really make you think about what you’re doing because in these parts if you hit another player instead of bouncing off like a oversized grapefruit, you both get a small speed boost. this may sound like nothing but it really does factor in, say you’re on rainbow road doing some sweet drifts and some schmuck gives you a little nudge when he passes you, instead of just being slowed or both bouncing off each other you fire off like a pre-mature rocket and fall to your horrible death. Yeah not so insignificant now huh.

Babies got back!

Babies got back!

 

 

The character list although extensive I think is rather poor. They got rid of characters like Boo, Dry Bones and even Bowser Jr. and replaced them with all of the Koopalings. Now I don’t have anything against the Koopalings necessarily it’s just they all seem the same to me. I was especially shocked at no Bowser Jr. as this game has more Baby characters than ever. And don’t even get me started on Pink Gold Peach!

The new tracks are memorable and fun and the adjusted “classic tracks” are also incredibly enjoyable. Everything just seems really polished and there isn’t really one level that doesn’t have at least some redeeming part to it. It just really seems like a lot of care and effort went into each and every track. Now I can’t speak about the levels and their design without mentioning the music. this may seem sad but the music in this game is a real high point for me, They just seem to perfectly mirror the atmosphere of the level that they are being used for and give you that sense of real awe and excitement. And boy does this game have a lot of those moments (don’t want to spoil anything so you can feel the same innocent wonder that I felt when seeing these moments for the first time).

Items make an appearance as always and like with every new Mario Kart we have some new additions. The music box item is by far the most useful of the new entries as it’s the only thing that can stop you from being hit by a blue shell, yeah they done went and brung it! Speaking of blue shells they have been slightly modified in this outing, instead of doing a straight beeline for the person in 1st and flying towards them they have since had their wings clipped and now run along the ground like normal shells. Difference is that now if you get in the way of a blue shell they fuck you up too before getting on their merry way to the front runner. My least fave (Other than the god damn coins!) would have to be the piranha plant, which replaces the chain chomp I might add. This item acts in a similar way to chain chomp by eating the other racers but doesn’t do the whole bullet bill thing and drag you around the track really fast. Again doesn’t sound like a big deal but it is, When it does try and eat another driver it drags you in that direction, oh and if no one is around you it just bites at the air randomly, meaning that if you are near an edge or something and it takes a bite towards the edge then you are done! It becomes really annoying.

Overall this game is a must buy for anyone with Wii U and is a perfect game to play with your friends (I have even came up with my own drinking game for it which I will be sure to post at some point If anyone would like to try it out). This game is even so good that I would consider It a console seller and I honestly think this game and the future sales of Super Smash Bros will save the so far failing Wii U console.

Mario Kart 8 gets my highest ever score 10/10.

Subscribe and share! or Luigi will come get ya.

Subscribe and share! or Luigi will come get ya.

 

-Joe

Only God Forgives Review

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“Whilst I think it was better than most of the critics said it was. I can see why a lot of people had a problem with this film.”

 

Only God Forgives is a Danish- French art house crime written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm. The film itself is set in Bankok and tells the story of Julian (Ryan Gosling) who is an American expatriate running a Thai boxing club that also acts as a front for a drug smuggling operation. After his older brother Billy is killed, Julian’s mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) demands that vengeance be dealt and that the man responsible is killed. One of the key figureheads responsible happens to be a local police lieutenant called Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm.) Matters are further complicated as Julian refuses to avenge Billy’s death when he discovered that he raped and killed an underage prostitute.

 

With a storyline like this, it comes as no surprise that this is a gritty film mostly shot in the dark alleyways of Bankok’s red light district. Here, is where the film is at its best. Each scene is very melancholic and eerie, rarely detracting from the events happening on screen. However whilst I think it was better than most of the critics said it was, I can see why a lot of people had a problem with this film. Some movies attempt, and have done successfully, to convey a narrative through actions and setting rather than through dialogue. Only God Forgives is another such film where you may have landed an easy gig, if you find yourself being put in charge of the script. Very little is said through out this movie, only ever really speaking to disclose some vital plot points or outline how a character is responding to a given situation. Given this fact, it is actually quite a challenge to comment on individual performances and, by asking fellow movie watchers, the actors and actresses will either do it for you or they wont. It’s all down to your own personal tastes.

 

This style of filming is strange in this film as first it plays to its strength but ultimately becomes its biggest downfall. In the first half hour of this film, this monotone, grumpy layout is interesting and really solidifies the ruthless attitude of the film. However once you start to hit that post 45-minute mark, the whole style becomes something of an exhausted approach. This relentless soliloquy of silence gradually looses artistic impact, and becomes nothing more than a series of people walking slowly into a room, glaring at another person for a bit, then slowly walking out. You soon find yourself becoming tired of this, and eventually beg for someone to just do anything; shout, shoot someone… anything to engage you in the plot.

 

Sadly I felt that the film never really recovered from this downfall, thus loosing impact, pacing, and inevitably my interest.

 

Verdict

 

Whilst credit must be given to the film for trying to do something different, the overly self-indulgent silence throughout is likely to put you off engaging with the film.

 

2.5/5

Broforce: Testosterone Fueled Carnage!

 

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Previously I have spoken about early-access games and one in particular I highlighted was Broforce. Finally I got my hands on the game and after playing for even just a few minutes I was hooked and just had to share my thoughts with other people. This game is some sort of potion of awesome with dashes of humour and charm but with a whole heap of napalm and adrenalin!

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The game itself plays out like your conventional platformer, going from left to right (mostly) and has incredibly tight controls which a game like this so desperately needs so that when you die you have no one to blame but yourself. The action element is where the gameplay shines with each bro playing differently which adds a sense of strategy into the run and gun shoot-em-up, Enemies are varied and progressively change as the campaign (which isn’t complete at the time of this article) moves forward. Boss fights are fun and help give you that feeling of accomplishment at the end of stages as well as force you to really use your experience with all the different bros to beat them as some can only be killed in certain ways.

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I love this art style! I have always been a fan of pixel art and games that do it well just make me melt inside. This game evaporates me. The characters are distinct and easy to recognise which is a feat in itself but coupled with the different environments and enemies it just makes it seem that much more cared for. Oh and speaking of environments, they are fully destructible! At first it seems funny but again its these little details that add depth to the game. It allows you to create your own path through the levels but on the flipside it can also become your downfall if you abuse it too much to the point where there is no floor left to stand on. The stages themselves get harder as the game moves forward so their isn’t some massive jump in difficulty nor is this game a cake-walk it finds a nice balance and if you can’t beat a level it doesn’t dumb it down or take it easy it just sits back and lets you keep repeating till you get it. Same with multiplayer and single player. Playing with friends while much more fun and enjoyable also can make the game easier as each level has the same amount of enemies as if you played single player. Not to say single player isn’t fun, far from it, it’s a great way to get to know the game and really progress and see what the game has to offer. I would say multiplayer = funnier not anymore fun.

Now for the part that makes this game what it is. The bros. The care and detail that has gone into every single sprite and character move set really blows your mind, especially when they are always updating the game with new bros, heck even while preparing this article an update came out adding another two more! Each character feels different and unique and really impact how you play the game. Each character is balanced well almost right off the bat which is excellent for when the game is updated because the new characters just slot right in there with the others you’ve collected. The addition of female bros will be seen by some as funny and as others by pleasing a demographic but I really don’t think that the case. Each bro has been designed specifically from the ground up, they will have been chosen not just for how recognisable a character they are but for their strengths and weaknesses and how they can add something new to the game.

This game is currently on a weekend sale on steam for £7.99 but if you go to humblebundle.com you can get it on sale for £5.99 and help charitable organizations at the same time and even when not on sale is cheaper than on steam normally. I can’t stress enough how much love I have for this game and could go on for hours ranting about it but instead I will just say go and get it and you will understand.

Im not going to give the game a rating as It isn’t actually finished but even if it were even in its current state It would get at least a 7/10. My prediction for when it finally releases will be more like 9/10.

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Thank you for reading!

-Joe