Archive for June, 2017

There is way more to like and get excited about in the first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle than you would think. The original 90’s movie is a well liked flick by many and you can count me amongst it’s fans. The trailer for the long time coming sequel looks to be not only true to the spirit of the original but a rip roaring adventure in it’s own right. The plot sees several teens coming across the Jumanji game (now an old video game) while stuck in detention. They get sucked into the game and well I think the trailer does a pretty funny job of explaining what happens next. Check it out.

The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan and is directed by Jake Kasdan. Catch it in cinemas this December.

 

 

Cult of Chucky trailer!

Posted: June 29, 2017 in Movies
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Get the first look at the latest installment of the Child’s Play franchise in Cult of Chucky! AKA Child’s Play 7. No reboots or remakes here folks just good old fashioned slasher fun courtesy of Chucky and Child’s Play mastermind writer/director Don Mancini.

Cult of Chucky sees the serial killer doll set on revenge against those who have managed to escape his wrath! The film sees the return of a host of franchise favourites that include original star Alex Vincent as Andy, Curse of Chucky’s Fiona Dourif as Nica alongside series mainstays Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky. Series creator and Curse of Chucky’s director Don Mancini is back as writer and director.

Cult of Chucky looks to be keeping the more serious horror angle Curse of Chucky injected back into the series after the more comedy leaning Seed of Chucky. From the look of the trailer it seems Chucky has tracked down Nica to a mental institution. Meanwhile his long time nemesis Andy is set to cross paths with the killer doll once again. I wonder if Andy will make a big impression in an extended opening sequence or if he’ll have a more substantial role throughout the film? For long time fans of the franchise Cult of Chucky is shaping up to be something special. Hopefully Mancini and crew have managed to deliver another great addition to the series.

Cult of Chucky is out on DVD and Blu- ray October 23rd.

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This September Nintendo will launch the latest model in their Nintendo Classic Mini line and this time it is based on the much loved 90’s console the Super Nintendo. Pre-orders went up yesterday on Amazon UK and today on the official Nintendo UK store but as of writing it appears to have sold out. Keep an eye on outlets such as Smyths Toy Store, Toys R Us and Game because you may still be able to pre-order from those sites. Nintendo have the right idea and are limiting pre-orders to one per customer on their official site and that is the right call. As with the NES Mini, the stock on the Super Nintendo Mini will be limited but Nintendo have said they plan to make more units than the NES Mini.

The Super Nintendo is an amazing games console and it’s library to this day could very well be the best collection of games on a home system. The mini edition of the console is more than worth the asking price, more so when you factor in that many of the games that come with the mini machine go for crazy prices on Ebay for the original cartridges. Hopefully you have managed to grab one but if not keep an eye on the sites mentioned above or check with local stores and see if they are accepting pre-orders!

Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana are just several out of the 21 games that come with the machine. The most notable addition being the completed but never released Star Fox 2!! The full list of games can be found below.

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Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo launches in Europe on September 29th and will cost £69.99

X-Men: The Last Stand

Posted: June 23, 2017 in Movies
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For a lot of X-Men fans The Last Stand is not what they’d call one of the better entries in the series. X-Men and X2 director Bryan Singer decided not to return to direct (instead opting to direct Superman Returns) and the film had a messy pre-production. At one point X-Man: First Class’s Matthew Vaughn was set to direct until Fox hired Rush Hour’s Brett Ratner. The hold up in filming also meant several key players from both X-Men and X2 had other work commitments or simply got lost in the rush to get the film made, which is most visible in the reduced roles of Cyclops (James Marsden), Mystique (Rebecca Romijin) and Rogue (Anna Paquin). I can’t say that X-Men: The Last Stand is a great or even solid entry into the franchise. It definitely has issues but I stop short at calling the film bad. It’s okay. I think the hurt mostly comes from what the film promised -The Dark Phoenix – and the questionable execution this classic comic arc was given on screen.

The plot(s) in The Last Stand are like two whole movies worth crammed into one hour and forty odd minutes running time. You get the Dark Phoenix stuff, which is in of itself a pure event laden arc and then you also got this parallel plot focusing on Worthington Labs who have created a ‘cure’ for mutation and all of the moral arguments that go along with that. Do mutants need a cure? Will it be weaponised? How will Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his Brotherhood react? Then factor in Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). She’s now the Dark Phoenix, a being of limitless power. The possibilities endless, only in the case of The Last Stand she’s simply used as weapon/tool by Magneto to combat the cure and the threat of humanity. The busy plot and the directions it goes in serving neither the cure angle or the Phoenix as a whole and it’s a shame.

There are parts of The Last Stand that I do enjoy. The most memorable being the films score by John Powell. Some of the music cues are brilliant, from the Phoenix theme through to the opening titles of the film. The idea of the cure is great as are the different points of view on it and how those become radicalised once the ‘cure’ is used as a weapon at one point in the film. Rogue for example has a genuine reason for the cure as she can’t even touch her boyfriend. That was an interesting angle, sadly because the film is SO packed it doesn’t get the room it needs to breath as a plot thread. Famke Janssen really gets to show off her acting chops as Jean/Phoenix, she’s great in the role, sadly I feel she should have been THE focus of the film and instead she’s relegated to more of a henchwoman role as the film rushes towards it’s conclusion. Her showdown with Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is a great scene. The addition of Beast (Kelsey Grammer), one of the original X-Men, is boss and I think Grammer nailed the role. The action scenes are cool, the film has a pace that is too quick for it’s own good so it’s never boring and there’s some cool new/expanded additions to the X-Men on screen such as Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut and Ellen Page as Kitty Pride.

I never felt the change in directors was what hurt The Last Stand upon release, you can’t blame Brett Ratner. If anything Ratner was very respectful of Singer’s vision and went as far as to give the third entry in the series a similar visual tone. If anything I feel the script was the issue. I just don’t feel like they’d quite nailed it and to be honest Fox should have probably delayed the film and focused on writing a stronger screenplay.

There are parts of The Last Stand that do work it just never comes together as a whole. Thankfully Fox announced last week that long time series writer Simon Kinberg will be directing the latest installment in the franchise, the sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse titled…wait for it – X-Men: Dark Phoenix!! Here’s hoping lessons were learned from Last Stand and Dark Phoenix really knocks it out of the park.

Morgan

Posted: June 21, 2017 in Movies
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If there is a lesson to be learned from Morgan it’s to trust your gut when it comes to movies. I saw the trailer last year and thought the film – about a potentially lethal A.I. experiment getting out of hand – looked great but the reviews were not what’d you’d call overwealmingly in the positive. Still I felt the film looked great, which is no surprise as it’s directed by Luke Scott, son of Ridley Scott. It features a knock out cast too with Kata Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Michelle Yeoh, Toby Jones, Paul Giamatti and Jennifer Jason Leigh and the vibe of the trailer had serious Alien vibes. I saw the film this week and it’s good! It’s actually the movie I wanted Ex-Machina to be.

Kate Mara stars as Lee Weathers who is a corporate rep sent in to investigate after a member of staff is brutally attacked by the artificial life form Morgan. It quickly becomes clear to Lee that the scientists involved with the project have become too attached to the A.I. and see it as a “her” instead of an “it” and this leads to an atmosphere of shrouded hostility between Lee and the team tasked with creating Morgan. All the while us as the audience are left to question if Morgan (an excellent Anya Taylor-Joy) is a true threat that needs to be destroyed or a new type of life that deserves the same rights to life as any other living thing.

Clocking in at just over one and half hours the pace is great and it felt like the film got it’s plot points across quickly and clearly. It that way it reminded me of Halloween H20. A short film but one that does what it sets out to do. That being to deliver a good story, strong characters and excitement. While I can see the care and attention that was put into Ex-Machina I think it’s fair to say that film is deliberately paced and well it doesn’t exactly all kick off does it? In Morgan the shit seriously hits the fan and in a way that has you seeing both points of view in relation to the threat.

All of the actors give strong performances and it helps to sell the idea that the team who created Morgan share a bond with the being. It many ways Morgan is their child. The bond is given most significance with Rose Leslie’s Amy and Michelle Yeoh’s Dr Lui Cheng. Paul Giamatti has a small but memorable role as a shrink brought in to do a character evaluation with shocking results and he’s great in the limited screen time he has. Kate Mara as Lee is an engaging lead and considering her outsider status she balances her motivations like a pro and proves she has some decent action skills beyond the dramatic acting.

Morgan is a pleasant surprise. Certainly one I can recommend if you’re into science fiction or horror movies.

Get ready to bounce troopers! From Ed Neumeier (writer of Robocop, Starship Troopers, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder) comes the second in Sony’s animated Starship Troopers feature films. This time the movie, Traitor of Mars, will be screened in cinemas for one night only and by the look of the trailer it ties in directly to the original movie. Also of note is that both original stars Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer have returned to lend their voices to their respective characters Johnny Ricco and Dizzy Flores!! How great is that please? How the hell is Dizzy in this? I don’t care, I’m just delighted she’s back.

Starship Troopers is one of my favourite films and yeah I know not a lot of people liked the second or third movies but I dug them quite a bit and it was mostly due to the fact that Ed Neumeier and his sharp writing returned for both. I look forward to seeing what direction he takes the series in next with Traitor of Mars.

Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars will hit screens August 21st for one night. No word on if that’s the case here in the U.K. Keep an eye on your local listings around the time of release and it might be playing!

 

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I am a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed series. I came upon it quite late and due to that I had one hell of an introduction to it as I played right through the original game, II, Brotherhood and Revelations one after the other. I dropped off after Revelations but returned for the excellent Syndicate. Assassin’s Creed took a break last year as the developers sought to give the long running series a new lease of life and judging from the footage shown from Origins they have succeeded.

The game takes place in ancient Egypt and follows the story of a kind of ‘sheriff’ of the time as he goes about bringing about the Brotherhood of Assassins. His eagle companion is able to scope out potential points of interest and is controllable by the player, gone is the mini map, the developers wanting the player to have a more organic experience. Also confirmed are other playable characters for certain missions though information of who they are is being kept quiet for now.

I think the game looks beautiful and if it can carry through on it’s goal to deliver a new take on the series fans have a lot to look forward to.

Assassin’s Creed Origins launches October on PlayStation 4, XBox One and PC.

The Evil Within is a cracking game. Full of jumps and genuine scares and that is no shocker when you factor in that Resident Evil vet Shinji Mikami created the game. Mikami returns to oversee the direction of The Evil Within 2 which will once again follow the character of Detective Sebastian Castellanos. This time out Castellanos is searching for his daughter, who was believed to have died, making the stakes this time out much more personal. As you can see from the announcement trailer The Evil Within 2 looks to be as crazy and scary as the first game.

I’m glad to see the first games main character make a return as I had thought the game would be a sequel in name only and end up being more of an anthology series with each sequel focusing on a new story and characters. Some folks weren’t a fan of the combat in the original but that’s because the game is not meant to be played like Resident Evil 4 or the later action orientated games. The Evil Within has heavy emphasis on survival horror and I felt that was where it excelled.

The Evil Within 2 launches October 13th 2017 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

If you go on over to the PlayStation Network Store right now you will be able to download and try out the story demo for Capcom’s Marvel VS. Capcom: Infinite. I spent around an hour with the game yesterday and I think it’s fun enough, you get to try out several characters – Spencer, Chris Redfield, Mega Man, Dante, Chun-Li, Arthur, Thor, Captain America, Rocket Racoon and Captain Marvel – in a series of fights that allow you try out the new systems.

One of the first things I noticed was the game is very newcomer friendly and unlike some fighter fans I think that is a great addition. By connecting an attack with the square button you are able to then execute a serious combo in a similar fashion to SNK’s The King of Fighters XIV. Infinity Gems play a big role in the game and take the place of selecting a third character to bring into battle. Each gem grants either you or your opponents a special ability that allows you to gain the upper hand in battle if used correctly.

To be frank I must say that next to Tekken 7, Injustice 2 and their own prequels Marvel VS. Capcom 2 and Marvel VS. Capcom 3 the game sadly doesn’t impress in the same way. Yes it’s a demo and it’s early days but I believe the full roster has leaked and it leaves a lot to be desired, with a lot of new additions such as Black Panther or more requested characters such as the X-Men being held back as paid DLC. With most of the launch roster being made up of characters from MVC3. Seems like a bad business model to me and not one I’d like to support at launch. So while I feel like the game shows promise and is fun I think for now I’ll wait until the game has been out for a while and see if a more complete version that offers more diverse characters launches. Oh and the lack and I mean the absolute LACK of female characters on the launch roster is awful.

Marvel VS. Capcom: Infinite launches this autumn.

Having a bad day? Well allow Nintendo to make you feel better with this brand new look at Mario’s big Switch debut Super Mario Odyssey. I think the game looks incredible and from the looks of things it seems like Mario’s hat allows you to actually possess other characters, objects and vehicles in the game world. Wow. I want this game but man I need to get myself a Switch first! I best start saving. Nintendo are having what is probably one of their best E3’s in quite some time with a array of brand new game announcements that included the reveal that Metroid Prime 4 is currently in development.