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Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Walking Dead [Television Series]

The Walking Dead is hopefully the start of a new breed of decent TV horror, which is something pretty darn rare that we are often not treated too enough. Judging from the brilliant reception The Walking Dead received after its first series i'd like to hope things are looking up for the genre, i want more zombies and less vampires!

The series follows Rick Grimes a Sherrifs deputy who wakes up in a hospital to a world which has changed more than anybody could of possibly imagined since he slipped into a coma (Where have we seen this before?) after being shot in a shoot-out he searches his surroundings, an abandoned ward with flickering lights, broken down hallways and barricaded doors. As he makes his way through the dark hospital he finds out that he is the only one that's not in a body bag. Everyone he knew and cared for have supposedly gone, the army have clearly lost whatever battle was being fought. Its all very eerie and brilliantly done. If it wasnt for the cliché opening which wasnt exactly original it'd be a perfect start, but hey! that doesnt bother me i was hooked from the second the titles began.

The apocalypse has come plunging the world into chaos with a virus ravaging humanity turning everyone into mindless undead scourge, Grimes is alone and he must come to terms with that and fight his way through the city in an attempt too find his wife and son, who he is certain are still alive the journey begins. I'm not going to give any plot away or talk about what happens in any of the other episodes as i wouldnt want to ruin an brilliant series for any of you that havent seen it.

The Walking Dead focuses on the characters and their emotional journey as much as their physical hardships in which we are treated too very realistic impact and affects of such an freakishly frightening scenario on the people who remain. There is an incredibly impressive balance moving seamlessly between big battle scenes where bullets and brains fly across the screen to dramatic personal intimate moments of grief , all of which are done flawlessly and give us a real feeling of empathy, even for characters we're not even meant to like.

With all that being said, The show does lack some consistancy and could really do with some more in depth character development which i hope we see in series 2, as 6 episodes in series 1 was far from enough, although it certinarly did its job in making me want more. The whole of series 1 has only given me the impression that was just a small taste of whats to come in Series 2 which is due to premier just around the corner in October.

Overall Grade: B+

Spartacus: Blood and Sand [Television Series]

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is without doubt the best thing to come out of 2010 in terms of television. Billed as the most violent and smuttiest show of the year i couldnt resist giving this series a watch especially as i was looking for something to fill the void left since finishing the first series of Game of Thrones (Which i shall review in due course). The show follows Sparticus a Thrascian who is betrayed by the Romans and captured, snatched away from his loving wife and winding up in the house of Batiatus training to be a gladiator, freed only when he has proven himself worthy of such.

The show has received very mixed reviews across the globe with some slamming it as distastefull and over the top, but i say its exactly what we need no television, i honestly dont think i've ever really enjoyed films and tv shows based upon the romans (i.e. Rome) with the film gladiator obviously being the exception. But this is exactly what i wanted too watch. What red blooded male doesnt want too sit through an hour of slow motion fight scenes with decapitations and gnarly deaths, and when we arent seeing epic gladitorial scenes its pretty much soft core porn. Although this as interesting as it may be was used a little too frequently for my liking and most people i've spoken too or read reviews on and left me thinking 'More sex? Jeez.' I'm not quite sure what made them all so sexually charged but my god they loved to screw. 

Of course the series isnt just about that mindless violence and sex, there is a pretty darn good plot behind it too. Not only are we following the trials and tribulations of our hero Spartacus who vows to escape the House of Batiatus any means nesscercary to be reunited with his wife, we follow fellow gladiator and bitter rival of Spartacus Crixus (who goes on to getting his own series in the shows prequel in series 2) and of course the cunning and sly Batiatus and his equally nasty wife Lucretia. We follow their quest for domination upon the city trying to gain access to a high seated political place, with like Sparticus the pair will go to no limits to get what they want, even if it means murder.

The cast in this show are absolutely brillaint with great acting from the likes of Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), John Hannah (Batiatus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Peter Mensah (Doctore) (Although for an even better performance from Mensah, see series 2) and Nick Tarabay (Ashur). Of course there are coutnless other actors who deserve plaudit for the part they played in this series but i cant give them ALL praise personally.

Finally, a short word for Andy Whitfield who as many fans of the series know was suffering with cancer and was unable to continue filming for the series after series 1 and was on temp leave until he could return after he had fought his illness. Sadly passed away after his battle with Cancer on September 11th 2011. Chris Albrecht, president and chief executive of Starz, said in a statement, “The man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life.” Mr. Whitfield faced cancer with “courage, strength and grace,” he said. In addition to his wife, Mr. Whitfield is survived by two children and a sister. In her statement, his wife described him as “our beautiful young warrior.” She said he died in her arms.

Overall Grade: A+

Warrior (2011) - Official Trailer

I'm going to begin throwing in a few trailers of films i'm looking forward too seeing that are yet to be released, Warrior is one of which that i'm anticipating rather highly. I'm not a massive fan of cage fighting but it seems to me that this film is much more than that, and i'll be watching this asap for sure.

127 Hours (2011) - Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle deserves all the praise in the world for his adaptation of the chilling and gripping true story of Aron Ralstons fight for survival in a scenario where it seemed that all hope of survival was lost. In 2003, Aron Ralston, a climber and extreme sports enthusiast who one weekend went out hiking in the remote Blue John Canyon in Utah. He had told no one where he was going; he had no mobile phone and even with it he would of struggled to contact anyone as he was so far out in the remote canyons.Whilst the adreneline junkie is climbing through canyons he slips and falls down a crack in the ground, taking a large rock with him as he hits the bottom of the canyon the rock which fell with him trapped his hand and wrist and no matter how hard he tried he was unable to get free. This is where the horror story begins.

I'm going to give away a major spoiler in the film now, but in all honesty there really isnt much reason for me to warn you as you need to have been under a rock for a year (No pun intended, honest!) not to know the outcome of this story. As the days dwindle by after numerous attempts at trying to free himself with all the rescources he had, things were looking grim. Over the course of the four days he was trapped his food and water supply ran out and it could be said that Aron was slipping into slightly madness accompanied by weird epiphiny like halluciantions, brilliantly portrayed by his video diary he had filmed throughout the four days. In the end Ralston realised what he has to do and gruesomely breaks his arm to peices and then cuts it off in a bid to escape..

Boyle has indicated that the meaning of this story, its take-home message, is that it made Ralston a better person; he learned that he couldn't do everything himself, and that he should swallow his pride and learn to do things with the help of others we are given an insight into Arons life and past via his hallucinations which is what gives the film such an emotional edge, one one hand we obviously feel awful for Ralston and want nothing more for him to escape but on the other hand, his past has shown us that he has made wrong decisions and needed to learn from his mistakes, which he now understands after his time spent in the canyon.

With James Francos brilliant acting showing true emotion and fear which i really felt throughout coupled with the brilliant directing of the ever succesful Danny Boyle we are treated to a visually and mentally stunning film which has you on the edge throughout. Its an exciting and touching film that was executed brilliantly.

Overall Grade: B-

Monday, 12 September 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) - David Yates

                           ** ** ** Warning there are heavy spoilers throughout this review ** ** **

It all ends here. The slogan slapped across posters for this film all across the world, for someone who has grown up with Harry Potter and has followed the trials and tribulations of our protagonist throughout my teenage years i've found myself like most people my age finding it hard to accept that this is the end. We've all read the books, played the video games and of course watched the films on endless occasions. Everything we've ever taken in about the world of Harry Potter, Hogwarts and witchcraft and wizardary has led to this point. And its due to the fact that the film has come to such an end, technically marking the end of my childhood in a scense is why i have not wrote this review sooner! (Which on the whole is quite pathethic but trust me i'm not the only one who felt bloody heartbroken when the credits began to roll!).

The second part in the two part ending of the famous series sees Harry, Hermoine and Ron fight there way back to Hogwarts too face the greatest foe the world has ever seen, he who must not be named (But hey, he's gone so i think its safe to name him now) Voldermort. But before Harry faces the dark lord himself we are treated too about 100 minutes of pure adreneline fuelled action, dragons in Gringotts, death eaters in hogwarts, giants, ghosts, teachers, wizards and spiders THE LOT INFACT! HP&TDHP2 (work it out for yourself) a visually stunning and breathtaking spectacle from start to finish. Scenes such as the multiplying goblets in Bellatrix Lestranges gringotts vault, the room of requirement fire and of course the battle scenes (most amazing the death eaters breaking the Hogwarts defences) scenes are beautifully done and i litteraly sat there in the cinema with my mouth open an awe at what i was watching.

aside from all the heart racing and exciting actions scenes we're gifted theres of course some heartwarming  moments that had the audience in jubilation or close to tears at times. Throughout the whole Harry Potter series the we've read and seen the blundering fool that is Ron Weasley and the smart and witty Hermoine Grangers relationship build and build slowly but surely and when it hits its peak in a heartfelt moment when they passionately kiss as they beleive its possibly the last time they could be together as they could lose their lifes in the battle of Hogwarts, the audience in the cinema let out a collective aww. Of course where there is good there is also bad, the hardest scene in the whole film for myself and the majority of the people around me was when Harry realises that his destiny has always been to die at the hands of voldermort as he is the last Horcrux in order for Voldermort to die himself. If i hadnt of known the outcome from reading the books a long time before i'd have been absolutely mortified at this point of the film and wanting to scream at the screen in desperation!

That isnt the only emotional rollercoaster in the film though Snapes death is one which had my own mother and an old man sat on the other side of me as well as a good portion of the cinema in tears. When it came to the scene that Snape was murdered by Voldermort your first instanct was the be pleased as of course Snapes that evil man who killed Dumbledore and is a loyal servant to Voldermort. It is revealed that, that isnt the case at all and he's infact been working on the good side all along too avenge the death of his childhood love Lilly Potter (GASP! . . .) Its all a difficult watch without wanting to bawl like a little girl.

Theres also a few little surprises throughout the film for example, the unlikely hero who saves the day is the once pathethic Neville Longbottom, who plays a pivotal role in the battle of hogwarts with his bravery and courage and oh yeah, the slight accolade of wielding the sword of Godric Gryffindor and slaying Nagini, Voldermorts snake which happens to be one of the Horcruxes. My favourite little surprise in the film came at the very end when we see all of Heros (Even Malfoy) at the Hogwarts Express with their children preparing to send them off the Hogwarts for the very first time, its a delightful scene which made me grin ear to ear.

I dont want to ramble on anymore about the plot and key points as its most likely you've seen the film and dont need me repeating whats happened. And if you've not seen the film, more fool you for reading on and ruining it when i warned you about spoilers! Overall this has to be the best in the Harry Potter series without a shadow of a doubt and takes my award for best movie of the summer just ahead of planet of the apes. I'm pretty sure i'll find myself rewatching this film in the not so distant future and i highly reccomend you give do too!

Overall Grade: A+

Mortal Kombat [Game Review]

I remember like it was only yesterday when i was playing the original Mortal Kombat on the snes, getting absolutely hammered by the big four armed bloke with the womens ponytail countless times, and once again i find myself in the same position well over ten years later. The blood drenched saga continues in glorious fashion in the ninth reincarnation of series, don your ninja suits and ridiculous weapons and jump into the ridiculous and down right brutal world of 'Kombat'.

I've not played a proper Mortal Kombat game in a long time so i'm a bit rusty on the lore/storyline to this game as i've mainly played through ladder matches with my friends and i've neglected the story mode (Although what i have played has rocked!) I do beleive it goes along the lines of the world is ending due to some big dude with an awesome mask fucking up the world, he kills everybody in the mortal kombat franchise, raiden sees this in a vision and the group take part in the kombat tournement ran by some evil old guy to change the course of history and save 'earth realm' The story isnt brilliant and could of been a lot better, but it still aint half bad. The story-mode itself is excellent.

The Combat system in MK is smooth and fluid, and the game feel absolutely awesome to play especially when you line up a whole row of combos leading to the most awesome bit of the game X-Ray moves. X-Ray moves are a short string of brutal attacks that take a fair chunk of damage from your opponent and at the same time treats the player to a gory visual of your oponents bones breaking and being crushed bit by bit, these attacks are difference makers and can win or lose you the fight.

With an awesome set of classic and (I believe) a few new characters in the game this is surely one of the best Mortal Kombats if not the best since the original. Warner Brothers and Netherrealm have taken the game back to its basic roots, no more weird side scrolling fighters or poor attempts at revivals, this games the real deal and with 9 games in the series, two movies, and its very own web based series it surely seems that Mortal Kombat could be on the rise again, a sequel to the game and a new movie perhaps? We can only hope!

Overall Grade: B+

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution [Game Review]

Its the release the gaming world has been waiting for for some time, the ever popular Deus Ex series returned after a long eight year delay since its predescor Invisible war came out back in 2003. The series has always offered exciting and deep gameplay with vast choices in player customisation (for skills and such), conversation paths and places to go and look around. I myself have never been a huge fan of the first person shooter genre and especially not a fan of stealth games as i've always found myself becoming bored and running in screaming all guns blazing, which never ends well.

The games game is set in 2027 and the plot circles around the controversial topic of human augmentation which has changed the way people live. Augmentation technology makes the more fortunate stronger, faster, and hardier--for a cost, of course. Of course everybody has their own opinion on the matter, many strongly against which from what i played in the game (First long mission and a few side quests) i felt like the villian for being forced onto the pro-augmentation side after the fundamental choice of whether or not to become augmented with cybernetics has been removed from Adam Jensen's life when he was given the cybernetics after being attacked and nearly killed by a mysterious group.

The gameplay was absolutely stunning, knowing that this game featured heavily in stealth put me off at first, but of course after an hour or so into the game i knew i had nothing to fear Deus Ex gives you the ability to play how you like, so instead of being forced into the boring and tedius task of hiding behind a box and picking off enemys slowly i was able to mix it up and go a little bit crazy at times. The hacking system in the game was pretty confusing and difficult to use, but admittedly thats because i didnt really watch the tutorial properly as i was overly keen to get into the next gunfight, but the hacking system minigame is highly regarded as great success by many reviewers.

 There is only one major flaw which drove me absolutely mad with rage when i was playing, its very simple and could be bypassed with common sense on the human side, but the game does not automatically prompt you too sign into your game profile, nor does it have an autosave feature or anywhere in the game to prompt you to save. Of course its entirely my fault that i forgot to do these two things but i found myself dying after playing through an hour of the game and there was no option to return to my last save point, losing ALL my progress as i wasnt signed in. I had to start again and then three hours later i hadnt saved for a good while and lost a LOT of progress once again. It was highly enfuriating and ruined the game a little bit for me.

I really wish i had more time to play this game as i didnt even scratch the surface with it, given the time i'm most defiently going to play this game properly and visit all the places and make use of the augmentation system which is so very important to the game and allows you to play with your own unique style. This was a brilliant game and it made me a little bit more open to stealth/fps games which i've so often avoided in the past. Most defiently worth purchasing!

Overall Grade: B+

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Captain America (2011) - Joe Johnston

Captain America is the latest release in a whole host of Marvel superhero flicks in the lead up to the 2012 summer blockbuster The avengers which will include all of the Marvel heros which i'm eagerly awaiting, despite not being a huge fan of the genre. I genuinly don't think anyone could turn down enjoying an all round 'popcorn hit' just as the other Marvel movies have been, with them being reviewed as all round great summer films for everyone to enjoy.

Captain America was all that i expected, for saying that i wasnt aware of the plot or Stan Lee's 1960s comic adaptation. It was loud, brash and and in your face it times with we the audience getting treated too 2 hours of over the top action which in all fairness is just what i sat down to expect (as i did with Thor) and i wasnt dissapointed. Of course it was barely a pyschologically charged movie with lots too make us think, its the dead opposite at times but thats just what fans of marvel movies have paid to watch.

The plot follows a scrawny Steve Rogers a young man deemed unfit for military service, Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals. Its fair to say the film got off the a great start and i was captivated, but by the midway point i'd seen it all. Once you've seen Captain America kill a few nazi henchman with his shield you've seen it all.Which of course is what the whole Captain America character is based on, but dont tell me you dont find his loyality to using that shield incredibly ridiculous there were better alternatives which just had me grumbling to myself at times... But hey! thats me and of course my opinion is bound to be outweighed by the millions of Marvel fanboys.

In my honest opinion i think that this film was pretty standard, it had its moments but i just saw too many parts that just irritated me that put me off the film as a whole. I didnt really like the villian of the film a crazed nazi who goes under the Red Skull (who's actual villian face was bloody ridiculous). It was a souped up World War II film with the odd star wars-esque weapon. Looking at the start of my review i feel i may have condradicted myself throughout a little bit, so too summarise i'll say that the film was everything i expected from a superhero movie, although i just didnt enjoy it after the first fourty or so minutes when the action set in with all the irritating clichés and such.

Overall Grade: C-

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Minecraft [Game Review]

For months and months upon end, i've purposely avoided Minecraft like the plague after playing it in its very early beta phase on singleplayer. But with it being summer and not very much to do with my days i figuired my best bet would be to get the chip off my shoulder and give it one more go. Admitedly this review is most likely going to be rather biased as i'm basing it on my first two days playing minecraft and of course i never liked it the first time round (So expect a newer review in a month or so after i've grasped the game).

Once i'd done the heartbreaking task of parting with £13.99 for the game i jumped right into it and thought my best bet would be to play on single player mode for a while and work it all out. Once in i found myself faced with a randomly generated map where i was surrounded by a little bit of everything, sand, snow, grass and water (fun fact, its said that the full size of minecrafts randomly generated maps are eight times the size earths surface). I wanted to explore vast mines, get diamonds and build an awesome building like i've seen on various youtube videos.

Oh no .. of course that wasnt to be was it? Instead i found myself searching through tons and tons of wikipedia pages and websites trying to teach me the basics of minecraft, which is my biggest problem with Minecrafts single player game, it offers nothing at for brand new players with no knowledge of what to do. Once i'd learnt everything the game got slightly fun in all honesty, but i couldnt see myself getting anywhere by mining all this junk on my own, so it was time to plunge into the vast servers of Minecrafts multiplayer mode.

I was more than excited to go around with thousands of other people in these thrilling and creative servers. Until of course that is when i actually clicked the Mutliplayer button. How on earth was i, a brand new player meant to know what to do here? I only just paid for the game nevermind knew any of the servers IP's, this is my second biggest fault with the game all i really want is a big busy server full of rescources and mountains i can dig deep into, so far all i've found is HUGE player citys full of peoples creations where i've been told NO YOU CANT BUILD HERE and so on (note: all these servers have been survival not build). So far i've been hugely dissapointed but perhaps if i can find a server that suits my playing style i might really enjoy this game like the countless others, its just going to take some time.

Overall i can see why this game is such a huge success worldwide and why many people chose to play it, but so far its not for me at all, the singleplayer mode i found enjoyable, but when i went over to multiplayer to see if i could recreate what i was doing there with other people i just found myself being told off for trying to build in certain places and being randomly killed by other players when finally getting somewhere, multiplayers been a VERY fustrating experience and has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Overall Grade: D-  (Note: could rise massively depending on my future gameplay)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) - Rupert Wyatt

I sat down to this film being a newcomer to the planet of the apes franchise as i've never given the older films much of a chance in the past and i figuired where better to start than the brand new prequel? Boy am i glad i took the time to watch this film, it was an absolutely stunning and compelling mixture of brains and emotion that made this film possibly my favourite film of the summer season on par with the Deathly Hallows part 2 (Which i shall review sometime soon as it's just come to my attention i havent done so yet!).

Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes a strong look into a very real and emotive world of gene therapy, big pharmaceutical companies and animal testing gives the film relevance and credibility, something lacking in most modern sci-fi pictures where we are thrown right into the thick of things often with very little explanation. In all honesty i'm going to struggle to review this in too much depth as it is very hard not to give any spoilers away as this film is packed to the brim with an exciting, richly intense and emotive storyline. So all i can really do here is attempt to convey to you how bloody brilliant this film was without telling too much of the story.

We follow the life of the son of a genetically altered ape, Ceaser who was taken from his lab by our other main character, scientist Will Rodman (Played by James Franco)  to avoid being slaughtered. Ceaser is a naturual companian too Will and his father Charles (Played by John Lithgow) who suffers from the very disease Will is trying to combat, Alzheimers. The scenes with these three together were intense and emotional and by far some of the best moments. Of course this is a film on how it all began so of course it wasnt going to end on that note, things change dramatically for Ceaser and using his superior intelligence he and his primate counterparts begin an uprising. Of course we all know how this ends from the original films..

I was gripped from start to finish with this exceptional movie, which is something i can say is fairly rare with some of the latest releases too hit the cinema. Absolutely brillaint film i could not rate highly enough! A must see and surely in line for some serious awards come awards season thanks to its exceptional CGI alone.

Overall Grade: A+

Diddy Kong Racing [Game Review]

Its been a busy weekend for me and i havent had the time to watch any new films or purchase any new video games to review, with nothing too contribute i figuired, hey! I'll review some classic video games as there are countless titles i can think of that have carried me through childhood that i'd love to give my opinion on.
So without further adieu heres my review of the Nintendo 64's racing classic Diddy Kong Racing.

Diddy Kong Racing was Rares competition to the N64's Mario Kart 64 in 1997. The game was pre-ordered 800,000 times in the weeks leading up to christmas, making it one of the fastest selling video games of all time with the accolade being more than well deserved as Diddy Kong Racing is possibly one of the best N64 games ever released. The game featured a distinctive game mode that very much had similarites with super Mario 64 except for . . . You're in a vehicle of course! You'd begin the game in an open world map kind of lobby with passages to areas full of doors which led to a certain race track, which over time you would have to unlock via winning races.

The characters in this classic racing game are possibly the reason why i loved the game so very much. I think i could name you them all today even though i've not played the game for over ten years. There were familiar characters such as Diddy Kong (From Donkey Kong Country) Crunch (Also from the same title) Conker (From Conkers Quest & Conkers Bad Fur Day) and the ever recognisable Banjo (From the hit N64 classic Banjo Kazooie which is another game i'd like to review soon). Each track in game was littered with power-ups too use mid race to thwart your rivals with a whole host of different weapons too collect throughout the track, although all in all they were very much the same as Mario Kart.

The fact that in Diddy Kong Racing you would race on unique tracks that relied a certain vehicle made this game stand out for me as it was exciting to get out of the standard go-kart style car and get into a Plane or a Hovercraft, especially in multiplayer where you could all drive something different. Another thing that made DKR different from Mario Kart was the fact at the end of each set of races you would have a boss fight which didnt include racing at all, but instead you would have too complete certain tasks against other computer controlled players in a certain ammount of time and be the last player standing in for example collecting dinosaur eggs.

All in all this game is bloody brilliant! It had some of the most aesthetically pleasing graphics for a Nintendo 64 game and had a whole host memorable characters and tracks which i can still picture today. Countless hours of my childhood were wittled away whilst playing this game and to be quite honest i'd go back and do it again! As back then i was too young and naive to beleive that i had to complete the game and i'd just have fun messing about racing random tracks all day. Now i've got the urge to challenge myself again and complete it all . . . So watch out Diddy Kong, i'm coming for you soon.

Ovcrall Grade: A+

Friday, 2 September 2011

Sucker Punch (2011) - Zach Snyder

Zack Snyder, director of the ridiculously thrilling and over the top blockbusters 300 and Watchmen makes his impact on this summers box office in only a fashion he can deliver, with Sucker Punch not at all surprising me with its quirky and unconventional scenes that thrilled and dulled the senses throughout.

Before watching the film, i genuinly hadnt looked into it at all, as far as i knew it was a film about a young woman who had been put into a mental institution by her abusive against her will and that was the plot as a whole. How shocked was i when the humerously over the top but awesome fight scenes begun out of nowhere which involved matrix style fight scenes and scantilly clad beautiful women.

The film takes the audience on a pyshcological rollercoaster with the first twenty or so minutes barely containing any dialogue and coming across as a gritty, grainy and quite frankly depressing peice movie, only for the viewer like stated earlier to be forcefully dragged into over the top and ridiculous scenarios with Snyder drawing inspiriation and motives from several video games and movies from popular culture (Prince of Persia, Call of duty, Half-life, Lord of the rings and Star wars). As impressive as these scenes were early on the further into the film we get the more predictable they become. Everything i expected to happen seconds before it happened, came true.

Its fair too say the concept and idea of the film is an incredibly good, original idea but sadly somewhere along the line it lost its way massively, it was far too much of a mish-mash of confusing and unanswered plotholes that should of been covered early on in the movie and far far too much cliché.

At times i enjoyed this film, mainly early on, but as appealing as a bunch of beautiful young women kicking ass in a humerous over the top nature is, it was a poor film, worth a watch perhaps but only a one time rental or online as its not worth buying on dvd.

Overall Grade: D+

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Chase and Status - No more Idols [Album Review]

Chase and Status have just about made themselves a household name this summer with some huge hits coming from the two man drum'n'bass maestros who have collaborated with a whole host of huge artists over the last year or so with names such as Plan B, Rihanna, Kano, Dizzee Rascal, Nero and Tinie Tempah each collab churning out hit after hit that has its own specific fusion of two genres put together with finesse for example the track Hypest hype with Tempah T fuses grime and drum'n'bass to make a catchy tune you might just find yourself singing along too with your mates in the car and shouting TEMPPPPPPPPPPPPPPSS on a drunken nights out.

No more Idols is such a diverse album you're never spoilt for choice with the tracks included, the listener is always kept on their toes from start to finish, the solo artists on the tracks alone are enough to pull in a vast audience to the album.

With the rise of these drum'n'bass giants perhaps the definitive era of the genre is back once again rearing its once ugly head since its heydays in the 1990s if the London pair continue to follow the path they're walking on now making tracks with top class artists and headlining festivals like they've been doing of recent they're soon going to find themselves on top of the music world in a very short ammount of time. All in all i've given this album a bloody brilliant rating purely for the fact i absolutely hated Chase & Status until i took the time to fully listen through this album.

Overall Grade: A-

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - Rob Marshall

Jack Sparrow and a few old friends return for the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, this time the ever charismatic 'Captain' Jack Sparrow with his ever so ruthless wit is in the hunt to find the fountain of youth, although of course nothing involving Cap'n Jack is ever so straightforward.

In this fairly long winded episode we begin with our typical escape scene we've become so ever used too at the beginning of these films, where Jack is in some sort of ridiculous situation, this time he's posing as a court judge to help rescue his old friend the ever-present Mr. Gibbs. Obviously as stated earlier nothing is straight forward for our blundering hero, who tends to never get things right on the first attempt, he finds himself in the King of England George II (Played by Richard Griffiths) with orders to assist his old first mate supposedly turned good Captain (Now Privateer) Barbossa too go seek the fountain of youth before the Spanish do as it enrages the king that perhaps Catholics may get there first, que the classic Pirates of the Caribbean themetune as jack hacks and slashes his way out of the situation in ever commical and stylish fashion refusing to assist the king and Barbossa.

Instead we find Jack re-united with former love interest Angela (Played by Penélope Cruz) who we the audience are to beleive there has been a passionate history between, although just like Captain Blackbeard (Played brilliantly by Ian McShane) its a little bit flat between the three and i myelf struggled too feel any connection. Now Jack finds himself upon Blackbeards ship against his will in the hunt for the Fountain of youth (For Blackbeards own personal use) which has turned into a three horse race between the Spanish, The England led by Barbossa and Blackbeards crew with of course deadly consequences.

In my opinion the film itself was enjoyable like its latter three releases, although i can find more flaws in this edition of the sequel than any of the others, at over 2 hours long i found myself wondering how long till it ended as there were points where it seemed to drag on, there is a notable lack of action scenes unlike the previous three which was missed and most dissapointingly there a lot less of Jacks ridiculously funny comedy moments as the plot is thick with new cast members each with seperate stories jack inclusion seems a tiny bit less important.

As per usual though, i'm always going to reccomend you give this a watch, its enjoyable of course but there were times where i wished for the inclusion of Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom who for me along with Depp make this film the success it is.

Overall Grade: C+