Month: June 2015

July movie preview

Summer movie season is well underway and June proved to be a big month for big box office success with Inside Out and the runaway hit Jurassic World, July also has some exciting films to look out for and here are a few, (US release dates).

Terminator Genisys – released 1st of July

The Terminator franchise is back with Arnold Schwarzenegger once again reprising his role as the T-800 and a new spin on the Terminator story, things are different this time with Arnie already being in the past having protected Sarah Connor, who herself is well capable of self defence and not a woman that really needs saving. While John Connor also appearsi n the past and isn’t quite the John Connor everyone is expecting. The film looks like a different take and should be better than Salvation at least. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Lee Byung-Hun.

Magic Mike XXL – released 1st of July

The sequel to the first well received Magic Mike film, following the events of the story after Mikes’ success as a stripper, the story follows Mike and his group returning to put on another show. Stars Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Nash.

Minions – released 10th of July

The Minions finally get their big solo break in this animated prequel to Despicable Me, chronicling the history and lineage of the adorable yellow creatures who have an natural desire to follow despicable leaders. They’ve existed since the beginning of life on earth but find themselves with no leader, leading to events in the 60s’ in which they end up following and working for ambitious supervillain Scarlet Overkill. Starring Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steeve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush.

Ant-Man – released 17th of July

Marvel is still in full swing and its’ next MCU installment is coming in Ant Man, following the events of Age Of Ultron and the story of Scott Lang, an out of luck thief who needs money for his ill daughter, he’s recruited by Hank Pym and urged to become the Ant Man in order to ‘break into places and steal stuff’ but also to take on the other things that come with the mantle. It looks like it could be one of Marvels’ funniest films to date and Scott Lang will be a very different type of hero for a Marvel film. Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena, Judy Greer.

Trainwreck – released 17th of July

Judd Apatows’ latest comedy is about commitment weary Amy as she meets a guy that she may need to re-consider her ideas on relationship for, this is Amy Schumers’ first big movie roleand LeBron James is also in it, of course. Starring Amy Schumer, Tilda Swington, Bill Hader, John Cena, Alison Brie, Brie Larson.

Paper Towns – released 24th of July

Paper Towns, directed by Jake Schreier, is the latest John Green novel- film adaptation and a teen mystery drama, following the developing relationship of Quentin and Margo, when Margo suddenly disappears, cryptically leaving behind messages, Quentin and his friends set out to look for her. The film looks quite heartfelt and could be quite fun. Starring Nat Wolff, Cara Delevigne, Austin Abrams, Halston Sage.

Pixels – released 24th of July

Pixels, directed by Chris Columbus is a sci-fi comedy action film in which an alien race interpreted a message sent into space by NASA in 1980s’ as a declaration of war, they send some of humanities most iconic video game characters to earth to destroy the world. A task force of expert classic video game players is put together to combat them. Starring Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Brian Cox, Michelle Monaghan, ashley Benson.

Southpaw – released 24th of July

Southpaw, directed by Antoin Fuqua is a sports drama about a famous, boxer during his prime who retires, his life falling apart after the death of his wife, he seeks to get things back on track and finds the way to do that in getting back into boxing. Starring Jake Gylenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams.

Vacation – released 29th of July

Vacation, directed by John Francis Daley and Johnathan Goldstein is the spiritual continuation of the popular National Lampoon comedy series, with Rusty Griswold now all grown up and wanting to live in his father Clark Griswolds’ (Chevy Chase) foot steps by taking his wife and 2 sons on a fun vacation to Walley World, which will be closing. Things inevitably go wrong however and the film looks like it emulates the fun, hectic comedy of the films’ it’s a sequel to. Starring Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Chevy Chase.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – released 31st of July

Rogue Nation, directed by Christopher McQuarrie is Cruises latest venture in the Mission Impossible franchise, with the IMF spy organization that Ethan Hunt was part of being disbanded, Hunt gathers his team in order to fight against a shadowy, dangerous organization. Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin.

Spy review

Spy is an action comedy movie and a parody of the spy genre, directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) and stars Melissa Mccarthy, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Allison Janney,Miranda Hart. In a plot about a desk bound CIA worker who opts to go undercover, in the field prominent CIA agents identities have been revealed, to help prevent an arms dealer from letting deadly weapons get into the wrong hands.

The cast in the film is great and McCarthy is on her A-game once again as Susan Cooper, an insecure but intelligent CIA worker, infatuated with her CIA co-worker and spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law) who pulls off the charismatic, charming CIA agent role with ease, while her friend in Nancy (Miranda Hart) is some great comic relief and really good in her role. While Rick Ford (Jason Statham) is pretty hilarious, acting the foul mouthed, angry Englishman who seems to be unkillable, apparently seeing a tonne of action in the field but ironically coming up short a lot of the time, his character is pretty much a parody of some traditional Statham roles and he’s a great sport for taking this role on. While Raina (Rose Byrne) is the straight man character in the film and cuts a quite humorous role, feeling at home in a more comedic role as she’s already done Neighbours and Bridesmaids, her pompous and stuck up persona is one of the more fun parts of the film.

The humor hit surprisingly well as I personally wasn’t expecting to laugh half as much as I did due to the situations McCarthy gets in and how people react to her, while she herself is pretty funny and doesn’t pull back any punches when she needs to get serious and put a character in their place. The humor is well balanced and far from basic, with a few off the cuff, juvenile jokes here and there but mostly great humor, fast moving dialogue and great character interaction, especially between McCarthy and the quite naturally funny Miranda Hart, the comedy comes through thick and fast and is balanced well in the film some more serious moments here and there.

While the action scenes that are included are decent, though the action clearly isn’t the focus of the film and takes a back seat, regardless McCarthy once again does well in slight action oriented film. The plot for Spy is a play on some iconic spy films and has some unexpected twists, which was a nice touch as I personally didn’t see a few things coming and while the conclusion is a bit predictable, the ending was still satisfying the context of the story, leaving room for potential sequels as well.


. Humor is on point, helped with some good writing

. Plot is good, plays out in an interesting way

. Some characters are one dimensional

iZombie season 1 reviewed

iZombie is a sci-fi drama based on a graphic novel of the same, it was a mid-season show premiere for the CW and didn’t exactly premiere off the back of tonnes of hype and maybe that was a good thing as people unfamiliar with the existing material were open to the show and weren’t expecting it to necessarily be a certain way. I am one of those people who hasn’t read the novels and the show was a pleasant surprise for me, it’s a quirky, fun show and the most light hearted zombie TV show to date of course, featuring zombies functioning in everyday life without cannibalistic tendencies, though they do need to eat brains and do so in inventive ways.

The show follows Liv Moore (Rose McIver), a biology student turned forensics assistant, turned zombie, she gets infected by a zombie scratch (which is how Zombies’ turn people in the show) at a boat party and her life is changed forever, her passion and emotions are dulled, as is her complexion which is now pale and lifeless. Her relationships with the people closest to her in life are also changed, with her best friend Peyton – (Aly Michalka), her brother Evan (Nick Purcha) ex-boyfriend Major – (Robert Buckley) and forensic co-worker Ravi (Rahul Kohli), while Liv has to manage her personal life with her work life, keeping her undead secret from her new boss Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin). The cast itself is great, they all deliver consistently believable performances for the roles they play and they’re all great fits and that’s a credit of the shows’ writing, it’s very snappy and witty with characters often throwing in funny references or comparisons, it feels borderline Sitcom-y at times but the show has some of the funniest writing on the CW at the moment. Rose McIver especially is great as Liv being believably flat and disinterested in her natural zombie mode and then going through drastic personality changes as she eats brains, the shows’ character material is quite fun to watch as Rose essentially plays a new character each week.

The cast really helps bring life to the show (pun intended) with Blaine (David Anders) being the main antagonist, he’s also one of the funniest characters and the light entertainment feel and fun of the show is really brought because the characters are so vibrant in their own respective roles. The main characters as well as the supporting characters, from Blaines’ dumb henchmen to the witnesses or suspects they bring in for questioning each week, the show really feels like a comic book show and you get the feeling of each week feeling like a new issue in a comic book. And the show even has comic book panels in the opening title sequence and in scene transitions which is a nice touch. And that feeling is helped a lot by the procedural nature of the show for most of the first half with Liv eating the brains of a new victim each week and gaining their memories, mannerisms and characteristics temporarily, also a big and humorous part of the show, however morbid it may actually be, Liv is a functional zombie and that’s a good thing.

A lot of the comedy in the show is derived from the unreal circumstances that arise with Liv being a zombie and going through the motions, her odd demeanor is often shrugged off and knowing why she’s acting out as a viewer while some characters don’t has being a highlight. While the show also deals with a few darker and more emotional moments with Liv feeling out of touch with emotion and her loved ones, wanting to re-connect with Major and with feelings themselves, it also has an underlying theme on grief, as Liv, Ravi and Clive are dealing with homicides and it can take its’ tole on the mas people.

As we learn through the show, there are other zombies out there that need brains and Blaine creates a brain market to supply them, through nefarious means however, mostly involving kidnapping and killing at risk children. Blaine made a great bad guy as he’s complex, not purely evil but clearly out to service himself, he doesn’t care for the feelings of others and is a bit of an ass but he’s also servicing other zombies with brains. A good thing about the show is that portrays its character with some depth and there’s a lot of that with Liv, hating the fact that she’s a zombie but also retroactively being thankful for it considering some situations she’s been in, she wants to be as human as possible but knows she can’t be.

iZombie hasn’t delved into its’ own zombie lore a tonne but it’s an interesting spin on traditional mindless zombies that we’re used to and it’s a fun show, if you want action and something more heavy hitting there’s The Walking Dead or Gotham, if you want a fun comic book show you have The Flash, Agents Of Shield, Arrow and iZombie. And season 1 for it was a great starting point, establishing the tone and style of the show which is a hit so far, giving us an array of fun characters to follow and a world possibly filled with zombies to further explore.

Game Of Thrones, 6 talking points for season 6

So yeah… that finale eh, Game Of Thrones season 5 came to a dramatic and somewhat controversial conclusion last week and left on quite a few huge cliffhangers, some of which I think will lead us immediately into season 6, here are a few.

What now for Daenerys

Danys’ stories is one of the most interesting in the show and the overall story and she’s a very important character, events in Meereen and Drogon not fully in her control have taken her out of the picture for the time being but… what now? She’s about to be taken by a Dothraki horde from the looks of it so you have to wonder what will happen next, will she coerce them to join forces? Will a new Khalasar be hostile to her? How will the Dothraki react to Drogon? Season 6 should have a pretty great arc for Dany in the lead up to the end game for the overall story.

Meereen in Westerosi hands

Meereen being ruled by Tyrion and Varys is a pretty awesome concept, not strictly good or bad but… interesting, Tyrion is far from a dictator or warlord and he has his wits about him so he should be able to see things out, but can he really manage an all out civil war, governing city presumably just a few days after the Coliseum massacre. It’s a huge task and you also have to wonder if Varys now has alterior motives for Meereen or Dany.

Myrcellas death

This was a huge event that paled in comparison to Jon Snows’ murder but a significant event nonetheless, more or less confirming war between the Tryrells’ and Lannisters’ which will be massive in the south and possibly the next great war since the Lannisters and Starks, how will Jamie react to learning of Cerseis’ treatment under the faith as well? Something to think about.

We need to talk about Sansa and Reek

Theon finally realizing the logical thing to do and helping Sansa in the finale was awesome, they leapt from Winterfells walls into uncertainty and now they need to get the hell away from there/Ramsay as fast as they can, but where do they go? Will they likely meet up with Brienne and Podrick? Or is Theon/Reek too far gone now to ever be re-introduced into society? It’s a very interesting arc for Theon to be on and him and Sansa surely have a lot to bring to the story to come.

What next for Bran and Hodor

Both characters took a season break as their story was caught up to their book counterparts but what comes next for Bran especially is intriguing, he can warg at will now which is pretty cool, but something with a Weirwood tree, seeing visions of the past and future, children of the forest… it’s all a bit confusing. But I think Bran has a huge part to play in events to come and we’ll see what happens next.

Re-animation works, Jon Snow…

So guys, the Mountain has been brought back to life, not by magic or anything but via weird, crazy medieval science by Tyburn so yeah, people near death or fully dead can be brought back, we saw a few seasons ago that people can be brought back from complete death as well with the Lord of lights magic. Melisandre being at the wall, Jon just being killed, yeah we’re all thinking it, surely he has to be revived.

And while I’m not including this as one of my points, Stannis’ apparent end is also a big thing, though I personally think he’s still alive on the show, season 6 can go in so many exciting different directions, so here’s to another short 10 month wait (which is well worth it in the end).

Heroes Reborn preview (The extraordinary among us)

So there’s a minute long preview to Heroes Reborn now, the long awaited follow up to the popular but divisive show Heroes, Heroes Reborn has been teased over the past several months with some cryptic promo photos and video but now we have our first solid look at what to expect from the season.

Messages saying “where are heroes?” are seeing spray painted on walls and rooftops and in this series, the super powered heroes seem to be gone, missing from the public eye, while a portion for the public longs for their return so immediately the tone is different to Heroes. With Reborn being the start of a possible resurgence of powered people in this world, while we get a few shots of people who presumably will be the Heroes of Heroes Reborn, including the returning Noah Bennett (Jack Coleman) and Masi Oka (Hiro) who we see right near the end, Micah (Noah Gray Cabey) all grown up now and Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) also return.

So far so good really, NBC is deliberately not telling us much about the plot in the lead up to the premiere and I think it’s a good thing to be a bit in the dark, it seems like Heroes Reborn may capture some of the feel of Heroes season 1 with characters exploring their new powers and discovering they have them, though that probably won’t be the main theme. But I think we’ll follow already established, functioning heroes finding their way in the world whilst laying low for some reason and why they’re laying low – is probably a big part of the story, the public even seems to have cult followings around the powered heroes as we see people walking around with a red flag with a question mark on it, linked to the “Where are the heroes?” question.

I’m quite looking forward to finding out the context of the world of Heroes Reborn and the state of the Heroes in question, as well as what’s happened with some returning characters like Mohinder, Hiro, Noah, Micah and Matt, the set up is already interesting so I’m curious to see how it plays out.

This could prove to be another hit for NBC but it’s gonna be interesting to see how a different TV audience reacts to the show, with the number of superhero shows now on air and with everyone having seen a plethora of comic book movies in recent years. Heroes Reborn debuts on the 24th of September.

Tom Holland is your new Spiderman

Marvel and Sony announced their new Peter Parker and Spiderman yesterday in some pretty big news and well… it’s new, I’m not too familiar with the actors so I can’t give that much of an informed opinion but for what Marvel is going for with Spidey now, he fits the bill more or less – though I would have liked and still want Dylan O’Brien to play Spiderman (it needs to happen!).

Holland has a youthful appearance and that fits with Marvel wanting a high school age Peter Parker, I can see him in a role centred around the character being a bit insecure and ‘finding himself’ as a teenager and he has some film experience, in a big blockbuster, The Impossible and with How I live now, a smaller drama. But going straight into the MCU from what he’s done previously may be a bit of a shock to the system, I believe he can pull the role off and be a good Spiderman, though he won’t be as good as Andrew Garfield because c’mon, Garfield was a fantastic Spiderman.

It’s just awesome that we have some solid news on the new Spiderman and its’ director and knowing Tom Holland will be in Captain America Civil War as Spidey is pretty cool, now we just have to wait a 11 months or so to see how he actually plays the role in Civil War, fingers crossed.

Will Fear The Walking Dead flop?

Fear The Walking Dead is an upcoming AMC spinoff to The Walking Dead and is a show that TWD fans seem to be excited for (myself included), though with cautious optimism, I don’t see people raving on about the show prior to its’ release and I do already have my doubts about the show. There is that short 30 second clip from the show of a character running away from something an it does look a bit cheesy but that’s nowhere near enough to judge the show from, though it does set the tone of the show a bit And of course there’s no way to tell for sure how a show will do but a brand new zombie TV show aired this year with iZombie on the CW and it was a hit, proving that audiences aren’t tired of zombies just yet, as does the continued success of The Walking Dead which amazingly manages to outdo itself in ratings figures every year.

Fear The Walking Dead will be a different case though, not based on any solid comic material to run on like the main Walking Dead show and not being tied to the original in any strong ways apart from being in the same world, it’s also set before the events of the main show, so the context will be wholly different. The cast announced for the show so far is solid enough, though I’m not familiar with too many of the actors. I doubt the show will be an outright flop but you have to wonder how long time Walking Dead fans will react to the show, especially people that strongly dislike the idea of spinoffs in general, I’m not getting the feeling that people really want the show to be honest as TWD fans love the show and never really asked for a spinoff, but AMC knows best… I Guess.

It will always be compared to TWD but it will feel a lot different with characters reacting to the virus and seeing the world around them change, rather than them already being in a post apocalyptic world which is an interesting change for a zombie centric show. Also it will inevitably be different because all of our favourite characters from TWD won’t be in it and may never appear in it, which is a shame I suppose.

AMC knows what it’s doing though and capitalizing on a global hit like TWD is sort of a no brainer, but it’s far from a guaranteed success, plus choosing a different period in time – setting the show just as the zombie outbreak is occuring and avoiding the events of the main show… well we’ll see if that was a good idea or not. Wanting the show to stand on its’ own feet away from TWD and be a solid entry to the franchise is a great idea, but the show really needs to be up to par for that to happen and if it’s even half as popular as TWD, I think it would be deemed a hit, Fear The Walking Dead premieres in August and I’m really curious to see how it turns out.

Game Of Thrones season 5 reviewed

Game Of Thrones came to a dramatic and gasp worthy conclusion recently and well, it ended on a mixed vibe, on somewhat of a low note I guess? But how did the season do as a whole, was it solid, entertaining and good in relation to the rest of Game Of Thrones series as a whole well…

I think it was, GOT season 5 was a very mixed bag and stands as more of an exploration into Westeros, its’ different religions and as a whole I think you could sum up the season as a delve into fanaticism in Westeros (and the whole world of GOT), fanatics in the sons of the harpy, the Faith and High Sparrow and Melisandre, Stannis and them following the lord of light. While separate stories are also ongoing not really related to fanaticism, with Jon Snow and the Nightswatch and Jamie/Bran and Dorne. I liked season 5 because it was an expansion of the show, 5 seasons in and believe it or not, there are still some awesome locations not even seen yet like Old Town and Casterly Rock, seeing Dorne, Bravos and Meereen this season has been awesome and seeing new cultures, characters and religions was a nice touch.

People have criticized season 5 for being slow and plodding but I disagree, the season did take a little while to build up but it was never really slow for me, things were clearly building up to significant events to come and you could see where things were roughly going, especially with the Faith and High Sparrow and Jon Snow, the wildlings and the Nights Watch. Not everything worked though, Dorne for example, a cool new location but it was barely explore, the Sand Snakes were also a cool introduction but again didn’t get to do much. Jamie and Brans’ storyline was interesting but ultimately disappointing and speaking of disappointment, Stannis’ battle with the Boltons’, which was an anti-climax and a fight we didn’t even see. Also some scenes were very controversial, that Sansa and Ramsey  scene which turned a lot of viewers off, though that may warrant an entire discussion at a later point and Stannis horrifically sacrificing Shireen of course, which ultimately turned out to be… pointless. Developments in Kings Landing were interesting, seeing religious fanaticism run unchecked and seeing the Faith be judge, jury and executioner, rising in power was compelling, Cersei Vs Margery came to a head and the Faith saw to both of them being punished, though Cerseis’ punishment was brutal and even though I hate her, it was a bit much.

Meanwhile, we see that ruling a city isn’t easy, of course and doing so in a foreign culture in a city you’ve taken by force even less so, Danys’ arc in Meereen was great and showed that she’s a still naive with the whole being a ruler thing, the sons of the harpy revolting was probably inevitable and seeing how that plays out in seasons to come should be great. And RIP Barristan Selmy.

Though of course there were some cool surprises as well, some new, cool character interactions, namely Tyrion meeting Daenerys which was great, two of the best characters in the show meeting, not in the books but but a great touch, while his adventure with Jorah was also pretty fun. Dany finally learnt how to ride a dragon and the end of episode 9 had me literally cheering, it was a great episode as was episode 8, reveaing the White Walkers have a huge army and also seem fairly unstoppable at the moment, Hardhome was a brilliant episode and the last 20 minutes had the internet in meltdown and for a supposedly dull season, that was pretty exciting. A lot of different characters got some great story arcs – Jon Snow and the Wildlings, Dany, and civil war win Meereen, the rise of the Faith in Kings Landing, Jorahs’ redemption, some decent story arcs – Brienne and Podrick, Arya/Jaqen H’gar and the many faced god but on the whole I enjoyed and was engaged in all of the stories, which were mostly given equal amounts of time.

Though I do think the north got the short end of the stick, the battle of Winterfell was an anti-climax and even further north at the wall, we didn’t get any big plot development e.g. Jon going to Hardhome itself until episode 8 out of a 10 episode season… which is crazy but also it works to build tension and it made the betrayal of Jon Snow by the Nights Watch all the more brutal. With us all knowing how important Jon Snow is in uniting everyone against the White Walkers and the Nights Watch being dogmatic idiots.

Overall I thought season 5 was good, the pacing wasn’t a mile a minute but Game Of Thrones never really has been, more exploration of Westeros and the various cultures and religions was a great touch and the world of the show is really being fleshed out now, even with 10 episodes not all the characters got satisfying or great plot arcs, but the main characters did. The last 3 episodes were the highlights though and while the finale was polarizing and definitely lost some fans out there, I think it’s left the show in a pretty exciting place.

E3 2015 – my highlights

Fellow gamers, as you know E3 just ended this week and it was fantastic, one of the best E3s’ in recent memory and of all time really, showcasing some of the best, biggest and most creative upcoming games for the next several months that will be shaping up the gaming landscape for the rest of 2015 and early 2016. And I had a few major highlights that I would like to mention.

Backwards compatibility for Xbox One

Microsoft almost stole the show with their great press conference, announcing a new controller, a tonne of games and backwards compatibility, allowing all Xbox one owners to play a huge range of their 360 games, a feature that previously couldn’t happen. This news is pretty huge for people still playing 360 or just for people on Xbox one with a tonne of 360 games and it’s a big statement for Microsoft and a 180 from 2014 E3 show, the statement is “We have games, a lot of them” and it’s a pretty simple but progressive stance for Microsoft. That and man I need to play Arkham City and all the Mass Effect games on Xbox one asap, so it’s all good.

Star Wars Battlefronts’ everything

I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I’ve longed for a big battlefield type Star Wars games with starships, blasters, Empire and Rebel vehicles, hero characters and Battlefront has it all, it looks beautiful and it looks like it runs super smoothly. I never played Battlefront 1 and came into Battlefront 2 really late, playing on PC so I never properly got into it so Battlefront (3) is a chance for me to play to my hearts content in 1080p on my Xbox one and I love that and it was one of two games that stole E3 for me.

Fallout 4

I’m a recent Fallout convert but it has one of the most compelling and intriguing open world games well… ever, the gameplay is great and all the lore of the Fallout world, various storylines and characters all interacting make for a super engaging and fun game. Fallout 4 being announced was huge for fans of the franchise and it was anticipated for years, finally seeing footage of the game, seeing gameplay, the ability to mod it on console and use loads of customizable items, weapons etc in it got me pretty pumped. It also looks great in full HD and looks like it runs great, a big graphical update from both Fallout 3 and the last game, Fallout New Vegas. 

Halo 5 Guardians

While I’m not the biggest Halo fan by any stretch of the imagination, I still love sci-fi and the games have an interesting world that they’ve created, the story for the games interests me and the games are just really fun to play, Halo 5 will give the story a new interesting twist with Master Chief possibly gone rogue, Spartans fighting Spartans and who knows what’s going on. But graphically it looks fantastic and the new gameplay features, weapons and vehicles look pretty fun.

Other great looking games (Star Fox Wii-U, The Division, Just Cause 3, Assassins Creed Syndicate)

There were a range of other great looking games from E3, I’ll naturally forget a few but the ones I’ve bolded stood out to me, new Star Fox anyone? This E3 was just a strong showing from more or less all major game developers and publishers, though Nintendo were a bit lackluster, it was a great E3 and set up the rest of 2015 in gaming, which is looking pretty great if you ask me.

Jurassic World review

The box office behemoth that is Jurassic World is already a commercial success and a record breaking one at that, but is it a critical success? Yes, I think it is, Jurassic World is a faithful and solid addition to the Jurassic franchise and the best sequel yet. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the film is set in the same world as Jurassic Park and takes us back to Isla Nubar, 22 years after the events of the original film, John Hammond’s dream of a fully functional dinosaur theme park has come to fruition, the park draws visitors in droves and has seems to be running without fault.

Some of your favourite dinosaurs are back including the Stegosaurus, giant Brachiosaurus, Triceratops and of course the Velociraptors. However ratings have dipped and the Parks’ investors need an additional investment to spike interest – cue the Indominus Rex, a hybrid dinosaur created to be the new shiny thing for the par to raise interest, meanwhile two brothers, Zach and Gray go to the park on a week long trip away from their parents and arrive just at the worst time possible. Zach and Gray are also related to Claire, their aunt, (Bryce Dallas Howard), the hard working and uptight chief operator of the park, while Owen (Chris Pratt) is already on the Isla Nubar and has been working alongside Barry (Omar Sy) as they work to tame the Velociraptors.

The cast of the film is great first of all and everyone fits well into their roles, even the archetypal young excited brother and his older, jaded brother didn’t take away too much from the film and having them at the centre of the plot added a nice human element to the mayhem. Meanwhile Bryce Dallas Howard is brilliant as Claire, delivering a really believable performance as she tries to keep up appearances and stay afloat while things really fall apart and she does mange to for the most part. While Chris Pratt is fantastic as Owen and is a great leading man, seemingly a natural, his banter and Chris Pratt-esque humor also make his character a joy to watch, the side characters are good additions, Vincent D’Onofrio as Hoskins, the InGen employee that wants to weaponize raptors, his intentions are dubious at best but D’Onofrio delivers an enthusiastic, driven performance. And even Jake Johnson as Lowery is a decent character, while Irfan Khan as Simon Masrani brings his best Jeff Goldblum/Ian Malcolm impersonation and does a decent enough job, the character interactions were believable and didn’t feel overly cliché.

Though in saying that I would agree that a few characters did a feel one dimensional, Zach is the girl focused teenager that’s bored of the park, his younger brother is the opposite, Claire is the workaholic that wants to get everything right and so on. But the plot itself helps to elevate the film above its’ clichés, Jurassic World is an entertaining adventure and you really get the feel of the park being modern and well.. almost believable aside from the live dinosaurs. The feel of the original Jurassic Park is re-captured and the original score also partially returns and feels right at home we get grand sweeping shots of the island and the dinosaurs in all their glory, though they all take a backseat to the Indominus Rex for the most part, which was pretty terrifying. The Indominus of course is a huge part of the story and represents a whole off shoot of morals and ethics but in the film it was menacing, massive and cunning and there were point where I wondered how they were going to beat the thing and I think that’s a credit to the great writing. Owen and his affinity for the raptors was a nice side story and an interesting source of conflict, are animals just tools or can they be something more? It was great to see how Jurassic World echoes moral questions from previous films but emphasises them with the Indominus, bringing back extinct animals for one is arguably wrong but keeping specific dinosaurs in isolation and messing around with DNA to create new dinosaurs, probably even worse.

The plot flowed well and the pacing was great, the film felt like it fit its’ runtime perfectly, the set pieces were great and full of great spectacle, the film is of course CG heavy but I think it looked great, the dinosaurs looked as good as some of the dinos in Jurassic Park which is crazy to say about a 22 year old film but hey, it’s a classic. And the conclusion and the Indominus’ end may feel a bit rushed but it was a satisfying conclusion, those theories about the T-Rex being brought out to fight were of course predictably true and it was awesome to watch.

And it was nice how Jurassic World stands as a worthy sequel and also a nice homage to Jurassic Park, with clear references, re-visiting the atrium which was at the end of the film, bringing back the original T-Rex of course but even with all of that, it doesn’t feel cheesy at all. The end of the film stands as a homage and a statement with the old vs the new represented in that final fight but the overall message is clear, the Jurassic franchise is back, going strong… and there will always be a T-Rex at some point


. Great cast and equally great acting

. The feeling of Jurassic Park is effectively re-captured, film also looks great

. Some characters are a bit one dimensional