Sunday, 30 January 2011

NEWS: New Superman Revealed!

New Superman will be Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder's 'The Man of Steel'

After the pretty lame Superman Returns, Snyder's re-envisioning is British actor Henry Cavill. He has starred in The Tudors, Tristan & Isolde and Stardust as well as upcoming Immortals. Apparently he was also Stephanie Meyers choice to be Edward for Twilight until he was deemed too old.

What do you guys think? Is he a crap choice?

REVIEW: Barney's Version

Paul Giamatti stars in this strange drama/comedy about Barney, a TV producer who has had a string of ladies and booze and also a hint of murder ...

This was totally not the film I thought it would be. From the cover it looks like a funny, 'indie', happy film about a charming, charismatic man but yet it couldn't be further from the truth. Instead, "Barney's Version" was a melancholy, sad, tear-jerker about a man who makes a lot of mistakes and he might seem like a miserable, old, sleazy git but in essence he's a victim and by the end, you seem to completely sympathise with him.

We are introduced to Barney as an old man making prank phone calls, as a bitter, twisted, lonely specimen who is accused of murder by that guy from the Tesco adverts. We soon jump back in time and see Barney's first wife - the bohemian, messed up Rachelle Lefevre who is completely self-obsessed but when it's over, Barney is ridden with guilt and, once his career starts picking up he runs into Minnie Driver. Driver is a self-righteous, rich, Daddy's girl and Barney marries her not out of love, but out of the need to succeed. As his father played by Dustin Hoffman states, he'd be a fool not to marry her. Hoffman's role as the single father, a man who also has his own demons, is incredible and should have picked up an Oscar nomination - simple, effective and without any acting flab. Barney's love for another woman during his marriage might seem perverse and wrong in the eyes of society, but once you scratch away at the surface, you see he is truly a romantic and feels that Mirium (Rosamund Pike) is the one he should be with. It's like the passionate scene at the end of a rom-com, but more realistic. All the while, he's being accused of killing his best friend, whom he misses like mad and his drinking is getting worse.

After getting shown up by friendly neighbour Blair, Mirium leaves to take a break and spends it with Blair - a man with morals, integrity and quite the looker. Unfortunately, Mirium leaves him for Blair - it's not paranoia when they really are after you. The rest I really can't say because it would ruin the film, but you get an insight into the man that you'd love to hate. "Barney's Version" was marketed in completely the wrong way, it's a tale where if you saw him through anyone else's eyes, he would look like a prick but instead you see the method in the madness, you see his love of his father and fear of being alone. You see how he has been mistreated by women, that his peers are more successful and better looking, that he can only gain confidence when he drinks, the guilt over his previous relationships and that sometimes that grumpy, bitter old man might not have been born that way but deep down, he's a nice guy really.

Jumping in and out of different time periods proves how incredible the make-up is, it looks completely realistic and is much more stunning than the millions spent on Benjamin Button for instance. The acting was incredible and Giamatti again proves that he has some of the best acting chops in the business. I couldn't help but watch the film and feel myself drawn towards Barney's character, even when he's being a dick you know where it's coming from and you sympathise with him and it proves that nothing is black and white, sometimes you need to know the whole story - as unflattering, honest and horrible as it might be, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, but I did find the end quite emotional and even though it was handled right, I felt it was a slightly unnecessary way to heighten the emotion but then, it became about a man losing power, that by taking away his superficial evil, you saw that behind it all he's just a man that wanted to love and to be loved. I challenge anyone not to get emotional by watching Barney's slow break down into oblivion and not be affected by a character that was perfectly imperfect.

Rating: 8/10

ARTICLE: David Brent In US Office - Video!

The moment you've all been waiting for - David Brent is back!

As you can see from the clip above, it's not the most amazing of moments but with Brent asking if there's any jobs going, it is a sign pointing to Brent perhaps taking over Michael Scott's role and continuing in the series. It's all just rumours and speculation, more than likely on purpose so people like me talk about it, but still I think it would be a good move. US Office is absolutely huge over there, and quite big over here (and not nearly big enough) and as I've said before, I think it's become far funnier than the UK Office and a lot more varied but I'm not the only one either. This week's episode was quite a good return to form but, seriously, get rid of Ryan - he's pointless now. Thoughts?

REVIEW: The Fighter

A double whammy for Aronofsky as he produces this David O Russell film based on a true story about Mickey 'Irish' Ward and his relationship with his brother Dickey. Is it the next Rocky? No, not really.

Coming out of The Fighter I was a bit unsure of what I felt. It's as if I should recognise this was a great film, but I just couldn't accept that it was. It's all there, downtrodden fighter, against-all-odds, the love interest, drugs, hope, despair but I couldn't help but think it was a mere shadow compared to sporting films in the past and the obvious link to The Wrestler, the reason why this was directed by O Russell rather than Aronofsky, makes it abundantly clear that it's just not top quality. It's a rather standard movie that has appeared at the right time to be considered for awards. A bit of a dirty shot as I doubt had it been released a while ago, it would have been considered.

Why is it not the big hit it's supposed to be? Well, the story is pretty mundane to be honest. Mickey is trying to be an accomplished boxer but living in the shadow of his drug-using, egotistical Dickey played by Bale as well as having an over-bearing mother and a gaggle of sisters. All the while he's dating strong-spirited Amy Adams and trying his best to train and yet not let everyone down at the same time. The real focus of the story here though is Bale and Mickey Ward is a strong, yet simple man who just wants to fight and really he's just too weak to stand up for himself. How ironic and something Oscar judges will probably cream themselves over. However, it's been done.

The acting here is pretty good but swings from cartoonish to overly-serious. Bale's Dickey is a force to be reckoned with and again Bale has completely taken over the role looking similar to his skin-and-bones Machinist persona. Dickey is clearly deluded into creating a legacy that is bigger than himself, and unfortunately so is his mother. It's some great acting but I felt at times it was a little too much, perhaps much like Dickey himself he becomes a caricature and it's slightly off-putting compared to the rather wooden Wahlberg. I honest to God cannot see why he is still being cast in anything, he has exactly the same look, the same tone, he might as well be reading off the page. There's no emotion behind his eyes and I might have liked him in some performances, but the role has to cater to Wahlberg, Wahlberg doesn't cater for the role. I'm no boxing expert, but I still felt Wahlberg was unconvincing as a boxer, he can hit a speedbag and do some combinations but it's not exactly Raging Bull. Instead Wahlberg looks like a stone as he boxes, it's so insular and looks amateurish, the fights themselves look extremely fake at times and even by filming with the same cameras used in the sport to give it that 'TV' effect, it still doesn't stand up to any real or Hollywood fights, it's even got shitty 'whump' sound effects.

Wahlberg might have predictably ruined the film, but Melissa Leo as their mother makes a great middle ground between Wahlberg's stone-cold serious 'acting' and Bale's OTT method performance. She shines through and Amy Adams struggles slightly in comparison. Adams does a decent enough job but really I felt she was more of a distraction rather than a help. The story is about strong females just as much, if not more so, than strong males and Adams isn't afraid of the horrible, gossiping sisters that crowd around the film like an ancient Greek chorus. However, I feel the role was a bit too much for her and as good as she was, I felt she didn't quite have the gravitas needed.

I enjoyed watching this, but I really felt that the directing wasn't O Russell at his best, it was too similar to The Wrestler's handicam approach and there was nothing about it I can look back on and think 'that was great' - even the fight scenes weren't exactly gripping. Bale chewed up the scene alongside Melissa Leo and left everyone else in their wake. Some people will probably just big it up because it's called The Fighter and it's about boxing and is very macho macho and that's enough to keep people excited, but in truth it's overrated already. Compared to True Grit that I have just watched, it's definitely not as good, and I didn't think that was amazing either. If The Fighter gets any Oscar nods for anyone other than Melissa Leo and perhaps Bale, then it's undeserved. It touches on important issues so lightly that they might as well have been left alone - there's nothing giving it any integrity apart from the fact that it's a true story and the most interesting stuff was the real footage, which makes me rather watch a real documentary on the fighters rather than see this film again.

Rating: 7/10

Friday, 28 January 2011

NEWS: Sony Unveil New Products For This Year! New PSP & PlaystationPhone!

 Sony hit back at Apple and Nintendo with some amazing new gear.

Sony has just launched two amazing new products. One being the Xperia Play which is the Playstation Phone that has been knocking about for a while. It has a 4 inch touch screen with a resolution of 854x480 pixels and powered by the Bravia engine.
It has a 1Ghz processor and 512MB ram making it an extremely fast mobile. The most distinguishing feature however is the control pad that slides it with even some shoulder buttons on the back. Sweet.

However, the real noise was created for the new PSP or what Sony are calling the NGP (Next Generation Portable). It has a quad-core processor, 5 inch OLED screen (16 million colour 960x544 - amazing), twin analogue sticks, twin cameras, twin speakers, microphone,Wi-Fi and 3G and has been told to be as powerful as the PS3. Not only this, but it has a touch sensitive back as well as a touch sensitive screen, GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, it'll be cross platform with Android stuff, have smart card-esque games  as well as being able to download games. Amazing! It apparently will be out this Christmas and rumoured to be the same price as Nintendo's 3DS - the first 3D console where you don't need glasses. Again, Sony haven't gone down the gimmick route that have proven Nintendo's success (Wii's movement, 3DS's 3D feature) but have gone through sheer power - something risky but more catered towards hardcore gamers.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

ARTICLE: Oscar Nomination & Predictions

After The Wild Bore's amazing results in last year's predictions it's time to check out who we think will win in 2011.

What a boring nominations list - absolutely no surprises here whatsoever - what do you guys think? I've suggested what I think will win, and what I think should win.

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Prediction: The Social Network
Wild Bore Choice: Black Swan

I can't imagine anything else but Social Network winning this. As much as I think King's Speech will win some huge awards, I doubt they will give it Best Film. For me, I'd like to have seen either Inception or Black Swan but Inception was fun but Black Swan, as a film, was better.

Actor In A Leading Role
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenburg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

Prediction: Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Wild Bore Choice: Colin Firth - The King's Speech

I haven't seen Biutiful but I sincerely doubt Bardem will win it and Jeff Bridges is still on the comedown from his Crazy Heart win, Eisenburg did well but one of the best actors of last year? I don't think so. Franco shouldn't win because not only is he hosting the Oscars with Anne Hathaway this year but I don't think he was very impressive in 127 Hours (which I haven't stayed awake through yet). Therefore, it can only be Firth as he missed out with A Single Man and has impressed the States no end.

Actor In A Supporting Role
Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech

Prediction: Christian Bale - The Fighter
Wild Bore Choice: Jeremy Renner - The Town

I think Bale will get an Oscar for the fact that he deserves one, but also a lot of people were impressed with his method acting that has finally found a film that ticks all the Oscar's boxes. I haven't seen Winter's Bone so can't comment, I've heard The Kids Are All Right is up it's own arse and as much as I loved Geoffrey Rush, I think Bale will pip it. However, I'd love to see Renner win in a film I didn't expect I'd enjoy so much and one I think should have been given more credit, Affleck's The Town. I feel where Bale can go OTT, Renner holds it back, and it's this approach that I find much more appealing.

Actress In A Leading Role
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Prediction: Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Wild Bore Choice: Natalie Portman - Black Swan

A whole bunch of films I am yet to see, so instead it's more of an educated guess. I just can't see Portman losing this.

Actress In A Supporting Role
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Prediction: Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Wild Bore Choice: Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

Jacki who? Anyway, Adams was upstaged by Leo so I think that's unfair for a start, however I can't see Bonham Carter winning here at the Oscars, other British awards maybe but not here. Steinfeld I thought really brought True Grit home and was a stand-out performance, I don't see how they classify Jeff Bridges as a leading male and Steinfeld as a Supporting role, I thought it would be the other way round.

Animated Feature Film
How To Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Prediction: Toy Story 3
Wild Bore Choice: Toy Story 3

I want to say The Illusionist but I haven't seen it. Toy Story can't lose this one though, the Academy love it.

Art Direction
Alice In Wonderland
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King's Speech
True Grit

Prediction: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Wild Bore Choice: Inception

I think as far as all the art direction goes, the more fantastical it is, then the more chance it has of winning. However, Alice In Wonderland was mainly CG and Harry Potter always does well for more technical stuff but I think Inception's art direction was overshadowed by it's content. Every detail in it's different settings was unique and stylish. Hats off.

Black Swan
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Prediction: True Grit
Wild Bore Choice: True Grit

As beautiful as the other films look, the cinematography in True Grit really captured the raw essence and the landscapes, the lighting, all the shots felt remarkable. Inception again was incredible and Black Swan was more rebellious, but True Grit will get some Oscars for stuff like this.

Costume Design
Alice In Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Prediction: Alice In Wonderland
Wild Bore Choice: Alice In Wonderland

How it can be nominated for anything is crazy but I haven't seen The Tempest or I Am Love. King's Speech wasn't exactly imaginative and True Grit didn't have anything particularly interesting costume wise I thought.

Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O Russell - The Fighter
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network
Coen Brothers - True Grit

Prediction: David Fincher - The Social Network
Wild Bore Choice: Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan

America is going crazy for The Social Network and Fincher is a well respected director and some feel Aronofsky has already enjoyed some success with The Wrestler last time. Hooper is too new and O Russell I don't think will be chosen as he's not exactly earned it and The Fighter is very straightforward, and something Aronofsky gave up to produce anyway. Black Swan had some incredible directing, but it will be Fincher who takes the glory.

Documentary Feature
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

Prediction: Restrepo
Wild Bore Choice: Restrepo

Not only because it's the only one that I've seen anything of but American's love documentaries on the war don't they?

Documentary Short Subject
Killing In The Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Prediction: Killing In The Name
Wild Bore Choice: Killing In The Name

I haven't seen any of these. I like Rage Against The Machine.

Film Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Prediction: 127 Hours
Wild Bore Choice: Black Swan

They have to give Danny Boyle something, and I'm sure they will think 127 Hours was this terrific, horrific, prolific piece of film-making keeping you on your toes at all times, but in fact it should be Black Swan again, the editing as graceful and beautiful as a dance itself.

Foreign Language Film
In A Better World
Outside The Law

Prediction: Biutiful
Wild Bore Choice: Dogtooth

Dogtooth! Love it. Though I doubt such a strange rather disturbing film will get a nod, instead it will give Bardem some peace for losing out on Best Actor.

Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Prediction: The Wolfman
Wild Bore Choice: Barney's Version

I re-edited this because after seeing Barney's Version, not only is it a great film but the make-up is brilliant. They age perfectly, and I'd say it's better than the CG fakeness of Benjamin Button for instance.

Music (Original Score)
How To Train Your Dragon
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Prediction: The Social Network
Wild Bore Choice: Inception

Ok, so Trent Reznor's score has been commended left right and centre (where's Tron: Legacy by the way?!) but it's Hans Zimmer's looming score that really stuck with me. Hans Zimmer has loads of Oscars though so I doubt he'll be bothered losing one.

Music (Original Song)
Country Strong - Coming Home
Tangled - I See The Light
127 hours - If I Rise
Toy Story 3 - We Belong Together

Prediction: 127 Hours
Wild Bore Choice: .... Tangled?

I haven't heard these and quite frankly I don't care. But I think Dido's If I Rise might be the one.

Short Film Animated
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, A Journey Diary

Prediction: The Gruffalo
Wild Bore Choice: The Lost Thing

No idea. Gruffalo's pretty well known though.

Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession
The Crush
God Of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Prediction: Na Wewe
Wild Bore Choice: The Confession

Na Wewe looks like it's about child soldiers and The Confession looks dark. That's it.

Sound Editing
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit

Prediction: Inception
Wild Bore Choice: Inception

The sound was amazing and worked perfectly

Sound Mixing
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Prediction: True Grit
Wild Bore Choice: True Grit

Blending all the many sounds and dialogue in quite close quarters in an epic landscape takes some doing.

Visual Effects
Alice In Wonderland
Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows Part 1
Iron Man 2

Prediction: Alice In Wonderland
Wild Bore Choice: Inception

The use of 3D is strangely non-existent here and I think it might be so as to give Alice In Wonderland a shot at something that looked quite pretty, but Inception's visuals still take some beating.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
127 hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Prediction: The Social Network
Wild Bore Choice: The Social Network

C'mon, it's Aaron Sorkin, no way Boyle or the Coens could even touch him.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech

Prediction: The Fighter
Wild Bore Choice: Inception

I doubt Mike Leigh will get an Oscar for this but I can't help but love Inception and the screenplay is perfect.

So that's it! Really isn't that amazing but never mind. I'm hoping Inception and Black Swan will clean up but we'll see. What do you guys think? Am I right? Am I wrong?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

REVIEW: Somewhere

Sofia Coppola returns to familiar ground in this slow yet engaging story of how it can be lonely at the top.

I'm still unsure whether I like Sofia Coppola's work or not. "Lost In Translation" has to be one of my favourite films but unfortunately I can't help but think there was something a bit lucky about it. Coppola retraces this familiar territory with "Somewhere" about a famous film star staying in an infamous LA hotel who has to look after his daughter for a while.

Like "Lost in Translation" the shots are long, slow, often very subdued with minimal dialogue and framed so that the action offscreen is at times just as important as onscreen. I have nothing against this except for the fact I feel I have seen this before and I think it is a bit of a lazy attempt to recreate the success of "Lost In Translation" - also about a somewhat famous star staying in a hotel with a young girl albeit not his daughter, but still...

However, as Tokyo was a character in the film, the title Somewhere is proof that it could be anywhere and it's a shame that the setting and the hotel, though a metaphor for the fake glitz and glamour of excess, isn't explored more. The whole thing feels like a tale of body and soul which is handled very carefully, but yet missing some important factors. Stephen Dorff might feel this is his comeback of sorts, but really his glum, downtrodden, isolated figure in a hedonistic world isn't exactly tough to do however his exchanges with the wonderful Elle Fanning are a joy to watch, in fact Fanning really makes the film. It's sweet to suggest that Dorff's character is a good father at heart, that the lifestyle picked him rather than him picking the lifestyle and that he has such a good time with his daughter, but yet it still feels slightly empty. It's also hard to sympathise with a character who has a lot of sex with beautiful women, gets catered on hand and foot, and shouldn't have anything to worry about - he might not have any 'real' friends, but why not? During such hard times in this financial climate, to feel sorry for the guy is something very hard to do.

For something so slow, sometimes awkward to watch, it was in fact quite engaging with a lot of visual references to existentialism, isolation, identity and more but really I couldn't help but feel like I was back on old territory and had this had more of a unique angle, a better male lead and some more inspirational directing with more depth behind it, it would have been a great film. However, how it stands, it's not exactly a move forward for Coppola and although enjoyable, I doubt anyone will go out of their way to see it and neither should they. Perhaps just spend your time watching "Lost In Translation" again and remembering the exquisite beauty which I fear Coppola will never be able to harness again.

Rating: 6/10

NEWS: Michael Shannon As The Iceman

Michael Shannon to play a hitman in new film The Iceman.

If you're a regular reader, you will know that since Boardwalk Empire, Michael Shannon has quickly become one of my favourite actors. It's good to see then that he is set to be the main role in upcoming movie The Iceman about a mob hitman also starring James Franco and Benicio Del Toro.

Shannon plays Richard Kulinski who claimed to kill over 100 people from the forties to the eighties while maintaining a normal family life. It was said he would freeze his victims bodies so as to confuse the time of death. Director Ariel Vromen has said Michael Shannon was always the first choice and I can't wait to see him leading quite a prestigious cast.

Friday, 21 January 2011

ARTICLE: Is Piracy Killing Gaming?

UKIE Suggest Piracy Is Taking It's Toll On The Gaming Industry. What Do You Think?

The UKIE (Association of UK Interactive Entertainment) today released a statement saying that the illegal gaming industry has cost at least £1.45 billion in lost sales. They are saying this is costing people their jobs and have stated that it ‘takes away jobs from young developers and graphic designers’ – obviously trying to make pirate gamers, who are usually regarded as young, feel guilty that they are somehow screwing themselves over.

There’s a lot wrong with this and it’s all a bunch of scaremongering. Firstly, they are basing this on the assumption that if people download a game, they are not buying it. However, some people will download the game and never would have thought of buying it anyway and if it’s good, they will tell their mates. Am I wrong?

Even though there is a vast worldwide community of hacked consoles and illegal games floating about, it’s not so common in the UK. Microsoft for example banned between 600,000 to a million Xbox Live users in a ‘wave’ at the end of 2009 that had modded consoles (remembering it costs £39.99 a year to be on Xbox Live). Of course, I understand this would be just Xbox (the most modded console available at the moment) and that they would have to be online, but still the figures are quite huge and I have no idea where they got them from. It’s also worldwide, so in the grand scheme of things, it’s not exactly huge and definitely not a threat. In April 2010 Microsoft reported it had sold over 40 million units and that third quarter profits were up 35% to $4.01 billion – that’s pure profit, $14.5 billion in revenue to be exact. That’s Microsoft’s figures. That’s just in the third quarter of one year. However, UKIE state that UK gaming took in £1.53 billion in 2010. Is it seriously suggesting that piracy has lost almost as much as has been made? That the totals would have doubled had piracy not been an issue? What do you think? I can’t believe these numbers make sense.

A lot of pirates believe the bans aren’t to stop piracy, but to make those pirates go out and buy new consoles because they can’t use their old ones online, as well as getting new Xbox Live subscriptions. Remember Microsoft have about a thousand different versions of Xbox now (well, not quite) and the pirates also argue that after you’ve bought a product you should be free to modify it how you wish and use ‘homebrew’ software, which is a fair argument but the majority of people probably do it to play pirated games, but that’s just an assumption.

People forget that the original Playstation was easily modified and was the best selling games console ever, they were rather lax on piracy because they knew people would go out and buy the consoles and, like music or film, if they were really bothered they’d make sure they go out and buy it before waiting for release. Everyone knows gamers are impatient.

It’s also worth noting that the highest selling game of 2010 was Call Of Duty: Black Ops raking in well over a billion pounds and still going but it was also the most pirated game of 2010. See a correlation? If piracy had such an effect, it certainly didn’t show here.

PS3 have recently taken hackers to court for hacking the PS3, but again they argue they should be able to do with it what they want. Other devices like the DS, PSP and Wii can all be modified but they still have no problems selling (well PSP might do), so it could be argued then that it’s the games.

However, like films, by having pirates get and play the games, it means it streamlines the shit. Word of mouth, especially with games, is key and so if games are scared no-one is going to buy them but pirate them instead then they should make better quality games instead of asking people to shell out £45 for something that’s crap. One insider was quoted as saying you get 20-50 hours out of these games and it’s value for money. I definitely wouldn’t say I have got 20-50 hours out of each game I’ve got.

People forget that the gaming industry is bigger than Hollywood and gamers are a lot more dedicated. Also pirates won’t just download any old game, well I imagine some do, but remember a game is a good 7-8GB and you have to dedicate a lot of time to it once you start playing. Also charging £5 a disc, (a compatible dual layer disc to record on costs £1-£2 each anyway) isn’t exactly making lots of money and the reason why you don’t see people selling them on the streets like DVD’s, is because it’s an expensive and lengthy process – definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, neither are all consoles modded, so if you’re a criminal there are definitely more profitable crimes out there.

Also the idea that money from this is going to terrorists and other ridiculous bollocks like this to stop piracy is constantly promoted, makes it seem like a joke. There is definitely a small community of people who download games for free, but it’s all about give and take. People forget that, like people recording onto tape off the radio, it’s not going to destroy the industry and with the gaming industry being so successful, it definitely won’t hamper it. If people are playing and people are getting paid, that’s all that matters. If Bill Gates can’t afford an extra swimming pool he’s just going to have to deal with it. Don’t listen to the lies about it affecting the jobs of young developers because it’s stupid – games make money. A lot of money. Pirates will never be able to stop that – and they are definitely not costing the industry £1.45 billion.

NEWS: Modern Warfare 3 Announced

Activision and Raven team up for MW3 To Be Released This November!

Raven, the team who did the pretty incredible Singularity (reviewed here last year) will assist in the multiplayer production of MW3 for this November and Sledgehammer will work with Activision on the single-player element. This now means the Call of Duty project set in the future has been put on hold.

In other Call of Duty news, Activision are taking EA to court to say that they were working with Infinity Ward to delay the release of the Stimulus Package in time for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to be released. EA say it's a load of old shit but Activision think differently.

I have to say I don't even recall playing the Singularity multiplayer but I guess Activision had to bring someone in and Singlularity was the freshest FPS I'd seen for a while so it will be interesting to see where this goes, it's just annoying that it won't be set in the future!

NEWS: Neill Blomkamp's Elysium Given The Green light!

District 9's Neill Blomkamp Is Back With A Huge Sci-Fi Feature Set To Blow 2012 Apart!

Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster and Matt Damon have signed on for Blomkamp's new venture "Elysium" with a $120 million budget with Columbia.

Blomkamp also announced Syd Mead will be working on the project, the production designer who worked on Tron, Aliens, Blade Runner and more, so hopefully this will be a great looking futuristic R rated Sci-Fi blockbuster to look forward to. Production begins in July in Vancouver. The studio have also agreed to make his own self-scripted Chappie once Elysium is finished, so more Blomkamp to look forward to! Who else liked District 9 enough to get excited about this? You never know, maybe he will return to the Halo feature at some point?

NEWS: Johnny Depp In New Oz Flick!

Disney Lose Robert Downey Jr But Gain Johnny Depp In New Sam Raimi Film Concerning Oz.

Apparently a lot of studios are trying their best to get some Oz flicks off the ground as quick money spinners. Obviously the 3D sensation and the classic recession 'escapism' that brings people into cinemas means Disney want to get in there as quick as possible and so have declared a film about the Doctor getting to Oz pre-Dorothy, it's set to be called "Oz The Great & Powerful".

As much as I love Depp, he's losing his integrity a bit for me now and this can only hinder it really. I'd like to see him doing something worth watching, but what do you guys think?

NEWS: Sacha Baron Cohen Is Back In "The Dictator"

Sacha Baron Cohen's new film since Bruno will be "The Dictator"

Cohen's next film by Seinfeld / Curb / general great comedy director Larry Charles will be based upon Hussein in "The Dictator". Another Seinfeld link will be the writers Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel that “tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. It is inspired by the best selling novel, Zabibah and The King, by Saddam Hussein”.

Cohen will play both the dictator in question and a goat herder. This delays the strange Freddie Mercury film that was announced last year with Cohen playing Mercury himself. In any case, hopefully this will put Cohen back on the map after a somewhat disappointing Bruno - and the fact it's a new character is even better. Are you looking forward to it?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

NEWS: Lethal Weapon To Be Remade!

Gibson and Glover left out of a new Hollywood reboot of action classic Lethal Weapon.

Yes it's true, Joel Silver is going to get Will Beall to write the script and it will be released by Warner Bros. After what happened with Lethal Weapon 5 going down the chute, it looks like it's finally over the original two and it's time for some fresh blood.

Chances are it'll be shit though.

NEWS: "X-Men: First Class" Pictures Up!

New pictures released!

After a shitty Photoshop image of the X-Men cast was sent through the Internet (I didn't put it up because it was clearly a fake), the producers have released some images to keep fanboys happy and it looks like the team are returning to the original X-Men stuff. I used to collect X-Men comics and as great as the Sixties X-Men was, it was a bit lame compared to all the great stuff that happened later (The Apocolypse series was perhaps the best comic run ever that hit everything X-Men related - incredible - but doubt anything like that will happen).

Anyway have a look below and see what you think. The best thing is seeing January Jones, who is from Mad Men and who I fancy the fuck out of, being in a pretty sexy costume opposite Kevin Bacon. Take a gander.

NEWS: Ricky Gervais in US Office Announced!

Ricky Gervais Will Appear In US Office! My Dream Has Come True!

For IDIOTS out there who don't watch US office (probably basing it on an episode from the first series and missing out on some of the best comedy to ever come out of the States) then this might not mean much, but for those who think the US Office is better than UK Office (which I'm afraid to say it is marginally - basically because the jokes are more frequent, fresh and the characters are much more fleshed out - UK Office was funny but sorry, I'd sit and watch a US Office over a UK Office now any time of the week), this means a lot.

People who don't give US Office a chance have to remember it's now a completely different creature which in no way really resembles UK Office and though the last season or two have been a bit off, overall the US Office has provided me with most of the best comedy I've seen for a while. Not to shit on UK Office because I love it, but I prefer the US one. Controversial yes.

Anyway, Gervais is set to appear as David Brent in a cameo, BUT seeing as Carrell is leaving, could this possibly mean Brent might return in the US Office? That would be the best thing ever. Imagine Andy, Dwight, Creed and all that dealing with Brent-isms. Can't wait for the second half of this series to start. I can now look forward to Fridays with even more enthusiasm!

NEWS: Batman Actors Announced!

Anne Hathaway is Catwoman! Tom Hardy is Bane!

I don't know what people think about this but I'm a little unsure of Hathaway as Catwoman. I appreciate she's turned out some good roles, but Nolan's Batman films are pretty dark and I'm not sure if I can disassociate her with her past roles. Rachel Getting Married, Brokeback Mountain and all that might prove she can act, but I'm still left to be convinced. I'm not shooting her down, I'll just be wary until I see a bit more, but then I do trust Nolan.

Tom Hardy as Bane means that he will have to be proper beefed up because Bane was bloody massive. I can't wait to see what he brings to the role!


What Bane is really renowned for though is killing Batman by breaking his back. I think he went on to kill Superman or something as well, I can't remember but this could possibly prove an end to Nolan's Batman series if it does indeed end with Batman's death! I'm sure in the comics he came back, but I've no idea how - and at this junction don't really want to know!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

NEWS: Time Crimes Remake Going Ahead - Damn!!!

Another Hollywood remake of one of my favourite films of recent. Why can't they just leave things alone?!

"Let The Right One In" was amazing. It didn't need a remake apart from people who can't be bothered to read and to be honest, if they're like that, they don't deserve to watch a good film. Instead studios should distribute the original with the money they invest into the remakes. "Time Crimes", a Spanish film released a couple of years ago, is unfortunately going to be remade by Steve Zaillian at Dreamworks. In case you don't know anything about this film, go out and buy it, rent it or find it or something and DO NOT watch a trailer or anything. Just watch it with an open mind and I guarantee you you'll love it. The remake will be awful. Guaranteed.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


What a surprise. The King's Speech is taking over the BAFTA's - how very exciting (yawn) ...

God what a Wild Bore ... but here it is - the list! I've highlighted in RED who will win and in BLUE who I want to win - in case anyone is bothered. If it's both red, assume I also want them to win.

The list is pretty boring to be honest, so flip through and see if you agree. Let's hope the Oscars is a bit more inventive, or maybe it's just been a shit year for film?

Best supporting actress

AMY ADAMS – The Fighter





Best supporting actor


ANDREW GARFIELD – The Social Network

PETE POSTLETHWAITE – The Town (He's dead so he's got to get it!)

MARK RUFFALO – The Kids Are All Right

GEOFFREY RUSH – The King’s Speech

Best actress

ANNETTE BENING – The Kids Are All Right

JULIANNE MOORE – The Kids Are All Right


NOOMI RAPACE – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Best actor



JESSE EISENBERG – The Social Network

COLIN FIRTH – The King’s Speech - I haven't seen Biutiful but I can't justify any of the others winning it

JAMES FRANCO – 127 Hours

Best animation

DESPICABLE ME – Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois

TOY STORY 3 – Lee Unkrich

Best film not in the English language

BIUTIFUL – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Fernando Bovaira

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – Søren Stærmose, Niels Arden Oplev

I AM LOVE – Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Melzi D’Eril, Marco Morabito, Massimiliano Violante

OF GODS AND MEN – Xavier Beauvois

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES – Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella

Best adapted screenplay

127 HOURS – Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel


TOY STORY 3 – Michael Arndt

TRUE GRIT – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Best original screenplay

BLACK SWAN – Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz, John McLaughlin

THE FIGHTER – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson

INCEPTION – Christopher Nolan

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT – Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg

THE KING’S SPEECH – David Seidler

Best director

127 HOURS – Danny Boyle

BLACK SWAN – Darren Aronofsky

INCEPTION – Christopher Nolan



Outstanding British debut

THE ARBOR – Director, Producer – Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan

EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP – _Director, Producer – Banksy, Jaimie D’Cruz

FOUR LIONS – Director/Writer – Chris Morris

MONSTERS – Director/Writer – Gareth Edwards

SKELETONS – Director/Writer – Nick Whitfield

Best British film

127 HOURS – Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson, John Smithson

ANOTHER YEAR – Mike Leigh, Georgina Lowe

FOUR LIONS – Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Mark Herbert, Derrin Schlesinger

THE KING’S SPEECH – Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

MADE IN DAGENHAM – Nigel Cole, William Ivory, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley

Best film

BLACK SWAN – Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin

INCEPTION – Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan

THE KING’S SPEECH – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

THE SOCIAL NETWORK – Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Céan Chaffin

TRUE GRIT – Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Saturday, 15 January 2011

NEWS: What Will Happen To The Office's Steve Carell?

We all know Michael Scott is leaving The Office, but not this soon!

It's been announced that Steve Carell's Michael Scott is leaving at the end of Season 7 already, but apparently he will leave four episodes or so from the end so that the series ends on a high as they search for a new manager. Kathy Bates rather crap CEO will return but with the last couple of series being rather lacklustre, and series 5 only just screening on UK televisions, it might breathe a breath of fresh air into a show that Carell clearly thinks should quit ahead. However I doubt NBC exec's will agree.

NEWS: Alien Prequel Takes A Different Path ...

Alien prequel takes another turn as Ridley Scott ditches it to make an original Sci-Fi horror.

We've all been waiting for more details on Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, well now we've got it but it might not be what people want ...

A direct prequel will now be replaced with a film called Prometheus which will be out March 9th 2012. Noomi Rapace (from Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) is set to star in it and Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie are fighting it out for the main role. I have to admit neither of them impress me, but Jolie is a much worse actress (apart from maybe in The Changeling but still). Lost's Damon Lindelhof has taken over the script and it will be in 3D, but also HR Giger has announced that he's on board so you never know, it might not be a straight-forward Alien film but it might make some good Sci-Fi Horror nonetheless.

Friday, 14 January 2011

NEWS: Ant-Man Film Announced By Edgar Wright

It's been on the cards for a while but Ant-Man looks like it's set to go!

Wright has teamed up with TinTin co-writer and lovable comedian Joe Cornish to get the wheels in motion again for this Marvel epic about a man who can control ants with his special helmet. He states he wants to do something different than an origin story, which the public are quickly getting bored of. Rumours for the role are Adrian Brody and Wild Bore favourite Nathon Fillion. With the international success of Scott Pilgrim, this will hopefully put Edgar Wright on the global map.

NEWS: First Look At New Spider-Man

Sony have released the first picture of Andrew Garfield in the new Spiderman movie. What do you think?

I still think it rather strange to reboot the franchise seeing as, although Spiderman 3 was crap, it still had legs and was leading on to other things. However, I imagine that since Raimi didn't want to do it anymore and Maguire was over it, they had to do something - so why not start again?

As you can see they've tried to give it a darker edge, a far cry from Raimi's initial Spiderman which was very bright and colourful. Instead, taking lessons from the hugely popular Batman reboot, it looks as if this will be a much more sinister affair. I'm just a bit worried that the original film is still too fresh, and it still stands up, and do people want to see time and time again how Peter Parker gets his powers? It's been done to death.

I'm also a bit worried about Rhys Ifans as Dr Curt Connors, but Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May are a good choice. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Irrfan Khan as Proto Goblin (a big red beast that is a kind of experiment for Green Goblin), Denis Leary as Captain Stacy and Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson. Seeing as there is no talk of a Mary Jane then we're hoping that his less romantic, and more passionate, affair with Gwen can only be a good thing. Right? What does everyone think?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

NEWS: Bond Is Back ... Again

Daniel Craig returns as Bond - this time with Oscar winner Sam Mendes behind the camera.

Finally after a rather disappointing Quantum Of Solace, Bond has been taken off the shelf while MGM sort out their finances and is going to be released on November 9th 2012.

So far that's all that has really been announced but it's good to see that they haven't just left it behind. Anyone else slightly excited?

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

NEWS: Marion Cotillard won't be in new Batman film

Marion Cotillard won't be in new Batman film.

It's been announced today that Marion Cotillard, from Nolan's Inception, is up the duff courtesy of partner Guillaume Canet. This potentially rules her out for the May shoot of the third Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises". However, Tom Hardy has been confirmed.

Other contenders are Rachel Weisz, Tanit Phoenix, Blake Lively, Keira Knightley, Piper Perabo and Naomi Watts. Natalie Portman has since denied she will be in the new Batman film but it is still up in the air what female character will be unveiled.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The King's Speech

Tipped for Oscar-a-plenty, is this Royal prequel to The Queen more than just an ITV Sunday drama?

For me, this film wasn’t even on my radar until I heard the States were going mad for it a couple of months back. What was this British film doing sneaking up on the world? Perhaps I hadn’t been paying attention? Even the director, The Damned United’s Tom Hooper is surprised that it’s taken off how it has. But what makes it so special? The answer is nothing really, and that’s the point. It’s a very safe, very mainstream, very appealable film. Films on the British monarchy always do well in the States, and therefore globally due to their interest in historical figures that they don’t have. I would probably hazard more Americans have set foot inside Buckingham Palace than British people – they just love our monarchy. It is a well-written, perfectly middle-class, middle-brow film that the average cinema-goer and the more upper class families who never really go to the cinema, can all go to and enjoy. But is it really any good?

Surprisingly yes. I’m a bit sick of this recent need to adapt our British monarchy but The King’s Speech dealt with a story I was completely unaware of and was more about the man than the monarch, which made it a lot more interesting. You can’t fault the acting either, Colin Firth, someone I’m not exactly a huge fan of, is extremely impressive as the King with the speech defect but that doesn’t mean he steals the show. In fact, Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother is astoundingly convincing now that she’s stepped back a bit from her Burton charm and Geoffrey Rush as Australian Lionel is as compelling as ever.

The scenes, pace and dialogue are written exquisitely for a writer who has quite a rich TV background but nothing that will particularly ring any bells but the real stand-out achievement, and what will probably be overshadowed by the acting when it comes to the awards, is the directing. Hooper will use certain techniques you might not even realise – such as having the camera on a slight angle, his use of depth and frame, especially the King’s awkward static position on the left hand side of the screen with large spaces to his right and then, as his speech is reeled off, the framing is more dynamic, it moves and swirls around the words and becomes as animated as the speech. It’s these little touches, that will surely be overlooked that is what made the film for me. Had it been a simple point-and-shoot affair, I definitely would not have enjoyed this as much as I did. Instead, Hooper has shown a clear passion in his work and what with all the sets, costumes, props and incredible location work, you can see the results of a film where every detail was cared for and so should it be, it’s about the King after all.

This might be better than The Queen, but it still invites a certain audience that I hate – the old, middle class people. It’s quite strange how similar they are to annoying teenagers, they will laugh out loud, talk during the performance, eat loudly and their love of foul language onscreen (though said by Firth instead of a young ghetto kid is fine) is remarkable. It’s quite strange and worth a visit to the cinema to watch, maybe take your parents? They might be one of them? Obviously for people who think they are more intelligent than people younger than them they miss the subtleties the film has to offer and they will no doubt love the film. It’s catered completely for them, full of cheekiness, faux-intelligentsia content and got some famous faces in it. Perfect. It's quaint. However, as much as I enjoyed the film, there are more deserving films out there for people’s attentions. It didn’t affect me really and is instantly forgettable – but apparently not for some.

Rating: 7/10

Yes I enjoyed Tron Legacy more

Saturday, 1 January 2011


What happens when you add someone you don't know as a 'friend'? A world where internet dating is the norm? Where faceless social networking can allow anything to happen? Well you probably get a bunch of guys with hard-on's pissing about, a bit like this ...

Before I begin, I heard about this film months and months ago when it was making a ripple in the festival circuit - that isn't bragging, it's because unfortunately researching the film, I uncovered the ending by accident. Which means that I already knew what was going to happen coming into the film, which probably ruins it from the start.

I also heard a lot of stuff about it being fake, that the guys knew way before they 'find out' but Metro kept going on about how amazing it is and a few friends have said it's incredible. Unfortunately, I'd disagree and I actually think it was quite horrible to watch, for reasons that might not be apparent.

In case you don't already know, Nev is starting to flirt with a girl on Facebook called Meghan and his brother is filming it as it goes along. It starts off quite strange anyway, Nev has been sent a painting of his photo by Abi, an eight year old girl, he starts chatting to her and they become pen pals. I found this a bit strange in the first place, a 24 year old man shouldn't have an 8 year old female pen pal but, whatever, I'll let it slide. Soon he starts talking to the mother, who looks hot and he fancies her too, but then the 19 year sister of Abi called Meghan pops into the picture. He starts texting her and flirting as well. It's all quite disgusting really but portrayed in a sweet fashion. The art Abi paints is also shit, the phone calls feel awkward and it's not until the music comes into play that they start realising something is wrong.

The problem is, I can see why people think it's fake. For the rest of the film, Nev has a knowing smile on his face and in the last half hour or so, as awkward as it is, they are clearly revelling in the boyish nature of knowing they've found a story. Nev isn't gutted, he's not embarrassed, he's enjoying the results and as sad as it is, it's exploiting this sadness. It's looking down on someone, almost mocking them by even releasing the film and yet patronises the audience by trying to make it sympathetic and sweet. Nev is your everyday middle-class male, he has his Macbook, he photographs dancers, he's mixed race in a central city, he's good looking and he's pretty much like every person who goes to a film festival. This will probably upset people but it's true. When they enter the suburbs, a farm, when they see the kind of people, the lives they lead, it has no real effect on them, they can up and leave it and look back and laugh, but the others can't. The way it is dealt with in the trailer is as a horror, the city folks fear of suburbia (see Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, The Hills Have Eyes etc.) and it's not very fair.

I felt that even though, as a basic story, it worked by being quite tense and enjoyable and that it's subject matter is very modern but it becomes less about social networking and more about society. At one point, without trying to ruin it, the subject says "You gave me access to a life I could only dream of" - or something or other - and as scary as it might first appear, it's mainly just sad. Sometimes they have to just imagine living the lives people are luckily handed, that through this faceless media they can be someone else, they can live the lives they want and it's a question of who is taking advantage of who. In a strange way, they needed each other. Even if the Nev's one was more base perhaps.

Once the truth is found out, they stay there for a bit too long, they ask questions and pry into their lives. It's embarrassing to watch, especially since the subject in question is clearly a bit mental and it's almost poking fun under the guise of being serious. Whether or not people think it's fake, they can't deny that the guys knew that they had a film on their hands.

Overall, it's a good film to watch the once and if you've ever had a strange Friend Request on Facebook or if you've ever done online dating you'll probably enjoy it more, but really I felt it was strange from the beginning and got stranger as it continued. There's lying, but then there's another level of lying where it becomes a mental health problem and to exploit it, in the cleverest way of not exploiting it by making it a 'twist', then it becomes sensationalist. It's just cashing in on the whole Facebook popularity thing anyway whether it means to or not. I didn't like the guys involved, I didn't like the way the film was handled and I think underneath the façade of it being a film about the dangers of Facebook, it's a horrible, selfish, mocking way of doing so. But saying that, I can't help but admit I enjoyed watching it, and clearly a lot of other people do as well, but I'm a bit worried that people are taking a bit too much pleasure in watching it and it's most certainly not particularly well made. It's a story - that's all, and they got lucky. They don't make the film what it is, the subject does. The idea of the catfish is also interesting, I think it leaves you with the thought of who the real 'catfish' is and, to some extent, it does inspire a lot of questions, but really I felt like this was three guys having a laugh and the tone displeased me. A decent watch and will make some interesting water cooler moments, but essentially nothing more than that. Go watch Black Swan.

Rating: 6/10

Caprica Season 1

One of my favourite TV series of all time - Battlestar Galactica - sadly finished a while ago but the makers came back with prequel spin-off Caprica, or in other words - CRAPrica.

If anyone is thinking about starting to watch this then let me begin by telling you not to. Read this review and save yourself the chore of putting yourself through watching every episode. I mean it. There's a reason why it's cancelled.

Let's start by saying what it's about. It follows Joe Adama (Bill's father) who has lost his wife and daughter in a terrorist explosion, set off by a friend of Zoe Graystone. Zoe is the daughter of Daniel Graystone who is basically the guy responsible for creating cylons. At the same time, there's a religion going on with extremist leader Clarice getting people to blow stuff up and all that. It's this religion of the One God that we know through Battlestar and, well, that's about it.

There's different storylines going on with stuff like a virtual world, the Adamas finding their Tauron roots, Zoe as a weird Neo in The Matrix, Zoe's friend Lacy joining the terrorists and Daniel trying to keep it all together. The problem is a lot of things, firstly the acting is average at best, Eric Stoltz does reasonably well but by the end you feel like he's running on empty and I'd argue he's the best there, even Esai as Joe Adama is tough to watch at times, often giving hammy performances at crucial times.

That's the least of their problems - which is really saying something. The real trouble here are the stories - they are so so so boring and worthy that it's often cringe-worthy. They string things out for ages, there's a lot of talking, not much action or indeed Sci-Fi (for something that is supposed to be a staple Sy-Fy show) and you spend the whole time waiting for something to kick off, which it doesn't. It's a disappointment after another disappointment. Each episode was slow, convoluted, poorly executed and completely soulless. I heard some backlash about it getting cancelled but, seriously, who is watching this? What are they getting out of it?

Another huge issue is the characters - they are so wet, so pathetic and even when they try to be strong, it feels so fake and awkward that you just want to turn over. Zoe is shit, Lacy is shit, Joe is shit, they're all shit. Everything is so serious all the time, about boring stuff, it tries to be pseudo-political, pseudo-religious and it makes me think that Battlestar Galatica might have been just a fortunate series of events that turned into a good series. The story, in theory, doesn't really even make sense. Fortunately, it's been announced that Bill Adama will be back for another spin-off series about the Cylon Wars which at least will have some action in it. Caprica however was a complete disgrace, it might have been a good idea in theory but in practise it was an abomination.

Not only this, but it shatters some illusions people would have thought about where Battlestar's roots come from. Everything about the Cylons, the One God, Joe Adama - it's all shit and I wish I hadn't watched any of it. It doesn't know if it's a sci-fi show, a drama, a teen cult favourite or what, it was too big a project to handle and with such awful writing, it deserves to be a lesson learnt that sometimes stretching storylines out, not giving your audience anything and having such an egotistical self-belief that your characters are strong enough to hold a show together just doesn't always work.


Rating: 2/10

True Grit

The Coen brothers return with their most successful movie ever - a remake of the John Wayne classic True Grit. Tipped for the Oscars, is this modern Western going to sweep up in 2011?

I'm going to be honest, I've never seen the original True Grit - all I know about it is that it was John Wayne's sole Oscar winning performance and his last. Jeff Bridges takes on the one eyed Rooster who is employed by a young girl to find her father's killer - it's a simple chase movie that we know the Coens can do well, but is it their best yet? To be honest, I don't think so.

There's nothing I like more than a good Western but I just couldn't get into this story that much, it's great don't get me wrong but I don't love it as much as I loved No Country For Old Men for instance. That's not to say the performances here aren't incredible, because they are, and I'm sure that there might be an Oscar nomination nod here. Bridges is perfect for the dissatisfied, nihilistic Marshall and his gravel-tinged voice is full of the spite that he has for criminals - he truly doesn't care about killing another man. This is in contrast to the rather conservative Texas Ranger Matt Damon who has been chasing this notorious criminal for a while and his journey crosses theirs more regularly than they might like. Brolin as Chaney is again a small but perfect performance but it is Steinfeld as young Mattie that really stands out. For such a young actress her bold, brave and startlingly convincing performance sometimes completely outshines the others and I would not be surprised if she is nominated, or perhaps might even win an Oscar this year.

Not only is it just the acting, but the writing is also remarkable and every character in this movie will make you love and yet hate them. The girl is clever, sweet-natured but yet bloodthirsty and often annoying, Brolin is clearly evil but naive and subservient, Damon is brave yet stubborn and Bridges is the classic anti-hero. The dialogue and pacing is perfect, keeping you on your toes one minute but then lets you embrace the exchanges around the campfire the next, all without losing interest. A big issue here was that there's a lot of grumbling, murmuring and often I couldn't understand what was being said, an issue I'm finding cropping up more and more often - either that or I'm getting older.

I guess there are some deeper themes here, some more apparent than others such as feminism, sexism, existentialism and generally the idea of killing a man. However, there is also the idea of following your dream, coming-of-age, family and it's all generally very macho. It was an enjoyable film and I highly recommend it, but I can't justify giving it top marks because I immediately forgot about it as soon as it was over. It might get the same score as Tron: Legacy, which people might see as blasphemous, but I really did enjoy it the same amount. Coen brothers are generally considered 'cool' and 'indie', but have they ever been truly indie? They are usually the first names people go to when they try to suggest they know something about film, the amount of times I hear 'I think the Coen brothers are amazing', I agree that they are amazing but people often gush over them way too much then they should - A Simple Man? Burn After Reading? They got rave reviews but I didn't think they were much cop. Shock!

Overall, this is a good film that I would enjoy watching again, but not unless I had to. Great performances and I'm sure the Oscars will love it but if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the film. I don't really care if it's got Coen's all over it, it's a great film but it's not amazing and I'm sure they will release something similar in a couple of years. Quantity doesn't mean quality.

Rating: 8/10