Film: End of Watch

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by David Ayer, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña & Anna Kendrick

The ten-word synopsis: Two cops live their lives whilst uncovering a human trafficing ring.

My critical mentality when it comes the most important aspect of a film is clear enough. Nail your central characters and you’re just one step away from nailing the film. End of Watch also adopts this mentality. In fact, the best bits in End of Watch aren’t the shoot-outs and punch-ups shot with such intensity you’ll lose the function to blink, but the scenes in which our two leads simply drive around in their car, chatting. Continue reading

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Film: The Expendables 2

The cast/crew bit: directed by Simon West, starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jean Claude Van Damne, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Chuck Norris and all the rest

The ten-word synopsis: Read the cast list above. It’s them, blowing stuff up.

Look at the picture above. How does that make you feel? Excited? Joyous? Or perhaps wishing that the world would just end now and save everybody the pain? Your reaction to that screenshot shall more than likely sum up how you feel about The Expendables 2, the follow up to the 2010 original that just slammed some ageing action stars in a film together and told them to do what they do best.

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Game: Pyoro

AKA Birds & Beans (US name)

The system/developer/publisher bit: Nintendo DSiWare, developed & published by Nintendo

The ten-word synopsis: Simple game in which a bird tries to eat beans.

The rise of the iPhone as a legitimate gaming device has really shook up the handheld market. Whilst there remains a gap for the meatier experiences found on the 3DS and Vita,  it has resulted in a mad panic for Nintendo and Sony to counter-punch with their own light entertainment titles. Pyoro was one of Nintendos’ earliest attempts to create an enjoyable 5-minute title, a launch game for their DSiWare online download service. Continue reading

Film: The Dark Knight

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Gary Oldman & Heath Ledger

The ten-word synopsis: A reinvigorated Joker plots and schemes against Batman. Fun ensures.

Confession time: I never really ‘got’ the Joker. To me, he was never a villain worthy of the hype. He was just some bloke with in make up. No powers, just a cackling laugh. Slightly mad, which is always good, but just lacked oompth. You may have noticed that the last paragraph was written in the past tense, because the moment I saw The Dark Knight, something clicked. Continue reading

Film: Batman Begins

The cast & crew bit: written & directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy

The ten-word synopsis: Batman as put through the mind of genius director Christopher Nolan.

I’m going to start by saying it: The bit where he summons all the bats as ‘back-up’ is naff. Naffer, in fact, than the word ‘naff’, which is a word I thankfully haven’t used in a very long time. It’s a cringe-worthy moment, especially as it comes at a point in which the mask and voice still look a bit daft to the audience. Whilst the bat-face undoubtedly fades into commonplace after a scene or two, the voice is, annoyingly, going to force me to use that word again. It’s naff. Continue reading

Film: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

The cast/crew bit: directed by Edgar Wright, starring Michael Cera & Mary Elizabeth Winstead

The ten-word synopsis: Geeky bass guitarist must fight potential girlfriends’ seven evil exs.

In the interest of retaining something even vaguely resembling balance, I’d like to begin by just covering what’s wrong with Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, as whenever I begin talking about it usually I either enter gushing praise or, even more worryingly, a line-by-line, by heart, recital of the films’ entire script. The films’ main problem is that, in being what it is, alienates half the potential audience. The way it revels in geeky pop culture references never gets in the way of the films’ simple love story plotline, but if you’re watching this as though it were just a romcom, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Continue reading