Category Archives: Review

Review: Captain America, The Winter Soldier

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Its a week late, but due to my poor finances I had to wait a week to see it – also trying to lower the price with a shared orange Wednesday ticket – oh, university, you make me so poor. However, moving on.

The film is a sequel to both the Avengers film and the original Captain America and features Scarlett Johansson as “Black Widow” and Samuel L. Jackson as “Nick Fury” – obviously. The film however, in my opinion, didn’t live up to its reputation.

Rogers, still unable to come to terms with the time period he has found himself in, beginning the film by smashing skulls, whipping shields, free-falling from jets and ripping apart mercenaries aboard a plot-twisting vessel. Beating up the badies is good yes, but it was graphic to the point where an excessive amount of ass-whooping is too much – I felt empathetic towards those poor brazilians mercilessly beaten to a pulp, their face of grimace as a red, white and blue fury of rage oscillated across the ship killing brother after brother of his. In essence, that is the major flaw in the film, I know Marvel are all about big plots, enigmatic twists always trying to go bigger and harder with each thrilling installment – but where does it end, how big is too big?

(Side note)
Why is Captain America’s costume so terrible? The Trillions of dollars of research going into S.H.I.E.L.D developing carriers built for exponential death and they can’t make a suit that can’t be washed over 30 degrees and has an ounce of style. I bet Chris Evans hates that suit – Superman looks amazing, Spiderman looks amazing, Iron Man is amazing – yet, the supposed “Captain of America” gets a navy blue cotton jumpsuit – poor show.

Also, if you love Scarlett Johansson – you will hate this film. Throughout the entire endeavor her hair is hideous and looks like a carved pumpkin – only with a more detailed face. Although her acting is impeccable she should definitely look into hiring a new stylist or something! Alongside agent Romanoff is Cobie Smulders! Whom featured as Fury’s number two in the Avengers film and maintains her awesome persona in this. A serious battle of the sexiest woman award – you may ask!

Nick Fury, for some reason intentionally fakes his own death with the Winter Soldier – which doesn’t make a lot of sense, although you do get to see what he’s hiding underneath that mysterious eye-patch of his – worth waiting for. By the end of the film, Fury is on the run and destroying his personal belongings – it is not mentioned why or what he does to his “wife”, we are just left to assume the conversation consisted of bullets, leather-coats and turtle-necks!

The plot line is convoluted at best and is intrinsically untrustworthy, the main theme i’m still unsure of and what becomes of the Winter Soldier is still unknown – with the ending snippet giving no clue to what is going to happen next we are just going to have to wait for the next Hollywood blockbuster to “justifiably” fill our screens with the next high-octane, explosion based, fandom tickling, comic-strip rippling adventure of Captain America.

I will not soon forget Stan Lee appearing as the janitor – what a wonderfully funny man.

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Review: how i met your mother

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(May contain Spoilers)

In 2005 when Ted was an emotionally invested, love lusted know-it-all desperately trying to find his perfect wife – even signing up to “Yourperfectmatch.com” – it seemed as though the roller-coaster would never end. He was complicated, stupid and often just in the wrong place at the wrong time – which happens constantly. So, throughout the story he recaps indignant, self-loathing and character building moments throughout his adult life, until he inevitably – met the mother.

Then there was Barney. A sociopath womanizer, who dealt in numbers and clever colloquialisms always nudging Ted out of his comfort zone with games like “Have, you met Ted?” His character brilliantly brought to life by Neil Patrick Harris, of course. Barney transcends from a deeply troubled individual into a genuine person – which really was what let the show down in the end. After all those years of Lily nagging him to change his ways all it took was to knock a girl up – but what are you going to do?

Which brings us onto the perfect couple – acclaimed Mr and Mrs awesome – Lily and Marshall. The pair had their ups and downs but through it all they reminded us that love and life have no unchallenged paths – they’re long and meandering journeys that pushes one another’s boundries – bringing us to the finale!

The 43 minute episode follows the same style as the rest often flicking back in time to past events then to future events and then back to the present – trying to keep track of it, is somewhat difficult. The whole series that was spent leading up to the finale turns out to be a giant waste of time as just like before when Barney and Robin were together. They both ended up unhappy – maybe not because of over-eating or not caring for personal hygiene, but the result is and was still the same.

The mother, played by Christin Milioti, was a superb choice for the role. With giant boots to fill she was quirky, beautiful and an exact match for Ted. Over the last series she was introduced one by one to each of the other supporting roles playing a frequently influential part in their lives. So in the final episode it is confirmed that the mother had passed away due to “illness” – although it doesn’t, thankfully, specify an illness. I know is seems hard to handle but I genuinely think that was the only way they could have ended the show. The show has never tried to be a serious drama, or a serious comedy it just was – and why judge now when she gave Ted everything he’d ever wanted. Children, a house in the suburbs to call a home, someone to finish his crossword puzzles on a Sunday, a bass player, a dog lover – every ridiculous detail that Ted had ever chosen – Happiness.

After every great television show ends there is always a want for more, and they gave the audience a real development of the characters lives: changing, becoming increasingly more hectic, having children, finishing a night in the bar early to go home and working jobs they didn’t want to work to get by. Nonetheless everything worked out to some degree. If you had asked me four or five years ago who I wanted the mother to be – heartbeat – Robin. After everything that Ted had been through surely it stands to reason that he shouldn’t have to be alone because life took something from him. Now she isn’t technically the mother but it answers one question. It turns out that Robin was the reacher after all and Ted was the settler – oh, irony, you.

I for one am glad they didn’t butcher the ending with a fairy-tale rendition of how they always stayed in touch and still hung out in the same bar every-night, because that just isn’t realistic. It is after all just a television program, but I think it was a great example of the shows ethos: Love for as long as you can, because the universe has a funny sense of humour.

Goodbye, how i met your mother – you will be sorely missed.

Review: Orange is the New Black

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So, Its almost been a year since it’s original release date of July in 2013 and so with the new installment set to be released June the 6th 2014 it has issued untold anticipation for season two.

The concept of the show is, interestingly, more than just fiction as its based on the actual memoirs of Piper Kerman. Taylor Schilling’s portrayal displays varying themes of pressure, fear, anger, self-conflict, love and self-preservation. The shows focus on hindsight and decisions made by the inmates displays a gripping, raw and emotionally thought eliciting drama.

The shows introduction sequence has the song “You’ve got time” sung by Regina Spektor which was recorded specifically for the show, lyrically appropriate you’d agree:

“Think of all the roads; think of all their crossings. Taking steps is easy, standing still is hard.”

Continuing throughout the series are heaters like “Leagues – Walking Backwards” and “Gangsta – Tune Yards” that effortlessly build tension and release that body rock that you assure your friends is ‘Dancing’!

The array of supporting characters add depth beyond perception and provoke ethical issues through a trans-gender relationship, cheating lovers, drug-taking inmates, authority abusing guards, Psychotic post-meth addict preachers, sassy library assistants, an indignant Russian chef and a raunchy international drug-smuggler – oh, and American Pie’s finest apple pie penetrator Jason Biggs. Considering most of the characters have a Marmite personality they impose an endless debate amongst the innocent that deserve to be in prison and the guilty that don’t! – Netflix strikes again!

Prison strips everything away from you, just like ‘Red’ says: first you can’t stand those walls but then you get so you depend on them; institutionalized. Piper raises a serious point after she has been transformed into this paranoid, stranger from the girl she was pre-prison. She tips towards breaking point saying “I’m afraid this is the real me and i’m afraid that its not”. Beautifully encapsulating the conflict that the show issues!

My opinion: probably one of the best first season of a show I’ve ever seen!

Yes, Goat simulator exists!

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On the horizon is a semi-functioning simulator to let the user control a goat. The trailer which can be found on Youtube, features a bog-eyed, white-coated menace who has indirectly set a passer-by ablaze – It looks great. 

Although the developers have stated “Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. I t was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats.” I am very very excited – lets face it if we can spend endless hours trying to complete a game as backwards, time consuming and pointless as minesweeper, we can do anything!

Here are some of the in-game snap shots taken by developers:

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In respect for the game it was made in a couple of weeks and the developers have said that they are more than content with the bugs that are featured in the game – its an intention lark! A copious world ensnared with goat crime, good laughs and frankly moronic people. Image

 

Look at that goats mangles head, half in and out of that wooden cabinet – that is the goat I one day want to be!
Presuming the aim of the game is to cause the most damage or confusion within its weird, bright and wonderfully artistic goatie world – it couldn’t look more fun!

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Excuse me? – FIREWORKS, look how freaking high that goat is! – a photo that would best describe my facial expression is that one of Fry holding a wad of cash shouting “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” – ah, the internet. 

ImageIt can be seen clearly what the developers mean that the game is by no definition perfect, but that is the beauty of it surely. Who wants to play as a cleanly trimmed goat, frivolously trotting through life, eating grass and having a perpetual attitude for politeness and helpfulness, teaching younger goats how to play fair and count or crossing the road at a zebra crossing (that must be so confusing for a goat), or chewing with its mouth closed. – I think we can all agree that would suck. Image

Whilst playing it is possible to pull men/women onto an over spinning treadmill which propels their bodies into a car causing a rather dramatic explosion – generally following the same laws of physics as our lives. This goat can fly, glide and technically fall from wondrous heights – allowing users to spot the tremendous graphics that shape the goats world!
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What is even going on in this photo – will it stop being hilarious? It almost looks as though the person on the right has felt empathetic for the goat and in order for it to not feel out of place has put himself in a similar position – what an inspirational virtual man – like the Gandhi of goat simulator!

These screenshots of the game may not persuade you to part with your pennies but for a price of only $9.99 you can live your life as a goat, as developers say, for at least an hour – what better way to spend ten glorious goat pounds!

The worst thing is, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a goat, but now we know. (repeated with a lower register accentuating the seriousness of the situation) now we know!

 

Review: Grand Theft Auto Online

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After completing the decisively depict story-line the fan base, of the extremely popular open-world masterpiece, took to their masses online, competing in deathmatches, robbing gas stations like there was no tomorrow. Rockstar have really outdone themselves this time taking the endless madness to a hole new level as it made sales history and became the quickest selling entertainment product; raking in $1,800,000,000 in just three days – Impressive you say?

As soon as you immerse yourself within the online multiplayer you quickly feel as though the game has just popped a cap of adrenaline as you race against friend or foe, earning Benjamin’s and rocking up in black and white muscle cars, tearing around either the diverse intricate design of the ‘Rockwood Hills’ or screeching through the clean-cut city center. Most likely a favourite thing to do, it’s mine certainly, is blaring ‘The Strokes – New York City Cops’ and drive-by-ing a selection of doughnut scoffing coppers and seeing how many stars I can sow to my belt.

Other adventures include ‘Top fun’ in which ‘The Hunters’ chase down the other players like hawks (fighter jets) blasting projectile missiles and relentlessly shooting at those pesky ‘Runners’, whilst weaving in and out of buildings and swirling through vast mountainous terrain which lies just yonder of the ‘Los Santos’ hills. ‘The Runners’ are given a destination and a choice of four Sanchez-equivalent bikes to furiously evade the line-of-sight of ‘The Hunters’ circling in the air, meaning that darting from corner to corner of street corners is necessary to prevent the oppressors from destroying your transport – an unholy amount of fun if you ask me. There are three variants to this set-up, with each mission more testosterone-induced tension-filled fun and frolics as gamers alike back-stab, cooperate and neutralize extraneous variables to complete the task at hand.

The list of things to do online are almost endless, whether you just want to rob a gas-station, buy some new threads, hunt down other players with bounties, complete taxi missions, or compete in head-to-head deathmatches the options are yours laid on a plate for you to mould and manipulate into your-own cracker-shotting, gun-tooting homeland, with endless fast cars, ammunition and money to be earned, stolen or found.

Only five years have passed since the award-winning Grand Theft Auto IV was released and we can look back and appreciate the precision and attention to detail that ‘Rockstar’ have put into this game – Blood,sweat and tears – all of which are featured in-game. The success of the game has only increased the reputation of the game developers who spent so long tweaking and re-designing the game engine to make an almost perfect game. So stop reading, grab your pad and take to the skies with blimps, jets, crop-dusters and just about anything you can get your filthy hands on. Go on, go.

Review: Modern Vampires Of The City – Vampire Weekend

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Vampire weekend have, since their initial rise to fame, always differentiated themselves from other genres by disregarding the arrow of direction and instead adopting a spectrum of music to conform to. After two years of silence the band, with no deadline in mind, completed their third studio album ‘Modern vampires of The City’ which once again encapsulates the light-hearted, treble-loving sound that enabled ‘Contra’ and ‘Vampire Weekend’ to reach number one in the US charts. After selling 134 Thousand copies in the first week sales, the quartet have proceeded to tour the new album.

Renown for synthesizing  soundtracks, skinny jeans, and a gorgeous floppy perm you’d love become entangled by. Front-man Ezra Koenig, most know him for soothing the crowd with his ever so gentle voice, drifting and swaying like a river whilst trickling through the audience. The attraction to the band is evident, their world sound coinciding with the underlying satisfaction of adrenaline which courses your bones during the hook; no one ever sees it coming.. then BOOM! – and you are no longer, an ‘Unbeliever’.

The record consists of 12 thought-provoking, finger-tapping beauties, as you move from track-to-track you sift between bubbles and sponge as you softly maneuver through the album, only finishing at the decision that “it’s a wonderful world out there”. ‘Diane Young’, introduced to us in February earlier this year, quickly got the attention of music lovers as the the heightened-pace puts you in the front seat of Blackpool’s Pepsi-Max twisting and turning every corner at incomprehensible speeds, unwilling to question what comes next. After some internet debate, there are few who think the song-title is a phoneme for “Dying young” but the band have not responded with either of them as right or wrong. The second track off of the album, titled ‘Unbelievers’, if that doesn’t tickle your ear canal I don’t know what will. The feeling felt when listening to the last quarter of the song can only be compared to Sigur Rós’s masterpiece ‘Hoppipolla’. Other clean cut track include: ‘Everlasting Arms’ and ‘Hannah Hunt’ which feature roundhouse riffs, snappy drumbeats, high-flying vocals and with every song more intensely engaging than the next the album is as innovating as Vampire Weekend always are and I for one am content with the direction that band has taken.

Interestingly, the album artwork is a 1966 photo of New York taken by Neal Boenzi on the smoggiest day, which killed 169 citizens of New York – just saying.

Review: Mechanical Bull – Kings Of Leon

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The Followill brothers are back; after their break in 2011, new album ‘Mechanical Bull’ has beaten other artists like Jessie J and Drake to take the top spot in the UK charts after selling Seventy-One Thousand copies after just Seven days since the post-album release date. The album title once again follows the five-syllable tradition first recognized when the youngsters borrowed the structure from religious readings in their ‘Youth and Young Manhood’.

Since their production-gap in 2011, there has been plenty of internet speculation, usually die-hard fans suggesting and pleading that the “Real” Kings of Leon should come back. After their Radio hits ‘Use Somebody’ and ‘Sex on Fire’ – titles which always receive such cold reception when vocalized to those “Real” fans, who have never been quite sure whether Kings of Leon had ran out steam or were pushed by record producers.

The first track featured on the 11 piece rock monster is ‘Supersoaker’ which had, prior to the release of the album, displayed to us hopefuls that they were back in business. The rock-fast tempo takes us through a roller-coaster of high-energy emotion which is aided by Caleb’s pitch-perfect vocals to ensure the attention have been fully ascertained by the southern giants that are Kings Of Leon. Those classy riffs will take you for a drink and tickle the ear leading you onto the sentimental caricature painted by Nathan’s rumbling drums, the sweet sound of Matthew’s tasty hooks screeching throughout the audience and not to forget Jared’s bass lines which carries the bridge through to the last breathe of the crowd. Once arriving at ‘Rock City’ you quickly realize that your body has been overpowered by the raw intro riff which rips through the ear drum like a freight-train, slowly turning down the tempo to let Caleb’s pure vocals push through Matthew’s guitar-porn. After leaving ‘Rock City’ you venture into the past as ‘Don’t matter’ can only be compared to KOL classic ‘Molly’s Chambers’ where cocaine induced innovation began, the only slight difference is the drugs; which gives Kings of Leon a much cleaner sound compared to their earlier days. Similarly, they’ve kept the tastiest solo’s that are carefully churned out in such nonchalance, you’d think it was the backing-track.  The album also includes easy-listeners like ‘Beautiful War’ and ‘Temple’ which is a soft breeze which flows out the speakers like silk from a magicians sleeve holding your hand and letting you feast upon the melodic wonders of a four-piece super-band. Probably the most important song from the album ‘Wait For Me’ gives the impression that the band are finally back to where they were originally, which has given fans the fundamental confirmation that ‘It’s all better now’ – so thank you for waiting for me, it seems.

‘Mechanical bull’ has shown us once again that money and production value don’t make an album, the story and emotion is always a better influence and it feels as though they are genuinely happy with the outcome of the material and appreciate the fans reciprocation. It can easily be seen in the ‘Supersoaker’ video that all four member of the band have flourished whilst completing their sixth studio album; enjoying making the album, possibly being, their biggest achievement since ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’.