Saturday, 27 May 2017

Don't Breathe: DVD Review

Don't Breathe: DVD Review

"There is nothing a man cannot do once he accepts the fact there is no God."

After splattering up the woods with blood in the Evil Dead remake, Fede Alvarez turns his twisted attention to a siege thriller, that's more about suspense than outright horror.

Desperation haunts Don't Breathe's characters in more ways than one.

Minnette, Levy and Zovatto play a trio of teens casually robbing houses and searching for a pay-off. Determined that one last raid will help them out of the Detroit hell-hole they inhabit, the trio of Rocky, Alex and Money decide to hit the house of a Gulf War vet (Lang), who is apparently sitting on a fortune in his house after a pay-out from the death of his daughter.

But the trio finds the break-in is far from what's expected - and soon, the tables are turned on the crims...

To say Don't Breathe is a taut thriller that grabs you by the throat and sends you to the edge of your seat is perhaps an understatement. (As Marge Gunderson once said "All this for a little bit of money" - it's quite appropriate in this case).

Best viewed fresh and without any of the twists spoiled, the film subverts your expectations and turns it on its head - while Minnette  spends a lot of the film wide-eyed and looking shocked, it's Levy and Lang's underplaying of their roles that speak volumes.

Coupled with Alvarez's smart directorial touches (low camera shots and swooping cameras add to the sense of claustrophobia and tension), there's plenty to dive into in this film. A bravura basement sequence early on is fiendishly unfurled and smartly executed and perhaps one of the high points of this suspense thriller.
Using the briefest touches of character (Levy's Alex is afforded the most hints of a life outside of the house) proves to be wise, giving a sparing yet simple reason to sympathise with the gang. But, Alvarez is also clever enough to use some brief moments to make you re-think your loyalties with Stephen Lang's dweller. (Though one final sequence may seem a tad too far).

Ultimately visceral and quite suspenseful, Don't Breathe is a thrill-ride worth strapping in for.

Taut and lean, its 90 minutes run time seems just about right, and with a slightly warped viewpoint, the genre flick is insidiously clever in its growing ever tighter grip of suspense.

Dec 21st

Whitney: Can I Be Me?: Film Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me?: Film Review

Director Nick Broomfield

There can be no denial of the power of Whitney Houston's voice.

While Broomfield's documentary opens with the 911 call made on that fateful night in February 2012 in Los Angeles, it soon kicks back 13 years to backstage Frankfurt and allows Houston's gospel-tinged vocals to soar as she belts out "I will Always Love You".
The sheer silky ferocity of Houston's vocals are perhaps the major boon of this relatively straight, by-the-numbers documentary that follows pieces of Houston's meteoric rise and shocking fall.

Broomfield's less interested in providing a doco that's full of salacious chat or indeed any major revelations, preferring to take the route of simply telling the story of Houston, her journey from Newark, the role of her family and how it all fell apart for her.
It's in the unfurling of some unseen footage that Broomfield's piece is more of interest to fans of Houston and scenes shot backstage of Houston talking to others or leaving the stage in tears that the doco gains its edge.

Focussing on talking to family members, using archival interview footage and moments, Broomfield's piece captures some of the control of the singer's ascent, and maybe chronicles some moments that people will not fully be aware of.

But whereas the likes of Amy had more of an emotional edge due to the unfettered and meticulously assembled footage, Whitney: Can I Be Me? occasionally teeters close to hagiography because of the lack of depth. It's a very competently put together documentary, that hits a lull midway and feels like a telling of the story, rather than anything else.

That's no mean feat though - and moments such as when Houston was booed at the Soul Train awards because of her cross-racial appeal demonstrate how badly she was hurt by the business, proffering insight into how her soul was splintered gradually by a series of knocks.

The second half of the doco is perhaps the more interesting as an infinitely more sallow and drained Houston starts to manifest; the results are shocking and go some way to fulfilling some of the edges of this rise and fall doco.

If you're a Whitney Houston fan, this doco is a compelling must. But for those of us raised on docos like Asif Kapadia's Senna and Amy which manage to take subjects and make fans of non-supporters, Whitney: Can I Be Me? feels like it falters a little. It does what it can with the material that it has present, but it simply doesn't provide the emotional heft that it should.

It's a perfectly competent rise-and-fall piece, but its arguments that family and the times were responsible for what transpired aren't really backed by anything to make them simply claims.

There's no disputing the tragedy of Houston's death, and while it's best to concentrate on the legacy of the songs and celebrate the voice, Broomfield's documentary hits some of the high notes, but, by missing the more personal touches, also somehow manages to put a few beats wrong.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Train To Busan: DVD Review

Train To Busan: DVD Review

Despite starting off dangerously close to camp territory thanks to a resurrected road-kill, Train To Busan shakes off any silliness to provide one of the year's freshest and engaging takes on the zombie genre.

In South Korea, there's a crisis - amid concerns of foot and mouth inside a quarantine zone, trouble's brewing. Thanks to a "tiny leak at a biotech district", chaos soon reigns and the region is over-run by a zombie virus, turning the masses into rabid feral biters, determined to take down anyone and anything in their way.

Unaware of what's happening, Sok-Woo (Yoo Gong) is trying to get out of spending time with his estranged young daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim) because of work pressures. Separated from his wife in another district, Soo-an simply wants to board the train to Busan to go back to her mother, after her father failed to attend her recital.

Motivated by guilt, the pair board the KTX bullet train heading for Busan. Full of other passengers, the train suddenly becomes a killing field when one of the infected ends up on board at the last minute - and soon father and daughter, along with a clutch of other groups, are desperately struggling for survival as society breaks down around them.

It's rare to get a film that offers a fresh take on a tired genre.

But while Train To Busan, with its fast-knit horde of speeding infected may owe a debt to World War Z's scrabbling horde, it's thanks to Sang-ho Yeon's direction and some thrilling action sequences that this is a train well worth boarding.

As the eerie build up begins and glimpsed shots of varying elements of carnage play out just off screen, the sense of indiscriminate panic begins to pile on a level of suspense that's palpable.

Granted, some of the players in the train (a group of jocks, a pregnant woman and comedy partner, a villainous COO) are clearly a little blank canvas, but what the film manages to do is make you connect with them as the atmosphere builds up. Nowhere is this more obvious than the relationship between a selfish father and selfless daughter as they awkwardly reconnect, and the pair sell this worn out trope well. One of the more crucial scenes sees the dad telling his young daughter in such situations as this, to look out solely for herself. It's a shocking moment but one that speaks volumes to how frank and refreshing Train to Busan is.

With its contorting faceless infected, Train To Busan's action sequences are taut and exciting; from the confines of the train, a station stop to the final train yard showdown, the film's MO is one of edge of your seat emotional action. It's admittedly Snowpiercer crossed with 28 Days Later, but that's no bad thing as the film speeds as relentlessly as the train does to its destination.

Sure, there are some societal commentary moments thrown in (the father is a fund manager and his main nemesis is a slimy COO, a rich vs poor allegory hanging in the midst) but the simple MO of Train To Busan is to proffer frights, scares and emotional centres.

With a relatively unknown cast on these shores, it's an added frisson of thrills to wonder who will be picked off and thanks to the pace, tone and stakes for all, Train To Busan emerges as one of the best films of the year - and one well worth getting on board with. 





Twitch & Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe partners
for TEKKEN 7’s official eSports organization

Social video platform Twitch and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europeare glad to announce today an exclusive partnership for the creation of the TEKKEN World Tour. In addition to being the exclusive broadcasting platform for this competitive gaming league, Twitch will manage TEKKEN 7 league operations, circuit events, and content on a global scale. The aim is to build the community and infrastructure to sustain long-term growth of the historic fighting game franchise.

The Official calendar includes: 
·        Tattakai Holland – Netherlands
·        GCC Major – Qatar
·        Moscow Fight Area – Russia
·        VSFighting UK (Birmingham)
·        Dreamolition Derby – Germany (Munich)
·        Celtic Throwdown – Ireland
·        Street Grand Battle – France
·        Milan Games Week – Italy
·        Colosseum – Italy
·        Barcelona Games World – Spain
·        Warsaw Games Week – Polan
·        Paris Games Week
·        July 3rd - July 4th – Online all Platforms
·        September 11th – September 12th   - Online all Platforms
Australian and New Zealand events include the Ozhadou Nationals 15 on September 15-17 at the Hilton in Sydney (more information ) and the New Zealand Let’s Play Live Tekken Championship set to run in August 2017.

All tournaments will be broadcast exclusively on For more information on Tekken World Tour, visit the official website at

"The Fighting Game Community on Twitch is among our platform’s most vibrant groups of players and fans, with the TEKKEN World Tour created to celebrate their enthusiasm," said Richard Thiher, Program Manager, Twitch. "It’s also notable because Fighting Games represent the roots of esports. The genre has grown from local tournaments in arcades and living rooms to global attractions filling convention centers and stadiums, with TEKKEN being a major franchise and influence during this evolution. Twitch’s partnership with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe for this new tournament series will help keep Fighting Games at the forefront of esports, while building toward a sustainable ecosystem for all of the players, fans, and organizers involved."
“TEKKEN 7 is one of the most recognized fighting brands in the videogame industry. Twitch represents the community hub for videogame contents. The synergy between an incredible franchise and thehome of the fighting game community offers infinite possibilities. One of these is the TEKKEN World Tour”, said HervĂ© Hoerdt, Vice President of Marketing at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe.The aim is to offer a thrilling experience of TEKKEN 7 to all fans around world. Thanks to Twitch now they can be part of it. This is just the beginning and we are confident that this will be an exciting journey

In TEKKEN 7, all fights are personal! Prepare to enter the ring as TEKKEN 7 will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and STEAM® for PC on June 2nd 2017. To find out more about Tekken 7, please head over to the official website
Enter the Mishima feud on:
The official Website:
The official Facebook: @TekkenEU
The official Twitter: @TEKKEN
The official VK:

Win a copy of Pork Pie

Win a copy of Pork Pie

PORK PIE - Release Date: May 24 (Blu-Ray & DVD) 

Dean O'Gorman, James Rolleston and Ashleigh Cummings play a trio of accidental outlaws on the run in a yellow Mini in this remake of 1981's Goodbye Pork Pie

Luke (Rolleston) is on the run from the law, Keira (Cummings) needs to get to a protest in Wellington and Jon (O'Gorman) is chasing his love (Antonia Prebble) all the way to Invercargill. 

Creating chaos as they go, soon they are followed by a posse of cops and a media frenzy. 

This is the feature debut from Matt Murphy, son of Geoff Murphy, director of the 1981 original.

To win a copy of PORK PIE all you have to do is enter simply email your details to this  address: or CLICK HERE NOW!

Include your name and address and title your email PORK PIE!

Competition closes June 1st

Good luck!

Xbox Game Pass Launches June 1 with 100+ Games; Early Access for Gold Members Starts Today

Xbox Game Pass Launches June 1 with 100+ Games; Early Access for Gold Members Starts Today

Earlier this year, we announced Xbox Game Pass, a new digital gaming subscription service that gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and Backward Compatible Xbox 360 games for $9.99 USD per month. To ensure Xbox Game Pass provides the best experience possible for gamers, we rolled the service out first to the Xbox Insider Program, with a limited number of titles to test the features. Thanks to the positive feedback we received from the community, we’re thrilled to launch Xbox Game Pass broadly to the Xbox community in 31 markets and share the entire catalog of over 100 great games.
Beginning today, May 24, all Xbox Live Gold members will get exclusive Early Access to Xbox Game Pass, and can start their 14-day free trial before anyone else. This is our way of saying thank you to our valued Gold members for their continued support.
On Thursday, June 1, Xbox Game Pass will be available for all users. That means anyone with an Xbox Live account can start their 14-day free trial and play over 100 games. Subscriptions will be available for purchase online at, with a retail offering expected later this year.
We know that a gaming subscription service is only as good as its catalog of titles, so we’re also excited to share the full lineup of Xbox One and Backward Compatible Xbox 360 games that will be available through Xbox Game Pass. At launch and beyond, our goal is to make sure there are great games to play for all gamers.
When Xbox Game Pass launches, you can download and play a broad range of games in full fidelity on your Xbox One or Xbox One S console, including blockbusters like Halo 5: GuardiansNBA 2K16 and Payday 2; fun for the whole family in LEGO BatmanBanjo-Kazooie and Viva Pinata; retro and classic games like Mega Man Legacy CollectionStreets of Rage and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+; and of course, Xbox Game Pass has a number of great first-person and third-person shooter games, including all three titles in the amazing BioShock franchise, Gears of War 1-3Gears UltimatePerfect Dark ZeroBorderlands and more.
But the Xbox Game Pass experience doesn’t stop there. At launch, members can also explore classic Xbox hits and community favorites like Saints Row IV: Re-ElectedThe Golf ClubTerrariaResident Evil 0XCOM: Enemy WithinMad MaxKnight Squad and many, many more games.
Our commitment to an exciting catalog goes well beyond launch – each month, Xbox Game Pass will add a new set of games to the catalog so there is always something new to play across a diversity of experiences, genres, ratings and more. For gamers, this means endless play of full-fidelity gaming experiences without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues. For a complete list of all games offered through Xbox Game Pass, visit And be sure to check back in each month to see the newest additions to the catalog.
As an added benefit, Xbox Game Pass members can purchase all Xbox One games in the catalog – and related add-ons – at an exclusive discount, allowing you to dive deeper into the Xbox Game Pass titles you love most, and make them part of your permanent library.
Xbox Game Pass reflects our continuing aspiration and commitment to offer gamers the best product for the most value, and joins the diverse experiences only available on Xbox One such as Xbox One Backward Compatibility and Xbox Play Anywhere. With one low monthly price for unlimited access to tons of games, along with exclusive discounts, Xbox Game Pass is a tremendous opportunity to better meet the needs of all gamers.
Xbox Game Pass will be available in 31 Xbox markets at launch, quickly growing to as many new markets as catalog availability permits. Markets supported include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, and United States.
All of us at Team Xbox have been incredibly excited by the positive reception toward Xbox Game Pass so far, and we’re really eager for the entire Xbox community to get their ticket to endless play in the coming days. We hope you love it as much as the gamers on our team who helped create it!


Final Trailer for 'The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier' Teases Season Finale 'From the Gallows'

Final Trailer for 'The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier' Teases Season Finale 'From the Gallows'

See the official gameplay trailer for Episode 5: 'From the Gallows,' arriving for download on Tuesday, May 30th.

Fellow Survivors,

Today we can share the official trailer for the season finale of the critically-acclaimed The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier. Please click the YouTube thumbnail below to view the trailer, or download the trailer directly from the links above.
Beginning Tuesday, May 30th, players can download Episode 5: 'From the Gallows' on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Steam, iOS, and Android-based devices. The episode will also download for all users of the special Season Pass disc for consoles, which includes the critically acclaimed two-part premiere and grants access to all subsequent episodes in the five-episode season for download as they become available.

Episode description: Richmond teeters on the brink of collapse as chaos reigns from all directions. The lives of its citizens and all those closest to Javier hang in the balance. The decisions you've made and bonds you've nurtured across the season will determine which characters now trust Javi to safeguard all they hold dear as the crisis pushes every relationship past its breaking point...

The two-part premiere of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier launched to widespread critical acclaim. In their review of the premiere, said that, "Smart characterization and writing for Javi and his family, plus the return of Clementine, add weight to a largely unfamiliar but already engaging new frontier that I can't wait to continue to explore," adding that its "uncharted territory feels familiar and, excitingly, fresh."

GamesRadar said that A New Frontier"demonstrates the resonant power of interactive storytelling," and that it, "finds the right balance between rewarding longtime players who've shaped their own version of the story and welcoming those who might be hopping aboard this grim adventure for the first time."

Game Informer said the two-part premiere has, "shocking deaths, intense betrayals, and split-second decisions to second-guess," claiming that "Everything leads up to a hell of a cliffhanger, making me intrigued to see what happens next." 

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier acts as both a new beginning for players fresh to the series and unfamiliar with Clementine, as well as a continuation for players who have experienced Seasons One and Two. Players new to the series are able to start a story that is tailored to this new beginning. Players continuing onward from prior seasons have multiple options for quickly configuring their tailored backstory, or importing past save files from various platforms.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier Episode Three: 'Above The Law" is rated 'M' (Mature) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, and Use of Drugs by the ESRB. Future content in the season is yet to be rated.
To date, The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series has sold more than 50 million episodes worldwide, earning more than 100 Game of the Year awards from outlets including Metacritic, USA Today, Wired, Spike TV VGAs, Yahoo!, The Telegraph, Mashable, Polygon, Destructoid and GamesRadar, and was also the recipient of two BAFTA Video Games Awards for Best Story and Best Mobile Game. 
The Walking Dead is set in the world of Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic book series and offers an emotionally-charged, tailored game experience where a player's actions and choices affect how their story plays out across the entire series.