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  1. I will be using an old VGA monitor with my Next when it arrives, but my new PC monitor purchased last year only has HDMI and DisplayPort, no DVI/VGA. it's definitely going to be a problem going forward although there are tons of old monitors being chucked out by companies. Might be worth grabbing one for pennies/free.
  2. I've spoilered this as I mention a couple of plot points, but the essence is this is rubbish made by people who either hadn't watched the original two films or who never really grasped what made them great. Terminator Dark Fate (2019) 2/5
  3. VFW (2019) Take some seasoned exploitation actors including William Sadler and Fred Williamson, stick them in a bar in a nightmare part of town full of 80s throwback street punks, then introduce the catalyst that sets said punks against said bar and you get one of the best low-budget action/horror flicks of the last decade. Yes it owes a massive debt to Assault On Precinct 13, and the John Carpenter influence extends to the immense synth soundtrack, here it all comes together so thrillingly. Tons of excellent practical gore and blood, satisfying, gleeful old-school viscera. There's a bit of inter-generational cobblers and mentions of millennials but it doesn't spoil the fun. And it is fun, it'll leave a smile on your face, not least because it shows this sort of film-making is not dead. 4.5/5
  4. Countdown (2019) What an abject waste of a potentially good idea: imagine this as a Final Destination-style horror/thriller where you get several people who install an app that lets them know when they're supposed to die, and there's tons of foreshadowing and twists whilst the plucky teens try to figure out what's going on. Keep imagining because what we get here is essentially a sure-fire pitch that descends into a messy, lightweight, bloodless popcorn-occult horror that largely consists of cheap jump scares, plastic tension and missed opportunities galore. Pointless. 1/5
  5. 1. Moneyland by Oliver Bullough - Rage-inducing look at how corrupt governments and individuals fleece countries and hide their money away in tax havens and the like. Everything from buying passports, property at eye-watering prices, developing countries plundered by kleptocratic leaders - makes you want o punch an oligarch until the money comes out. It's not a particularly technical read, more of an eye-opener. But seeing how little impact things like the Panama Papers had, I don't see this sort of thing changing without a world war or something. 2. Austerity: The History Of A Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth - This one is much more technical, talking about austerity from an economic perspective, the history of the idea, US banks being too big to fail whilst European banks were too big to bail. If you've ever seen Mark Blyth do a talk he fancies himself as a stand-up, and you can feel his more conversational style in this. Mind you you have to have your wits about you to keep up with all the jargon and "devices" when talking about things like junk bonds and all that. Stick with it and it is actually really fulfilling. 3. The Innocent by David Baldaacci - After all that this is pure white-bread supermarket thriller territory. No great shakes but gripping enough.
  6. Thing is though when the next KS goes up it won't take years like this one. They could have that all manufactured and sent out in a few months.
  7. It's a David A Prior weekend here... Felony (1995) David A Prior does what could be described as an audition tape for PM Entertainment. Overcomplex crime yarn where a crew recording a TV show capture a drug bust gone bad, with the badness being brought by David Warner on behalf of Lance Henriksen. It has a similar car stunt and explosion quotient of yer average PM film at the time, and it even has that sleek 90s look too. But it's just a bit too twisty and turney for its own good, some bonkers revelation at every turn keeps this from being a digestible and entertaining outing. Oh yes, we do get Ashley Laurence as a hot nurse in this, and Leo Rossi is in this one again. And it keeps on twisting right to the end. Does that make it good? Hmmm. 2/5
  8. You can't change difficulty on the fly, otherwise I would have. It's unusual to find a game that makes you do this these days.
  9. Mutant Species (1995) Essentially a pound-shop Predator, with some soldiers looking for a crashed rocket carrying a deadly bioweapon that turns an ordinary soldier into a lumbering, rubber-headed killing machine. It starts off ambitious enough, with a crew of US military cliches led by the sleazy guy from Maniac Cop 2 preparing to head out, and then something happens that undoubtedly helps the budget out. Said budget went on three key things: stock footage, inadequate prosthetics and a couple of names, the names namely being Wilford Brimley and Powers Boothe who get to lock horns verbally, not literally, that would have been a bit more entertaining than most of this film. Honestly if David A Prior, a director who has proven can deliver no-budget entertainment, had done a better job of obscuring the mutant, this would have been miles better. 1.5/5
  10. It would bee great if someone got a load of 20somethings who never grew up with the Speccy to play a ton of games and come up with the real best 100 games list, ie games that are playable and well-made rather than accepted "classics" which haven't aged well at all. Jet Set Willy is the epitome of that.
  11. When I heard Jack White was doing a Bond theme I thought it was a massive internet joke. The joke was clearly on me. Is he still going?
  12. DOOM (2016) - Don't get me wrong, this game is superb, far exceeded my expectations. It's fast and exciting and loud. But I think I chose the wrong difficulty (Hurt Me Plenty). Every encounter has been die 6 times and eventually, through sheer luck, make it and move on. But it has got to a point now where I don't want to do a battle multiple times to progress. There's die a couple of times and try a new strategy, that's grand, but it has now got to, when I go back to a checkpoint I thump the desk in frustration. And that's not what I play video games for. So, with regret I uninstall and move on.
  13. Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Essentially Rambo does Taken, with John Rambo reduced to almost invincible gruff badass in a super-lazy, super-underwritten revenge tale that reinforces every bad stereotype about Mexicans. You won't find any shred of subtext regarding war, or see Rambo get involved in a conflict, even in a totally OTT way. This is straight-up brainless revenge. The story takes ages to get going, the baddiees are cartoonishly awful, you wonder how they managed to get where they were being so inept especially towards the end. It does have a high gore factor, which is welcome in this era of CGI blood, it's just a shame it's part of such a lazy film. But hey it's Sly in his dotage, being the old hero and all that. 2/5
  14. Quarantine (1989) Whenever I see films like this written, produced and directed by someone, I approach with caution. And this is no exception. It probably made sense to Charles Wilkinson, it was doubtless his vision, but sadly on this occasion it wasn't enough of a shared vision to make this a worthwhile watch. Very slow, strangely paced drama, a bold attempt to create atmosphere, definitely a case of your mileage may vary. It's a dystopian drama set in a world where there is some virus on the loose, there's a fascist government in control, sending people into quarantine. It's social commentary basically, but so obtuse it doesn't really work, for me anyway. 1.5/5
  15. There's only so many times Ethan Hunt/James Bond can go rogue. Sadly MI needs a bit of a rethink too at this point but at least it hasn't got as stodgy as Bond. The Kingsman films are about as close as we've got to old-fashioned Bond. Eccentric sociopath hell-bent on world domination, a can-do hero working for a secret organisation, lots of OTT action and globe-trotting. No going rogue, no ghosts from the past, no angst, just high-octane good-vs-evil entertainment. They're definitely a lot more light-hearted although not straying too far towards total comedy. And importantly they show there's an appetite for this sort of caper. Bond could take it back, make it a touch more serious, mix in the luxury, the exotic locations, the aspiration, but simply make Bond a catalyst.
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