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  1. He has a lot of positives to say, but a handful of criticisms. Overall he thinks it'll be ripped off by all and sundry for some innovative ideas, but he's a bit lukewarm on some of the level design, especially the platforming mechanics, and that you'll need to play on the highest difficulty settings to get the most out of the kill system. It does look like insane fun mind, from pretty much any angle.
  2. AKA the "Please don't cancel as soon as you've watched Mandalorian" price point.
  3. Off the mark! 2020-01-19: Sisters Royale -- [Switch] 2020-01-20: Vader Immortal episode 1-- [Rift] Can't talk about Sisters Royale yet (embargo), but I got a Rift S yesterday and rinsed the first Vader Immortal. What can you say about such a slim experience? Well, the graphics are a bit rubbish. The design is solid, and I know the engine had to be simplistic to ensure it could be a Quest experience but, even so, it's colourless and lifeless. That said, the world (and your interactions with it) are interesting and the story is - at least - original. The nagging voice in the back of my brain was lambasting it for having less actual game content than the similar, 'experiential' Arkham VR. It's not really fair for me to criticise a title that's meant as an onboarding platform for VR noobs when I'm not one, but being uncharitable you could argue that Arkham makes far more of an effort whilst trying to accomplish the same thing, and that there's almost as much content (and definitely more fun to be had) in the free Battlefront/X-Wing/Rogue One level on PSVR. I paid £7.99 and feel it should be £3.99, honestly.
  4. Yeah, my bad - I blame the confusion of old age.
  5. Reboot has just dropped on UK Netflix No it hasn't, sorry, carry on.
  6. Both leads represent archetypes, tropes, rumours and anecdotes about Hollywood personalities throughout the ages - it's kind of like taking Hollywood Babylon, and deliberately treating it as truth rather than sketchy and tawdry. So the Bruce Lee section is one of the more obviously, "Once Upon a Time..." bullshit sections, but the 'Wife on the Boat' segment is actually quite similar to circumstances around the death of Natalie Wood. This deliberate playing around with 'rumour as fact' makes the film for me. As I keep saying, it's right there in the title! It's a ludicrous fable that doesn't attempt to be realistic, or accurate, in any way. It's a mostly plotless, ambling cruise through the myth that is Hollywood - so, so good.
  7. Bizarre. Feels a bit like an audition and this is passive-aggression disguised as fair handedness but fuck it, I'm in. Expect a review today or tomorrow!
  8. I've done these type of things before, and would be happy doing them again.
  9. I actually wrote a very angry post about this, then immediately deleted it because a) I don't like causing disruption and b) thought I'd be alone in thinking dismissive commentary had no place in a celebratory review of the year's favourite games. So I am very much heartened by the fact that some people agree and see snarky reviews as being out of step with a celebratory countdown. @Benny, we all appreciate the effort you put in, but to respond directly to this: ...for me, good writing can't just be an intellectual exercise; it adapts to its context and its audience. Writing a positive, or witty, or gently dismissive but ultimately celebratory review of games people enjoyed in this context isn't some betrayal of critical values. It's reflecting the joy the audience had in the games they voted for. Seeing a dismissive review of Gears 5 makes me feel small and stupid; I recognise that it's a silly game but it's a really exciting arcade experience. I don't believe someone has an automatic right to use the list as a platform for ripping games apart; not in a festive situation like this. None of that affects how grateful I am for your work, though. I'm no stranger to creating and curating these kind of lists, so I am appreciative and sorry for taking it so seriously, too.
  10. It was pretty much like I expected. Smith fans who venerate Clerks, Chasing Amy and Mallrats won't rate it; those content with Clerks 2, Strike Back and Zack and Miri era will find it passable; fans of Tusk, Cop Out and Yoga Hosers will like any old shite and therefore love it
  11. Top Ten of 2019 films I saw in 2019! SPOILERS THROUGHOUT! Marriage Story The phrase ‘gut wrenching’ could have been coined for this film. It’s Baumbach’s best, and not even by a small margin. It begins light and hopeful, moves through a love story into comedy beats, then descends into a crippling drama that makes you physically flinch from the screen. That Baumbach can acknowledge his limits (his proxy - Adam Driver - notes and recognises his privilege) and its narrow focus, avoid both nihilism and sentimentality, then still punch you in the tum with extraordinary power, means this is an instant classic. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood The key to being entertained by Taratino’s latest is in the title: this is a nigh-on plotless fantasy film. It subverts reality at every step; considers it to be trash, really. It posits that the past as viewed through the lens is an entertaining lie. So, if it’s all lies, why not make it pleasant? Why not avert disaster and have the good guys win? Why not rescue a sub-genre of film that was shallow but entertaining? Why not spend some time dream-travelling around the perfect ideal of a city, knowing that the people you care for have your back, and you’ll always have that flamethrower stashed in the pool house (for dire emergencies)? For a film featuring some brutal violence and death, it has one of the kindest pieces of historical revisionism (Tate’s survival) of any movie. The Lighthouse Egger’s gibberish classic! Sitting comfy in the same universe as The VVitch (‘The Vivitch’, as Mrs. Treb likes to call it), Eggers is back with a tale of folklore, fable and how superstition becomes reality when people are isolated. Easily the best looking film I saw this year, the chilly black & white photography renders the mundane fantastical and vice versa, letting reality leak out gradually whilst the noxious gas of paranoia and fear seeps in. Again, not for people who want a meaty plot, but a satisfying meal of samphire and psychosis for them land lubbers who can stand it, arrrrr! Booksmart For your consideration: Best Screenplay. A coming of age comedy-drama that nails both of those things is rare; to have one that satisfies you on both levels is freakishly rare. The two leads are magnificent, it’s generous to its cast (all of whom are cast perfectly) and legitimately feels like a modern film, unshackled from John Hughes and even - dare I say it - Mean Girls. Deserves much love, and destined to be a cult classic. Knives Out Am I saying this is Rian Johnson’s best film? I think I am. Ironic, as it’s arguably his most puffball, flimsy release yet - a modern(ish) take on the Agatha Christie mystery - but one that’s elevated by a fabulous cast who are all reading from the same script, firing on all cylinders, and a director dedicated to pleasing his audience without belittling them. A good egg of a movie. Leaving Neverland Both lightweight comedies and dark documentaries tend to get lost in these kinds of lists, so I wanted to shout out LN as the best released this year, and possibly the most brutal, shocking and difficult doc to reach such a massive audience. It is not entertaining in any way; there is no prurience here and no character assassination. It picks a side, but then is played as straight as possible along that track. Although the claims can’t be proven or disproven, I’ve listened to victims for thousands of hours during my lifetime, and the experiences recounted - and HOW they were recounted - rang 100% true to me. A daring, bleak and important film. Us The layers start with the title (Us / U.S.) and strike through several different ones during its runtime. Not the critical darling ‘Get Out’ was, possibly because it tackles a less emotive subject than race (and then in a more oblique way) ‘Us’ is nonetheless a shocking, chilling slasher movie with a message. It talks about displacement, class, privilege, white guilt, militarism and all sorts of other stuff under the guise of horror and, whilst you can’t say it nails every single one of its targets, the richness of its universe and sense of imminent annihilation strikes a sombre cord in me that I can’t quite articulate, but know happened. Throw off your fears let your heart beat freely at the sign that a new time is born… Avengers: Endgame Whatever you think about superhero movies, Marvel in particular (and there are some vocal buggers about, mind. *COUGH*Scorcese*COUGH*) you can’t deny that rounding-out a 20+ film series on this note was a stunning achievement. Bombastic and crazed, yep, but still rooted in character development, it even took time to develop Nebula in-between the rich club sandwich of Hemsworth’s increasingly important comedy asides, Evans’s crucial ethical core, and Downey Jr’s Galactus-sized ego. Put this up against any sci-fi fantasy final act film you care to name, and it’s more coherent, more emotive and more satisfying than any of them. A remarkable achievement and, for me, great adventure fun. High Life Robert Pattinson is stealthing his way to becoming my favourite Millennial actor. Which I seriously didn’t see coming. English actors are often chosen by Hollywood for their ability to go big without going too camp, but Robert is one of those rare breed who manages to be subtle and honest, yet also comfortable and chameleon-like. He puts me in mind of a male Tilda Swinton, to be honest. High Life isn’t an amazing film, but it is a strange and powerful one. Not afraid to shy away from the dark, animalistic core of humanity, it’s a film about claustrophobia, desire, rape and procreation, against the backdrop of a space ‘mission’ and the unfortunates trapped therein. A film about the void inside and out, it’s no crowd pleaser but is a stark reminder of where we came from, and where we might be going Dolemite is My Name A reminder of why Murphy used to be the biggest comedian on the planet, Dolemite’s tale (as recounted by Eddie) is sort of parallel to his own early career story but, more importantly, is about self-confidence and determination in the face of an industry that considers you a bracketed commodity. Hugely fun, hugely funny; great stuff. Worst of the Year! The Dead Don’t Die Fails to do anything at all. It’s the filmic equivalent of an inert gas, or a rusted truck in a field. Hellboy I went in prepared to forgive a lot of failings. There were too many failings. It Chapter 2 Oi vey, it’s just so bad I don’t know where to start. Worst crime: not scary. Most persistent crime: BOoooOOOoooRRRING! Pet Sematary Stephen King had a baaad year In the Tall Grass Joe Hill (Stephen King mk.ii) had a baaad year Dark Phoenix An exercise in how not to make a film. Blinded by the Light Diabolical sentimentality. Velvet Buzzsaw Belmet Shitsaw Terminator: Dark Fate I dislike it the more I think about it The Hole in the Ground Hole lotta nothin’ Most Disappointing of 2019 (Not bad films, just failed to live up to expectations) The Rise of Skywalker I like it cos it’s pretty (before you call me shallow, I like lots of films just because they are pretty... The Lighthouse for one!) but I’d never argue it was anything more than a dumpster fire. Dragged Across Concrete A little too nasty for my tastes, plus if it was trying to make a point that was anti-fascist (possibly by stunt casting Gibson as well?) I think it failed, and just comes over as celebrating vengeance and individualism. Toy Story 4 Have you ever read Misery? The protagonist is forced to write another book in a bodice-ripper series he’d freed himself from and, under duress, creates something great. TS4 is a bit like this, but can’t help but still feel unnecessary - remove Forky and it’d drop several stars. He’s the Baby Yoda of the franchise. The Irishman The film can’t reconcile the fact these are old men de-aged to look young: they can be given youthful faces but can’t act unencumbered by pain, by wisdom, by regret. They can’t physically act spry. This irrevocably harms what is otherwise a decent movie about age. Hustlers The press had me believing this was a tour de force. It’s not, and even re-treads a lot of ground the recent Molly’s Game covered. It’s fine, but superfluous. Ready or Not Maybe it suffered because I’d recently seen Knives Out, but other than Samara Weaving’s performance and the very, very end, I just found this to be merely ‘ok’. Mary Queen of Scots I’m not sure anyone even knows this exists. It looked amazing, Saoirse Ronan is predictably great, but everything else about it is tedious and overlong. If Beale Street Could Talk Pleasant and sweet, but too meandering for its own good. A pudgy follow up to the lithe ‘Moonlight’ Midsommer Again with the ‘not on the same page as everyone else’ schtick. I was really let down by this, as it left behind the relationships and characters, leaving them as distant as the vibe the film was putting out. Miles behind the best folk horror, in my book, but a stunning-looking production Parasite Before you go bonkers yes, it’s a good film. I just felt a bit let down, especially as we had a Korean film about power dynamics and class recently, in the form of The Handmaiden, which I found a lot more interesting. Ah well. Most Pleasant Surprise Happy Death Day 2U Had no right to be as entertaining as it was, so close after the first film, but it is very good fun Alita: Battle Angel A complete jumble, but decent escapism One Cut of the Dead I wasn’t as enamored as most, but I thought this was charming and witty Shazam! I’ve felt no need to revisit it, but Shazam! Was a ‘good sit’. Spider-Man: Far From Home ‘Far from Necessary’, really, but in the wake of Endgame and following Spider-Verse I had very low expectations. And it exceeded them as it’s solid, funny in places and with a very good character in Mysterio Can you Ever Forgive Me? Doesn’t break any barriers or owt, but tells an interesting tale as a solid dramatic piece. Best Actress! Kaitlyn Dever I’d put her here for Booksmart alone, but as she played a completely different character (brilliantly) in TV’s Unbelievable, she’s a complete shoo-in. Best Actor! Robert Pattinson Doesn’t matter how he got here, just what he’s doing now. All of which is awesome ...and that’s it. Until next year’s list… peace out, bitches!
  12. People need to stop worrying about missing one minute of a film, and just go to the damn toilet. It's hardly like most of the stuff we watch is sensitive and sophisticated. Jeez.
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