Outcast: 'A Darkness Surrounds Him' Review

Robert Kirkman's latest show gets off to a flawed start.

Confirmed: John Boyega to Star in 'Pacific Rim 2'

Boyega joins the sequel hot off the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Box Office: Ninja Turtles 2 Suffers in Anti-Sequel Summer

TMNT 2 is the latest sequel to bring in some disappointing numbers.

Review: Eye in the Sky

Gavin Hood's military drama is an impressive achievement.

Monday, 30 July 2012

UK Top 10 Games: 30th July 2012

This week with the Olympics now in full swing, Sega's London 2012: The Official Video Game takes the top spot, knocking last week's No. 1, Lego Batman 2 down one place to No. 2.

But the official tie-in wasn't the only Olympics game benefiting since the sporting event began. Sega's other title, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games has also climbed up the Top 10. It's shot up 5 places this week from it's position at No. 8 last week to No. 3 this week.

There are no new entries in the Top 10 this week, however Nintendo's odd crossover between Pokemon and Japanese series Nobunaga's Ambition, titled Pokemon Conquest, did make a respectable debut at No. 17. The game may be the original DS's final good exclusive so if you're yet to invest in a new handheld it may be worth a look.

UK Top 10 Games (All Formats, All Prices):

1. (2) London 2012: The Official Video Game
2. (1) LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
3. (8) Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
4. (3) Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
5. (7) Batman: Arkham City
6. (5) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
7. (4) The Amazing Spider-Man
8. (10) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
9. (12) FIFA 12
10. (6) Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Be sure to come back next week for more top 10 news. In the meantime, here's a trailer for this week's new No. 1 - London 2012: The Official Video Game:

Update Time!

Over the past few weeks I've been behind the scenes fixing bugs and making everything on this site run a bit smoother. I've created a new scoring system which I have enforced on every review on the site. I have also made sure that each post's thumbnails are correct and that there aren't more than one "Read More" button on each post.

One of the most annoying problems that this site has encountered have been the buttons at the top of the right-hand sidebar not working. (These are the "Popular", "Tags" and "Blog Archives" buttons. I'm happy to announce that these are now fixed, so if you want to see a certain type of post or go back to a particular week or year - you can.

These things seem like small changes - and I guess they are kind of. But they will still make things look and work a lot better around the site.

You may also notice the slightly updated logo. I changed the colour scheme so that it would match the menu bar and added the 5-Star sign that has been used as our Favicon since near the beginning of this site.

I hope you like these little changes, if you don't feel free to comment and let me know! If you want any other changes made, I'm always open to suggestions.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises is possibly one of the most hyped films of the decade. There's been so much excitement surrounding this film that surely it just can't live up to it, right? Right. The Dark Knight Rises isn't the best super-hero movie ever, nor is it my favourite film of the Summer - but it is a good finale to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.

The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. Batman hasn't been seen since the death of Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne has become a near-crippled man who no longer leaves his mansion. But, everything has been going rather nicely since The Joker's imprisonment. No super-villains have attempted to take over Gotham, crime is at an all time low, but - as Catwoman informs Bruce at the beginning of the movie - "There's a storm coming."

And boy, was she right. 

As soon as Bane comes to town, Gotham once again falls into the hands of chaos - meaning Batman takes it upon himself to stop Bane and restore peace once again.

First, I should mention the fantastic cast, consisting of some of Hollywood's biggest talent including: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Anne Hathaway. They all deliver great performances - even Hathaway who I had my doubts about before. And while I'm still not convinced she's very sexy in the role, she is a much more interesting character than previous on-screen Catwomans, (I still can't erase the memory of that Halle Berry train-wreck *shudder*).

And other supporting characters that are new to the series such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate are just as good in their roles as the rest of the cast, and their characters are worthy additions to Nolan's Batman mythos. 

The problem was handling such an A-List cast and so many great character's has got to be difficult, and so it's hard to deny that some character's get pushed to the side a little. Michael Caine is great (as always) as Alfred, but there came a point in the film where he just disappeared. At points I even felt like key character's such as Anne Hathaway's Catwoman weren't really needed, and this was a shame.

Another problem I had with the movie was that the pacing seems to slow down considerably near the middle of the film, so much so that at some points the film verges on boring. Thankfully, it doesn't quite get that bad and it really bounces back with the ending, which is truly amazing and a great way to round off the trilogy - although I wish it didn't have to end because this is one franchise I don't want to see 're-booted.'
Although, at the same time the film's plot had issues and seemed to remind me of my experience with Prometheus, in that it was entertaining to watch first time round, but when you really start to think about all the major plot points there are some very weird plot decisions. Now of course, The Dark Knight Rises' plot never gets quite as muddled as that of poor old Prometheus, but still it isn't quite as flawless as everyone hoped and expected.

But I feel like I'm being too critical. At the end of the day, this movie is definitely the most ambitious of the trilogy and considering this it does extremely well. The story may have pacing problems in the middle and a few strange moments when you think too much about it, but really it is still full of exciting action and a great end to a fantastic trilogy.

Monday, 23 July 2012

UK Top 10 Games: 23rd July 2012

UK summers are famous for two things. Rain, and a severe drought of videogame releases. What this means is usually one game will take the top spot and rule there like a tyrant for weeks. Last year it was Zumba Fitness, this year the role seems to have gone to Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. The game has been at No. 1 for 5 weeks now! And the release of The Dark Knight Rises must be spreading even more Batman fever as this week Batman: Arkham City re-enters the top 10 at No. 7.

There was one new entry this week however and that was Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. It comes in at No. 6.

Here's the Top 10 in full:

1. (1) LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
2. (2) London 2012: The Official Video Game
3. (5) Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
4. (3) The Amazing Spider-Man
5. (6) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
6. (-) Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
7. (11) Batman: Arkham City
8. (10) Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
9. (12) Max Payne 3
10. (7) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

That's all for this week, here's a trailer for this week's highest new entry: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Walking Dead: Volume 2 - Miles Behind Us Review

Volume 2 of The Walking Dead, introduces new characters, new places, and develops the character's further. It carries on directly from the shocking end of the first one and sees Rick and his band of survivors moving on from their camp to find another place to stay.

Robert Kirkman does a brilliant job of keeping the story fresh and the characters interesting. Not once in this book did I feel like this was a repeat of the first volume - mainly due to the challenges we see the characters face. We see the survivors facing moral issues, and (without giving anything away) the deaths of some people in the group change characters drastically.

The writing is a similiar style to the original although the use of swear words becomes more common - not in a distasteful way, in fact I think it makes the story far more believable. I have no doubt that we'd all drop some swear words once in a while if we were trying to survive a zombie apocalypse! Once again, silly lines return but this is something you see in this series from time to time.

I think that Volume 2 of The Walking Dead is on a par with Volume 1, the story is stronger than the original and the writing and art (which by the way is still black and white, like Volume 1), is still top notch. Although I still think that the slightly later volumes (4, maybe 3 onwards) is when this series really comes into its own. But saying that the early volumes are still an excellent read.

This book is definitely a must buy because it is an improvement on the original and an essential part of the story. I urge you to keep reading this series because it is one that keeps getting better and better.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

The Amazing Spider-Man was the subject of a lot of controversy when it was first announced. Fans were so  looking forward to a Spider-Man 4 announcement, that when the news came that Spidey was getting 'rebooted' many were outraged. But they really shouldn't have been, because while The Amazing Spider-Man isn't my film of the summer, it's still just as entertaining - if not more so - than the original trilogy of films.

One of the main things that kept this movie from being a mess is the cast. Andrew Garfield delivers a fantastic performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, possibly even better than Tobey Maguire's just 5 years ago, but he's not the only star here. Emma Stone is also great, coming dangerously close to stealing the show as Peter's new love interest Gwen Stacey.

But a great hero cannot exist without a great villain, and Rhys Ifans more or less delivers on that side of things as Dr. Curt Connors, AKA The Lizard. It's easy to get caught up in how unrealistic a villain he is - what with Christopher Nolan's "gritty" Batman films all the rage at the minute - but to be honest I actually found him quite a believable character.
At the end of the day he's just a man who desperately wants to get his arm back, and in the process he...uh....turns into a giant lizard. The point is he's not as weird a villain as you might first expect, and seeing the way he tries to fight against his scaly alter-ego means there's a certain amount of sympathy to be felt for the character too.

But perhaps the best thing about this movie is the script. Those of you who have read Spider-Man comics will know that he's actually a pretty funny guy, but that side of him was rarely represented in the old films. Well, this film has it covered, there's a lot of funny moments in this movie, as well as a good mix of romance, tragedy and action to go along with it on the way to the final face-off. But, unfortunately, that's where this film falls short.

What a poser!
The problem is while this is - in my opinion at least - an improved origin story, it's still the same one. Peter gets bitten by a spider, chaos ensues. It's nothing we haven't seen before, and that really becomes a problem later in the movie seeming as the biggest action set-piece is shown in all the trailers - meaning anyone who's seen them will get to a certain point and then just know how everything will end.
As you can imagine, this makes things feel a little less epic. 

But, it doesn't make it a bad film. In fact, I'd say this film rivals all the previous one's in terms of sheer quality, it's just a shame it's missing that key element that makes it unforgettable. Great fun, but whether you need to rush out to see it depends on how much you love Spider-Man....and whether you've seen the trailers.

The Amazing Spider-Man Video Review

Too lazy to read our review? We have you covered.