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For a long time now we have had to suffer the poor video game to movie attempts thrown at us. From the dismal Resident Evil movies to the shocking Mario Brothers back in the 80's.
Theres always seemed to be some sort of block stopping these great games from being great movies, until now.
Enter Max Payne, a game which for the most, was a fantastic gun tooting thriller, with some realy well told noir type stories thrown in, an interesting main character with a big chip off his shoulder and some funky bad guys to boot. A perfect recipe for a big blockbuster movie or a big flop, luckily we get a blockbuster!
Casting Mark as the lead in the movie was my only gripe until i saw him actualy in the film, he rises to the role and expands it beyond the game, show Max's desperation at times, to find his families killers and solve a deep and disturbing case thrown onto his lap.
The film is well paced and involving enough to keep you glued to the screen, its filmed just like the game, a kinda mix between Sin City and Se7en. Its stylish and well shot throughout, the CGI effects dont over rule the movie and for the most subtle enough to actualy like!.
All the characters are well played and theres none of this hammy tongue in cheek acting you would expect in a game/movie feature. I have to be totally honest and say im hoping there will be a sequel, as this realy was a strong strong film.
He Was A Quiet Man
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After all the years that Slater has been around, i cant realy remember too many "great" performances, other than an early one in The Name of the Rose with Sean Connery.I was imediately gobsmacked with Slaters transformation and acting class in this movie.
Although its a character driven movie, made on a small budget, its a realy realy well made film. Slaters performance alone drives this film on and on as we watch a man tormented by the world he longs to be a part of and eternally hates.
Out of all the movies ive seen over the last 12 months, this realy left a mark on me, a movie which makes you think and not just watch...
For me its proof you dont need a huge budget, special effects and a massive story line to create a cinema classic....
Go! Explore (includes PSP GPS Receiver)
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The PSP is proving to be a true media station, not just games and movies, now heading into true online features and now SatNav.Ive had several so far, from the Navman systems and the earlier TomToms to the new TomTom1 r3 and they all head over £100 in the price market.
Now to say i was shocked when this landed on my lap, would be and understatement. I wasnt sure what to expect realy, but was encouraged by the fact that the PSP has much more processing power than standard GPS systems.
Ive had 2 weeks play time with this and so far, im confident its one of the best SatNavs ive used. Its extremely simple to input destinations, it uses a break down input menu, starting with the city, then the area of suburb, then street and number or you can start with the postcode if you already know it.
Also the points of interest is brilliant, it can bring up POI for the area your going to, or the area your at or even the area at which your cursor is upon, then it will bring up a large list of types of POI, once you have found what you need, a hotel for example, it will bring up the full address details and telephone numbers!
The actual map and graphic presentation is fantastic too, starting from the typical map street view right to full 3D rendered views which even do complete rendering of landmarks and all in smooth fluid 3D. This is where it outshines most GPS as it can handle alot on the screen.It will even give you lane information on multi lane roads, allowing you to move through traffic easier, aswell as speed camera info and such.
All in all for the price, it is simply outstanding, but make sure you have a 1GB mem card at least. It will give you the option of uploading the maps to a card for faster reference and route processing, these take up over 500MB of space but make the program run extremely quick.
A must by for the SatNav lover or gadget lover!
Army Of Two (2)
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In the vain of Gears of War and Ghost Recon, it delivers some fun and greatness aswell as half baked ideas and a lack of true direction.
Dont get me wrong, it does succeed in being a fun game, but its let down by a few glitches and poor AI in some places.
Its got fun features like the better player tends to attract the AI more as it sees you more a threat, the back to back slow-mo action scenes can be fun too. But the lack of purpose and story makes it a little dull and pointless.
The graphics are alright but not amazing, they are around Ghost Recon level, but not close to Gears of War.
Like in the title of this review, the action is great fun in co-op but falls flat and boring in single player mode. The AI for your partner works well for most of the time but can go a bit dodgey at times causing you problems.
All in all its an average shooter made good with its Co-op mode, its a game which can possibly be improved with a sequal.....You never know
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Its been a while since a Sci-fi or Action movie jumped out at me. I was very suprised when i saw this, in a good way.
Its a film with a mix of good points which mostly out weight the bad. Theres plot holes, a few un-explained important parts, under-developed characters and some half baked ideas which dont realy get explored.
But its a film with so much potential for future sequals.
The acting for the most is good, Mr L Jackson is menacing like always, Mr Billy Elliot doesnt dance much but proves to be a good supporting actor who to be honest could have been the star of this film with his quirky role and the leading role of Mr Jedi is also pretty well done.
For me Hayden Christensen reminds me of Keanu Reeves. Not a bad actor just sometimes a little lifeless. But he does pretty well in the role and will no doubt grow into it if there is a sequal.
The film has alot of potential in the story and back story, its touched upon to some extent but i have a feeling it will be left for another film.
The special effects are all top notch and the action scenes are pretty well made....The story while lacking in certain areas is good and easy to follow...
Definately an entertaining movie which id probably be happy to see hit the cinemas again in a sequal...
Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (2) - Ultimate Combat Edition (2 Discs)
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What can i say, some things are best left to the comic books...
AvP was the biggest let down in the franchise for both the Aliens and Predator movies. It was directed by someone who has simply no idea. The movie left a sour taste and a low point for the lovers of both Aliens and Predator.
Then the news came AVP2 was coming, i thought that we again would be subjected to another extremely poor film. Instead we are given a half baked improvement over the last but an overall let down again.
Ok it isnt bad, not by a long shot. The actions good and solid, the Predators are no longer over weight and slow, the aliens look more nasty and the story, well its half alright if a little too comic book.
What let it down for me is the finale and the lack of a true central character, a big name actor at least who could pull of some driving story. Instead we are left with actors who would be better suited to a low budget slasher flick like Scream 9 or Jason Part 193.
The film trys to draw more on the tense fear which builds up over time in the original Alien and Pred movies, but it gives mixed results. Whilst it does provide some good stand out moments, it also falls flat when delivering what should be be turning points in the film.
For instance, the finale in the alien hive should have been a stunning and tense scene, but its all over way way too quickly.
But in the end its better than AVP by a long shot and if you ignore the fact 4 excellent Alien movies and 2 fantastic Pred movies exsist, you have a decent action horror romp to watch.
FIFA Street 3
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Strange how a 3rd installment has seen a series hit rock bottom. Usualy games tend to get better or slightly improve on the previous installments, the FStreet series however seems to get worse!
From the controls to the visuals, they all look worse than the last outing, and even worse than the original. It seems like Fifa Street is realy just a cash in on the FIFA brand until the next Fifa football is out, a crying shame realy as after the first game, there was alot of potential...
Keep your money and buy something else....anything else for that matter..
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Lets be fair, it doesnt pretend to be a jaw slapping ground breaking affair here, nor does it pretend to rival Gears of War simply because of the way it plays. Its a simple late 80's early 90's shoot'em up remade, thats it...
But this doesnt mean its bad by all means, its actualy fun for most of the time.
The premise of the game if you ignore the plots and story, is simply to enter an area (arena) and take out as many bad guys as you can. Throw in nice weapons, combo attacks and some style kills and it turns out a fun romp.
Dont be thinking its going to keep you hooked like Gears of War or any of the other games its been compared to, but it will give you some fun although mindless entertainment.
I must admit that these type of mindless point attack games dont appeal to me but i did have some short lived fun on it.
So if you want frantic action and mindless fun which can be short lived, go for it.
If you want some brains to your games, avoid...
Silent Hill: Origins
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Ok i havent realy ever been a massive fan of the Survival horror games, most have been tongue in cheek, but Silent Hill gripped me to the point i actually bothered to finish it back on the PS1 days. After that they all became a bit boring.
When this landed at my desk i was knocked back a little. The series had gone quiet for a while and needed a refreshing approach to it. So they came up with a prequal.
First impressions were pretty good, it looks great to start with and plays pretty well if not a little clunky at times.
Graphics - The game has been beautifully made for the PSP. It looks great to say the least, you can tell the designers have taken their time to recapture the PS2 nightmare in all its glory on the PSP.
Controls - This has always been a big point on the survival horror games, at times the camera can be a pain but its easily solved for the most with the left shoulder button which zips it back behind you so you can see ahead. Overall the buttons are mostly well thought out and easy enough to use, other than that, nothing ground breaking, but nothing bad either.
Sounds - This has always been Silent Hills strong point, again this title captures the panic inducing sounds from its previous incarnations. When the music increases you know somethings coming at you, time to run!
Story and Length - So far im an hour or so into this game and to be honest, i cant realy tell im playing a sequal, it feels more like just another Silent Hill story which once again starts in the hospital. They seemed to have just used the prequal story as an excuse to bring another Silent Hill game out.
Its a shame but thats where the most important feature is in a Survival horror, its story. Origins attempts to make you believe your finding out why Silent Hill became the hell on earth it is, but your not finding anything realy new.From the off, the game is fogged and the town already upside down with the door open to hells chums, so realy your not learning anything or seeing anything happen, shame realy.
I have to give this a 4/5 because of the fact it looks and plays great, the story lacks but those who dont realy care and just wish to get scared in a B-Movie style will lap this up, hardcore SH fans may feel short changed but will enjoy it either way.
Sony Ericsson W880 / W880i Vodafone Pre-Pay / Pay As You Go Mobile Phone (Gold)
I hate to admit but i have had an addiction with mobiles for a while, its calmed down over the last year or so but i was bad as in 3 or 4 a year without a problem.
My main problem was gadgets, i love them, everytime a phone came out, it did something better or different to mine so i needed it. Until now.
This is my first Sony phone, ive always avoided them for some reason. I can say after 7 months of use im still happy with it.
The Walkman features are great, its a solid playing device except through the loudspeaker which is of suprisingly bad quality. But through headphones its great.
The phones usual features are all there, texting, mms, camera and all that are great and of top quality and ease.
My one issue i have to agree with a previous review, is reception, although not as bad, its still not amazing but its definately alright to use, my main problem though is signal strength. Ive noticed it can be quite eratic at times, even if its just sat on a table, im having to use a booster antena inside the case, to get a better signal.
Other then that, its a fantastic phone and im glad ive got it, beware though, some networks cut out certain features, like Orange remove the MP3 info retreive option, to add album covers and such from WAP. This is annoying but can be solved using software on your pc.
Good little phone!