Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V: Brief Reactions from a Non-Gamer

Full disclosure: I am in no way a hardcore gamer of any sort. The last time I seriously "gamed" was probably when I was 10, playing Super Mario on a Gameboy (these days I'm occasionally distracted by Jewels Saga on my phone). I guess you could call me a "noob" when it comes to PS3, 360, etc. You can imagine my surprise then, that I found myself completely mesmerised by Grand Theft Auto V over the weekend. I went through a mixture of reactions while playing it, mostly variations on these:
Like many people, I decided to take a day off work to delve into the GTA V world, only to discover that I've barely scraped the surface. The possibilities seem endless, the expanse of its virtual universe breathtaking and mind-bogglingly detailed. It offers a bounty of heart-stopping action-adventure-type pleasures (I can die happy now knowing what it's like to be in a Ronin-like car chase), but from a technical and aesthetic standpoint, it's just as exciting to simply look at. GTA V is addictive, insane, and INSANELY fun -- almost to the point of inducing nausea. This closes my first ever "game review".

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Clips #8

Another selection of fine clips for your viewing pleasure this Friday arvo:

Everything is Samuel L. Jackson's Fault:

Paul F. Tompkins has a chat with Breaking Bad tough guy Jonathan Banks - only for fans who are up to date on this show:

Ben Affleck addresses fan reaction to the announcement of his casting as the next Batman:

World War Z: The Honest Trailer - a bit spoilery but if you've seen the film, it's hilarious:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Trailer: Homefront

Okay I'm not entirely sold on James Franco as a meth-producing hick bad guy whom Jason Statham should be afraid of; without tats, corn-rows and gold teeth a la Spring Breakers, he doesn't especially look like a threat to anyone, just the annoyingly ubiquitous Franco whom everyone enjoys drubbing of late. But the Sly Stallone-scripted Homefront does appear to have a fun B-picture kick a solid (however generic) Statham vehicle can sometimes deliver, so if you're in the mood for that, click on... PS: Yes that's WINONA RYDER.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trailer: The Double

I wasn't too taken by IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade's 2010 directorial debut, Submarine, but his follow-up The Double, based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's novella, sounds like it might be something I would lap up mainly because it features one of my favourite plot elements in cinema: doppelgangers. So here we get TWO Jesse Eisenbergs for the price of one, and it seems to have mostly impressed critics who caught its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Guardian favourably compared Ayoade's film to Terry Gilliam, Michel Gondry and the Coen Brothers; Indiewire says it's "Totally bonkers, hilarious and wickedly clever... special and singular filmmaking at its best." Nice use of Son House's "Grinnin' In Your Face" in this dialogue-less trailer:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For the Star Wars Fan with Everything #29

Did any eagle-eyed Star Trek or Star Wars fans spot this at the movies? JJ Abrams snuck in a cameo from R2-D2 into Star Trek into Darkness, which will be out on DVD/Blu-ray next week so you can freeze-frame this shot to see it with your own eyes!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Before They Were Stars: Vin Diesel

Hard to believe it but Vin Diesel once had hair! Check out this '80s break-dancing instructional video where the Riddick star shows off some moves we didn't know he had...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Trailer: Under the Skin

The first trailer for Scarlett Johanssen's new film Under the Skin has hit the web and (AV quality issues aside) it looks intriguing and positively mind-blowing, though I'm hard-pressed to tell what the heck is going on. This arty, ambitious sci-fi flick, directed by Jonathan Glazer (his first film since 2004's Birth), has already generated a lot of talk and divided critics since its screenings at Telluride and Venice Film Festivals. The Guardian calls it an "extraordinary malarial dream"; The Telegraph says "astonishing"; Variety didn't show as much love, describe it as an "ultimately torpid and silly tale of an alien on the prowl". Me? I'm sold.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Citizen Kane of Bad Movies" Returns to Auckland

If you've never been acquainted with the ultimate experience in bad-movie nirvana that is Tommy Wiseau's The Room, now's as good a time as any to do so. This one-of-a-kind vanity project is returning to Auckland on September 6 for monthly Friday screenings, and you'll be able to catch it inside the crumbling beauty of the Crystal Palace Theatre in Mt. Eden!
Need another reason? It'll be shown in glorious 35mm, so this will be pretty much be the only time and place in New Zealand where you can see old school celluloid projected on the big screen. More details here. Spoons mandatory.