Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DVD of the Week: Straight Outta Compton

Finally! Despite a strong temptation to rewatch Hail Caesar! we got our act together and after much procrastination, finally got around to Straight Outta Compton. I would be the first to admit that the rise of NWA and West-Coast Rap totally passed me by, being a white, middle-class kid from the North East of England, and not the sort of one who ever felt to need to pretend they were "street" either. I was aware of it, of course, and even listened to some of it, but deep down I'd have been hard pushed to tell my Ice Cube from my Vanilla Ice (as a totally different song goes!), never mind have any real grasp on the byzantine web of rivalries and relationships that seemed to be behind it all. So, does the movie shed any light on this and convert me over to the scene? 

Friday, September 23, 2016

DVD of the Week: High-Rise

We've had Straight Out of Compton sat on our coffee table for about six weeks now. I really want to see it, but things keep getting in the way - usually other movies that I'd rather see more, or on occassion just a desire to see something lighter or more comfortable than I imagine it to be. Maybe this week, but maybe not, especially with Strictly Come Dancing being back this week. I know, I know. Anyhow, this week a film I've wanted to see since it was announced dropped through the letter box - Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J G Ballard's High-Rise. Ambitious, but full of acting talent and from a director with good past form, this was something I really had to see. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

I had a strange thought coming out of Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest glorious stop-motion picture out of Laika, which is that it is strange that we are currently seeing more emotional depth coming out of movies obstensively aimed at children, than those aimed at broader, older audiences. I like my blockbusters, but they're really, really ephemeral, so much that we sometimes talk about the Planet of the Apes films as "smart blockbusters" because they at least attempt to acknowledge the existance of actual ideas, but largely multiplex fodder is just that. What they rarely are is about stuff, apparently content to leave that field for the winter season oscar contenders and, strangely enough, kids movies. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Games Review: Journey

One of the big downsides of the PS4 is the need to pay for Playstationplus if I want to get online and play Overwatch or Destiny. Grrr. However, this bitter pill is sweetened somewhat by the monthly provision of free games to subscribers, which is actually a pretty cool idea. Each month I've subscribed I've got a couple of free games just for being a subscriber, ranging from small indie puzzlers to larger releases. It's an eclectic mix of choices, to be sure, and some of them will be rubbish (or of no interest) but others are big titles from earlier times. This month, one of the titles is the lauded PS3 indie Journey, which I'd previously missed out on. And now it was free! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

DVD of the Week: Anomalisa

One of the two movies we got to watch on Saturdays quiet day around the house was Captain America: Civil War, which irrespective how much I like it - and I do like it a lot - is very much a modern blockbuster in many of it's habits. It's franchise-dependant, hugely expensive, full of shouting and banging and tons of characters and colour and excitement. Yay! And then Robert went to bed, and Ewan went to lurk off upstairs, and got to watch the other one, the low-budget, three-cast stop-motion movie Anomalisa. I'm struggling to think of a stranger double bill. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Games Review: Firewatch

Just because I have a PS4, it's not to say I've totally abandoned my trusty PC. Z and I are still playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, for starters, but I've also got a stack of unplayed games on my Steam account, and the PC gaming ecosystem is just so much more diverse than the console one. Also the Teenager is playing a lot of Overwatch in the lounge, so there is that, too. So away from the big and flashy excitement of the PS4, I've still be dabbling in the smaller, shorter gems I've not really got around to yet, and this is one of them.