Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2016
Commercial Photography

The Angry Birds Movie: DVD Review

The Angry Birds Movie: DVD Review
So, who remembers Angry Birds?

That game we were all so addicted to way back when and then it suddenly died a death overtaken by consoles, Candy Crush and other such time-sucks.

Well, the film version of Angry Birds doesn't care that you've abandoned it, nor does it care that it's essentially got the feel of a one-shot and gone animation, aimed squarely at throwing all its eggs in giving you a cinematic take on the game's simple MO - destroy the towers.

Long story short, Jason Sudeikis is Red, the original Angry bird, who's ostracised cos of his grumpy ways (even though he's lonely from having been bullied in his younger years). Sentenced to Anger Management by a judge after erupting during a hatchday party, he meets Josh Gad's hyper-active Chuck, McBride's explosive Bomb and Sean Penn's non-verbal Terrence.

But his world - and along with all those other flightless ones on his homeland of Bird Island -  is further threat…

Nerve: Film Review

Nerve: Film Review
Cast: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis, Emily Meade
Director: Ariel Schuman and Henry Joost

If anything, directors Ariel Schuman and Henry Joost have already plied us with the perils of the internet with the 2010 film Catfish, so it's perhaps no surprise they jump back into the online world with Nerve, based on the novel by Jeanne Ryan.

Emma Roberts is Vee, a shy wallflower of a girl who doesn't want to go to college and who harbours a crush on the high school football jock, who's never noticed her. Living in the shadow of both her boisterous BFF Sydney (Meade) and in the death of her brother, she decides after rejection to join a secretive online game of dare called Nerve.

Controlled by watchers who set dares for money, Vee is sucked into the game, initially propelled by the adrenaline of rebellion and also because of her hunky co-gamer Ian (Dave Franco). But as the games escalate and become more life threatening (shifting from kissing a random stra…

Captain America: Civil War: Blu Ray Review

Captain America: Civil War: Blu Ray Review
Rating: M
Released by Sony Home Ent

That the latest Captain America is perhaps one of the better Marvel entrants should come as no surprise, given how strong the first two of this trilogy have been.

That it achieves this with a taut mix of action, thrills, a re-invented Spider-man and a film of some degree of consequence should be no surprise either.

But that it manages to blindside you in its final act is the real surprise of the piece, whipping the carpet with such aplomb from under your weary cynical expectations of where the story may go.

Taking a lead from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all about collateral damage, both of the physical and emotional variety.

When Captain America's team inadvertently cause a series of deaths and destruction while trying to save the world, pressure grows to build a system of accountability for the Avengers and their ilk. But the proposed status quo fractu…

Win a double pass to see The Secret Life Of Pets

Win a double pass to see The Secret Life Of Pets

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. 

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. 

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

To celebrate the release of The Secret Life Of Pets, which is in cinemas September 15th, I'm giving you a chance to win a double pass to see the film at the movies!

To enter simply email to this address: darrensworldofentertainme…

Chasing Great: Film Review

Chasing Great: Film Review
Directors: Justin Pemberton, Michelle Walshe

The ultimate film about rugby in New Zealand has already been made - and that film is The Ground We Won about the team in the heartland of the Bay of Plenty.

But Chasing Great aims to be more a film about the one man some would believe to be New Zealand's greatest ever rugby player - Richie McCaw.

And it faces a major hurdle too - it's not as if Richie himself is not an unknown figure, blessed with enigma and living life in the shadows. Most of what is known about Richie is already there in the media, as he lived the rugby life in the spotlight and in the glare of the camera both on and off the field.

So this is the nature of the challenge facing Pemberton and Walshe who followed McCaw around for a year; and in the run up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup with the hope that the All Blacks would lift the Webb Ellis trophy for the second time in a row and Richie would call time on his career.

With over 700 hours of foot…

Win a double pass to see Blood Father

Win a double pass to see Blood Father
Mel Gibson returns to the big screen with shades of Sicario and Payback in this edge-of-your-seat action thriller.

Scripted by Straight Outta Compton’s Andrea Berloff and The Town’s Peter Craig (based on his novel), BLOOD FATHER is brought to the screen by the team behind The Prophet and Rust & Bone and helmed by the César-winning French director behind the acclaimed Mesrine films.

Action and attitude meets humour and humility as Gibson stars as John Link - an ex-con trying - none too enthusiastically - to embrace life on the straight and narrow.

Eking out a meagre existence as a tattoo artist in his trailer park home, he battles with his past and his future.

When his estranged daughter, Lydia is caught up in a drug deal gone wrong, she finds herself reaching out to the last man she ever thought she’d need – her father. Only he can protect her from those who want her dead, and only he will - no matter what  it may cost him

To enter simply email to t…

Final Fantasy XV Live at Abbey Road Studios

Final Fantasy XV Live at Abbey Road Studios

FINAL FANTASY XV LIVE AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS Featuring Exclusive Live Performances from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and an appearance from FINAL FANTASY XV Composer, Yoko Shimomura SYDNEY, 29th August 2016 – Square Enix Ltd., today announced that the world famous Abbey Road Studios will play host to a special one-off concert featuring music from the forthcoming videogame FINAL FANTASY® XV on Thursday 8th September. The one-hour concert will be broadcast from Abbey Road’s iconic Studio One, and will feature live renditions of a selection of songs from the FINAL FANTASY XV soundtrack performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with a special appearance from world-renowned composer, Yoko Shimomura. “With so many iconic recordings taking place here over the years, performing the music for FINAL FANTASY XV in the very same recording studio is a huge honour for me and for everyone involved,” said Composer, Yoko Shimomura speaking about the eve…

KONAMI Announces Argentinean Teams and Pre-Order Content Details for PES 2017

KONAMI Announces Argentinean Teams and Pre-Order Content Details for PES 2017

KONAMI Announces Argentinean Teams and Pre-Order Content Details for PES 2017 Sydney, 29 August 2016 - Konami Digital Entertainment, B.V. announced today it will be showcasing all 30 teams from the first division of the Argentinian national league in PES 2017. KONAMI will feature all current kits and players from each respective team in PES 2017, allowing fans to take to the pitch by representing their favorite Argentinian clubs. Additionally, PES 2017 will feature two notable Argentinian football stadiums - Estádio Alberto J. Armando (La Bombonera) and El Monumental.
PES 2017 will feature the following 30 Argentinian teams: Aldosivi, Argentinos Juniors, Arsenal, Atlético de Rafaela, Atlético Tucumán, Banfield, Belgrano, Boca Juniors, Colón, Defensa y Justicia, Estudiantes, Gimnasia y Esgrima, Godoy Cruz, Huracán, Independiente, Lanús, Newell's Old Boys, Olimpo, Patronato, Quilmes, Racing Club, River Plate,…

Daddy's Home: DVD Review

Daddy's Home: DVD Review
Released by Universal Home Ent

Mining the Step dynamic has already proven fertile ground for Will Ferrell.

In the 2008 comedy Step Brothers, along with John C Reilly, Ferrell managed the fine line between sentimental and argumentative as the blending of two families took place.

But with Daddy's Home, Ferrell has managed to completely miss the comedic mark.

Ferrell plays Brad, a jazz radio station worker and step-dad to Linda Cardinelli's Sara's two young kids. Desperate to hear them utter the words Dad, Brad's world is turned upside down with the arrival of their leather-clad muscle bound biological father Dusty (Wahlberg, in reasonable comic form).

What starts off as genial jostling and an attempt to accommodate Dusty gradually sees Brad reach boiling point as Dusty starts to get his feet under the familial table...

Daddy's Home is excruciating, to say the least.
The best gags - all 3 of them - are to be found in the trailer of this weakly wri…

13 Hours: The Soldiers of Benghazi: DVD Review

13 Hours: The Soldiers of Benghazi: DVD Review
With a more restrained touch and a degree of maturity, director Michael Bay's more excessive touches appear reined in in this film based on a true story.

When a US ambassador's compound is over-run in Benghazi after several waves of terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2012, it falls to six defence military contractors to try and save the day.

But, as this sat in direct opposition to orders from their CIA chief, the men felt doing the right thing was more important than bureaucracy, and put their lives on the line for 13 hours.

With the likes of American Sniper and Lone Survivor blazing the trail for homegrown hero stories, and coupled with the master of Bayhem at the helm, you'd expect that 13 Hours would be an all guts, all glory, guns blazing type of affair.

But what Michael Bay has done - despite characterisation of the men being more than a little lacking - is craft something tense which transcends its Call Of Duty: Benghazi p…

Newstalk ZB Review - Talking Bad Moms, Ben-Hur and Stranger Things

Newstalk ZB Review - Talking Bad Moms, Ben-Hur and Stranger Things
This week, talking Bad Moms, Ben-Hur and Netflix show Stranger Things with Jack Tame

10 Cloverfield Lane: DVD Review

10 Cloverfield Lane: DVD Review
"People are strange creatures - you can't always convince them safety is in their best interests".

It's this line from John Goodman's character that really sets the tone for the mystery that is 10 Cloverfield Lane, a film described as a blood relative to 2008's Cloverfield by JJ Abrams, rather than a direct sequel to the handy shaky-cam, found footage monster flick.

If anything this subterranean set film is best described as a taut chamber piece that you're better off knowing little about before viewing.

Loosely, Winstead is Michelle, who at the start of the film, is desperately scrabbling around, packing a bag and leaving her other half, for reasons unknown. Fleeing in her car, Michelle's involved in a car accident and wakes to find herself in a dingy room, her leg shackled to the wall, and with no idea where she is or how she got there. So far, so Saw (or so Room).

Enter into proceedings, Goodman's twitchy doomsday pre…

Ben-Hur: Film Review

Ben-Hur: Film Review
Cast: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Pilou Asbaek, Rodrigo Santoro
Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Already a critical and commercial flop abroad, the 2016 remake of Ben Hur arrives on these shores with more a whimper than a roar.
For those not au fait with the 1959 11 Oscar winning original which starred Charlton Heston, it’s the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince played by a Rufus Sewell like Jack Huston and Roman Messala, his adopted brother, played by Toby Kebbell.
When Ben-Hur takes the fall when accused of sedition and his brother does nothing to save him, Ben-Hur’s thrown on a slave ship and shipped off. But events conspire to return Ben-Hur back to the lands of Jerusalem and into a conflict and quest for revenge.
The 2016 version of Ben-Hur is already headed for a $100 million US flop at the box office and for the large part, it’s easy to understand why.
With its lack of a major star in the lead to bring some kind of presence (Freeman appears only as a dread-locked s…