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The Hangover Part II (2011)
The Hangover Part II (2011)
2011 | Comedy
It has been two years since writer-director producer Todd Phillips unleashed the mother of all benders on audiences with The Hangover. The film about four buddies on a lost weekend in Vegas was a comedic tour de force that left audiences laughing from start to finish and went on to be the highest grossing R-rated film in history. Naturally when a film does this kind of business, thoughts turned to a sequel and Phillips has returned with the original cast and crew to follow up this comedy classic.

Plot of the film mild-mannered dentist Stu (Ed Helms), who is getting married in Thailand to the girl of his dreams. Undaunted by the fact that his fiancé’s father despises everything about him, Stu convinces his best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Doug (Justin Bartha), to take the 16 hour flight to attend the ceremony. When news reaches them that a crestfallen Alan (Zach Galifianikis), is waiting for his invitation to the ceremony, Stu is reluctant because he does not want a repeat of what happened in Vegas.

But despite their misgivings, the friends decide to include Alan in the ceremony and embark to the airport for the long flight to Thailand. They’re joined at the airport by Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy (Mason Lee), a child prodigy who was already attending Stanford at 16 and has designs on a future medical career. As Stu’s fiance explains later in the film, Teddy is their father’s “most prized possession.”

Alan takes an instant disliking to Teddy and sees him as an outsider in their “wolf pack” and doesn’t miss an opportunity to try to exclude Teddy. Upon their arrival in beautiful Thailand, the friends get through a somewhat awkward dinner with the future in-laws and relax on the beach for a bonfire and bachelor party. Phil makes sure to be extra careful to avoid any of the issues they had in Vegas and selects bottled beer that was given to them by the hotel staff and makes sure that every one of them only gets an unopened bottle to drink.

Despite these precautions, Stu, Phil, and Alan wake up the next morning in a seedy hotel with absolutely no memory of how they got there and what happened the night before. Stu now sports a fresh facial tattoo while Alan has a completely shaved head. Matters are further complicated when the group realizes that Teddy is missing and that what appears to be his severed finger is found to be floating in a bucket of water.

As if things were not bad enough, matters take an even extreme turn for the worse when a monkey and Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), show up and add even bigger complications to the already complex situation. The group learns that Doug is safely back at the resort and waiting for their arrival at breakfast after having left the bonfire early, leaving Stu, Alan and Phil to piece together the forgotten events of the night and locate Teddy before the wedding. Along the way they run into criminals, the sleazy side of Bangkok, upset monks, and much more as they race against time to solve the mystery and locate Teddy.

What follows is a comedic adventure complete with jaw-dropping sequences that leaves the audience shocked at just how far they push the envelope. The cast works well with one another and there are some truly funny moments in the film. The biggest issue with the movie is that it must walk a fine line between using the established formula of friends trying to remember and deal with the consequences of their lost evening while not repeating itself.

This is a very tricky proposition as the film essentially follows the same plot line of the original film: a group of friends are trying to remember the previous night and locate a missing member prior to a wedding. There are also similar jokes such as Stu dealing with a tattoo instead of a missing tooth and Alan’s constant nonsensical bantering and plethora of useless information.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel director Todd Phillips instead focuses on the relationship of the cast and allows the unique and exotic setting to be the new character and foil for the comedy. Many times in the film it is established that Teddy must be located before “Bangkok gets him” and as such the city offers endless opportunities for the cast.

The film does drag at the three quarters mark but recovers nicely, leading to a predictable finale. While the film was not as thoroughly funny as the original, in terms of humor and storytelling, but there are still plenty of laughs and eye-popping scenes that make it an enjoyable comedy. There are rumors that Phillips has plans for third film in the series to complete the trilogy. If this is indeed the case I would welcome a third film with the understanding that more care be put into the plot to avoid rehashing previous jokes and situations.
  
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Lee (2221 KP) rated Ford v Ferrari (aka Le Mans '66) (2019) in Movies

Nov 5, 2019 (Updated Nov 5, 2019)  
Ford v Ferrari (aka Le Mans '66) (2019)
Ford v Ferrari (aka Le Mans '66) (2019)
2019 | Action, Biography, Drama, Sport
Anyone who knows me knows that I have pretty much zero interest in cars. As long as they can get me from A to B, reliably and comfortably, then that's good enough for me. I have even less interest in watching cars race round and round and round at high speeds for hours on end too - if I wanted to watch that, then I'd just go and stand on a bridge overlooking the M25 for a while. So, a movie about a determined team of American engineers and designers looking to build a Ford racing car with the potential to finally beat Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans race in France? Well, that doesn't immediately sound like my kind of movie. But, a great looking trailer and an interesting cast got me interested, and in the end I am so glad that I saw it.

Le Mans ‘66 (or Ford v Ferrari as it is known elsewhere - much better name, no idea why it needed to be changed) stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale (once again going through some weight loss for a movie role) as Carroll Shelby and his engineering partner Ken Miles. Shelby was the first American to win Le Mans, the 24 hour race held in France, in 1959, but has since retired from racing due to a heart condition. These days, Shelby designs and sells souped-up cars as well as running the racing team Cobra, along with British racing driver Ken Miles. Shelby is calm, very clever and extremely determined and Miles knows everything there is to know about cars, but isn’t exactly what you might call a good ‘people person’. Together they have a wonderful friendship and partnership, the highs and lows of which form the basis and heart of the movie.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor company is suffering from poor sales and Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) is looking to his workforce to come up with the next big idea in order to try and boost the Ford name. One of the many corporate suits we see during the movie, Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) proposes that Ford buy into Ferrari in order to create a winning sports car that will make Ford cool again with the kids, so they head to Italy for a meeting with Enzo Ferrari. The meeting doesn't really go according to plan though, and the suits return home with their tails between their legs, and a strong desire to go to war with Ferrari and teach them a lesson.

Ford puts its money where its mouth is, pretty much writing a blank cheque for Shelby to come up with a car worthy enough to defeat Ferrari and win Le Mans ‘66, and we then follow Shelby, Miles and their team as they struggle to make it happen. Problems arise when Shelby is repeatedly put under pressure by the corporate suits at Ford to ditch Miles, feeling that he doesn’t quite fit with the Ford image, and this puts strain on both the project and the friendship between Shelby and Miles, eventually resulting in a comedy brawl reminiscent of the one involving Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in Bridget Jones Diary!.

Caitriona Balfe plays Miles' wife, Mollie, and it’s great to finally see her out of period costume and outside of TV show Outlander. It’s a role that could easily have been relegated to the usual, long-suffering spouse, sitting at home watching hubby race with baited breath, and while there is a fair bit of that, she does prove to be a strong and worthy addition to the cast. As does Josh Lucas, one of the dastardly, clueless suits who thinks he knows best. It’s a fantastic, jam-packed cast, but never detracting from the central Shelby/Miles friendship and dynamic.

I’ve come this far without talking about the race itself. There are a number of enjoyable, smaller races throughout the movie, giving us a taste of the high energy, intense camerawork to come, but that’s nothing compared to the 24 hours of racing we get when the team eventually arrive in France. As Shelby and his team look on in the pits, watched over in the stands above by the suits from Ford, and by team Ferrari in the stand next to them, Miles takes it in turns with other drivers to try and win the race, through the night and in heavy rain, dealing with car problems already experienced and worked upon throughout the movie, as well as yet more meddling from those pesky suits.

The pacing of the race is perfect. Putting you right in the heart of the action, occasionally cutting to the drama in the pits and between the team, all the while desperate to get one over on the all powerful Ferrari. This is a movie that can be enjoyed by petrol heads, and non enthusiasts like me, in equal measure, and I had an absolute blast watching it. Highly recommended.
  
Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
2004 | Comedy
How in the world do you review a film like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? The film is meant to be as ridiculous as possible with outrageous performances and a paper thin storyline; half of its charm is its overuse of improvisation. You either found its absurd nature hilarious and consider it one of the funniest films ever (and completely ignore the horrid sequel) or hate it for being a nonsensical comedy filled with a cast of immature people who can’t hold a straight face for a single take. It’s honestly difficult to argue either perspective, but the 20-year-old version of this critic who saw this film and adored it would drop dead if he found out that it doesn’t hold up as well nearly 15 years later.

It’s 1974 and on the local San Diego news station KVWN channel 4 newscaster Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is king since channel 4 is always number one in the ratings. His news team consists of sports newscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), investigative news reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Up until this point, only men were allowed to read the news but a new female co-anchor named Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is hired by channel 4 and has bigger plans. Veronica is ambitious, has a ton of experience, and envisions herself as one day becoming a lead network anchor. Tensions rise and feuds flare up, but times are changing and it’s something everyone, including Ron Burgundy, is going to have to deal with.

Anchorman is a tricky comedy because it throws all of its success into this random formula. There is a plot, but it takes a backseat to the memorable and hysterical one-liners from the film. These one-liners are phrases that you’ll be saying for years to come as a few will likely become household favorites if you or your family has any sort of taste whatsoever. With the absolute blessing of owning so many cats, a common phrase from Anchorman that gets repeated around here on a regular basis is, “You will eat that cat poop!” With a comedy this spontaneous, it’s difficult to comment on aspects such as the story since it shouldn’t be taken as seriously as a film where the story actually matters. Anchorman isn’t trying to win any awards. This is a film that is only trying to make its audience laugh and if it does that then it has to be successful in some sort of capacity. The cast absolutely embodies these characters to a fairly flawless extent. Being so absorbed in these roles makes the absurdity more believable and slightly easier to swallow.

Before Will Ferrell became unbearable, the holy trinity of Will Ferrell comedies were Step Brothers, Anchorman, and Talladega Nights; in that order (unless his cameo in Wedding Crashers counts). This was the early and late 2000s before Farrell’s on-screen antics had grown stale. Most of Farrell’s films follow the same generic formula; a nonexistent plot followed by a series of aimless one-liners and spitfire jokes that come out of nowhere. Ferrell’s career is well past the redundant stage as his more serious roles show more promise these days than his exasperating comedies. That formula was still working with Anchorman and it seems to have worked for many other who saw it as the film garnered a cult status over time.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy isn’t going to be for everyone and it’s totally understandable if you or someone you know downright hates the film. It is absolutely moronic in its execution, but for those who love it that is why it’s as funny as it is. There isn’t a riveting story, impressive character development, or a steady buildup towards anything worthwhile (unless Jack Black dropkicking a fake dog off of an overpass counts as a proper climax). Anchorman has the attention span of a Family Guy cutaway gag. If you enjoy Family Guy, then Anchorman is probably one of your favorite movies.

This is like getting together with a bunch of friends and laughing at stupid stuff because you’re loaded on sugar, but Anchorman stretches out that feeling for an hour and a half; it’s a 90-minute sugar rush with no breaks. It’s like snorting Pixie Stix and laughing like an idiot for an hour straight or chugging a two-liter Coke and inhaling seven packets of Pop Rocks and laughing at your stomach not exploding. You don’t watch Anchorman to ponder your life choices or be amazed at technical achievements in filmmaking. This is a paper thin comedy that only wants to make you laugh and forget about how hard it is to make adult decisions in the overly intimidating modern world for a short hour and a half time period. If Anchorman can accomplish all of that and you quote it like a giggling idiot, then the two of us have something in common and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy should be considered as a masterwork in hilarious idiocy.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is currently available to rent via Amazon Video, Youtube, Vudu, and Google Play for $2.99 and through iTunes for $3.99. The Unrated DVD is available as an add-on item through Amazon for $3.99, multi-format Blu-ray for $6.98, and the unrated Rich Mahogany Blu-ray for $5.99. It’s also available on DVD ($2.45) and Blu-ray ($3.65) through eBay with free shipping.
  
22 Jump Street (2014)
22 Jump Street (2014)
2014 | Action, Comedy, Crime
Story: 22 Jump Street starts by filling us in on what happened in the last film like a previous episode. We watch Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) as they try take down a criminal The Ghost (Stormare) but much like the first one, things go slightly wrong. Jenko and Schmidt have to go to college undercover to uncover the latest drug craze. The two go through the opposite direction to the previous film and we get to see how they react to their reverse situations.

team

22 Jump Street uses the first ten minutes poking fun at the idea of a sequel, including talking about doubling the budget, how they got lucky first time after everyone thought the idea would fail. It also forced to tell the same story as well as actually having an upgraded office called 22 Jump Street with 23 Jump Street opening next door. We continue to get plenty of ‘it is a sequel’ jokes through the film so much so that it feels like a glorified extended version of a television show. it is full of jokes, action and personally I think the story is so easy to watch and laugh along with it could be the best I have seen in years. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jonah Hill: Schmidt big guy to the comedy double act who ends up going through the same problems of not fitting in as Jenko did through the first film. Schmidt gets romantically involved with a Maya a girl on campus who turns out to be Captain Dickson’s daughter. Jonah gives a great performance showing that he really has great comical timing. (9/10)

 scmidt

Channing Tatum: Jenko muscle of the comedy double act who finds himself in college finally getting a chance to fit in much like his time through high school first time. He gets a chance to live a different life which he never got a chance too with his connection with the football team, but his age will catch up with him. Channing gives a great performance showing he is just a muscle man he has comic timing too. (9/10)

channing

Peter Stormare: The Ghost drug deal the couple are after at first before he escapes, only to get into battle with him again once they uncover the truth about the supply at the college. Peter gives a solid performance giving his typical villain role. (7/10)

 

Wyatt Russell: Zook student that becomes good friends with Jenko, helping him get into the good with the sports team. The clues point to Zook but after thinking about the clues they realize they are reading things incorrectly about the fun loving footballer. Wyatt gives a good performance who has good chemistry with Channing. (8/10)

 

Amber Stevens: Maya student who befriends Schmidt and takes him down the calmer side of the college experience. After we are told she is the daughter of the Captain the comedy level raises. Amber gives a solid supporting performance. (6/10)

 maya

Support Cast: 22 Jump Street has a whole host of supporting characters who all give extra laughs, be in the Captain and his protection of his daughter or the jock who wants to take down the goal posts. They all add laughs the main characters work with.

 

Director Review: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller – Phil & Christopher direct this film almost perfectly to take the piss out of the idea it is a sequel and that the first one was successful after many other television shows turned films have bombed. (9/10)

 

Action: 22 Jump Street has good action with chases trying not to break anything while the villains smash everything. (8/10)

Comedy: 22 Jump Street is one of the best comedies I have seen in years, it offers plenty of puns that take the piss out of the idea of it being a sequel. (10/10)

Crime: 22 Jump Street focuses a lot of trying to solve the crime while undercover which works nicely for it. (8/10)

Chemistry: 22 Jump Street has some great chemistry between Jonah and Channing who create one of the best comedy duos in buddy cop history. (10/10)

Settings: 22 Jump Street moves to college which works as the actors are older and it pokes fun that they would have looked way too old for high school. (9/10)

Suggestion: 22 Jump Street is a must watch, you don’t even need to see the first one as it recaps you with a previously at the start. (Watch)

 

Best Part in 22 Jump Street: Chase for the campus.car

Worst Part in 22 Jump Street: I would say the supporting characters are slightly too stereotyped.

Best Action Scene In 22 Jump Street: Chase through the campus.

Funniest Scene in 22 Jump Street: The moment Captain Dickson finds out about Schmidt and his daughter.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yeah could have one.

Post Credits Scene: Jokes about what sequels could be in the future.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $331 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: These undercover cops are going to party like it’s their job

 

Overall: A Must Watch Comedy

https://moviesreview101.com/2014/12/22/22-jump-street-2014/
  
Pudge & Prejudice
Pudge & Prejudice
A.K. Pittman | 2021 | Romance, Young Adult (YA)
10
10.0 (2 Ratings)
Book Rating
I'm not big on romance novels, but when I saw the cover and synopsis of Pudge & Prejudice by A.K. Pittman, I knew that this was one book I had to read. It just seemed so relatable. I'm so happy that I did get a chance to read this book because I have become totally smitten with it!

I thought the plot for Pudge & Prejudice was very well written. It's 1984, and fifteen year old Elyse (nicknamed "Pudge" by her older sister) and her family have just moved to Texas. It's a bit of a culture shock at first, but Elyse learns the ropes quickly. While her beautiful, older sister Jayne has no trouble fitting in at high school, Elyse's body issues complicate things especially when it comes to guys like Billy Fritz. Will Elyse ever be able to get over her looks or will the way she thinks of herself be her downfall?

The plot for Pudge & Prejudice is such a cute one, and it's one I can semi-relate too. (I never had a crush on any of the football players at my school, but I was a chubby teen like Elyse.) Pittman does an excellent job of making the small Texas town that Elyse lives in come to life. I could picture every sight, taste, and smell throughout the book. I just had to open my book, and I was instantly transported. The pacing for Pudge & Prejudice was spot on. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. It held my interest from the very first page. I loved the 1980's references, and I was glad that they weren't overdone like some other books. One thing that I did enjoy about Pudge & Prejudice is that the romance isn't all in your face. It's hard for me to describe, but although there was some romance, it wasn't what the whole book was about. I didn't spot any plot twists, but Pudge & Prejudice is such a fantastic book that it didn't need any plot twists. There was a minor cliffhanger at the end of the book which mentions the summer after Elyse's sophomore year. I'm hoping this will turn into a series because I would love to see what happened to Elyse and her sister Jayne that summer. (I was so sad when the book ended.) I will say that I did find some of the book a bit unrealistic as to who crushes on Elyse. I have never known something like that to happen. Maybe it happens to a small minority, but I never knew it to happen at any school I had ever known. However, this was such a sweet and fun read that I didn't mind. I liked seeing how the story would progress.

Kudos to A.K. Pittman for writing such fantastic well fleshed out characters! I think I knew someone like each character mentioned when I was in school. I could picture each character in Pudge & Prejudice as if they were someone I knew in real life. Elyse was the most relatable character for me. I was her in high school (minus the crush on a football player). I sympathized with her more than any other character I've ever came across in a book. Pittman's portrayal of an overweight teen struggling with self esteem issues was perfect. I loved how sweet Jayne, Elyse's older sister, was. I loved the relationship between between Jayne and Elyse. The way they looked out for each other was really sweet. Charlie was also a really nice guy, and it was interesting to read about his and Jayne's relationship especially when the problem of sports came up. Billy was an interesting character. He's the only one that I couldn't imagine knowing in real life. Perhaps they are unicorns at exist somewhere, but I had never known anyone like Billy when I was a teen (and even now). However, Billy was a complex and great character. I did enjoy reading about him. Lottie was well fleshed out, but she seemed a bit too snobby for my liking. She was way too blunt and what she said about her boyfriend really irked me. She treated her boyfriend horribly. If I was Elyse, I wouldn't have been friends with her for very long, but I understand how hard it was for Elyse to make friends. Unfortunately, I did know people like Lottie in my school. Lydia (Elyse's younger sister) was fun to read about as was Gage although I never really trusted Gage for some reason.

Trigger warnings for Pudge & Prejudice include minor kissing, a mention of sex, a mention of punching someone, cheating, and body issues.

All in all, Pudge & Prejudice is such a cute and fun read. It's got such a relatable plot and a cast full of characters that everyone can relate to. This is one book that I could definitely picture as a successful Netflix series. (I know I'd binge watch for sure!) I would definitely recommend Pudge & Prejudice by A.K. Pittman to everyone aged 13+ that are after a sweet and fun read. This is one book that will leave you smiling long after you've read it.
--
(A special thank you to Lone Star Literary Life for providing me with a paperback copy of Pudge & Prejudice by A.K. Pittman in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)
  
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Daniel Boyd (1064 KP) created a post

May 18, 2018 (Updated Jun 12, 2018)  
E3 2018 Predictions


Don’t know how many fellow hardcore gaming fans are on here, but I normally have a podcast to do my predictions for my favourite event of the year, (yes even better than Christmas,) but since my podcast has been on an extended hiatus, it means that you guys are getting my predictions for 2018’s Electronic Entertainment Expo on here.

I have chosen to go with seven predictions for each conference, as I feel that 10 is too many and five just isn’t enough. There are obviously going to be more than seven announcements from each conference, but I’ve tried to keep it to things that people actually care about and that will get gamers excited, rather than playing it safe by ‘predicting,’ obvious shit, like Sony bringing up the Medievil remake or a trailer being shown for the next COD game. The predictions are in no particular order either, just as I thought of them. I am not cocky enough to start predicting when each prediction will happen in their respective conferences.

I have also included a total shot in the dark prediction for each conference. This is something that has a small sliver of hope of coming true, but realistically it is more something that I want to happen rather than something I actually think is going to happen.

Also, I am in no way a professional video game writer. This is a list of predictions written by a video game fan based on information I’ve heard on gaming podcasts and various gaming subreddits. This is just a bit of fun for me, don’t take anything that I’ve written below as gospel.

Enough rambling, my predictions for E3 2018 are as follows…


EA:
1. Fifa and other sports games will be announced with release dates.
2. Trailer shown for Battlefield V, WWII setting
3. SSX reboot, sequel or remake will be announced
4. Bioware will announce updates for Anthem and maybe announce some sort of Mass Effect DLC
5. Dice will promote Solo update & DLC for Battlefront 2
6. Some sort of new Star Wars game will be announced to replace the cancelled Amy Henning Star Wars game
7. Respawn will announce the title of their Star Wars game and announce Titanfall 3

Total shot in the dark prediction – New Burnout or Dead Space game announced


Microsoft:
1. Crackdown 3 gameplay demo will be shown and 2018 release date will be announced
2. New Halo game announced
3. New Gears Of War game announced
4. Borderlands 3 officially announced with gameplay trailer and release date for late 2018/early 2019
5. Cuphead DLC announced
6. Cyberpunk 2077 trailer shown
7. Some mention of PUBG, Sea Of Thieves and Forza

Total shot in the dark prediction – A new Fable game announced


Bethesda:
1. New IP announced, probably Starfield with fall 2018 release date
2. Doom sequel announced with trailer and 2019 release window
3. Standalone DLC announced for Wolfenstein 2, possibly Prey as well?
4. Rage 2 shown and release window given
5. Some sort of Dishonored follow up teased
6. Updates about ESO and Quake
7. We are teased with the other game that Bethesda game studios has been working on

Total shot in the dark prediction – a new Fallout or Elder Scrolls spinoff announced, something similar to New Vegas


Square Enix:
1. Just Cause 4 announced with trailer and release window
2. New Shadow Of The Tomb Raider gameplay trailer
3. Hitman Season 2 announced with trailer and release window
4. Final Fantasy 7 gameplay trailer shown and announced for multiple consoles with release date given
5. Kingdom Hearts 3 shown with new trailer and release date
6. New IP announced from People Can Fly
7. Trailer shown for Avengers game

Total shot in the dark prediction – New Deus Ex game announced


Ubisoft:
1. New Assassin’s Creed revealed, hopefully with a 2019 release date
2. The Division 2 announced with cinematic and gameplay trailers
3. Skull and Bones trailer shown and release date given
4. New Splinter Cell announced with Michael Ironside returning
5. Sequel to Rainbow 6: Siege announced
6. New trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2
7. Maybe Watch Dogs 3 announced?

Total shot in the dark prediction – A new Prince of Persia, Driver, Brothers In Arms or Call of Juarez game announced. I doubt we’ll see any of them, but I would be buzzing if any of the above were even teased.


Sony:
1. Gameplay trailer given for Death Stranding
2. The Last Of Us 2 gameplay shown
3. New Spiderman gameplay trailer
4. New Ghost of Tsuhima, Dreams and Days gone trailers
5. Rocksteady announce new Superman game and show trailer
6. Shadows Die Twice revealed to be Tenchu game and new trailer is shown
7. Devil May Cry 5 officially announced and trailer shown

Total shot in the dark prediction – Bluepoint announce MGS trilogy remastered


Nintendo:
1. New Pokemon game for the Switch
2. New Smash gameplay trailer
3. New trailer shown for Bayonetta 3
4. New trailer shown for Fire Emblem
5. New trailer shown for Yoshi
6. New trailer shown for Metroid
7. New Mario Maker game announced

Total shot in the dark prediction – Fallout 4 announced for Switch


Comment below and let me know if you agree with my predictions or if you think I am talking a load of nonsense. One of the reasons I love e3 so much is because of the discussion and speculation around it, so let’s get a discussion going.

Also check back here on Wednesday the 13th of June once e3 has finished where I’ll go through my predictions in a comment below to see how many (if any) I actually got right.


Cheers,
- Dan
     
Show all 6 comments.
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Daniel Boyd (1064 KP) Jun 12, 2018 (Updated Jun 12, 2018)

Ubisoft's conference was next up and it was pretty disappointing in my opinion. Let's see how well I did with my predictions for the show:

1. New Assassin’s Creed revealed, hopefully with a 2019 release date. - Assassin's Creed Odyssey was announced just prior tp the conference, (following a leak beforehand,) but unfortunately it got a 2018 release date. This means that the franchise is reverting back to yearly releases, which will undoubtedly lead to a decline in quality for the series. 0.5 point.

2. The Division 2 announced with cinematic and gameplay trailers. - The Division 2 was announced and we got both cinematic and gameplay trailers for the game. 1 point.

3. Skull and Bones trailer shown and release date given. - We saw a trailer for Skull and Bones and were told that we'd see the game release in 2019. 1 point.

4. New Splinter Cell announced with Michael Ironside returning. - The rumours turned out to be false and we saw no mention of a new Splinter Cell game. 0 points.

5. Sequel to Rainbow 6: Siege announced. - A Siege developer did take to the stage to give some updates, but no new game was announced. 0.5 point.

6. New trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2. - We saw a new cinematic trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2. 1 point.

7. Maybe Watch Dogs 3 announced? - There was no new Watch Dogs announced at the conference. 0 points.


Sadly there was no mention of a new Prince of Persia, Driver, Brothers In Arms or Call of Juarez game as I suggested in my fantasy prediction.


4/7 points for Ubisoft's conference, I did slightly better here than I did for Square's presentation.

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Daniel Boyd (1064 KP) Jun 12, 2018 (Updated Jun 12, 2018)

Sony's was the penultimate keynote of the expo and they showed exactly what everyone expected them to and nothing more. As a Playstation-centric gamer, this should have been my favourite conference, but honestly I feel like Microsoft had me excited more often this year. Below is a list of my predictions and whether I got them right or wrong.

1. Gameplay trailer given for Death Stranding. - Yes, we finally saw gameplay for Kojima's intriguing new story. 1 point.

2. The Last Of Us 2 gameplay shown. - We also saw gameplay for TLoU2. 1 point.

3. New Spiderman gameplay trailer. - We saw more of Spidey's new game and more gameplay during the conference too. 1 point.

4. New Ghost of Tsuhima, Dreams and Days gone trailers. - While we did get an extensive look at Ghost of Tsuhima and Dreams was featured in a couple of sizzle reels, I don't recall seeing anything for Days Gone during the showcase. 0.5 point.

5. Rocksteady announce new Superman game and show trailer. - We saw absolutely nothing from Rocksteady at any of the E3 press conferences. 0 points.

6. Shadows Die Twice revealed to be Tenchu game and new trailer is shown. - A trailer was shown for this game and while I was right that it wasn't Bloodborne 2, it sadly isn't a new Tenchu game either. 0.5 points.

7. Devil May Cry 5 officially announced and trailer shown. We did get DMC5 announced with a trailer, but it was at Microsft's conference rather than Sony's. 0.5 point.

And unfortunately it doesn't look like Bluepoint well be announcing a remastered MGS trilogy any time soon as per my bonus prediction.


4.5/7 points for the Sony conference. Quite happy with that result, but I really wish that the conference was better.

Blended (2014)
Blended (2014)
2014 | Comedy
6
6.4 (8 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Sandler and Barrymore still have wonderful chemistry. (1 more)
Blended makes a big recovery by showing a lot of heart.
The first half-hour of the film is almost unbearably bad. (2 more)
The African setting is a lot of fun, but also feels somewhat racist.
It has some pretty good laughs but it may be too cheesy for some.
Blended requires some patience to get through its torturous start but it makes a respectable comeback as Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore prove that they’re still a delightful comedic duo.
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore once again reunite for the romantic comedy Blended. Previously the pair starred together in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, and while the two of them have sincerely compelling chemistry, Blended is unfortunately their worst pairing to-date. The premise of the film revolves around the idea of two single parents falling in love and blending each of their families together as one, à la The Brady Bunch. It’s interesting then that the film itself seems to parallel a predictable process of blending as a family. At first, it’s an unwelcome and uncomfortable experience, but as time goes by it becomes more agreeable, and eventually it becomes acceptable and even enjoyable. The same can be said of Blended, which suffers from a dreadful beginning, but gradually gets better, and by the end becomes a pretty good family-friendly film overall.

Blended face-plants in spectacular fashion right out of the gate as we first meet Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) on a disastrous blind date at Hooters that’s incredibly uncomfortable to watch. Sandler’s character Jim initially comes off appearing remarkably repulsive and immature, while Barrymore’s Lauren is uptight and unlikeable. Things become even more unbearable when the two of them run into each other soon later at a grocery store, in a lifeless scene that is outrageously awkward. There’s also a glaring absence of music throughout the beginning of the movie, which only seems to emphasize the bad dialogue and unpleasant situations. The first half hour of the film is dull, dry, and devoid of any laughs. However, if you can endure Blended’s horrendous beginning, you’ll find that it makes up for its missteps by being a fun movie with a lot of heart.

The film finally finds its footing when Jim and Lauren unintentionally find themselves sharing a vacation in Africa. Since both of them struggle to understand and connect with their children, they each jump on an opportunity to reward their families with a trip to Africa, while being entirely unaware that the other is doing the same thing. As a result, Jim and Lauren and their respective children are all forced together, as their trip entails sharing a hotel room at the extravagant Sun City Resort in South Africa, which is hosting a special weekend event for blended families. While this involuntary blending is initially met with great opposition, the two families gradually learn to put aside their differences and begin to care for each other. Furthermore, it turns out that while Lauren and Jim are each somewhat oblivious with raising their own kids, they’re perfectly suited to teach each other’s kids. As a dainty, goody-two-shoes mom, Lauren has difficulty controlling her two wild young boys, but she knows how to care for Jim’s daughters with a much-needed womanly touch. Equally convenient is how sports-obsessed Jim is able to instill discipline and respect in Lauren’s reckless children. Sure, it’s a bit cheesy and predictable, but it works, and does so without feeling completely contrived.

The African setting in Blended is exciting and beautifully represented, although its depiction does seem mildly racist. It just feels a little wrong to have an African resort where rich white people can go on vacation and be catered to by Africans that are portrayed as being relatively primitive. Even Sun City Resort feels less like a resort and more like an amusement park, albeit one that I’d love to visit. It serves as an appealing setting and looks like a whole lot of fun. Perhaps it’s unsurprising then that Adam Sandler recently confessed that he chooses his movies based on where he wants to go on vacation. It may be something of a devious strategy, but he’s managed to make himself a very successful career in doing it. He’s a guy who knows how to have fun, and I think that’s where Blended really shines. Even though it gets started off on the wrong foot, it’s a film that ends up offering a fair amount of laughs, while being a fun movie-going experience.

The performances in Blended are a bit typical, but they’re certainly not bad. Adam Sandler plays his usual good-intentioned-but-misunderstood man-child self. Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore adds a lot of fun to her role as the sweet, geeky mom who’s trying hard to be cool. Terry Crews represents the head of the singing entertainment at the resort who repeatedly appears to interrupt in song. He brings in a good dose of humor and had me really cracking up in one scene. Kevin Nealon seems to be channeling his character from Happy Gilmore in this movie, and is part of another blended couple vacationing in Africa. His blonde trophy girlfriend played by Jessica Lowe is a real stand-out. She does a remarkable job creating laughs as a stereotypical bimbo. Her hot and heavy relationship with Nealon is truly comical, even if slightly sickening. As for the children, their performances are mostly adequate, with Jim’s daughters being the best of the bunch. Disney star Bella Thorne is wonderful as Hilary, who like all of Jim’s children, has unconsciously been raised like a boy, even to the extent of being nicknamed Larry. Additionally, the young Emma Fuhrmann, who plays Jim’s middle daughter, can be surprisingly effective at evoking genuine heart-felt emotion into her scenes. Of course, this wouldn’t be an Adam Sandler without some cameos from his buddies, although the ones in Blended fail to be very funny at all.

All in all, Blended requires some patience to get through its torturous start, and it gets pretty heavy on the cheesiness later in the film, but it makes a respectable comeback overall. It even manages to touch on aspects of the awful beginning and effectively incorporate them into the grand scheme of things later on. In the end, everything ends up blending together nicely to create a pretty decent comedy, while Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore prove that they’re still a delightful comedic duo.

(This review was originally posted at 5mmg.com on 6.16.14.)
  
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Versusyours (743 KP) rated The Karate Kid, Part III (1989) in Movies

Nov 7, 2019 (Updated Nov 7, 2019)  
The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)
The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)
1989 | Action, Drama, Family
War on bonsai and sporting decency
Contains spoilers, click to show
I remember this film from a trip to the cinema on its release in 1989 and I recall fly kicking my way out of the cinema and into the mean Scottish streets. I am now at an age where fly kicking would be an effort in itself I decided to review it from my older and more critical eye.

 

It begins with a return to Part 1 to re-establish the bad blood Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and his aging sidekick Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita) have with John “I saw things in Vietnam” Kreese. This part I couldn’t let slide with me this viewing as the attempted punches by Kreese to contact Mr. Miyagi were as expected as Xmas day falling on the 25th of December each year. One failed attempt was followed by the same type of punch and the same outcome of bloody and smashed knuckles and an insurance claim for the car owners. After this we return to the present and a skulking and hobo like Kreese seeks the refuge of his ponytailed, rich and so 80s stereotyped “you know he is evil due to his involvement in toxic waste” comrade from the past Terry Silver.

 

Possibly due to giving him his shampoo and conditioner in Vietnam to maintain his ponytail or his heroics in battle, this remains unknown at this time.

 

What about Daniel and Miyagi you may ask well they are in for an unwelcome surprise when the housing complex they live in has been earmarked for redevelopment. To make matters worse unbeknown to Daniel his Uncle is ill and his mum must have been too busy with this to let Daniel know he is homeless as well as heartbroken after his holiday romance turned sour. Great use of a sentence to end a previous films love interest and subsequent relationship, one of films greatest tricks. At least he has a wad of money for college in his pocket to repair his broken heart. Spoiler alert neither the wad of money and the broken heart are the same for long.

 

So as it stands not much karate from Daniel but the use of Mr. Miyagi’s subtle use of Daniel as a glorified maid still exists as they branch out in the cutting world of Bonsai. Remember that college money well now its rent and utilities money after luckily realising there are no more Bonsai shops in the street and even luckier there is a pottery shop with a young lady for Daniel to obsess over and fight for her honour as he shows a propensity for in the previous films. The fact that she has a boyfriend only spurs Daniel on like the initial film in the series and makes her more desirable in his lusting eyes.

 

Enter the 80s Dragon it a supped up Zach Morris Karate Bad Boy, Mike Barnes who is wearing black to dictate his evil intentions. This guy could spell trouble for Daniel as he has links to Silver and thus the plot to ruin Daniels life and happiness for winning a local karate competition the year before takes seed. As someone who has played sports the format of the All Valley Karate Championship, which has been inexplicably changes to allow the defending Champion to only fight in the final where his battle wary and exhausted opponent will be easy prey for a crane kicking Daniel, makes no sense. Maybe Daniel is sick of being typecast as The Karate Kid but this area of the story annoyed me more than a grown man should as initially Daniel can’t even be bothered to sign up for this one fight but after some lying and coercion and some innocent Bonsai paying the price for The Karateless Kid.

 

More pressure from Barnes and his goons and more Bonsai casualties before Daniel and Mr. Miyagi are split between the tournament and after Daniel decided he will fight that 10 minutes if his life for another sweet trophy. With his training regime disguised as housework and child labour now running low, Miyagi wont train Daniel and thus pushing him into Silvers ponytailed clutches. The once meek and defensive Daniel learns that attack is more effective than Miyagi’s training and with another wooden victim (a repeating plot line in this film) being pummelled and the wax punched off it, Daniel is ready to be the badass he always threatened to be. A night out ends in a broken nose of a Silver bribed punk, Daniel questions who he has become and changes his mind about the tournament once more, only for Silver to admit his true intentions to ruin Daniel as a human being and to avenge John Kreese who is not dead as first explained but high on revenge and the smoking of broken kids karate trophies. They give the new and improved Daniel a beating until appearance of Mr. Miyagi, who may or may not be stalking Daniel, who uses his small but deadly side step and legs to defeat the 3 grown men with ease. There is nothing like a good beating to mend a relationship and together the Bonsai Brothers are back and for the umpteenth time Daniel IS going to defend his title and we all hoped that Barnes would make it through the many rounds to get to the final. Hollywood prevails and after relaxing and watching his potential opponents tiring and having their face smashed in, Daniel like and later day Elvis gets on the stage for a quick round of his greatest hits. In Karate Kid tradition Daniel is good and Cobra Kai are bad, he has honour they are sneaky, they will cheat Daniel wont. Daniel wins as usual and takes his hollow victory and Cobra Kai is no more or until the invention of YouTube at least.

Overall this film fondly remembered until I watched it again. The lack of new ideas left me disappointed and broken like the cliff Bonsai and like that tree I will heal and grow but I will be left with the scars of the better and simple life I used to live. The inclusion of Glen Medeiros on the soundtrack was almost enough to save it and keep it respectable but alas it was not to be, this film is the 80s ponytail of memories; best left cut off.
  
Dracula
Dracula
Bram Stoker, Ang Lee | 2016 | Fiction & Poetry
9
8.1 (47 Ratings)
Book Rating
Dracula was written by author Bram Stoker during the late 1890's and is set around the character of Dracula and his attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he can spread the curse of the undead (I.e. the creation of more vampires). English solicitor Jonathan Harker who'd originally gone to Transylvania to be legal aide for Dracula stops him with the help of Van Helsing and others which ends the life of one of them – Quincey-, the book ends with a note from Jonathan Harker that several people lived happily married and Jonathan has a son nicknamed for Quincey.

Dracula was published in London in May 1897 by Archibald Constable & Company and was later copyrighted in the U.S in 1899 and published by Doubleday & McClure of New York. Despite having decent praise form reviewers it wasn't an immediate bestseller. Although the English newspaper the Daily Mail ranked Stoker's writing prowess in Dracula above that of Mary Shelly, Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Bronte's Wuthering heights. Unfortunately it didn't make Stoker that much money and he'd had to petition for a compassionate grant from the royal literary fund. When he died his widow was forced to sell his notes and outlines of the book at an auction in 1913. It was the unauthorised adaption of Nosferatu by F. W. Murnau in 1922 and the resulting legal battle made when Stokers widow took affront that the novels popularity began to grow.

Before writing Dracula Bram Stoker had been researching European folklore and stories of vampires having been most influenced by Emily Gerard's “Transylvania Superstitions” 1885 essay...which included content about the vampire myth. Some historians insist that Vlad iii Dracula (More commonly known as Vlad the impaler) was the model for Stokers count but there's been no supporting evidence to make that true. According to one expert Stoker only borrowed the barest minimum of information of the Wallachian tyrant and he's not even mentioned in Stokers notes. Stoker was a member of the London library during the 1890's where books by Sabine Baring-Gould, Thomas Browne, AF Crosse and Charles Boner are attributed to Stokers research. Stoker would later claim he'd had a nightmare caused by over-eating crab meat about a “Vampire king” rising from his grave. Whitby on the Yorkshire coast contributed its landscape since Bram Stoker often holidayed there during the summer.

Dracula wasn't Stokers first choice as title for the story since he cycled through The Dead Un-Dead then simply the Un-Dead the count wasn't even supposed to be Count Dracula having had the name Count Wampyr for several drafts before Stoker became intrigued by the name Dracula. After reading “An account of the principles of Wallachia and Moldavia with political observations relative to them” written by author William Wilkinson (Published in 1820). the descendants of Vlad ii of Wallachia took the name Dracula or Dracul after being invested in the Order of the Dragon in 1431. In the old Romanian language the word Dracul mean “the Dragon” and Dracula meant “Son of the Dragon”. Nowadays however Dracul means “the Devil”

Whilst Dracula is known as THE Vampire novel its not the first. Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe had his book the Bride of Corinth published in 1797, 1871's Carmilla (a story about a lesbian vampire) was written by Sheridan Le Frau and James Malcolm Rymer's penny dreadful series Venny the Vampire was a product from the mid Victorian period. Even John Polidori created an image of a vampyric aristocrat in his 1819 story The Vampyre when he spent a summer with Merry Shelly (creator of Frankenstein) and her poet husband Percy Bysshe Shelly and Lord Bryon in 1816.

I really love Dracula. It showed the madness, the ethereal quality and the ultimate danger of what a vampire could do. Like many other goth inclined teenagers trying to find their feet in the world Dracula definitely added its two cents to my self worth and love of all things macabre. The fact it was written by a Victorian writer has added a unusual depth to the story as only a Victorian writer could. The culture of the Vampire has become deep rooted and wide spread in its acceptance and Dracula has definitely spearheaded such a phenomenon.

Abraham “Bram” Stoker was Born in Dublin, Ireland on the 8th of November 1847, He was the third of seven children born to Abraham and Charlotte Stoker and was bedridden with an unknown illness until he recovered at seven. He started schooling at a private school run by the Reverend William Woods and grew up without serious illness. Stoker excelled at sports at Trinity College Dublin having graduated in 1870 with a BA (Bachelor of Arts). He was an Auditor of the College Historical Society and the president of the University Philosophical Society where his first paper was on Sensationalism in fiction and society.

Thanks to his friend Dr. Maunsell, Stoker became interested in the theatre as a student and whilst working for the Irish civil service he became a theatre critic for the Dublin evening mail where he attracted notice for the quality of his reviews. Stoker gave a favourable review of Henry Irving's adaption of Hamlet in December 1876, this prompted Irving to invite him to dinner where they ended up becoming friends. Stoker wrote The Crystal Cup which was published by the London society in 1872 and The chain of Destiny which was released in four parts in the Shamrock. Stoker also wrote the non-fiction book the duties of clerks of petty sessions in Ireland which was published in 1879.

Bram stoker married Florence Balcombe the daughter of a lieutenent-colonel in 1978 and they moved to London. Where Stoker ended up the Business manager of the Lyceum theatre as well as manager for Henry Irving- a position he held for 27 years. Despite being a very busy man Stoker ended up writing several novels (as well as Dracula) Including The Snakes pass in 1890, the lady of the shroud in 1909 and the lair of the white worm in 1911. when Henry Irving died in 1906 he published his personal reminiscences of Henry Irving. Stoker also managed productions at the Prince of Wales theatre.

Bram stoker died after a series of strokes in London on April 20th 1912, the cause of death is split between the possibility of Tertiary Syphilis or overwork. He was cremated and was placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium in North London, he was later joined by the ashes of his Son Irving Noel Stoker in 1961, his wife Florence was meant to join them but her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of rest.

Stoker was honoured with a Google Doogle (the banner on goggles homepage) on November 8th 2012 commemorating the 165th anniversary of his birth. An annual festival in honour of Bram Stoker happens in Dublin, its supported by the Bram stoker estate and was/is usually funded by Dublin City Council and Failte Ireland.

My opinion of Bran stoker is that of a decent hard working man who loved life. Stoker epitomises the phrases of “a man on a mission” and “a man who hussles”. Having worked extremely hard both creatively as a novelist and business wise as a theatre manager Stoker pretty much showed that if you work hard you could pretty much do anything you set your mind to.

And there you have it a book for all the ages, definitely under the banner of AWESOME!!!.