Back in May 2012, I spent a week as the Zoo workie… Despite having to be in every single photo for PR, I did actually do a lot of work and had a fantastic time. I’m returning to Zoo in September and really looking forward to it. For anyone that is thinking of getting into the world of men’s magazines, I would seriously recommend getting in touch with them for some work experience. What a nice bunch of people!
Here are some visual highlights of my time there…
Playing Ukulele with some girls promoting The Descendants
With the members of super nice girl band Vanquish
With the pretty girl promoting KX Energy… I got some energy
In celebration of the fact that it is only 14 days until The Dark Knight Rises hits our cinema screens in the UK and the rather more serious issue that I am in my mid-twenties and still cannot grow a solid beard, I’ve thrown together the timeline of Tom Hardy’s rather ugly (but undoubtedly impressive) facial fox. Hardy is a man on the rise, with a series of intense and impressive performances in the last few years, things look to be on the up. But do yourself a favour Tom, lose the whiskers and go with the ‘designer stubble’. It screams metrosexual but we all know you’re a man’s man and not part of this TOWIE crap!
Anyway, here it is… The Evolution of Tom Hardy’s Beard…
There’s been some clear trimming, so it’s reassuring to know that Tom looks after the fuzz, but at the moment, he looks like a bum. And we know from his recent success he’s got some spare cash lying around. I suppose it’s entirely possible he is planning his next part as a homeless lay-about. Go back to the old days Tom, ya know, when you weren’t discovering morsels of last night’s dinner on your face the morning after.
Shaken, not stirred. Underwhelming, not impressive.
I was warned about this game, and that it fails to live up to how good you want it to be, based on the original N64 classic.
Unfortunately, the reports were spot on. The game offers nothing new or impressive. Its a bog standard ‘run, get shot, hide until screen gets less red’ shooter.
The story line is bland, voice acting even more so. Graphics are average, and after the first 3 levels, I really had lost all motivation to carry on playing the game. And I review the game like I felt when I played it. Sub par, and if anything, longer than it needed to be.
It has been a while since an ‘all-out’ action movie has impressed. So many Hollywood actioners tend to promise so much excitement but deliver little in audience thrills. Instead, we are bombarded with CGI explosions and stunts that are over-played in trailers and featurettes before anyone has set foot in a cinema to actually watch the movie. The closest thing we get to a ‘thrill’ is to experience everything louder and in 3D (most commonly hacked on in post-production causing headache inducing motion blur). It is then, a fist punching breath of fresh air, all the way from Indonesia, to see The Raid, a low budget martial arts/action film from relatively inexperienced Welsh director Gareth Evans.
The story (of which there is little) focuses on a team of SWAT cops fighting their way to the top of a tower block controlled by a notoriously dangerous criminal overlord, whose army of machete and AK47 wielding lunatics prove a little too much to handle for the unit. The script is minimal and the plot is basic and thin, but these are two elements that are relatively unnecessary in The Raid. Evans provides the audience with just enough back story to understand Rama’s (Iko Uwais) motivations and what plot there is, unfolds mostly in the final third of the film.
So what is there to talk about? Well, The Raid can be broken down as follows; Guns, Machetes, Fist fights!
In the opening third, when bullets are cracking through flesh and bone, the excitement is delivered through the stunning sounds of the weapons. Each shot sounds like it comes from a tank, this really starts the adrenaline flowing and is best experienced in a cinema or positioning your head between two huge subwoofers (not advised!). Subsequently, Evans demonstrates his ability to build tension during beautifully dark scenes after all the ammunition is spent, this is where the movie really gets moving as Rama is chased through hallways by machete brandishing thugs with only his fists and feet to protect him. It is here that we are stunned by the speed and prowess of Silat, the brutal martial art of Southeast Asian territories.
The fight scenes are choreographed exceptionally well, with Evans opting to shoot longer takes with a handheld camera, rather than editing multiple takes together. This method makes for chaotic sequences that often contain brutal fatalities, again, amplified by the sound of bones shattering blasted throughout the cinema sound system. The wincing and flinching noises coming from your fellow movie-goers also adds to the atmosphere and appears to build a sense of camaraderie, particularly as a round of applause was generated following the end of a lengthy fight scene at this particular screening.
The Raid is a one trick pony, but Gareth Evans has succeeded in creating awesome Friday night viewing, allowing us to be wowed by the experience without having to give too much thought to story and character dimension. Probably the best action movie you will see all year, The Raid is a must watch, particularly for those who have been desperately waiting for that rush that actions movies used to provide.
Turn your speakers up! (Warning: Contains violence and men yelling… a lot)
In honour of the first trailer for Gangster Squad that hit the web this week, we’ve got a feature on those bad ass mother truckers that keep the cops in business! Gangsters!
We all know that mobs and gangs are dangerous and ruthless, but what about when gangsters had style, honour and loyalty, when they were smart and calculating, when protection was bought and instead of threatened? BTTF has assembled (Avengers pun! Boom!) the leaders to our classic and most lethal mobsters in cinema!
The Boss – Al Capone (The Untouchables)
Robert De Niro plays the notorious gang leader in Brian De Palma’s 1987 crime epic The Untouchables. Capone controls Chicago by supplying low quality alcohol at high prices during the prohibition era.
Al will lead our ragtag gang of criminals and buy off the police and politicians to keep the business running smoothly.
The Brains – Tom Reagan (Millar’s Crossing)
Gabriel Byrne’s Reagan plays two rival mob bosses against each other in a violent war in the Coen Brothers’ Millar’s Crossing. Tom ends the bloody gang war himself through his own intellect and a few strokes of genius.
Tom Reagan will be Capone’s right-hand-man, he’ll keep the boys in check and make sure big Al doesn’t take any wrong turns that could see them all thrown in the slammer.
The Brawn – Michael Sullivan Snr. (Road to Perdition)
Tom Hanks expertly plays the main role in Sam Mendes modern crime classic Road to Perdition. Sullivan Snr is an enforcer for the Rock Island Irish mob in the 1930’s, after his son witnesses the murder of a gang associate by Connor Rooney, Sullivan flees to Chicago with his son, seeking work from Capone in order to discover the whereabouts of Connor and to avenge the murder of his wife and other son.
Sullivan Snr. is loyal, cold and violent. He’ll form a strong bond with his leader and get his hands dirty in order to protect his adopted mob family.
The Money – John Dillinger (Public Enemies)
Michael Mann’s biopic of 1930’s Robin Hood, John Dillinger sees Johnny Depp take the charismatic leading role. Dillinger boasted he could rob a bank in 1min 40sec flat, but only ever stole the banks money in an era when the public had lost faith in the systems that ensured economic growth.
With Dillinger’s specific set of skills, the mob will never be short of funds, even if some Eliot Ness or Melvin Purvis ceases a costly supply of prohibited alcohol.
The Rookie – Mickey Cohen (Gangster Squad)
Gangster Squad sees Sean Penn take up the mantle of Mickey Cohen, the entrepreneurial gambler who arrived late in the prohibition era and took to Los Angeles to build his empire.
Cohen is reckless and violent but dangerously smart, surviving countless attempts on his life and harbouring an arsenal of weapons, enough to support our mob for a lengthy war.
See the stylish and and exciting debut trailer for Gangster Squad below…
This one is pretty clear, as Mila’s first role of any importance in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, left us with our jaws on the floor and our tongue’s unravelling like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Or some other cartoon feature where that happens. She has also graced the top 100 women lists of GQ, FHM, Maxim and Askmen.com.
2. She’s funny!
Mila isn’t afraid to laugh at herself, forging a career in comedies That 70’s Show and as the voice of the ever-irritating Meg Griffin in Family Guy. She also co-starred with James Franco in a parody of The Hills for funnyordie.com, a monumental achievement for the site generating over 1 million hits.
3. She suffers illness like the rest of us!
In 2011, Mila revealed that she has struggled with an eye condition causing blindness in one eye. She has since had surgery to correct the problem and her eyes are now safe! Thank goodness!
4. She went on a date with a US Marine!
Sgt. Scott Moore of the US Marine Corp took to YouTube to formally ask Mila to accompany him to the US Marine Corps Ball in North Carolina. Unbelievably, she actually said yes! If only we had thought of this first!
5. She played a cheerleader
Alongside Kirsten Dunst, Mila plays a cheerleader in teen rom-com Get Over It, which also holds one of the worst tag lines ever ‘Get Dumped. Get Pumped. Get Even’.
6. She has made mistakes
Not only did she date world renown spoilt brat Macauley Culkin, she also starred in several flops including American Psycho 2, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and Moving McAllister, all of which were panned by critics and audiences alike. However, we have forgiven her and all that is in the past! Phew!
7. She’s a bit of a geek
In 2008, Wired.com voted her one of the most attractive geeks due to her much publicised affinity to World of Warcraft, although she says it is harder to spend time on it now. Mila describes herself as a computer nerd despite not having a Facebook or Twitter account.
You’ll be able to see Mila Kunis alongside Marky Mark in Seth Macfarlane’s Ted, released in cinema’s 13th July 2012. Here’s the naughty version of the trailer!
Back To The Feature would like to welcome a new writer/sister-blog to the site!
Jay Miller is a regular reviewer of the latest games that are released across all platforms and will be contributing and linking to BTTF from now on!
When Jay isn’t reviewing games and sabotaging other players on co-op mode, he is getting the youth of this country fitter and healthier!
So here is Jay’s first post for BTTF!
I feel… taller. And mutated. And I have a sword for hands.
You gain the ability to morph your hands into multiple items.
Prototype 2 follows on from the mould of the first. A virus is let loose in New York (where else), which turns its victims into flesh eating monsters. Your new character (James) is infected by the primary character from Prototype 1 (Alex Mercer), who gives you his gift. Instead of becoming brain dead, the special strand of virus you obtain mutates your DNA, giving you super human speed, strength and abilities, as well as the vital ability to consume others and assume their form – your primary tool in being stealthful. The game mixes both stealth play and all out attacking well.
A couple of things before I continue -
New York. Again. Virtually every film and game based around zombies, mutants.. it’s based in New York. I wish that there was slightly more variety in locations. Apart from the name and cliche that the game is set in New York, I can’t imagine it is geographically accurate. I have never been, but I can’t imagine Private Military bases every few blocks. Base the game in Manchester or Liverpool (fairly complex DNA in the people there anyway). Get the Greyhound and set the game in Boston, Chicago.. Just something slightly different would be appreciated.
An additional side effect of the virus is apparently the replacing of all socially acceptable adjectives in the brain to extensive swear words. Prototype 2 is very, very sweary. A !&@# load of !&@#s come !&@#ing streaming out of almost every mother !&@#ers mouth and every !&@#ing opportunity. Not to be played around children.
Your character can use the environment to eliminate the zombie threat. And the army, who are of course trying to kill you as well.
The game itself is ridiculously fun. Sandbox games are often limited in enjoyment duration – either it takes far too long to do anything “cool” you lose interest, or it gives you far too many abilities to master with the learning curve of running into a brick wall. Prototype 2 has managed to control these aspects perfectly. The game itself is fun from the beginning, spoon feeding you new skills at a speed which allows you to master each one. Graphically, the game is nothing special, there is nothing ground breaking in terms of music, or voice acting. But the game is undeniably fun. It manages to do what few games do and completely immerses you in a different reality and lets you have fun with it.
Eventually you’ll be able to hijack tanks, helicopters, weapons.. Whilst the story follows a pretty standard zombie/infection path, the gameplay keeps you hooked, and like a good sandbox game should, you often find yourself roaming around the map doing odd bits and bobs rather than missions.
I have really enjoyed playing Prototype 2. Its pretty £%#!ing good.
So it’s 1st May and Avengers Assemble hit the spot taking £15.78m in the UK alone, with the US release coming in just a few days.
So what’s left? Well the juggernaut of summer blockbuster footage has not slowed down, instead we’ve been gifted with brand new trailers for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises within the last 3 days!
And let’s not forget underdogs The Raid and rebooted reboot The Amazing Spiderman!
So anyway, here are all sparkly, shiny, pretty trailers in one place for your ears, eyes and … err… nose.
The Dark Knight Rises
The Amazing Spiderman
And yes, I fully recognise that this is a cop-out for actually writing and promise I will actually write something soon!