I‘ve always been a fan of anything and everything creative, and will always have so much respect for anyone embarking on any such adventures. But… I’ll have to admit: I’ve always reserved a special little pocket of admiration (and jealousy) for those who can draw. Because, just like Wil Wagner, I cannot. So when I got the opportunity to interview local animator, filmmaker and all-round nice guy Tim Cantt, I was slightly relentless in my approach. But one wonderful Wednesday at the Grand Hotel, I sat with Tim to talk his award winning animation ‘Good Dog’.Read More
We have a habit of spitting out our fair share of global musical, theatrical and general creative talent but who knew our city was a star in her own right? Some of us probably did and that's surely the reason Newcastle has provided the backdrop for the new Australian made film Dark Waters.Read More
MOVIE × LucyThere is an annoying trait in some films that when the ending is so heinously bad it ruins everything you thought was once good about the whole film. This is mostly true for Lucy, except the rest of film was not all that great, which makes the terrible ending seem so much worse. I really wish I had better things to say. But does Lucy really deserve it? Well, yes for ScarJo, but no for everything else. Review by Ben Turner MOVIE × Deliver Us From Evil Deliver Us From Evil doesn’t know quite what it wants to be – it’s not the horror it was marketed as, rather it’s more of a crime/thriller with a healthy dose of exorcism. And a family drama. And there’s a bit of action… Even though it’s a little disjointed, Deliver Us From Evil is still a good time for those who enjoy a bit of a scare, and is far from schlocky. Forgettable, but an entertaining bit of fun for those who enjoy films of a similar nature. Review by Elizabeth Muir
MOVIE × Hercules Yes, it’s bloated. Yes, sometimes all you can see is dollar signs in the studios eyes. Yes, The Rock’s biceps are so huge they should have their own moon orbiting them. Despite all of its stereotypes and ‘Hollywood-ness’, Hercules does actually have some redeeming qualities – and was better than the mainstream mess this reviewer was anticipating. You don’t get to the end of Hercules and feel like the time dragged, which is always a good sign that entertainment was lurking in there somewhere, but it’s certainly not intellectually stimulating content. Could have been worse, could have been better. Review by Elizabeth Muir Game × The Last Of Us Remastered [PS4] Naughty Dog have delivered their first next gen game with a remastered version of the highly praised, highly sold and highly played The Last Of Us, which came out towards the end of the PS3 life cycle. I guess what you want to know is the game the same as the PS3 version? Yes. Does it come with all of the DLC, maps etc? Yes. Review by Alaisdair Dewar
Game × Gravity Rush [PS Vita] Is it too early to call it retro? Well, maybe… but never the less this stunning PS vita launch title shows the power and simplicity of the Vita all in one. A fully-fledged adventure title on a handheld device, in a comic-esque art style with an interesting central character and pinpoint controls. The game launched alongside the Vita back in 2012 and has many early adopters excited yet skeptical, the latter quickly flushed away as reviews and impressions started to flow in. Review by Jamie Heeley tv × The Strain [FX/Foxtel] FX premiered its much-hyped TV horror series The Strain, following on from the mammoth success of American Horror Story from Ryan Murphy, the studio has invested with the master of horror Guillermo Del Toro to adapt the books he wrote to a cable television series The Strain. A mixture of drama and horror, this show is full of scares, gore and good old-fashioned Del Toro humour resulting in one of the best pilots I have seen this summer. For the full reviews and all your pop culture info head over to http://www.novastream.com.au
MOVIE × DIVERGENT Based on the young adult smash hit book series by Veronica Roth, director Neil Burger sets out to try and replicate the success of a dystopian future corrupt by the government with a lone teenage girl as the only hope to save the world. Within the first few minutes of the movie it is blatantly clear that this is a Hunger Games copy and whilst the books have broken away from that title and gained success in their own right, the movie was unsuccessful in doing so and felt repetitive and cliché. Review by Ellie Stuart
MOVIE × THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN : THE RISE OF ELECTRO The Amazing Spiderman 2 (The Rise Of Electro) packs 3 super villains from the Spidey universe on screen and combines some of the best special effects I have seen in a long time, combined with a funny and heart-warming script and top notch performances from all involved. Review by Alaisdair Dewar
MOVIE × CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth entry and penultimate chapter to Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the ensemble crossover and superhero reunion party The Avengers: Age of Ultron this time next year. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo delivered an exceptional update to Captain America with genuine twists and far-reaching implications for the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe inside a tense political thriller. Review by Mark Halyday
MOVIE × MR PEABODY & SHERMAN Remember the Rocky & Bullwinkle show? Then you will recognise this loveable duo who have been updated for todays audiences and given their very own feature film. I will be honest and say when I heard about this and saw the trailer, I wrote it off as a forgettable kids flick, and then after seeing it I can say that I was completely wrong. P&S is a heartwarming and entertaining flick that is worthy of the DreamWorks stamp of approval. Read the full reviews online at http://www.novastreamovies.com.au
GAME × BATMAN ARKHAM ORIGINS : BLACKGATE [PS3, XBOX 360] This is one of the most difficult reviews I have had to write. Whilst the Arkham Games do the batman franchise a great deal of justice I don’t think the same can be said for Blackgate, not on console anyway. As I never played the 3Ds or vita versions of the game I can’t comment on how well it crosses over, but in terms of a console game it just doesn’t have the hooks, which as a long time lover of the series, leaves me disappointed. What Blackgate does do well is translate the combat system, it feels exactly like that of a traditional Arkham Game button for button and swing for swing. Our caped crusader certainly handles with every inch of precision that he does in the series other entries and you get that memorable sense of connecting with hard hitting punches and kicks.
GAME × LEGO THE HOBBIT [PS4] The Lego Hobbit follows the story of the first two Hobbit Films : An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation Of Smaug. It pretty much sticks strictly to the storyline of the movies and mixes up the action with button mashing action combined with puzzles, lego building challenges and two new elements: buddy up fighting moves and through the game item collection to build bigger pieces. It all combines well to keep the combat feeling fresh, after what seems like a large influx of Lego games over the last few years. Review by Alaisdair Dewar Read the full reviews online at http://www.novastreamgames.com.au
MOVIE × RIDE ALONGThe film follows the same over-used formula that writers continuously rehash and just re-brand with new Hollywood actors. There’s always the good cop and the bad cop. An indifference they must overcome for the partnership to work and a few funny situations they somehow get caught in. Review by Jessica Tisdell MOVIE × VERONICA MARS Veronica Mars, we all know the story, cancelled show on The CW, resurrected by its fans on Kickstarter, well the movie is finally here and while fans are running rampant high on Mars energy, the rest of us are being introduced to Veronica Mars. The film does its best to leave no-one out, so if you have never seen the show it doesn’t matter. The film has some amazing writing combined with some action and comedy with an impressive and passionate cast whose love for this world emanates through the screen. Review by Alaisdair Dewar Read the full reviews online at novastreamovies.com.au GAME × TITANFALL [XBOX ONE] Titanfall is a welcome addition to my XboxOne library. Playing the game itself is such a satisfyingly enjoyable turn that I totally forget the lack of campaign and I feel like I’m just playing a multiplayer shooter. Pilots, Titan suits, massively detailed words with tons of FPS online play? SIGN ME UP! Review by Chunt GAME × SOUTH PARK THE STICK OF TRUTH [PS3, XBOX 360, PC] Matt and Trey have been making the beloved TV show for 17 Seasons, 17 years and still they provide us with hilarious giggles every single episode and I am happy to confirm that whilst it must have been challenging they have managed to successfully keep that same trademark humour in place for the duration of the game. Any of you who have yet to experience this mind bogglingly funny game should go out and buy it now. Review by Jamie Heeley GAME × INFAMOUS SECOND SON [PS4] The first big exclusive for the new console delivers an immersive and rich single player semi-sequel to the Infamous series. Players will get lost in the rich and detailed version of Seattle with three sets of powers to absorb, citizens to save and a new villainess to destroy. Meet Deslin, artist, teenager, hipster douche who does his best to make you like him while discovering how super powers have changed the world This is a MUST HAVE for any PS4 owner! Review by Alaisdair Dewar Read the full reviews online at novastreamgames.com.au MUSIC × KISS ME ONCE / KYLIE MINOGUE Aussie’s pop princess is back with a new label and a new album! While you may have seen her very sexy new video “Sexercise” on social media, the rest of the album is a bit of a grower. The sound is still pop but very basic, it even feels like it is trying to be some of her older stuff but really watered down. There is no new ground broken here, no new sound or a pop revolution, which is disappointing. It is pleasant enough and warrants a listen, but this goes down as the most disappointing Kylie album in years. MUSIC × GIRL / PHARRELL WILLIAMS Ah ‘Happy’ the song I NEVER want to hear again (thanks radio!) but Williams cashes in with only his second solo album in a career that began in the 90’s with groups like N.E.R.D and guest appearances with Robin Thicke, Kelis etc. Williams delivers a pretty standard pop album, this easy listening collection is more a homage to his past than something to be marvelled at in the present. Fans will love, others will pass.
MOVIE × WOLF CREEK 2 Mick Taylor is back 9 years later to deliver a more brutal and blood-thirsty sequel, set in the outback with spectacular special effects, an outstanding cast and more blood and horror than any other film has delivered in a few years. Definitely check this one out! Review by Alaisdair Dewar MOVIE × AUSTENLAND There are two things every chick flick should have: A likable lead actress and funny lines to lighten the mood. Austenland has both. Fans of Jane Austen and those who love romantic comedies will enjoy this delightful treat. Austenland is filled with laughs, inspiring hope and of course, those regency-styled gowns. Review by Jessica Tisdell GAME × THE LEGO MOVIE / THE VIDEO GAME Apart from a horrible title, the game puts players right in the action following the events of the movie. For those of us in Australia who are yet to see the movie, there are a few things that are spoiled (only the main story). I have not enjoyed a Lego game this much since Lego City Undercover. The combination of next gen graphics, a well woven story, and the integration of the lego build system all combine to make this one of my favourite Lego games so far. Review by Alaisdair Dewar GAME × THE LAST OF US / LEFT BEHIND Left Behind tells two tales side by side; both the story of Ellie and Riley’s activities the day they were infected and what happened when Ellie was left to fend for herself after Joel’s injury at the University of Eastern Colorado. The former is the most interesting aspect of the two, allowing players to learn more about the girl they cared for not so long ago, whilst the latter is mostly reserved for enemy encounters. Review by Ray Standen GAME × TOMB RAIDER / THE DEFINITIVE EDITION Getting straight to the bones of it, this is the best game available on “Next Gen” consoles, and that’s saying something. I never played the 360 or PS3 versions as there was too much out for me at the time but I made sure I hit it this time. Now I know why everyone loves this game so much. It’s so raw and intense. This is a reboot of the best kind. Lara is having her innocence timely tested here like she would never have dreamed of. MUSIC × BEYONCE / BEYONCE Beyonce did that thing where she surprised everyone by releasing an album with no promo, and FINALLY you can buy it in CD format. There is a bonus DVD with videos to every song and a few behind the scenes clips. This is worth every cent! One of the best rnb/pop albums in a VERY long time.
MOVIE × JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUITJack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an action/espionage film starring studio favourite Chris Pine (Star Trek: Into Darkness) tasked with rebooting Paramount’s rights to the bestselling Tom Clancy novels after their previous films were met with reasonable financial success. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is very nearly average! Review by Mark Halyday MOVIE × FREE BIRDS This movie leaves me with a sense of complete and utter waste. Seriously. I had a hundred puns and jokes about how the film was a complete and utter turkey and, based on the critical reception of others (emphasis on critical), I was fully prepared to use them. Armed and ready for a movie for a movie I was prepared to hate, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself laughing out loud like a lunatic for the vast majority of the film. It wasn’t just the eggs that were cracking up. Review by Ross James GAME × BROKEN AGE Broken Age is the point-and-click adventure game developed by Double Fine on the back of their wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. The game has been in development for nearly two years, it ran into budget problems, and as a result Double Fine decided to split the game and deliver it as two acts. This is a very polished game that looks, sounds and probably tastes beautiful. The end product is kinda short, with puzzles that were a little too straight forward, but the story of this game had no trouble charming the pants off me. Review by Ryan Lawler GAME × HALO SPARTAN ASSAULT It is quite enjoyable for a short run through with some time to kill if you don’t feel like a few hours of gaming and just want your fix. There isn’t much to say about the gameplay besides that the difficulty can ramp up quite sharply and be unexpected, which can be a little jarring. The graphics are nice for what it is and the cutscenes are done in a storybook, cinematic way that compliments the game overall. Review by Chunt SINGLE × INTO THE BLUE / KYLIE MINOGUE Ah Kylie, one of our best and brightest is BACK! With a new label (Jay Z’s Roc Nation) with a dance infused pop track that will be sure to flood commercial radio. The song is catchy and should ensure another hit for our Kylie. Definitely a summer tune! Review by Alaisdair Dewar SINGLE × CAN’T REMEMBER TO FORGET YOU / SHAKIRA FT. RIHANNA This should have been renamed to “I Can’t Wait To Forget You”. Two pop-stars desperate for some light back in the lime have joined forces to help fans try and remember who the hell they are, unfortunately this boring and formulaic pop song is forgettable, which means it is destined to be a number 1 hit! Review by Alaisdair Dewar