videogames
 
 
 
 
 
Check out New cheap jersey from china on DHgate.com

Author Archive

Blu-ray Review: The Water Diviner

July 26, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
The Water Diviner
Are you not entertained!??!?

We all know Russell Crowe can act, portraying a wide range of characters and netting three straight Academy Award nominations for his work in The Insider, A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator, for which he took home the Oscar for Best Actor. Now in his 50s, Crowe is taking his talents behind the lens for his feature-length directorial debut in The Water Diviner — a film in which he also stars. Let’s see if Crowe can pull off double duty.

THE PLOT

Set in 1919, shortly after the conclusion of World War I, The Water Diviner follows Joshua Connor (Crowe), an Australian farmer and, yes, water diviner whose three sons went off to war and never returned — presumably killed during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915. Connor’s wife, Eliza, who can no longer bear the loss, commits suicide. After burying her, Joshua promises to travel to Turkey, locate his sons’ remains and bury them alongside their mother.

Upon arriving in Istanbul he’s led to a hotel run by Omer and Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), whose husband (Omer’s brother) hasn’t been seen since leaving for war and is believed dead by pretty much everyone except Ayshe and her son, Orhan. Ayshe is mistrusting of Joshua’s Australian roots, but he develops a strong relationship with Orhan, softening her prickly disposition in the process.

Although forbidden by British officials from traveling to Lone Pine to search for his sons, Joshua finds alternate passage and ends up being befriended by Major Hasan, a Turkish officer assisting in the locating of fallen soldiers, and his companion, Sergeant Jemal. Against all odds, Joshua uses his water divining skills to unearth two of his sons’ remains. The third, however, can’t be found, and when Hasan learns he may have been taken prisoner Joshua must track down his missing son.

THE GOOD

Given his work under heavyweights like Ridley Scott and Ron Howard, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that Crowe was up to the challenge of directing a feature film. Still, it was hardly a given, and Crowe shows an eye for cinematography and a deft touch in guiding a cast that features very few known commodities outside of Crowe himself — Kurylenko has had a couple of high-profile roles, opposite Tom Cruise in Oblivion and Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace, and Jai Courtney (who appeared in Terminator Genisys) has a modest role as well.

Crowe not only does good work behind the camera, but he strikes the right chords as the strong but weary Joshua. He’s no action hero here, working obsessively to find his sons amid an unsettled situation in post-war Turkey. That unknown cast also delivers no shortage of strong performances in supporting roles, perhaps none more so than Jacqueline McKenzie in her brief time as Joshua’s wife.

The Water Diviner is visually striking, splitting its time between wide open areas of Australia, the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and the sad stillness of Gallipoli. Flashback sequences are handled with a grim focus, steering clear of any grandiose battle sequences that wouldn’t fit in a film that’s core themes are about loss and determination.

THE BAD

While The Water Diviner is admittedly historical fiction, it really tends to paint things in a largely positive light for Turkey. When Joshua confronts Hasan about the death of his sons, the latter retorts that they (the Australians) were the ones that invaded. Later, Hasan’s contingent is ambushed by a group of Greek soldiers, which come across as the clear villains of the encounter.

The romance between Joshua and Ayshe is riddled with clichés as well. You’ve got the initial rejection (Ayshe doesn’t want an Australian staying at her hotel), the slow development of feelings as she sees the bond he forms with her son, the confrontation where terrible things are said and then the eventual reconciliation and payoff. They both play their parts well, and there’s some chemistry despite the age difference (15 years), but it’s a journey we’ve all seen before.

THE BONUS FEATURES

There are only two extras: a 20-plus-minute “making of” feature and one that provides more info on the Battle of Gallipoli. Both are well made, though the making of has a number of breaks that make it seem like it was put together with commercial in mind. Some of the most interesting stuff focuses on the physical demands Crowe put on his actors (and himself). They’re worth watching.

OVERALL

There aren’t a lot of World War I movies out there, even fewer that don’t focus on US involvement, and The Water Diviner does a nice job of providing an emotionally driven look at the aftermath while still mixing in enough action to keep the pacing up.

Share
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

Video Game Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 5

July 22, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Please note that since each episode of Game of Thrones features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final five episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Iron from Ice. If you’re a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones series you know to expect the unexpected when the second-to-last episode of a season comes out — in fact, Episode 9 has featured many of the most jaw-dropping moments (The Red Wedding, Blackwater, etc.) in a series that’s known for them. Now it’s time to see if TellTale’s penultimate installment, A Nest of Vipers, can live up to that legacy.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

Video Game Review: Tembo the Badass Elephant

July 20, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
There are three elements in play on each non-boss level: how fast you finish, how many of the 10 hostages you find/free and how much of the PHANTOM force you lay waste to. The first two elements have no bearing on advancement, existing purely to extend replay value, jockey for position on the leaderboards and earn some achievements/trophies. The third one, however, is needed to proceed as each level’s “dome” only unlocks after you’ve surpassed a specific point threshold.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

Video Game Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed

June 8, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Combat in Hyperdimension Neptunia U is similar to the Dynasty Warriors series with dozens of enemies appearing at one time as little more than cannon fodder. Progression is done in two ways: you earn experience by defeating enemies and completing levels, and new items/boosts are unlocked by collecting medals from those vanquished foes. It’s a simple system designed to keep you grinding through battles again and again to acquire better weapons and equipment.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

Blu-ray Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

June 2, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Like John Wick, Kingsman pushes the envelope with its stylized violence, mixing hand-to-hand combat with a generous helping of “gun fu.” The fight scenes are balls-out insane in the best possible way, highlighted by the absurdity that is the church massacre, which contains a nearly endless stream of countermoves and slick kills that leaves dozens of bodies in its wake. It’s played to such a ridiculous degree, however, that is never feels disturbing.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow