All posts by Chris Singh

Film Review: T2 Trainspotting (UK, 2017) sees Danny Boyle uses nostalgia to great effect

How T2 Trainspotting juggles change and continuity is quite extraordinary. In a world of disappointing reboots and sequels that don’t quite justify their existence, Danny Boyle’s follow-up to his drug-addled 1996 icon is not only good, it’s damn near perfect, complementing the first without repeating it as we catch up with Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and – yep – Begbie (Robert Carlyle) 20 years after Renton split with the bag full of drug money. For this overdue revisit, Boyle looks to Irvine Welsh’s ill-received Porno but doesn’t quite follow the novel to a tee, instead he and returning screenwriter John Hodge use their very welcome judgement to piece together a story that should go far in satisfying Trainspotting’s enormous cult following.... Continue Reading

Video Games Review: Nioh carves out its own identity with interesting mechanics (PlayStation 4, 2017)

It’s almost impossible for Nioh to dodge comparisons to the Dark Souls franchise. From Software’s monstrously brutal action RPGs have become touchstones for hardcore gaming in the 21st century but, as Team Ninja prove with their latest title, there’s more than enough room for improvement. Instead of coming across as a desperate imitation, Nioh draws it’s strength from being inspired by and in some ways surpassing the Dark Souls franchise, giving us a title that evokes nostalgia for those games but also stands on its own as a worthy addition to Sony’s fantastic roster of exclusives coming out in 2017. Continue reading Video Games Review: Nioh carves out its own identity with interesting mechanics (PlayStation 4, 2017)

Video Games Preview: Little Nightmares is filled with deliciously dark Tim Burton vibes

Tarsier Studios’ deliciously dark puzzle-platformer Little Nightmares will finally be available for the public at the end of April this year. Having been named “Best Indie” at last year’s Gamescon, the title from the same team who co-developed Tearaway Unfolded with Media Molecule looks to riff further into the adorable world of inventive art focused platformers like LittleBigPlanet (a series they were also involved in). Although this one has a much darker, sinister atmosphere that should slot in perfectly into a world dominated by the survival-horror genre. Continue reading Video Games Preview: Little Nightmares is filled with deliciously dark Tim Burton vibes

Pokemon Go evolves at last: Gen 2 monsters and new game mechanics coming this week

After much begging and cursing Niantic have finally given us their biggest announcement since the mega successful Pokemon Go app debuted in July of last year. That announcement is Generation 2, and we’re talking an actual Gen 2 release, not a bunch of baby Pokemon you can only hatch from eggs. Sometime over the next week the now iconic smartphone game will release around 80 new Pokemon from the Gold and Silver installments of the beloved Nintendo franchise, along with a few new game mechanics that sound like they’ll be significant enough to reverse the dwindling interest in the app. Continue reading Pokemon Go evolves at last: Gen 2 monsters and new game mechanics coming this week

Film Review: Hidden Figures (USA, 2016) dismantles segregation piece by piece

The ills of racial segregation have been well-documented in modern cinema; many pieces set in eras like the 60’s have tackled the absurdity and nonsensical way the division functioned in – mostly American – society even when black populations worked side by side with white populations. This is the core tension of Hidden Figures, the ingrained threat of which suppresses three black women who work at NASA despite what would go on to be crucial contributions to a much larger picture – and by larger picture I don’t just mean the well-known launch of the Friendship 7 mission of 1962 in which John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.... Continue Reading

Video Games Review: Sniper Elite 4 is meatier and more intense than ever before

Sure, punching Nazis may be fun, but have you have ever eviscerated one with a single bullet, flung from the dangerous end of a powerful sniper rifle by a shot taken from almost 300m away? How about shooting one in the skull with a bullet that travels so fast that it rips past a young Nazi soldier’s right eyeball, bursting it immediately while bone fragments rain down onto the cold hard ground. You haven’t, and you probably shouldn’t (IRL), but when it comes to Sniper Elite 4 the very act of doing so is a glorious fist-pumping moment full of enough drama and thrill that it’s a distinctive pleasure amongst the 50 or so other kills you’ve taken during the same mission.... Continue Reading

Stan announces massive 2017 lineup, 4K video and offline viewing

Australian SVOD service Stan has been going from strength to strength since it first emerged as ferocious competition for similar services like Netflix and the recently defunct Presto. Of course 2017 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for the platform as the team behind it dive even deeper into on-demand and carve out their own slice of the lucrative market, which they should do nicely with these forthcoming features and exclusives.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Peter Berg offers a spirited homage to “Boston Strong” with Patriot’s Day (USA, 2017)

There is no way for Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day to avoid being labelled as exploitative and “too soon”, if even just for the title. For the past few weeks critics have been piling onto the director’s dramatic retelling of the bombings which took place during the annual Boston Marathon in April of 2013, killing three people and injuring hundreds of others, some whom lost limbs in the explosions; reception has been mixed. It’s understandable, and there are certainly moments during the film where Berg seems to take advantage of the situation to escalate the emotional impact of the slightly embellished story, but for the most part Patriot’s Day is a respectful, thoughtful look at the aftermath of a tragedy and a love letter to the resilience that is said to have defined the city during and after the four-day manhunt that ensued.... Continue Reading

Video Games Preview: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands single player campaign

Our hands-on time with the single player campaign of Ubisoft’s forthcoming Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands certainly drilled in the whole “bigger and better” description that has been flying around the title, the first major release for the beloved tactical shooter series since 2014’s lukewarm Phantoms. Leaning on next-gen, at least on first impressions, has worked out very well for the developers, allowing them to create the vast, mountainous sandbox of central South American where you run around Bolivia with as much reckless abandon as you want. And that’s really the big difference here, compared to previous titles, Wildlands doesn’t feel like it’s pushing you in a certain direction, squeezing the boundaries of free will so tightly that your ‘tactical freedom’ feels restricted; no, instead Wildlands seems to Ubisoft’s way of telling us they’ve learned some valuable lessons from the vastly improved Far Cry series (as well as some others like Metal Gear Solid V and Just Cause 3) and are channeling those in some exciting ways.... Continue Reading

Video Games Preview: Sniper Elite 4 benefits from a larger scale and Italian setting

It’s been almost 12 years since Rebellion Developments released the first title in what would become the Sniper Elite series, a franchise which was has improved in ways both noticeable and welcome as the years have gone on. The franchise continues this February with Sniper Elite 4, the follow-up to 2014’s Sniper Elite 3, which came closer to perfecting the tactical, sniper-focused gameplay but fell short of greatness due to a few niggling issues. Continue reading Video Games Preview: Sniper Elite 4 benefits from a larger scale and Italian setting