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Snowden

Possibly one of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s best performance’s and an absolutely spectacular and surprising showing from Rhys Ifans.

Possibly one of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s best performance’s as Edward Snowden and an absolutely spectacular and surprising showing from Rhys Ifans as the Director of the CIA. An all round great cast and an interesting and well put together storyline.

Based on the actions of Edward Snowden and primarily the original interview and documentary that was made in the Hong Kong hotel room, this film is both gripping and scary but in a very different way to a horror.
It’s a fantastic insight into (a) the life of an NSA worker (b) the way the NAS and US government deal with cyber (c) the life of Edward Snowden before everyone knew his name.

A US citizen, born into a military family that just wanted to follow in the foot steps of those before him and serve his country in any way possible, he is portrayed as the ubiquitous American patriot.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt captures Snowden extremely well and one thing that comes across superbly is the interview and meetings in the hotel and the conviction that was shown in the actual documentary, as a whole the casting crew did a bang up job on every role in this film.

There is, as with any Hollywood Docu Movie, a fair bit of ‘scripted entertainment’, but there is also a lot of ‘true to testament’ parts.
The cinematography is also very well done, emphasizing the hotel interview is a lovely touch and the way it build’s is enjoyable, the jumps between story and docu work well and doesn’t confuse the narrative at all.
If the implications of what is portrayed in this film are understood it makes it a pretty good horror that should scare everyone at nearly every turn.

Favorite Line
“You didn’t tell me we were running a dragnet over the whole world, Corbyn”.

IMDB.com Information

The Constructus Corporation – The Ziggurat

I have had The Ziggurat 2 disc album in my playlist on shuffle for while but only recently played it on it’s own from start to finish and I was immediately hooked.

Only came across Die Antworrd properly a couple of years ago and really like the style and then I found some of the earlier stuff and got even more excited.

I have had The Ziggurat 2 disc album in my playlist on shuffle for while but only recently played it on it’s own from start to finish and I was immediately hooked.

The thing that got me the most is the flow and the narrative. Not only is there a brilliant mix of beats, bass and percussion with an Electronic / Hip-Hop base there is also a legitimately great story to follow with comedy, seriousness and flair. 🙂

One thing I find pretty crazy is that these 2 discs were made in 2002 and still sound really fresh now.

Now I have to find the Fucknrad and MaxNormal work, time to search the past. 🙂

Full album on YouTube

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Probably my favourite documentary from 2016.

Probably my favourite documentary from 2016:

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Even though the main story revolves around two pretty ‘interesting’ guys that have some pretty ‘interesting’ ideas this documentary does touch on a lot of topics that concern how we – the human populace -live and consume.

It does a particularly good job at highlighting how:

  • we are far too happy to throw away and replace even when we don’t need to
  • advertising can brainwash us into thinking we need things when we don’t
  • it’s sometimes better to be who we want to be rather than try and follow the rat race to survive.

This is not an endorsement of every idea that is expressed but it should have enough to make you think deeply about the world around you.

Carmageddon | Max Damage

A reboot of the 2015 release but with a lot of spit and polish gone in.

From the official Blurb:

Carmageddon: Max Damage is the latest instalment in the legendary Carmageddon series. Carmageddon is the driving sensation where pedestrians (and cows) equal points, and your opponents are a bunch of crazies in a twisted mix of automotive killing machines. It’s the ultimate antidote to racing games!!

Available From: Steam

In a Nutshell

Carmageddon: Max Damage is a reboot of the 2015 release but with a lot of spit and polish to make it what the 2015 release really should have been.

The Playthrough

The game runs well in Career mode, this reviewer only crashed a few times so far but at least after playing a good 6 hours.

Quite a bit more content has been added: new areas to play in, new cars to destroy and a lot more things to run over (which is always good in Carmageddon), I’m particularly fond of the granny scooters and beach goers for some reason.

Vehicle upgrade still seems a little pointless, when playing the Hawk, the only visible mods are paint and rims. Maybe upgrading the armour, weapons etc or changing the body styling a little (to reflect the effective bonus of the mod added in garage customize mode) would improve things.

Overall this is now a very good game and a better challenge, definitely something to build on.

The Crew | MMORG

The Crew is an UBI Soft game that is actually good.

The Crew - Opening ScreenOfficial Blurb:

“The Crew is a revolutionary action-driving MMO, developed exclusively for next-gen consoles and high-end PCs that leverage new hardware capabilities to connect players online like never before. The Crew takes you and your friends on a wild ride across a massive, open-world recreation of the U.S.A”.

 

In a nutshell

The Crew is a UBI Soft game that is actually good. It’s a pioneering Massively Multiplayer Online Racing Game which takes a lot of what was great about some of the original Need for Speed Underground games to a whole other level.

Available From: Steam | CDKeys.com

The Crew - opening player online mapThe Playthrough

This game has plenty of things to keep you busy. The standard scenario has a good 15 hours worth of game time and takes you all around the map; also there is the landmark hunt where I found I was driving to find them rather than using teleport at all. I spent about 10 hours trying to get all the landmarks in just one ‘state’.

There is also a faction aspect, where you join one of five factions (mine was ‘eagle’) and complete tasks to earn points and bucks for your faction. You also get a daily cash bounty for launching the game.

The Crew - one of many car garagesThe  way the car is modified or upgraded is quite unique. There are the usual garages where  you can change the car, upgrade the styling, change the parts installed etc but you can also apply ‘perks’ to  aid your earning / gameplay / car making / thus making ranking up easier and quicker.

The Crew - vehicle mods for all owned carsAnother cool element is the presence of other garages where you can change  (or duplicate) the car to a different specification (street, dirt, monster truck, drag and more) which is then added to your available cars. Once purchased, more scenarios, challenges and gameplay events open up .

Tuning mods are handled by awarding an upgrade at the end of a scenario,  driving challenge or event that can be equipped either on the spot to improve the car or be sent to the H.Q. for later.

The Crew - winter resort driving in a GT4This aspect does mean it is a bit more fluid when driving where you’re not stop-starting a lot. It’s quite easy to drive say, from west to east, without too much distraction as you complete driving challenges and level up.

The MMO side adds another unique aspect that is fairly easy to get into. 4 P v P markers are on the map. Go to one and you’re entered into a moderately good match-up lobby. Votes decide the location and mode type -then it’s straight to the action.

Unfortunately the game still suffers from ‘other player jump’ lag but if  you get in front early it isn’t a distraction.

The Crew - racing to the center of the volcano ‘The Summit’ is a rolling competition that pits you against other players in a points-based championship which gives you specific targets to achieve.
There are 4 qualifier events throughout the month culminating in the main monthly Summit event where you can win game cash, cars and parts galore. You must pass each qualifier by completing free drive challenges.

The other absolutely brilliant thing with this game is the scenic detail. This is so well done it’s the main reason why I just like to free drive around this game and enjoy the experience. Sometimes the scenario aspect is second to just travelling to the start of said scenario. An example of the free drive obsession can be seen in the video above (along with the free drive stunts challenges on).

The Crew - night drivingEven with the graphic settings on medium it is still visually excellent.

The Crew - calling all unitsI recently purchased the Calling all Units DLC which adds greatly to the driving entertainment. It’s a different style of gameplay completely when being the chaser. Having lots of different scenario modes to play and PvP chase invites make a lot more sense. There’s not a massive selection of police vehicles but upgrading works the same. This also unlocked Wild Run which also means motorbikes, monster trucks and more!! I had great fun just honing in a straight as line as possible in a Nissan GT4 monster truck for 50+ miles. So, If you’require wanting to add DLC, Buy Calling All Units as it also includes Wild Run.

One last note worth a mention: I also own Need for Speed released by EA in March 2016 and bought on the day of release. I have logged 16 hours on that game and have completed the scenario. Contrast this with my purchase of The Crew around December 2015 where I currently have 52 hours logged – and it just keeps going up.