The Jungle Book (2016) – 7/10 adventure movie review

The Jungle Book (2016)

When Shere Khan learns of the prescence of mancub Mowgli – who has been brought up by wolves after being discovered in the jungle – he vows to kill him as soon as the current drought-enforced peace treaty ends. When the waters return, so does Khan with a terrible fury.

7/10

Slightly subdued but otherwise very nicely executed adaptation of both Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book and Walt Disney’s 1967 film The Jungle Book. Neel Sethi is great as Mowgli while the animal cast is uncharismatic (especially when compared to the 1967 film) but fine. The two songs are integrated well but performed without much life or energy. The main talking point is how wonderful the visual effects achievement is; while not perfect (Kaa is not up to the standard of the furry animals, every animal’s but especially Shere Khan’s face looks too big and his entrance has some slightly wrong animation of him dropping down ledges), it instantly suspends disbelief, the flora and fauna are completely convincing and the furry animals (especially the wolf Raksha) look stunning most of the time. I also very much liked the opening multi-plane-esque hand-drawn animated Walt Disney logo. A highly worthwhile remake which may become a touchstone for a new audience.

Content Summary

This movie contains violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Cast / crew

Director and Producer: Jon Favreau
Screenplay Writer: Justin Marks
Book Writer: Rudyard Kipling
Mowgli: Neel Sethi
Baloo: Bill Murray
Bagheera: Ben Kingsley
Shere Khan: Idris Elba
King Louie: Christopher Walken

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PS4 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: May 2016

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PS4 logo 75x16 Transparent 16x16 Dead Island: The Definitive Collection
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Gaming Bolt favicon Dirt Rally
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Gaming Bolt favicon Doom (2016)
  • Xbox One better than PS4 Gaming Bolt favicon Homefront: The Revolution
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Transparent 16x16 Lichdom: Battlemage
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Gaming Bolt favicon Overwatch
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Transparent 16x16Gaming Bolt favicon Shadow Complex Remastered

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – 5/10 superhero action movie review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

When the Superman / Zod battle causes his Metropolis tower to collapse, Bruce Wayne knows that, even though Superman is clearly benevolent, Batman needs to kill him because Superman might go bad one day. Meanwhile, the US Government give Lex Luthor the keys to the crashed Kryptonian spaceship in return for him crafting a silver bullet to keep Superman in check but then they don’t let him import the kryptonite to make the bullet but continue to let him play on the spaceship even though that was payment for something they won’t let him do.

5/10

We should seriously consider the possibility that Zack Snyder is incapable of telling a story via the medium of film which, for a film director, might be expected to be a problem. Instead of conversations, he has people speaking words in close proximity to other people and occasionally changes the background if you squint and look over people’s shoulders. Ben Affleck’s Batman is striking, if dumb. Henry Cavill is fine as Superman and gets a couple of useful super-moments when the Batmobile bounces off him and when he catches a giant bullet. This movie had potential and Snyder does allocate enough time to story and character and motivation but doesn’t make any of it stick. Why does Batman want to kill Superman? Why does Lex Luthor want Superman dead? I suspect Snyder has shot enough footage to make a really good movie but he hasn’t guided it successfully through the editing process. And, to be honest, I don’t think he can. The Ultimate Edition is just similarly dumb for an imperceptible extra half-hour.

Content Summary

This movie contains bad language, extreme violence, non-sexual nudity

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cast / crew


Director: Zack Snyder
Superman / Clark Kent / Kal-El: Henry Cavill
Batman / Bruce Wayne: Ben Affleck
Wonder Woman / Diane Prince: Gal Gadot

PS4 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: March 2016

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PS4 logo 75x16 Gaming Bolt favicon Dark Souls 3
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Gaming Bolt favicon Hitman (2016)
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Gaming Bolt favicon Resident Evil 6
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Gaming Bolt favicon The Division
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Gaming Bolt favicon Trackmania Turbo

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) – 2/10 action movie review

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

A Texas inventor buys a fully busted truck that was inside a derelict cinema and pulls a missile out of it that allows it to turn back into Optimus Prime but an inter-galactic bounty hunter, Lockdown, is working with the CIA to capture Optimus Prime and so the glistening, muscular inventor / robotics engineer / elite hacker and his good-looking daughter / really, really good-looking daughter / rally co-driver go on the run with Prime and end up saving the world. And there will be robot dinosaurs. The end.

2/10

This is an atrocious film on almost every level except visual effects and Mark Wahlberg. It would be a challenge to find more than a few subsequent lines that are coherent let alone compelling characters, involving storylines or comprehensible action sequences. Somehow, Wahlberg rises above all that and remains a quality, likable presence despite what the movie bafflingly puts him through. I don’t know what kind of secret sauce ILM keep back for Michael Bay but however Bay photographs his plates and however ILM’s artists up their game for him results in some utterly remarkable visuals: convincing, photo-realistic and extremely good-looking. Between them they produce the best visual effects explosions in the business; you cannot tell which explosions are real and which are not. Now, it would be accurate to state that the movie didn’t need to be good in order to fulfil it’s purpose – make money – but there was also no need for it to be this derisory.

Content Summary

This movie contains a single sexual swear word, bad language, strong violence, sensuality

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cast / crew

Director and Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer: Tom DeSanto
Producer: Don Murphy
Producer: Ian Bryce
Mark Wahlberg: Cade Yeager
Stanley Tucci: Joshua Joyce
Kelsey Grammer: Harold Attinger
Nicola Peltz: Tessa Yeager
Jack Reynor: Shane Dyson
Sophia Myles: Darcy Tirrel
Li Bing Bing: Su Yueming
Titus Welliver: James Savoy
T.J. Miller: Lucas Flannery
Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime
Frank Welker: Galvatron
John Goodman: Hound
Ken Watanabe: Drift
Robert Foxworth: Ratchet
John DiMaggio: Crosshairs
Mark Ryan: Lockdown
Reno Wilson: Brains

PS4 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: February 2016

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PS4 logo 75x16  Far Cry: Primal
  • PS4 logo 75x16 Transparent 16x16 Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Transparent 16x16 Rocket League

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus (PS3 exclusive, 2013) – 8/10 action game review

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (2013)

Ratchet, Clank, Kronk and Zephyr are transporting intergalactic baddie Zendra Prog to prison when her brother catches up to them and breaks her out. Ratchet and Clank wind up marooned on a nearby planet and have to catch Zendra and put her back where she belongs. However, they’re going to need help from an unexpected source.

8/10

Into the Nexus‘ constantly evolving gameplay features lots of toys, lots of fun and lots of quality shooting; there’s so much opportunity for majestic overkill. It helps that these adventures are always good-natured in tone with a friendly feeling between Ratchet and Clank, smack-talking henchmen who aren’t above receiving a good jump-scare and even a scene where someone keeps their word and goes to prison willingly. Nexus‘ antagonists Vendra and Neftin Prog are good value but no Dr. Nefarious. It’s such a shame that the frame rate doesn’t remain smooth; Ratchet and Clank really should be prioritising a 60 frames per second update yet Nexus doesn’t maintain 30. Though it feels impressively frenetic and remains playable, the 30 fps at best means that it is difficult to track anything on screen.

Content Summary

This game contains violence

Cast / crew

Ratchet: James Arnold Taylor
Clank: David Kaye

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