Skewed 'n Reviewed Movie News and Reviews Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:13:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Borderlands: The Pre Sequel Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:09:48 +0000 2K Australia has hit the mark with a new game in the Borderlands universe that goes even further down the rabbit hole.

Let me start off by saying I’ve only played through the game one time, so far. It was on Nisha the Lawbringer. I have much more to explore. I’m sure that more hours, more playthroughs, and more characters will allow for a greater understanding of the game, but I’ve gathered enough information to write this review.

The game starts out with a flashback. Athena, bound in front of a firing squad, tells Lilith the story of how she came to be in Handsome Jack’s band of merry men — accomplices, as it were.

The story unfolds and you become an assistant to Jack (not handsome yet) as he tries to do good. However, as we all know from Borderlands 2, his idea of right and wrong is… fuzzy.

My first playthrough on Nisha has been great. Her showdown ability is fun, and it comes with a well assigned soundbite of an old-timey film reel.

As I made my way through the game, my buddy Pete chose to go as Claptrap the Fragtrap. I couldn’t help but sigh. Humorously, the game asks that you confirm, three separate times, that you definitely want to play this annoying character.  Pete definitely had some frustrating moments, but in ways we could laugh off.

The Borderlands franchise is known for its zany and crude humor, which go hand-in-hand with a compelling storyline. 2K Australia replicated this feat in true Borderlands fashion without making you feel like you were retreading the same ground.

The addition of things like zero-gravity, laser guns, and butt slamming gave the gameplay a distinct feel while remaining in a familiar universe.

The cutscenes were done well, particularly for their use of Australian voice actors for all non-known-repeat characters(Jack, Lilith, Brick, Tina, etc. They even snuck in a nod to the Aussie way with the O2 (oxygen) kit, which they affectionately call an “Oz kit.”  Nice work, 2K Australia.

The length of the game is sufficient for what was really meant to be an add-on to BL2. Given that there are at least four expansions planned, I’m sure we’ll be busy for several months yet.

That said, I do have a few gripes.

1.) One of my favorite aspects of the Borderlands games is their entry sequences. They’re entertaining, engaging, informative, acrobatic, and always done with the perfect song.  Borderlands 1 and 2 were exemplary, introducing the populace to up-and-coming artists and songs.

My buddy Pete and I were both disappointed by the song choice in the Pre-Sequel. We both agreed the song “Come With Me Now,” by the band Kongos, which was in the game trailer, would have been a better choice.

2.) Both Pete and I found ourselves stuck from time to time, and at various locations in the terrain This didn’t happen in the previous games. We were unable to walk, run, or jump out of the graphics trap. It’s a frustrating experience for any gamer.

3.) Along those same lines, upon attempting to give a few weapons to Pete, I dropped them on the ground, as we had in the earlier games. Those weapons then bounced on the ground and into the wall, lost forever. After this happened the first time, we only ever traded weapons going forward, but we still saw loot drops from mobs, bosses, and crates in zero-g bounce into walls.  Very frustrating.  One of my largest gripes from BL 2 was when loot exploded from a boss into crevices or on top of statues that you couldn’t get to.  My one major wish for 2K in this franchise is to ensure that when loot-splosions happen, the surrounding terrain is checked for potential dead zones.

4.) Given how often the blue O2 canisters drop, it would be nice to see a starker color contrast between the blue O2 and light blue moonstone.

One of my favorite parts of the game, came at the end. Once True Vault Hunter mode is unlocked, you are treated to some new dialog that will make you laugh and appreciate 2K’s efforts. I won’t spoil the fun/surprise.

Other than those few complaints, this game is well done, and I assume it will only get better with patches and expansions.

Kudos to 2K Australia.

4.5 out 5 Stars.

Edited by: Jeff Boehm


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Ouija Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:44:28 +0000 By Matthew Leasor


Boy, it has been a rough year for horror movies. It seems that the genre is stagnant and every movie is simply a re-tread full of more jump-out startles then true scares. Unfortunately Ouija is another disappointing example.

The basic plot is a group of teenagers gather together to play with a Ouija board to summon their recently deceased friend, only to summon a sinister entity instead. The teenagers get picked off one by one by the malevolent spirit in gleefully violent ways (well for the most part, there is an extremely lame death in a pool where you wonder, ok, can I understand if the guy can’t swim, but can he at least float?) on their way to unravel the mystery of how their friend got killed and how to rid themselves of the haunting spirit.

There is absolutely no character development in this film. You will never once care about any of the characters in the story. They never even attempt at establishing character archetypes at least, c’mon lets show some effort here! It took a very long time to get the excitement going in this film. It takes so long to get to the horror and action after the initial scene that I was starting to wonder if I was watching an episode of a high school relationship drama on the WB channel from the 2000s, or perhaps a less interesting episode of “Pretty Little Liars”. In fact, after full viewing, I felt like I had just watched a made for cable movie. A made for cable movie that was instantly forgotten when I awoke the next morning.

Ouija did have a few things going for it. There was a good twist about ¾ through the film that I was not expecting which pulls a 180 on the protagonists, and epic face-palm, them realizing that they are only feeding the beast so to speak. A false ending is supplied as well, although it is obvious the film isn’t over as it occurs to soon through the running time. A kill scene in a bathroom proved a very effective cringe worth moment.

Appropriately, the only crowd that will enjoy this movie is the same type that would enjoy sitting in a basement, the lights dimmed; playing with a Hasbro Ouija board they bought at Target: Pre-teen girls. Don’t waste your money. Skip it.

1.5 stars


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New York Comic Con 2014 Image Gallery Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:43:36 +0000 Rich Cresswell was on hand with Ed Giza to cover New York Comic Con 2014 for us and ahead of his articles, he sent over a great set of images from the show. The images were from various booths at the show and showed off some of the great things fans could look at in the dealer areas.


Weta7Weta6Weta5Weta4Weta3Weta2Weta1Triforce3Triforce2Triforce1Toynami3Toynami2Toynami1Square6Square5Square4Square3Square2Square1Popcultureshock7Popcultureshock6Popcultureshock5Popcultureshock4PopcultureShock2PopCultureShock1OMX1NecaAgain3NecaAgain2NecaAgain1Neca11Neca10Neca9Neca8Neca7Neca6Neca5Neca4Neca3Neca2Neca1Mezco3Mezco2Mezco1Macfarlane3MacFarlane2MacFarlane1IMG_1043IMG_1040Copy of Neca4CJDravenArtCapcom3Capcom2Capcom1Bandai1



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Why Lend your Movie Name to Microgaming Online Casinos? Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:06:53 +0000 Disney announced last year that they would be phasing out the Star Wars and Marvel casino slots in the USA, but more and more movie franchises are licensing slot games. We consider what the motivations for this increase could be and where slots fans could look for alternatives.

Plenty of other Movie-Themed Slots Available

When Disney bought the rights to Star Wars from production company LucasFilm in October 2012 and Marvel three years earlier, few fans would have expected it to have an impact on the availability of their favourite slots. Just over a year ago, however, the entertainment giant made public their plan to pull the plug on licences to use their movies as slot themes in the USA. Now, with licenses expiring and not being renewed by Disney, favourite casino games featuring Spider Man, Green Goblin, Iron Man and The Avengers are being phased out. But fear not, there are still plenty of exceptional movie-themed real money games available to enjoy in Microgaming Online Casinos. In the next section we will give you a flavour of some of the best games available and you can play all these casino games here.

What are the Alternatives?

In no particular order, our favourite movie-themed online slots that fall outside of the Disney family are:

  • Aliens
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Godfather “My Daughter’s Wedding”
  • Grease
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure


Image by: alvarezperea 

From Aliens to Bill and Ted

There are hundreds of online slots available but we appreciate that many punters enjoy playing a game that uses their favourite film characters to create a story. In this respect the Aliens slot is amongst the best available, combining outstanding 3D graphics and presentation with the ability for players to move through levels as they progress in completing their mission. Aliens only offers 15 paylines, however, so for those looking for increased chances to win, we recommend the Dark Knight Rises and the Godfather “My Daughter’s Wedding” slots which both offer a staggering 243 ways to win. For musical fans, the Grease-themed slot created by Bally is a must, offering an impressive reported overall hit frequency of over 54%. Lastly, perhaps our favourite, is the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure slot which, is ideal for beginners and provides a great reflection of the film’s main characters in being simple but lovable and great fun.


Image by: Patrick McEvoy-Halston 

Advantages for Producers

Given the nature of the majority of the films produced by Disney over the years, it is perhaps unsurprising that they should seek to maintain their family-friendly image but, in taking the decision to phase out the Star Wars and Marvel slots, they could potentially be missing out on huge opportunities. If online slot games are well designed, fun to play and show a direct translation from the movie to the game, they can be an invaluable marketing tool for producers, drawing new fans into their movies, as well as attracting significant licensing revenue from developers.

Why Online Slots?

Players enjoy the convenience of online slots, the possibility of sign-up slot bonuses, the knowledge that they are in with a shout of hitting a big jackpot and of course the ever-developing themes of the games. For these reasons more and more players are being attracted to online slots; it can only become a more lucrative market for movie producers to be associated with.




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St Vincent Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:01:52 +0000 By Sasha Glenn


“St. Vincent” is a comedy about the complexity of being human, and the need to make connections with one another. It mostly follows the daily life of Vincent (Bill Murray), a crotchety old man who likes to gamble, keeps the company of a “lady of the night,” and could care less what anybody thinks about him.


I think it’s safe to say Bill Murray is a comedy legend. So it should come as no surprise that yet again, Murray has delivered an impeccable performance.

The audience experience is not just one of watching a very famous actor play a role, but instead Murray steps outside of himself and truly becomes Vincent. Each detail, from his physical appearance, to his demeanor, are flawless.

He is a man stuck in his ways, though his life appears to be in disarray. His house is filled with dirt. He owes money to bad people. He lives alone with his cat, and doesn’t really like anyone.

When Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) move in next door, Vincent is in no way kind to them.


In this film McCarthy is subtle in a good way. She is funny, but at the same time her role is heart wrenching. She is a single mom who is pushed to the limit of what one person can do, and has no choice but to roll with the punches.

She becomes swamped at her new job, and Vincent kind of just falls into the role of Oliver’s babysitter (paid babysitter of course). From that point on, Vincent takes Oliver along with him as he continues with his mostly seedy life.

The interplay between the young boy and the grouchy old man is where the element of humanness is communicated most. Despite differences in age or perspective, people need each other and can make profound connections.

The characters are developed well enough to illustrate that people are not one dimensional. Whether they have a hard or a soft exterior, there is always more than meets the eye.


It is filled with moments of outrageous hilarity, but also has a few emotional ones. Life isn’t always pleasant, and this comedy stays true to that reality.

Don’t be surprised if, at the end of the film, the audience gives a standing ovation.

I give “St. Vincent” 5 out of 5 stars.

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Whiplash Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:01:12 +0000 Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Viewers!

Well, I must’ve done something to incur this kind of karma recently … My editors have been assigning me some excellent films this past month and this one is another on that string …

intensity, drive, and jazz combine to form the synopsis of this latest film. ‘Whiplash’ is a dramatic ‘jazz thriller’ which premiered at 2014 Sundance film festival back in January and instantly received several awards and critical acclaim before hit the theaters earlier this October.

Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, ‘Whiplash’ stars Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Jayson Blair, Austin Stowell, and Kavita Patil.

At a music conservatory where the competition could be compared to a ‘dog-eat-dog’ philosophy, Andrew Neyman (Teller) is a promising young drummer, willing to sacrifice his personal life and nearly everything else with his ultimate goal of becoming one of the great jazz drummers in memory. Having fallen under the eye of Terence Fletcher (Simmons), an almost insane and ruthless music conductor who notices the young music prodigy’s talent and becomes the drummer’s mentor.

Assigning Neyman as 2nd then 1st chair, Fletcher at first calmly nurtures the drummer prodigy but then pulls a complete 180 berating Neyman and very nearly assaulting him with a drum cymbal and reassigns him to 2nd chair. Later, at a jazz competition where the 1st chairs music was lost and Neyman ‘saves the day’ by playing the entire music set from memory Fletcher assigns him to 1st chair as a reward only to reassign him a few days later and replace him with another ‘supposed’ drummer prodigy. All the while, Neyman is devoting all his energies and thought to his drumming to the point of boarding on a nervous breakdown and injury …. even ending his relationship with his girlfriend. Throughout all these events Fletcher continues his villainous and tyrannical treatment of Neyman all in an effort to inspire him to realize his true potential …. the potential that Fletcher believes Neyman possess.

I mentioned ‘intensity’ and ‘drive’ at the beginning of this review …. Those two key words ….

are what this film created. The drive of Neyman and the intensity of his mentor Fletcher ….

Perhaps it’s the other way around? When the movie ends, you left with the same feeling you might imagine if you tried a 5 shot espresso. This film shows how much music (in this case jazz) can affect an individual. How anyone’s true passion can push someone beyond what is would be described as normal.

Teller and Simmons had the rare good fortunes as far as the casting in which they could both be the lead actors in this film where the intensity is magnified by the reaction of the other’s volatile attitude from one minute to the next. It was like watching a violent chemical reaction unfold in a science lab. You almost found yourself wanting to duck for cover when Neyman and Fletcher started fuming at each other. At the apex of this volatile relationship was the goal of realizing Neyman’s potential again, it was all about the drive and the intensity.

Despite the films praise, it has not been without criticism …. In recent edition of Slate, an internet culture and current affairs magazine, Forrest Wickman accused the film of distorting and misinterpreting an anecdote regarding legendary jazz composer and saxophonist Charlie Parker. Both main characters Fletcher and Neyman mention that drummer Jo Jones threw a cymbal at the teenaged Parker’s head as retaliation for Parker’s supposedly losing the beat of the composition they were performing in Count Basie’s band during a 1930s performance. According to Wickman, “Jones didn’t throw the cymbal at Parker’s head. He threw it at the floor near his feet, ‘gonging’ him off. It wasn’t an episode of physical abuse.” Jones was upset at Parker’s failure to change key with the rest of the band NOT losing the beat.


Alas, there is a an occurrence of the dreaded ‘artistic license’ in the film. And although it’s disappointing to see such an excellent film ‘alter history’ in order to better meld with the film’s script/premise the movie was so well done that I kind of let that slip by. If the performances by Teller and Simmons aren’t enough to convince you … At least go for the music! If you’re into ‘real’ jazz and not the ‘Starbucks Coffeehouse Crap’ that J.K. Simmons refers to in the film, then ‘Whiplash’ is definitely a film worth checking out. Definitely NOT one for the kids as there is A LOT of foul adult language in the film. Once again, I’m going to give this film 4 out of 5 stars.


On behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’, this is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer “The CameraMan” saying thanks for reading …. and we’ll see you at the movies …..

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Stonehearst Asylum Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:01:02 +0000 In the late 19th century in England, medicine was by today’s standards primitive and at times barbaric. The nature of psychiatric care of the times was even more frightening as maladies that today are treated with medication often resulted in a lifetime of confinement in an Asylum where all manner of treatments which today would be considered torture were used.

In the new thriller “Stonehearst Asylum” a young doctor named Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess), travels to a remote asylum on Christmas Eve to being a practical study following his time at Oxford.

He is greeted upon his arrival by Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley, who is eager to size up the new assistant upon his arrival.

Newgate is fascinated by the patients especially one named Eliza (Kate Beckinsale), who shows a grace and range of talents not normally associated with those who have been committed. It is explained that all of those assigned to Stonehearts are from the upper class of society and as such, their maladies have made them outcasts from polite society.

Edward begins to have concerns when he is told by Eliza that he must leave immediately and not return and despite her warnings, he remains and soon makes a startling discovery.

It is learned that a patient named Salt (Michael Caine) is actually the man in charge of the facility and that Lamb is a dangerous psychopath who has imprisoned or killed the asylum staff and has replaced them with his fellow inmates.

Trapped in a world gone mad, Edward must strive to do his duty as a physician to care for those in need, while trying to walk the line between the madness of Lamb and his fellow inmates.

The film is a well-cast and exciting thriller that keeps you entertained without resorting to the standard scares and tricks of other suspense films.

The characters have a complexity and compassion to them as you will find yourself engrossed by the various characters and their situations.

Director Brad Anderson is no stranger to suspense and he has crafted a captivating take that is rich with the visuals of the era yet remaining a character based drama it its core.

The film is based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe and Mel Gibson is one of the Producers attached to the film which helps underscore how they were able to assemble such a strong cast to the film despite the lack of a major studio to finance or distribute the film.

The film does have some moments that at times make you wonder why some characters did not take more obvious courses of action but yet the film works in spite of this.

In the end the haunting setting and subject matter mesh well with the characters to create a thrilling and entertaining drama that is one of the more enjoyable surprises of the year.

4 stars out of 5



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John Wick Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:01:00 +0000 “An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.” That is the synopsis of this movie. And that pretty much sums it up. This film isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel and it isn’t trying to be smart, but it is trying to be fun and that is exactly what it is.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, channels his inner “Neo” with slightly more emotion to track down the gangsters who wronged him. Wick is such a “bad-ass” that the Russian mob refers to him as the man you send to kill the boogieman. The action is entertaining and the gun kata is especially fun to watch but there is no point where you ever feel Wick is in danger.

The most intriguing element of this film is the underground world of assassins where we learn and understand its rules and code. Unfortunately, the film does not develop this society enough which is a shame, because they have decent elements to create a series of films on this aspect alone.

Ultimately, unless you are just looking for the quick escapism of an action film, there really is no reason to go see this in the theaters and pay full price. Check it out as a matinee or even a rental. It is entertaining action, but once it is over, it is also quickly forgotten.

2.5 out of 5 stars


Review by Neil Jordan


Greetings & Salutations Once Again Fellow Movie Viewers!


The string of excellent fall movies continues …. This time, we’re returning to the action genre with Keanu Reeves in the title role of the action thriller ‘John Wick’ . Yes, we’ve seen Keanu in action films before but NOT like this.


Marking the directorial debut of co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (Hollywood stunt man and stunt coordinator known for his work in The Matrix Trilogy and as stunt double for the likes of Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme) and written by Derek Kolsatd, ‘John Wick’ stars a who’s who of Hollywood favorites including Keanu Reeves, William Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Adrianne Palicki, Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, Dean Winters, and Jason Issacs.


The story begins with a funeral …. John (Reeves) is morning the loss of his wife Helen (Moynahan) after battling a fatal illness. While grieving her lose, he receives a final gift from her she sent shortly before her death … A puppy and a final message explaining how they both knew the illness would catch up to her eventually and that he should continue on and live life.

As John is trying to carry out his wife’s last wishes, not long after thieves storm his home and assault him intending to steal his car and in the process, brutally kill his dog. Swearing revenge upon the perpetrators who took away his wife’s final gesture of love John seeks out the assailants only to discover that the leader is the son of John’s former employer Russian Mafia boss Viggo Tarasov. Enraged upon learning of his son’s grave error, Viggo explains to his son Iosef (Allen) that the man he assaulted and stole from was not just another victim but that he is John Wick …. The John Wick …. formerly retired enforcer/hitman for Viggo’s syndicate. After a futile attempt to negotiate with Wick, Viggo immediately puts out a hit on John, an open contract awarded to the first assassin to eliminate John before he can take his revenge upon losef. Making matters even worse for John (which up until this point, you think it couldn’t get any worse), Viggo even calls in John’s best friend Marcus to eliminate John. What happens next is nothing short of a killing spree that could only be compared to a ‘Wrath Of God’ scenario as John begins his rampage from his home to New York City and leaves nothing but a trail of bodies from hit squads to assassins in his wake.


I went into this movie thinking Keanu was just going to take what he learned from The Matrix Trilogy and use it as a template and make a copy in this movie. I freely admit it … I was wrong and I’m so glad I was. This film was excellent! In my mind, a stand-out action film. It is like nothing else I can recall seeing Keanu in before. This was carefully and methodically choreographed action movie reminiscent of the Hong Kong action films like ‘A Better Tomorrow’ and ‘Hard Boiled’ that John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat made in the late 80’s and early 90’s combined with a strong supporting cast of Hollywood veterans and newcomers.


The relationship between title character and William Dafoe’s character Marcus was interesting as well. As you see one former hitman and another hitman …. Good friends but also rivals, as they try ‘act human’ in each other’s presence. In particular when Marcus attends the funeral of John’s wife Helen. It’s different when you see John interact with other assassins later on in the movie … Between the killing sprees. Ian McShane and John Leguizamo performances were excellent although brief in the film. Not to mention Adrianne Palicki. For some a reason despite her work on ‘Agents Of S.H.E.I.L.D.’, I was a bit suspicious of her casting in the movie but again I freely admit I was wrong and I’m glad I was because she knocked it out of the park.


On top of being a great action film, they put together excellent sound track for the movie orbiting the talents of Le Castle Vania, M86 & Susie Q, the Candy Shop Boys, Tyler Bates, Joel J. Richard.


This definitely another action film to be included in anyone’s movie collection. Obviously NOT one for the kids though. It starts of slow only because the beginning of the film sets up the whole premise for the movie but other than that, I don’t have a bad thing to say in regards to this film.

Well done Keanu …. Well done indeed! This one gets 4 out of 5 stars. The film isn’t ‘groundbreaking’ but it’s certainly worth seeing! As I described it earlier … A carefully and methodically choreographed action film.


On behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ this is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer “The CameraMan” saying thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the movies!





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Alien Isolation. Gameplay And Android Battle Video Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:02:52 +0000 The game is tense, highly-detailed, scary, and so much fun. Here is a look at some of the early gameplay as well as a look at some of the other threats in the game not drooling slime.







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The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:15:05 +0000 We usually avoid leaked trailers but now that Marvel has officially released it, we will happily post the trailer to this awesome looking new chapter in the Marvel Universe.






Check out our video of the panel from San Diego Comic Con 2014

Ultron Comic Con Panel Video

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