Monday, 31 May 2010

Grand Theft Auto 'The Ballad of Gay Tony'

GTA has pulled one out of the bag with this one. After a very disappointing GTA 4, Rockstar games thought they would go and use the same platform and graphic engine to create a new much more improved and enjoyable game. Your new character Louis finally lives lives up to the infamous CJ of San Andreas.

Although the game is still set in a fairly boring Liberty City, the gaming experience is very exciting and every mission is increasingly adventurous and fun. This is complimented by the all the new weapons and accessories that have been added for a less serious approach to being a gangsta!

The cursing and racial jokes have been taken to the limit and it is incredible that the creators continue to get away with things that really are walking on the tight rope. One line in particular springs to mind when the main character describes someone with a growth deficiency as a little ****.

The Ballad of Gay Tony is simply so much fun to play in comparison to GTA 4 which is of course rather dull. The story and characters are very compelling along with all the new cars and helicopters. This game has given me many laughs and has astonished me in it's unbelievable scenes of sex, drugs and violence.

Be sure to play the first episode of The Lost and Damned as you wont play it after this one because it is soooooo much better.

A very good buy.

Sean's Game Rating 8/10

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Sorry I have not been blogging of late followers. I have been overrun by university assignments but keep checking back for new material which will be coming soon. For now I would like to draw your attention to a very well written film review of 'Avatar' for those who are still waiting to see it.

Just a few extracts. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote.

With “Avatar” James Cameron has turned one man’s dream of the movies into a trippy joy ride about the end of life — our moviegoing life included — as we know it. Several decades in the dreaming and more than four years in the actual making, the movie is a song to the natural world that was largely produced with software, an Emersonian exploration of the invisible world of the spirit filled with Cameronian rock ’em, sock ’em pulpy action. Created to conquer hearts, minds, history books and box-office records, the movie — one of the most expensive in history, the jungle drums thump — is glorious and goofy and blissfully deranged.

The story behind the story, including a production budget estimated to top $230 million, and Mr. Cameron’s future-shock ambitions for the medium have already begun to settle into myth (a process partly driven by the publicity, certainly). Every filmmaker is something of a visionary, just by virtue of the medium. But Mr. Cameron, who directed the megamelodrama“Titanic” and, more notably, several of the most influential science-fiction films of the past few decades (“The Terminator,” “Aliens” and “The Abyss”), is a filmmaker whose ambitions transcend a single movie or mere stories to embrace cinema as an art, as a social experience and a shamanistic ritual, one still capable of producing the big WOW.

Few films return us to the lost world of our first cinematic experiences, to that magical moment when movies really were bigger than life (instead of iPhone size), if only because we were children. Movies rarely carry us away, few even try. They entertain and instruct and sometimes enlighten. Some attempt to overwhelm us, but their efforts are usually a matter of volume. What’s often missing is awe, something Mr. Cameron has, after an absence from Hollywood, returned to the screen with a vengeance. He hasn’t changed cinema, but with blue people and pink blooms he has confirmed its wonder.

That's just a very good review to keep you going until I'm back on form. Stay tuned.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

Saturday, 17 April 2010

My Top 20 Movies Continued Again Again

1. Avatar (2009)
Okay when I left the cinema after this one, I said: "that was the best movie I have ever seen". So I'm sticking with it. With such amazing visual effects Cameron achieved a recorded breaking production. The underlying meaning of this film is incredible, from historic predigests toward the native Americans, to racism and war of the present and even the progression of these humanistic flaws into the future. Unbelievable Tekkerssss!
Sean's Movie Rating 10/10 *

2. Star Trek (2009)
J.J.Abrams who knew you had this one in you. Where did you find the time to make such a great movie during he production of 'Lost'. I'm not even a big Trek fan but I had sufficient enough knowledge to see that this was awesome. Unbelievable casting skills in this one lads. Bravo! This film is totally a personal favourite but I'm sure there is one or two people who would agree ; ).

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

3. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Tom Hanks again. A depiction of WW2 and storming the beach of Normandy done to absolute perfection. The greatest opening scene to a movie you will ever see and the best acting performances witnessed by audiences. For many years this has been my favourite movie of all time and has now slipped to number three sheerly because I have seen it countless times. War movies do not get better than this!

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

4. The Green Mile (1999)
Tom Hanks could quite possibly be the greatest actor of all time and he really shows it in this incredible film. The audience witness death row at first hand and the types of people kept in this facility during dramatic circumstances. A wrongly accused man possesses a special gift and passes that gift on around him. Girls, I challenge you not to cry.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
An unbelievable timeless classic and IMDB's top rated movie. For me, it's my number five. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman team up in this dramatic story that unfolds into a conspiracy of truth and innocence. People can watch this in 500 years time and it will still be brilliant. The writing, producing, directing and acting have created one of the best movies ever created.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

Friday, 16 April 2010

My Top 20 Movies Continued Again

6. Godfather 1 & 2 (1972 & 1974)
Okay so I am cheating now as I can't decide which of these to epic movies are better, so I'm counting them as one. For me Brando was by far the best Godfather but this doesn't mean the first was my favourite. Both were remarkable and depicted 1920's 30's Italian American Mafia to a T. Unfortunately the third one would be about 5000 on my list of favourite movies. Pacino, De Niro, Brando and Duvall you are my heroes.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

7. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
"Mmmmmmm, Juicy Fruit." How amazed were you. This is a heart wrenching, comical drama about a bunch of A list celebrities gone crazy. At least that's what it looked like. A really great performance from Nicholson went a long way, unfortunately it seemed that his performances were just him. He did about 50 movies following this one where he was still playing the same role in every one. Despite that this is a favourite to many and my number 7.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

8. Pulp Fiction (1994)
I don't believe that there is anyone in the world that hasn't seen this one, and if there is I am appalled. Although Tarantino has made some brilliant movies unfortunately he made his best ever back in 1994 and I challenge him to beat it. I think NOT!
Willis, Travolta, and Jackson, you can't really ask for anything more.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

9. Fight Club (1999)
"People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden". When Tyler Durden met Tyler Durden or something like that it was..................... confusing. Well I now understand it after watching it like five times over and it gets better and better every time. I won't say too much because I don't want to spoil it for people who have missed out. Edward Norton is a truly unbelievably talented actor and it shows in every way.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

10. Batman The Dark Knight (2008)
Focusing on all the favourite batman villains, this sequel to 'Batman Begins' was a spectacle. With an incredible cast we see Christian Bale as Batman take on Heath Ledger as the Joker. An Oscar winning performance from Ledger insured the success of the movie and there will never be a joker the same again.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

Thursday, 15 April 2010

My Top 20 Movies Continued

11. Independence day (1996)
1996/1997 was a great time for great movies. Yet another sci-fi in my top 20 but they are all so good. I could easily have a top 20 Will Smith movies but lets be fair to everyone else and just have this one. It looks as though Smith also thought this was so good that it now needs to be made a trilogy. How exciting!

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

12. The Fifth Element (1997)
Gary Oldman, Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich all give incredible performances in this romantic sci-fi. When the perfect specimen falls into the back seat of Korben Dallas's flying taxi things can only get better. Holidays in space is the future but I think this is one future nobody want to see, unless Chris Tucker really is the flight attendant, that would be entertaining. This is a must see for all!

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

13. Gladiator (2000)
Russel Crowe at his finest, not to mention Ridley Scott. A fantastic story of a war hero stripped of his honours and made to be a slave turned gladiator. Maximus didn't only have his leadership taken but his family too. An historical informative adventurous masterpiece now ten years old and still fresh in my mind. Troy, 300, Kingdom Of Heaven all incredible movies but none as good as Gladiator.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

14. Lord Of The Rings 3 (2003)
The final film in the trilogy and it really was a worthy finale. 'The Return Of The King' was awarded with 11 Oscars and deservedly so, as it also picked up another 106 awards globally. One of the best things about this epic trilogy was that we didn't have to wait 2 or 3 three years between productions for release as within 3 short years we witnessed one of the best trilogies of all time. This Movie was ground breaking in every way and produced some magnificent actors.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

15. District 9 (2009)
WOW! This is one of the most original science fiction movies to date and it was unbelievable. Many might disagree but this really was special in it's own right. Actor Sharlto Copley has done virtually nothing in the film industry and has stepped out and created a truly great production. This is a must see for anyone interested in extraterrestrial activity and please when you do see this, don't be put off by the first 15 minutes as it only gets better.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

Friday, 9 April 2010

My Top 20 Movies

16. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
This is the single greatest western of all time. Newman and Redford are heroes of their era and this Movie is truly a classic. In this epic adventure Butch and Sundance go from state to state robbing trains and banks that eventually leads to them being one of the biggest outlaws in the west.Paul Newman was an idol of the 60's and 70's whilst Redford was his extremely talented sidekick.
Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

17. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Yes is it is old and yes it is in black and white but this is still a great movie. How can anyone make a film so great that's set in one room. A production that plays on the emotions of the audience. A production that questions the audiences morality and ethical choices. This is truly a great film and could easily be at my number one if it was not for all the other great movies.

Sean's Movie Rating 10/10

18. Back To The Future (1985)
Before my time yes, but this is timeless. Okay, so maybe if someone makes a time machine one day it probably won't be a Delorean DMC-12, but it might be driven by Christopher Lloyd. It's something about the whole trilogy that has had me watching them repeatedly. I remember the first time I watched number two I wanted a hover board so badly. Why hasn't someone invented that yet?

Sean's Movie Rating 9/10

19. Finding Nemo (2003)
This is My own personal favourite Disney Pixar film ever made. I think this totally trumps 'Toy Story' which seems to generally be peoples favourite. Andrew Stanton (writer) really did create some of the best Disney characters ever. Let's face it who doesn't know who Nemo and Dory are. Perhaps this is out of place in my top 20 but it has sentimental value and it's definitely one of my favourites.

Sean's Movie Rating 9/10

20. What Dreams May Come (1998)
Robin Williams stepping out of his comical cast-type and creating one of his best ever acting performances. In this dramatic romance Chris Nielson (Robin Williams) quite literally dies and goes to heaven and its so much better than the dream. Whilst Chris is in his perfect heaven, his wife is in deep mourning. Not before long she decides life is no longer worth living and she tragically takes her own life. As this dark romantic tale unfolds the audience is shown how far one will go for their soul mate.

Sean's Movie Rating 8/10

Look back soon for the the next five movies.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

365 Photo's - It Can't Be Done!

You may have read my previous post that expressed that I would take a photo a day in relation to media in some way. Well it's just not possible.

When I first began the project I was a young naive Media Studies student out to conquer the industry with my new inventive ideas on the field of psychological photography but the empire striked back.

Now some 4 or 5 days later I realise that I have a far to busy and hectic life style to accomplish the goals I had recently set out for myself and I see there is a new hope. I am now an experienced realistic media scholar ready to re-invest into classical game, cinema and TV reviews.

I apologize for leading my audience of 6 to a false future in posting a photo a day for a year. But do not fear my followers the Jedi has returned.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Prison Break the Conspiracy

For all the 'Prison Break' fans out there the new and much anticipated PS3 game has been a long time coming and now it's finally here! What a FLOP!
The first disappointment was of course that you don't even play as Michael or Lincoln but because of my love for the series perseverance prevailed. But not for long.

The game began with a very sloppy opening dialogue between two characters that did not appear in the series. The story and plot laid out before the gamer was painfully sloppy and poor in every way. The production was nothing more than lazy!

  • The graphics were terrible.
  • Movement of character was appalling. The gamer can only move forward, back, left and right. Even when you attempt to turn around, the character runs backwards. Not to mention that the camera angle is fixed so that the back of the characters head takes up a third of the screen.
  • Characteristics of the real actors were completely wrong.
  • Missions are tedious and repetitive.
(No it's not the Sims although the graphics are that bad)

Tristan Ogilvie from IGN said 'Prison Break: The Conspiracy is just an unenjoyable wretch of a game. It really is quite bad. For starters the game is essentially one continuous fetch quest. In order to make friends with your fellow Fox River in-mates and progress the story along, you have to answer to their every beck and call. Retrieve C-Note's drug stash from the prison boiler room. Take a knife from the kitchen to give to Abruzzi. Collect PUGNAc medication from the infirmary for Scofield. Fetch the receipt for the game from your kitchen garbage bin. Grab you car keys and hope that the store you bought the game from allows refunds. And so on. '

To skip to the point. There was not a single good thing I can say about the development of the game. This was produced to eat into the pockets of all existing fans of the American drama series. It is a disgrace that the writers, producers and actors of the programme allowed their dedicated fans to be exposed to one of the worst video games that has been released on the playstation.

I should have known better and I hope you pass this message on to your peers.

A title has never been more appropriate than 'the conspiracy'.

Sean's Game Rating 1/10

Friday, 2 April 2010

365 Photo's - This should be fun!

Okay readers. I have been enlightened by my newest friend that I met whilst doing a research project on Star Trek fandom. He has introduced me to an exciting new way to blog. Starting today, every day for 365 days I will post a picture of something from my life each day.

So today is my first.

Day 1.

Okay so for my first day, I have taken a picture of my parents Harry Potter collection. ( yes that's right, my parents ). They have always been big fans of the stories and have read the books numerous times. Isn't fascinating how Harry Potter has such a larger adult audience, perhaps its because it offers a certain type of escapism where adults can live an alternate youthful imaginary life.

What is it about Harry Potter that gets everyone so excited?

Stay tuned for the next photo. O and don't worry I will still be writing my reviews.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

'Love Happens' Film Review

'Love Happens' (2009)

Okay Impartiality is going to be difficult on this one as it's hard to point at the positives when there is an extreme lack of them.

For a start I can not think of a more inappropriate title for a film that has almost nothing to do with love and everything to do with grievance. It has to be said that it had the potential to be a truly heart wrenching portrayal of someone that has experienced unimaginable loss. With the talents of Aaron Eckhart at the helms of Brandom Camp (Writer/Director) his ability as an actor has been truly wasted in a film I can only describe as a confusion of genres. Its as if the creators have attempted to put a comical/romantic spin on 'what dreams may come' (1998) which quite obviously is a structural mess.

Jennifer Aniston's presence was unnecessary in every way, she was more of a side kick to protagonist Burke than a love interest. Burke felt the need to open is heart to Eloise after just one day of meeting which screamed CRINGE! Even though Burke's story was truly tragic, the writers felt the need to emphasise more on the conventions of romantic comedy than to play to the strengths of the plot. As the story progressed the events became increasingly more pointless and painful to watch. It was a struggle to keep the DVD player switched on and only remained so due to my respect for Aaron Eckhart as an actor and their was also the fact my girlfriend wouldn't have allowed it, she seems to have an undying love for Jennifer Aniston.

Although my criticisms of the story are severe its important to illuminate Burke's occupation as having some interesting Philosophical values in such a way that he is a self-help guru for others that have experienced loss. Through the connection of a certain patient, Burke finds away to finally face his own problems and begin to deal with them in ways that he has taught onto others. But this minuscule part of the plot is short lived and it soon goes back to mono-tonal dialogue between monotonous characters with little meaning and no entertainment.

The surrounding characters had almost nothing to do with anything going on within the story and was a waste of wages. O yeah Martin Sheen appeared to for like 5 minutes. What a waste.

Sean's Movie Rating 3/10

Monday, 29 March 2010

Heavy Rain - PS3 Game Review

Okay so I'm getting into the swing of this so now for a game review.

Heavy Rain PS3

If your sick of 3rd person shooters that all attempt to be new and unconventional when really their all adaptations or duplications of Call of Duty, Halo and Half-life. If you have had enough of Square-Enix hopelessly trying to get back to the glory days of Final Fantasy 7 with feeble attempts such as Kindgom Hearts, the last remnant and the very recent disappointment Final Fantasy 13 then Heavy Rain will satisfy you to no end.

Spoiler Alert!

When Heavy Rain asked me to kill the father of two young girls to save my son amongst many other unethical and immoral proposition it brought my mental stability and decision making skills into question ( sounds strong I know, wait until you play it ). Ignore some slight downfalls or ambiguous plots and you will feel a very enjoyable, intense and satisfactory gaming experience.

The graphics of the game prove to be very impressive through the use of new technology that allows actual people to act out scenes of the game which is then converted into game graphics that completely replicate the features of that actor. This is all very impressive but you can see this for yourself through the special features unlocked as you progress through the game.

How this game is very different to anything else you have played before is through the use of characters. You play as four different people throughout, but it gets really exciting when you are faced with difficult situations which lead to susceptible fates. So yes if you make the wrong decision at any point of the game at any time with any character this could result in a ripple effect and will change the fate of the remaining characters.

Chris Ropper ( IGN ) says: "What's really interesting is that Heavy Rain manages to always keep you on your toes, and if you don't pay attention and keep your cool, you'll pay for it. There are action sequences that happen when you least expect them, and if you're not ready, you may "fail" them. In other cases, the opposite is true: events can happen very quickly and your gut instinct may be to react to them, when the best option may have been to wait for a better opportunity (or not react at all). The first time this last bit happened to me, I had to stop playing for a minute and think about what I'd done and what the consequences would wind up being. Things can get pretty intense, to say the least. "

Once I completed this game I just wanted to play again, but instead I took much enjoyment in watching friends make the same or worse mistakes in different scenarios. If you get to this point it's most enjoyable if you do not help them in any way so you can then laugh in their face. Good times.

Sean's Game Rating 9/10

Day One Of My Blog

I have been studying Media at university now for 2 years and all I here from my lecturers is "you should be Blogging". WHY?

So here I am trying to understand why people blog, so from time to time I will write something about something every day related to my course until I understand.

For a starter I am going to do a short review of the most recent movie I have seen. Don't worry I don't go into any media jargon so i'll save the Genre, Semiotic, Philosophical and Content analysis for the future of Sean Duffy's blog.

So for now lets call this 'Film review for Dummies'

Today's Topic - 'The Fourth Kind'

Okay, so last night I watched The Fourth Kind and it was straaaaaaange. What is it about Milla Jovovich that makes her want to make the weirdest movies ever (Ultraviolet 2006)? The Fourth Kind is eerie to say the least, who would have thought that an owl could be so scary. This film must have had a range of disturbed minds behind the scenes or maybe just one. Yes Olatunde Osunsanmi insisted on doing the story, screenplay, directing and yes he was also in the film which may been one of it's biggest downfalls, after all two heads are better than one! Maybe you should remember that for next time Olatunde.
The Fourth Kind is based on a true story and actually shows evidence of regularly mimicking actual events which is fascinating at times. The plot follows Abbey Tyler a psychologist living in Alaska who suffers from an ordeal that involves the murder of her husband and the disabling of her daughters vision. Abbey begins to see a pattern in the interviews with her patients, they are all having troubles sleeping and are all seeing a white owl, or are they? Without giving away to much the audience witnesses the events of alien contact within the community and it's up to you to decide what is authentic.
The real life footage will scare the crap out of you, if it really is real. As Olatunde and Milla make it clear to it's audience that it's up to you to believe what is real and what is not. The constant flickering between real footage to acted film is done to perfection, at times the script even overlaps one another which is quite creepy but effective. It has to be said that the real footage is somewhat disturbing but the part of your mind that is actually sane screams HOAX! but all the same it does get you thinking.
Forgetting the ideologies for a moment and thinking about the production values. It is very well structured and formatted although sometimes the sound quality lets it down, subtitles will sort that out for you. The filming is original and keeps you interested throughout the duration of the film but the similarity between Will Patton and Elias Koteas may confuse you to who is who?
Overall the movie kept me interested but Milla Jovovich I feel needs to go back a year or two when she was making great movies like The Fifth Element (1998) we all know she's got it in her.

Sean's Movie Rating 6/10