Wednesday 30 April 2014


Oldboy, the spectacular 2003 South Korean film, which in turn was a film adaptation of the 1996 Japanese manga of the same name, has received an American remake. The classic 2003 film wasn't just a direct adaptation of the manga, but rather bettered it in even way imaginable. Headlined by Choi Min-sik, who readers may know from the 2010's excellent I Saw The Devil, Oldboy was the second instalment of The Vengeance Trilogy; a trilogy by director Park Chan-Wook that also comprised of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. It has since become a modern classic with many of the scenes from the film being hailed as iconic, most notably a scene in which the main character defends himself against a horde of bad guys only wielding a hammer. The fantastic one-shot scene is both violent and jaw droopingly awesome, and has become the first scene people think of when they think of Oldboy. But what about the new American Oldboy?

So while 2003's Oldboy was literally perfect, Hollywood have done the very Hollywood thing and have remade it. Yes, the hammer scene is there. Yes, they haven't changed that twist. But while it retains plenty of what made the original so damn good, it has lost so much more. Directed by Spike Lee and starring John Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, Oldboy is a mess of a film, and a film that shouldn't really exist. Oldboy opens in 1993 and over the course of the film spans 20 years. In 1993 an unknown assailant knocks Joe Doucett unconscious. Upon waking, Joe finds himself in a locked hotel room, and he quickly figures out that he has been kidnapped.

Only given basic meals that are provided through a shutter on a locked door, basic hygiene facilities and a TV in his room, Joe faces life as a caged animal. However, after seeing on the news that he has been framed for the rape and murder of his ex-wife and that his daughter has been adopted, he works out, quits drinking, watches boxing matches to help train himself, and spends the next 20 years planning his revenge. Though escaping was always on his mind, in 2013 Joe is knocked out and finds himself in a box in a field. With nothing but a cellphone on him, Joe must find out who kept he captive for 20 years and quite literally destroyed his life. As I said, the story doesn't differ that much from its South Korean counterpart, but because it's so nearly identical narratively, this version of Oldboy is just unnecessary. 

What's missing here is the humanity and weighted performances of the South Korean version. Don't get me wrong, Brolin is a great actor in his own right, but while Choi Min-sik portrayed his character in a nuanced manner of a guy who has lost everything, Brolin's Joe sometimes comes across as if someone merely short-changed him when buying milk. There's no gravity to his performance, which ultimately should have been what they were aiming for. Also, this extends to most of the other cast too, in particular Sharlto Copley, an actor I'm quite a fan of but who comes across as if he's phoning in a performance. 

But should Spike Lee's Oldboy be compared to Park Chan-Wook's Oldboy? I think so. Why? Because, while it does diverge in some elements, it is painfully similar to the original. I got the same feeling when I watched Predators, a film that pays way too much homage to the original film, Predator. Because it was trying to be the exact same film, it kind of made itself redundant. As I watched this remake of Oldboy it just made me want to watch the original, better version. So, for me, and many others I'd imagine, this remake is just completely unneeded, and is destined to live in the South Korean versions proud shadow.

If this were an original creation it would be viewed in a much more positive light. But it's not. It's an ultimately worthless remake of a film that is a near perfect film experience. It takes the emotional sub-text of the original and subtracts it, re-films the best scenes into soulless imitations and doesn't do much better than what was expected of it. Unneeded, unwanted and will only make you want to watch the original again.

Oldboy is nowhere near as good as its South Korean counterpart and gets a 2/5.


Denis Murphy

Oldboy at CeX

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Tuesday 29 April 2014

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle

For gamers unfamiliar with the world of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, playing All Star Battle can be an utterly perplexing experience, if they attempt to understand the lore and history behind the characters they're controlling. For the uninitiated, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese manga that was originally first published in 1987 in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The series chronicles the life (and sometimes deaths) of the Joestars, a powerful family with English roots. So far spanning over 8 generations of the Joestar family tree (although the latest two tales are set in an alternate universe!), the first volume, titled Phantom Blood, was set in the 1880's in Great Britain. Since then readers of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure have followed numerous Joestars through all kinds of misadventures and mediums, including TV series, movies and, of course, videogames. But All Star Battle isn't the first JoJo's Bizarre Adventure videogame, but it is undoubtedly the best attempt as of yet.

Developed by CyberConnect2 who also brought us the classic .hack series and out now on PlayStation 3, comes JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, a game that is one giant dose of fan service. Keeping in line with what Capcom tried to bring to the table with their own JoJo's Bizarre Adventure game in 1998, CyberConnect2 have understandably made the title a fighting game. However, the beautiful thing about All Star Battle is that it plucks pretty much every character from all the 8 manga volumes, and chucks them all together into one massive all star battle, if you'll pardon the pun. Over the course of the game you'll get to fight as such classic characters as Jonathan Joestar, Lisa Lisa, Muhammad Avdol and Okuyasu Nijimura, right up to more recent characters like Josuke Higashikata. All of the action takes place in levels based upon locations in the manga too; so hard-core JoJo fans will find plenty to enjoy right off the bat. Though a lot of what makes this special will be lost on non-fans, the collection of over-the-top and badass characters here is still pretty impressive, even if you aren't familiar with the whole JoJo universe.

Though All Star Battle is largely a typical fighting game, there is plenty of aspects that help it stand out from the competition. Attacking comes in three forms; light, medium and hard, and utilising a blend of each attack is key to nailing combos. Each player also has the ability to sidestep and dodge attacks, which when done effectively instantly shifts the game from a 2D fighting game to that of a 360 degree one. However, the real standout element of All Star Battle is the Style button. Throughout the 32 characters available there are 7 different Styles, and they come in many varied and unique ways. For instance, Dio Brando has the ability to completely freeze his opponents thereby leaving them open to a hammering, while Johnny Joestar can summon his horse to aid him in a fight. Sitting atop a horse and mercilessly stomping away at a foe is my latest guilty pleasure! The beauty of All Star Battle is the fact that it's somewhere between a button mashing fighter and a fighter akin to Street Fighter's incredibly in-depth system. It bridges that gap quite nicely, so while you can shut your brain off when playing All Star Battle, the challenges it throws your way are fun, interesting and rewarding. 

All of the typical staples of fighting games are there too, including over-the-top finishing moves, finishing moves that utilise the environment and stage hazards; areas of each stage that the player will need to watch out for, be it falling chandeliers or toads falling from the sky. Needless to say, All Star Battle retains the wit, charm and completely batshit insane logic of the manga and anime series.

There are three game modes on offer, and come in the form of Story Mode, Campaign Mode and Versus Mode. During Story Mode you can only control characters of the Joestar lineage, but it’s during this mode in which you're able to recreate key moments and battles from the manga series. That said, once a certain battle is completed the player will then be able to fight the battle from the antagonists point of view. This not only keeps gameplay feeling varied, but also pulls the player into the world of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure quite effectively.

Overall JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle may only be aimed at the hard-core JoJo fans, but non-fans will find plenty of fun here. While not exactly stepping into the realm of the Street Fighter 4, the games over the top designs, move sets and hilarious attitude will satisfy just about any gamer who enjoys fighting games.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle kicks ass and gets a 5/5.


Denis Murphy

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle at CeX

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Monday 28 April 2014

CeX Poughkeepsie open now!

High fives and drinks all round, today is a fantastic day. We've just opened our brand spanking new CeX Poughkeepsie store. Awesome!

Come on down to sell or exchange your unwanted phones, games, computers and gadgets, and pick up something super shiny or just to chat with us about all the geeky things you love.

Check us out for all your buy, sell, exchange and geeky needs. Find us at:

2001 South Road,
Unit C205,

Find your nearest CeX at

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The Machine

The idea of true artificial intelligence has always fascinated and haunted mankind. From the first time a robot was depicted on camera in the form of Maria in Metropolis, or when Gort first stepped out of the saucer in The Day the Earth Stood Still to when Robocop struggled with his former humanity, film has always focused on the idea of a living machine. Some films do it right while others fail, but what is clear is that appetite for such a subject still remains in the movie goers of today, just like they did when Metropolis blazed onto our screens back in 1927. Right now in the cinema there is Transcendence, a film starring Johnny Depp that aims to tackle some of these topics. However, while Transcendence may get a good deal of attention, another, far more interesting film is available now on Blu-Ray and DVD.

The Machine is the latest film to wrestle with the subject of artificial intelligence, and a film that does it exceptionally well. Directed by Caradog W. James, The Machine is a somewhat low-budget British sci-fi that proves you don't need a massive Hollywood-style budget to create an effective, thoughtful and stunningly beautiful film. The Machine is set in a future in which an on-going cold war with China has pushed the Western world deeper and deeper into an economic depression. Within this cold war creating an artificial intelligence has become the goal of humanity, much like the space race exploded from the cold war between America and the USSR.

Dr. Vincent McCarthy, the films main character, works at designing implants for brain-damaged soldiers. He's a dedicated and driven man, but once he meets Ava, a researcher who has effectively created a cybernetic brain with the capability of learning, Vincent's noble priorities start to shift. After Ava is fatally injured, Vincent decides to take the project forward on his own and mould the robots likeness in that of Ava's. The Machine focuses on Vincent's journey to not only create the worlds first humanoid artificial intelligence, but also with the moral ramifications that will ultimately come about once his goal is achieved. Blending a fantastic and compelling story with truly excellent performances, The Machine is the best indie sci-fi film is years.

The first thing that will come to mind for any sci-fi fan upon watching The Machine, is that it has been incredibly influenced by Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, especially in the visual department. From the moody lighting, harsh lens flares to the overall great sense of world building, The Machine wouldn't exist without Blade Runner. That said, it doesn't come across as a rip-off, but rather a film in the same vein, and this is welcomed because from a purely visual point of view The Machine is particularly stunning to behold. But visuals are one thing, without a strong cast The Machine, or any film for that matter, wouldn't stand on its own two feet. I'm glad to say that The Machine has a cast worthy of the important and ethical questions it raises. The journey Vincent finds himself on is wonderfully portrayed by Toby Stephens, while artificial intelligence Ava starts off like a child but begins to slowly turn into something incredibly threatening. Needless to say, Ava, played by Caity Lotz, is The Machine's centrepiece, as her work throughout the film is just top notch.

While it may get lost within the flurry of theatrical, DVD and Blu-Ray releases right now, if you're a sci-fi fan you'll seriously want to check out The Machine. It's a powerful film that tackles the tricky and often morally grey area that is artificial intelligence in a pleasing and even handed manner. Backed up by a fantastic cast and wondrous visuals, The Machine is a must for anyone looking for an original film experience.

The Machine is fully functional and gets a 4/5.


Denis Murphy

The Machine at CeX

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Sunday 27 April 2014

Demon Gaze

I was quite surprised to find out that NIS American decided to bring Demon Gaze to the West. While there's a great love for the JRPG in the West, first-person Japanese dungeon crawlers never quite took off, and always remained a generally niche market. Plus, while that might be enough to avoid bringing Demon Gaze to the Western market, it's also a sequel to a game that was never released outside of Japan. So it goes without saying that the odds were against it, but with Sony doing their best to beef up the catalogue the PS Vita, Demon Gaze has made it to our shores. However, while the fact that we're able to play it is indeed a success story, the big question remains; is it any good? Read on...

Developed by Experience Inc. and out now for PS Vita, Demon Gaze puts the player in the role of Oz, a young man who has the ability to seal demons. Oz is a Demon Gazer, and as Peter Parker was once told, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Oz must battle ten rogue demons and prevent to the awakening of the most powerful demon, Sol. Over the course of the game Oz must work together with a team of various other characters, until the final epic encounter with Sol.

Demon Gaze is a first-person dungeon crawler. However, before you crack into the heart of the game you'll first need to create your character. Customization is rather linear, but that's forgivable, as you never quite see your character much anyway. Regardless, creating your character covers options in the form of gender, race, voice and class. Once that's all chosen you'll be thrust into the world, which, aside from the central hub for the player to relax in, consists of dungeons, dungeons and even more dungeons! But you aren't expected to take out the ten rogue demons alone as, while at the local Inn, the player can create four team members to tag along in your adventure. Once again you'll need to use the character creation screen, but creating these characters is arguably even harder than before, as you'll need to find a balance between the classes you're forming your team with. For instance, five archers will lead to your team unable to use close ranged attacks, while a team full of Paladins is basically suicide. A steady, evenhanded selection of classes is the key. Also, while at the Inn the player can buy weapons, items, chat to the various vendors and, of course, accept new quests.

After gearing up at the Inn, The world of Mythrid consists of six major areas, each looking largely unique due to a very diverse visual design. The game's main focus is on grinding and finding loot, both of which are plentiful. Through countless random battles the player needs to build up their team in order to then go up against the ten rogue demons. Battles are fun, if a little repetitive and tedious at times. That said, if random battles, grinding and finding loot is your thing, Demon Gaze does a great job at nailing this for the portable market. Due to the up close and personal perspective of gameplay, visually Demon Gaze is pretty impressive, and though the PS Vita is capable of far, far more, the visuals do keep gameplay feeling fresh. For instance, the exotic locations, great enemy designs and rich, vibrant player characters breath life into the game, especially during times where it's teetering on the edge of the tedium. Though the mix of 3D and 2D graphics is a little jarring at times, Demon Gaze successfully builds both an interesting and exciting looking world, as if it was plucked from the pages of a Japanese manga.

Overall Demon Gaze isn't for everyone, but if you're into this genre you can't really go wrong. Though it may look somewhat simplistic at first, even painfully so, if Demon Gaze takes your fancy you'll find yourself wrapped up in a world that will sap your time away. Sure, it has its shortcomings, but it's a solid addition to the PS Vita.

Demon Gaze eyes up a 3/5.


Denis Murphy

Demon Gaze at CeX

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Saturday 26 April 2014


It’s any other day of the week and you know what that means, Jason Statham has a new film out! It’s been hours since his last one and, I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting. I had to watch Eastenders with the Kill Bill soundtrack playing over it to get some sort of Statham-esque vibe going. Don’t misinterpret my lazy use of irony here as a dislike for him though, I genuinely think Statham is one of the most satisfying of today’s action stars to watch, always really well performed and choreographed punches and kicks and the like. The film in question this week is Homefront.

In Homefront Statham plays an ex-cop called Phil Broker who is hiding in the depths of Louisiana with his daughter Maddy. Maddy is getting picked on in school, and it is revealed, placed into the Ludivico from A Clockwork Orange by the bad guy from inspector gadget and made to watch Hannah, Chocolate and Kick Ass until she could fight. Okay, most of that sentence is a lie, but she does hand the kid his cumbersome ass within a few seconds as if it were true. This draws the self-righteous attention of her bully’s parents who are the kind of people satirised in My Name Is Earl. The bully’s father, encouraged by his wife, attempts to kick Statham’s ass and having never seen any of his other films ends up quite surprised when his face and dignity are wiped all over the car park.

James Franco is introduced as a good old-fashioned drug manufacturer prone to threatening kids when they’re off their minds on crystal meth. Mean, considering they are probably trying to unearth hallucinated bugs out from under their skin and dodge James Franco’s baseball bat at the same time. Franco is commissioned to ruin Statham’s life a bit and also happens to find out that he’s responsible for the death one of his guys. In retribution he decides to kidnap Maddy leading to Phil Broker going down the usual Statham route; hurting people until he gets his daughter/son/wife/revenge.

I enjoyed it, quite a bit, but I had about half my body weight of red wine in me. As always the fight scenes were satisfying and everyone involved was great but considering it was set in Louisiana you really expect it to have a lot more of a swampy vibe going on, like maybe Dr. John serving up some tunes and gumbo. Instead I ended up watching a beautiful vibrant background be used as white space behind two-dimensional characters in a nothing more than typical action film. It feels like a Stallone/Statham collaboration like this should’ve blown my mind to smithereens but instead left me with wine soaked ennui.

Homefront gets a 3/5.


Dave Roberts

Homefront at CeX

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Tuesday 22 April 2014


Now the top grossing animation of all time, there seems to be no stopping the Frozen craze. From Disney Infinity figures, to limited edition dolls to ‘Let It Go’ plaguing every radio station (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing), it’s difficult to escape it. From directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee who have credits in their résumé that range from Tarzan to Wreck-It Ralph, the film was always in good hands. Pair them with a cast including A-lister Kristen Bell and a number of Glee veterans such as Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff, and you get a film that is full of energy and precision.

Frozen is a story adapted from Hans Christian-Andersen’s The Snow Queen, though the term ‘adapted’ is used loosely. It follows the story of Elsa and Anna, newly crowned Queen and Princess, as the former tries to hide her powers from her sister and the whole kingdom. As tempers rise so do the powers, which sees Elsa fleeing and Anna desperately searching for her, while the kingdom is plunged into an eternal winter. The journey introduces us to characters such as Olaf the Snowman, Kristoff the ice salesman and his trusty Reindeer Sven. The main villain of the story comes from Erindale’s trade partner who attempts to plunder the kingdom’s resources and a foe that is best not named to avoid spoiling the film for anyone who has miraculously not yet seen it.

The humour comes mainly from certain characters. Olaf with his innocent ignorance of summer and warm hugs is the main source when paired with his jolly optimism, and Sven with his doglike loyalty and pride in being a reindeer. However, what makes Frozen superior to other Disney musicals (or animations, or musicals, for that matter) is that it manages to fill the songs with laugh-out-loud moments. Olaf’s first song, ‘In Summer’ is one giant laugh riot as he ignores a puddle and dances around his sand-people family.

The soundtrack is again one of the best around, with heart-wrenching songs such as ‘Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?’, and the heart-warming ‘For The First Time In Forever.’ However, the pièce de résistance is ‘Let It Go’, the song that has been in everybody’s Facebook status, played in every shop and has spawned hundreds of metal covers on Youtube. Youtube’s famous Francis has also released a fantastic version as a message to his haters - definitely worth a watch. I heard the song before I’d seen the film which gave me the opinion of it being sang in the wrong key, but when you watch the sequence in the film it all just… fits. I’m not sure how or why, but it matches the tone of what we’re seeing on screen really well - which is yet another reason why Frozen is spectacular.

The choreography and directing is outstanding. From the little things like the choir being arranged in height order during the coronation, to the brilliant routine during ‘Let It Go’ when Elsa spawns her magnificent ice castle - it’s all so brilliantly coherent between audio and visual.

My only quarrel I have with the film is that it’s too short. Whether that’s a compliment or complaint depends on why, and my reasoning is that we don’t really get enough context. How did Elsa get her powers?  How did Kristoff end up wandering around on his own? And, I know I’m SERIOUSLY nit-picking here, but at the start Kristoff is 8 years-old, and Sven is, shall we say, a year old. Later on, Kristoff is 21 years-old, meaning Sven is around 14 years-old. A quick Google search indicates that the average lifespan of a reindeer is 4.5 years. I know it’s Disney, I know it’s a different Universe (to some extent), and I know it’s essentially a children’s film therefore death is usually only alluded to – so I’ll let Frozen off.

You cannot dislike this film. Even the hardest of hearts will find themselves singing their heart out and desperate for all to end well. It really highlights just how far the Disney studio has come and their new direction. It’s beginning to rival the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks which is great, because the more good animations we have, the better. Frozen may be the best we’ve seen in a years. A brilliant soundtrack, a brilliant cast and a brilliant story that’s only downside is everyone wanting more once the credits roll.

Frozen freezes the competition with a 5/5.


Jonny Naylor

Frozen at CeX

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Monday 21 April 2014

CeX Franklin Mills has moved!

That's right Ladies and Gentlemen of Philadelphia. We have moved our CeX Franklin Mills store to a bigger and better location!

Come say "Hi" at 1379 Franklin Mills Circle, Philadelphia, PA 19154. As always we have a treasure trove of phones, games, DVDs & tech gadgets for you to buy, sell, exchange & donate.

Thanks to the team who made the new CeX Franklin Mills happen. We <3 you!

Where do YOU want the next CeX?
Find your local CeX here

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Sunday 20 April 2014

Deception IV: Blood Ties

Back in 1996 Tecmo released Deception: Invitation to Darkness, a exclusive PlayStation title that despite causing a bit of controversy and also being a pretty fun game, didn't take off like some of Tecmo's better known titles. That said, it did find itself a loyal fan base, a fan base that ultimately allowed Tecmo to develop two sequels and a spin-off, Trapt. Though slightly different in a number of ways, Trapt remained the most recent entry in the series up until now. But instead of giving fans a sequel to 2005's Trapt, Tecmo have gone back to their roots in the Deception series. The latest title in the series not only aims to bring the action back to the series' roots, but also add some new features for the modern gamer. Is it a good enough game to deserve the Deception name? Read on...

Developed by Tecmo and out now on PS Vita and PlayStation 3 comes Deception IV: Blood Ties, a game that proves that sometimes the most simplistic concepts are the best. The story to Blood Ties is actually pretty damn awesome. To put it simply, your mission is to unleash the Devil upon the world. Epic, right? You play as Laegrinna, daughter of the Devil. Three thousand years ago, The Saints, twelve warriors tasked to put his reign to an end, killed the Devil. Using Holy Verses to seal him away, the Holy Verses were broken up and given to the twelve members of The Saints, and ultimately their descendants. Aiding Laegrinna along the way are various demons who served her father. As Laegrinna you must find the twelve Holy Verses and thus bring about the return of your father, the Antichrist. It's a pretty awesome set up for a game, and this Devil angle was why the original game was frowned upon. I mean, it's not every game in which you try and ultimately bring about the destruction of mankind right?

The aim of Blood Ties is to prevent various enemy forces from reaching you. However, compared to 99.9% of games out there, as Laegrinna the player literally can't attack. Instead the player must solely focus on setting traps and having unsuspecting victims wander into them. These traps can come in a whole bunch of different varieties, under three different types; Brutality, Humiliation and Magnificence. Effectively utilising the different trap types will give the player various rewards throughout. Humiliation traps are hilarious, and are almost akin to the “Babality” moves from Mortal Kombat. Humiliation traps include the likes of slipping on a banana peel, being sucked into a black hole and being smacked over the head with a toy hammer. However, the other trap types aren't as warm and fuzzy, with scissors, circular saw, bear trap, various bombs and an Iron Maiden being a typical day at the deadly Blood Ties office. 

Most enemies won't die after one trap so it's vital to chain traps, and this is where the true skill and fun of Blood ties emerges. It's possible to chain many of traps together, though it does take time to effectively pull this off successfully. The player needs to take in consideration where the enemy will be launched after an attack, as chaining is only effective if the foe is launched directly onto another nearby trap. If done correctly it can be a powerful tool as the endgame approaches and the enemies become stronger.

Though the PS Vita does have the advantage of utilising the touch screen, it doesn't mean that the PS3 version is inferior. They're pretty much the exact same, but Blood Ties comes across as the perfect portable experience, something you can take out at any time and just toy around with. On the surface it's a painfully simple concept, but Blood Ties achieves success on so many levels, and makes it one of the better PS Vita games on offer.

Deception IV: Blood Ties brings the pain and gets a 4/5.


Denis Murphy

Deception IV: Blood Ties at CeX

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Friday 18 April 2014

Kinect Sports Rivals

Motion controlled gaming is nothing new, and stretches back past even what the Wii brought to the table in 2006. Once Nintendo began to dominate the market, Sony and Microsoft scrambled to tap into the “casual” market, a market that they hoped would bring in the big bucks. Sony aimed to deliver with the PlayStation Move, which was essentially two advanced Wii remotes. Microsoft however tried something a little more daring, and in 2010 came the Kinect; a motion controlled device that told gamers “you are the controller”. Though the technology was pretty neat, Microsoft never quite managed to release a must-have game that utilized the Kinect. However, they're aiming to change that on the Xbox One by, you know, making the Kinect a mandatory accessory for the console. Though a little late to the Xbox One launch party, the latest Kinect experience has hit the shelves.

Developed by Rare and out now on Xbox One comes Kinect Sports Rivals, a game that single handedly tries to prove you need a Kinect. Upon starting Kinect Sports Rivals the Kinect, in it's own little charming Orwellian way, scans the players face and tries to recreate them within the game. Through having the player turn and tilt their head accordingly, the Kinect builds up a 3D model of the players face. At this point the players 3D face will resemble the evil cyborg baby from the end of the Matrix: Revolutions, but eventually form into something far less nightmare inducing. Trust me, it's actually kind of scary how much the Kinect Sports Rivals counterpart will look like you. Once that's done the real meat of the game is ahead, and thankfully comes in a few different forms, even if they don't all work that well.

There are six games on offer here, each one utilising the Kinect in very unique ways. They range from Rock Climbing, Jet Skiing, Tennis, Target Shooting, Soccer and Bowling, and are a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to quality. The Soccer game in particular is pretty awful, because rather than being able to run around and in turn enjoy dynamic, fast gameplay, it basically involves you passing the ball to a bunch of static players. It's pretty much like a game of foosball, really. The Target Shooting game also disappoints in that it's just so damn easy, merely requiring the player to hold out an outstretched hand to fire. That said, the other games on offer are not only a lot of fun, but also show of the new Kinects ability to detect slight nuanced motions on the human body.

While bowling the player can attempt to put some spin into the ball, which can lead to pretty surprising results despite intricate wrist action seemingly impossible for the Kinect to detect. This also extends to Kinect Sports Rivals best game, Rock Climbing. Rock Climbing here just feels right. From reaching out to grab a hand hold, clasping your hand down to grab onto it and hurling your free arm up into the air for another hand hold, it easily makes it the best game in Kinect Sports Rivals' arsenal. That said, the multiplayer aspect of the game is somewhat harmed by the Kinects technical limitations, and this usually comes in the form of a lag in time between you and your avatars movements. This was most prevalent while playing Tennis side-to-side with another player. It's not a game killing annoyance, but just something that may disappoint.

Sadly Kinect Sports Rivals doesn't justify packaging a mandatory Kinect in with the Xbox One. Sorry Microsoft, it's just not a must-have game. But, while it may not be a game changer, it is a fun game that’s nuanced movement detection capabilities may surprise a lot of gamers. If you're already in the market for a Kinect title, this is easily up there with the best released so far. Despite that, Kinect Sports Rivals feels like a dry run for something truly great we’ve yet to see. Your move, Microsoft.

Kinect Sports Rivals just about beats the competition and gets a 3/5.


Denis Murphy

Kinect Sports Rivals Comedy at CeX

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Thursday 17 April 2014

CeX Stores Trading on Easter Sunday

Happy Easter folks! Overdosed yet on chocolate eggs? If not you can still head on down to our stores for your buy, sell and exchange needs on Easter Sunday as most will be operating under normal Sunday hours.

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inFamous: Second Son

Warning: The following contains spoilers for inFamous 2.

When Sucker Punch Productions released inFamous for the PS3 in 2009, it took everyone a little by surprise. Keep in mind that Sucker Punch Productions were the team behind the classic Sly Cooper series, so on the surface a game like inFamous seemed a little out of their comfort zone. But upon playing inFamous all the doubters were proven wrong, and their first attempt at the superhero genre was hugely successful. A sequel followed, that while a bit of a let-down compared to the first game, was great fun nonetheless. Now comes the third game in the series, inFamous Second Son. But with massive expectations on its shoulders to be the must-have game of the PS4, does it live up to the hype? In a word, yes.

Developed by Sucker Punch Productions and out now for PS4, Infamous Second Son doesn't do much in the way of innovation for the series, but manages to deliver an exceedingly awesome experience that both caters to inFamous fans, as well as to the potential newcomers to the series. Taking place in the year 2016, six years after the events of inFamous 2 and the death of former series protagonist Cole McGrath, the Department of Unified Protection (DUP) is formed to hunt down “conduits”; individuals that have superhuman abilities thanks to a mutant human gene. Leading the DUP on this mission to hunt conduits down is Brooke Augustine, a conduit herself and a ruthless foe. You play the role of Delsin Rowe, a Native American graffiti artist who is the black sheep of the tribe. When a DUP convoy crashes near his reservation and he comes into direct contact with a conduit, he adsorbs the conduits powers and is promptly captured by Augustine. A week later Delsin discovers that Augustine is slowly torturing his tribe, and the only way to stop it is for Augstine to use her powers on them again. Now knowing he is a conduit, Deslin must seek out Augustine in Seattle in order claim her power and save his tribe.

InFamous Second Son is a third-person open world action adventure, but compared to many other open world titles, it aims to give the player true freedom, both in exploration and methods of destruction. Set in the beautifully recreated city of Seattle, getting around the city comes in many forms. However, unlike games like GTA in which you might hitch a ride in a cab, here in Second Son you'll be running up skyscrapers, jumping and gliding through the sky and generally doing acrobatic parkour around the open world provided. While there are various methods, Deslin will often look like a blue coloured wisp of neon flame as he pulses through the environment to stunning effect. Exploring and navigating the world of Second Son is incredibly fluid and fun, and puts other parkour based games like Assassin's Creed to shame.

While the city of Seattle is quite important to the game, Delsin's powers shine during the many fights you'll find yourself having across the city. In Second Son the player starts off with a smoke based power for attacks, but as they progress, and in turn defeat various other conduits, their powers will increase greatly. This is where the skill tree comes into focus; a method of upgrading your character that aims to put a greater sense of choice in your hands. It works quite nicely too, as in Second Son you'll find yourself paying great attention when choosing an upgrade. Though by the end you'll pretty much have the entire skill tree filled, during the opening hours of the game it's imperative to choose your new abilities wisely.

Fighting is Second Son is epic, simply as. From taking on countless foes at once and unleashing a utterly devastating Neon attack, to going head-to-head with a fellow conduit and switching between an array of visceral powers, the sense of destruction and sheer badass action here is next to none. This is helped along greatly by the fact that many, many objects, buildings and environments can be completely destroyed. While sometimes it will make tactical sense, say, when taking down a DUP guard tower, other times you'll end up just doing it for kicks. This sense of play, fun and potential for mischief Second Son can often stir up is incredibly awesome.

Visually it’s a master-class of what the PS4 can offer. Sure, it's early days yet in the console lifetime, but Second Son looks so wonderfully slick, so rich with densely packed detail and content, that it may take awhile before another PS4 game beats it in the looks department. While the city itself can often be too small at times, it doesn't prevent it being the perfect vehicle in which to deliver both an enjoyable story and near endless gameplay possibilities.  

InFamous Second Son is the must-have game the PS4 needs and gets a 5/5, [★★★★★]

Denis Murphy

inFamous: Second Son at CeX

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CeX Stores Trading on Easter Sunday

Happy Easter folks! Overdosed yet on chocolate eggs? If not you can still head on down to some of our stores for your buy, sell and exchange needs on Easter Sunday.

The following stores will be closed on Easter Sunday, with the rest operating standard Sunday hours:

  • Deerbrook
  • Franklin Mills
  • Everett Mall
  • The Commons
  • Northgate Mall
  • Poughkeepsie Galleria
  • Crystal Run

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Wednesday 16 April 2014

CeX Bilston open now!

High fives and drinks all round, today is a fantastic day. We've just opened our brand spanking new CeX Bilston store. Get in!

Come on down to sell or exchange your unwanted phones, games, computers and gadgets, and pick up something super shiny or just to chat with us about all the geeky things you love.

Check us out for all your buy, sell, exchange and geeky needs. Find us at:

18 Market Way
West Midlands

Find your nearest CeX at

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson has done it again. Not only has he brought a decades old novel to the silver screen but he’s given it such life, such character and such vision that you can really believe in it. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was arguably some of the finest film-making in modern history and at the same time remain faithful to its source material. Such was the effect of the trilogy, that it was only a matter of time before Jackson turned his attentions to the more light-hearted novel that J.R.R. Tolkien had created before even attempting LOTR - The Hobbit. The first film installment of this sub-series, An Unexpected Journey, launched back in December 2012 to good reviews and an even better box office result. This only begged the age-old question - can a sequel be as good as the first? Step up chapter 2, The Desolation of Smaug.

Taking place straight after the events of the first, Desolation gives us our heroic Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) embarking on a journey across Middle-earth accompanied by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the dwarf prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and a whole host of other dwarves. Their objective? To help Thorin to reclaim his throne as King Under The Mountain from the evil dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Along the way they must deal with shape shifting bears, giant spiders, mysterious elves, orcs and even nefarious politicians (yep, that’s right) before they even encounter the great dragon himself.

If you’re expecting a huge epic like LOTR, then this isn’t quite the same. If anything, it’s more of a “dumbed-down” version. This, however, makes it considerably more light-hearted than its predecessors and deals with fewer dark themes, which makes for easier viewing than LOTR and the previous chapter. It’s not as grand, not as epic and not as disturbing as the others, but Desolation really doesn’t have to be. The novels were aimed more for children and that’s exactly how Jackson wants us to see this - it has a perfect blend of comedy, action and drama and in that respect it’s a perfect all-rounder. Kids may have been put off by the monsters in LOTR but there’s very little here to worry them. Well, maybe a dragon.

Speaking of which, it is the titular character that truly steals the show. Smaug is, arguably, one of cinema’s greatest dragons thanks to the way he is brought to life. He is so well detailed and created that he looks more realistic than most of the other actors in the film! Benedict Cumberbatch performs amazingly as the fire-breathing wyrm, his voice being the perfect mix of calmness, eeriness and forcefulness that it’s very difficult to envision anyone else in the role. He’s unrecognisable thanks to being able to change his voice so easily and effectively. The other actors also perform well and there’s even an especially surprising turn from Orlando Bloom, who reprises his role as elf Legolas from LOTR. Bloom seems to have settled into the role now, allowing him to flesh out the character of Legolas a little bit more. 

The film looks absolutely astonishing, making LOTR and the last installment seem less impressive, and something that is both good and bad. It makes Desolation seem like the pinnacle of Jackson’s creativity and visual representation of Middle-earth and makes it the most visually impressive of the series, but it also indicates it relies very heavily on visual effects rather than conventional means of action. Granted, all of Jackson’s films thus far have done that and it would be exceptionally difficult to replicate the majority of what happens without visual effects. The problem here is that the effects can get in the way of the story and sometimes we’re so blinded by what we see on screen, that we forget there’s a story to be told here.

When we do focus on the story, it’s actually flawed. There are huge sections of the film that deal with the relationship between the elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and the dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner). The film intends to portray their blossoming romance but does it so quickly and suddenly; it doesn’t quite work and doesn’t feel as natural as it should. Due to the fact that Jackson created Tauriel just for the film, it doesn’t sit well within the “The Hobbit” narrative either. This constant referral to the romance also jars the whole story, instead of focusing on the main storyline we are forced to watch this coupling of dwarf and elf. This to-ing and fro-ing between storylines also adds numerous plot holes and events that are never referred to again. It’s a shame because if Tauriel was either cut out or had reduced screen time, the film may have flowed better and allowed us to see more of Smaug.

Overall, Desolation is a fine entry to an already established series and nearly improves on all aspects over An Unexpected Journey. It’s funnier, quicker, more action-packed and looks far more impressive and makes the world of Middle-Earth more accessible for younger viewers. Smaug is simply amazing and has earned a place in Hollywood as one of the finest cinematic dragons of all time, thanks to an outstanding performance by Cumberbatch. The film falters hugely in terms of plot however, attempting to tell too many stories in one installment with the relationship between certain characters focused on unnecessarily. Still, it makes for a hugely enjoyable watch and is arguably one of the finer films of last year. Well done, Mr. Jackson.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug gets a 4/5.



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at CeX

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Tuesday 15 April 2014

inAPPropriate Comedy

You know those films that are “so bad they're good”? Troll 2, Samurai Cop, Battlefield Earth, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Star Crash and many more fall into this category. And I love them! Sometimes there's nothing better than sitting back with some friends and watching a film so bad, so utterly dreadful, that it's just completely hilarious. You know, like the equivalent of watching a train crash... that's full of clowns. I came to inAppropriate Comedy assuming that it would be one of those films, but I was wrong. Very wrong. Instead I got what I believe is the worst film ever created. A film so unfunny that it's genuinely devoid of likeability and humour. Beware.

Directed by Vince Offer aka the “ShamWow guy”, yes, the guy who pitches the damn ShamWow product in those commercials, comes inAPPropriate Comedy on BluRay and DVD. OK, right off the bat you know this ain't going to be pretty, right? The sheer idea that Vince Offer is even connected to this film instantly destroys its credibility. The film basically jumps from sketch to sketch through a narrative about a computer tablet that has been loaded with offensive apps (get it? InAPPropriate Comedy! Vince Offer does it again, man). Each and every sketch is awful, but despite how terrible it all is, it shockingly contains actors you've actually seen before. In fact, one of them is an Oscar winner...

Every sketch is awful, but here are the worst.

Flirty Harry:Andrian Brody, yes, Oscar Winner Adrian Brody, plays a character called Flirty Harry, a cop who basically talks in innuendo. Classic lines such as “I don't think you understand, those boys were packing heat. As soon as I came those assholes opened up”, and “If I’m going down... I’m going down hard”. Yeah, that noise you can hear is the tumbleweed blowing past your feet. Needless to say the sketch thinks it's hilarious, but ends up being deafeningly unfunny and a complete and utter waste of film. Hang your head in shame Mr.Brody. Predators was bad enough, but now you need to give your Oscar back I think. 

The Amazing Racist:
Starring “comedian” Ari Shaffir as The Amazing Racist, this sketch is a take on hidden camera pranks but taken very far. Ari dresses like a slave owner and offers to bring African Americans “back to Africa”, trying to tempt them with incredibly racist incentives like a basketball and fried chicken. I'm one of those people who can laugh at anything as long as it's funny and is not done in an exceptionally mean way, but here it's just repugnant and humourless. Whether the people he's speaking to are actors or not, it just comes across as strikingly racially insulting. Of course, Ari did this bit long before and after inAPPropriate Comedy, and while most of his stuff seems insanely fake and staged, he always manages to come across as an absolute zero in the comedy world and a complete waste of a human. Soul destroying stuff.

The Porno Review:
Starring Michelle Rodriguez and Rob Schneider, this sketch features them reviewing various porn clips for a show akin to Siskel and Ebert. I generally have no problem with Michelle Rodriguez, but how many times are we to be subjected to the comedy stylings of Rob Schneider? Seriously, it's getting to the point where it feels like Chinese water torture. He was funny 15 years ago, but he's like a stray cat once you feed it, IT KEEPS COMING BACK!! Unbearable.

Overall I can't stress enough how bad inAPPropriate Comedy is. Seriously, it is quite literally the worst film I have ever, ever witnessed in my life. I sat there through its entirety without so much as a smirk on my face. It's an absolute abomination and mistake of a film. I only wish it could be unmade. 

inAPPropriate Comedy is the first sign of the apocalypse and gets a 1/5, [★☆☆☆☆]. Do not want.

Denis Murphy

inAPPropriate Comedy at CeX

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Monday 14 April 2014

Yoshi's New Island

I Feel bad for Nintendo. I mean, the Wii U as of right now is selling worse than the Dreamcast did. That's not good at all. Don't get me wrong, the Dreamcast deserved far more attention than it ultimately got, and the Wii U is nowhere near as glorious as Sega's final console, but Nintendo's latest effort is a great little machine. But Nintendo, unlike many other companies, can afford to screw up here. Why? Because the Nintendo 3DS is selling so damn well, only being outsold worldwide by the PS4. So in a bid to keep their fans happy, Nintendo have unleashed a new Yoshi game. However, does it live up to the great series that came before it, or is it a knee-jerk money making reaction?

Developed by Arzest and out now for Nintendo 3DS comes Yoshi's New Island, a continuation in the Yoshi series which began in 1995 with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island on the SNES. This latest instalment not only tries to replicate the excellent Yoshi games before it, both in its gameplay and visuals, but also strives to utilise the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS.

Yoshi's New Island is a direct sequel to the original SNES title. At the end of the original game a stork successfully delivered Baby Mario and Luigi to the house of a loving couple. However, Yoshi's New Island reveals that the stork actually brought the baby plumbers to the wrong house. In its attempt to correct the problem and bring the babies to the right parents, the stork is attacked by Kamek mid-flight. As Kamek captures Baby Luigi and the stork, Baby Mario falls down onto Egg Island. Thankfully this is the island where Yoshi resides, and he and his tribe vow to escort Baby Mario across the island in order to rescue Baby Luigi. The story is simple, charming and a great way of connecting it to the original SNES title in the series.

As expected if you've ever played videogames before, Yoshi's New Island is a typical platform game, akin to Mario itself. However, compared to the Mario franchise, there's a stark difference here. With Baby Mario atop your back, as Yoshi your number one priority is to keep the like tyke alive, as opposed to Yoshi himself. But fear not; Yoshi's attacks, from hurling eggs to chomping an enemy only to then spit their shell out as a projectile, are more than enough to help Baby Mario reach his brother and feel pleasingly familiar. Each of the six worlds on offer has their own unique gameplay slant. For instance, in the level Flatbed Ferry Freefall, platforms have the ability to whip around and launch Yoshi through the air. While these gameplay elements change from level to level and keep the game feeling pretty fresh, mostof the core game mechanics, while fun, are incredibly and painfully samey at times. Levels are capped off by boss fights, which, beyond the interesting and cutesy designs, are largely brief and forgettable exercises in memorizing attacks.

Much like the rest of the series, Yoshi's New Island looks like it was hand drawn with crayons and pastels but doesn't look as slick as it should have. In fact, even the 3D capabilities aren't exactly utilised to their full effect, which essentially makes it pretty meaningless for being on the 3DS in the first place.

Overall Yoshi's New Island feels like a half-hearted attempt by Nintendo to capitalise on the series. It's not a bad game at all, and the idea of having another Yoshi title in the palm of your hands is awesome, but it's nowhere near as good as it should be.

Yoshi's New Island isn't as good as the old one and gets a passable 3/5.


Denis Murphy

Yoshi's New Island at CeX

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Sunday 13 April 2014

John Dies at the End

John Dies at the End is the brainchild of executive editor Jason Pargin, whose comedy-horror novel and its sequel This Book Is Full of Spiders – both published under the pseudonym David Wong – have amassed an impressive cult following. Pargin’s stories started life on his old website, as a relatively unheard-of web-serial with new chapters released every Halloween. Using online feedback to tweak his writing, Pargin was able to secure a book deal and, shortly afterwards, director Don Coscarelli (of Bubba Ho-Tep fame) picked up the rights to the film version. It’s a tale for the Internet age, to be sure.

The film had a shaky start in life, debuting on video streaming websites (legitimately, I might add) a full month before it managed to secure a US theatrical release, and suffering the indignity of a “straight to DVD and Blu-ray” release here in the UK. Bogged down further by mediocre reviews – JDatE’s Metacritic score is 53/100 at the time of writing – it seems unlikely this movie will ever hit the mainstream. But, as a fan of the book, I thought I’d give it a try anyway. And I’m really glad I did.

The film tells the story of its “writer”, David Wong, and his slacker best friend John… Yes, I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not going to tell you if he does or doesn’t. When we first meet Dave (played by Chase Williamson), he’s trying to convince a sceptical reporter (Hollywood veteran Paul Giamatti) of his psychic powers.

See, Dave and John (Rob Mayes) have both had their consciousnesses altered after coming into contact with a drug called “soy sauce”, given to them at a party by an enigmatic Jamaican called Robert Marley. Unfortunately for our heroes, the soy sauce – whose effects combine a Limitless-like perception-boosting effect with knowledge of other worlds and the ability to see things most people can’t (monsters, ghost doors to other universes, etc.) – has left a trail of death and destruction in its wake. As you’d expect, they get sucked right into the middle of it, and what follows is a feast of inter-dimensional phone calls, otherworldly car-jackings, multiple run-ins with police officers who may or may not exist, and infestations by alien parasites. Much of the humour in the book comes from the many bizarre situations John, Dave, and co. find themselves in, and this translates beautifully to the screen.

Sadly, its insanely fast pacing doesn’t translate so well, and I have a feeling that’s what put so many people off. JDatE spends the entirety of its 100-minute runtime throwing one ridiculous scenario after another at you and, while the movie manages to cram in nearly everything from the book, an extra half hour would have given it some much-needed breathing space. John and Dave’s adventure is fun, but borderline exhausting – especially considering it completely changes direction in its final act, hurriedly cramming in a storyline on top of the hour of exposition you’ve already watched. The film’s sharp dialogue, delivered by its quite frankly excellent cast, should be enough to keep most people going, but if you’re someone who likes a straightforward story with evenly-spaced plot points, this might not be the film for you.

The movie tries to do a lot visually, too, but this is a real treat and I think most film fans will find something to nerdgasm over. The filmmakers have done a stellar job of selling the book’s tongue-in-cheek, almost spoofy style, combining fairly run-of-the-mill cinematography with unsettling jump cuts, deliberately conspicuous CGI, cheesy Beetlejuice-style props, and even 2D animation. The film’s patchwork, low-budget style is played to comic effect, calling back to cult films from the 70s and 80s – and it makes the occasional moments of genuine, shiver-inducing gore and creepiness that much more powerful.

This is an ambitious film that attempts to build on its source material, translating Jason Pargin’s bizarre vision of unseen worlds and sinister forces into a big-screen adventure of Spielbergian proportions. While it never quite achieves that, this movie has an awful lot going for it and it definitely left me wanting more. Which is why, despite its flaws, John Dies at the End still manages to scrape a 4/5. 


Mike Lee

John Dies at the End at CeX

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Saturday 12 April 2014


Do you know what a GBF is? I initially assumed it was going to be a film about a group of violent ex cons, who had found a peaceful existence in raising oxen, and chickens. Grievous Bodily Farm would be like a mixture between The Boondock Saints and Chicken Run and something I would definitely watch. But apparently it means gay best friend, which as the film illustrates is the platonic equivalent of a trophy wife for young female socialites.

In a nutshell the film takes place in a school that has yet to have anyone come out as gay despite all the celebrities in glossy magazines making it clear that the new must have accessory is a GBF or, Gay Best Friend.  Brent and Tanner are best friends and both gay, Brent wants to be the most popular kid in school, and has concocted a plan to come out at the right time so as to cause a social bidding war for his friendship.  Tanner wants nothing more than to make it through school, happy with the friends that he has. However Brent accidentally 'outs' Tanner leaving him whisked to the top of popularity with three different kinds of 'popular girl' stereotypes in teen films - the pretty blonde one, the sassy black one and the strangely seductive yet perfectly innocent religious and thick as shit one. Each equipped with their own brand of one-liners.

An alternative title for this film could have been 'Mean Gays', as it’s essentially Mean Girls with Lohan replaced by a homosexual man. I'm not sure if it makes it better or worse, that they shine a light on it by drawing attention to the similarities to both films frequently throughout, probably worse and I found myself cringing every time they referenced other movies. Simon Pegg and Tarantino get away with constant film references because they are subtle whereas this movie may as well have climbed out of the DVD player and tattooed the Mean Girls quotes all over the insides of my eye-lids, forcing me to cringe myself to sleep every night.

The film is full of cringey one-liners; Dad Jokes, Dad dancing, Dad sex conversations and catching Dad working at a fetish bar levels of cringey. But despite the lines that make me squeeze into myself like a lemon there is some pretty quality material that you’ll hear spouted by someone at some point in a Starbucks. Also like most Hollywood teen films it also tries to impart some sort of message to its young audience but instead of just shoving it in your face it’s delivered in a satirical way, borrowing from titles like Carrie and yes, Mean Girls.

The thing about GBF is that it is peppered with some relatively funny moments and though each character is a painful stereotype there is enough variety to keep you in your seat for the duration of the film. You certainly won't be running out to the street to tell everyone how absolutely fabulous it is though. The whole film feels dated and contrived, maybe this is more about me not being of high school age anymore and less about the film being shit, though maybe all our high school films were shit too, who knows.

Ultimately GBF felt like a mixture between Clueless and Mean Girls but lacking in any soul and though funny at points, felt like someone who wanted to make money from something he thought American teenagers gave a shit about created it.

GBF gets a 2/5, [★★☆☆☆]

Dave Roberts

G.B.F at CeX

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