Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Call Up

VR is The Next Big Thing in the world of videogames. We all know that, we all say that. Of course, 'we' here is shorthand for 'everybody who stands to profit from VR miraculously avoiding failure in the world of games'. Anyway, if you're going to release a movie that combines the concepts of virtual reality and videogames, 2016 is certainly the year to do it.


Written and directed by Charles Barker and out now on DVD, The Call Up can be summarised in the following way, best read in a cheesy eighties trailer voiceover voice. A group of young gamers receive an invite to test a new state-of-the-art virtual reality game, with a prize of $100,000 to be won. But things soon take a sinister turn when they realise that if you die in the game, you. Die. In. Real. Life!!! Okay, back to normal voice now. It sounds a bit crap, and unoriginal too when you consider the fact that the basic idea of dying via an alternate reality/state of consciousness has been done a thousand times before in the world of movies. Although clearly filmed with a budget that would just about get the Chuckle Brothers to attend the opening of a leisure centre, The Call Up generally speaking punches above its weight.


Each of the participants has a strong reason to be attracted by the prize money, but we don't get a series of backstories. What we get is a (very) brief summation of each character's money troubles on-screen during the opening credits. From there, we see one of the characters on his way to the offices (backed by a trendy-rather-than-cheesy eighties style synth soundtrack) and then, much sooner than you might have expected, everybody is in their silly VR outfits and the game is about to begin. “How bad can it really be?” asks one of the female players when somebody else realises refusing to play isn't an option, in a line that is oddly absent from the trailer. How bad? Very bad, of course! It would be a bloody boring film otherwise.

Now, whereas real-world VR involves very minor movement whilst wearing a headset that makes you look like a complete twat, this VR involves a full-body suit and moving around an entire building (explained by the fact that the empty building they gather in is replicated within the game). Ignoring the tech-related plot holes, which should be pretty obvious, the concept of this VR game is convincingly sold. No attempt is made to make the game look less realistic than reality; yet the aesthetics of the two worlds stand in such stark contrast to one another, and we have views of both so regularly (via characters raising their helmet visors), that – against all odds – it works.

The characters are varied, and excellently played by the young and relatively unknown cast; but they talk and act not like people but, well... like characters in a film. For example, they all start off with pistols and when the group come across a couple of M4 rifles – not nearly enough for everybody –  nobody objects or argues when the nearest players take them for themselves. Even worse, one of the two female characters basically just spends the entire film crying until she magically transforms into an ass-kicking machine. Though far from perfect it sustains interest, and consistently entertains. There's one brief sequence involving an enemy prisoner that threatens to offer a complex narrative, and thoughtful commentary on the human condition; but don't worry, that's over soon enough.


I haven't named any of the cast because it's difficult for me – or anybody outside the cast and crew –  to do so. Not only are they largely unknown, the press release identifies them by character names (which are virtually never used in the film) rather than gamertags (which is how everybody is introduced at the start of the game). You may know Parker Sawyers or Morfydd Clark, but someone like Douggie McMeekin is still in the early stages of his career. A shame because despite the film's failings, everybody involved deserves recognition for their talent.

VR DVD GG? TL;DR - OK IMHO. 3/5.

★★★☆☆


Luke Kemp



The Call Up at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Sell to CeX made free & easy with Collect+

Can't be arsed to go to a CeX store when selling? No problem. Don't fancy queueing at the Post Office to use our Freepost option? We hear you. Gadzooks - the post office closed already? Been there.

Selling to CeX just got easier with Collect+
and more orangey too.

Now you can choose to sell to CeX with our free Collect+ service. Simply drop off your package at nearly 6,000 Collect+ locations and get on with your day. Collect+ locations tend to be open much longer hours than post offices and some even open 24 hours too. Winner!

If you have any questions please check out of help selling to CeX here.

Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Monday, 30 May 2016

CeX Palisades now open!

We've just opened a brand new store, bringing even more CeX appeal to New York state. Allow us to introduce our brand spanking new CeX Palisades store. Awwwww yea!


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

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

1000 Palisades, Center Drive Unit F103, West Nyack, NY 10994

Find your nearest CeX at webuy.com/stores


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

The Danish Girl

The idea of being transgender is not a new one, but with all the sudden coverage in the news it can be hard to realise that. The Danish Girl, directed by Tom Hooper, is a topical film not only because of its relevance to today’s society, but also because it highlights a gender-based struggle in an time we wouldn’t usually think about.


Set in 1926, popular artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) is married to his less successful artistic wife, Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). One day he finds himself having to model women’s clothing for her as her usual model is running late, and it’s from this moment forward that Einar truly starts to think about who he is. As a sort of joke he adopts the persona of Lili Elbe, although gradually this persona becomes entwined with his life and he realises that he is not Einar at all, but Lili.The films then depicts the complex array of struggles that come from Einar being transgender.






As we all know, Eddie Redmayne is fantastic at immersing himself in his characters, and The Danish Girl is no exception here. Watching him slowly transform from Einar to Lili is fascinating – most actors have their hands full with one character to deal with, but here Redmayne has too. I thought Alicia Vikander was the star of the show here though – she has this vibrancy about her that a lot of other actresses just don’t have. The supporting cast were great as well, making the whole film very believable. The camera work was absolutely beautiful – during the intro each shot seems like a painting, and this sublime cinematography carries on until the very end. There’s a certain delicacy to it, which emphasises Lili’s character well. Redmayne happens to have a very emotive face, and even the slightest of expressions gets his emotions through to the viewer.

The film is a very emotional ride, to say the least, and the clever writing coupled with the beautiful classical soundtrack created some very powerful scenes. It was hard not to become emotionally invested in both Lili’s and Gerda’s story, and there were certain parts where it almost felt real. What was really sad about it (apart from the obvious mental struggles and difficult relationships) was that it included a whole variety of different negative opinions that actually still echo today. Having grown up with transgender friends, I found it quite hard to endure the struggles that Lili faced, as it all just felt so unfair. Luckily it wasn’t all drama and depression though – there were plenty of surprisingly fun scenes (particularly during the first half) that I wasn’t expecting to see.

Although loosely based on a true story, it’s important to remember that The Danish Girl is based on the book of the same name, rather than the actual story of Einar Wegener. If you do your research you’ll find that the two stories are actually very different, although Hooper’s stunning portrayal does not seem to make the experience any less meaningful. There’s a fair bit of artistic licence to be seen (mountains in Denmark, you say?), but it really is cleverly done, and deals with a potentially sensitive subject in a very poignant way.


I personally felt that the film did justice to the transgender community – it didn’t feel twisted or trivialised as some topical films come across and there was no dehumanisation. Instead, it just demonstrated a beautiful story that I’m sure many can relate to, and I’m glad that it’s out there for all to see and understand.

I give The Danish Girl a 5/5.

★★★★★


Hannah Read



The Danish Girl at CeX


Get your daily CeX at




Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Yo-Kai Watch

Yo-Kai Watch is pretty good, and not just because one of the characters literally has an arse for a face. The fact that it's so often described as “like Pokémon” will discourage teenage boys who secretly wish they were more masculine, but the fact that it's developed by the same people behind games such as Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni should encourage anybody. Also, don't forget that one of the characters literally has an arse for a face.


Developed by Level-5 and out now for the 3DS, Yo-Kai Watch has only recently been released in English-speaking territories, but it's been going for a few years already in Japan. The success that it's found there has been bigger than Jeremy Clarkson's ego. While it seems unlikely to say the least that it'll achieve a similar level of fandom over here, it's not hard to see the appeal of the franchise. The basic idea is that there are invisible creatures all around us – the eponymous Yo-kai – who can directly influence human emotions and actions. If you suddenly become inexplicably hungry, mean-spirited, greedy, forgetful, tired, or feel an uncharacteristic urge to kill, then a mischievous Yo-kai may be to blame. Well okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.


After choosing whether you wish to play as a boy or a girl, the story doesn't take long to give you the watch from the title. This allows you to detect the presence of these creatures, and even make them visible. It would be a rather weird game if it didn't. There's a story – something about the line thinning between our world and the one of the Yo-kai, and eventually some kind of slightly bizarre supernatural civil war – but ultimately it's all about finding, fighting, and collecting as many of these weird creatures as you can.

And they are weird. Just Google 'em. Blazion looks a bit like Lion-O, Tattletell is a mildly terrifying creature based on an old woman, Mirapo is an ambulatory mirror, Cheeksqueek is the one who literally has an arse for a face... weird. The Pokémon comparisons come in because there are so many different ones, they fight on your behalf, you can evolve them, and – of course – you can build up a small army of the things. The similarities don't go much deeper than that, though.

Adding new Pokémon to your menagerie/harem/whatever is relatively simple; you weaken 'em, you throw a ball of a certain power tier, and the behind-the-scenes number crunching does the rest. Here though, Yo-kai join you voluntarily; you can't press gang them into service. You'll sometimes gain one through completing a story or side quest, but generally they are won through battle. You can make it more likely that they'll join you by feeding them treats while beating the crap out of them, strongly hinting that they're a race of magical creatures massively into S&M; but it's not even as simple as that. Each Yo-kai has its own specific likes and dislikes, and item use during battles is limited by a strict cooldown timer. 

Ah, the battles. They're real-time and turn-based smoshed together. Not in the way the Ni No Kuni fights were though, which is just as well, because I bloody hated the combat in that game. You can carry six Yo-Kai with you at once, with three fighting together at a time. You pull them in and out of combat via a wheel on the touchscreen. The touchscreen sees a lot of action because, while your creatures attack and defend entirely independently, they rely on you to activate their special abilities and remove debuffs. Both are achieved by completing simple minigames. Unlikely as it sounds, fights are involving and require you to plan your next move carefully.


It's not without its problems – indications of where to go next are often bloody terrible, finding new Yo-Kai can be harder than you'd think, and the main story ends somewhat abruptly – but it's an oddly mesmerising experience, and some of the dialogue is genuinely funny. If you enjoy the demo, the full game is sure to provide dozens of hours of fun.

Looking for an alternative to Pokémon? Yo-kain't go wrong with this. 4/5.

★★★★☆

Luke Kemp





Yo-Kai Watch at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Big Short

I love this time of year. All of the recent award season films start dropping onto our shelves, and we can revisit some of the years’ finest. Out now on DVD & Blu-ray comes The Big Short - one of the best films of the year and, in my eyes, the film that was robbed of the Best Picture award by the rather overrated Spotlight.


When The Big Short first came onto the scene, I must admit I was sceptical. I was interested in the true story behind the film, but couldn’t get my head around one thing. The film is directed by Adam McKay – the man behind comedies like Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights. Considering The Big Short takes place in the world of high-finance and follows the dark true story of the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s that cost thousands of people their jobs and homes, I worried that this was quickly going to turn into a disrespectful Will Ferrell farce. Luckily, this was not the case.


The Big Short is, however, very tongue-in-cheek. While the story is delivered with respect for those affected, the film does hold a mirror up to the world of finance and laughs at how preposterous it can be. Our heroes (or anti-heroes, depending on how you look at them) are dirty, obnoxious people but they’re delivered as comedy characters – especially Ryan Gosling’s Jared Vennett, the greedy self-interested salesman who narrates the majority of the film. Christian Bale is brilliant as the neurologist turned hedge-fund manager Michael Burry MD, while Steve Carell puts in another brilliant drama performance (after Foxcatcher) as the conflicted banker Mark Baum. Oh, and Brad Pitt turns up with a rather meh performance as Ben Rickert, a pessimistic trader.

I know what you’re (probably) thinking, because it’s absolutely what I thought before I watched it – “I know nothing about the world of high-finance, credit/housing bubbles, hedge funds, subprime loans, adjustable-rate mortgages, collateralized debt obligations and AAA ratings – how will I ever understand this?”. As The Beach Boys sang, don’t worry baby. The Big Short takes this complicated tale and makes it an accessible, understandable and entertaining romp. This is where some of this tongue-in-cheek humour comes into play. In one example, Gosling’s character lays out a rather complicated point and acknowledges that we, the viewer, probably have no idea what he’s talking about. He says “Here’s Margot Robbie in a bathtub to explain”, at which point we’re thrust into a fantasy world where Robbie, playing herself, sits naked in a bathtub sipping champagne and explaining mortgage bonds simply. “Got it? Good. Now f*ck off” she concludes. The brilliant fast-paced editing style of the film allows for subtle humour throughout, aided by Gosling’s often fourth-wall-breaking narration.

The Big Short isn’t quite as humour-heavy as The Wolf of Wall Street, but it certainly has a strong comedic undertone that is lacking in similar films such as Wall Street and Margin Call. That being said, it still allows room for plenty of drama where those affected by this story are concerned, and this makes it all the more powerful. You’ll come away from this film hating all bankers – if there are any bankers reading this, I’m sorry, I’m sure you’re not all bad – but the film certainly makes pantomime villains out of them. Boooo, hissss!


The Big Short is an excellent film, and far more deserving of the Best Picture prize this year than Spotlight. It takes a dark, complicated story and makes it into a fun, entertaining and understandable 2 hours full of brilliant performances and some of the best editing I’ve seen in years. But despite the often humorous approach, it doesn’t make light of the dark time it portrays and even indicts those responsible with a public “f*ck you”. It’s a powerful, funny and memorable little film that truly deserves the accolades it has walked away with (including Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars), but it’s a crime it didn’t win more.

The Big Short is one of the best films of the year. 5/5.

★★★★★

Sam Love


The Big Short at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Friday, 27 May 2016

Brian Wilson & Friends

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest albums of all-time – The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. To celebrate this milestone, the man behind the album – Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson – is touring extensively across the world to perform the album in full, along with an array of hits from his illustrious career both with the Beach Boys and as a solo artist. But this isn’t the only interest the world has in the great Brian Wilson these days. 


In the last few years, Wilson has been working harder than ever before. With his latest solo album No Pier Pressure released in early 2015 and a phenomenal film about his life - Love & Mercy, to which he contributed a song - recently released, here is a man totally unwilling to stop. This is made all the more incredible and inspiring when you learn about the man’s deeply troubled and difficult life. But we’re not here to discuss that – although I do recommend you see Love & Mercy if you’re unfamiliar with his story. No, we’re here to talk about his new live concert film, Brian Wilson & Friends, which is out now in a DVD/CD combo-pack.


On December 12th 2014, Brian Wilson performed a selection of tracks from No Pier Pressure and his musical past at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas with help from original Beach Boy Al Jardine, 1970s-era Beach Boys Blondie Chaplin & Ricky Fataar, fresh recent talent Nate Ruess and Sebu Simonian, and legendary jazz trumpeter Mark Isham. This concert was filmed, cut down to 60 minutes, and broadcast as an episode of Soundstage on American television. But now, totally uncut, the concert arrives on CD & DVD.

With an extensive set-list spanning Brian’s career, there is something for everyone here. While his newer stuff occasionally gets a little too contemporary and pop-heavy – I’m looking at you, Runaway Dancer – the Beach Boys stuff performed in Brian Wilson & Friends sounds just as good as it ever has. Al Jardine, original Beach Boy most famous for his lead vocals on Help Me Rhonda, sounds incredible and, along with an endlessly charming stage presence, makes songs like Wouldn’t It Be Nice and the recent The Right Time feel like they were recorded back in the band’s heyday. He is just as much a legend as Wilson himself, and to see him performing alongside Brian rather than the dastardly Mike Love and his band of imitators (who, due to rights, own The Beach Boys name) feels right and puts a smile on my face. 

Due to a number of factors, Brian Wilson simply cannot take lead vocals on many songs – especially any with iconic high-notes. He’s more of an on-stage presence, presenting the music with a brilliant band to perform it. But when he does sing, he sounds wonderful. Some people say his voice is weak now and he shouldn’t sing, but these old and gentle vocals just makes that nostalgic and cheerful music sound all the more beautiful. And when he is singing some of his deeply personal pieces, this vocal vulnerability only lends to the power of the work. And on top of that, the fact he’s still able to get up there after years of troubles (including stage-fright) and share his music with us is nothing short of inspirational. Wilson seems genuinely touched by the audience’s gleeful applauds to his work, thanking them profusely after each song – but it is us who should be thanking him.

So who else makes up the ‘…& Friends’ of the title? The great Blondie Chaplin, a 1970s-era Beach Boy currently touring with Brian Wilson as part of the Pet Sounds anniversary celebrations, takes lead on a few tracks here including his trademark Sail On, Sailor. With a rock-n’-roll history that includes performing with The Rolling Stones, Chaplin oozes cool and charisma as he roars through his tracks. He is an immense talent and a great addition to the proceedings. Guest vocalists Nate Ruess and Sebu Simonian are clearly delighted to be there, each performing a new No Pier Pressure track along with a Beach Boys classic. Ruess in particular impresses on Hold On Dear Brother, a Chaplin and Fataar-penned piece from a 1972 Beach Boys album. Footage from a studio performance with Wilson being supported by She & Him (Zooey Deschanel) is also included in the film, with Deschanel performing a beautiful rendition of the iconic God Only Knows. On top of that, Brian has an exceptional band of musicians behind him who bring such passion and faithfulness to Brian’s work that they are truly integral to his current sound.


Other hits performed in the show include Good Vibrations, Sloop John B, Help Me Rhonda and Fun Fun Fun – to name a few. With over 20 songs performed, Brian Wilson & Friends is a superb career-spanning concert that will delight fans and newcomers of all ages. To see Brian Wilson still performing into his 70s with a life behind him full of such hardship, it’s truly one of the most inspiring and wonderful sights you can see. And hey, if you get a chance, try and get yourself to one of Brian’s tour dates this year. It’ll be one of the best shows you ever see.

Brian Wilson, you are a hero. God only knows what we’d be without you. Brian Wilson & Friends gets a well-deserved 5/5. Good vibrations indeed.


★★★★★



Sam Love


Brian Wilson & Friends at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

CeX @ MCM London May Comic Con



Come see us at this weekend's May MCM London Comic Con 2016 and check out our awesome pop-up store!

You can drop by to say “Hi!”, check out our treasure trove of goodies, and of course buy, sell & exchange to your heart's content. Watch our live video stream below or check out our photo feed of fans and cosplay aficionados who've visited our store, vote for your favourites from Monday onwards and the top 3 will win a £250, £150 or £50 voucher (voting ends 13th June)! You can also see what's happening via our Instagram feed and Twitter.


Post by CeX.

Held at ExCel centre, MCM London Comic Con is the UK's biggest festival of popular culture and all things delightfully nerdy. It's the perfect place to indulge your inner geek!

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Homefront: The Revolution

What a weird history the development of Homefront: The Revolution has had. It’s been taken away from the original developers, had the publisher shut down, developers had the rights to the game bought back, then the developer sold it on to a new publisher and here we are with the game that has been troubled for the best of four years. How troubled? Well it’s acknowledged by the developed in a letter written in the credits of the game . . . .yeah. Developed by Dambuster Studios and out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, Homefront: The Revolution wears the marks of its history all over its game. The foundations are solid as is many of the gameplay mechanics within but both the design as well as the technical shortcomings keep it from anything more than decent. 


Homefront: The Revolution is an open-world shooter that sees you help lead a rebellion against North Korea that have invaded and successfully occupied the country. While the game doesn’t take shortcuts on showing the world and what’s happening that culminates in some honestly impressive moments but the empty narrative surrounding it makes it feel hallow. The story fails in presenting meaningful plot development or relatable protagonists. It feels disjointed and unfortunately never follows through on the promising premise. The idea of North Korea becoming a superpower and taking over the US and how the rebellion fights back is exciting but the execution is weak.


The gameplay though is surprisingly good. Homefront: The Revolution capitalises on the guerrilla warfare of the rebellion and genuinely brings a different feeling to combat. Run in and pull the trigger everywhere and expect to be gunned down. Plan your attack, make your weapons and add parts to your guns to approach different situations. But the game is flawed by many technical problems. With hokey AI that makes the enemy much less enjoyable to encounter it becomes an experience that’s unpredictable at best and underwhelming most of the time. You can take out an enemy in close proximity to another enemy, sometimes in plain site of them and they won’t notice. It means that stealth never feels satisfying. This certainly diminishes the guerrilla-style warfare the game aims to produce.

Probably the more egregious of the shortcomings is the performance. The game, while looking pretty fantastic, barely manages to maintain its 30 frames a second. There are moments when things noticeably slow down and hampers the experience. Also, when the game autosaves, and it does so fairly regularly, the game can freeze for up to ten seconds.

Despite the failings, there is a really fun game underneath. The missions don’t lack variety as it isn’t afraid to give a surprising amount of detail to situations that you wouldn’t be expecting to see in an open-world game. There is some real thought in these situations and make you get through the campaign, even if the story doesn’t hold up. The problem with the open-world nature though is that it gets pretty damn repetitive. It’s fun to go into an occupied area and slowly but surely remove the opposing forces from that area. The problem lies in the fact that you will have to do it again and again and again and again. Seriously, it deserves all those agains.


There is also a co-op mode that is both thin and overly-expansive. There are only six missions here but the mode also features a huge upgrade system for your resistance fighter but it all just doesn’t seem to gel well. It has potential but as it stands, it feels like it expects you to play the same half-dozen missions multiple times. Homefront: The Revolution has so much potential under its torn, burnt banner but as it stands as a product at the time of writing, it’s kind of hard to recommend, even if I did have some fun with it. Technical problems and a dull storyline keep it from being more than it could have been. With fixes in tow however, we could still see a thoroughly enjoyable game.

Homefront: The Revolution proves that its not always sunny in Philadelphia. 3/5.

★★★☆☆

Jason Redmond




Homefront: The Revolution at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Room

There is a lot of darkness in this world. The stories you can read of kidnapping and captivity should just be horror fiction, but unfortunately, a lot of them are true. In recent years, this has become a popular premise from which to craft a story. The BBC recently aired Thirteen, a dark drama following a girl escaping captivity after thirteen years. And Netflix recently managed to get a comedy out of this dark subject with the brilliant Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But one film, shot in 2014 and released in 2015, has set a pretty high standard in this developing genre. Director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Emma Donoghue (adapting her own novel for the screen) took the harrowing premise of kidnapping and captivity and turned it into one of the most moving and poignant tales of recent years. This is the Oscar-winning Room.


Out now on DVD & Blu-ray, Room is a film of two acts. We open with Joy (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) living together in a squalid old shed they call Room. They share a bed, toilet, bathtub, television, and rudimentary kitchen. Their only source of light is a skylight window above them, and are thus unable to see the outside world – only sky above. They are captives of a man they call Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), Jack's biological father, who abducted Joy seven years prior. Joy tries to stay optimistic for her son, allowing him to believe that only Room and its contents are real and that the rest of the world exists only on television. But while she puts on a smile for him, she suffers from malnutrition, depression and frequent abuse from her captor. This first half is extremely harrowing and difficult to watch, but thanks to phenomenal acting from Larson and Tremblay and some superbly claustrophobic cinematography from Danny Cohen, you can’t take your eyes off it.


It’s no spoiler to say that around the halfway mark, Joy and her son escape this horrible existence and find themselves free. But at first, this isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Joy finds it increasingly difficult to adjust back to old life, while Jack is overwhelmed by a whole new world he never thought was real. This is where Room truly shines. Brie Larson is phenomenal in her Oscar-winning performance as Joy, but the film belongs to Jacob Tremblay. Delivering one of the most mature and moving performances of the year, it’s a crime the young Tremblay didn’t walk away with an Oscar too. That said, he is currently the second youngest performer in the history of cinema to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild for best supporting actor, so he’s got that going for him which is nice. Outside of Larson and Tremblay, there isn’t a great deal going on in the supporting cast. Sean Bridgers puts in a chillingly brave performance as the captor and Joan Allen is decent, but the great William H. Macy turns up in a completely forgettable performance.

Despite the harrowing subject matter, Room is an inspiring tale. Brie Larson describes the film as "a story of love and freedom and perseverance, and what it feels like to grow up and become your own person". Notice how she doesn’t describe it as a ‘dark drama about captivity’ or a ‘chilling thriller about kidnapping’? Room isn’t about darkness, but about putting darkness behind you. This is something we can all relate to. Sometimes, even when it seems impossible, it is the only way to go forward. 

But still, Room is very much a one-watch-wonder. I can’t imagine I’ll ever feel the need to revisit this, nor do I think I would want to. That is in no way a bad thing. Room’s power is incredibly strong but I can imagine it would be just a little bit weaker each passing viewing. But hey, you’re lucky you know such a wonderful company willing to buy DVDs and Blu-rays off you when you’re done with them! Shameless self-promotion…


Room is an incredible film, with two phenomenal performances at its heart. It might be difficult to watch in places, but on the whole, Room is a rewarding experience.

Room gets 4/5.

★★★★☆

Sam Love


Room at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Motorola G Plus (4th Gen)

Lenovo Motorola has come out with their newest version of the Moto G model after the successful last 3 years. There are 2 new Moto G phones, the G4 and G4 Plus mainly with screen size and minor hardware differences. Let’s see if the G Plus is your next top performing budget phone! 


Design, Display & Hardware


The Moto G4 Plus is the bigger of the two G4 models launched this month having a 5.5” FHD 1920x1080p display @  401 ppi. The phone weighs in at 154 & 7.9mm thick gms but does not feel heavy which reflects to excellent weight distribution in the device. The looks and feel has changed a bit from the earlier Moto G phones but the rubber back is still the preferred choice by Lenovo and the frames are all metal. The front has the 5.5” screen with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and the fingerprint sensor at the bottom which can’t be pressed. The 5MP front camera is on the top right next to the speaker grill on the top. Back has the 16MP Auto Focus camera with dual tone LED flash and the iconic M logo beneath. Left edge of the device is untouched while the right has the power button and volume rockers. Fast charging supported charger goes in at the bottom edge which just has the Micro USB port while the top edge has just the 3.5mm audio jack.


The phone box includes the 25W Turbo Boost charger but has non detachable cable so you’ll need a separate Micro USB cable for data transfer ( boo! ). There are also SIM Adaptors to convert your Nano to Micro SIM. Let’s not even get to the embarrassing tacky white earphones in the box. They could’ve just not given one instead of those disappointing ones that looks like you got it from the street! Hardware gets a major overhaul to run the Android M version and packs a punch with the Snapdragon 617 SoC  Octa core @1.5ghz with an Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB/3GB RAM with 16GB/32GB ROM. I’ve gotten the 3GB RAM since the cost difference is minimal and would be a  safe bet for a couple of years at least.It’s got all the usual stuff like 4G, GLONASS, Dual Band WIFi , GPS etc. No NFC though ( It’s kinda dead since no one wants to use it anyways!) . The phone is available in only Black and White variants. 

Software


The USP for the Moto G phones have always been the beautiful stock Android experience and the quickest to get updates from Google. This one has the Android M 6.0.1 pre installed and is already ahead of it’s competition in having the latest software.The reason for not having a LED notification light on the phone is the Moto Display which let’s you preview notifications if you move the phone and they also show up on your screen even if it’s locked with minimal battery usage. You also have the classic Moto Gestures like Twist the phone when in hand for quick access to camera or chopping twice for flashlight etc. Thankfully there aren’t too many preloaded apps that take up valuable space.

Camera


Coming to the biggest change in the series of Moto G phones, the rear camera. The Moto G (4th Edition) has a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture and Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF).The laser focus is the fastest I’ve seen on any phone until now and snaps literally in a snap! You have the usual shooting modes of HDR, Panorama, Slow Mo and Professional whcih lets you adjust focus, exposure, white balance , ISO etc. Daylight photos are great and HDR is default ON which makes photos look livelier . Low light photos are still pretty decent but still leave room for improvement. Normal videos can be recorded at 1080p for highest quality while slow motion videos are recorded in 120fps but only at 540p. One special trick up it’s sleeve is the ability to scan barcodes and QR codes directly from the built in camera app instead of downloading an app from the Google Play store.
The front 5MP camera takes pretty good selfies and can record in 720p.

Gaming & Multimedia


Dead Trigger, Mortal Kombat X and Asphalt 8 all run without any lag and no frame rate issues as well so the Adreno 405 does it’s job well. The front near the speaker grill does heat up a bit if you play more than 15 mins non stop but the back is not so warm which is kinda strange. AnTuTU scores a lowly 43250 which I always mention is not a deal breaker. It’s just a number that won’t affect real world performance . When you tweak this phone you can also get 75k plus score on AnTuTu!
A battery capacity 3000 mAh (non removable) meant I could YouTube on 4G and had Wi-Fi , music streaming  and play games without charging before going to bed ( lasted more than 12 hrs)  which is amazing! Fast charge does charge the phone in less than an hour when switched off from 0 to 100.The phone does have FM radio and the default music player is Google’s Play Music. Speaker is pretty loud and earphones are pathetic!


Conclusion


At this price range the only competition is from Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 , Lenovo Zuk Z1 (it’s own cousin in a way) and One plus X . All phones have their own USP but if you don’t want to mess around with other custom UIs get the G4.

My rating is 4/5.

★★★★☆


Pritesh Khilnani





Motorola G Plus (4th Gen) at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Monday, 23 May 2016

Deadpool

Superhero films are generally pretty good (unless they’re really bad – I’m looking at you, Spiderman 3 and Fantastic Four), but with so many of them around it can be hard to be original. Deadpool throws the usual globe to the side and instead opts for a much more personal plotline, which makes it a refreshing film to see.


Starring Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, the film sees Wade discover he’s got cancer just as everything in his life is going right. He discovers an opportunity to cure it with the help of a mysterious suited man, but the experiment goes rather wrong after not so nice scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) subjects him to hours of torture that eventually disfigures him, but also leaves him with super-fast healing powers. After abandoning his past life Wade creates the alter-ego Deadpool and goes on a mission to track down Ajax, and save his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). As Deadpool says himself, it is technically a love story – just one coated in gore, violence, and crude jokes. 


Deadpool was massively hyped up with a great trailer, and luckily it still hit the mark. Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool, and he was a great character that, despite his frequently inappropriate sense of humour, was one you just wanted to root for. Deadpool really is a different kind of superhero, and this came across perfectly throughout the film. The supporting cast were really good as well – Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) made a great, if rather quirky, team alongside Deadpool, and Wade’s bartender friend Weasel (T. J. Miller) was really funny, and should have been featured more. The only problem I had with the characters was the development of the villains – Ed Skrein played an awesome Ajax, but he just wasn’t developed enough, and there was so little back-story on his accomplice Angel Dust (Gina Carano) that she probably could have been cut out of the script entirely and the film wouldn’t have been missing out on anything.

The special effects were great on the film, with one of the funniest and most visually satisfying introductions I’ve ever seen at the start of superhero movie. What I loved most about it all was the way Reynolds constantly broke the fourth wall for humorous effect – there were several self-deprecating jokes about Green Lantern (also acted by Ryan Reynolds) which were a hilarious addition to the comedy. The humour was definitely fearless, although there was only one joke in the entire film that I thought was maybe going a bit too far, and so I felt that as a whole the film had got the level of comedy just about right.

Something I wasn’t expecting was the level of emotion throughout the film – it didn’t happen much, but when it did it actually got quite intense. This was quite a nice breather from the constant scenes of either mass humour or mass violence, and helped the viewer to connect with Deadpool. Having such a personal issue to deal with made a nice change from the usual ‘the world is ending so I need to do something’ plot that often features in a superhero movie, and it was also a lot easier to relate to.


If you’re not a fan of violence, gore, swearing, nudity, sex scenes, insensitive jokes, or just badass in general then this isn’t the film for you – if you’re cool with all of the above, then Deadpool is a must-watch.

Deadpool gets a 4/5.

★★★★☆
Hannah Read


Deadpool at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Battle Worlds: Kronos

Hex-based real-time strategy games had its prime in the 90s but with all old things that had it's time in the sun, a comeback is always other cards, leathered and ready. With the fact that there are very few RTS games on this current generation of consoles, it's nice to finally see something come to it, even if it has it's glaring flaws. 


Out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and developed by KING Art Games, Battle Worlds: Kronos is a turn-based strategy game played out on a 2D hexagonal plane. This means there is no real micromanagement, base-building or any real resource gathering of any sort. This means you can jump straight into battle with the units available to you and play through the 13 mission campaign.  Storywise it's rather interesting actually. The emperor has died and three fronts are trying to win a war to gain control as is tradition in the world. The stakes are raised here as advancements in technology mean that immortality is within reach meaning the length of time someone will be in charge will be far longer than any time before that.


The story is drawn out during the campaign in very long and sometimes dull walls of text as you play through the missions. This can hinder the process of getting through the game and the temptation of skipping scenes become too strong to resist. The campaign though falls into save spamming. Right from the beginning the game urges you that it's not easy and there are no difficulty levels. In an attempt to sound unforgiving and ruthless in the way a school kid pushes down the girl he likes just to get attention, the difficulty of the game got my attention but for the wrong reasons. It doesn't feel that challenging; Instead falling into the realm of cheap. I saved after almost every turn as the enemy is better armed and outnumbered my team for the most part.

As you use your units and defeat enemy units, you will rank up but the sheer fact that you're outnumbered means that you'll have to try different strategies and save every time something works regardless of ranking up. Think of it like cheesing the game by grating away each turn, getting an enemy or two at a time and if something goes wrong, reload. As you may imagine this isn't a very fun way to play the game. Due to the lack of difficulty levels, this was my experience. I mean, I died on the tutorial level, multiple times! I don't suck at games but it explains things so poorly that it was a while before I started to understand things better and which way I should play my units. When it all clicked it was fun but still ruthless and unfair.


Seeing your units rank up as well as understand the right attack patterns is satisfying but even if you set things up right, the enemy can rush you in much bigger numbers and you'll never stand a chance. When a game wants to be punishing and a true challenge, make things even. Make it seem like it's down to skill only but when the enemy always has more, you'll always be on the back foot complaining about the uphill battle. It's a visually OK game, nothing to write home about. It's simple gameplay means it's easier to jump into compared to other RTS games out there but the crushing difficulty coupled with poorly explained mechanics mean that I never could fully enjoy Battle Worlds: Kronos but simply tolerate it for as much as I could.

Fun, simplified strategy hampered by crushing difficulty. 3/5.

★★★☆☆

Jason Redmond


Battle Worlds: Kronos  at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Adult Beginners

In the world of DVDs and Blu-rays, so many films turn up seemingly out of nowhere. Adult Beginners, directed by Ross Katz, is one of these films. Out now on DVD and featuring a pretty decent cast – Rose Byrne and Vinyl’s Bobby Cannavale, for example – the film feels like one I should’ve heard of. But I had no idea what it was, where it came from, what it was about…It just turned up one day. Clueless, I gave it a go. 


Adult Beginners tells a familiar and basic story. After his company crashes and burns on the eve of its big launch, disillusioned self-centred entrepreneur Jake (Nick Kroll) moves in with his estranged pregnant sister Justine (Rose Byrne) and her husband Danny (Bobby Cannavale, Byrne’s real husband). As he becomes a sort-of nanny to their three year-old child, he is faced with the pressure of real responsibility as he begins to realise the value of family and the virtue of humility. It’s a pretty standard tale of someone trying to rebuild their collapsed life with very little in it to make it stand out. In fact, nothing really happens at all. And I don’t mean that in the way that nothing really happens in any indie comedy like this, I mean nothing really happens. It simply slowly meanders its way to the finish line.


At the usual 90 minute length, Adult Beginners doesn’t outstay its welcome at all – but even in these 90 minutes, it struggles to find its feet. The characters and premise provide potential for a strong character study with a few laughs along the way, but everything is thrown onto the screen with little thought which creates a confused mess. The performances are perfectly adequate – stand-up comic Kroll brings his trademark deadpan cynicism to Jake, while Byrne and Cannavale bring just enough to make Justine and Danny decent watchable characters – made all the more believable by the fact the pair are married in real life. Community’s Joel McHale shows up in another forgettable performance while Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Jane Krakowski does her thing in a brief appearance. I can’t believe I’m saying this in the third review this week but Bobby Moynihan is in this film, and he’s excellent. I love this guy. He needs a leading role soon.

But writing this review is a struggle because Adult Beginners is just such an empty film. Anything good about it has been done far better before. For example, the premise of a cynical and misanthropic man being shown the error of his ways through love and family – it’s basically a staple of the drama genre now. Look at films like St. Vincent and About a Boy – the first of which is far superior to Adult Beginners. And I’m sure any of you could easily write a list of films about people whose lives fall apart, for them to spend the next 90 minutes putting them back together. Add in a family dynamic – ie. moving in with a sibling or parents – and hey, this film has been done a thousand times before. The film clearly cannot decide on a genre either, with the film sitting stubbornly on the fence between comedy and drama and making the film something of a tonal disaster. It just hovers in genre purgatory with no idea where to go. The DVD cover quotes a review that states the film is “a bonafide comedy” and “hilarious”, while mentioning it stars “Rose Byrne from Bad Neighbours 1&2”. It is clear that this film’s marketing team is trying to sell Adult Beginners to comedy fans but this is just false advertising. It’s not really funny, nor is it at all moving, tense or dramatic. It just ambles along in a cinematic void.


To quote the famous meme; “the struggle is real”. The struggle here being trying to review a film that is just so uneventful with so little going for it. There’s nothing hugely bad about Adult Beginners, I’m not angry at it or disappointed because I didn’t know what to expect. I’m just underwhelmed to the point of being indifferent, with nothing else to say about it.

Adult Beginners is just...nothing. I’ve already forgotten it. 2/5.

 ★★☆☆☆


 Sam Love


Adult Beginners at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Friday, 20 May 2016

Grandma

Who doesn’t love an acting comeback? Stars from the old days who vanish from the limelight for years, only to return in a blaze of glory with one of their finest performances. Lily Tomlin’s last leading film role was in 1988, starring alongside Bette Midler in Big Business. In recent years, she’s never been too far away, taking many small roles in films and bigger roles on TV such as a titular role in Netflix’s Grace & Frankie. But now, 27 years since her last, she’s back to take the lead in a motion picture. This is Grandma.


Shot in just 19 days with a budget of $600 thousand and out now on DVD, Grandma is a wonderfully real and human drama. Divided over six real-time chapters, the film follows Elle (Lily Tomlin) as she embarks on a road trip to scramble $630 to pay for an abortion for her young granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner), who joins her on the journey. Along the way, they confront past demons and find themselves. Yes, it’s a fairly standard road trip/self-discovery tale. But thanks to incredible direction & writing from Paul Weitz and superb performances from the entire cast, Grandma is more than meets the eye.


Firstly, we must discuss Lily Tomlin’s performance as Elle. Bringing us her first leading role in 27 years, the film completely belongs to her. Tomlin steals every scene she’s in – which is basically the entire film. Elle is an ageing poet/scholar, struggling to cope with the recent death of her long-term life partner - which causes the demise of her new 4-month relationship with Olivia (Judy Greer), a young admirer of her work. Tomlin portrays Elle as a streetwise and strong woman but subtly shows cracks, through which you can see a loneliness and vulnerability that makes the bitter Elle more sympathetic than she first appears. Tomlin was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance here and should have won, but she was up against Jennifer Lawrence – and everybody knows, Jennifer Lawrence must win every award she’s nominated for. It’s the rules of Hollywood. 

But despite this being Tomlin’s film through-and-through, the rest of the cast shine too. Julia Garner is brilliant as the young pregnant Sage who turns to her savvy grandma for help. Judy Greer is fantastic as Olivia – bringing her best performance yet in fact, while Sam Elliott and Marcia Gay Harden show up with great little performances. It’s very much an ensemble piece, but even with such incredible work from the cast, Grandma has a lot of other things going for it too.

The pacing and length of Grandma are perhaps its finest asset, other than Tomlin. Clocking in at just 74 minutes, the film is a lot shorter than your average drama of this sort. But taking place in real-time (for the most part), this means that not once does the film feel rushed. Quite the contrary, Grandma stuffs a lot into its short runtime and feels longer than it is. Taking place in six chapters, the film’s narrative structure is very simple. Elle and Sage’s journey primarily consists of them visiting Elle’s old friends and acquaintances and trying to get money Elle is owed, or sell things, or call in favours. Joel P. West’s string-filled score adds a sophisticated charm to the tale while the shaky cinematography brings a fly-on-the-wall realism that makes Grandma feel like a documentary.


Director and writer Paul Weitz doesn’t exactly have a golden filmography behind him to this point. With films like American Dreamz, Cirque du Freak and Little Fockers under his belt, I wasn’t expecting much when I saw his name attached to Grandma. But this is without a doubt his best work yet (although it hasn’t really got much competition) and hopefully a good indication of what’s to come from him. But I suppose we can’t be too critical of his early years. He was one of the writers of Antz, after all. Anyway, Grandma is a wonderful little film. There’s very little to fault with it. In its simplicity lies its charm, the short runtime means no filler and boring padding, the direction and writing is top-notch, the performances are all brilliant – Grandma is just great. Give it a visit.

Grandma is a surprising little gem that deserves your time. And hey, it’s only 74 minutes. 5/5.

★★★★★


Sam Love



Grandma at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Project CARS Game Of The Year Edition

Seriously, Dave?

Look, I’m sorry Terry, all the good names for racing games were taken.

Developed by Slightly Mad Studios and out now for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, Project CARS is now getting a second lease of life via a Game of the Year edition. This includes all DLC released up to this point, and even two GOTY-exclusive cars and an exclusive track. Surprisingly (and we’re talking a birthday type surprise here, not a Jim’ll Fix It one) all of the content is on the disc. If that doesn’t give the game a proverbial rolling start, I don’t know what does.


Some racers are purebred arcade experiences, cheerfully eschewing reality to fit more fun in. Some racers are strictly aiming for the sim end of the market, with some concessions made for less dedicated souls via optional driving aids and the like. Project CARS has so much attention to detail, and is so determined to be realistic down to the final nanometre, I’m genuinely surprised that you don’t need to set up a direct debit for the virtual petrol that you use. Every time I crash, I half expect one of the devs to dive through my living room window and whack me round the head with a breezeblock for a realistic Richard Hammond experience.


It’s a lovely-looking game, with some very nice weather effects. Okay, so the lens flare on occasion can be so strong that you can’t see the f*cking track properly, but that’s pretty rare. And realistic, maybe? I don’t know; between you and me, I’ve never raced professionally. Anyway, the bulk of the realism juice has of course been ejaculated all over the controls and car behaviour. Each car handles differently, the gap from machine to machine varying from the subtle to the immense. I assume this is just like real life but, again, I’m speaking from a lack of experience here.

Even your car’s relationship with the track itself is more hardcore than you are perhaps used to. It’s a relationship with lots of sex, in that the track is eager to f*ck your car at every opportunity. The slightest lump or bump taken at top speed – or even middling speed – is apt to wrest control of your car from you, and refuse to return it until the thing has come to a complete standstill. And when it’s raining? Unless you have at least a moderate level of skill and experience with sim racers, you might want to set your speed limit to ‘Stephen Hawking’ until you’ve got a grip on things.

That’s not to say that there’s no acknowledgement of the fact that most people are a bit shit at racing games. All the usual options you might expect are available; visible racing line, braking assists, making your opponents terrified of third gear, that kind of thing. Physics still apply whether you like it or not though, so you still need to show some skill. It’s kind of like fitting your kid’s bike with stabilisers and also that bomb out of Speed. There’s nothing wrong with making a game that’s first and foremost for people who actually know what they’re doing. The ruthlessness of the game means that victories can be immensely satisfying and, at its best, Project CARS is a thrilling experience where you push yourself to the limits of your skill.

Shame, then, that the AI is a bit wank.


Actually, that’s (slightly) unfair. When you’re at the top of your game, the AI is skilled and challenging. When they’re just behind you and you mess up your braking however, or even if you simply make an imperfect turn in front of them, they’re likely to simply ram you as though punishing you for being less skilled than a real-life race driver. When this happens your car careers drunkenly off the track of course and, just to really take the piss, the AI that rammed you will usually carry on with little to no loss of control as though nothing happened. Players aren’t punished in terms of points or time for doing this online, either.

The most realistic racer ever? Quite possibly. A good one? Yes. A great one? No.

The first racer that should have its own driving test. 3/5.

★★★☆☆

Luke Kemp



Project CARS Game Of The Year at CeX


Get your daily CeX at


Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl