Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Congratulations to our CexScenes Valentine's Day Competition Winners!


Congratulations & celebrations to our CeXScenes Valentine's Day contest winners! We will be emailing you your sweet CeX vouchers to enjoy in store or online. Thanks to all who entered.

We look forward to making some great new silver screen romance ads with all the inspiration that you have given us!

1st Place:


2nd Place:


Honorable Mentions:

        Guy Love (Scrubs)      
 Donkey & Dragon
 Zombie Kiss Scene (Braindead)
  Bad girls like good guys (Now You See Me)
 Fifth Element
City Of Angels Kiss
Spider Pig Love





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

Life, Animated


If there’s one thing that almost the whole world has in common, it’s a love of Disney – whether we’re honest about it or not. The so-called world of enchantment has a place in the hearts of everyone, from the wonder of childhood to the mundanity of adulthood. We can all remember the films we watched growing up, and most of us still enjoy the House of Mouse’s output to this day – the success of films like Zootropolis and Moana prove this point. But for one guy, Disney took escapism to new levels. This is Life, Animated.


Life, Animated tells the story of Owen Suskind, a young autistic man who communicates with the outside world through his love of Disney films. After years of silence as a child, he began repeating lines of dialogue from the films until he learned their scripts word-for-word and spoke only in them. This gave him the strength and courage to come out of his silence and speak about himself, and life, again. The documentary covers many areas of this fascinating individual’s life – we see his day-to-day life now, we’re told what his future may bring and most importantly, we’re told about his painful childhood.

But rather unusual for a documentary, a lot of Owen’s history isn’t shown with a plethora of archive footage. Sure, we see some old tapes of him playing with his father, and a handful of family photos – but fittingly, the lion’s share of his childhood has been brought to life through animation while his parents explain what happened. Owen’s parents, Ron and Cornelia, and Owen’s brother, Walter, come across as a wonderful family – the most loving and supportive bunch you could imagine. The film comes from father Ron’s memoir of the same name, published in 2014 – as equally inspiring and moving an experience as the film.

Life, Animated is an often painfully honest portrayal of autism and dark times within a family. Ron and Cornelia speak very movingly about how they thought they’d lost Owen forever when he wouldn’t speak as a child, and Owen’s struggles aren’t sentimentalised or sugar-coated. Dark days of bullying are discussed – even by the very brave Owen himself. But for every moment of darkness, we are awarded with a moment of true heart and love. Throughout the film, Owen reads a story to us titled The Land of the Lost Sidekicks, which is almost autobiographical in nature. He’s happy to just be a sidekick rather than the hero, he tells us. But through this film, and his story, he is a hero. And he’s someone we can all look up to.


Life, Animated is a heart-warming and charming experience, even if sometimes difficult to watch. The animated segments are utterly gorgeous, the fly-on-the-wall nature of Owen and his family’s life is engrossing and the discussion of his past plays out like a mystery. Why wasn’t he speaking? What changed him? Not all questions are answered on screen (Ron’s book is worth a read for more information), but it doesn’t matter. Life, Animated doesn’t aim to be the final word on autism, nor does it aim to paint it as the end of the world for those who struggle with it. It’s purely an example of how autism’s hurdles can be beaten through a combination of imagination, happiness and strength.

Life, Animated is a rollercoaster ride of emotions – it’s funny, sad and moving. But above all else, it’s inspiring. Owen Suskind, and his family, are heroes. In this dark and messy world, we need people like the Suskinds. Life, Animated will bring you to tears. But luckily, those tears are mostly out of joy.

Life, Animated is a powerful tale of family, love, bravery, overcoming struggles and the infinite power of Disney. 

★★★★★

Sam Love


Life, Animated 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

ZTE Blade A2 Plus


ZTE, The Chinese Telecom equipment manufacturer has come out with a new device in the long forgotten Blade series, the A2 Plus. ZTE has been launching phones under the Nubia range with the most recent being the N1, N1 mini, with past models being the N9 and N11 internationally. 

To be honest, they are not a very popular brand and many of you might have never heard of any of these phones. Let’s have a look to see if the ZTE Blade A2 Plus will help ZTE take on the big boys in the world of smartphones!


Design


The Blade A2 Plus is 8.9mm thick (not thin by any means!) and weighs almost 189g, almost unheard of for a 5.5” (401 ppi) phone! You can blame the massive 5000mAh battery for this but there are other devices with over hefty batteries that aren’t as heavy nor thick. 

The left edge of the phone houses the hybrid dual SIM slot supporting nano SIMs (4G), while the right side of the phone has the volume rocker and power button below it. The micro USB port is at the bottom and is flanked by 2 grills which would leave you to believe they act as stereo speakers. Sadly though only the right one works as a speaker with the left acts as the mic. You have 5.5” FHD display on the front which works well even in direct sunlight and is covered by 2.5D curved glass. The front 8MP camera is on the left and you only have a visible capacitive home button at the bottom flanked by 2 small invisible dots that light up only when touched and work as back/menu buttons. There is no option to have on-screen buttons.

At the back you have the 13MP camera, the dual tone LED flash below it and the fingerprint scanner directly below, accompanied by the ZTE logo is just off centre at the back. The phone has a good unibody design and non-slippery feel to it. At the top and bottom there are light criss-cross patterns visible on close inspection and add to the design.

The phone is available in Gold or Grey.


Hardware


Talking of the innards, the ZTE Blade A2 Plus hosts the Mediatek Octa core MT6750, Mali T860 GPU, 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage (expandable to 256GB via a microSD card).
One special feature is its reverse OTG charging option where it can turn into a power bank to charge any other phone or device! 

At the back the Speedy/Superkey-cum-fingerprint sensor is an ingenious idea to make good use of the fingerprint sensor and convert it into a pressable button! Using the button, you can swipe for photo scrolling, pull down notification screen or even assign single, double and triple press to apps like sharing, flash, burst image capture amongst other options.  


Software


The ZTE Blade A2 Plus uses the ‘Mi Favor’ user interface (UI), on top of the Android 6.0 and will soon get the Nougat update. It’s a pretty plain looking UI, pretty close to native Android but more like 4.0 rather than Marshmallow. The options, sharing settings, menu etc. look outdated and too basic to get the user interested in exploring it. Don’t get me wrong, it has some great features like the Family/Simple Mode where your home screen turns into bare essential apps and menus for ease of use.

Overall the Blade A2 Plus has plenty of useful features, however it’s UI could certainly benefit from some sprucing up, and some added customisation wouldn’t go amiss. 


Camera


The 13MP rear camera with dual tone LED flash and Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) is decent to say the least and more than gets the job done. Yet there are no real fancy effects besides your usual HDR, Panorama, and manual modes. 

It’s also disappointing in low light conditions. Video recording is supported up to 1080p @ 30fps. Moreover, the front camera is 8MP and can take good selfies! 


Gaming & Multimedia


Games like Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8, FIFA 16 ran without any freezing but do suffer from intermittent framerate drops, yet these are negligible unless you’ve seen these games run flawlessly on high end devices. Switching between apps and games is smooth and you have almost 1.5GB of free RAM at any given time. The device’s audio speaker is top notch and the bundled earphones are not bad either, which is an accessory you don’t often get with devices at these price points; kudos to ZTE for that! 

Finally, the 5000mAh battery easily lasted more than a day even after recording 30 mins of HD video, and a couple of hours of gaming and Youtube on 4G. Thanks to fast charging the mammoth battery takes less than 2 hours to charge, on a normal charger it’ll take closer to 3!



Conclusion


Overall, at this price point ZTE is trying to re-enter the fiercely competitive market where brands like Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo have already made their name and keep updating devices every year. Competing with the Moto G4, Lenovo K5 and Xiaomi Note 4 is not going to be easy by any means and the device offers nothing stellar to make it stand out. 

Unfortunately it’s a case of better luck next time. Hopefully in the next ZTE device, we’ll see an improved UI, camera and a move to a Snapdragon CPU, giving you more bang for your buck.


★★★☆☆

Pritesh Khilnani


ZTE A2 Blade Plus 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, 27 February 2017

Mr. Right


The world of romantic comedy is crowded, isn’t it? It’s like an inner-city maternity ward, with one born every minute and nothing to particularly distinguish them apart until they grow up and we learn whether they stand the test of time. But sometimes, a rom-com is born that feels fresh and different from the get go, and stands out from the samey crowd. Mr. Right is one of these films - it impresses throughout on originality, humour and style.


Mr. Right follows Martha (Anna Kendrick), who goes through a pretty bad break-up. Charmingly childish and joyful, she bumps into an equally quirky individual at a shop and embarks on a sweet little romance with this so-called Mr. Right (Sam Rockwell). There’s just one problem…he’s a clown-nose wearing hitman, with a lot of money on his head. Despite his deadpan honesty about the people he’s killed and the people trying to kill him, the sweet Martha assumes he is being sarcastic and is actually just a normal guy. But pursuing him is the violently unpredictable Hopper (Tim Roth) who will stop at nothing to catch his target, and Martha may just learn that everything she’s been told is true. It’s darkly comic and dialogue-heavy – think McDonagh Brothers style (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, War on Everyone) and you’re pretty close.

While the plot may have some elements of predictability, there was something about Mr. Right’s style that made it damn fun from the first frame to the last. Firstly, the cast are all superb. Sam Rockwell was born for roles like this and is clearly loving every second of it, while Anna Kendrick puts in her funniest performance to date as the innocent Martha. Tim Roth is hilarious as the cunning Hopper and the supporting cast of RZA, Michael EKlund, James Ransone and Hell on Wheels’ Anson Mount are all stellar. And anyone who knows me knows the man crush is strong for Anson.

But the cast is irrelevant without a good script, and thanks to Max Landis (son of the legendary John), Mr. Right is packed with hilarious wit and some entertainingly simplistic plotting. Mr. Right isn’t a film that requires a great deal of your brain capacity – hell, it doesn’t really require any at all – and during Oscar season, that’s what you need for a bit of escapism. Films like Arrival and Manchester By The Sea are, obviously, far superior, but sometimes we need to switch off and have a laugh. It doesn’t make you a bad person to watch a bit of shit every now and then.


But on the whole, Mr. Right isn’t shit! It’s not the best film ever made but it’s bloody entertaining for its 90 minute runtime. I went into it expecting very little, but came away with a lot. It was consistently amusing, entertaining and fun. The action sequences worked, the jokes landed, the cast are all having fun and are on top form…It’s just a shock that this film didn’t get a bigger release. With a cast like this and quality to match, it should’ve been huge. But the UK especially was pretty shafted, as the film was dropped straight-to-DVD – and not only that, but with a glaring error on the cover that suggests the distributors haven’t even bothered to watch it. It’s set in New Orleans, not Las Vegas. Incompetence…

Anyway, Mr. Right deserves a bigger audience so it’s up to us to give it one. Watch it, enjoy it, tell your friends to watch it and enjoy it too. Mr. Right is great fun and absolutely one worth checking out. 
★★★★☆

Sam Love


Mr. Right 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 Cookstown is OPEN!!

 Ooooh yeah!


We’ve just opened a brand new store in Cookstown and it’s packed to the rafters with Films, Games and Gadgets. Feel free to swing by, say "hey!" and see what CeX has brought to the table.

Check us out for all your buy, sell, exchange and geeky needs. Find us at: 28 James Street, Cookstown, Tyrone, BT80 8LW.

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

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sausage Party


Sausage Party's dialogue feels like a desperate attempt to warrant its age rating. To my knowledge it's the only adult animated film to reach this level of mainstream success, and as a result, it feels as though there is a conceded effort to make its adult nature feel warranted. As such, there is not one sentence that goes by without some swearing.


Not that I have an issue with swearing, mind, and I certainly don't want to suggest that swearing somehow diminishes a film's' content. Rather, it's the way in which it's implemented. Swearing is used so casually here that, whilst giving the dialogue something of a naturalistic quality, it ultimately diminishes the humour therein.

"Hey, dude, I don't know how to say this to you gently, but your girlfriend, um... she's a f***ing c**t." This particular line is played off as a joke, ending with a long pause, as though “f***ing c**t” is somehow a punch line. This could have had an impact, eliciting an uneasy guffaw due to its unexpectedness. However, the swearing is so frequent that it simply falls flat, and the resulting punch line seems to suggest that it's somehow inherently funny because an animated sausage said it.

This, in summary, is the biggest problem with Sausage Party. There is some genuinely good humour in here; the scenes of the food being slaughtered in the style of a torturous horror film being the highlights. Additionally, there are the racial and cultural stereotypes which initially appear borderline offensive, but eventually become a conduit for a message of acceptance of others.


It's these reasons why I recommend Sausage Party as a curiosity, if anything. I wouldn't call the surface-level humour a facade, but it's certainly a wall you have to break through. I'd never go so far as to call Sausage Party intelligent based on its themes; it's definitely bold if nothing else. It's a hard sell because, as far as I'm concerned, it's not particularly funny. It's interesting. But 'interesting' isn't always enough of an incentive to warrant sitting through a film where "f***ing c**t" is somehow intended as a punchline.

★★☆☆☆

Lewis Hill


Sausage Party 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, 25 February 2017

For Honor


Up until last year Ubisoft was widely considered the king of derivative open-world games. The Assassin's Creed series was put on hold to give the publisher time to decide what to do with it. Far Cry steadily devolved into Ubisoft's go-to formula of climbing a tower to open up more tedious and redundant side quests. Watch_Dogs 2 managed to take a step up from its predecessor, at least. Nonetheless, this was Ubisoft's forte; open-worlds, climbing towers, and quick, iterative sequels.


They're now publishing smaller projects, boasting new and interesting tech, with a plan of ensuring sustained support. First came Rainbow Six: Siege. Unremarkable to look at and decidedly small in scale, the conception of Siege came about from the development of a new physics-based destruction technology. This made Siege an incredibly versatile game that saw increased success, helped by Ubisoft's continued content updates.

Now we have For Honor, a game so small-scale and intimate that it's often hard to focus on anything other than your opponent. Before a match begins, you are shown what map you will be playing on, though this very quickly becomes completely incidental. Once the round starts, and you are intently focused on the fight, everything else bleeds away.

Aside from certain ledges from which you can fall to your death, or areas with fire or lava, nothing else ends up mattering. This speaks volumes about For Honor’s combat. It is so tightly focused that fights can either go on relentlessly for several minutes, or end in mere seconds from a poorly timed block.

However, there's only so much about For Honor's combat that I can discuss objectively, because so much of the experience is down to how you as an individual accept certain losses. For Honor can and will get frustrating. There are times when you will be convinced that there was nothing you could have done to defend yourself. I say this being someone who - after twenty hours of play - isn't particularly good at the game. Not yet, anyway.


Yet there is something about it; something that makes me strive to improve, to learn, and to win... and this is the experience that I'm recommending. There is no feeling quite like winning a tough match, when you manage to parry a heavy attack that, if timed incorrectly, would kill you. There will be times when you absolutely hate For Honor, especially during your first couple of hours. It demands patience and dedication. I can't deny how cheap certain mechanics are, such as throwing your opponent of a ledge, but I also can't deny the raw, euphoria of a victory.

★★★★☆

Lewis Hill
For Honor 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, 23 February 2017

Hitman: The Complete First Season


When Hitman: Absolution launched five years ago, it was as if the voices of millions of Hitman fans suddenly cried out in terror. The game was a massive misstep for the franchise, trying to follow a tightly-scripted plot and taking on a much more action-oriented slant than every other previous Hitman title. The essence of what made the games from iO Interactive so popular had been lost completely, and no-one was happy about it.


With Hitman: The Complete First Season however, the ship has been steadied and steered firmly in the right direction once again. Eschewing a deep story (although there is an over-arching thread to follow between each mission), this new episodic approach has focused steadfastly on presenting players with a set of six well-designed playgrounds in which to carry out your assassinations any way you want to.

Choice is the order of the day, as whilst the half-dozen worldwide destinations each have their own story-based target to “take care of”, there are so many different options in how you plan and carry out your kills. You can be as creative as you like, and players can choose to be a true silent assassin, or go in all guns blazing - the title really caters to whatever taste you please. Each episode is open-ended, and experimentation and exploration is both encouraged and rewarded.

The developers have smartly made Hitman incredibly accessible to both longtime fans and complete newbies to the series. For newcomers, helpful trackable opportunities can be discovered, which give hints on how to take out your targets, whereas the seasoned killers out there can ignore these entirely and even play through the extreme difficulty level, with heightened artificial intelligence and other factors making life harder for you. On top of this, there is a plethora of extra challenges, bonus contracts and customisable game modes to play through.

The most interesting new addition to Hitman: The Complete First Season is the Elusive Targets. These are usually specific, realtime 48-hour contracts, where you have only one attempt to kill your mark. And mistakes or deaths, and that hit can never be attempted again. To make things even more challenging, savageness are disabled and the radar-like Hitman vision is also disabled. You really have to use all of your assassin skills in these time-sensitive missions. These are a lot more tense and challenging, but also more rewarding to complete.


Each open-world location is simply a joy to explore, and to plan your kills in. Hitman: The Complete First Season not only plays much better than any other Hitman game that came before, but it is better looking, sounds great and rights all of the wrongs that Absolution was guilty of.

Final Verdict: Agent 47 really manages to hit the mark in this latest outing.

★★★★★


Robin Parker


Hitman: The Complete First Season 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, 21 February 2017

Other People


There are some films out there that are both powerful and moving to watch, yet the sheer emotiveness of them makes them difficult to ever watch again. ‘Other People’, directed by Chris Kelly, is certainly one of them – a truly amazing film, and yet I doubt I’d be able to watch it again.


David, played by Jesse Plemons (aka Meth Damon if you’ve watched ‘Breaking Bad’) is a struggling comedy writer who has just split up with his boyfriend of 5 years, Paul (Zach Woods). He’s come back to his hometown, Sacramento, so that he can look after his mother who has a rare form of cancer. Being back in the household is difficult – his sisters are taking it all quite badly, his Dad, Norman (Bradley Whitford) still won’t acknowledge his sexuality, and to top it all off his Mum, Joanne, (played by Molly Shannon) isn’t responding to the chemo anymore. David typically finds bad experiences stressful anyway, and so he finds himself really struggling with everything that’s going on. 

Everything in the film is acted well, from Whitford as the bitter and homophobic father who won’t even go inside David’s and Paul’s apartment, to relative newcomer J. J. Totah as the outrageously camp teenager Justin who gives both a hilarious yet disturbing dance performance for his own Dad’s 60th birthday. The true standout performances are both Plemons and Shannon though – Plemons gets the awkwardness of David across perfectly, and Shannon is so convincing as Joanne you almost believe the cancer is real. There are some deeply harrowing scenes portraying the whole process of cancer (such as a particularly distressing part where the kids look on as Joanne screams at her husband to make the therapy stop), and they’re difficult to watch. 

It’s not just about cancer though – the film also explores homophobia, depression, and recurrent rejection. None of these are explored in a particularly subtle way, but it’s the graphicness and the intimacy that really makes the film. It’s strong, and you feel like you’re there living the heartache with the whole family. Over time we get to know the family so well that when the heartbreak finally comes it’s absolutely crushing, even though we’ve already seen it happen at the start. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though – there are actually some great snapshots of humour throughout, and it helps to mix it up a bit. Yes, they often descend back into morbidity (the line between comedy and sadness is a rather blurred one here), but each funny line, however small, has a purpose and is there to make you think.


The subject matter is a very brave one, and there are some really interesting themes explored. I imagine this was a difficult one to film, but it makes it all the more impressive. ‘Other People’ is so personal and intimate that it’s more of an experience than entertainment – you’ll likely find it hard to watch whether the topic is close to home or not, but it’s one of those films that just needs to be seen.

★★★★★


Hannah Read


Other People 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

Huawei Honor 6X


Huawei has launched their latest Honor device the 6X, almost a year after the 5X which was a hit with the young crowd, offering spec you’re more likely to see in a premium device. With a Dual Camera setup, it’s clear Huawei aren’t afraid in trying something new to appeal to the younger, selfie crazy audience. Let’s find out if the phone lives up to the hype!


Design


The Honor 6X is a 5.5” full HD device with 2.5D curved glass on top. The full HD screen has a 403 ppi density and bright, crisp with no issues in direct sunlight. It’s slim for its size and comfortable to hold single handedly, though the back is matte finished and sometimes a tad slippery. However, it seems Huawei missed a trick putting the Honor logo directly beneath the screen, as with it also being present on the back, it could’ve easily been omitted for the sake of saving space, and potentially allowing the device to be even more compact. The branding is just increasing the length of the phone!  

At the top on the right of the earpiece you find the 8MP camera, while on the left is the strangely similar sized proximity sensor. At the top left edge, you’ll find the 3.5 mm headphone jack with the noise cancelling mic to the right, and the bottom centre housing the micro USB port. This is flanked by stereo speaker looking grills on either side. Unfortunately though, only the right one is the speaker while the left is the microphone grill. Quite a lot of manufacturers are following this design principle for aesthetics! Meanwhile, on the right edge you have the volume rocker and below this the power button. The left edge has the Hybrid dual SIM slot that can also house a micro SD card (up to 256GB). 

Coming to the most important feature of the phone, resting at the back is the dual camera setup with 12MP & 2MP cameras and a single tone LED flash next to it. The fingerprint scanner sits below the camera and the aforementioned Honor logo nestled at the bottom. Not all manufacturers follow this process of putting so much info at the back. Whilst earlier models were available in an assortment of colours, this 4GB Ram model is only Gold as of now

Hardware


Hardware wise, Huawei has been following the policy of using its own manufactured chipsets and does put in the Octa core Hisilicon Kirin 655 SoC on the Honor 6X. It’s supported by Mali T820 GPU and 4GB of RAM with 64GB internal storage. The phone is powered by a 3340 mAh fast charging battery.

Software


The Honor 6X runs on EMUI 4.1, which is Huawei’s custom user interface (UI) on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. To be honest, Huawei hasn’t changed their UI too much over the years, and though they do make some tweaks on and off it’s not as customisable as some of the other UIs made by other Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi or LeEco. If you bring down the notification screen, you only see the app notifications while your shortcuts for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS etc are on the second option that you need to click to access. Although only a minor issue, this does detract from the conduciveness of the user experience

There’s also a simple home screen style that will show only default apps like Phone, Messaging, Camera etc. in a tile like format. With the fingerprint scanner you can swipe to scroll photos or take pictures, and even answer calls and snooze alarms. The on screen navigation buttons can be customised as well and you can add a screen lock or notification drop down button in addition to your regular 3 home, back and menu buttons. You can also access app lock, safe, private mode using fingerprint security. 

Floating dock is a nifty accessibility option, appearing as a translucent button that always stays on the screen even when apps or games are open. Pressing on the button gives you shortcuts to back, menu, home, screenshot or lock screen options. Furthermore, the Screen View option lets you downsize your 5.5” screen to 4” for ease of use single handedly. There’s some bloatware on the phone but you’ll be relieved to hear that these apps can be removed. The convenient Hicloud app let’s you save all your data on the cloud, while Social Channels lets you combine your Facebook & Twitter in one app and see all feeds together. 


Camera


The 12MP rear camera has a wide aperture range of f/0.95 - f/16 and by adding the 2nd 2MP rear camera it let’s you take great Bokeh / background blur effect photos . The camera uses Sony IMX 386 sensor and has PDAF. It takes great pictures in daylight and the wide apertures effect works pretty well to give you great looking portrait shots. The editing option also gives you a wide array of filters and with the Splash effect which greys the whole picture ,you can select the part of the image that should be in its original colour. 

Camera modes include HDR, Manual, Panorama, Portrait etc. Low light images still aren’t up to the level you’d expect and maybe a dual tone flash would’ve helped. The front 8MP takes good selfies with the beauty shot option and takes wide angle photos up to 77 degrees. The camera setup on the Honor 6X overall is great and you won't be disappointed. I can safely say it’s the best in this price segment.

Multimedia & Gaming


Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 work smooth on the phone; you’d barely notice any lags or frame drops and the audio also doesn’t disappoint. The phone unfortunately doesn’t support 2K or 4K videos, however they still look great on the 1080p display. I also played Lego Race Off almost 2 hours (it’s rather addictive!) and was impressed at how the Honor 6X kept it’s battery life. However, be aware that the phone does warm up a bit if you shoot a full HD video for more than 10 mins. What’s more, despite boasting fast charging capabilities, I found it still took a surprisingly long time to charge the battery to full capacity.


Conclusion


Taking all features into consideration, you’d be better off buying the earlier 3GB version of the Honor 6X, rather than 4GB because of the price difference, even when taking into account the latter’s doubled storage capacity. With tough competition from the Xiaomi Note 4, Lenovo Zuk, ZTE Blade A2, Moto G4 Plus and many others, Huawei comes out on top with the Honor 6X if camera is your prime focus. However, you’d do well to shop around if you’re looking for an all round better phone at this price point.

★★★☆☆


Pritesh Khilnani


Huawei Honor 6X 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, 20 February 2017

War On Everyone


You would think we have had enough buddy cop films, wouldn’t you? It’s one of those subgenres of the crime/comedy genre that is absolutely stuffed with repetitive content and little by way of originality. You know the drill – a pair of mismatched cops with differing views or methods get put together to crack a case. Despite not getting on with each other to begin with, they soon learn from each other and become better people – and friends – while they solve the mystery they were assigned to. Boring, right? War On Everyone does things a little different.


War On Everyone follows partners Detective Terry Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) and Detective Bob Bolaño (Michael Peña), a pair of honest, by-the-books cops…wait. Nope. These two are the most corrupt and inappropriate law enforcers we’ve seen on screen in some time – and they’re bloody hilarious. The film begins with them chasing down a running thief (who happens to be a mime) in their car, and despite cornering him and causing him to essentially surrender – they still run him over at full speed, purely to see if he makes a sound. This starts their story as it means to go on – violent, over-the-top and funny. War On Everyone is not your usual cop film.

Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, the genius behind Calvary and The Guard (and the brother of In Bruges’ Martin), War On Everyone is every bit as dark as you’d expect from a McDonagh. But it’s also every bit as hilarious and unpredictable. The film’s only somewhat predictable element is the plot, as our two anti-heroes uncover something of a conspiracy as they attempt to intimidate a criminal who is even more dangerous and unpredictable than they are – the charming James Mangan (Theo James). Parts of this story go over the viewer’s head due to a rather inconsistent delivery but it doesn’t matter, because even if the film’s story was awful, the humour and style would still be enough to recommend it. 

Firstly, Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña are just perfect as the volatile Terry and Bob – their banter and chemistry is spot-on and their deadpan delivery of such inappropriate dialogue is hilarious. If War On Everyone ever became a TV show, I’d tune in every week for these guys. It takes a brave actor to do something so dark and un-politically correct. These two rise to the challenge and pass it with flying colours! A McDonagh film succeeds on the strength of its darkly hilarious screenplay, and these two characters have some of the best dialogue the McDonagh family have put out to date. “I knew your last words would be shit”, Terry says as he shoots a pleading man through the head. Dark, yes. Funny? Absolutely.

The film’s style is worthy of praise here, too, with the wipe transitions and funky score acting as a charming homage to cop stories of the 1970s – Starsky and Hutch comes to mind, and is even subtly referenced in dialogue. The film’s kinetic energy is infectious, with the quick pace keeping the fun moving at a brisk pace. As I mentioned before, the narrative is a little inconsistent, but this pacing means any low moments in the film (and there are few) are moved along very quickly and the quick-fire dialogue means a laugh is always just around the corner. Oh, and Glen Campbell fans will be happy. He’s used wonderfully throughout.


War On Everyone met a rather mixed reception upon release – maybe it was the narrative issues I have discussed, or perhaps it was a little too inappropriate for some of the more fragile viewers. But maybe, just maybe, it just went over a lot of people’s heads. War On Everyone is different to the mainstream drivel of today’s cinema, and some viewers aren’t prepared to accept it. They don’t like change. Well, I for one am all for it – and I can confidently tell you that if you’re like me, you’ll love War On Everyone. It’s hilarious, dark and full of energy. In an ideal world, this would be the beginning of a franchise. 

War On Everyone isn’t necessarily going to please everyone, but for those with a more twisted sense of humour, it’s a hell of a ride. 

★★★★☆


Sam Love


War On Everyone 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, 19 February 2017

Blood Father


Mel Gibson is nominated for an Academy Award this year, for his directing of the war epic Hacksaw Ridge. But last year, when he was working on that critically-acclaimed drama, he was also acting in an action film called Blood Father directed by Jean-François Richet – a film that, by all accounts, should’ve been abysmal in every way. An old Mel Gibson taking on the Mexican drug cartel? Seems like the sort of shit Steven Seagal would do. Imagine the world’s shock when it wasn’t awful. Imagine the world’s even bigger shock when it was actually a good bit of old-fashioned cinematic fun.


Mel plays Link, an ageing ex-con who reunites with his estranged daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) after she accidentally shoots her criminal boyfriend Jonah (Rogue One’s Diego Luna) in the neck and needs protection. It all becomes a rather predictable Mexican drug cartel story full of sicarios, shoot-outs and chases. But it’s one of those action films, like The Expendables, where the plot isn’t really relevant. It’s just fun to see ageing heroes kicking arse and taking names. But hey, think of your favourite fun-action films of all time…and see if you can remember the plot. You can’t, can you? Of course you can’t. Unless your favourite fun-action film is Con Air, in which case I expect you to remember every second of it because it’s one of the best films ever made…Put the bunny back in the box. The point is, a good story is not even remotely important with these films because the target audience are, you know, idiots. Not you though, of course. You’re smart. 

Anyway, Blood Father isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. It knows exactly what it is, and it’s comfortable with that. It’s just a sun-drenched bit of mayhem. Most importantly, this is a return to Mel “The Gibbon” Gibson’s action roots and largely, he’s back on form in Blood Father. Let’s not dwell on his past troubles – the main point is that Mel has aged well as an action star, like Liam Neeson and ol’ Sly Stallone. He’s on fire here, even if his acting itself isn’t going to win any awards any time soon! I hope I can kick arse like these guys when I get to their age, although it’s more likely I’ll be Renton’s worst nightmare, “rotting away at the end of it all, pishing my last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats I have spawned to replace myself”

…Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the cast. Gibbo is great, so who does that leave? William H. Macy turns up in a supporting role and, as usual, he’s bloody great. Diego Luna portrays a pretty one-dimensional cartel thug (just like he recently played a pretty one dimensional Rebel Alliance captain), and Erin Moriarty is pretty decent as the troubled Lydia. Michael Parks is in it too, which probably won’t mean much to anyone who isn’t a film enthusiast. The film looks nice enough and while the screenplay is a little predictable, isn’t that always the case with these bangy smashy films?


Films like this are difficult to review because they have very few distinguishing features. To review this would be to review any action thriller of the last 10 years. All you can really say is that it works. It achieves what it sets out to – it’s good fun. It all boils down to your own expectation and what you want from the film, I suppose. If you’re looking for some explosive shooty bangy stabby fun, you’ll have a great time, especially if you’re not expecting much by way of substance. If you’re looking for award-winning drama or a poignant tale of fatherly love, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. 
Blood Father is just good fun. Nothing more, nothing less. 3/5

★★★☆☆


Sam Love


Blood Father 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, 18 February 2017

Free State Of Jones


There’s something that I love about gritty, Southern-American historical dramas, so ‘Free State of Jones’, directed by Gary Ross, is the sort of film that I’ll gladly sit down to watch. Set in the late 1800s during the Civil war of Jones County, Mississippi, ‘Free State of Jones’ portrays the life of Newton Knight, played by Matthew McConaughey.


After deserting the war to bury his eldest son, Newt makes a point of helping his fellow townsfolk who are feeling the wrath of the Confederate – they take what they want from their farms and justify it with the war. After escaping, yet wounded, Newt finds himself safe within a nearby swamp among a group of runaway slaves who nurse to him back to health. It is here that Newt begins a large movement against the Confederacy and the sadly common issue of racial inequality.

Alongside the events of Jones County we are also fast-forwarded 85 years after the war, where a descendant of Newt himself, Davis Knight (Brian Lee Franklin), is going through a court case – he may not be able to legally marry his partner due to Mississippi’s law against the union of different races.

Newton Knight is really the Robin Hood of the American South – fighting against the rich in order to alleviate the poor. The film itself is based on real events, and the book by Victoria E. Bynum of the same name, and sadly is a telling a piece of American history that you most likely won’t have heard before. It’s a fascinating story though, and one that certainly should be more well-known (which hopefully Ross’s version will help with).

The start is gruesome and hard-hitting as we come face to face with the effects of the war – death, destruction, and of course a whole lot of unnecessary theft of the people that need it the least. It’s all very realistic, and undoubtedly gets that southern grittiness across. There’s also plenty of brooding, iconic shots that demonstrate the history and the atmosphere of a time that seems so long ago. 

The only issue I had with it was that it was slightly too long – at 2 hours and 20 minutes it really isn’t a film that you can just sit down and watch at any time. It also requires a certain amount of concentration, with the combination of the past and the future getting a bit confusing at points, and the unfortunate mumbling issue we always seems to get with films set in the South. It was completely gripping until the last hour, where for some reason it just didn’t hold like it had done previously. The first hour and a half was captivating though, and so I have no faults there.


Despite all of the heartache and the grim scenes, the film is generally uplifting in that it proves that there really were good people out there in such difficult times. The real Newton Knight may not be celebrated by the locals of Jones County so much, but anyone who can relate to the struggle of racial inequality of the frequently occurring rich vs. poor scenario will most likely feel some sort of empathy with him. Behind the story and the cinematics Newt was just a man who felt it worth fighting for something he believed in – the sort of character that always makes these types of films worth watching.

★★★★☆

Hannah Read


Free State Of Jones 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, 17 February 2017

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt


Most parents are probably familiar with Michael Rosen’s beloved children’s tale and the watercolour illustrations of Helen Oxenbury (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass.) If not, the award-winning story follows a group of young children in search for a bear. The book itself takes four minutes to read. But Lupus, the makers of The Snowman and The Snowdog have stretched the film adaptation to half an hour.


The traditional tale follows the children brother through forest, high grass, rivers and mud to a gloomy cave. Eventually they do manage to find the bear, who chases them all the way home. The animation fills in some narrative gaps and adds just a pinch of festive sorrow. The children’s teenage brother brings them on a walk to calm their curiosity because their parents (Mark Williams and Olivia Colman) have gone to visit their lonely grandmother, who is struggling with the loss of their grandfather.

The grief is felt by all the family, including the children. The innocent dialogue contains the subtext of both their current loss and the losses to come in the future. All four seasons take place during the one day, giving the short piece the feel of an epic Homeric adventure. The cold and warmth, dark and light experienced on their journey reflects the emotional highs and lows the children experience. One of the children gives the harmless bear her grandfather’s scarf and feeds him. Unlike the typical wild bear, this one is just like the children—sad, cold and lonely. 

The bear itself becomes a metaphor for that grief. These stories for children generally take very difficult aspects of life and fit them into a basic narrative in an attempt to make some sense. The story is not just about a bear. The story is about passing the threshold of sweet ignorance to comprehension, which can come earlier than most of us would hope.

Oxemburg’s simple, yet effective drawings carry through to the screen adaptation. The critically acclaimed illustrator uses organic lines, creating little details of movement that add a sense of realism. The faces aren’t too detailed, allowing children to project a face onto each character. The siblings all have different coloured hair, representing diversity in family. The water coloured tones are warm and inviting, creating simple washed backgrounds against the main focus, the characters.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is timeless. It doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality we face as adults or as children, including loss and loneliness. The animation progresses vividly but is still true to its original soft visuals. Although this is a children’s story, the short film is so engaging, anyone would respect and appreciate the work put into the small production of a big story. On the surface, it’s an adventure animation, but the hidden layer is aimed towards adults as a tale of grief, acceptance and growing up. It’s the perfect short family film for a rainy day, a winter’s evening or a lazy morning. 

★★★★☆


Cayleigh Chan


We're Going On A Bear Hunt 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, 16 February 2017

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children


Mystery. Time loops. Gifted Children. Although Miss Peregrine gives the initial vibe of a Harry Potter fanfiction, Tim Burton does Random Rig’s books justice, unlike recent flop adaptations of The Mortal Instruments, The Host and The Giver. The plot may be predictable at times and even verges on the cliché, but Burton is wonderful behind the camera and brings his signature contrast style of light and gloom with him.


Jake (Asa Butterfield from Hugo) struggles with the death of his eccentric Grandfather, Abe. Haunted by vague monster in his sleep, Jake sees a psychiatrist. Torn between the senile man his father (Chris O’Dowd) portrays his grandfather to be and the storyteller he knew him to be, Jake struggles to keep his sanity. But when a signed postcard from the woman of his bedtime stories shows up, a glimmer of hope appears. The film evolves into a story of adventure, supernatural power and envious villains. 

Eva Green (Miss Peregrine) graces the screen with a perfected English accent as a pedantic time-keeper. Return a squirrel to its nest. Fetch vegetables for supper. Destroy to protect the children. Everyone knows the repetitive daily tasks. And everyone knows not to be late. She smokes pipes, wears gorgeous gowns and can manipulate time. Her and her children find peace in a gothic home blown to pieces during the Second World War. The plot takes inspiration from Groundhog Day, as Miss Peregrine rewinds the clock every night on the same day in September 1943, a moment before destruction, to relive the same day over.

Eva is accompanied by the all-star, Samuel L. Jackson. Initially, his character seems overly-whimsical. But this is a children’s film. And the story is far from usual, so why have typical characters? He adds some much needed villain-humour to a story whose ending you may easily presuppose. Along with Chris O’Dowd’s diabolical American accent, the film has a few unanticipated laughs.

The historical references work well to tie reality to a plot that starts off rather unsteady. A lunatic and his henchmen hunt those who are different. Experiments are conducted. The hunted go into hiding. Sound familiar? Jake’s father claims Abe’s bedtimes stories to be narratives formed to make sense of his childhood during WWII. There may be no gore, but the tone is rather dark. A dead child is shown and the monsters survive by eating organs. The continuous sinister ambience is one to be avoided by very young children.

The stop motion is wonderful. Skeletons come to life to battle a legion of extended-limbed giants who are invisible to everyone bar Jake. The scene vividly resembles Burton’s trademark absurd humour and Halloween aesthetic. He handles the idea of arrested adolescence with a playful, vibrant approach that only he can succeed in.


Miss Peregrine is a rare children’s film that deals with the grown up topics of acceptance, love and bravery. The plot is rather sad and troubling, but it is also the perfect story for Burton’s taste and style. This film is the perfect introduction to the mysterious, dark fiction of Tim Burton.

★★★☆☆

Cayleigh Chan

Miss Peregrine's Home For Particular Children 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