Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw ★★★☆☆


I’m pretty sure at this point, you all know exactly what you’re getting with a Fast and Furious film. You can expect speed and anger if the title of the franchise is anything to go by. And yeah, I think that’s really all you get when you think about it. Lots of scowling and heavy-handed masculinity sandwiched between over-the-top car chases. But it’s proven to be one of Hollywood’s most lucrative franchises, so it’s showing no signs of, ahem, slowing down.


Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw is the first of presumably a long line of F&F spin-offs and puts the spotlight entirely onto the titular characters Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a pair of bald tough guys introduced in the main film series. The film follows the once-enemies forging an unlikely alliance to take on a genetically-enhanced terrorist (Idris Elba). Also along for the ride is Shaw’s sister (Vanessa Kirby), which has proven to be one of the film’s most amusing talking points – despite her being over 20 years younger than the Stath, the film supposes that they are the same age which is either an ego-kissing compliment to Statham or an insult to the wonderful Kirby. Either way, on a plot level, it’s hilariously far-fetched.

Hobbs & Shaw is a film that is difficult to review, and it almost feels redundant to do so. The franchise’s blindly loyal fans aren’t going to care what anyone says and will throw all of their money at Hobbs & Shaw without question. Those who aren’t going to watch the film know that they’re not going to watch it from the franchise alone – so why do they care what I say. With that all said, what is there to say about the film?

Not a lot. If I were to sum up Hobbs & Shaw in a word, it would be ‘fine’. I can’t really knock the stupidity of the film because it’s so self-aware. Those who criticise the F&F’s franchise for the outlandish, over-the-top set-pieces are totally missing the point. I would argue that these films are actually subliminally spoofing the franchise they exist within. And it works. It’s just hilariously ridiculous and it knows it. The casting of two of the most self-aware and underrated comedy actors – Johnson and Statham – only reinforces this feel to the film. The pair are brilliant here and make the film entertaining at the very least.


Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby offer some solid support, with Kirby providing the franchise with a strong female character that feels pretty rare in these sorts of petrol-head films. Helen Mirren provides some real acting chops while cameos from Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart bring some added laughs. But you don’t give a shit about any of that, do you? You want to know what the action is like. And it goes without saying that it’s great, explosive fun – and, of course, preposterously silly. But it is well choreographed and the CGI is perfectly decent. I shan’t spoil any of the set pieces because let’s face it, they’re really all these films have going for them.

So, is Hobbs & Shaw worth your time? Well, it is flawed. First and foremost, it’s too bloody long and even then feels like there’s far too much crammed into what is essentially just a brainless car film. There’s far too much plot for a film that doesn’t need it and it does get tedious. But hey, there are worse ways to spend a mindless 2 and a bit hours. If you hate the franchise then obviously this isn’t going to convert you, and if you love the franchise you’ll probably consider this a masterpiece. If like me, you’re pretty neutral towards Fast & Furious, you’ll find something here to like.

★★★☆☆
Sam Love

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Monday, 19 August 2019

Vote For CeX In The TechRadar Mobile Choice Awards 2019

Calling all CeX fans!

Have we impressed you with our commitment to giving old tech a new home? How about our CeX Clinic repairs service?

Vote for CeX in the TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2019! 



Voting will run until 3pm (GMT+1) on the 28th of August and we're counting on your votes.

If we're your number one for recycling OR repairs, click the link HERE and vote for us as your 'Best Repair Service' and 'Best Recycling Service' 2019.

All you've got to do is click the link & complete to vote for us to win and you could even win a Tech bundle courtesy of TechRadar!

Much love,

Team CeX



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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood ★★★★☆


I can't recall a single filmmaker ever dividing critics like Quentin Tarantino. Every movie in his illustrious career has split the critics and attracted controversy wherever they're shown. Whether that's from his particular brand of violence, the time someone passed out during the adrenalin scene of a showing of Pulp or the number of times a certain derogatory term is used. But here we are nine films in, almost thirty years later and the dude just doesn't care, carving out a filmography like no other, without a thought for his critics, making the films both he, and I, want to see.

I was lucky enough to have heard about a pop up at 'Sounds Of The Universe', an old record store in Soho, where if you were one of the first sixty people through the door, you won a ticket to go and see 'Once Upon A Time...' at Sony Pictures headquarters a week before general release. So I pulled myself out of bed at around 5.30am and basically ran to Soho. I snagged that golden ticket (rather, a pink wristband) and grabbed all the free Tarantino swag they were handing out.


I've been waiting for this film ever since the disappointment of his last film, The Hateful 8. But unlike the Hateful 8, a project I followed all the way from the script leak, with 'Once Upon A Time...' I avoided everything, including the trailer. I find now that trailers give away far too much so best to avoid them where possible.

'Once Upon A Time...' takes us back to the late 60s, when flower power and peace & love were what people preached. Our main character, Rick Dalton (Di Caprio), is a TV actor past his prime trying to make the transition to movies. Along with his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt), they navigate through the cut-throat business that is Hollywood and a movie industry that is clearly in a period of transition. But like Tarantino's films of past, he takes a pinnacle point in our history (in this instance the story of Sharon Tate and the Manson Family) and does what only Tarantino does best. 

This is possibly the most, and hardest, I've ever laughed at any of his films. In every review I've read they are calling this '...a love letter to Hollywood' to which I would be inclined to agree. Having himself grown up in Los Angeles during this defining era, we are showered with obscure TV & film references that really only Tarantino would know about. His encyclopedic knowledge of cinema and its history is truly laid bare in this 2-hour 45-minute epic. As well as this, it has all the hallmarks you come to expect from one of his pictures. Over the top violence, tension in the right places, hilarious set-pieces, bare feet galore and the perfect soundtrack to tie it all together. If you do decide to go and see this film, as you should, you are basically talking a near 3-hour walk inside Tarantino's head. What could be better than that?

If I had to pick at it the only issue with any Tarantino film really is they all get compared to Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. These films made such an impact on the industry and the audience that he became a victim of his own success and genius. Luckily he doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks and makes the films he wants to make anyway. There are also a couple of scenes that don't really need to be there, in my opinion. It does drag it out a little, but he's Tarantino. He can do whatever the hell he wants!


Whilst the likes of Scorsese, Spielberg and Cameron have always pushed the envelope in new technologies within their own work, Tarantino remains one of the industries purists. Always insisting on shooting film instead of digital with a heavy hand on dialogue and unique, instantly recognizable characters. To see this film the way he wants you to see it, you have to find a cinema with the capability of projecting 35mm. His film making style throws back to another period in cinema that this really does lend itself to and whilst he's still around and making movies like this, we should savour these moments. 

But will this be the penultimate Tarantino film? It feels like it could be. He's threatened to retire at 60 after only making 10 films. He's now 56 and on his ninth film. The timeline looks about right so this could actually have some weight to it. But whether or not we get a Kill Bill 3 (I sure do hope so), or another western, I eagerly await whatever comes next. 

★★★★☆
Jake Bexx



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Monday, 12 August 2019

July Nintendo Switch Video Round UP


Have you watched our July Switch review yet?


Well isn't Wolfenstein just the talk on everyone's lips! This and a bunch more in Tom's latest Nintendo Switch July review! Last month brought us:

Wolfenstein: Youngblood / Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order / Fire Emblem: Three Houses / Dragon Quest Builders 2

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Sunday, 11 August 2019

July Phones Video Round UP!


Have you watched our July Phone review yet?


More pop up cameras, notches and bezzle-less screens to come this month! Join Lewis, as he looks and the latest and greatest July had to offer when it comes to phones! On this instalment, we have:

Xiaomi Mi 9T / Motorola Moto Z4  / Samsung Galaxy A30

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

July Tech Video Round UP


Have you watched our July Tech review yet?


July continues the AMD saga with our Risen 3900X review. Join Lewis as he covers the must-haves of the month! In this issue we have:

AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU \ Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e \ ASUS VivoBook 14

Enjoy!

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CeX give pair a fighting chance! says The Teesside Gazette


CeX-sponsored martial artists Ben and Nathanial bring home the glory!

Read the full article from the Teesside Gazzette below.

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Two Teesside fighters have been put on the road to success thanks to a sponsorship deal. 
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors Ben and Nathaniel were in medal-winning form in Birmingham representing Submit2Success and their ZR team. 
Local business CeX, with branches In Middlesbrough, Stockton, and Redcar, is sponsoring Submlt2Success, a healthy lifestyle, and training project that uses the combat grappling sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to engage young people. 
The pair, both from Thornaby, returned home from the NEC with gold and bronze in their respective divisions. 

Facing some of the top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors In the country, Nathaniel won gold becoming British Champion In his grey belt bracket, and Ben fighting against competitors from the renowned Gracie Barra and Pedro Bessa camps took bronze in his yellow belt division having faced some very tough matches. 

They both went back to the Middlesbrough CeX store that buys and sells games and gadgets to show off their medals. 

"We're chuffed to win this for Thornaby and Teesside and encourage others to get involved with the Submit2Success project," they said. "It's completely free of charge and thank CeX for their help". 
Local CeX store owner Raf Ali who sponsored the boys said: "We've run our CeX store in Middlesbrough for over 10 years and want to be useful to the community, donating to good causes like this should be at the forefront of every local business."

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Friday, 9 August 2019

July TV / Movie Video Round UP


Have you watched our July  TV / Movie review yet?


Captain Marvel is here to save the day! Join Sam as he takes a look at what else July had to offer:

Captain Marvel / Alita: Battle Angel / Dumbo / Chernobyl HBO Series

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Thursday, 8 August 2019

July Xbox Video Round UP


Have you watched our July Xbox review yet?


Our July round-ups continue with Lewis, and his review of the latest and greatest the Xbox has to offer for last month:

Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle / Wolfenstein: Youngblood / FIA European Truck Racing Championship

Which was your favourite game this month?

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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

July PlayStation Video Round UP


Have you watched our July PlayStation review yet?



Summer holidays are here and so are our July round-ups! Jake is here once again with the latest & greatest that PS4 has to offer! Last month, we saw the release of:

Wolfenstein: Youngblood / Dragon Quest Builders 2 / Kill la Kill the Game: IF


Which was your favourite game this June?

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