Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Any film that has “Part 1” in its title immediately suggests that we will probably be left with more questions than answers.
I have never been a big fan of the Twilight series but that’s probably because I’m way off its targeted demographic. Angst filled teenagers comprise the major audience they are trying to reach.
However, this fourth film in the series is probably the weakest and the first 30 minutes alone represent the most stylized, over inflated wedding and honeymoon sequences ever committed to celluloid.
The remaining two thirds or so are concerned with the longest pregnancy – even for elephants! If they were going for realism they certainly left me feeling I had been through nine months rather than the two-hour running time on the sleeve of the DVD.
Of course, there are millions of teenagers who will flock to see this latest release but I was left a little bewildered by the overall experience and kept telling myself something was certainly missing.
I was right; it did leave me with more questions than answers and the overriding one came to me a day later when I suddenly asked myself, where on earth was the plot?
It hasn’t been a great week for film selections and though I wasn’t inspired by trailers I had seen of The Help, I knew its source material was a decent novel set in the turbulent times civil rights era in America.
Focusing on the story of a young white woman and her relationship with two black maids, the film has been subject to the usual Hollywood high gloss, so that the real meat of the story loses much of its significance.
In fact, the film is largely saved by the strength of its cast, including Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer (who won a best supporting actress award at this year’s Oscars) Bryce Dallas Howard and Sissy Spacek.
That isn’t to say it doesn’t have its moments and there are sure to be a few of you who shed some tears before the final credits but much of what’s there has been done before and I would suggest the book – as is often the case – would be a superior experience in all respects.
With spring upon us and thoughts of summer on our minds, you might think that the return of SSX to the console world after a considerable break might be a little untimely, but you would be wrong.
Always a popular series since it first appeared on the original Xbox as a launch title for the platform, this latest incarnation is a welcome return to an exhilarating gaming experience.
For those already familiar with the previous titles, it is going to feel like you are welcoming the return of a long lost relative and within minutes of turning your first trick, those former days of snowboarding indulgence will come rushing back faster than an avalanche on a mountain.
Equally, anyone new to the series will find the controls easy to pick up and SSX instantly engaging.
There’s a host of new features to enjoy and online gaming that pits you against friends and rivals across the globe.
The graphics are good without being brilliant but this was always more about the experience than the aesthetics and there’s a range of familiar tunes to keep you company as you race down the slopes.
Without question SSX is back and it’s making quite a return. If you haven’t hit the gaming slopes yet, grab your board and hit the ski runs!
Jax & Daxter Trilogy
No matter how good our latest generation titles prove to be, there is always going to be a part of us that still reflects upon the games of our past.
Fortunately, Sony have identified this need and in recent months, released a string of updated, visually improved versions of previous PS2 classics, including the Sly Trilogy, the excellent ICO and Shadow of the Colossus.
Continuing in this tradition, Sony’s latest addition to the “Classics” range is the PS2 trilogy of Jak & Daxter titles, all released in one high definition package.
For anyone only introduced to the duo in their latter, PS3 days, this trilogy of titles provides a glimpse into the first madcap outings and with the improved graphics, offers an excellent outing, especially for younger gamers.
Some aspects of the games may seem dated but they nevertheless represent excellent value for money with the 3 titles coming in at under the price of one full PS3 release.
Each one, even at almost a decade old, is an excellent 3D platform masterpiece with hosts of mini-games and plenty to come back to.
If you want a trip down memory lane then the Jax & Daxter trilogy is set to prove that some nostalgic journeys need not be a disappointment.
George R Vaughan
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