This week we take a look at some of the new releases across music, movies and video games with George R Vaughan.
Glass Animals - How To Be A Human Being
No sign of second-album syndrome here from the Oxford based quartet who have been on the radar of many “in the know” and with the release of How To Be A Human Being are likely to justify their tag of the “next big indie thing”.
Having broken the US – already conquerors of Europe and Australia – their new album builds upon the excellent debut Zaba and delivers more than their fans could have expected and their critics may have thought possible.
There are so many stand-out tunes to admire here – I particularly like Youth, that has notes of the brilliant Gooey woven into its much more upbeat sound and opening track Life Itself.
If you’ve heard of them before then I won’t be telling you anything you don’t already know but for those of you yet to discover Glass Animals, boy are you in for a treat.
How To Be A Human Being is out now on CD and digital download.
Bad Neighbours 2 (15)
This comedy follow up to 2015’s smash hit sees the return of Seth Rogen and co as they seek to deal with a new sorority led by Chloe Grace Mortez.
The humour is similar although not without a few fresh ideas and the obligatory levels of bad taste such films demand all lead me to feel I shouldn’t like this movie and yet I couldn’t bring myself to trash it completely.
Part of the appeal comes from the leads with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron both proving to be likeable leads and Chloe Grace Mortez proves to be watchable as the villain of the piece.
It isn’t original by any means but it does have enough appeal to make it a worthwhile watch. Just don’t expect too many repeat viewings...
Bad Neighbours 2 is out now on digital download and next week on Blu Ray and DVD.
The Jungle Book (PG)
As a big fan of the Disney animated original I was a little wary of any remake to such an iconic film, especially when one considers how memorable the soundtrack also was.
However, the approach taken by Disney on this release has been a little different and they have tried to reinvent the tale with a great degree of success.
Raised by a family of wolves, Mowgli (charismatic newcomer Neel Sethi) must leave his home when the Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him. Guided by Bagheera the panther (Ben Kingsley) and the free spirited bear Baloo (Bill Murray) he seeks to find his way in the jungle and ultimately confront his destiny.
As remakes go this is a terrific film with a fabulous cast all stamping their mark on their individual roles. It doesn’t try to mimic the original and even brings a degree of individuality to proceedings, meaning it can stand effectively against its better-known predecessor.
Well worth a watch.
The Jungle Book is out now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
The action of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place in 2029, a couple of years after the events of previous title Human Revolution.
A thinking man’s title that sees you reprise the role of Adam Jensen, former private security officer turned Interpol agent, tasked with the mission of taking down a terrorist cell of augmented humans.
Suspenseful gameplay married with a tight story, great action and a wonderful, futuristic setting brings us the first must have game of the post summer lull and is sure to keep you hooked, regardless of which format you purchase it on.
The graphics are cutting edge and there is a sense of a series that has rediscovered itself in a way that promises much more for the future. It really is a title that offers something to most gamers – whether you’re looking for straight out action, a more thoughtful puzzler or an out and out RPG.
If you’re looking for a title to shake away those post-summer holiday blues then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the one for you!
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
If you’re an F1 fan then aside from getting into the seat of a real life racing car, this latest release from Codemasters is probably the closest you will come to emulating the experience.
After the disappointments of last year’s game the developers appear to have taken a new approach and improved matters no end to make F1 2016 a real product of the next gen era. Graphics have been upgraded, sound effects enhanced and the roster of drivers is now more impressive than ever.
The full 2016-season calendar is also present along with all 21 tracks, including the new Baku circuit.
Surprisingly easy to pick up and play with only a few button presses, it also can be a lot more detailed, especially if you choose the career option.
The gameplay has been enhanced to really replicate the car mechanics and it proves a joy to play.
In short, there is no better F1 simulator on the market so dive in and see if you can become the next Lewis Hamilton!
F1 2016 is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
No Man’s Sky
For PS4 owners this title was probably one of the most eagerly anticipated of 2016 but it’s arrival has been greeted by mixed responses.
The official blurb sells No Man’s Sky as an exploration and survival game set in an infinite, procedurally generated universe. You can fly seamlessly from one planet to another and every star in the sky is a location you can visit.
Essentially a space RPG that feels like it loses a little from being a one player only game – if ever there was a title that would benefit from multiplayer functionality this surely is it – it can be a little repetitive, for all the developer’s claims that no two experiences are quite the same.
Graphically it’s often an amazing experience but in other areas like combat, survival and inventory management it can sometimes feel poorly thought out. This hampers the experience somewhat and proves that good looks cannot save a game.
If I sound like I’m not selling the game very positively that’s because I’m not. It does have merit in certain areas but in others it feels rushed and within what is ultimately a pretty average experience there rests a groundbreaking one, if only the designers had been given more time.
As a Christmas 2017 release this could have been the Elite of this generation.
No Man’s Sky a PS4 exclusive.
George R Vaughan
Women Talking has a copy of The Jungle Book on Blu Ray for one lucky subscriber.
For your chance to win simply answer the following question:
Who was the writer of the The Jungle Book?
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org ensuring you place the words Jungle Book in the subject header, also including your unique Women Talking username with the submission.
The competition closes on September 15th and the winner will be announced soon after.
The editor’s decision is final and there are no cash alternatives.
Blu Ray player (not included) is required to view this film.