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Film Review: Snatched

“What I Need Is An Amazing Adventure…”

In a world where American comedy is usually as effective as a chocolate teapot, Amy Schumer undeniably is up there with the worst that particular side of the continent has delivered over the course of the past few years, with her venture onto the big screen with releases such as Trainwreck burdening millions with her screechy Americanised tones and hysterically dull sensibility which really doesn’t compute with my idea of an effective comedic personality, particularly in a day and age in which memorable comedies are quite hard to find. Co-starring this week in Snatched with Hollywood legend Goldie Hawn, mother of Kate Hudson and partner to the awesomely cool Kurt Russell, Schumer once again proves that her particular brand of comedy just doesn’t work within the cinematic atmosphere, resulting in a performance which ultimately solidifies the notion of her inability to create laughs through a tired and cliche-ridden narrative which attempts to turn the vulgarity up to eleven in order to distract the audience from the utter boredom which encompasses the events on-screen. Goldie Hawn, what on Earth are you doing in this movie? I guess a gas bill must be due sometime soon. Ker-ching indeed.

After being dumped by her rock and roll boyfriend, Schumer’s unbelievably annoying leading character decides to make the most of her pre-planned trip to South America by inviting her feline-loving mother (Goldie Hawn) with a penchant for over-protection and questionable sculpturing techniques. Cue loud and completely unnecessary scenes of alcoholism, party music and nudity, Snatched is the type of 21st century so-called “comedy” which adds to the argument that the good times have most definitely come and gone in regards to its’ respective genre. Whilst Hawn seems to be there only for the sake of financial inducement, the film really doesn’t paint a sympathetic picture of its’ leading character, resulting in a warped sensibility which desires her captors to actually go through with their sickening plan and dispose of their prisoners as swiftly as possible. If this was indeed the case, the audience would have been spared from a 90 minute bore-fest whose only redeemable character is the poor U.S state department official who gets forced to help save their lives. Maybe next time mate, just forget the rescue and leave them to it.

Overall Score: 3/10


Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – WHEN WILL IT STOP!? – Xbox One Review

CoD BOAbout 6 years ago, I began my foray into the Call of Duty series with Modern Warfare 2 for my brand new Xbox 360. MW2 is the most beloved and coolest CoD game to date, ever since, I’ve made sure to get my hands on them and play them but nothing lived up to Infinity Ward’s quality. The game took a huge hit with Black Ops. It’s quality was naff and it’s general gameplay and story were duller than a blunt kitchen knife. It seemed a trend but does it stop here?

Well…Not really. We are 40 years after the events of Black Ops 2, subtle references to the villain of the past give reasoning to the huge amount drones and their constant reliance on something so easily manipulated, as we keep finding out. We are a nameless character, male or female with the ability to choose from a selection of facial pre-sets. The male voice is played by Farscape’s Ben Browder and the female by Abby Brammell. We are also joined by a whole host of faces and names throughout from Christopher Meloni, Neal McDonough, Ron Perlman, Robert Picardo, Jeff Goldblum, Tony Amendola and the legendary Nolan North to mention a few. Its not only their voices, many of them have their faces digitally mapped into the game much like Advanced Warfare’s Kevin Spacey and Troy Baker to create another selling point. Now sure, they look good and it was cool to see a few familiar faces but it didn’t add much, especially when you watch the movement of the faces during dialogue and all you see is an empty black hole into the abyss. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen someone’s hand and a couple black lines from the side of the mouth too their chins. As for the general voice acting, its was alright. Now we shift to our character. The need to even create one is rather obscure, you only see yourself in a few transitions prior to levels and in game cutscenes, so its general need could have been fulfilled in a far more practical manner – AKA, not have it at all. The quality of our face is also far less than that of any other character so its difficult to justify why they simply didn’t use their voice actors like every other character. Typically, as ever, there is a bad guy. We need to find them and kill them. This time however, its a “complicated” story of AI, CIA and biotech enhancements on your squad. Rather than spoil anything, you have a chip in your brain that allows you to control certain aspects of the world around you and give you advantages on the battlefield. But, we never started with this. In fact our first mission is us diving into Egypt to save a high ranking official. Upon rescuing him, we are treated to a rather impromptu massage from a defective masseuse that pulls a couple limbs off and uses them to beat me into oblivion. But all is not lost! Rescued by an elite group of operatives fitted with biotech chips, top of the line prosthetics and Meloni at the helm, the very same organisation that we join in return for saving our life. Now as a story, its lives under its own guise of “oh so complicated” when in actual fact, its a very basic story that decides to throw some of its Nazi zombie features in for no apparently reason other than, “eh, fuck it”. Character development is non-existent and the attempted love/relationship story arises from nowhere and vanishes quicker than a fart in the wind.

So what else is there? Anything new you may be asking?. Well there are a couple things. One is the biotech chips which give you a select amount of abilities that can control the flow of enemies and remove threats more effectively. Some allow remote hacking of devices for control purposes while others garner the ability to fuck shit up and implode combat drones. They’ve also reduced strafing abilities from AW,CoD BO 1 only giving you a forward slide which is a faff in general as its only engaged while running at a certain speed so its a little bit annoying for sliding between cover. It’s also taken another leaf from AW but we all know that this leaf came right from Titanfall and that is the wall running ability, but this time you have to unlock it with points rather than it being part of your super solider get-up and its a really clunky affair. Its not smooth and its hardly used. Unless you’re like me and it suddenly appears that you need it to cross a gap for 1 section and you didn’t unlock it because it was already part of your training and you presumed you still had it!…

Visually the game looks sharp. Some textures aren’t perfect and as I’ve already mentioned, faces lack a good form of animation and suffer from looking like clay or wax models. But its not all bad. The UI HUD is fantastic. Very simple and easy to use and the tactical elements included give some great guidance throughout and reveal kill zones and enemy locations. However, when setting my safe boundaries, loading screens prior to levels completed ignored that and cut the majority of the level names out which was a rather infuriating issue that bugged me consistently. The music is okay. Nothing dramatically amazing that sticks to mind but the sound effects need toning down. I was playing with the stereo output via the controller with my Razer Kraken Neon Pro’s at a decent level but voices were often distant and the explosions were physically painful.

 Now, multiplayer. The only reason anyone buys these games? Probably. My experience is short and it’ll stay that way with Fallout 4 on my lap, Tomb Raider on the back of a truck on route to me and Star War Battlefront so soon after. I opened it up to be greeted by a selection of classes. Typical destroyers and abilities were attached to them which would have certain effects within the game, their genders can’t change but they have a variety of customisable pieces. So, jumping into my first game, I’ve already been kicked out of 3 and joined lobbies where nothing happens at all. Team balancing takes an age and starting and getting into a game is just agonisingly long when you just want to play a single round. Perhaps its the Xbox’s awful wifi receiver connection or perhaps its the CoD servers being rammed or more than likely, a combination of both. Levels gained in the campaign also do not affect the online multiplayer meaning that it is useless to have such an unnecessary mechanic. But considering I finally managed to make in into a game, lets talk about it. Bearing in mind it was one map and my only match so far, it was alright. I fell off the high-rise building a few times and often got myself lost looking for people who blended into the environment making them rather difficult to see. Upon entering the round, we are greeted by a League of Legends (Maybe Dota, I don’t play it) player roster that details the enemy players and what class they are running, once again, a pretty useless addition that tries to give the illusion of strategy to then round out the match with a podium finish of those who performed the best that features a short bit of dialogue from the top character. Honestly one of the most cringy experiences I’ve ever had to witness in a game. Now here is my biggest gripe. I can hear where the enemy team is. Not because of their footsteps or movement but because the characters are screaming and shouting. In close quarter situations, its becomes a cluster of shouting that draws more and more people in and any element of surprise is removed when some bell shouts “Enemy down!” at the top of their lungs. 

Now has the game changed? No. Not at all. If you scrap all of the tiny little additions of the player rosters and the “new guns” You’ll probably see the lifeless corpse of Treyarch’s World at War and Infinity Studio looking back in disgust at the desecration of the classic Call of Duties that made the series such a big hitter in the market. Now, I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it. In fact, I’m sure it’ll continue for a few years now with the same dull and boring story with minute mechanic changes because its audience so wholly digest it, they cannot actually comprehend that the series is simultaneously fucking them while gradually feeding them more content so they keep their mouths shut. We are left with a series that is watching its audience become self-aware (perhaps that’s what the story was really going for) and see what they’re paying for year on year.

Use Cara Delevingne as much as you want. It ain’t going to make the game good! 6/10

Buy it cheap, play it for a few hours and watch as the map packs destroy and displace the player base.

Cod BO 2