Entertainment: Movies and games review

Reviews by www.fortressofsolitude.co.za

There are some fantastic movies and games coming out in October and November.

Movie Title: 2 GUNS

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, and James Marsden
Highlights: Chemistry and charm between the two leads
Recommended for: Action comedy fans
Verdict: ***

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg team up to bring us an action comedy that’s reminiscent of the classic '90s buddy cop films that we have come to love. It’s old school in its approach, with much of 2 Guns resting on the chemistry and charm between the two leads.

The story revolves around DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. Navy intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg), who have been working undercover as members of a narcotics syndicate for the past year. The twist, neither man knows that the other is an undercover agent. When their attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and recover millions goes haywire, their superiors disavow the men. Trench and Stigman must go on the run lest they wind up in jail or in a grave.

Overall, the film is a fun comedic action romp with the two stars proving to be worth the price of the admission ticket. 2 Guns proves to be a fun-filled action film regardless of the fact that the plot and some characters needed a lot more work.

Movie Title: Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters

Director: Thor Freudenthal
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Logan Lerman, Nathan Fillion, and Stanley Tucci
Highlights: Fun and entertaining
Recommended for: Fantasy, adventure fans
Verdict: **

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is the sequel to Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief, a film that wasn’t exactly magnificent, but it was fun, enjoyable, and entertaining. In other words, original didn’t set the bar too high for the sequel. Despite this, The Sea of Monsters still only managed to be average.

The story centres on Percy (Logan Lerman), the son of Poseidon, who continues his epic journey to fulfill his destiny. Along the way he teams up with his demigod friends to retrieve the Golden Fleece, which has the power to save their home and training ground, Camp Half-Blood.

The sequel didn’t try to strengthen the first film’s weaknesses. It didn’t even try to build on the first film’s strengths. Instead, its derivative of itself. The film could and should have been better than what it was. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is a film that is shrouded in a veil of mediocrity that perfectly balances the good and bad of story telling and sequels to an unexceptional perfection.

Game Title: Saints Row IV

Developer: Inc.
Genre: Action, Adventure
Highlights: Great open world
Recommended for: Action, adventure fans
Verdict: ****

If you were to try and think of a more radical change from sequel to sequel it would be very hard to compete with the Saints Row franchise. However, the core reason this still works is that the progression, however insane it might feel at the time, is simply leaving no holds barred with the universe they have made, and taking each sequel up to 11 each time.

From small time street hustler, to ruler of Stillwater’s crime families, and from mega media mogul as you take down the bosses of Steelport, to this latest installment, where the ever unnamed and variably appearing Boss is now the president of the United States of America, and has to fight off an alien invasion. And it's just as amazing as that sounds.

Oh, and you also get superpowers. The finest point of Saints Row IV is that you’re never sure what you’re going to get or do next. The best part about this franchise is that we are left with four distinct titles that can each be replayed for different reasons, depending on what form of Saints Row we want today.

Game Title: Fez

Developer: Polytron Corporation
Genre: Platform, Puzzle
Highlights: Excellent gameplay
Recommended for: Platform & puzzle-solving fans
Verdict: *****

Having watched the documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, seen the reviews and watched enough trailers, I knew quite a bit about Fez. It wasn’t until a few days ago, however, that I made the decision to purchase the game on Steam; being on sale made it quite a lot easier. The PC port was initially released on 1 May 2013, after having been officially released on Xbox 360 on 13 April 2012. While there has been great praise for the lovable indie game, there has also been quite a large amount of criticism. What’s all the fuss about?

You won’t find yourself pulling out any of the hairs on your head in an attempt to find every detail and hidden treasure within the game, as simply playing through the levels is more than sufficient to get by. That being said, delving deeper (behind things at face value) brings about its own rewards, and will keep you captivated for quite some time. Eighteen months after its launch, this lovable game is still worth every second you spend playing it.

Movies to look out for:

Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon
Date: 4 October

Genre: Action, Adventure
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde
Date: 4 October

This Is the End
Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Seth Rogen
Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and Jay Baruchel
Date: 11 October

Games to look out for:

Beyond Two Souls
Genre: Action, Shooter
Developer: Quantic Dream
Date: October

Killzone Shadow Fall
Genre: First-person Shooter
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Date: November

Watch Dogs
Genre: Action
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Date: November