X-Factor Origins Part 1: Marguerite

It’s about that time that I sat down at the computer and began writing about films. After all there’s only so much of the day I can fail at being a world class assassin. However, instead of the recently released Captain America: Civil War: Part 1: How many more bits can we add to the title, we will examine bad singing. WTF? Don’t worry, read on and soon, even the title of the post will make some sense.

In some regards, you would have thought that with the awards season long over for now that we would return to a sense of normality where we’ll be just commenting on whether or not Batman wears steel enforced underpants underneath his suit. He does in case you wondered. However, we’re far from being done right now with the “true story” films.

Florence Foster Jenkins. Maker of ears bleeding back in the day. Still sang better than Will.I.Am…

This is the tale of the first X-Factor auditions from the start of the 20th century, just without anyone like Simon Cowell to turn around and say that they have no chance whatsoever. Just kidding (although, I suspect that Hollywood would make such a thing if there was any money in it). The two productions on for review are based on the real-life character Florence Foster Jenkins, and the same tragic tale of some rich woman who basically paid lots of money to do stuff and perform badly in front of a live audience who then died in a rather bad way.

There is a key difference with the pan-European production of three countries, Marguerite, the subject of today’s blog post.

In this film we have a story loosely based on the events of Florence Foster Jenkins with locations and characters changed whereas the other British-French produced version with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant is more devoted to the actual story and people involved. But which one is the better version? Subjective of course but at the very least, it’s interesting to see which direction the two productions take and perhaps which will be the better one to see overall.

Be warned, there are spoilers for the film in this post, so if you don’t want to know the score, then look away now. Not sure how we can tell you when to look again considering this is all written… Continue reading

VR: It no longer makes me vomit.

Quite a catchy title you would agree but honestly, it’s probably the major thing I can say when reluctantly trying out the HTC Vive VR headset. Unexpectedly the opportunity came not from one of the numerous gaming expos there had been recently but instead when over at the VideoGamer offices in Croydon for a lovely community get together for pizza, chatting and a little dance with Dave Scammell. It happened, oh yes, it happened. Without any booze too.

Anyway, to the main point of this little blog post; VR is the Next Big Thing as far as video games and maybe some other forms of entertainment go. Trust me, the day that VR porn appears that’s it, everyone will be rushing to buy the bloody things. Wearing a headset and turning your head to see everything around you while actively doing actions for a change has a number of possible applications.

There was a TIME magazine cover that looked like this….

But there are potential pitfalls when it comes to the technology, such as causing motion sickness, limited space to move around with the VR headset and the moment we’re waiting for; the first insurance claim for someone breaking everything while wearing said headset in the front room and running into the TV.

The price itself of such technology is also something which made people clench their buttocks shut with the initial full prices coming around £600 to £700 pounds, postage not even included as well, to add virtual insult to the very real injury of our wallets. Continue reading

EGX Rezzed 2016 Part Two: Almost everything else….

Welcome back dear campers! It’s another day and another post about EGX Rezzed 2016, currently taking place over at the Tobacco Dock in East London.

After the last post, which went into the deep end about Quantum Break, we cover a number of the other releases on show which we sat down with to give a ruddy good going over.

Just one thing before we go further however and it’s about Dark Souls 3. This was indeed on show in a rather tiny hall and had most of the interest towards the end of the day, But we already had a go with Dark Souls 3 during another gaming expo, so we won’t be covering this again here. If you wish to read about impressions of that, then feel free to head on over to the PC Gamer Weekender post here.

You will be seeing a lot more about Dark Souls 3 in the days ahead, given that the game is now only a matter of days from general release and there will indeed be a livestream about that next weekend. Well, all being well of course. We will update Twitter as and when that is sorted out but for now, read on….

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

Why yes, I would like an overpriced drink while talking bollocks….

This is a rather odd one to cover and basically was among the huge number of indie titles littered around the docks. We happened upon it and because it sounded strange and different, then why not? To quote the litterature, VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a presented as a “booze em’ up” which is set in a cyberpunk time, where we play hostess (yep, the bartenders are all women) to a variety of various people. During the playthrough, this was entirely consisting of one obnoxious gimp who was livestreaming herself 24/7 while getting men to pay extra for dirty fun video time. Continue reading

EGX Rezzed 2016 Part One, with part two after this Quantum Break….

Oh dear god yes campers, It’s that time again that I blather on about things which are yet to come in terms of gaming antics. This time, we visited the EGX Rezzed 2016 event, being held at the time of writing at the Tobacco Docks.

Last year I wrote about such wonders as Bloodborne, which mainly just vexed me, and has since continued to vex me. Tembo The Badass elephant was something to really look forward to. That was, until the release day where Sega or the developers released the wrong build onto Steam and we covered that in a YouTube video. There were many other good things to come out of such a packed and varied venue, that this year’s event was looked forward to even more.

Oh how the balls became saggier with time. Err… what? To explain, just sit back and read Part 1 of the overview from Rezzed and a look at some of the titles on offer.

Rezzed be a ghost town….

So them balls? Why mention saggy balls at all? Is this a Pot Noodle advert?

Nope, it only comes from the overall experience we had when attending EGX Rezzed 2016 on the Thursday. On the face of it, everyone had ran out of money to even bother turning up. It seems that perhaps interest was on the wane or maybe people didn’t have as much to show, but honestly the space occupied by EGX this year was around half of what it was before. Adding insult to injury, the venue’s hospitality had been massively reduced. Not only reduced, with prices hiked up to an average of £10 too.

Look at them, the filthy gamers….hate them, hate them all!

It seems to just plainly cash in on the gaming public who would be coming to see what games to burn their hard earned cash on. Which actually would be odd to say, considering that there were far fewer vendors around even to take advantage of the general buzz to sell whatever they happened to have.

Why was this? Where had everyone ran off to?

I guess only the EGX organisers can answer that, if they wanted to. Perhaps the Thursday was a set-up day and actually the bigger presence by all was meant for the weekend. If this was the case, surely it would have been better to not have anyone attend? But given the selection on display at all on the Thursday, one can only wonder how many punters would conclude the same. If this were to continue, then it honestly would be better for all, to look for other events to attend.

Hooray for free marketing stuff!

That being said, there were nowhere near as many queues for the games, save for Dark Souls 3 and the VR booths. Thus it was a lot easier to get around and enjoy some real quality time with the titles, with no rush to finish at any time. We also got a ridiculous amount of free gaming tat, of which we say to all the developers and PR people, thank you very much!

An additional Mucho kudos shout-out must go to the Carmageddon chaps who had t-shirts bigger than medium too. So for the first time ever, I managed to score something I would actually be able to wear from these things! That being said, it was very much worthwhile for some other reasons, some of which will surprise you. Continue reading

Windows Store and Gears of War: A breakdown

By now, some of you will have seen the murdering of the song Wonderwall released on April Fool’s day, not for just demonstrating how awful my vocals sound after 11pm, but also to declare that if Microsoft were to fix various things with their latest master plan for the technology space, that then I would actually use the Windows Store.

If you want to see it, it’s right here;

A rather weird thing to do you would say and you’re damn right. It is. It is one of the silliest weirdest things on the YouTube channel to date. And yet, there was a very good reason for doing so. Despite what you may have thought, it wasn’t as far from the truth of why I did it in the first place.

Originally the plan was to have some decent impressions of the first game released by Microsoft Studios this year; Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Windows 10. It was the first real signs of a promise made by Phil Spencer last year that they were going to bring more titles to the Windows Platform and honestly, I thought it would be a great thing in that it would allow people to enjoy Gears of War on their fancy gaming PCs instead without having to go out and buy an XBOX one.

But then I bought it and oh dear God did I regret it.

The vast majority of the meh stems from a few things which you saw in the video.

But given the fact that it glossed over a huge amount of my complaints, I decided to give more of detailed overview of the issues faced when dealing with the Microsoft new world order Not only with the Windows Store, but of course the real first release on said platform people were excited to look at. Given that Quantum Break released today with no PC reviews and mixed feedback on issues so far, now seems a very good time to bring this all to the forefront.

Strap yourselves in, because it’s going to be a long ride. Continue reading

The Revenant: Leo’s Shiny Shiny Moment

We know the whole thing of the Oscar’s have long now been and gone for 2016. There were some laughs, crying, some nonsensical messages about society and by now, everyone else will have been looking forward to instead for the summer blockbusters where we can all turn our brains off. Well, turn them off more than we already do. But, we weren’t not going to look at the one thing that people sort of cared about; Leonardo Dicaprio’s award winning performance in the Revenant.

Seriously, if the Odeon in Leicester Square was happy to change it’s name as a result of backing the start to get some shiny shiny, you know we couldn’t leave this one alone. So was this another bait film or actual something which would have stood on its own were it to have been released any other time of the year?

First of all, the director for this apparently was the same guy who directed Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu. which was actually looked at last year as part of Oscar Bait 2015 and it was…. an acquired taste at best. Despite a wonderful one-shot process throughout the entire film, I had to be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. Perhaps this is why I only came to watch this a few months after the release and all the hype had died down. Continue reading

Batman V Superman: They actually did f**k it up.

And now we come to the pièce de résistance of the Easter weekend’s movie fun and frolics, after we’ve eaten all the chocolate eggs of course. Batman Vs Superman or rather sorry, I should have been calling it Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. This is the film which will give us an epic battle of two DC comic book characters as well as set up the entire series of films to follow already planned out by Warner Bros over the next few years.

It’s actually been really hard to quantify this actual post into something coherent to tell you about what’s good, bad etc. So tell you what, I’ll just write down my thoughts as they come and you can all take them as they are. It’s really weird but no more weird than what they do with this. Continue reading

Man Of Steel: An Insurance Nightmare for the DC Universe

Given what’s coming out today, you know the internet’s sites, video bloggers and Reddit sites of this world will be taking this opportunity to milk the f**k out of anything to do with Batman Vs. Superman. You know, that silly little thing which got released today for the general public to ignore in favour of finishing off DareDevil series 2 on Netflix. Judging from the reviews and opinions released so far, it’s middling to borderline a war crime depending on who you talk to.

Do you think I would stoop so low as to do the exact same thing as everyone else on the internet? Do you really think…. Yes you’re damned right I would too and with great gusto! Except of course, it’s perhaps best to look at the film which proceeded the events of Batman Vs. Superman: The Quest for Marvel’s cash.

Which of course was the last Superman reboot, Man of Steel.

As it stands I’m not entirely sure if this is a must see, considering that we don’t know exactly if you’ve had to have seen Man of Steel before going to see Batman Vs. Superman. But to be honest, that’s the least of the concerns with what Warner and DC are going to be doing.

When if came to Man of Steel, the best way to describe myself was shall we say, meh? The only reason I watched this on Amazon Prime, was only for the possibility that this was going to be required in order to have a clue of what happens next in the new DC comics mega vehicle. At the time of release in cinemas, I completely bypassed this film, having been put off by the trailer and, to be honest, various other aspects.

I wasn’t interested in seeing a dark brooding version of a character which, let’s remember, is ridiculous. Batman may have worked in that regard with the Christopher Nolan reboot version, given it was still based largely in reality. Ok, despite everyone being confused as to how the hell Bruce Wayne came back to Gotham City in the Dark Knight Rises. Ok, despite a few other plot issues which has been talked over on the internet to death already. Ok, I’m going to stop saying ok at the start of sentences.

With Superman though it, was hard to forget what had come before; Christopher Reeves did a pretty good job despite some questionable sequels, Lex Luthor was played to great pantomime effect by Gene Hackman. Hell, even that Superman Returns film with Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey wasn’t entirely the almighty car crash everyone seems to remember it for.

One day my boy, all this will be yours….now put on the silly suit we did for you.

So when it came to revisiting the superhero who doesn’t like green stuff and can time travel backwards (oh yeah, it was a thing in the first one, you won’t make me forget it), what were the creative bods going to bring to the table with this? From hereon out there will be spoilers for Man of Steel but to be honest, anyone who wanted to watch, has already done so by now.

You still here?

Sure? OK, let’s go speeding along as there’s quite a lot to get through and I guess I have to rush it all…. Continue reading

PC Gamer Weekender: Part 2

Welcome back campers to Part 2 of the PC Gamer Weekender round-up, a look at some of what was shown during the event which took place in East London a couple of weeks ago. This time we’re having a look as some more of the games presented along with some of the technology on show too, along with some final meh mehs about whether or not the PC Gamer Weekender was worth going to.

THE ORCHID NEBULA

Great Scott Marty! We have to go back to the past or the present with a right mouse click!

This was actually a surprising game to be covering and is based on a group of student’s work while studying game design and they were actually very good in explaining some of the design choices that went into the game. The best I can describe this at the moment, is another one of those walking simulators where somehow you’re stuck in an abandoned high-tech laboratory.

Everything around you is pretty much all b*llocksed, probably because someone forgot to get that last packet of screws from the DIY shop and now it’s all fallen to pieces. But for some reason, you seem to have one power: the ability to jump in time between the present and the past, when the laboratory was in a better state before it all went to s*it.

You also got a lovely robot buddy who was telling you all about what needed fixing and so it progressed as you solved a couple of puzzles to then exit the demo level. Because this was an early demo, there wasn’t a lot of detail in the place and some design aspects could do with improvements to keep the immersion, but hell it was running well and I wanted to keep going to the end.

This showed some good promise and I look forward to how they’re going to expand things out, especially where some of the inspiration came when the developer of the Stanley Parable came to speak to the class of student some time before. You can find out more about the game at https://www.facebook.com/TheOrchidNebula/ Continue reading

PC Gamer Weekender: Part 1

After quite a while in the wilderness, we’re starting to find our footing again here at Ooh Sometimes, albeit at the pace of a dead badger. After the fun and frolics that comes with performing DIY (no, not that kind of doing yourself….wee scamps), it was about time some merriment was had.

But rather than drink myself silly and then wake up in Belgium the next day, instead the time was spent being a proper nerd at the first ever PC Gamer Weekender, which took place in the Truman Brewery in East London a couple of weeks ago. It was actually the same venue where Eurogamer began their rise to dominance in the event space before moving round London before plonking themselves in Birmingham for the time being.

Rather than sounding like a film from the early 2000s where everyone goes to the beach and party for spring break, this was a more geeky affair where the magazine PC Gamer, owned by Future Publishing, set out to have a weekend event devoted entirely to that thing in the back room where you tend to game and watch illegally downloaded anime porn, the PC. Perhaps it was because the EGX and Rezzed events year after year proved to be a popular hit that the chaps at PC Gamer decided to get in on the action, which is a fair shout given there’s nothing else currently dedicated entirely to the PC space.

So was it worth going and what was on show? Continue reading