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Annabelle is a horror film which stars Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola (Geppetto in Once Upon A Time) and Alfre Woodard. Annabelle is directed by John R. Leonetti who some may know as the director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) or The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006). The film follows the story of strange events caused by a new doll Annabelle which is cursed and starts to scare Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John (Ward Hurton) who are just trying to start a family together in their new home.

The plot of Annabelle is very straight forward but also easy to understand. As you see in the trailer, these crazy people invade the home of poor Mia and John and place a curse on the Annabelle doll. The doll starts scaring everyone and the film goes from there. Even though that this film is quite short with it being only 99 minutes in length, I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit slow to move things forward with its plot.

Characters in this film are somewhat developed at certain points, especially the two main characters (Mia and John), although the film is heavily focused on Mia’s character. I thought that Annabelle Wallis who played Mia did quite well with her role and the scenes at the beginning of the film where she was pregnant were quite good. Ward Horton who played John was okay but he didn’t really impress me that much and seemed to be sort of sidelined a bit in the film. What I felt when watching Annabelle was that the characters themselves, actually all of the characters in the film seemed a little bit stiff, they didn’t move much and everything was so slow. To me, it didn’t feel like I was watching something real, it felt like I was watching actors play characters, who to me didn’t seem that realistic as people. Tony Amendola is likely the most famous one in the cast and only has a minor role in the film, he’s only okay as well and I think it’s something to do with the writing or how the director chose to present the characters, which made Annabelle end up in this way, but everyone just seemed strange and unrealistic to me.

The characterisation isn’t necessarily that important to me in a horror film though because everyone knows characters get killed off anyway in these films so they don’t really matter all that much. What matters the most I think to people is that the film is scary. I don’t really know what’s scary to certain people and what isn’t. For me this movie wasn’t super scary or anything new to the genre, but it has its moments. I didn’t think it was a scary as Wolf Creek 2 which I saw earlier this year. Annabelle is sort of like one of those rides you go on at the amusement park (the scary ones) which are kind of scary and when you are in there you might jump a few times when there is a loud noise or shocking moment. But once you’re out it’s not really that bad and you kind of forget about it.

As for the directing of the movie from John R. Leonetti, it’s probably his best film. It’s okay, but it’s a very sort of standard horror film film that you get here with Annabelle. It’s not really anything I haven’t seen before and I don’t even watch that many horror films. The story is okay as well and mixed with the directing and the cast, it’s enough to entertain someone. I certainly wasn’t bored in this film and didn’t really mind the experience. It’s more entertaining than The Giver and dare I say, I think you see Annabelle in more scenes than Godzilla appeared in his own film earlier this year. Some of the close up shots of Annabelle sitting there smiling in the cabinet or sitting around in the room can be quite uncomfortable to watch at times though (a good uncomfortable because it’s a horror film).

Overall Annabelle isn’t going to blow you away or scare you so much that you won’t be able to sleep that night. But that’s not to say it isn’t entertaining, it has its good moments and for fans of The Conjuring (2013), I’m sure they’ll check it out anyway. I found it to be a little bit slow but I don’t want to discourage people from watching the film as it’s not really anything bad. It’s just something that I think I can sum up with two words if someone asked me how it was, I would say “it’s okay….”

 

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart

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Biggest Album Debuts of 2019

The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.

For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.

NOTE:

  • This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
  • EPs are included in this list
  • “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

ArtistAlbumFirst Week “Units”
Jonas BrothersHappiness Begins414,000
Ariana GrandeThank U, Next360,000
Billie EilishWhen We All Fall Asleep313,000
Backstreet BoysDNA234,000
BTSMap of the Soul: Persona230,000
KhalidFree Spirit202,000
Juice WRLD

Tyler, the Creator

Death Race for Love

Igor

165,000 (1) (2)
Vampire WeekendFather of the Bride138,000
DJ KhaledFather of Asahd137,000

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

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