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Miss Sloane Review

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Miss Sloane is a political drama/thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow, Mark Strong, Alison Pill and Sam Waterston. The film is directed by John Madden, who some may know as the director who made films such as The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015 – click to read our review) or Shakespeare in Love (1998).

Miss Sloane is about the character of Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), who is a political lobbyist and is one of the best and most sought after people in her profession. She works all day and pretty much all night, she knows how do a great job and she knows how to win and does so at almost any cost, even if that cost is at the expense of her personal life. Her new case though may just be one of the toughest though, she’s going up against guns, which if you know anything about American politics, it’s a sensitive and dangerous area to get into. Will she be able to succeed with her task of gun control?

I do love a political drama and am a massive House Of Cards fan. I’m also quite a big fan of The Newsroom, of which both Sam Waterston and Alison Pill starred in while it was on TV. Miss Sloane is kind of almost a mix of those two shows that I love and a few other political films as well. The world of politics is a very high stakes one, people are worked hard, things are fast paced and there is a lot of drama in there. As a film this is really a dialogue heavy drama, it’s not an action film or anything like that, but it does have quite a bit of very intense moments, which for people like myself are almost more exciting than watching an action blockbuster.

Much of the film is a character centric story all around Miss Sloane. She’s an interesting character to watch, she’s ruthless, she gets things done, she has little regard for people around her, she’s just focused on her goals and her work. She’s also a very powerful woman, who knows how to manipulate the world around her and is also always calculating her next move. I love watching films with these types of main characters, it’s like maybe they’re almost a bit of a villain, but really maybe they’re not. I always find it fascinating to see what these types of people get up to and when you put them into a political situation, as Miss Sloane is in, it’s easy for the drama to elevate higher and higher.

I’ve really enjoyed Jessica Chastain in pretty much all of her recent films. She’s a great actress and I haven’t really seen her or can’t remember anything where she was the main lead role in film, but she was excellent in this. I have no complaints about her performance, she really does deliver. Other actors such as Alison Pill and Sam Waterston were also quite good, although most characters actually don’t have that much screen time. Most scenes are with Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) meeting with people and while many people get a lot of scenes, no one really stood out more than Jessica Chastain did.

The only issue this film may have with a lot of people is that many just can’t sit through a dialogue heavy political thriller. You really do have to pay attention to what’s going on as there’s a lot of small comments or moments to follow and if you’re not focused you can miss them entirely and then not understand something later on. Secondly, this film is pretty heavily focused on the gun debate and some people in America are very sensitive about their guns and may get offended if someone says anything to do with taking them away. Being in Australia it’s not such a big issue and I  personally don’t care for guns at all so I quite like the film. As a film it does give a bit of a glimpse into the lives of lobbyists and while it’s probably overly dramatised for entertainment, I do find everything about that world very interesting.

The writing of Miss Sloane and the way the characters words are said as well as the fast pacing to conversations reminds me of many of the things we’ve seen recently from Aaron Sorkin, particularly The Newsroom or The Social Network. However, it’s not written by Sorkin at all and actually comes from Jonathan Perera, of which this is his only film that he’s ever written. It’s a solid first effort, whether or not he’s a Sorkin fan, I don’t know. But I do like what he’s created here.

Overall I found myself really enjoying Miss Sloane at the cinema this week. These political thrillers are a genre of films I have been increasingly starting to like and I feel Miss Sloane was a great addition to that genre and gave me exactly the entertainment experience I was looking for this week. The acting from everyone in this film was great, but it was Jessica Chastain who really stood out and did a phenomenal job with her role as Miss Sloane. The only issues this has is that it may not be a film for everyone, it’s very heavy with politics, the gun debate and it’s also dialogue driven. But if you’re at least a little bit interested in something like this, then it may be worth watching. I certainly quite enjoyed it and recommend watching it.

Bryan loves writing about movies, TV shows and games and tries his best to give a balanced and honest view in all his reviews or opinion pieces on Resident Entertainment.

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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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