Well I thought I would do something I haven't done for a while and write an update on things I have seen lately that deserve some extra attention.
Paul, the latest movie from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost has finally reached Australian cinemas. The wait was worth it. The pair have hit another home run with this charming road trip comedy. The story for those that don't know is about two british lads who, while on a tour of the USA's most famous UFO hotspots, run into an actual Alien (Paul) who is running from captivity. Paul is voiced by Seth Rogan and it seems alot of his personality has seeped through into the CG creation. As you can imagine comedy hijinks ensue but they never get predictable. The supporting cast is all top notch (Jason Bateman and Sigourney Weaver both turn in stellar performances) and the SCI-FI references all come thick and fast (including the film's climax at one of the most famous locations in SCI-FI film history) leaving you laughing out loud. The film is more accessable than the duo's previous efforts so if you are put off by the excessive "britishness" in Shaun and Fuzz you should be fine here. All in all a great movie with plenty of laughs to be had.
Dragon Age 2 is the newest epic roleplaying game from RPG masters Bioware. Once again the player is thrust into the world of Dragon Age however things have changed this time around. The original game was a return to the old-school sensabilities of classic RPG's like Baulders Gate and Icewind Dale. It was lauded by many for this return to crushing difficulty, pause and order combat and massive game length. However many were put off by the game for these very reasons. DA:2 is a much more modern style of RPG and it seems to have more in common with Biowares other key series, Mass Effect, than it does with the original.
DA 2's main character is voiced this time around, creating a sense of involvement that the original lacked. The combat can now be played in real time (the option of pause and order is still there however) and the dialog system has been lifted directly from Mass Effect. In all the game experence has been streamlined nicely and for those that were daunted by the original, this is going to be a much more inviting game. The game has it's problems however. The whole game (all 25-30 hours) are set in one town. This of course becomes more than a little repetative. The other major issue I have with the game is the story. Story is usually one of Bioware's strong points but here it seems little more than a reason to connect quests together. The ending is also increadibly unsatisfying leaving the game open for what is obviously going to be the final part of the triology. Don't let these things deter you too much though as there is a lot of fun still to be had with DA2 and unless you are a die hard DA:O fan you should find something to love.
Wasting Light, the newest effort from alternate rock gods The Foo Fighters has hit the shelves. Labeled as a return to the bands earlier style the album contains 11 short but rocking anthems that should keep any fan more than happy. "Bridges Burning" and "White Limo" are some of the heaviest tracks that the band has released in years and something that fans have been clamouring for. Their pop sensibilites haven't left them though with radio friendly tracks such as "Rope" still getting love from Dave and the band. All in all a very solid effort with the only downside a very short running time. A couple of extra songs would have been nice but what is here is about as good as the Foo's have ever been.
Well thats it for me. Just a reminder I am also writing game reviews for www.blackpanel.com.au. My latest is on Need for Speed Shift 2 - Unleashed. Please head over (http://blackpanel.com.au/2011/04/21/shift-2-unleashed-review/) and check it out. While you are there support the site by subscribing to the podcast and the facebook group. I will love you for it.