The Maze Runner – DVD Review NZ Release

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Yes yes, The Maze Runner is finally available to buy or rent on BluRay and DVD in New Zealand from January 21, 2015 (TODAY!). But what can we say about this dystopian film that we haven’t already gushed about in our initial film review? It’s a film you’d like to rewatch for the cast- which includes the temperamental maze itself- however don’t get angry when the story feels slightly undeveloped and slightly rushed towards the exposition-centric end. Despite this it’s still a great flick to chuck on, with enough thrills, spills and even a few chills to keep you on the edge of your seat until the slightly bewildering end.

In the extras there are a few good deleted scenes, some storyboards and images as well as the theatrical trailer along with a commentary track with Wes Ball and T.S. Nowlin. Unfortunately there’s no gag-reel but I suppose it’ll turn up on youtube sooner or later.

Also, anyone else feel puffed out from just watching this thing? There’s so much running.

So much.

Running.

I suppose that’s why it’s called the Maze…Runner. Badoom dush. Thank you, thank you I’ll be here all week. Also, I think that’s all from one scene- I just wanted to make that joke. But relive the running, and of course the plot that goes with it, and remember… the maze was just the beginning. Oh and that there’s probably (definitely) going to be more running.

Attack On Titan – Live Action Character Pics

Haruma Miura as Eren

 

Japanese film news websites Eiga and Sanspo unveiled the first character visuals (including new film-only characters) for the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan films. And holy colossal do they look legit. The 3D Maneuver Gear and swords are ON POINT. Be in for some surprising weaponry, however. And a lack of a certain Survey Corps Special Operations Squal Leader, Levi. WHERE IS LEVI?! Ahem.

In regards to cast selection, producer Yoshihiro Sato advised he didn’t pay as much attention to whether or not the cast members looked like the original characters- I guess that means they’re not going to dye Hongo’s hair blond- although I do believe they nailed Mikasa’s look. Kiko Mizuhara is so damn pretty, so here’s to hoping she’s also a badass. According to Sato, through many a discussion with Hajime Isayama (the original creator of Attack on Titan), they went with actors who could act out the “characters’ spirits.” I dig it, here’s to hoping Miura plays Eren with a little less whining though.

Director, Shinji Higuchi, confirmed that there will be two films and that with the supervision of Isayama, the story will be based on the world and characters of the manga, while incorporating new characters and new formidable enemies. Interesting. Yuusuke Watanabe (Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, live-action Gantz, Gantz II: Perfect Answer, 20th Century Boys, Gatchaman) is writing the script, along with Tomohiro Machiyama, friend of Isayama. Surely any friend of Isayama is a friend of ours?

Both films are slated to open next summer. YAASSSS Attack on Titan 2015!!

 

Check out your favs (Hanji looks amaze tbh) below:

Kiko Mizuhara as Mikasa

Okay, so I’m hearing a lot of hoo-hah about ‘isn’t Mikasa supposed to be the only Asian left in the SNK world? She’s the only one who looks the least Asian’. Sure, the manga makes it a point that she is but guys this is a Japanese franchise- find me some white actors who can speak fluent Japanese to play the other characters before you start critizing the casting.

Kanata Hongo as Armin

 

Satomi Ishihara as Hanji

Hanji’s RPG tho’. Wut? Do you reckon (especially with what looks like a tank in one of the photos below) they’ve upped the technology a bit? They still use swords because it’s the easiest to slay a titan with, but perhaps they also have the use of other heavy artillery?

Nanami Sakuraba as Sasha

 

Takahiro Miura as Jean

There are also seven characters that are new to the film versions of the story. According to Sanspo reports Hasegawa’s character Shikishima holds the key to the film’s story as “humanity’s strongest man.” Hmmmmm, check them out below:








Hit us with your thoughts below! Like, love, loathe? If you haven’t read our reviews of the first season check them out here: Part 1 | Part 2.

5 Steps To Having an Awesome #NZSecretSanta 2014 Experience!

#NZ Secret Santa

It’s that time of the year the time when the Twitter folk of New Zealand get their Twitter sleuthing hats on and step up their gift-giving game to partake in ‘NZ Secret Santa’. NZ Secret Santa was started by one @websam in 2010, who wanted to focus only on growing pumpkins and let the cool guys over at NZ Post take the reins in 2012. Since then it’s become quite the organised event with a Santa Storehouse so that you don’t have give out your address willynilly, and an epic elf service that stores the gifts, and only sends out gifts to those Secret Santas who have actually sent a gift! You’ve got to give to receive! And if you don’t give, you still give because the gift that was meant for you goes to Christchurch City Mission. Great huh? Also, NZ Post donates $1500 if there are 1500 participants, $5000 for 5000 signed up participants, or $10,000 if there are 10,000 participants.

So be a sport and sign up and participate because what’s more exciting than spreading some cheer? Other than a new episode of Game of Thrones that is. Seeing as regristrations open tomorrow we thought we’d talk about how to make this year’s #NZSecretSanta an awesome experience, both for returning Santas and new ones.

Best Funny Christmas Gifs for your wishes 2013

Step 1: Follow @nzsecretsanta and Register.

Link your Twitter account to a New Zealand Post online account. It’s easy-peasy, just follow the instructions. Seriously, it’s really easy. Just do as we do.

Mean Girls♥ (Scenes)

Step 2: Tweet! It’s no fun if you’re a Silent Egg.

Just tweet, okay? You can tweet as per usual, if you’re not a prolific tweeter then at least try to make an effort. Hell, tweet about your interests, you can even drop a hint or two if you like, or be as blunt as Jess: “Just because I am an accountant does not mean I want a calculator”. And if you think your tweets are not showing off your personality, add in your personal website, instagram, or links to things you like in your bio. Just keep in mind nobody likes a Demanding Darcy. “I like wacky socks” is good, “GIVE ME WACKY SOCKS” notsomuch.

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Oh and remember to use the hashtag: #nzsecretsanta.

Step 3: Stalk Your Recipient Like There’s No Tomorrow.

Get up in there. Obviously we don’t condone actual stalking, because that’s weird and not at all cool, we’re talking getting to know your recipient without alerting them to the fact that you are their Secret Santa. This is where all your days spent online stalking exes, crushes and frenemies come in handy. Don’t act like you don’t do it. But seriously you have to up your twitter stalking game once you find out who you’ve got and Veronica Mars your way into finding out what they like, from links of any websites they have, to their twitter conversations and other online activity. Word of advice, though, don’t start following the person straight away. Stalking is an artform. Put them on a private list or follow a bunch of people using the #nzsecretsanta timeline at once, it’s a great time to get exposed to new tweeters, anyway. Fingers-crossed you get someone fun who hasn’t set their twitter account to private and isn’t a Silent Egg.

Best Funny Christmas Gifs for your wishes 2013

Step 4: Get them a Kickass Gift and SEND IT.

This is important, after you’ve sleuthed to your heart’s content, get around to actually sending your gift to the Santa Storehouse to be processed and sent off to your recipient. Which should be easy because you would have registered and have been told how to do it here. Try to be a bit early, definitely in before the 10th of December, especially if some people may have supplied work addresses and will be on leave nearer to christmas. Giving a gift is a great feeling because you’ll know that your recipient will feel like Glen Coco.

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And your gift doesn’t have to be super expensive to be cool (in fact you’re supposed to keep it about $10 if you’re buying). The best gifts are the thoughtful ones. So be creative and most importantly SEND IT IN. Because if you don’t send it, know that this will be you:

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Step 5: Tweet About What You Get ^_^

It’s not fun unless we’re all shoving our cool gifts down each other’s throats, in a non-graphic or violent way, so tweet, insta, facebook and snapchat all the photos of the gift your amazing NZ Secret Santa got you. Note that Jess, below, got One Direction stationary instead of a calculator because her teeny bopper personality shined through her tweets.

Once again, remember to use #nzsecretsanta for all them humblebrags, come Christmas it should be the humblebrag hashtag. Unless it winds up being Jaded Central. But let’s not dwell on the (possible) negatives, and pledge as Awesome Secret Santas to follow the 5 Steps to an enjoyable NZ Secret Santa experience.

HAPPY #NZSECRETSANTA 2014!

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Some Key Dates for 2014 to keep in mind:

13 Nov, that’s tomorrow, registrations open.
19 Nov, get in quick because this is when registrations close.
21 Nov, find out who you get to stalk, I mean get to be Secret Santa for.
10 Dec, you need to have your gift sent BY this date.
19 Dec, know that your gift should be on its way!

Best Funny Christmas Gifs for your wishes 2013

Doctor Who Catch-Up Thoughts

Playing catch-ups with the past few episodes of Doctor Who. Episodes 8×05 – 8×07.

Doctor Who 8×05 ‘Time Heist’

There must be some logic, right? Too right, character I didn’t care too much for. Too right. The premise of the episode is somewhat exciting, and things happen -I suppose- but all in all the episode is rather lacking. The storyline doesn’t all converge in a way that feels satisfying and the characters feel somewhat restricted, not sure if due to mind-swipe or my general disinterest in any, if any, character development presented.

You can’t say you didn’t see the whole ‘the Doctor IS The Architect’ twist coming, because well the Doctor’s rather quick to just ‘go with it’ isn’t he? Sure they’re already being chased by security and their memories have gone bye-byes so they appear to have no choice BUT to run, however the fact that he doesn’t really push against The Architect’s instructions seems a bit suspect, no?

Heh, I’ll shuttity up now. F***ity bye.


Doctor Who 8×06 ‘The Caretaker’

Doctor Who, 'The Caretaker'

Oh Doctor, Doctor, Doctor. Tells Clara’s he’s going deeeeeeeep undercover only to turn up at Coal Hill (where Clara and Danny work- also incidentally where the Doctor’s own granddaughter “attended” school) disguised rather poorly as the school’s temp caretaker. It’s hard enough that Clara’s trying to maintain two separate lives, as his companion and as a normal English teacher- who’s got a thiiiiiing going on with the Math teacher (hello again Danny Pink) but when those two lives seemingly collide it pushes her into a comprising position where she’s forced to lie to one of them. Clara thinks she’s got everything underwraps but she does not.

We knew that once the Doctor and Danny (properly) met there was going to be some headbutting, but the Doctor’s continued jibes about PE and refusal to accept that Danny was a math teacher kind of got grating after a while. Don’t get me wrong, the Doctor’s haughty remarks are often on point, but I don’t know it was telling how much he kept chipping away at Danny.

Not that Danny or Clara helped at all. Honestly it was like an episode of who can be the most flawed, Clara’s attempts to lead the double life stretching her thin, the Doctor’s pettiness (although his approval of the bow-tie clad teacher was cute) and Danny’s inability to understand Clara’s relationship with the Doctor. Although to be fair she did have a huge crush on him for most of series seven so…

Epilogue: Promised land? The nethersphere? So all these are hinting to what, exactly? And at what point will the Doctor or Clara find themselves here? Because this arc’s ‘mystery’ is becoming a little less intriquing and a little more annoying. But that could just be me.


Doctor Who 8×07 ‘Kill the Moon’

Literally?

The Doctor can’t take a mean comment back so instead takes Courtney Woods (The Disruptive Influence who snuck aboard the TARDIS and the Doctor said mean things to) on a ride along, to the moon circa 2049 where tumblr is something your grandparents did. We find out that the moon’s an egg and the big decision this week rests on the shoulders of one Clara Oswald, or rather is thrust upon her by the Doctor who checks out- washing his hands of the responsibility of making the call between an innocent life (the moon egg baby thing) and the lives of everyone on earth. Fun fun.

It got a bit serious there, didn’t it? And Clara’s angry outburst at the end at the Doctor, while not completely unwarranted, wasn’t entirely understandable? Almost as obscure as the Doctor’s reasons for gapping it in the first place. In order to address this we need to have a quick look at the Doctor’s relationship with the human race. It’s bumpy at best, he loves us… he loves us not…he saves us…he expects us to save ourselves. Honestly for me the words that echo in my mind when the Doctor pulls a stunt like this isn’t even from an episode of Doctor Who but rather from Torchwood: Children of Earth by Gwen Cooper:

I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn’t. All those times in history when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know why not. But I don’t need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame.

 

But this time it’s the Doctor’s actions that are shameful, because he doesn’t even know why he gapped it. Respect for Clara? Should have just stuck to ‘it was a decision for humans’ buddy. His actions put Clara in a difficult position, in a way that made her question her own morality I suppose. So I guess her outburst is understandable. I mean if she had went with the majority vote she could have justified it with ‘well majority rules’ but would she have been able to live with herself? Would the Doctor have been able to look at her the same way? I can’t say ‘Kill the Moon’ is a solid ep, but it posed some interesting questions- and set up some conflicts that have been brewing for a while. Even if it felt a bit sudden.

All I know is I’m not sure I would have been able to make a decision. Well… that’s not entirely true because them bacteria spiders would have meant we never even find out that the moon’s an egg- because if those things jumped out at me this is what would have happened: Kill it with fire

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Collection 2 (Eps 14-25) | Review

Mikasa, Eren and Armin“To rise above monsters, we have to abandon our humanity.”

Got your Attack on Titan Collection 2 DVD/BluRays? People always rag on dubbed anime but honestly it’s nice not to have to read subtitles every now and then- and if the translation is pretty decent and the voice actors are good then everything should be hunky dory!

Right? Right, now onto the review of the second-half of the first season, shall we? First of all, marathon play is definitely your friend. Because if anything the second half is so much more intriguing than the first as we get into the nitty gritty of everything within and outside the walls, so being able to just experience the entire thing without interruption is such a plus.

Also, if you thought the first half of the season was violent and gory, well wait until you get through the second half. (A lot of us probably couldn’t wait for the dubbed and continued with the subbed only to get confused as to why Armin sounded like a girl, or was that just me?) There’s so much going on, above and beyond Titan take downs- or Titans feasting on humans.

Also more Levi! Seriously. So epic.

Oh and Hanji, one of my favourite characters.

Attack on Titan gives us an almost overwhelming amount of characters, however there’s no difficulty with keeping up with them as they are uniquely characterised, making it easy to recognise a certain character and their motivation (well apart from survival, anyway). What is humanity’s breaking point? The series continues to explore human nature in this anime about what it means to be human in the face of certain death, while still allowing us to ponder the mysteries of the Titans and how they came to be. I’ve heard many call it the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones of anime, in that it’s gritty, addictive and provides an interesting approach to human survival and what people do in order to do just that. Especially when there’s obviously more to be wary of than just Titans, sure Titans are still the biggest problem however humans are just as dangerous. If it were up to Hanji Titans would be considered pets deserving of some slack.

This anime is so addictive, you get through the entire season and mourn the fact there’s still no word on a second season. Especially because there’s little to no, well there’s absolutely no, closure by the end as we’re kind of left on a huge cliffhanger. So huge that I immediately started reading the manga. That cliffhanger’s been explained, sort of, but so much more happens that it’s physically painful to be waiting for the second season which will be made up of the rest of the manga out so far. But don’t let the lack of closure deter you, let it spur you. I encourage you to watch the first season, if not for the excellent animation and original characters, then definitely for the mysteries surrounding the Titans

Check out the trailer for the second half of the (dubbed) first season below:

Persona 4: The Animation Series Collection

The bear puns just HAD to go. The character-focused episodes were life.

I can’t say I liked Persona 4: The Animation from start to finish because I almost didn’t make it past the third episode. However I’m glad I persevered because it got hilarious soon after, it’s safe to say that this anime’s a bit of a slow-starter however once the show gets into its groove and finds its footing it’s easy to become engrossed. Which is lucky because while the anime was pretty and sharp, what was with the bottom half of each person’s face being a shade darker than the top half? It was weird and a bit distracting, luckily you do learn to overlook it.

The story revolves around new kid, Yu Narukami, in the town of Inaba- where a mysterious murders have been taking place. Upon discovering a distorted TV World and acquiring a mysterious power known as “Persona”, Yu and his friends, (Yosuke Hanamura, Chie Satonaka) decide to investigate the murders and save others from being killed. As the show progresses, those rescued also become allies after overcoming their own Shadowselves and gaining Personas of their own, including Chie’s best friend, Yukiko Amagi, delinquent Kanji Tatsumi, idol Rise Kujikawa, and young detective Naoto Shirogane. Together, Yu and his companions face up against the threat of the Shadows whilst also making some YOLO choices.

Where the show focuses on our characters, and less on the Persona “Chosen One” storyline, is where it shines the best. While I can’t attest to whether or not the show was a solid adaptation of the game, as I’ve never played it myself, I can say that the characters are the anime’s best feature. They’re memorable and hilarious, well-rounded and developed. They aren’t just flawed, but confront their flaws and insecurities head on, literally, when faced with their Shadowselves. The murder mystery plot was interesting in that they let it develop and build towards the big reveal, while not becoming so convoluted and bogged down by its own complexity. Well.

Get through the first few establishing episodes because the best the anime has to offer comes after all the setup. I like that it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, also the fantasy elements are interesting- if a bit cumbersome at the start in terms of setting out the story. Fair warning, the show’s a bit R16 aye lol. So uh, yeah.

Stray gif thoughts:

Yu’s deadpanned humour is actually my favourite thing.

Gotta catch ‘em all Cardcaptor Sakura?

 

Also, tomorrow’s the Tokyo Ghoul finale, I believe! Catch it on AnimeLab and then look out for our series review. Still reading the manga, too.

Mockingjay Part One Trailer – “The Mockingjay Lives”

 

OH GOD, IT’S FINALLY HERE.

DEEEEEEEEEP BREATHS EVERYBODY!

WHY ARE WE YELLING?!

Well because the first full-length Mockingjay – Part One trailer has finally been released and it looks absolutely insane! A good insane. I seriously had to restrain myself from screaming when Katniss (my idol) Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) started speaking.

Oh, the feels is strong in this one. I’m expecting great things from this film, and the trailer has already set my standards pretty high. We’re all in this together, guys… So somebody hold me. Because this ish is going to be seriously intense.

You’re lying to yourself if you think you didn’t react the exact same way.