Reviews by www.fortressofsolitude.co.za
LIBERAL ARTS Director: Josh Radnor Starring: Allison Janney, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor, Richard Jenkins and Zac Efron
Elizabeth Olsen’s performance.
RECOMMENDED FOR Everyone.
VERDICT The blend of new and old is what varsity is all about, it's a place that encourages endless and limitless thoughts and opinions, and it exposes the learner to subjects, thoughts and culture that they would never have seen or imagined before. Liberal Arts
does this seamlessly, not only proving this theory true for the characters within the movie but also for those watching. This is particularly well illustrated with exploration and personal evaluation of classical music shared between the two main characters.
Jesse Fisher (Josh Randor) is an avid reader and lover of the English language who has become a disillusioned admissions officer at the age of 35 living in New York City. After receiving an invitation to attend his old college professor’s farewell dinner at this old university, Jesse rediscovers his love for the vibrancy of campus life. He meets several people as he spends time with his ex-professor (Richard Jenkins), including the 19-year-old Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), who challenges his way of thinking and helps him rediscover his passion and purpose. Without giving away the ending, some romantics may find the outcome of the film a little disappointing, but the sensible ones among us will see that it couldn’t be more perfect. Liberal Arts certainly does not bend to the traditional college-orientated movie.
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Director: José Padilha Starring: Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson
High-paced action. Action fans.
Set in the year 2028, undercover cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is chosen by a multi-billion dollar robotics company, OmniCorp, for an experimental programme after he is disfigured by a car bomb. Unknown to his family, the company’s ruthless CEO (Michael Keaton) has bigger plans for the city’s hero and decides to programme him into a fierce cyborg police officer. But just how much human and how much robot makes up Robocop? The film kicks into gear when Murphy decides to investigate his own case. Robocop 2014 isn’t for fans of the classic film. It is a new interpretation for a new era. It deserved a little more experimentation and more risks from the director, but overall delivers a solid blockbuster worth seeing on the big screen. Ultimately, it wants to be Batman Begins, but falls flat of being as gripping and revolutionary. Still, it’s enormous fun!
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CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS Developer: Infinity Ward Publisher: Activision, Square Enix Genre: First-person shooter
Amazing visuals and fluid gameplay.
RECOMMENDED FOR First person shooter fans.
For many years now, the Call of Duty franchise could rely on success purely from being the Call of Duty franchise. As anyone reasonable could tell you though, this does create quite the negative feedback loop, where stagnation abounds and could eventually cripple the franchise. Ghosts seems to have taken a look at itself and removed bits at random and added bits back at random again. This is not always good or bad, but rather a sign that the franchise needs to be doing something more. Especially when considering titles, such as Titanfall, that are being released this year too. As far as COD goes, I personally still prefer Black Ops 2, as that title feels more balanced and thought out as a complete package. What I appreciate from Ghosts is its desire to mix things up, but I only hope they look at what people want and work from there to a greater extent for this year’s (inevitable) release in November. As a final word, I played this on PS4, and the graphics and visual clarity are noticeably better, so if that is appreciated by you, and you are able to, pick it up, as it’s a pretty good port.
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NEED FOR SPEED RIVALS Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: Ghost Games Genre: Racing
RECOMMENDED FOR Fans of racing games.
VERDICT Need for Speed returns to the old with the tried and tested racer vs. cop approach, which allows you to play as both parties. There are many exciting moments in NFS Rivals, mostly playing as a racer trying to win, while being chased by the cops, avoiding damage at all costs. The graphics, and gameplay, from the new Frostbite 3 gaming engine, also delivers some stunning results, but can only be taken advantage of from more modern gaming rigs. Despite all the positives Need for Speed Rivals won’t instil much joy for too long. The environment only allows for a maximum of up to six other players per region at any point in time, with no ideal method of drawing them all together for a race. All the suggestions that this would have been one of the best arcade racing titles in recent times were there, but it doesn’t quite complete what it has set out to do. EA has plenty to build on for the franchise going into 2014, which means that arcade racing titles will be around for the near future at least.
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GAMES TO LOOK OUT FOR
Genre: Action Developer: Eidos Studios Montreal Date: February
Genre: Action Developer: Respawn Entertainment Date: March
METAL GEAR SOLID: GROUND ZEROES
Genre: First-person shooter Developer: Kojima Productions Date: March
MOVIES TO LOOK OUT FOR
Genre: Drama, Thriller Director: David O. Russell Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence Date: 28 February
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Genre: Action, Drama Director: Noam Murro Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Hans Matheson Date: 7 March
Genre: Horror, Thriller Director: Stuart Beattie Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski and Miranda Otto Date: 14 March
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ALL THESE FINE BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE AT ALL FICTION
THE BOY THAT NEVER WAS Karen Perry
Five years ago, three-year-old Dillon disappeared during a devastating earthquake in Tangiers. For his father Harry - who left him alone for ten crucial minutes - it was an unforgivable lapse. Yet Dillon's mother Robyn has never blamed her husband: her own secret guilt is burden enough. When Harry sees an eight-year-old boy in the crowd, a boy he is convinced is Dillon, everything Robyn and Harry ever believed in one another is cast into doubt.
DECODED: A NOVEL Mai Jia
A semi-autistic mathematical genius, Jinzhen is recruited to the cryptography department of China's secret services where he is assigned the task of breaking the elusive 'Code Purple'. Jinzhen rises through the ranks to eventually become China's greatest and most celebrated code-breaker; until he makes a mistake. Then begins his descent through the unfathomable darkness of the world of cryptology into madness.
Kristine Barnett Kristine Barnett's son Jacob has an IQ higher than Einstein. At nine he developed an original theory in astrophysics that may earn a Nobel Prize. But Jake's story is all the more remarkable because his extraordinary mind was almost lost to autism. When the experts wanted to restrict his behaviour, Jake withdrew into his own world. When Kristine decided to follow Jacob's passions - his 'sparkâ€˜, the results were beyond anything anyone could have imagined.
THE GREAT DEGENERATION Niall Ferguson
The Great Degeneration is a powerful indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts and ageing populations. To stop us frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
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L GOOD BOOK STORES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE BUSINESS BOOK This is an innovative and accessible guide to business, management and commerce. Learning about business can be daunting, but The Business Book makes it easier than ever by giving you all the big ideas simply explained. Simple explanations and stylish infographics open up the business world to even the complete novice. It is the perfect primer to key theories of business and management, covering inspirational business ideas, business strategy and alternative business models.
THIS STAR WON’T GO OUT: THE LIFE AND WORDS OF ESTHER GRACE EARL A moving portrait of Esther Earl, the young woman whose life with cancer were an inspiration to many, including author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars). Told through Esther’s own journals, letters, and fiction, supplemented with essays from her family and friends.
LATER YEARS AT MALORY TOWERS (AGE 9+) Enid Blyton
This is a fantastic bumper volume of classic stories from a much-loved author. Darrell and her friends grow together as they share their school days. There are new students to induct, sporting matches to be won, tempers to control and tricks to play on teachers. Join Darrell in mischief, mayhem and midnight feasts! These timeless stories of the famous girls' school are in Blyton's hugely popular and successful style.
R150.00 PETER RABBIT ANIMATION: MY MUM (AGE 3+) Beatrix Potter
Peter Rabbit wants to make his mum her favourite strawberry pie as a Mother's Day gift. But the best strawberries grow in Mr Tod's garden. Will Peter and his friends Lily and Benjamin be able to gather enough strawberries before that sneaky fox puts them in a pie of his own? With artwork from the fantastic new animation, this exciting story is simply told for very young children. Featuring favourite characters, including the villainous Mr Tod and of course Peter Rabbit and his lovable bunny friends.
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