Wasteland action ; Our weekly round-up of the latest in entertainment, games and gadgets... [Herald, The (Plymouth, England)]
(Herald, The (Plymouth, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW ON DVD: Oblivion (Cert 12, 126 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Sci-Fi/Action/ Thriller/Romance, also available to buy DVD Pounds 19.99/Blu-ray Pounds 26.99/Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray Pounds 29.99) Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, Zoe Bell. EARTH is reduced to a radiationpoisoned wasteland by a pernicious race called Scavs. Survivors are evacuated to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, leaving behind small teams to protect the giant machines that extract vital resources to power mankind's new home.
Drone maintenance officer Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his partner, tech operator Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), are two weeks away from retirement on Titan when he rescues an astronaut (Olga Kurylenko) from a crashed space shuttle. This gung-ho act, in direct violation of orders from controller Sally (Melissa Leo), brings the former Marine into contact with a grizzled resistance leader, Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman), and his right-hand man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). It's time to learn the truth, booms Malcolm, hinting at a convoluted conspiracy.
Based on the graphic novel by Joseph Kosinski and Arvid Nelson, Oblivion is a ponderous post-apocalyptic thriller that allows the leading man to perform impressive acrobatics amid a blitzkrieg of expensive pyrotechnics and digital effects. Cruise's portentous voiceover is matched by an orchestral score peppered with discordant rumbles. Freeman is wasted in a malnourished supporting role, while Riseborough and Kurylenko shed perfectly-shaped tears on cue. Director Joseph Kosinski orchestrates the pivotal action sequences with breathless aplomb, including an aerial chase in a spacecraft that gimbals at stomach-churning speed. Looks aren't everything, though, and the script's philosophical musings about humanity and self-sacrifice are almost as flimsy as the central love triangle that fails to ignite the emotional afterburners.
NEW ALBUM: White Lies: Big TV In January 2013, White Lies revealed their third album would be their most melodic yet. Then, in July, the London three-piece - lead vocalist Harry McVeigh, bassist Charles Cave and drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown - claimed it to be influenced by heavy metal. Yes, contradictory, but Big TV is essentially a pop album made with heavy metal guitars, complete with the 1980s influences and synths heard on their previous releases.
APP OF THE WEEK: Battroborg Trainer (free on iTunes and Google Play) Released to coincide with one of the hottest toys from Japan, this app lets you take to the arena to battle other Borgs on screen. Master your skills in training and perfect your motion control; speak into your smartphone and they'll respond - as, no doubt, will passers-by.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Tales of Xillia Platform: PS3 Genre: RPG Price: Pounds 33.99 Tales of Xillia launches gamers into the world of Rieze Maxia, where humans and spirits live together in harmony. However, a powerful device capable of global destruction now threatens to disrupt these pleasant times, meaning you must assume the role of either medical student Jude Mathis or paranormal misfit Milla Maxwell and restore peace. It's a classically quirky set-up for a Japanese RPG, and Xillia displays all the characteristics we'd expect from such a genre - a fun combat system, interesting storyline and plenty of replay value, bearing in mind there are technically two ways to tackle this title.
The graphics don't quite match up to the back end of this generation of console releases, but there are enough cool anime cut- scenes to keep style fans entertained as they discover the vast, weird and wonderful world of RPG.
Now go, save the world!
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