Last week Sydney Social was lucky to be invited to the launch party of Borderlands 2, the new sequel developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. The event took place in Good God Small Club, which is a great little bar in Liverpool St in Surry Hills in Sydney’s East. The back room is where the action took place and is often used for bands playing in to the early hours of the morning.
For this particular event, the set up worked quite well, the back wall had four screens playing Borderlands 2, with the option of invitees to play against each other on the Xbox to get a look and feel for the game. I was more than happy with this as it’s my console of choice. To add context and decoration, there were promotional ‘wanted’ posters around the room of the characters from the game. I particularly liked the touch of having the males and female characters on the toilet doors.
As with all promotional launches there were the promo girls walking around but they were equipped with 2 large guns, reminiscent of the game. There were also a nice touch of two midgets dressed up at the crazy axe midgets from the game. I did make sure I got a picture with all four of them!! The DJ played a great set throughout and the drinks kept coming.
I was very pleased when I was handed a goodie bag, mainly because I was surprised to find a free copy of the game. I may, or may not have, ran home quickly after that!!
Now I must start out by saying that I was a big fan of the prequel. I loved the graphic style which is so different to today’s more popular shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. Also the fact that there are so many different guns, apparently the first game generated 17.75 million possible guns. Each gun looks different in terms of style, colour, pattern and most importantly stats. Yes after playing for hours you may recognise the look of a weapon but you will never find the same stats twice. This was all part of the fun of the game, when I found myself asking if I should keep this gun or swap it for another. Then it had the extra twists of adding fire, electric, corrosion damage etc.
Now Borderland 2 is much bigger than the first, stating it has “87 Bazillion…Everything”. There are more guns in this game, more grenades, more shields, more class mods etc. It also brings alone four new characters for you to play with and who now have an even more impressive customisation abilities. Each has three branches of stats to build on and make in to your own character. There is Salvador “gunzerker” who can use two guns at once, Axton “commando” who uses a gun turret, Maya “siren” who can suspend enemies in the air and my personal favourite Zero “assassin” who can become invisible.
The graphics have been tweaked a fair bit and it is great that they have kept to the comic book style. My issue with the first game is that the surroundings were mostly barren desert wastelands. This time you also run around green fields and iced mountains, which is where my trial of the game took place.
Multiplayer is where Borderlands 2 really stands out and it is great fun playing through the story with three other people. It is great to see the same character but the differences in the way they have adapted them. The difficulty ramps up in multiplayer so that the game doesn’t get too easy. A word of warning, it is a good idea to make sure you are playing with friends you know. Otherwise you fall for the old trick of spending ages in a boss fight only to have the other player run around and steal all the loot, leaving you with nothing more than an empty gun.
Apparently there is going to be five lots of downloadable content (DLC) available ranging from new classes of characters and expandable story campaigns. I never played the original DLC but if it is anything like the original ones then it’s going to add many more hours of gaming for your money.
Borderlands 2 was released last Thursday with a recommended retail price of PC (RRP: $69.95), XBOX 360 (RRP: $89.95) PS3 (RRP: $89.95), Wii (RRP: $49.95) and PSP (RRP: $29.95) platforms.
Sydney Social gives Borderlands 2 a 9/10.
Syrus Wynne, Sydney Social’s ‘bloke reporter’ attended the event as a gust of Magnum PR.
Check out the venue: www.goodgodgoodgod.com
Games pictures taken from the Boarderlands 2 official site: www.borderlands2.com
Sylvester Stallone and his action hero buddies are back in THE EXPENDABLES 2 which has claimed the #1 spot at the Australian box office on its opening weekend.
You’ll remember Sydney Social 101′s bloke roving reporter’s review of the film here
Repeating the film’s success in the United States, the highly anticipated sequel to the 2010 smash hit earned AU$2.949m at 208 locations from Thursday to Sunday.
Directed by Simon West The Expendables 2 topped the US box office for two weeks and has currently taken US$66.2m.
From Sylvester Stallone and a powerhouse line-up of the biggest action-adventure superstars from around the world comes the next chapter in The Expendables saga.
Reunited for what they think should be a quick, in-and-out mission, this tight-knit band of old-school mercenaries are about to find themselves at the brink of global disaster…and driven to extract their own brand of up-close and personal vengeance.
Barney Ross (Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) – with new members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard – join forces again when the secretive CIA operative Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job.
It looks like an easy paycheck for these skilled combat vets. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them.
The Expendables 2 is rated MA 15+ and was released in Australian cinemas nationally on August 31.
Sydney Social 101 was invited to attend the preview screening of The Expendables 2 on Monday 27th August at Event Cinemas at George Street, Sydney CBD. I feel I must highlight before I start this review that I thought that the first Expendables film was shocking (not in a good way!). ‘Why’ I hear you cry… Well let’s just say that the fact that Stallone and Lundgren were trying to kill each other throughout the film, only to ’kiss and make up ‘at the end, as though nothing happened, was truly awful! In my opinion the first film was pure ‘cheese’. Suffice to say that I didn’t go to this particular screening with too many high hopes, however I was pleasantly surprised by this one.
This film is exactly what you expect, ageing macho men with over-the-top violence. Within the opening scene there are more deaths than all the ‘Rambo’, ‘Terminator’ and ‘Die Hard’ movies put together.
To his credit, Sylvester Stallone managed to get all the original team from the first movie together again including action heroes: Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture. Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are also back and I’m happy to report that they both played much bigger parts in this film. There was also some fresh young blood with the addition of Liam Hemsworth and, the only female in the team: Nan Yu.
Do not expect to get a thrilling storyline with twists and turns, this film is pure action – from start to finish. There are plenty of jokes throughout which are usually at Lundgren’s expense. The best cheers and laughs came from the cameo of Chuck Norris, especially when he told one of his ‘facts about Chuck Norris jokes’.
The villain of the film is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme who is still able to pull off those spin kicks like the old days. It was great to see him on the other side for once.
The film has the climax you were always looking for with an all out war and a final battle between two old school action legends.
It is hard to say why I preferred this film so much more than the first one but it just worked this time around. If you are looking for an all out action film with plenty of head splatters and a reason to leave the girlfriend at home, then this is it. With The Expendables 3 cast already coming together and rumours of Nicholas Cage plus possibly Steven Segal joining the team, I’d recommend you skip the first as I feel this will definitely be the film to join the series on.
Written by Sydney Social’s resident ‘bloke’ reporter – Syrus Wynne. Sydney Social 101 gives ‘The Expendables 2’ a respectable 7/10.
Here at Sydney Social 101 headquarters, we were very excited to learn that we have been invited to the Sydney Premiere of ‘The Campaign’ starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis (of Wolf Pack, Due Date, hangover etc fame).
As if attending the premiere isn’t enough, we learn that Will Ferrell is actually going to be there, like in the flesh, breathing the same oxygen there!!! SCREAM! None of the video link ups with cringe forced messages woo hoo! Suffice to say we’re very excited about this one, and as a treat and to whet your appetites for this sure-to-be-laugh-fest-film, here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure!
Stay tuned for the review on 6th August!
It was seven years ago that Christopher Nolan brought Batman back to the big screen with its dark tones. Well the trilogy has finally come full circle with many fans wondering how it will end.
To be honest I went to the cinema feeling like I had seen most of the film. I have never seen so many trailers before the release of a film (that practically gave away EVERYTHING!) and was concerned that it would have ruined my enjoyment. The big scene where the American Football pitch crumbles under the player’s feet was incredible sight to watch. The fact that I had seen it 10 times previously didn’t give me the same shock value when watching the film in its entirety. I know that they have to draw in the crowd, but surely Batman can draw a crowd of its own without too many spoilers.
Now I have seen a lot of talk on Facebook etc on how people do not want this final film spoilt for them, so I will keep the details short (as I’m nice like that!).
Now to the plot: Batman is in hiding after being blamed for the death of Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, and Bruce Wayne is in hiding due to the depression of losing his only love: Rachel Dawes. Meanwhile a new terrorist, Bane, is starting to attack the city. As Wayne quickly realises through a series of events, this may have a connection to himself, in the dawning realisation he decides that it’s time to dust off the trusty cape and get back in to action.
The opening scene doesn’t disappoint and is exactly what you expect from Christopher Nolan. It is an exciting way to introduce the main antagonist is Bane played by Tom Hardy (calm down ladies!). Comic books fans will know Bane as having an influential part in the Batman’s history. However unlike the way he is depicted in the comics he is not addicted to venom to help him gain his strength.
I feel that unless you are a true fan, I don’t think this is missed from the film in terms of plot. Tom Hardy had to gain 30 pounds for this role to turn in to the huge monster. Tom had a lot to live up to following the late Heath Ledger and his incredible portrayal of the Joker. I am glad to say that he did a great job showing Bane’s brutish strength and merciless ways, though I did think the choice of voice for the character was a bit of an odd one at first.
As with every superhero film everyone is interested in the bad guys or girls!! Dark Knight Rises brings back one of Batman’s most well known villains: Catwoman. This time played by Anne Hathaway. I am pleased to say that she plays a very different version to the character portrayed in Batman Returns’ Michelle Pfeiffer. Anne brings a bit of glamour to the role and is a great edition as you never know whose side she is on. Funny thing is you never hear the name Catwoman throughout the film.
I have always thought Christian Bale was a fantastic Bruce Wayne and for the final time he doesn’t disappoint. He is very believable as he goes through all of Bruce’s struggles (and there are many). I do think he is Bruce a lot more than Batman in this one. Batman brings an with him an exciting set of new toys such as his motorcycle and The Bat!!!!
Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are welcome members to the cast. Both of them will put a smile on your face for their own reasons but I will let you find that out.
The usual suspects of the characters Michael Caine (Alfred), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) complete the cast and all play their parts as you would expect of actors of their stature.
With Avengers having done so well and Superman around the corner, I do hope that the talks of the DC’s Justice League will see it come to the big screen.
It is a shame that Dark Knight Rises will always be associated with the tragic shooting in America. All our wishes go out to friends and family of those involved.
Sydneysocial101 gives Dark Knight Rises 9/10.
Dark Knight Rises’ review was written by resident ‘bloke’ reviewer: Syrus Wynne.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ The Dark Knight Rises has burst into cinemas, grossing in excess of $3.5 million in its first day on screens, making it the number one movie in the country.
It really is amazing and Sydney Social 101′s review will go live this weekend!
The Dark Knight Rises is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. “The Dark Knight Rises” also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.
The screenplay is written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters created by Bob Kane and published by DC Comics.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Syncopy Production, a Film by Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Opening in theatres and IMAX, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES released in Australian cinemas and IMAX nationally on Thursday the 19th of July -rated M
“Not only does Nolan, as you say, hit the ball right out of the park, he smacks the thing right out of this world” And “Your jaw will have already bought a one-way ticket to the floor…5 stars”. Leigh Paatsch- Daily Telegraph
“There is only one way to describe The Dark Knight Rises- EPIC. Both Nolan and Bale say it is their last hurrah in the batman world and, if so, it’s a fitting send-off. 4 ½ Stars.” James Wigney – Herald Sun
“One of the greatest trilogies in motion picture history” And “A visual feast that continues to roar off the screen 4.5 stars”. Richard Wilkins – Today Show
“The Dark Knight Rises is a suitably impressive and ambitious conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy” Philippa Hawker – The Age
“One of the best action/comic book movies I have ever seen” Didier Cohen – The Kyle and Jackie O Show
“The emotional conclusion of The Dark Knight Trilogy ties up all loose ends and finishes on a pedestal so high, nothing could top it. 10 out of 10” James Gorman – Ninetofive Magazine
Sydney Social 101 Snapped And Caught Up With Some Of Australia’s Finest Stars…
So it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the last instalment of Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman franchise. It’s been dubbed one of the hottest new flicks of the year, so Sydney Social 101 decided to catch up with some of Australia’s most talented celebs at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises!
Well it’s a Batman film – so black carpet and bat masks were a necessity for the exclusive bash at Sydney’s Darling Harbour Imax theatre!
First up to take to the carpet was Conrad Coleby, who is best known for playing Roman in Home & Away.
“I love the Batman movies,” Conrad told the buzzing media as they took pictures of him before he went in for the official screening.
“But I have to admit that of all the Marvel Comic characters, Spiderman is definitely my favourite!” he added.
Following him was Underbelly star Les Hill, who looked dashing and even ditched his clean shaved look!
Next up, was presenter David Koch, fondly known to Australian’s as Kochie.
“I love Batman, what’s there not to love about him,” he gushed to Sydney Social 101.
The highly anticipated new movie features many heartthrobs such as Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt! So it’s only fitting to have a hottie to attend the Aussie premiere - none other that hunky model Didier Cohen!
“I love Tom Hardy,” the Celebrity Apprentice Australia star revealed. “That’s why I came tonight.”
Meanwhile, model Annalise Braakensiek, looked gorgeous in little black number and sparkly clutch bag.
“I hear it’s going to be amazing,” she said excitedly.
And the new flick introduces Cat Woman, played by Anne Hathaway! So MTV’s new VJ Kate Peck decided to bring some of her feline style along by wearing a sexy black leather outfit and even put on a mask!
Talk about getting into character!
It seems as though the action went to Kate’s head a little as she affectionately pretended to ‘cat fight’ former Hot30 Countdown radio host Maude Garrett!
And that’s not all the action on the black carpet – Michael Goldman provided some of his own stunts by lifting his friend in the air!
Yes, we’ve really seen it all!
But brining back the sophistication Emma Lung rocked in her black dress and stylish classic fringe.
And following her was Beautiful Kate actress Sophie Lowe, who revealed that she absolutely loves Cat Woman for a very special reason,
“I’m mad about cats!” she admits. “So she’s my favourite.”
Don’t miss all the action when The Dark Knight Rises hits cinemas on July 19 across Australia!
Sydney Social’s 101 reporter Jennifer Fletcher was at the Black Carpet to report and take pictures at the star-studded premiere.
Stay tuned for Sydney Social 101′s review of the Dark Knight Rises – You won’t be dissapointed!
Last night I was invited to the Sydney premiere of Rock of Ages by the guys at Roadshow Films. I have to be honest in saying that I’d seen the trailer several times and wasn’t really sure what the film was about, other than that it was musical in genre.
The film follows Sherrie Christian (played by Julianne Hough) who moves to Hollywood to follow her dream of becoming a singer (hmmm starting to feel like I’ve heard this many a time before…), who upon arriving in Hollywood she scores a job as a waitress of the Bourbon Room. The venue is an old school rock and roll bar and hosts gigs of upcoming and shining stars – Including Stacee Jaxx – A ‘rock god’ played by Tom Cruise.
Cue inevitable ‘break-into-song’ moments and the ultimate love back story that is cheesy to say the least. It is obvious from the start that the film is a massive piss take, which unfortunately didn’t click with a lot of the preview audience, who audibly scoffed and laughed at particularly cringe-worthy moments in the film.
Hough and Boneta have great chemistry on-screen, which makes you believe their romance.
The humour and ‘tongue in cheek’ elements of the film wasn’t lost on me, however I do think at times they pushed it slightly too far. Catherine Zeta-Jones could be accused of overacting in her role that saw her as the mayor’s wife who has a crusade to shut down the Bourbon Room and prevent her nemesis – Stacee Jaxx from performing his last ever gig there as part of a band.
Russel Brand pretty much plays himself as a Brit Bar back that has no interest in serving alcohol – he does provide some comical moments in the film – I guess they do say: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!”
Credit where credit is due, Tom Cruise is brilliant in his role as Stacee Jaxx and actually borders on cool – which in my opinion, he hasn’t done in a VERY long time (apart from his turn as talent manager in Tropic Thunder, which is brilliant).
Suffice to say, if you watch the film in the spirit it is intended and enjoy the brilliant soundtrack, it is a fun film, which has an enjoyable yet predictable story line.
It certainly isn’t to everyone’s taste, would love to know which side you’re on – Love it or hate it?
It will be at cinemas across Australia on June 14th 2012.
Here are some exclusive interviews with the case and behind the scenes footage for you:
PERFORMANCE: The Light Box
Written by Sydney playwright Natalia Savvides and performed by mixed-media collective Fetish Frequency, The Light Box is both a live performance and a graphic novel. Using paint and pen, Savvides’ world and characters grow out of blank pages to showcase the evolution of an idea from concept to lush visualisation.
After years aboard an endless cruise, a woman leaves to start a new life in a jungle far away. In doing so, she releases a husband and a daughter into their own chaotic lives. So much freedom will have its cost, however, and The Light Box is the tale of how such dues are exacted from a number of characters across a generation.
Saturday 9 June, 6-7pm
Sydney Film Festival Hub @ Lower Town Hall
483 George Street (enter on Druitt Street)
PERFORMANCE: Cinema Burlesque
Recently, Sydney’s thriving burlesque scene has been bursting at the seams with talent. For this specially curated soirée at the Hub, cult films like Reservoir Dogs, Sin City and The Rocky Horror Picture Show are re-imagined as sassy, sexy live performances by Sydney’s top burlesque artists, with Tim Burton’s Catwoman reborn as a daring pole dancer who always lands on her feet.
Cinema Burlesque’s stellar line-up includes Frankie Faux, Kelly Ann Doll, Sheena Miss Demeanour, Delilah DuMoan, Anna Felactic and Dick Savvy, joined by DJ Jim Poe (Republic Music) behind the decks.
Saturday 9 June, 8:30-10pm
Sydney Film Festival Hub @ Lower Town Hall
483 George Street (enter on Druitt Street)
PERFORMANCE: Coming Sooner: The Art of the Movie Trailer
From the booming voice-overs to the big swooshy sound effects, Coming Sooner explores the art, science and hilarity behind the modern movie trailer.
Movie trailers are a big business. We view 10 billion trailers online every year. Hollywood studios spend millions of dollars on matching the right gravelly voice to each film and tweaking effects shots to get maximum buzz for that all-important opening weekend. Hell, film trailers even have their own awards (The Golden Trailer Awards). So, what makes a good trailer? And how do they work? Or, more importantly, how do they work on us? Join Marc Fennell, Nick Hayden and Nick McDougall as they take you through the history of modern movie trailer in an incisive and cheeky way.
Marc Fennell, Nicholas Hayden and Nicholas McDougall were part of the team behind the ABC’s Walkley, AFI and AATCA-nominated television series Hungry Beast. Fennell is better known as ‘That Movie Guy’ across Triple J, ABC Radio and Network Ten. Hayden is an award winning television producer and host of Hungry Beast. McDougall is an equally awarded editor and, let’s face it, the true brains of the operation.
Thursday 14 June, 7:30-8:30pm
Sydney Film Festival Hub @ Lower Town Hall
483 George Street (enter on Druitt Street)
A lot of the time when Sydney Social 101 has the privilege of being invited to social events, industry only festivals and screenings, we are reporting on events that you guys don’t get access to! This is the wonderful thing about Sydney Film Festival, there are so many events and performances that you are invited to enjoy and take part in! Here is an overview of the performances that you are cordially invited to attend! Hope you at least make it to one of them, I know I will!
PERFORMANCE: Keanu, Angelina and Denzel Walk Into a Bar…
Sydney’s top comics take turns on the mic, delivering hilarious tales inspired by cinema, festivals, movie stars and the glamour of working as an extra. The line-up includes actor, filmmaker and comedian Gary Eck and host Sally Kimpton.
Saturday 16 June, 8:30-10pm
Sydney Film Festival Hub @ Lower Town Hall
483 George Street (enter on Druitt Street)
Following the phenomenal success of the oscar wining Dark Night film and eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. Cue hype and widespread coverage about the movie! Sydney Social 101 is no exception!
Christian Bale returns to his role as Batman whilst he is joined by Liam Neeson, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine
July 19th 2012
I’ll keep you across any new updates as and when I get them.
In the meantime here’s the poster to whet your appetite, along with a glimpse at the trailer.