Saturday 30 June 2018

Dark Game Review - Agony

If travel agents did a safe trip to Hell, something that would let me take in the sights and not be burnt to a cinder, I'd jump at the chance. Until then, all I can do is read about it or play games set there. Agony is one such game that recently came out, and you can read my full review over on Geek Syndicate at this link.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Film Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Film Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Review by Casey Douglass

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

When the first Jurassic World came out in 2015, it made me remember how much I enjoyed the original Jurassic Park. While it didn’t become my favourite JP film, it nuzzled affectionately into second place, pushing Lost World out of the bed and onto the carpet. When I heard that they were filming another Jurassic World, I had reasonably high hopes for more of the same. While it did deliver the same brand of dino-mayhem however, I do feel that Fallen Kingdom missed the mark.

Set three years after the events of the first Jurassic World, the island on which it all went so horribly wrong, Isla Nublar, has been left to go wild. The thing is, a dormant volcano isn’t dormant any more, and the world looks set to catch the re-run of dinosaurs becoming extinct once again. Some think that this event should be allowed to happen, others campaign against not intervening. The two main characters from the first film, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), find themselves on an expedition back to the island, one that hopes to save as many species as it can.

Things don’t go terribly well. There are machinations afoot, and a bubbling volcano to make things even more perilous. I must admit that the first third of the film almost plays out with as much intensity as the final act in a more traditional film. Sadly, this proves hard for the rest of the film to compete with, the latter acts feeling a little stodgy and constricted by comparison.

The dinosaurs themselves are the real stars of the show, and I wasn’t disappointed with these. The predatory variety were suitably menacing, and the lumbering herbivores suitably lovable. There are a number of scenes in which dinosaurs die, one in particular that really hits in the feels. I think the film does do a very good job of getting the audience to care about these creatures, no matter how alien they can sometimes seem. The film also provides plenty of food for thought about genetic manipulation and the moral issues that arise with it, in more ways than the simply obvious ones.

Fallen Kingdom, for me, roamed the same territory as Lost World, from the “lets go to a wild dinosaur island this time” angle, to the hunter wanting trophies, and the return to civilization aspect in the second half. It did this while holding quite tightly to some of the main plot-points of the first Jurassic World as well. While I was hoping for a film that, at the least, was more of the same, I was kind of hoping it would deliver a little more. Fallen Kingdom is a fun dino film with some interesting set-pieces and moments of humour, but largely, it just made me wish I was re-watching the first Jurassic World film. Also, if this trend continues, I really hope that any third Jurassic World film doesn’t do a rehash of Jurassic Park III, a film that I’ve always felt to be the weakest of the bunch.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday 2 June 2018

Dark Fiction - Apocalypse Talk Radio

Apocalypse Talk Radio

Written By Casey Douglass

Apocalypse Talk Radio

‘Thanks for tuning in! We’re getting reports of a massive nuclear detonation somewhere near Woking. There’s no official word yet, but as always, we want to hear from you if this has affected you in any way. Even if just hearing about it has affected you, get in touch! You can call or text, email or tweet us, but let us know what is happening in your part of the world. We could just wait for official clarification, but we’ll do what we always do when we don’t know and just repeat what we do know over and over. Oh we have a text.
Julie writes that she saw the flash from the supermarket car park as she was putting the shopping in her car boot. She adds that her eyesight is dimming, but she’ll be sure to keep us up to date as her health deteriorates. Thanks Julie, stay safe!
Clive has tweeted to say there was no flash where he was on the outskirts of Paris. Thanks Clive!
We have Michael on the phone. Michael, where are you?’
‘Hi. First time caller! Well I’m not too sure. I got thrown down the street by a massive blast of air, and I’ve managed to hide behind a wall. Everything’s really bright. My skin feels like it’s burning.’
‘What are other people doing around you?’
‘A lot of them are on their backs in the street.’
‘Are they dead?’
‘I reckon so.’
‘How many bodies can you see?’
‘I’d say about twenty.’
‘What will you do now?’
‘I’m going to stay behind this wall for a bit mate. Feeling tired.’
‘Stay safe!’
‘Will do!’
‘There we have it folks, the tales of regular people during what might just be the end of times. We’ll be sure to keep you up to speed with your fellow citizens’ predicaments, no matter how samey it all gets. We might be interrupted by a government announcement soon, but rest assured we’ll soon get back to our usual dull repetitive style, lulling you into a docile sense of acceptance well before the nuclear fallout reaches your location. And now a word from our sponsor...’


The inspiration for this piece came from the recent coverage of the recent issues with electronic card payments. One radio station insisted on interviewing person after person who had been affected, the only thing changing being the shop they had been to and the length of the line at the cash machines outside. It was mind numbing and so so boring. We understand! Card payments not working means we have to use these floppy bits of plastic currency, or those small round hard things that hurt your teeth if you chew them. Hearing the trauma of having a card payment declined over and over is just the very definition of a #firstworldproblem.