Quick Eurovision Update #3

Image sourced from eurovisionworld.com

Eurovision fanatic Fulya delivers a quick update on her favourite music event of the year, revealing the official running order of the contest!

Click on the video below to stay in the know. And remember to subscribe to YouTube.com/FTAchannel to keep in the loop about everything Eurovision 2018!

You can also relive Fulya’s reactions to the Eurovision 2016 Grand Final:

Let us know your thoughts about everything Eurovision in the comments!

Advertisements

FRED Watch Episode 4: Rocky (1976)

ROCKY STILL GOES THE DISTANCE!

United Artists.

Wayne re-introduces Phillip to, what he considers, the greatest love story ever written for a male audience. But as they discuss, Rocky is a multi-layered sports movie with one of the most charismatic protagonists ever put to screen.

Listen to their review here:

Check out the trailer:

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, Tony Burton, Pedro Lovell.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Producers: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler | Writer: Sylvester Stallone | Music: Bill Conti | Cinematographer: James Crabe | Editors: Richard Halsey, Scott Conrad

Available: DVD and BluRay

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

Beta Test #5: Beholder

Beholder

 

Holidays. The relaxing sound of beer glasses clinking in some vague European country. The inviting feeling of just staying in bed, in another continent, a twenty-four-hour flight away from your home. Getting out of the work stratosphere, evading carpal tunnel (or in my case, chronic retail overload) to truly reconnect with your fellow people. When, unlike the great Atlas, you are able to lift off the weight of the world, don’t you just want to sigh in relief?

Well, joke’s on you, you have to smuggle your family across the border of war torn Russia instead.

Hello Carl! I’m a Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test. A game review platform where I—worldly, Contiki-brained, self-confessed noob—choose one game a month to go ham on, until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.

This month I am back on the indie bandwagon, clanging my proverbial guitar, taking my metaphorical ‘shrooms, singing something or other from the Beatles or Hair, and loving every goddamned second of it. Yes, gone is the heinous, Joker-like, consumerist nightmare laugh that plagued me last month. Now I get to listen to the bomb in the washing machine, the gunshots of a tenant killing her husband, and the blissful screams of miners as they run down the street only to trample and subsequently kill my wife. Ah, the serenity!

Can you tell I’m on vacation?

Let me start by saying that above everything, this game is utterly amazing. The way the graphics are incorporated to give that classic indie feel, while maintaining a cohesive, fluid style is delightful. The black and white aura that Beholder gives off, while maintaining a solid colour palate is commendable, and the story line is nothing to sneeze at either. The game really gets you in the mood for the cartoon violence that you have to overcome, the dark imagery gets you revved up for more, and more you shall have with this one.

Developed by Warm Lamp Games, and Published by Alawar Premium, Beholder is the gripping story of Carl, a ministry worker, and his plight as the owner of an apartment building under the fall of the Iron Curtain. This game is fraught with conundrums: from saving people that could easily be killed off, to deciding between saving your daughter’s life and keeping your son in school, to giving people up to the law or squirrelling them away on a barge overseas. I have lost whole days on this game, and I’m still not through discovering all the different nooks and crannies.

When I first started playing, I was trying to go by the rules. I hate hurting people, so I was trying to be as gentle as possible. I soon learnt that that in not an option with Beholder. The trainee level is hard and the main level is almost impossible, giving you next to no money for tasks that cost you a fortune. I think I spent a solid three days trying to figure out how to save up $20,000 to protect my daughter’s life, only to find that I could get the medicine for free by playing dirty.

Normally, I would be more conflicted by the hate that this game seems to have seeping out of its pores. But since this is practically a game interpretation of George Orwell’s 1984, I really appreciate the developers trying to make you think about your situation critically, and assess all your surroundings to take advantage of every loophole you can find. It takes determination, but the payoff is phenomenal in the end. Apart from the occasional bug or glitch, Beholder is amazing for people who want to get into the scene, in an easy to understand but challenging way. (And not to hype the game up too much, but after last month, this was honestly a godsend).

Because of the hours of joy this game brought me, and the sheer stylistic vitality of the design, I give this game:

5/5 Illegal Apples for style
5/5 Illegal Apples for plot line
2/5 Illegal Apples for easiness
5/5 Illegal Apples for Dora shooting her husband (Five for you Dora, you go, Dora)

So, I can honestly say I’m sad to see this game go. It gave me so much and asked so little. Good thing there’s a sequel or I’d be suffering withdrawals! Isn’t that a horrifying prospect? Well, one thing’s for sure, I’ve been a Bethany Griffiths and this has been a holiday mode activated Beta Test: a game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked, all in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.

Until next time…

A Podcast Called FRED #13

Join Kendall and probationary host Ash as they deliver this week’s round-up of nerdy news and geeky goodness in the pop culture podcast that refuses to behave—A Podcast Called FRED.

 

Let us know your response to the next week’s Popcorn Culture question to be featured in the next episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

RELATED VIDEO:  Non-Scripted Ramblings #12: Countdown to Infinity WarCaptain America: The Winter Soldier ⬇︎

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Ready Player One (2018)

GET READY!

I’m a Kendall Richardson and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Ready Player One

Warner Bros. Pictures / Amblin Entertainment / Village Roadshow Pictures / De Line Pictures / Access Entertainment / Farah Films & Management

2018 is the perfect year for Ready Player One to be released. It contains so many of the things about current pop culture and technology we are excited about, and also rides the nostalgia wave quite successfully. When you think about it, this futuristic version of our lives does not really seem that farfetched or far away, for that matter. The quality and popularity of gaming is at an all-time high, and virtual reality headsets are becoming commonplace in electronic stores worldwide—a prime example of science fiction becoming fact.

Ready Player One is directed by non-other than the legend that is Steven Spielberg, and based on what some refer to as a pop culture bible, author Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which was published in 2011. Sadly, I have not had the fortune of reading the book yet, but from what I’ve been told, Spielberg, screenwriter Zak Penn, and Cline (who also contributed to the screenplay) collaboratively made several changes to the source material when adapting it for the big screen. I have also been told that whilst these changes are radically different, they do not in any way ruin the book or the film, which is a rare thing when it comes to film adaptations that take the risk of making great changes. It obviously helped to have Cline working on the script.

The film follows our protagonist Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a young man living in ‘The Stacks’ of Cleveland, Ohio. In reality, he is just an ordinary guy, living with his aunt (Susan Lynch), trying to get by. But in virtual reality, he assumes the avatar of Parzival, a CGI character that looks like a Final Fantasy and Dragon Ball Z love child. The premise of the film states that the creator of this virtual reality world known as the OASIS, has passed away, and has come up with a rather clever and challenging way to pass on his legacy and his company. There are three tasks that must be completed within the OASIS to obtain three keys. Once you have all three, you can unlock a door that leads to what he has so appropriately titled an Easter Egg (because this movie is full of them). Whoever reaches the Easter Egg first shall be granted total control of the OASIS and all of creator James Halliday’s assets.

Ready Player One is just as fun as it sounds, and the trailers did a perfect job of selling to you exactly what the film was going to be like without ruining too much of its plot. The visual effects are of course off the charts, and they had to be in order to sell the OASIS to the viewer convincingly. But the amount of pop culture references and yes, Easter eggs, in this film is just insane. Parzival races in non-other than the DeLorean from Back to the Future, there’s Jurassic Park’s T-Rex and the mighty King Kong chasing you down. There is a glorious, and my favourite part of the movie, homage to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, where our main characters spend some time in the infamous Overlook Hotel, and it is just beautifully done. There’s also a bunch of gaming references, so if you are a gamer, you will fall in love with this movie. And then there’s Batman, Harley Quinn, Freddie Krueger, and the Iron Giant just to name a few.

And to top it off, adding to the nostalgia kick, is the super cool ‘80s-heavy soundtrack—the movie opens with Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ and it only gets better from there. The performances from the relatively unknown cast are really wonderful and endearing; it’s good to see some new names popping up in such a big film like this. Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn brings it as the film’s antagonist Sorrento, leader of rival company IOI, and Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg, who play the creators of the OASIS James Halliday and Ogden Morrow respectively, are lovely to watch every time they appear on screen.

So happy to say that Spielberg has done it again, giving us a really fun adventure film, which is right in his wheelhouse, and will surely become a part of the iconic films he is celebrated for. 4½ / 5

 

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Susan Lynch.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Producers: Steven Spielberg, Donald De Line, Dan Farah, Kristie Macosko Krieger | Writers: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline (based on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline) | Music: Alan Silvestri | Cinematographer: Janusz Kamiński | Editors: Michael Kahn, Sarah Broshar

In cinemas now.

Let us know what you thought of these films in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Kendall Richardson and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

A Podcast Called FRED #12

Join Ashley, Kendall, Phillip and special guest Rosie as they deliver this week’s round-up of nerdy news and geeky goodness in the pop culture podcast that refuses to behave—A Podcast Called FRED.

 

To mark the 100th episode of Friday Nights @ FRED’s / A Podcast Called FRED, the team went live! Click on the image below to check it out! ⬇︎

Let us know your response to the next week’s Popcorn Culture question to be featured in the next episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

RELATED PODCAST:  Go back to where it all began with FRED the ALIEN Productions‘s first ever podcast! Friday Nights @ FRED’s #1 ‘It’s a Cadillac! How is that funny?’ ⬇︎

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Love, Simon (2018)

FOR THE LOVE OF SIMON!

I’m a Kendall Richardson and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Love, Simon

Fox 2000 Pictures / Temple Hill Productions / 20th Century Fox

Dear Blue,

I just watched this really incredible movie, and I think you will love it. I won’t give too much away, but I will let you know what it’s about. The main character is a high schooler named Simon, who’s played by rising star Nick Robinson. After his performance here, I’d expect we’ll see a lot more of him; his portrayal of Simon is so authentic, vulnerable, and done with great care and respect. You see Blue, Simon has this big secret he’s never told anyone.

He’s gay.

After another student posts an anonymous letter on the school’s social media site, Simon realises he’s not alone. There is another guy at school who is just like him. Plucking up the courage, he begins a regular email correspondence with him, but the two of them never reveal to each other who they are, despite Simon’s growing desire to. For the first time, Simon has found someone he can completely be himself with, and you feel his excitement, joy, and even anxiety over his situation—we’ve all been there, relishing the rush of just a minute of time with your crush. It is beautifully portrayed.

Speaking of beautifully portrayed, Simon is lucky enough to be surrounded by a small group of really wonderful friends, each of whom all have their own secrets and crushes. His best friend Leah is played coolly by Australian actress Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why fame. His other two close friends are sport-loving Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and new student Abby (Alexandra Shipp, who played a young Storm in X-Men Apocalypse). Simon’s family are also another group of wonderful people, from his intelligent psychologist mother (Jennifer Garner), to his ultra-sensitive and dorky Dad, played by the always charming Josh Duhamel, to his adorable younger sister, and aspiring junior chef (Talitha Bateman).

There is one exception to this group of wonderful people in Simon’s life, however, and that is Martin. He an odd, slightly eccentric, and over-confident drama student, played by Logan Miller, who is fascinating to watch. You don’t know if he is going to do something super embarrassing or surprisingly wonderful. He is also the film’s antagonist. But I won’t tell you why.

Have I sold you on the film yet, Blue? If not, here are some more cool things you need to know. The soundtrack is off the hook. Singer/songwriter Jack Antonoff picked a bunch of killer songs to perfectly accompany the teenage angst, longing, heartbreak, and happiness. A few of the songs are by his own band Bleachers, who are seriously underrated. I saw them live once and had an awesome time. Also, this film features probably the best drama teacher ever on screen, or at least the sassiest! But seriously, this is a love story everyone will enjoy, whether you are gay or straight or something else all-together. I hope this is the first of many movies of its kind. At last, a story from the perspective of someone we’ve never really heard of. And it’s not an indie movie!

I’d rate it 5 out of 5.

So there you have it, Blue!  Go see Love, Simon. I can’t wait to hear what you think. Maybe we could finally meet and go together?

Love, Jacques.

Starring: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, Logan Miller, Talitha Bateman, Tony Hale, Natasha Rothwell, Drew Starkey, Clark Moore, Joey Pollari, Mackenzie Lintz, Bryson Pitts, Nye Reynolds, Skye Mowbray.

Director: Greg Berlanti | Producers: Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner, Pouya Shahbazian | Writers: Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger (Based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli) | Music: Rob Simonsen | Cinematographer: John Guleserian | Editor: Harry Jierjian

In cinemas now.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

 

I’ve been a Kendall Richardson and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Paper Planes (2015)

KIDS’ FLICK SOARS!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Paper Planes

Roadshow Films.

Upon discovering that he has a talent for making paper aeroplanes, Dylan Webber (Ed Oxenbould) works towards competing in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan, if only to reconnect with his grieving father (Sam Worthington).

Paper Planes’s premise is simple and there aren’t any surprises lurking within Robert Connolly and Steve Worland’s sometimes corny screenplay. But, when you have a film that is abundant in positive messages and innocent charm, who cares?

The hero of the piece, upon whose shoulders the success of the film rests, is Oxenbould, who is one of the most likeable young actors cinema has offered in a long time. His rapport with other male cast members allows for an interesting depiction of masculinities, and offers some lovely scenes between Dylan and his father, portrayed by an underused but nonetheless solid Worthington, and grandfather, a charismatic Terry Norris. There are only two noteworthy speaking roles for women here, played by Ena Imai and Deborah Mailman; the latter isn’t given much to do, but Mailman is such a strong screen presence, she makes the most with very little.

Beautifully photographed by Tristan Milani, Connolly’s pint-sized underdog story will not only appeal to its young target audience, but will find favour with accompanying adults. You would have to be an absolute cynic not to get caught up in Dylan’s quest to be a winner. 3½ / 5

Starring: Sam Worthington, Ed Oxenbould, Ena Imai, Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke, Julian Dennison, David Wenham, Deborah Mailman, Peter Rowsthorn, Terry Norris.

Director: Robert Connolly | Producers: Robert Connolly, Liz Kearney, Maggie Miles | Writers: Robert Connolly, Steve Worland | Music: Nigel Westlake | Cinematographer: Tristan Milani | Editor: Nick Meyers

Available: DVD, Blu-ray, and stan.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s #09

The ladies at WiniFRED’s are back for another episode of The Monthly!

This month, Fulya and Kendall chat about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and their favourite comedians.

Check it out and let us know who you’re seeing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the comments!

Collectible Chaos: Top Ten Monty Python and the Holy Grail Moments

Join FRED the ALIEN Productions’s pop culture queen Kendall Richardson for Collectible Chaos!

Here, Kendall counts down her favourite moments from one of the greatest comedies of all time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

Let us know your number one choice in the comments!

Check out Collectible Chaos – Top Ten Monty Python and the Holy Grail Moments ⬇︎

 

Kendall also co-hosts The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s. Listen to the entire playlist here: