In a relentless drive to up the ante in Marvel comic-book sequels, it’s only Joss Whedon’s sense of humour that saves this noisy, CGI-laden behemoth from crash, bash and smash tedium.
The script is a load of portentous twaddle about artificial intelligence, monsters, mayhem and extinction-level events, or, put another way, any excuse to run out our current favourite superheroes. It’s an awful lot of epic for your money, and you can tell Whedon has put his usual care into the dialogue, but at nearly two and a half hours, you have to ask; do we need quite so many metal-fetishised CGI robots smashing cities to pieces? Continue reading
Sia Furler is the Aussie songstress so determined not to be famous you can barely find a photo of her. She ran an anti-fame manifesto in Billboard, doesn’t appear in her videos and performed live at the Grammy’s with her back to the audience.
Having released five studio albums, a few live sets and a greatest-hits, 1000 Forms of Fear is her sixth album and the one to land her finally in the International spotlight. Despite being released in 2014, it refuses to fade away. Continue reading
Chameleon actor Tom Hardy (Batman, Legend) turns in a Brando-like performance as Russian war hero turned investigator Leo Demidov on the trail of a serial killer. In a paranoid Soviet state of suspicion and fear, executing its citizens at will, even his schoolteacher wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace – Prometheus, Dragon Tatoo trilogy) is afraid of him.
It’s not easy when ‘there can be no murder in paradise’; even when the latest murdered child – 44th – is the son of his army comrade; the totalitarian state is in denial of murder, even as it executes its citizens daily. This is Soviet Russia at the height of Stalin’s reign of terror, and even a war hero like Leo can be denounced and exiled to a remote factory town after failing to denounce his own wife, a suspected dissident. Continue reading
This technically impressive Euro-Asian co-production resets the 47 Ronin (the proper story, not the Keanu Reeves disaster) in a fantasy-medieval, multi-cultural version of the Byzantine Empire, looking for that Game of Thrones crossover.
After Morgan Freeman’s (Transcendence, Lucy) nobleman sacrifices himself on principle, Clive Owen (Bourne, Closer) heads the masterless Samurai – sorry, knights – in their revenge mission against the corrupt first minister Giza Mott (Aksel Hennie – Hercules – pitching somewhere between Christopher Walken and Brad Dourif).
Utterly predictable at every step, it’s earnest, worthy, straight-down-the-line – and a bit dull. Continue reading
Article originally appeared on social media, Philippa Hammond @TalkingSpeaking, June 2015
Skype interviews – top tips coming up…
Communications strengthen relationships and productivity are in the top three employability skills.
Ten tips for effective communications coming up:
You may have read about the multiple-hack affecting Stagefright, the code in Android that plays back media in MMS (multimedia messages). An enterprising hacker (allegedly) needs only send an MMS containing the exploit to the phone number of an Android 2.2 or later device and Stagefright will write code to any part of that device for which it has permissions – with the potential to affect 950 million, yes million, Android phones.
Whilst it is in theory quite easy to upgrade your phone to the latest Android (off-brand Chinese phones excepted), the question is how many users of those 950 million (that are still in use) are actually capable of doing so? Even if you go to the right website to get the latest phone software, there are many obstacles to making those phones secure again. Continue reading