Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Molly’s Game”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (20) of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner.

 

The film, based on a true story and written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, will be shown on Monday, December 18, 2017 at the B & B Shawnee 18 Theatre and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do is click HERE  The first 20 readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.   Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.  Good luck!

 

SYNOPSIS: MOLLY’S GAME is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.

WEBSITE: http://mollysgame.movie/

RATING: R for language, drug content and some violence

RUNNING TIME: 140 minutes

Prize Pack Giveaway for new mobile game, MAHJONG CRIMES

We are working with Spil Games on their new mobile game called Mahjong Crimes. and looking to giveaway a prize pack, consisting of a $20 iTunes or Google Play gift card and a Rubik’s Cube. Enter a comment below with your favorite murder mystery. Winners will be chosen at random on November 20th, 2017. One entry per person per household. Good luck!

Amsterdam — 9 November 2017: It’s one of a kind. Puzzling out classic, intriguing Mahjong leads you to expose the truth in the world’s most famous murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

 

Available for free on iOS and AndroidMahjong Crimes, exclusively combines the classic tile game with the lavish period settings of Agatha Christie’s great detective story.

 

 

The plot thickens

 

In an all-new take on one of the world’s most popular games, 250 levels of Mahjong Solitaire unlock clues as you travel through 5 different scenarios within Agatha Christie’s iconic mystery.

 

As you climb into your elegant compartment aboard the Orient Express, you’ll be faced with 1 of 7 inscrutable varieties of the classic tile-matching game. You may have to beat the clock to reveal a hidden clue. Or the tiles may have letters rather than Chinese characters, and matching those letters spells out an important facet of the case.

 

It is endlessly entertaining and is the only Mahjong game to feature an Agatha Christie murder mystery.

 

“It’s amazing to see Agatha Christie’s story taking shape so brilliantly in this 21st century medium,” says James Prichard, Chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Ltd (who also happens to be the extraordinary writer’s great-grandson).

 

The facts of the case

•    Mahjong and Murder on the Orient Express: two timeless classics combined into a single great game

•    250 challenging levels, in 5 scenarios from Agatha Christie’s mystery

•    Power up to get ahead in the game

•    Collect unique Mahjong tile sets

•    The game stays fresh with more levels, mysteries and tile sets added regularly

 

Download now on App Store or Google Play.

 

About Spil Games:

Spil Games is a fast-growing and agile games publisher and producer, already reaching huge audiences across the web and mobile.  In the last two years, it has ramped up its mobile business to 275 million installs. This growth is mainly organic.   Many recognize Spil Games as an up-and-comer in the mobile gaming industry. For example, Nolan Bushnell, the godfather of video games, is developing his first ever mobile game with Spil Games.  The company is also seeing success with messenger games.  Its Endless Lake on Facebook’s Instant Games has reached close to 40 million unique users to date. It was one of a handful of games Facebook selected for launch and it was immediately — and remains — one of the most popular.  www.spilgames.com

 

 

About Agatha Christie Limited: 

Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie’s works around the world since 1955, working with the best talents in film, television, publishing, stage and on digital platforms to ensure that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.

 

The New Mobile South Park Game Will Get You Hooked

Set some spare time aside: the new mobile game from South Park is going to be an addiction! South Park Digital Studios and Ubisoft have just released their new game, South Park: Phone Destroyer, and it is amazingly addictive.

From the outside, the game is a card-based battle game, but don’t let this put you off. What this game does better than any other one currently available is troll not only itself, but all other mobile games, and, as usual from these content creators, they do a magnificent job. It’s as good as the online casino games New Zealand has to offer. Only different!

The Story Behind South Park: Phone Destroyer

You will be playing the new kid on the South Park block, and will get caught up in a game with local children, which all of you will be playing on your phones.

The point of interest is who is the best at being on their phones, and you will be instantly added to an endless group chat with all the other children in town, but your progress gets interrupted frequently by video-calls being made by the locals.

South Park: Phone Destroyer Trolls You Too

Any progress you make playing South Park: Phone Destroyer, and the pride that inevitably accompanies this, will instantly be swept away by the game prompt telling you that you’re excellent on your smartphone, perhaps even the best phone user in the world!

Exclusive Content and Clips from the Show

South Park: Phone Destroyer is also packed with unique, exclusive content and clips from the world of the show, and you will be playing with and against variations of your favourite characters from the series.

The story for the game is that you and all the other kids are playing make-believe battles on your phones. You collect cards to battle bosses in the town of South Park, cards which are divided into a series of different classes. You will be using a variation of ranged, melee, tank, and assassin cards to battle and beat the enemies thrown at you, and each of the cards you use, and all of the foes you will be facing, will be someone from the series.

An Innovative Feature to Keep You Interested

What makes South Park: Phone Destroyer intriguing and addictive, more so than any other mobile game of this type is that once your card has been chosen and played it becomes a self-controlled ally at your side. This means that the game isn’t turn-based at all, and, once your adversaries have been deployed against your foe, you can start picking your next card, or using Power Ups, charged up on the field while your ally does its work.

All of this is fuelled by first-rate graphics as far as mobile games are concerned, making it thoroughly enjoyable to play the cards you’ve been dealt, as you watch the battles unfold on your screen.

The game is now available for free on both Android and iOS smartphones, and there are in-game purchases available on both platforms.

Digital HD Giveaway: Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season

To celebrate the Digital Download release for Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season”, Media Mikes would like to give our fans a chance to to win ONE OF TWO Digital HD codes. If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below or email us with your favorite Game of Thrones character. This giveaway will remain open until September 29th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.
 
The record-breaking phenomenon is back with a season that proved to be well worth the wait! Action-packed from start to finish with the series’ most epic battles yet. Available September 25th, the Digital Download release for Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season includes an exclusive new “Creating the North and Beyond” featurette that takes fans behind the scenes of Jon Snow’s epic trek north of The Wall and his latest battle with the Night King’s army.
 
In Season 7, Daenerys Targaryen has finally set sail for Westeros with her armies, dragons and new Hand of the Queen, Tyrion Lannister. Jon Snow has been named King in the North after defeating Ramsay Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards and returning Winterfell to House Stark. In King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister has seized the Iron Throne by incinerating the High Sparrow, his followers and her rivals in the Sept of Baelor. But as old alliances fracture and new ones emerge, an army of dead men marches on the Wall, threatening to end the game of thrones forever.

Judas Priest Announce New Mobile Game, ‘Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla’

JUDAS PRIEST ANNOUNCE NEW MOBILE GAME,
‘JUDAS PRIEST:
ROAD TO VALHALLA’ IS AVAILABLE TODAY

Sony Music Entertainment and legendary heavy metal band Judas Priest announced today that “Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla,” a new mobile game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is now available in the App Store.

Game download link to App Store here: http://apple.co/2uG3i3n

The app features stunning new visuals and gameplay set to the iconic songs “Halls of Valhalla,” “Breaking the Law”, “Turbo Lover”, “Electric Eye”, and “Painkiller” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.”

Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla innovates by making isolated song stems (eg drums, vocals, guitar) from the 2016 ‘Battle Cry’ album available to players exclusively within the game. Using an innovative visual mechanic, players must fill “stem meters” to construct the full song and progress through each level of the game.

“When we set out to make this game, we wanted to give fans a new kind of visual listening experience” said Rob Halford, who also appears in a series of exclusive video clips throughout the game.

“For the first time, we are making individual stems of our songs available to fans to give them a new and interactive way to engage with some of the best songs from our catalog.”

Video trailer for game here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ6bjtdH5s4

“Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla” is a joint collaboration between Judas Priest, Sony Music Entertainment, Trinifold Management LLC UK and Babaroga, a leading mobile game studio.

“Metal maniacs are you ready to join Judas Priest on the Road To Valhalla…..? We are excited to have you take charge and lead the way on the bike and the tour bus! Let the molten metal mayhem begin with the thrill of the ride! Can you claim victory on this perilous journey that leads you into Valhalla…?”

Have a blast and enjoy!
Rob, Glenn, Richie, Ian and Scott

 

What Can We Expect from “Game of Thrones” Season 7?

Source: Game of Thrones via Facebook

Season six of Game of Thrones, fortunately, didn’t leave viewers in disarray, unlike the finale of the previous season. In fact, it gave hope that the end game is upon us and viewers will soon be rewarded, watching their favorite characters finally succeed in the quests that they embarked on at the very beginning. But knowing our beloved show, there are sure to be a few spanners in the works in season seven of the greatest TV series ever made. Needless to say, beware of spoilers to anyone who hasn’t watched up until the end of season six.

The release date of the next episode of GoT has been confirmed for July 16 this year. But for those who just can’t contain their anticipation over the return of the Westeros residents, there are other ways to get a fix before July. One option is to re-watch all the episodes from the beginning in one of the most epic TV marathons ever. Another is to play the intriguing Telltale game series that explores an entirely original storyline set in the same universe. There is also a Game of Thrones slot game, developed by iGaming software provider Microgaming. As discussed by casino comparison site http://www.casinouk.com/, the studio is best known for their extensive selection of slots, including those based on other licensed titles such as Jurassic Park. Along with all those things, there is a GoT strategy board game by Fantasy Flight Games that is great to play with friends.

The best pastime could be coming up with theories on what will happen. Because the series has totally overtaken most of the storylines in the book, viewers are well and truly heading into the unknown. All HBO has graced us with so far is the above teaser trailer that focuses on Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow all taking up their respective seats of power. Cersei sits upon the Iron Throne, Jon takes his place as King in the North in Winterfell, and the throne that Daenerys claims is at Dragonstone, an old Targaryen stronghold that hasn’t featured much in the TV show up to now.

The most intriguing aspect of the trailer is Cersei blowing out cold breath at the end just before it cuts to the icy blue eye of the Night’s King. The internet has sparked a debate about what this could mean for the trajectory of the series. The most likely thing is that this is suggesting that winter has finally come, and the White Walkers will breach the wall and head south. But with two more full seasons planned, one would expect this to be a huge action piece in the final episode of the forthcoming season.

However, others think that Cersei may be planning to try and forge some kind of allegiance with the Night’s King. A Song of Ice and Fire folklore suggests that that wouldn’t be entirely impossible, as the Night’s King was once supposedly a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. He was seduced by a “woman with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars” beyond the wall who subsequently took his soul and turned him into a White Walker – could Cersei be destined for a similar fate?

The great thing about this show now is that there can’t be any book spoilers, and people can come up with whatever theories they like. Some believe that we may even get to see an ice dragon. July 16 can’t come quickly enough.

DVD Review “Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season”

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams
Number of discs: 5
Studio: HBO Studio
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2016
Running Time: 590 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When season 5 ended of “Game of Thrones” I was head over heels with this show. But I am not sure what happened but I really lost a lot of buzz for season six. I just wasn’t interested in it for the first time. Maybe it was all the bullshit about whether Jon Snow was alive that got annoying but I wasn’t in a rush to watch this season. Don’t get me wrong cause I did really enjoy this season once I watched but I now feel that maybe this show has finally jumped the shark, as they say, and has lost its spark for me. Season 7 should be a good one after the events of this season.

Official Premise: The most-watched series in HBO history and a worldwide TV phenomenon, Game of Thrones returns with another power season. This year, after the shocking developments at the end of Season 5 – including Jon Snow’s bloody fate at the hands of Castle Black mutineers, Daenerys’ near-demise at the fighting pits of Meereen, and Cersei’s public humiliation in the streets of King’s Landing – survivors from all parts of Westeros and Essos regroup to press forward, inexorably, towards their uncertain individual fates. Familiar faces will forge new alliances to bolster their strategic chances at survival, while new characters will emerge to challenge the balance of power in the east, west, north and south.

The DVD release contains must less special features than the Blu-ray and NO digital copy either. I mean how hard would it be for them to include this? “The Battle of the Bastards” is an an in-depth look at all aspects of this season. “Recreating the Dothraki World” looks into creation of Vaes Dothrak and its importance. “18 Hours at the Paint Hall” follows the three shooting units from this show as they showcase a day in the life with “Game of Thrones”. This DVD has the most commentaries recorded for the series and covers every single episode with all cast/crew. Definitely a treat and a perfect way to revisit this season.

Is “Gears of War 4” the most anticipated game of the year?

“Gears of War” is one of my favorite games in the last decade. When it was first released back in 2006 it ended up being the fastest-selling video game of 2006, in addition it was also the second-most played game over Xbox Live during 2007. Since then there has been an extremely respected and successful franchise built around that first game. The first sequel, Gears of War 2″, was released in 2008, following back “Gears of War 3” in 2011. The last game “Gears of War: Judgment”, which serves as a prequel to the franchise and is also received mixed reviews.

So 10 years have past and we are now looking at the release of “Gears of War 4” and word on the street is that it is aimed to be one of the biggest games of the year! The beta was released back in April and since then the developer has been working hard to fine tune all the fans feedback and requests getting the final version ready for release. This new game also brings back many features from previous games like the return of the dropshot weapon and the Buzzkill that shoots ricocheting sawblades.

“Gears of War” 4 also marks the first game in the franchise that is not developed by Epic Games, instead by the relatively unknown company The Coalition. But the game is in good hands because the new developer also scored big time remastering the first “Gears of War” in the 2015 release of “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition”.

They are also delivering no shortage in terms of options when purchasing this game including various Collector’s Editions with limited edition statues and also if you are looking to upgrade to the Xbox One S, there is a sweet bundle pack planned which includes a 2TB Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Xbox One S. This bundle will include “Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition”, a custom Xbox One S console, and a Crimson Omen Limited Edition controller. So if you are a collector like myself you might want to snag this while it lasts!

Published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One, “Gears of War 4” is being pitched as a Xbox Play Anywhere title. If you don’t know what that means, get ready to be excited cause if you are planning on pre-ordering or buying the digital game you will be able to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. So you get the game for both platforms for the cost of one. Just note that this does not apply for physical disc copies only digital. So in between playing “Gears of Wars 4”  on the PC be sure to also visit betfaircasino.com for fun casino games online. I have a feeling that delivering games in this cross platform option will be very popular moving forward.

This franchise shows no signs of slowing down in the future. In addition to many books and comics that have been released off, there is also a feature film adaptation in development. So be sure not to miss “Gears of War 4”, now if you excuse me, I have to get my campaigning on!

Biggest Game App Releases of 2016

The mobile gaming market is thriving and this is no coincidence – more and more game developers are entering the market and even Nintendo made a sort of appearance through their partnership with developer Niantic and the immensely popular Pokémon Go.

Suffice to say, gaming on mobile is huge at the moment and there are more and more high quality titles being released than ever before. Even popular gambling casinos are raking in huge interests thanks to popular casino app they offer for mobile players. Thanks to technological gains in newer smartphone and tablet devices, we can now enjoy some of the old classics in a better, HD environment, and even VR makes a stride every now and then.

Oh and we are going to be mentioning Pokémon Go a lot in this article, so be warned… yes, this is due to the fact that augmented reality games are making history, with more and more devs being interesting in experimenting with the new game play design. Alas, let us go through the list of the finest game apps that are available in 2016, in no particular order (yes, Pokémon Go is first, deal with it).

Pokemon Go (world-wide phenomenon, free to play)

With over 40 million downloads the first week, Pokémon Go is a monolith of mobile game achievements. It is a statement that a great concept, bellowed characters with global appeal and a horrendous technical support will lead to a massive success. Part of the enormous following and explosive downloads can be attributed to the first, real world Pokémon experience to date. Players could finally go out and “catch them all”… literally. With simple gameplay that enables exploring the outside world, meeting, trading and battling other players and more, this is undoubtedly the biggest mobile game of 2016.

Final Fantasy IX (huge game, better graphics, boosters available)

This port of the 2001 classic by Square Enix is one of the biggest mobile games to date. With a truly captivating storyline that spans hours upon hours of game play and dialogue, charming graphics that have been remastered and several new additions in the form of boosters, FFIX is back and thriving on mobile. Be warned though – the download is massive as well as the install.

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes (memorable battles, heroes, tournament mode, multiplayer, etc.)

Episode 7 rekindled the love for Star Wars and its licensed games and this is definitely one of the best ones out there. With a huge rooster of characters that you can use for battle on iconic locations as well as the online multiplayer mode, Galaxy Heroes is what every Star Wars fan needs in the mobile galaxy, far far away…

FIFA 16 (free, available along with PC and console version)

Football fans rejoice – not only is the new FIFA available for mobile devices alongside the consoles, it showcases some impressive graphics and game play driven by touch controls… oh and it is completely free. Yes, that’s right, though we have no idea how we managed to fit “free and EA” in one sentence, but there you go. It is a true testament how far mobile gaming has risen, having one of the “more complex” gaming experiences for both PC and consoles, and having it transferred perfectly for mobile play.

Her Story (price: $2.99, mostly videos, unique story and “game play”)

A surprising and unlike any video game out there, Her Story is more a video than a game. It can be classified as a “video detective simulator” which doesn’t say much if you don’t try it out for yourself. It is a mystery game where you watch videos and try to find out what happened to the girl in the title. It is… difficult to emphasizes just how different the experience is to anything previously played – but it is entertaining and quite something new so check it out.

 

Is Jon Snow Dead? Game of Thrones Trailer Drops a Hint

Jon Snow Tribute” (CC BY 2.0) by snbk97

The sixth season of Game of Thrones (GoT) is marching towards us like seven noble families vying for the Iron Throne and anticipation is starting to build among the show’s hardcore fan base.

The big question on everyone’s lips at the moment is whether Jon Snow is really dead and adding more fuel to the rumours he may still be alive is the final scene of the season six trailer. Typically dramatic yet carefully designed to ensure we don’t get to see too much, the defining moment in the trailer is the scene showing the Onion Knight drawing his sword to protect what looks like Snow’s body.

Ever since the son of Lord Eddard Stark was stabbed and seemingly left to die in the snow during season five, fans have refused to let his memory fade. Kit Harington, who plays Snow, has won the hearts of GoT viewers since he first appeared in season one and that’s led to him being featured in a plethora of spinoffs.

Join Snow for a Spin

Game of Throne Figures” (CC BY 2.0) by  Aranami

From action figures to board games, fans of the show can now interact with the likes of Snow in more ways than ever before.

In fact, one medium that’s managing to keep the dead (?) lord alive is the show’s online slot game. How’s that possible, we hear you ask? Simple, you can experience the fun of pokies on your iPhone and summon up the might of Snow to have some fun.

Becoming a member of pokies/slots sites gives you direct access to a game that not only features familiar sights and sounds from the show (including the dramatic soundtrack), but five and six-figure jackpots. Whether you’re just testing the water in free play mode or spinning from £0.30, the game is a great way to keep the memory of Snow alive.

Of course, if you’ve watched the trailer and are inclined to believe TV gossip then you won’t need to play the game for much longer because Snow’s future in season six is just a few weeks away.

Snow Might be Gone but he’s Not Forgotten

Game of Thrones giant pop-up” (CC BY 2.0) by  fdecomite 

However, if you’re more inclined to listen to Kit Harington then you’ll only see Snow in a deceased form when the new season airs.

Responding to the recent images of him on the set of the show, Harington explained that he was there to play a dead body.

“I had to be a dead body in Northern Ireland. You can’t just forget that he actually died. I had to be a dead body,” explained Harington.

Of course, the actor will be bound by a watertight contract that prevents him from talking about the show’s scripts, so it could be that this is a cunning ruse to throw people off the scent. Of course it’s equally likely that he’s telling the truth and this will be the last time we see Snow on screen.

Fortunately, if that is the case then it won’t be the end of the enigmatic lord. From slots to board games and more, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Game of Thrones long after the final credits have finished.

How to Choose Your Perfect Game for Free

Since the advent of online gaming, the industry has changed immeasurably. While it was once the case that “gaming” meant arcade style games you’d play in an entertainment venue or a console game, the term is now used to denote a variety of genres.

From mobile simulators and online casino games to virtual reality products, the gaming industry is now awash with options and that can make choosing the right game for you a tough task. Fortunately, as is often the way on the Internet, there’s a plethora of sites, services and apps out there that will help you find the best game for.

Read the Word of Others

Caught Reading” (CC BY 2.0) by  Jayel Aheram 

One of most effective ways to get a handle on the gaming market is to use a comparison site. Much like the ones you’d see in the insurance or travel industry, casino comparison sites not only provide reviews and ratings but direct links to the top operators in the industry.

For example, if you’re looking for a high quality online casino in Canada then a site such as Bonus.ca is your best bet.  When you’re searching for a place where money is a big part of your gaming experience it pays to listen to the words of others as it literally won’t cost you anything.

Indeed, when take a look at what sort of bonus offers you can pick up as a Canadian casino gamer by using a site such as Bonus.ca, you’re effectively using the collective experience of thousands to help you might the right choice.

Watch the Action Live

Twitch.TV offices” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  docpop 

Another way to check out the top games in the industry is to head over to Twitch. The streaming service has long been the home of the world’s top gamers and through their streams you can learn about the finer points of the latest PC and console games on the market.

Whether you’re a World of Warcraft wannabe or curious about Call of Duty, Twitch streamers will give you real-time insights into the latest games on the market so you can find your favourites with ease.

Play for Free

Free Button” (CC BY 2.0) by  GotCredit 

The final way to find your perfect game without having to spend money is to play for free. When you search through the any app store you’ll now find that most of the leading games can be played for free.

Using the “freemium” model, app developers are now encouraging people to try their main features of their games for free before committing to them financially.

Of course, you can continue to play many of these games for free, but their structure is designed to make you purchase add-ons and credits. However, if you use this dynamic to explore the options available in the mobile world, then you’ll be able to find what you want without wasting money unnecessarily.

The gaming world is booming and that means you can now entertain yourself in a myriad of ways. Whether it’s gaming on the move, betting online or battling in a virtual world via your PC, there’s now more choice than ever and the best way to find what you’re looking for is to read, watch and play.

Latest Video for “The Blame Game” from City of the Weak


“The Blame Game” is the latest video from the Minneapolis, MN based rock band City of the Weak. Directed / Edited by: Cody Hoffman & City of the Weak the video showcases not only the band’s music but also the immense visual appeal that the band carries. The group is currently touring the US through October as special guests on the “Not So Sound” tour with Solice. Be sure to check https://www.cityoftheweak.wordpress.com for a full list of dates.

Blu-ray Review “Big Game”

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Stevenson, Victor Garber, Felicity Huffman, Ted Levine
Format: Blu-ray, Widescreen
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2015
Run Time: 87 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Samuel L. Jackson playing the President of the United States?! Sounds like a winner! “Big Game” is a fun film but it is also a very simple film. It is a straightforward tribute to 80s/90s adventure movies. It is definitely predictable and the a bit generic but at the same time it is fun due to its simplicity. Other than Jackson, the film posts an impressive cast including Onni Tommila (Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale), Ray Stevenson (Insurgent, Starz’ “Black Sails”), Victor Garber (Argo, Starz’ “Power”), Ted Levine (Shutter Island, American Gangster), Felicity Huffman (Cake, Transamerica) and Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas). All together this makes this film worth checking out as a rental.

Official Premise: In the rugged countryside of Finland, a young thirteen-year-old (Onni Tommila) embarks on a traditional quest to prove himself by spending twenty-four hours alone in the wild, armed with only a bow and arrow. After witnessing a spectacular crash, he discovers the escape pod from Air Force One, containing the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson). When they realize a group of kidnappers is hot on their trail with the intention of taking the president, this unlikely duo must escape their hunters as they search for the American Special Forces team sent out to find them.

The Blu-ray itself both looks and sounds great. The 1080p transfer really highlights all the films beautiful shooting locations and action scenes. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also works well with the big scope of the film. The only “special feature” included is an unrated cut of the film (not really a special feature though). The PG-13 cut runs just over 86 minutes while the unrated version runs about 90 minutes, so there is a little more there but nothing life changing plus the unrated cut features only a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track, so it is definitely not the ideal way to view the film.

Director Jeppe Rønde and star Hannah Murray talk about “Bridgend” at Tribeca Film Festival

Jeppe Rønde’s harrowing new drama Bridgend made its debut during the Tribeca Film Festival this past week with both the director and star Hannah Murray (“Game of Thrones”) in attendance. Bridgend is based on the true story of a massive series of teen suicides that occurred in a small town in Wales. The suicides received media coverage at a point where seventy-nine young people had taken their lives between 2007 and 2012. In the film, teenager Sarah (Murray) moves to Brigend with her police officer father and quickly finds herself running with the pack of local teens who’ve recently lost some of their peers to suicide. They are a wild bunch who borderline worship the deceased and memorialize them in an anonymous online chat. All the while Sarah’s father, like the rest of the community, seeks to find what is causing this horrible phenomenon.

This mystery intrigued director Rønde who spent time in the actual community and eventually shot the film there on location. Rønde and Murray both spoke to me on the red carpet about how important it was to dramatize the town’s story in a respectful manner.

Lauren Damon: You spent time in the actual community of Bridgend, what was that like and did you go there with the goal of developing a film about it?
Jeppe Rønde
: I went there with the–a goal is a strong word–but I went there to try and find out what is this about? And why is this tragedy happening? Which is of course may be a mystery, because it doesn’t make sense. Why do so many youngsters kill themselves? So I was trying to figure out how can this happen? And how can it keep on going?

LD: Was Hannah’s character influenced by a particular story that you found there?
JR: Not particular, but I wrote the whole script through all the characters that I met there. Many of them. And I mixed them into, you know, one character. So you couldn’t do like a one-to-one, ‘oh this is that character’, because I would never be able to do that. Because that would be morally incorrect. So I built it on the reality I met but also making it a fiction which was important to me. Because it cannot be too close to the real people living there…

LD: How did you find filming in the actual location?
JR: Actually to film on the location was very important to me. Because you feel the presence of what is there. The geography is specific. There’s a fog coming, you know every day it rains a lot. And it can feel depressing. And at the same time it is extremely beautiful. And it was easy for me to get the actors into this state of mind that I wanted them to be in.

LD: How much preparation went into your work with the DP to get this very ominous atmosphere?
JR:
Of course we wanted to push forward a feeling of something that would be this collective subconsciousness. Something that’s within us that’s a darkness. So we wanted to put that also into the shot.

LD: What would you want audiences to take away from the ending of the film?
JR: I hope that they will take away from the ending that this is something that is beyond understanding of who we are as human beings. That there’s something in us that we don’t know what it is…that if we do look into it carefully, then we can maybe choose one or the other. Because it is an open ending.

LD: Is this still going on? All the suicide statistics associated with the town seem to come from 2007 and 2012.
JR: Because that’s the only figures that you can find officially. But unfortunately yes, it is still happening. From what I heard and no one really knows, but the media was shut down in 2010. So it’s difficult to say, but you would have to ask the authorities there.

 

Hannah Murray, who currently plays Gilly on “Game of Thrones” had a breakout role in the UK teen TV drama “Skins” but saw the role of Sarah as a wholly different teen.

LD: What was your initial reaction to the script?
Hannah Murray: I’d never done something that was based on you know, based loosely on true events. I felt a huge sense of responsibility and I didn’t really want to get involved unless I thought things were going to be done sensitivly and respectfully. And when I had been offered the part I had a meeting with Jeppe to ask him why he wanted to make this film because I was worried about someone, I don’t know, wanting to do it in a kind of half-hearted way or taking advantage. So when I understood how long he’d taken to research it and how dedicated he was to the subject matter, and how involved he’d become with the community, I thought ‘Oh, you’re going to do this right and you’re going to do this honestly and bravely and compassionately.’ So that made me decide that it was something that it was worth jumping into.

LD: How was it shooting in that location?
HM: I don’t think we could have made the movie anywhere else. When you go there, you feel something very unique about that place and it’s beautiful. It’s incredibly beautiful but in a very bleak way. And there’s something kind of almost mystical and strange about it. I loved being there but it was, yeah you do feel a sort of sense of darkness in the air. Maybe that was because of the story we were telling though, I’m sure.

LD: You have this background coming from “Skins” of acting in the midst of a bunch of wild teens, did you feel a little like you were tapping into that again?
HM: I mean I feel like they’re incredibly different projects in sort of every way. Skins shows a dark side of teenage life but it also shows an incredibly fun and comedic side of teenage life. And in this, I mean, one of my friends saw this movie and described it as a gangster movie. Which I think is a really really interesting way of looking at it. And I think there’s a kind of, there’s a level of tribalism in this world that is so much more severe than anything that related to my teen experience. Whereas “Skins” I could kind of go like ‘Oh yeah, it was fun, we went to parties.” It was very different.

LD: How was it different on set with between the days you had you just acting with the pack of young actors versus the more intimate, intense scenes of just your character and her father?
HM: I mean that was one of the most amazing things about the project was all the different people I was working with were so different in terms of experience they’d had and the types of things they’d brought to these characters. So yeah, I remember every day we had the gang there it was just like this injection of energy and they were so exciting and would throw all these amazing lines that they’d improvised…And they would talk a thousand words a minute. And when I was working with Steve [Waddington] I felt like a child and when I was working with the kids I felt more like an adult because I felt sort of more responsible for them. And then I also had the love story with Josh O’Connor, which was a whole other element to play out…but I love everyone who worked on the film. It was such an amazing group of people.

LD: Finally, congratulations of continuing with Game of Thrones–especially this season’s opener being their highest rated–
HM: Oh was it?
LD: Apparently
HM: Oh that’s great!

LD: Why do you think the audience just keeps growing for it?
HM: I think it’s a REALLY good TV show. I think people put an incredible amount of hard work into it. The production values are really high and I just think David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] and George [RR Martin] are geniuses. I just think they’re so smart…And George created this amazing world in the books and these incredible characters and then the way David and Dan have adapted it is beyond. I think they’re so so smart.

LD: And how many times a day does Kit Harrington have to hear he knows nothing?
HM: He gets told quite a few times. Not by our crew, but I’ve seen people come up to him in the street and that’s allllways the thing they want to say to him.

LD: How about you, do you get fan recognition out and about?
HM: Um, a bit. Less so than I think some of the others. I think because I’m–well, now I have red hair, but I’m normally blond in real life whereas I have dark hair in the show so I can kind of be a little bit more under the radar. But I still, I’m surprised how many people still spot me. I think because there are so many fans of the show.