CyberPunk 2077 delayed again

The highly anticipated game Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed again, pushing it weeks after the launch of the next-generation consoles.

The game is now set to go on sale on 10 December.

A letter from the developers said there would be “many emotions and questions” about another delay, and asked fans to “please accept our humble apologies”.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a new franchise from CD Projekt Red, maker of the much-loved ‘The Witcher’ games, which has spawned a Netflix series starring Henry Cavill.

It was originally announced in June last year, with the internet’s boyfriend Keanu Reeves taking to the stage to huge fanfare.

It was intended to go on sale in April this year but has now been delayed three times.

Most recently, it was scheduled for release on 19 November – the same day as the UK launch of the PlayStation 5 and nine days after the Xbox Series X goes on sale. Staff had reportedly been told to work six-day weeks, in order to finish it for the release of the Next-Gen consoles.

But that led to further problems, causing another delay, CD Projekt Red said in a tweet:

Game developers have come under a lot of fire recently, for over-working employees. Which CD Projeckt Red had promised not to do.

“Tens of millions” watch Borat: Subsequent moviefilm

During its opening weekend, tens of millions of customers around the world streamed Sacha Baron Cohen’s Provocative Satire Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, resulting in huge engagement on the service

Amazon Studios’ global tentpole original movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, premiered last weekend to great success. During its opening weekend it was streamed by tens of millions of customers. Within the first few hours of the watch party on Thursday night, a million plus fans tuned in to interact live with Borat himself and participate in a dance party with fans around the world.

Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios said:

“Sacha has masterfully created one of the most well-received films of these unprecedented times – showcasing some of the best and the worst of us, wrapped in one outrageous moment after another. But at its core, Borat 2 is a heartwarming story of a father-daughter relationship and of female empowerment seen through a hysterical, satirical lens. With the tremendous launch of this global, tentpole movie, it’s clear our customers around the world want content that is both relevant and entertaining.” 

As one of the most important and popular artists working today, Sacha Baron Cohen’s film has been championed on social media by some of the most influential talent today including – Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Seth Rogen, Taika Waititi, Kim Kardashian, Drake, Josh Gad, Amy Schumer and many more.

In the lead up to the film’s release on Friday, October 23, Prime Video coordinated massive stunts and activities around the world. The global stunts included enormous Borat balloons floating down the Thames in London, the Hudson River in New York, Toronto’s Harbourfront and Praia do Arpoador in Rio. In Sydney, Bondi Beach was transformed into “Borat Beach” with the help of Borat lookalikes dressed in “maskinis.”

Earlier in the week, fans were surprised with a branded content live stream on Twitch. Currently viewed by more than 1 million viewers, it is this year’s highest live viewership of any branded stream on the platform. The day prior to launch Prime Video hosted a global watch and dance party with Borat – which was so popular it crashed the virtual party site.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is currently Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 85%. Read our review here.

With currently over 150 million Prime members globally, Prime Video is one of the many benefits included with a Prime membership. Prime Video offers customers a vast collection of TV shows, movies, and sports— all available to watch on hundreds of compatible devices.



First look at Javicia Leslie as Batwoman

The CW has shared a couple of photos from the second series of DC’s Batwoman series. The images show actress Javicia Leslie in the new Batsuit and ready to patrol and protect Gotham City.

Leslie replaces actress Ruby Rose, who dropped out of the show after one series.

She is playing a completely new and original character named Ryan Wilder, whom takes on the Batwoman mantle.

Leslie said:

“I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it’s her style, her swag, and her moment. I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl. With the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it!”

Batwoman is scheduled to return in the US, with new episodes in January of 2021. An E4 airdate has yet to be confirmed.



Review-Wake Up: Why the world has gone nuts

Whether you love him or loathe him, agree or disagree with him. You can’t ignore Piers Morgan. He’s on your TV. He’s been debated in Parliament. Even if you’ve got him blocked or muted, he’s on your Twitter timeline.

Through years of influential roles in journalism and broadcasting, Piers Morgan has positioned himself as a high-profile cultural commentator. He’s a divisive figure, best-known for his abrasive and combative interview style. For the past few years, he’s been the co-host of Good Morning Britain, an ITV show that boasts impressive viewing figures. It’s his experiences co-hosting this show, that provides the backdrop for his book. ‘Wake Up’ deals with issues of gender, Hollywood hypocrisy, identity politics and, free speech.



The book was originally intended to be a series of short essays, where Morgan would give his opinion on modern life. But then Covid 19 happened so the focus shifted. It’s told in diary form written between January-July 2020. Morgan examines all of the hot topic subjects one by one, as they occur. 2020 has been such a crazy ride, that I’d forgotten half the events Morgan talks about at the start of the book.

He makes some compelling arguments and he makes them well – for example when calling out Hollywood hypocrisy, he cites Natalie Portman’s speech at an awards show. Portman decried Hollywood’s lack of female directors, despite owning a production company that has only hired one female director, Natalie Portman.

At times, the book can come across as tabloid sensationalism and, I disagree with Piers Morgan on a lot of issues. However, I found Wake Up to be an interesting, engaging and entertaining read. Morgan argues that cancelling people isn’t the answer, instead, we should listen and find common ground. On that, I agree with him.

New Star Trek: Picard prequel book on the way

As a Star Trek fan, I loved seeing Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis appear as William Riker and Deanna Troi in Star Trek: Picard. In the series, we saw the two former Starfleet officers living a peaceful life on the planet of Nepenthe.

In a prequel book titled Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil, written by veteran Star Trek author James Swallow. We learn how they came to be on Nepenthe.

This is the second Star Trek: Picard prequel book. The first was Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope.

The synopsis reads:

The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis. Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova. But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative. Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack—but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil goes on sale in January 2021.



Review-Torchwood: The Three Monkeys

November’s Torchwood release was recorded entirely during lockdown. I wonder how long it will be before I stop mentioning things have been recorded during lockdown?

The Three Monkeys once again pairs everyone’s favourite Torchwood odd-couple, Owen Harper (Burn Gorman) and Tom Price (Andy Davidson). Unlike their previous team-ups, this is relatively light in tone.

Andy’s heart-breaking tale about his uncle was bizarrely partly based on a real story Burn Gorman told writer James Goss. In 2009, post offices up and down the country were installed with new computer systems. These systems showed massive discrepancies in the accounts. Even after the system was proved to be at fault, post office owners were wrongfully prosecuted for embezzlement. Goss wondered what would happen if this story was given a Torchwood twist and, The Three Monkeys was born.

Although lighter in tone, this audio brings everything we’ve come to expect from a James Goss release. It’s filled with tragic elements and deep character explorations. All perfectly directed by Scott Handcock, who allows the more serious moments to breathe. Iain Meadows’ sound design is flawless and tugs on the heartstrings, when Andy talks about his Aunt and Uncle. The setting of a car is inspired and makes the story feel confined and intimate. It’s like we’re sat on the back seat listening.

As always, Gorman and Price work insanely well together, Andy’s optimism mixed with Owen’s cynicism makes for an interesting dynamic.

Torchwood: The Three Monkeys once again shows that Torchwood on Big Finish, is Torchwood at its very best.



David Tennant and Michael Sheen with more Staged for BBC One

After a tremendous first series, it’s been announced there will be a series 2 of Staged. The new series sees the pair attempt to navigate their ‘new normal’ at home with their increasingly exasperated families whilst simultaneously trying to tackle the world of ‘virtual Hollywood’ and their ever more fragile egos.

Also returning for the new series are Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg and Lucy Eaton alongside Nina Sosanya and Simon Evans with a new addition to the regular cast Primetime Emmy-winner Ben Schwartz, playing the assistant to Michael and David’s agent.

Following on from the surprise appearances in series one of Judi Dench and Samuel L Jackson this series sees the regulars joined in their virtual hell by a whole host of unexpected guests.

 

Michael Sheen said: “It’s been so great to see how much people enjoyed the first series. Seemed like the laughs were much appreciated. It made us really excited about taking it further and going in some surprising and hopefully enjoyable directions this time.”

Georgia Tennant added: “The prospect of getting my husband back into employment alongside the divine Ben Schwartz and the hairy, Welsh legend that is Michael Sheen all makes me very happy to be back for series two!”

Created by Simon Evans and Phin Glynn, Staged is written and directed by Evans and is an Infinity Hill/GCB Films/No Mystery production for BBC One. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer. The producers are Phin Glynn, Victor Glynn and Georgia Tennant. David Tennant and Michael Sheen are also executive producers of the series. Executive Producers for Infinity Hill are Axel Kuschevatzky and Cindy Teperman and for GCB, Geoff Iles.

Jared Leto returning as The Joker

Well, here’s something I didn’t see coming. THR has reported that Jared Leto will be reprising his role as The Joker for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Leto is a part of the additional shooting that is being done, for the four-part HBO Max special.

It’s been 4 years since we last saw Leto in the role. The character didn’t appear at all in the theatrical release of Justice League and, only appeared as a caricature drawn by Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey. In that time, we’ve also seen Joaquin Phoenix bring his own Oscar-winning take on the iconic villain, in Todd Phillips’ Joker. How exactly Joker will be integrated into Snyder’s brand new cut of Justice League remains to be seen. However, fans are speculating that he’ll appear in a flashback scene involving the death of Jason Todd’s Robin.

Director Zack Snyder is currently shooting additional footage, with Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, and Amber Heard. Henry Cavill has previously stated that he isn’t part of these re-shoots but fully supports the project.

It’s no secret that Leto’s incarnation as well as, Suicide Squad didn’t go down well with critics. But personally, I didn’t think Jared Leto was bad as The Joker. I just think he was badly used. I’m very interested to see what his role will be.

Review-Borat: subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

It’s difficult to believe it’s been 14 years since ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ took the world by storm. Things have changed a lot since those heady days of 2006, as Borat himself remarks “They’ve all gone calculator crazy” (obsessed with our phones).


When we first catch up with Kazakhstan’s fourth most famous celebrity, he’s doing hard labour in a gulag. After the release of the first film the country felt he had turned them into a laughing stock. It caused exports of potassium and, pubis to plummet. Borat became a pariah, with all but one of his kids despising him. Premier Nazarbayev offers him one last shot at redemption, he’ll receive a full pardon if he travels to America and gifts Johnny the monkey to Vice President Mike Pence.


So, how does a sequel mockumentary work when the entire world knows the character? Pretty spectacularly it turns out.
The film mostly follows the same plot structure as the first, they’re happy travelling together for a bit. Then they have a falling out, then they reunite.
For the most part, Sacha Baron Cohen plays Borat in disguise, the public stunts are mostly performed by his daughter, Tutar, played excellently by newcomer Maria Bakalova.

 

Cohen is a dedicated method actor and reportedly stayed in character for 5 days straight, whilst shooting this. That’s quite a commitment to the craft and it shows, he’s easily the Peter Sellers of our time.

What follows is a cutting satire of our modern-day lives, mixed with a really sweet Father/Daughter bonding narrative. Bakalova and Cohen are completely believable as family. It’s amazing what this humble Kazakh duo can get people to do. When Borat casually asks a store owner if a can of propane would gas 20 Gypsies, the store owner replies with “maybe the bigger one”. He also happily puts Tutar in a cage.
However, because Borat is in disguise so much, certain scenes can feel more like Cohen’s ‘who is America?’ than a straight up Borat sequel.


Like the first film, this gleefully basks in its very un-PC humour, but that is part of what makes it work so well. This is a serious work of social criticism, that also happens to be incredibly hilarious. Cohen and director Jason Woliner have made the unthinkable funny- which might just get us all revaluating how we think about racism, bigotry and sexism. Is it offensive? Yes. But if you are easily offended, don’t watch it. It’s only a film.

Exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, October 23, 2020




Mandip Gill stars in Five Dates

Wales Interactive and Good Gate Media have announced that FIVE DATES – a completely live-action, interactive rom-com film about the unpredictable world of digital dating will be released worldwide for digital download.

Entirely conceptualised, filmed and developed during lockdown – Vinny, a millennial from London, joins a dating app for the first time while living in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. With five potential female matches, Vinny explores whether compatibility, chemistry and connections are still possible in a world where a physical touch is no longer an option. He must pluck up the courage to video date with wildly different personalities.

The viewer’s choices will define Vinny’s interactions with each date and their interest in seeing him again. Vinny is faced with digital game dates, awkward scenarios and unexpected truths.

Five Dates is an exploration of the unpredictable modern dating experience. Through his journey, the decisions the viewer makes for him will challenge their own conceptions of attraction and compatibility. Throughout the game, your choices and your interactions will either strengthen or weaken your relationship with your date. The relationship scores are calculated from the start right through to the very end and will affect certain scenarios as well as having consequences in the concluding scenes.

Following Black Mirror’s ‘Bandersnatch’ and the award-winning The Complex written by Lynn Renee Maxcy (The Handmaid’s Tale)and by the same writer/director Paul Raschid, FIVE DATES is directed by visionary new talent Paul Raschid (The Complex, White Chamber) and stars Taheen Modak (Two Weeks To Live), Demmy Ladipo (The Last Tree, Enterprise), Mandip Gill (Doctor Who, Suspicion, The Flood), Georgia Hirst (Vikings, Ravers), Georgia Small, Marisa Abela (Lena Dunham’s Industry, Cobra) and Sinéad Harnett (UK singer/influencer).

The interactive film is highly unique in that it offers multi-optional storytelling with 10 different outcomes and a real-time Relationship Status Tracking that influences the story as you play.

  • Over 7 hours of filmed footage
  • Real-time Relationship Status Tracking that influences the story as you play
  • Multi-optional storytelling with 10 different outcomes

FIVE DATES is Produced by John Giwa-Amu (The Machine, The Silent Storm, The Party, The Complex) of Good Gate Media, Executive Produced by David Banner MBE and Richard Pring of Wales Interactive and shot by DoP Haridas Stewart (The Conversations, Dark Signal). The multi-award-winning video games company Wales Interactive is the technology developer and publisher of the interactive film.

Richard Pring, Executive Producer/Co-Founder, Wales Interactive said: “During these trying times, we are really excited to be collaborating with Good Gate Media to bring a modern British rom-com to PC and consoles. Building on our extensive experience of interactive movies and video game development, we’re proud to be introducing FMV to a brand-new genre! We’re once again using our WIST scripting tool, bringing choice-based mechanics alongside our signature relationship-tracking system — this coupled with a diverse cast and top talent in acting, promises to be a unique and exciting experience for all to enjoy.”

John Giwa-Amu of Good Gate Media said: “Five Dates is the world’s first live-action interactive rom-com aimed at Millennials and Gen-Z. The world needs a dose of warm and funny right now and we hope it’ll spark some new ideas for romance for those who play.”

FIVE DATES is released worldwide for digital download on Windows & Mac via Steam on 17 November and closely followed by PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.