We all need a gentle reminder from time to time. This Week In New Releases from New Rising Media aims to do just that – remind you of the biggest, best and hottest new media releases to look out for this week. From the latest big screen blockbusters, to this week's most anticipated Blu-Ray discs, via details of the next big triple-A videogame to reach consoles. This isn't a total run-down of everything new this week, though, these are carefully hand-picked for your viewing/playing pleasure entirely by us, enjoy.
Pick Of The Week: Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (12a) Dir: Stephen Daldry
In Cinemas Friday
One of nine films up for the Best Picture gong at this year’s Academy Awards, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close is the big-screen adaptation of Jonathon Safran Foer’s novel of the same name, released in 2005. Widely criticised upon its release for its use of the atrocities of 9/11 as a backdrop to the story of a nine-year old boy looking to uncover the meaning behind a key left by his late father, Extremely Loud is directed by Stephen Daldry, the man behind Billy Elliot and the Oscar-billed The Reader.
Star of the piece is 14-year old Thomas Horn who plays the younger-on-page Oskar Schell; he’s joined by a top-drawer, Oscar-friendly cast that includes Academy-favourite Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock (who won the Oscar for her role in The Blind Side), John Goodman (who also stars in fellow Best Picture nominee The Artist), Viola Davis (up for Best Actress for The Help) and Max Von Sydow (nominated for Best Supporting Actor). Dealing with themes of loss, love and loneliness; it also promises to be warm, heart-felt and emotionally draining. And just might be this year’s dark horse come awards night.
Binary Domain (Xbox 360, PS3) Developer: Sega Japan
From Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator of the Yakuza series, Sega is hoping to show publishers across the globe that great videogames can indeed be released within the first two months of the year. It probably won't achieve such a feat, however, since Binary Domain looks so by-the-numbers that just looking at its futuristic shooter setting is positively tiring. That said, titles such as Vanquish from Platinum Games (and published by Sega no less) has shown such otherwise average-looking, generic third-person shooters can still be outrageously fun and gorgeously stylised.
Binary Domain puts players in control of an international peace-keeping squad making their way through a war-torn and robot-invaded Tokyo in 2080, an intense and brutal battle between man and machine being fought tooth-and-nutbolt around them. Disconcertingly, Binary Domain doesn't appear to be offering anything new to players in a market already saturated with carbon-copy sci-fi, 'near-future' shooters – just take a look at last year's Mindjack, a game which seemed to have an interesting concept but entirely failed to live up to it. Right from the crow-barred moral message at the Binary Domain's heart – 'Are the robots becoming more human, or are humans becoming more like machines?' - to the stereotypical leads at its centre, it's a difficult game to get excited about that's for sure. Prove us wrong Sega.
Johnny English Reborn (PG) Dir: Oliver Parker
Out Now (DVD, Blu Ray)
Rowan Atkinson reprises his role as the hapless MI-7 secret agent Johnny English in a sequel to the 2003 spy spoof of its namesake. In the years since, English has been honing his mental (resisting pain), physical skills (rock-dragging testicle training) and beard-growing skills with Buddhist monks in the snowy mountains of eastern Asia. Drawn out of retirement, Reborn sees the most unlikely Her Majesty’s Secret Service agent called upon to foil the plot of a group of assassins aspiring to kill the Chinese premier in a web of conspiracy that is ingrained throughout MI-7, the CIA and the KGB.
Anyone who has been subjected to Atkinson’s slapstick physical comedy from its predecessor or indeed the loveable Bean will know exactly what to expect already; behaviour unsuitable for a 10-year old child let alone a fully grown man (in a good way), more laugh-out-loud comedy routines (English’s dance routine is one to see) and flashes of deeply moronic but so-bad-it’s-good spy work that sees the clueless agent save the day and get the girl yet again – as if it was ever in any doubt.
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance (12a)
Nicholas Cage gets his flame on once again as Marvel Comics’ hellblazing vigilante Ghost Rider in the sequel to the frankly horrible origin story.
UFC: Undisputed 3 (Xbox 360, PS3)
The third in THQ's mixed martial arts fighting series promises a heap of new changes over its predecessor, including but not confined to; a touted 'Pride Mode', a new submission system and the utilisation of motion-capture to make fighters' movements even more realistic.