Thanks to the truly awesome folk at STUDIOCANAL, we're giving you the chance to win 1 of 10 double passes to a special Sydney advanced screening of JIGSAW on Monday the 30th of October. How do you get your hands on such an awesome prize? Great question, just head over to our Facebook page right here to find the JIGSAW post with all the details on how to enter. So simple! 

After a series of murders that bear all the markings of the infamous Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves embroiled in a new twisted game that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?

JIGSAW, creeping into cinemas November 2, is the next installment in one of the highest-grossing horror franchises of all time, and has been reinvigorated for a broader, contemporary audience – perfect for those who love the classic horror flick, and for new audiences alike!


- Stu 

Episode 56! Stu and Billy are back this week to discuss Blade Runner 2049. They also head to the flicks to watch Happy Death Day and discuss it after.

Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to Blade Runner (1982) and directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners, and Enemy).

In 2049, 30 years after the first film, bioengineered humans called replicants have been integrated into society. Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, hunts down and "retires" rogue older model replicants.

During K's investigation into a growing replicant freedom movement he unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos.

His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who's been missing for 30 years.

The film also stars Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, and many others.

Happy Death Day is and American slasher film directed by Christopher B. Landon (Disturbia, Paranormal Activity 2 - 4, and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones)

The film follows Tree Gelbman who wakes up again and again on the same day - her birthday - only to be murdered and restart the whole process.

Staring in the film is Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken, Rob Mello and many others.

As well as the films, Stu and I discuss what else we've been watching this week, and look over the latest in movie news.

As always it would make our day if you could take a couple of minutes to rate and reviews us on iTunes or drop us some feedback below! Really keen to have your input in the show.


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A few years back, I watched The Godfather: a timeless classic and a cinematic tour de force, noted for many film awards and a ton of quotable lines.

I really didn't enjoy it.

Part of it was that some aspects of the 1972 film had dated by the mid-2010s when I saw, but it was also because I was left underwhelmed given the immense praise the film had been heaped with. It certainly wasn't bad, but I didn't engage with it the way all my fellow cinemaphiles seemed to (Stu, if you're reading this, please don't hit me). The critical acclaim turned me off what would have otherwise been a pretty competent crime film - or an above-competent one whenever Marlon Brando is on-screen. Certainly not a bad film by any stretch, but definitely not for me.

I think that's the same problem I've encounted with Ann Leckie's work. Her debut novel, Ancillary Justice, was certainly thought-provoking and a departure from garden variety sci-fi, winning every award under the sun and touting them proudly on the front cover. It bore a unique plot and fascinating protagonist. But the actual book itself, away from the paratexts of awards and critical analyses, was just a fairly decent space story with some intriguing gender concepts, a bit of a problem with tone and a slightly bigger problem with the writing style. Like The Godfather, it certainly wasn't bad, but I didn't engage with it the way my fellow bookreaders seemed to (Goodreads users, if you're reading this, please don't hit me).

Provenance is more of that kind of work, for better or worse. Moving away from the AI-fragment-stuck-in-a-flesh-body character of Breq, protagonist of Leckie's Ancillary trilogy, Provenance follows silver-tongued young woman Ingray. She's the daughter of a powerful aristocrat who treats her like trash in a hierarchical system which prizes agency and ruthlessness. Presented with an opportunity to seize the control that her mother is withholding from her, Ingray embarks upon a daring plan with the help of a recently-decanted criminal.

The overwhelming quality which prevents me from digging my hooks fully into Provenance is the writing. It's a similar style to Ancillary Justice, presenting things in a style of detached and semi-emotionless perspective while exposition unfurls every which way; it's also, as a result, somewhat alienating. By the halfway point of the novel, I cared little for Ingray's struggle against her autocratic mother, despite the fact that the book tried on multiple occasions to paint her as emotionally suffering and anxious over everything that was happening. Ingray could have been the most emotive character ever put to paper, and I still would not have been able to empathise with her struggle given how off-putting the writing is.

The style itself is not an inherently bad one; the Ancillary trilogy wouldn't have been so acclaimed if it were, and it's the sort of thing that Iain Banks' Culture novels pulled off well alongside their marvelous worldbuilding. But in Leckie's original trilogy, the tone fit Breq's point of view given that she was an alienated character herself - literally an AI fragment put into a host body and forced to become a person, rather than the people she had been when she'd been a full AI in command of thousands of soldiers and a powerful warship. Her having to acclimatise to the biological constraints imposed on her coldly logical intellect was articulated well by Leckie's writing and the universe it described, Breq seeming at times as lost in the shuffle as the reader was. Though I didn't enjoy Leckie's writing there, at least it was apropos. Here, though, I feel it's unsuited to the point of view of someone like Ingray, a character we're informed is in a near-constant emotive state.

Compounding this issue is the plot. I was honestly hard-pressed when thinking of what to write for that summary above, given the threads Provenance pulls on and which ones it contends will constitute a story. I followed the early section, after Ingray decants her accomplice and attempts to get offworld without ruffling any feathers, but once she got home and attempted to speak to her mother - an event which purportedly kicks off the "main" plot of the book - I was lost in a morass of political machinations and social nuances which went right over my head. Ingray's journey seemed like a good schematic with a dry execution; the idea of a woman attempting to usurp deserved power from an aristocratic parent sounds great, but is presented with minimal reason to invest from the reader.

But at the same time I say I didn't like Provenance, it's hard to call it a bad book. I'd say those of you who like Leckie's style and come to it expecting more of the same from the Ancillary books will love it. It's a largely self-contained story, too - I thought I'd be disadvantaged having not finished the second and third Ancillary books, but Provenance does reasonably well in orienting folk who aren't familiar with the previous trilogy. Despite the off-putting writing, Leckie's also conceived an intriguing and multifaceted universe, clearly taking chief inspiration from Banks' Culture series (I was particularly reminded of Use of Weapons at certain points).

So take Provenance with a bit of salt. While I can't say I enjoyed the experience, it seems - much like The Godfather - to have been well-made for the right crowd.

- Chris

Provenance is available in bookstores now.

Review copy kindly supplied to Geek of Oz by Hachette Australia.

Check out the latest trailer Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The crew here at Geek of Oz are all dying to see it and will be literally watching the clock til December. 

Okay, seriously, where is this year going?! I know I joked about it last month, but I blinked and September has gone. The only change to my Top 10 was Lost City of Z subbing in for A Ghost Story; both are damn fine films and I hope you make time to see them. October has some highly anticipated releases, so it’ll be interesting to see how my list holds up. As always, you can track my Top 10 list as it has evolved from month to month throughout the year by hitting the links for each month.

I’d love to hear about your favourite films for the year, so feel free to sound off in the comments below, or come over to our Facebook page.

- Stu 

Top 10 as of the end of September:

1. Land of Mine
2. Moonlight
3. Get Out
4. I am Not Your Negro
5. Call Me By Your Name
6. Dunkirk
7. Lady Macbeth
8. Baby driver
9. Lost City of Z
10. Logan Lucky

Films I've watched this month:

The Room
Lost City of Z
Girl's Trip
American Assassin
Final Portrait
Patti Cake$
Kingsman: The Golden Circle 
Battle of the Sexes 
Blade Runner (1982)
Beatriz at Dinner 

Films I've watched this year:

1. Passengers
2. Edge of Seventeen
3. Paterson
4. Moonlight
5. Manchester by the Sea
6. Split
7. Jackie
8. XXX: Return of Xander Cage
9. Moonlight
10. Lion
11. Live by Night
12. Perfect Strangers
13. Batman (1966)
14. Rosalie Blum
15. Patriots Day
16. Moana
17. Gold
18. Silence
19. Singing in the Rain (1952)
20. Hidden Figures
21. Fences
22. The Love Witch
23. Toni Erdman
24. Fences
25. The Great Wall
26. Silence
27. David Stratton: A Cinematic Life
28. 50 Shades Darker
29. Miss Sloane
30. Trainspotting 2
31. Logan
32. Kong: Skull Island
33. Beauty and the Beast
34. Get Out
35. The Salesman
36. The Cure For Wellness
37. Monsieur Chocolat
38. The Eagle Huntress
39. Lego Batman
40. Loving
41. Things to Come
42. Farewell, My Queen
43. Power Rangers
44. Land of Mine
45. Life
46. Smurfs: The Lost Village
47. Their Finest
48. Alone in Berlin
49. Ghost in the Shell
50. A Man Called Ove
51. Ghost in the Shell
52. Colossal
53. Zach's Ceremony
54. Chips
55. Lego Batman
56. Boss Baby
57. John Wick: chapter 2
58. Fate of the Furious
59. Denial
60. Going in Style
61. Raw
62. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
63. The Osiris Child Sci Fi Vol 1
64. Free Fire
65. Get Out
66. The Trip to Spain
67. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
68. Alien: Covenant
69. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
70. Get Out
71. John Wick: Chapter 2
72. The Mummy
73. Wonder Woman
74. Baywatch
75. 20th Century Women
76. Hounds of Love
77. Ana, Mon Amour
78. The Ornithologist
79. Waiting for Giraffes
80. The Nile Hilton Incident
81. Whitney: Can I be Me
82. Taste of Cherry
83. My Year with Helen
84. Happy End
85. Ingrid Goes West
86. The Wall
87. The Hidden Fortress
88. Yojimbo
89. Wonder Woman
90. 78/52
91. Ama-San
92. I Am Not Your Negro
93. Mifune: The Last Samurai
94. Graduation
95. Barbecue
96. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
97. On Body and Soul
98. Kedi
99. Rough Night
100. Call Me By Your Name
101. The Promise
102. Porto
103. God's Own Country
104. It's Not Dark Yet
105. The Little Hours
106. The Farthest
107. The Beguiled
108. All Eyez On Me
109. Okja
110. Transformers: The Last Knight
111. Baby Driver
112. Una
113. The House
114. Spider-Man: Homecoming
115. It Comes at Night
116. Spider-Man: Homecoming
117. Baby Driver
118. Inconvenient Truth: Sequel
119. Dunkirk
120. War for the Planet of the Apes
121. Dunkirk
122. Atomic Blonde
123. The Big Sick
124. Lady Macbeth
125. Kiki, Love to Love
126. Wind River
127. Maudie
128. Logan Lucky
129. Valerian
130. Terminator 2 3D
131. Trip to Spain
132. A Ghost Story
133. The Dark Tower
134. Logan Lucky
135. The Hitman's Bodyguard
136. American Made
137. Killing Grounds
138. The Room
139. Gifted
140. The Lost City of Z
141. IT
142. Girl's Trip
143. American Assassin
144. Final Portrait
145. Blue
146. Mother!
147. Lego: Ninjago
148. Patti Cakes
149. IT
150. Ali's Wedding
151. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
152. Battle of the Sexes
153. Blade Runner
154. Beatriz at Dinner

Episode 55! Stu and Billy are back at the flicks this week to watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle! 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Layer Cake, Stardust, X-Men: First Class).

Set a year after the first film, The Kingsman have their headquarters destroyed by a new enemy called The Golden Circle. 

After discovering they have an American counterpart organization called Statesman, the members of Kingsman find new allies to help thwart The Golden Circle's world dominating plans.

The film stars Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, and many others.

As well as the films, Stu and I discuss what else we've been watching this week, and look over the latest in movie news.

As always it would make our day if you could take a couple of minutes to rate and reviews us on iTunes or drop us some feedback below! Really keen to have your input in the show.


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To celebrate the release of The Walking Dead Season 7 on Blu-ray/DVD, we're giving you the chance to win 1 of 3 Blu-rays. How do you enter for your chance to win? Well i'm glad you asked, simply click here to head over to our Facebook page, follow the entry details and that's that. Couldn't be simpler.

Rick’s group will find out yet again that the world isn’t what they thought it was. It’s much bigger than anything they’ve seen so far. While they have a singular purpose - to defeat Negan - it won’t come easy. More importantly, victory will require more than Alexandria. They need the numbers of the Kingdom and the Hilltop, but, similar to how Rick felt, Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) do not want bloodshed. To convince them otherwise will take more than speeches. The lengths Rick and the group will have to go to in order to find weapons, food and new fighters is nothing short of remarkable.

The Walking Dead Season 7 available from Wednesday the 27th of September.

- Stu 

Life is Strange: Before the Storm (hereafter just referred to as "Storm" for brevity of word count) is the kind of prequel which will produce two responses. One will be distinct for those who've played the original game, and thus experience the prequel with knowledge of what's to come. The other will render a story for those who've never played Life is Strange before. Unlike most examples of prequels, in any medium, those responses will probably be vastly different.

So to that end, I'm reviewing this game twice. First, for those who have no idea what the hell Life is Strange is, and secondly - with spoilers - for those who do. If you're just looking for a brief summation on my thoughts: I enjoyed it to a point, and am tentatively awaiting the next episode.



Chloe Price is your average sixteen-year-old. She's skipping school, mouthing off to her mum's new boyfriend, breaking curfew to see a rock band at an abandoned sawmill, and having awkward conversations with Rachel Amber, the hot popular girl at school. One day, Rachel suggests she and Chloe cut class and go on an adventure. What could possibly go wrong?

Storm's first episode is fairly brief, even for an episodic adventure game. The bulk of the story follows Chloe and Rachel's Excellent Adventure, and the things they learn about each other during that adventure. It's a promising beginning for what's set up as a three-part story, with an intriguing sequel hook that most won't see coming.

Where the game excels, particularly in its serving as a prequel installment, is how effortlessly it accommodates new players in the world of Life is Strange. Though there are references to the original here and there, Storm largely stands alone, presenting a story that's accessible and engaging regardless of your franchise knowledge. Considering some of my memory of the original - which I experienced nearly two years ago - had gone quite fuzzy, it was reassuring to know that Storm is a largely pick-up-and-play part of the puzzle. (I do, however, reserve the right to change this opinion depending on how the next two episodes unfold.)

Whether you dig it or not is going to depend on your tolerance for minimalist mechanics and the story Storm goes with. Unlike contemporaries such as The Walking Dead or the recent Telltale Batman series, Storm offers little for players to do besides move and talk. The game is predominantly story-driven, largely through mechanics like conversation and dialogue choices; those who are after some complexity in their gameplay, even for an episodic adventure game, might find Storm's austere mechanics off-putting. If it weren't for some solid writing and a decent slate of voice actors (many of whom replace the original actors for returning characters thanks to the recent voice actors strike), the game would fall flat. Fortunately, for me at least, it doesn't.

As with any other episodic game, how well Storm succeeds will largely be dictated by what comes after. For now, though, its debut is a promising beginning full of emotional resonance, familial distress, and awkward teen dialogue.


The original Life is Strange still manages to produce extreme emotional ambivalence in me whenever I think of it. The game wasn't a trailblazer the way other episodic adventure games have been, and it was, in a word, awkward. Part of that came from the subject matter and characters being teenagers who spoke in cringe-inducingly awful lingo, but I nonetheless found many of those characters endearing by the end. Both of those Sophie's Choice-style endings still make me choke up (for the record, I went for sacrificing Chloe, one of the hardest narrative choices I've made since Mass Effect). I wouldn't say I loved Life is Strange, but by the end I definitely appreciated it for what it was, and felt utterly wrecked by its conclusions.

For the longest time, Storm seems like it's going to ignore its predecessor's preference for the fantastic. Sure, the original was still fairly grounded in terms of its plot and characters and never strayed into outright fantasy territory, but Max's use of her powers was a thread woven through things from the start, a thread that was slowly prioritised as the narrative progressed (kind of like Heroes, but if if it hadn't been written by a committee of idiots). By contrast, Storm spends nearly the entire first episode playing things comparably straight; in place of the ability to time travel through photos, Chloe's "special power" is the ability to hurl insults and verbally spar with her opponents. Rather than dealing with the burden of great power and the great responsibility that comes with it, Chloe's plot concerns her increasingly fraught family life, missing her best friend and exploring her burgeoning friendship with Rachel Amber. It's not until close to the end that the supernatural gets hinted at again, through a relatively unexpected means, which provides an interesting diving board to head into Episode 2 with.

Unfortunately, that interest is kneecapped by knowledge of the original game. Unless Storm takes the unlikely option of an Inglourious Basterds-style major departure from established canon, we know already that Chloe is doomed to either be killed in a bathroom or left as a shellshocked survivor of a town wrecked by a tornado. We know Rachel's going to end up dead and buried as a victim of the original game's killer. Any attempt at their building character arcs or seeking catharsis through overcoming flaws is hampered by just how bleak both of these lives are going to get. That's not even getting into other returning characters, like Frank and Chloe's stepdad, who similarly have arcs we're already aware of.

Now, I know that a prequel can still be engaging even if we know the destination, and even if that destination is a horrible one. X-Men: First Class managed this handily: we knew Erik Lehnsherr was going to become Magneto, no matter how much Michael Fassbender shared feelings James McAvoy, who hoped there was still good in him. But the journey in the prequel was a balance of optimism and apprehension, making it clear from the beginning that things would not be ending well whilst allowing for spaces of brevity, hope, and the hint of redemption. Things weren't driving towards a wholly nihilistic conclusion.

Though at times rendering a depiction of the bleakness of our teenage years, Storm nonetheless doubles down on attempts at connection and a better life. Near the episode's midpoint, Chloe and Rachel have a long conversation on a train which shows they're thinking of a better tomorrow. Neither want to stay in Arcadia Bay, and the connection they're forming - whether romantic or platonic - is what will spur each of them to achieve that dream of leaving to find something greater. Even after a falling out over something unexpected during their adventure, Chloe and Rachel's reconciliation again emphasises that the bond they're forming is crucial, healing and encouraging. That's a great place to start, even if the next two episodes fray or fracture that bond.

Trouble is, we know what will happen to that bond. Whether in this prequel or in the blank space between games, Rachel will die under tragic circumstances and Chloe will most likely follow suit. For fans of the first game, this feels like Life is Strange thumbs its nose at any kind of heartwarming hope one might get from Storm. Things will end badly, even if Storm doesn't entirely spell it out: if you've played before, you know what's coming, and it crosses the line from bittersweet to downright depressing.

And that's why my reaction is split in two. As its own thing, Storm is a great, if somewhat brief, start to an emotionally gripping episodic series. As a prequel to the original game, it's a nihilistic and somewhat nasty tease at the love that could be and the hope that is not.

- Chris




Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Episode 1 is available for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC now.

Review copy kindly supplied to Geek of Oz by Square Enix Australia.

My oh my where is the year going?! August is in the can, but luckily we were treated to a few absolute gems this month. Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, David Lowery's A Ghost Story and William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth are the new additions to my Top 10. 2017 is really shaping up as great year for cinema. Feel free to check out my Top 10 list as it has evolved throughout the year January, February, March, April, May, June and July

As always I'd love to hear what your favourite film of the year is. Sound off in the comments below or, hit me up on Twitter or come over and play on our Facebook page.

- Stu

Twitter - @stu_watches
Letterboxd - stu geekofoz 

Top 10 as of the end of August:

1. Land of Mine
2. Moonlight
3. Get Out
4. I am Not Your Negro
5. Call Me By Your Name
6. Dunkirk
7. Lady Macbeth 
8. Baby driver
9. A Ghost Story 
10. Logan Lucky

Films watched:

Lady Macbeth
Kiki, Love to Love
Wind River
Logan Lucky
Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D
The Trip to Spain
Ghost Story 
The Dark Tower
Logan Lucky 
The Hitman's Bodyguard 
American Made
Killing Ground

The following piece contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season seven, so if you are not up to date then read on at your own risk!

If Game of Thrones’ action-packed season seven finale made anything clear, it’s that the dead are coming, oh boy are they coming. Accompanying the shambling army of the recently deceased - as well as the logic-defying-fire-breathing-undead-ice-dragon-thingy - will be a dramatic shift in the show’s focus. From here on out there will be no more leisurely conversations overlooking the sunny vistas of King’s Landing, significantly less political intrigue, and very little ambiguity as to what comes next. We stand at the beginning of GOT’s end game which we can only assume will be like The Walking Dead, but with more incest and C bombs.

This shift for the show primarily means a move toward a genuinely evil antagonist, rather than Cersei’s homespun brand of trying to maintain power no matter the cost. Sure, Cersei will no doubt continue to be a grade-A jerk but she is no longer top-dog when it comes to GOT’s biggest threats. That title now firmly belongs to the Night King; the frosty leader of the ever-encroaching army of the dead. Although this definitely raises the stakes of the show - which are now nothing less than the survival of all of humanity - the Night King himself isn’t a particularly interesting, engaging or even competent villain. Well, from what we have seen so far, anyway.

First up, let’s get the obvious thing out of the way: he’s as one-dimensional as they come. In a show full of complex characters, the Night King comes across as particularly bland. He’s blue, he’s cold and he has a hard-on for making humanity extinct. Yep, that seems to be just about all there is to him. Combine this with the fact that he is yet to say a word on-screen, and you have a baddie about as interesting as a bag of frozen peas.

The Night King’s apparent lack of diction also feels like a puzzling choice for a show that has built its reputation on tense conversations, shadowy plotting and political intrigue. Whereas other characters have shifting motives, he remains stoic and stalwart in his mission to annihilate anything that breathes. This begins to make the Night King feel less like a genuine character and more like a plot device; a manifestation of the story’s need for something big and bad to force the squabbling lords of Westeros to work together.

A great example of this came in season seven's sixth episode, ‘Beyond the Wall’, when the Night King killed Viserion, one of Daenery’s beloved dragons. To the surprise of almost no one, the episode ended with the Night King bringing Viserion back to life as what we can only assume is some sort of zombie dragon. What was somewhat more surprising was when, in the season seven finale ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’, he used his new reptilian pet to single-handedly bring down the Wall.

Although it made for some truly stunning television that puts most big-budget movies to shame, this Wall shattering sequence only highlighted how plot-y the Night King feels. Seriously, what the hell was the Night King’s plan for getting his horde of wights past the wall without his newly acquired dragon? Did he have a battering ram? Was he planning on using his undead minions to form a human pyramid? Or was he always planning on hedging his bets that a dragon - a cold blooded, previously extinct creature - would fly over the snowy north so he could kill it and bind it to his service?

From a logic standpoint they all seem like pretty rubbish plans, especially considering the Night King only got the opportunity to slay the dragon because everyone’s favourite northern dummy, Jon Snow, decided to dawdle and not just jump on a dragon and fly the hell out of the zombie-infested wasteland like a normal person.

And this brings me to my overall point: plot holes aside, the Night King fails as a villain because at no point in season seven did he actually act like a competent bad guy. For all his magical powers and cold blue stares, his grand plan for ending all of humankind doesn’t seem to extend past marching his zombie minions forward in a straight line; a plan that has only succeeded thus far due to mankind's inability to get its shit together.

So sure, he might look tough and occasionally throw an ice javelin, but under all the lore and special effects the Night King isn’t really a villain as much as he is a memorable figure in the shambling army of the dead. A familiar face in an otherwise faceless threat.

- Christof