To celebrate the release of Appleseed: Alpha on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital on July 31st, and thanks to our good friends at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we've got a handful of copies of Shinji Aramaki's Appleseed: Alpha on DVD to give away! 

Appleseed: Alpha is an all-new, CGI-animated sci-fi action adventure based on the popular "Appleseed" franchise by the creator of Ghost In The Shell, Shirow Masamune, directed by Shinji Aramaki. The film is set in a post-World War society with two mercenary soldiers - Deunan and her cyborg partner Briareos – sent on a mission on the outskirts of their war-torn city.

To be in the running to win a copy of Appleseed: Alpha on DVD all you have to do is fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Don't forget, you can get yourself a bonus entry just by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook!


Entries close 11:59pm on Wednesday 6th August 2014. Your details will not be used in any way other than for the delivery of your prize. Geek of Oz and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment do not take any responsibility for the loss, damage or delay of/to prizes sent to winners (blame Australia Post for that one). The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered upon. One entry per person, subsequent entries will be void. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or any other kind of trading currency such as creds, latinum, sen, kan, zeni, double dollars or Ankh Morpork dollars. Geek Of Oz take no responsibility for head explosions caused by utter awesomeness. This competition is only open to Australian residents. Any questions or queries can be submitted through the comment section at the bottom of screen. Good luck!

How would you spend your final hours if you knew the world was facing certain annihilation? Perhaps entwined in a naked embrace with a lover, at the bottom of a bottle or snorting your way to blissful absentmindedness. I imagine we’d all like to think that we’d be with our loved ones, embracing our fates like adults. These Final Hours the latest film from Zak Hilditch superbly proposes what may become of our so-called ‘civilised’ society when the end is nigh … and it’s all a tad disturbing in the most gorgeously cinematic way possible.

As the film opens the world is being devoured by a catastrophic event, with Australia approximately 12 hours away from complete destruction. We meet James (Nathan Phillips) and Zoe (Jessica De Gouw) mid-coitus, which sadly for Zoe leads to James declaring that he’d prefer to spend his final hours “getting fucked up” than being cooped up with Zoe awaiting the inevitable. It’s our first inclining that James may be a tad on the immature side. Enroute to a monstrous house party, a twist of fate sees James rescue Rose (Angourice Rice) a young girl from the clutches of two rather unsavoury chaps who could safely be described as the world’s worst babysitters. James’s priorities slowly shift from partying his hours away to reuniting Rose with her father, but with the world coming to an end, things aren’t so straightforward …

With a deceptively simple bag of tricks, director Zak Hilditch does wonders converting the picturesque Perth into a terror-stricken-city eerily blanketed in stillness. Instead of showing droves of people in panic, Hilditch’s world is barren and bleak as people have either fled the city or succumbed to the temptation of suicide. Deserted streets filled with burnt out cars and empty houses with messages to family members scrawled over them highlight the despair which has gripped the throat of the city. Hilditch rather craftily utilises smaller scale set pieces such as empty car parks, highways with a lone vehicle careening down them and short bursts of extreme violence to convey the ominous tone of the film to great effect. All easily achieved and I imagine didn't put too much pressure on the budget, it's an example of what can be achieved when a story teller brings ingenuity to the table, which is awfully refreshing.

Instead of just being an end of the world drama, These Final Hours plays as an interesting metaphor about the male perspective on relationships and perhaps issues with commitment. The films’ opening scene has James and Zoe discussing the their final day on earth and that Zoe wanted James to remain with him, his reaction, which I can totally sympathise with but not necessarily condone, was to run away in order to party. Zoe's perspective is that the world is ending anyway so there's no reason not to spend the end together. I liked the fact the film took time to explore what was going through James's mind and analysing his reasons for living his last day the way he did.

Whilst the trailer didn't exactly appeal to me, I can safely say These Final Hours is worth catching. This has been a fairly strong year for Aussie films (52 Tuesdays, The Babadook) and I'd encourage everyone to get out to support local content. Really excited to see what Zak Hilditch does next.

If you catch the film feel free to drop a line below or come over and play with us on our Facebook page.

- Stu




Enduring Lucy is like sitting near an obnoxiously loud person who's spurting theories they believe are so clever but are painfully inane. Except for a few moments this film is a wall-to-wall disaster, which leads me to think that Luc Besson’s films just aren’t my cup of tea. I've seen a large swathe of his filmography so with absolutely no hesitation I can declare ... I'm out baby!

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) gets drawn into the shady world of Taiwanese drug dealers when she's tricked by her boyfriend Richard (Pilou Asbaek) to deliver a case to a ritzy hotel. Things go from bad to worse for poor old Lucy when the evil gangsters led by Mr Jang (Min-Sik Choi) sew the drugs into her lower intestine in order to turn her into a drug mule. After she is kicked in the stomach the drugs leak into her system, but these aren't any ordinary drugs ... no no no they are drugs which increase the brain's capacity exponentially and gives the recipient all sorts of groovy Jedi/Matrix-esque powers. Lucy races the clock to unravel the mysteries of the universe while evading bad guys, good guys and everyone else in between. All of which results in a wholly unsatisfying film which feels like the concept was jotted down on a cocktail napkin one evening and saved from any further rewrites.

it’s the lack of story which is so frustrating about this film. Arguably there's a kernel of an idea which is screaming to be developed into something more interesting. Strangely as Lucy’s intelligence and brain activity are skyrocketing the film transversely gets dumber at the same rate. The problem being the fact that Lucy is basically becoming a superhero with limitless powers and no villain of any note to challenge her, which means there's literally no obstacles for her to overcome and zero chance of there being tension or stakes. Picture a superman film where he just flies around unchallenged for ninety minutes ... Yawn.

This has been an awfully productive year for Scarlett Johansson with four films hitting theatres, and its only July. Scar Jo's performance is at least slightly interesting although in fairness she's dangerously close to simply playing a Black Widow clone from her Marvel work. Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman, who is yet again an example of a character who is meant to be The Expert of a particular field, but ends up seeming pretty hapless. He plays the world's leading expert in brain capacity but Lucy's mind surpasses his research within the first four minutes of the film, poor storytelling at its best.

I don't know what it is about Besson's films that irks me so much. On average his films are shot competently, he handles action well and he's responsible for some classic films such as The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional. I guess they always seem a tad soulless to me. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of passion behind them and for me that bleeds into the final product. This is just heavy handed filmmaking at it’s worst which thinks which has all the sharpness of a butter knife.

Don’t bother racing out to catch this one, there are far better things on offer that I’d prefer you make the effort to go out and see. If you see the film and agree or disagree with my thoughts feel free to drop a line below.

- Stu



When Marvel Studios first announced they would be making a film based on the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' comics, most of us weren't sure what to expect. Hell, most of us weren't even sure who the Guardians were, myself included. Marvel Studios may have taught us to love Iron Man, Captain America and even the vanilla Avenger himself, Thor, but these are all top tier characters that are an essential part of Marvel Universe cannon. The Guardians on the other hand are a bunch of space misfits with a talking raccoon. Throw in a loose cannon like director James Gunn (who I still haven't forgiven for Scooby Doo by the way) and fans start to get nervous. In short, Guardians of the Galaxy felt like a huge risk.

Then that first trailer hit and geeks everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. The effects looked great, the humor hit the mark and the casting was spot on. But more importantly, it was obvious that Marvel Studios were in on the joke. They knew most cinema goers didn’t know or care who the Guardians of the Galaxy were so they created a galaxy where everyone felt the same way.

That's more or less the heart of this film; it's about five losers with a criminal record coming together
to save the galaxy. Making up the team is Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who essentially is a merging of Han solo and Indian Jones, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) the most dangerous woman in the galaxy and daughter of Thanos, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) a genetically enhanced raccoon with a thing for firearms, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Batista) a homicidal maniac who's only goal in life is to avenge the death of his wife and child, and last (but certainly not least) we have Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) a walking tree with a very limited vocabulary.

Our five would-be heroes, although initially brought together by greed but resulting in a very loose partnership of convenience, eventually band together to stop Ronin the Accuser (Lee Pace) from blowing up the Nova Corps’ (more or less the galactic police force) home-world. Although this plot isn't exactly what one would call inspired, it certainly works. The film feels well paced with heartfelt character moments being punctuated by thrilling blockbuster-grade action.

As expected Chris Pratt brings his A-game to the role of Peter Quill. Not only is he hilarious, not too surprising given the six seasons of Parks and Recreation under his belt, but he manages to pull off the action hero elements of the character as well. Saldana and Cooper also make for strong additions to the team although this was more or less expected from actors of their caliber.

Then we get to Drax the Destroyer... Given all that Drax has to do is get angry and mindlessly charge into battle, whilst occasionally talking smack, wrestler Dave Bautista seems like the perfect choice, given that's pretty much what wrestlers do. He's big, he's fierce and although any hulking angry male actor could have filled the role, the Rock was busy doing his laundry and Vin Diesel was already voicing Groot.

And while we are on the topic of Groot, who would of thought a character who could only say 'I am Groot' would steal the show!?!? Seriously that woody hunk of CGI can emote, and apart from being able to do pretty much anything the script required of him (his loosely defined abilities seem to get more and more powerful as the film goes on) he also acts as the heart and soul of the team.

Don't be deceived, although the words 'a James Gunn film' which appear during the opening sequences would make you think otherwise, this is not a James Gunn film. Sure it pushes the limits on occasion and it certainly possess that dark and off-beat James Gunn sense of humor, but overall Guardians of the Galaxy is very much a Marvel Studios film. Don't get me wrong, I mean that in the best way possible. Marvel Studios make highly entertaining and commercial films, just be warned that if you thought Guardians was going to change-up the formula you would be wrong. It's fun, hilarious and action packed but it also stays in very safe territory.

In Guardians of the Galaxy we have the product of everything Marvel Studios has been working toward: a streamlined superhero flick that is as bulletproof and commercial as it is lovable and entertaining. The plot plays out like a well oiled machine, the highs and lows are all exactly where you would want but also expect them. Don't go into this movie expecting to be surprised, because you won't be. The coat of paint may be different, but underneath it all is the same fine-tuned muscle car that we have seen in this latest wave of Marvel films (I speak namely of the sequels to Thor and Captain America).

But hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it right? And there is certainly nothing broken about Guardians of the Galaxy. It's exciting, fun, and well worth your time if you have enjoyed any of the previous Marvel films.

- Christof


Brett Ratner’s Hercules may be big, dumb and predictable but it’s a hell of a fun ride. Given we’ve had several films (one of which was released earlier this year) and a television series to explore the hulking hero’s work, I was surprised to see yet another incarnation hit the big screen so soon. Luckily this version manages to put enough of a twist on the tale to warrant its existence.

Having completed his twelve fabled tasks, Hercules roams the land as a sword-for-hire. He’s accompanied by a small band of warriors who not only fight by his side but more importantly help keep the ‘legend’ of Hercules alive and well, since it’s great for business. After years of fighting, Hercules is all set to retire, when he is lured into one final job, helping the King of Thrace quash an evil warlord. Hercules is forced to look deep into his soul and decide if he is the stuff of myth or legend …

This film works primarily because it doesn't take itself too seriously. Too many blockbusters of late have been kind of depressing. Films like Godzilla, 47 Ronin, Man of Steel and even Star Trek Into Darkness whilst visually pleasing kind of forgot to be fun, which isn't that the point of these types of films? Hercules hit that sweet spot for me where the film is kind of winking at the audience without ever descending into farce. Director Brett Ratner has somewhat of a chequered past when it comes to blockbusters; for every Rush Hour there’s an X-Men: Last Stand, that being said his style suited this project. The action set pieces are well choreographed, two of which are battle sequences set during the day time which for me is always more impressive. With hundreds if not thousands of combatants duking it out, the battles had an intensity that I wasn't expecting. Smartly the film clips along at such a pace, it doesn't allow you to dwell on how silly it is, a practice I’d like to see adopted by other films of this ilk.

Dwayne ‘Don’t call me the Rock’ Johnson is in his element playing Hercules, but let’s be honest he’s basically playing the same role in just about every film nowadays. I’d love to see him doing something with a touch more dramatic weight about it, but I guess he’s got to capitalise on his body while he can still achieve the physique that he’s renowned for. The supporting cast is chock-full of characters actors such as John Hurt, Ian McShane and Rufus Sewell all of whom look like they had a ball making this film. Ingrid Bolso Berdal is fabulous as the Amazonian warrior Atalanta; she has great presence on screen and can more than handle herself when it comes to fisty-cuffs. Rebecca Ferguson plays Ergenia, heir to the Thrace throne, whilst she misses out on the action set pieces, she raised the stakes emotionally, which is just as important in film like this. I rather enjoyed her performance. I appreciated the fact that the women of this story weren’t simply swept aside whilst the men did everything, well played Hercules.

This is your perfect lazy Friday night film after a long week and maybe an ale or two. It’s a little bit silly at times but I’m sure if you set your expectations accordingly you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You know what the Rock’s cooking and you know you can’t resist it.

If you see the film and agree or disagree with my review feel free to drop a line below or pop over to our Facebook page and call me out directly WWE style!

- Stu


Thanks to our pals at Marvel, we've got 10x in-season double passes to see the upcoming blockbuster, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” finds space adventurer Peter Quill the object of a bounty hunt after stealing an orb coveted by a treacherous villain, but when Quill discovers the power it holds, he must find a way to rally the quartet of ragtag rivals hot on his trail to save the universe.

In cinemas from August 7, Guardians of the Galaxy is probably comparable to The Avengers, but in space, and a million times more bad arse! To be in the running to win an in-season double pass to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy all you have to do is watch the trailer and fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Don't forget, you can get yourself a bonus entry just by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook!


Entries close 11:59pm on Sunday 3rd August 2014. Your details will not be used in any way other than for the delivery of your prize. Geek of Oz and Marvel do not take any responsibility for the loss, damage or delay of/to prizes sent to winners (blame Australia Post for that one). The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered upon. One entry per person, subsequent entries will be void. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or any other kind of trading currency such as creds, latinum, sen, kan, zeni, double dollars or Ankh Morpork dollars. Geek Of Oz take no responsibility for head explosions caused by utter awesomeness. This competition is only open to Australian residents. Any questions or queries can be submitted through the comment section at the bottom of screen. Good luck!
Thanks to our friends at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we've got something very, mucho grande special to give away. 

To celebrate the release of Appleseed: Alpha on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital on July 31st, we've been given 2x pieces of concept art signed by the director of Appleseed: Alpha, Shinji Aramaki!

Appleseed: Alpha is an all-new, CGI-animated sci-fi action adventure based on the popular "Appleseed" franchise by the creator of Ghost In The Shell, Shirow Masamune, directed by Shinji Aramaki and with music from the master of wub-wub, Skrillex. The film is set in a post-World War society with two mercenary soldiers - Deunan and her cyborg partner Briareos –  sent on a mission on the outskirts of their war-torn city.

To be in the running to win one of these awesome pieces of art all you have to do is watch the trailer and fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Don't forget, you can get yourself a bonus entry just by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook!


THIS COMPETITION HAS CLOSED

Entries close 11:59pm on Sunday 27th July 2014. Your details will not be used in any way other than for the delivery of your prize. Geek of Oz and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment do not take any responsibility for the loss, damage or delay of/to prizes sent to winners (blame Australia Post for that one). The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered upon. One entry per person, subsequent entries will be void. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or any other kind of trading currency such as creds, latinum, sen, kan, zeni, double dollars or Ankh Morpork dollars. Geek Of Oz take no responsibility for head explosions caused by utter awesomeness. This competition is only open to Australian residents. Any questions or queries can be submitted through the comment section at the bottom of screen. Good luck!