Tag Archive: Australia


Directed By: Stuart Beattie
Starring: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz, Phobe Tonkin, Chris Pang

What It’s All About:
Seven friends who live in rural Australia go on a camping trip into a mountain nicknamed “Hell”. After seeing the sky filled with fighter planes they make the journey back into town to discover their families have deserted their homes. Soon enough they discover that their town has been invaded by a military force and their families are being held captive. It is up to them to free their families and take back their town.

The Final Verdict:
Based on the best selling novels by Australian author John Marsden, Stuart Beattie tries to bring the stories to life on the big screen but falls short. Protagonist Ellie simply fills in time with unnecessary dialogue that runs in a seemingly never ending circle, and her support cast are less than average, even for an Australian film. The action sequences are full on and create a sense of urgency but the movie seems to fall short of creating the same sense of wonder and panic that the source material. Okay for an Australian film but doesn’t hold a candle to anything on the world stage. Such a shame because Tomorrow When The War Began was such a perfect setting for a movie and unfortunately this movie just doesn’t do it justice.

2/5

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Enjoy the latest episode of our show Room 4 Rent

Underbelly Figure Bashed To Death

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It seems like the Australian public has gone mad at the news that Gangland killer Carl Williams has been bashed to death inside a high-security prison in Victoria. Thousands of users tweeted and updated their Facebook Statuses across the nation, many of them offering thoughts of condolences or messages of love. You may find yourself asking why people are laying adoration upon a convicted murderer and friends I have on answer for you; Australian Television.

Let me give those of you from overseas a quick rundown on the situation. In the late 90’s there was a string of Gangland murders in Melbourne. Mr. Williams was responsible for three of those murders and failed conspiracy to murder a fourth. Along with those charges he was also a convicted drug trafficker. Now here in Australia they thought it would be a great idea to base a television series called Underbelly on all of this criminal activity during the Gangland War. All the characters names are the same, many of them are still living in real life.

Now as many would know, even in movies it is always stated that the movie or television series is “Based on a true story”. That basically gives the director the right to change it around to make a good film or good television. Now see the show portrayed this guy as a decent person, and as a direct response it turns out that thousands of people across the internet actually believe it! Well done, one of our national icons was a bushranger, and now one of our respected celebrities is a drug trafficking murderer.

But I guess they don’t get Channel 9 in prison….maybe if the inmates were fans of the show they would have liked him too.

google-nexus-one-android-mobile-smartphone-g9flenajdgal.jpgSo you have been eyeing off one of these glorious Nexus One’s for a while now but still unsure if you want to go through all the trouble of importing one? I was just like you a few months ago, but my recent trip to the USA soon made owning one of these bad boys an easier task to handle. Before making the crucial decision I really wanted to know one simple thing: How does the Nexus One handle the Australian Telecommunication Climate. The answer to this question seemed too hard to find, so I hope this blog post will make it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Purchasing A Nexus One: Price and Delivery

Currently the Nexus One is not available in Australia for purchase and Google won’t ship one out to you. Here you have a few options. If you are like me you can just order one while you are on holiday in the states and get it delivered to your location overnight. Unfortunately I doubt many of you will be heading to the USA anytime soon and you want this phone now right? If you have friends you can simply get it delivered to them, and they can ship it across to you. There are also a number of mail forwarding companies that will accept the shipment, and then pass it on to you for a fee. Your only other options are Ebay or a select number of stores in Sydney who are importing these phones and selling them for a large profit.

Buying the phone direct from Google will sting you $520 USD which equates to roughly $560 AUD.

Network Profiles: Will It Work On Australian Networks?

Just recently AT&T released their version of the Nexus One, and I am happy to say the AT&T version is 100% compatible with the Telstra Next G Network. If you purchase the AT&T version it will work fine with Telstra and every other carrier within Australia. If you purchased the T-Mobile version then you will get 3G speeds in Metro Areas on Telstra, but when in the country you will only be connecting to the EDGE network. T-Mobile version will work fine on the Optus or Vodafone networks with 3G speeds. If you want to be sure, I’d say get the AT&T version if possible.

How Is The Nexus One?

I’ve been using the Nexus One in a country area for two weeks now and have had no issues with network performance what-so-ever. It runs like a dream and has superior speed and call quality to my iPhone 3G. While it won’t take over the iPhone market, the Nexus One is the first true Google Phone that pulls no punches in being a worthy alternative to the ever popular Apple device. Well worth the money in my opinion.

Internet Censorship: Australia

I’m not one for screaming “Fuck The System” or causing a fuss, but when I live in a country that prides itself on being laid back and fancy free, and they impose censorship on me, I start to get pretty angry. Those who know me I’m rather passionate about the tough censorship laws on Video-Games in Australia. This is a law that desperately needs to be reviewed, and while every other Attorney General in the country agrees, one man holds the power to keep the law as it is. This is scary to think that one man holds so much power, but today’s news has me considering leaving this country.

The trial of the controversial Internet filtering system is over and the government are planning to implement it in full force. Basically an un-named third party will have the right to refuse websites classification, thus making them unable to be viewed within Australia.

WHO IS THIS THIRD PARTY? WHO GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO DECIDE?

All I’m saying is this it total HORSE SHIT. I know one country that is just like this……it’s called CHINA!


Left 4 Dead 2 is out in Australia, but unfortunately to absolutely absurd censorship laws it was refused classification. The version of the game released here is lacking basically all gore, bodies disappear when they hit the ground, and the melee weapons don’t cause any form of dismemberment. If you are like the majority of the Australian Gaming community you are outraged by this and want to get your hands on an uncensored copy of the game. FEAR NOT! Here are two simple ways to do just that!

PC GAMERS
1> Open up your browser and go to the following link http://store.steampowered.com/?cc=uk
2> Purchase the game from the UK STEAM store. Input your credit card details and address, make sure you change your country to Australia in this section.
3> Enjoy your uncensored version of Left 4 Dead 2 🙂

For all you Xbox 360 gamers out there, http://www.playasia.com is your friend. The Asia release is region free, and I think the USA version is also.


2008 saw the release of Left 4 Dead, the hectic team based survival horror from Valve, the development team behind the Half-Life series. It had a way to make you rely on your team members for survival like no other game could. A year later the sequel is here, a quick turn around for any sequel in the gaming world, more-so surprising from a developer that is renowned for their lengthy development schedules.

While many fans cried out in a boycott, stating this was more of an expansion back than a full blown sequel, after a few hours with Left 4 Dead 2 it instantly proves itself worthy as a new addition to the franchise as opposed to a glorified expansion pack. Fixing and tweaking many of the first titles downfalls and adding in new components creates a title that is bursting at the seams with rich, zombie slaying gameplay.

For those of you who haven’t had an experience with the first game, Left 4 Dead 2 places you in the middle of a Zombie apocalypse. You fill the role of one of the four survivors who try to blast your way through hordes of “infected” in an attempt to get to the end of the map. This time round the game is set in the southeast regions of America, and the new cast of characters carry humor, charm and wit in spades. Hearing stories about particular Nascar drivers, and stories about hilarious accidents while hundreds of zombies are honing in on your position gives the characters more of the spotlight that the first title was lacking.

The improvements are so rich in-fact you will find going back to the original game is a pure disappointment. L4D2 features five new interesting campaigns, that have you fighting your way through far more invigorating environments than it’s predecessor. The situations you find yourself in simply give you more to do, which keeps things feeling fresh as opposed to run and gun to the safe house feeling the first game tended to have. All five campaigns can also be played in the Versus game mode right off the bat, no waiting around for Valve to release DLC to unlock that ability this time. As a result the game feels like a full package, where the first game tended to feel a little hollow.

L4D2 is team based gameplay at it’s finest. It is paramount to communicate and work together as a team to achieve success, more-so than any other game you’re likely to play this generation. You will need to rely on your team mates to keep you informed of where they are, when finding health, ammo or weapons, or when there is a world of hurt about to come raining down, and you will have to return the favour. The catch is that no level will play the same thanks to Valve’s AI which they call “The Director”. The Director changes up the location of enemies, weapons and difficulty each and every time you play. It manages to encourage repeat play as you will never know exactly how it will pan out, and manages to provide a challenge every time, regardless of your experience and skill.

Difficulty will play a big part in your experience with L4D2 which offers some of the most challenging gameplay you’re likely to see. Normal is a good entry point as you grasp the concept and learn what weapons work in what situations, while Expert requires the very best in reaction time, communication and overall skills. To make it even harder L4D2 introduces realism mode, removing hints and glows on items such as health and weapons from the HUD. This means your communication with your team member needs to be top notch, otherwise you are going to find yourself high and dry and left for dead.

If you are anti-social or just don’t feel like playing online there are Bots included who can go through the five campaigns with you. They also jump in on the action if a player drops out, and while they do make accurate shots and do their best to help out, it’s far more entertaining with with human players. The bots are largely unreliable. There were a few situations where I went down and needed to be revived, the bots came and took out the zombies and then ran away again without helping me up, leaving me there to die. It’s functional, but to play L4D2 as intended you really do need to play with fellow gamers.

If the campaigns aren’t challenging enough for you Versus mode is sure to get the blood pumping. Versus pits four players as “survivors” and another four players control special infected enemies such as Tanks, Boomers etc. With the addition of new Special Infected in Spitters, Jockeys and Chargers, the Versus gameplay is now far more interesting and fleshed out. Spitters have the ability to spit out acid, Jockeys ride the survivors controlling their movements and Chargers are like mini tanks, charging at their enemies and pummeling them. It keeps gameplay varied and with the 4v4 action things can become quite tense and unpredictable.

What makes L4D2 so successful is the tension and overall stress it will cause you. It get’s your heart racing, and you will find your attention fixated on the screen at all times, constantly reassessing the situation and making decisions you hope will pay off. Each campaign features pivotal moments that will stand out in your mind well and truly after you complete them, whether it be frantically filling a car full of gas in Dead Centre, or dealing with the storms and winds in Hard Rain. If you are a fan of the first game, you are going to go ga-ga for L4D2.

It’s not just the new characters, the fantastic and varied environments or gameplay situations that make L4D2 a far better package, it’s the little things that make the game so much more entertaining and varied. A bigger range of guns, the inclusion of explosive and incendiary ammo pickups but most importantly, and the most fun, the inclusion of melee weapons.

That’s right ladies and gents, you can now slice and dice, whack and smack and shred your way through each campaign with a delightful assortment of melee weapons. There are the conventional melee weapons for a horror film setting, there’s the machete and the katana and of course a chainsaw, but then there are some unexpected ones such as a cricket bat (paddle bat for the Yanks) electric guitar or a frying pan. In all there are a number to choose from and you will have a blast regardless of your choice. There is nothing quite like the feeling of facing off a bunch of infected and smashing their heads off with a well timed swing from the old cricket bat, you can’t help but have a smile come across you face, disturbing as that thought may be.

Along with new weapons come new perks as well. Along with your pain-pills and your medipacks you know have access to adrenalin shots which give you that little pick me up when the odds are against you, making you faster and stronger for a short period of time. Add this with the new defibrillator pack to bring slain survivors back from the dead, and you have some great new additions to the gameplay.

Now it’s time to address the heavy censorship applied to the Australian release of the game. Due to the fact that in Australia we don’t have an R18+ rating for video-games, the original cut that rest of the world received was refused classification by the OFLC board. While violence doesn’t make a game, in a game like L4D2 it certainly adds to the authenticity of the situation. The lack of blood, bodies on the floor or dismemberment makes the game really seem lacking. I’d highly advise you to get an uncut version of the game, if you want more info on how to do that, check out my article on this website.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Despite the quick turn around between releases Left 4 Dead 2 is a far more complete, rich and rewarding gameplay experience, improving in almost every aspect it ventures. This is team based gameplay at it’s finest, and the amount of tension and stress this game can cause you is a true testament to Valve. They have created one thrilling and immersive game here. For those who enjoyed the first game then you will fall in love with the sequel, yet if the first Left 4 Dead didn’t rev your engine, chances are this game will do nothing to change that. Overall, one of the most thrilling games this year.

GAMEPLAY: 9.1/10 – Gameplay has been improved in each and every facet over the original.

GRAPHICS: 8.8/10 – The graphics are fairly decent but it isn’t the greatest looking game on the market. Enemies are detailed and animations are fluent. The daylight environments add a little something that the first game was lacking.

AUDIO: 9.0/10 – The weapons sound full and punchy, the voice acting is top notch, campy but it suits, and differentiating groans from different zombies comes together is a great sound package.

VALUE: 9.2/10 – The AI Director makes each campaign play different each time. Add this to the versus mode and the new scavenger mode and you have a pretty decent bang for buck. Hopes for further campaigns via DLC.

OVERALL: 9.2/10

081104_iphone For those of you who don’t already have an iPhone 3G the choice is simple, go for the 3Gs. You will be signing up to a 24 month contact, so it’s worth getting the best that is available at the time. Yet for so many early adopters across Australia (or the globe for that matter) many are wondering whether to pay out their contract and upgrade to the 3Gs.

WAKE UP!First of all you will be left to pay out 12 months worth of phone contract and then turn around and sign back up for another 24 months for a phone that is marginally better. Let’s get the run-down on the features….

Better Camera – Now includes video
A compass
Up to 2 x Better Performance in some Apps
Voice Dialing features
Longer Battery Life

Wow such compelling reasons to upgrade! How often do you sit with your current 3G iPhone and think to yourself “fuck, I wish I could read my mail NOW not two seconds from now”. While the video features and autofocus camera would be nice, it’s not as if you should be using your iPhone for pivotal family snaps, and voice dialing is nice but not a feature that is necessary.

Extended battery life is a bonus, but it’s not going to warrant shelling out all that cash.

Just hold your horses for another 12 months, then we should see another new iPhone hit the market, one that feels like a brand new device, not just iPhone 3G 1.5

TiVo Lands in Aus

11 years ago a little device was launched in the US called TiVo. It apparently revolutionised Television viewing for the whole country. I had often heard of the device as it is constantly mentioned in TV shows and the like, and when it was announced last year that TiVo was coming to Australia is was skeptical.
Unlike the USA where they have a large number of competitive networks, we are fairly limited here in Australia. The TiVo unit does NOT hook up to an Austar/Foxtel service to clarify that straight off the bat. I’ve been using my TiVo for the past three weeks, and I must say all my fears have been thrown out the window, and the device has opened my eyes to a wide selection of great viewing.
For those who aren’t familiar with WHAT TiVo is all about let me fill you in. Basically it’s a VCR for the new ages. Featuring 160gb of storage, through the use of an Electronic Program Guide that is accurate, you can tell the device to record shows for you. The TiVo has 2 HD Tuners, so this means you can record 2 shows, and you can be watching a third recording while this is happening! 
A simple and intuitive user interface, I had my partner up and running in minutes, and soon I found my hard drive filled with “So you think you can dance” and “Australia’s Next Top Model”. With a simple rating system of Thumbs up or Thumbs Down the TiVo adapts to your viewing. If you for instance give three thumbs up to Oprah, the TiVo will record shows for you that based on your ratings, it thinks you might like. This is a nifty feature as it recorded a bunch of shows I never would normally watch, and I enjoyed most of them.
Another cool feature is the “Season Pass” which allows you to tell the unit to record every episode of a TV series for instance. When in this mode you can also setup the unit to record based on inputs, I have told my TiVo to record anything to do with Soccer, so whenever something Soccer related comes on TV it will record it for me.
TiVo is out now, priced at $699 and available at Harvey Norman stores. It is great value for money, a simple and easy to use interface, allowing you to record you favourite shows, pause live TV, and when the update comes out next year we could be seeing a TV revolution in Australia

Goodbye and Goodnight

I always hate to see Aussie bands fall, from Superheist to I Killed The Prom Queen but never has it hurt so much as when I heard the news that Antikeptic were calling it a day.

Nearly 1000 shows, spanning over a 10 year career with 2 albums and their newest release EP Monuments, the Melbourne rockers have decided it’s time to say Goodbye and Goodnight.

I remember the first time I heard Antiskeptic. I was sitting in Italian class in year 7 when the drummer in my band passes me a slightly worn earbud and whispers “these guys are from Melbourne”.

“Do you remember that day?
I said I loved you but now everything has changed
Thought you were off on holidays
Yeah, but I saw you in town laughing with what’s his name”,

The catchy guitar riffs, the intensly crafter bass hooks, the thunderous beats and the amazing vocals drew me in and at the end of that song I was left changed.

The next day I went down to the local music store, and much to my surprise they had a copy of Antiskeptics first outing “Memoirs of a Common Man” and I remember going home and spending the whole night in my room just listening to what I thought at the time was Australia’s finest talents. A week later I bought my first guitar and started learning my very first Antiskeptic song.

A few years passed by, I didn’t have the internet, so I couldn’t really stay in touch with the band’s outings, but at that same music store I found a copy of the newly release Aurora. Inviting me to a selection of breathtaking tracks, it was a slight change of direction, one that I didn’t understand right away, but slowly grew on me and slowly became my favourite album.

The band constantly toured, taking along with them some of Australia’s biggest acts before they were really known, such as I Killed The Prom Queen and Gyroscope, yet it always seemed that Antiskeptic were always just glossed over and forgotten about.

The band dissapeared for quite a long while, playing the odd show here or there and promising us a third album. Instead we were treated to the Monuments EP featuring the blistering track “Dancing On The Inside”, the affective “Helleujah” and the rockable “Hello Halo”. The boys were back in form

The fans were expecting the album to come out, but 2007 passed by with no release, and now the boys have handed in their resignation, effective from September 21th 2008.

Three major releases, all life changing, all amazing, and a backlisting of live favourites, Antiskeptic are truly Australia’s Music Treasure, and it hurts me to say goodbye.

I picked up my first guitar because of Antiskeptic, I started my first band because of Antiskeptic, my band is now playing shows because of Antiskeptic, and my goal was to one day support my heroes Antiskeptic. Unfortunately all dreams cannot come true my friends.

All I can say is, Goodbye and Goodnight to Australia’s brightest shining stars.