What to watch and play in Dubai this week
High Life (R)
Would we really call Robert Pattinson scum of the earth? Well we wouldn’t, but we know Twilight haters would say otherwise. In his new freaky sci-fi thriller, though, he’s certainly deemed to be.
High Life takes place in the far reaches of space, where a group of criminals with death sentences accept a mission to be a part of a strange experiment all about human life and its creation, which is also heading towards a black hole. Like in any movie about the great frontier, things start to get a little coo-coo on the station when a storm of cosmic rays hits it. Kind of like how the Fantastic Four got their powers, only if the power was to make you manic – just in case the participants being criminals wasn’t enough. Pattinson plays Monte, a father with a newborn child on the station who struggles to raise her because, well, bad people are running amok in space. How he got this child? That’s something the movie will have to explain.
While the film is made out to be a psychological horror, it appears to be more of an in-depth look about the human condition, and how a group of criminalised people interact essentially without any proper laws being put in place. In the same vein as some of the greats such as Sam Rockwell’s Moon and of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey, without the crazy notion of highly intelligent, lip-reading killer AI.
This is French director Claire Denis’ first big global release, and we look forward to seeing how crazy this flick gets.
In cinemas now
Missing Link (PG)
This animated blockbuster seemed to have slipped under our radars, as it stars some fairly notable actors – Hugh Jackman, Timothy Olyphant and Zoe Saldana. Fittingly, so has its main character, Mr. Link, who is the missing link of mankind. Sick of his life of solitude and seeking to find out his origins in the fabled valley of Shangri-La (not the hotel), he sets out on an adventure with explorer Sir Lionel Frost and Adelina Fortnight. Fun, cute and worth the watch.
In cinemas now
If you know anything about Australian actor Chris Lilley, you’ll already know the type of edgy humour you’re in for in his new Netflix comedy. It examines the lives of six misfits – a 7ft 3” college YouTube star, a South African dog whisperer, a pompous real estate agent and three other strange characters, all played by Lilley. If you’re a fan of Summer Heights High, you’ll grow fond of around half of the characters in Lunatics.
Out now on Netflix
It’s always tough to go through a break-up, but that’s why you have your best pals to pick up the pieces. Which is basically the premise of this new Netflix romantic comedy, as Jenny Young decides to move out of New York to forget her long-time boyfriend. Before she goes, her friends decide to take her on one last night out in The Big Apple, only for things to get out of hand. Hardly a memorable watch, but a fun ride nevertheless.
Out now on Netflix
The resurgence of indie games over the past few years has been, let’s put it this way, overbearing. We don’t want to complain, as seeing an abundance of cheap titles to pick from is always welcome, but when the majority of them are just copies from a big hit with a different skin, all we can do is roll our eyes. But those who rummaged through all the copy cats will have found publisher Devolver Digital, a company that can only be respected for bringing out the phenomenal (and hugely violent) Hotline Miami. Was it just a one-hit wonder? After playing Katana Zero, we can answer that with a satisfying no.
Developed by Askiisoft and set in a beautifully constructed neo-noir world that oozes grit ad style, Katana Zero is one of those games you get because of the way it looks. A hitman samurai in traditional dress who scales city rooftops, sword in hand, eliminating his targets with one clean draw of his katana – cool is the only way to describe it. Oh, and he also listens to deep techno/synthwave tunes while he goes about his business, which makes up the game’s masterpiece of an original soundtrack. Slicing and dicing to each beat is a treat.
That is, when you manage to slice anyone. Katana Zero is hard, and taking down a room filled with foes is more of a puzzle than actual combat. We mean, you play as a man with only a sword going up against gun-toting enemies, of course it’s hard. Although, due to your samurai being a military experiment, players have the ability to slow time. Stylishly, might we add. With the press of a button, players can effectively deflect bullets, dodge quick-fire attacks and figure out their next move. It’s a fun mechanic, but the longer you play Katana Zero, you realise if you’re speedy enough, you can do all that anyway without the slow-mo. It’s a sign of the player getting good, and you feel smart and slick because of it.
Slowing time down isn’t just a random gimmick, it’s the main focus of the whole story. Your character has a messed-up concept of time, and each stage you play in is him planning the outcome of his future, dying over and over until he gets to the other side unscathed. The story takes you through a military cover-up about the power you have, and black market dealers trying to get at it. But it’s a nasty experiment that made your character a tad crazy. One not to be missed.
Out now on PC and Switch.
This beautiful run-and-gun platformer has finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch, so forget playing on TV, it’s time to lose all over again on the move. Notoriously hard, but even harder to put down, Cuphead pops on screen thanks to its gorgeous hand-drawn animations rendered in classic, jazzy 1930s style, and they look even better on the Switch. If you haven’t picked the game up yet, this is the best way to play it.
Out now on Switch