Bring out your inner hero in Game of Thrones Ascent! #Gameofthrones #videogame #facebook #gaming

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By sword, coin, or whisper, have you ever fancied yourself as the most powerful noble in Westeros? Well, you don’t need to start prepping your acting monologue to impress those casting directors, because Zygna, the makers of the hugely popular Facebook game Farmville, have brought Game of Thrones right into your own hands with Ascent.

This sounds too good to be true… what do I do in it?

Based on the hit HBO series and books, in Game of Thrones Ascent players lead the life of a noble during the time of upheaval as portrayed in the books and the series so the game unites both story and strategy. Players claim their birthright by choosing which of the great houses they swear allegiance to, securing their holdings, developing their lands and personal reputation, and assigning sworn swords to quests, all while forging alliances with new friends. GOTAunsullied

How do I get involved?

Well, its easy… but if you’re one of the very few people who don’t have Facebook, now might be the time to sign up! All you need to do is click on this link to start playing.

There is also a BETA version of the game which is also possible for you to play, but we’d recommend sticking with this one. Now lets just hope that the makers think about bringing it out on more than just Facebook eh?! GOTA.palace_gardens

What’s everyone raving about?

Well, when asked, fans say the allure of the game is that it is very close to the original storyline in the books and that they can fully immerse themselves in the world of Westeros where your decision affects the game going forwards.

Game of Thrones Ascent has experienced more than 500,000 installations since launching — many of those players returning to the virtual world of Westeros many times.

So let us know how you get on, and if you feel that the game is worthy of a bag of dragons then let us know.

Happy gaming Snoochers!

Did you vote for this Christian Grey? #fiftyshadesofgrey #film #movie #casting

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So the news is out. E.L. James has found her eagerly anticipated leads in the film adaptation of the most talked about book of last year Fifty Shades of Grey. But who has the coveted role and who lost out?

The Winners!

Introducing Charlie Hunnam as the man of all female fantasies 2012. Is he what you imagined? Who is this man and where did he come from? Well, if any of you saw Pacific Rim this summer, the opening scene will show the Christian Grey potential as Hunnam jumps out of his bunk bed with his rippling six pack on show! If you’re fans of the TV show Sons of Anarchy you will have seen him on there, and if you cast your minds back to British TV he was the young naïve Nathan in Queer as Folk and even further back he started his career in Byker Grove. Now funnily enough we here at Snoochie Boochies HQ were discussing last month how its about time that Charlie Hunnam broke the US movie scene and that Pacific Rim was a good step forward for him, so maybe, just maybe playing this iconic character could seal his status as Hollywood A-List?Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 08.46.58

Anastasia Steele was always more up for debate… there were some big front runners in this game (see below) but the coveted role has gone to none other than Dakota Johnson (who?!). Confirming our theory that no Hollywood heavyweights wanted to touch the role with a barge pole for fear that it would ruin their reputation, producers probably needed to search for a nobody (ahem, sorry, we mean an “up and coming” actress.) Johnson is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths and has had a few miniscule bit parts in The Social Network (seriously blink and you’ll miss her). But as of yesterday afternoons announcement her name has quickly become the most spoken about name on the Twittersphere.

The Losers

For the past year there have been tweets, Facebook groups, YouTube montages all dedicated by the fans to who they think would be the perfect people for the parts. It bordered on the obsessive but the front runners for Christian Grey were without a doubt: Alexander Skarsgard and Ian Sommerholder.Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 08.47.20

In terms of Miss Steele, Alexis Bledel was really one of the top names thrown into the hat, but also British born Felicity Jones and Imogen Poots – so really anyone with brown hair and blue eyes!Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 08.47.59

The Book

So what is all the fuss about? Well, like Twilight and The Hunger Games, this film will be driven by its fans first and foremost. Instead of seeing caged tweens at the UK premiere for the film, we may see a total shift in audience to the more “mummyporn” category hanging off the railings. Mothers in their mid to late thirties who found escapism in the book may be booking their tickets as of now to see how their wildest fantasies portray on film. And seeing as its not the best written book in the world, lets hope the film is just as readable and with slightly less references to ones ‘inner goddess.’

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@coldplay release first #hungergames #catchingfire soundtrack song – Atlas #film #music

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Now this is a first…never before have multiplatinum recording artists Coldplay ever contributed an original song  to a movie soundtrack, but The Hunger Games seems to have struck a chord with them and today they release the very first single from the soundtrack to this highly anticipated film.

Lionsgate and Republic Records have announced that the song – called ‘Atlas’ is going to be available via iTunes and all digital retailers as of today, and the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be released ahead of the actual film in November.

Chris Martin is reportedly a big fan of the books (who isn’t) and as one of the most iconic bands of this generation, its with no doubt that they’re going to produce a pretty spectacular song to accompany this epic next instalment of the film franchise.

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The first Hunger Games soundtrack hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 on its release with sales of over 175,000 making it the first soundtrack to top the chart since November 2009. It was the best selling soundtrack of 2012, the fastest selling soundtrack ever at iTunes and was earned itself a Golden Globe nomination and three Grammy Award nominations – so the pressure is on!

For those who cant wait for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, here’s a little run down of what you can expect from the next film:

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victors Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is directed by Francis Lawrence and is based on the second book in a trilogy which written by Suzanne Collins that has sold over 50 million copies in print in the USA alone.

The Great Gatsby – A party like no other #filmreview #film #cannes2013

An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, follows mid-Westerner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he documents his lavish encounters with neighbour Jay Gatsby; who seems to have all the wealth and wonder in the world, but remains childishly unsatisfied without one thing, the woman he adores, Daisy (Carey Mulligan).

Following all the hype about the decadence of this film, fans of Baz Luhrmann’s work will not be disappointed with the spectacle that this film delivers in the first half at least. Taking the concept of the ‘roaring twenties’ to its literal extreme, as the film begins you are introduced to a booming New York full of promise, prosperity and parties! Intercutting re-purposed original footage with some of Luhrmann’s newly developed settings; the audience follows Nick Carraway as he discovers and becomes a part of this world. Slowly, through the eyes of Nick, we discover the main nouveau rich players in this story, starting with Nick’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.52.04

Upon entering this world, we are faced with an immense sense of overwhelming intensity, the editing is fast paced from one character to the other and at times you’ll feel breathless trying to keep up. You will find yourself trying to take in the scenery in front of your eyes and attempt to keep up with the storyline as well. This puts you straight in Nick’s shoes, a new world, new people and a whole new lifestyle.

Tom Buchanan is expertly played by Joel Edgerton, and is dominating in every scene, bringing a sense of rich, butch, manliness, which is neither endearing nor trustworthy. With him is Daisy, brought to life by Carey Mulligan, an interesting choice for the part, she makes a promising entrance making the character feel care free and wistful as we meet her – quite like a bubblegum princess – but as the film progresses ever so slightly fails to demonstrate the complexities and shallowness of the literary Daisy that fans of the book will have built in their minds. Alongside these characters is Jordan Baker (newcomer Elizabeth Debriki), Daisy’s best friend, this other than Gatsby is probably the best casting of the whole film – looking like a real product of the time and acting with the arrogance and elegance you would expect from a flapper socialite. Debriki carries herself in a scene-stealing manner that, like Edgerton, dominates any screen time she has.

Onto the main man, for a modern day Jay Gatsby, Leonardo Di Caprio is the best choice. Smart, mysterious, yet at times vulnerable with a buffoon like quality; the moment the actor raises a glass to the crescendo of music with a beaming smile at one of his lavish parties, you can only imagine teenage girls once again placing posters of this man up on their wall as teenagers of over fifteen years ago did with his last outing with Luhrmann.Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.52.21

Bringing all these characters together really does make one hell of a party, and if there’s one person who likes to put on a party bigger than Jay Gatsby, its Baz Luhrmann. This is what the audiences are most looking forward to out of his films, and if we’re honest, this is what the film is entirely sold on. Three scenes of stunning clothing, expensive jewelry, amazing choreography and stereotypical nods to the era that had it all. Once the audience is introduced to the world of Jay Gatsby’s parties, you really see the trademark Luhrmann come to life.

As much as this spectacle is what Luhrmann fans are craving, the novelty can only go so far. Part of the films downfall is its pressing focus on style. Sadly there is not enough substance to support it. Throughout the second half of the film, the parties dim down and you are left with the love triangle story. When you watch it unfold, you become more attuned to the flaws in the film.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.51.46Firstly, the extravagant sets that populate the initial part of the film feel more contrived and fake, as there are less people in the room. You find yourself feeling like you are watching a play, with purpose-built backgrounds and a very clear distinction between what is a real location set and what is constructed. Once you see this, you feel that there are more contrived elements to the film, everything is so detailed and so precise – particularly thinking back to the blocking of every character from extra to main – Looking back at Luhrmann’s other films, particularly Moulin Rouge, he managed to create a fake Paris that felt real, you could almost smell the stinking sewers of Montmartre and taste the champagne being poured into the glasses on screen, perhaps it was the limitations on technology that allowed him to be more artistically experimental and in this case as more has been offered to Luhrmann on a plate, it feels like he’s used it because he can and not because it’s right. Whatever the reason, with The Great Gatsby, something just doesn’t quite marry up – and this is similar to the issues that one may find with Joe Wrights Anna Karenina.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.45.50Alongside this, you feel so distracted by the set that the fundamental plot line gets lost, and where you would expect to feel real emotion towards the situation Jay and Daisy are in, and build dislike towards Daisy’s fickle nature, you just don’t care. There are tender moments, such as when they meet once again after five years, and this is where DiCaprio shines with relatable buffoonery and nervousness. But that is about it, suddenly there is a lacking of focus and complexity within the acting and you do feel like the actors are sadly moving around a room to hit their mark and deliver their lines, rather than providing a real rival performance to the Redford/Farrow Great Gatsby that people know and love. Perhaps a much simpler setting could have allowed time to focus on the real story at the heart, and provide a more complex character study, which those fans of the book will crave more.

Depending on what you’re looking forward to most within this film, you’ll either love The Great Gatsby for its decadence or loathe it for its lacking in substance. Whichever way you look at it, you’ll definitely be seeing something different to what is in the cinema at the moment. However, The Great Gatsby is another problematic product of too much hype in the build up and not enough clout in the end product. Fans of Luhrmann’s work will enjoy seeing him bring another film to the cinema screens, however may still feel he peaked at Moulin Rouge and has struggled to live up to that success ever since. But if there’s one thing you do take away and treasure forever from this film, it’s the incredible soundtrack, just like Baz intended; it’s the perfect accompaniment to any party.

3 Stars.