{16 March 2009}   Review: Left 4 Dead

Award winning multiplayer shooter Left 4 Dead has been storming the games market since its release in 2008. The game follows four “survivors” with various backgrounds as they attempt to escape a city full of zombie-like creatures referred to as “infected”.

The experience of single-player mode is impressive, with detailed graphics and realistic gameplay, but the real strength of the game is in the co-operative player modes. This can either be through split screen with 2 players, or up to 8 online. There are 4 survivor slots, but selection of the “vs mode” pits 2 teams of up to 4 players against eachother.

During this mode, players take it in turns to be one of the 4 survivors, or one of 4 special infected characters with different abilities. The range of achievements on the Xbox360 version of the game encourages players to complete these missions in order to damage the survivors as infected characters.

The game, which is also available on PC, is heavily online based, but even single player modes are an enjoyable experience. This game is a deserved winner of the numerous awards it has accumulated, including Best Multiplayer game of 2008 and Computer Game of the Year from such organisations as the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA), IGN, NoFrag and GameSpy.

Kirsty Watkinson

Left 4 Dead Survivor Gameplay Tips – Andrew Hemphill
Left 4 Dead Infected Gameplay Tips – Andrew Hemphill


Following a  trend of self-help related films set by Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Yes Man, romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You is a hit-and-miss attempt at turning relationships on their head, in a way that is entertaining, but a little disjointed.

With the odd interview and title screen splitting up the film into what could vaguely be referred to as “chapters”, the fluidity is definately lost. But the experiment is saved by the all-star acting and the quirky relationships between characters. With stars such as Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore, the cast is strong enough to generate interest, and their consistent acting holds the weakening plot together.

Much of the main storyline, if there is one, centers around Gigi (played by Ginnifer Goodwin), the typical advice-junkie who seeks books like the one the film is based on to guide her in relationships and dating situations. When her date does not call her back, she strikes up a friendship with his barman friend, Alex (Justin Long), who tells her so stop deluding herself by waiting for him to call her.

This leads to a number of quirky situations, where she relys on him for advice, while he insists to her that if the guy wants to make it happen he will.

The remainder of the storylines cover fresh relationships and old ones, affairs, marriage and splitting up, in a mesh of complicated, overlapping plots. Though this film is a complicated,it is still pretty easy to follow, and an enjoyable watch for fans of romantic films, but for the majority of the audience it’s a little too sporadic to keep interest.

Kirsty Watkinson

Stu-Ents Archive:
Yes Man – Review
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging – Review

{7 January 2009}   New year, new beginning…

Hey blog fans, just a short note to say that, now my personal life is finally starting to turn around, I’m hopefully back on top writing form and intending on blogging again.

Hope everybody’s having a great year so far. I’m hoping to catch up on my gig reviews, including past performances by Linkin Park, Jimmy Eat World, The Music and Feeder, and some upcoming ones such as The Audition, Alkaline Trio and Rise Against. I’ve also been keeping up with my films, and should be including scores of big-screen reviews, as well as a few book reviews such as the Twilight series.

Also coming up this year I’m expecting a guest post or two from the Entertainment Editor of my student paper, James Parry, and hopefully several others from various people.

So plenty to look forward to. Watch this space!

Kirsty Watkinson

{24 October 2008}   A personal note…

Due to a large number of personal problems, the blog has not been updated for some time. But for those of you who are really interested, bear with me. I am hoping to get back on top of things really soon and start blogging again.

Thank you for your patience.

Kirsty Watkinson

I’d like to use my first post to offer prayers for Morgan Freeman.

For those who haven’t heard, Morgan was in a car accident in Mississippi on Sunday. The news so far is that he is recovering from surgery to repair nerve damage in his left arm and hand, but he is reportedly in high spirits.

Oscar-winning actor Morgan has an impressive filmography to date. One of his most memorable roles was as Ellis Boyd Redding (“Red”) in The Shawshank Redemption, based on the short story by Stephen King. He later starred in another Stephen King film adaptation, this time as madman Col. Curtis in the big screen version of Dreamcatcher. His Oscar came from his work as a supporting actor in the 2004 film Million Dollar Baby, alongside many other key roles of his career, including a detective in Se7en, the President in Deep Impact, and his portrayal of God in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty.

His most recent film, Batman adaptation The Dark Knight, is still showing in cinemas, a continuation of his role as lovable ex-board member turned business manager Lucius Fox in Batman Begins.

With such an impressive media presence, I’m sure many of you will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery.

Kirsty Watkinson

(with thanks to James Parry for research assistance and creative input)

{5 August 2008}   Introductions

Today’s entertainment is vast and ever changing, reflecting ideologies, cultures and trends that aren’t always easy to interpret or follow. But many of us don’t mind this complex background, so long as we find ourselves entertained and amused by what is on offer. If we enjoy the end product, why worry?

Well, for many students, the study of the media is a passion as well as a subject of learning. I, for one, took Media Studies in college because I was fascinated by the inner workings of what I thought to be a complex and diverse industry.

Now a journalism degree student, about to commence my third year, I aim to use this passion to my advantage, by publishing my thoughts, reviews and articles on this blog, which I have affectionately named “stu-ents”, after the website I longed to make a few months back that never left the planning stage.

This blog is not just for me to ramble my likes and dislikes, but rather it is an attempt to feed a passion, provide interesting reading for those who love the media as much as I do, and perhaps even educate those who don’t.

Hope you all enjoy reading my posts as much as I will enjoy writing them.

Kirsty Watkinson

et cetera