Review: Love Life – Fun Romantic Romp To Kickstart HBO Max’s Roster

Finley Green - May 27, 2020

With the launch of the new streaming service HBO Max coming at such a perfect time, everyone seems ecstatic to have another silver tray of entertainment options delivered (contact-free, of course) right into their homes. Right off the bat, there are plenty of different TV shows and movies both old and new to be watched on this service, but perhaps most interesting are the new Max Originals that will be coming out both immediately and over time. Things like a Gossip Girl sequel/reboot, an Adventure Time revival miniseries, and a long-awaited Friends reunion special were immediate attention grabbers for fans of the originals, and those are only the pre-existing properties. It’ll be exciting to see what HBO Max does with its fully original creations, as they have all the space, creativity, and platform they could ask for to make and distribute whatever zany ideas that they come up with. So long as they let the imaginations of the creatives run free, they have a great opportunity to put roots in with brand new shows and movies that, if they get enough good buzz, can be a major factor in enticing people to try out their streaming service. Enter their newest romantic comedy series, Love Life. It’ll be premiering alongside the launching of the service, and already people seem intrigued. Since we were able to get a preview of the show from our friends over at HBO Max, let’s see if Love Life has the potential to draw in the digital crowds. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Renault Kadjar Intens

Mike Boyd - May 25, 2020

The Renault brand has been around for 120 years since being founded by three brothers in 1899. In that time, the company has diversified like many European car-makers into everything from tractors to trucks to EVs to world championship-winning Formula 1 engines.

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Review: The Wrong Missy

Finley Green - May 23, 2020

Netflix has been on a roll lately with releasing plenty of new content to keep us occupied in times like this, everything from fun reality TV like The Circle to exciting action films like Spenser Confidential to fantastic animated shows like the rebooted She-Ra. It’s nice that there’s truly something for everyone right now, and more is being added to their roster by the week. Currently, one of their newest additions is The Wrong Missy, a movie directed by Tyler Spindel, a stand-up comedian who is still a relative newcomer to the fields of writing and directing, with titles such as Netflix Original Father of the Year to his name. The movie is meant to be an addition to the romcoms of Netflix Originals, with more emphasis on the comedy and romance as a side dish. It’s obviously meant to be a light and funny romp that can serve as a distraction, but does it hit the right mark? Even silly romantic comedies can run the gambit from being delightfully wholesome to clumsily unfunny, so let’s see if The Wrong Missy is right on target.

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Review: Creative SXFI Theater

Om Patel - May 19, 2020

There’s no doubt that wired headphones are king, but each struggle to untangle those annoying headphone wires, more and more people are ditching their wired headphones for wireless ones.

Now, before you go, “Bluetooth headphones have delay!” because of the latency issues that average wireless headphones have, Creative has actually solved that issue with their Creative SXFI Theater. You can still be immersed in your movies or video games with full, booming surround sound that captures you from all angles.

The Creative SXFI Theater was released late in 2019 and is currently priced at $199.99. We know it’s on the more expensive side for a pair of headphones, but none of the other wireless headphones on the market use Creative’s SXFI technology. Its full surround sound system makes you forget it’s just a pair of headphones. It makes you feel like you’re actually in the movie theater. Continue Reading

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Review: TCL 10 Pro Review – Simply Put: Premium & Awesome!

Bruce Green - May 14, 2020

TCL 10 Pro feels solid and premium. It has a sturdy metal frame and some nice weight to it, giving that build quality greatness. It has an In-display Fingerprint Sensor that works fast and is completely undetectable when not in use. The curvature of the glass screen is flawless and meets perfectly to the phones body, so you never feel a change in textures or an edge lip while swiping left to right with your thumb. TCL has done an amazing job compressing all their knowledge from the world of TV’s and beautiful screens into this new dual-sided 3D curved glass mobile phone. The FHD+ curved AMOLED HDR Display looks flawless and gives truly the most beautiful visual experience on a 6.47” screen. I can see why Netflix had no problem certifying this display based on the color and contrast it supports watching HDR10 video. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Mitsubishi ASX Exceed

Mike Boyd - May 14, 2020

There is a sweet-spot in almost everything we do. That point at which the delicate balance between needs and wants, night and day, fast and slow, or small and large is just right.

For me, this was the lasting impression with the Mitsubishi ASX Exceed.

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Review: I Know This Much Is True

Finley Green - May 9, 2020

Tragedy is one of the oldest genres of stories, and throughout the centuries we’ve been given new and varied ideas for tragic tales. They are one of the fundamental storytelling setups because no matter what the year is or where in the world you are, everyone can relate to tragedy. Even with many people in low spirits as they are right now, many can find comfort in a well-executed tragedy, but that sort of balancing act is easier said than done. Enter HBO’s newest show, I Know This Much Is True. Based on the critically acclaimed 1998 book of the same name, this limited series comes to us from director Derek Cianfrance, known for his works like Blue Valentine and The Light Between Oceans. The themes of this series heavily focus on tragedy and loss, but can they pull off a dramatic and extremely tragic setup without stumbling? Let’s see what we were given. Continue Reading

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Review: Paperlike iPad Screen Protector

Katherine White - May 6, 2020

The new Paperlike 2 Screen Protector retails for €34, £31, or $38 from their website, while not cheap compared to the average selling price of most iPad screen protectors, Paperlike can offer an experience like no other. I’ll be testing out the brand new Paperlike 2 on a 2018 iPad Pro 11” paired together with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

The Paperlike 2 ships with two screen protectors and two installation kits which include two dust absorbers, two sticker guide sheets, two help stickers, two wet wipes, and one dry wipe. They also included a postcard of Cornwall made by one of their customers with a message from the Paperlike team on the back. I am not certain whether they doubled on the items in case you get it wrong the first time you install it, or just as a future replacement for when you break it, but it was nice to have an extra screen protector. Personally, I used my last screen protector for two years before changing it, so I expect the Paperlike 2 to last just as long, if not more. Continue Reading

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Review: Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Watch

Mike Boyd - May 4, 2020

Very few companies today have a 115 year heritage that has remained steadfast in its principles and values.

It’s this heritage that keeps Oris at the forefront of watchmaking having “survived two world wars, crisis in the Swiss watch industry and the birth of the connected age.” An incredible story indeed.

Scores of watches now make up the Oris collection – all manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Hölstein, Switzerland.

We’ve been wearing a couple of timepieces from the Big Crown Pointer Date collection.

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Review: Theragun G3PRO – A closer look at the heavy-duty percussion massager

Om Patel - April 29, 2020

More and more people are using percussion massagers for so many things. If you’re new to the game, percussion massagers loose up muscles that feel tight and knotted. They offer a lot more benefits than traditional massagers, and can help with pain relief, soreness, injury prevention, and muscle misalignment.

Theragun is one of the leading brands of percussion massagers. Their latest massager, the Theragun G3 Pro, is one of the best of its kind and has received praises despite its hefty price tag. Continue Reading

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Review: Bad Education Tantalizes Viewers With Sublime Casting

Finley Green - April 25, 2020

Last September, the Toronto International Film Festival saw the premiere of many promising films, all with varied genres and ideas put into them. Among these films was one called Bad Education, a half-biopic, half-comedy tale, telling a story of school embezzlement based on true events. It’s always exciting when a director gets their hands on a movie concept based in reality that’s stranger than fiction, because it means they’ve already got a fantastical narrative that begs to be presented in an engaging way. And this director, Cory Finley, seems to be a great fit for a dramatic farce like this, as he’s risen to fame after his directorial debut in Thoroughbreds, a well-received dark satirical teen thriller. Not only that, but the screenwriter of Bad Education, Mike Makowsky, was a student in the school district at the time of the actual scandal, giving us an up-close and personal viewpoint on these events that many only know from news articles, if they remember it at all. With such a unique duo tackling such an unbelievable yet true premise, it was all but guaranteed that no matter the reception, this movie was going to be an interesting and wild experience. And wild it was. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Isuzu D-MAX LS-T

Mike Boyd - April 23, 2020

When (as legend has it) a Gippsland farmer’s wife wrote to Ford Australia suggesting that they consider building a car that could “take them to church on Sundays and the pigs to market on Mondays” I doubt that the farmer or his wife would have pictured the pick-up / light truck market that we have today.

Well beyond what we would call the humble “ute” is now a category that contains vehicles that have six figure prices and an array of features and options that boggles the mind.

For anyone looking at for a strong, robust crew-cab pick-up that’s well-engineered and will last a lifetime, the 2020 Isuzu D-MAX LST must be on your shopping list.

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Review: Sennheiser CX 350BT

Finley Green - April 21, 2020

Sennheiser is known for releasing a solid lineup of headphones and earbuds on the regular, so I was excited to hear that I would be able to test out and talk about their newest wireless earphones. I’ve found wireless earphone models to be one of my personal favorite designs when it comes to Bluetooth audio devices, as they can be used most anywhere and be practically forgotten about due to comfort, yet you can still easily remove one earbud for a moment if you need to speak to someone. It can be very useful for exercising or doing work around the house, so I was interested to see how Sennheiser would optimize the device for not only comfort but also sound quality and battery life, which are two of the aspects that wireless earbuds can be lacking in. Some die quickly and charge slowly, making themselves not useful except for short bursts of listening activity. Many others simply do not have the noise cancelling power to be heard well if you’re in a noisier area (although they do often fare better than their wired counterparts). Plainly put, they aren’t usually for listening to music on long road trips or a crowded bus, but that doesn’t mean that this can’t change. The German audio company Sennheiser has been known to rank high in review lists for their innovative approach to all sorts of auditory equipment, but especially impresses in headphones and earbuds. But were they able to come through with a pair of stand-out earphones that improve on the inherent weaknesses of the design to create a great listening experience? Let’s take a look one of their newest wireless earphone releases, the CX 350BT, and see for ourselves. Continue Reading

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Review: Google Pixel 4 XL

Finley Green - April 8, 2020

In the great race of phone options that seem to be growing larger by the day, the Google Pixel model is a relatively recent addition to the competition. Manufactured by HTC, the first generation of this line only dropped in October of 2016, although it was somewhat of a spiritual successor to the Nexus phone brand. Upon release, it had its crowds of both energetic fans and no-nonsense critics, but that was 2016. Since then, the company has released a new model every year in October, respectively. They’ve had plenty of positive feedback and constructive (or occasionally non-constructive) criticism, points that need attention and points that work well have been pointed out in detail. But have the creators listened to reception, applied their knowledge, and brought us a phone that can truly stand out in 2020? Let’s take a look at the Google Pixel 4 XL and see if this new mobile device is worth its hype or just another phone clone with nothing special to offer consumers. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid

Mike Boyd - April 3, 2020

Growing up, my Dad worked for a company specialising in agriculture. We spent many hours of our school holidays cris-crossing Western NSW visiting cousins and friends whilst Dad went about his business.

His company cars back then were always Fords. First a couple of Falcons, then a Fairmont, before a few Fairmont Ghias, then Fairlanes as he ascended the corporate ladder.

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Review: ASUS ROG Phone II

Finley Green - April 1, 2020

Republic of Gamers, the makers that brought us the original gaming phone, have come out with the next level of efficient mobile gaming – the ROG Phone 2. While the original phone was an interesting game-changer, critics agreed that there were quite a few features that could be added or improved on to make the device soar. Now we finally have their answer in the form of this phone, with its intimidatingly large yet smooth design and powerful processor, this phone is poised to become the face of optimized gameplay outside of the world of consoles. This phone can appeal to everyone, especially acting as a dream scenario for little kids asking relatives if they have games on their phone. But for the seasoned gamer, this device offers plenty of options for app store fun without the lag, as long as you can get used to the size.

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Review: 2020 Hyundai IONIQ Premium

Mike Boyd - March 24, 2020

Within a couple of hours I was out of a Nissan Leaf and into the Hyundai IONIQ Premium. Back to back from one all-electric 5 door hatch-back into another. The perfect comparative environment.

My initial thinking was that these two EVs would be on the whole pretty much the same. They are both EVs, yes – however, the similarities for better and worse end there.

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Review: 2020 Nissan Leaf

Mike Boyd - March 16, 2020

I’ve always loved the 5-door hatch-back. Back in my youth, the Honda Civic was a favourite. My own car today is a Volkswagen Golf. A great combination of useable space, thrifty economics in terms of running costs, and occasionally a great drive when the moment and environment is right.

As a result I was very much looking forward to my first proper experience in an all-electric car that was also a 5-door hatch. And so my week with the Nissan Leaf began.

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Arts-n-Crafts with BWS

Mike Boyd - March 11, 2020

It was quite literally a dark and stormy night recently when we attended an evening of “Arts-n-Crafts” with the team from BWS.

The event was held in the bowels of the old Readers Digest building in Surry Hills which is now home to Woolworths subsidiary Endeavour Drinks Group which covers brands like Dan Murphy’s, BWS, and Cellarmasters to name a few.

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Review: Spenser Confidential – A Fun, Simple Romp Through An Action-Packed Mystery

Finley Green - March 6, 2020

If you’re the type to frequent bookstores, particularly within the mystery section, hearing the name of a detective named Spenser may ring a bell for you. Indeed, Robert B. Parker’s famed police investigator has been in the public’s eye for almost 40 years now, with his very first novel having been released back in 1973. Parker wrote a total of 40 Spenser novels up until his death in 2010, after which crime journalist and author Ace Atkins was selected to continue the Spenser saga, which is still ongoing as of 2020. There have been multiple adaptations of the series over the years, both on television and the big screen. Most recently, Netflix has given it a shot as well with the release of Spenser Confidential, an adaptation of Atkins’ second Spenser novel from 2013 entitled Wonderland. While I’ve never personally read these novels, they obviously hold a special place in the hearts of many readers both old and young, so it was interesting to see how this new film would hold up in front of both book fans and newcomers. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Kia Sorento GT-Line

Mike Boyd - March 5, 2020

I’m writing this review the very week that Holden is farewelling Australia after 164 years of operation.

From the very comfortable driver’s seat of the Kia Sorento GT-Line, I’m sorry to say that I am completely convinced that Holden’s demise was avoidable.

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Review: Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III

Om Patel - March 3, 2020

These days, compact cameras have become fairly popular not only among photography enthusiasts, but also with the general users. While smartphones can do a good job in most situations, a real camera’s functions and controls can give superior images your phone will never manage to capture.

Canon’s PowerShot G7 X is easily one of the most attractive cameras for vlogging. Its excellent autofocus (AF) system, coupled with image stabilization, a 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 lens, and handy flip screen are all useful features for creating digital content.

Its latest member, the G7 X Mark III, builds on the existing G7 X Mark II features, with a few significant tweaks and upgrades to take photography and videography to even greater heights. The camera records at full, uncropped 4K video and can finally plug in an external microphone with the 3.5mm mic port — something that Canon G7 X users have been wanting for a long time. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed

Mike Boyd - February 28, 2020

I have to admit, I was perplexed in the lead-up to driving this week’s car and writing this review. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed was the second PHEV vehicle I had driven in two weeks. Déjà vu was kicking in hard as I hopped into the very comfortable front seats of the Outlander. “Remain objective…” I kept telling myself.

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Review: Yale Assure Lock SL

Om Patel - February 25, 2020

How many times have you forgotten your keys when you leave the house? Once, twice, or maybe just like we have, you’ve stopped counting. You get home after a long day at work, excited to jump into your bed, when you realize — your keys aren’t in your pocket. The answer? The Yale Assure Lock SL.

The Yale Assure Lock SL is the latest digital smart home security from the lock maker that has become a household name: Yale. For less than $300, you get a sleek, key-free touchscreen deadbolt that is compatible with your devices. This dependable hardware works with Apple HomeKit, Alexa and Google Assistant devices, which means you can access it virtually anywhere. With its minimalist design, connectivity, and ease of use, it’s the best smart lock out there.

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Review: 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered

Mike Boyd - February 17, 2020

There are no two ways about it, the EV (Electric Vehicle) has arrived and is here to stay. The PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) takes the concept of a ‘battery powered car’ to another level of practicality today. Amongst a number of manufacturers in the market right now, I think Volvo is right up there – getting the blend of today’s world and tomorrow’s world almost perfect.

I’ve been driving the Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered mid-sized SUV for the past week and I can’t write this with more enthusiasm – it’s fantastic!

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Review: Palm – Unlock the Power of Minimalism

Finley Green - February 14, 2020

We’ve finally entered the new decade of 2020, which means that the world has lived its first full decade of mass smartphone ownership. Despite their introduction into our daily lives having taken place not too long ago in the grand scheme of things, it’s hard to imagine a present timeline in which we don’t always carry tiny computers in our pockets. And with the technological boom that began years ago and continues to rapidly expand, we now have our pick of the litter when it comes to choosing what sort of smartphone we’d like. We can prioritize features and perks that are important to us and find a phone to meet our needs, whatever they may be. In the case of the Palm phone, you can enjoy a mini-smartphone with all of the capabilities of its larger counterparts. This selling feature has its positives and negatives, but depending on what you’re looking for, it may be the perfect mobile device for you. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Nissan Navara N-TREK

Mike Boyd - February 12, 2020

In 2019 the Light Commercial / Truck segment made up 114,428 units representing 21.2% of all cars sold in Australia.

That’s 13 new Light Trucks / Utes being delivered every hour – 24×7 – every day of the year!

When you look at what’s on offer in this segment, you can certainly see what the appeal is for literally tens of thousands of people. There is no shortage of models and options and some very good engineering.

The Nissan Navara N-TREK is no exception.

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Google Maps – 15th Birthday

Mike Boyd - February 10, 2020

You may have noticed recently that the Google Maps app on your smartphone or tablet has changed. Gone is the little snippet of a map that we had all become so used to, and in its place the new colourful “map pin” that aligns to the other Google apps such as Home, Chrome, and the main Google app.

Something you may not have noticed was that on Friday February 8th 2020, Google Maps celebrated its 15th birthday.

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Review: 2020 Lamborghini Huracán EVO

Mike Boyd - February 7, 2020

If Ferruccio Lamborghini was alive today he would be approaching his 104th birthday and would be witness to the consistent and healthy growth of the supercar brand that features his name and the symbol of his Taurus zodiac sign – the bull.

In the past 5 years Lamborghini sales globally have risen 153% and judging by the quality and variety of the range on display at their Sydney showroom, I see no reason why one of the world’s greatest supercar makers should not continue to prosper.

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Review: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581

Finley Green - January 31, 2020

Whenever a company decides to take on a new challenge and raise the stakes with a tech product, we expect lots of complaints and criticism from people because they will assume it’s a gimmick. However, this ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo Laptop is so beautiful and unique its hard to say anything bad about it. It will definitely make you stop in your tracks and take a closer look, not only due to it’s visual appeal but also the way it stands out from all other laptops.

As an introduction, lets break down the obvious. It has much more power than most people will ever need. It has two 4k resolution touchscreen surfaces to work on, living up to it’s name Duo. The main screen is a full 3840×2160 true 4K display that seems almost unreal to look at and the secondary screen is almost half the length size, coming in at 3840×1100. The lower visual panel spans the entire width of the laptop and includes wrist rests to give that extra support for long working or gaming use. This makes it perfect for any desk or table. Although it weighs 5 1/2 lbs. and feels a little bulkier, it has more working area then any other laptop available on the market at this time. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Suzuki Vitara

Mike Boyd - January 31, 2020

I have previously reviewed the Suzuki Vitara Turbo (2WD) and came away very impressed with its capabilities and standard features. This past week I have been driving what is essentially the same car with a slightly larger engine that also lacks a small turbo-charger, as well as some bells and whistles along the way.

What struck me was for the budget conscious, the base model Vitara is still a very well equipped small SUV that boasts all the important features and eschews any flimflam. With a saving of nearly $6,000 over the 2WD Turbo, this is a great car for those looking for the essentials in smart, safe and reliable packaging, and nothing more.

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Review: 2020 Ferrari Portofino

Mike Boyd - January 29, 2020

The WhatsApp message from the boss read: “How would you like to test a Ferrari Portofino for a couple of days in January?

He did not have to ask me twice.

I was a little nervous – I have to admit. I’ve driven some quick cars in my time however, the Prancing Horse was one I hadn’t yet ‘ticked off’. Some desk research was necessary, and the best preview of the Portofino I found was thanks to Tim Burton aka Shmee150.

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Review: 2020 KIA Stinger 200S

Mike Boyd - January 27, 2020

The Stinger has been available in Australia for a number of years now and recently received a mid-life upgrade for the 2020 range. I have to admit I was very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel as Kia has endured quite the renaissance in recent years with wholesale styling and engineering changes across the entire range that now spans 10 product lines.

It was a very damp day in Sydney when I collected the Stinger 200S finished in Silky Silver and black leather interior. The 200S is the base model Stinger which for the uninitiated like me was not immediately obvious. My first impression driving the 200S was the feeling of being in a solid, very comfortable and safe large sedan that is akin to its well established European competition.

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Review: Avenue 5 Shines As A Dark Sci-Fi Comedy With A Stellar Cast

Finley Green - January 19, 2020

While many beloved sci-fi properties feature comedic elements in them, it’s a bit more rare to see one emerge as a full-fledged comedy television show. They can exist, but most of them do so in the form of adult animated shows or, arguably, some of the Marvel movies. On the other hand, you have your popular sitcoms like Brooklyn 99 or The Office, which set the bar for the genre in that they’re hilariously funny, but never usually venture into odd settings, preferring to take place in regular workplaces. Avenue 5 is looking to do something different. By mixing genres that are traditionally kept separate, especially in a live action medium, they take a risk but chase the promise of something new that may draw audiences in. The series shows potential to be a smart satire, already beginning to poke fun at certain modern character stereotypes in a wacky setting. With a wise-cracking cast and morbidly funny worldview, Avenue 5 is not always perfect, but still a promising start to a unique series that could spread its wings if given time and space to grow. Continue Reading

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Review: 2020 Suzuki Vitara Turbo (2WD)

Mike Boyd - January 17, 2020

The original Suzuki Vitara was launched in Australia in the late 1980s joining the very successful Suzuki Sierra (sold today as the Jimny). The Vitara was a more well equipped, sporty, and urban focussed version of the Sierra – which for over a decade was the cheap-and-cheerful go to for a small, reliable 4×4 for those that couldn’t afford or didn’t need something as robust as a Toyota LandCruiser or as utilitarian as the Subaru Brumby.

In the 1990s the Vitara buyer was very likely characterised by words like “active” and “sporty” and “adventurous”. It never tried to be anything it wasn’t and what it did well, it did very well.

Those of us that can remember the original Vitara or have seen them on the road, will be very glad to hear that the Suzuki Vitara of 2020 has grown up over the years and is now a very purposeful – and very capable – mid-sized SUV for those looking for a bit more of everything than you find in smaller SUVs or a small station wagon. Continue Reading

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