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Archive for April, 2012

The Avengers Assemble Review

Finally, after years of watching Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, recruit people for the Avengers Initiative the time has come to see the results.

The Avengers have certainly taken their time assembling, but the wait pays off in a big way.  Had Marvel simply tried to make an Avengers movie without going through all of the individual ones first the end result would have been no were near this epic, but having gone along for a ride with each of the heroes it was really exciting watching them together, seeing how they interact with one another and learn to work as a team.

Ironically, at the start of the film the Avengers initiative has been cancelled, but when S.H.I.E.L.D. are faced with a new threat Fury once again tries to recruit the world’s best heroes.  From here we gradually get to see each member join up and the team begins to take shape.  There’s just one problem, besides the imminent doom that is, they hate each other.  This hatred leads to a really interesting fight scene between Thor, Captain America and Iron Man.  If you like action you won’t be disappointed as this is merely a small glimpse of what’s to come.  Possibly even better than the action, or at least on equal footing, are the one-liners, which hit right on target every time.  This all comes down to the incredible writing.

One of the greatest assets the movie has is Joss Whedon, who both directed and wrote the film.  Whedon has proven time and time again that he is capable of writing really powerful stories, which is because he has great respect for the characters and is passionate about making them three dimensional.  The cast have spoken in the past about how Whedon spent time with each of them and got their view on the character they played.  It seems his efforts have paid off as each character is shown as to have many layers and motivations.

The relationship between each of the heroes is a very interesting part of the film.  They’re all extremely different people, who see things in extremely different ways.  They clash and Whedon described them as people who definitely ‘shouldn’t be in the same room as each other’ which is how he sees all families.  They are all, in one way or another, outcasts, which helps them understand each other.  Captain America is from a different time, Thor is from a different world, Hulk is a giant rage monster who can’t get close to anyone, Black Widow and Hawkeye are spies and then there’s Iron Man who kind of destroys this analogy.  Maybe that’s way he’s often the catalyst in the characters feuds.

Screen time was pretty evenly distributed considering it is an ensemble cast.  Though each character didn’t get exactly the same amount of time in front of the camera, it didn’t feel like anyone was cheated or unfairly rewarded.  Being regular humans, with incredible skills, it was hard to believe Hawkeye and Black Widow would be able to contribute as much as the other members, but they did and, in the process, proved that they deserved to be on the team.  Black Widow especially, who opened up, slightly, as a character throughout the course of the adventure.  Mark Ruffalo was surprisingly good as Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, and though it would have been nice to have Edward Norton back, Ruffalo did a good job stepping into those shoes and, through the use of motion capture technology, has become the first man to play both Bruce Banner and the Hulk.

Now let’s get onto the big question.  What villain is big enough to get all these heroes in one place?  This time around, the heroes must join forces to defend the world against Loki, Thor’s brother.  Though you may remember Thor previously managed to defeat Loki without the help of the Avengers, this time Loki isn’t alone either, he has an army.  It seems fitting that Loki be the first enemy of the Avengers as it was him who accidentally caused them to join up in the comic books.  Tom Hiddleston returns to the role of Loki in this film and does an excellent job.  He was the bad guy and naturally you want them to destroy him, but at the same time it is really enjoyable watching him toy with them and there is a lot of that.  Loki is always ten steps ahead of them and trying to figure out his plan is a fun part of the movie going experience.

If there is one negative thing to be said about the film it is that it makes other films, which once seemed exciting, appear uninteresting.  It’s really spoils fans who will be in constant geek out mode having spasms every time the team are on screen together.  Probably the best comic book movie there is and now fans can look forward to another round of individual films before the Avengers assemble again.

Vote for your favourite Avenger below and leave a comment saying why.

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Resident Evil Captivate

Capcom have revealed a lot more information about some of their upcoming titles at this year’s Captivate.  Amongst the games shown was Resident Evil 6, which has been given a new, much sooner, release date.

The sixth, numbered, game in the Resident Evil franchise will now hit shelves on the 2nd of October, over a month earlier than it was previously expected to arrive.  This news comes at the end of a very informative, action packed trailer that reveals that, though it definitely is Sherry and not Ashley that appears alongside the mysterious mercenary, I was right about who Chris was referring to in the previous trailer.  That’s right, it’s Ada Wong.

Ada last appeared in Resident Evil 4 and goes back as far as the second game.  She and Leon share a complicated story, which may be part of the reason why he defends her in the trailer, even going as far as pointing his gun at Chris, despite the fact that she so obviously has some major involvement in the chaos that is going on all around the world.  Ada also reveals the identity of the mercenary character and we were all wrong.  He is not HUNK or Alex Wesker, he is Jake Muller the son of Albert Wesker.  Don’t feel too bad though, Jake didn’t see it coming either.  Due to his genetic relation to Wesker, his blood is important, which is why Ada is hunting him down and Sherry is, I’m going to say, protecting him.  She seems to just constantly get hit by things so she probably isn’t that good a protector.

Other details revealed were that players would be able to choose a campaign and play it through to completion; this means that you can play each team’s story from start to finish without changing to another part of the way through.  However, the stories are not all separate from each other and there will be overlapping.  In fact, the characters will come across each other a number of times in the location that is common to them all, China.  Eventually each set of partners will make their way to China were they will face off with the new virus on the block, the C-virus, and the people responsible for its release.

The C-virus is similar to its predecessors, it turns people into zombies, real zombies, but as with previous viruses, G and T, it causes the zombies to behave a little differently.  When infected by the C-virus, zombies can enjoy the freedom to run, jump and even occasionally hold weapons.  Infection of the C-virus can be caused by a disgusting puss filled zombie that sprays a mist of the virus out of its pores.  The effect appears to be nearly instantaneous.  Breathing in this mist is a sure fire way to become a running, jumping, occasional weapon holding zombie.  It will be interesting to see how this infectious enemy is incorporated into the game, though it won’t be the first time zombies have been able to infect players.

According to Capcom, Chris will not be the same fun loving guy he was in previous Resident Evil instalments; his personality has changed as a result of him going through some personal tragedy six months before the main events of the game.  This is why his part of the game opens up six months before the main events of the game.  From what we’ve seen so far, it’s a fair guess that the burning, melting and mutating of most of his team, at the hands of none other than Ada Wong, is probably the cause for his transformation, but nothing solid has been announced regarding this.  That alone is definitely reason enough for him to think that Ada is behind the whole outbreak, but how plausible is his theory?

So far in the series, Ada has always been working for others.  It’s hard to believe that she is the mastermind causing all of the destruction.  IGN pointed out some mysterious scenes that appear in rapid succession that they found while slowing down the trailer.  In some of these scenes an unknown man in a suit is shown, possibly he is the cause of all this devastation.  He may even be Alex Wesker, the Wesker ‘family’ definitely plays a part in the game so it’s possible.  Then again, it could be Ada’s fault; after all we don’t really know if she is Ada.

Despite looking like Ada and sounding like Ada, Capcom have refused to confirm whether or not the woman shown in the trailer is actually Ada Wong.  Though they did once say that Ada would play a part in the game so it is most likely her, fans have still begun speculating that the character is a twin or clone of Ada who is trying to frame her.  Sounds pretty crazy, but there is a method to their supposed madness, by which I mean a list that, according to them, was leaked a few months back containing the names of characters in the game.  Ada is on the list, but so is the name Carla Radames and in brackets beside it is ‘Ada’s clone’.  Having not previously heard of the list, I naturally have a hard time believing it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.  However, I do feel that a bigger deal would have been made out of such a list as it also contains the name Sherry Birkins and Jake Muller, plus it reveals Jake is Wesker’s son.  For me at least, pending further information, the list is a hoax.

Now back to what we do know.  We know that each of the three partners have their own separate story, each focusing on a different style of gameplay, ranging from gothic survival horror to all out action.  Leon and Helena Harper must survive the outbreak in Tall Oaks only to fake their deaths after being blamed for the murder of ‘Present Evil’, the zombie U.S. president.  Chris and his, sniper wielding, partner Piers Nivans are put in an action packed army style war against the terrorist.  Finally, Sherry and Jake are being hunted by a massive B.O.W., Bio-Organic Weapon, who is intent on capturing Jake on behalf of, for now let’s just say, Ada Wong.

With three full campaigns it’s really hard not to be excited about this game; it’s by far the biggest and most elaborate Resident Evil game to date.  It’s so big that there have been some rumours floating about that this was Capcom’s way of wrapping up the series, but fear not because, in an interview, people involve in the game have stated that the reason for Jake’s character was to start bringing in younger people to take over as the main cast were getting on in years.  With Jake, Piers and Sherry all filled with enough youth for another six Resident Evil games, I think the series is pretty safe for the moment.

The game also includes a mercenary’s mode, which this time does not have to be unlocked and is available from the start of the game.  Other mini games are expected to be announce in the coming months, hopefully at least one not involve running around looking for extra time.  How cool would it be if there was a survival mode were the clock actually ticked up timing how long you could fight off the hordes or zombies and B.O.W.s?  That’s my dream anyway, but even if it doesn’t happen I’ll be fine because there seems to be something in the game for everybody.  If you, like me, are seriously looking forward to the latest Resident Evil adventure, then you’ll be glad to know that a playable demo has been announced.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t come out until September and will only be available for people who buy a copy of Dragons Dogma.  Xbox 360 players will get the demo 60 days before PS3 users, but both still need to purchase the game to download the demo, which doesn’t seem fair to people who weren’t planning on buying Dragons Dogma but that’s just how it’s going to be this time around.

It would be nice to see the new controls, which include being able to use melee attacks, shoot and walk and even lie down on your back and shoot.  Plus, it would be a good chance to check out the new AI, but is it worth buying an entire game?  Honestly, if you weren’t already planning on buying Dragons Dogma would you buy it for the demo?  Maybe if I had more money I’d consider it.  Speaking of wealthy fans, for those Resident Evil fans that are lucky enough to have grave deep pockets, a collector’s edition of Resident Evil 6, containing a replica of Leon’s leather jacket, will be available costing over a thousand dollars.  Personally, I tend to avoid collector’s editions that cost more than ten euro more than the regular addition and, since I’m hoping the regular edition of Resident Evil 6 doesn’t go anywhere near a thousand euro, dollar or whatever, I’ll be giving this collector’s edition a miss.

There are still several months to go before this game comes anywhere near a shelf, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get crazy hyped up on sugar, annoyingly talk about it to people who don’t care and come up with wild theories about every detail of the game.  Honestly, I think that the build-up to a release date and all the speculation is really fun and if you think the same please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the game and all the new details.  Also, if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to click the like button and maybe even subscribe.


EA Targeted by Anti-Gay Letter Campaign

EA games respond to letter writing campaign complaining about the inclusion of gay and lesbian characters in recent games.

Recently, some EA titles have had the option for characters to engage in same sex relationships, this option was not forced on players they could also choose a member of the opposite sex as a partner.  The latest games to offer this choice are Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, but EA have been giving players this freedom for years with games like The Sims.  However, EA have received thousands of letters complaining and even saying that they will boycott EA games if this option is featured in future games.

Luckily, EA have responded by saying that they will not be changing their policy on the matter and have denied claims made by the letter writers that they were pressured into including gay and lesbian characters by ‘extremists’.  A lot of the letters came from a group in Florida called the Florida Family Association.  It was this group that recently voiced an action against Star Wars: The Old Republic.  EA will continue to include gay and lesbian characters and say that the campaign ‘isn’t about protecting children, it’s about political harassment’.

It wasn’t too long ago when being gay was considered a crime.  Thankfully we’ve come a long way, but we still have yet to reach equality.  One thing I’ve never understood is why children still need to be protected from characters that are gay.  It would be extremely hard for a person to live their entire life without ever meeting a gay man or woman, so why not teach kids about it while their minds are still open enough to take it in.  Not only are gay characters not included in children’s programming, they are actually removed from shows that come from other, non-English speaking, countries.  Through changing dialog in dubbing and editing, or even taking out, scenes the character’s storyline is no longer present.  With more and more gay characters being introduced in day time dramas it’s hard to believe that kids won’t see at least one representation of homosexuality on TV, so why is it still taboo for child oriented shows?  There are some shows that are aimed at children and have characters that it implies are gay, yet it is never officially clarified.

I’m glad to hear that EA stood by their policies and weren’t intimidated by the campaign against them.  Hopefully, by doing so they will send a message to the people behind the letters and maybe some of them will change their minds on the issue.  Most probably won’t, but many some will.

What do you think?  Would you prefer if EA didn’t feature gay and lesbian characters?  Do you think that the letter writers were wrong to take the action in the first place?  How do you feel about the whole issue?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment in the section below.  Also, don’t forget to follow and click the like button, if you enjoyed this post.


The Avengers – Black Widow Clip

If you saw Iron Man 2 then you already know how kick ass Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, is in these films, but now you can see her showing off once again in a scene from the upcoming Avengers movie.

The clip shows Black Widow being pulled out of a mission, but naturally she isn’t going to be able to just walk out.  Instead she has to fight and, just like in Iron Man 2, she’s pretty good at taking down multiple opponents without even looking like she’s trying very hard.

Check it out below and let me know what you think by voting or leaving a comment.  Also, don’t forget to follow and like the like button.


Ted Trailer

There’s pretty much no escaping it, when you were a kid you had that one toy that just stood out from the rest.  It’s the one that is probably still secretly stored in the attic, because it seemed so wrong to throw it away.  Wouldn’t it be cool if that toy could come to life, and not in a ‘you don’t get to know’ Toy Story sort of way?  In his feature-length directorial debut, Seth MacFarlane is making one kid’s, Mark Wahlberg’s, dreams come true.

Ted is the story of a child, John, who is granted a wish to make his stuffed bear come to life, but when he grows up he doesn’t grow out of their friendship and the bear, Ted, continues to live with him and is getting in the way of his relationship with his girlfriend Lori, Mila Kunis.  Is John ready to let go of his childhood best friend or will he instead let go of his girlfriend or will there be some sort of middle ground?

Well we won’t know for sure until the film comes out on the 13th of July, but either way it does look funny.  The trailer shows that both John and Ted are pretty immature, but, while you may expect that from a twenty seven year old stuffed bear (or maybe you wouldn’t), a grown man should know better.  During the trailer Ted can be seen going places that no stuffed bear has gone before, by which I mean doing drugs, drinking alcohol and, how to put this gently, being sexually suggestive with a supermarket scanner and a chocolate bar in an attempt to hit on a fellow supermarket employee.

The film seems to have similar humour to that of Family Guy, which is another of Seth MacFarlane’s projects.  MacFarlane, along with, Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin, who also write for Family Guy, co-wrote the screenplay for Ted.  The comparisons with Family Guy are going to be unavoidable, not because of any story resemblance, there isn’t any, but the fact that Ted sounds exactly like Peter Griffin is going to draw these comparisons in, plus there’s Mila Kunis who also plays Meg Griffin in Family Guy.  Out of all the voices that Seth MacFarlane does, Peter’s is probably the most suited for the role.  It’s not that the characters are the exact same, but they do have a lot in common and Peter has always wondered what it would feel like to be a bear.  Imagine how strange it’d be if Ted had Stewie’s voice, it would be a completely different movie.  It just wouldn’t fit.

The plot seems interesting, but I’m imagining John growing up and letting go of Ted in the end and maybe even Ted going back to just being a regular stuffed bear, which would be a pretty feel bad ending for a comedy.  Then again, maybe it will be much lighter.  Ted and Lori could work out their differences and maybe even run off together leaving John stuffed and put in the attic, who knows.  No matter how it ends, it’s seems pretty clear that if you like Family Guy you’ll probably like this movie.

What do you think?  Are you looking forward to seeing this movie?  Would you like one of your old toys to come to life?  Do you think John will have to pick between Ted and Lori?  Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment in the section below.  Also, don’t forget to follow and click the like button.


Dumb and Dumber 2

The Farrelly brothers have announced that a sequel to the 1994 comedy film Dumb and Dumber will start filming in September and will feature the original stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.  This news comes just in time to knock Anchorman 2 off its pedestal, if it’s true that is.

While it is entirely possible that a sequel is indeed in the works, I am concerned about what date the announcement was made on.  Peter Farrelly told ComingSoon.net, about the sequel, yesterday, April Fool’s Day, at a press event for his film The Three Stooges.  Still, it does seem as though the information is indeed real, which means we can expect to see Harry and Lloyd back doing stupid things very soon.

However, it has been eighteen years since the last film, not counting the prequel, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry met Lloyd, which didn’t involve the Farrelly brothers or the original cast.  Once again I’m left wondering whether or not a sequel would ruin the original, but for some reason, with this one, I don’t really think it matters.  Let’s face it, the film isn’t exactly remembered for its riveting story and complex sub-plots, it’s slapstick.  Plus, considering how surprising the announcement is, I don’t think expectations are going to be unreasonably high, so bring it on.

What do you think?  Are you happy about this announcement?  What do you think the plot will be?  Do you think it’s just an April Fool’s Day joke?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to follow and like the like button.


The Mass April Fool’s Day Effect

As if Mass Effect fans hadn’t suffered, now they must watch the game be turned into a cheesy 80s cartoon, but wait it’s the 1st of April.

Over the years IGN have celebrated the beginning of April by fooling their readers, or just making them laugh, with a fake story.  Last year it was a Harry Potter TV show and this year it’s a Mass Effect cartoon.

Recently, a lot of Mass Effect fans were disappointed with the ending of the third game.  I think it’s fair to say that fans wouldn’t actually like to see this Mass Effect show go into production, but as a short it’s pretty funny and, since Mass Effect is all about making decisions and the consequences that come with that, maybe next time you play your strategy could be to defeat the reapers with rock and roll.

What do you think?  Would you like a Mass Effect cartoon series?  Were you disappointed with how the third game ended?  Do you think the reapers could be defeated with rock and roll?  Check out the video below and let me know what you think by voting or leaving a comment in the comment section.  Also, don’t forget to follow and chick the like button.