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Archive for June, 2012

Dexter Ending After Season Eight

Everyone’s favourite sociopath, Dexter, will soon be making his last kill as the show will be coming to an end after its eighth season.

As Dexter prepares to enter its seventh season executive producer Sara Colleton has announced that the eighth season will be the show’s last.  Colleton also said that the producers of the show wanted to finish up with season seven but were convinced by Showtime to continue for one more.  ‘We wanted to end it this year, but the network convinced us that it would be best to do it in two years.  In some ways, this is a two-season series-ender.  We have worked that out and know where it’s going to end. Next year will definitely be the last year of Dexter.’

Now the story is planned and ready to film, which leaves only one question; how will the show end?  Will Dexter run off and continue killing?  Will he die or get locked up?  Will he wake up in the shower and realise it was all a dream (I hope not)?  How do you think it will end?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to click the like button or subscribe if you enjoyed this post.

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Does Gay Marriage Have a Place in Comic Books?

I have to admit that if it wasn’t for the organisation One Million Moms boycott I probably wouldn’t have picked up Astonishing X-Men #51.  It’s not a title I normally read, but I wanted to help go against the boycott since I disagree with the organisation.  Marvel claims that they are trying represent real life and gay marriage is becoming more common in recent years, but have they given a realistic representation or is it just a publicity stunt?

The comic starts with Northstar on his wedding day, but quickly leads into a flashback that continues the battle from the previous issue.  At this point, in the flashback, Kyle has not even agreed to marry Northstar, Jean-Paul.  This means that within one issue the two get engaged and married, which feels extremely rushed.  Stereotypically, gay couples aren’t exactly known for moving at a slow pace, but still this seems too fast.  Even characters in the comic comment on how fast JP and Kyle are moving, by not avoiding this issue a lot of the damage is fixed and it feels more real.  After all Northstar is the faster man in the Marvel universe.

One of my favourite parts of the comic is when Warbird refuses to attend the wedding because she doesn’t ‘recognise the validity of the ceremony vows’.  Even though they’re friends and she respects Northstar she won’t go to his wedding and that’s a really interesting scene.  I’m glad that they put it in because it means that they’re acknowledging that the world is not filled with open and accepting people and even the ones closest to us may not always be that way either.  Another interesting part was Havok and Puck sitting at the bar talking about the wedding and how Havok’s grandmother would feel about it.  Having gone into this thinking that it would have been a cheery story full of non-judgemental people I was glad to see that some of the good guys were actually pretty close minded, which is strange considering a lot of them are mutants who would have been judged by other people their whole life.

A fun point made near the start had me expecting a huge disaster during the wedding, but what actually happens is much more interesting and may even convince me to pick up the next issue.  It was interesting to see how they fit in so many how the wedding guests, giving a number of them a panel or two to shine.  Even more intriguing was seeing which characters didn’t show up for the wedding.  There was also a nod to the Avengers vs X-Men crossover event, which was funny and sort of adds a whole new nightmare to the ‘where do I seat people’ dilemma.

All things considered, the issue did a pretty good job at portraying a real relationship and the stigma that surrounds same sex marriage.  The story would have suffered if they’d left out the bad and just focused on JP and Northstar getting hitched.  The whole mutant thing has always worked as a metaphor for being in a minority group, which means that X-Men were tackling issues like oppression long before they had any gay characters.  Northstar is essentially a double minority.  The comic represented the issue well highlighting both the loving, sometimes cheesy, relationship and the negative viewpoints some people have.  Plus, it was entertaining and how often do you get that with political commentary.

What do you think?  Did you buy Astonishing X-Men #51?  Do you think it was a good representation of a real life issue?  Will you be picking up the next issue?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, if you liked this post, don’t forget to click the like button and please subscribe.


The Dark Knight Rises Nokia Trailer and TV Spot

In just one month, and one day, The Dark Knight Rises will hit cinemas and the world will finally know whether or not it was worth the hype.  Still, a month and a day is an awful long time to wait for us impatient movie goers so lucky there is another trailer revealing even more info about the upcoming film.

Hopefully they stop releasing clips and trailers before we know everything there is to know about the film.  In the first clip we get to see some cool Bane on Batman action, but the second video, which is more of a trailer, shows that Bane know that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one in the same.  He shows his knowledge not by unmasking Batman, but by simply referring to him as Bruce Wayne.  Obviously there will probably be some kind of big unmasking, but I’m hoping that we don’t get to see that scene until the cinema trip.

Check out the videos below and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment.


Resident Evil: Retribution trailer reveals new story details

Sony Pictures have released another trailer for the upcoming addition to the Resident Evil film franchise, Resident Evil: Retribution.

It’s never easy converting a story from one medium to another, there will always be diehard fans that are understandable protective of the original.  When Resident Evil made the transition from game to film it wasn’t so much about keeping loyal to the original story but rather the feeling of playing the game, which is why I split fans.  Some weren’t able to get over the lack of familiar characters and story, while others appreciated the uneasy atmosphere that mirrored the one in the games.  As the series progressed it introduced more elements and characters from the games, but began to lose any resemblance of tone or atmosphere.  For this reason many fans of the games openly dislike the series as it doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil experience and the characters do not behave like their game counterparts.  From the latest trailer it appears that the film franchise will be moving even further away from the story of the games.

There is a lot of information about the story in this trailer.  It was previously stated that a number of characters, who featured in previous movies, would not be returning in this film because they were captured by Umbrella.  The trailer adds to this by showing that Alice was also captured and is being held in a fictional reality were she is married to Carlos Oliveira and the two of them have a child together.  Ada Wong finds Alice and reveals that the life she is experiencing isn’t real and is only implanted memories.  It’s still a little confusing about who is and isn’t a clone, especially since Alice is seen having two different hairstyles throughout the trailer.  The narration states that Umbrella has used Alice to perfect the virus, which brings on a whole new theory of how her deceased friends have returned; maybe they were actually brought back with the virus.  Though considering Carlos was blown up and jigsaw experts would be require to bring the original James ‘One’ Shade clones are still the most logical bet, which is a little disappointing.

As a fan of both the movie and game series, I thought the trailer looked really good.  The story looks interesting and I’m looking forward to actually understanding it.  It seems over the top with lots of action and really if that’s not what you want to see then this isn’t the right franchise for you.  It doesn’t resemble the games so much in terms of story, but there are a lot of elements from the games that can be seen throughout the trailer.  Most obviously are the zombies and B.O.W.s which strongly mirror those of the games.  More characters from the games have been brought into the film as well as a proper return for Jill Valentine who only briefly appeared that the end of Afterlife after being absent from Extinction without any explanation.  The movie comes out on the 14th of September 2012, until then all we can do is speculate but isn’t that one of the best parts of being obsessed with movies?  Maybe that’s just me.

What do you think?  Did you enjoy the trailer?  Are you planning on seeing the movie?  Do you like when characters from the game appear in the films or do you think they don’t carry over well?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you like this post, click the like button.  If you enjoy speculating feel free to add your theories in the comment section.


Rock of Ages Movie Review

A movie based on a Broadway musical based on hit songs from the 80s, there’s an Inception joke in there somewhere I know it.

Rock of Ages delivers exactly what it promises; it’s a fun, feel good movie that, unless you harbour a deep hatred for musicals or 80s music, will leave you with a smile on your face.  The film follows a small town girl named Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and a city boy called Drew (Diego Boneta), yeah I know songception, as they try to make it as performers in Los Angeles, but end up working in a club called The Bourbon Room.

Though Sherrie and Drew meeting and falling in love was a big part of the story, it was clear that they weren’t the only two characters worth paying attention too.  Tom Cruise stole a lot of the attention with his portrayal of rock star Stacee Jaxx.  He did a really great job and deserves praise for his performance, which was unexpectedly brilliant.  Jaxx is a drunken musician who’s difficult to work with and causes girls to faint upon seeing him; he also has a monkey sidekick which adds to the cool factor.  In both acting and singing Cruise did a really good job with the character.

The plot of the movie is noticeably different from the stage show.  This could cause fans of the stage version to feel disappointed with the film, but hopefully they will still be able to enjoy the ride.  Changes seemed to be made to give the film a happier ending than the show, which was probably for the bested.  Movies like this tend to work better when they leave the audience smiling, not to say that the Broadway show wouldn’t have that effect it’s just not as obvious a happy ending as the one in the film.

If you’re a fan of 80s music then you’ll have a hard time not singing along, but try to save that for the DVD release if you don’t want to get kicked out of the cinema.  Even if you don’t know anything about the 80s you’ll probably leave the cinema smiling anyway, especially after seeing Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand who have great chemistry and were one of the highlights of the movie.  All things considered, Rock of Ages is fun and light.  A great piece of escapism that will leave you wishing your life was a musical.

What do you think?  Having you ever seen the stage version?  Would you like to?  How do you feel about the changes that were made?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.


The Last of Us – Plot, Characters and Moral Dilemmas

Though it didn’t make number one on my top ten list yesterday, I decided to start with The Last of Us, irony, because number one and two on the list have already had so much coverage and didn’t really show anything new at E3.

The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic urban world were the survivors of an outbreak must struggle to stay alive fighting both each other and the infected.  The story follows Joel and Ellie, who aren’t related but share a father daughter type relationship.

In this game survival is the key and can be achieved through a number of ways.  Players must scavenge to find supplies to keep them alive and defend in case of attack.  When other survivors are in the same area you may simply choose to sneak past them and never engage with them, but this luxury comes at a cost.  If you avoid conflict then you miss out on the supplies that you would have found on the body after you kill them.  People you encounter in the game will also be scavenging and every item they find means that there’s one less for you to get.

Characters are designed to feel like real people, which is intended to make it hard to kill them.  Not all of the characters you encounter will be bad, but that’s a risk the player will have to take as some will simply try trick you into thinking you can trust them.  What Naughty Dog are trying to do, and seem to be succeeding in doing, is to simulate a real life post-apocalyptic world were the player will have to decide if they can kill people or not.  It’s a big moral dilemma that is added to by the realistic character ability, meaning that the player will only have the strength and speed of an average human, making each kill a struggle.

Infected people are similar to what you’ve seen in various zombie games.  In recent years we’ve essentially said goodbye to slow moving zombies and I have a feeling this game will make you miss them even more as the fast moving, somewhat intelligent infected hunt you down.  The cause of the infection is a fungus, called cordyceps, that really does exist.  In reality the fungus has the ability to affect the behaviour of the insects that host it.  In the game this fungus had mutated and now controls human behaviour, after they are dead, creating zombie like creatures.

The demo shown at E3, showed an encounter with a group of hostile survivors.  This time the player chose to engage with the group and kill them, but the situation could have been avoided entirely had the player wanted.  The demo gives a really good feel for the game, which looks amazing.  The AI of both Ellie and the hostiles seem extremely realistic.  AI sidekicks have a pretty bad relationship, but Ellie seems to be a massive step forward.  The idea behind her was to make her an asset to the player so they will actually like having her around.  At one point Ellie picks up a brick, holds on to it for a while and then uses it to help when the player ran out of bullets.  As well as helping in combat situations, Ellie will also scavenge and bring you things that you might need, like bullets for your gun.

The full demo can be seen below, check it out and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Top 10 Things at E3

Now that E3 is over I thought I’d go through some of my favourite things that were shown at this year’s expo.  Starting tomorrow I’ll be going through some of the cool new releases individually, so be sure to check back for that.

10. The Wonderbook

If you were starting to get worried that kids may actually have to start reading then you’ll be happy to hear that Sony has come up with a new and exciting way to keep kids illiterate.

The Wonderbook is pretty much a blank book that, using augmented reality, turns into a variety of cool stories when looked at through the PlayStation Move camera.  The story they showed was Harry Potter, but it wasn’t any of the existing stories it was full of new more child oriented stories of how individual spells were made.  Players can then use the Move controlled to perform the spells and complete a variety of tasks.  Despite my earlier joke, this probably isn’t going to do any damage to child literacy and it looks to be a really fun, inventive game.  That I want.

9. ZombiU

If you ever thought you’d survive a zombie outbreak, I have the perfect game to prove you wrong.

A lot of people have been disappointed by the stream of action packed zombie games that have been coming out lately.  The move away from survival horror and towards action has divided zombie fans, particularly Resident Evil fans, but now Ubisoft are taking a massive step back towards survival horror and filling the demand for the return of that type of game.

ZombiU will be playable only on the Wii U and is one of the games that will be available upon release.  It makes great use of the Wii U’s handheld screen and effectively simulates a zombie outburst.  One of the things that the game does, which helps create a level of realism, is that you only have a singular life.  When your character dies they become a zombie and you have to start the scenario again as a new person, but all the zombies that were killed by your previous character are still dead and all the items that were picked up by that character are gone, plus your old skin is now trying to eat your new skin.  Don’t worry about running out of survivors; there is an endless stream of them.

8. The Wii U

I once called it the Wii’s sexier cousin, a phrase that puts me on top of the Google search, and I’m going to stick with that.

The Wii U looks like it’s going to be a fun, like its predecessor, but it seems to be focusing more on games that will appeal to hard core gamers.  That’s not to say that it won’t include the family friendly favourites that made the Wii so popular, it will, but there is more there for the mainstream gaming community than there ever was on the Wii.

7. Splinter Cell: Blacklist

A game demo so good it made me ashamed to not be a Splinter Cell fan.

Having only ever given Splinter Cell a shot once, I wasn’t particularly interested in the announcement of a sequel, but once the demo started I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that I hadn’t gotten into the series earlier.  This new game, the sixth in the series, is apparently more action oriented than previous titles.   Hopefully this won’t drive away old fans while attempting to bring in new ones, like me.

6. Watch Dogs

Is Assassins Creed and Splinter Cell had a game baby.

This is the third Ubisoft game on the list, the first two being ZombiU and Splinter Cell, which shows just how impressive Ubisoft was this year, well at least in my eyes.  Watch Dogs is a modern day assassin game were you get to attend fancy parties, hack into phones and kill people.  Like Assassins Creed, it is an open world game, but instead of being set somewhere in the past the events of the game take place in modern day Chicago.  It’ll be refreshing to have an open world game set in a real life modern day city that doesn’t take place in New York.  Another element coming from Assassins Creed is the ability to climb everything, which will apparently be part of the game.

5. Tomb Raider

Every dream of being stranded on an island with no hope of rescue and having to survive attacks from wild animals and gun wielding enemies?  No, must just be me.

This new Tomb Raider game was already on my radar before E3.  The series looks to be getting an extremely impressive reboot and it’s clear that the people behind the game want to give Lara Croft an origin story that will make fans of the series proud.

I think with games that have spanned as long as Tomb Raider, which currently has nine games, are often hard to market to new players.  They have such a rich history that those who play games for the story may avoid the series unless they are able to pick up the previous titles.  However, fans may have been surprised by the reboot as there has never really been a large amount of time without a Tomb Raider game.  The longest gap will be this time, as it will be five years since the last Tomb Raider game was released in 2013 when the reboot comes out.  Before this the longest break was three years, which isn’t really that long when it comes to making a next gen title.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man

A tie in game that serves as more of a sequel, count me in.  That is if The Amazing Spider-Man movie doesn’t suck, which I doubt it will.

Spider-Man movie tie in games are always fun.  They have new enemies, new storylines and you get to swing around New York City like you own the place, which you don’t Obama does.  While all the film tie ins have differed from their movie counterparts, this Spider-Man game takes it one step further and actually takes place after the events of the film.  The plot of the game will actually set up the story for the films sequel, which is a strange thought considering no one even knows if the films any good yet.

3. The Last of Us

Will you survive the… wait there’s a lot of survival on this list.

This game is less about the zombies and more about the story of two people, in a father daughter kind of relationship, that have to constantly struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, which is a refreshing look at a plot that is clearly being used a lot in games today.

The most impressive things about this game, which I didn’t even know existed before the expo, is the gameplay.  It’s smooth and realistic, it suggests that every kill is going to be a struggle, nothing will be simple and it’s not the kind of game were you can just run around taking down large amounts of enemies with ease.  Feeling very cinematic, even during gameplay, the focus on story shows at every turn, which won’t appeal to all gamers.  Making the experience even more realistic is the AI which seems to be miles ahead of what we’ve seen in past titles like Resident Evil 5.  At one point Ellie, the fourteen year old female sidekick actually picks up a brick to aid the player, who was under attack.  Though the AI seems impressive, you may choose to play with a friend instead, which you can as the game is co-op.

2. DmC: Devil May Cry

Weren’t we supposed to get some news?

Now that the game was given a release date, Ninja Theory said they would be giving more information about the game.  Naturally it seemed E3 would be the perfect platform to distribute this knowledge, yet the only new thing shown was a weapon.  They did show off a demo, which really did remind be a lot of Bayonetta, and mentioned that the running time would be about twelve hours, which isn’t as long as I’d like.  Still, as a Devil May Cry fan I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the reboot, though next time Ninja Theory promises news they better provide some.

1. Resident Evil

Action, survival horror and being chased by a giant monster, Resident Evil 6 has it all.

At this point there isn’t much more information Capcom could give us without ruining the game.  The story is split into three campaigns, which can be played in any order.  Leon S. Kennedy and Helena Harper will have a more survival horror experience, though there will be action packed moments, Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans experience a military style action adventure and Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin’s story will be reminiscent of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis which had the main characters being constantly pursued by Nemesis.

What do you think?  Which are you most excited about?  Would you put anything different on the list?  Will you be rushing out to buy any of these?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Batman at the MTV Movie Awards

More footage from The Dark Knight Rises was shown at this year’s MTV Movie Awards.

It begins with a scene in which Selina Kyle, Anne Hathaway, is being interrogated by John Blake, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  After this we get to see a variety of other shots from the film, the most interesting, in my eyes, is what appears to be the Lazarus Pit.

In the comic books, the Lazarus Pit is used by Ra’s al Ghul, who is set to appear in the film, as a way to heal otherwise fatal injuries.  However, using the Lazarus Pit comes at a cost; it has a nasty side effect of turning people insane.  Since Bane is the man who broke the bat, the Lazarus Pit could potentially be used to heal Bruce Wayne’s back.  They may even not included the side effect in the film, but there have been scenes, shown in a TV spot, were Bruce was walking with a cane which could just be from a bane beating rather than a recovering spine.

Another interesting part in the clip shows Batman and Catwoman working together.  Selina is a really interesting character and every time more footage of her is realised it gets easier to see Christopher Nolan chose Anne Hathaway for the role.  The movie version seems to be close to the way she was portrayed in her early appearances and it’s nice to see that she has a criminal record and isn’t just going to run around fighting crime with Batman the entire movie.

The Dark Knight Rises will hit cinemas hard on the 20th of July with a massive running time of two hours and forty five minutes.

What do you think?  Are you excited about the final film in Nolan’s Batman series?  Do you think that the Lazarus Pit will appear in the film?  Would you like the series to continue?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


X-Men take on One Million Moms

US conservative group One Million Moms have launched a campaign against DC and Marvel asking them to stop featuring gay characters in their comic books.

Gay characters have been included in comic books for years, but later this month, in Astonishing X-Men issue 51, Northstar will marry his long term partner Kyle.  Though this won’t be the first time a same sex couple has gotten married in comic books, it will be the first time it’s happened in the Marvel universe.  This, teamed with DC’s decision to make Green Lantern gay when he is reinvented in the New 52, has sparked controversy with the conservative group One Million Moms, who think that by showing children positive representations of gay people they will grow up to think that it is okay to be gay, which the group believes ‘is a sin’.

‘Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, ‘I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?’’  A common misconception with comics is that they are for kids.  There are some aimed at children, but not all of them are and some are pretty dark and have sex scenes.  Yet somehow the group has no problem exposing their children to this, providing it’s with members of the opposite sex.  Every form of media show relationships between men and women, yet most little boys don’t say things like ‘I want a girlfriend or wife’ and that’s because they are little boys not little adults, they want the heroes superpowers not their lovers.

One Million Moms recently launched a similar campaign to stop Toys R Us stocking the issue of Archie Comics Life with Archie were Kevin Keller and his partner get marriage.  However, their plan failed and attention brought on by the groups boycott may even have helped sales as the issue sold out.  Hearing of their campaign against Marvel and DC, some comic book writers contacted the group on Twitter.  Dan Slott, author of Spider-Man, sent them a message acknowledging the effects of their previous failure ‘Dear @1milmoms, thank you for the boycotts. They increase sales as people buy extra copies to spite you. PLEASE boycott my book too. :-)’.  Kurt Busiek, another of Marvel’s writers, took it even further by questioning the group itself ‘One Million Moms: There aren’t a million of them and their board is mostly men. If they lie about who they are, they’ll lie about anything’.

In their statement, One Million Moms says that featuring gay characters in comics ‘is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitise and brainwash them into thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable’.  It’s clear that the group, who are a Christian group, hold a strong religious view, which seems backwards in today’s society, which, as Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said in a statement to Newsarama, is what Marvel try to represent.

‘For over 70 years, Marvel’s comics have reflected the world outside your window and Astonishing X-Men #50 carries on that tradition. We’re proud to create stories that are not only relevant to the issues facing a modern audience but that also explore these nuanced subjects in a compelling manner. We’ve planned the release of this comic for over a year but the recent discussion of gay marriage, spurred by the comments of President Obama, makes the release of Astonishing X-Men #50 even more timely. The passionate discourse between our fans on both sides of this matter shows that we’ve struck a chord with our millions of fans around the world.’

Issue 51 of Astonishing X-Men will be release later this month, on the 20th of June.  While it doesn’t seem like One Million Moms will convince Marvel to ‘change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters’ like their letters demand, it will be interesting to see what effect they have on sales.  Having gay characters in the media can be really positive for young gay people, so stamping them out would be a huge step backwards.  Hopefully, this issue will sell out and One Million Moms will learn that their hate is only inspiring people to go against them.

What do you think?  Are you going to pick up Astonishing X-Men issue 51?  Do you enjoy seeing representatives of various minority groups, not just gay people, in comics?  Would you prefer if comics avoided dealing with real issues?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, please subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.