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Posts tagged “of

Legends of Tomorrow first look

CW is quickly becoming the DC comics TV network and while CBS is definitely able to pump more money into Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow looks like it has a much more interesting premise. Unfortunately the lower budget is really obvious when you look at the ambitious special effects.

Special effects are something both Arrow and Flash have struggled with, but this show seems to use way more and it looks really bad. Legends of Tomorrow is still a year out, so it is possible that the effects shown are not fully finished. It’s a really ambitious project so let’s all hope that they pull it off.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug review

The Desolation of Smaug picks up pretty much where its predecessor left off. Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves are being pursued by Orcs and are running out of time to open the door to the old dwarf city, which is now home to the fiery dragon Smaug.

hobbit

Unlike the first Hobbit film, there’s not a long wait before the story kicks into full gear. In fact, so much happens in the movie that there isn’t really much down time at all, but the long running time ensures that nothing seems rushed.

The main story focuses on Bilbo and the dwarves as they make their way to Smaug, but then there’s also the side story of Gandalf who splits from the group early in the film, as well as various subplots given to supporting characters who are introduced along the way.

Hobbit ElfIt’s the subplots that really fill the film up with detail that may not have been there in the original book, but still feels natural in this fantasy world. The best variation from the novel is probably the introduction of the wood-elf Tauriel, who is played by Evangeline Lily. Tauriel is such a badass that she just steals every scene she’s in.

Even so, the most satisfying part of the movie definitely comes from the book. When Bilbo finally gets face to face with Smaug, the scene is amazing. It has smart dialog and Smaug is brought to life so well that it’s hard not to fear for the safety of the little hobbit. By the time this scene rolls around so much has happened that it’s seems like there won’t be enough time left to give Smaug the screen time he deserves, but don’t worry this isn’t the case.

One of the major benefits of getting a lot of the talking out of the way in the first film, is that it means this time they’re free to just go all out with the action. The quick fighting style really helps speed up the pace of the film and is visually interesting. In fact, the whole movie is visually interesting and full of wide shots that really help build the world of Middle-Earth.

The length of the film may help with the pacing of the story, but there are some flaws that are unavoidable with a three hour running time. For instance, there are people who will just never be able to watch this movie. Three hours is just too long for a lot of potential movie goers and it’s also a surprisingly difficult task for the bladder, especially for those who order a large drink. Still, when it comes to a film based on one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, fans expect it to last about three hours.

Hobbit Bilbo

While challenging on the bladder, the Desolation of Smaug is definitely worth seeing in cinemas, even if you didn’t like the first one. The increased frame rate makes the price of an IMAX ticket seem justified, which is so rarely the case. Having watched the first Hobbit film at home, I can honestly say that, after seeing this sequel, I wished I’d seen it in the cinema instead.

What do you think of the Hobbit? Are you a fan? Have you read the books? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer

Surprisingly little special effects for an X-Men trailer and yet it still looks great.

xmen

Seeing the old and new X-Men cast in the same movie is exciting in the way that watching the Avengers finally come together was, but it is a bit of a shame that most of the cast won’t get to interact with each other.

Arguably the best part of the X-Men franchise has been the relationship between Magneto and Professor X and it looks like this relationship will be close to the centre of the film.

Personally, I find it hard not to wonder if the X-Men tampering with the past will erase the events of The Last Stand. After all, it would revive some fan favourite characters.

Check out the trailer to the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past and leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Man of Steel review

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a DC reboot.

Man of Steel may be DC’s last chance at creating a cinematic universe to rival Marvel’s. With so much riding on this film, it would be a shame if it ended up being a box office flop.

MOS Logo

The story of Superman has been told so many times, in so many different mediums, but this isn’t just another retelling. Man of Steel doesn’t follow the structure set out in the comics, this is not a remake of what’s already been done it’s a reimagining. There are bits and pieces taken from other incarnations, including the brief inclusion of a character that was created in the hit show Smallville, but as a whole this is unlike any Superman you’ve seen before. (more…)


Two Year Blogiversary

On the 22nd of October 2010 I wrote my first post on a blog that I started as part of a HND course in journalism. Now, two years later, I’m studying for to get MA in journalism.

I’m really glad that I kept this blog going and I’d like to thank people for reading it and apologise for being so slow in writing lately. I will be better from now on, though I probably won’t be beating my record of six months consecutive posts anytime soon.


Writer Confirms No Time Travelling in The Planet of the Apes Sequel

If there’s one thing that everybody remembers about the original Planet of the Apes movie it’s the Statue of Liberty scene were Taylor discovers that there is no home planet for him to return to as this ape filled land is actually Earth’s grim future.  It’s a great twist and sets up for the time travelling sequels, which explore the rise of the apes, the fall of humanity and the eventual destruction of Earth.  However, all of this stuff isn’t shown in a linear view, but rather a circular one ending, not with Earth blowing up, but with the apes rising.  Time travel has, from the first film adaptation, been a crucial part of The Planet of the Apes, so why won’t it be part of the new movie series?

Rick Jaffa, who co-wrote The rise of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has spoken out about the decision to not include time travel in this telling of the ape saga.  In an interview with Total Film he said ‘it’s the one big element that we made a conscious decision not to explore in the first one, and we were worried that there might be some backlash in the science fiction community because of it. When the story first came together we were very, very excited, and yet before we pitched it, I thought, “the one thing missing though is time travel. But it’s not necessary for this particular telling”’.

The origin of The Planet of the Apes story is not the original film, but rather a French novel called La Planète des singes.  Interesting this story doesn’t actually involve time travel at all and ends in a way similar to that of the 2001 Tim Burton adaptation of The Planet of the Apes, though it is less confusing than Burton’s version.  Should the latest adaption of the book stick with the science fiction time travel angle, that the older films are famous for, or is it a good thing that they are leaving it out?

What do you think?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Spartacus: War of the Damned at Comic-Con

The first trailer for the final season of the hit Starz series Spartacus has been shown at comic-con.

Spartacus: War of the Damned looks to be filled with just as much gore and sex as the previous seasons.  It seems like the show had such a short run, three seasons (four if you count the prequel, Gods of the Arena), but it does seem, from a storytelling angle, it is time for the show to come to an end.  Even though most people know how Spartacus is going to end the show looks like it will be a hell of a ride to get to the tragic conclusion.

Check out the trailer below.


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.