Zoolander 2: First Official Teaser Trailer

[ UPDATE ] In the 10 minutes this video was posted, Paramount Pictures has blocked it.
     Of course, I'll be posting the video on this blog as soon as it reappears on the net.

[UPDATE 2 ]  Paramount has released the actual teaser, so here it is.

     We finally get a little teaser.  It gives us pretty much nothing to guess the contents of the real film- being much like the dim Derek Zoolander himself- but it is a start on the road to really, really, really, really goodlooking-ness.

     Zoolander 2 is set to release February 12, 2016.

Jurassic World: The Game: Review (Android)

Riding Triceratops...

     Jurassic World: The Game is an interesting, and visually updated version of Jurassic Park Builder with the same fundamental framework.  The graphics have gotten much better, there is no longer a need to constantly move items, such as rocks, out of the way, and there is now a singular food type that covers both meat and vegetation.

     The purpose of both games is to make as much money as possible by multiplying the amount of dinosaurs you have and evolving them while simultaneously expanding the park across the entire island.  Players need to increase the number of buildings and support structures and ensure a steady income to keep the park growing- all while loosely following the plot of the Jurassic World movie with story snippets and goals popping up as missions to complete.

     Players also gather DNA and use it to create more dinosaurs.  Once grown in the hatchery you may place them, and if you have 2 leveled to their max, you may combine them to boost the level, and later in the game you can combine varying species such as a Stegosaurus and a Triceratops into a Stegoceratops.

     Next comes the battle arena, and this is where the two games diverge.

Scrubbing the Mosasaurus...

     The battle arena is an interesting concept done much better in games such as Pokemon.  You have to level up (evolve) dinosaurs and tackle opponents in both story mode and actual other players in online fights.
     The game's story mode always sets you at a disadvantage, perhaps to heavily encourage purchasing IAP packs, and the real-world opponents seem to have no proper matchmaking, as I was pitted against people 10 plus levels beyond my highest level dinosaur, guaranteeing a loss.

     Provided you find a match on relatively even terms, the system is fairly well thought out.  The battle system is a 4 way Rock-Paper-Scissors game with the 4 types of dinosaurs.  Carnivores get a 50% damage boost towards Herbivores, and take 50% less in return.  Herbivores get the same towards Pterosaurs, Pterosaurs towards Amphibians, and Amphibians towards Carnivores to complete the circle.
     Players (at least in story mode) always go first, giving you the option to attack, defend, or save a move for the next turn.  This goes back and forth until one side loses all their dinosaurs (up to 3 each).  It is a nice addition to the simple park builder, and adds some nice distraction while waiting for everything else to finish.

Cooking T. Rex meal...

     This is actually the best part of the game- the individual dinosaur models.  From the park's main screen you can click on the holding pens for each dinosaur and inspect the models.  This is definitely where the budget went, because the models are downright stunning.  Even more interesting is how they change as you level them up.  Each evolution alters the look of the dinosaur into more and more into colorful and feathered creatures.

     Look at these screencaps of the Jurassic Park icon, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Just amazing.  They also have a small set of actions they perform when you tap on them.  The T-Rex here will shake as if being pestered by bugs, snap its jaws, and let out the now famous roar that sounds like it was ripped straight from the film.

Connection to the game server lost.

     Aside from constant server disconnections this game's biggest flaw is the IAPs.  Jurassic World: The Game is designed with an insanely aggressive IAP system meant to prey upon player's impatience in hopes of receiving money in the grandest scheme of "pay-to-win" gaming.  Buildings and dinosaur money income is both timed and amount capped.
     Players can only make a limited amount in a set time period, any longer and no more money is generated, any shorter and you don't make the maximum.  Forcing players to be either constantly attentive and engaged, having immense patience for months of play, or to rely on the incessant pop-ups for the IAPs to buying the way to the next level.

     The park building is slow enough I believe I saw a snail evolve right on past some of the construction.  This sluggish speed is made worse by the non-stop IAP ads, pop-ups occurs after every battle, after every free pack use, and after each story level is completed, causing a lot of annoyance and irritation.  Boiled down, Jurassic World: The Game was engineered specifically to steer players with its "Freemium" spending to speed up the game play, although it is a highly addictive builder/battler game- and I feel if this game was designed as a Premium (paid for game) it would've been much more enjoyable overall.


Star Wars Issue 7 Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi Stand-Alone

     This issue drew me in due to it being a stand-alone issue, featuring the fan favorite character Obi-Wan Kenobi.  It is set as a story-within-a-story in the form of a journal (that Luke obtained in an earlier issue) in a time a few years after Episode 3, as Luke is just a small boy.

     Obi-Wan wrote in the journal about his withdrawal.  He talks about the difficulty he is going through with his path into self-imposed exile from his former life as General and Jedi Master into his new life as the recluse Old Ben.  He must adapt his life to hide his abilities and remain a nobody whilst attempting to secretly use the Force to protect people from Jabba the Hutt's goons.

     Along the way we see his struggle with losing his original goal, and the disappointment at not being able to train Luke Skywalker as a Jedi because Owen Lars forbids it.  This creates an interesting dilemma- Obi-Wan already feels like a failure with his responsibility for Anakin's turn to the Dark Side, and wants to make up for it with Luke, but he is thwarted by Lars.
     He is stuck in a position where he yearns to do things, an almost desperate need to use the Force, but he must find a way to balance using it with keeping it hidden.  The problem is huge for him.  As a Jedi his whole life was in tandem with the Force, and now in seclusion, he has to cut himself off from both people, and that life.

     Simon Bianchi's art serves to display the great toll isolation takes on Obi-Wan.  Oddly enough, the opposite is true for Jason Aaron's writing of Luke Skywalker in this issue.  He is shown as a headstrong boy, which feels to wrong to match with his naive farm hand persona from A New Hope.  It is a small complaint but it seems a little off-putting and out of character.

     Overall, Star Wars #7 is a nice small tale for fans firmly nestled between films.

     My only other complaint is actually with Kenobi in general- if he went into hiding, why did he continue wearing the traditional Jedi garb?  I mean seriously, someone should've recognized he was wearing standard issue Jedi clothes during all those years he was posing as a cantankerous old man.


Mountain Goat Mountain: Quick Review

     Developer Zynga has brought us a strangely alluring game with Mountain Goat Mountain.  It can only be described as an endless climber- with the goal being getting as high an altitude up the mountain as possible before succumbing to one of many possible dooms.


     Beginning with a single goat, players must traverse their way up an isometric mountain, as far up as you can get collecting coins, using spring-boards, avoiding traps, and even finding the power-up springs giving the goat a silver coating impervious to harm.  Tap one side of the screen to hop up in that direction, swipe down on that side to head down in that side's direction.  It's very intuitive and simple.

     The things standing in your way are random items rolling down the mountain, crumbling platforms, deadly hidden precipices, lightning storms, and waters.  Players must also be consuming grass to fuel the goat's energy to ascend the dangerous peaks, but no one need to worry, there are plenty of patches that are automatically eaten when stepped on.

     The mountains vary in looks as you can unlock more goats through either in game coins collected, resulting in random chances as new goats in crates, or through the IAP of a mere 99 cents for a goat of your choice.  Zynga has provided a nice variety of differing goats and corresponding locales.  There's a Samurai goat with a lush environment, a cowboy goat with an old west theme, and my favorite, the holiday goat with a blue-tinged snowy wonderland.  The only goat I actively disliked was the Infrared Goat, whose mountain was in heat-vision color tones that actively hurt my brain.
     I mean really, the VR Goat (pic below) and Unicorn Goat (the rainbow-trailed goat pic above) levels are such a joy to play it's really, really hard to not recommend this to anyone.

     The simple controls and a cartoonish nature are quite deceiving here, as the game is extremely well done.  The colors are vibrant, the worlds are full and ever-changing, and it is an absolute delight to play.  Aside from it's ridiculously redundant title, Mountain Goat Mountain is an amazing time-waster in the fashion of old Q-Bert-ian block-hopping goodness.


Wolverine: Hugh Jackman #OneLastTime

     The always amazing Hugh Jackman tweeted this image, I cropped it here, with the statement calling for fans to tell him what they'd like to see happen:
My last time putting on the claws. What do you want to see happen? 50 words or less. I'll read as many as I can. 
     While it is extremely doubtful Fox will do what many fans want and give us a film worthy of Logan's "The best there is..." quote, it is very nice that Jackman is doing this.  His work as Wolverine will be damn near impossible to match.  Despite being stuck with poor scripts for the previous Wolverine films he has truly molded and made the character his own over the years.

     I've written numerous posts about what they should do, and how it keeps getting fumbled, but I really, really hope Fox learns from the fan reactions to Deapool and does justice for the last run of Jackman's Wolverine.  A legend needs proper send off and the last two films were abominable.

     It's been hinted, most notably at the SD Comic Con, that the next movie will be a take on the great series Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven.  If the film makers don't screw it up, there is a huge chance Wolverine could be handled properly for once.  This is a chance for Fox to give us a Wolverine to rival the Christopher Nolan Batman films.  Dark, gritty, and meaningful.

     They now have the perfect chance to learn from fan reactions to the Deadpool trailer, remove the kiddie gloves and give us something real.  "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice..."  Prove to us that Wolverine's catchphrase is from the life of a man that cannot escape the cycle of killing.  That sometimes, someone has to do the dirty work.

     The new Wolverine is set to be released March 3rd, 2017.

     Source [ Twitter ]

Sword of Xolan: Short Review (Android)

     Developer Alper Sarikaya made a game hearkening back to the early days of adventure-platforming.  Sword of Xolan is free for Android devices, with a tiny, and very worth it just to support the developer, IAP of 99 cents.

     The game is about Xolan, a prince setting out to save his people from Borzandar the evil wizard and eliminate all the monsters infesting his kingdom.  Sword of Xolan contains just enough ingredients to claim there's a story- an evil wizard, a prince, and a whole lotta monsters.
     He is equipped with the most basic items, a sword and fireballs.  More than enough to slay everything in the 3 chapters of 10 levels each.  A wide variety of creatures and traps try to thwart progress, and grow at a nice and steady difficulty curve.  There isn't anything too difficult, and by the end there isn't anything really too easy.  Sword of Xolan somehow found a nice balance in between.

     Each level, aside from the 3 boss fight levels, has 3 townspeople and a treasure chest to find.  Many are in hidden areas, or require a little searching for a key to unlock a new path- but all in the singular level so there isn't much in the way of tedious backtracking.  Thrtoughout the levels, breaking things provides plenty of refills for health and magic, as well as a ton of coins to purchase in game cards to enhance Xolan in ways like beginning with an extra heart for health.   
     To be honest the only issue with the game is the dialogue that Xolan constantly spouts off.  He constantly says, "Yeee-Ahhhhhhh!!!" and "Xolan's in the House!" and it just doesn't fit with the game.  Because it sounds out of place it breaks the flow of an otherwise tremendous game.

     There's a lot of action, downright brilliant level design combined with clean art and animation, great (and customizeable!) controls, and tons of hidden goodies creating a perfect semblance of the golden age of adventure gaming from the 1980's.  Topping that is the fact that this game is truly fun to play.  There isn't much to Sword of Xolan, but what there is, is so well done that it's hard to find faults.


Rise of the Tomb Raider: RUMOR NEWS- A One Year Wait for PS4: Due HOLIDAY 2016?!?

     In an awful announcement for Playstation users, Microsoft's timed-exclusivity deal creates a huge delay in release dates between systems for the upcoming Square-Enix game Rise of the Tomb Raider.  The newest rumor claims there is a monstrous one year wait.  PC players won't have it quite as bad, their's will be available merely a few months after the Xbox One's release- placing it somewhere in "early 2016" with the stipulation that they need to have Windows 10 to play it.

A Bleak Release Date Outlook.
     I've never been keen on the timed-exclusivity deals, but this one is absolutely ridiculous.  A whole year, that could be very bad news for Square-Enix if Playstation users take offense at this absurdity.  This type of thing creates a lot of distaste for the waiting game and generates buyer backlash and disinterest for not being able to obtain a copy for your preferred system.

     If the rumor is true, it definitely feels like a swift kick to my consumer nuts.  I honestly don't think my fandom is willing to wait that long to support a franchise I've enjoyed since it's inception.

     Source [ Shack News ] [ Lazy Gamer ]


Ant-Man: Review

     After all my excitement for Ant-Man, I am torn between liking it and seeing the films immediate flaws.  Right off the bat, you have a movie with Edgar Wright's flavor seeping through, but then we can also see how blatantly it was forced into conforming to the typical Marvel Studios filmography.

     The strange need for the movies to link in the most obvious ways is getting absurd.  The connectivity is wonderful, but it's beginning to be shoved in our faces.  Marvel has a tendency to strongarm things into place for the bigger picture, which is at odds with the whole premise of Ant-Man itself.
     Ant-Man isn't about the world-saving glories the Avengers have become known for.  It is a passing the torch story, but one that is being done under the table.  Hank Pym, played with great aptitude by Michael Douglas, is a failed father and creator of both his shrinking Ant-Man suit, and a nice device that allows him to communicate with ants- giving him access to the world's largest biomass colony, meaning he has an infinite army of unseen warriors and workers.

     After keeping his Pym Particles and shrinking serum out of the hands of Howard Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. for decades, Hank now has to take action to keep his former protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll)- who is played as a villainous caricature in his path towards becoming Yellowjacket- from militarizing and selling the shrinking technologies.

     Along the way he enlists Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), an ex-con that burgles for all the right reasons.  He too is a failing father, struggling with his ex-wife, her new-and-stereotypical douchebag police officer boyfriend, and attempting to be there for his daughter.  Under Pym's guidance he can become an actual hero, one worthy of his daughter's ideal view of him.

     What this movie gets right is taking massive steps back in terms of the story.  This isn't about "dropping cities" on things as Pym complains about the Avengers (a reference to the Age of Ultron film), it's about doing what's right for the ones you care about.  It's about doing it in secret.  Ant-Man was a secret in war espionage in Pym's younger days, and now that the suit has taken its toll on him, he must find an heir.  Due to a tragic loss in Pym's past he is reluctant to have is extremely overqualified and capable daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) take over for fear of losing her as well.  So he goes with the second best choice, Lang.  Which is almost a metaphor for the film in that they don't go with the right choice, they go with the safe one.
     The movie then becomes a heist film focusing on training Lang to become the unrecognized hero of the day.  Along the way he has some old friends assist- including Michael Pena whose role as a criminal is that of stealing every scene he is in- to stop Cross from unleashing microscopic chaos around the world.

     What I think the movie does wrong, however, is shoe-horn in a love story.  It feels out of place and completely unnecessary.  They could have left it open ended and it would've worked better.  Not every leading pair needs to become romantically involved.
     The whole lead up to the going subatomic and Lang's solution for escape is a bit preposterous as well.  Why wouldn't he have just smashed a few of them all over his body- maybe even one too many- causing him to grow past normal size and become Giant Man accidentally?  Which was another complaint I had.  Quite a few items are grown to super sizes, so why didn't they use that in the film on a person?  All the build up and no payoff.

     Then at a middle ground between good and bad, although I complained about the movie being forced into a mold, when an Avenger finally does show up, they chose the right one.  They chose the most human and relatable person for Lang to encounter and it actually works very well.  So even though it seems forced, it also feels fitting.

     Overall, I really enjoyed the film.  It has plenty of predictable elements, but also a fair amount of moments of genuine heart and originality.  Ant-Man was at its best when it focused on the small things and really, it should stay that way.  Hank Pym wanted the Ant-Man to stay out of sight, so Marvel should keep the stories with him small, but with a large impact.

     After seeing this, I am unbelievably eager to find a leaked copy of Wright's original script.  To truly see what wonderfully subtle things were there that were buried under the typical Marvel must-haves could be enlightening.
     I'm also looking forward to Hope Van Dyne finally getting to take up the mantle of Wasp...


Disney INfinity 3.0: Ant-Man INfinit-Teased!

     Ant-Man hits theaters today, a week ago he showed up in the mobile game Future Fight, and a bug-riddled start yesterday (many players, myself included, are unable to even load the game due to patch problems) over in the usually amazing Marvel Heroes 2015, and now Disney INfinity has teased his arrival in Disney INfinity 3.0.

     We might as well just assume he'll be playable, because- firstly- everyone else in the image is playable, and secondly- he's already in the game as a team-up disc.  The chances increase his odds of being playable when you take in to account the fact that Marvel still has 4 unannounced playable characters from their official playable character board. [ Pic and info about the board ]

     I've been thinking this was going to be the approach for some time, as I wrote back on June 6th:
     "Well, I thoroughly look forward to more of what is to come in the following months as we get closer to the release date.  Especially the Marvel: Age of Ultron related stuff, which the Disney Infinity team has been ultra secretive of.  We have gotten a lot of information on everything else except the Marvel group for Disney Infinity 3.0. 
     I'm actually wondering if they'll be having a bunch of Ant-Man themed stuff that just hasn't been announced yet, and maybe they're waiting for the movie to be released first.  They already have his character modeled and usable as a team up..."
     Well, I think this will be a great thing.  I want to see some levels where everything is humongous and you have to navigate the world as a tiny hero.  Much like the Super Mario Bros. in Giant Land.

     Disney INfinity 3.0 releases August 30th.

     Source [ Disney INfinity Official Twitter ]


Alien 5: Blomkamp's New Concept Art

     Months after being Greenlit by 20th Century Fox for his new Alien movie pitch, Blomkamp has given us the first new look at the film he is working on with a pic via instagram.

     Blomkamp's previous films were both good (District 9) and merely ok (Elysium), but his take on Alien, through all the shared concept art that shows he knows what should be- or  what rightfully should have been- happening, will hopefully avoid pulling a Ridley Scott and crapping on his own saga with something like Prometheus.

     I have an odd faith that Blomkamp can pull this off.  He's got all the perfect ingredients- a reverence for the franchise, the iconic xenomorph aliens, Ellen "The biggest badass ever" Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), and Corp. Dwayne "The next biggest badass ever" Hicks (Michael Biehn).
     He also has a nice bit of continuity that the 3rd and 4th film lost through the magic of poor storytelling.  So really, if this goes anywhere near as well as it looks according to all the conceptual art, it could be the perfect rejuvenation for a listless franchise.

X-Files: NEW Teaser Trailer! (I Want to Believe: First Promo)

     The eerie X-Files theme brings back many old memories, and hopes for the future...

     The X-Files returns to FOX on Sunday January 24th, 2016.

X-Men: Apocalypse: First Look, Predictions & Thoughts

EW's First Look:

     Entertainment Weekly has followed up the San Diego Comic Con's X-Men: Apocalypse trailer hype with some wonderful "First Look" pics from the upcoming film.

     For those unfamiliar readers, EW gives the scoop on the cinematic version of the ultimate X-Men villain:
     "Apocalypse is coming for the X-Men. Or, more specifically, a giant 5,000 year-old Egyptian mutant who goes by that very unfriendly name and is the focus of the latest installment in Fox’s X-Men franchise.  'He’s believed to be the first mutant, whatever that means,' says star Oscar Isaac. 'He is the ­creative-slash-destructive force of this earth. When things start to go awry, or when things seem like they’re not moving towards evolution, he destroys those civilizations.' Think of him as a god who does gut renovations."
     From this he sounds a lot like the High Evolutionary (the character) as opposed to Apocalypse.  But it makes sense for the film version, due to the fact Marvel Studios has the film rights to the Celestials and cannot really use them for Apocalypse's backstory.  It would also be of note that 2 Celestials were shown in Guardians of the Galaxy.  One in The Collector's circular movies, and also the skull of a dead one is the location called Knowhere in that film.

Thoughts & Predictions:

     Honestly, with the 80's vibe I believe the characters all have an interesting aesthetic.  It's an absurd look, but because I grew up with it, I have a soft spot in my heart for their classic costumes.  Mohawk Staowm and the strange, but accurate, Psylocke costume are spot-on.  My doubts about Psylocke are actually more to do with actress Olivia Munn's limited range as an actress, than with the character.  Her awesome X-Force incarnation was stupendous, and she really is a great character through most of her history, and if handled well, could be amazing in the movie.

     As for Storm, I like how they've tied Apocalypse's Egyptian heritage to the story of her origin.  She was a thief in Cairo, so it makes sense to combine them for one easy transition to film.  Apocalypse leaves room for improvement.  My chief complaint with him are the tubes on the sides of his head look awkward.  Move them to the back of the skull and they'd look less like straggley old-man hair and more like a necessary tube-based connection.
     For my predictions, while they are usually hopes that never reach the levels that they could- are things that SHOULD happen for sheer cinematic pleasure and nerdly homages.  In X-Men: Days of Future Past, I was quite angry they didn't use the Ultimate X-Men scene involving Quicksilver and Magneto.  The family dynamic would've been lost, but the impact of someone acting to stop a horrible incident would've been maintained.

     Anyway, what I really, REALLY hope happens is that Apocalypse's Horseman, Magneto in this case, turns against him with a vicious anger.  Particularly in the fashion Magneto stopped him in the massive X-Universe crossover event The Age of Apocalypse.  A fitting end for one so entrenched in Darwinistic thought. (see pic below)

     Think of how badass this would be with Fassbender and Isaac in the roles!  Fox might be able to create a scene to rival Marvel Studios grip on the movie theaters awe-factor with these properties.  

     A little part of me hopes Apocalypse is actually a small person in a big suit like he was in the Books of Askani'son comics (the En Sabah Nur of Earth 4935).  I hope we might also get a time traveling Bishop again at some point as well.  But, being a long-time reader and fan, he would be much more likely to show up in the Gambit film with a strange tale to tie them together, but either way, it seems like a long shot.  Although, if he does show up, it'd probably be because he was tracking Trevor Fitzroy the chronoporter...

     Regardless, I'll be seeing X-Men: Apocalypse when it hits theaters May 27th, 2016.


Ant-Man: Ant Invasion of Marvel Heroes 2015!

     Ant-Man will reach theaters this Friday, and he's already made appearances in other games, such as the mobile Marvel's Future Fight, but he is set to release this week in the massive Marvel free-to-play game Marvel Heroes 2015.

     For people that don't know what this game is, think of Diablo, but with almost 50 starting characters- ALL of which are amazing Marvel properties.  From the X-Men and Avengers all the way to the Guardians of the Galaxy.  This game is a must play for anyone with a computer.

     Anyways, this week developer Gazillion is deploying both a movie-version and comic version of Scott Lang as Ant-Man, as well as an separately voiced Hank Pym Ant-Man.  Game Informer has all the information on the release (see link below), a nice exclusive trailer including an Anchorman reference (of which I made a Meme about over a month ago), and some info graphics of how improved the game has become since it launched in 2013.

     It might also be of note that Gazillion is running a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque contest involving 5 Vibranium Tickets that anyone can win- netting them $5000.  Anyone can win, regardless of how long they've played.  So now is the perfect time to join the game.

     Ant-Man is slated to launch as "early as Thursday" in Marvel Heroes 2015 ]

     Source [ Game Informer ]

     For other related posts [ Ant-Man ]


Suicide Squad: Official Comic Con Trailer

     Well, after the poor footage leak of the Suicide Squad trailer Warner Bros. has officially posted the real deal.  And it is looking much better than I was expecting.

     The trailer was released with this note attached on Facebook:
     "Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed. We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation."
-Sue Kroll, President Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures

     I genuinely wonder how many will make it through the film alive...

     Suicide Squad will hit theaters August 5th, 2016.

Farewell Satoru Iwata

     There's not much else I can say that hasn't been said by much bigger names, in much better ways than I could ever hope to say.  Satoru Iwata had a huge influence on my gaming history, as many gamers can relate- his influence reached far beyond what many might think.  His contributions were vast.
"On my business card, I am a corporate president. 
     In my mind, I am a game developer. 
          But in my heart, I am a gamer." 
-Satoru Iwata
     He helped make 2 of the most memorable games that helped shape my gaming history- Earthbound and Kirby.  Then to simply think of the impact he made with his work on various Pokemon games, good lord, he affected billions with just that, not to mention his work on both The Legend of Zelda and Mario series'.  Iwata undeniably changed a multitude of lives with his work, and we have lost a giant of video gaming history.
     I mean, just think about the simple fact he voluntarily cut his salary in half to save jobs when Nintendo was floundering.  He was a rare man, whose shoes can never truly be filled.

     May his passion and talent be an inspiration to us all.

     Farewell Iwata, you've left a legacy that will forever be impossible to match.


Deadpool: A Much Better Look as Colossus

     I found some better footage of the leaked Deadpool trailer and used it to get a better look at one of my favorite X-Men- the Osmium-skinned Russian strongman Colossus.
     I rotated, sharpened, and just generally cleaned up the screencaps I took for a clearer image of what we can expect from the movie's depiction of him.  The footage was still cloudy and angled, so I did what I could.  This version is looking much better than Daniel Cudmore's portrayal of him in the X-Men films.  He needs to be a walking tank, and it looks like this film gets it right.  Enjoy the images.

     Deadpool is slated for release Feb. 12th, 2016.

Heroes Reborn: First Full-Length Official Trailer

     As we inch closer to the release date, Heroes Reborn is regaining what the original series lost over time.  The magic might be back.  We get a couple new villains along with a few familiar old faces, and now we have a decent idea what the overall story for the 13 episode event series will be, and it might be...  extraordinary.

     Heroes Reborn premieres Thursday Sept. 24th on NBC at 8/7c.

     For more of my older posts [ Heroes ]

Hugh Jackman: Hints at Old Man Logan as His Last Wolverine Film

     Yesterday at 20th Century Fox's H Hall panel Hugh Jackman gave a giant tease of a quote, hinting towards a possibility for the next Wolverine film's story:
"I've got three words for you guys - Old Man Logan."

     I've heard it claimed that he said it jokingly, I mean he has been playing the character since 2000, being in 7 films over 15 years is quite a length of time.  We can't take this as official confirmation yet, but it does offer some good speculation talk.  The film adaptation of the 2008 Mark Millar and Steve McNiven comic book series would need some extreme tailoring because Marvel Studios owns the film rights to a lot of the characters.

     That being said, with the proper writing team, simply a story along the same lines as Old Man Logan could still be quite amazing.  But as I've said over, and over, and over, and OVER - Fox needs to make it R rated, and pull off the kiddie gloves.  Learn from the fan response to the Deadpool trailer.  Give us what we should've had years ago- a Wolverine story full of depth, blood, and gore.
     Look at the best of his stories- Weapon X by the incomperable Barry Windsor-Smith, the Wolverine run by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, or even the Old Man Logan series- they all deal with the inescapable nature of Logan's path as a killer.

     During the panel Jackman also says, "When we haven't always got it right, you've told us," to the fans- well, this is the chance to fix that mistake.  It's time to get this right.  Wolverine's motto is, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice..."  Maybe it's finally time to show us this aspect of the character and truly unsheathe his claws with the famous berserker rage he is known for.  Push the limits on the character, make us believe that Wolverine really is the best there is.

     Regardless, Wolverine 3 is scheduled for release on March 3rd, 2017.

     To watch the whole panel [ Youtube ] the Jackman part starts at 18:40.

X-Men: Apocalypse: First REAL Pic of Apocalypse From Leaked Trailer

     Screen-capped from a leaked trailer, here is En Sabah Nur in all his big blue glory from X-Men: Apocalypse with the added benefit of a badass, mohawk-sporting Storm,

     X-Men: Apocalypse is set to release May 27th, 2016.


X-Men: Apocalypse: First Picture of En Sabah Nur... Sort of...

     In all the crazy promoting going on at San Diego Comic Con Bryan Singer has tweeted a nice image (via Instagram) of a flyer being passed around for his upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.  The flyer features a drawn face of En Sabah Nur ("The First One") aka Apocalypse over the rubble and a burning Xavier Mansion.

     It might be of note the interesting hieroglyphics for the border, and this will be the first official look at the first mutant Apocalypse himself.  If Oscar Isaac looks like this, it could be amazing.  Now I wonder if they'll include the Celestials influence in his backstory?

     X-Men: Apocalypse is set to release May 27th, 2016.

Outcast Season 1: Cinemax's First Trailer

     Cinemax has released the first trailer for the adaptation of Robert Kirkman's Outcast.  Kirkman, probably most famous for being the creator of The Walking Dead, has a slew of great comics, and this is a series that could do very well on television.

     The supernatural-horror genre needs some more backing and this could do the trick.  Outcast is the story of a man, Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), that has dealt with demonic possession and the loss it causes his whole life.  He is aided in his quest to find a life of normalcy by Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), who has been dealing with demons of the personal variety.  They have a dark and dangerous road to walk on the path they find themselves upon- and Cinemax seems to have captured the creepy atmosphere perfectly.

     Outcast will be coming to Cinemax in 2016.

     In the mean time, I'd recommend reading the comic book series featuring awesome art by Paul Azaceta

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice NEW Comic-Con Trailer & Thoughts

     The new trailer has dropped and we get a little Alfred, Lex Luthor, and Wonder Woman as well as a whole LOT of destruction.  I also appreciate the Joker nod with the newspaper clipping as well.

     It appears we now know why Batman has decided Superman must be stopped- fallout from the Zod fight ruining the lives of innocents.  The intriguing notion that Lex might be using Zod's body to create a weapon against the Man of Steel is quite ingenious.

     My only qualms are really with the spectacle of substance.  There are a lot of ridiculous action shots and only a little bit of story.  Granted, I'll have to wait to see the finished version, but since it is Zack Snyder, the likelihood of it running in the same superficial vein as all his other films is very high.  Every film he's made has the appearance of great depth, but after watching them the realization is that they focus on action over meaning.  I hope (insert the "It's Not and 'S'" joke here) that this film changes the pattern.

     Hell, DC Comics might actually have a shot at competing with the Marvel films' box office domination.

     Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25th, 2016.


Disney INfinity 3.0: 116 Total Figures by the End of 3.0's Run

     Today John Vignocchi, Vice President of Production for Disney Interactive, tweeted a nice response to this @DisneyCheats image:

     The image is a Disney Infinity logo ingeniously making a map of all the playable figures- both currently available and those to come.  Yes, all those Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars logos are unannounced figures to come according to Vignocchi himself (link @ the 5:10 mark):
     “In fact that figure wall has a whole bunch of open slots for characters we haven’t announced yet.  So it’s funny because everyone kept saying, ‘Are there any more Disney characters? Are there more Star Wars characters? Are there more Marvel characters?’ And if you’re here, you can actually see, yeah there are a TON of open slots for a ton of new characters. And we’re excited to reveal those over time.”  
     So if we are hearing this correctly- that means there are currently 9 Star Wars, 16 Disney, and 4 Marvel characters for Disney INfinity 3.0 that are all still unannounced.  A whopping 29 as yet unnamed playable characters!  It makes sense, no figures have been shown for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Ep. 7) and we know that has been mentioned as being a guaranteed playset.  Plus, Marvel has Ant-Man arriving in theaters next Friday which offers more possibilities.  And, of course, Disney/Pixar has about a billion movies to choose from for more playable characters.  The potential playable list here is great.  Let the speculation commence!

     This makes me super excited for Disney INfinity 3.0 to be arriving on August 30th!

     Source [ INfinity Inquirer ]

Ghostbusters: The New Cast in Full Costume & Gear

     The new Ghostbusters reboot's director, Paul Feig, has been pouring out a stream of pictures via twitter, and he finally put up the long-awaited group shot.  It looks pretty damn good.  Especially the homage to the old cartoon Egon Spengler (The Real Ghostbusters) with a very familiar hairstyle and glasses look on Kate McKinnon's character Jillian Holtzmann.

     Ghostbusters is slated for a July 22, 1016 theatrical release date.

Sherlock: The Official Christmas Special Trailer

     With the short seasons few and far between, Sherlock has kept a level of achievement in television entertainment that is hard to match.  Which is great- they always manage to keep us wanting much more and avoid over-saturating the market causing boredom or losing momentum with the show in general.

     Today we receive a glorious new trailer for the period piece Christmas special episode trailer.

     The Sherlock Christmas special is "Coming Soon... ish"


Batman: New Stand-AloneFilm to be Written/Directed by Ben Affleck (Co-written by Geoff Johns)

     Deadline has reported at the San Diego Comic-Con that Ben Affleck may be set to co-write and direct a stand-alone Batman film.  This new Bat-film would follow both the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League films in terms of where the character would be.

     As for timing, the movie would be coming after Affleck has finished work on his adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Live By Night, and appear after the release date of the Justice League's big screen film debut on November 17, 2017.  Rumor has it the script itself should be finished by the end of this summer.

     Honestly, this could be a great thing.  DC Comics have had a hit-or-miss slew of films, and finally getting a heavy hitter to take the wheel could do well for them.  Geoff Johns, as co-writer, has written a majority of the characters already in runs for Aquaman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Justice League, Flash, and the Man of Steel himself, Superman.  Johns has a grasp on these characters few other can claim, and Affleck himself has a tremendous track record for writing and directing- with Gone Baby Gone, Argo, and The Town.  He knows how to handle the grit and realism of a good crime and detective film, and hopefully with that, the know-how to handle Batman.

     DC Comics may soon have a true successor to Christopher Nolan helming this future film with the collaborative efforts of Johns and Affleck.  Maybe even something to compete with the box office juggernaut Marvel has been.

     Source [ Deadline ]


Daredevil Season 2: Elodie Yung Cast as Elektra

    Since the mention of Matt Murdock's "hot Greek chick" former girlfriend in season 1 of the Netflix and Marvel show Daredevil, long-time fans have wondered who might be getting the role.  Today it was announced Elodie Yung will be playing the part of Elektra Nachios.  She is most known for her role in the less-than-great G.I. Joe: Retaliation in the role of Jinx.

     “After a worldwide search,  we found in Elodie the perfect actress to embody both Elektra’s impressive and deadly physicality, as well as her psychological complexity.  Paired with Charlie as Matt Murdock, the two will bring one of the most beloved and tumultuous comic book relationships to life with all the accompanying sparks and spectacular action sequences the show is known for.” 
-Executive Producer Jeph Loeb
     Elodie will be joining Jon Bernthal as Frank "The Punisher" Castle, and returning cast members Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple.

     Hell's Kitchen, New York City is beginning to fill up with some dangerous people.

     Daredevil Season 2 is slated to arrive on Netflix in 2016.

     Source [ Marvel ]

The X-Files: 201 Days of the X-Files Trailer: First New Footage

     After what series creator Chris Carter referred to as a "13 year commercial break," FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully have finally returned.  Included in this new "201 Days of the X-Files" event trailer we also get the first footage of them in action.

     This particular event is a long run of all 201 episodes, one a day, leading up to the new X-Files 6 episode mini-series premiere on January 24th, 2016.

Star Wars: Uprising: Announcement & Gameplay Trailers & Thoughts

     In early June Kabam announced an upcoming Star Wars game for iOS and Android devices- Star Wars: Uprising.  The announcement trailer (above) didn't give us a whole lot of information on what the gameplay might be.  Now that the gameplay trailer has dropped (below) we get an idea of what is to come.  And it looks quite good.

     The story:
     "In the days following the Battle of Endor and the fall of the Emperor, The Anoat sector has been locked down by the Empire. With the Rebel Alliance on the other side of the Iron Blockade, it falls to the sector’s smugglers, freedom fighters, bounty hunters and gangsters to join forces and form an uprising."

     Here's some features according to the official Star Wars: Uprising website:
Explore the secrets of the sector, build a powerful crew with allies, and play alongside friends in synchronous cooperative play.
Choose from a wide range of special skills, species, visual customizations and classic Star Wars gear to become the next Han Solo, Boba Fett or entirely unique hero of your own design.
Join players worldwide in massive sector-wide battles to dictate the expansion of in-game content, including new planets, exclusive gear and unique crew members.
     My thoughts on this game:  This looks to easily be the best mobile Star Wars game, and the sheer amount of customization will be well worth the price by itself.  Of course, making it up to 4 players with multiple classes all done in the gameplay style of Diablo helps.  Really, my only complaint is the lack of Jedi (or Sith) and the accompanying elegant weapons they carry- lightsabers.  IGN cites that this is deliberate and the creators are focusing on a different side of the universe, so really- I don't mind too much- as this game might retain the feel of the Expanded Universe's dark and gritty underworld- which has been officially eliminated from canon.  So this could be the spiritual successor to keep the diverse range of characters and places in the galaxy far, far away.

     It also has an interesting placement in the official Star Wars timeline.  This game will bridge the gap between Episodes VI (Return of the Jedi) and VII (The Force Awakens).  And there is a lot that can happen in those decades.

     The Official Page [ Star Wars: Uprising ]


Guardians of the Galaxy (Animated Series) Debut News

     Disney XD's next Marvel series, Guardians of the Galaxy, has officially been revealed.  The show is set to debut on Saturday September 26th on Disney XD with two back-to-back premiere episodes, airing from 9:30 to 10:30 pm, ET/PT.

     The Guardians of the Galaxy television series "follows the newly-formed team who finds a strange artifact keyed only to the DNA of Peter Quill. Upon opening it, Quill unleashes a treasure map leading to a powerful weapon known as the Cosmic Seed which is capable of giving birth to the next universe. It's up to the Guardians to find, protect and ultimately destroy the Cosmic Seed in order to keep it out of the hands of those who would abuse its power, from galactic big boss Thanos, to the conniving brothers the Collector and the Grandmaster, to a resurrected Ronan, to the ultimate trickster, Loki, in order to save the universe.”

     Working the way up to that big debut, Disney XD will be showing 2 part character shorts every Saturday through August.
  • August 1: Star-Lord – Part 1 (8:58 p.m., ET/PT) & Part 2 (10:28 p.m., ET/PT)
  • August 8: Groot – Part 1 (8:58 p.m., ET/PT) & Part 2 (9:58 p.m., ET/PT)
  • August 15: Rocket Raccoon – Part 1 (8:58 p.m., ET/PT) & Part 2 (9:58 p.m., ET/PT)
  • August 22: Drax – Part 1 (8:58 p.m., ET/PT) & Part 2 (9:58 p.m., ET/PT)
  • August 29: Gamora – Part 1 (8:58 p.m., ET/PT) & Part 2 (9:58 p.m., ET/PT)
     A sneak peek of the first episode, "Road to Knowhere," will air on Sat. Sept. 5th at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT. (The synopsis reads- "The newly-christened Guardians of the Galaxy come into possession of a dangerous artifact that has Thanos' new lieutenant, Korath, after them.")

     On Sat. Sept. 26th- the big one-hour premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy which will be the encore presentation of "Road to Knowhere" followed by "Knowhere to Run." The synopsis for "Knowhere to Run" is: "the Guardians struggle to subdue the suddenly-sprung-to-life Celestial head that is the Knowhere space colony, as well as storm Korath's ship to rescue Quill, Gamora and the mysterious CryptoCube that holds the Cosmic Seed."

     Then on the following day, Sun. Sept 27th Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will become available to watch for Disney XD users on WATCHDisneyXD.com and the WATCH Disney XD app for smartphones, tablets and connected TVs.

     The voice cast for Guardians of the Galaxy so far is: 
  • Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) as Peter Quill/Star-Lord 
  • Trevor Devall (Johnny Test) as Rocket Raccoon
  • Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show) as Groot
  • Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels) as Gamora 
  • David Sobolov (Transformers: Prime) as Drax the Destroyer 
  • James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Yondu and Cosmo.

     Source [ IGN ]


Heroes Reborn: The Extraordinary Among Us Trailer & Thoughts

     With this video NBC has also released a full synopsis of the 13 episode mini-series event:
     A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives. 
     Two such vigilantes include Luke (Zachary Levi, "Chuck") and Joanne (Judith Shekoni, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"), who are seeking to avenge a tragic loss. 
     Noah Bennet, aka HRG (Jack Coleman, "Heroes"), has gone off the grid, but conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski, "A to Z") finds him and opens his eyes to the truth behind the Odessa tragedy. 
     While in hiding, some are discovering their newfound skills. Awkward teen Tommy (Robbie Kay, "Once Upon a Time") just wants to be normal and win the girl of his dreams, Emily (Gatlin Green, "Criminal Minds"), but normalcy is virtually impossible after learning of a new ability that terrifies him. Coming from a very sheltered upbringing, a bold and ethereal teenager, Malina (Danika Yarosh, "Shameless"), has been told she is destined for greatness. In Tokyo, a quiet and unique young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane, "Death Yankee 3"), is trying to track down her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret that will make her a force to be reckoned with. 
     Elsewhere, a different type of hero is emerging through former soldier Carlos (Ryan Guzman, "The Boy Next Door"). 
     Meanwhile, Erica (Rya Kihlstedt, "Masters of Sex"), the head of the highly successful tech conglomerate Renautas has an agenda of her own. 
     For better or for worse, some are fated to cross paths with assorted heroes of the past, including Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), among others. Yet, together, their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world and mankind.
     With the newest full trailer for the upcoming Heroes Reborn series, my hopes have been renewed.  I now have a very tentative excitement for what is to come of this show that really caught my attention back in 2006.  Heroes had a rocky path after season one's tremendous impact and they kind lost their way.  Don't get me wrong, Heroes had a handful of great episodes after season two, but it never really recaptured that original magic, but this trailer makes me think they might have it once again.

     I really hope they can hit all the right notes this time around.  I spent a lot of time considering the show, and all the potentials it could have- but it never got to the place I believed it could.  Click the link below for a string of posts- beware, many are poorly formatted and rambling)  Maybe Kring's return can help the Heroes attain the greatness they initially had.  And maybe they can finally show us a Peter vs. Sylar type battle we deserved during the original show's run.  Maybe they can give us something worth talking about again.

     Heroes Reborn will premiere Thursday Sept. 24th on NBC at 8/7c.

     For older related posts [ Heroes


Ant-Man: My Ant-icipation is Growing

     It's no surprise to anyone that reads this blog that I am super excited for Ant-Man.  Getting new information and TV Spots are not helping any.  I finally got my hands on Lego Hank Pym toy, and there has been news about the upcoming video game tie ins that I am appreciative of.

I made this nice Ant-Man Splat GIF for funsies.
     Though, I am a little sad Marvel isn't licensing Ant-Man his own small mobile game, which could be unbelievable if handled well enough with his shrinking/growing powers, and even more interesting if you consider his ability to communicate with ants.

     What games Marvel has announced a slew of tiny tie-ins with are:
  • Marvel Pinball players will go against Yellowjacket in a multi-ball fight.
  • Puzzle Quest will receive an “Ant-Man” 30-day story event with 5 new missions.
  • Avenger’s Alliance Ant-Man will get a special operation.
  • Contest of Champions has a new alliance quest, a new story event & PvP tournaments.
  • Future Fight will host 4 new characters, 5 new stages and 2 costume variants.
  • Marvel Heroes look for enhanced costumes for Ant-Man including the theatrical outfit.
     Really, I'm only interested in the Future Fight and Marvel Heroes games- which are getting some of the better stuff, such as playable Ant-Men.  So despite not getting his own portable mini-game for phones, these offer the best options to that.

     As far as Marvel films have been going, I think Ant-Man will be closer to being along the lines of the Guardians of the Galaxy than what the Avengers related films have been.  What I mean is this film seems to feel like a much smaller scaled focus on people, a closer look at the people instead of the world dominating circumstances of the Avengers.  Yes, Guardians did have a galactic threat, but really came down to the story of a small group becoming friends and working together.  It used ample humor and great characterization versus the spectacle of global destruction.  So I really hope Ant-Man can pull it off.

     Source [ LA Times ]