The Punisher: Netflix Daredevil Spin-Off Series & Thoughts

     Hell's Kitchen is about to lose a lot more criminals soon, because according to Entertainment Weekly, Netflix and Marvel's team up has now officially announced a Punisher series.  Vigilante Frank Castle will be bringing his unique and bloody justice to the streets in his very own series.

     After his run as The Punisher, Jon Bernthal has made such an impact that the creators and fans want more.  Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal) will serve as showrunner, being both writer and executive producer for the show.  Hopefully it can compete with how perfectly they handled Frank Castle from Daredevil season 2.

         I've written before about how they should handle the Punisher, and Marvel/Netflix did not disappoint.  Now that the origin has been handled, it's time to ramp up the tension and story.  I want to see a Martin Scorsese level of quality Punisher tale.  It needs the depth of Goodfellas, and the genius underlying The Departed.  We want crime, corruption, and violence.  We want dark and gritty and cerebral.  We want a Punisher worth our time, and I completely believe it can happen.

     I'm also still pulling for Terry Crews to play Barracuda.  I've been saying this for years, oddly enough, since I saw him on the Damon Wayans show My Wife and Kids.  It'd be a perfect chance for him to keep his upbeat and positive nature, but flipped on its head and used as a focus for a villain that is rarely seen in any media.  And maybe even give one-time Punisher actor Dolph Lundgren a cameo as the toughened albino Tombstone...

     Source [ Entertainment Weekly ]


451 Media: Ex Mortis 5 (of 7): Comic Review

     It's 1944 and the world is at war, but Hitler has been creating an army of the undead called the Ex Mortis.  What can the Allies do against a group unstoppable Nazi soldiers?  Create a special group of their own monsters called the Dreadnaughts.

     The team is comprised of all the essential classic horror creatures.  There's Jack Glendon (Wolfman), Captain Demeter (Vampire), Junior (Frankenstein's original Promethean creation!), Nereus (A Fishman), Eric Leroux (Explosives Expert/Phantom), and  Corporal Cushing- just a normal human woman looking to find someone from her past.

     This team of super soldiers just can't catch a break.  They've been brought together on a suicide mission to stop a seemingly invincible army, crashed- then ruined- a military sock hop dance, accidentally decapitated their commanding officer, and then they were shot down behind enemy lines .  Things can't possibly get any worse, right?

     After last issue's skirmish, the team is regrouping.  Cushing is helping sew parts onto Junior, the Captain is feeding, and the team gets only the briefest of respites.  They are quickly divided, ambushed, and taken captive by the Ex Mortis who've been aided by a traitor.  Things are looking very bleak for the Allied monsters.  
     ...but...  they find someone that may be able to help them in their holding cells while another army moves towards their location.  

     The series was been created and written by Paul and Pete Williams, and has been adapted by Andi Ewington.  Ex Mortis has done quite well with it's horror material.  It could've easily fallen into a mish-mash of garbage like so many other stories tend to do, but is handled superbly here.  There's plenty of comics, books, and movies out there attempting to capitalize on the stereotypical horror lineup, but very few do it in such a deft manner.  They don't dwell on the angst of their characters like Penny Dreadful, they don't have incomprehensibly long and drawn out stories like Hemlock Grove, and it certainly doesn't neuter vampires and werewolves like Twilight.  Like the Dreadnaughts themselves, Ex Mortis has a mission and it cuts right to it.  Each issue gives us a little more story, a bit more tension, and a hell of a lot more action.

     What makes this story really shine, though, is the art.  It isn't often a black and white comic can really hold it's own with so many of the full-colored comics out there, but Raymund Bermudez's art is a true descendant of all that made old pulp horror comics so great.  It's got a dynamic flow, great layouts, and even the splatters between the panels are evocative of all the blood that is being spilled in these pages.  It doesn't need to be red to know what it is.  This book is a worthy heir to The Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt.  To give credit where it is due though, this issue also has Ty Dazo listed as penciler, and David Forrest assisting on inking.

     Every single book that 451 Media is putting out is great, and I'm continually impressed by them.  Seriously, Self Storage and Sunflower are absolutely great, Humbug is a genuine delight, and SIX is every bit as riveting as any military crime novel I've ever read.  This is a company to watch as the quality of work they've been publishing is staggering.  These books are all well worth reading!

     They have more than enough #ImaginationToBurn!
     451 Media on [ Comixology ]

     Official site [ 4five1 ] [ 451 Youtube ] [ Twitter ]

*Review copy provided by 451 Media, Thank you!

Marvel Future Fight: Captain America: Civil War Update & Thoughts

     Once again the amazing Marvel Future Fight mobile game has received a truly monstrous update.  This one as a large tie-in to the upcoming Captain America: Civil War film.

     We are getting a slew of new costumes (currently only for Team Cap, with the exception of Ant-Man, whose will be added soon along with Team Iron Man's).  There's also 3 new boss fight characters- Supergiant, Ebony Maw, and Thanos himself- have joined the battle, as well as one more playable character- Crossbones.
     The new costumes are a welcome addition, but I am unimpressed by Crossbones' play style so far.  He's got nothing interesting or new, but perhaps he'll grow on me.

     An added bonus is for this update there's a limited time event in which players can choose sides in the civil war and earn points in hopes of receiving some spoils and awards.  The Faction Battle is either Team Cap or Team Iron Man and has some nice back and forth as players get their points and time in.

     My one huge disappointment is that the Timelines PvP is still completely ridiculous and horribly imbalanced.  How has this remained a staple to play for daily achievements and also largely left to be a broken mess?  Either eliminate the daily mission, or fix the match ups.

     Overall, things are continuously improving with plenty of things to keep players engaged and happy, it's just that nagging PvP area that is causing problems.  Although... the equipment areas- namely the cards and the highly irritating upgrading system are kind of terrible. What's the point of upgrading items you like if they change into a random different item?!?  I was super angry my +48% burn damage boost became a Speed resist item.  Seriously Netmarble, that is a terrible idea.  If it's a gamble on what you get out of upgrading valuable items, then upgrading is something we won't necessarily want to do.

     For the full update info [ Marvel Future Fight Official ]


Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later: Announced by Netflix!

     In a very awesome bit of news, Netflix has officially announced a follow up series to their Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, which was itself a prequel to the amazing 2001 cult comedy film set in a fictional 1981 summer camp Wet Hot American Summer.

     The Wet Hot American Summer sequel, Ten Years Later, is a take on an end of the movie segment where the group makes a promise to meet up 10 years later.  It'll be an eight episode series set to premiere in 2017 and taking place in 1991.  David Wain and Michael Showalter are both returning as writers, with Wain once again helming the director's seat.  As for the rest of the cast, we can only guess that most of the original cast will make at least an appearance as they did for First Day of Camp, as well as the possibility of many of the new faces introduced in that series.

     Perhaps we'll get to see a remake of the original film's post-credits 10 years later sequence as well...

     Source [ Deadline ]

Nintendo: E3, Wii U, and Zelda vs The Players


     It's been two years since the original announcement for The Legend of Zelda for Wii U and we now get some more disappointing news for it.  Nintendo has let it be known today that it will be delayed another whole year, until March 2017, to coincide with the release of their new system code named NX.

     This has been rumored for a while now that this would probably be happening, and honestly it feels like Nintendo just screwed over the Wii U supporters as a whole.  Because their new system is supposed to be "The next generation of Nintendo" we can assume the new system to be superior in every way to the current Wii U, which would make us then ask, "Why even bother playing The Legend of Zelda on the old system?"  It would make much more sense to play it on the newer system, with the newer and better hardware, and presumably a much better all-around experience to go along with it.

     The Wii U hasn't been great at anything, and is quite a huge disappointment overall.  Where's all the 3rd party support?  Even when it comes to their first-party games the system has been a massive letdown.  All the once great Nintendo franchises have been relatively lackluster or missing completely.  And now that the one game that could revitalize interest in the system and boost sales comes along, it'll be used instead as a flagship launch title for another system entirely.

     And to top it off, this new Legend of Zelda will be the sole focus of Nintendo at E3.  What a wonderful way to place your one EGG in a singular basket and simultaneously shit on your customers in the mean time.

     Sources [ Nintendo Twitter ] [ NintendoLife ]


ALIEN DAY: In Space, No One Can Hear You Celebrate: April 26 (LV-426)


     Because every day is some sort of celebratory day now, 20th Century Fox has made today "Alien Day."  It was announced back on March 29th, and of course there's probably a monetary component involved at the bottom of this decision to help hype the 30th anniversary of the original Alien film this July as well as boosting info for both the upcoming films- Ridley Scott's Prometheus follow up and Neill Blomkamp's Alien 5 film.

     The date itself should be a familiar number to fans of the series as it is the number of the planetary body LV-426.  The distress signal came from that the Nostromo picked up, then later to be colonized and nuked from orbit to complete the Colonial Marines' disastrous bug hunt.

     To kick things off Jeffrey Godsick (President of 20th Fox Consumer Products) had this to say:
“The ALIEN franchise holds a special place not only within the universe of Fox but with movie enthusiasts across the galaxy.  We noticed that fans of the ALIEN films were starting to rally around the calendar date of April 26th - given the connection to the planet LV-426. Quite simply, it gave us the idea to do something special on this day; to officially mark the occasion alongside fans and to build excitement online, in stores and once again, in theaters."
     And then, from the official press release:
"Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products announced today an out-of-this-world global celebration of the ALIEN franchise culminating with a special 24 hour, fan-focused social media event on April 26th – a nod to LV-426, the planet from the iconic ALIEN films. ALIEN DAY (#AlienDay426) to encompass a wide range of executions including nationwide screenings, never-before-seen consumer product activations and the kickoff of the ALIEN: Ultimate Trivia Challenge*, allowing fans to test their ALIEN knowledge – with the chance to win memorable prizes every 42.6 minutes on Twitter."

     I'm not going to lie, I'm really into this.  Dark Horse Comics has a ton of the Alien comics on sale for 50% off on Comixology (sale ends on 05/02 leaving plenty of time to shop), so I'll buy a bunch of those.  Although I've already got Alien: Salvation and can safely recommend that to any Alien fan or any Mike Mignola fans, it's a great short book.  There's a wealth of great material in there for fans.

     NECA and Funko have new figures on the way, Titan and Audible books, and other special edition merchandise will be available.  Zen Studios made an Alien Pinball app game available on iTunes, Google Play, or Xbox.  In addition, participating theaters will be showing an Alien and Aliens double feature!  But the coolest item might be the fact Reebok is issuing the iconic high-top ALIEN STOMPERS!  Sadly though, the shoes are all sold out and going for ridiculous Weyland-Yutani prices on Ebay.

     To join in on the face-hugging fun just go on over to Twitter and Instagram @AlienAnthology or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/alienanthology.  The horror here will be how much we all spend on all this cool merchandise.

     Personally, I'll be celebrating by playing some Alien: Isolation.

     Sources [ Blastr ] [ Inquisitr ]

*Trivia participants must pre-register their handles In advance of the contest kickoff at http://AlienAnthology.com.


Ghostbusters: Ecto Cooler Returning to Store Shelves May 30th!

     Fan campaigns to bring it back combined with hype for the new Ghostbusters movie has persuaded the Coca-Cola company to re-issue the delicious Hi-C Ecto Coolers!

     Way back in 1987 the slime colored citrus beverage was made as a tie-in to The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, and actually ran far longer than the show.  It made it all the way to 2001.

     Of course, the appeal of the magical color of green means it'll be a guaranteed money-making tie-in for the new film.  Beginning on May 30th, Slimer's ooze-juice will be available for a limited time in either packs of 6oz. boxes or in 11.5oz. cans- all set to haunt our digestive tracks with nostalgic goodness.

     Ghostbusters is set to hit theaters July 15th.

     Source [ Hi-C Ecto Cooler ]

X-Men: Apocalypse: The Final Trailer Has Arrived

     At long last, the last trailer for the latest installment of the mutant-filled franchise has come.  In this X-Men: Apocalypse trailer, we get a whole lot of new footage, a little new info, and one great big, albeit a completely unsurprising, return of a character.

     X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27th.


Borderlands 3: Pitchford Teases the Next Installment

     Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox, hinted towards the future of their beloved Borderlands series during a PAX East panel earlier today.

     "Obviously, there is going to be another Borderlands."  -R. Pitchford

     Though, for reasons clear to anyone that's played through to the end of Borderlands 2, it may have a completely different name.  Personally, I would think something along the lines of Borderworlds might be much more appropriate.

     In addition, the Battleborn art director will be carried over to the next Borderlands game, and it will be written by Mikey Neumann.  Nuemann has already written the Brothers in Arms games, and is the iconic voice of Borderlands' own Claptrap.

     In the end Pitchford told players to "look deeply" at the upcoming Battleborn DLC for references to the series.

     I'm quite grateful that they've been taking their time, and a break from the series.  It's been quite some time since we heard about a sequel last back in February of 2014, the franchise wasn't being worked on.  It was merely a couple ideas, and now it seems they are actually going to begin with the preliminary stages.  This could be a massive undertaking that could rightfully pay off greatly if handled as well as Borderlands 2 was, especially with the sheer amount of DLC output.

     Source [ Gamespot

     For my other posts from Pandora [ Borderlands ]


Wolverine 3: Old Man Logan... and Possibly X23

     It isn't a huge surprise to know that after Deadpool's recent box office destruction, that both the fast-tracked X-Force film and Wolverine sequel are potentially getting R ratings.  What is only slightly surprising, however, is the fact that the female Wolverine clone Laura "X-23" Kinney may have a role in the film.

     Personally, it just makes sense- keeping the Wolverine legacy going with a female in the lead is tantamount to a cinematic gold mine, and I've already mentioned in another post that I think they'll use her in the upcoming X-Force film, so it would make sense to begin her journey from her current namesake's last movie.  Just because Hugh Jackman's last film will be Wolverine 3, doesn't mean that Fox wants to let the franchise character go.

     I mean, I have a very strong feeling Marvel's "Phase 4" will be doing the same thing- eliminating the current generation and usurping their roles with younger people.  So we'll probably be seeing the diversity checklist that the Avengers has become as the next set of heroes and villains.  It could be quite good, but then again, it could also turn out horribly.  I'm crossing my fingers for the former.
     The X-Men are kind of already doing it with the original X-Men team and the First Class teams, then we'll be seeing X-Force and The New Mutants, so it's already kind of in the process.

     What genuinely surprises me a little is they aren't going the Daken route with this awesome segment about Wolverine wondering about his life as a failed father and then his tragic need to end the cycle he unintentionally created.  Back in 2013 I wrote:
     If they took the child he never knew he had.  The kid would be an absolute monster- enjoying all the killing and abusing his powers.  Following Wolverine around and wreaking havoc on anyone he comes in contact with.  In the end Wolverine would be forced to kill him.  If it was handled correctly the impact of the story could be immense.  A small intimate scale of personal, character driven plot.  Subtle, yet powerful.  Uncanny X-Force 34 did it very well with Daken imagining the ways life could've been different with a father around as he is dying at his father's hands. 
     While doubt the film will follow this path, I do think this tale could still work in part, but have X-23 helping Logan with the task of taking on the role of mentor or father figure.  It could be a tremendously moving story if handled correctly.  But, I am a bit worried that James Mangold is directing again, and it's being penned by relatively unknown David James Kelley

     I've ranted about it over, and over, and over, and OVER again- Fox needs to pull off the kiddie gloves.  Learn from the fan response to Deadpool.  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.  If X23 is to join, make this every bit as emotionally impactful as the Daken scenes from Uncanny X-Force.

     During a FOX Marvel Comic Con panel last year (starting at 18:40) Hugh Jackman said, "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 about damn time to get this right.  Wolverine's motto has always been, "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 of the character, make us believe that Wolverine really is the best there is.

     Wolverine 3 is set to hit theaters March 3rd, 2017.


451 Media: SIX: Issue 6: Comic Book Review (S6X)

     In issue 6 of SIX, everything is taking a step up with some downtime.  We've been getting plenty of issues of set up and now it's time for some big pay off.  McQuade's team has been assembled and we know there can only be action to come- and does it ever.

     The issue begins with a small party going on at Sarah's coffee bean farm where everyone can relax a little.  And through this opening we get insights into many of the characters and what they are like when not fully on the job.  Each character has been made quite distinct and a great addition as a specialist on the team, and this issue only makes that more apparent.
     Every one on the team matters.  These aren't just nobodies, they are the five-one Sand Scorpions that served together in Iraq.  They are coming together out of an important bond and they are focused on keeping that together.  George Pelecanos (the Writer/Producer of the HBO show The Wire) has made damn sure these characters are fleshed out, and writer Andi Ewington has done a perfect job of giving us realistic and believable dialogue.

     McQuade and Sarah talk circuitously around their past romance, Blink and Abe discuss guilt and PTSD, and Stonewall display's an uncharacteristic soft side.  But this small celebration is a wonderful contrast for the second half of the issue when the action hits.  The Mexican drug cartel has been watching and planning, using their still unexplained knowledge of this team to try and take them down.  The cartel finally takes action and when the SIX fight back, all hell breaks loose.

     This issue has a tremendous contrast between the way it begins and the way it ends.  Starting with a comfortable get-together with everyone laying low and enjoying themselves and swiftly ramping up to an end that is an all out war zone.  It proves to be such an amazingly effective dichotomy that I was slightly taken aback.  The writing and art flow so seamlessly that I was genuinely surprised that I had actually read over 40 pages so quickly.
     This issue of SIX has raised the stakes, filled us in on some intriguing backstory to flesh out the characters, given us exceptional action sequences, and left us on one hell of a cliffhanger of an ending- meaning that it has not only done everything we want from a comic book, it's done more.

     SIX issue 6 has brought the eight issue series to a new level.  Pelecanos, Ewington, and Chater have created a series to keep an eye on.  It's engaging, action packed, and sets a great standard for comic book entertainment.

     The comics company 451 Media has come out of nowhere and surprised me with continually amazing stories with Self Storage and Sunflower, but SIX is easily overtaking them as my favorite.  There's no better praise I can give other than to tell you to go out and buy these books.  I've got more reviews for Humbug, Bad Moon Rising, and Ex Mortis all on the way, and I absolutely cannot get enough of how good all these books are.  They've definitely got #ImaginationToBurn.  Seriously, these are all comic books to follow, and there is no way I want to miss an issue.

     SIX issue 6 will be available Wednesday April 27th.

     [ 451 Media official site ] [ 45's Twitter ] [ 451's Youtube ]

*SIX issue 6 review copy provided by 451 Media


Dark Souls 3: My Exp for the First Week: Boss Meme!

     Over the course of the first week of playing Dark Souls 3, I was taken by the new touch of not having a fog gate for the first time you encounter a boss to be a welcome surprise, albeit a frustrating one as well.  Stumbling into a major battle with no supplies is tantamount to instant doom for players fighting a boss for the first time.

     So, to celebrate this nice new feature, I made a Dark Souls meme about it:

     And if you like, here 2 old ones I made, "Shut up and take my souls!" and "Oh look, MORE Cracked Blue Eye Orb!"  Nothing special, just quick things thrown out for fun.  Enjoy.


Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Warrior Class Grimlock Toy

     It's been almost 2 years since my last post on any non-videogame related toys.  The last one was about Bebop and Rocksteady action figures for the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show.  Anyways, I was out picking up some household essentials and of course I HAVE to swing through the toys section, and I came across this gem.

     The new Transformers: Robots in Disguise Grimlock is kind of awesome.  He's based on the designs of the 2015 Cartoon Network show and it follows the look quite well.  He's got decent articulation and a nice color scheme that is much better than the original clunky look from back in the 1980's, but not nearly as complex as the Transformers: Age of Extinction version.

     I really like the look of this new version of the old Dinobot, well done Hasbro, you've successfully caught my eye for the new series because a an action figure.  It's cool that there's enough of the original in there for old fans, as well as a neat update for the current generation of kids.
     It's much better than what was done do my favorite Decepticon Soundwave in the Transformers: Generations toys.  His robot look was great, but he transformed into a battle van.  What the heck?!?  He should be a stealth spy drone (as he is in Robots in Disguise) character with a focus on infiltration, subterfuge, and intelligence gathering.  Even the ridiculous movie version (from the films Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon) had a better idea with the satellite, although they really blew it with his iconic voice being altered.

     One last thing, I definitely have to acknowledge the fact that Grimlock's "Beast Mode" looks a hell of a lot like the 1998 film incarnation of Godzilla with the thick lower jaw.  I mean seriously- look at it!  There's got to be some sort of connection or inspiration linking the two designs.

     As a little extra, here's the Transformers: Robots in Disguise intro video for Grimlock:

Ghostbusters: Video Game (2016) Announcement Trailer & Thoughts

     Arriving mere days before the new film hits theaters, a new Ghostbusters video game will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

     The new game is a co-op twin stick shooter featuring, by the looks of it, completely new recruits to the Ghostbusters team taking over duties while the main cast is off dealing with the big poltergeists.  This looks very much like 2011's Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, but with better graphics.  In fact, it has a very stylized look that bodes quite well, although I am not too fond of Slimer's slightly creepier new appearance.  He looks a bit too ominous, even with a backpack.
     In addition there's a mobile game on the way- Ghostbusters: Slime City.  A third-person action game of busting specters on your phones and tablets featuring multiplayer options and presumably a grind-heavy leveling system so typical with the current mobile gaming climate.

     Recently, there's been the Ghostbusters addition to Lego Dimensions, which is standard Lego game playing fun, there's the mundane Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter game, the surprisingly entertaining Little Ghostbusters phone game, and the interesting and oddly-fun-yet-still-terrible augmented reality game Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast.  Lastly, there very under-appreciated Ghostbusters: The Video Game.  That's a game I would very much recommend to any fans of the films, or even of the old 80's cartoon and toys series.

     Ghostbusters the game will be available July 12th.

     Source [ USA Today ]

Ghostbusters: Slime City: Mobile Game Coming in July

     Ghostbusters is getting a plethora of new stuff for when the movie hits this summer. new toys, merchandise, and video games.  There's the new twin-stick shooter coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and then there's this little mobile tie-in- Slime City.

     Ghostbusters: Slime City has players out completing jobs by busting ghosts, collecting rewards, upgrading headquarters, and collecting proton pack components.  Players will be attempting to save New York City with a multiplayer option via "asynchronous co-op or compete in special PVP events for bigger rewards and bragging rights."

     Recently, there's been the wonderful Ghostbusters addition to Lego Dimensions, which is standard Lego game playing fun, there's the mundane Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter game, the surprisingly entertaining Little Ghostbusters phone game, and the interesting and oddly-fun-yet-still-terrible augmented reality game Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast.  Lastly, there very under-appreciated Ghostbusters: The Video Game.  That's a game I would very much recommend to any fans of the films, or even of the old 80's cartoon and toys series.

     Ghostbusters: Slime City will be for "select iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, and Kindle devices."  The exact release date has not been given, but is "expected in July."

     Source [ Activision ]


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan: Cosmetic Pre-Order DLC

     Platinum Games, Nickelodeon, and Activision announced this morning that the highly anticipated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan will have two separate cosmetic pre-order bonus DLCs to choose from.

     Pre-ordering from Gamestop will get you a set of "Rock N Roll" costumes for each of the Turtles, while pre-ordering from the Playstation Store, Xbox Store, or Steam will get you the "Samurai" skins.  By the sounds of it, this could open the way for a ton of extra DLC costumes and potential add on content (I'm crossing my fingers for additional playable characters like Metal Head or Slash!) for all of us TMNT fans.

     While I'm not too impressed with my Gamestop pre-order bonus' costumes, the Samurai skins are pretty damn cool.  I hope these become separately purchasable at a later date.  Or, of course, have a larger selection of alternatives to choose from or buy.

     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan launches May 24th 

     For more Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

Doctor Strange: The Teaser Trailer is Here

     The first trailer has arrived for Doctor Strange and it is much better than I had been anticipating.  I'd been pretty hesitant due to the mystical nature and how it would be depicted for the film, and Marvel doesn't disappoint.

     This film looks to break open the astral realms to the Marvel cinematic universe and it looks amazing.  The way the warping realities appear is great and I really hope they take it much, much further for the movie's finale and make the arcane arts into something breathtaking visually.

     Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4th.


Dark Souls 3: Launch Trailer, Pre-Game Thoughts, and Difficulty


     Let's start this with what many of you are here for- the epic launch trailer:

     There'll be many deaths in the process of lighting the bonfires.  Many, many deaths.


My character Old Ben from Dark Souls 2, in the Crown of the Sunken King DLC.
     Those that've read this blog long enough know that I've been a long fan of the series in the seven years since Demon's Souls first came out.  Through the good, the bad (the awful mobile tie-in), the memes, and even the wonderful humor courtesy other players.  Back in late 2013 I made a wish list for Dark Souls 2, and I kind of want the same things for the third installment.

     1) "Trusty" Patches (The Hyena).
Who isn't suspecting a new incarnation of the tricky fellow that enjoys kicking people into trap and treasure filled pits?
     2) A Sword of Moonlight.

          A FromSoftware staple, a blade of moonlight.  I hope for a smaller sword this time.
          I think a Moonlight Rapier would be more my style.

     3) Lore.
More lore.  Always with the mystery and search for what is really going on.
     4) A new Painted World of Ariamis
Obviously a world within a world is always a good thing in Dark Souls.
     FromSoftware has an amazing track record for great games, and this'll be no different.  My hopes burn as bright as the light of the Kiln of the First Flame.


     I've been seeing this debate going on and on and on, and personally, I wouldn't mind an easy mode, and for those of you that immediately want to reply with, "Get good," I'll have you know I Platinum Trophied Dark Souls.  It isn't that I can't do it, it's a matter of having the time to grind through versus wanting a more casual experience of the tremendous world-building in the universe FromSoftware has created.  I would enjoy a more exploratory journey where one wrong step didn't result in instant death, or going the wrong way might lead to an enemy far beyond the reach of early level players.


     Will we finally break the cycle of descent into the abyss or relight the firelink shrines and establish a new light in the world?  I'm going to try.  Over and over and over again in the path of life and death spinning as a wheel.

     It's time to summon assistance, praise the sun, and step through the fog gate- I'm prepared to die.

My Dark Souls character- Njeru.


Suicide Squad: Trailer 2: BLITZ

     First we got the Suicide Squad Comic Con Trailer, then we got the "Worst Heroes Ever" trailer, now we get "Blitz."  Once again, there's a ton of great material here including some peaks at what might be the real villain behind the film- because I'm not convinced it's just the Joker.

     There's a lot more humor here, as well as some decent looks at some of the characters' weapons- I'm looking at you Boomerang!  There's also a couple new shots of Batman to give us some more of Ben Affleck's great take on the Dark Knight.  Suicide Squad is already looking far better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Readers already know my thoughts about that travesty.

     Instead of pointing out all the little things I spotted as I usually do, I'll just link to a Mr. Sunday Movies video that gives a great rundown:

     [ Easter Eggs, References & Things Missed (& Red Arrows) ]

     Suicide Squad is set to slaughter theaters August 5th.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: Trailer 2 Arrives

     The sequel to the 2014 TMNT movie, TMNT 2 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, has released the second full trailer with loads of new footage.

     We get much more Bebop and Rocksteady, some new Shredder, a bit more Casey Jones, and an overwhelming amount of Kraang's Technodrome in all its city-destroying glory.  Plenty of over-the-top action and silly humor look to be in store for the Heroes in a Half-Shell.

     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows hits theaters June 3rd.

     For more Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]


Escape from Twump Tower: Tiny Review: A Decent Donald Trump Simulator

     While I would never vote for someone with a larger ego than Zaphod Beeblebrox, I would certainly play a silly game where you control someone like that.  Which is perfect because this little indie gem by the name of Escape from Twump Tower is exactly that!  

     Escape from Twump Tower was made by Will Blanton (01010111) for the Ludum Dare 33 contest with the apt theme of "You are the Monster."  The story is simple and accurate with a lead like Twump, someone so notorious for his truly outrageous media presence and laughable ideas:
     So in an effort to escape with as much of his riches as possible, you must set out on a nice platforming adventure scaling the levels of the tower.  Overall the game is great- it has awesome sounds, great music, and wonderful visuals.  It's a treat that really hits on what made all those old 16-bit era platforming games so special.  How can something so cute be so devious?!?

     The downsides, however, are that the controls are a bit awkward and occasionally unresponsive leading to some frustrating moments.  There are some small odd physics problems with things either floating or sinking when they shouldn't be and compounding this are item collision issues and where things fall through each other making progress impossible at times.

     Despite the negatives Escape from Twump Tower is a tremendous and entertaining small game where you get to live the life of an orange-colored, self-centered, greed-personified, human-like monster known in the real world as Donald Trump...

     ...and it's absolutely adorable.

     To play: [ Itch.io ]  or  [ Ludum Dare ]


Hardcore Henry: Short Review: First-Person Shenanigans

     I have a feeling Hardcore Henry will be a very divisive film.  It's a disorienting stream of motion and violence.  It's fast, absurd, and downright brutal at times...
     ...but it's also an extremely entertaining and fun to watch if you've ever been an FPS (First-Person Shooter) gamer.  It's an exhilarating experimental film tailored exactly to your gameplay familiarity.  Maybe it is something not necessarily made for specifically for gamers, but it is definitely something clearly made with very heavy influences from FPS gaming culture.

     POV filming is still a relatively untapped field for movies, and here we see the blurring lines between video game culture and movies for a unique and immersive cinematic experience.  I think VR might be the next step from here in putting viewers directly into the role of player, but that could be a ways off yet.  There's great effort in setting this up to be viewed in the way gamers play and look at things.  Even more care is given to the way the film is edited.  Each scene is handled with enough finesse that many cuts are surgically precise and go unnoticed.

     The film plays on many conventions of modern games and translates it into an insane adrenaline-fueled joy ride.  Henry himself doesn't speak, he has little care for any bystanders, makes inventive use of weapons, and there's even a wonderful moment in the "end boss" fight where he uses the boss's own power as a type of game mechanic.  Although, we can see that Writer/Director Ilya Naishuller put in a good amount of time to make absolutely certain that those conventions of gaming didn't devolve into mere tropes though.  There's no health or experience bars to be seen and that is a very good thing.

     Going with nearly no big name actors, with the exception being Sharlto Copley of District 9 fame- who steals every single scene he's in- was a grand idea.  We aren't being force fed things.  As viewers we are in the driver's seat learning and watching as the main character does through the stages of the film.  Each step of the journey we get a little more plot and a lot more action.  It builds and builds and builds until the end of the film when it goes off the rails into a pure fighting fervor.

     Back to Sharlto Copley.  He's a glowing gem of brilliance as the many faces of Jimmy.  It sounds odd, but he has all the best moments, and all the funniest death scenes.  His whole character also serves as a larger underlying meta-commentary as his avatars are all quite expendable and appear all over the place filling us in with loads of exposition that comprises much of the story.

     Hardcore Henry is quite brilliant in it's execution for the big screen and will likely have a cult following because of it.  In the end Hardcore Henry is one hell of an interesting thrill ride unmistakably influenced by video game culture, and done in such an ingeniously creative way that it may be hard to top for any of the inevitable future movies shot in this style.

Marvel's Cloak & Dagger: Coming to ABC Television

    ABC's Freeform (previously called ABC Family) has officially confirmed a Marvel's Cloak & Dagger series is on the way.  I recall reading about it back in 2011, but it kind of disappeared.  Now it appears Disney is shooting for a younger, teen-aged audience with this series, not going for the outright gritty Netflix series' Daredevil or Jessica Jones.

     According to Variety:
The live-action interracial romance follows the duo [Cloak (Tyrone Johnson) and Dagger (Tandy Bowen)], two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love - Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.

     So it sounds like Freeform will be focussing on the teenage romance aspect of their story- a kind of star crossed lovers coming together.  I really hope they include the meta commentary on drugs and the struggle with the two from differing backgrounds coming together.

     This might turn out all right despite being an ABC show.  Considering ABC's other Marvel properties are only mediocre at best- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and the soon to be Marvel's Most Wanted spin-off featuring Mockingbird.  Both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Carter are decent entertainment, but could really use an overhaul in their cheap stories and ham-fisted use of forced drama in the shows.  Their takes on the versions of Carter and Agent Coulson truly need an update.  They are amazing characters in the films, but have been reduced to poorly-written caricatures of themselves for the television shows.
     So I'm definitely willing to give the Cloak & Dagger show a shot, as there's always a chance it could come out amazing if ABC Freeform puts together a great team of writers, actors, and directors.

     Sources [ Variety ] [ ComicBookMovie ]

Star Wars: ROGUE ONE: Trailer & Thoughts


     Director Gareth Edwards is bringing us the first in a series of stand alone films in the saga, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  Taking place prior to the events of A New Hope, this story follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as she is sent by Mon Mothma to steal the Empire's plans for the Death Star.  Presumably the ones that Princess Leia has at the beginning of Episode 4 locked in R2-D2.


     Mothma says she's, "Reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined"

     To which Erso replies, "This is a rebellion, isn't it?  I rebel."

     While it sounds great, being reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined is not a good thing.  Even the Sith are not wholly reckless and undisciplined.  I have an inkling that someone that rebels simply to rebel would be a danger to both sides, and probably wind up being killed due to said recklessness.  Regardless, this new take on the Star Wars film universe is much more appealing than the main saga itself.  We're finally getting some Star Wars: Underworld type stories with grit and realism and it is quite refreshing.

     That being said, I also think Disney is really pushing the limits on how many Star Wars films (and all the Marvel movies) that people can handle.  There needs to be some real down time to avoid over-saturating the market and numbing our fandom nerves to the greatness that is the Star Wars Universe.

     On the plus side, this looks, to me at least, more intriguing than the main course of Star Wars we're receiving.  I'll see pretty much anything they put out, but this one opens the door to more of the Underworld stories that held my attention through the comics years ago.
     I can now only hope for a future Tag & Bink 3D animated series of shorts in a more humorous take on The Clone Wars or Rebels type shows to break up the extremely serious nature of all the current stories.

     Rogue One is set to hit theaters on December 16th.


LEGO Marvel's Avengers: FREE Ant-Man DLC Pack Available Today!

     Back in January Playstation announced a wonderful exclusive for LEGO Marvel's Avengers that included FREE bonus DLC packs for the Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man films exclusively for Playstation.

"Utilizing the ability to shrink in size but increase in strength, Ant-Man (Scott Lang) stars alongside a variety of memorable characters, including Ant-Man (Hank Pym), Cassie Lang, Darren Cross, Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, Luis, Scott Lang, The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) and Yellowjacket, along with Ant-Thony (Ant-Man’s Flying Ant). The pack also includes an exciting new theatrical-based level from the blockbuster movie."
     The Captain America: Civil War pack was alright with a bunch of extra characters, but the one I've been waiting for is the Ant-Man pack- which is available today!  To make this even sweeter, Scott Lang's best bud Luis will be narrating the adventure- complete with the always amazing Michael Peña doing the voice work for his LEGO counterpart!

     Future Season Pass offerings will include Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Masters of Evil.

     Source [ Playstation Blog ]


The Legend of Zelda: The 30-Year Tribute: A 3D Browser Game!

     Two fans, Scott Lininger and Mike Magee, have made a very cool update to the classic The Legend of Zelda Nintendo game.  The Legend of Zelda: The 30-Year Tribute is made with voxels to create a stunning 3D version of the game and it is currently playable in browsers on either computer or mobile devices.*  

     With Nintendo's history of shutting down any sort of fan created work using their IPs, no matter how awesome, this may be shut down soon- so play it while you can.  Note- Nintendo is listed in the credits as being responsible for creating memories and magic!

     I always wonder why Nintendo doesn't start hiring these people to create the things we fans want.  It usually comes down to Nintendo wanting to make money from every damn thing they've done, and never sharing it with anyone else.  This tribute being based on one of its most beloved franchises will probably wind up being a huge red flag for it to be shut down.  Honestly, I think Nintendo should leave it, because it really wouldn't hurt their sales, and might generate more fan discussion while we wait for the new Legend of Zelda game to arrive on the Wii U later this year.

     TO PLAY [ The Legend of Zelda: The 30-Year Tribute ]

          Twitter [ @Zelda30Tribute ]
          Facebook [ Zelda30Tribute ]

*I've been playing this on my phone all morning and it is great. 
-I also forgot how much the river creatures look like Gyarados from Pokemon.


Titan Quest Mobile Edition: Release Date & Developer Diary

     Back in 2013 Nordic Games bought the IPs for some of THQ's old games, and in 2015 it was announced that DotEmu was porting the amazing cult classic Titan Quest to mobile devices.  After a long stint of no news, we get a developer diary and a release date.

     The developer diary shows that the graphics have indeed gotten a nice overhaul and the controls and menus have been updated to be much more touchscreen friendly.  The completely new interfaces and button layouts should make playing a lot more intuitive.

     It's wonderful to see how much effort and thought DotEmu have put in to this port.  They've been quite thorough, and by the looks of it, I'll be spending many hours hack n' slashing Harpies in ancient Greece again.

     Titan Quest arrives on iOS on May 19th (and Android "shortly thereafter")