Stranger Things: Season 2 Announcement Teaser

     The Duffer Brothers' Netflix exclusive sci-fi horror show Stranger Things has officially announced a 2nd season coming in 2017!  The teaser trailer gives us a bunch of curious names and opens up a ton of possible connections.

     Season 1 was a true love letter to all the classic sci-fi horror films of the 80's and I can only imagine that with the way things were left at the end, there is a whole lot more that can be done with the series.  I mean, what exactly IS the upside down?  Where did that creature come from?  How were the kids taken to Hawkins Laboratories connected to the creature and the upside down?

     I expressed my extreme enjoyment of the series from, quite literally the day it began (Here and here.).  The series was tremendously saturated with all the things I grew up with in the 80's, and with a second series on the way, I can rest assured that it'll be even better than the first season.

     2017 can't come soon enough.


451 Media: NVRLND: Issue 1 Short Review


     451 Entertainment's newest comic, NVRLND, has taken a classic and updated it.  The writing/creator duo of Stephanie Salyers and Dylan Mulick have taken the timeless tale of Peter Pan and injected it with a hefty dose of the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll underground music scene of the modern era.
     With art by Leila Leiz (colors by Thomas Chu), the issue starts off with a bang and keeps up the pace the whole way through.  It's bright and colorful, clean line work, and a great flow of panels.


     In NVRLND's updated take on the material they've made the ever-selfish Peter the promiscuous lead singer in a band called The Lost Boys that play at his club Neverland, Wendy is the new girl in town, and Hook is a drug dealing tattoo artist with some kind of obsessive fetish for under-aged girls.  Other familiar names like Tinkerbell appear, but no Crocodile or Mr. Smee yet.

     The leader of the tattoo-covered Pirates gang, James Hook, has begun distributing a new drug called Pixie Dust- complete with magically glowing sparkles- to kids at Peter's club making them believe they can fly.  This leads to a quickly escalating body count and Wendy's father is the new District Attorney brought in to try and get to the bottom of this case and stop the deaths.  This side-story actually adds a secondary level of intrigue in the form of a detective murder mystery.  On the other hand, Peter knows that Hook is up to something in a kind of revenge, perhaps tied to the loss of his right arm.

     We get a lot of small teases for what is to come- including a possible explanation ties to what the Pixie Dust might be made from if you look closely.  The creators have set up numerous great plot threads to follow through this four issue series, and they're all well enough done to please different types of readers.


     It's a bit messy at times, rapidly jumping from place to place, like the inexplicable hatred Tiger Lily has for Wendy and their initial fight-to-friends in a page seems to come out of absolutely no where, or the fact that Wendy's hair appears to change colors at times, but the story itself has something at it's core that really works.  There's something magical here that is very enjoyable and keeps me invested.  It's a completely new take on something we are all familiar with twisted into something much more sinister- but it's also done in a way that isn't easily dismissed.  NVRLND is a truly unique dark re-imagining that does something special with the idea of staying forever young.  They've made a great first issue and the 4 issue limited series offers a ton of promise.  I'd definitely recommend this.

*Review copy provided by 451 Entertainment, Thank you!!!


Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel Trailer & Quick Thoughts

     The official trailer has dropped and it looks great.  We are getting the already known new weapons, armor, spells, a new area, new enemies, and a whole area devoted specifically to PvP called the "Immortal Competition."  But now we get to see so many more clues!

     The name Ariandel is immediately reminiscent of The Painted World of Ariamis.  It's another snow based area, and even has someone reaching out to touch something that appears very like the familiar looking painting itself at the 55 second mark.  Another notable thing is that some characters that to be covered in feather like capes- that being related to Velka.  Which makes me wonder is the self-flagellating character that is seen multiple time (best shot at 2:12) Velka herself?

     I think we also get a cool shot of someone using a Lordvessel as a weapon as well.  At 2:17 an enemy is crushing a player with it, and dumping lava out on them.  That is tremendously awesome.

     Overall, I'm wondering if- as FromSoftware is known to do- this takes place in another time.  I can't really say yet, but I would guess that this takes place prior to Dark Souls 3- as a still shot looks like what could possibly be a young Ludleth of Courland.  But then, it could always be someone we've never met.  At the 35 second mark there is another, presumably, Firekeeper.  Is it possibly one we already know- perhaps from the Untended Graves?  And/or the Shrine Handmaiden?
     If this is in another time- we've never met gods like Flann, Gwynnavere, Caitha and so on- so what if this is a DLC to show where all the (or some of them at least) have gone to when they abandoned Anor Londo.

     On to the PvP stuff.  We honestly don't get much in the way of info for it other than being assured there will be a dedicated area for some sweet Dark Souls fight clubs.  Personally, I'm not good in that fashion but will give it a shot anyways.  Hopefully FromSoft will fix a lot of the annoyances with the system as well.  Like, as much as I hate being invaded- they SHOULD still allow for invasions/summons after a boss is defeated in the area.  It offers more replayability for people, and increases the fun (and frustration).

     Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel arrives on October 25th.


Dark Souls 3: DLC Ashes of Ariandel Arrives on October 25th!

     It looks like the Dark Souls 3 DLC announcemenet came a bit early overseas as well as a nice little leaked tweet.  Bandai-Namco will be releasing the first DLC pack to PS4 on October 25th!  Playstation accidentally leaked a tweet a day early.  The trailer and tweet have since been removed, and will presumably be back tomorrow when it was slated to be officially announced.

This pic is just Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
   Of course we'll be getting the standard of some new weapons, spells, and armor, as well as a new snow themed area, and a PvP-exclusive map going by the name of the "Immortal Competition."

     I'll update with more about this and my thoughts on it when the official trailer and announcement land sometime tomorrow.

     Sources [ PC Invasion ] & [ Esuteru Blog ] via [ Silicon Era ] via [ GameInformer ]


Suicide Squad: Special Ops: Video Game: Short Review (Android Mobile)

     It isn't often that free-to-play games are good, and even less frequently that a movie tie-in is good, let alone the generally doomed combination of a free-to-play movie tie-in, but somehow, against all the odds, Suicide Squad: Special Ops is really good.  It plays with surprising competency, and even more surprisingly, with it does it all with absolutely no ads or IAPs whatsoever.

     Suicide Squad: Special Ops is an oddity.  It's a mobile first-person arena shooter of sorts letting you play as 3 of the Squad members- Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Diablo- and pitting players against wave after wave of increasingly difficult hordes.  It has an odd mechanic where the standard attacks of the 3 playable characters happen automatically when enemies are in front of them.  So players generally only move and aim, with normal attacking just occurring when in range of enemies.
     Each of the characters have a meter which builds that allows for their respective special abilities.  They all feel unique in their own ways and can be upgraded after killing so many enemies- things like more health or an increase in damage.

     The game does have a couple downsides though.  It is a survival rogue-like, meaning if you die you lose all the powerups and opened areas and have to start all over.  I suppose that is an apt model for the Suicide Squad.  One thing that makes this fact more harsh is the fact there isn't a true pause or save checkpoint to pick up from. You HAVE to play until you die.  It isn't a big negative unless you play for long amounts of time a lot, but it does get to be an annoyance when you make it really far and have to quit or do something else.
     Another issue that bothered me a bit was that the characters are definitely in need of some balancing.  Harley is easily the least useful character relying on primarily melee attacks and a revolver, with a frenzied melee special puts her into direct damage consistently.  Deadshot has a decent range and a great special ability, but has a problem with needing to find ammo refill boxes frequently.  Then there's Diablo, who is the most versatile of the 3.  He's got good damage and range with his flames, and his special move unleashes a 360 degree fire blast that is extremely useful as you progress into huge groups of very strong enemies.

     It's been weeks since I started playing this, and it's still fun as hell.  If you enjoyed the movie, I'd definitely recommend giving this a chance if you haven't already.  Developer Sticky Studios miraculously made this game in a mere 3 and a half months, and it came out better than a vast majority of games with much longer development times.  They've raised the bar for a creative use of a movie tie-in game license and I'm curious to see if they will expand this game with any future updates (ie: more characters to play, such as my favorite SS character Boomerang, more weapons, or environments) as has been mentioned by one of the developers in the Touch Arcade forums.

     In the end, Suicide Squad: Special Ops is a simple and fun experience for fans of either mobile FPS games, or the DC Comics' anti-hero team.  Give it a chance and you should get a fair amount of entertaining gameplay time out of it.


Marvel Future Fight: Gwenpool & The New Avengers Have Arrived!

     Marvel Future Fight recently got another huge update (full details here) and, one again it is amazing.  I've said it over and over again, this game is consistently getting better than it was, and it's already a better game than 90% of games out there for mobile devices.  That isn't to say it is not without problems, because there are definitely a few- such as the huge Timeline Battle imbalances- but really, it's a small problem considering how exactly much content the game provides overall.

     This new update brings us a total of 6 new characters and 2 new costumes.  First there's the undeniably fun Gwenpool, then we get The New Avengers- comprised of White Tiger, Wiccan, Hulkling, Songbird, and Squirrel Girl!  The new costumes are one for Wasp, and a classic for Nebula.  I really like the new selection of characters, they are well designed and fun to play.  Particularly Gwenpool because of her silly skipping walk animation.

     On top of this we get 5 new Special Missions.  The previous Special Missions for Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy have been moved to Dimension Rifts, which are now searchable instead of relying on finding them randomly- making getting ones you want infinitely easier to get into.  I got sick of finding the same one over and over.

     This update on the whole is amazing.  It adds a great cast of extra characters, new levels and enemies, and a bunch of other little niceties.  I've been having a blast with most the new characters, and the added levels have given us a very welcome change for scenery and story elements.  Future Fight, well, developer Netmarble, has again outdone themselves.

     I did notice one oddity, and I don't know if it's a bug or not, but I've only had a single person show up continuously as an ally shifter (which is happening far more frequently since the update) and it's Gwenpool.  I don't mind the issue, because I did buy the 20 biometrics for 30 days pack to get her, and this just makes leveling her up a little quicker.  Seriously, I've had her show up at least 12 times back to back.  Finally, problem working in the player's favor!

     Plus, I know many of us are still awaiting the arrival of the leaked-a-year-ago Doctor Strange (and he's already teased by Netmarble in a previous video).  It makes sense that they'd be saving him for closer to the film's release though, so we should be seeing him around late October or early November.

     Related posts [ Marvel Future Fight ]


Link Twin: Short Review (Developer Lorraine's Unique "Games for Samsung" Puzzler)

     Through Samsung's new "Games for Samsung" program, they've recently released the first of its titles called Link Twin from a developer called Lorraine.

     The game is another in a line of artfully minimalistic puzzle solvers very reminiscent of similar games like Monument Valley and Ghosts of Memories and its DLC (Epilogue: Elysium & Purgatory).  Link Twin does something a bit different- the thing that sets it apart here- is that the core game mechanic is that it forces you to maneuver both twins simultaneously.  Every time you swipe in a direction both twins move that way.  Each twin also has their own goal, but they each have to land on their own goal at the same time.

     Players mush plan far enough in advance in order to make use of obstacles to help set the twins up to avoid pitfalls, hit switches, and eventually make it to the end goals.  It sounds extremely easy, and it is, at least at first.  The beginning 20 levels are quite elementary, and are good at giving you the most basic puzzle mechanics for the more devious puzzles later in the game.  After that the difficulty ramps up very swiftly, to the point where I was having to carefully plan nearly a dozen moves in advance.  To be fair though, they did add a nice feature allowing players to "turn back time" and lets you slide back through previous moves if they didn't work out the way you wanted or led to dead ends.

     Despite the deceptively cute art style, the game starts as simple as can be, and gradually increases into some really tough brain teasers.  There's a lot of cleverness and consideration in the way all the levels have been created leading to a truly great gaming experience.  It has clean art, soothing music, an ingenious game mechanic, and a whole lot of fun challenge in the later levels all wrapped up with an endearing story.  Link Twin is definitely a game specifically designed for puzzle enthusiasts and handled with deft care.  It's a game I'd highly recommend.

     If this is any indication of what the "Games for Samsung" program has got in store for us, we Android users are finally be getting some brilliant works soon.

     Link Twin is currently exclusive for Galaxy devices now through the Galaxy App Store (only in Canada, the USA, or  Romania currently), but will be coming to both iOS and other Android devices in October.

Dark Souls 3: DLC Announcement Update, Thoughts, and a Possible Bloodborne Connection


     After months of playing Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne, and returning to Dark Souls 2 while a bide my time- the announcement we've all been waiting for has arrived.  Dark Souls 3's first DLC announcement will arrive on August 24th!

     Since the game was released in March, we've known that the $25 season pass would include 2 packs.  One would be released in the fall of 2016, and the second in early 2017.  Now we've gotten confirmation that information on the first will be presented on the 24th leading many people to speculate what it might include.

     From a Kotaku interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, we know:
   Kotaku: For people who have already finished Dark Souls 3, can you give any tease for the DLC? How do you intend to surprise players? 
Miyazaki: I’m not sure I can provide "information" without spilling the "surprise." The only thing I can say now is that we’re planning two DLCs for Dark Souls 3. The first is scheduled for release in autumn of 2016, and the second is scheduled for early 2017. We’re actually still working on the first one. Content-wise, it builds off of the previous titles and will be featuring a new area, enemies, gear, and story. The game story revolves around a new location which I believe will offer a different feel from Dark Souls 3.
     In addition there's been some supposed concept art leaks with potentially amazing stuff.  Granted, the leaks might just be old or unused images, as there IS the Faraam armor from part 2.  Although the amor DOES appear in Dark Souls 3.  It's item description in 3 says, "This set is named after a god of war.  The armor of the Forossa Lion Knights was preserved even after the destruction of their homeland, and is mentioned in numerous legends, alongside the names of those who are said to have gone beyond death."  Those who have gone beyond death makes me question things.
     Then in the second image below, the locale looks like the Lothric Castle area where you meet Emma, and fight Dancer of the Boreal Valley.  If it is unused art, it could be the precursor to the current entrance to Lothric with the angel-like statue possibly becoming the knight cutting his neck, and the chained woman becoming Emma.  I suppose we'll have to wait and see.


     But if it isn't simply old and unused art...

That city looks an awful lot like Yharnam.  And that tree is amazingly creepy.
     Ok, I've been really mulling on this idea.  I think the abyss is the dark of humanity (If I recall correctly, Manus was a man that succumbed to humanity and from that came the abyss), while the Deep was something other worldly- as we aren't told where it came from, just that it was found.  Just to be sure, I DO think they have a lot of similar properties, but are derived from separate sources- the same ways there is the first flame and the chaos flame. Similar things from varied origins.

     What if the deep is an internal portal to a place like the hunters dream- Aldrich (Eldritch!) feared what was there- so maybe he saw something big in his, you guessed it- his DREAM! - and that opened the doorway for the celestial monstrosities to possibly come through.  In the Old Hunters Bloodborne DLC one of those creepy brain sacks asks, "Have you heard how curiously the sea churns?  It bellows, from deep inside me." (Not an exact quote, but something close to that.)

Very reminiscent of where you fight Dancer in Lothric Castle.
     The Deep would be really cool.  Although I'm curious to see if we'll ever meet Gwynevere- who like Velka- has eluded us but has had an immense presence in the series.  I want to see what they've been up to.  Not necessarily in Londor though.  All the various gods from the Souls games like Caitha have been absent, so it could be interesting to see something else coming to power in another land.

     I think that the Deep would be better overall as the final DLC creating a potential bridge to the "dark fantasy" series that From has in the works. Maybe something that would take place in an era between Souls and Bloodborne, and I wouldn't mind a Pirate-like Souls type fantasy with explorable islands against those Lovecraftian horrors.  I mean the Hunters of Bloodborne had to start somewhere, so maybe the Deep is their arrival and causing the age of the Deep to come?  (And considering the "Old One" from Demon's Souls may be related/connected to those in Bloodborne...)
     To also further my suspicions, this particular leaked concept art has me really intrigued- a soldier with some Ebrietas like tentacles.

     Forgot to ask- what about all the other places we haven't seen- like Vinheim, Carim, or Astora's ruins? There's a ton of possibility for the DLCs. (White Birch Branches)  As with previous From DLCs they've been known to have them take place in times out of chronological order.  So of course we may get any number of alternate times of places we've heard of.

     Regardless, whatever they have been making will be wonderful.


     Notes on Aldrich possibly alluding to Bloodborne (citation from wiki):

     His name is spelled "エルドリッチ" in Japanese, which is read as "Eldritch," possibly a reference to H.P. Lovecraft.

     Aldrich Faithful covenant pendant, "The holy symbol of the Cathedral of the Deep, and crest of those who see beyond fire to the age of deep waters."

     His Soul, "When Aldrich ruminated on the fading of the fire, it inspired visions of a coming age of the deep sea."

     The Deacons of the Deep fight has a familiar red aura that goes from Deacon to Deacon, and looks suspiciously like one from Bloodborne.  Perhaps the Deep is a place we can reach through looking inward. Besides, only the souls collected that have been effected by the Deep are blue.

     Could there be a connection that Aldrich is keep in the highest part of Dark Souls 3 with the possibility that above him is an ocean of another realm?

     It might be a nice touch to point out there's also a recognizable suit of armor (Demon's Souls) found in the chalice dungeons of Bloodborne.

     Bone ash armor description from Bloodborne:
"Armor made of bone ash,worn by the oldest keepers. 
The keepers, who mind the slumbering Great Ones,
gained eternal life, preserved in ashen form in
a ceremony of flame that cremated body and soul"
     And the look of the items look very much like the witches of Dark Souls such as Karla and Demon's Souls' witch Yuria.

     Due to the the way IPs work, I think the Souls games and Bloodborne can definitely be connected nicely, but never explicitly stated as two different companies own them- which fits wonderfully into how the games' whole story works- through pure implication.

     And as a plug for a couple guys far better at this than myself, these videos are well worth a watch:

ParagonDS Dark Souls 3 DLC Thoughts: The Deep

VaatiVidya Dark Souls 3 DLC Thoughts: Londor

VaatiVidy Dark Souls 3 Angels of Lothric (Possible DLC Connections)


Elder Scrolls Film: Bethesda Softworks' Vice-President on Possibilities & Peter Jackson

     Finder spoke to Bethesda Softworks VP, Pete Hines, at QuakeCon about the possibility of their properties becoming films as so many other video game publishers are doing.  Just this year there's been Ratchet & Clank, Angry Birds, and Warcraft, with the soon to be released Assassin's Creed film and yet another installment to the Resident Evil franchise.  There's been plenty already, and even more to come, so it makes sense to inquire about some huge franchises such as Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
     Hines actually goes above and beyond with the responses and talks about why it's doubtful they'll move towards a cinematic universe and the potential for something with Peter Jackson.
We’re seeing a lot of publishers at the moment taking their IP to the silver screen; how far into the conversation have you been in turning your franchises into movies? 
Pete Hines: We get asked to all the time, but the short version is; we make games. That’s what we are known for. And this conversation usually falls into the camp of; are we going to let some other person do their own interpretation of what Fallout is, or Elder Scrolls is, or Dishonored is? Or are we going to hold onto it and let the developers be the only ones that are able to say, “this is what Fallout is, or Elder Scrolls, or Wolfenstein, or whatever?” 
So we want our developers to decide what our franchises are about and not a movie director, or producer, or studio. 
Even when they say, “oh no, you will have total control,” well, I don’t know anybody who actually has total control over the film adaptation of their video game. If you did, why would you not just make it yourself? Of course the film studio and the scriptwriter and the director are going to have a tonne of say. They will have their own vision. So we get asked all the time, but we see it as a distraction. We’re a video games company; let’s do what we know. 
     From here he expands on what it might take for the current game directors to come forward and make a film.  For added insight Bethesda Game Studios is part of ZeniMax Media, which has a lot of big names that could be tapped for films if the need or want arose.
So it would have to take a Todd Howard to come out and say, “I’m going to make this film myself?” 
Pete Hines: I think if Peter Jackson [Lord of the Rings director] turned up at Todd Howard’s office and said, “I want to do Elder Scrolls,” well that would be a pretty serious conversation you would have to listen to. So I don’t see us any time soon looking at movies. And if you look at our board of directors, we have Hollywood heavyweights like Jerry Bruckheimer, Leslie Moonves and Harry Sloan, so it’s not like we don’t know where to go if we want to get a film or TV show made. 
It’s more about, “Is this something we really want to do? What are we getting out of it? What kind of distraction is it going to create?”
     To me this makes great sense.  Not everything needs to be a film or TV show, and certainly not a film or TV show that takes a direction the actual creators don't want.  I mean Christopher Tolkien hates what Peter Jackson did to the Lord of the Rings series ( 1 , 2 ).  As for the Hobbit, I've been more than displeased with Jackson's absurdity with taking what should've been a single film and turning into an over-stuffed abomination.  Time and again I've complained.  But, here, Hines leaves me feeling good that it probably won't happen and we may rest assured that Jackson won't ruin another beloved series for the fans.

     Source [ Finder ] via [ GameRant ]

Rime: Coming in 2017 and Possibly to More Than Just Playstation 4

     Back in 2013 a game was announced and a year later at the 2014 GamesCom Press Conference a trailer for Tequila Works' game Rime was released.  It looked to be a wonderful Ico-esque 3rd person puzzle-platforming Playstation 4 exclusive.  Then more recently there was some developmental upheaval that led to Tequila Works and Sony parting ways.

     Now we get some good news, Rime is still set to arrive some time in 2017 with some help from small game publishers Six Foot and Grey Box will help publish it and it might end up coming to more than PS4.
     As Tequila Works' press release states:
"Additional information about RiME, including gameplay and platform availability details, will be unveiled at the beginning of 2017, as Grey Box, Six Foot and Tequila Works ready the title for release later that year."
     This cel-shaded adventure appears to be something well worth following.

     This is going to make a lot of people very happy.  Others might be kicking themselves as not only did Sony break away, but Microsoft had initially passed on the game as well.


Suicide Squad: A Rambling Review


      There's a lot of good in DC Comics' Suicide Squad, their first attempt at matching something on par with Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy's tremendous box office smashing greatness.  But for all the good, writer/director David Ayer seemingly found a way to balance it with a bit of bad.

     First off, every single member has been cast perfectly.  The downside is that not all of them get enough screen time.  For the ones that do get appropriate time (Deadshot, Harley, and Diablo), they get treated with cliched and typical story arcs.  Nothing new or interesting to make them stand out.  There's an overabundance of unnecessary flashbacks, and too many useless moments.  Someone should've cut the crap, and pare it down.  The film is a jumbled patchwork mess.  But it kind of works here.  Not in a great way, but it does "kind of" work.


     Ayer had the chance to really make a difference and show us what bad guys can do and he fumbles it into something just slightly better than mediocre.  Take, for instance, Flag and Deadshot's rivalry.  It makes no sense to see Flag continually point out that Deadshot is a murderer/mercenary whereas he is himself a "soldier," while at the same time trying to show that Flag is in awe of Deashot's abilities.  It makes no sense to go with the low bar they stuck with.  Will Smith's Deadshot is charming and highly skilled, Joel Kinnamen's Flag is a perfect soldier and leader- so why wouldn't they balance it more towards two conflicting point of killers-for-hire growing towards mutual respect.  It just isn't handled properly at all.  No nuance, no real heft to their relationship.
     The same thing goes for many of the characters.  Diablo's refusal to participate in the fighting would've been made more apparent if he was under attack as opposed to all the enemies apparently simply running by him.  Then have only at the end, have him release all that pent up anger to the end bad guy, yelling something like, "You think you are gods?!? Well, I'm the fucking devil!"  And go into raging fire-titan mode.  But no, Ayer played it too soft.  (I do really like the look of Diablo's "transformation"- it kept in line with his heritage and powers well.)

     Because it's needs to be talked about, Harley Quinn and the Joker are next.  Leto has indeed created a new and interesting take on the Joker.  I think they went a little too far into a Tony "Scarface" Montana look.  I mean, while he is the Clown Prince of Crime, they entirely left out the clown part.  When he makes Griggs kiss his hand I was totally expecting a water spout to splash out of the ring in the face, or have a flower on his coat do it, but it never happened.  Ayer completely left that aspect out.  They made him all bling and no sting.  His demeanor is wonderfully crafted however.  Harley on the other hand is handled pretty damn well.  She's crazy and capable and easily the Joker's equal- and by the sounds of it WB will be capitalizing on that fact soon.  They probably could've carried the film if they wanted.

     Then for the Enchantress, I actually think her essence was captured quite well.  She was at times creepy and powerful.  Moving in a jittery walk and swaying motion- she exudes a strange dark power.  Then at other times she seemed to be an absurd caricature of herself- bright and cartoony.  Her role was nicely split between the doctor mortal and the supernatural witch.

     As for the rest of the crew, they are all criminally under utilized.  Boomerang is hilarious and should've used at least a dozen more of his signature weapons all at once.  Katana might've been far cooler if, instead of moping into her soul-absorbing sword, she spoke to it as if lovingly feeding it.  Killer Croc might've been better off if he was an even larger CG-ed beast like Colossus in Deadpool, and should've asked to watch the much more appropriate National Geographic channel.

     Then there's Amanda Waller.  I actually think she's perfect here.  She's every bit as unscrupulous and agenda driven as she should be.  She exudes a conviction of purpose and drive that should definitely be maintained for any future films.


     Considering the title it should have had a significantly higher death toll.  Ayer should've started with twice the number of villains and in the first encounter with Enchantress's soldiers, kill all the non-essentials off in a bloody tough as nails fight.  We should've seen how hard they all could fight, but what we got is some small stakes and only really Deadshot showing off.  It would've shown us exactly how high the stakes are, and pointed the remaining villains to know that something far more serious is behind all the lies.
     We should've seen them truly using their villainous behavior as a force for something good.  Unfortunately we don't get that.  We just get a bunch of misfits doing some decent stuff.  If there's a sequel, Ayer needs an assistant writer and some really dark and questionable decisions put on screen.

     Overall Suicide Squad, despite all its problems, is still fun as hell.  This felt like a film based off of a rough draft of a script that should've had a couple DC Comics geniuses like Geoff Johns come in and punch up the dialogue and edit down the flashbacks to make a stronger overall film.  But as I said, it's still fun as hell.  I really hope to see a second one with better writing, cleaner characterization, darker story, more characters, and a much, much higher death toll.  It isn't the best of DC's movies, but it's far from the worst and honestly, I really enjoyed it anyways.
     And really, I have a feeling this is a rushed cut, and there'll be a better cut for the DVD/Bluray release.  The cast is right, the ideas are right- but they've got only the base and the right direction- now they need to find the right writer and director to crank this up to Deadpool levels of amazingness for fans.

Spoiler discussion past the break.