Archive for January, 2016

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Prometheus star Noomi Rapace will not be back for the sequel/prequel Alien: Covenant. In a surprising move director Ridley Scott has decided Rapace’s character Dr Elizabeth Shaw is not as integral to the plot of the planned trilogy as audiences were led to believe. Instead the new film will focus on a new crew aboard the colony ship Covenant who discover a paradise like planet which soon turns into a nightmare.

So far the only confirmed cast for Alien: Covenant is Michael Fassbender reprising his role as the android David and series newcomer Katherine Waterston, who will be playing a new character called Daniels. Total guess but I’d imagine she is the new female lead of the movie.

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Perhaps Shaw could still appear? Scott did state the character was present in the script only last month, although in a brief role. Maybe we will see a much older version of the character as quite a bit of time is meant to have passed between the two films. We will find out when Alien: Covenant hits screens next year.

 

 

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Capcom have rolled out Street Fighter V’s final beta a day early. It is live now. All of the characters except for F.A.N.G. are playable. The beta will come to an end on Sunday the 31st.

I plan to get an hour or two in on the beta tonight. I can’t wait to try out Laura and see how Dhalsim and Zangief handle.

Street Fighter V launches February 16th.

Here comes the bride!

Posted: January 27, 2016 in Video Games
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Tekken’s first lady Nina Williams in the latest character to be welcomed back to the 7th(!) King of Iron Fist Tournament. It took a while but good things come to those who wait. I had no doubt Nina would make it into the game as she has been the only female character to appear in each Tekken to date.

Rumors came about last year Nina was being held back due to a re-design and that defo is the case as you can see. Seems like her big day has been interrupted! Who could she be marrying? Move set wise it doesn’t look like Namco have changed too much which is good. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Nina is the second character to be announced for Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. Last month Tekken and Street Fighter fans were shocked when Namco revealed Street Fighter icon Akuma would not only be joining the series but would play a significant role in the games story, one which is stated to be the big finale of the Mishima saga.

Still no word on a console release. I’d be shocked if it’s this year. I’m guessing early 2017. Tekken 7: Fated Retribution will roll out location tests next month and has been announced as one of the big titles at Evo 2016.

From Dusk Till Dawn Season 2

Posted: January 26, 2016 in Movies, TV
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From Dusk Till Dawn returned to Netflix last year with it’s second season and what a strong season it was. I get that season one had a lot to live up to. It was standing on the shoulders of giants in regards to character, story and creative talent (well 50% of the dynamic duo anyway).  But as the first season progressed it became clear that it was set on expanding the world.  Character fates were re-written and plot points only hinted at were by seasons end blown open and the sky was the limit.

Season two hits the ground running and more than ever it finds it’s own strength by stepping out of the shadow of it’s classic big screen counterpart. The Gecko’s have seperated. The undead Richie and vampire queen Santanico are set on taking out the vampire Lords. Santanico seeking vengance while Richie yearns for power. Seth ends up strung out in Mexico and it isn’t long until he gets mixed up with the mysterious Sonja. Meanwhile Kate battles her guilt for abandoning adopted bro Scott in the depths of the labyrinth and the Gecko family is expanded some with the arrival of Uncle Eddie. Eddie is a great addition to the show and his scenes with each of the brothers are some of the funniest and help to flesh out the brothers.

New threats emerge. The most obvious being The Regulator played by Rodriguez regualr Danny Trejo. This guy is like the vampire Terminator and his function is pretty much the same throughout the season. Wilmer Vaderrama’s Carlos gets a great arc as the former servant emerges from the labyrinth transformed, seeking out what he believes he is owed.

The cast feel more relaxed and confident in their roles which only helps the show.
The action, dialogue and effects are all solid. Original movie director Robert Rodriguez once again being very hands on with his property. The effects in particular are a great mix of practical and CGI. The later used only to enhance certain aspects of some of the SFX. The use of practical make up on the vamps gives the threat a solid look. I like the ‘snake’ like features of the vampires. I think it’s done well and it’s scary haha.

Season two ends with a sense of closure. Each of the characters gets what they want and in some cases what they want ends up being the worse thing they could have hoped for. Looking ahead to season 3 it wouldn’t surprise me if the show got a soft reboot. The oppertunity is there for all new story points and characters. From Dusk Till Dawn has become a legit and fun genre show and if they put as much effort into the third season as they have the second it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

For the first time in Street Fighter history Capcom plan to drop a story mode/campaign in Street Fighter V. It won’t be available at launch and will instead arrive in the form of free DLC/update after the games release. Capcom are calling it a Cinematic Story Expansion and it looks great. It will be available from June.

As for the timeline it is now official that Street Fighter V will take place before Street Fighter III but after Street Fighter IV. Haha. One day we may just make it into post Street Fighter III territory.

One final beta will take place at the end of the month. Be sure to check it out from January 30th to January 31st. After that it is full steam ahead as the game will launch February 16th.

 

Scream: The TV Series

Posted: January 22, 2016 in Movies, TV
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MTV first announced thier plans to bring Dimension Films Scream to the small screen a few years ago. After the news broke fan opinion was split. With Teen Wolf MTV managed to produce a show that defied expectations and became one of the best genre shows on TV. I had my fingers crossed that lightning would strike twice. Sadly – based off season one at least this isn’t the case.

One of the reasons why Scream doesn’t quite work is the lack of the core creative team. That being the late and great Wes Craven and of course Kevin Williamson. The series makes the (smart decision IMO) of not using any of the original characters from the series and it even goes as far (to date at least) to be set in a totally new town that has it’s own dark history centering around a murder in the past that has seemingly muderous consequences on the teens of Lakewood in the present.

As you watch the show it hits all of the Scream beats, by which I mean it’s self aware, victims are terrorised by phone calls and social media, the teens are all hip to the killings and there is even a reporter (or blogger sorry, it is 2016 haha) snooping around town and looking into the killings. Some effort has been put into these characters but the execution is wanting. Emma, the Sid of the series if you will, is so broad and passive. It’s hard to warm to her. Thankfully she is surrounded by a likeable if not fantastic (don’t expect SCREAM movie calibre characters here) group of friends and parental figures and/or suspects.

The kills do not shy away from the blood letting which was a plus. It’s a pretty gory show and I give the makers points for that. There are two or three stand out kills too that are genuinely well done but the whole “No one is safe”  threat Emma is given in the opening episode feels like a big missed oppertunity. When I first saw that scene I was expecting the show to go all out and kill off it’s ‘final girl’ in the opening episode. Missed oppertunites such as that can’t help but stand out.

One aspect of the show I will say is strong is it’s sense of self. It sets out and actually succeeds in carving out it’s own identity by relying on it’s own original mythology based around the secrets of this town called Lakewood. So by the time we get to the very Scream like killer(s?) reveal, which was handled pretty well, you kind of stop and ask yourself why have they called the show Scream at all instead of it’s own unique brand. The show runners even go as far as to change the look of the iconic costume which I actually felt was effective. I guess the answer is name recognition.

MTV’s Scream is okay slasher viewing. Nowhere near the quality of the films whose shoudlers this series is attempting to stand on. Had this been an original show (like the excellent Scream Queens) I may have been more favourable towards it because it does have a degree of charm once you get into it and the mystery starts to unfold. If season 2 is prepared to take some risks this show could improve (I’d personally look at trimming down that cast as it stands going into season 2 and bringing in some more charismatic or better written characters) but when all is said and done Scream just isn’t Scream without the core team. I’m looking forward to season 2, don’t get me wrong but my expectations have been checked.

 

Terminator Genisys

Posted: January 21, 2016 in Movies
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When news first broke about a fifth entry into the Terminator franchise I was curious, excited and bit nervous. Salvation, for me, felt like a missed oppertunity. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy it taken for what it is but when you watch it along with the rest of the series it feels like the odd movie out. Thankfully sites began reporting that not only was the script for T5 meant to be great but Arnie would be back front and centre. So confident were the people behind the film that they announced before the film even went before cameras that T5 would kick start a brand new trilogy of movies.

Now here we are. Terminator Genisys (T5) was released last summer and the end product is …not awful. Heck. It’s not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. Terminator God Father James Cameron went as far to publically praise the film as his fave in the series outside of his own two entries. I wouldn’t go that far, as the excellent TV series can proudly stand along T1 and T2 and I do love the lean Rise of the Machines, yet T5 does have its plus points.

The cast are good. Arnie is focused and you can see he is happy to return to his iconic role and prove that decades on he hasn’t lost his touch. The guy can still kick arse regardless of age. Emilia Clarke puts her all into Sarah Connor. Out of everyone she surprised me the most. At first I was thinking she was miscast but she takes the role on with guts and does good. Jason Clarke manages to inject John Connor with plenty of shades which is crucial considering the role the character plays this time out. Jai Courtney wouldn’t have been my go to guy for Reese. Simply due to Kyle Rese, for me, always seemed like a normal guy forced into a nightmare war who has to adapt and solider on or die. Lean and mean. Jai, no offense to him, is MASSIVE. He lookes like the healthest guy on the planet and not a starving resistance fighter. Hell he looks like he would have been better suited as a Terminator. J.K. Simmons and Byung – hun Lee provide solid support.

Director Alan Taylor (Thor: Dark World, Game of Thrones) handles the action with ease. That works in the films favour because while I could have done without the A.I. hollograms the action set pieces are great. From a T-1000 showdown to a helicopter chase through the city. The opening is great. Full on future war goodness. The film is well paced for the most part and taken on those points it is a decent action flick. Just don’t expect T1 or T2 levels of awesome.

I felt the film (and the series) would have benifitted more with a little less cast changes. Why not bring back Christian Bale and Anton Yelchin from Salvation? Sure, T4 isn’t my fave out of the series but I felt Yelchin did great work as Kyle Reese that honored both that character and Michael Biehn. The filmmakers could have told the same story we get in T5 with that cast. No problem. I think cast shake ups aren’t a good thing for a series like this. I get they are trying the soft reboot angle with T5 but as the box office revealed it didn’t do as well as perhaps they had hopped. Also what’s with the lack of the iconic Terminator theme? That blows my mind. They use it for the end credits. I’d be bringing out the amaze original score at every oppertunity.

All said and done T5 certainly doesn’t tarnish the series. Far from it. It’s got good action and a willing cast. A genuinely original take on the mythology and it’s great to see the idea of time travel really explored finally.

Last I read the stuido behind T5 were rethinking their approach to the series. I hope they don’t over think it. I’d be a bit let down if they felt YET another reboot was needed. I say just gather all your eggs back into the basket and see if you can improve on what T5 laid down. Time will tell.

 

Mortal Kombat XL announced

Posted: January 20, 2016 in Video Games
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Hitting shops and online soon is the complete (or komplete?) edition of the excellent Mortal Kombat X. As you can see in the reveal trailer this edition of the game comes with plenty of extras.

Both Kombat Packs are included which means you get all of the DLC characters and extra skins, as well as the new version of classic stage The Pit.

The writing was on the wall regarding this complete edition of the game. Fans knew this would be on the way as Nether Realm had previously released updated versions of it’s previous two fighters Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us. No word on the price yet but if it’s a budget release or drops down in price in a few months I will probably pick this up.

It’s out in March.

The above trailer works brilliantly. We get told what the Suicide Squad are about, what they can do and a run down of the members. Each one gets a chance to shine. I love the look of the film and the tone. The action, thankfully, seems to be spot on with clear execution and some brilliant character moments.

Got to give credit where it is due; Jai Courtney looks like he has really lost himself in his role as Captain Boomerang. I wasn’t sold on his casting but his performance based on this trailer looks to be really fun.

Rooting for this movie. I don’t care about a new franchise or expanded universe master plan just give us ONE brilliant and totally unique action movie.

Watch out for the Suicide Squad in cinemas on August 5th in the UK.

Star Trek Beyond teaser!

Posted: January 18, 2016 in Movies
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I like what I am seeing from Star Trek Beyond. I was worried when it was announced J.J. Abrams jumped ship to take on Star Wars. Thankfully it looks as if Justin Lin has done a fine job taking over as director. Lin has a good handle on ensemble casts and action after lensing numerous Fast and Furious sequels.

Stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and co. are joined by series newcomers Sofia Boutella and the excellent Idris Elba. Both of whom appear above but good look trying to spot them!

I was talking to my friend after we both saw the footage and he didn’t like aspects of it. He felt it reminded him of 90’s Trek. Haha. I think that’s a good thing. I like how it looks like this time out the crew are out there and well into their journey.

Star Trek Beyond hits UK screens this summer.