Archive for December, 2016

Rogue One (NO SPOILERS)

Posted: December 21, 2016 in Movies
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Rogue One was a gamble in some ways for Disney because it is the first stand alone Star Wars movie. It sets itself apart from the saga entries by maintaining it is a Star Wars Story. As such it starts and ends within the confines of it’s own runtime and will not (for now…the Han Solo standalone may contradict this) continue in a sequel. Instead Rogue One is a film that takes place in the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and more to the point this is the Star Wars story which reveals how the Rebel Alliance were able to get a hold of the Death Star plans that play such a vital role in A New Hope.

It feels great to be able to say that director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) is successful with Rogue One. Edwards presents Star Wars like we have never seen it before. Rogue One puts the WAR in Star Wars, at once both ground level gritty while still taking place in a universe with infinite scope. Whether the action is planet or space based. Ground or air. It doesn’t matter. Edwards makes the audience feel apart of it without ever feeling overwhelmed. Make no mistake this is also darker – perhaps the darkest – Star Wars movie to date. The action seems more direct, more real than in previous films and it lends an extra weight to the film, as do the characters and overall gritty tone of Rogue One.

Speaking of the characters, this film boasts an spectacular cast. An ensemble that is both refreshing and relevant. If the films only plus point was it’s forward thinking in multi cultural casting it would have been a worthy badge of honour but thankfully the stellar cast is the tip of the ice berg. Character wise the standouts for me are Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and ex imperial droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk). Jones is able to convey so much of who Jyn is without the aid of tons of explanatory dialogue and is surprisingly at ease with the action the film calls upon from Erso. Yen as Chirrut is a scene stealer almost as much as K-2SO. Chirrut’s faith is inspiring, granting insights into the Force that are new and exciting and he kicks a ton of arse too. The true scene stealer though is Tudyk’s K-2SO. This droid doesn’t care about tact! He will just speak his mind and has no filter and is the source of a lot of the film’s much needed lighter moments.

Disney and Edwards need credit for once again demonstrating how practical will always be king over heavy CGI. The effects work in Rogue One is outstanding. Sadly there’s one or two key standouts, which while I can’t say how the filmmakers could have handled it better, do highlight a reliance on CGI. Not to the extent I was taken out of the film though. Another slight issue I had was the score of the film. It’s not bad. Not by any means and works alongside the film well but I couldn’t hum you a sample from the Rogue One score. There is no standout example of the score, something Star Wars is well known for, yet the same can be said for Episode VII’s. That too was a solid score but it was missing that one standout musical number.

As the first standalone Star Wars movie Rogue One is a success. It captures the magic of Star Wars but carves out it’s own identity. Edwards and Disney have showcased how these stand alone films can expand the Star Wars universe in ways the saga films cannot and I can’t wait to see what’s next after the Han Solo movie. The possibilities are endless.

After last weeks debut of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite fans did not have to wait long until they got a glimpse of actual gameplay which came in the form of the above trailer. At the moment the game is still in development, I’d expect it will look tons better once it’s out. Not that I have any issue with how the game looks. I feel like the graphics  are good and colourful and honestly gameplay is way more important. On the gameplay front it looks like Capcom will deliver as always. Check out the trailer and feel free to comment on how you think the game and the characters (old and new) look.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will launch in 2017.

I like Spider-Man. I read the comics. I like the first two Raimi movies and I enjoyed (yep, really) both Amazing Spider-Man movies. Yet, I think this re-launch of the franchise was necessary and that’s because Marvel stepped in to co-make the film with Sony. This is Spider-Man being ushered into the movieverse by people who love him as much as his fans and in that respect it can be argued from one point of view that Spider-Man: Homecoming is the true movie debut of Spidey.

The film is directed by Jon Watts. I’m not familiar with his work but by the looks of this first trailer I feel confident Marvel and Sony went with the right choice for director. The trailer has shades of John Hughes and on top of that you get all the comic action fans have come to expect from a Marvel movie.

Spider-Man: Homecoming has a impressive cast too. Tom Holland has already proven his worth as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, as did Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. The great Michael Keaton also stars and stands out in the footage as villain The Vulture with Marvel icons Robert Downey Jr. and John Favreau returning to their roles as Tony Stark and Happy Hogan.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits cinemas in the UK next July.

Fun trailer. Pretty funny. Baywatch is from the writing duo Mark Swift and Damian Shannon (Freddy VS Jason, Friday The 13th) and director Seth Gordon. Swift and Shannon are boss and I’m familiar with their work. Gordon has a comedic background with features Identity Thief and Horrible Bosses as well as episodes of Community and Parks and Recreation. Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson, Priyanka Chopra, Zac Efron & Alexandra Daddario.

I hope the film has the theme song during one of it’s big action sequences! What a missed opportunity if this doesn’t happen. I used to love Baywatch back in the day. WAY back in the day, like the first two or three seasons and then it kind of went off the rails so it’s gonna be interesting seeing what parts of the show the film pulls from.

My reaction to trailer is surprise at how it comes across as a straight up comedy. I was expecting it to be comedic but not a spoof, which some scenes certainly hint at. It’s too early to say if the film does contain more action and plot based on this teaser but with Shannon and Swift having provided the script I’m confident the finished product will be more of a solid action comedy than an out and out spoof.

Baywatch hits cinemas in the UK next May.

Shocking absolutely no one is the news that Akuma will be joining the roster for Street Fighter V, he is in fact the first character to be revealed from the second DLC/Season 2 wave that will begin it’s roll out on the 20th December.

It’s been confirmed that the other as yet unannounced characters (five after Akuma) will be NEW to the Street Fighter universe. Sorry Blanka fans. I wanted Rose so I feel your pain. Maybe in Season 3? You know what would be awesome though? An OFFLINE ARCADE MODE! Urgh. Seriously. Come on now.

I’ve actually bought the game, had it for a few months now and I’ll be honest with you – it’s a great game. Gameplay wise it’s sound. It’s such a shame there’s so little offline content. Once that gets added I’ll be posting up my thoughts because right now it still feels lacking.

Not sure if you all saw the tease for the teaser trailer but I liked that more just ’cause there’s a few reveals in this trailer that have me going “What the heck is happening with this?”

By now it’s known Universal want to have a shared cinematic monster universe and The Mummy is the first of this sort out of the gate. No doubt there’s a lot riding on this movies success. My fear is the powers at the studio are more focused on this expanded universe than they are in making a single great movie. Which is really what the focus should be to be honest. We’ll see. I like this cast (Crowe and Cruise!!), the scary parts look decent and not caked in CGI crap and I think the look of The Mummy herself is pretty spot on.

Fingers crossed this doesn’t end up with Cruise’s character being this Captain America type enhanced resurrected super soldier MESS of a plot twist that I feel would ruin the tone of this. Yeah I hope this film kicks ass and gets the balance of action and frights spot on.

We’ll find out next summer.

Over the last week there were rumours online that Capcom would once again be re-visiting their much loved Marvel VS Capcom series and over the weekend fans dreams came true with a new game, Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite, being revealed at the Capcom Cup.

Notice the absence of a “4” in the games title? Some fans have speculated this is due to Infinite acting as a reboot of sorts for the series. The other big reveal during the event is that the game will be available in 2017 which is great news and goes a long way in establishing 2017 as a potential classic year for fighting games with Tekken 7, Injustice 2 and Street Fighter V Season Two all due to drop that year.

Fact wise the following pieces of information were brought to light over the last few days (which is why I’m a little late posting about this game as I wanted to go with facts rather than guesses)

  • Infinite is the first game to be developed in house by Capcom in several years, with staff members working on the game that also worked on the classic earlier Capcom VS titles.
  • The game will be released on Steam, X-Box One & PS4.
  • Confirmed modes are Arcade Mode, Story Mode and online.
  • Unlike MVC2/3 Infinite will have a 2 v 2 character system with Infinite Stones acting as attack assists.
  • X-Men characters (probably) will be in the game. I’ve seen some uninformed people stating how due to rights issues X-Men/Fantastic Four characters can’t be used in the games. That’s incorrect and not how these rights work. Marvel can use (and do use frequently) their X-Men characters in video games. So mutant fans can relax ‘k?

I think the game looks vibrant and really pretty. All the colours and special movies look great despite it being still in development. Hopefully it launches soon and it’s going to be fun seeing who makes it onto the roster this time out.

FYI – Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 was also made available to purchase as a digital download for PS4 owners over the weekend on the PSN. It’s £19.99 and it has ALL of the DLC included. X-Box users will get the game too but have to wait till March.