Jurassic World: Evolution – News

So I know it’s the middle of rAge weekend (that article will come soon, by the way) but in the northern hemisphere, somewhere out there, at Frontier Expo 17, Frontier released footage from within the game engine of their latest upcoming IP: Jurassic World: Evolution.

I frikkin love Jurassic Park, I love Jurassic World and I love the two films in between them as well (yes, this includes JP3, much as many people may hate on it I found it enjoyable). So when I was set upon by the news that we’d be getting a Jurassic World game (with a trailer that literally just popped up out of nowhere), you can imagine that I decided to flip out.

 

For those who have yet to see the original trailer and this newest one (or if you just want to watch them again), here are the links:

Jurassic World: Evolution trailer

And the JW:E in-game graphics first look trailer

 

So far, according to Frontier’s website and other news articles I’ve read, JW:E will be somewhere in between JPOG (Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis) and Jurassic World: The Game; in that gameplay will generally be similar to JPOG but you’ll also be able to “bioengineer new dinosaur breeds” as we (sort of) do in Jurassic World: The Game.

 

What I’ve managed to glean is that the player will be making decisions based on three areas: Entertainment, Security and Science. Between these, and the combination thereof, players will build their own unique parks; which, unlike the parks in the films, don’t have to fail – but that’s entirely up to you, of course. Very much like in JPOG, there will be ‘natural disasters’ so the infamous typhoons that Isla Nublar and her sister islands are so well known for will have a say in what you do from time to time.

 

Then, of course, there is life’s little habit of constantly finding ways…

I’m sure you all know what that means.

 

PS: After reading the completely subjective opinion I have written about above, my Best Friend and partner in crime (though there is lack of criminal evidence to support that statement) has forced me to add the fact that the “I told you so ” from her lips will form the moment I played this game. She is convinced that it will be a huge failure. And for the sake of peace at home,  I will entertain her notion. Please, JPE, prove this female wrong.

PPS: I (the actual author of this blog) did not write the above PS, that was written by said partner in crime; the very same partner in crime who made me promise not to watch the new IT without her – don’t worry, partner in crime, I probably wouldn’t have gone near the cinema without you while that film was still on the circuit.

 

PPPS: But it can’t possibly be all that horrid, can it? It’s being developed by Frontier, the same people who made Rollercoaster Tycoon World; and if JPE is anything like RTW, it will be spectacular (especially with the attention to detail that Frontier is so well known for).

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer

The trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 just dropped!

And it was…

Kind of underwhelming.

 

 

Rockstar seems to be going for the same marketing technique as what they did with GTAV; releasing a short teaser and then a longer trailer almost a year later. But the trailer for GTAV just had so much more stuff than what we got out of this trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2.

I did however manage to glean some information from different sources.

 

Set before Red Dead Redemption, we will be playing as outlaw Arthur Morgan; it seems we may be seeing the beginnings of the Van der Linde gang and maybe even the recruitment of John Marston (my own little theory, might not happen but I can dream).

If the trailer is anything to go by, the map will be huge, and it sounds like Rockstar will be taking many of the heist mechanics they originally made for GTAV and putting them into Red Dead Redemption II.

I was really hoping for a bit more, and I won’t say much more until we learn much more. Still no release date, but at least the game hasn’t been delayed further, set for a Spring 2018 release (Spring as in, spring in the northern hemisphere, so anywhere between March and June).
Anywho, here is the link to the trailer. Let me know what you guys think.

Just a quick update…

Hey guys, just a quick update on my blogging schedule and how it may or may not change in the future.

 

Running a blog is hard. Sure, it seems easy enough but this is actually hard work when it comes down to it.

The thing about running a blog, is that if it’s ever going to get close to the first page of Google results, it has to be popular, but for it to be popular, it has to be active – regularly.

 

Therein lies the problem which most bloggers face (this applies to YouTubers, vloggers, Instagram celebrities, etc, as well): unless we really get into it, unless we base our daily schedules around it, life tends to get in the way of it. To add to that, blockbuster movies only come out every so often, and besides IT, the last one was Wonder Woman (this is why I sometimes write about collectables, comics and old games).

When I first started this blog, I was still in high school, back then it was more of an idea than anything. Over the years I’ve come to post more often, but this year has probably been my most active (without looking at the statistics to actually check how often I’ve been posting lately as opposed to back in 2015), which is great. But I’m only one person – I don’t have an entire team of reviewers like Moviepilot and Rotten Tomatoes.

This blog really means something to me and I’d never abandon it, I may go for months without posting, but I’ll do my best to catch up as soon as I can (you should see my Prehistoric Earth blog, I post there less than I do here).

Do I want a team of reviewers? No, I’m quite happy going to each film I want to review (although it really wouldn’t hurt to have friends going with to share opinions), but that, unfortunately, means that I can’t get to every single movie that comes out.

 

Earlier this year, I started working at a store called Cosmic Comics, officially they’re known as Cosmic Comics South Africa, but they are a completely separate business entity from the Cosmic Comics in Las Vegas. While I worked there, I only worked three days a week, and I earned a reasonable amount per day. This meant that I had the money and the time to go to the cinemas just about whenever I wanted. And that was perfect, I think my blog actually did better towards the end of 2016/start of 2017.

But towards July 2017, I was struggling to fund my expensive habits – being my expensive morning coffee every day on the way to work, my growing comic collection and my still very small Marvel Gallery collection; literally, it’s just two statues right now).I asked my boss for more days, but every time I asked he would just hire more staff.

I asked my boss for more days, but every time I asked he would just hire more staff. At first I thought he didn’t actually want me but needed more staff, eventually, I found out that he was actually trying to get more staff for rAge (a massive gaming event every October, I’ll be covering it this year). That left me in a tight squeeze: either cut down on comics and coffee or find a better paying job; thank goodness I managed to do both, but then DC started an event called Metal…

And to boot, I quit my job.

 

Right now the only money I’m earning is the cash that comes in from New Game + magazine, a South African gaming and geek culture magazine I write for.

I quit my job because I couldn’t deal with the hours and I wasn’t being paid enough. I made the jump from Cosmic Comics to a company called Heroes of Games and Comics (HGC, for short), where I was promised that I’d earn considerably more than at Cosmic (which is what one would expect, moving from part-time to full-time). Needless to say, that wasn’t really the case. My probation period (technically my training period) lasted two weeks, but after that, I was supposed to be earning the same as my colleagues. That didn’t happen. So I left. My main problem with HGC wasn’t the hours, I could live with it if Cosmic had the same hours, but that’s because it took me more than an hour just to get to work in the mornings, and just as long (if not longer, depending on whether or not I missed the bus) to get home; it was because of this that I had literally no free time at all.

I’d get home, eat, spend maybe half an hour with my family and then I’d start studying. Add to that my irregular sleeping patterns, at the end of the day, it just wasn’t worth it.

Please note that I didn’t burn bridges with either company, I may still work for or alongside them in future (I still get my comics and statues from Cosmic Comics) and it looks like HGC might hire me as a consultant of sorts.

 

Right now the issue is that I’ve got tons of free time but not a lot of money. Next year, I’m going to university. and depending on how my schedule works out, I might not have free time or money.

So I’ve taken the opportunity to broaden my horizons and do some short courses while I actually have the time to do them.

 

But don’t worry, I’ll continue to do what I can to have a review up within a week of a film’s release; my Dark Tower review is taking so long because I honestly don’t know what to say about it, it was just that bad.

IT (2017)

Note: So I only noticed this now but apparently this post didn’t upload the first time I tried to post it (which was literally two days after IT came out). I doubt people will be too interested in this review now, but hopefully it’s still enjoyable.

 

 

16 September:

So earlier this evening a friend and I went to watch the new IT…

Let’s just say that watching the remake of the film that created one of my deepest fears wasn’t all fun and games – there were a few times where I considered leaving the cinema; but then I noticed the other audience members weren’t dealing with the jumpscares as well as my friend and I, so I figured I’d stick it out. And I’m glad I did.

Now, several hours later (it’s almost midnight at the time of writing this segment), I’m wracking my brain trying to remember everything I can from the original IT and from the bits of the book that I can remember (it’s been a while since I last read it and I never got to finish it; seriously need to reread it), I’ve got a lot of material to work with for the review so this is going to be a long night.

Apparently, this is how we overcome our deepest fears: by going to the movies.
Now, when is the Arachnophobia remake coming out?

The Next Morning:

The review:

When the IT remake was announced, I was thrilled, the friend I mentioned in the above paragraphs made me promise not to watch it without her, I did and she made the same promise to me as well, needless to say, we were really looking forward to it.

But once I’d settled into my cinema chair and the film had started, I slowly started to realise what I was in for. Georgie got his paper boat. Which then proceeded to make its way down a stormwater drain. And then It appeared.

Pennywise

The Dancing

Clown

There he was, Bill Skarsgård, covered in makeup. Made to look like Pennywise.

It was at this moment that I came to the realisation that I was probably going to start sobbing at any second.

After making the mistake of watching the original back when I was eight years old (with another friend of mine, he fared the experience much better than I), I’d had a deep-seated hatred and fear of clowns. Never liked people in those giant costumes either, always hated it when Simba from Simba Chips or Sasko Sam from SASKO (the bread company) came to visit my nursery school, but that’s a story for another time.

So yeah, thanks, Tim Curry, Ronald McDonald and I got off on the wrong foot before he even had a chance to greet me, and thank you too, Bill Skarsgård, now Ronald and I will never get along.

The new IT doesn’t take very long to get into things, excluding Georgie and his paper boat, we start seeing weird things literally within the first ten minutes. And I’m not talking ‘first ten minutes of Paranormal Activity’ stuff, I’m talking ‘last twenty minutes of Jeepers Creepers’ stuff.

We’re introduced to the protagonists and (for most of them) we see Pennywise playing to their fears within a few minutes of each character’s introduction.

IT hits the ground running and literally does not give you a single break, there is never a moment of calm; I thought we were barely an hour into the movie, but looking at the time indicated that we’d been in the cinema for nearly two hours – and even then it didn’t look like the film would end anytime soon.

This is one of those films where you literally can’t leave to go to the bathroom or get a snack, if you miss just two minutes within the first hour, there are things later on in the film that just won’t make sense.

 

It uses people’s fears to get to them.

Stan is afraid of disappointing his father, a rabbi at a local temple, but he is also absolutely terrified of the painting in his father’s office; It puts the two together and brings the ‘person’ (if you could call it that, online she’s being called the ‘Flute Lady’, in the film’s credits she’s named Judith) in the painting to life (the painting itself is based on the works of Amadeo Modigliani, more on that later).

Ben is frightened of being alone, but (at the start) he doesn’t have any friends so he spends time in the library, It manages to lure him into a dark corner and nearly gets to him when he’s alone.

Richie is scared of clowns, so Pennywise is already in the perfect form to get to him.

Bill’s fear isn’t so much a phobia and is more guilt than anything, but good old Pennywise manages to get his attention with just a few drops of water – remember, Georgie went missing during a rainstorm.

Beverly’s fear is more insinuated than actually shown, every now and then the film hints at her father being sexually abusive. But, she also gets a scary scene to herself, in the bathroom; with a lot of blood. Just after she’s bought some tampons at the nearby pharmacy.

Eddie is an asthmatic and a hypochondriac (he’s afraid of germs, dirt, infections, and the like), so It comes to him in the form of a homeless leper, covered in dirt, missing a nose, and looking like a walking plague.

The one thing I found most unnerving, was something I only noticed after I left the cinema, that there are several moments in the film which are aimed at us; the audience.

That scene in the library? Pay attention to the old lady in the background, notice how she’s constantly smiling and staring at Ben while he flips through a book on the town’s history. There are a few other moments like this, instances where Pennywise shows up in pictures in the background, stuff like that.

The creepy painting in Stanley’s father’s office wasn’t in the original story, it was something that director Andy Muschietti added himself. It’s actually based on one of his childhood fears, once upon a time, in his childhood home, his parents had a print of a Modigliani painting; Amadeo Modigliani had an interesting style, often painting people with elongated and deformed bodies or faces, the painting always frightened Muschietti and his child-self was terrified of the possibility of meeting face to face with the woman in the painting.

“He (Amadeo Modigliani) often does these portraits with elongated characters. His vision of humans were with elongated necks, crooked faces and empty eyes most of the time. It was so deformed that, as a child, you don’t see that as an artist’s style. You see it as a monster.” – Andy Muschietti

And let’s be honest; I’m sure most of us have a fear similar to this, as a child I always thought that the eyes in paintings and on billboards were following me, wasn’t as bad as my fear of spiders or clowns but it was just a little something that had me slightly paranoid whenever we left the house.

There were a couple of scenes and themes in the book that were missing in the film but there is good reason for that: one reason being child pornography is immoral (and illegal) and the other being that there was a scene in which a group of homophobes beat a homosexual practically to death – you can see how either of these would be horribly received by the general public.

How does it hold up against

the original and the miniseries?

I’m going to have to clear something up before you waste your time on the original film AND the miniseries: they’re the same thing. The miniseries came out first and consisted of two episodes, said episodes were then put together to make up the nearly three and a half hour long film; the 2017 release, for comparison, is two hours and fifteen minutes long.

The original IT constantly jumps between the 1950s and the 1980s, exploring the childhoods of our protagonists and their first encounter with It to their adulthoods and final encounter with It; whereas this new iteration focuses only on their childhoods, and moved the setting up a few years to the 1980s, giving most of the people of today something they can relate to, what with all the nostalgia and music of the 80s.

One difference fans of the original will have noticed while watching the reboot is that there was no Wolf Man scene. In the original, Richie has an encounter with It just after watching Universal’s Wolf Man at the cinema, but because the setting has been moved by nearly thirty years, Wolf Man wouldn’t have been as applicable to the character. The only reference to this in the new IT is a shot of a cinema with “Nightmare on Elm Street 5” on the board outside.

And no, Freddy Krueger does not make an appearance (but it looks like we will be seeing him in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One).

As someone who was terrified by the original as a kid, imagine my disappointment at going back to discover that it was actually atrociously horrible. The first part of the original is pretty good, although there are multiple parts where It could have easily killed each of the main characters but didn’t, and the second half was just anticlimactic and filled with more drama than horror. And the final fight scene? Don’t even get me started.

One similarity I have to applaud was one I didn’t even notice until well into doing my research for this review: the power of belief.

At one point in the original, the first time the kids defeat Pennywise, they discover that they can use It’s strengths to their advantage; he is how they perceive him, he reacts to things the way they think he would; so Eddie uses his inhaler on Pennywise, saying that the contents consisted of battery acid, and sprays It a couple of times. And so the inhaler was filled with battery acid, which melted one side of Pennywise’s face.

I won’t go too into detail about how this is similar to something in the reboot, but let’s just say that it’s a throwaway moment that even I didn’t think about until a few moments after the fact.

The only review that matters:

What does Stephen King himself think about the new IT?

“I had hopes but I wasn’t prepared for how good it really was. It’s something that’s different and at the same time it’s something that audiences are going to relate to, and they’re gonna like the characters. Because, to me, it’s all about character; if you like the characters, you care, and then the scares generally work.”

“I think that my fans will really enjoy the movie” … “I think that some of them will go back two or three times to actually savour the thing; I mean, I went back and saw it a second time and felt that I was seeing things the second time through that I’d missed the first time.”

“Skarsgård was great as Pennywise, and he’s got big shoes to fill, let’s face it; because people remember Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown and they remember the look that Pennywise had.”

“When I wrote the book, I thought to myself ‘Well, I’ve written some books and have gotten this reputation as a horror novelist, so IT will be my final exam. And I’ll bring back all the monsters, that I remember, from my childhood, the ones that I grew up with. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man, The Thing from Beyond the Grave, because the entity that is Pennywise focuses on whatever that particular child fears the most. Well, I was thinking about the Universal Monsters and the ones that scared kids in the 50s, well, they’ve moved the timeframe, they had to, to the 80s. To me, that isn’t the important thing, the important thing is they kept the core idea that Pennywise gets to these kids by finding out what they’re afraid of and being that thing.”

Don’t you just love that? Very rarely do book-to-film adaptations work well when the author isn’t involved in production, so it really means something when a film like this does well and the author was only used as an over the phone consultant for the second half of the film’s production.

What’s really interesting to note is that the new IT has a secret title that was only revealed at the very end of the film… “IT: Chapter One”.

We all know what that means; there was a little bit of foreshadowing in the film for the sequel but no announcements have as yet (at the time of writing) been made, director Andy Muschietti is eager to do a sequel, he has said that they could start on pre-production by mid-2018, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait another 27 years though (which just so happens to be It’s feeding/hibernating cycle), as IT: Chapter One took place in 1989, meaning that the sequel would take place in 2016.

Jack Kirby 100th

If one had to think of the most influential names in comics, the first person to come to mind is Stan Lee, but that’s just Marvel. On the DC side of things we have Scott Snyder, but what about a man who could do both?

Sure, Scott has done some work for Marvel but these days he almost exclusively works with DC, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee has stuck with Marvel through the years; but there once was a man who did both, and he was probably the most influential writer and creator in comic book history.

None other than Jacob Kurtzburg.

Oh sorry, you probably don’t know him by that name, let me try again.

None other than Jack Kirby.

Ringing any bells now?

Because it should.

And if it doesn’t, I’m going to have to correct that by giving a long list of comic book characters/teams he created/co-created.

Here we go: Captain America, Brotherhood of Mutants, Celestials, Devil Dinosaur, Doctor Doom, Ego the Living Planet, Elektro, Fantastic Four (and each of it’s members), Fin Fang Foom, Forgotten One, Jane Foster, Galactus, Nick Fury, Grey Gargoyle, Heimdall, High Evolutionary, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the Inhumans (and a good deal of the individual characters), Juggernaut, Adam Warlock, Magneto, the X-Men (along with most members of the team) and a long list of others.

And I haven’t even started on DC.

For DC he created the New Gods (and literally every character associated with them, most notably Big Barda and Mister Miracle), Etrigan, Darkseid, Granny Goddess, Steppenwolf (who features very predominantly in the Justice League trailers), the Parademons, I could go on forever here.

You name a well-established comic book character that isn’t Batman or Superman, chances are ‘King Kirby’ had a hand in their creation; be it as the writer, artist, inker or letterer.

Marvel recently printed a whole bunch of True Believers in honour of King Kirby, reprinting many first appearances of different characters, all of whom, Jack Kirby had a hand in creating.

Born on August 28, 1917, Jack learned to draw comics by copying comic strips in newspapers, eventually working for different comic publishers under many different pen-names, eventually settling on ‘Jack Kirby’. After serving in the European Theatre in WWII, Jack returned to comics, joining up with Joe Simon to create Captain America (for a company called Timely Comics, which eventually became the Marvel we know and love today).

If you’re the kind of person who pays attention to the art in a comic (and, let’s face it, if you read comics you probably do pay attention to the art), you’ll notice the lines along the outer edges of a character’s body. You know, those lines that show just how wide Captain America’s right hook flies before it connects with Hitler’s chin.

Guess who invented those? Kirby.

Another thing Kirby did so well was to showcase the difference between Thor and his human self (if we go by his earliest appearances, once upon a time Thor was just a person who could pick up a specific cane which would turn into Mjolnir, which would, in turn, change him into Thor), kind of like how actor Christopher Reeve perfectly captured the difference between Superman and Clark Kent in a single scene, the one being confident and well postured and the other not.

To perfectly showcase this, I’ve included a link to Journey into Mystery #83 (the first appearance of Thor, as well as his human counterpart Donald Blake) here – just a little forewarning, the site may give you a few captchas, but that’s nothing to worry about.

Notice how Thor is posed confidently, practically showing off his strength and power, and Donald Blake (the man in a blue suit) is drawn as small and physically withdrawn.

Over the years, Jack became dissatisfied with Marvel, the pay was good at Marvel but he just wasn’t all that happy working with them; and if I were in his shoes I probably wouldn’t be that happy either, there was a lack of proper communication between Kirby and Lee; Kirby would come up with an amazing idea, Stan would add to and subtract from it, both would ignore the other’s ideas and when the comic was printed it was too late to make changes. Apparently, Kirby never read the comics he produced, one wonders if he even knew whether or not Stan Lee kept to his original ideas. The other major problem Jack had while working at Marvel was that he felt he wasn’t getting the recognition he deserved, which was the same reason he had when he originally left the company back when it was still called Timely Comics. Eventually, Marvel opted to change Jack’s contract, which sees him earning more but has him sign away certain legal rights when it came to the characters he created and the stories he wrote; he just laughed and made the jump to DC.

Which was probably the best thing he ever could have done for himself; he was earning slightly less than at Marvel, but DC paid attention to what he wanted to do, practically giving him free reign when it came to his creations; as a person, it is said that he was happier when working with DC.

Even though his New Gods didn’t catch on at the time of their first appearance, they’ve since gone on to become some of the most powerful beings in the DC Comics universe, and the most important.

Speaking of the New Gods, has anyone read the newest Mister Miracle comics? It’s a limited run of only twelve issues but just #1 by itself was incredible and I need someone to talk to about it.

 

 

Now, I know this is a little late (at the time of writing, it is almost a month after Jack’s 100th birthday), but Happy Birthday to Jack Kirby; comic book readers raise their glasses and tip their hats to you, my good man. Rest in peace.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

The first trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard had me raring to go and watch it, I just couldn’t wait till it came out. And then it did.

Now I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I honestly don’t think that Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson were actually given scripts, it seems more like they were told “You’re a hitman, you’re a professional bodyguard, you two have tried to kill each other before; YOU have to escort HIM to a court in another country. Have fun.”

And the two actors were then released into the world.

Whether or not they were actually given scripts, I don’t care, because the lines were perfect, from the timing to the delivery, everything was perfect. The action? Also perfect, if a little drawn out at parts.

 

There were a few scenes where our two protagonists would get split up and we would follow the one until his high-speed chase ended and things would die down for a few seconds, only to needlessly pick up again for another three minutes when we switch to the other character.

The jokes were, in my opinion, pretty good, but some of them seemed a little lost on the audience – although it probably doesn’t help that I watched it late on a Sunday night, either everyone was really tired or I was going just a little crazy (in which case I apologize for this review, because as I write it, I literally just got home from the cinemas).

There was a fairly serious over-arching story to the film but all the things going on between Jackson’s and Reynolds’ characters and their respective love interests kept on ruining the overall feel. Or was it the politically themed story that kept ruining the romance? I can’t quite tell.

 

 

Side note: I do know that there were other movies out there this month that I could have reviewed, but unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the IT previews, Atomic Blonde didn’t actually seem that interesting and Dark Tower (as much as I’ve been looking forward to it) unfortunately has to wait. But hey, that just means you guys will get more reviews in a shorter timespan in the next month or so (provided I actually find the time to get to them).

Bethesda GoT Game?… Nope!

Remember the story of how Skyrim was made?

Or, rather, the part where Bethesda started making Skyrim? No, not the part where they rushed it and didn’t get to fully flesh out the quests and actually finish the game, I’m talking about the part where they were offered the opportunity to make a game based on Game of Thrones. Remember that?

And for years we all thought “I love Skyrim, but wouldn’t it be cool if Bethesda made a GoT game?” and then it nearly happened and we all started screaming bloody murder.

 

Just a few days ago, a listing popped up on Target’s online store, a listing under the name “Bethesda: Game of Thrones”. All the Thrones fans thought this was amazing, but the Bethesda cult knew better…

For quite a while, Bethesda has been throwing out Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, with a Wolfenstien game thrown in the mix somewhere, but with Bethesda doing nothing but releasing Skyrim on every console they can find and not actually making the next Elder Scrolls game, their fans (myself included) are very disappointed – and the return of paid mods definitely isn’t helping their case.

Bethesda knows they make good games, people are still playing Skyrim, and, nearly six years after the fact, it’s community has done nothing but grow (granted, Skyrim SE did bolster the ranks considerably last year, but I’m talking about before that). Skyrim has stood the test of time as one of the most iconic games out there… and Bethesda knows, has openly admitted it too, that it isn’t even finished. I don’t know if the devs started late or if they just got off to a slow start, but at the end of the day, there are so many unfinished quests in Skyrim. It was going to be possible for you to lose the war, regardless of which side (Empire or Stormcloak) you picked; but Bethesda wasn’t able to finish it and so they cut the content… needless to say, they left the programming in the game files so modders have since resurrected the civil war.

Think about that: Bethesda released an unfinished game, and it is incredible, they know this. To them, that just means they can keep putting out unfinished games, start slacking off; or, as they’re doing now, milk Skyrim more than Ubisoft could ever dream of milking the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

To me, that says that if Bethesda actually tried, and took their time with a game, it would be glorious and people would play it for decades to come.

But then they released Fallout 4 and it was not as great as it was hyped up to be.

 

So now, among Bethesda’s cult of followers, we all know that they actually make horrid games (which we still love, for some odd reason).

And that’s why we don’t want them touching George’s masterwork; because it will quite literally be a reskin of Skyrim.

Don’t believe me? Bethesda did exactly that when they released Skyrim, they used the things they had put into Oblivion; the same game engine, many of the same animations and a good deal of the hitboxes. Some of the coding in Fallout 4 has also shown itself to be the same as Skyrim’s.

 

Target has since apologised for the mishap, “This is not a real product – we’re sorry for any confusion.” Notice how they’re avoiding the part where they explain how this happened. I’m sure Target has launched an internal investigation of sorts in an attempt to figure out who created the listing.

 

So, to any Game of Thrones fan reading this, pray that Bethesda doesn’t make a GoT game, pray.

 

 

Side note: wouldn’t it be cool if CD Projekt Red made a Game of Thrones game? They have consistently gotten story, gameplay and graphics perfect time and time again.

Dunkirk

When I saw the first trailer for Dunkirk, it was only a few weeks before the film was to debut, but with just one trailer, it was easy to see that this would be a heavy hitting film… and it was.

Dunkirk tells a tale of surviving the Nazis on the Western Front in World War II. The thing with history is that we already know how the story ends, but not everyone knows the exact chain of events that lead up to the end of the now infamous Battle of Dunkirk, not a lot of people know what those soldiers went through.

Dunkirk follows the story through several different perspectives; that of two soldiers on the beach, three civilians in a small boat (on their way to Dunkirk to get their soldiers home) and three Spitfire pilots (on their way to provide air support to the Allied soldiers on the beaches). The film constantly, and seamlessly, jumps between these perspectives, sometimes even jumping forward or backward by a few hours; but in the end, it all makes one cohesive film.

One thing I couldn’t help but notice that the music wasn’t at any point heavy, it was often high-pitched and suspenseful, choosing to purvey more the urgency of each situation instead of the action. A lot of the scenes spent following the pilots didn’t actually have any noticeable music, opting rather for the iconic sound of a Spitfire engine.

Something I didn’t notice until it was pointed out to me after watching the film, is that there isn’t actually a lot of dialogue; we go through the first ten minutes of the film with almost no dialogue at all, with many of the scenes on the beaches also having very little dialogue.

All those soldiers wanted to get off of Dunkirk, but not all of them were willing to work together; however, the two Allied soldiers we spend most of the film following, spend almost the entirety of the film soundlessly working towards their goal of leaving Dunkirk.

Something this film purveys very well is the true desperation of those soldiers stuck on the beach; they spend most of their time waiting in lines for ships to come and collect them… and they very quickly learn how to tell when the tide will be coming in, a rather morbid line that I would rather not spoil for those who have yet to watch Dunkirk.

I feel that this is a film that one absolutely has to watch, I enjoyed every second of it and it felt more like an actual account of the event rather than a documentary. Dunkirk is definitely near the top of my ‘Recommended Films’ list.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

I’ll be honest with you, until I saw the first trailer for Valerian, I had no idea what it was; but upon doing a little bit of research, I discovered that it was based on a groundbreaking French graphic novel from way back when… needless to say, I went and read it.
And I enjoyed the hell out of it.
The original graphic novel was filled with amazing lore and had an incredible story… the film, not so much, it’s a little lacking on that last bit.
I’m not going to deny the beauty of what the film’s producers have done: they gave us some brilliantly designed aliens (almost none of which were actually in the graphic novel, those were all completely new designs) and a feast for the eyes. Is it worth watching in 3D? No, its not Doctor Strange; you won’t notice much of a difference between the 3D and 2D versions.
Unfortunately, as with many ‘book to big screen’ adaptations, the film falls short where the graphic novel succeeds. It’s almost as if they spent too much time on the visuals and almost none on the storyline. After the first half hour, the plot became predictable – very predictable.
“Scene of a random race on a random planet, weirdly random stuff happens (we promise this random stuff will make sense later). Meet our two heroes; one is arrogant, free-spirited and has a disdain for rules, the other is a by-the-book leiutenant; both are basically black ops agents. Our heroes get assigned to a job at a giant space station – que explanations for each alien and their weird design. Meet this general; he’s a douche. Heroes go on a job, get drawn into conspiracy” — I’m going to stop right there, I had this whole hilarious summary ready but then realised it was a bit too spoiler-ish, so I’ll just cut that bit out and keep it for myself.
Continuing on…
The film’s biggest shortcoming, besides the story, is the world-building (or should I be saying ‘universe-building’?). The movie spends all of one minute trying to convince us that this is a living, breathing world/universe where all sorts of crazy stuff happens, but all it’s really doing is explaining some of the aliens and areas we’ll be seeing later on in the film (but, to be fair; there are some things in this movie we just wouldn’t understand without a proper explanation).
There were also a few scenes that had absolutely nothing to do with the story… but they needed an excuse to make our two protagonists like each other a little more. Then there was the completely unnecessary death of a particularly lovable side-character.
No, seriously, forget about Valerian and Laureline, I want a whole movie about (insert name of side-character who dies here); there is something I would love to watch a couple hundred times.

War for the Planet of the Apes

An epic ending to a wondrous trilogy.

War of the Planet of the Apes picks up several years after Dawn for the Planet of the Apes (which picked up years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes)… I think I’m noticing a pattern here.

Note: I’m going to refer to each of these movies by the first word in their titles, it would be completely superfluous to type out the entire title each time I want to say it.

One thing that bugged me is that War didn’t pick up straight after Dawn. Anyone remember Caesar telling his new human friends to leave while they could and that war was coming? Caesar had a serious look on his face and then the screen cut to black. Remember that?

Yeah, we never get to see the ensuing epicness; War starts two years after that.

War got nothing but praise at the international box office, and it is easy to see why.

There were no plot holes (something most film franchises tend to have by the second film these days, if not in the first), the pacing was perfect and, of course, the acting was amazing and the CGI was even better than in the first two films of the trilogy.

I’m actually really happy to hear that this is where the rebooted franchise ends, because if you watched the originals, you’ll know that things get pretty crazy (and completely nonsensical) after the first two movies). As interesting as it would be to mix time travel in there somewhere and involve the race of humans who live underground, it would be a far stretch from the world that the current version of the franchise has built.

Andy Serkis’ acting is in it’s prime, as usual, that man just keeps getting better and better, Caesar was more expressive than ever.

It was fairly evident from the get-go that Maurice would play an important role, but I was quite surprised to see Rocket again, making him one of only three characters from the original film to survive this far (with Buck having died in Rise and Koba getting himself killed in Dawn).

What was interesting to see, as with Dawn, was the cultural progression of the apes. At the start of Dawn, we saw that the apes had built an amazing base and that they had developed a reasonably advanced culture; and now, with War, we see that they have developed further (we don’t see much difference between Dawn and War but there is enough to be noticeable).

For those who watched the originals, you’ll probably remember the big Xs that were used as warnings to humans, with human corpses attached to them in a manner almost similar to that of a crucifixion; those made a not-so-welcome comeback, this time being used by the humans to torture uncooperative apes.

This is one of those films that really makes you question your humanity and what it truly is to be human, it’s also one of those films that makes you feel bad for being a human.