Spartacus: Vengeance

Can't wait for the next season of Spartacus. Looks intensely epic!

Green Goblin

Tests for a potential approach to the Green Goblin for Sam Raimi's Spiderman (2002), if the Goblin persona was to organic as it is in the comics, opposed to a suit.

Personally I would have loved to see this approach brought to life opposed to the helmet that was present in the final film. I can understand that there would have been practical reasons against pursuing this approach, but it would have been awesome. I love the "extreme" expressions that the actor pulls, to see Willem Dafoe's Goblin through this would be amazing.

I appreciate that both approaches were practical, rather than cgi.

Here there be Dragons

The fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series is out this coming month. I did not enjoy my first (albeit brief) adventure into the realm with Morrowind - becoming frustrated almost immediately with the necessity to walk everywhere. Little did I know that later you would have the ability to fly and so on - to make the slow transportation more bearable. That would have been 2004. When Oblivion was released on 360 in 2006 I was admittedly intrigued but wary as I had been burnt its over-hyped predecessor. I watched alot of videos and read some reviews and realised that the issues that I had with the previous game were something that would not be an issue for me with this installment. So I picked it up.

I spent at least half an hour crafting my character, the decision of race was not particularly difficult (Dark Elf), and went on to refine his features for a time. Playing through the intro was fine (although grating on subsequent play-throughs), once outside I was amazed by the landscape - the mountains, lake and wildlife. I wandered the exterior walls of the city until I found an entrance. However, I did not enter said city because I was rather distracted by the open world environment that I had not truly experienced at this stage in gaming. So in what would become quite a common activity in the game for my character, I stole a horse from the stables and headed off into the world.

That was my first few hours of gameplay - exploring the world (at a pace quicker than walking) and marveling at the technology and sheer scale of what Bethesda had created. Ironically I would go on to do all missions on horseback, riding from city to city - rather than making use of the quick travel option which was available for the majority of quests. I never did finish the main quest, feeling as though I was doing it too quickly I drifted off onto the Arena and various guilds. Then other games were released, and at a later stage - my save file corrupted and I simply did not (do not) have the patience to put in the 140 odd hours I had up to that point.

So let me swing this around a bit, in more of a Skyrim direction..

Since Oblivion I have enjoyed a number of open-world and sandbox games, all of which I attack with a similar attitude - right into at the start and then inevitably a new game comes out that steals my attention and as a result I neglect the initial game... If the story is one that has grabbed me I will come back to it, or if I particularly enjoy it. GTA4 and Red Dead Redemption are examples of sandbox games that I loved so much that I hammered through the game with few interruptions. Borderlands, Fallout 3 and Fable 3 failed to grab me in the way that these others did, more often than not the menu system of Fallout frustrated the hell out of me when searching for something very straightforward in my inventory... So there's that.

From appearance some of the issues that I had with Oblivion may not be raised again in Skyrim. My style of gameplay generally revolves around stealth (where possible) and full out charging in and more often than not, rapidly becoming rather... dead. Two opposing styles of gameplay, and when magic is involved I tend towards stealth (invisibility etc), stunning (ice/electricity) and some healing/telekinisis. I have made a promise to myself that other than the dragon shouts I'm not going to use magic on my first play though. Sure that is going to make it a difficult experience, but the character I am going for is more of a hunter/ranger. Think Aragorn in Lord of the Rings. Can do both archery & close up. Based off the gameplay footage; the dual wielding combo's and the increased focus on specialist gameplay will hopefully bring a whole new level to the experience.

I have yet to decide on what race I will play as but would hazard a guess that my character creation this time round could take an hour or so.. Still leaning towards something elfish (probably dark elf again) but the viking-like characters could also be an option. Either way the character-creation will inevitably result in a a character that resembles a somewhat idealised version of myself.

That's usually how it goes anyway...

iPhone 4S / Canon 5D Mark II

Quick comparison video of the quality of the 1080p recording from a Canon 5D Mark II and the shiny new iPhone 4S.

I didn't expect that the video recording of the iPhone would be too great to be perfectly honest. Clearly I am wrong. There are issues with the shadows doing some funky pixelating every now and then. But apart from that I can't fault it too much as far as 1080p video on a mobile phone.

Certainly helps my decision making process whether or not to upgrade from my 3G move along faster.

Made to be Ruled.

The first official trailer for The Avengers (2012) was released this week and it certainly left an impression.

Since Samuel L Jackson's cameo in the post-credits scene in Iron Man (2008) anticipation has been building for a film that many though would never be released. Slowly the pieces have fallen into place, particularly with the release of Captain America and Thor this year. If you can wrap your head around where the film's fall in to chronology you may understand how Marvel has built towards this film.

Captain America (2011) > Iron Man (2008) > Iron Man 2 (2010) > Thor (2011) > The Incredible Hulk (2008) 

Overall, the trailer looks great. Joss Whedon clearly understands the relationships within the team, the tensions betweens Iron Man and Captain America and so on. While I can't say I was happy with another recast for Bruce Banner/Hulk the new take (whilst we are only offered a glimpse) looks fantastic. Mark Ruffalo has stated over and over that they have taken his features and bulked them out and stretched them to make the Hulk. You can really see it in this brief glimpse. I am hoping that his design remains closer to that of The Incredible Hulk (2008) rather than Hulk (2003), but also that Ruffalo's mocap performance does the character justice.

Chuck Final Season

Here we have the first promo for the 5th and final season of Chuck. The 13-episode season will tie up the loose ends and introduce some new villains (Mark Hamill!). It is still unlike the regular spy drama or nerd comedy, and that is why we love it so.

Bacardi Together

Today comes a bit of a showcase post for an inspiring tvc that aired during the premiere of Underbelly: Razor week before last. Clearly it has taken some time for this post to appear on the blog. I would blame my increasingly demanding professional life as well as the rumbling boulder which is my Masters project for my lack of commitment to this blog of late, but that would be a pointless act. 

Normally advertising campaigns for alcohol do not leave any resonating thoughts or feelings but the energy of this ad grabbed my attention. I found the combination of animation and live action very effective in creating a sense of tone that is generally lacking in adverts for alcohol products. Before I begin to branch of into tangents which will undoubtedly be unrelated to the current topic I think I shall call it quits.

Comic-Con - Walking Dead (Trailer)

Comic-Con - Chuck

Have managed to find some videos of the Chuck Season 5 Comic Con panel. Bit of a bittersweet panel for Zachary Levi and co as it was their final panel for the show. The panel covers alot of things, everything that comes with a show entering its final season. They talk about where Chuck is without the Intersect, where Morgan is with it, how does the CIA factor into now they are working privately. Big news from the panel is that there may be a main cast death before the season is over and the casting of Mark Hamill as a villain for some part of the season.

3DS. Or not.

I do think I am going to get a 3DS. I have been contemplating a DS/PSP for a good few years now and it seems as though it's finally at a point where there are the games to warrant buying one. To be perfectly honest, it's mostly Ocarina of Time that has finally swayed my stance on whether or not to buy one, but there is also a number of upcoming games (Starfox64, Super Mario, MarioKart, Super Smash Bros) that are also quite exciting.

There's also the potential that it will be able to link up with the Wii-U in some aspect which could be cool. Hopefully more than the Gamecube and the Advance did but we'll see. Target has a pretty good deal in their Toy Sale that starts Thursday so I'll go and check it out...

More Than Just a Man.

'If you make yourself more than just a man.
If you devote yourself to an ideal.
Then you become something entirely.

A legend, Mr Wayne.

A Legend.'

- Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), Batman Begins (2005)

With the release of a teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises (2012) speculation of how Christopher Nolan's Batman saga will end? The trailer promises a return thematically and narratively to the events of Batman Begins. Surely there will be a brief mention of 'past criminals' (The Joker (Heath Ledger)) and said criminals incarceration in Arkham Asylum. It would be a shame not to. Assumed is the return of the League of Shadows, with Bane filling the role of enforcer - closer to his comic counterpart rather than the Batman & Robin monstrosity. Whether Ra's will be back at the healm (ala the Lazarus Pit) or whether they shall be lead by his successor (potentially his daughter, Talia).

The teaser trailer and poster both depict Gotham crumbling. This coincides with Ra's al Ghul's  plan to allow Gotham to consume itself so that it may be cleansed. I am glad to see that the League of Shadows will not be forgotten - one of the greatest elements of Batman Begins.

There is the question of the role that Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) will fill. I feel it is safe to assume that her alter ego, Selina Kyle will play romantic interest to Bruce Wayne. But how the burglar will factor into the film it is unknown. I am excited by the prospect however.

It will be interesting to see where the film ends. Will it end with him heading towards a familiar future, perhaps to a certain family act at a circus. Or will it be with Batman giving his all and ultimately his life for the city he loves. He has already given his love and reputation for the city, and the Joker has brought him as close to breaking as he has ever been. What better time for the League to revisit their plans, when Batman is at his weakest. We'll see how it all turns out...

Brave Trailer.

Whilst short and a wonderfully teasing 'teaser trailer', it simply shows us what we've been missing out on the past couple of years - an original Pixar film. Toy Story 3 was great, Cars 2 looks like an absolute joke - but they are still not what Pixar excels at. Creating exciting and interesting characters and stories. The jungles put those feature in The Incredibles to shame very easily in the minute of screen time that they are given. Here's hoping the characters and stories hold up to the long-standing Pixar standard (ignoring Cars & Cars 2 ).


Cannot wait for it. Cars 2 looks to be such a let down (just like the original Cars) but at least it will make way for Brave - a story of firsts;
  • First Pixar fairy tale.
  • First female lead character.
  • First female directed (co-directed) Pixar feature.


Gandalf and Bilbo

First official photos of Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins as well as Ian McKellen revisting his role as Gandalf. It's great to get a look at Freeman in his hobbit feet, as well as a few dwarves lurking in the background of Bag End. I find myself more excited by seeing Gandalf again, garbed in his traditional grey and looking as if he never left Middle Earth.

Tick one off.

23. (COMPLETE!) Read 1 chapter per day of a book for a month.

Done! As mentioned in a previous post I altered the criteria from a chapter per day to seven per week. Was very enjoyable, I'm loving reading again. In fact I'm frustrated that I can't read quicker - I used to read faster but I found that I really didn't pay attention to alot of the book as a result. If I can up my reading to

Week 1 - 8 Chapters, Horus Heresy: Horus Rising (Dan Abnett). 4 Chapters, Patriot Games (Tom Clancy).
Week 2 - 8 Chapters, Patriot Games (Tom Clancy).
Week 3 - 14 Chapters, Patriot Games (Tom Clancy).
Week 4 - 1 Chapter, Patriot Games (Tom Clancy). 19 Chapters, The Serpent Bride (Sara Douglass).

So I'm hoping that I can read an average book a week (given the time). I've got a couple Sara Douglass and Raymond E Feist books that I'd like to get to as well as a couple of Star Wars novels. Next time I'm hunting through a second hand bookshop I'll be picking up some more Tom Clancy novels, I enjoyed Patriot Games immensely - they are quite cinematic in their delivery and handling of multiple points of view.

I'm also looking at picking up some more the Horus Heresy from Galaxy Books now that they've settled into their new premises.

E3 2011 - Nintendo Recap

I feel as though Nintendo outshone its competitors this year. Beginning with a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Zelda and rounding out with the announcement of the first new console since 2006 I think the future certainly holds high hopes for Nintendo to reclaim some of their hardcore gamer audience.
  • Firstly, the new console is titled the 'Wii-U'. Perhaps a very ridiculous name, but it builds upon the existing brand which Nintendo have developed strongly. The console is essentially the Wii 2.5 - featuring HD output (finally!) which has already encouraged developers such as Ubisoft to jump on board promising Assassin Creed titles. The physical look is a streamlined Wii (which must lie down), backwards compatible with all Wii products (including Wiimotes etc). No longer providing Gamecube support and following a similar memory system the Wii-U offers alot of promise. The major development revolves around the unique controller which features a 6.2" touchscreen. This works in companion to games such as Zelda, displaying your inventory in a similar way that the DS does. The ultimate feature of this controller is the ability to switch all gameplay to the screen, without the need of a tv. This is especially important to families with children and a single tv - the parents can still watch tv and the kids can still play their games without one getting in the way of the other. Some aren't excited by the controller but the only issue that I can see with it is the lack of real analogue sticks and the potential pricing.
  • With a new console comes a slew of announcements for new titles. For some reason their was alot of suprise for a new Smash Bros Wii-U title. I cannot understand why. Super Smash Bros has been a stable pillar of Nintendo since the N64 - both the Gamecube and Wii featuring Smash Bros as close-to release titles. Super Smash Bros Melee was the highest selling title for the Gamecube.
  • Luigi's Mansion 2 debuted gameplay footage. As did a slew of 3DS titles including Starfox 64 3DS, Resident Evil: Revelations and Super Mario 3DS.
  • Whilst there was no announcements regarding any plans for Zelda Anniversary packs (such as Mario had last year) but Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword debuted more gameplay footage which certainly impressed. The first game to feature an adult Link as well as a unique art style. I am hoping that it will be akin to Windwaker in its approach to a new style of gameplay.

E3 2011 - Microsoft Recap

Microsoft's panel delivered some major announcements which was unfortunately hampered by their insistence on shoving Kinect down our throats. There was a mix of expected announcements as well as some unexpected ones;

  • Halo, Halo and more Halo. That was one major player in Microsoft's panel (as it has always been). For the first time in years Master Chief was back at the head of the franchise after a few absent years. Halo Combat Evolved: Anniversary was detailed and thankfully delivered a faithful update to the now 10 year old classic. It will be released in November, exactly 10 years after it originally blew our collective minds. The game makes use of the Halo: Reach engine (thankfully) and from what we have seen/heard is essentially the same game with updated graphics. There is also A Monkey Island-esque feature allowing you to shift back to the original graphics. The only downside to the release is the lack of the original mutliplayer but we are provided with 7 'classic' maps as a compromise. I am hoping that Sidewinder is featured, then I'll be set! The other announcement was Halo 4 - the first in a new trilogy featuring Master Chief and Cortana once again.
  • Microsoft desperately wants hardcore gamers to love Kinect, featuring a game developed by Crytek as a key example of what is possible. Also featured Star Wars Kinect which failed to impress (unfortunately).
  • The biggest showcase of the year was the final chapter of Gears of War, which continues to deliver. Hopefully after the game is released Epic Games will move on and apply their expertise to something new. Personally I would like to see a medieval Gears-styled game.
  • Other games showcased included Mass Effect 3 (with Kinect support) as well as many cross-platformers.

E3 2011 - Sony Recap

 E3 came and went this year. It didn't seem as memorable as past years, perhaps due to some lackluster conferences from the major players. Sony spent alot of their panel apologising for the recent PSN hack. Not just apologising once mind you, over and over. Regardless, a quick recap of their major announcements;
  • Further gameplay from Uncharted 3 was exhibited, detailing a rather spectacular sinking ship level.
  • The announcement of the Playstation Vita - the follow up to the PSP. With a 5" front touch screen panel, a rear panel as well as full sized analogue sticks.
  • Perhaps the biggest announcement was Sony's new 3D splitscreen-less tv targeted at multiplayer. As you probably know 3D glasses are polarised to see two separate images (for each eye) to generate the 3D effect. This tv allows you for the same approach but to see 2 different images with different glasses. Essentially - Player 1s glasses display what would have occupied the top half of a split-screen, Player 2s the bottom. But unlike current setups with the screen split in half the player will see their gameplay in full screen, unable to see their opponents screen. Sounds confusing I know, but apparently it works great.
  • Many other games were detailed, alot of which were cross-platformers which I'll probably post about later.

Ocarina of Time 3DS

Nintendo could not have jumped on a more perfect opportunity to advertise the upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time on 3DS than taking advantage of celebrity advertising. Robin Williams has long been outspoken about his avid passion for gaming, his online presence including Warcraft 3, Battlefield 2, Half-Life and Halo 3 as well as demo-ing Spore at E3 and finally his passion for Dungeons & Dragons.

He has often commented on his love of the Zelda series, going as far as to name his daughter after the titular character (Zelda Rae Willliams). So why not take advantage of this and provide Williams with an opportunity to be involved in the advertising for a game that I am sure he waiting for just as much as the rest of us.

No. 23

23. (PROGRESS!) Read 1 chapter per day of a book for a month.

Fourteen chapters of Patriot Games (Tom Clancy) this week. One chapter to go. Cannot wait to finish it. So good.

Number 23 cont.

23. (PROGRESS!) Read 1 chapter per day of a book for a month.

The week just past was filled with a further 8 chapters of Patriot Games (Tom Clancy). That's really all there is to it. I read a few articles in a magazine as well as a bunch of texts for my thesis but that's about all. I'm about halfway through the book now, I am hoping to finish it by the end of this week so that I can power through on catching up on some Sara Douglass that is in desperate need of rereading/actually reading!


New Rise of the Apes trailer. Looks excellent.

Number 23

23. (PROGRESS!) Read 1 chapter per day of a book for a month.

I have altered the criteria for this number slightly. Rather than 1 chapter a day I am making it 7 a week, that way when I simply do no have the time in a particular day I can play catch up during a day that I have more free time.

I have completed 1 week as of yesterday. I read 8 chapters of Horus Heresy: Horus Rising (Dan Abnett) and finished that off I also 4 chapters of Patriot Games (Tom Clancy). I am very much enjoying reading again and it helps to pass the time on various train trips to the mountains and work.

What is the Stargate?

With the Stargate Universe still fresh in everyone's minds I have been pondering the future of the franchise. It would appear that it's long run of syndicated television has come to an end for now, having begun in 1996 that's a a very impressive feat. I am hoping that the franchise continues in some form, David Hewlett recently admitted that he thinks that Stargate is far from done. Whether it be games or online adventures he believes that it will continue on and I personally doubt that MGM is done with it yet. They are ones for sticking with it (Bond franchise) as long as there is the money around.

I found this video that someone thoughtfully stuck up on Youtube. For those of you out there who remain unfamiliar with the series I do not think you could ask for a better breakdown of what exactly is a 'stargate', it's function and of course the history of the Stargate Program.

E3 Buzz - Microsoft.

This year's E3 is almost up on us and it appears that Microsoft is teasing those lucky media attendees with hints at what they will be unveiling on June 6. What we could surmise from the invite is that Microsoft shall be giving us some more Gears of War 3 footage, something more on Arkham City and here's hoping something far more developed in regards to Star Wars Kinect.

There is also expected to be something more in regards to the new Tomb Raider and finally there are hints of a Halo-related announcement. There are countless rumours that surround the future of the Halo franchise, which surely this announcement will address. Whether it be the HD remake of Halo: Combat Evolved or a new Halo title featuring Master Chief??

We'll see.


 And so the viral campaign for The Dark Knight Rises begins and we get out first glimpse of Tom Hardy as Bane. Here's hoping for a better interpretation of Bane than we got in the 90s.

Flintstones Rebooted.

 The Flinstones are being rebooted by Seth McFarlane, the man who has brought us Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and American Dad. Hopefully as a fan of the original, he will be respectful of the material and maintain a more family friendly target audience than his other animated ventures. His comments on the project are rather strange, I would like to think that he is being ironic or sarcastic but somehow I don't think he is;

"I think America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid guy with a wife who's too good for him."

See what I mean? Is he being sarcastic? Because isn't that all his existing series (particularly Family Guy) as well as The Simpsons in a nutshell. It's hardly going to break the existing mold. I am interested to see if they approach the series with a new artistic approach, if they do I'm hoping it's nothing like his existing shows.

It's a Trap!


After 10 years of syndication the re-imagined modern tale of Clark Kent has come to a fitting end. The 2 hour finale did almost everything that fans had been hoping for since the pilot aired back in 2001. When Smallville first began there was a strict 'No Tights, No Flights' rule which has become synonymous with the series. The no flights rule has been broken on ocassion in a round about way, but it always came down to that it wasn't Clark flying. This was covered by him being taken over by his Kryptonian side, or it was his Bizarro-counterpart. This was fine for the better part of the series but it became frustrating rapidly once they introduced more Kryptonian villains and several heroes. When Supergirl (V's Laura Vandervoort) arrived on the scene in Season 7 the frustration grew and yet was satisfied by the Supergirl-related action. When villains such as Braniac became more prominent in the series, the writers began to reflect the audience's frustration through Clark - especially from the beginning of Season 9, Clark actively began to attempt to fly and grew more and more frustrated with his inability to grasp his full potential.

So going into the finale it was difficult to attempt to guess what was going to occur. The entire season had been a lead up to Clark finally grasping his full potential and becoming the 'greatest hero the world had ever seen', but Smallville hasn't the strongest record when it comes down to penultimate season endings so I went in with alot of excitement and a little apprehension. I could say that I was disappointed by the overall lack of action in the episode but for the entire 2 hours I was sitting there thinking 'Man, this is one hell of a build up to the end'. Which it was, and just how did it end?

We got the suit, we got flights, the theme and we got Lex Luthor. And once there is a picture of Superman from the finale online I'll stick it in this post. The only other thing that I would have liked was a full shot of Tom Welling in the suit, rather than CG Superman and some closeups, but you can't get everything however. I think the finale provides the appropriate ending to Smallville, an ending that 10 years ago they could not have hoped for.


With so many movies to look forward to I think that the Conan the Barbarian revamp is one of the top few that I'm looking forward to. Jason Momoa swinging a giant sword and throw in Ron Perlman, Stephen Lang and Rose McGowan for good measure. The latest trailer was more than expected in regards to the art direction and scale. It would seem as though this particular adaptation will pay the original material more attention. There must be confidence in the film if they have already begun preparations for a sequel, so far the one downside to the film is the fact that it is 3D. The fact that the majority of the cinema chains such as Hoyts and Event have essentially given up on screening anything in 2D is an issue that irritates me to no end.

Here is the latest trailer;

May The 4th Be With You.

Here I am sitting and waiting for the stupid page to load, it having occupied my second monitor for the past hour and what happens? KABLOOM. Internet fail. Not so much internet but rather the server's inability to handle to countless of worldwide Star Wars nerds sitting at the computers attempting to discover what exactly will be on the Star Wars Blu-Rays.

My distaste for blu-ray is well know BUT it is Star Wars and there has been promises of all new features (interviews, footage etc) that could be of great interest to me. This is coming from a bloke who already owns 4 different copies of Star Wars on various media. Two VHS copies (one in the cardboard slips in the golf box, the other plastic covers) and two copies of the original films on dvd (2004 dvd box set and the 2006 re-release of the original theatrical versions) as well as the prequel trilogy on dvd. It's not unbelievable to comprehend that when I inevitably purchase a PS3, I may indeed bite the bullet and buy Star Wars on blu-ray.

So now what do I do? I'm going to hit send on this job application, put Empire Strikes Back on and climb into bed so that I can attempt to get some sleep before getting up at 6am.

May the Force be with you, always.


I thought the first set photo from Joss Whedon's 'The Avengers' would be a fitting way to begin a post about a script leak from said film. It appears as though Samuel L Jackson's copy of the script was stolen from the set and an anonymous email has been shot out to various film sites in attempt to open a bidding war for the script for one of 2012s most anticipated films. Marvel has denied to comment on the rumoured production halt as a result of the theft. FilmFanReview has reported that production has halted so that the script pages may be rewritten but as stated, this has not ben confirmed by an official spokesperson.

So how much would you pay for the script? Or would you even bid at all?

More College Humour.

Oh Yvonne. You are hilarious. I can't say that I disagree with the Lady Gaga penis comment either. That chick creeps the hell out of me.

A Pirates First Day.

A quick little video of the first day of shooting on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Pretty cool little rapid insight to the efforts that go into shooting on a location that doesn't have road access. The answer? Boats. Lots of boats.

Of an Ape Planet.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer hit the net today as a follow up to the 4 second clip released a few days ago. Looks outstanding, cannot wait for the film. Glad to see Tyler Labine hitting up a film role there. That final shot is the 4 second clip that was released but seeing it in the context of the trailer, providing us with a hint of Caesar's character just blows me away. I can't help but still be amazed by the cg work on WETA and the acting talents of on Andy Serkis. There is so much emotion in simple looks, so much malice.

Very exciting stuff!

Of Hobbits.

I cannot express simply how excited I am by The Hobbit finally going into production. This video gave me chills, especially seeing the cast sit at Bilbo's table and to then be joined by Ian McKellen - it's incredible. The Lord of the Rings were a massive part of my teenage years (early - mid) and I cannot wait for The Hobbit films to join them. The original films were unlike anything I had ever seen and I cannot wait to venture into Middle Earth again.

Of Apes.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - Teaser Site

I know it's just a 4 second clip but it still looks amazing. I think the issues that audiences have had with the previous films could be alleviated with the use of cg. I know there has been dispute amongst fans in regards to the amount of movement in the actor's faces that the prosthetics allowed for in previous films. I still think that 'Rise of the Apes' was a definitive (enough) title for the film, 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' seems to spoon feeding the audience a little too much. I'm sure they would have figured it out.

Fan-Made Opening Titles to X-Men: First Class

A hypothetical title sequence for the yet-to-be-released X-Men: First Class. This has been swirling around the interwebs for the past few days, full of inspiration and techniques borrowed from the stylings of Saul Bass and James Bond films as well as remnants of classic Marvel Films introductions (X-Men and Spiderman). Whilst I do not feel that it is as fantastic as many are raving about, I will happily confer a congratulations to the artist in representing a 60's era title sequence. My issue with the piece is that whilst Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy's names are clear as day the others are completely lost against the backdrop of 1960s paraphernalia. Something about that sets off the latter half of the sequence for me, leaving the audience to adjust to images of newspapers etc which easily could have been broken up with cast members. But this, after all, just an opinion.


LucasArts has hired Tim Longo (previous Tomb Raider creative and franchise director) as Creative Director on an unannounced game.
Longo has a working relationship with LucasArts which includes Lead Designer on Star Wars: Starfighter and Jedi Starfighter, Creative Director on Star Wars: Republic Commando. His recent projects include Tomb Raider: Underworld and Anniversary. His hiring could be the intial step towards a number of game, assumably Star Wars-related such as another starfighter based game (personally I think another Rogue Squadron would be a dream) or finally the long-awaited Imperial Commando (the long spoken of sequel to Republic Commando).
This aside my inital hopes and dreams did not jump to either of these but rather a Tomb Raider-inspired Indiana Jones game. That IS the dream. A third person, puzzle based adventure game would be absolutely mind blowing. Think back on recent Indiana Jones games - LEGO Indiana Jones and it's sequel are strong, as are all the LEGO games but they are lacking in obvious areas in regards to their audience. Indiana Jones and the Staff of King's that hit Wii was a promising game until you hit the shooting portion of the game and it lost all balance and was unusable. The Indy game that showed the greatest promise (which I only played the demo of) was Indiana Jones and the Emporer's Tomb, released back in 2003. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (1999) was also along these same lines.
That's nearing the 10 year mark, I think it could be time to explore these grounds again, but we can only hope. There hasn't been a decent Star Wars starfighter game for years either, so if they are pursuing either franchise it would be a welcome development.


The 4 minute trailer for Green Lantern hit the web yesterday, revealing a tingling collection of the footage screened at WonderCon a few days ago. I will admit that I was beginning to lose enthusiasm for the film based purely off not having seen much in the way of advertising in recent months. Well this 4 minute spectacle spectacular definitely reinvigorated my thirst for the GL film. I must say that the creature (re alien) designs are fantastic!


More The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS Videos

So the legendary Ocarina of Time is headed our way via the handheld magic of the Nintendo 3DS. My handheld gaming adventures began with the Gameboy Pocket and ended with the Gameboy Advance. Since then, I have on occasion contemplated a PSP or a DS (in it's various incarnations) but nothing has ever come of it as my console gaming has certainly stepped up since those GBA days.

As far as the 3D market goes I have very little interest in 3D movies, 3D TVs and so on. The 3DS has the potential to send the industry in a direction which will certainly begin to define said industry. 3D without the need for special glasses is something that certainly peaks my interest. As far as game ports goes the Zelda port looks fairly immaculate! The graphics look crisp and faithful to the original. How the 3D plays out is something which is left up to a hands on experience. I must say that I am quite intrigued to rest out this 3DS business. Quite intrigued indeed.


This is why I love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. They are beyond awesome.


A rather well animated and yet odd animation. I can't really say much more than that.


Outstanding. This is one of the many reasons I love Chuck; the guest stars are amazing.


The big question at the moment is what is Tron's future? Both in regards to the franchise and the character. There stands the assumption that despite sinking into the depths of the Sea of Simulation that Tron did in fact survive his betrayal, death, rebirth, betrayal and rebirth at the hands of Clu and finally Flynn - if the super saviour could not swim that would surely be a let down to the legend.

The end of Tron Legacy does hint towards a potential future looming with Sam and Quorra at the forefront. This however does not answer the question of how Tron will factor into the equation, surely Alan Bradley would be an integral part of any future endeavors through his role as CEO of Encom but Tron? Who the hell knows. The recent short film reveals that Bradley has been financing the Flynn Lives campaign on the side for years, which has been headed by Ram. I liked this, the potential that a third film is promising - with hints at Dillinger Snr. and Jnr. factoring in all plays together nicely. The only hitches that I see in a potential sequel is that the grid has once again been shut down. This would require the creation of a new system, which is not implausible when it comes to the Dillinger's but for Tron to appear would prove interesting. Flynn ported Tron from the original system, the same system in which Ram existed. Ram could be a new creation, or an updated rehash of the old code. Tron could be pulled from Flynn's system through the backup that Sam now carries with him. But in my mind there is no Tron without Jeff Bridges - it isn't unimaginable that they could pull Flynn from an old backup of the system or something, or he may exist as a ghost within the machine. Some techno-sci-fi-babble. It's been done before.

Regardless, if there is to be a Tron the Third there needs to be some serious focus on Alan/Tron. He was very much the glue to which the wallpaper was stuck on in the last film and I would love to see him take a more aggressive presence in future installments if we are in fact to endure them.



From the genius of illustrator and animator Scott Benson. His brand new way of sharing his works-in-progress with the world in an quick and easy embeddable loop! So simple, yet so cool!



A follow up to a previous post. Teaser trailer for Jason Momoa's incarnation of Conan the Barbarian. Supposedly far closer to the source material than Schwarzenegger's. The teaser trailer does nothing but get you curious (and a little pumped) for the new film - it shows flashes of characters, and of course one small shot of Momoa in action accompanying the line "I live. I love. I slay".

Reactions to the teaser are varying, many disapproving of the look of the character but hell, have they read the comics? Others voice discontent over the single line offered to us by Conan himself, but let remember folks - it's a teaser trailer. It teases. Nothing more.


Hang out for Topher Grace's Marty McFly impersonation around 2:30. It's pretty good! He's no AJ Locascio but he does a decent job.



Tron:: Uprising is the upcoming animated series set between the two films, expanding on the existing stories provided to us by the two films as well as Tron: Betrayal (graphic novel) and Tron: Evolution (game). There is little to say at this point, the trailer looks pretty swish. Curious to see how the characters are animated, the faces appearing to be 2D within the helmet. Personally I was hoping for something that bit closer to Star Wars Clone Wars animated series. The voice cast is impressive with Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore lending their talents. Most importantly Bruce Boxleitner is back to voice Tron. If only they could get Awesome Snr back on Chuck!

The series will debut later this year as a "10-part micro-series" continuing with a regular series in 2012. As far as the term 'micro-series' goes I cannot say if this is the latest Disney-coined term, or something that I am simply unaware of. As far as I can tell a 10 episode series could classify as a mini-series or a full season (re: V Season 2).



With my xbox out for the count (and on his merry way to the repair centre) I busted out my Wii and finally got back into those games that I have been neglecting. First on the list was Goldeneye - which I completed a few short hours ago.

As far as a re-imagining of a generations classic which redefined the first person shooter genre I don't think you could have asked for a better game. Keeping in mind that it in no way attempts to replace Goldeneye 64, rather it provides us with an interesting interpretation of the classic Pierce Brosnan tale as it would be seen by today's audience. Keeping in mind that the original film and game are over ten years old now, it provides an intriguing commentary on the state of the Bond franchise and the developments that Daniel Craig's iteration brings to the fore. While those purists out there are sure to argue against the altering of characters ages and several key story elements, they remain as faithful to the original as Craig's Bond allows. Boris the computer-hacker is gone - an inevitable result of a time where a singular computer genius is just not plausible. MI6 does not wait for the EMP-resistant helicopter to turn up again, and sends Bond to Siberia where he is amongst the initial Goldeneye blast. This speeds up the plot considerably, removing one favourite level from the original game - but we cannot have everything.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this game. Playing with a GC controller oppposed to the remote/nunchuck option. This is not unique to this game but rather to any fps on the wii, I have difficulty adapting to the motion sensor for such precise movements - it feels awkward. The mutliplayer isn't too bad either, but having on played 1v1 it is impossible to provide any real feedback.

The only addition to the game that I would have suggested is to include a copy of the original, similar to The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker providing a ported version of Ocarina of Time.

The standout factor to all Wii games of late is their capacity to provide a gmae of real depth and playability. Lacking the graphic capabilities of their competitors, developers are certainly outdoing themselves to ensure that those who have chosen Wii as their main source of gaming remain consistently  entertained. I'm hoping that the rumoured Wii-in-developement is simply a hd upgrade for the existing system. That's all it needs, we don't require a new console just yet.

Total Bitchin' Rockstar from Mars

"I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind. I cured it with my brain, with my mind." 

That is but one of many statements that Charlie Sheen has made in the past week regarding his most recent 'rehab' stint, which was spent in the comfort of his own home. I would say that Sheen has successfully cost himself his rather considerable paycheck for Two and a Half Men, not to mention those of the crew and his fellow co-stars. The only issue that CBS should currently be considering is whether or not they attempt to reinvigorate their comedy flagship with a new star, or move on and focus on The Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother (more than deserving successor's). With Sheen's rants screamed in the direction of Chuck Lorre and the CBS head honcho's it is safe to say that there is little that will be no reconciliation between the offending parties. Lorre is not completely blameless in this fiasco, but he has other ventures which he may continue.

Claims of tiger blood aside, Sheen has run his course. His hopes of going back to film and the referenced 'superstars' may be a result of a little too much dreaming and 20 odd years too late. Can Two and a Half Men continue without him? Inevitably. It may even be a success (dependent upon the actor chosen) but it will inevitably fall to the same dilemma as Scrubs without Zach Braff, That 70s Show without Topher Grace and 8 Simple Rules without John Ritter. Unfortunately Charlie Sheen is what breathes life into a show that would otherwise be long dead.



The image above aptly describes the 83rd Academy Awards. Did Franco and Hathaway really know what they were doing? It didn't appear that way. The pre-recorded intro video was great, but unfortunately for the young hosts it was all downhill from there. They will be blamed for the failure in it's whole but you cannot deny that that there was alot of poor writing in there as well. Their hosting wasn't bad, it just lacked any substance whatsoever. Gone were the performances or any real segment of any length. Hathaway got a chance to belt out a very short song, but where were the other segments that had been revealed online prior to the broadcast? Summary - James Franco looked half asleep and couldn't even look at his co-host. Anne Hathaway was a gushy teen falling at the feet of Hollywood greats when she has had more recognition from the Academy than some of those names that she was screaming.

The Academy is clearly failing in it's attempt to move from comedian hosts. Last year was a failure. This year was better, but not by much. My thoughts? Jeff Bridges. He owned the Best Actress presentation, let him do the entire show.

Quick summary of the awards;

Best Picture - The King's Speech
I felt this was deserved. I am yet to see the film in it's entirety but from what I have seen it is quite masterful.

Directing - Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Once again, very deserved. From what I have seen of the film the direction seems to be fantastic. But so were so many of the others in the category (Black Swan & True Grit in particular).

Best Actor - Colin Firth
Could not be happier with Firth finally winning an Oscar. He is a fantastic actor and someone of his caliber is deserving of such an honour. I was going to be rather rage-filled if Jesse Eisenberg had won.

Best Actress - Natalie Portman
Like Colin Firth, Portman is very deserving of this honour. Black Swan was phenominal - and it could not have been so without her contributions.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Christian Bale
This came as a suprise. I expected that perhaps Geoffrey Rush would land this one but that proved to be false.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Melissa Leo
Did not pick this one. I felt that there were more deserving nominees. Although dropping an f-bomb at the Academy Awards was quite entertaining.

Best Animated Feature - Toy Story 3
 Predictable. The Illusionist held no hope of getting further than a nomination but I held secret hope for How to Train Your Dragon. Unfortunately the sheer mass of Toy Story 3's characters and environments proved too overwhelming. Pixar has had a continuing upwards journey the past few years, I would say that Cars 2 could very well upset this ride.

Best Animated Short - The Lost Thing
An Aussie film!! Winner!! The film is brilliant, absolutely mind-boggling. If you have not seen it, do so very soon. You can pick up a copy on dvd at JBHIFI! Oh, and to beat out Day & Night?? Well done!

Best Live Action Short - God of Love
Haven't seen any in the category.... Can't really pass judgement at all.

Best Documentary Feature - Inside Job
Having not seen the film I cannot pass judgement, but I was very interested to see what would have occurred if Exit Through the Gift Shop had won.

Best Documentary Short - Strangers No More

Unlike last year there was no upset with producers running up on stage or anything along those lines. I have not seen the film so there's not much I can say.

Best Visual Effects - Inception 
The category that I am perhaps most interested in I find the most difficult to pick. It is hard to determine what they are looking for but I am pleased that Inception landed the award this year. Seamless effects. That's what it's all about.

Best Art Direction - Alice in Wonderland
A tough category, the only film I was confident wouldn't get the award was Harry Potter.

Best Cinematography - Inception


Best Film Editing - The Social Network
Another tough category. All films were deserving.

Best Costume Design - Alice in Wonderland
A suprise. I expected that (as usual) as period piece such as The King's Speech would have won.

Best Makeup - The Wolfman
The stand out in the category, but the unexpected winner. I really enjoyed the film - the art direction was amazing, so it is nice that it has been recognised (in part).

Best Sound Editing/Best Sound Mixing - Inception
Again the one film wins both categories. I had hoped that Tron Legacy would land editing but I can think of no other film that was more deserving that Inception. So much of that film was reliant on the sound, evidence in fact if you youtube the soundtrack you will find hundreds of rehashed films to the soundtrack.

Best Original Song - We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)
Awful. Noone can understand Randy Newman and all his songs sound the damn same. I was not happy with this one whatsoever. Personally I was backing 'I See the Light' & 'If I Rise'.

Best Original Score - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (The Social Network)

Another tough category. Mind you, whilst the score was brilliant I don't feel that it was deserving. I felt that several of the others were far more compelling than I found The Social Network's score. Hell, I was displeased that Tron Legacy was not nominated for this category as well.

So that's my Oscar's wrap-up for this year!