Horror, News

The Strain Season 2 Box Set Coming Soon

Fox has taken to Twitter to announce the Season 2 Box Set for the hit show The Strain. The Blu-Ray collection will be releasing August 23rd and will cost $49.99. You can now pre-order it on Amazon and at other locations. The Strain is an FX series based on the novel trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Hogan and del Toro have both been involved with the series in different functions, however they do take a more backseat role. The first two seasons were met with mixed reviews, but fans seem very devoted to the show. Season 3 will be premiering August 28th. So if you are a fan prepare to add to your collection, or if you are new to the series you might just want to catch up before season 3.

Do you watch The Strain? Let us know in the comments.

Movies, News

Independence Day: Resurgence Had a Poor Opening Weekend

Finding Dory can’t be slowed down, it managed to once again take the number one spot at the box office over the weekend. Independence Day: Resurgence did take the number two spot, but only made about $41 million. Considering the movie cost $165 million that is an extremely poor opening weekend. Fox has come forward saying that they are not too worried, as it has not completely open world wide, and as long as it remains consistent they will be fine. While the movie might make enough in the long run, for a summer blockbuster to preform so poorly opening weekend is not a good thing.

Meanwhile The Shallows had a fairly successful opening weekend. It was a smaller budget thrill costing $17 million, and it made just shy of that. Free State of Jones performed very poorly just barely making it into the top five.

1: Finding Dory

2: Independence Day: Resurgence

3: Central Intelligence

4: The Shallows

5: Free State of Jones

6: The Conjuring 2

7: Now You See Me 2

8: X-Men: Apocalypse

9: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

10: Alice Through the Looking Glass

Mini Reviews, Movies

Mini Review: Independence Day

So I recently gave my impressions of the long awaited (or maybe surprising) sequel to Independence Day. While I liked Resurgence, I certainly wasn’t overly impressed, and commented on a number of problems including the lack of heart. First and foremost I don’t want to get into issue with the computer virus, yes I know it doesn’t make sense, it’s been 20 years get over it. Leaving aside that (and not even touching the fact that the new movie has even more ridiculous parts) Independence Day hit a lot of summer blockbuster high notes. It’s a well loved movie for a reason.

Yes, like the new one it has a rather large ensemble cast. However, unlike the new one everyone seems to have their place. The original movie wasn’t afraid to write characters in for short scenes then move on. One of the biggest problems with Resurgence is that it seems unable to just let characters go. If a character has any importance at any point then they want to hammer that home. Independence Day has a number of quick burst characters, then it allows those characters to just go. Even with the large cast the movie does a good job on really focusing in. You have your main stars, a few secondary, and then everyone else is well written, but there is not driving force attempting to force you to care about them more than you are able to. Conflicts and romances between the characters are also well written and seem natural.

The action/special effects are also completely solid. Resurgence had one major thing against it, we knew what was coming. Even with attempting to surprise us the plot development remained rather predictable. With Independence Day it still suffers from what we expect from action flicks, but doesn’t suffer the direct comparison. There is still a loss of surprise for key moments, but for the most part the movie remains exciting and unpredictable enough that it keeps you on your toes. The movie is also a bit of a technical marvel for the time, the White House blowing up alone is proof of the actual technology behind the film. It is safe to say it has not aged perfectly, 20 years later there are a few moments that are a bit cringe worthy, but for the most part it’s top notch.

So we have a great cast, good action, solid special effects. The last competent is story. Again, it does suffer a bit at key moments, but overall the story is compelling and interesting. It’s not a story that will change your life, but summer blockbusters don’t have to be that. Summer blockbusters are meant to be fast, loud, and entertaining. Independence Day manages to be that while still bringing a level of heart that many movies in that vein are missing, including the sequel. To me what really grabs me about this movie, even 20 years later is that it proves that a summer blockbuster doesn’t have to be completely shallow to still fit the bill. It’s hardly the most complex movie I’ve ever seen, but it does bring a certain something extra that is often missing in action movies. I believe that something extra is almost completely tied to the wonderful characters, and the fact that it’s not over worked.

Bottom line, a quick comparison of the two. What it ultimately boils down to is the cast of characters and heart. Even with the bad plot line, even with the special effects suffering, even it being just another summer blockbuster. Independence Day manages to rise above so many other similar movies, and blows the sequel away because of heart and good characters. I do think you can enjoy both this summer, and I hope those of you that celebrate it have a safe and wonderful Independence Day.

So what do you think? Do you like the original better? Do you agree with my reasoning? Or am I just plain wrong? Let us know in the comments!

News, TV

More Details on New Star Trek Show

Bryan Fuller who will be the show runner for the new Star Trek series, has come forward to give a few details. First and foremost the first season will be 13 episodes long, and will cover one major story line. Fuller has said the reason for this is because Star Trek has so many episodes across many different shows, so they had to come up their own unique way to tell their story. Doing a season devoted to one major story line seemed to be the way to get that. Fuller is excited to be working on the show, saying that it was the reason he got into TV writing. While he’s enjoyed the other projects he’s been involved in (Pushing Daises and Hannibal) to him the ultimate goal was to work on Star Trek. Among the many reasons he loves Star Trek, it being so progressive is one of them. He has promised that the new series will push the boundaries, as it’s predecessors have. We are very excited to hear more about the new series, and we will bring you those details as they become available.

Are you excited to for the new Star Trek series?

Impressions, Movies

Impressions: Independence Day: Resurgence

It’s been 20 years since Independence Day came out, as hard as that is to believe. The first movie featured a sort of “happy” ending. It was happy enough at the time but certainly left a large number of unanswered questions, well the people involved with the film noticed that and jumped on it. To mark 20 real years the film is also set 20 years later. Humans have used the technology from aliens to reverse engineer their own. That combined with the fact that man kind is dedicated to one unified Earth, and technology has increased by leaps and bounds. In fact so much so that it’s fairly unbelievable. This glaring problem sticks with the movie from start to finish. While it makes sense to a degree, it also feels at moments like it’s just too much. It’s especially too much when later the movie smashes in fairly basic technology on the backs of these boosts. I digress. Technology and mankind has advanced, but most leaders know the aliens are coming back. And come back they do.

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The movie opens showing the fate of most of the major players of the first movie. David (Jeff Goldblum) is now an adviser on all things linked to the aliens. President Whitmore is falling apart, haunted by visions since the first invasion. Dylan (Will Smith’s son) and Patricia (Whitmore’s daughter) have grown up to fill important roles of their own. And shockingly Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner) survived his experience in the first film, though locked into a coma. There are some notable people absent in this film, Will Smith perhaps standing out the most.

The introduction to various characters stands out as being similar to the first movie. There is a slightly slower build up to the actual action, and a chance for us to come to care about who the major players will be. However, while this introduction has an important purpose it doesn’t have the same impact. There are significantly more characters and they are more stale. A conflict between Dylan and newly introduced Jake is set up, though ultimately unneeded and unfinished. Multiple other characters such as Charlie, Floyd, and Rain are all thrown in, but are never fully developed. Catherine is given to us as David’s new romantic interest and some sort of expert, who is entirely forgettable and doesn’t seem to really use her expertise in a meaningful way. It should be noted I don’t think any of these people had bad actors attached to them, I think it just speaks to a core problem with this movie. It has way too much of everything but heart.

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There is too much cast without compelling characters, too many action sequences without meaningful suspense, too much implied scientific development without any meat. It’s fitting that the movie ends with the implications of yet another sequel, because the whole thing feels more like a set up rather than a complete story. Too many moments that want to really grab you, but fail to make an impact.

That is not to say it’s bad, it’s not. There are many laughs, a few intense moments (though nothing to the degree of the first), solid enough action, and a few sad moments. Everything just feels very flat though. Even the stirring speeches feel like a pale imitation of what we once had before. Through and through it’s a clear sequel. It tries way too hard to capture the feeling of the first, while adding a whole lot, but leaves you disappointed. It’s entertaining, but ultimately easy to shrug off.

Bottomline:

Hardly a bad movie, has some solid action sequences and acting. However where I felt that the original really hit the summer blockbuster, this one just hits entertaining but fairly forgettable.

Movies, News

Darth Vader Voice Confirmed for Rogue One

It was recently announced that Darth Vader would in fact make an appearance in Star Wars: Rogue One, and since then people have been waiting to see if James Earl Jones would be voicing the character. It has been confirmed, that the voice we all know and expect will be there. More was revealed about the character of Darth Vader himself as well. In this film he will be more of a free agent, answering only to Palpatine. Darth Vader will not be the main bad guy of the film, but he will be important to it overall. We are very excited to see Darth Vader in Rogue One, and glad that the man that helped shape the role so much will be back. We will bring you more news as we can.

What do you think of the latest announcement? Are you excited to see Darth Vader? Why or why not?

Movies, News

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Featurette

Warner Brothers Pictures has released a new Featurette for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It explains more about the title character Newt Scamander and the story of the film itself. The Featurette looks rather interesting, and while not a trailer, it does give more information and has peaked my interesting in the film (on a personal level). While there are many (myself included) ready to move on from Harry Potter, this might just be the key to pulling us back in. Check out the Featurette and let us know what you think!

Video Games

Happy Birthday N64

Prepare to feel old, Nintendo 64 turns 20 years old today. The console officially released on June 23 1996, in Japan. Other countries saw the console as much as many months later, however the first launch date is in fact today. The N64 had a bit of controversy over the falling out between Nintendo and Sony, that being said it still managed to be a rather important console for the industry. It marked a major push from 2D to 3D, and a number of Nintendo titles actually launched their first 3D games on the console. While some franchises did not make the push to 3D so well at the time, a number of them did. The Legend of Zelda, and Mario are two major success stories for Nintendo as far as the 3D push. Rare also hit a major stride with the console with Golden Eye, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. We have some great memories from the console, and whether you loved it or hated it that time did mark a major change in the gaming world. So Happy Birthday N64!

Perfect_dark_box Super_Mario_64_box_cover Wave_Race_64_Coverart

BanjoKazooieCover500px GoldenEye007box Mario_Kart_64box

What are some of your favorite memories from the N64?

E3 2016, Video Games

E3 2016: Civilization VI Presentation

During the E3 conference there was a walkthrough “trailer” of sorts of Civilization VI, it has now been uploaded on YouTube for all to see. In it, it shows city growth as well as a number of the features that will be in Civilization VI. At this point the Civilization formula has been fairly well set, with each new version of the game improving upon what we’ve already known and loved. This game looks polished, and the art style is possibly the biggest difference we can see. If you like these games then it seems worth getting hype for, if you’ve never played them it might be time to give it a go. We will bring you more news as it becomes available.

Do you play the Civilization games? How do you feel about them?

Movies, News

Forest Whitaker Rogue One Role Is Revealed

After a number of rumors Forest Whitaker’s role has been revealed. He will be playing Saw Gerrera, who first appeared Star Wars: The Clone Wars. His character is set to show a more extreme side to those fighting against the Emperor. Rogue One wants to move away from the idea of just one unified group in the fight, and instead show a number of individuals crossing multiple different spectrum of beliefs and extremes. Personally I am still very hyped for this movie, and can’t wait to bring you more news as it’s revealed.

Movies, News

Doctor Strange Villain Will Be…

Marvel has kept a tight lid on details of the Doctor Strange movie. While it was announced that Mads Mikkelsen, of Hannibal would play a villain, his actual role was unknown. We now are fairly sure that he will be playing Kaecilius. It is still not confirmed, but there is strong evidence to support this role. Kaecilius is a follower of Baron Mordo, and surprisingly an announced toy line is what has the rumor mill pointing this direction. It is safe to say this is not fact, Marvel is still confirming next to nothing with the film, but fans are starting to fill in the blanks in a rather logical way. Either way we will bring you more news as it unfolds.

Despite our love for the comics of Doctor Strange we are a bit unsure about the movies. How about you?

Movies, News

Hannibal Buress Cast in Spider-Man

While his role has not been revealed, comedian Hannibal Buress has been cast in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. Hannibal Buress is probably best known (lately) for his role in Broad City. Homecoming is a great name for the movie as it marks Marvel Studios being more directly involved in the Spider-Man movie franchise. The fact that it will be more tied with the Marvel movie universe is something that many fans consider hype worthy. Also hype worthy are the rumors that Michael Keaton will star as the movie’s villain. Homecoming has just started filming and is set to release July of next year, so we will bring you more news as it becomes available.

Are you excited for more Spider-Man?

E3 2016, Video Games

E3 2016: My Favorite E3 Moments

I want to be clear, these weren’t the biggest announcements, they weren’t the best, they weren’t the ones that everyone is going to be paying attention to. These are the things from E3 that I personally got more excited for.

Days Gone

I am a huge fan of the zombie or “zombie” genre in general. I am one of the few people that will likely never say “ok we’ve had enough”. As long at the games are good I want more. This game seems like it could be good, not only that but the massive swarms really impressed me. I am looking forward to hearing more about this game.

The Last Guardian

I love artistic games. Games that sometimes even allow gameplay to take a back seat to giving us a special type of experience. I am so thrilled that this game has a release date and that I will be able to play it soon.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole

Stick of Truth was a great game, one that I played numerous times. While I felt it had a lot of room for improvement, I understood that the game did suffer from company closings, cancellations, etc. I believed that with a bit of time and love it could have been amazing. I think that The Fractured but Whole has gotten that time and love, and I just can’t wait.

ReCore

What can I say, the game just looks fun. Yes there were more “blockbuster” titles that were shown, but when it comes down to it I really want to check out ReCore. It didn’t hit as hard, but it managed to hit me and stick with me.

Call of Cthulhu

So this game didn’t really get a featured moment, I understand that. However it is without a doubt one of the games I am most hyped about across the board. I love H.P. Lovecraft, I love horror games, I love the table top games that inspired this. There is nothing about this that doesn’t thrill me.

Now I want to be clear that again I don’t mean these were the best, nor were they the only good features. I am also hyped for The Legend of Zelda, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, and a number of other games/hardware. However I think there is something to stepping back and saying what to you as a person really got you, and this is what got me.

So what got you the most about E3 2016?

News, Video Games

Finding Dory Has Great Opening Weekend

It’s been 13 years since the beloved Pixar film Finding Nemo, but apparently it wasn’t too long to slow the sequel down. Finding Dory opened, and easily took the number one spot in the box office this weekend. In fact it did so well it took the number one spot for domestic opening weekend for an animated film. Outside of North America it didn’t do as well, but still did pretty amazing, giving a worldwide total of over 180 million for the film. Central Intelligence and The Conjuring 2 hit number 2 and 3 for the weekend. Warcraft managed to hit number 5. Captain America has lost a lot of steam now that it’s been out awhile, but it still managed to crack the top ten, though just barely.

1: Finding Dory $136.2 million

2: Central Intelligence $34.5 million

3: The Conjuring 2 $15.6 million

4: Now You See Me 2 $9.7 million

5: Warcraft $6.5 million

6: X-Men: Apocalypse $5.2 million

7: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows $5.2 million

8: Me Before You $4.2 million

9: Alice Through the Looking Glass $3.6 million

10: Captain America: Civil War $2.3 million

What movie(s) did you watch over the weekend?

Mini Reviews, Video Games

Mini Review: Lili: Child of Geos

It’s hard to explain exactly what type of game this is. It’s part adventure, part RPG, and part puzzle game. You play as Lili who lands on an island with living wooden people. She uncovers a plot where in evil creatures control the wooden creatures and force them into servitude. Lili agrees (or disagrees if you choose) to help them out. In order to fight the demons Lili hunts them down, jumps on their backs, and removes their flowers. If that sounds strange to you it really and truly is.

Despite the strange gameplay, the story itself is rather interesting, and the characters are extremely well written. Each of the wooden people have a totally unique personality, and are frankly worth playing the game for alone. Lili herself is not too bad either. She is a reluctant hero, but as she develops friendships with those she is helping, she herself becomes more confident and more worthwhile herself.

Gameplay is average at best, the idea is solid enough. It’s not really enjoyable, but it’s not bad either. Plucking the flowers can be challenging, but manages to be playable all the way through. Simply put you aren’t going to enjoy the game for the gameplay though. Really gameplay is something to simply get through in order to meet new characters and further the story.

It’s a rather enjoyable little indie game, and a fairly unique experience overall. I would highly recommend it.