Geekscape http://www.geekscape.net podcasts, news, features Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:31:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=365 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape http://www.geekscape.net/_wp_/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.geekscape.net TV-G Leonard Nimoy Passes Away At 83 http://www.geekscape.net/leonard-nimoy-passes-away-at-83 http://www.geekscape.net/leonard-nimoy-passes-away-at-83#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:30:57 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85552 Earlier this week we talked about a recent hospital visit the legendary actor had mad for chest pains. Well today we’ve gotten the worst bit of follow up news.

Leanard Nimoy has passed away at age 83 at his home. His wife had confirmed this morning that the cause was “end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

I’m at a severe loss for words.

Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and family.

Leonard, you will always live long and prosper in all our thoughts.

Source: NYTimes

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Arrow/Flash Superhero Team-up Spinoff Being Developed! http://www.geekscape.net/arrowflash-superhero-team-up-spinoff-being-developed http://www.geekscape.net/arrowflash-superhero-team-up-spinoff-being-developed#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 03:03:53 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85543 Television just keeps getting better and better! An Arrow/Flash spinoff being described as a superhero team-up is in the works at The CW.

Brandon Routh (Arrow’s The Atom), Victor Garber (Flash’s Dr. Martin Stein), Wentworth Miller (Flash’s villain Captain Cold), and Caity Lotz (Arrow’s Sara Lance) are set to star in the currently untitled series.

Since it is still in the early stages of development it is still possible for other Arrow/Flash characters to make their way into the new spinoff. The show is also set to include three major DC Comics characters who have yet to appear in a TV series!

Does the Arrow/Flash spinoff got you excited? Who do you think the new characters will be? Let us know in the comments below!

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Netflix Debuts Matt Murdock Character Poster For ‘Daredevil’! http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-matt-murdock-character-poster-for-daredevil http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-matt-murdock-character-poster-for-daredevil#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 01:24:16 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85537 Briefly: Daredevil looks so damned good, doesn’t it? From the first images to the bad-ass first trailer, and now the just-released Matt Murdock character poster, it’s clear that were in for a treat when the Netflix / Marvel collaboration launches on April 10th.

“Marvel’s Daredevil” follows the journey of Matt Murdock, who was blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, now fighting against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the super hero Daredevil in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.

First, here’s the new poster in motion:

And here’s the still version for you to stare at:

DD

My body is ready, and April 10th can’t come soon enough! How excited are you for Daredevil‘s launch?

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Joseph Kahn’s POWER/RANGERS Pulled From YouTube AND Vimeo! http://www.geekscape.net/joseph-kahns-powerrangers-pulled-from-youtube-and-vimeo http://www.geekscape.net/joseph-kahns-powerrangers-pulled-from-youtube-and-vimeo#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:26:40 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85533 The flood gates have opened!

The hottest thing on the internet this week is without a doubt Joseph Kahn’s dark and gritty Power Rangers fan film, and today the folks over at Saban have filed a DMCA take down request with YouTube/Vimeo and got his film TAKEN DOWN!

When the news of this incident came to me, I had to ask our official Power Ranger expert Eric Francisco for his take on the take down.

He informed me that Saban is very strict with the public image of the Rangers, and always wants it to be very kid friendly. This isn’t the first time a fan film has been a cease and desist notice.

Hopefully this all gets sorted out, as Josephs product was truly amazing.

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Watch Neill Blomkamp And Sigourney Weaver Talk About The Next ‘Alien’! http://www.geekscape.net/watch-neill-blomkamp-and-sigourney-weaver-talk-about-the-next-alien http://www.geekscape.net/watch-neill-blomkamp-and-sigourney-weaver-talk-about-the-next-alien#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 03:55:06 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85517 Briefly: We were all pretty excited to hear last week that District 9 creator Neill Blomkamp is officially working on the next Alien film, and today both he and Sigourney Weaver had an interesting chat with Sky Movies while promoting Blomkamp’s March 6th release, Chappie:

In the video, Weaver states that she would “love to take Ripley out of orbiting around in space and give a proper finish to what was such such an excellent story. When someone like Neill Blomkamp suddenly said ‘well, I’m interested in finishing the story,’ my little ears perked up.”

Blomkamp continues, “I want this film to feel like it is literally the genetic sibling of Aliens. So it’s Alien, Aliens, this movie.” So, by the sound of things, the next Alien may disregard Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection completely.

Are you into Blomkamp continuing the once celebrated series? What if he disregarded the last two films? Sound out below!

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Lady Gaga To Lead ‘American Horror Story’s Fifth Season! http://www.geekscape.net/lady-gaga-to-lead-american-horror-storys-fifth-season http://www.geekscape.net/lady-gaga-to-lead-american-horror-storys-fifth-season#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 03:18:03 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85513 Briefly: It’s hard to imagine a world where Jessica Lange won’t be the lead in American Horror Story, but it appears as though a new star for the series’ next iteration has been found, and it’s one that I would have never guessed:

Yep, according to TVLine, “sources confirm that Gaga will very much be the star of the latest chapter”, which has been subtitled ‘Hotel’.

This year’s iteration of the celebrated series is also set to be “very different” from its predecessors, according to FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. We’re not exactly sure what that means yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we learn more.

Are you down with Gaga joining the series? What did you think of Freakshow? Sound out below!

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New ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ Trailer Shows Off An Angry Scarecrow! http://www.geekscape.net/new-batman-arkham-knight-trailer-shows-off-an-angry-scarecrow http://www.geekscape.net/new-batman-arkham-knight-trailer-shows-off-an-angry-scarecrow#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:49:47 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85510 Briefly: Just one day after the game received a surprising ‘M’ rating from the ESRB, Rocksteady has debuted a gorgeous new trailer for this Summer’s Batman: Arkham Knight.

The trailer “features a closer look at some of the story’s most infamous super-villains. As Scarecrow unites the Rogues Gallery, including Two-Face, The Penguin, the Riddler, the Arkham Knight, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, they bring all-out war as they try to take down The Dark Knight, and claim Gotham City as their own.”

Despite the game having the Arkham Knight in the title, this trailer sure shows off quite a lot of Scarecrow. It’ll be interesting to see how Arkham Knight presents himself as the true villain of the title (if that’s even the case).

In any case, take a look at the new trailer below, and let us know how excited you are for Batman: Arkham Knight to release on June 2nd! Remember that this one is current-gen only, so you’ll need a PS4 or Xbox One to experience it!

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Geekscape Games Reviews: ‘Kirby And The Rainbow Curse’ http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-reviews-kirby-and-the-rainbow-curse http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-reviews-kirby-and-the-rainbow-curse#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 01:06:10 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85503 Early in the lifespan of the Nintendo DS, the good folks over at HAL Laboratory released an experimental title in the popular Kirby series that used nothing but the stylus and touch screen to navigate Dreamland. During a time where Nintendo’s latest “gimmick” was declared dead in the water with the emergence of Sony’s first handheld, it was a brave move to take such an established franchise and change the formula so drastically on a system that was still trying to find its footing. Thankfully, this risk was rewarded when Kirby: Canvas Curse became a fondly remembered part of the character’s history, highlighted by its innovative level design, high amount of replayability, and its advanced difficulty, but with little expectation that anything like it would ever see the light of day again. Nearly ten years later, I wasn’t the only one surprised when Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was found on the show floor at E3, bringing this brand of excellence exclusively to the Wii U with an added co-op mode and a gorgeous Claymation art style. But despite our fond memories, does Rainbow Curse prove that the formula still works?

Rainbow Curse reintroduces us to Kirby and his foe turned friend, Bandana Waddle Dee as they’re kicking back and enjoying the peaceful life. Out of nowhere, a black hole opens in the sky, draining Kirby’s planet of its color and freezing everyone in place. It’s not until Elline, a fairy fleeing out of the hole, uses her power over paint to reanimate Kirby and Waddle Dee back to life. In order to save Dreamland, the three heroes travel through the portal in order to stop the one responsible for the color theft, while saving Elline’s world in the process.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of these touch based Kirby games, the pink puffball is almost always in ball form. It’s up to the player to help Kirby through each of the game’s stages by drawing paths on the Game Pad for him to roll on. As the game continues, what simply starts as drawing paths becomes creating obstacles to reverse his momentum, drawing barriers to protect him from stage hazards, and building momentum to move him into hard to reach areas. When enemies become a problem, a simple tap of our Kirby ball performs a charge attack, defeating enemies in his path while destroying most objects that might block his path.

As hidden areas become harder to reach and enemies, (such as bosses,) become more resilient, the combat abilities that Kirby has at his disposal become more varied. To start, collecting 100 stars, (or tapping the Kirby amiibo on the pad,) activates a charged rolling attack. This ability wipes out anything unlucky enough to be in your path, as well as causing huge damage during the game’s boss fights, (assuming you can tap the screen fast enough.) When rolling won’t get the job done, Elline helps add some variety by transforming Kirby into one of three vehicles, including a tank, submarine, and a rocket. Each type plays drastically different from each other, offering some much appreciated variety into the mix. The tank involves tapping the screen where you want Kirby’s missiles to land, while the sub navigates the game’s often hard to control underwater sections with ease while automatically shooting off torpedoes, and the rocket flies in whatever direction you lead it to, forcing the player to stay on their toes while trying to reach the end of each level. All three control well and are fun to play in their own way, which definitely adds to an already enjoyable experience.

The game supports these three Amiibo figures, but good luck finding two of them.

The game supports these three Amiibo figures, but good luck finding two of them.

But what about your friends who might want to join in? Thanks to the aforementioned Waddle Dee, they can do just that. Supporting up to three additional players, the Waddles play much more like you would expect from a traditional game in the long running series. Using their spear to attack and a multi jump to climb hard to reach areas, they serve as a strong support character to help advancement through the stages easier. The fact that they can’t die and can’t advance past where the main player is, all while getting pulled ahead when player 1 decides to advance, establishes a somewhat restrictive, yet strangely addicting way to play with a group, since no one is able to keep the group from advancing, (which is a major flaw in co-op platformers such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii and even Kirby Epic Yarn.) Certain game play elements are even added specifically for multiplayer, including a mid boss fight in certain stages where floating hands that only Waddle Dee can damage attempt to carry Kirby out of the stage and towards certain doom. It breathes new life into the story mode, making it feel like a unique experience in its own right.

Still, as addicting as it may be, Rainbow Curse does come up short in a few key areas, especially when compared to its predecessor. First off, Kirby’s abilities are fairly restrictive, even with the extra vehicle levels. His trademark copy ability is missing in action, so what you have at your disposal in terms of attacks at the start of each stage are all you get. It’s true that you can use the Meta Knight and King Dedede amiibo to unlock their abilities, (assuming you can find them,) but only being allowed to use them once a day on one stage almost defeats the purpose. Kirby is also the only playable main character, so if you were hoping for a playable Meta Knight, Dedede, or about a half a dozen cast members to keep your time occupied like the original, you’re going to end up disappointed. Not helping the situation is out of the game’s eight bosses, the second set of three are just reskins of the first three. At least the same-ness of the bosses and protagonist are shared qualities. Equality is big in Dreamland!

Without trying too hard, my first playthough ended with me having about half of the stages completed at the highest rank, (based on how many stars you can collect,) most of the hidden treasure chests unlocked, (which contain some really cool clay modeled statues,) and the majority of the end of stage diary pages collected. Clocking in at a brief six hours with 90% completion, seeing everything the game has to offer shouldn’t take more than a day or two, even if every minute is full of excellent level design and game play concepts. However, most of the issues with length and repetitiveness disappear if you’re big on the co-op mode, or the unlockable challenge stages. These maintain the format of the bonus stages from the main game where you have to uncover a treasure chest within 15 seconds in groups of four, rather than the standard single challenge in the main game. Add to the fact that Rainbow Curse is budget priced, and it’s suddenly not hard to see this truly innovative title as worthy of the purchase price.

It's almost as addicting as collecting Amiibo!

It’s almost as addicting as collecting Amiibo!

When it’s all said and done, does Kirby and the Rainbow Curse have its share of issues? Definitely. Is it overshadowed by its much bigger, much more balanced and more varied predecessor? Without a doubt. But that doesn’t mean that this Wii U rebirth isn’t every bit as worthy of your time as the original. Despite its issues with a lack of variety in primary combat abilities, unbalanced difficulty scale and a stripped down amount of content, what we’re left with is a special kind of platformer that throws typical conventions out the window. With an enjoyable story mode, a co-op mode that completely changes the dynamic of how stages are approached, and a series of challenges that will keep even veteran Canvas Curse players on their toes, Rainbow Curse ends up as another solid game in the Wii U’s growing library of excellence.

tl;dr

+ Some of the best level design you’ll find in modern platformers.

+ Vehicle levels and added obstacles keep the main game from feeling too monotonous.

+ The challenging story mode is complimented by unlockable bonus stages in the challenge mode.

+ Co-Op adds a layer to the dynamic of how the game is approached.

+ Its beautiful clay inspired graphics.

– Kriby as the only playable character without his copy ability makes the main stages eventually feel repetitive, which is further emphasized by repeated bosses.

– Unbalanced difficulty.

– Short playthrough for a one and done game if you’re not interested in challenge modes or co-op.

Story mode challenge stages set you up for failure.

 Final Score: 3.5/5

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‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Gets A Theatrical Poster! http://www.geekscape.net/avengers-age-of-ultron-gets-a-theatrical-poster http://www.geekscape.net/avengers-age-of-ultron-gets-a-theatrical-poster#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 03:30:31 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85499 Briefly: Marvel today debuted the official theatrical poster for May’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The image is busy as hell, but reveals a few interesting tidbits about the film, including the fact that both Hayley Atwell and Anthony Mackie will return in some form (big surprise, huh). The poster features our core Avengers group, who look to be fighting alongside Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver, while Paul Bettany’s Vision is obscured by sunlight. Oh, and don’t forget the one million Ultron cronies.

It’s hard to believe that we’re now just two months away from the second Avengers film, but we’re getting pretty damned excited. Take a look at the new poster below, and be sure to let us know what you think! Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theatres on May 1st!

Ultron

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‘Shadow Of Mordor’s Final DLC Now Available, Watch The Trailer! http://www.geekscape.net/shadow-of-mordors-final-dlc-now-available-watch-the-trailer http://www.geekscape.net/shadow-of-mordors-final-dlc-now-available-watch-the-trailer#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 03:12:46 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85496 Briefly: If you caught the latest episode of Geekscape Games, you heard us talk about Shadow of Mordor‘s final DLC, titled The Bright Lord, in which you take the reigns as Celebrimbor (and the power of the One ring), and eventually take on Sauron himself.

The DLC features ten new missions, much harder Uruk enemies, and much more. Here are the notes from Monolith:

NEW PLAYABLE CHARACTER – Play as Celebrimbor, the Bright Lord, and wield the One Ring to become invisible and tear through your enemies from the shadows. Gain access to all new abilities including deadly new Elven Archery abilities with a rapid fire bow and new ways to dominate your enemies and build your Army including Shadow Brand.

New Campaign Story and Missions – Face off with the Dark Lord in a brand new story campaign, including 10 new missions. In addition, face an elite orc army with more powerful and upgraded warriors and deadly new abilities.

New Skin – Play as Celebrimbor in the original Shadow of Mordor story campaign.

Test of the Ring – Test your skills as Celebrimbor and utilize his unique skills to take down new nemeses and gain bonuses for branding your enemies.

It sounds like quite an addition to the main campaign, and especially welcome after hearing Josh describe the stellar title’s lacklustre ending. Take a look at the trailer for The Bright Lord below, and let us know what you think!

Return to the Second Age and face the Dark Lord Sauron. Play as Celebrimbor, the Elven Lord who forged the Rings of Power and return to Middle-earth thousands of years before the events of Shadow of Mordor.

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‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ Scores An ‘M’ Rating http://www.geekscape.net/batman-arkham-knight-scores-an-m-rating http://www.geekscape.net/batman-arkham-knight-scores-an-m-rating#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 02:56:21 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85492 Briefly: With just a few months to go until Batman: Arkham Knight finally releases, the game has officially received its ESRB rating, and its one that may surprise you.

While Rocksteady’s Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Warner Bros. Interactive’s Arkham Origins all received T ratings, the upcoming Arkham Knight has officially received an M rating from the ratings board.

Arkham Knight game director Sefton Hill touched on the rating in a conversation with IGN, stating that  “From our point of view, we never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind. We never did that in the previous two games… We just felt that this is the story that we really wanted to tell.”

With all of the broken promises we’ve seen in video games over the past year (see Watch Dogs and The Order: 1886 for example), I love the fact that Rocksteady is unwilling to compromise the experience that they’re trying to deliver, from the game’s delay last year, and now this.

Hill continued, “I’m not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out… I don’t want to be oblivious to that fact. It would have been wrong to water down the game and deliver a story we didn’t believe in to keep the game ‘mass market’ or enable it for more people. We feel that’s the wrong way to go about it. We said we love the story and we don’t want to jepoardize that.”

June 2nd can’t come soon enough. Batman: Arkham Knight is one of the few titles that I’ve felt confident enough to pre-order, which these days is sure saying something. Are you looking forward to this one?

Source: IGN

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Saint Mort Nostalgia Nightmare: New Year’s Evil Blu-Ray Review http://www.geekscape.net/saint-mort-nostalgia-nightmare-new-years-evil-blu-ray-review http://www.geekscape.net/saint-mort-nostalgia-nightmare-new-years-evil-blu-ray-review#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 02:37:39 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85474 This week for Saint Mort’s Nostalgia Nightmare we’re going to be discussing New Year’s Evil which is now available on Blu-Ray from our friends at Scream Factory. Let’s see if this one drops the ball or not (ZING!)

I love Slasher films. LOVE them. Scream was my first major introduction to horror movies and turned me into someone who NEEDED to feed on horror movie content. I’ve made it a goal to see as many slasher films as possible and even own an unreasonably large amount of documentaries and text books on the subject.

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New Year’s Evil managed to avoid my sights for years. I didn’t even know it existed until it was briefly mentioned in Going To Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (a must have for any serious horror fan). It wasn’t until last year I finally got to see it when it was briefly on Netflix Instant watch. I really wasn’t blown away by it, but at the time I watched it I was also in the middle of moving into my house so I had it on but I didn’t have my full attention on it.

This time I did all the chores I needed to have done, turned off the phone and really focused on the film. It is still one of the lesser 80’s slasher films, but it is however not a terrible movie.

The plot centers around Diane (aka Blaze), a TV personality hosting a televised New Years Eve Punk Rawk party. While taking callers on the air she begins talking to a man going by the name Evil. Evil threatens to kill a “Naughty Girl” she loves every time it strikes midnight in a different time zone. The cops are reluctant to take the threats seriously, assuming it’s a dark prank from the creepy crowd her shows tend to draw in. After each murder he calls back in and plays the recording of the murder over the air.

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The film is unique as we know what Evil looks like within roughly 20 minutes of the movie. It’s not so much a mysterious whodunnit as much as it’s a WhoIsItAndWhy? The movie does contain some clever editing, some enjoyably cheesy music (specifically it’s theme song and the song Dumb Blondes), a cool mask for the killer to wear and a fairly unique premise. Even by 1980 the slasher film had already established itself as the “unknown, masked killer stalking high school girls from the trees”. This took a slightly more suspenseful twist which is interesting at least.

The biggest problem with the movie is how overwhelmingly mediocre it is. It’ll never be a movie good enough to recommend to a friend, or bad enough to watch with a group of friends. Dread Central’s Matt Serafini’s review reference to it as an ideal “late night horror fix” and I think that’s exactly the way to watch it. This would be a fun movie to have randomly discovered on USA in the 90’s.

Now as you’ve probably figured out I’m a Scream Factory fanboy. Even if I wasn’t being asked to review movies for them I’d still be a fanboy. I don’t think anyone at Scream Factory thinks that this is a masterpiece of slasher cinema but they still celebrate it as if it were by throwing in a new commentary track and a new collection of interviews with some of creators and stars behind the film.

While I’m not the biggest fan of New Year’s Evil, it’s still an interesting definitely worth watching if you’re a horror fan. Scream Factory has really put out a handful of other good (but painfully underrated slashers) like Terror Train, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, The Burning and Sleepaway Camp.

Matt Kelly is the host of the Saint Mort Show Podcast and co-host of the Reddit Horror Club. He also runs the Every Damn DVD blog. Since Philadelphia just got slammed with a little bit of snow he’s going to probably spend the next weekend inside staying warm watching TV and dreaming of summer. Get him something off his Amazon Wishlist to watch.

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Geekscape 355: Making Something Wonderful With Marc Andreyko http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-355-making-something-wonderful-with-marc-andreyko http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-355-making-something-wonderful-with-marc-andreyko#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:07:14 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85523 We’ve got another comic book heavy episode as ‘Wonder Woman ’77’ writer Marc Andreyko guests on Geekscape to talk comic book writing and to break down the 2015 Oscars! What won? What should have won? And did ‘Boyhood’ get the shaft? Also, is DC’s ‘Convergence’ event just a giant jumping off point for readers? Why should you stick with it? Also, Marc explains the joy of writing Linda Carter’s 70s Wonder Woman and Jonathan warns that Shane O’Hare is back to roaming World of Warcraft for cyber!

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Joseph Kahn’s “POWER/RANGERS” is a Punk Rock Satire on Hollywood Nostalgia http://www.geekscape.net/joseph-kahns-powerrangers-is-a-punk-rock-satire-on-hollywood-nostalgia http://www.geekscape.net/joseph-kahns-powerrangers-is-a-punk-rock-satire-on-hollywood-nostalgia#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:40:46 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85472 Joseph Kahn is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. The mastermind behind 2011’s Detention and pop culture staples like Backstreet Boys music videos, I always believed him to be a kind of Edgar Wright if Edgar Wright gave even less fucks. And you know how much I love Power Rangers.

So imagine my surprise to see that Joseph Kahn created a short film, POWER/RANGERS, and it stars James Van Der Beek (“Holy shit, you’re the Dawson!”) and Katee Sackhoff. Yeah, STARBUCK motherfuckers.

Note: That’s the safe-for-work version. A NSFW cut is available on Joseph Kahn’s Vimeo.

For the past year, the filmmaker has been tweeting about working on a tampon commercial. He made Twitter jokes about how epic it would be. Turns out, it wasn’t a Tampax ad.

I have been a fan of the Power Rangers for over two decades. I have been watching since I was one. I didn’t even know speech or how my dick worked, but I understood people becoming karate dinosaurs to pilot giant robots. I can name every actor, describe Alpha 5’s Edenoi origins and how Masked Rider fits into this universe, and I could pick apart Kahn’s use of the Machine Empire.

So understand that when I say fuck the Power Rangers. This is about the current state Hollywood nostalgia and reboot fever, and it’s the most punk rock thing I’ve ever seen.

It’s incredibly violent. It’s gratuitous. It’s ridiculous.

That’s exactly the point.

From Joseph Kahn’s interview on HitFix:

One, as opposed to like taking something like Barney and doing your dark version of Barney, there’s at least a mythology there. The original mythology is really expansive and kind of silly in how many different…” Kahn collapsed into laughter. “I mean, these guys turn into dinosaurs. How do you take that seriously? But there’s enough of like a groundwork of the original source material that they based off this repurposed Japanese show that has like norms of anime and kung fu and all that stuff that appeals to me because I’m an anime and kung fu guy anyways. I just took pieces that I liked and then streamlined it and made a bare bones version and really expressed the versions that seemed like they naturally fit within the down-the-middle dark and gritty reboot.

 

And by the way, the dark and gritty reboot thing is such a cliché that the intention was not only to make it dark and gritty but make it even darker and grittier than you could possibly imagine, hence the brains, the blood and the violence and the sex.”

 

It’s not just Lionsgate but all of Hollywood, they all keep toying around with this ‘dark and gritty’ concept, and they’re all PG-13. I mean…. look at the gunshots. You have a guy going in there shooting a bunch of people and it’s just like puffs of smoke. There’s no repercussions to these gunshots, which to me is even more dangerous than when you actually show some blood. You’re teaching kids that you can shoot a gun and there’s no repercussions to it. 

I highlighted the most startling, noteworthy quote sentences in bold. It sums up so much about what we as public perceive violence in art.

Joseph Kahn doesn’t give a fuck about Power Rangers and that’s the best thing about this 14-minute short. This isn’t some fan jerking off to twenty years of mythology. This is a guy who saw it, took it, and ran as fast as he can with it. Kahn sees Power Rangers as the perfect tool to make a statement about Hollywood’s reboot fever, the sickness that has allowed a fifth Transformers movie and a loud Ninja Turtles film without actually leaving a significant footprint. He’s taking something so perceived to be ridiculous and cheesy and is stopping short of dropping buckets of blood right on it like Carrie, all because you know that’s the version we all secretly want to see.

From Joseph Kahn:

There’s nothing playful except for maybe the Hip-Hop-Kido thing. Maybe a few little like motivational character [things], interactions and stuff. Overall, it’s a very serious thing. The joke isn’t that you’re laughing at each particular scene; the joke is that we did this ‘fuck you’ thing in the first place. You’re going to look at it and you go wow I can’t believe they fucking did that.”

Fans of Kahn are familiar with his sensibilities, as both a filmmaker and commentator on the current state of pop culture. His 2011 indie hit, Detention, sums up his view in a kinetic ninety-minute movie. In fact, it was Detention that once made me believe Kahn would be the perfect visionary behind a 21st-century imagining of the Power Rangers, but his feelings on it have confirmed otherwise (in a quote further down).

Side note: Have you seen Detention? It’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World on a sugar rampage. Go watch it right now.

This is why Kahn remains one of my favorite filmmakers. Behind his excellent visual eye and artistic direction, he’s a pop culture-obsessed freak but remains disenfranchised by the system. He’s a music video director. Never mind he’s directed Eminem and Shakira. If filmmaking was war and Hollywood directors are dictators, music video directors are the Somali pirates.

Seriously, go see some of his work. His music video for Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” is one of the most badass things I’ve ever seen, and there is not one ounce of sarcasm in that statement.

That’s why he’s the perfect son of a bitch to thumb his nose at Hollywood right now. He’s been there, he’s been shat on, and this is him telling the world not only is he the best at what he does but also you can go fuck yourself if you don’t like it.

He sent this short film out into the world with just one tweet. That’s how much he’s laughing.

My only regret is that Kahn actually chose Power Rangers. He could have done My Little Pony, but MLP doesn’t have the absurdity of kung-fu dinosaurs. It’s cognitive dissonance for me. I’m one of the most passionate fans of the property you’ll meet; last night, I sacrificed sleep on a work night to watch the premiere episode of Ninninger. And this morning, I’m feverishly typing this up as quickly as I can.

One of the most hurtful things I heard this morning wasn’t from Kahn, it was from longtime Power Rangers director Isaac Florentine.

From Drew’s interview at HitFix:

I spent some time with Isaac Florentine at ActionFest one year, and we talked about “Power Rangers.” He was there at the start of things, and listening to him talk about it, art was not on anyone’s mind. I get that there are people who genuinely loved the show when they were kids, and that they would love to see something new. Their fondness for this thing is not the point of Kahn’s film. Instead, it’s more a matter of talking about how these things get squeezed and bent and molded into something new.

Isaac Florentine is also a balls-crazy filmmaker who directed the amazing Ninja: Shadow of a Tear last year. I’ve always wanted to ask him if Power Rangers taught him anything that made his movies like Shadow of a Tear so awesome, because Power Rangers can be awesome if you’re in the right headspace and he himself has done some of the best, most memorable episodes (the “King For a Day” two-parter, in Power Rangers Zeo). But reading that broke me.

Don’t get your hopes up if you think Joseph Kahn is trying out for the upcoming Power Rangers reboot film. He’s not.

“The irony here is that I wouldn’t even want to make “Power Rangers: The Movie’ for real. Like if I had to make a ‘Power Rangers’ movie, this is it. It’s 14 minutes long and it’s violent and this is what I have in me. If they offered me the 200 million version, the PG-13 version, I literally wouldn’t do it. It’s just not interesting to me.”

It’s currently 9:30 AM. I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing on the train to work, so between that and all my feelings about my favorite filmmaker using my favorite thing in the world as a sock puppet to mock Hollywood has left me exhausted.

Check out more of Joseph Kahn’s work here.

UPDATE: Completely overlooked this. Producer Adi Shankar (The GreyDredd) details why he chose Power Rangers. #orlando4pink

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Leonard Nimoy Reportedly Hospitalized For Chest Pains http://www.geekscape.net/leonard-nimoy-reportedly-hospitalized-for-chest-pains http://www.geekscape.net/leonard-nimoy-reportedly-hospitalized-for-chest-pains#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 10:15:20 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85467 Troubling news. Most troubling.

According to a TMZ report, Leonard Nimoy has been sent to the hospital after severe chest pains prompted a call to emergency services.

The report had this to say:

We’re told paramedics weren’t taking chances with Captain Spock and got him in front of a doctor ASAP. Nimoy’s been in and out of hospitals multiple times in the last few months.

 

Nimoy announced he was suffering from COPD back in 2014, and even though he quit smoking more than 30 years ago … he blames his illness on decades of lighting up.

 

In a sort of…odd poetic coincidence, his most recent tweet has a very somber tone.

 

Nothing much else to report. We will keep you updated as more information is released.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Leonard. He is one of the greats, one of the amazing few that helped make US geeks who we are today.

YOU HAVE TO OUTLIVE SHATNER LEONARD!

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Everything Wrong With ‘The Order: 1886’ http://www.geekscape.net/everything-wrong-with-the-order-1886 http://www.geekscape.net/everything-wrong-with-the-order-1886#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 04:30:33 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85455 First of all, let me start by saying that much of the criticism that is being reported surrounding The Order: 1886 is overblown. It’s not as short as is being reported, if there was a graphics downgrade, I couldn’t see it, and the admittedly large amount of cutscenes never come close to the dreaded level of the Metal Gear Solid or Xenosaga series. Besides, the rest of the internet has been voicing these concerns nearly a week now.

Second, this isn’t a traditional review. If you care at all about the buzz surrounding this game, you’re likely going to scroll straight down in search of a score, and decide that I either had a vindictive grudge against Sony, that I was parroting the crowd by sharing my disappointment with the game, or that I’m solidifying the fact that the title is just not that good. Instead, I’m focusing on the numerous issues throughout the campaign that most people AREN’T talking about. If only game length was the biggest letdown during my trek through this reimagined England.

And third, there are minor spoilers contained within this critique. If you haven’t played it and care about the story, turn back now! From this point on, you’re stepping into the danger zone.

If you follow gaming and have been on the Internet AT ALL over the past week, then you’ve probably heard more than you need to about The Order: 1886. Originally revealed during the PS4’s unveiling at E3 2013, February 20th was supposed to be the day that the PS4 received its first exclusive since Driveclub, (remember how that went?), and arguably the first AAA exclusive since InFamous: Second Son. Instead, the game has been panned for its alleged five hour length, almost have of which is speant watching rather than shooting Lycans like we were originally promised.

Now, I’d be lying if I said that I was particularly excited for the title. I’ve been cautious of the Sony PR machine ever since the now infamous PS3 reveal and the Killzone 2 trailer, made worse by the fact that nearly every major company seems to have jumped on the bandwagon of overpromising and underdelivering. Still, the concept of a reimagined 19th Century England where an elite team of soldiers hunt supernatural monsters with some highly creative weaponry seemed like something I should check out at some point. This curiosity was further peaqued when I found a used copy the day after release date. With a seven day return policy and nothing to lose, my worries quickly become justified. I’ve shared my thoughts on game length in the past, (which can be found here,) so I won’t talk about it too much here, but the laundry list of what The Order does wrong deserves equal attention for the gamer who’s on the fence.

First off, I want to turn this into a positivity sandwich, beginning and ending with something good, with the meaty bad parts in the middle. The most apparent positive, (and seemingly the focus of development), is the presentation, with some incredible visuals, smoke effects when shooting, and facial animations leading the charge. Accompanied with some brilliant costume design, architecture and voice acting, it really helps make the game spring to life, as if you were watching a movie. Sadly, this is just about the only thing The Order gets right, with a slew of questionable design choices, large gaps between game play sections and too many broken promises. So without further ado…

The run of the mill third person gameplay.

Taking its inspiration from titles like Uncharted 2 and Gears Of War, The Order is primarily a third person cover shooter when it’s not doing its best Heavy Rain impersonation. The initial trailers showed the Knights of the Order fighting off monsters with electric rail guns, but sadly, you only do this for a miniscule amount of time in the game, (but more on that in a little bit.) Instead, the large majority of the shooting sections are against regular ol’ people. Throughout the entire game, I counted a total of four human enemy types, generously counting the standard soldiers, armored soldiers, snipers and grenaders as separate units. Sure, the costumes change, but the gameplay doesn’t.

As if to remedy the long gaps between shooting sections, (the longest one being about 35 minutes on my count,) some of these gunfights take the form of insanely long waves of bullet sponge enemies, none of which have checkpoints in between. I even had a few guys continue to charge at me with a bloody forehead after surviving a direct head shot, which I’m assuming was just a weird glitch. Then again, I don’t hold the resilient enemies against the game too much since I was playing on Hard Mode.

While it’s definitely true that the often quoted five hour play time is a gross misrepresentation of the average run, my nine hour hard mode run would have been easily cut to about seven on normal, without trophy hunting, or with decent checkpoints, especially when your partners rarely lift a finger to help. This is what’s most disappointing, turning a promising concept into a status quo shooter that doesn’t try to be better than what the genre has offered for the last decade. But again, it wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t promised so much.

The lack of science weapons.

Remember those bad-ass sci-fi weapons from the trailers? Appropriately named “Science Weapons”, these guns include said electric rail gun mentioned above, as well as an amazingly creative flame rifle that shoots a flammable powder before launching a fireball into it, engulfing the entire area. And well… That’s it! Two whole science weapons, both of which rarely pop up in the campaign. I’m completely serious when I say that I got roughly 30-40 minutes of in game time with these guns, whereas the rest of the story was full of never before seen weapons such as the elusive pistol, shotgun, grenade and rifle. Maybe they’re saving them for the sequel?

The lack of Lycans.

But the biggest disappointment that 1886 presents is its troubling lack of Lycans. You know, those werewolves that the game was initially sold on? Well, I would try to explain the sad amount of the flagship enemies within the game with a well thought out paragraph, but why do that when I can let the game’s OWN IN GAME TROPHY describe it for me?

THE HUNTER: Kill 10 Lycans

Yup, 10 WHOLE LYCANS for the entire game. The sad part? I counted eight, (ten including bosses.) Compared to the hundreds of humans that oppose you, how was this game ever presented the way it was initially? It doesn’t help that not only are they poorly placed in the story, (one, then two in Chapter One’s lycan tutorial, two towards the end and three in the last stage,) and that their AI is completely braindead. They literally run away from you, run at you, lunge, (which can be easily dodged by tapping X,) then run away again. The only other attack that they have only triggers if you’re standing right next to them, but you would practically have to go out of your way to do so.

Jumping on grenades.

Speaking of pressing X to dodge, the same can be done when you’re near a grenade. It’s a good thing the armor forged in 1886 is much more durable than the armor of today, because as long as you’re in your dodge animation, you don’t take damage from it, even if you roll right on top of it when it explodes.

The boss fight(s).

One complaint I constantly have with most modern games is that the boss fight has seemingly disappeared. Thankfully, I can’t issue this complaint towards The Order, since it features not one, but two whole boss battles in the middle and the end of the game. So why is this in the meaty portion of our sandwich under negatives? Because the final boss and the mid boss are the Exact. Same. Fight. Same attacks, same animations, same character model, (despite being different characters,) same everything.

Essentially combining a long series of quick time events with the mechanics of Punch Out, the entire thing consists of dodging and responding with a quick or heavy attack, neither of which had any strategic difference from what I could see. Fairly exciting the first time, immensely disappointing the second time, I just don’t get why the team didn’t think the end game deserved more attention.

The stealth.

The good news? There are only two major stealth sections the entire game, the first acting as the tutorial and the second being separated from its introduction by about five hours. The bad news is that especially during the second one, it just doesn’t work. Mainly because your character carries his bowgun at the ready while he’s sneaking. Only problem is that he only stealth kills with his knife. With their unwavering commitment to realism at Ready At Dawn, I suffered many a death because I couldn’t initiate my stealth kill until my character put away his gun to grab his blade. With no manual way to do so, (or at least with no instruction on how to assuming the option exists,) the attack wouldn’t trigger and I’d eat a bullet, (in a cutscene, of course.)

Stealth

The collectables.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I can remember, games have universally had a way to track what kind of bonus items you’ve picked up, right? Especially when there are trophies tied to them, with most modern games providing status updates showing your progress. Ever the innovator, The Order felt the need to be different. Not only does it not keep track of what bonus items you’ve found aside from the audio cylinders, but your character doesn’t even keep them! He puts them back down where he finds them! Especially with the newspapers, the text is so small that it’s impossible to read! So you’re literally picking stuff up and putting it back down.

To make matters worse, going back to find what you might have missed is a wild goose chase, since the game lacks a chapter breakdown of what collectables you’re missing and/or which chapters they’re missing in. All of them respawn on subsequent playthroughs, making it impossible to know what you missed and what you didn’t, and with the cutscenes being unskippable, it makes the hunt too tedious to be worth it. You’re better off with a guide so you don’t have to scour the entire game again.

The cliché, by the numbers story.

Yet, The Order isn’t the only game that favors a cinematic experience over strong game play. But if you’re going to take that route, at least make the story good. Instead, what 1886 presents us with is a cliché tale that relies on tropes rather than unique scenarios. The mentor who promises to enlighten you about the true nature of the world after the battle is over, only to die before he says anything? Yep, he’s there. The friend who double crosses you almost immediately declaring that your character, “trusts him with his life,”? Present. The perceived villain who’s really the hero? You get the picture. You can guess most of these character’s roles as soon as you hear them speak during some long, drawn out cutscenes, making most of the characters uninteresting and forgettable. It doesn’t help that only a few of them have any kind of backstory, and the ones that do are just vaguely touched on.

Worse yet is the walking. Oh god, the walking! Oftentimes, to give us breaks between full motion videos, we’ll get to “play” by manually walking through long hallways or corridors while the team members converse. Your option to run is taken away, so you’re just forced to plod through while staring at these mundane walls, wishing that this would’ve just been sped through a video.

So. Much. Walking.

So. Much. Walking.

But more importantly, the game completely fails to adequately explain the lore of this universe. It hints at things here and there, but in almost arrogant fashion, it feels like The Order is far more interested in setting up sequels than it is in establishing the current game. We know that Lycans and Vampires exist. Nikolai Tesla is to you what Q is to 007 for some reason. Your order of knights have been alive for centuries, apparently? The fact that there’s a story reason for why you can revive yourself and auto heal behind cover, but it’s not explained until past the half way point, shows that establishing the rules of this world came second to getting through the contained narrative of this particular game, which makes it come off as if we’re expected to know what’s going on before we start playing it. When the credits roll, we’re left with more questions than answers, with an apparent setup for a second AND third game before the first one felt anywhere near established.

But hey, at least it doesn’t have a 100 GB day one patch!

Have you played The Order? We’d love to hear your thoughts, where you agree, and where you disagree. Let us know in the comments, and hit me up @InuJoshua and let’s talk about it!

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This ‘Dying Light’ Live-Action Short Features Some Insane Parkour http://www.geekscape.net/this-dying-light-live-action-short-features-some-insane-parkour http://www.geekscape.net/this-dying-light-live-action-short-features-some-insane-parkour#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 04:01:44 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85453 Briefly: Between Kenny walking through the game, our mostly shining review, and voice actor Roger Craig Smith guesting on Geekscape last month, it’s pretty easy to see that we’re all big fans of Techland’s Dying Light around these parts.

Our love for the title continues with this radical live action short produced by Techland and Flying Carpet Studios. The video, titled ‘The Last Supply Drop” follows “four quarantine survivors and their last-ditch attempt to recover an air-drop full of crucial supplies. See how parkour movement, car traps, and your favorite dropkick attacks would work in the real world. ”

It’s pretty rad, and there are some seriously bad-ass moves here. Take a look at the video below, and let us know how you’re liking the game so far!

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Three Amiibo Get Price Drops! http://www.geekscape.net/three-amiibo-get-price-drops http://www.geekscape.net/three-amiibo-get-price-drops#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 03:50:54 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85450 Briefly: Good news everyone!

Three Amiibo figures that you probably already own have just received an MSRP drop by Nintendo. Wave 1 commons Yoshi, Peach, and Donkey Kong (who are all receiving Super Mario Collection figures in late March) have all dropped from $12.99 to $9.99.

If you’re one of the lucky few that haven’t picked up these three figures yet, you’re in for some sweet savings, but we should also warn you that it’s a slippery slope, and that just like heroin, Amiibo is an insane addiction.

Note that these three figures all made the top Nintendo’s list of most popular Amiibo figures, which is probably because they’re some of the only units that are consistently on store shelves.

How many Amiibo have you picked up so far? Which upcoming figures are you looking forward to? Sound out below!

AmiiboDrop

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Calista Flockhart Joins CBS’ ‘Supergirl’ http://www.geekscape.net/calista-flockhart-joins-cbs-supergirl http://www.geekscape.net/calista-flockhart-joins-cbs-supergirl#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 03:33:38 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85446 Briefly: The project won a huge series commitment all the way back in September, and just a few weeks back we learned who would play the series’ titular character. Today, the cast of CBS’ Supergirl added a second member.

It’s Ally McBeal herself, Calista Flockhart. She’ll play Cat Grant, “the self-made media magnate and founder of CatCo. Cat started her career as a reporter and has built her company into a global powerhouse.”

The series itself will focus on Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, who also escaped Krypton before it exploded. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.

The series comes from Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler, who previously teamed up for ABC’s short-lived (and fantastic) No Ordinary Family.

Are you down for the casting? Is there anyone else you’d rather have seen in the role? How about Melissa Benoist? Sound out below!

Flockhart

Source: THR

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Geekscape Games Podcast: Level 19 – ‘Does No One Like Grim Fandango?’ http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-podcast-level-19-does-no-one-like-grim-fandango http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-podcast-level-19-does-no-one-like-grim-fandango#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 03:19:05 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=85442 Join Derek, Josh, Juan and Shane as they discuss the last week in video games!

Subscribe to us in iTunes!

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Scroll to the bottom of the show notes to listen on this page!

This Week

Shane is a World of Warcraft prostitute. For real.

The Last Guardian is still in development… apparently.

Please Understand. The LA Port Strike apparently to blame for 3DS and Amiibo shortages.

This is the Police picked up by Team17.

A new Rock Band is in development.

Crippled Kenny plays through Dying Light!

Shadow of Mordor getting Sauron fighting DLC

NIS America announces Disgaea 5, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls and Rodea: The Sky Soldier announced for the West!

Rayman leaked as Smash Bros. DLC, but it was FAKE (and fooled Juan).

Alto’s Adventure

Fluxx

Ticket To Ride

Pokemon Shuffle

DJ Hero 3: Real Life Edition

Monster Hunter 4

HTOL#NiQ -The Firefly Diary-

Hyperdevotion Noire

Plus more!

This Week’s Listener Mission Objective:

What is one game you WISH you were better at or good at competitively?

Contest News:

We’ve chosen winners for all THREE Lucario Amiibo, but Juan had to leave the show early! This mean’s that we’ll announce the winners during Level 20!


Subscribe to us in iTunes!

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Follow us on Twitter!

@dkraneveldt

@InuJoshua

@TheKingOfMars

@shaneohare

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http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-podcast-level-19-does-no-one-like-grim-fandango/feed 0 Shane's a WoW prostitue on this week's episode of Geekscape Games! How's that for a hook!? Shane's a WoW prostitue on this week's episode of Geekscape Games! How's that for a hook!? Geekscape no 1:06:39