Geekscape podcasts, news, features Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:48:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape TV-G PAX 2014: ‘Never Alone’ Hands On Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:46:51 +0000 When the trailer for Never Alone came out earlier this year we at Geekscape were blown away. More specifically I was blown away. Living in Alaska all my life, it was really refreshing to see the Alaskan Native culture as the catalyst for a narrative driven game.

Well wandering around PAX sixth floor this year, I was elated to see the team from Upper One Games and E-Line Media had a proud booth setup. I walked up to the booth and introduced myself to the head of PR for E-Line Media, Elziabeth, and I got the full behind the scenes rundown of Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna).

The team behind Never Alone worked closely with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) to make sure the game was as authentic as possible. They made numerous trips to the Alaskan North Slope to visit tribal elders to show them the product they were working on. The game follows an old Inupiat story about an endless blizzard that is ravaging a small village. In the story a small child decides to go out into the storm to find the source of the storm to stop it. The main character in the story never had a gender, so the team chose to go with a girl, as females are severely underrated in gaming. The art direction is HEAVILY influenced by Alaskan Native culture, and the aesthetic is incredible. You can tell the team working on Never Alone truly cared to represent the Alaskan Natives properly.

Sitting down to actually play the game and I was instantly hooked. You take up the role of Nuna and her Arctic Fox. If you are playing alone you can switch back and forth between them, but the game features full on single screen COOP. Gameplay is simple and each character has their own perks, the fox has the ability to see spirits and use their help in the environment. I played through the short demo they had available and was instantly sold on the game. The gameplay was easy to pick up, but the puzzles were challenging enough that it took multiple attempts at some of the later ones.

Never alone comes out on November 4th on the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC for $15. I highly suggest anyone who is a fan of games like Journey to pick this up. It would be a great game to introduce non-gamers to.

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Geekscape Interviews: ‘As Above, So Below’ Star Perdita Weeks Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:14:38 +0000 Just before I entered the heavenly gates that were the doors to Power MorphiCon in Pasadena, I had the chance to talk about the dungeon to hell with Perdita Weeks, the star of the new horror film As Above, So Below! How much fun did the smart, talented, and indeed lovely Ms. Weeks have playing a badass? And what was it like down there?

Scarlet is a strong and daring individual. She’s Indiana Jones meets Ellen Ripley to me. So, very plainly, how much fun did you have playing a badass?

It was so good. It was so fun. I knew it was going to be fun when I read the script. Yeah, it was like, I’ve kind of always wanted to play Lara Croft, unfortunately Angelina got there first. [laughs] I just thought, [it was] really fun, [she was] really strong, leading a group of individuals down to the catacombs. It was brilliant. Hard, but very, very fun.



Yeah, I picked up on the Lara Croft thing a little bit too. The movie was kind of like a video game to me. But you filmed it in the actual catacombs! With the physical challenges in those tiny, dark hallways, being terrified must not have been farfetched, was it? What was it like shooting down there?

The first time we went, the first time we went before shooting was just like a walk around. The Dowdles showed off which spaces we’d be using specifically. And it was a little daunting, more just because I’ve never shot anywhere that was going to be so logistically difficult. It was very tough on the crew, having to get all their cables down there, incredibly heavy equipment, and lighting luckily wasn’t really an issue, because the only lights were from our head helmets and the one from the camera. But because of the style of shooting, the found footage aspect, and the fact that all six of us would essentially be having cameras, it meant the crew had to completely hide away, all the time, because you never knew what would be caught in the frame. But it was more incredibly exciting and novel, to be one of the few people who ever shot down there. There was maybe a good forty to sixty of us. It was quite a bonding, unifying experience actually. I mean, you spend that long, you know, with that many people, it was a tight-knit crew by the end of it. You know, we felt like we had really gone through something. By the time we got to shoot in the sound studio in the last week we were like, this is heaven! There were toilet facilities, and coffee! [laughs] It was hardening, but it was really good for the film. We all felt quite so proud of ourselves after it. Some people had a couple of … head injuries, minor.

Oh, wow.

Yeah, ceiling, the height, it changes all the time so it was incredibly unstable. Lots of times, lots of members of the crew had just gone smack! Into kind of like a sticking out rock. It’s a mad, mad place to be in for the entire film. It was bizarre. Probably more bizarre than it even looks in the film. It was scary in the film, in reality it was kind of hysterical. Like, what are we even doing here? Is it even going to work? But, it was great. It adds to the kind of excitement.



Your terror came out genuine, it was amazing to watch. You put on an excellent performance down there.

Thank you!

In addition to the actual setting and challenges that came with it, you’re also filming a found footage movie. Very verite-like. Was there any learning curves in acting in those spaces with that kind of genre? As opposed to, for example, shooting The Tudors?

Oh, yes! But it was great! You have a lot more energy, because you’re never off. You never know when the camera is gonna capture you. It brings you that much more closer. For each sort of scene, if you can call it that, because in the film the action is so continuous, and lots of time we’d have ten or fifteen minutes of continuous action. I mean, it was incredibly, absolutely exhausting, but brilliant. We would get to do one scene, all day. And at the end of it we’d change, every single take it would be different. But you know, they were using continuous takes, and every time the DOP would do something different. So you never knew really what was going to happen. It was kind of just about reacting to all that. There was six of us there, all of our performances are changing all the time, so it was a great acting experience, actually. Especially when you’re doing, you know, people give horror a bad rep, but my God, it’s hard work. For any actor. It’s very testing. I’d recommend it to any actor. It’s very hard work but very, very satisfying.

Scarlet is burdened by family guilt and seeks redemption. She’s rebellious and she never hesitates. She immediately dives into a situation. Do you think she’s trying to prove something to the world, or do you think she’s trying to prove something to herself?

I think the thing with her is that the thing she really isn’t interested in is fame, or money, or even success to some degree. My whole idea for her was that, she works as a professor in order to just make enough money, and she’ll stop the very second she’s got just the right amount to go and complete this mission. And the thing with her, the reason she is so, as you say, has no hesitation to do anything … is she’s got nothing to lose. That’s what I love about her. Characters like this just don’t come out often. Characters with absolutely nothing to lose as the one complete driving force. It was a complete dream to play because it makes every decision that you have to make incredibly easier. You know exactly what their purpose is. And what their motivation is. You know, with her, I honestly didn’t think she’d mind if she died doing this. Because, there is no one around. She’s cast off maybe the one person who maybe did care about her, and she doesn’t have any family left. It was the only thing that mattered to her, until the point where she realizes she’s put other people in danger. And that’s her saving grace. You know, she really doesn’t want to endanger anyone else. You see it in the beginning of the movie when she goes to Iran. It’s the only thing that matters. If she dies, she dies. There’s no one who would miss her.

She was fearless and absolutely one of my favorite characters in recent history. You played her well.

Oh, great! [laughs]

Film Title: As Above/So Below

One last question. Because this is Geekscape, we are nerds here. This is a bit of a fun question. The catacombs are of course terrifying and ancient. If you could be any superhero and go back to the catacombs, and face off all the demons, what superhero would you be?

Oooooooooh! Golly, I’m not very up on my superheroes! Who would I be? Hmm, oh! Well I don’t know if she’s really a superhero, but what was the name that Alan Cumming played like in X-Men, he was a little black sort of–oh, no! I’m gonna be, oh, what’s the name of that… Rebecca Romijn-Stamos played in X-Men and Jennifer Lawrence played now?


MYSTIQUEYeah! That would be cool. It’d be handy! You know, to just blend in and whatever. And also, she’s a good ninja.

As Above, So Below is in theaters now. Head here for our review, and here for our interview with director and writers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle!


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First Wave Of Amiibo’s Consists Of 12 Characters, Will Launch This Holiday Season Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:33:26 +0000 Briefly: I haven’t purchased a toy in years, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t going to buy every single one of these.

Back at Nintendo’s Digital Event at E3, the company revealed Amiibo, their new Skylanders-esque NFC figures which are going to make them millions (and millions) of dollars.

The company today revealed the first wave of Amiibo’s that will be available at retail, and the team consists of Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer. At E3, the big N also showed off Bowser and Pit figures, so I’d imagine that those are coming down the pipeline aswell.

A release date has not been confirmed, but the figures are available for pre-order for a cool $13.99 at select retailers, and will launch this holiday season.

Learn all about Amiibo (which should work with a multitude of future Nintendo games) below, and let us know how many you’ll be picking up!

Bah. I can’t wait to put these on my shelf!


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Geekscape Interviews: ‘As Above, So Below’ Writers & Director Drew & John Erick Dowdle Sat, 30 Aug 2014 00:14:08 +0000 During Power MorphiCon weekend I interviewed As Above, So Below writer/director John Erick Dowdle and writer Drew Dowdle, the brothers behind the newest horror movie from Legendary and Universal Pictures. Filmed inside the actual catacombs beneath Paris, the Dowdles chatted with me about shooting a satanic horror movie while almost losing their sanity in the dark, macabre tunnels full of human remains. It was extremely difficult to imagine as I sat inside the well-lit lobby of the Westin in sunny, 80-degree Pasadena, on my way to a Power Rangers convention.

Film Title: As Above/So Below


Geekscape: So I was impressed that you shot it in the actual catacombs. Why was it important for you guys to remain so authentic?

John Erick: When you build something, you just feel, like, it never feels as real as the real thing. Anytime you give someone the real thing, it just adds such depth to the texture of the movie. And you feel the performances. The performances, you can tell seeing this movie, you can tell the actors aren’t stepping off set between takes, sipping a latte and texting their friends. They’re in it, you know, spending ten hours six stories under the ground every day. You can see it in their faces. Like, all of us [became] half-crazy as a result of being down there so much. And it shows! You feel the presence of that space. On our first location scout, we went underground and we all felt, “Oh my god, this is terrifying down here.” And to try to build that and recreate that on set, and be all like, “Okay, everyone, act scared!” It wouldn’t have worked the same way. When you go down there, you feel your chest get tight, your breathing gets shallow, the air is still, and the sound is really weird and tweaky. You just couldn’t fake that.

Drew: When we were talking about doing the movie initially too, it was one of those [conversations]. It was like, if we’re not shooting in the real location, then we almost didn’t think it was worth making the movie! [laughs] It is such a specific place in the world. And if you’re not shooting the real thing, we knew that would be obviously the number one question coming home to. “Is this in the real place?” It has to be. [Questions like] “Do you build some of it? Go somewhere that’s maybe easier to shoot in Paris that might look like this?” To us, none of those were options that were interesting alternative.

Well, you guys succeeded because it came out wonderful.

John Erick: Thanks so much! I really appreciate that.

There is a bit of a video game aesthetic in the movie. I don’t know if that was intentional or not. Like, I was watching the film and it kind of came off like a dungeon crawler in a very literal sense. Were video games at all a point of reference in the making of the film?

John Erick: You know, we didn’t shy away from that, but we didn’t consider that like a reference. And yet we knew that early on in that first sequence when she’s going in that cave, we saw that were like, “Okay, it sorta feels like a first-person shooter,” we thought that was pretty cool. We really wanted to have a camera on Scarlet that was just sort of attached to her clothing, but we realized we wanted to see her a little bit too. Even if it’s just the side of her face, even just a little something so [she's] not totally disembodied. So we sorta went with that aesthetic early on and it really felt effective. So it was pretty cool. It was fun to play with.

Found footage is a difficult genre. For this film it felt necessary, but it is a hard genre. Did you have any hesitations about doing it in this style?

John: We talked about it for like two minutes, and were like, “You know what, this fits this movie.” There’s something to it, about shooting in the catacombs. If you tried to shoot traditional, you know, light and everything in one direction of the room, and then shoot that out, and then switch out all the lights [for the other side], like that would be a nightmare down there. We were like, let’s go really guerilla. Let’s shoot it like you were if you were doing this real. Let’s light the whole thing with the actor’s headlamps. There’s a scene near the end of the movie where they’re standing around the hole, that whole scene was lit literally from Scarlet, the camera from Scarlet’s hand.

Oh, wow.

John Erick: There’s no other light. We had the actors lighting, I’d say 90% of the movie. And probably 30% of the movie was shot by the actors! [laughs] We really went for like, “Let’s see what kind of happy accidents happen. Let’s try not to over-produce it.” And it really ended up, I think, adding to the realness of the movie. And frankly, it was a lot of fun to shoot that way.

Drew: I’d say too, the origin of this particular character was always kind of in a found footage world. We always had an idea that, you know, doing a female archaeologist, kind of one-part Indiana Jones character in a found footage world would be a really interesting movie. So when we conceptualized this initially, it was always kind of in a found footage set. So it never really occurred to us, frankly, to not do it that way in this setting.



I picked up on the Indiana Jones similarities, to me she was kind of like Ellen Ripley and Indiana Jones, I thought it was fantastic. But you guys enjoy doing terror in small spaces. You did Devil and Quarantine, and now As Above, So Below. So, are you guys claustrophobic like Benji? (Note: Benji is a character in As Above, So Below and he suffers from claustrophobia.)

[both laugh]

John Erick: It’s actually funny, a little bit. I gotta say, the first time we did a location scout of the real catacombs, we crawled through a hole about the size of like a medicine ball, we crawled through that, and we’re like in a tunnel we had to crawl through on all fours and then there was water and I never really considered [it]. I’m finding all sorts of new fears as a result of this job. [laughs] But like, I never considered myself claustrophobic, but there was a point at which, literally I was having a hard time breathing, like I’m freaking out! Like I’m genuinely terrified! And I had this moment, that if I can’t hack this, they’re gonna have to replace me. And that first location scout they were like, okay, let’s keep going until it feels normal and natural. So we did that first location scout for five hours underground, going deeper and deeper, and one of the people on our team totally lost their mind. They had a total breakdown. So, it was something! It was something down there.

Drew: Yeah, our first scout was actually through that hole on the train tracks that they go through in the movie, was where we entered. On the other side of the hole in reality was about fifty yards of tunnel that’s like, elbows and knees, army style crawling before you can get into a space where you can actually stand up. So for me I’m not very claustrophobic, what I found terrifying personally was the idea that, I’m more of a map person, like I really need to know where I am on the grid, and once you make about three turns in there your sense of direction is gone. And you have no idea which way is out. So not knowing where the exit is and if our guide dropped dead of a heart attack or something, you know, that fear was much more palpable for me than the claustrophobia.

Well, I’m very happy you guys survived. 

[both laugh]

The title, “As Above, So Below“, it refers to confronting your inner demons. As storytellers, why is that attractive?

John Erick: Well, you know, I think going back a little bit to the confined spaces, we always find something terrible happens, it triggers that flight or fight response. If you take flight out of it, the confined spaces take flight out of the equation. It forces characters to face something that terrifies them. You know, frankly, I feel personally in my twenties, like there were so many things that scared me I backed away from, there were plenty of them, and in my late twenties, I’m like, I gotta start hitting these things more head-on. And in doing so, literally every aspect of my life changed. For me that’s been something personally that’s really, I don’t know, made a big difference. I remember a friend of mine, had a kind of metaphor: gotta face life like a boxer, apparently a boxer, like if you lean away, that’s when you get clobbered as a boxer. But if you lean in to the fear, put your face like right into the fear, that is how you box. That’s how you have to fight. In our movies, going through that journey with our characters seeing, you know, if you can’t run away from your fears, you have to face it, and you do, are you better with yourself? How did that change you?

One last thing. Scarlet was a fascinating character. Do you think we’ve seen the last of her?

John Erick: We hope not! We’ll tell you August 31st!

[everyone, including me, laughs]

Drew: Yeah, we’d love to continue these stories. She’s not only a fun character, but such a terrific actress and really fun to work with. Get the band back together, if the audiences want it.

As Above, So Below is in theaters now. Be sure to head here for our review.


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Geekscape Movie Reviews: ‘As Above, So Below’ Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:00:38 +0000 I grew up in New Jersey. Being one of the first colonies of the United States, the simple passage of time over generations has given life to urban legends and myths that knowledge of it become as normal as a day in the park. There’s Clinton Road, the Devil’s Tower, the Gates of Hell, the abandoned Lambertville High, Midgetville, and a slew of others I grew up hearing about.  In middle school my friends and I debated what superheroes we would want to be if we fought the Jersey Devil as if he were an anime villain. In high school I went with my buddies on a day trip a few weeks before graduation to the fabled Devil’s Tree, where the Ku Klux Klan used to lynch people. I didn’t see it, but a few years later my friend told me we were tailgated by a pick-up truck on our way out.

It was these stories and places that fueled my fascination for As Above, So Below, the new found-footage horror film from John Erick Dowdle. Set in beautiful Paris and not grungy New Jersey, the film follows a small team of urban explorers as they traverse the catacombs of Paris — you know, the tunnels with REAL SKELETONS everywhere — in search of the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Leading the group is the brave, smart, but haunted Scarlet Marlowe (The Tudors‘ Perdita Weeks), who is determined to redeem her father’s disgraced legacy and prove the existence of the renamed thing from Harry Potter. With her, an amateur documentary filmmaker Benji (Edwin Hodge) — hence the presence of cameras — and an expert explorer who shares a past with Scarlet, George (Ben Feldman, Mad Men‘s Michael Ginsberg). Coupled with some lively locals, they make up the people we’ll be stuck with miles below Paris.



It’s a found footage film. You kind of know what you’re getting into with this journey. There will be scares around the corner, weird shit chasing after the camera, and a buffet of other horror movie cliches like rocking chairs and singing children. Only now we’re in a tunnel that could have been creepy enough on its own, which I think is the biggest problem with the film: It resorts to tried and true devices when something new really could have been explored.

It is in the characters we must rely on for investment, which makes the film’s journey easy. The central characters range from compelling… to horror movie basic. I’m a big fan of Scarlet Marlowe (but I hate freaking hate her name. She has red hair!). She’s supremely intelligent, brave, but dangerously impulsive. She’s like Indiana Jones and Ellen Ripley, but with a millennial “screw you all, I’m going in” attitude. Her father was disgraced for basically believing in magic, and Scarlet seeks to redeem his name and she does so to the danger of the rest of her peers. She’ll jump right into a tunnel or something at the cost of a co-explorer’s sanity or safety. You have to reason her with yourself: Either she’s horrible for putting lives in danger for the greater good, or everyone knew what they were getting involved in. Because, this is a horror movie of course, and people need to die. There is a moment when I thought everyone would be fine — how weird and kind of cool would it be to see a horror movie where everyone survives? — and then immediately it’s like Game of Thrones. But there is less investment to be had in the secondary and tertiary characters, so you won’t have any Red Wedding moments, unless for some reason you really love them. It’s a bit of a let down too, because there was potential in them. They’re colorful and fun. Sitting in the van just before they explore darkness, they are freestyle rapping and doing De Niro impersonations. But there’s no time for them, only for Scarlett and George, but that’s okay, because Scarlet is a powerful presence on her own.



The environment and location is the film’s true co-star. Ever since I read about the catacombs in a Cracked article, I thought how cool it would be to film a movie down there. But I imagined a fantasy film, the catacombs as the lair of a dark villain. I should have expected the first film to get down there to be a horror movie. But the filmmakers filmed in the actual, prohibited areas of the catacombs, and it’s pretty damn terrifying (A horror movie setting an eerie mood, who could have guessed?). Tight spaces and dark tunnels, make up the film’s physical location for its scares and it fucking WORKS. Echoes! Satanic chants! Screams! It chills to the bone. Dowdles’ previous work include Quarantine and Devil, so I shouldn’t be surprised that terror in tight spaces be his kung-fu style. But major props to the sound engineers, because crumbling rocks have never sounded more terrifying. It is truly the film’s achievement: Something mundane as dust can be used for thrills.

The tunnels being the gates of hell is something out of a fantasy film, but in a found footage flick it becomes something way more personal. Almost all the characters (the important ones, anyway) have some kind of baggage. Scarlet has her father, while the others have their own demons. From families they couldn’t save after accidents to claustrophobia (admittedly too easy of a character trait given the premise), they’re haunted by their own demons and the devil is laughing in their face. It makes for a nice metaphor for confronting fears and overcoming guilt. But it’s also kind of cheap, and although fascinating during the film’s running time, it doesn’t leave much when the credits roll. ”Cheap” isn’t what I’d describe the film in the literal sense — for a found footage film it has remarkable production value, which is an achievement given the skeleton crew (I’m so, so sorry) — but cheap is what I’d have to describe its storytelling. Cliches galore in the film, but it didn’t have to. These people are surrounded by dead people. I don’t get the value of empty chairs.

There is something of a video game structure to the film as well, which is novel given the genre. In the film’s surprisingly gripping climax, the film turns into something like a mix of Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider, and Resident Evil. One would think found footage would take far more advantage of its video game-ness, but rarely do films actually do. Doom did it, and it was the only fun scene in that whole movie. It’s one more cool thing As Above, So Below does pretty well, even if it probably doesn’t do it with much substance or style.

Film Title: As Above/So Below

As Above, So Below is easily dismissible as another found footage film, but you shouldn’t! Found footage is an extremely difficult genre that has the potential for true, expert cinematic storytelling but has been plagued by amateurs and cheap filmmaking. As Above, So Below rises above (again, I’m so sorry) basic genre rules but is hindered by its own hesitation to venture into truly new territory. It does so many things right — its compelling central character, probably the coolest location to ever film a movie, expert sound design, an interesting take on Christian mythology, remarkable production value, and appropriate horror movie thrills — but it does several big things wrong that might leave the film as just a footnote. The ending doesn’t quite stick or make much sense, and it is unclear what exactly the Philosopher’s Stone purpose or fate was (It can heal people! And then it doesn’t). The film is plagued by horror movie cliches and is wasted in the novel setting. The rest of the characters show flashes of potential that never meet up to what is promised.

As Above, So Below almost takes the troubled genre to a new level, but its scared to do so and is bogged down by its own reservations. The film is kind of like its own characters: Haunted by the genre’s past, it fails to fight back and truly do something daring. What that could have been, I can’t tell you. But the film has enough terror to keep you for ninety minutes, and if you truly let it, the film can be as terrifying as confronting your own personal demons.

As Above, So Below scores a devilish 3/5.

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New ‘Destiny’ Video Shows Off Playstation Exclusive Content! Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:13:53 +0000 Briefly: Following the release of the official launch trailer last week, Bungie and Playstation have debuted a new video that shows off all of Destiny‘s Playstation exclusive (at least for the time being) content.

I’ve been enamoured with Destiny for as long as I can remember, and that feeling was exacerbated by the short time that I’ve been able to spend with it. September 9th really, really can’t come soon enough. I played the Alpha and Beta as much as I possibly could, and in that time Destiny became one of my favourite games of the year. I cannot wait to play the full game, and I cannot wait to learn the full story through its bad-ass companion app (seriously, it’s so well done).

The PS3 and PS4 editions of the game include an exclusive map, strike, and plenty of equipment. Wouldn’t it be nice if it had cross-platform play to go with it?

Take a look at the video below, and let us know what you think. Destiny hits shelves on September 9th.

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Here Are Two Creepy New Teasers For ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:56:17 +0000 Briefly: Following the reveal of the season premiere date last week, and a new teaser a few days ago, FX has debuted two more creepy teasers for October’s American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Titled ‘Lick’ and ‘Spotlight’, both short videos are pretty equally disturbing… and exciting.

Take a look at the teasers below, and let us know if you’ll be tuning in when Freak Show premieres on October 8th.

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Watch A New Trailer For CW’s ‘The Flash’! Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:47:39 +0000 Briefly: We’re just over a month away from the highly anticipated premiere of CW’s The Flash (though you’ve probably already seen the pilot), and following yesterday’s new poster, the network has debuted a cool new trailer for the intriguing show.

The trailer looks to consist of mostly pilot footage (making it far less exciting if you’ve already seen it), but it definitely does a pretty great job at garnering excitement for the show.

Take a look at the video below, and let us know if you’re looking forward to the series! The Flash premieres on October 7th!

Based upon characters published by DC Comics. Through a freak accident, scientist Barry Allen is given the power of super speed that transforms him into the Fastest Man Alive.

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Third ‘The Walking Dead’ Teaser Shows Tyreese In A Tough Situation Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:36:23 +0000 Briefly: Following the full trailer that premiered all the way back at SDCC (it seems like so long ago), AMC has debuted a short new teaser for The Walking Dead‘s fifth season.

Clocking in at an extremely brief 15 seconds long (AMC is loving their short teasers lately) the video shows Tyreese in the midst of a  walker attack, and someone very quick (and probably not friendly) looks to be hiding in the same location.

We’ve got less than two months of waiting left until The Walking Dead returns on October 12th, so for now take a look at the teaser below, and let us know what you think!

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Awesome ‘Dumb And Dumber To’ Posters Parody ‘Lucy’ Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:19:17 +0000 Briefly: It’s hard to say how Dumb and Dumber To will turn out (though I did laugh a lot at that first trailer), but the film’s two new posters are downright hilarious.

One of this Summer’s most polarizing films was Luc Besson’s Lucyan action-thriller about a woman who gains the ability to use her brain’s entire capacity, along with a bunch of bad-ass powers in the process. Here’s the film’s poster:


Now, here are the latest posters for Dumb and Dumber To:



That’s some damn good cross marketing, isn’t it? Dumb and Dumber To hits theatres on November 14th.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: Dumb and Dumber To.  The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.

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DLC Packs Coming to ‘Mario Kart 8′ Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:05:36 +0000 It looks like the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom will be racing against the Hero of Time and everyone’s favorite secretary.

Doing more than offering free downloadable content in the form of three Mercedes-Benz karts arriving on the eShop tomorrow, Nintendo has announced two new Mario Kart 8 DLC packs. The first pack will not only include four new tracks, but three new characters as well–Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link(!). This will mark the first time anyone outside the Super Mario Universe (outside the Namco-Bandai characters in the arcade versions of Mario Kart) will be available as a playable racer in any of the console or handheld versions of Nintendo’s karting franchise. If that wasn’t enough, Isabelle and the Villager will be join the cast, as well as Dry Bowser.

Each DLC pack will contain three characters, four karts, and two new cups–each with four courses. One of the confirmed tracks will be Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, as well as courses based from the Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing franchises.

Additionally, Nintendo confirmed that one of the new carts will be modeled after the Blue Falcon from F-Zero.


Here’s a breakdown of the DLC Packages:

Pack 1: The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 (Release Date: November 2014) – $7.99

- 3 Charcters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link

- 4 Vehicles

- 8 Courses



Pack 2: Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 (Release Date: May 2015) – $7.99

- 3 Characters: Villager, Isabelle, Dry Bowser

- 4 Vehicles

- 8 Courses

Pack 1 + Pack 2 Bundle – $11.99

- 6 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link, Villager, Isabelle, and Dry Bowser

- 8 Vehicles

- 16 Courses

- As a bonus for purchasing both bundles (as a pack or separately), buyers will immediately receive eight new colors for Yoshi and Shy Guy for Mario Kart 8.

The DLC packages will be available for purchase Wednesday, August 27.


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Did He Or Didn’t He? Watch A New TV Spot For David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:42:13 +0000 Briefly: A new TV spot for David Fincher’s upcoming drama, Gone Girl has just hit the internet. It’s gorgeous, gripping, and looks like it’ll make for an absolutely heartwrenching feature. The film is based on the 2012 bestseller by Gillian Flynn. Here’s the synopsis:

On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Being a Fincher flick, I’m sure we’ll be frequently questioning the innocence/guilt of Nick Dunne (though book readers will already know the outcome, of course). I feel like avoiding the novel until I can see the feature just so everything can remain a surprise!

In any case, take a look at the new spot below, and let us know what you think! Gone Girl hits theatres on October 3rd!

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Watch 10 Minutes Of New ‘Dead Island 2′ Footage! Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:30:37 +0000 Briefly: Dead Island 2 surprised all of us when it was revealed at this year’s E3, and following the gameplay trailer from a few weeks back, Eurogamer has just published a fantastic interview/walkthrough with the game’s developer.

Here’s the story: Several months after the events on Banoi, the United States military has put the Golden State under full quarantine. Now a restricted zone, California has become a bloody paradise for those who refuse to leave their homes and an action-packed playground for renegades who seek adventure, glory and a fresh start. Combining the classic Dead Island elements of immersive close combat, action and role-playing, Dead Island 2 features crazy, never-before-seen handcrafted weapons and over-the-top characters in taking players from the iconic Golden Gate to the celebrated beachfront boardwalk of southern California’’s Venice Beach.

I’m really looking forward to playing this one, as I largely missed out on the first games in the series. In any case, Dead Island 2 looks exponentially more polished and should play much more smoothly than Dead Island or Riptide did.

Take a look at the interview below, and let us know what you think.

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CW’s ‘The Flash’ Gets A Stylish New Poster Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:20:19 +0000 Briefly: We’re just over a month away from the highly anticipated premiere of CW’s The Flash (though you’ve probably already seen the pilot), and today the network debuted a stylish new poster for the intriguing show.

The image features Flash running down a street, and of course his path draws out the classic Flash lightning symbol. It’s simple, it’s cool, and I really can’t wait to see more.

Take a look at the poster below, and let us know if you’re looking forward to the show! The Flash premieres on October 7th!


Based upon characters published by DC Comics. Through a freak accident, scientist Barry Allen is given the power of super speed that transforms him into the Fastest Man Alive.

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Geekscape Games Reviews: ‘Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1′ Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:30:57 +0000 Platform: Playstation Vita

Release Date: August 26th, 2014

Genre: Japanese Role Playing

Developer: Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Felistella

Thinking back to the days when I first heard whispers of a new Playstation 3 RPG that would tackle the console wars with the magical girl genre, it would have been hard to imagine how far the concept would go. Yet, years after the debut of the original Hyperdimension Neptunia, the series has spawned sequels, its own anime and a very bad spinoff, to continuously feed its respectable following, making it a legitimate success. With each sequel improving on the last, the developers at Idea Factory decided to take the lessons they’ve learned to the Playstation Vita, creating a full remake of the original with Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1. By taking the best ideas from the second and third games and inserting them into Neptune’s first adventure, it’s safe to say that this release is on track to be the definitive version of the game that started it all. But are these enhancements enough of a reason to take a trip back to Gamindustri?

Nep_Re1_battle(32)Purple Heart soars into battle!

ReBirth puts players in the over-sized hoodie of Neptune, the goddess, (or CPU), of Planeptune. After being locked in an everlasting conflict known as the Console Wars, Neptune’s true form as Purple Heart is defeated, thanks to the combined efforts of Black Heart of Laststation, (or Playstation), Green Heart of Leanbox, (or Xbox), and White Heart of Lowee, (take a guess). After crash landing in the middle of her city with no memory of her true identity, she’s discovered by Compa, a ditzy nurse who somehow comes off as the more responsible of the two compared to Nep’s aloofness. In pursuit of her past, Neptune and her friends get wrapped up in a quest to save Gamindustri from a mysterious threat; one that puts all four realms at risk. But can the warring CPUs put aside their differences for the sake of saving the world?

The majority of the play time is spent in one of the game’s numerous dungeons, all of which are brimming with monsters and treasure, which is all presented in a bright, colorful world. Avoiding the tedium of random battles, all fights are triggered by making contact with enemies on the field, with the ability to strike enemies before battle to start with the upper hand. As expected, the enemies can do the same, so careless attacks can be punished in a big way.

Nep_Re1_battle(12)Gaining an early advantage and utilizing your attacks is the key to victory.

But first thing’s first. What kind of savior can protect people without fighting? If you typically associate JRPGs with slow, tedious battles, then ReBirth could be the game that changes your mind. Once these fights trigger, the turn based system is the only aspect you would be able to associate with the typical role playing game of old. When each party member’s turn comes up, they’ll have full range of motion within a certain radius, allowing players to position them in a spot that’s both offensively and defensively advantageous.

Nep_Re1_battle(29)Fewer foes are more menacing than the Super Otaku!

After a battle commences, each party member has three standard attack types, called Rush, Power and Break attacks, all of which have various advantages in a fight. Rush uses multi hit attacks that deal more damage than Break moves, and are primarily used to build up the EXE meter, (a bar that allows strong special attacks once filled). Power on the other hand, are typically single hit moves that deal more damage than the other two attack types. Yet, the most important function is easily the Break attack, which focuses on draining the opponent’s guard meter, triggering a huge damage boost once the enemy is weakened. As the party gets stronger, new special abilities become available, making it even more important to properly manage these three basic functions to deal maximum damage. And trust me, you’ll need to when going toe to toe with the game’s tough bosses.

Making this aspect even more important is its effect on your (and the enemy’s), ability to deal damage. The party’s attack range is illustrated by an icon that’s either in front or around them, with its reach depending on the character, ability and weapon they’re using. Mastering this feature is crucial to success when it comes to standard battles, since the right position can allow one attack to hit multiple opponents, especially when attempting to Guard Break huge groups at once. On the flip side, enemies have the same attack system, so keeping your party right next to each other is a one way ticket to an embarrassing Game Over. But when certain beneficial abilities work best when the team is within the vicinity of each other, sometimes, taking the risk can be beneficial. It’s moments like these where strategy adds a decent amount of depth to a relatively simple battle system, that adds layer upon layer as it progresses.

Outside of battles, Neptune and company can explore the terrain of each dungeon, seeking out valuable treasure with her radar, (used to uncover one hidden item per area), or through, plain, old fashion map scouring. While some can be used right out of the box, most treasures contain materials to synthesize other items. If this sounds familiar, that’s where the cliche ends, thanks to the game’s Remake System.

Nep_Re1_Field(4)Treasure hunting has never been so adorable.

In addition to creating items, the Remake System allows materials to be used to alter the game itself, allowing players to create an environment that suits their needs. Is that latest boss too tough for you to take down? Go ahead and remake the difficulty. Have you seen everything there is in a dungeon and want to explore it again? Then why not add harder enemies and new treasure? Or how about a new dungeon altogether? Yep, you can even add bonus dungeons to explore once the standard ones get dull.

Options like these really make ReBirth stand out, so even when the standard difficulty tends to be erratic, players can choose to change the game rather than put up with hours of level grinding. Although, if you’re too proud to take the helping hand, then those spikes may be more of an issue, especially when the game likes to put you up against multiple dungeons, enemies and bosses without save points or chances to heal. Do you like having to play chunks of a game over and over again? I don’t.

But there’s more to the world of Hyperdimension Neptunia then just the dungeons. Exploring Gamindustri is handled through a large overworld map, allowing players to select different areas to examine. Planeptune and its neighboring lands each have a Basilicom, or hub area. Here, the party can purchase items, weapons and gear, accept quests, (which range from boss fights, to hunting or gathering missions), seek information from each town’s strange inhabitants, and burn discs, which are customizable gear that can hold almost any stat boost or resistance you can think of, assuming you own the right items to do so. All of this mind you, is presented with a script that is laugh out loud funny on so many occasions, feeling like a true love letter to gamers who catch the many references to the medium. Even Neptune herself, gives us hope that all lazy, unreliable gamers out there can one day rise up and save the world. But not until filling up on junk food and finishing that one last stage, of course.

Nep_Re1_event(1)You would think the physical manifestation of a game console would know the drill by now.

But with such an endearing cast and interesting world the characters inhabit, it’s too bad that this doesn’t translate into the actual exploration of Gamindustri. With dungeons being the only areas to actually move around in, selecting icons and watching the story play out with text adventure style word bubbles set to backdrops, I felt eager to actually be able to walk around and communicate with these crazy characters, especially with the superb voice acting in both English and Japanese. It doesn’t help that the dungeons themselves come off as looking relatively bland, especially compared to the bright characters and monsters that often ooze personality without ever having to say a word. And at points, no words might have been the better option, since certain scenes featuring gratuitous fan service might make you feel embarrassed to read through those sections.

Nep_Re1_others(7)Sadly, this is the extent of which we get to explore Gamindustri.

Still, these complaints are a drop in the bucket compared to the ridiculous amount of fun I had playing through ReBirth. The fast paced game play combined with the endearing characters, hilarious writing, colorful presentation and the insane amount of customization makes this remake stand out as not only an improvement on the original, but one of the best Japanese RPGs I’ve played in years. Lack of true exploration aside, anyone with a passing interest in role playing games, anime, or nerdy video game references absolutely should pick up Hyper Dimension Neptunia Re;Birth1, serving as a true bright spot in the Vita’s bleak 2014.


+ A simple, fast paced battle system that adds layers over time.

+ The ability to customize everything from enemy layout to difficulty.

+ Multiple items to find, tough enemies to defeat, dozens of dungeons to explore and hundreds of quests give the game a ton of mileage.

+ A quirky cast of characters who inhabit a story that never takes itself seriously, brought to life by excellent voice actors.

- The lack of true exploration leaves us wondering what a fully realized Gamindustri could have been, with bland environments compared to the party and enemies.

- While optional difficulty adjustments alleviate the problem, sudden difficulty spikes and marathon dungeons can hinder progress.

-Occasional “fan service” moments may turn off some.

- While more of a minor thing, can party members who leave the team give my equipment back? Thieves…

Final Score: 4.5/5

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Geekscape Comics: Chris Sheridan’s ‘Motorcycle Samurai’ Is Now On Thrillbent! Tue, 26 Aug 2014 04:00:45 +0000 Briefly: Thrillbent just keeps getting better and better.

The service has already seen huge success with its launch of Vol 2. of Mark Waid’s Empire and James Tynion’s The House in the Wall, and today marks their first partnership with another publisher with the release of Chris Sheridan’s Motorcycle Samurai.

Not familiar with the book? It was originally released in 2013, and is about:

 A grueling desert wasteland, a mysterious stranger bound and hooded on the back of a motorcycle, and a tough-as-nails warrior out to deliver her cargo by any means necessary. The book blends elements of Mad Max and Kill Bill with loose-limbed energetic artwork and a jaw-dropping use of digital panel transitions. Strap in and let’s ride!

Thrillbent founder Mark Waid says that “We have one singular goal at Thrillbent -  to be the home of diverse, quality content that truly maximizes the benefits of the digital platform. Chris Sheridan’s masterpiece certainly fits the bill. We will continue to look to supplement our subscription with books from other publishers that meet our standards.”

So the service has a ton of content for the price of one big two book. That sounds pretty awesome to me. Check out the cover art for Motorcycle Samurai below, and let us know if you’re subscribing!


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Are Glenn And Daryl In Trouble? Here’s A New Teaser From ‘The Walking Dead’s Fifth Season! Tue, 26 Aug 2014 02:50:22 +0000 Briefly: Following the full trailer that premiered all the way back at SDCC (it seems like so long ago), AMC has debuted a short new teaser for The Walking Dead‘s fifth season.

Clocking in at an extremely brief 10 seconds long (AMC is loving their short teasers lately) the teaser focusses on Rick talking about his family (and what he’ll do if it’s hurt), while Glenn and Daryl look as though they’re in a very tough situation.

We’ve got less than two months of waiting left until The Walking Dead returns on October 12th, so for now take a look at the teaser below, and let us know what you think!

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Watch A Short New Teaser For ‘Better Call Saul’ Tue, 26 Aug 2014 02:08:51 +0000 Briefly: Following the tiny, tiny teaser released a few weeks back, AMC has released a slightly longer look at the upcoming series.

Better Call Saul is the prequel to the award-winning series Breaking Bad.  Gilligan and Breaking Bad writer and producer Peter Gould created the show together and serve as co-showrunners of the premiere season.  The series is set six years before Saul Goodman (Odenkirk) meets Walter White.  When we meet him, the man who will become Saul Goodman is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet.  Working alongside, and, often, against Jimmy, is “fixer” Mike Erhmantraut (Banks), a beloved character introduced in Breaking Bad.  The series will track Jimmy’s transformation into Saul Goodman, the man who puts “criminal” in “criminal lawyer.”  The series’ tone is dramatic, woven through with dark humor.

The series has also received a solid premiere date, and will air its first episode on February 15th.

You can take a look at the new teaser, which features series creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould saying a few choice words about the series, below, and let us know what you think!

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The Red-Band Trailer For ‘As Above, So Below’ Is Freaky As Hell! Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:57:47 +0000 Briefly: A new (and very red band) trailer for Legendary/Universal’s As Above, So Below just hit the web, and it is damn freaky.

Seriously, as tired as the found footage genre is these days, I was a huge fan of the Dowdle’s The Poughkeepsie Tapesand I cannot wait to see what they do with the Paris catacombs.

In the horror, miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, “As Above, So Below” reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.

Eric had the awesome opportunity to interview the Dowdles and star Perdita Weeks, so be on the lookout for those later this week, and check out the new trailer below! The film hits theatres on August 29th!

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Geekscape 333: Appreciating The Power Rangers! Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:54:08 +0000 Power Morphicon was this past weekend and everyone was there celebrating all things Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! Oh, except me. I don’t know up from down when it comes to Power Rangers so I recruited our resident expert Eric Francicso, who has been going to Morphicon since 2007, to break things down for me. How was Morphicon? What were the big announcements? And for a newbie like me, what’s the best way to start watching the series? He spells things out pretty clear on this new episode so I guess it’s Morphin Time!

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