Category Archives: Gaming News

Gaming News

Uncharted movie bumps Masters of the Universe off March 2021 release date

Sony Pictures still thinks its Uncharted movie is coming out at some point during our current space-time continuum, even as it hunts for yet another director, the seventh for the 13-year-old project. Sony on Thursday moved the film from a Dec. 18, 2020 release date to March 5, 2021.

That’s bad news for He-Man. Deadline reports that Masters of the Universe already had the March 5, 2021 date; now it simply has no release date. Masters of the Universe is also listed in pre-production, per IMDB.

The move means Sony still expects shooting to begin on Uncharted sometime this year. Ruben Fleischer (Venom) is said to be Sony’s top choice for director, but that has not been formalized yet.

Tom Holland (the Hollywood Spider-Man since 2016) is aboard; all the date-moving is because Sony wants to get Uncharted shot before he goes off to work on the next Spidey sequel. Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, Max Payne) has also been attached to the picture for a while. Rafe Judkins (TV’s Chuck and Agents of SHIELD) is writing, along with Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, who also wrote Masters of the Universe’s screenplay.

At the beginning of the year, Travis Knight (Bumblebee) left the Uncharted movie, joining Dan Trachtenberg, David O. Russell, Neil Burger, Seth Gordon and Shawn Levy in ghosting on Sony. An Uncharted movie has been discussed as a super sure-thing ever since the first game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, launched on PlayStation 3 in 2007.

Source: Polygon.com

Batman: Arkham Knight gets another free costume on PS4

Almost five years after launching, Batman: Arkham Knight is still getting free alternate costumes for the Caped Crusader.

The latest is an Earth 2 Dark Knight skin, which will be available only for the PlayStation 4 version of the 2015 game. Developer Rocksteady Studios said yesterday that it would be available in the PlayStation Store beginning Jan. 28.

Earth-2 is the first wholesale retcon of the DC Universe, dating to 1961. The creation of a parallel earth explains why there are different versions of major heroes, such as the Golden Age Flash (Jay Garrick) and his better-known Silver Age reboot (Barry Allen). Batman was largely exempted from this as he was one of a few major DC characters with a single continuity going all the way back to his first appearance. Still, if there’s an Earth-2 with a bunch of superheroes on it, then it also has a Batman.

This costume was part of the Batman: Arkham Collection that launched last year in Europe. Previously, the skin was available only in the North American version of the 2015 game, and only through a couple of limited-time promotions. Last July, Rocksteady promised that the Earth-2 Dark Knight costume would be made free to all who own the PS4 game, worldwide, sometime early this year.

So it’s unlikely this points to anything in the rumored sequel that WB Montreal is said to be developing. The studio (makers of 2013’s Batman: Arkham Origins) has been teasing a new Batman video game since last autumn. Clues as to what that’s supposed to involve point to the Court of Owls, a sinister society of Gotham City’s old money elites, which first appeared in 2011’s Batman Vol. 2 #1. That was part of The New 52, yet another wholesale reboot of DC’s lineup.

Source: Polygon.com

Fallout 76 robbery victims say Bethesda gave them all their stuff back, plus more

Some of the more than 500 PC players robbed by Fallout 76 miscreants exploiting yet another bug over the holidays have not only had their inventories restored by Bethesda Game Studios, they’ve been given the game’s premium currency as a make-good.

This thread from Thursday in the Fallout 76 subreddit features comments from multiple players saying Bethesda managers cloned earlier versions of their characters in order to replace what was stolen — which means that in some cases they’ve doubled the stock of certain items, some of it really valuable. They’ve also been given Atoms, the microtransaction currency that buys scrap kits, cosmetics, plans and other goodies in the game’s Atom Store.

“Bethesda sent me an email today not only saying I would be getting back a 100% of the items I lost but will also be given 8250 atoms,” wrote thread-starter JedediahJedi. “Way above and beyond what I expected. […] Good on you Bethesda.”

JedediahJedi said Bethesda cloned their character and offered help transferring everything back to the original one. The 8,250 Atoms appears to be tied to whether a robbery victim was a Fallout 1st subscriber at the time of the crime, or not. Fallout 1st gives players 1,650 Atoms per month for their $12.99 buy-in. So those who were subscribers get five months’ worth of Atoms, and those who weren’t get three months, plus another three months of Fallout 1st access.

The exploit came to light just before Christmas. Hackers could open other players inventories and just take anything they wanted from it. This video shows the hack, which only affected the PC version of Fallout 76, in action. JedediahJedi says that’s their character getting burgled at the 1:35 mark.

On Dec. 24, Bethesda acknowledged the exploit and asked players victimized by the hack to send tickets to the company’s customer support team. The exploit itself was quickly patched out.

Redditor n0b0d7 added that they were also given a clone of their character from Dec. 20, three months of Fallout 1st and 4,950 atoms. “Same for me!” said Boavisteiro. “Really happy with them for fixing the mess and rewarding the players who lost their items.”

Another redditor pointed out that this was all good news because “We now know for certain that Bethesda can restore lost items somehow.” Good point, as Fallout 76 has frequently run into inventory bugs, exploits and other issues since its November 2018 launch.

It also leaves JedediahJedi and others with the happy problem of what to do with the extra stuff they have but don’t need. He’s going to give away “an ungodly amount” of scrap that has now doubled, via some kind of lottery-style drawing among the community. “Will also give away a set of the lower end [Fasnacht] masks […] And hell, a couple fully decked suits of power armor.”

Source: Polygon.com

Sundance: Spree is like Joker for the Extremely Online generation

Polygon’s entertainment team is on the ground at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, bringing you first looks at what are sure to be some of the year’s best blockbuster-alternative offerings. Here’s what you need to know before these indie films make their way to theaters, streaming services, and the cinematic zeitgeist.

Logline: Desperate for subscribers, an awkward young man turns his ride-share car into a livestream death trap.

Longerline: In an introduction to his scuzzy, thriller-comedy Spree, writer-director Eugene Kotlyarenko (Wobble Palace) warned Sundance-goers to turn off their phones — partially out of courtesy, but mostly to avoid confusion. The vérité-style romp cuts between Instagram feeds, body cams, and the angle of a Carpool Karaoke-style car rig to create a maelstrom of screen time. In the vein of Unfriended or Searching, Kotlyarenko traps viewers in the suffocating screens of everyday life, then stretches the limitations of the format by staging violent mayhem.

From beginning to end, Kurt (Stranger Things’ Joe Keery) is glued to his phone, hoping the next video will skyrocket his online brand Kurt’s World to the top of social charts. But Kurt is adrift and maladjusted, and doesn’t have that certain something to captivate an audience with his documented day-to-day activities. So he ditches the vlogging for what he dubs “#TheLesson,” a fool-proof plan to gain followers. The gist: commit lots and lots of murder. And his victims come to him, hailing the serial killer to various corners of Los Angeles using the Uber-adjacent app Spree.

As Kurt becomes more desperate for engagement (“SMASH THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON … LINK IN THE BIO”), his stunts become more gruesome. Each passing rider — everyone from a buttoned-up white supremacist to Mischa Barton — cranks the vice of Kurt’s mental state. Though he never loses his chipper, vlogger veneer, a comedian who makes going viral look easy (SNL’s Sasheer Zamata) and a teen prankster with a captivated audience (Vine star Josh Ovalle) finally send him off the rails. Kotlyarenko mirrors the breakdown through rapid crosscutting and three-way vertical split-screen. It’s a comedy.

The quote that says it all: “Hey, how did you grow your following?”

What’s it trying to do? If Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker discovered Snapchat instead of face paint, he may have wound up in the driver’s seat of Spree. Kurt is a well-meaning dweeb caught in the well-documented vortex of social media, and while his actions are reprehensible, the movie portrays him as a victim of circumstance. His parents are divorced, he has no evident friends, and the unchecked algorithms of Silicon Valley product put worms in his brain. White male privilege might be the factor that pushed him to embark on a killing spree over, say, logging off and taking a nap, but Spree doesn’t put the explanation in blunt terms. Like Arthur Fleck, Rupert Pumpkin, and other twisted protagonist ancestors, Kurt simply follows the voices in his head — plus the hundreds of others that start piling up in the comment section when his livestream does start getting noticed.

Does it get there? Considering how heavy that sounds, there’s not too much under the surface of Kurt’s violent ride. Kotlyarenko keeps Spree from becoming a present-set Black Mirror by opting for jokes over profound moments of psychological dissection. The result is a movie gushing with gags and a few moments that get too real for its own good. Killing a clichéd Los Angeles club-goer with a motorized drill is wacky! Brutal gun violence baked into an emoji-filled livestream gets a bit uncomfortable. Luckily, the tonal whiplash is rare for Spree, which zips from vignette to vignette on the back of an all-in performance.

Keery’s take on Kurt is firmly in the “mumbling, overly confident, fame-chasing Kyle Mooney character” family (which is extra funny because Mooney eventually shows up in Spree). Armed with the tics of a knock-off Logan Paul, the actor dominates the confined space of the murder sedan with exaggerated, in-your-face antics. And he never gives up on the act, even when the most despicable passengers hassle him from the back seat. The YouTube-devouring, under-30 crowd will respect the cringey nuance of Keery’s performance the most, but the physicality demanded by the found footage style — playing to the car cameras, handling the iPhone — is gripping and transcendent. Kotlyarenko also gifts Zamata room to perform her comedy, jump into the action, and sick burn losers left and right. The dynamic pair keeps the film revving even when the gore starts feeling repetitive.

What does that get us? A horror-laced comedy that barrels forward with a full tank of gas. Spree isn’t scary (though a glimpse into Kurt’s proliferating 4chan fandom is absolutely terrifying), but it is wildly entertaining. Between Extremely Online life and Keery’s relentless performance, Kotlyarenko wrings every ounce of comedy out of a premise that could easily be “ok boomer”-ed out of the room by critical eyes who know their YouTube. People who discover Spree will never hear the word “content” the same way ever again.

The most meme-able moment: The opening, a series of Kurt’s terrible “Hey guys” vlogs. There will soon be a new vocabulary for dunking on social media stars, and they all involve Joe Keery.

When can we see it? Spree is an independent production that premiered at Sundance, and it’s currently seeking distribution.

Source: Polygon.com

Federal court: Getting muted in RuneScape doesn’t violate your civil rights

A federal court of appeals shot down a Pennsylvania man’s complaint that getting muted from an online video game (in this case, most likely RuneScape) violated his civil rights.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit tossed out Amro Elansari’s claim in a Jan. 22 ruling. Elansari, a serial litigator who has filed 15 lawsuits in federal district court in the past five years, sued Jagex, the maker of RuneScape after getting muted last July. Elansari said he was a streamer with 2,000 hours invested in the game and that its moderators gave no reason for doing so. His appeal to them was denied.

A federal district court judge promptly dismissed Elansari’s suit, which was filed in handwriting on a court-provided form. Elansari had alleged “Discrimination — Business — Public Space,” “Free Speech/Expression/Culture” and “Due Process — Adverse Action — Notification Breach of Contract” as the constitutional grounds for hearing his claim.

When his suit was dismissed at the district level, Elansari took it to a three-judge panel, who didn’t think much of it either. In particular, the judges said that claims alleging a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection under the law) can only be brought if “any named defendant is a state actor.” Jagex is a U.K.-based company, and the other defendant Elansari named, Shanghai Fukong Interactive Entertainment, is a China-based venture capital firm that bought Jagex in 2016.

Elansari also said his claim was one of public accommodation discrimination (that is, even some private businesses may not discriminate against their clientele). The Third Circuit panel wasn’t going for that, either.

“Even generously construing Elansari’s complaint to raise a claim of public accommodations discrimination […] at no point […] has Elansari alleged losing access to Jagex’s online game due to discrimination based on any of the grounds protected by Title II [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964],” the court wrote. Those grounds are race, color, religion or national origin.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, PA noted Elansari’s litigious history; he’s brought 10 suits in the past 18 months, four of them in July 2019 alone. His last appeal, also tossed, was for a lawsuit against Tinder alleging that the people the dating app said were interested in him were all fake.

Others sued by Elansari since 2015 include the University of Pennsylvania, an apartment complex in West Chester, PA, and Altria, the parent company of several prominent tobacco brands, for allegedly polluting that town with cigarette smoke.

Source: Polygon.com

8 trailers that have us hyped this week: Pokémon, Taylor Swift, and more

A million movie trailers drop online every week, which can make it hard to keep track of what’s actually coming up in theaters and on home screens. To help parse the endless stream of upcoming movie and TV releases, we’ve assembled a list of the most exciting (and in some cases, weirdest) trailers that came out this week, along with a hype level rating, tracking whether these particular trailers actually excited us about the upcoming product. Afraid you might have missed something? Fear no more.

This week, we’ve got a mixed bag, from horse girl energy to a Pokémon remake, and even a glimpse at some upcoming wars in the stars.


The Rhythm Section

Here’s my beef with The Rhythm Section: You cannot title your movie The Rhythm Section and not have it be about a band. A repeated motif in the trailer, which sets Blake Lively up as a woman out to get revenge against the people who took her family from her, is that the body must be thought of as “the rhythm section.” “Think of your heart as the drums, your breathing as the bass.” Ugh. It’s the clever kind of dialogue that works for one scene, but not when repeated, and definitely not as a title.

Movie release date: Jan. 31 in theaters

Hype level: 2. Blake Lively looks great in wigs, but come on, you could have called this movie anything else.

Horse Girl

Alison Brie stars as the titular horse girl in Horse Girl, though the movie itself seems to be less about the term (which refers to anyone who was obsessed with horses in adolescence and sometimes beyond) and more about one woman’s non-horse-related breakdown. Sarah (Brie), whose family has a history of mental illness, finds herself coming unmoored just as she begins trying to make new friends and even embark upon a tentative romance.

Movie release date: Feb. 7 on Netflix

Hype level: 4. Looks fun, but the actual “horse girl” element seems to be missing.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back — Evolution

YOU TEACH ME AND I TEACH YOU — this is basically Pokémon: The First Movie, but with a CG makeover. So we’ll get to relive that tragic scene where Ash dies and all the Pokemon cry and their tears heal himbut in swanky stylized CGI! Will it live up to our childhood memories? We’ll find out!

Movie release date: Feb. 27 on Netflix

Hype level: 7, reserving full-on hype because what if this isn’t as heartbreaking and tragic as it was once upon a long time ago? It sure looks gorgeous though.

Miss Americana

Taylor Swift’s place in the public eye has always been a fraught one, as is always the case for any woman who achieves any measure of fame. In comes the Lana Wilson documentary Miss Americana, which, like all authorized documentaries about famous figures, is a little neutered, but still provides an otherwise impossible look into the singer’s life and her journey to self-acceptance.

Movie release date: Jan. 31 on Netflix

Hype level: 22, like the song. (Realistically, 5. Music documentaries are tricky!)

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) is back and navigating her relationship with high school heartthrob Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo, whom I went to high school with, incidentally). But while their relationship is cute and fluffy, Lara struggles with the fact that the entire school basically still has a crush on Peter. And then a recipient of one of her five love letters that accidentally got sent out returns: John Ambrose from Model UN. The first trailer for the Netflix movie kinda just touched at the drama, but this new one shows off the comedic rivalry between Peter and John. Who will Lara choose?!

Movie release date: Feb. 12 on Netflix

Hype level: 9, because it’s cute and fluffy, but also everytime I look at Noah Centineo’s face I’m reminded of my own insignificance in this mortal world.

Lamp Life

This new Pixar short follows the adventures of Bo Peep between the end of Toy Story 3 and the beginning of Toy Story 4 — and it looks like Bo Peep has really been through the ringer. Fire, ice, strobe lights, oh my!

Movie release date: Jan. 31 on Disney Plus

Hype Level: A modest 5. Pixar shorts are fun, but is this a necessary story?

Vivarium

Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots star as a young couple who get trapped in a suburban purgatory. When touring potential houses, they find themselves unable to leave a picture-perfect neighborhood. The creepy realtor chimes that this neighborhood … is forever. It feels like what it must be to be a Sim in the Sims 1, where you couldn’t really leave your designated space and babies just manifested in cradles and grew up at alarming speeds. Creepy!

Movie release date: March 27 in theaters in the UK

Hype Level: 8. I like anything that feels like it could be the Sims.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars ends! Again. For real this time. Well, at least this one particular branch of Star Wars ends this one particular time. Anyway, fans of the animated series should be stoked to see Ahsoka take control of her destiny and face off against Darth Maul. Which she also does in the sequel series Star Wars Rebels, but that’s besides the point. The point is that Yoda will FINALLY be able to say “Ended, this Clone War has.”

Series release date: Feb. 21 on Disney Plus

Hype Level: 8, because Ahsoka, baby, you’re doing great, I love you, I support you and your space paladin dads.

Source: Polygon.com

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare January 24 Community Update

Infinity Ward has released the latest community update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on their blog.

The update reveals some additional details on the stat reset error from this week’s update, teases new playlists, and more.

Here’s the full update:

With our latest update out the door, it’s been a busy week at the studio! Let’s take a look at what’s been going on…

On Wednesday, we released our latest title update. We added Aniyah Palace back into rotation, added Capture the Flag to the playlist menu, and also brought back Shoot the Ship. We also gave everyone 5 additional loadout slots for that new Crossbow and fixed quite the list of bugs.

You can check out patch notes for Wednesday’s update HERE

You can also view the notes on our Trello board, HERE. This board shows you known issues we’re investigating and bugs we’re looking into, so be sure to bookmark the board so you can stay up to date! 

Did you receive an error prompt while downloading Wednesday’s update and have your combat record stats reset?

During Wednesday’s update, some users were given an error prompt and for those who clicked “Yes”, their combat record stats were temporarily reset.

This also reset your custom loadouts, Operator customizations, Killstreaks, and Field Upgrade selections back to their default state.

As of today, anyone who clicked “Yes” and had their combat record stats reset should now see their combat record displaying properly and as they were prior to initiating Wednesday’s title update. This won’t restore your customizations, so you’ll need to set those up again to your liking.

If you were part of this group who had their stats reset and are not seeing them restored, please reach out to us! 

Are you stuck in a download loop with “Spec Ops DLC” on PS4? 

This is still being investigated. Please keep an eye on our Trello board and @InfinityWard on Twitter for updates on this issue. Thank you again for your patience. 

We’re also working on some fun twists on old favorites, like Deathmatch Domination…and we’re working on a version of Gunfight with some updated loadouts. We also have some more 2XP events coming your way over the next few weeks too, so stay tuned for more details!

Want to meet some of the IW staff? Check out our latest developer diary with Associate Producer, Rick Alvarez, HERE!

Ready for some Modern Warfare esports? Tune in to the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend, live from the Armory in Minnesota! Watch pro matches, get gameplay analysis, and catch Sunday’s celebrity hype battles, all live on CallofDutyLeague.com

SOURCE: IW

The post Call of Duty: Modern Warfare January 24 Community Update appeared first on Charlie INTEL.

Source: CharlieIntel.com

Come Away is a lush double origin story for Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan

Polygon’s entertainment team is on the ground at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, bringing you first looks at what are sure to be some of the year’s best blockbuster-alternative offerings. Here’s what you need to know before these indie films make their way to theaters, streaming services, and the cinematic zeitgeist.

Logline: Before Alice went to Wonderland and Peter Pan ruled Neverland, they were siblings in a family full of love, dark secrets, and loss.

Longerline: Director Brenda Chapman has been working behind the scenes on animated series and features for decades, and after co-directing DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt, she made headlines when she became Pixar’s first woman director, on 2012’s Brave. Then she made headlines again when Pixar pushed her off the project and handed it to one of her collaborators, a move that looked particularly questionable in light of the later revelations about the open culture of sexism, sexual harassment, and systematic denigration of women’s voices at Pixar.

Chapman has subsequently said that she’s learned not to sell her original ideas to studios, but that she’s willing to work as a director for hire. That’s how she wound up on Come Away, which came to her as a completed script by Marissa Kate Goodhill. It’s her first solo-credited directorial project, and her first live-action film, but it’s just as caught up in the mixture of fairy-tale wonder and grim adult responsibility that characterized Brave and The Prince of Egypt.

Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo star as Rose and Jack, a British couple who married across class lines, and now live in a picture-book country home outside of London in some undefined but Victorian-esque era. Their three children, David (Reece Yates), Peter (Jordan A. Nash), and Alice (Keira Chansa) are joyous kids with active imaginations, which turn the world around them into a Technicolor CGI adventure, full of pirates and treasure for the taking.

Then tragedy strikes the family, and everyone retreats from reality in different ways. But Peter and Alice retreat furthest, into visions that show where they’re eventually headed: Alice into a magical world full of watch-clutching rabbits and angry queens, and Peter into a different magical world where he can avoid adult grief and responsibility forever.

The quote that says it all: “It’s not time to grow up, Alice. It never is. You’ll see!’”

David Oyelowo is surrounded by delighted children in Brenda Chapman’s film Come Away. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

What’s it trying to do? In many ways, Come Away could pass for a Terry Gilliam movie. Like Gilliam’s films, it’s scattered and anarchic, sometimes sentimental and sometimes strikingly grim, with loopy, ambitious ideas that don’t entirely balance out the pacing and tonal irregularities. But above all, it’s steeped in Gilliam’s obsession with fantasy as a means of escape from the worst parts of the world. Like other stories that draw on the Peter Pan mythos (Hook particularly comes to mind), Come Away focuses on the emotional difficulties and responsibilities of adulthood, and on the ways children are free to ignore all these things and live in a world they can define themselves. It’s the definition of an escapist fantasy: a story about how much better magic and childhood are than grown-up reality.

Does it get there? It’s certainly an odd message for a film, given that it ultimately seems to conclude (as Gilliam repeatedly has) that fantasy utterly trumps reality, and that there’s no downside to refusing to grow up. And the fantasy Come Away is selling often feels overripe and forced. Oyelowo gives a tense, complex performance, but Jolie feels like she’s still playing Maleficent, with a lot less camp and facial prosthetics. And the kids’ performances are broad, brash, and artificial, in a way that sometimes keeps the audience at a distance.

Some of the best executed parts of Come Away lie in that grown-up reality the film is criticizing, and the nuance it brings to an otherwise treacly fantasy. The adults in Come Away are all preoccupied with complicated relationships: Jack’s history as a gambling addict has left him with debts to mysterious, shadowy underworld figure James (David Gyasi), while Rose’s sister Eleanor (Anna Chancellor) clearly judges Rose for marrying a mere craftsman, and keeps sniping at how their children aren’t having a proper upbringing. Even these stories have deeper layers: Eleanor interferes with the family enough to earn herself minor villain status, but her grief over being childless herself, and her longing to express a maternal side, are clear enough to earn her sympathy, too. James is more clearly a villain, but his connection to Jack implies an entire movie’s worth of backstory filled with frustration and longing of his own.

The fantasy-vs.-reality plot could have used a similar level of nuance. The fantasy segments are often playful: Chapman illustrates the kids’ perspective with charming special effects that turn their dueling sticks into swords mid-swing, or make a battered old rowboat into a miniature pirate galleon. But it’s notable how the ending layers on the escapism without touching on the significant real-world consequences, and without really addressing whether Alice and Peter are finding Wonderland and Neverland, creating them, or somewhere in between.

What does that get us? A whole lot of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland spot-the-reference games. Chapman opens and closes Come Away with sequences where adult Alice (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) reads Yeats’ “The Stolen Child” to her own children, and between those bookends, even more literary allusions abound. Come Away fills Peter and Alice’s world with clear origin points for everything from the crocodile that eats Captain Hook’s hand to the Red Queen’s “Off with their heads!” catchphrase. There are so many blatant viewer-nudges that they start to feel more like farce than reference. By the time Peter and Alice encounter a goofy haberdasher (played by The Wire’s Clarke Peters), spouting the Mad Hatter’s riddles and familiar lines, it’s hard not to step outside the movie and wonder what’s actually real in this story, and whether the film’s outsized attempts at whimsy and wonder can survive the fuzzy execution.

But if nothing else, the production design and cinematography are striking. Chapman’s color palette is rich and vibrant, and John Debney’s tinkly, transportive music-box score punctuates the sense that the whole movie is taking place inside a nursery well-stocked with terrific toys. Audiences may resist the moral of this movie, but they’re likely to get caught up in the execution.

The most meme-able moment: At one point in the movie, Rose is so distraught over recent events that she turns to alcohol for relief. When Alice catches Rose knocking one back, she decides her mother’s special drink is a magic potion, maybe because it’s stored in a fancy crystal decanter. When Alice has her own emotional crisis, she steals the decanter and says, “Magic potion, please take me away from here!” before knocking back the booze. It’s a “Same, girl!” gif waiting to happen.

When can we see it? Come Away is an independent production that premiered at Sundance, and it’s currently seeking distribution.

Source: Polygon.com

Watch virtual fighter jocks fly multimillion-dollar warplanes through simulated bullet hell

I’m always a bit reticent to cover flight simulation here on Polygon, but sometimes modern-day virtual fighter jocks make themselves impossible to ignore.

That’s clearly true of the team at Grim Reapers, a group of “plane buddies” who share their exploits regularly on YouTube. Late last year they ginned up a scenario that amounts to a real-life shoot-’em-up, one that translates bullet-hell-style arcade gaming into the real world. They arranged a gauntlet of increasingly difficult anti-aircraft platforms in a narrow valley, and then took turns rocketing through it at top speed. The result is a spectacular collection of close calls and fiery crashes.

The 90-minute clip has been viewed nearly half a million times, and with good reason. There are some seriously skilled pilots showing off here, and they do the subject matter justice.

Their platform of choice is called DCS World. While some folks might be more familiar with the flight simulator known as DCS Warthog A-10C, this free-to-play product is much more recent. It first came out in 2008, only to show up on Steam in 2018. It’s more of a platform, with multiple modules for sale that allow virtual pilots to tackle everything from WWII fighters and Korean War-era jets to the latest models in the U.S., Russian, and European inventories.

These are realistic simulations, mind you. It takes quite a bit of effort just to get the engines humming, let alone get these planes into the air and over a target. But the pilots in the Grim Reapers group skip right to the fun part, warping into the session cruising at hundreds of nautical miles per hour. First they tackle a few miles of old-school automatic weapons fire — think dudes in a trench with machine guns. Then they level up to radar-guided systems. These weapons, like the ZSU-23-4 Shilka, use radar to target fast moving aircraft and then pummel them with fire from multiple batteries, all armed with high-explosive rounds. They’re absolutely not to be trifled with. The final boss, as it were, is a valley bristling with heat-seeking missiles. Few of the pilots make it to the end.

For me, the highlight was seeing an old Russian MIG keep on flying with half its wing missing. Sadly, the Warthog itself doesn’t fare well. The ugly old bird — which entered service in 1976, if you can believe it — simply can’t go fast enough.

The folks at Eagle Dynamics are hard at work making a new combat flight simulator for the rest of us. Called Modern Air Combat, it promises high-test flight models that can be controlled with a mouse and keyboard.

Source: Polygon.com

Colin Trevorrow confirms leaked Star Wars concept art is from his version of Episode IX

Just a week after a script of his version of the Star Wars: Episode IX leaked, Colin Trevorrow is back in the Star Wars world to confirm more leaks. This time around, original concept art from the director’s film — which would have been called Duel of the Fates, rather than The Rise of Skywalker — seems to have leaked online. While fans had been sharing the images already, Trevorrow confirmed the authenticity of at least some of them on Twitter on Friday morning.

The leaked images don’t reveal much new information, but they do give us glimpses at some of the most intriguing elements of Trevorrow’s script. Most notably, in the tweet at least, is the image of Darth Vader and Kylo Ren squaring off in what looks to be a Dark Side cave. In Trevorrow’s script, this showdown with his idol was to end with Kylo being squarely beaten by the vision of the Sith Lord, and retreating from the planet — and his new master Tor Valum, who appears in other leaked art — to go find Rey.

Another of the tweeted images is one of Rey standing among a crowd of defeated stormtroopers. While the stormtroopers certainly come as no surprise, the lightsaber she’s holding seems like a difference worth noting. In Rise of Skywalker, Rey ends up with a yellow-bladed single lightsaber, versus this concept art where she holds a blue double-bladed lightsaber.

Elsewhere online, among the other leaked but unconfirmed concept art, there are images that appear to be of other key moments in the Trevorrow script. Coruscant, which was set to be a major location for the film, has deserted streets that contrast to the technical wonder of its buildings. There’s also art of new planets and vehicles, as well as familiar droids and characters like C-3PO and R2-D2. There’s even a laser-bladed guillotine that looks absolutely incredible.

While most of these leaks do seem to be fairly similar in style, the only ones we know for sure are real are the four in the tweet that Trevorrow responded to. As for art from the version of Episode IX that actually came out, Lucasfilm will be releasing The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker art book on March 31 in the United States.

Source: Polygon.com