Tag Archives: game news

Chex Quest HD trailer has 100 percent of your daily ’90s nostalgia

In the annals of advergaming, General Mills’ Chex Quest stands apart as a fondly remembered (if not particularly high quality) mid-’90s shooter. In part because it was free with purchases of Chex cereal, and therefore played by millions, and in part because it was amusingly based on id Software’s Doom, Chex Quest has a devoted cult following.

This weekend, Chex Quest fans got a fresh look at the modern, Unreal Engine 4-based remake, Chex Quest HD. It’s Chex Quest as many players likely remember it from 1996: The Chex Warrior travels through various levels, zapping Flemoids with Zorch devices in an non-violent, alien-dispatching space rampage.

According to the developer behind Chex Quest HD, the whole endeavor is being created by volunteer game makers in their spare time. Like the original Chex Quest, the HD update will feature five levels, will be free, and is being created with the permission of General Mills. As for when Chex Quest HD will be out, that appears to be up in the air. We’ve reached out to the developer for more details.

Source: Polygon.com

The 25 most anticipated shows debuting this spring

Just when you thought the slow winter months were going to give you a break from the onslaught of new TV, there is the spring.

The new reality of television production means that no month is a true slow month. (Remember that dormant stretch between the holidays and NFL playoffs?) Now, there’s pretty much a new TV show happening somewhere every week, as the next three months — an absurd collection of big premieres, hugely anticipated returns, and the kinds of series, mini-series, and TV movies that seem destined to end up on everybody’s season-end lists — reminds us.

The big players this spring are Netflix and HBO, though Amazon and Hulu are making big strides to capture the prestige TV season. Then there’s FX, testing the post-Ryan Murphy waters with a show that seems from the outside incredibly Ryan Murphy-esque. Should be a fun spring! Prepare your schedule as needed.

Leaving Neverland the Michael Jackson documentary Courtesy of HBO

LEAVING NEVERLAND

HBO, premieres March 3

This documentary detailing the stories of two survivors of child-sexual-abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson was the talk of the Sundance Film Festival. The four-hour film is supposed to be unsettling and very powerful, meticulously detailing the abuse frankly and explicitly, and following Jackson’s victims as they continue forward in life. The doc will air in two parts, one on Sunday, March 3, and concluding the next night.

american gods season 2 orlando jones Courtesy of Starz

AMERICAN GODS

Starz, returns March 10

It’s been 20 months since we last saw an episode of this Neil Gaiman adaptation about the old gods of ancient legend, and the new gods of technology and media, clashing on the field of battle known as America. Those ensuing months have seen changes in leadership behind the scenes — old showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left, and with them went stars Gillian Anderson (Media) and Kristin Chenoweth (Easter) — and ever shifting release dates. Still, the show boasts Ian McShane in his central role as Mr. Wednesday, and the source material signals that there’s plenty left to explore in season 2.

adnan syed football photo from the case against adnan syed documentary Syed Family/ Courtesy of HBO

THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED

HBO, premieres March 10

Questions over the guilt or innocence of Adnan Syed in the 1999 murder of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, have hung in the air and the pop cultural ether since the podcast sensation Serial turned this real-life crime into the subject of America’s momentary fascination. The questions that Serial raised, and the light it shone on the case, led to the investigation against Syed to be re-opened. HBO’s four-part documentary will bring the story back to the forefront of the cultural conversation one more time.

the good fight Courtesy of CBS

THE GOOD FIGHT

CBS All Access, returns March 14

The third season of television’s most appropriately unhinged drama returns to the stark outpost that is CBS All Access. After surviving her law partner (Delroy Lindo) getting shot and coming way too close to the infamous Trump “pee tape” for comfort, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) encounters a new rival this season, played by Michael Sheen with, if the trailer is to be believed, quite a bit of bravado. There also promises to be plenty more about the absurdity that accompanies fighting for justice in Donald Trump’s America. This is the show we need, and thank god it’s almost back.

project runway season 17 on bravo Miller Mobley/Bravo

PROJECT RUNWAY

Bravo, returns March 14

Speaking of being back, Project Runway not only returns for its 17th season, but for the first time since season 5, it’s where it’s always belonged: Bravo. The comeback is not without some significant personnel changes: Hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn chose not to return with the show, meaning that famed model Karlie Kloss will now hold the famous button bag and remind the designers that, in fashion, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out. Meanwhile, season 4 champion — and the show’s most successful alumnus — Christian Siriano takes over the Tim Gunn role as workroom mentor. Thankfully, Nina Garcia remains as head judge in order to gawk at unfinished hems for another year.

catastrophe season 4 with sharon horgan and rob delaney Channel 4/Amazon Studios

CATASTROPHE

Amazon, returns March 15

The fourth and final season about the unlikely shotgun marriage of Rob (Rob Delaney) and Sharon (Sharon Horgan) picks up after the season 3 car accident that left an off-the-wagon Rob up a creek without a breathalyzer to paddle with. The season has already aired in Britain, so we know that the looming specter (so to speak) of Carrie Fisher’s real life death will eventually be addressed (she played Rob’s mom and died just after filming season 3), though not before Sharon and Rob deal with about a hundred other relationship and parenting pitfalls.

turn up charlie starring idris elba ick Wall/Courtesy of Netflix

TURN UP CHARLIE

Netflix, premieres March 15

Idris Elba plays a DJ who attempts to make ends meet in his life by taking a job as a manny. You’re already onboard, aren’t you? Elba, in between making movies and somehow still not getting cast as James Bond, will play the titular Charlie, in addition to sharing co-creator credit with Gary Reich. Piper Perabo also co-stars.

queer eye season 3 Christopher Smith/Netflix

QUEER EYE

Netflix, returns March 15

For the third season of the Netflix reboot, our intrepid queers — Jonathan, Bobby, Karamo, Tan, and Antoni — move on from Atlanta to Kansas City, where the un-fabulous need more help than ever. Continuing their mission to diversify the usual Queer Eye clientele, this season features more makeovers for women.

Amadi (Ian Owens), Annie (Aidy Bryant) in Shrill Allyson Riggs / Hulu

SHRILL

Hulu, premieres March 15

Lorne Michaels has scored once this year with a comedy from within his Saturday Night Live talent pool — that would be Comedy Central’s The Other Two, from former SNL head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider — and how he hopes to strike again on Hulu with Aidy Bryant. Bryant will play Annie, a struggling journalist who begins to push back against a world that hates her for being fat and a woman at the same time. Elizabeth Banks is another executive producer on the project, which is based on the book by Lindy West.

The Act- Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette), Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King) Brownie Harris / Hulu

THE ACT

Hulu, premieres March 20

The Act, from Channel Zero creator Nick Antosca, is a brand new true-crime anthology series for Hulu. The first season stars Patricia Arquette — who’s already having a pretty damn good start to 2019, picking up all kinds of awards for her performance on Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora — as Dee Dee Blanchard, a real-life woman whose toxic relationship with her daughter led to some … dark outcomes. Joey King plays Dee Dee’s daughter Gypsy Rose, and the design of the series on the whole should make you super suspicious of what’s going on in that house.

jane the virgin The CW

JANE THE VIRGIN

The CW, returns March 27

The fifth and final season of American television’s most outrageous telenovela picks up where last season’s bombshell left off: Michael (Brett Dier) is alive! How that impacts the lives of Jane (Gina Rodriguez), Rafael (Justin Baldoni) and everybody else who revolves around them is why we’re on pins and needles to get to these episodes.

what we do in the shadows FX tv show John P. Johnson/Courtesy of FX

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

FX, premieres March 27

The hilarious 2014 vampire comedy starring, co-directed, and co-written by Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement is now going to be an FX comedy series. Importing the action from the original film’s Wellington, New Zealand, location to New York City, it once again follows the absurd domestic routines and squabbles of a trio of modern, cohabitating vampires. Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, and Natasia Demetriou play the bloodsuckers, while Harvey Guillen plays Guillermo, their familiar.

amazon hanna tv series Amazon Studios

HANNA

Amazon, premieres March 29

The underrated and underseen 2011 Joe Wright action drama Hanna starred Saoirse Ronan as a kind of feral child assassin raised in the snowy wilderness by her father (Eric Bana) and pursued by Cate Blanchett’s shadowy government organization. Eight years later, the Amazon TV series adaptation sees Esme Creed-Miles (Samantha Morton’s daughter) stepping into Ronan’s formidable shoes, while Joel Kinnaman takes over the Bana role and The Killing’s Mireille Enos takes the Blanchett role. A classic case of TV plugging in lesser stars for a TV adaptation of a movie that had no flaws to begin with, or will the series treatment open the story up? We hope for the latter.

barry season 2 Courtesy of HBO

BARRY

HBO, returns March 31

Bill Hader and Henry Winkler won Emmys for their work on the first season of this dark, deeply funny comedy in which a deadly assassin (Hader) decides he wants to become an actor. The much-anticipated return for season 2 promises more of Barry trying to balance his secret double life while struggling with his own sense of self. And hopefully more of the scene-stealing Anthony Carrigan as Noho Hank.

veep season 7 Courtesy of HBO

VEEP

HBO, returns March 31

It’s been close to two years since we last saw Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her band of barely competent political aides. By the end of season 6, both Selina and Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons) planned on running for president, and with the season 7 premiere episode titled “Iowa,” that madness appears to be in full swing once we get back. Also, there’s that whole thing about Amy (Anna Chlumsky) and Dan (Reid Scott) having a baby together. Welcome back, Veep!

twilight zone reboot 2019 CBS All Access

THE TWILIGHT ZONE

CBS All-Access, premieres April 1

The original, Rod Serling-hosted The Twilight Zone, premiered in 1959. Sixty years later, it’s coming back to TV — or whatever CBS All-Access is — with a brand new host, Get Out Oscar-winner Jordan Peele, who also executive produces the series. The anthology series, telling new paranoid, macabre tales of the strange and unusual, boasts an impressive cast, including Adam Scott, Sanaa Lathan, Steven Yeun, Kumail Nanjiani, Jacob Tremblay, John Cho, and Greg Kinnear.

in the dark on cw The CW

IN THE DARK

The CW, premieres April 4

Murphy (Perry Mattfeld) is a twentysomething blind woman whose life is a disaster, and probably still would be even if she could see. She’s a drinker, she’s mean, her sex life is a revolving-door disaster, but one day when she’s out walking her guide dog, Murphy stumbles upon the seemingly dead body of a teenage drug dealer she knows, one of the few people she’d consider a friend. When the body disappears and Murphy has no evidence to prove it was ever there, she sets out to solve the crime on her own.

Andrew Koji as Ah Sahm in Warrior David Bloomer/Cinemax

WARRIOR

Cinemax, premieres April 5

Based on the writings of famed martial artist Bruce Lee, Warrior comes to Cinemax courtesy of Banshee producer Jonathan Tropper and director Justin Lin (Fast Five). The series follows a martial arts prodigy from China (Andrew Koji) who arrives in late-1800s San Francisco in time for the war between Chinese organized-crime factions in the city to explode. The trailer promises a lot of slickly filmed action, which ought to appeal to Cinemax audiences, who tend to like their action fast and furious.

chilling adventures of sabrina part season 2 Netflix

THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA

Netflix, returning April 5

Netflix returns with the back-half of the first season that saw Kiernan Shipka step into the magical shoes of Sabrina Spellman, teenage witch and girl pulled between the regular world of proms and boys and progressive politics that her friends inhabit, and the Satan-pledging strict social hierarchy that represents her bloodline. Helping to navigate, as ever, are her aunts Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis).

killing eve season 2 - sandra oh Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

KILLING EVE

BBC America, returns April 7

The hugely anticipated return of one of last season’s most lauded shows means expectations are sky high. Last we were in this show’s vise grip, MI5 analyst Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) had spent a season tracking remorseless killer Villanelle (Jodie Comer) while at the same time becoming increasingly enthralled by her freedom and power. In the season finale, Eve proved something to herself by coming face-to-face with Villanelle and stabbing her in the gut. Of course, she turned away in panic afterwards just long enough for Villanelle to escape. Season 2 reportedly picks up immediately thereafter.

fosse/verdon with sam rockwell and michelle williams FX

FOSSE/VERDON

FX, premieres April 9

Alert the Emmy committee as Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell and four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams step into the legendary dancing shoes of Bob Fosse and his muse, Gwen Verdon, for a 8-episode limited series on the creative and romantic partnership that resulted in legendary stage productions like Damn Yankees, Sweet Charity, and Chicago. Somehow, Ryan Murphy isn’t the creative force behind this glitzy series — which also stars Margaret Qualley as Ann Reinking, Norbert Leo Butz as Paddy Chayefsky, Ethan Slater as Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes as Shirley MacLaine — which should make this a fabulous test case for how FX will succeed now that Murphy’s jumped to Netflix.

game of thrones season 8 tyrion Helen Sloan/HBO

GAME OF THRONES

HBO, returns April 14

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. Good luck paying attention to anything else this spring while Game of Thrones lays down six weeks of extra-long episodes that close out the Song of Ice and Fire and (at least we presume) will leave one of our beloved characters atop the Iron Throne. Or perhaps the Iron Throne will be destroyed and the new Lord (or Lady) of Westeros will just fly around on a dragon all day. Anyone’s guess! Expectations are high for a spectacular ending, and fans will require satisfying endings for dozens of characters, so this could get awfully bumpy before it’s all said and done.

fleabag season 2 - phoebe waller-bridge Luke Varley/BBC Three/Amazon Studios

FLEABAG

Amazon, returns May 17

The very, very, very long-awaited second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed comedy hits the BBC in March. American audiences have to wait another two months before Amazon drops the entire season in one shot. With Waller-Bridge’s fame having jumped up several levels since series one — she gave an acclaimed vocal performance in Solo: A Star Wars Story and wrote Killing Eve — expect this second helping of episodes to be even more loudly ballyhooed upon arrival.

Scheisskopf (George Clooney), Yossarian (Christopher Abbott) in Hulu’s Catch-22 Philipe Antonello / Hulu

CATCH-22

Hulu, premieres May 17

Joseph Heller’s legendary satirical novel about a World War II bomber pilot struggling to maintain his sanity amid the insanities of war. Christopher Abbott (Girls) stars as protagonist John Yossarian, backed up by an all-star cast that includes George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Kyle Chandler and more. Clooney, his producing partner Grant Heslov, and acclaimed cinematographer Ellen Kuras, split up directing duties on the six-episode miniseries.

good omens - neil gaiman amazon tv series Amazon Studios

GOOD OMENS

Amazon, premieres May 31

The ecclesiastical, apocalyptic, deeply funny novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett has been the subject of adaptation attempts for years. Director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) wanted to direct Good Omens for the longest time, with Johnny Depp and Robin Williams at one point rumored to star. Now the six-episode TV series arrives from Douglas Mackinnon (Sherlock: The Abominable Bride), and stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a rival pair (Tennant’s the demon Crowley, Sheen is the angel Aziraphale) who team up to prevent the birth of the antichrist, and with it, the apocalypse. Jon Hamm, Josie Lawrence, Michael McKean and Miranda Richardson co-star.


Joe Reid is a film and entertainment writer in New York City.

Source: Polygon.com

Top 10 UK Games Chart: Despite Mixed Reception, Anthem Debuts At No.1

Anthem‘s official launch day arrived on February 22, and it has shot straight to the top of the UK physical sales chart. The PS4, Xbox One, and PC game pushes last week’s No.1, Far Cry: New Dawn, down to No.2.

No more new titles entered the chart this week, allowing sales monitor Chart-Track’s top 10 to remain largely unchanged. FIFA 19 rises two places to No.3, as Red Dead Redemption 2 (No.4) and Metro: Exodus (No.5) round out the top five.

Despite Anthem’s chart-topping debut week however, Eurogamer reports the game’s physical sales total just half the number of boxed copies shifted in the debut week of BioWare’s last game, Mass Effect: Andromeda. The intervening two years have seen a shift toward a greater proportion of games’ sales coming digitally–and downloads are not tracked by Chart-Track–while Anthem’s various digital special editions made the game available early. However, a physical sales decrease of 50% is a considerable one–and Andromeda’s boxed sales themselves were half those of the previous game in the series, Mass Effect 3.

Anthem has suffered from a number of issues so far, some of which were fixed in a day one update. The issues contributed to a mixed critical reception for BioWare’s game, including a 6/10 from GameSpot in our Anthem review.

“Anthem has good ideas, but it struggles significantly with the execution,” wrote Kallie Plagge. “It’s a co-op game that works best with no one talking; it buries genuinely interesting character moments and puts its most incomprehensible story bits at the forefront; its combat is exciting until you get to the boss fights and find your wings have been clipped. Even the simple, exhilarating act of flying is frequently interrupted by the limitations of your javelin, and you never quite shake that feeling of disappointment–of knowing, throughout the good parts of Anthem, that you’ll inevitably come crashing back down.”

Source: GameSpot.com

Fortnite Season 8 Teasers Hint At Pirate Theme

Epic Games has dropped some Fortnite teasers indicating what awaits us in Season 8, and it appears a pirate theme is preparing to wash ashore. Both teasers pair poems about buried treasure and seafaring threats with spooky pirate imagery.

The first teaser references “X marks the spot” and treasure, with an image of a hook. The second has an image of a snake, and warns you to beware “those who arrive on the waves.” The teasers are counting down days until Season 8 launches, which will be on Thursday, February 28.

Given the poems, it seems likely that the players will be able to hunt for loot in buried treasure form, and there may be some form of AI opponent arriving on ships. New teasers are dropping every day so we may see more specific hints as time goes on.

This means you have just a few days left to unlock the Prisoner Skin levels and Waterfall challenges to earn your rewards. When the new season rolls over, it will bring an all new Battle Pass (which you can earn for free) with its own challenges and skins and new game mechanics.

Fortnite has become known for its big seasonal changeover events, each of which changes its gameplay in some significant ways. So far, this is one big distinguishing factor it has against a new challenger in the battle royale genre, Apex Legends. That game has taken off quickly, but Epic Games says Fortnite is still doing fine for itself. It just set a new record and announced a massive prize pool for its esports tournament.

Source: GameSpot.com

A hyper-detailed breakdown of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s most thrilling scene

I have seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — now an Academy Award-winning film for Best Animated Feature — seven times now. Each time I watch the film, I notice more details in the beautiful, precise execution of each moment, and it always reminds me of the thoughtfulness and care that goes into the best movies. Nothing is wasted; every detail is there to add something to the emotional impact of the scene.

I’m a lead game designer at ArenaNet, and I’ve previously worked on projects with NASA. I wanted to look at my favorite scene from Into the Spider-Verse through the eyes of someone who designs games for a living to help you see why I love this movie so much. It’s my hope that I can help you see things you might have missed the first time around, or maybe gain a better understanding of why the scene made you feel a certain way, or even just get you to watch the movie for the first time if you haven’t already.

The scene is Miles’ leap of faith: the moment he becomes Spider-Man. The best way to begin is just by watching the whole thing by itself. So, first, enjoy!

You know what you have to do

The audience enters the the scene by looking up the side of a building. It’s dark and dramatic, and the lightning strikes match the beats of the music. You may recognize the building if you’ve seen the movie before: This is where Miles tried to take his first leap, but failed.

But Miles now knows what he must do to become a hero, to help the people he cares about, and it shows.

Sony Pictures Animation

The new outfit frames his face, he’s surrounded by the city, and his face is determined. What he’s about to do is hard, and he knows it, but he also knows it’s the only way forward.

We see how Miles has arrived at this moment as he sits and contemplates the challenge ahead of him. The editing and direction take advantage of different storytelling methods in these moments. There are visual reminders of previous scenes to give us a sense of place, like the subway, and Miles’ literal journey back to Aunt May to get help. We’re shown that she was waiting for him to reach this point in his journey. We hear audio snippets of those who have influenced his path to this moment, including his mother, father, and finally Peter Parker.

My favorite detail during these flashbacks is when Miles sees his reflection in the glass that holds the Spider-Man suit. We have seen this moment before, but his face didn’t line up with the mask on display when Gwen Stacey, Peter Parker, and Miles first entered the Spidercave in an earlier scene.

It’s a visual reminder that Miles wasn’t yet the person he needed to be in order to wear the suit then. But now? His face fits the mask. Things have changed.

Sony Pictures Animation

What’s up danger

The music builds slowly during these flashback scenes. Miles is still thinking, and considering. He’s getting ready. We hear snippets of the song “What’s Up Danger” by Blackway and Black Caviar as the flashbacks bring us to a conversation between Miles and Parker.

“When do I know I’m Spider-Man?” Miles asks.

The camera cuts to Miles pulling the mask down over his face.

“You won’t,” Peter answers. Sometimes we have to do things before we feel like we’re ready for them.

The music quiets. Another amazing shot takes over the screen.

Sony Pictures Animation

Listen to the small audio details: Miles’ sneakers squeak on the glass, and his fingers tap against it. The song’s placement in the audio mix leaves so much room for these tiny, relatable sounds. Every small movement leads to a tiny, furtive noise of some kind.

Pay attention to how the shot is framed; it nearly pushes Miles outside of it and offscreen. The building is so much larger than he is and dominates the screen. His environment leaves almost no room for him. He’s crushed by the weight of where he is and what he has to do next.

Peter’s voice breaks the silence: “That’s all it is, Miles,” he says. “A leap of faith.”

Miles leaps.

“Now, what’s up danger?” the song asks, but it’s still low in the mix. But notice this subtle detail from the moment in which he jumps:

Sony Pictures Animation

His fingers rip the glass from the building’s face. He didn’t actually let go — not all the way. He’s still afraid, and he still doesn’t have full control over his powers. But he does it anyway. This the manifestation of his leap of faith: Miles is doing something necessary despite his fear, despite knowing how badly this could all go for him. Miles is still conflicted internally, as part of him refuses to let go of the wall. His brain isn’t telling him that this is how he becomes Spider-Man. His brain is telling him that jumping from this height will kill him.

And yet, he jumps. Which is how he get to the signature shot of Spider-Verse:

Sony Pictures Animation

This moment is breathtaking, and it occurs in almost full silence. This shot resembles an underwater environment, and the action slow downs before it comes to an almost complete halt.

In the script, all it says about this scene is that “Miles rises.” Feature animation editor Andy Leviton gave me some more context through Twitter, describing an earlier version that was much less graceful — and almost made the final cut.

“We called this sequence 3010 MRU — Miles Rise Up,” Leviton wrote. “The number is for organization in editorial and the acronym/name goes across all departments. It was one of the few sequences that was in the movie from the very beginning back in early 2016 and was re-boarded and recut until middle to late 2018.”

This moment flips the canvas completely, so Miles literally flies up into the city instead of falling from the sky. The skyline itself embraces him. He’s not falling, he’s becoming one with the city that he will now have to protect.

And the sound design is still taking its time. The silence drags on as Miles falls, shattering the sense of peace from that one brief moment above.

Miles is in a state of chaos as he falls, flails, and spins, and the air shoves his limbs around. We can hear his clothes rustling and the wind in our ears. We’re there with him, freefalling, and we wouldn’t know what to do in this moment either.

The beat kicks back in, but the full track is still held in check. The momentum and tension are building. The danger of Miles hitting the ground is growing. We know what’s coming, and we feel a blast of adrenaline as we anticipate it.

Because this is when Miles makes a second decision after jumping from the building. He’s locked in.

Miles falls toward the screen, into us, as the beat kicks back in. He leans into the fall completely, bringing his arms in close to his body. He’s now moving even faster, but he’s in control. He knows where he’s going.

Another short flashback then shows Aunt May give Miles the webslingers she made for him. “They fit perfectly,” she says, referencing an earlier scene, when Miles buys the knock-off Spider-Man suit from Stan Lee (!!!) and asks what happens if it doesn’t fit. That won’t be a problem here since, as the earlier shot in front of the glass proved, the suit fits now. This is Miles’ time.

Sony Pictures Animation

Miles extends his arms upward between his legs, narrowing his eyes to until they’re almost closed. He’s barely even looking, let alone aiming with any precision. Instead, he shoots his web on faith, just like the fall itself. It’ll work. It has to work. It’s now or never.

The sound is rising in this moment, but the soundtrack is still waiting it out. The shot rests on Miles’ face, because the editing is now teasing us. We know he’s going to hit something at any moment.

The music stays low, even as the web flies all the way up the side of the building. We see the action in a wide shot and from a distance in which the web would realistically be invisible. We must suspend our belief to feel the impact, but we feel it all the same. He didn’t just shoot his web accurately — he connected that web to the top of the tallest building in the city, and the whole city was able to see.

Sony Pictures Animation

The music doesn’t come back in until the last possible moment, hard and loud. Suddenly, everything has changed.

Can’t stop me now

Triumphant horns play, and the camera flies across the city buildings, facing down at Miles who swings directly at us, exposing the Spider-Man emblem on his chest. The symbol takes up the majority of the camera’s view for a moment. The blue city lights are contrasted by the ground, which is lit in orange and reds. This is how Spider-Man sees the world: The sky is peaceful and blue. The ground is dangerous, metaphorically on fire. The floor is lava, and it’s better, safer, for him to be in the air.

The air was, just a few seconds ago, a place of fear and uncertainty. Like I said before, everything has changed.

We now have time to marvel at and celebrate the moment after the big reveal and the dissipation of the anxiety and anticipation. I’m in awe of how well the creative team behind the movie manages to convey Miles’ personality in his version of Spider-Man.

“I run better than I swing,” Miles tells Peter when the younger Spider-Man makes his first attempts at webslinging earlier in the film, and that preference is used in this moment to keep his personality, including both his strengths and his flaws, front-and-center as he learns how to be Spider-Man.

This part of the scene originally ended with a moment where Miles slammed into and passed through a moving truck before falling to the ground.

“After falling to the ground he struggled to get up and he heard the other spider people echoing for him to get up again,” Leviton explained via Twitter. “He gets up and swings away. End of scene. This even got animated.”

The idea was to subvert your expectations about the big moment, that huge breakthrough where Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man for the first time. But it never felt right to them.

“This was only a few months before release, we scrambled in edit to mock up a more triumphant ending using boards and shots from older versions of the same scene and other old scenes,” Leviton said. “In some cases we just wrote text on the screen to describe what we wanted to see. It was turned over to layout/animation and they made the rough mock up into the epic ending you see now.”

It paid off.

Miles runs, leaps, and uses parkour much more often than the original Spider-Man, and those actions are highlighted in this scene. Some of his steps are still a little clumsy, but he makes it work. We get hints of who he will become as his confidence grows.

This scene also subverts another shot from earlier in the film to reinforce the “Miles Rises” theme that informed these sequence.

Sony Pictures Animation

Instead of falling from the building alongside the on-screen text of “AAAAAAH,” Miles now leaps upwards in an identical shot, turning his battle cry into a “WOOOOOO.” It’s a nice reversal of fear into excitement.

We are shown more beautiful shots of Miles traversing the city in creative ways, bringing out his unique personality as he runs sideways on building walls.

Sony Pictures Animation

We now arrive at one of the more clever touches in this already dense scene:

Sony Pictures Animation

We’ve also seen this shot before, but Spider-Verse echoing itself is nothing new at this point, even just within this sequence. Miles had previously jumped off the building next to this one; the Trust Us Bank was previously almost off-frame, but this time, he runs straight at it to make the final leap that he could not manage before.

And finally, we arrive at this beautiful shot at the end of the scene:

Sony Pictures Animation

The transformation concludes by adding Morales’ comic book cover to the pile of all the other Spider-People, and we get to finally breathe again after this wonderful journey.

Thus concludes a true example of cinematic majesty: a scene with so much detail, symbolism, and cross-referencing knowledge of not only previous scenes in the movie, but also what we know about the character from other takes on Spider-Man in everything from comics to video games.

This scene does everything it needs to do with the amount of skill and grace that … well, that usually wins Academy Awards.


Jennifer Scheurle is a multi-award-winning game designer and public speaker currently working as a lead game designer at ArenaNet. She’s writing a book on hidden game design for CRC Press and is known for her previous work in collaboration with NASA.

All views expressed here do not represent ArenaNet or its employees.

Source: Polygon.com

The 13 biggest moments from last night’s Oscars

Despite the kerfuffles surrounding this year’s show — No host! No songs! No cinematography! — the 2019 Oscars proceeded in the grand tradition of the show, with a few surprises, a burst of personality (thank you, Spike Lee), Lady Gaga melting us into a puddle of tears with “Shallow,” and a pretty standard set of winners and losers.

If you didn’t catch the over-three-hour broadcast — or just want to relive the few golden seconds from the telecast — we’ve rounded up the funniest, the strangest, the sharpest, and the most satisfying moments from Hollywood’s biggest night. Seriously, we can’t say enough about Spike Lee.

Now on with the show!

Billy Porter’s red carpet look was the first knockout of the night

91st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Even though the actual Oscar ceremony started at 8 p.m., the 18 hours of pre-show red carpet sets the tone for the evening. This year, the fashion peaked early on with Pose star Billy Porter arrived to the scene in an instantly iconic tuxedo dress. Could anything top it? No. Absolutely not. But there was a close second…

Spike Lee lowkey cosplayed as Waluigi

In addition to paying tribute to Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s purple outfit also channeled some Waluigi vibes. The hat, the coat, the gold shoes — everything about this ensemble reminded us of Nintendo’s snubbed antihero. Lee’s wicked sense of humor on the carpet and in the theater, where he eventually won Best Screenplay (see down below) kept up the Waluigi spirit in the best way possible.

Some celebs vibed with the Queen opening, and others … didn’t

Without a host, the Oscars opened with a short performance by Queen, now fronted by American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert. Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lopez all rocked out to the sounds of “We Will Rock You.” Javier Bardem, in particular, had a great time with the opening number. Just look at him go!

Meanwhile, Christian Bale stood in stoic Batman-esque silence.

Every so often, a brave soul dared “woo!” into the crowd.

Chris Evans helped winner Regina King up the stairs

In an auspicious start to the night, Regina King took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, delivering a tearful speech thanking If Beale Street Could Talk author James Baldwin, director Barry Jenkins, and her mother (who was King’s date to the ceremony). As the charming cherry on top of the cake, Chris Evans was close at hand to help King get untangled from her dress, and to usher her up the stairs.

Helen Mirren and Jason Momoa fist bumped over matching outfits

Presenting the award for Best Documentary, Helen Mirren and Jason Momoa both wore very glamorous pink looks. Mirren, in particular, was jazzed to match with a “Hawaiian god.” The two celebrated their pink ensembles as only two icons of cool could.

Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry dressed for the job

91st Annual Academy Awards - Show Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Presenting for Best Costume Design, Can You Ever Forgive Me? nominee Melissa McCarthy and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Brian Tyree Henry dressed as an amalgam of all five nominated films. McCarthy took on The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Favourite (with a cape decked out with the requisite rabbits), while Henry took on Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns. (Should McCarthy and Henry have hosted? Yes!)

Keegan-Michael Key descended from the sky

A bit of movie magic to keep the night going! To introduce Mary Poppins Returns Best Song nominee “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Keegan-Michael Key gracefully floated from the rafters of the Dolby Theatre with an umbrella, much like the magical nanny herself.

Dana Carvey did a long Garth scream

After a clip from the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene in Wayne’s World, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey (both in good spirits) took to the stage to present Bohemian Rhapsody’s Best Picture nomination reel. Before doing so, Carvey went all out with a prolonged scream that perfectly encapsulated our general sense of mania with regards to Bohemian Rhapsody winning so many Oscars.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performed the hell out of “Shallow”

No intro needed. As the first few notes of A Star is Born’s “Shallow” began to play, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga rose from their seats and took the stage. Notably, Cooper didn’t use his gruff affected voice for the song. What he did use was his lean-in la-la-la voice. From there, the two got prettttttttty cozy on stage.

Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee jump-hugged it out

After exploding with joy at Spike Lee’s first Oscar win (Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansmen), Samuel L. Jackson greeted the director with a very enthusiastic, all-encompassing hug, sweeping him off his feet.

Lee gave a brilliant speech two seconds later

And after Jackson’s introduction and celebration, Lee delivered a speech worthy of the waiting:

Alright. Alright. I want to thank Tonya, Jack and Satchel. The word today is irony. The date the 24th. The month February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History Month. The year 2019, the year 1619. History, Herstory. 1619 to 2019, 400 years. 400 years our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, Zimmie Shelton Reatha, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandma who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put her first grandchild – she called me Spikie Poo – she put me through Morehouse College and NYU Grad Film. NYU!

Before the world tonight, I give praise for our ancestors who helped build this country and [unintelligible] today along with the genocide of its native people. If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love, wisdom, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there!

Barbra Streisand entered, Richard E. Grant lost his damn mind

The lady herself, Barbra Streisand, was on hand to present BlacKkKlansman’s Best Picture clip. Her speech (which improbably included her saying she’d loved the movie so much she tweeted about it) was a delight, but so was known Babs stan — and robbed Supporting Actor nominee — Richard E. Grant’s reaction to seeing his idol on stage.

Olivia Colman got the big surprise win

91st Annual Academy Awards - Show Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Many Oscar pundits had the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role going to seven-time nominee Glenn Close. But the award went to Olivia Colman for her portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite. A very surprised Colman gave a flustered, yet heartfelt speech, thanking her director, agent, husband, and fellow nominees among others, promising to give those she missed a “massive snog” and ending with “Ah! Lady Gaga!”

Source: Polygon.com

Our Favorite Cosplay From Katsucon 2019

Cosplay GalleryA showcase of some of the best photos and video from cosplay events around the world. Credits provided where possible, but if we’ve missed something [let us know and we can add](mailto:[email protected])!  

I know there are a lot of cosplay shows throughout the year, and I know a lot of them are big, but there’s something about Katsucon that just makes people go all out.

One look at the quality and quantity of cosplay on show in this gallery and you’ll get an idea what I’m talking about.

Around 20,000 people turned out to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland last week for what’s become a highlight on the cosplay calendar, and Mineralblu was there taking these pictures and shooting some video for us.

You’ll find each cosplayer’s character and Instagram handle watermarked on each image.


Source: Kotaku.com

Green Book wins Best Picture after one of the most competitive Oscars ever

Green Book took home Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards, bringing an end to an unusually fraught awards season. Besides the brouhaha over the ceremony (which turned out fine, despite it all), the Oscar race was particularly heated; jockeying for the big prize of the night led to the kinds of shifts in the field that made it near impossible to predict the outcome. Green Book was a frontrunner, but in the seconds before it took home the prize, it was still anyone’s statue to win.

What happened this season? Following its premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star is Born surfed a wave of critical acclaim that seemed to ensure a sweep come Oscar time. The tide turned when it came to the actual voting. Cooper was snubbed in the Best Director category, and Lady Gaga’s momentum in the Best Actress category was overtaken by Glenn Close’s turn in The Wife, making it seem like the film’s lock on Best Picture was far from guaranteed. (In the end, The Favourite’s Olivia Colman swept in for Best Actress, a sign that Gaga and Close support put everyone all over the map.)

Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book commanded more popular attention (with the former in particular picking up several wins throughout the night), though arguably for the wrong reasons. Both were crowd pleasers that received mixed reviews, and were increasingly dogged by controversy as awards season progressed.

The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was accused of coming off as homophobic, and Bryan Singer, who was fired from the movie and replaced on reshoots by the Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, was the subject of an exposé in The Atlantic. The piece contained allegations from several men who said that Singer had abused them when they were underage, and pointed to a pattern of similar behavior. Singer called the article a “smear piece;” a week later, the film’s lead, star Rami Malek, said that he had not been aware of the accusations against Singer, and offered his support to anyone who would speak out about sexual abuse.

Past misconduct cast a shadow over Green Book, too. The Cut resurfaced reports of how director Peter Farrelly would prank his casts by flashing his genitals, and soon after, anti-Muslim tweets by screenwriter Nick Vallelonga bubbled up to the surface. Further controversy grew from protests by the remaining family of Don Shirley (portrayed by Mahershala Ali — who won Best Supporting Actor — in the film), who referred to the film, touted as a true story, as a “symphony of lies.” Ali personally apologized to the family, though a rep for the actor clarified to the Huffington Post that the apology was not “for the film” itself. Further criticism of the film addressed its shaky approach to both race and homosexuality, though none of the above seemed to affect the film’s Oscar chances.

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma also made waves, representing Netflix’s biggest foray into the Hollywood award arena, and gained momentum with wins at other industry awards ceremonies (the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, etc.) leading up to Oscars night. The only thing that seemed to hinder its chances of winning Best Picture was its double nomination as Best Foreign Language Feature, as no foreign language feature has taken home Best Picture as of yet, and indeed, Roma won Best Foreign Picture but failed to lock in the biggest prize of the night.

And coming in as the category upset was, of course, Black Panther, the cause of the “popular film” category hullabaloo and the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. That its nomination was history-making was only underlined by the fact that it still remained in awards conversation almost a full year after its release.

Still, despite all the controversy, Green Book won Best Picture, ending a tame Oscars night with a disappointing bang. Set in 1962, the film tells the story of a white driver and a black musician becoming friends on a road trip in a time when The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide to which establishments would host black guests, steered life in the south. The movie only digs into issues of race (as well as sexuality) in a soft, heartstring-tugging way, but that was enough to cinch the film’s prospects, as it took home the biggest prize of the night. Though the Best Picture race was an unusually chaotic one this year, Green Book was the formula-fitting pick.

Source: Polygon.com

The True Detective season 3 finale puts a final twist in the mystery

The True Detective season 3 finale unraveled the mystery of Julie Purcell children and everyone she left in her wake.

We’ll publish our usual novella-length watchthrough soon. There, we’ll explore all of season 3’s mysteries in (excruciating) detail. Here, we’ll cover the finale with broad strokes.

[Ed. note: that also means this post contains massive spoilers for the finale]

At the beginning of the episode, we meet Edward Hoyt. He doesn’t seem to know much, which is a bit different than we imagined. Turns out he really was in Africa when Julie and Will disappeared.

We’ve long suspected that Wayne couldn’t play the political game, and that’s what led to his demotion in 1980. But it was more complicated (and way better, emotionally) than that. The always awful Gerald Kindt Wayne to prepare (or sign) a statement disavowing an article that Amelia published. It’s the same article we saw her writing in a previous episode.

To do that, he’d to turn on Amelia. They make it clear what’ll happen if he doesn’t do that: a life in Public Investigation. He refused. He squandered a decade of his life as a secretary.

Wayne’s constant frustration at Amelia in 1990 around the time that her book came out makes more sense now in context. He torpedoed his career to protect her integrity. And, later, she made her career on the case that ruined his. That’s a lot to deal with.

When Wayne and Amelia talk at the VFW, he makes the same argument that he makes to his son, Henry, in 2015: Maybe it’s best not to tell the truth, if all it’ll do is hurt the other person.

In 1990, they teach each other that the careers that they both have aren’t the careers either of them should have. And that’s why Amelia winds up teaching in college, presumably scuttles her sequel book — and why Wayne winds up as security at the same college.

We also learned what happened to Julie Purcell.

Old Roland and Wayne break into the deserted Hoyt mansion. They enter the pink room. There’s the pink kitchen that Julie drew. There’s her drawing of a castle, big as life on the wall. There are people she drew: Princess Mary, Queen Isabel, and Prince Junius.

That would be Junius Watts, the one-eyed man they’d been looking for. He bought the cornhusk dolls in 1980. He showed up at Amelia’s book reading in 1990 screaming for information about Julie. He was the guy others reported looking for Julie after she disappeared.

It was Mr. June’s car outside of Wayne’s house in 2015. He helped raise Mr. Hoyt’s daughter, Isabel. When her husband and daughter died in a car accident, Harris James helped keep it quiet. Isabel couldn’t handle it. She took a lot of lithium. She continued to lose her grip on reality.

At a Hoyt Foods employee picnic 1979, Isabel tried to grab Julie Purcell.

Isabel then befriended the Julie and Will Purcell (though Julie a lot more). She and Mr. June would meet and play with the kids in the woods. One day, they were playing hide and seek. Isabel pushes Will. Will dies. Mr. June puts Will will in the cave, and convinces her that her brother is just injured, not dead.

Mr. June calls Harris James to help the family again. Harris James plants the evidence at Trash Man’s house.

Harris James told Lucy the truth. Gave her a big pile of money and told her to get lost.

According to Mr. June, Julie lived in the pink room at the Hoyt mansion for a few years (though it seems like more than that, given the age of the actress who plays her breaking out). Isabel was dosing her with Lithium. That was the missing piece, the thing that explains why Julie was out of her mind, confused. A nun describes Julie’s conviction as “disassociation issues.”

Mr. June helps her escape from the Hoyt mansion. He found in 1997, at the same convent where Amelia tracked Julie to a few episodes back.

Old Roland and Wayne put this all together, and they confront Mr. June. He confesses. He wants to die. No suicide by cop for him, unlike Trash Man.

And then there’s Mike. Good old Mike Ardoin. Mike the kid who waved at Julie as she rode her bike before she disappeared, only a couple of minutes into the first episode. Mike the kid who told Amelia and the cops about the cornhusk dolls in 1980. Mike the kid who did landscaping at the convent, just like his dad did before him.

Mike the man who worked with the nuns to fake Julie’s death. Mike the man who recognized Julie, married her, and had a daughter with her. They named her Lucy, after Julie’s mother.

Lots of people lost lots of things in True Detective season 3. But, if nothing else, things worked out for Julie Purcell. And that, in a world where so much went so wrong for so many, is a comfort.

Source: Polygon.com

Here’s who won at this year’s Oscars

With a wrap on the 91st Academy Awards, 2018 movies are officially behind us. The Oscar season was turbulent, surprising, and occasionally short-sighted, but in the end, the show and eventual winners stand as a reflection of The Times We’re In. Tom Hardy’s Venom performance didn’t even get nominated for Best Actor, but so it goes.

So who won, who lost, and who’ll be screaming for a year until the next Oscars? Here’s a complete list of nominees and winners (in bold). And to save you a heart attack: yes, Black Panther made some Marvel history.

Best Picture

Black Panther
BlakkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star is Born
Vice

Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Actress in a Leading Role

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me

Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, Vice
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Marina De Tervira, Roma
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Animated Feature Film

Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Cinematography

Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
Roma
A Star is Born

Costume Design

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Directing

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay, Vice
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Documentary (Feature)

Free Solo
Hale Country This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG

Documentary (Short Subject)

Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence

Film Editing

BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Vice

Foreign Language Film

Capernaum
Cold War
Never Look Away
Roma
Shoplifters

Makeup and Hairstyling

Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice

Music (Original Score)

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Music (Original Song)

All the Stars, Black Panther
I’ll Fight, RBG
The Place Where Lost Things Go, Mary Poppins Returns
Shallow, A Star is Born
When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Production Design

Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

Short Film (Animated)

Animal Behaviour
Bao
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

Short Film (Live Action)

Detainment
Fauve
Margueritte
Mother
Skin

Sound Editing

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma

Sound Mixing

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Roma
A Star is Born

Visual Effects

Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book
Roma
Vice

Source: Polygon.com