Comic Movie and Gaming Console news plus more Dead Space update

A few intereting tidbits is movie news:

  • Looks like director Robert Rodriguez (“Machete”) may not be the director afterall for the Ryan Reynolds ‘Deadpool’ movie spinning off of Wolverine.  Rodriguez cites a tight schedule with Spy Kids 4 and other commitments puts his timeline in jeapordy.
  • Speaking of Wolverine, it looks like the sequel has found a new director in Darren Aronofsky.  The sequel will be ‘somewhat’ based on Wolvie’s lore of finding love in Japan (sans Jean Grey).  Maybe we’ll see the Silver Samurai?
  • In more sequel news, it’s noted that Honathan Liebsen has signed on to direct the ‘Clash of the Titans’ follow up.  It appears that the sequel will be filmed in native 3D as opposed to the post conversion process of the first and filming will kick off in January.
  • Now that Pirahhna 3D is out, someone is making a Sharks 3D movie…*sigh*
  • Rumor has it that sunglass make Oakley will have a tie-in with Disney’s new TRON movie, meaning cool new glasses ala the game grid?
  • Major Nelson over at XBOX has revealed that a new XBOX 360 controller will be released in North America shortly with an enhanced D-pad.  This will make the pad more accurate for hard-core gamers that love their fighting games such as Street Fighter, but unless you’re one of those types of gamers, no real need for it.  Said to also launch in Europe most likely in Feb. 2011.  One draw back?  The cost.  It’s reported to have a U.S. street price of $64.99
  • Also, expect Xbox Live to raise the price on their Gold membership by $10 come November.  That sucks, but they site the cost and demand of delivering and maintenance on more streaming and enhanced content. Boo!
  • In funny news, a compnay going by the name of Mojowijo has developed and will be marketing/selling ‘sex toy’ attachments for the Wii controllers, taking advanatge of the vibration technology.  Somewhere, somehow, bluetooth will be involved, but really?  Is there really a need to turn your Wii remote into a sex toy? Why not use the billion other products or your electric toothbrush for that matter.

Now onto my Dead Space updates:

The book, ‘Dead Space: Martyr’ – As of this writing, I’ve had the novel for about 9 days now and am close to being 3/4’s done.  It is not what I expected at all, but intriguing none-the-less.  Overall the book is a bit slow, but the good news is the chapters are relatively small and makes for a swift and easy read.  It’s definently geared towards mature adults with the language and descriptions inside and weaves an origin story about ‘The Marker’ and the church of Unitology as depicted in the game.  As far as I can tell, The Marker, very similar to 2001’s Monolith is a device of alien origin that has the ability to drive people slowly insane, mad, and violent when exposed for lengths of time or in close proximity to it. 

Of course, enter the cliched scientist who is discovering teh real meaning behind it, and the cliched military man who has his own ideas for The Marker and you cover a good a portion of some sci-fi rehash.  That being said, it’s not a bad book.  I actually find the authors writings very clever and it appears he’s taken great thought and care into developing a story that will have a good payoff for Dead Space fans.  I’m having a hard time deciding how predictable the events within actually are.  I can see some of the elements a mile away, but how the author gets there still holds my interest, and even this far in, The Marker, and its symbols are just as mysterious to me the reader.

Now that game: Beginning with Chapter 4 & 5, I have noticed the game is indeed getting harder.  I still love audio, text, and video logs I’m picking up and really help to set the tone.  I’ve also picked up the ripper and contact rifle as weapons.  I find the ripper is good in tight quarters when low laying necromorphs are surrounding you from various angles at once, but it’s damn slow on the reload.  The contact gun on the other hand…..I’m having a hard tiem figuring out exactly what it does.  It has a low ammo capacity, and shots are either hard to come by in the wild or expensive at the store and I just haven’t figured out how to best use it.

I’ve found a few more schematics, but the best upgrade so far is to Suit #3 and extra oxygen capacity.  There were a few moments in both 4 & 5 where oxygen is key, so make sure you have at least one extra air canister on hand.  I’ve also been using teh med packs a bit more as well.  There is one baddy in general that shoots off a ‘spore’ to the ground, which in turn sprouts a tentacle, which in turns spits out a deadly projectile at you.  Those projectiles pack some punch, so make sure you are in run-n-gun mode, have extra health packs, and are willing to use stasis.  You need to take these out quickly, because if you don’t they tend to multiply and once that happens, you’re as good as dead.  The key here is to sever all the vital points of the creature generally stuck to the wall that spits them out.  I think there are 6 vital points that must be dealt with and through trial and error, I found the good old Plasma Cutter and Stasis combination do the trick.  There’s one sequence here that the creature is at the end of a long hall….you need to run up to it (not to close though as it can one-shot you and rip your head off in one strike), but close enough to use Stasis and then ‘aim’ for the six points.  This may take a few attempts.

One other part I found very difficult was the manual gunnery station against the asteroids using the rail gun.  There’s a sequence where you sit in a chair and take aim at asteroids headed to the Ishimura and you need to pulverize them into dust before they hit the ship and take out the armor and bulkheads.  Sufefr enough damage and you’re dead in a fireball sequence.  Suffice to say, your aim, even with an analog stick must be true on and fast.  If too many slip by, you’re toast and you can’t recover.  Thus far this was my most frustrating moment in the game.  The whole sequence takes about 1.5 minutes, but after the first 60 seconds, it seems like it takes forever.  I must have died at least 10x in a row before I made it, and I made it by the skin of my teeth.  It’s a fun part and a nice departure from the rest of the game but it’s a little agressive and I felt it out of balance (meaning more difficult than I think it should have been). 

Too put it in perspective the ‘boss’ sequence at the end of Chapter 5, I got on the first try (cryo freeze 2x) and run, where this mid-level challenge seems very unforgiving.

These last two chapters, 4 & 5, I was able to complete each in about 1.5 hours instead of 2.  So I’m starting chapter 6 with about 9 hours under my belt thus far.

Dead Space: Downfall

So maybe I was a little overly excited yesterday with my Dead Space post.  Yeah, I realize I’m talking about a game that is two years old, but when you’re married, have a slacker teenage daughter, and a mundane job where you’re more educated than those you report to, it’s the little things in life that get one excited.

My wife happens to bowl on Monday nights as part of a league, so that usually affords me Monday nights to myself for entertainment.  As I was so enthralled with the game over the weekend and began reading ‘Martyr’ yesterday in earnest (currently Chapter 15, pg 79) I came home and fired up Netflix over my Xbox360 account.

I looked up Dead Space: Downfall and added it to the instant queue and began watching this 74 minute anime movie.  The events of Downfall take place over the course of a few days and lead up to the opening credits of the game itself.

In the game, as Isaac Clarke, you are fighting for survival on this large derelict ship, but just days before, the Ishimura was teaming with hundreds of crew members going about their daily lives and jobs until the ‘artifact’ is unearthed and brought aboard the ship.  The unearthing of the artifact itself unleashes a certain paranoia and an unseen force amongst the people, and throw is a good alien flying face hugger (kinda looks like a Star Wars ‘mynock’ to infect people and turn them into necromorphs for good measure).  By the time the captain and crew figure out what’s going on, it’s too late, the ship is doomed.

This anime is not really intended for kids.  It’s a ‘mature’ movie, filled with lots of bloody content made of nightmares and tons of colorful language (i.e. liberal swearing).  While there are some subtle stylized differences from what the game presents, the overall look of the interior of the USG Ishimura is pretty close.  You’ll recognize a few areas and even a few names.  You’ll learn the fate of the Captain, and even get hints of the overall Unitology conspiracy taking place.

While it’s not the best animation on the planet and a far cry from any CG work these days, the style fits just fine; even some of the rougher parts doesn’t detract from the story.  That being said, the story itself, while entertaining, seems to ‘borrow’ a few concepts and ideas from other sci-fi movies and shows.  It’s not to say that Downfall isn’t ‘original’, but if you’re an avid Sci-Fi fan like myself you’ll note some common themes and ideas throughout.

But the movie was intended to be a prequel, to lead the viewer upto the point where they begin to play the game, and it does a fine job, (not stellar), but fine job at doing just that.  Anything longer that 70 minutes may have been a detriment.  There’s plenty of action, recognizable locals, faces, and names that the gamer will identify with and that light bulb will begin to glow over your head.

One of the final scenes of the movie is the Isaac Clarke’s rescue ship approaching the Ishimura just as it did in the opening cinematic of the game which is a great tie in that marries the two together, so you know what your up against and where on the time line you fall.

Not sure if I’d buy the movie and unsure what the Blu-ray version would give you since it is standard animation.  If you are able to rent it, or even better, stream it like I did, then you’ll be happy.  Assuming you are playing the game as well, I’m not there is much replay value in the movie, so I wouldn’t buy it.

Shifting gears a bit, I was then able to play Chapter 3: ‘Course Correction’ last night afterwards.  Again, it seems I’m averaging about 2 hours a chapter, so if there are 12 chapters in this game, I expect I’ll get at least 24 hours of play time out of it.  I’m a cautious gamer as well….I don’t run headlong like Han Solo, guns blazing down cooridors.  I tend to creep, flashing my headlamp all about into all the dark spaces, and I also take the time to look for hidden items, power-ups, and all the logs strewn about.  I really enjoy the text, audio, and video logs.  They add so much backstory to the game, it’s a shame if you are the type that just balzes through the enemies getting to the objective in the fastest times.  If you are, then you’re missing out on some good lore.

I really enjoyed the centrifuge room last night.  The one in zero-g, in which you need to start up the engine manually and then dodge the centrifuge itself while in the vacuum fighting of a few necromorphs.  Ahhh….the silence is just so tense at times, and when you finally make it back to an airlock with seconds of air left to breathe, and your suit re-pressurizes, you really get a sense of gratification and unloading of a burden.

The last standoff in this chapter is pretty intense.  You throw the ignition switch in the bay, turn around, stars at your back, engine wailing super loud, and you spot a team of running necromorphs headed your way.  Gotta love the line gun at this point.  I also bought the ‘ripper’ weapon last night as well, but haven’t gotten the chance to use it yet.  I really need to get me some more power nodes and get some extra capacity on my rig (bio-suit) as my inventory slots are on the low end and now that I have a host of weapons, I need some more slots to carry ammo.

Transformers 3: It’s official!

Per Michael Bay’s personal blog, the director declared today, October 1st, as “Day One” for the next installment in the Transformers film franchise:

Well its official: We have a great Transformers 3 story. The release date is now July 1st 2011. Not 2012.

Today is Day One. This morning started with an ILM meeting for five hours in San Francisco. Currently I’m flying with writer Ehren Kruger to Rhode Island to talk to Hasbro about new characters.

P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you.

Pain and Gain is right after shooting of Trans 3.

Michael

I don’t care what the critics say, I for one say, “Bring It On”.

TRON Legacy – To your game grid in 2010

Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy

“Tron Legacy”, the highly anticipated follow-up to the 80’s sci-fi classic “Tron”, has been set for a December 17th 2010 release through Disney Pictures.

In the Joseph Kosinski-helmed 3D adventure, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years.

Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous. Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain , Beau Garrett and Michael Sheen also star.

Mickey Rourke as Whiplash

WhiplashCame across this photo earlier today with Mickey Rourke in costume on the set of Iron Man 2.  Note that his chest plate has a similar look to Tony Stark’s armor, as the technology is clearly based in the same roots.

Rourke plays Ruskie, Ivan Vanko who constructs his own suit to battle Iron Man.  Also expect to see Natasha Romonav, aka Black Widow, to also appear in the film. 

Perhaps Widow may even join The Avengers ensemble cast in a few years once Captain America and Thor movies drop.

Is this the face of the new Cobra Commander?

New Cobra Commander?

New Cobra Commander?

Uh, oh.  I am not one happy Joe.

In this preliminary image of the forth coming ‘Combat Heroes’ toy line from Hasbro that will tie into the new “G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra” movie due later this year, we get one of our first glimpses of the costume change up for Cobra Commander.

If you look closey at the picture above, note the 4th picture from the left, directly between Joe, ‘Heavy Duty’ and Cobra ninja ‘Storm Shadow’.  Yup, that a glimpse of the new mask and hint of color scheme and body armor for Cobra Commander.

I may reserve my judgement until I see the whole image, but I’m seriously having my doubts and my heart sank a little bit.  Now I heard the original stories that the film makers wanted to steer away from the Commanders original hood design, as it was ballied about as being too Ku Klux Klan like.  Personally, I never got that for the sheer fact that his hood was never pointed, was blue in color (not white) and had a red cobra emblem stitched on the front.

Cobra Commander in chrome

Cobra Commander in chrome

And what could be possibly wrong with his combat blue helmet and chrome, featureless faceplate.  That costume was iconic to anyone who grew up with Cobra in the 80’s and really lent to the air of mystery of the man behind the mask.

This new movie stylized incarnation looks like a cross between a hockey mask and *sigh*, dare I say, something that reminds me to Cobra-La?  The nostril slits, questionable holes, along with the segmented look and pastel purple body features has me squirming.

It’s bad enough Scarlett and some of the other Joe’s costumes look nothing like their 80’s versions, but I’ll admit that both Snake Eyes and positive changes with Storm Shadow look great. 

But in the end, Cobra Commander is an iconic character and very important to the Joe’s 80’s mythos and revival from the old 12″ figures of old.  To mess with him now can possibly really retract many’s opinions on him.  I’m curious to what long time scribe, Larry Hama thinks of these changes?

Superbowl Ads

If you’re a fan boy like me, then maybe you were the only one in the room with your die hard sports fans who got butterflies in their stomachs and a chill down their arms when they saw movie trailers for G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (see clip here), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and finally Star Trek.

I know my own father had no clue why I was a giddy little school girl when I first saw the Joe trailer.  Those BATS looked awesome as they jumped through the crowded city streets, as did the underwater shot of all those mini subs headed for an undersea fortress.  The Baroness all clad in black leather, and the gleam of Snake Eyes sword.  Such a tease.  And am I wrong in thinking they pushed the movie back until August?  I could have sworn it was coming in May.

Star Trek was exciting as well.  Nothing that I hadn’t seen before in online trailers, but the action and scenes they highlight never seem to get old.  Zachary Quinto as Spock is just dead on, and he always looks so impressive in the ears.  I’m very excited for this as well.

And to finish out the trifecta of future Blue Ray titles I will someday get was the unexpected trailer of Transformers 2.  Of course I was thrilled and excited, but sometimes these trailers are so in your face and fast with so much going on, I could only steal a glimpse of a gigantic robot before I figured out what was going on.  No doubt I’ll have to watch this on the internet, frame by frame so I can digest and comprehend the randomly fast actioned packed images dancing before my eyes.

Oh, to be a kid of the 80’s again.