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Pop Culture

Could Black Panther’s Opening Weekend Be the Biggest Ever for a Superhero Movie?

The closer we get to the release of Marvel’s Black Panther, the higher the movie’s projected box office openings get. Driven by fan excitement for the first Marvel superhero film to be directed by a Black man, Ryan Coogler, and star a predominantly Black cast, industry analysts continue to increase the projected take each week.

The movie started the year with projections of “more than $90 million,” but by late January, those projections had been updated to $110-$120 million, even $130 million. $130 million in a 3-day period would make Black Panther the 12th highest opening superhero movie ever, right between the $128 million of Iron Man 2 and the $132 million of Deadpool. Spice-of-life-themed Hollywood trade magazine Variety reports this week that the movie could make $150 across its entire 4-day opening weekend, perhaps even breaking the President’s Day Weekend record (currently Deadpool’s $152 million 4-day opening).

To become the highest grossing superhero movie opening ever, Black Panther has a way to go. To break the top 5, Black Panther would need to defeat Batman v. Superman’s $166 million 3-day opening weekend. The top spot would require topping The Avengers‘ $207 million 3-day opening. The may seem like a tall order for a movie projected to make $150 million over 4 days.

However, more evidence suggests this week that even revised projections could be underestimating Black Panther’s potential. According to Fandango’s Erik Davis, Black Panther is outpacing every other superhero movie in advance ticket sales on the platform. Davis even names Batman v. Superman as the previous chart topper.

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Black Panther opens on February 16, which makes its projected take all the more impressive. Other than Batman v. Superman, which opened in March, the rest of the top 5 opening films were released in May, when the blockbuster movie season is kicking off. Just as Wonder Woman ended up surprising the industry, which originally hoped the movie would make $65 million on its opening weekend when it ended up making $103 million, don’t be shocked if Black Panther ends up doing even better than the trying-to-keep-up projections tell us.

The post Could Black Panther’s Opening Weekend Be the Biggest Ever for a Superhero Movie? appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Vía https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/02/03/black-panthers-opening-weekend-biggest-ever-superhero-movie/ ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Pop Culture

Hologram Prince to Play Super Bowl Halftime Show

Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show has added a superstar performer to its lineup: His Royal Badass himself, The Purple One, Prince!

But Bleeding Cool, you say: Prince is dead. We know. It still depresses us two years later. But nowadays, nobody really stays dead for long. It’s as true in comic books as it is in real life. While the High Priest of Pop may have departed this mortal coil in 2016, he lives on, apparently, in hologram form, and Hologram Prince will play at the biggest musical event of the year: the Super Bowl halftime show.

According to a report from TMZ, Hologram Prince will appear alongside Justin Timberlake, making a triumphant return to his hometown of Minneapolis. However, don’t look for any other rumored guest appearances, like Timberlake’s former N-Sync bandmates or Janet Jackson’s breast. TMZ says neither of those reunions are in the cards.

The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday at 6:30 PM, and will also feature Leslie Odom, Jr. performing America the Beautiful and P!nk performing the National Anthem.

Check out a rehearsal video below:

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The post Hologram Prince to Play Super Bowl Halftime Show appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Vía https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/02/03/hologram-prince-play-super-bowl-halftime-show/ ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Culture

New trailers: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Mute, and more

While I was laying around sick the other week, I decided to watch some fun and easy movies. I settled on Spectre first, since it was right there when I opened the Amazon app to see what was available. And the entire time, I kind of just wished I’d watched the new Kingsman instead. So I did that once Spectre was over.

Watching the two films back-to-back really illustrated for me part of, at least, why some of the recent Bond films have fallen flat. Spectre, in particular, takes itself so incredibly seriously but never bothers to see if we’re all in agreement on how dark and serious these events really are. We wind up in a twisted, meaningless plot, without any investment in what happens next. (Spoiler: they travel to another European…

Continue reading…

from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/3/16965384/new-trailers-ant-man-and-the-wasp-mute-castle-rock-netflix-hulu-and-more

Pop Culture

Altered Carbon Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: Force of Evil

This article contains spoilers for Altered Carbon episode 4 – Force of Evil.

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Force of Evil

Having recently read the novel, I was anticipating this episode and how it might be very uncomfortable to watch. Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) is captured and taking to a clinic where they do virtual torture. He is then confronted by Dimitri the Twin (Tahmoh Penikett), the guy who attacked Kovacs at the Raven. Dimitri double sleeves (copies his stack into two bodies at once), hence the nickname. But when doubled, they don’t share memories going forward, so he wants to know what Kovacs killed the other Dimitri… except this one thinks Kovacs is a former cop named Riker. Dimitri goes through a long and sorted parade of tortures trying to break Kovacs. Meanwhile in the flashbacks we see Quell (Renée Elise Goldsberry) trying to teach the Envoys how to survive virtual torture and she foces on Kovacs (Will Yun Lee) specifically because he was part of a group that had tortured a friend of hers. Original Kovacs eventually figures out how to control the scenario and turns it against her because of her feelings for him. We see Modern Kovacs wait for his opening, stop his own heart to force them to bring him out of the virtual and then scare the hell out of the techs until they free him, where he grabs his gun and kills everyone around him including Dimitri, taking his head and stack with him.

To offset the intense torture scenes we get to see Ortega (Martha Higareda) celebrate the Day of the Dead with her family and she puts her grandmother into a gang-bangers body so she can come home for the dinner. Though her mother, Alazne (Marlene Forte) is catholic and doesn’t believe in re-sleeving, her Abuela (Matt Biedel) renounced Catholicism before she died and enjoyed being brought back for the dinner and to see her family. It is one of the funnier moments as the older woman is running around as a large, bald man covered in tattoos. At once point she gets the children laughing as she yells out from the bathroom that she is peeing standing up.

And just so you don’t forget them, Poe (Chris Conner) helps Vernon (Ato Essandoh) find Kovacs, but he arrives just as the Envoy is walking out of the building covered in blood. Ortega and DeSoto (Teach Grant) are called to the scene and she is stunned to see the carnage and learn that Kovac found the tracker she placed on him… it was in the signal filter she gave him in the first episode. Ortega goes to confront Kovacs, but he turns the table on her. He realizes that she was onto him before she knew who he was, meaning it was the sleeve she was following. He threatens to harm the sleeve until she tells him who Riker is… she is about to explain as the episode ends.

This could’ve been an extremely intense episode if they’d done the torture as it appeared in the book. Kovacs is taken out of his Riker body and put into a young woman’s body with no enhancements. He is then tortured over and over again in this body until it gives out, then he’s put into a new body and the process is repeated. I can see two reasons why they changed it. One was to tone down the torture a bit and two him getting back into the Riker body was a bit convoluted in the book which is eliminated here. The Day of the Dead dinner is completely made up for the series but helps drive the religious aspect that is an important but under served aspect of the novel. The addition here helps expand on Ortega’s character, the effect re-sleeving has on religious people and gives some humorous beats to what could’ve been a rough episode.

Back to the binge.

The post Altered Carbon Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: Force of Evil appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Vía https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/02/03/altered-carbon-season-1-episode-4-recap-force-of-evil/ ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Pop Culture

A New Donny Cates Story You May Have Missed?

As Thanos #13 hits $20 and goes to a third printing, with Doctor Strange, God Country, Redneck and Baby Teeth doing well, Donny Cates has become quite the comic book darling of late.

Which is very handy for comic book and record producer Waxworks, with House Of Waxworks Vol 2 out yesterday. With Donny Cates as one of the many creators involved with both the comics and the music…

Waxwork Records has just released the second issue of their comic book series, House Of Waxwork Vol 2. Featuring all new and original content from contemporary writers, illustrators, and composers, House Of Waxwork is a horror-anthology comic book series with macabre tales of ghouls, ghosts, witchcraft, the occult, the living dead, revenge, and so much more.

And issue 2 sees a 1940’s travelling carnival where the oddities and curiosities discovered there are of no comparison to the insatiable hunger of the hidden creature known as the Nowhere Wolf. Written by Donny Cates with art from Marty Davis, Rachel Deering and music by Sean Yseult (White Zombie).

While the Time Capsule has a fireman and the local gun shop owner’s daughter unaffected by a noxious and deadly gas, left to survive the night, and possibly even reverse the horrific effects of the nerve gas that has turned their neighbors and loved ones into blood thirsty, undead ghouls. Written by Rami Sharkey with art by Christian DiBariMike Spicer and Shawn Lee and music from Douglas Pipes (Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus).

The comic comes with a 7″ vinyl soundtrack and digital download card.

The post A New Donny Cates Story You May Have Missed? appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Vía https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/02/03/new-donny-cates-story-may-missed/ ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Film

This Week In Trailers: Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Flammable Children, Custody, November, Fake Blood

Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we take a look at Slowhand, take a look down under for some swinging good times in the 70s, think about the societal impact of the art we create, check in with the French dairy farmer who got smoked for hiding some Jewish folk under his house, and just sit back while we get weirded out by a completely original vision from Estonia.

Flammable Children

Yes, yes, yes, all the way around.

I realize that there was a nice effect that the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert had on those who were on the receiving end of its cinematic punch. For those who weren’t alive when it came out in 1994, the movie took home an Oscar. So, then, it’s been nearly a quarter of a century since director Stephan Elliot regaled us with a tale of two drag performers and a transgender woman. He’s been directing other projects but none have gotten my attention quite like this. With talent like Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, and Radha Mitchell, and a narrative that seems just flat out bananas, I was simply tickled all the way through this trailer. It may be that I need more comedies in my life or some other film vitamin is missing from my diet but after watching this I was instantly checking when I might be able to digest the rest. Hopefully the wait is not too long.

Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

To those who have already seen this, move along.

I think we can all come to an accord that Eric Clapton’sLayla” could not have been better utilized than when it was used in Goodfellas. The song, initially, doesn’t really evoke the extreme carnage that you see on the screen but maybe that’s why it’s so perfect. Director Lili Fini Zanuck, who directed Rush and produced Driving Miss Daisy took an interesting turn here to focus on the life’s accomplishments, and life story, of Clapton himself. I don’t purport to be any kind of fan so I can’t speak with any great authority but as someone who grew up when Unplugged on MTV was a “thing” in the early 90’s I do know that Clapton’s appearance was something of a cultural touchstone for a while. As someone who devoured hours of Behind The Music on VH1, watching the rise and fall of bands I never heard of (I was more of a Weird Al guy so my musical education was wildly stunted as a youth), I am reminded how engaging these stories can be and this trailer looks like it’s exactly that: Engaging.

Fake Blood

Sorry, violent video games don’t increase someone’s likelihood to become more violent themselves.

When it comes to creating violent art, directors Rob Grant and Mike Kovac decided to take a documentary diversion to see if the horror content they were producing should be reconsidered. To wit:

Rob Grant and Mike Kovac receive a disturbing fan video inspired by their previous horror movie Mon Ami, motivating them to investigate the responsibility of filmmakers in portraying violence in movies. In their pursuit of the truth they are unwittingly introduced to the real world of violent criminals and their victims.

The net result, which is this movie, seems like a nice companion piece to the exploration of what, if any, effect fake violence has on those who either digest it or enjoy it. As someone who lived on a steady diet of Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th sequels (not to mention being WILDLY obsessed with Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), plus being a dedicated buyer of Fangoria, this is just the kind of light, digestible content I would love to check out on any given evening when I need something to relax to.

November

Nope, don’t ask me to figure this one out.

From its official summary:

“November” is based on Estonian novel “Rehepapp” by Andrus Kivirähk, a bestseller of the last twenty years. The film is a mixture of magic, black humor and romantic love. The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam.

So, the first thing I thought of when this trailer plays is Black Phillip. I don’t think I’m too far off and director Rainer Sarnet seems eager to ratchet up the weirdness by giving us a trailer completely devoid of any narrative footholds. And, you know what? Good. I don’t always need or want to know everything and this thing is weird enough to make me a fan and I’m eager as a beaver to see how far he wants to go with this “fever dream.”

Custody

“Which of you is the bigger liar?”

Hell. To. The. Yes.

First, it should be no surprise that someday I want to learn French and ensconce myself in the city of light while eating croissants and butter. Now, that being said, director Xavier Legrand looks to have made a brutal looking movie that is at the same time devastating, frightening, and all-too-resonant with anyone who has had to endure the pain of being separated from your kids. Enter stage left Denis Ménochet. Now, for those who don’t recognize the name he’s the very suave French dairy farmer from the beginning of Inglorious Basterds who didn’t make it very far in the film but who I’ve always been taken with simply for how much he does with what little he has to do with the time he has on screen. He was downright electric. Here, though, playing the part of a father who is about as low as one can get when it comes to being at the epicenter of marital discord, he uses what slim time we have with him in this trailer to deliver emotional haymakers that we are all but defenseless to endure. Praise be to the trailer maker who knows that even though we’ve got a movie where no one is speaking inglés there is a very careful and deliberate use of language here while leaning hard into the idea of letting physicality be the universal language through which we all can understand what’s happening. Without question, one of the movies I need to see when it’s available to consume in its entirety.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

The post This Week In Trailers: Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Flammable Children, Custody, November, Fake Blood appeared first on /Film.

from /Film http://www.slashfilm.com/this-week-in-trailers-eric-clapton-life-in-12-bars-flammable-children-custody-november-fake-blood/

GAMES

Next Week on Xbox: New Games for February 5 – 11

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Welcome to Next Week on Xbox, where we cover all the new games coming soon to Xbox One. Every week, the team at Xbox aims to deliver quality gaming content for you to enjoy on your favorite gaming console. This coming week a wide variety of titles are on the way like the gravity-bending Metroidvania Dandara, the return of Wryn in the fast-paced Bleed 2, and tactical 4X strategy in space with Starpoint Gemini Warlords are just a few of the select games coming to Xbox One next week. Read more about these games and more below.

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
New Preview Beta, Delta and Omega System Update – 2/2/18
This Week on Xbox: February 2, 2018
New Preview Alpha System Update – 2/1/18

Vía https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/02/03/next-week-on-xbox-new-games-february-5-11/ ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube! Subscribe-PNG-12sss

Film

This Week In Trailers: Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Flammable Children, Custody, November, Fake Blood

Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we take a look at Slowhand, take a look down under for some swinging good times in the 70s, think about the societal impact of the art we create, check in with the French dairy farmer who got smoked for hiding some Jewish folk under his house, and just sit back while we get weirded out by a completely original vision from Estonia.

Flammable Children

Yes, yes, yes, all the way around.

I realize that there was a nice effect that the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert had on those who were on the receiving end of its cinematic punch. For those who weren’t alive when it came out in 1994, the movie took home an Oscar. So, then, it’s been nearly a quarter of a century since director Stephan Elliot regaled us with a tale of two drag performers and a transgender woman. He’s been directing other projects but none have gotten my attention quite like this. With talent like Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, and Radha Mitchell, and a narrative that seems just flat out bananas, I was simply tickled all the way through this trailer. It may be that I need more comedies in my life or some other film vitamin is missing from my diet but after watching this I was instantly checking when I might be able to digest the rest. Hopefully the wait is not too long.

Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

To those who have already seen this, move along.

I think we can all come to an accord that Eric Clapton’sLayla” could not have been better utilized than when it was used in Goodfellas. The song, initially, doesn’t really evoke the extreme carnage that you see on the screen but maybe that’s why it’s so perfect. Director Lili Fini Zanuck, who directed Rush and produced Driving Miss Daisy took an interesting turn here to focus on the life’s accomplishments, and life story, of Clapton himself. I don’t purport to be any kind of fan so I can’t speak with any great authority but as someone who grew up when Unplugged on MTV was a “thing” in the early 90’s I do know that Clapton’s appearance was something of a cultural touchstone for a while. As someone who devoured hours of Behind The Music on VH1, watching the rise and fall of bands I never heard of (I was more of a Weird Al guy so my musical education was wildly stunted as a youth), I am reminded how engaging these stories can be and this trailer looks like it’s exactly that: Engaging.

Fake Blood

Sorry, violent video games don’t increase someone’s likelihood to become more violent themselves.

When it comes to creating violent art, directors Rob Grant and Mike Kovac decided to take a documentary diversion to see if the horror content they were producing should be reconsidered. To wit:

Rob Grant and Mike Kovac receive a disturbing fan video inspired by their previous horror movie Mon Ami, motivating them to investigate the responsibility of filmmakers in portraying violence in movies. In their pursuit of the truth they are unwittingly introduced to the real world of violent criminals and their victims.

The net result, which is this movie, seems like a nice companion piece to the exploration of what, if any, effect fake violence has on those who either digest it or enjoy it. As someone who lived on a steady diet of Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th sequels (not to mention being WILDLY obsessed with Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), plus being a dedicated buyer of Fangoria, this is just the kind of light, digestible content I would love to check out on any given evening when I need something to relax to.

November

Nope, don’t ask me to figure this one out.

From its official summary:

“November” is based on Estonian novel “Rehepapp” by Andrus Kivirähk, a bestseller of the last twenty years. The film is a mixture of magic, black humor and romantic love. The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam.

So, the first thing I thought of when this trailer plays is Black Phillip. I don’t think I’m too far off and director Rainer Sarnet seems eager to ratchet up the weirdness by giving us a trailer completely devoid of any narrative footholds. And, you know what? Good. I don’t always need or want to know everything and this thing is weird enough to make me a fan and I’m eager as a beaver to see how far he wants to go with this “fever dream.”

Custody

“Which of you is the bigger liar?”

Hell. To. The. Yes.

First, it should be no surprise that someday I want to learn French and ensconce myself in the city of light while eating croissants and butter. Now, that being said, director Xavier Legrand looks to have made a brutal looking movie that is at the same time devastating, frightening, and all-too-resonant with anyone who has had to endure the pain of being separated from your kids. Enter stage left Denis Ménochet. Now, for those who don’t recognize the name he’s the very suave French dairy farmer from the beginning of Inglorious Basterds who didn’t make it very far in the film but who I’ve always been taken with simply for how much he does with what little he has to do with the time he has on screen. He was downright electric. Here, though, playing the part of a father who is about as low as one can get when it comes to being at the epicenter of marital discord, he uses what slim time we have with him in this trailer to deliver emotional haymakers that we are all but defenseless to endure. Praise be to the trailer maker who knows that even though we’ve got a movie where no one is speaking inglés there is a very careful and deliberate use of language here while leaning hard into the idea of letting physicality be the universal language through which we all can understand what’s happening. Without question, one of the movies I need to see when it’s available to consume in its entirety.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

The post This Week In Trailers: Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Flammable Children, Custody, November, Fake Blood appeared first on /Film.

from /Film http://www.slashfilm.com/this-week-in-trailers-eric-clapton-life-in-12-bars-flammable-children-custody-november-fake-blood/

GAMES

Slay The Spire Has Some Fun Infinite Combos 

Slay The Spire is one of Steam’s latest Early Access gems thanks to its polished combination of roguelike dungeon crawling and traditional card game mechanics. The game’s quite challenging at first, but some players have already been discovering special combos that allow them to rip through the game with ease.

Twitch streamer RiskyCB is one of those people and he recently uploaded a highlights video of his exploits to YouTube that was spotted by Rock Paper Shotgun. In it he works at shrinking his deck down to only two cards which synergize to enable a deadly combo from the very first turn in any fight.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-jrkhLuroyzg&start=0

Usually during a playthrough of Slay The Spire the point is to slowly build up a strong collection of new cards gained after winning battles. RiskyCB
though focused heavily on dumping starting cards, something you can pay merchants for as well as accomplish with various abilities and items. Late into his playthrough this allowed him to employ a deck with literally only two cards: Flash of Steel and Duel Wield.

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The first is zero-cost, deals six damage, and allows you to draw another card. The second makes copies of the other cards in your hand. From there RiskyCB is able to get into an infinite combo where he just cycles through Flash of Steel endlessly until whatever he’s fighting is dead. The combo is broken, clearly, but requires so much effort and luck to arrive there (stripping your deck down to just two cards is incredibly difficult).

Since the game’s still in Early Access it’ll be up to the developers how they decide to balance strategies like this, but since it’s a single-player RPG it’s fun to see all of the unique ways players find to break the game and completely overpower its bosses. I’ve been playing a lot of Slay The Spire and can’t recommend it enough.

[Source: YouTube via RPS]

Vía https://kotaku.com/slay-the-spire-has-some-fun-infinite-combos-1822692745 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Struggling Overwatch Dynasty Finds Important Win In Last Night’s Matches

Image Credit: Robert Paul, Blizzard Esports

Last night’s clash between the Houston Outlaws and the Seoul Dynasty in the Overwatch League was dire for both teams. One was trying to keep a streak alive, another recovering from two straight losses, and both still posturing for a playoff berth.

Seoul has been in a rut after falling from undefeated to 5-2, galaxy-braining themselves out of running team captain Ryujehong against the London Spitfire and falling 0-4. Houston, on the other hand, was trying to keep a hot five-win streak alive despite a key player watching the match from home. Both needed this game to secure their playoff chances.

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Ultimately Seoul came out on top, but the win was not easy. Houston forced the match to game 5 and the third point, the last possible round to play, despite star player Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin still out on sick leave.

The story of the night was Fleta, Fleta, Fleta. Byung-Sun “Fleta” Kim put up highlight after highlight as Widowmaker, proving difficult for the Outlaws to deal with. He snapped to targets, landed headshots, and even picked heroes out of the air with deadly precision.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=DifficultReliableNikudonKippa&autoplay=false&tt_medium=clips_embed

With LiNkzr out, it was time for Jake Lyon to step up for the Outlaws. And across five maps, he put up a fair performance. It was, as always, his Junkrat that truly impressed. In the right situation, Jake was able to pick apart Seoul with a booming barrage of explosives, splitting them up and forcing misplays.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=RealFairGooseDatBoi&autoplay=false&tt_medium=clips_embed

But when push came to shove on the final point in the final map, it was Seoul who gave a little bit more. The Dynasty hero this time was not Fleta or even Ryujehong, who had a stellar return to the team after his mysterious absence against the Spitfire. It was Joon-Hyeok “Zunba” Kim, on a flex Zarya pick, that absolutely had the Outlaws’ number.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=MagnificentMuddyPancakeUnSane&autoplay=false&tt_medium=clips_embed

Seoul Dynasty manage to keep their playoff hopes secure, while the Outlaws are now in the rat race among other five-win teams like the Los Angeles Valiant and Philadelphia Fusion. Tonight’s matches will help establish a clearer playoff picture moving into the final week of stage 1, and you can check those out starting at 2 p.m. ET on the Overwatch League Twitch channel.

Vía https://compete.kotaku.com/struggling-overwatch-dynasty-finds-important-win-in-las-1822692433 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Pop Culture

Soldiers of the Universe is Too Unfinished to be Out of Early Access

 

Soldiers of the Universe

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Summary

Publisher: Rocwise Entertainment
Developer: Rocwise Entertainment
Platform: Steam
Release Date: Sep 14, 2017

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Soldiers of the Universe just might be the worst game I’ve ever played. I honestly cannot think of a game that has failed to impress me on so many levels. It’s a first person shooter released out of Steam Early Access to a full launch and if you check the reviews, most of the recent ones have been incredibly negative and I’m only going to add to that pile. The game’s premise makes little sense. You start out in the White House, on a phone call with your father. What you’re doing in Washington DC is never explained. You then go to your father’s funeral and get involved with what is essentially a supersoldier program based in Turkey. Each member of the program is there based on an inherited title from father to son. Your father was a member of the program, which means you are now a member of the program. You sit through a pretty opaque board meeting which gives you very little information other than the names and roles of your fellow Soldiers of the Universe.

Then you’re shipped out to do some fighting for reasons that were so vague I didn’t know them even while watching the cutscene. That drops you into some basic FPS combat, but really, the FPS combat is pretty goddamn terrible. Even on keyboard and mouse, aiming is a nightmare. Your enemies can hit you from much further than you can hit them. There is no easy way to track them or to work with your AI teammates.

You don’t have any sophisticated options for using cover. You can’t crouch down particularly low, and your gun’s scope isn’t much better than a magnifying glass. You can cycle through a couple other preloaded weapons including an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. None of which give you anything even slightly useful. And hey, when you’re shot, your scope shifts around like crazy. Which is pretty accurate, I’m almost certain no real person takes a gunshot and keeps their aim perfectly on-target, but this is a video game. We expect a lot of things to not match up to reality to make playing a bit easier and more streamlined.

There is also no tutorial to speak of, so weapon switching, using your sights, and managing to crouch behind cover is left to your intuition as a rain of bullets pelt you from enemies you can’t see because everything looks the same in this game. And that damage, well, it is seemingly random. Sometimes a single bullet will kill you, other times it does no damage, and occasionally you’ll live despite having an empty health bar. Oh right, finding that health bar is also not something that you figure out immediately.

It honestly took me about five deaths to figure out what part of the UI was tracking my health and what was tracking my bullets.

Sometimes, while running around corridors that look the same while chasing after nonsense objectives, you’ll be hit by bullets coming from random directions, because the enemies will still fire at you despite being outside of draw distance. So they can always see you, but you can’t always see them. Fantastic.

And in case you wanted to be tactical about your shooting instead of just running down hallways waiting to get shot, well, there’s no real way to have any kind of tactical advantage over the enemy AI. It doesn’t help that there are random invisible walls that your enemies can shoot through, but you can’t move around.

Oh and the difficulty scaling doesn’t seem to do a damn thing.

So not only is the combat terrible, the character designs and overall graphics look like they could run off of Windows 95, and the voice acting is non-existant. I would rather have Siri read every line of dialogue in the game than put up with the lackluster voice acting for even another minute.

We watch the main character cry over his father’s grave with a blase yell and some really pathetic weeping. Mass Effect: Andromeda has better facial animations, mostly because it has facial animations. I’m not certain a single character in Soldiers of the Universe is capable of an emotion other than stoic blankface.

And that’s not even getting into the Halo-esque battle suit.

Yes, a modern warfare FPS designed by a small studio is always going to be a risky venture. The AAA competition is steep and has been in the game so long it knows what not to do. But that doesn’t excuse Soldiers of the Universe for having a nonsense bombastic name, almost nonexistent but somehow still jingoistic nationalism disguised as a plot, and ridiculous inconsistencies in the graphics, AI, and damage output.

I will give Soldiers of the Universe one thing. It looks really great in still screenshots. I just wish the rest of the game looked that way. Some small bits of it do, but the majority of the graphics look so outdated they make me laugh.

In fact, between the inconsistent graphics, terrible voice acting, terrible AI, legion of bugs, dislike of physics, and lack of any kind of mechanics Soldiers of the Universe shouldn’t be out of Early Access at all. In fact, I’m not even sure the game should be in Early Access either. It’s so unfinished it feels like the developers gave up about a quarter of the way through development.

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The post Soldiers of the Universe is Too Unfinished to be Out of Early Access appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

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Pop Culture

Anybody Want to Buy a Sony?

In the wake of Disney’s deal to buy the assets of 21st Century Fox and a pending merger, though challenged by the Justice Department, between AT&T and Time Warner, everybody is looking to get in on some of that hot merger action. Up next for sale, according to a rumor from schedule-obsessed Hollywood gossip blog Deadline, is Sony.

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai announced last week that he will step aside, moving into a Chairman role. Following that news is speculation, based on Sony’s rising stock prices, that the company is looking to find itself a buyer. The stocks for Sony rose 6% yesterday, despite the market as a whole slumping. According to Deadline’s “Wall Street observers,” that can only mean Sony is looking to sell.

“Kaz was not interested in selling,” said an anonymous source, “and [his replacement Shuhei] Yoshida is really not too keen on the entertainment business so everyone (is speculating) that Sony is ready for a sale.”

Of course, Sony may seem like a little bit less of a value than Fox and Warner Bros. That Ghostbusters reboot in 2016 failed to reinvigorate the franchise, and Sony had to farm out its Spider-Man franchise to Marvel. But Sony’s lack of viable franchises could allow someone to snatch up the company at bargain prices.

So if you’re in the market for a major entertainment studio, and one with a successful video game division at most, consider Sony, slightly used but with a lot of potential, in your purchasing options. Check Craigslist for more details.

photo by Binarysequence (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Pop Culture

Quantum and Woody #2 Review: Delivers on its Promises

Quantum and Woody #2

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Writer: Daniel Kibblesmith,
Artist: Kano,
Letters: Dave Sharpe,
Cover by: Julian Totino Tedesco,
Variant Covers by: Geoff Shaw and Gabe Eltaeb; Nick Pitarra and Michael Garland; Mike Allred,
Editors: Charlotte Greenbaum and Danny Khazem,
Assistant Editor: David Menchel,
Editor-in-Chief: Warren Simmons,
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment,
Release Date: Out Now,
Price: $3.99

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A peer into their childhood shows the early struggles of Quantum and Woody, and a jump into the more recent past shows the cause of their failed partnership.

In the present, Negative One reveals her plans to Woody and how they will lead him into conflict with his brother.

We also learn what exactly Quantum/Eric’s current job is and what lay behind it.

Quantum and Woody #2 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Quantum and Woody #2 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

While the first issue of Quantum and Woody was a solid read with some laughs and fun to be shared, it didn’t leave me especially satisfied. Some elements were missing to turn the comic into a truly entertaining read.

Thankfully, Quantum and Woody #2 delivers on the potential of the story. The schism between Eric and Woody Henderson is explored, there is more action and energy, and the overall story is more cohesive and less fractured.

The comic is generally funnier too. There are more little jokes and visual gags. The increased momentum and faster pacing allows for the reader to be less bored and thus more receptive to a good punchline here and there.

There is more emotional energy too. We how the relationship between Eric and Woody really is. We see how much of a dick Woody can be, but we also see how manipulative and underhanded Eric could be in response. Neither one is the perfect brother, and you can see how each one landed in the position they currently occupy.

The time-hopping of the narrative is still a little confusing. Having just read the first issue last month, I still had some trouble remembering what is the present, what is the past, and which part we are supposed to be following. This much time shifting is a little odd for an action-comedy like Quantum and Woody. The withholding of information it elicits doesn’t really do anything for the story either.

Quantum and Woody #2 art by Kano
Quantum and Woody #2 art by Kano

Kano’s artwork is excellent. The world is highly detailed, the environments are full of small things that give the world more life, and the characters are expressive and well-designed. The layouts get a little too cute sometimes and can be disorienting. There are a pair of spreads that require you to turn the comic around which is really not conducive to digital reading.

Kano’s colors are wild and eye-catching too. Each has a smattering of varied and contrasting shades that serve to give the world a strong personality.

Quantum and Woody #2 delivers on many of the promises of the first issue, resulting in funny, engaging, and gorgeous comic well-worth a read. Daniel Kibblesmith and Kano do some great work. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

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Pop Culture

Rainbow Six Siege Gets Three New Maps & Enemies During “Outbreak”

Ubisoft revealed the latest additions coming to Rainbow Six Siege on the game’s official website, detailing all the fun and disturbing materials on the way for the “Outbreak” event that will keep you on your toes and make you even more afraid of germs than ever before. There will be three new co-op levels added to the game exclusive to the event, along with the fact that not every operator will be playable as certain people don’t have the “right skillset” for this mission. There’s also some fun cosmetic stuff on the way as well, which you can check out in the video below, as well as some info about the event in their official description we’ve added.

credit//Ubisoft

Outbreak takes the renowned Rainbow Six Siege gameplay and drops it in a new and fresh setting with an innovative twist. The parasite is unlike any threat the Rainbow Six team has ever faced before. From exploding monstrosities to hulking horrors, these armored monsters will bring the fight close and push the destruction engine to new heights – they won’t hesitate to tear through walls to get to you. Five archetypes of infected will challenge players in Outbreak, each with their own distinct abilities. Players must react quickly to fortify their positions and control their environments while under pressure. Play smartly and tactically to find new ways of using your arsenal, against a foe that doesn’t take cover and engages instantly in close combat.

There are two difficulty levels in Outbreak. The first one, Normal, will give a challenge to our players, but one they can overcome with coordination and team spirit. Where the real fun starts though, is with the second difficulty level: Pandemic. In this mode, friendly fire is on so watch were you’re shooting! Additionally, enemies can take you down with only a few hits. Smart tactical play and team play are the only way to prevail. In this punishing difficulty mode, only a select few will succeed… Will you be brave enough to dare it?

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Pop Culture

2020 Presidential Candidate Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Shows Off Leaping Skills in Skyscraper Poster

If superstar actor and WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson weren’t already tied up in the DCEU as Black Adam, he would apparently make a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Batroc the Leaper. Just take a look at the posted for The Rock’s upcoming generic disaster movie, Skyscraper, which shows Johnson leaping from an impossibly tall crane platform across an impossible distance toward an impossibly large, burning skyscraper.

The poster doesn’t tell us much about the movie. There will be a titular skyscraper. The Rock will perform amazing, athletic feats of heroism while doing whatever it is he has business doing in said Skyscraper.  Then again, that sounds like the entire premise of the movie anyway. More interesting, perhaps, is what the poster can tell us about The Rock’s 2020 presidential aspirations.

Johnson began flirting with a run for president in 2017, even officially launching a joke campaign with Tom Hanks as his running mate on Saturday Night Live. But Johnson has insisted that his aspirations are serious and a run a real possibility. The idea of a pro wrestler with no political experience becoming president would seem like a nightmare scenario under most conditions, but after four years of Donald Trump, also a pro wrestler with no political experience but also no chill, no eloquence, and no morals, The Rock becoming president will probably seem like sweet, blessed relief.

Taking that view, it’s possible to read the Skyscraper poster as a political allegory. Johnson, seeing the flames rising in America, represented by the Skyscraper, leaps from the crane platform, representing his campaign platform of issues (something Trump didn’t have, replacing it with vague sentiments about past glory and racial animus), in an impossible leap of faith that we can somehow pull out of this mess. Hmm, maybe Skyscraper really will be something more than just a mindless, by-the-numbers action flick…

Nah, probably not. Besides, the movie actually takes place in China.

Skyscraper hits theaters in July.

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