Despite the decades that have passed since its release, it would be hard to argue that any film is as relevant to the way movies are made today than George Lucas’ 1977 space opera, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Kevin Feige, the Marvel head honcho who presides over what is the most lucrative and successful film franchise currently operating — including Star Wars — talks openly about how much of an impact the original trilogy had on him. The list of filmmakers who directly crib from Lucas would be like a census of Hollywood royalty. And the subsidiary industries that Star Wars has spawned, from toys to novels to video games, has changed how the entertainment business works. But when you eliminate the biases that come from living in a Star Wars-addled world and look back at the circumstances of its creation, what’s far more surprising is that the film got made at all. That a USC grad in his early 30s best known for a coming-of-age story about small-town … [Read more...] about What if Star Wars never happened?
Venture bros characters
The first episode of Joe Pera Talks With You, the latest addition to Adult Swim’s late-night comedy lineup, is about ... rocks. To be specific, it’s about minerals — and in this case, iron. In the opening scene, mild-mannered host Joe (the character, played by Pera the actor) sits facing the viewer. He’s sweater-clad, fair-haired like a scabby-kneed boy, and says that he wants to teach viewers about the history of iron in Michigan’s upper peninsula, where he’s lived his whole life. But what follows in the next 11 minutes — and the season’s remaining eight episodes — is much more than a dry celebration of Michigan’s geological makeup. Instead, we get drawling, sincere narration from inside Joe’s head. We meet a set of characters who have come to accept his peaceable demeanor. And an actual story is born from the ostensible documentary about iron; we pivot toward Joe’s pleas for a young family not to buy his … [Read more...] about The sincerely weird Joe Pera Talks With You is like nothing else on Adult Swim
Whether it’s an Easter egg, a joke character, or just a little nudge at a competitor, developers love slipping the odd reference to other games into their own. Sometimes though, they go beyond just slapping a Dopefish on a wall or quipping about a ‘doomed space marine’, and we get to see our heroes stride into entirely new, often completely inappropriate new worlds.Here are a few of our favourites, along the ones that caused the most ‘wait, what?’ blinking on discovery. Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty JediYes, he can hold his breath underwater for ten minutes and quip his way through any sword-fight… but only The Force Unleashed II let him try his luck with a lightsaber. Turns out that you don’t need a sharp wit if you’re waving around two of the universe’s deadliest glowsticks and aren’t afraid to use them. Guybrush Threepkiller is so famous in-universe, he even has his own statues. We’re almost positive that’ll … [Read more...] about The strangest, silliest PC gaming crossovers
After Konami's uncomfortable separation with series creator Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Survive's first impression is one of cheap fanfiction. But after playing the first three hours, I'm both relieved and troubled to say that Survive is only a Metal Gear game in name. You're dumped through a wormhole into a hazy, zombie-infested world, all the Snake bros and long cutscenes and cognizant clone hands locked away in another dimension. It's fitting, really—besides some cylindrical tutorial robots with long-winded, patronizing explanations for everything, Survive's world is a simple one. It's just a damn survival game. The genre brings its usual problems with it, chief among them that any time a game has hunger and thirst meters, I clam up. It also has resource collection and convoluted menu systems for managing them. (Double-clammed.) There are also zombies. (I can't begin to describe how hard I am clamming.) But in the first few hours, the genre cliches marred by countless poor … [Read more...] about Clumsy brawls with dumb zombies make Metal Gear Survive hard to get into
A Harry Potter fan film that got underway with Warner Bros.’ blessings after a 2016 crowdfunding campaign has launched. Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, went up on YouTube yesterday. The film’s makers, Tryangle Films, are very careful to say it’s a non-commercial work that isn’t endorsed by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. or any of the companies managing that canon. Still, it scratches a big itch for Potter fans — the backstories of principal characters from the eight-movie series that spanned a decade. Tryangle Films began a crowdfunding venture for the movie back in 2016, and shortly after the filmmakers were contacted by Warner Bros., the rights holders to the movie series. Crowdfunding went on hold as the two sides talked, and Tryangle emerged with tacit permission to make the film on a non-profit basis and launch it on YouTube. The tension was worth it, because the story that co-directors Gianmaria Pezzato and Stefano Prestia wanted to … [Read more...] about Harry Potter fan film — covering Voldemort’s rise — launches on YouTube