When we think of the big science fiction franchises out there we think of Doctor Who, Star Wars and Star Trek. And while Doctor Who is off celebrating 50 years of being in existence and Star Wars is enjoying it’s 30th year since Jedi was released and now Star Trek is enjoying a nice quiet rejuvenation. Back in 2009 an ambitious director took the helm of rebooting a franchise and marketing it towards a new generation (no pun intended). And while growing up I wasn’t into Star Trek after hearing the rave reviews of the first film and being a fan of science fiction I had to check it out. And yes it was pretty damn good.
Fast forward four years and Abrams has been given the key to the franchise he has always wanted, Star Wars. Abrams admitted that he wasn’t a huge Trekkie all those years ago, stating it was too smart for him so he wanted to make it more for people like him and he was successful. His action packed Trek film was a hit but after a week into it’s release the second Trek film hasn’t done as good box office wise, but hey when Iron Man 3 opens a few weeks earlier and Hangover 3 and Fast 6 all open in the same month it’s kind of hard to think that the second film would do so good. Four years between sequels is a long time but how is Abrams possible final Trek film though?
I get home from work and then I go onto my handy dandy almost trusty internets to find that they have filled up the world with either fake Doctor Who news or just lies flat out lies. The word on the street is that the season finale leaked since the BBC messed up and sent out the Blu Rays to America for the second part of the season. This has yet to be proven false but you know how the internet is, if it did leak then it would be plastered all over the torrent web sites. A quick search has turned up nothing so this could be just a giant publicity stunt to essentially draw up a bigger audience.
Another piece of Who news is this. Matt Smith is leaving. He wants to focus on a Hollywood career. The 50th anniversary special just finished filming and they are wrapping it up and editing it now as we speak but the word is that Smith will be leaving after the Christmas special. This makes very little sense to me since they just put Clara in the show and there seems to be a connection between the two. The word though also includes the fact that Smith is campaigning to be the next Bond villain. But the word is that Smith loves the role and doesn’t want to leave. Conflicting news? I mean it did come from the Huffington Post. He’ll probably stay on, he doesn’t have a Hollywood face.
If I am correct it was at E3 in 2011 that SquareEnix debuted the reboot to the classic adventure game Tomb Raider. I had to say that I was impressed. They were going for a gritty reboot. Lara Croft was proportional. Her boobs weren’t humongous. She was normal looking. And I was down with that. The visuals in the prerendered trailer got me giddy. But I knew that this game had the potential to suck…horribly. The most recent of Tomb Raider games have rather negative reviews attached to them.
I had never before played a Tomb Raider game before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would the game play more like Uncharted or more like the Arkham games, or even like Resident Evil 4. And that is when the reviews poured in. Most people were already hailing it as a GOTY candidate. An instant classic. IGN had an infographic that picked apart the game. It said if you enjoyed aspects from all three games I had mentioned then you’d love Tomb Raider. And so I bought it. When I put it in the console I was amazed and it was love right away.
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 just came out which means Thor 2 and Captain America 2 are both next on the slate but the word on the street is that several of the cast members are not pleased with their contracts for the upcoming Avengers sequel. It’s been well noted that Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr made a whopping fifty million for the first Avengers film while most of the remaining leads made only around two hundred thousand dollars. Actor Chris Hemsworth is one of the actors who isn’t pleased with his contract seeing as the role of the thunder god Thor requires him to be on a special diet and working out all day. It also costs him other roles in films. Clearly when Hemsworth signed up for the first film he wasn’t a house hold name, now things might be different.
While most of the actors are willing to renegotiate and go back to work Marvel has made it known that if they don’t they will sue for breach of contract and possibly recast, if you really don’t think they will then ask Edward Norton. Meanwhile the rest of the star studded cast which includes Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johanson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will expect Downey to have their backs to help them get more money. I don’t see why Marvel can’t give them a raise. The first Avengers film did cross a billion dollars. Share your thoughts in the comments section.
May 26th marks the return of one of modern televisions greatest shows…Arrested Development. Now of course we all know the Bluth family was ahead of it’s time in terms of television programs (see before the Office came out) and it only lasted three seasons (see the six seasons and a movie joke) but Netflix has reunited the cast for one final season, that you can stream in one night, because it’s the only way to watch the show. I for one will watch the entire season on my next day off after it’s online, with which I may post a review.
For those of you who know me, I love the NBC sitcom Community. I have been watching the show since it’s debut four seasons ago, and while I lack cable at my current residence I will somehow find a way to watch the fourth season which has just ended. What I always have loved about this show is it’s humor and the characters. While most people think its juvenile or too based in pop culture I say you couldn’t be any more wrong. It’s genius and each episode is in some way a parody of some form of modern culture. The show is ripe with satire.
And while it pained me to suffer through the third season in which the show was inexplicably removed from the NBC lineup to only be restored months later and then be placed in renewal limbo for a fourth season it still put forth some classic episodes in that third season. The problem has always been the lack of the viewership. Television execs base all their big time decisions on how many people are watching. Damn you Neilsen ratings! So while a show may have a cult following, people who download it, or DVR it or even Hulu it aren’t helping.
On top of that we had the Dan Harmon (show creator) and Chevy Chase (he’s Pierce) drama that went on and on and started to drag the show in the mud. Harmon left and then Chase left after this season. So the question was is Community coming back? It’s first season without Harmon was questionable apparently, but the fans still were there but the ratings weren’t. NBC just announced they renewed it for 13 episodes but it won’t be in their fall lineup. Meaning that if and when it comes back for season 5 it will be a midseason replacement for a show that has tanked.
While the word is that it will be back for at least 13 more episodes (they say this will be the final season), Deadline reports that Harmon may be back on the show now that Chase is gone.
One can only hope.
I believe it was around this time last year if not earlier that Sony and Santa Monica Studios unveiled the teaser for the next installment of the God of War series. Most of us thought it was going to be God of War IV but we should know better. Instead what they dropped on us was yet another prequel in Kratos’ struggles. But does this game do anything different than the predecessors? Or is it just another romp with Kratos that feels like all the others? To be honest familiarity in these games is great but at the same time it’s not. I know that sounds stupid but is it really?
Ever since the early 2000’s games like God of War have littered consoles with their arcade like action and intense blood. It all started with Devil May Cry and God of War being the main culprits. Simple (yet respectable) stories, gameplay that had you mixing weapons and the hack and slash type play style. We then saw several copy cat franchises. Darksiders, Dante’s Inferno both draw heavily from the formula that helped Kratos become a household name. And while many gamers complain about the redundancy they still sell like hotcakes. I don’t have a problem with the fact that there are so many games like God of War out there but what I want is a little bit of mixture between the styles. Now I have a soft spot in my game library for God of War (I have both HD collections as well as III) so you can imagine my eagerness and then slight disappointment when I concluded with the latest installment.