New Riddick

Oh, how I long for September 6th. No, not for my mum’s birthday, but for Riddick to leap back onto our screens. It’s been TOO long since the last time we saw this anti-hero on the big screen, but it’s definitely worth the wait. I’m ALL for delaying films until there’s a decent script and production crew to create something special. It beats churning out below average films on a consistent basis just to make a buck.

A new trailer for Riddick has emerged online, and it’s looking EPIC. A lot of the montage is previous footage already seen, but there’s some cool new monster footage in there too. I’m glad that they’ve stepped away from The Chronicles of Riddick – I was never quite sure where’d they’d have gone from our hero becoming head of the necromancers. It seems he’s back on his own, cast off in a inhospitable world and being tracked, once again, by bounty hunters.  The setting looks great, Vin looks buff, the monsters look cool and Katee Sackoff’s got a role – though I hope her actual movie time is more than that of the trailer because it seems by favourite Battlestar Galactica gal is rather pushed to the back of the cast list.

However, all in all, BRING ON SEPTEMBER. 30 DAYS AND COUNTING.

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New ‘Thor’ Poster

I think I must’ve missed the bell when it was rung for The Avengers. I know that a lot of people go completely gaga over these characters. However, I have to admit it, when I saw Avengers Assemble I was completely in the dark about the story, the characters – basically, EVERYTHING. I’d seen ‘Iron Man‘, heard of the ‘Captain America‘ film, but really didn’t have a clue who anyone else was. When a long haired man with a giant hammer fell from the sky I was more like ‘WTF, how ridiculous‘, than ‘OMG, it’s Thor!‘ I left the cinema more confused than awed, and found myself wishing I’d bothered to watch all previous movies before I’d gone to see AA.

It has to be said that Chris Hemsworth is FIT. Clean cut – hot. Beefed up, hairy and beardy – FIT AS F*?! Still, I had no great desire to go and see Thor – The Dark World until I saw THIS (see below) poster. Umm, Natalie Portman’s in it?! Bloody wowzers. Not only do I love Portman, but in this image she is HAWT.

Image thanks to SoSoGay.co.uk

Image thanks to SoSoGay.co.uk

Thor’s coming to our screens on October 30th, and though I’d never wanted to see it before, Portman’s inclusion might’ve just made me a fan.

At least three sequels for Avatar

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

I’m a HUGE fan of Avatar. This film had a lot to live up to such was the hype surrounding James Cameron’s masterpiece. A lot of money was spent, but even more more was recouped, and the SF film remains the highest grossest film of all time having made $2.78bn in global sales. I was lucky enough to see the original at the IMAX theatre at Waterloo, London, and was dazzled with the special effects, the engaging story, and the brilliant new world that Cameron had created. Yes, some said the film took too long to get going, and I’ll admit, it takes a while before things really heat up. But having created such an expansive world, I felt time needed to be taken to develop the Na’vi culture.  To really delve into this race so that there was an emotional tie for us viewers. Because ultimately, it’s the humans who are the aggressors in this film.

It was no surprise when Cameron announced that Avatar was going to be a trilogy of films, with the second two movies filming back-to-back from 2014. However, news has now emerged that three sequels are actually to be made, with the first appearing in cinemas in 2016 and the latter two in December 2017 and 2018.  “In writing the new films, I’ve come to realise that ‘Avatar’s’ world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen,” Cameron has said.

Being the ever cynic about the film industry, if the three sequels go down well, I wouldn’t put Cameron passed creating even more films as part of a series just to make some more money. And, the scope is there. He’s created an entirely new world of Na’vi, creatures and landscapes to explore. He’s introduced hypersleep, avatars and unobtanium. There’s no reason why the Avatar films couldn’t even venture away from Pandora itself to other neighbouring systems too.

I’m a little disappointed that we have to wait SO long for the next film, but I understand the intricacies involved. A group of new screenwriters has been brought in to help Cameron too, with War of the World’s Josh Friedman, Rise of the Planets of the Apes’ (agreeably the worst named film ever) Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and Savages’ Shane Salerno all now on-board. However, this implies that scripting hasn’t even officially started yet, meaning that the release dates currently given could still shift back.

A new look at Elder Scrolls Online

I’m highly anticipating Elder Scrolls Online, and this week Elder Scrolls Weekly have offered some great updated information on this epic new game. Though they’ve shifted the release date (boooo) I’m still excited, and let’s be honest, it’s better to have a later release and less bugs than a game such as Defiance which is riddled with errors. I’ve posted the video below, but for those who just want a quick overview, then I’ve outlined some of things talked about.

PLUS – if you want to watch some live streaming, then Elder Scrolls Online will be available to watch from QuakeCon TODAY.  Just head to http://twitch.tv/bethesda  and watch the game-play from 17:30 GMT or 18:30 WEST.

Landscape

I LOVE beautiful scenery, and it’s one of the reasons that I stayed in SWG for so long….Naboo, Corellia, even Tatooine, were beautifully sculpted and realistic worlds to explore. Unfortunately, I hate the stylized worlds so common now, and its put me off getting into games such as STWOR. However, Bethesda have been true to previous games, such as Skyrim, and you can expect some truly stunning landscapes in ESO. I really think that I’ll spend a lot of time exploring the lands they’ve created and questing as I go, rather than simply rushing through each region just to get levelling up out of the way.

NPCs and Quest Givers

One of the things that really seems impressive is the amount of detail and variation given to NPCs. ESO will have fully voiced NPCs which, like SWTOR, helps to fully immerse you into the world. However, one of the most annoying things about the Star Wars game is that all the NPCs look alike. There was no great diversity between characters in the slightest. Not so in ESO, where everything possible has been done to ensure that each personality has their own look and doesn’t come as a carbon copy of someone else. Along with voice acting, this should go a long way to help immersion. And, though many of the Skyrim actors have been used to voice this new world, it’ll offer nostalgia for lovers of this series.

Character Creation

One of the most exciting things mentioned that ESO’s character creation has the possibility of being the best ever character creation for MMO’s ever. Firstly, because of the megaserver aspect, Bethesda have brought in surname options so that there can be multiple names with different surnames. Instead of 10 set body types, there are sliders to changes aspects such as chest, ankle, posterior and height. For the latter, there are some restrictions simply to keep species lore in check. When it comes to faces and heads, there’s a HUGE number of options with individual features, such as mouths and eyes, allowing a huge amount of customisation. This is one of the aspects I like most because there’s nothing worse than having  a MMO server full of people who look exactly the same. I don’t want to look like my in-game friends. I want to look unique and like my own person…especially as I’m a big role player.

So, there you have it – all the latest details on ESO. I can’t wait to watch the live streaming later today. I’ll keep my fingers ever crossed that I get a Beta invite soon!

The Elder Scrolls Online – New Trailer

Details are still rather sketchy about The Elder Scrolls Online, but Bethesda have now released a new trailer as part of E3. One of the things that really inspires me to play is the beautiful graphics – none of this stylised crap! AND, they put a rough release date – Spring 2014 – so it seems we’ll be having a lot more info over the coming months as the build up to launch.

Still awaiting my Beta key…….

Season 8 will be Dexter’s last

There’s been seven seasons of plastic wrapping, parcel tape, glass slides and a final stab to the heart, but it’s now been confirmed, Dexter, Season 8, will be the last. *SOB* I have loved this season from start to finish, and there have been some epic seasons….the presence of Jaime Murray (Lila) and Julia Stiles (Lumen) being  notable. But, even with these guest appearances, the core characters of serial killer Morgan, potty-mouthed Deb, fame hunter LaGuerta and side-kick Batista have been the real diamonds here. None of them have failed to intrigue me, and as Dexter’s world has unravelled from one season to the next, the team have been on hand to ask probing questions, second guess and cause problems for our favourite killer.

I suppose it was inevitable after Deb found out, that the end of Dexter’s world as he knew it was going to soon come to an end. And then, with the ending events of season 7, it’s difficult to see just how the Morgan’s will be able to slip the noose with this one. The one thing I hope THEY DON’T do is feel the need for moral justification and end up having Dexter caught and put on death row. Not that I think that’ll happen; I’m sure they’ll have a far more interesting and twisted end to the story.

The first final season teaser has now been officially released. Here’s hoping the epic series goes out with more kills than Debra can throw a mouthful of ‘fucks’ at.

Defiance tantalises the tastebuds

Defiance-Promo-BoxDefiance has been given high expectations to live up to. Whilst the companion computer game has been a flop, marred by bugs and errors (see Digital Spy’s review), having watched the feature long pilot, I can safely say there’s a lot to tantalise the taste buds.

The first five mins of the show, pre-released online by SyFy, certainly hinted at great things to come. There’s no glossy sheen and Hollywood glitz here; it’s shot in a similar style to Battlestar Galactica, there’s a great atmospheric soundtrack and when people have been fighting, well what d’ya know, they’re actually bloodied and dirty rather than having their lip gloss and hair remaining in perfect place. Moving on past the first five minutes, the show continued to intrigue and interest me from start to finish and it ended with a ‘wow, well that was pretty good’

The concept’s pretty simple. A group of aliens invaded the Earth after their own star system died. They’re made up of a variety of races, most of whom don’t seem to like each other and have strained relationships with one another at best. Joshua Nolan and his adopted daughter Irisa (an Irathient) land in the town of Defiance after being wounded, only to help solve a murder and discover a war party of Volge (Defiance’s one true villainous race) descending towards the town to eradicate it.

There’s huge scope for this series, and the foundation has been well started. The romeo and juliet storyline between two of the warring Defiance factions children offers promise, but only if it doesn’t go down the cliche route of star-crossed lovers. Jaime Murray (Dexter’s Lilith) excels as the wife of Castithan husband Datak Tarr and plays the role of a subservient wife who’s pulling the strings very well. Leads Nolan and Irisa (Grand Bowler and Stephanie Leonidas) are both strong enough to carry the story, and the pilot offers a slight glimpse of the other races and storylines that may develop over time.

The main area that Defiance MUST succeed in is to create a good overall story-arc, within which the story can grow. Fringe had the unexplained events that obviously geared towards something greater. Battlestar Galactica had the destruction of the colonies and humankind on the run. V had the arrival of aliens on planet Earth and the constant wondering of just what they were after. Defiance has, well, a town. There are flickerings of a bigger story, a plot that could put everyone’s lives in danger, but this will need to be developed carefully to keep interest brewing. Otherwise, Defiance could become just another show which loses its way several episodes in and never recovers; aka Terra Nova – the dino show with a worrying lack of actual dino’s. Defiance’s alien races need to be developed so that they don’t just look different, but have alternate views and takes on the world too. Characters need not to start out three dimensional and then fade to carbon templates. And, like so many good stories, it’s imperative that the obvious doesn’t always happen.

That said, the pilot was pretty amazing, the CGI for SyFy’s budget was good, there was no obvious bad acting and the story set the foundations for what could be a fantastic new science fiction series. I’m looking forward to next week!