Exploring the corners of entertainment you never even knew existed

Editorials

For The Community Fans Out There

NBC released the schedule for the next half of the season, with the critically beloved (but sadly low rated) Community no where to be found. Luckily, the show has not been canceled, just benched. Instead, 30 Rock, which has been (in my opinion) on creative life support for a while, is taking it’s place. Many are fearing the worst. We all want to see the Greendale gang graduate! Four seasons, that’s all we ask! But, even during all the nervous chatter, I’ve found an article that breaks down the situation pretty well. It’s worth a read, if only to realize that it’s not all certain doom and gloom.

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/11/vulture-answers-your-questions-about-communitys-future.html

“Six seasons and a movie!”

(Editor’s note: Brittaed the link before. It’s the right one now)


The Lost Songs of James Bond

Everyone loves the opening credits of a Bond movie. Sure, you have a kick ass teaser to kick start a Bond movie, but you really know you’re there when the theme music starts.

As it turns out, Tomorrow Never Dies and Quantum of Solace have two theme songs, both of them replaced. You can tell they were meant for the original songs, as their tunes match up with the theme music by David Arnold all over their respective films. The first is “Surrender” by K.D. Lang, was replaced as the producers simply didn’t like it and asked Sheryl Crow for a replacement. The story of the second song, “No Good About Goodbye,” is slightly more complicated.  David Arnold developed the song with Amy Winehouse, but she dropped out due to health complications. When Jack White and Alicia Keys were brought on, their went their own way with the song and we got the wildly uneven “Another Way To Die.” Personally, I think it’s a shame, as Arnold’s original song for Quantum of Solace would have fit the movie far better. Arnold eventually recorded the song with Shirley Bassey, who sung the theme music for Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, and Moonraker.

For your listening pleasure, here they are:

Tomorrow Never Dies, “Surrender”

Quantum of Solace, “No Good About Goodbye”


Battlefield 3 PC Beta Initial Impressions

2011 has been an interesting year for games. Not only to we have almost every major franchise throwing their latest, greatest entry into the meat grinder, but we have the mother of all first person shooter grudge matches brewing: Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3.

While the Bad Company games were certainly good, they were overshadowed by the growing phenomenon of the Call of Duty franchise. For the last two years, in fact, the winter release schedules have been rather barren in order to avoid the CoD juggernaut, but not so in 2011. EA and Dice are here to play and they go a long way in proving it with their Battlefield 3 beta. While not perfect, it’s enough to give a gamer hope. (more…)


Summer 2011 Movies Guide: July

Horrible Bosses

Release: July 8th

Starring: Jason Batemen, Charlie Day, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacy

Directed by: Seth Gordon

The Story: Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.

The Gossip: To be honest, there haven’t been many discussions around the campfire about the movie. The reviews so far have been rather solid with 80% on rotten tomatoes at the time this article comes up. Usually, a smaller scale movie comes out after the big July 4th release and Horrible Bosses seems to fit the bill.  Last year we got Predators in the same slot. The marketing has been solid, as are the names in the cast. If the reviews hold, it may be worth a look for a few laughs.

So, will it be any good? Magic Eight Ball says “Cannot Predict Now” (more…)


E3 2011: Who Had The Best Press Conference?

E3 2011 is over.  We got lots of great game coverage and peeks at distant titles. But the real meat of the event came from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo’s press conferences. How did they do? Well, let’s take a look at the good, bad, ugly, and then tally it up. Before we go any further… these articles are about the press conferences only, not the meetings going on behind closed doors or the demos on the show floor. (more…)


E3 2011: Nintendo

2011 is an exciting year for E3, though to be fair most of that has to do with the hype surrounding Nintendo’s next console. Wii 2, Project Café, or even Stream – whatever it’s called, holds both great promise for the company and its followers. 2011 is going to be the start of a minor reinvention for Nintendo that comes with a new console cycle. If the rumors are true and Nintendo is trying to recapture the hardcore market, then they have a great deal of work to do in reshaping themselves. The battle for the new Nintendo will start at their press conference. Their first impression will be crucial. (more…)


Summer 2011 Movies Guide: June

X-Men: First Class

Release date: June 3rd

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, January Jones

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

The Story: In 1963, Charles Xavier starts up a school and later a team, for humans with superhuman abilities. Among them is Erik Lensherr, his best friend… and future archenemy.

The Gossip: The last two X-Men movies were badly produced and lazy films that tarnished the good name of the first two entries in the franchise. However, Bryan Singer, the director of the first two films, is back to guide the creative decisions of the film. Matthew Vaughn, the director of Stardust and Kick-Ass is directing a wonderfully chosen cast in an intriguing premise. While Fox’s history and an accelerated production schedule haven’t inspired much confidence in the film, each new piece of footage released looks better than the last. A respect for the source material is here, as well the time in which the film takes place. Also, early reviews for the film have been nothing less than raving with an outstanding 98% on rotten tomatoes with 50 reviews. That’s pretty damn impressive.

So, will it be good? Magic Eight Ball says: “You may rely on it” (more…)


E3 2011: Microsoft

Originally posted here.

Last time, we discussed Sony’s position coming into E3. In the interim, their “Welcome Back” program will hopefully improve their standing going into the conference. With Sony’s hand tipped, we know precious little about what Microsoft has in store for us – even less than Nintendo.

Unlike Sony, Microsoft has a very small list of established exclusives this year. Gears of War and Forza are certainly popular franchises, but they won’t carry a holiday season. However, several multi-platform games such as Arkham City, Skyrim, and Modern Warfare 3 will sell in numbers favoring the X-Box. Unfortunately, bragging on how multi-platform games sell better on their system isn’t going to help Microsoft with their press conference. No… they need something to wow their audience… so what could it be? (more…)


E3 2011: Sony

Originally posted here.

It’s that time again… Christmas in June for gamers and geeks alike. E3, when the big gaming companies pull back their curtains and let us know what exciting projects they’ve been working on. The event is capitalism at its finest.

At the beginning of the year, it seemed as though 2011 belonged to Sony. Nintendo’s sales have been flagging while Microsoft doesn’t really have much to show on the horizon except for Gears of War 3. Sony’s machine had finally gained the momentum it needed, as well as a reasonable price tag. With blu-ray and an army of exclusives including Twisted Metal, inFAMOUS 2, and Uncharted 3, Sony was to be the dominate force in gaming for the foreseeable future.

Then hackers broke into the PSN and the SOE servers, resulting in a massive theft of personal information and a questionable PR reaction from Sony.

And now, with the PSN and SOE servers still down, millions of dollars have been lost over several companies. In addition, exclusives such as Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4 haven’t received the best reviews.

Sony’s position going into E3 is… awkward to say the least. (more…)


How Japan Can Win the West

Remember the times growing up with the Super Nintendo, the N64, or Playstation? The best games were always Japanese, right? Final Fantasy, Mario, Zelda, those were the ones that got you excited. Now, think about it… when’s the last time you got excited for a Final Fantasy? Now what games are everyone looking forward to? The next Call of Duty? Uncharted 3? Final Fantasy XIII was met with general apathy and disappointment, the same of which have come with Metroid: Other M (which has been disparaged for its character assassination of Samus Aran and simplistic game play) and Donkey Kong Country Returns (which has been criticized for difficult game play and strange jump mechanics). JRPG’s as a whole have been losing steam in the United States. The Last Remnant and Lost Odyssey are two RPG’s from Square Enix that have been all but forgotten. It seems with each new Japanese game, the more resistance builds up against them. Where Squaresoft would be the premier RPG developer, Bioware has taken the mantle. Where the Metal Gear Solid games were once known for their stories, their overly convoluted nature has allowed more tightly written games such as Uncharted to come along and grip the hearts of  western gamers.

(more…)