Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:15:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PlayStation Experience Game Images http://sknr.net/2014/12/21/playstation-experience-game-images/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/21/playstation-experience-game-images/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:10:11 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76562 Here are the last set of images from our coverage of the PlayStation Experience. I hope that you like them as much as I enjoyed taking them and covering the event.

 

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PlayStation Hardware: A Visual History http://sknr.net/2014/12/21/playstation-hardware-visual-history/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/21/playstation-hardware-visual-history/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:57:07 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76559 During Our coverage of the Playstation Experience in Las Vegas, we created a visual history of PlayStation hardware which we hope you enjoy.

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Our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide On BJ Shea’s Geek Nation http://sknr.net/2014/12/20/2014-holiday-gift-guide-bj-sheas-geek-nation/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/20/2014-holiday-gift-guide-bj-sheas-geek-nation/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:48:51 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76557 As we gear up for the final Holiday push, we have done our radio version of our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. The segment was on BJ Shea’s Geek Nation on KISW FM out of Seattle and is streamed, syndicated, podcast, and available on ITunes.

This time we look at the hottest games for your Holiday Shopping.

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The Marvel Experience http://sknr.net/2014/12/20/marvel-experience/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/20/marvel-experience/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:19:04 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76552 We were invited to attend the opening of the first stop of the Marvel Experience tour at Slat River Fields in Scotsdale, AZ.  This mobile tour of all things Marvel includes interactive stations with gaming, climbing, flight and stealth simulations and more. I especially liked the Black Widow challenge of navigating through a field of lasers as well as the Holo Shooter where we had to shoot several targets. We were not allowed to shoot beyond the main dome, but there was also a stunning 360 movie as well as a motion ride before exiting to the main gift shop.  We will have more information later but for now, here are the images from our visit.

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Tickets and details can be found here as well as dates as to when the show is coming to your area.

 

 

 

The Marvel Experience

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Walking With Dinosaurs http://sknr.net/2014/12/20/walking-dinosaurs/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/20/walking-dinosaurs/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:01:11 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76549    When I was a small child I was completely enamored with dinosaurs and even to this day I still am. You could then probably guess how excited I was when I got the opportunity to review Walking With Dinosaurs the arena spectacular presented by BBC. After a worldwide tour of 217 cities and seven years later they have returned to the Tacoma Dome.

   The show follows Huxley, a paleontologist who takes audiences on a 200 million year journey through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods Some of the dinosaurs that Huxley will introduce audiences to are the: Plateosaurus, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ornithocheirus, Ankylosaurus, Torosaurus and of coarse a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. Operation for each dinosaur is done by three people. One operates the head and tale motion, one operates the movement of the mouth along with blinking and audio and one driver. The perfection of detail not only can be seen in each and every dinosaur but also in the different landscapes and plants. To be able to feel the thunder, see the lightening, hear rain and watch plants grow before your eyes is way out of this world.
   The moment the very first dinosaur came out I instantly got goosebumps. These giant puppets are so lifelike it is unbelievable. There is so much information that Huxley teaches along with great jokes that adults will pick up on. The show is outstanding in and of itself but what also was great to see was the reactions of the kids whom are enamored and a little frightened  by the sheer size and lifelike qualities of each creature. One very young boy sitting next to me was upset that a baby dinosaur was provided as a meal to another and screamed out “put the baby back.”
   The theatrical show is about 96 minutes long with one 20 minute intermission. It is perfect for the entire family and provides the audience an exciting and very realistic view into the world of these creatures that once ruled this planet. The ticket for the show is well worth it and should not be missed.
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Spain Gets A New Pac-Man Sculpture http://sknr.net/2014/12/19/spain-gets-new-pac-man-sculpture/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/19/spain-gets-new-pac-man-sculpture/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:47:08 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76545 Today at 12.00 pm, a commemorative sculpture of Pac-Man has been unveiled at the Campus of the Rey Juan Carlos University by the Japanese Ambassador in Spain.

The sculpture, which is more than two meters high, represents the iconic figure of Pac-Man as a symbol of the strong and prominent role that the videogame industry plays within the economy.

Pac-Man is a character from the realm of entertainment who became a worldwide icon in the 1980’s and continues to be as popular as ever today, given that, over the last 30 years or more, Pac-Man has continued to star in new versions of the game, as an entire universe has gradually been created that revolves around this amiable character.

Pac-Man has thus become a veritable point of reference for the international digital entertainment industry and a symbol of the strong and prominent role that this industry plays within the economy as a whole and in terms of job creation.

The commemorative sculpture has been erected at the Rey Juan Carlos University in order to recognize the fact that this is the first public university in the Madrid Region to offer a Degree in Video-Game Development. It also marks the future contribution that the University’s students are likely to make to the world of interactive leisure.

The inauguration will feature the participation of the Dean of the University, Mr. Fernando Suárez, the Japanese Ambassador in Spain, Mr. Kazuhiko Koshikawa, and cultural and business attachés from the Embassy, not to mention representatives from Bandai Namco, the company that owns the rights to the character.

About Pac-Man

Created in 1980, Pac-Man is the longest-running video-game character: for more than 30 years different versions of the game have been launched, as an entire universe has gradually been created that revolves around this amiable character. In 2014, Pac-Man will be present on the market with a new television series on Clan, “PAC-MAN™ and the Ghostly Adventures”, as well as an extensive line of toys and video games.

Launched in 1980, Pac-Man was created by the Japanese designer, Tôru Iwatani. Its name comes from the onomatopoeic Japanese word “paku-paku”, which is equivalent to “yum”, the sound we make when we chew.

 

Designed as the main character for a Japanese amusement arcade game, this famous figure became one of the icons of popular culture in the 1980’s (some 100,000 machines were sold in the first year alone) and has since become one of the most recognizable video-game characters of all time. In fact, Pac-Man has become a social phenomenon, generating millions in merchandising sales and the sale of other video-game-related products, such as a television series and even a top 10 single that shifted one million copies.

 

Pac-Man is probably the most widely played game in history. In fact, it has been calculated that more than 10 billion games have been played around the world in the arcade game segment alone. FUN FACTS AND FIGURES FEATURED IN THIS COMPUTER GRAPHICS: http://www.pacman.com/en/pac-man-history/index.html

 

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Night At The Museum 3 http://sknr.net/2014/12/19/night-museum-3/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/19/night-museum-3/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:39:15 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76542 Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb, is a new movie (rated PG) starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Dan Stevens, and Rebel Wilson.

It is the third installment in the ‘Night At The Museum’ series.

The movie begins in time before any of the movies take place in time, throwing us back to the discovery of the magical tablet that brings the museum to life after sunset.

We then flash forward to current day,
and Ben Stillers character, Larry Daley, is the ‘special effects’ manager, in charge of all the magic of the museum.

Things go awry, and the rest of the movie is spent wrapped up in an attempt to first find out how to stop the erosion of the tablet, and then how to implement the information that is discovered.

The movie is fast paced, and it did draw me in. It is likely I was more emotionally invested in this film because it is the last film I will see Robin Williams in, and that was definitely at the forefront of my mind while watching the movie.

Some of the scenes between Rebel Wilson and Ben Stiller were less than funny to me, and some of the jokes were definitely groan worthy.
It was fairly predictable, but Dan
Stevens as Sir Lancelot did throw a few curve balls that mixed it up a bit.

It seems, based on some of the scenes, that Night at The Museum might be better in 3D than it was in 2D.

Over all, I liked the movie, but wouldn’t bother to take my son, who is 6 to see it ‘at the theatre’. It is one of those movies where the best parts seem to be in the previews.

I would give this movie 3out of 5 stars.

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Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Custom Items Trailer http://sknr.net/2014/12/17/call-duty-advanced-warfare-custom-items-trailer/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/17/call-duty-advanced-warfare-custom-items-trailer/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:27:58 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76538 A trailer showcasing the new Customization Items featured in the Havoc DLC Pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available.

Customization Items available now!

Check out the diverse selection of new customization items in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare available now in the in-game store:

4 Premium Personalization Packs: Includes themed weapon camo, three reticles, player card and emblem item PLUS matching exoskeleton and helmet camo.

Personalization Packs: Includes themed weapon camo, three reticles, player card and emblem item.

4 Exoskeleton Packs: Unique themed exoskeleton and matching helmet.

10 Flag Exoskeleton Packs: Your country needs you! Show your patriotism with a flag exoskeleton skin and matching helmet. Available for: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Japan.

 

!cid_image006_png@01D019FB !cid_image001_png@01D019FB

 



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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies http://sknr.net/2014/12/17/hobbit-battle-five-armies/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/17/hobbit-battle-five-armies/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 07:01:22 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76526 It’s been thirteen years since Director Peter Jackson first took us to middle earth and showed movie

audiences that large scale fantasy could be done right on film with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And

now the final trek through middle earth is here with the third and final film in the Hobbit series.

Picking up at the climatic conclusion of 2013’s The Desolation of Smaug, The Battle of the Five Armies is

less about the journey and more about the war between the various armies of middles earth over the

massive riches in the mountain home they journeyed to reclaim. After the exciting beginning that serves

to tie up the previous film and sets to table for this one, we begin to see the brotherhood between the

dwarfs, a wizard, a few elves and a Hobbit that focuses on the bonds of friendship and loyalty. This

builds on itself as it leads to the climactic battle of the five armies. The battle is on the grand scale you

would come to expect from these middle earth films, only at times this battle seems to rely on a bit too

much CGI and thus almost plays out cartoonish. Granted, this is a fantasy world were Dwarfs, Elves and

Men are fighting Orcs so it is really not that hard to suspend disbelief in the first place. Thus the film is

entertaining in its own right as it wraps up one trilogy and bridges to another.

This bridge is what surprised me most. We received a bit more insight to some of the higher beings and

their understanding that villain in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is slowly returning to power. These

sequences are entertaining and great for fan service, but they seem to be handled a bit to simply as it

makes us wonder, if they knew this dark figure was alive, why did they wait so long (The Lord of the

Rings Trilogy) to do something about it. Still, it is nice to see the story wrapped up into one complete

adventure that viewer could connect all the way through.

In the end, those fans of the books and previous films will be pleased with the action, pace and way this

film wraps everything up. Other than the sequence of Bilbo’s interaction with Smaug in the last film, The

Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the best film in the Hobbit Series.

4 out of 5 stars

Special Podcast on The Hobbit.

Second Review by
Joseph Saulnier

One last trip back to Middle Earth, you say? Don’t mind if I do. The
Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
is the final installment of the The
Hobbit
trilogy from New Line Cinema, MGM and Wingnut Films. Picking up
right where we left off in The Desolation of Smaug, Five Armies begins
with Smaug’s attack on Lake-Town, driving out the residents lucky enough to
survive. Clearly, with a title like *Five Armies *has (and it should be no
surprise to those who have read the once-children’s tale), Smaug is
defeated and we move onto something bigger. But I won’t spoil the details
beyond that. Now that Erebor is free of the dragon’s control, a bigger
threat looms. Control of the mountain. For many reasons, many armies
(five to be exact) come to attempt control. But who will reign supreme?

Okay, now that I have pandered to those who want a bit of a plot outline,
let’s get onto how I felt about this film. First, I have to say that I
have had a love/hate relationship with The Hobbit film series. It really
bothers me that they changed so much from the book to movie. I know that
this is common practice, and films cannot be exactly like the books, but
creating an all-new (for the film) central-point character, who has defined
relationships that affect other characters, scenes and even plot points of
the story… that is a bit much to make this a fathomable “adaptation” and
not a reimagining of the great work. That being said, I have greatly
enjoyed the films and the imagery presented with them.

First, performances were excellent as per usual. Martin Freeman portrays
Bilbo Baggins in an honorable a noble light, just as I remember him from my
childhood reads of The Hobbit. But I feel like the man who stole the
spotlight this time around was definitely Richard Armitage (Thorin
Oakenshield
). I was worried coming into this final chapter of the story
about how Armitage was going to be able to pull off the darkness – as it
were – that we see affect Oakenshield after having won back the home of
his people. I have not had the opportunity to see many of Mr. Armitage’s
previous works, mainly experiencing him only in these movies, but he did an
admirable job. I could go on and on about all the things this film did
right, but most of them you know and have experience in the previous 2
films. So let me tell you about a couple things that really irked me.

The vast overuse of humor became really irritating at a point. I am all
for some small comic relief in various points of a movie, just so it
doesn’t seem to dark and broody, but there is a limit to it. It almost
felt like they wanted to break up the tension, then really driving it home
by hitting you 2 or 3 more times in a row with more gags/jokes, just to
make sure you got the point. Needless to say, there was a bit too much for
my taste. They could have toned it down a little and still not had it be a
dark movie.

The other thing that really got me was Tauriel. They invent this character
for the movie – to give you more connection to the dwarfs, thus making a
scene from this final installment more impactful – but they don’t give you
any closure on the character herself. In the end, you are left wanting to
know more about her and what becomes of her, but alas… we won’t. Because
the follow up to The Hobbit, and this character is pretty obviously
nowhere to be found in The Lord of the Rings. She was not a character
anywhere in Tolkien’s world, so we can’t expect to see her in any other
stories. Not like we will ever see another film set in Middle Earth
anyway, unless the Tolkien estate does become foolish enough to sell rights
to the god awful Silmarillion, or to Middle Earth in general so new stories
can be told.

Despite those 2 big gripes for me, this movie is definitely worth checking
out. Maybe even a couple times. I know I, for one, will be back to see it
in theaters. Even if only to support my fellow short-hairy-guys on
screen! But keep in mind, it’s not short, but it’s also not the longest of
the Middle Earth films. It runs at 2 hours 24 minutes, which means the
director’s cut will be over 4 hours!

4 stars out of 5

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What Microsoft Did Right With The Xbox One http://sknr.net/2014/12/16/microsoft-right-xbox-one/ http://sknr.net/2014/12/16/microsoft-right-xbox-one/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 06:36:03 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76533 The Kinect is no longer a gimmick. I know that many never felt it was, but
for some out there it seemed like just a way to sell more Xbox 360s. Which
is partly true. I wonder if Microsoft ever knew how big this thing would
become, and in meaningful ways not connected to the Xbox brand.

Getting back on subject, the Kinect is actually useful, but just not in the
gaming sense. The voice recognition is nothing short of amazing, and is
extremely adaptable. I really didn’t see myself using it very much, even
to the point of debating buying the bundle with the Kinect, but I am so
glad I did. There’s nothing cooler to a sci-fi geek like myself than being
able to walk in the room and say “Xbox On” and watch the Kinect come to
life as it turns on my TV, and the Xbox One automatically sets itself to
Watch TV (the default function can be changed in settings). Not just do
that, but I can tell my Xbox to tune to HBO and it knows what channel it
is. It can even control volume and access the guide. It just can’t access
my DVR list, but only a minor drawback.

The games are coming. Personally, I have certain game types that I play
certain consoles (aside from exclusives). Xbox happens to by my go-to for
sports/racing games. But I also like the exclusives that the brand has
been able offer in the past. At launch, there just weren’t enough
exclusives to draw me in. At least none that made me want to take that
leap. I still have concerns over Microsoft banking everything on Halo and
Gears of War exclusives, but we are starting to see more hit the scene
too. Sunset Overdrive is a blast to play, reminding me a weird combo
between Left 4 Dead, Grand Theft Auto and Tony Hawk. Forza Horizon 2
somehow manages to be more fun than the original. Also, while not an
exclusive, I am currently being completely terrified by The Evil Within.
But there are more great games on the Horizon, and hopefully Microsoft will
start playing more friendly and we can see some really great exclusives hit
the shelves in the years to come.

The interface and usability of the system has drastically improved over the
Xbox 360 too. They found a happy medium in being Kinect motion friendly,
and controller friendly. Things can be difficult to find sometimes, and
not everything can be controlled from just one method (Kinect vs.
controller), but they do work well with each other.

The Xbox One is extremely powerful. Despite having the lower quality
hardware (again, when you look at specs on paper, the PS4 is clearly more
powerful than the Xbox One, please do not debate this. You can’t argue
with the hardware installed), the Xbox One is one powerful machine and does
things that the PS4 cannot. I think the key to Microsoft’s success in this
current age of the console war is being able to find efficient, effective
ways of utilizing the power that is under the hood of this beast. I think
efficiency is especially the key here, especially if they can find a more
minimalist approach to the UI and navigation. I am very aware that it
sometimes takes over a minute to open “My Games & Apps” because it has to
generate content for the tiles on the screen by running out to the
internet. But give us some options here. Allow us to turn that feature
off so that we can get those screaming fast load times the commercials
promise us.

Okay. I have said my peace. Microsoft definitely has the opportunity to
win this age of console wars with the beastly power and potential the Xbox
One has, but can they harness it well enough to emerge the victor. Only
time will tell. It is currently a great entertainment platform, but how
about bringing it back to its roots as a great gaming platform too. Let’s
hope that Microsoft becomes a little more developer-friendly, and we get to
see the full-power of this machine released into excellent
console-exclusives.

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