Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:46:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Footage We Want To See At Star Wars Celebration http://sknr.net/2015/03/03/new-footage-we-want-to-see-at-star-wars-celebration/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/03/new-footage-we-want-to-see-at-star-wars-celebration/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:02:52 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77209 As we get closer to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim April 16th-19th, fans are growing more and more eager for what they hope will be further glimpses at what is in store for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With Director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in attendance and promising something special, speculation has arisen that the full trailer for the film may finally see the light of day.

Others have speculated that Disney may hold off on a trailer until the release of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” in May or perhaps for the D23 Expo in August.  Regardless of when the new trailer and images will be revealed fans are already ramped up to a fevered level waiting patiently for any new scrap of information about what is in store from them when the film is released on December 18th.

Abrams has said that trailers are always tricky things as you do not want to give stuff away or lessen the impact of something by releasing an image or footage before it is ready.  This implies that sequences with completed FX will be considered as temp FX shots would be exactly what Abrams was talking about trying to avoid.   Think back to the teaser trailer sequence of the X-Wings over water. That is most likely a sequence that was not completed and as such they took a few seconds of what was done when the desire may have been to show a bit more of the sequence.

It would be a very safe bet that we will see some of the original characters in the new trailer as they were omitted from the teaser in favor of introducing the new characters.

It is hard to say what we will see not knowing how the plot of the film will unfold as rumors aside, it is anyone’s guess as to what we will see.

I would expect to hear more of the score that Jon Williams has composed and I think a mix of space battles and ground fighting would be great as long as we have a nice saber battle to punctuate it all.

Imagine seeing more of the Storm Troopers after deploying from their landing craft, seeing what Poe Damron and his group were about to attack flying so near the water and what Kylo Renn was getting ready to slice and dice with his controversial saber.

The implication is that this is a darker entry into the series so using the old Shakespearean stance of comedy heightening a tragedy, then we can hope to see the two droids having a bit of banter to move things along. Naturally trying to fit everything that fans want into a trailer roughly 3 minutes long will be impossible as fans will likely still want more even after seeing the completed film in December.

That being said, Abrams and his team appear to be working hard to bring us the best possible Star Wars film possible and to quote Yoda, “patience, you must learn patience”.

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Game Franchises That Are Perfect For A Comeback On The PlayStation 4 http://sknr.net/2015/03/03/game-franchises-that-are-perfect-for-a-comeback-on-the-playstation-4/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/03/game-franchises-that-are-perfect-for-a-comeback-on-the-playstation-4/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:01:26 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77206 Recently it was announced that Sony had done some copyright renewal on The Resistance franchise. This caused a brief flurry as many speculated that it was in response to a pending new game in the series and the first for the PS4 system.

Sony called the actions simply renewal of copyrights, an action that is common for companies to do as you never know what the future holds and it is necessary to keep your options. Imagine the mess if certain Duke Nukem copyrights had lapsed during the lengthy time between Duke Nukem 3D and Duke Nukem Forever.

E3 is still three months away and with it the promise of announcements or at the least first looks at games that will be announced or leaked prior to the show. I was wondering if Sony might be polishing off the series for a Next-Generation offering as demand for the game would be solid and I am sure it would benefit from the power and features of the PS4 system.

With that in mind, I thought I would look at some game series that I would love to see Sony bring to the PS4 aside from a new Resistance game

All Star Rumble

With tons of great games and characters, Sony has a great opportunity to bring characters from Bloodborne, The Order: 1886, Knack, and other titles into the brawl with other classic Sony gaming characters. This is one that I think could be a super smash.

Knack 2 

Some people had issues with it but I found it to be a fun and pleasant diversion.  The quirky nature of the game does give rise to many sequel options including new powers and elements to bond with.

God of War 

I think this is about as much a given as we can get but who would not want another hack and slash outing with the speed and power of the PS4 bringing more bloody goodness into play?

Lair 

I know it was not as big a success as had been hoped but I think with the new advancements in technology, this ambitious game could really take flight on the PS4.

Motorstorm 

Racing games are not normally my thing but this took things to an extreme level and I would love to see what they could do with the higher graphics, faster frame rates, and highly detailed environments which are now possible.

Socom 

I think this is one series that deserves a new look and a chance to really take off. The series would benefit from better graphics and the ability to have shareplay, better customizations, and more.

Starhawk/Warhawk

The mix of 3rd person shooter and flight simulator would be an interesting choice but I think this could be one to keep an eye out for as the potential is great for this one on the PS4.

Twisted Metal 

As good as it was seeing it on the PS 3 finally let’s see the mayhem and carnage that can be done on the PS4 with plenty of multiplay in the mix as well.

Of course there will be plenty of new franchises and returning favorites as well coming but until E3 arrives, let the speculation begin as to what is yet to come for the PS4.

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BenQ Gaming Gets Faster and Better With New RL2755HM Display http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/benq-gaming-gets-faster-and-better-with-new-rl2755hm-display/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/benq-gaming-gets-faster-and-better-with-new-rl2755hm-display/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:51:03 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77203 Company Now Shipping Blazing-Fast Professional Gaming Monitor

COSTA MESA, Calif. — March 2, 2015 — BenQ America Corp., an internationally renowned provider of visual display solutions and gaming monitor pioneer, today announced the availability of its ultra-fast, 27-inch RL2755HM professional gaming monitor. Selected as the official console gaming monitor of both Major League Gaming (MLG) and UMG, the rapid-action display is designed to give both FPS and fighting console gamers a sharper edge over their opponents — packing features such as a 1-ms response time, dual HDMI® ports, BenQ’s signature Black eQualizer, RevolutionEyes™ technology, and more.

“Our new RL2755HM uses breakthrough innovations to bring more action-based control to today’s competitive gamers,” said Bob Wudeck, Associate Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at BenQ America Corp. “Designed using feedback from the professional gaming community, the latest RL monitor delivers incredibly fluid gameplay by cutting input lag for a lightening quick 1-ms GTG response time. When combined with the flexibility of dual HDMI, the visibility-enhancing Black eQualizer, and the gaming comfort of RevolutionEyes technology, players gain a competitive edge to take out competition.”

BenQ’s all-new 27-inch widescreen RL2755HM LED monitor brings a native 1920 x 1080 full HD (FHD) resolution, 12M:1 high dynamic contrast ratio, and ultra-low input lag to FPS games such as the new Halo® and Call of Duty®, as well as popular fighting games like Mortal Kombat™. By rendering action without ghosting or latency from mouse motion, gamers are able to see more details and spot opponents faster for a more seamless console gaming experience. Using the monitor’s new fighting mode, gamers can also access specific color calibration settings to help highlight characters during combat — leading to increased precision and more furtive strikes.

With BenQ’s Black eQualizer, players gain total gaming visibility by adjusting brightness without over-exposing white levels — revealing critical combat details to spot enemies in darkened areas. To add even more flexibility to the gaming experience, the RL2755HM comes equipped with dual HDMI ports, providing FHD connectivity with gaming consoles. The monitor’s Display Mode allows gamers to switch instantly between four different screen sizes, while Smart Scaling provides the flexibility to freely scale screen content to any custom size.

To match BenQ’s “gaming is in the details” philosophy, every feature offered on the RL2755HM has been thoroughly tested and calibrated for optimal color reproduction. Using a 20-Level Color Vibrance setting, users can also specify their exact color preference for any gameplay situation. For even further gaming comfort, the fast-action monitor features RevolutionEyes technology to eliminate backlight flickering at all brightness levels as well as low blue light technology which allows gamers to engage in longer, more comfortable playing sessions.

Now shipping, the RL2755HM retails for $279. More information on the full line of BenQ products is available at www.BenQ.us.

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Creation Ent. Brings Supernatural To Seattle http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/creation-ent-brings-supernatural-to-seattle/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/creation-ent-brings-supernatural-to-seattle/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:34:43 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77200 For over forty years Creation entertainment has been the leader in conventions for fans of television and film. They are  best known for their Star Trek conventions however have since offered conventions for fans of Star Wars, The X-Files, Lost, Xena, The Lord of the Rings, Dr. Who, Stargate, The CW’s Supernatural, and many more. Unlike other fan conventions, Creation’s events guarantees a seat in its main theatre for all ticket holders to see all guest appearances and enjoy all attractions. There are many pricing options for guests to choose from.

This year, while they celebrate their 10th anniversary, Seattle will be able to enjoy three fun days (March 27-29th, 2015) with the cast of Supernatural for Creations Supernatural Convention. Fans can enjoy cast members such as: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Matt Cohen, Rob Benedict, Lauren Tom, Gil McKinney, Tahmoh Penikett,  Alaina Huffman, Felicia Day and the master of ceremonies Richard Speight Jr. Events will range from autograph sessions, photo ops, concerts, karaoke, costume contest, panels, and vendors. I have attended a couple different Creation conventions in the past and have been very satisfied and am a big fan of their conventions.
For more information on this years event please visit: http://www.creationent.com/
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Lego Batman 3 DLC: The Squad http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/lego-batman-3-dlc-the-squad/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/lego-batman-3-dlc-the-squad/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:39:01 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77195 It’s time to embark on a high-risk LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham mission with The SquadAdd-on Content Pack!The final addition to the game’sDLC Season Pass will be available in North America on March 3 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, X360 and PC.

Watch as the members of The Squad put their talents to use to stop an even more sinister force in this brand new trailer:In The Squad Pack, players will smash their way through the Belle Reve Penitentiary as Deadshot, Deathstroke, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang and other members of The Squad in an attempt to track down an infiltrator before all of Amanda Waller’s—and The Squad’s—secrets are uncovered. Play in story mode and in free play to unlock more characters, vehicles and minikits.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham players will soon also gain access to the Heroines & Villainesses Pack, a FREE downloadable add-on available in North America on March 31st for PS4 and PS3 and April 1st for Xbox One, X360 and PC. Celebrate the fearless females of DC Comics with this collection of super heroines and villainesses, which lets players wreak havoc as Raven and tear up the ground as Terra. The pack also includes fan-favorites such as alien princess Starfire and animal-mimic Vixen but they’ll need to be on the guard against the explosive Plastique and cold and calculating Killer Frost!

You can gain access to all of the great content in the LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham DLC Season Pass for $14.99. The DLC Season Pass allows players to access The Squad Pack and five more level packs including Man of Steel, Dark Knight, Batman 75th, Arrow and Bizarro World! You can also purchase each Season Pass pack separately for $2.99 each.

Squad_11_ElDiabloSquad_12_DeadshotSquad_09_CaptainBoomerangSquad_07_AmandaWallerSquad_04_DeathstrokeSquad_03_HarleyQuinnSquad_01_SquadFemalePack_19_KillerFrostFemalePack_09_VixenFemalePack_08_TerraFemalePack_01_Plastique

 

 

 

 



 

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Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2015 http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/amazing-arizona-comic-con-2015/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/amazing-arizona-comic-con-2015/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:02:08 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77192 When walking through the stalls of a comic book convention, one can get overwhelmed. There are always people who are constant in these events. As for me I have been in several roles: attendee, cosplayer, press and media. I’ve gone to poorly planned conventions and fantastic ones; which leads me to the opinion of the Amazing Arizona Comic Con. The convention is at the very beginning of convention season in Arizona. AACC has to compete with heavy hitter such as Phoenix Comic Con, and it’s getting there. With a sizeable vendor’s hall and an impressive lineup of comic artists such as the legendary George Perez and guests like Todd MacFarlane the convention had a good amount of hype. They also had several characters form Power Rangers and the original English dub cast of Sailor Moon. Unfortunately I got severely ill and was only able to attend Friday. So here is a summary of what was happening at AACC on Friday!

Friday was day one of the convention with an active vendor’s hall. The convention took place in the south building of the Phoenix convention center; the usual stomping grounds of PCC. The area was mostly a mix of the vendor’s hall and a main stage that was intergraded into the hall; it was blocked off with black curtains. There was also another ballroom that was open for other events. The vendor’s hall was organized well. It could have had more moving room but it was not the worst I have seen. The really neat thing is convention did was the way they did there signings. They had people sit in seats in the main event space and had them go in rows to go up to the stage to sign. It was a good method to keep everything organized and comfortable to the guests and attendees. The cosplays at the convention were great for the volume of people there. I peeked into some of the panels and they looked like they were a lot of fun. There was even a fan event hosted by Chloe Dykstra and Jessica Marzipan. All in all this event is definitely on the rise and I can see it become a competitor of PCC in the future. Hopefully next year I will be able to enjoy the entire event.

3.5/5 Comic Books would recommend attending.

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Writer/Director Ted Melfi Talks Bill Murray And St.Vincent http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/writerdirector-ted-melfi-talks-bill-murray-and-st-vincent/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/02/writerdirector-ted-melfi-talks-bill-murray-and-st-vincent/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:01:24 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77190 Recently I got the chance to speak with Writer/Director Ted Melfi about his film St.Vincent which has been released on DVD and Blu-ray. We spoke about the film, Bill Murray, and what it was like bringing the film into reality.

Where did the idea for the film come from and how did it change over the screenwriting process?

The idea was born from one of my daughter’s homework assignments. In her World Religion Class at Notre Dame High School…she was given an assignment: to find a Catholic Saint that inspired her and to find a person in her life she felt mimicked the qualities of that saint – and draw a comparison. She chose St. William of Rochester (the Patron Saint of adopted children) and he chose me. My daugther is adopted. This was a very effecting moment for our family…one that I couldn’t get out of my head. It became the germ of the story, and Oliver’s assignment in the film.

How did Bill Murray become attached to the film and what was it like working with him?

I’d say, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve heard the urban legend that Bill Murray doesn’t have an agent or a manager…he simply has a 1-800 number. It’s not an urban legend. In a nutshell…I tracked down the 800 number and left him multiple messages. Eventually…he called his attorney and asked that I write him a letter as to the what(s), why(s) and such details of the film. I sent the letter. A few weeks later he requested the script. And a few weeks after that…my cell phone rang…and it was Bill.

Working with him was beyond inspiring. He’s the only person I’ve ever met who lives entirely in the present moment. His instinct and impulses are always true and honest because he is living in the right-this-second. You have to be on your toes with Bill. And it’s a joy to keep up with him.

What would you say the central themes of the film are?

For me the central theme is VALUE. All human beings have value and worth. We are born with it. It’s our God given right. And over time we lose sense of this value. Life has a way of devaluing us as humans, if we allow it. Vincent has allowed this to happen. And so…a little kid enters his life to remind his: you are good and have value and are a Saint to me.

Daka is a rather interesting character, can you describe the creation of her character and how Naomi was cast?

The part of Daka was originally written for an African American woman. We simply couldn’t agree on the casting for this role…and so it was decided to convert her to Russian. Daka is the name of my youngest daughter’s childhood friend. I love this name. My daughter played and talked to Daka from the age of 1 ½ to about 4 and Daka was strong and opinionated and wild. And so…we borrow from our lives to create characters!

Naomi Watts was originally Harvey Weinstein’s idea. He thought she could handle the comedy and drama and toughness perfectly. He was right.

When the film ended I found I wanted more as I really enjoyed the characters but the deleted scenes, especially the insurance and final moment with Terrance Howard gave a new sense of closure. Can you explain why they were cut from the final film?

Boy…with ever project you have to make tough choices. At the end of the day…we are making the movie for the audience and the audience is smart – they’ve seen so many films and shows and videos. They fill in ALL the blanks. And so…as we were cutting and screening for audiences we got a clear sense of what storylines they cared about and which ones they didn’t. Mostly, the audience wanted to see Vincent and Oliver all the time. That’s the core of the film. And so…all the other distractions and storylines that don’t support that core have to be examined. And some of them were cut. I’m also a big believer in concise storytelling…don’t we all HATE movies that are way too long and just ramble on. Don’t we always say, “Man, that would have been decent if it were just 30 minutes shorter?” I do. And so…we are to respect the audience and resist the temptation to be self indulgent and show every piece of film we’ve shot.

Is it hard to say goodbye to the characters and any chance we may see them again in the future?

Boy….I highly doubt it. It’s not a sequel type of movie. But who knows these days.

Any found moments from filming you wish to share and what do you have coming up?

The best found moment was Vincent and Oliver running in the parking lot after winning at the track. That was originally NOT scripted. I just asked them to run to the car with the bag of money and we shot it slow-mo…and that’s what you see.

I’m currently casting a film, “The Tender Bar” – the NY Times Best Selling memoir by J.R. Moehringer. It’s the story of a boy raise by drunks in a bar…who goes on to get into Yale and become a Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist for the NY Times. I’m also writing a pilot for Amazon about growing up in Brooklyn in the 1980s with my mobster father and my ex-nun mom. That’s a long story.

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What Will Nintendo Do At E3 2015 http://sknr.net/2015/03/01/what-will-nintendo-do-at-e3-2015/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/01/what-will-nintendo-do-at-e3-2015/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:55:23 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77187 This is going to be a big year for Nintendo and it begins with this year’s E3. They are ditching their Nintendo Direct videos and have booked a theatre leaving many to assume Nintendo will be hosting a live press conference after all. If true, it’s probably for two big Nintendo first party franchises that are expected to hit this year; Star Fox and the Legend of Zelda both on Wii U. Nintendo fans have gotten a few glimpses at the new Zelda, but only teases of a new Star Fox. This will probably all change at E3 2015.

As for new titles from Nintendo, it would be great to see another Mario Maker-esqe game or more Nintendo Remixes. Legend of Zelda Maker? Kirby Maker? Star Fox Maker? It has been fun to see Nintendo play around with their past in ways like this.

As for the unknowns, Nintendo will probably still push their Amiibo service with new Amiibos to tie into new titles and already established ones such as new Amiibos for Smash Brothers for new DLC characters. With the release of golden Amiibos, more variants may appear too.

It would be great to see more titles like Splatoon pop up. Nintendo’s third party support is usually absent or an unexpected success.

On the 3DS front, Nintendo has recently launched a new 3DS with some technical upgrades. Nintendo may play up these new capabilities with a series of new titles that take advantage of the new 3D cameras and added controls the new 3DS offers.

Nintendo will be back on the big stage and whether it’s a big or small show, Nintendo knows better than the rest how to cater to their supporters.

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Should Game Publishers List Game Length On The Package http://sknr.net/2015/02/28/should-game-publishers-list-game-length-on-the-package/ http://sknr.net/2015/02/28/should-game-publishers-list-game-length-on-the-package/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 03:52:37 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77185 Recently there has been a growing amount of attention and focus placed upon the playtime of a video game. Forbes recently had an article where they said that any game with a $60.00 price point should have at least 10 hours of gameplay included. They based this on the reports of the at the time unreleased The Order:1886 having a short play time and with the author having frustrations with Far Cry 4 extending the play time through numerous side quests and mini games.

As I was studying film in college as one of my minors, it was said to me that no bad film is too short and that no good film is too long. The concept in many ways can be applied to gaming in that most players would much rather plan a good game that lasts 6 hours than play 15-20 hours of a bad game that drags on and on.
I have been able to complete the solo play modes of the recent Call of Duty games in about 6-7 hours but spend a fair amount of time in the games multiplayer mode.

With the recent release of The Order: 1886 getting some attention for a perceived short play time for the price when factoring in a lack of multiplayer, many think that shorter games at full price may be the wave of the future. This would cut down on development costs for the studios but would allow them to maintain the price points that they currently use for new releases.

There are some interesting points and arguments made on both sides of this debate but I think that I have a solution that would help this issue.

Since developers list such things as rating, multiplayer numbers, graphical resolutions, and hard drive space requirements on their games, to say nothing of required and suggested specs for PC gamers, why not list the average play time for the campaign?

Yes this will open the door for developers to say a game has 10 hours of playtime as they factor in side quests, completing all challenges, and playing on a harder setting. I think playtime for an average gamer playing the core game only on normal difficulty is a good benchmark and it would allow consumers to make better informed decisions about which games to purchase first.

A full priced game with 6 hours of play and no multiplay may not seem like such a good investment once the game is completed when the other options was 10 hours of play accented by a multiplay option.

Some may say that this is an added burden for developers but in an era when consumers are becoming very savvy and connected with one another via the net, why not be as transparent as possible and not try to hide play length in an effort to boost sales? I know that publishers need to sell as many titles as they can, but I think the risk of damaging consumers confidence is far more damaging in the long run.

In the end sales are what ultimately drive companies and the industry and unless the industry sees a decline in sales they are not likely to make changes, but if they truly value their consumers, perhaps this is a move they may want to consider making.

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Sony E3 Preview http://sknr.net/2015/02/28/sony-e3-preview/ http://sknr.net/2015/02/28/sony-e3-preview/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:16:30 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77179 Let’s hope Sony leaves the tech-and-spec talk out of their conference this year and keep it on the games, please!

Sony had a healthy line-up of titles last year, but little is known about where Sony plans to take the Playstation 4 in 2015. A new Uncharted is expected this year, but it has already gotten a lot of play during other Sony conferences, so it is safe to assume Nathan Drake won’t lead this year’s show in slew for new titles to lead the charge into 2016.

Sony has placed an emphasis on indie titles and you can assume they will take up a portion of the press conference. In fact, look to Steam on PC for the most popular indie titles and you may have a teaser for what is to come for the Playstation Network Store and Playstation Vita.

Evolution Championship Series in July seems to be a better fit for Sony to showcase Street Fighter V, but Final Fantasy XV will take center stage and it will probably be the their lead title going into 2016.

Third party contenders will probably range from more Destiny content from Bungie to an appearance from Gearbox Software’s Battleborn. Mirror’s Edge 2 seems like a fit for the PS4 conference as well. However, most of the third-party showcases could show up at either Microsoft or Sony’s, but a major title that isn’t a new Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed game is bound for Sony’s stage too.

Sony’s press conference will be intriguing for sure, as their 2015 and 2016 seem bare and fans should expect a few surprises on both the PS4 and the Vita given last year’s announcements.

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