Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:53:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Launch Trailer http://sknr.net/2014/10/18/call-duty-advanced-warfare-launch-trailer/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/18/call-duty-advanced-warfare-launch-trailer/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:53:44 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76092 Talk about getting a treat so soon after Halloween,  a new Call of Duty game that looks amazing.  Have a look at the launch trailer.

 



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Win The Fluffy Movie http://sknr.net/2014/10/18/win-fluffy-movie/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/18/win-fluffy-movie/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:48:24 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76089 Win a copy of the movie, and enjoy the laughs. The Fluffy Movie is coming on October 21st and we will send one lucky winner a copy. To enter, simply e-mail us at gareth@sknr.net with your best joke. The best entries will be entered and we will pick a winner. Good luck.

 

 

THE FLUFFY MOVIE

 

BE THE FIRST TO OWN IT ON DIGITAL HD ON OCTOBER 7, 2014

 

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY COMBO PACK INCLUDING BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL HD WITH ULTRAVIOLET ON OCTOBER 21, 2014 FROM UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT

 

“INHERENTLY FUNNY, WITH A TERRIFIC SENSE OF TIMING…”—LOUIS BLACK, AUSTIN CHRONICLE

 

Universal City, California, September 8, 2014 – Laugh out loud with one of the most entertaining stand-up comedians of all-time when the side-splitting comedy, The Fluffy Movie arrives on Blu-rayCombo Pack and DVD on October 21, 2014 and DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet on October 7, 2014 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. In addition, the Blu-ray, DVD and DIGITAL HD feature an exciting extended edition of the film providing exclusive never-before-seen footage from this year’s sold-out “Unity Through Laughter” national tour with Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.

 

“Fluffy,” the world-famous Hawaiian shirt-clad comedian, takes viewers on a joke-filled journey into his life in this nonstop laugh fest. The funnyman delves into subjects such as the joys of parenting a teen, the similarities between India and Mexico, and more amusing observations. See “Fluffy” himself unleashed, as he puts his animated storytelling, spot-on impressions and vivid sound effects on display before audiences around the world in this must-own comedy event.

 

The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray, DVD and DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet.

  • Blu-ray unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
  • DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
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Art and Craft http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/art-craft/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/art-craft/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:03:00 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76082 Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Viewers!

 

Today, we have a documentary for you. The film I get to tell you about today chronicles one of the most talented and prolific art forgers in the history of the United States.

‘Art and Craft’ follows the story of Mark Landis. A man who not only tricked museums and institutions with his skills as an artist and forger but also with his talent for subterfuge. You see, Mr. Landis didn’t do this for money. By all accounts, Mr. Landis did not ask for or receive money.

Posing as an executor of a family member’s will, a philanthropic donor, and even a Jesuit priest, Mr. Landis donated or gave and unknown number of works ( the list continues to be updated now and again ) to a number of museums and institutions across the country. Emulating an impressive range of styles and periods from Charles Schulz, to Picasso, even 15th Century Icons.

For years Mr. Landis continued his work and his travels across the country and no one was the wiser until his work came to the attention of Matthew Leininger, a determined registrar who uncovers the truth and begins a professional and soon to be personal journey to bring to light the ruse that has fooled the art world for decades and finally put a stop to it. Coming to the realization that he cannot keep up the charade much longer, Landis must confront the consequences of his actions and the numerous art experts who demand he finally stop once and for all and ask that he use his talents to create original works.

 

I found this film to be extremely interesting and thought provoking. It’s a prime example of the phrase, “Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts”. If it looks to good to be true, it probably is and yet Landis was able to convince so many to accept his works as genuine without proof or authentication. It also begs the question though, why would such a talented individual with so much artistic potential resort to copying the works of others? ‘Art And Craft’ is not only a look into the world forgeries and copies, it’s also a movie that questions originality and the need for it. What does or doesn’t inspire a person? Does being a recluse help or hinder and artist? Is it a ‘crime’ to copy an artist? Or as they say, “The ultimate form of flattery” ? As a photographer, I found myself questioning how I feel if I copied someone’s work or would I be angry if someone like Landis copied mine and what I would expect to be done about it while watching the film.

 

This is definitely a documentary worth seeing regardless if your an artist or not. It’s a rare look inside the world of a forger AND an artist + the people who are tasked with protecting ‘the originals’ and discovering the fakes. Its a world within ours where sometimes being accepted into a community is just as frightening as NOT being accepted …..

 

I would give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It does tend to drag on at points but it’s definitely worth watching. See if you can find it playing at an art house theater or catch it online. I would suggest a beverage and a snack you can break into to help deal with the running time. On behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ , this is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer “The CameraMan” saying thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the movies ….

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Scott Grimes And Wendy Schaal Talk American Dad At New York Comic Con 2014 http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/scott-grimes-wendy-schall-talk-american-dad-new-york-comic-con-2014/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/scott-grimes-wendy-schall-talk-american-dad-new-york-comic-con-2014/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:33:45 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76077 Ed Giza was on hand as we met with two of the stars of American Dad as they talked about the big move of their show to TBS.

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

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Game Journalism 101: Explaining The Method Behind The Madness http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/game-journlism-101-explaing-method-behind-madness-outlets-deny-coverage/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/game-journlism-101-explaing-method-behind-madness-outlets-deny-coverage/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:20:20 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76075 Last week I wrote that article about why we will not be covering a certain company much in the near future due to issues we had with them over their review and press process. Naturally this type of article got us a mixed response as some listed us is entitled whiners, while others in the industry applauded our stance and have cited similar frustrations with the company in question.

With this in mind I think it is important to look at how the review process typically works especially since this is been a big topic in the media in recent weeks Typically media is broken down into several categories such as online, print, broadcast, and so on.  Online is a website or blog, print this typically newspapers and magazines, and broadcasters television and radio.  While not exclusive, companies often hire PR firms now to handle the media process and various firms handle different types of outlets. For example, since we are a multi-media outlet, it is not entirely uncommon for us to receive promotional e-mails from different agencies regarding the same titles as they represent different ends of the coverage spectrum.

The way the process works is that outlets typically receive several e-mails in the months leading up to the release of a product. The e-mails are often trailers, images, summaries, and also opportunities for outlets to conduct interviews related to the product.  There can also be the opportunity during certain times the year to meet with developers and publishers at various conventions for up close and hands-on time with the product.

Typically your publication is contacted by the various publicity outlets that constantly create and maintain lists of their media for coverage and mailing lists. This can constantly be changing as unfortunately reps do have a tendency to move on so often you may have to establish a relationship with a new representative and hopefully your prior rep often hands off the list of those that they have worked with as well as recommendations citing past positive experiences working with an outlet.

In some instances, a company often has to contact the company by her their website and request to be on the press list and this often happens with smaller or newer companies or for publications that have expanded into new areas of coverage.

Now is where the publicity dance gets a bit tricky. Publications provide coverage and after doing so provide links and other proof of coverage to the companies and the publicists. Companies can express their interest in covering future products, some companies automatically put you on the list and give you all the new releases that come out, and others evaluate things on a case-by-case basis but will ask you to specify which titles and formats you wish to receive materials in.

Some companies will also arrange a promotion at this point where you can have giveaways and other fan friendly events happen.

Typically speaking review materials are the cost of doing business. This is not to say they are required as we certainly do not require them however if we receive a product we evaluate it as we see it and do not factor in perks in the basis of our reviews…  One very large movie site that I will not name at this point flat out told me that they openly solicit gifts and perks from studios.  One famous example was several years ago when Roland Emmerich brought us his disastrous vision for “Godzilla”.  The film was universally panned by the vast majority of critics worldwide however said site gave it glowing reviews and was later revealed to have accepted travel, top-notch accommodations, and other perks, to attend a screening in New York City of the film.  Clearly this was a prearranged effort where a positive review was offered or at the very least expected in exchange for the gifts.

In Hollywood gifts are commonplace as any Academy member will tell you screeners of the films up for awards often come with very elaborate gift baskets as well as parties. One executive told me once plain and simple that you by your nominations and awards based on having the best ad campaigns.

In gaming you see all sorts of interesting conundrums arise. A gaming magazine will charge thousands of dollars for a prominent advertisement in a magazine but may also pay to get first images, trailers, announcements, and reviews of titles.  This is always surprised me a bit because while I understand it is the nature the business I find the potential for a conflict of interest to be huge because it you have paid big bucks to get something first you’re far less likely to be overly critical when covering it especially when it’s somebody you’re hoping to do business with long-term who also happens to be dropping thousands of dollars in advertising on your doorstep on a regular basis.

We do not accept paid reviews for products and we have always had a policy of being fair and objective regardless of whether a company is big or small, has provided perks are not. In the nature of publications receiving review material, part of it is based on the fact that publishers want to have reviews for their products out when the product hits the market.  They use reviews as a marketing tool in order to push sales.  Some publishers get material before the product ships, while others get them on the day the ship or soon after.  This is partially because after the initial wave of reviews companies like to see an ongoing wave of reviews continuing to come in for a product as it helps to show that it is a fresh, viable, and exciting product.

Some companies are unable to provide review material to all the outlets that request them as naturally, supplies can be limited. One companies handled the publicity directly themselves this was not as much of an issue as it is now that many of them have hired PR firms to do this duty.  I can also tell you about numerous situations where a publicity firm has said they do not have evaluation material available at this time only to have material arrive in the mail the same day or via e-mail directly from the publisher.  This is often based on supply, market reach, and prior relationship with the publisher.  I know a publicist who in a moment of frustration over what he perceived were highly unfair reviews for the last Duke Nukem game one on social networks and implied that they would be keeping record of those who gave negative reviews to the game and as such would be evaluated differently for future releases when it’s determined who does and doesn’t Review material.

This is not the way the industry operates that being said if a publication is constantly tearing product to pieces and being unfair then you can understand why companies may not want to solicit their coverage especially when they have so many other options.

One of the biggest issues is determining exactly how much of a reach a publication has. Alexa, Compete, and Quantcast, are big tools in the industry as they provide a good estimation of traffic for a website.  However there are several sites, ours included who are not read correctly by Alexa and such as not even 10% of traffic is accurately collected.  This is often remedied by sending direct stats to various publicists and as we’ve attempted to do place custom code into the header for the site but this can be erratic and as we learned recently, any time you move to a new server, your traffic counts reset unit can take 90 days to get new traffic estimation.

This is absolutely critical because when it comes time to dole out review material publicist are basically taught run the site through these outlets and determine the ranking for them based on traffic. If they are not able to rank your site properly this can and will affect how many publications are dealt with.  We also have a magazine, a syndicated radio show, and a weekly newspaper article, as part of our network as well as syndication.  This can provide a real nightmare as many companies simply cannot get past using the web ranking systems to determine the overall reach of an outlet.  The site is one small part of what we do with a large combined overall reach.

This is where some publications have areas of frustration with certain publishers. Publishers come to you asking for coverage because based on the information they have gathered prior to their initial contact they value your outlet to be of worth to promote their materials.  From time to time outlets are encouraged to go above and beyond the normal coverage with reassurances that review material, interviews, contests, and what have you will be provided a later date.  Some companies cut the run after they get their coverage and this is what leads to some potential issues down the road.

People will say well your responsibility is to cover these games regardless of whether you get anything or not. While we agree that is true there is also an established pattern of business that needs to be looked at.  We get flooded with e-mails asking for coverage for games, hardware, accessories, DVDs, movies, events, and Kickstarter projects.  While we attempt to cover as much of it as we can the simple facts are that even with two offices, regional staff throughout the country as well as in Europe and Canada, you simply cannot get to it all in a timely manner.

As such you have to prioritize the information as it comes in. The matter how much we expand our coverage team there are always more request then you can immediately get to.  Although technology has made things simplified, writing, posting, editing, recording and publishing as well as syndication does take time.  People say to me oh radios easy you just have to go on a talk for 20 to 30 min. and you’re done.  Nothing could be further from the truth as there is a huge amount of research that needs to be done as you have to decide which products or topics are going to make your list as time is limited.

Then you have to take the air checks, links, and what hav done and send them off to the various representatives.

I’m not saying this is overly difficult rather it is time-consuming especially when there are multiple titles to be dealt with as you want to make sure that your coverage is done in a timely fashion.

As such you can guess it is human nature and good business to make sure that the companies who have regularly supported you with review material are given priority in the review status. Not only is this good business this is simple courtesy as if you have been sent a product for evaluation you should strive to make sure that the review is done regardless of whether or not the product was sent to you solicited or unsolicited.

It is known that certain people in Hollywood are given considerations to provide quotes for films before they’re released. I’ve always found this funny as in our two main markets we are forbidden from posting any movie reviews before the film opens.  When we ask about this were told that is what the studios want yet you can go on any publication and seek countless reviews up ahead of time that the studio seems to not mind or do anything about.

The same could hold true with the gaming industry. I am not going to say that companies are paying for reviews but I am not so naïve to believe that that doesn’t happen or at least fall into a gray area.  I have been doing film and game coverage since I was in high school and prior to starting the site I worked at both Monolith and Sierra.  I saw all sorts of things that honestly could make a very interesting book in regards to how games were evaluated, marketed, and developed, as well is how the media was handled.  Larger outlets would regularly request multiple copies of the title upon release for their office staff.  While only one person would be doing the review, 25 to 50 copies or more of said titles would be shipped to various outlets for coverage.  The result of this is often that several smaller outlets can be lost in the shuffle.  In recent years code to download the games has been offered more and more as this cuts down on the shipping cost as well as the limited physical supplies products that publicist often have to contend with.

So when you consider the topic of game journalism you are looking at a very long and complicated issue. Yes, there are expectations that differ from outlet to outlet.  That being said there is also an established method of doing business and standard rules of conduct that can often band and fall into some murky areas.  When we announced that we would not cover a certain company people said that we were only going to suffer as it would cost us a large number of readers.  The fact is, our traffic is been up since we posted the article despite the publisher having two high-profile releases out.  I’m not saying this to simply do a see I told you so, but rather to point out that there are several other options for coverage and as such we like many other publications as well is the publicist prioritize their coverage and handling of each other based on several factors not the least of which is the past and future relationship between them.

Some larger and most often corporate outlets put the financial factors first. When you have a big office on Wilshire Avenue staffed with hundreds of people, you have a large overhead that as such has to be maintained.  In the constantly evolving field of gaming journalism revenue streams change of time.  This is why you’ve seen so many publishers big and small disappearing from the industry.

It is those that stay consistent and stay within themselves and their means that have survived and continued to grow. We’ve gone past 12 years and have growth every single year partly because I believe we stay consistent with our message.  We are not a big corporate mega-site, we are an outlet that has grown into multimedia channels but remains consistent by being fair and objective and not run into corporate cash first basis.

Yes we have companies that we do not like to do business with due to issues from the past. Guess what, every company on the planet has people they like to and do not like to do business with.  Some are forced to do business with one another out of the necessity of the industry and this is much the way they game journalism industry works.

Technology has allowed people to put sites together much easier than they could a decade earlier. As such publicists are inundated with new outlets touting their worth and asking for review materials which is put a further strain on their resources.  As such publicists often look at traffic rankings, reputation, prior interactions, and longevity in determining the level of cooperation an outlet will get.  Some come on big, demand the world, only to crash and burn a few years later.  Others start small but growing year-to-year and while they do not have the gaudy stats, there is something to be said about longevity and being it may able to maintain a core audience.

In closing, somebody said to me that journalists should simply go out and buy their own games. While I found it an interesting idea my question to them would be how many people can regularly purchase several games a week.  The answer to this would be wealthy individuals and corporate sites as such this is where you start the slippery slope again of finance becoming involved.  There is no easy answer to this situation other than journalism outlets need to remember to be fair and consistent and publicist also need to be more transparent and realize that publications do have options and just because you represent big company A you cannot expect outlets to get all excited because you send them a press release especially when time and time again they provide coverage which let’s be honest, is a form of free advertising and do not get considerations in return which have become an industry standard.

It is not a pay for play situation it is a matter of this is how business is done and common courtesy, as those who do not demand payment for positive reviews will tell you that it is supposed to be a mutually beneficial relationship were companies provide outlets information and review materials and in turn are given the publicity and an honest evaluation of the final product. It is unfortunate that to some, corporate greed has marred what for the most part is a very good and mutually beneficial system for all involved.

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The Book Of Life http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/book-life/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/book-life/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:20:48 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76072 The Book of Life is an animated film with some big names lending their voices to the characters.

Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Cheech Marin, Kate del Castillo, and Ron Perlman are all part of the voice cast.

The movie had lots of movement, tons of bright colours, and great music.

The story was good, but I think maybe a bit ‘too much’ for children my sons age (6). He seemed to like it, despite some of the moments that made him uncomfortable or scared.

The tale is of good vs bad and bravado vs true courage and life long friendships.

This movie takes place in long-ago Mexico and revolves around The Day of the Dead. Two boys, one an aspiring bull fighter and guitar player named Manolo (Diego Luna) and one a would-be champion and defender of the town named Joaquin (Channing Tatum), are in love with the same girl, a feisty girl named Maria (Zoe Saldana).

We follow their life paths as the gods above, La Muerta and Xibalba, place wagers on the outcome of the love triangle.

Xibalba cheats in order to win the bet, and the remainder if the film is spent watching Manolo trying to reunite with his true love, Maria.

The movie is fast paced and the music really helps bring it together and help tell the tale.

I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Fury http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/fury/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/17/fury/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:08:08 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76069 To start, let me say that I’m a sucker for a good war movie. Growing up as a military brat, I have a profound respect for our nation’s veterans and history, especially those from the “greatest generation.” With that said, I approached David Ayer’s Fury with a bit of hesitation, after all, how will Fury be able to differentiate itself from so many other films in the genre? I am happy to say that, while Fury doesn’t show us anything we have not really seen before, strong performances by its ensemble cast help carry this story of a tank crew into a solid film.

Brad Pitt delivers a stellar performance as Don “Wardaddy” Collier. He is a war hardened Sargent who struggles to keep the few shreds of his humanity while preparing his new “green” typist who was assigned to his tank after one of their battle brothers has fallen. Pitt takes the young Pvt. Norman Ellision (Logan Lerman) under his command and works to make him into war hardened soldier. Pitt knows that by doing so, not only to save the young man’s life, but probably the life of the other men in his charge. This ensemble cast shines with solid performances from Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal and Shia LaBeouf. I want to take a moment to highlight LaBeouf especially. He has gained tons of negative press in recent months for several of reasons and the promotion of this film is has shown little of LaBeouf thus far. No doubt to protect itself from the backlash in his public life. But if you decide to not go and see this film because of him, you will miss out on a strong more dramatic performance we really haven’t seen from him much. One that will remind audiences that he is a good actor.

This action in this film is methodical and someone slow and somewhat cartoonish thanks to tracers on the gun and cannon fire that makes it look like star wars at times, however the intensity is constantly building from the opening sequence through the climax of the movie. Even in the middle of the film where we are seemingly in a safe place, the intensity is continues to build as we are unsure just how humane these characters are. This intensity leads us to care about these characters and search for relief in the climatic conclusion.

4 stars out of 5

 

 

Second Review by Neil Jordan

 

Greetings And Salutations Fellow Movie Viewers!

 

Fall is most definitely here …. and the holiday movie season is NOT too far off. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any good movies that hit theaters soon, they’ll just be few and far between until then. Speaking of ‘the good movies’ I’ve got one for you. The latest Brad Pitt film. Personally, I’ve been somewhat annoyed with Brad since he presented the monstrosity that was ‘World War Z’. I’m NOT a fan of zombies or zombie films to begin with. I’ll admit I was a fan of the book, but like most movie adaptions of books, ‘World War Z’ didn’t live up to the book in any way, shape, or form in my mind. It was good action film, but that’s it. However, this latest film with an ensemble cast including Mr. Pitt has MORE than made up for it.

 

It’s been a few years since a good war film was made …. Of course, we all remember Quentin Tarantino’s WWII film ‘Inglorious Bastards’ starring Brad Pitt. This time around though, the film is a bit more serious ….. More ‘Saving Private Ryan’ if you will ….

 

‘Fury’, set to hit theaters in the U.S. on Friday October 17th, takes place on the Western European front during the final month of World War II. As the Allied Powers continue to fight their way into the heart of Nazi Germany, German resistance becomes more fanatical as what little remains of the German Army and the SS resort to more desperate measures to make victory more costly for the Allies. The film focuses on veteran U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Don Collier AKA Wardaddy (Pitt) and the battle-hardened crew of his M4A3E8 Sherman tank nicknamed “Fury” as they are sent behind enemy lines to attack the German Army before they can stage a counterattack against the Allies. Cut off from Allied Forces and with the German Army closing in, the crew of “Fury” continue to fight heroically against overwhelming forces of the enemy in their attempt to deal a crippling blow to Nazi Germany.

 

Written and directed by David Ayer (Training Day, The Fast and the Furious, U-571, End of Watch) and starring Brad Pitt, Jason Isaacs, Shia LeBeouf, Michael Pena, Scott Eastwood, Jon Bernthal, Eugenia Kuzmina, Stella Stocker, Xavier Samuel, Brad William Henke, and Logan Lerman … ‘Fury’ is in my mind a ‘fictional yet, accurate, and serious depiction of war’. The film isn’t candy-coated in any way. Like many war films, it’s grim and dark. You almost question if  the ‘good guys’ can actually win despite knowing the actual course of history outside the movie. The actors and actresses in the film are ‘serious’ throughout. Many whom have that 1,000 yard stare that people in war seem to take on once they’ve seen ‘too much’ whether they’re military or civilian. Even when there are brief moments of levity in the film, the film stays serious. I know what you’re thinking in reference to Shia LeBeouf’s role in the film. Don’t concern yourself. His role in the movie as one of the soldiers in ‘Fury’s crew is sane and solid. Jason Isaacs deserves major kudos as well. You don’t even recognize him in the film. The American accent, the worn/burned-out look in his eyes …. I only hits you about halfway through the movie that it’s actually him. And of course, Brad Pitt’s acting in the movie is top notch. His role as the man who holds his crew together while doing everything possible to take the fight to the enemy and get his crew out alive in one piece at the same time while keeping his own sanity … That alone is worth seeing the movie.

 

The accuracy of the film in reference to the time should be noted as well. No ‘prop tanks’ were used in the film either. The tanks from the Sherman’s to the Tiger 1 depicted are real tanks, some of which saw action during WWII. I would consider it one of the better war films made in the last 20 years. Definitely the first one in a good long while seen from the point-of-view of the soldiers who crewed tanks. Honestly, next to ‘Fury’ the last World War II tank movie I can remember watching starred Humphrey Bogart.

 

I personally enjoyed the film. I don’t know if i’d pay full price to see it, but I would most definitely catch the matinee or via online means such as NetFlix. Again, it’s like most war films … Quite grim and lasts quite a while. ‘Fury’ itself clocks in at 134 minutes. Still, it’s more than worth seeing if you’re a fan of Brad Pitt, movies by the director David Ayer, a fan of war movies, or all of the above. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5 stars. The tag line for the movie pretty much sums it up in the end ….. “War Never Ends Quietly” ……

 

This is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’ signing off. On behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the movies ….

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Talking Video Games, Playstation Vs Xbox, And More With The Band Darklight http://sknr.net/2014/10/16/talking-video-games-playstation-vs-xbox-band-darklight/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/16/talking-video-games-playstation-vs-xbox-band-darklight/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:36:55 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76066 Here is a new segment we will be doing where various bands, models, and celebs talk with us in either print or video about gaming and Pop Culture.

 

Okay, now onto the subject of the hour. At the request of the bosses at Skewed & Reviewed, i am to introduce a new segment. Similar to the ‘Geek Centerfold’ (which will be returning soon this time with video AND possibly still images) this segment will feature a music artist, group, or band. Unfortunately, one of the band members was fighting the flu and was unable to make it to the studio for a video interview but we do have video concert footage available for you to check out!
For our first ‘Music Artist’ segment, we’re going to go METAL !!!!
I have had the privlidge of attending several concerts featuring this band and photographing many of their shows over the last two years and not only is the music awesome …. but these guys are BIG TIME gamers, comic book fans, and movie fanatics. Only the drive behind their music and the loyalty they show to their fans surpases that!
Ladies And Gents!
I present to you, the first interview for Skewed & Reviwed’s music artist of the month …..
Little Ben, FreakShow, and Xavier Prime ….. DarkLight!

CameraMan: Thanks for takimg the time to do the interview guys!
Okay …. First question right off the bat …. XBOX or Playstation?

Little Ben: Playstation …. I still have my PS2

FreakShow:  I say Playstation bur honestly I will get whatever system that has the games I want on it …
I prefer PC though …. I still have my SuperNintendo, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Turbo Graffix 16, and my N64.

Xavier Prime: Mostly because I cant afford it XBOX.  Though if im playing a fighting game, I prefer Playstation. I tried getting good at Marvel VS. Capcom 3 on XBOX, but I could only get so good with THAT controler! laughs Same goes for TEKKEN … i’ve been playing thatnone for years.

CameraMan: Favorite game and or game franchise?

Little Ben: Mario Franchise

Xavier Prime: Tough One …. It depends on the genre

FreakShow: I would saynits a toss uo betweeen Final Fantasy, Diablo, or Gran Turismo it depends on my mood … Oh! And Chrono Trigger is my all time favorite game!

Xavier Prime: Ummmm … Ill consistantly play ‘Call Of Duty’ games

FreakShow: I still play it emulated on my PC from time to time.

Xavier Prime: YES! I’ve been way more interested in going back to SuperNintendo. I was just playing SuperMario Star this weekend.

CameraMan:  Comic or Graphic Novel of choice?

Little Ben: I’ll defer to FreakShow and X on this one …..

FreakShow: Anything with Silver Surfer or THANOS … and before MARVEL UK went under. I really liked DeathsHead 2. I have all the series and all the rare offshoots of it as well.
Although Xavier recently got me into Invincible and Bat Girl.

Xavier Prime: I’ve been trying to get back into comics. I love both, but i’m more into DC than MARVEL. Invicible is awesome as well as DMZ. I am so far behind laughs

CameraMan: So if you guys were asked … DC or MARVEL?

Xavier Prime: When the New 52 stuff started coming out for DC, I kind of dropped off. Now i’ll follow artists when I can. Jim Lee, Joe Madureira, Leinil Yu, and a few more.

FreakShow: Throw in Image, DarkHorse, and Vertigo too laughs

Litttle Ben: I like MARVEL but DC has Batman.

Xavier Prime: Vertigo is owned by DC I think?

FreakShow: I would say MARVEL , but we all know MARVEL just steals its stuff from DC.

Xavier Prime: Actually, if you look it up, DC came up with a lotnof stuff first.

CameraMan: Star Wars or Star Trek?

FreakShow: I go both ways on that one. Star Trek has the hotter women but Star Wars has a slightly more interesting flavor in their universe.

Xavier Prime: Star Wars! Even though it was a sausage fest mostly. Maybe JJ will spice it up in these nexr movies! laughs

Little Ben: Star Trek bitches!!!!!! Only thing good about Star Wars was the first three films! And some of the games …. Hopefully the new movies will be better!

FreakShow: The Clone Wars animated series for Star Wars was pretty awesome!

Xavier Prime: I grew up on both, but lightsabers are way cooler than phasers so whatever ….

FreakShow: Yeah!  Nothing is cooler than lightsabers! Thats why its always been a toss up for me between the teo frsnchises.

Xavier Prime: Yeah! Clone Wars is badass! They should’ve had Square Enix style designs though. That would’ve been much more awesome than the look they had going on …. just my opinion laughs

CameraMan: Speaking of which …. Hypothetical …. You’re going to pick a fight ….. What fictional weapon and or vehicle would you imploy?

FreakShow: It would depend on who the fight was with laughs

Xavier Prime: It would definitely depend on who i’m fighting …

Little Ben: Yeah man, be more specific laughs

FreakShow: Yeah, C’mon man .. i’m not going to use a freakin’ SuperSoaker to fight AquaMan!

CameraMan: Okay! Okay! Hypothetical enemy …. The Chitari Army from ‘The Avengers’ for example?

XavierPrime: Lightsaber including the abilities of a Jedi Knight … Or a Veritech from Macross Plus and a YF-19

Little Ben: The Infinity Gauntlet …. and a tricycle.

FreakShow: The Defiant from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ….. or Optimus Prime from ‘The Transformers’ ….. Can I ride on him into battle?

CameraMan: I have no idea …. I don’t wamt to know either ….. Moving On!
Favorite Movie/Movie franchise?

Little Ben: I’m a movie fanatic so NO favorite movie. Favorite franchise would be James Bond. I grew up with it., it constantly reinvents itself, and will continue as long as the franchise exists.

FreakShow: Up until a month ago, the Sherlock Holmes movies, but now I would say ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ . I actually read the comics, and while they are not my favorites, they were good and the movie was awesome! It is the only movie in history I thought, “You know …. I would pay money to watch that movie in the theater again” …. aside from that, aside from that, I have so many favorite movies I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Xavier Prime: Attack On Titan, which was awesome!

CameraMan:  Favorite TV Shows?

Xavier Prime: OOOH! Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead!

FreakShow: Can I be the one person who goes on record and say, “I hate the Walking Dead?”

Xavier Prime: F*** You FreakShow!

Little Ben: Family Guy and NCIS

CameraMan: Washington DC, L.A., or New Orleans Little Ben?

Little Ben: The original .. DC .. The others are stupid ..

FreakShow: I rarely watch TV but I do like ‘Fringe’ … my girlfriend got me to watch ‘Ugly Betty’ laughs
If you include anime … I really like the Claymore and Soul Eater series. Just started getting into DragonBall Z and Fairy Tales.

Xavier Prime: Game Of Thrones, Walking Dead, Family Guy, Futurama, and The Cleavland Show are great for just entertainment and therapy. I want to get into The Legend Of Korra. The Avatar cartoon is probably one of the best animated series ever! … And i’d like to say Shamalan sucks for ruining The Last Airbender movie ….. he actually sucked before that butmthen he made it personal.

FreakShow: I hate everything Shamalanadingdong has done.

Little Ben: I liked that movie …

Reportedly … Xavier Prime and FreakShow started throwing various blunt objects at Little Ben ….

CameraMan: As someone who has had thengood fortune tomattend quite a few of DarkLight’s shows …
I can honestly say you guys are “fan friendly” …. I mean you’re a metal band and still parents attend DarkLightmshows and bring their kids with them whenyou guys play all-age venues!  It’s pretty clear you guys are fans of music in general and really into the music you create. Does anynof this … games, movies, comics, ….do  you think anynof that stuff influences the music and your concerts?

Little Ben: NO! laughs

FreakShow:  Very much so. I think it is subtle but i always think that it gives me a feel for my theatrics and a sense of the dramatic (not drama but dramatic).

Little Ben: Porn

FreakShow: In a sense ‘FreakShow’ is kind of the ‘hero mask’ I put on to express my attitude towards things that are wrong.

Little Ben: I’m doing this upstairs …

FreakShow: Yeah … That’s what she said ….

Xavier Prime: I have never thought of that. Maybe? Sometimes, I think of certain cinematic scenes when writing or trying to get an idea across when it comes to how something feels. I don’t know if that makes sense …. but there it is.

FreakShow: I also think honestly, that my obsession with video games shaoed the way I approach the emotional feel of a song in a sense of the way it builds.

Little Ben: Boobs inspire everything I do.

Xaveir Prime: If I want to write a heavy piece, i’d think, “Could you play Darksiders to this?”

Little Ben: Comics have Boobs so ..YES!

FreakShow: Totally whar X said laughs

Little Ben: Nerds

Xavier Prime: Geeks

Little Ben: Dorks

Xavier Prime: I hate that people reveresed that somewhere along the years. Steve Urkel was a nerd.
Kevin Smith is a geek.

FreakShow: I’m a cross between the two.

Little Ben: Your face is a fork …. Dork! …. Damn auto-correct!

And there you have it folks … The charming and distinguished gentlemen of pacific northwest metal favorites … DarkLight! The first selection for Skewed & Reviewed’s music artist of the month. You can find out more about DarkLight and their music via their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/darklightband

Or their page on ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/thedarklightband

DarkLight Band Members-

FreakShow (Lead Vocals/Guitar)
Little Ben (Bass)
Xavier Prime (Drums)

I’d like to say “Many Thanks” to the guys from DarkLight for taking the time out of their work scheduales for this oline interview. This is your friend neghborhood freelance photogapher “The CameraMan” saying thanks for reading and hopefully this will be the first of many artists that we’ll be able bring to you in this new segment!

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How Sony and Microsoft Use A Riverboat Gamblers Approach To 2015 And Beyond http://sknr.net/2014/10/15/sony-microsoft-use-riverboat-gamblers-approach-2015-beyond/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/15/sony-microsoft-use-riverboat-gamblers-approach-2015-beyond/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:12:34 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76064 Recently we did an article on what Microsoft and Sony will likely do to prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season. No sooner had we posted the article, then ads for Sunset Overdrive began to appear on television and reviews for PlayStation TV began to arrive online.  With this in mind, I thought it be interesting to look at 2015 and see what directions each company might take.  Naturally the success or failure of sales during the upcoming holiday season may have a big impact upon this but it is also important to note that each company may look at their long-term strategy differently.  Sony will likely do the very Japanese approach of looking at the overall big picture several years down the road where fluctuations can and will happen along the way.  They had the luxury to do this thanks to a decent sized lead in their overall consul sales where is Microsoft needs to make sure to have as many strong quarters in a row as possible as they still have to contend with some earlier PR missteps even though they have made great strides in recent months.

Sony seems to be taking a counterpunch her approach and are holding off many of their big guns until 2015. The Order 1886, Until Dawn, Bloodborne, and others are scheduled to come out in the early part of 2015, where Microsoft has Halo 5 set for 2015 as its signature title. Now of course I’m not so naïve as to expect that there will be other titles announced and for my sake of discussion I am only looking at the console specific exclusives.

There is the consumer electronic show in January but for the most part there really isn’t a showcase for announcements until June when E3 rolls around. Sony did buck this trend by announcing the PlayStation 4 in February last year and rumors are swirling of systems with larger capacity hard drives, new peripherals and features, and of course new games.

So where does this leave gamers? Right now the focus will be on the upcoming few months where both manufacturers will want to entice you to buy their consoles, peripherals, and games and I would expect Sony to possibly start pushing their early 2015 releases and encouraging people to use their gift cards and holiday money to prepurchase games.

While this is all common sense business one has to wonder what the big surprises that lay ahead will be. I do not for a minute think both companies are content to go into the next two quarters essentially with a status quo approach of this is what we are, this is what’s coming, you should bias approach.  There’s too much on the line in terms of long and short term revenue as well as market positioning and plain old bragging rights for both sides to be content with their current approach.  This is not to say that both companies are not moving forward in a positive direction, rather it is to point out that consumers are being inundated with several potentially awesome titles over the next few months.  For those that do not play on a PC, titles such as Far Cry 4, Assassins Creed Unity, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, to say nothing of recently released titles like Alien Isolation and The Evil Within will have a large impact on the decision as to which system to buy for many consumers.  I am not turn this into a battle of frame rate and resolution but objectively speaking most consumers believe that Sony has the edge in being able to provide 1080 resolution and 60fps more often than Microsoft does with AAA titles.

Sony tends not to tout the specs of their overall system performance in their ads which is smart because things change all the time and one key software update can close the gap in performance quickly.

 

Bundles, bonus content. pricing, and consumer enthusiasm are a key part not only to this upcoming shopping season but for the long-term picture. That is business 101 plain and simple.  It will be curious to see if Sony’s 2.0 firmware update which is supposed to include many of the sharing features as well as YouTube access will be as impactful as some people believe.  For now, both companies are like two riverboat gamblers locked in an icy stare and placing their cards on the table.  Both have something else up their sleeves, the other side knows it, and they like the consumers are simply waiting for one side to show their whole card first.

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Zoe Quinn Video Responds To GamerGate Harassment In The Games Industry http://sknr.net/2014/10/15/zoe-quinn-video-responds-gamergate-harassment-games-industry/ http://sknr.net/2014/10/15/zoe-quinn-video-responds-gamergate-harassment-games-industry/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:35:34 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76061 ‘GAMELOADING: RISE OF THE INDIES’

ZOE QUINN AND OTHER FEMALE GAME MAKERS SPEAK OUT ABOUT THE HARASSMENT OF WOMEN IN GAMES INDUSTRY

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a forthcoming feature documentary that explores the indie games subculture. The filmmakers have released a short video of Zoe Quinn and three other female game developers recounting their personal harassment experiences in the video games industry.

 

The harassment of women in gaming has been a serious issue for female developers long before the recent #GamerGate controversy began. The video, entitled “Harassment in the Games Industry”, features interviews with Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Catt Small, Phoenix Perry and Nina Freeman (Code Liberation), and reveals the personal struggles each developer faced in the male-dominated field.

The interviews were shot between March and May 2014, showing that hostility towards women is not a new phenomenon, and has nothing to do with allegations of unethical journalism.

Zoe Quinn reveals the harassment she experienced after the release of her game Depression Quest in 2013. She recounts receiving cruel personal messages, death threats and rape threats, with the justification from those attacking her that Depression Quest ‘wasn’t a game.’ “I can’t wait for the day when I’m a games designer, and not a female games designer,” she said.

“In an industry that is so male-dominated, I didn’t expect to meet many women making games. But I’ve met so many amazing female game developers that are making creative, ground-breaking games.” said Anna Brady, producer/editor of GameLoading. “Female developers are so brave to stay in the industry after the hatred they’ve faced online. It’s tragic that women wanting to enter the games industry have to consider whether it’s worth being harassed before committing to a career in games.” she said.

A “15 minute Sneak Peek” of the feature length documentary GameLoading can be found on their Kickstarter page. The campaign aims to raise the $50,000 required to fund post-production, and has one week left.

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies will be released in March 2015 on leading digital platforms, Blu-Ray, DVD, and in select theaters.

 

 



 

 

 

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