Batman Concludes with The Dark Knight Rises

Seven years ago, there was a spike in the pop-cultural “cool” factor of enjoying the Batman. With the release of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, those put off by the silliness and absurdity often associated with comic-book narratives were enraptured by the film’s far more grounded take on the Caped Crusader. When the much anticipated follow-up, The Dark Knight, was released in 2008, that “cool” factor increased tenfold, as did the amount of Joker cosplayers. Four years and far too many “Why so serious”es later, has Nolan delivered a fitting conclusion to his beloved series, or does the trilogy crash and burn in the home stretch?

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Marvel’s “The Avengers” Team Up to Take Your Money

In 2008, Marvel Studios released the first of many film adaptations of their own comic book properties. With “Iron Man,” the legendary publisher took great care in making sure the summer blockbuster did the source material justice, and succeeded with flying colors (red and gold, primarily). Those who stayed after the credits were treated to a short scene showcasing Samuel L. Jackson as a mysterious man with an eye patch saying something about an “Avengers Initiative.” With that moment, comic fans everywhere collectively shit a massive brick made of tremendous excitement and towering expectations. Four years later, Marvel Studios has delivered on their promise of an Avengers film. Was it even remotely possible for them to meet the staggering expectations of their fans? Find out after the break!

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Chronicle OR: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Telekinesis

Though the style may be running rampant recently, I must admit that I am a fan of the “found footage” gimmick. Something about the whole let’s-all-pretend-just-for-like-an-hour-and-a-half-that-this-is-actually-happening shtick makes for some creative (if contrived) uses of camera and sound that often have the effect of making the ridiculous seem tangible. With the debatable exception of “Cloverfield,” most found footage films thus far have been of the horror persuasion. “Chronicle,” the latest release to utilize the style, is more of a high-school-set action/dramedy. Is this where found footage films jump the proverbial shark, or does this gimmicky style still have some battery life left in its camera?

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Netflix Pick: 13 Assassins

I’m about to admit something that may lose me a few points of modern film geek cred… I have never seen a film by Takashi Miike. Everything I’ve heard about “Audition” and “Ichi the Killer” has caused me a bit of hesitation on account of the modicum of squeamishness that still sits within my hardened, grown-up sensibilities. The descriptions of Miike’s “13 Assassins” seemed free of such warnings for the weak of stomach, so I figured that its addition to the Netflix catalog was the perfect opportunity to right that wrong. Read more of this post

Resident Evil: Revelations Demo Hits the eShop Today (New Resident Evil 6 Trailers!)

3ds

According to Capcom’s official press statement this morning, the demo for the highly-anticipated Resident Evil: Revelations has hit Nintendo’s eShop today. You need to check this out.

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The Adventures of Tintin

I can quite honestly say that I would not be as enthusiastic about the medium of film as I am today without the films of Steven Spielberg. Specifically, that enthusiasm would be nonexistent without the Indiana Jones trilogy (that’s right, TRILOGY). I can remember seeing “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” for the first time as if it was yesterday (yes, I saw them out of order, don’t judge me). Even on a crappy VHS on a small TV, I was swept up in the globe-trotting, treasure-hunting adventures of Dr. Jones and his affable gang of companions. Recently, Spielberg gave us a return to that kind of film with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” but the results were lacking in a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Actually, je sais precisely quoi; it was lacking in heart and character and quality setpieces and any appearance of genuine giving-a-shit. Thankfully, Spielberg has been given a second chance at producing that brand of cinematic adventuring (this time sans the confused mind of a 2012-fearing George Lucas) with the animated motion-capture spectacle “The Adventures of Tintin.” Was Spielberg able to find redemption this time around? The answer is a surprising “Pretty much, yeah.”

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

He can tell EXACTLY what you had for breakfast this morning.

It’s nearing Christmas, which apparently means studios are required to release ALL THE MOVIES right fucking now. It’s a winter season full of rollicking action/adventure romps, dour oscar-bait, and family-friendly crowd pleasers. With so many choices available to you during your holiday break, you may be wondering if “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” the sequel to the 2009 hit “Sherlock Holmes,” is worth your hard-earned coin. Does it provide more exciting mystery and slow-motion fisticuffs? Is Victorian London still grey as a shark’s backside? Do Sherlock and Watson just SHUT UP AND KISS ALREADY? The answers to these questions after the break!

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Let’s Talk the Block.

If you liked "Shaun of the Dead", you HAVE to check this out. The only way I can describe it is "The Goonies" meets "Gremlins" meets Ali G.

I consider myself to be pretty gangster. I know a handful of awesomely gangster sayings and hip slang, and even own a t-shirt proclaiming how gangster I indeed am. Close friends of mine would attest to how truly gangster I’m capable of being. That being said, nothing could have prepared me for how gangster a group of inner-city kids from London could be. Not even all the hours of Ali G I’ve watched in my time.

Over the summer, I caught wind that a small studio (which includes a few of the great minds behind “Shaun of the Dead”) was putting out a new action-comedy about an alien invasion called “Attack the Block.” My interest was further piqued by the unusually high ratings I found on Rotten Tomatoes, and before I knew it, I was hunting down showtimes and more information about the movie’s über-limited release (there was only one theater playing the movie in the Bay Area at the time).

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Immortals: An Old Tale Retold With Bullet-Time

Yeah, when I walk around, golden strands of gold shit trail behind me too. But, at least I have the decency to tuck mine in.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand about movies today, it’s not having enough slow motion effects. Let me ask you a series of serious questions: Do you like decapitation? Do you like heads exploding? Do you like people getting cut in half? Do you like Stephen Dorff (of “Space Truckers” fame)? Then motherfucker, you’ll like this movie. If you are familiar with the epic tales and myths of old, you will no doubt spot some inconsistencies with the story, but this is fiction based on mythology,  so we’ll give them a pass.

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Super 8 is Super Great

Let me be clear about one thing: the less you know about Super 8 going into the movie, the better. Part of Writer/Director J.J. Abrams’ charm is his ability to surround his projects in complete mystery. Though Super 8’s marketing wasn’t nearly as mysterious as his previous film, Cloverfield, or “1-18-08,” as it was known for most of its time after being announced, Abrams still doesn’t give you a whole lot to go on from Super 8’s trailers. The initial trailer only showed a truck crashing into and derailing a train, and hinted at something trying to break out. That was enough to pique my interest.

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Dead Island Gameplay Trailer Unveiled

Yesterday the internet was caught off guard when Deep Silver games pulled the curtain off the previously uber-mysterious zombie game, Dead Island. Buzz for the game went viral when the original announcement trailer swept us off our feet back in February. Though the game is no where near as dramatic as that teaser trailer implies, the gameplay shows a lot of potential. While we were all expecting another Left 4 Dead, Dead Island looks to be more of a Fallout-style of gameplay, sporting an enormous open world with tons of story-driven missions and side missions that can be played start to finish with drop-in/drop-out four-player co-op. Yeah, I’ve got a semi-chub just thinking about it. While the combat is mostly melee-centric, the gameplay trailer below showcases a bit of firearm combat as well, though the developers stresses guns will be few and far between.

Click the jump for the gameplay trailer, courtesy of GameTrailers.com!

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Battle LA: Eckhart Was the Ssgt. This Platoon Needed, But Not The One It Deserved

Just got home from watching “Battle: Los Angeles” tonight, and I’ve got to say, I thought it was a pretty damn entertaining movie. It wasn’t perfect, but if you’re looking for a good war movie (yes, that’s how I’ll categorize it), definitely check this one out. For the skeptics, check it out matinée.

For those who aren’t familiar, “Battle: LA” is about a small Marine platoon that receives orders to find and evacuate a group of civilians amidst a very sudden and very devastating alien invasion. Those expecting a crazy sci-fi movie a la “District 9” should be prepared for a totally different kind of film. Where District 9 was a great science fiction movie with its main focus following Wikus’s forced transformation into an alien and evasion of the government, “Battle: LA” is a more of a traditional war movie that just so happens to involve aliens as the enemy instead of the usual Russians or Middle-Easterners.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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You Should’ve Played This Game Last Year, But You Didn’t:

I don’t get a ton of time to play video games, so I have to be really selective with the games I do commit to play. Most of the time, however, it’s not the triple-A titles every one and their mom is playing, like the Assassin’s Creed’s, the Madden’s, the brand-new-shooter-that-looks-exactly-like-last-one-you-sold-back, etc. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with those games, I just couldn’t give two annual-released-shit’s about them. I tend to gravitate towards single-player games a lot of the time; I just enjoy playing games for their stories. Let’s be honest, most people don’t play triple-A games like Call of Duty for the story.

The fourth quarter of the calendar year is jam-packed with games, and it’s not hard for a gem to be buried underneath the annually rehashed blockbusters. I’ve spent my time working at a game store to know how bad this time can be, especially when deciding which game deserves your last $60 in this busy season. Last year I paid extra close attention to a game called Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, the second release from Heavenly Sword creators, Ninja Theory. The power Ninja Theory was able to convey with their facial animations had absolutely stunned me when Heavenly Sword was first released in 2007. Once I heard Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) was playing the main character, Monkey, and Alex Garland (28 Days Later) had helped pen the story loosely based on the old Chinese lore, Odyssey to the West, I was sold.

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