Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cobie Smulders coming to 'Shield' series.

Maria Hill is hot.

Trumps Scarlett Johanssen every time.
As more and more rumours and news come out about the  new 'Shield' series I  get  increasingly excited. First there was the huge news that 'Phil "Son of Coul" Coulson' will be a main character and is some how resurrected after being skewered by 'Loki' . The many different theories include a Life Model Decoy, which means Coulson in 'Shield' will be an android. Others include a clone, that he'll be the 'Vision', which would be fantastic but Clark Gregg has stated that he doesn't want that role. We've been continually bombarded  with cast calls as well as various teased at arcs that  they may implement into the live action Marvel Universe. What  is great about the 'Shield' series is that  they can introduce characters and see how the audience likes them, then import the best into the 'Marvel Movie Universe'.

He's in New York, could just get in a fight with a  bunch of Shield agents

Could easily start off as a Shield  agent.

Echo would  be a great character to introduce.
Iron Fist could easily show  up
Its just not as a cool as a live action  Cobie Smulders.

Now  I  think we can all agree that 'Avengers' was fantastic but one of the unexpected treats was Cobie Smulders aka 'Maria Hill', in that catsuit. She was absolutely outstanding as  the femme fatale we all love to hate. If  anyone knows their Marvel Universe they know  how much of  a bitch Maria Hill is and how she  instigates a war within the Marvel Universe which fucks the status quo of the costumed heroes for a long time. If they ever implement this into the Marvel Movie Universe then they could really be on to something.This brings me nicely to my point and the subject  matter of this  post, with all the cast calls and  the fact that 'Nick Fury' will probably have quite a minimal role in 'Shield' a  lot of  fans hoped Maria Hill would lead the series. With all  the news coming through over the  past few months there was no news of Cobie Smulder gracing our small screens in that catsuit again. A lot of people gave it up to her dedication to 'How I met your Mother'. We all  wept, we wouldn't see Cobie  again until 'Captain America; Winter Soldier'.

Then, yesterday, January 26th 2013 we were all given a ray of hope. '' released an article that just made my day. I'll  give you a quick run down of the article then drop a link to the site. 
When asked about 'Shield'  and her future in the 'Marvel  Universe' Cobie explained that her dedication to 'How I met your Mother' did  not matter and that her schedules would not conflict.

 It is excellent news as Maria Hills inclusion in this series allows for a very interesting dynamic in the series. As we saw in the 'Avengers', Maria Hill does not mind letting her opinion be known and is often conflicted with the use of such eccentric characters, like 'Iron Man', 'Thor' and the 'Hulk'. She is a woman  in a world infested with super heroes, who hates super heroes. It'll be a great kind of subplot to see her grow increasingly paranoid about the escapades of the super humans in both the 'Shield' series and 'Marvel Movie Universe'. 

The irony of this conversation is not lost on me, and wouldn't  it be great to see  Cobie Smulders vs Hugh  Jackman.
This  is all just my opinion, my hopes and dreams but with 'Joss Whedon' once again behind a team based series, and a super hero team based series to boot, we could see a lot of the 'Marvel Universe'spill over onto our screens. My  final words are this, 'You won't take the Shield from me!'

Friday, 18 January 2013

'Quartet' film review,

Starring- Tom Courtenay
Maggie Smith
Billy Connolly
Pauline Collins

There was something there but  for the life of them they had
no  idea what  it was.
It is rare to step into a film knowing nothing about it except for the stellar cast and the director, Mr. Dustin Hoffman. I was really intrigued by this film, it had been awhile since I had gone to the cinema to see a film that didn't involve Superheroes, explosions and/or comedy filled with ridiculously good looking idiots. The 'Quartet' is a strange creature, in a world, now filled with dark vigilantes, “pitch perfect” gleek wannabes and sparkling vampires, it has a unique property to it, genuine charm.

In Beecham House we are introduced to an oddball group of characters. It is a retirement home for all the stars of Opera. From the soloists to the soprano's, the backing vocalists and the musicians each have a place in this mad house. 'Wilf Bond'(Billy Connolly) who, after having a mild stroke, has his friend and Operatic partner, 'Reginald Paget'(Tom Courtenay) join him in this household. With 'Cecily “Cissy” Robson', they live out their days comfortably, trying to teach the younger generation about the wonder of opera and flirting with the staff. It is all well and good, until the operatic diva 'Jean Horton'(Maggie Smith) comes to live at Beecham house, bringing with her memories of betrayal and regret.

There are absolutely fantastic performances dotted throughout the film. From Billy Connolly's absurdly charming 'Wilf', to Tom Courtenays wonderfully dapper wit. Maggie Smith perfectly portrays the woman who knows that at one point in her life she was able to walk into a room and everyone would stop whatever they were doing and would just be in awe of her. Sheridan Smith is wonderful as 'Dr. Lucy Cogan', a woman who has to take care of these outrageous egos and eccentrics. The location is absolutely superb and the weather actually seems to mirror the emotions of the characters involved.  I would like to say that every single character was fleshed out and even some of the background characters gave wonderful performances, and finally, the music, the  music , the music,  it's played beautifully, sung superbly and when 'Reggie' explains it to a teenager in one of  his classes, it is articulated lovingly.

This way to freedom, or pie.
The plot isn't particularly original, as the film rolls on you begin to piece together where its going fairly easily. There is one or two characters that kind of are the jar jars of the piece. Pauline Collins is incredible as 'Cissy' she really is but there are time when her performance can come off as a bit over the top. Michael Gambon is a bit ridiculous as 'Cedric Livingstone', another performance that at times I felt he should have reigned it in just a little. At times I did feel that they played up to the stereotype that all films with an older cast do, they spoke on the movement of time, the loss of freedom, independence and youth. It is a necessary evil because these are people who are slowly losing the vigour to perform, which is their livelihood and their purpose in life.

Right, this film has flaws, obvious flaws. The usual kind of flaws in a film about aging stars, much like 'Still Crazy' which deals with a similar subject and funnily enough has Billy Connolly in it as well. However this film has such unique moments of shear acting elegance that in my opinion it just blows away all those cliches and gives you, the audience a truly human experience. These are people and all they wish is to use the gifts they weregiven to bring joy to an audience, it is a tragic beauty and is a wonderful directorial debut for Dustin Hoffman. The ugly is simply this, not enough people will see this in the cinema.

Seriously, go see it.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

'The Walking Dead Game' review part five. The End.

'The Walking Dead' Game Episode #5 Review.

Fuckin' A.
As Dead as it gets.
Here we are, it's been a long road and I know it's taken its toll on me. I don't know who will survive, if anyone will survive, all I know, after the bombastic cliffhanger ending last episode there will be tears. If you, like myself, can completely invest yourself emotionally in stories, then you are really in for a treat with this last outing from 'TellTale'. The stakes have never been higher and the casualties have never been so devastating.

Shit gets real, and it's time to throw down.
Nothing new, it's same old, same old. There are some really cool cinematic's and they are used to great  effect to hide the same mechanics that have been used for the past five months. There are some great moments, some real stand -out points where the game-play is just superb. It's not that  the game-play has become stale,far from it, it has become a wonderful mainstay of the series which is a kind of signature from the developers. 

Episode number five picks up from the mid-sentence cliffhanger that we were left with last episode. Lee has to find Clementine, help keep all his friends safe and all the while there is a timer in this episode. There are a lot of twists and turns, emotional pitfalls and at the end, if you don't feel something you are dead inside. I honestly didn't mean to make that pun. It just kind of happened. What's interesting about this episode is that it can go down any number of ways. I  complained about the lack of control in episode number three and I have to say they really throw you in the deep end here. You make every decision and you feel like every decision impacts the narrative. The execution of the final scene is a real testament to the writing and it's just fantastic plot-wise. 

He just had enough, and you'll get that.
The plot, the plot  is just outstanding. You honestly don't know where you're going in this. Each character gets their moment to  shine and those moments are so well  placed and the execution is done perfectly by the developers.. Each moment feels like it's important, you are constantly on edge and this is felt even more so with the inclusion of a timer. It's a superficial timer but the urgency is still there. As you get closer and closer to the end, there is a feeling, that  I can't describe. The best way I could describe it is by a comparison between the ending of 'The Walking Dead' game and the final scene in 'The Return of the King'. The ending is so bitter-sweet and deeply upsetting. It was wonderfully put together and is probably the best ending to a game series I've seen in a long time.

The length, it's half the length of one of the usual episodes and you feel it . Is it  a big problem? no. If you hate the format of how they end episodes with loads of tension, then cut to black, you'll be especially pissed off at this episode. They could have easily continued the story, especially with the running time of this episode clocked in at a mere two to three hours. It's unfortunate, it's a bitch but what are you going to do?

This is five minutes in and I'm going to tell you right now, it  hurts.
As a standalone episode, it's great, the story is wonderful, the characters each have their moments and you go from moment to moment eating up every scrap of information you're given. The length will piss you off and that's really the only bad, there were no glitches, no problems with dialogue. Just a perfect run-through. As the finale to a series, outstanding. It was dark, humourous, at times heart-achingly beautiful and down right tragic. I had the most wonderful time playing this game, the ending did not disappoint and the characters are some of the best fleshed out beings I've seen in all forms of media, not  just gaming. What's the ugly side to this? That it's over.

By the way, there is  already plans for a second season.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

'The Walking Dead Game' review part four, it can't get worse, yet it will.

'The Walking Dead' Game  Episode #4 Review.

Dead and Lovin' it.
The fourth episode, the penultimate chapter in a fantastic game series. How could things possibly get worse for our intrepid group? If you, like me, have been completed invested in this game franchise you're both hoping and dreading for what's coming next.

This is heartbreaking, no joke.
Nothing new really, it's safe mechanics. Everything that we've learned from the previous outings is here. It's okay but I always hope  for something more going into these next episodes.

Episode number four starts right where we left off with Lee and the rest of our heroes. Shit stuff has happened to them, shit is happening as they enter this new area and shit will probably continue to happen to them as this episode gets going. As the series has gone on you've lost friends and this is kind of the episode where your ranks grow again. It reminds me of  something someone once told me about 'A Song Of Ice and Fire' and how, when a character dies and is then replaced in the narrative, they are not replaced with a character who is as equally engaging. There is one character who stands out in this episode but one is not  enough. The plot in this episode centres around a town that has taken on a harsh code of conduct to ensure they survive this brave new world. 

This episode was one of the weaker episodes, there was not anything shocking, yes there was a lot of  great points but it was all just to lead to the finale. This episode is the 'Iron Man 2' of  the series, it's all about getting to  'The  Avengers'. There is a truly shocking moment at the end which redeemed it  for me and it was superbly executed. 

Right, where to begin. As the series has gone on there have been technical hiccoughs and this episode is no exception. There are moments where the syncing of the voices is off and one or two scenes graphically just fell apart. It happened once or  twice, bad not too bad. The story-line is good  but that's it, just good. It sets up episode number five well but  as an episode it  is  a bit  all  over the  place. Some of the new characters don't get nearly enough of  a spotlight to showcase themselves and it  is a real shame.

That's right, at some stage in the game Naruto shows up.
Right this episode, well it was 'The Empire Strikes Back' of  the series, when it  was good it  was great but when things technically fell apart they fell hard. The main stay characters were given strong moments but the new characters take up too much time and with no real resolution with them you  just feel slightly cheated. Ninety per cent of this episode didn't need to happen, it's really the last ten per cent that has that bang. It is  however, a lot better than episode number three, so here is my rating;

Strong stuff that does get passed it's faults, hooray.

'The Walking Dead Game' review part three, just over halfway there.

'The Walking Dead' Game Episode #3 Review.

Legally Dead.
Here we are,  if  you're still here, it is probably ninety per cent for 'The Walking Dead',five per cent because you want another angle to make your decision about whether to buy this game and five per cent because I am just so pretty. 
Teeth, you never see a zombie without teeth.
Nothing is really added to the experience this time around. Game-play is honed and yes, there are a lot of interesting, repeated, mechanics that have been hidden within great cinematic's. There is a great moment early in the episode where gun-play is  involved and it is pretty bad-ass and it hasn't really come into the series up until this point.

The plot, now after last episodes screamingly obvious plot-line this episode came off as a huge breath  of fresh air. Things have gotten from bad to bat shit crazy very quickly, someone is stealing supplies and guess what? You have to find out who it is and then when you find out shit gets real. People get really pissed and that isn't even the main plot, it's the introductory story-line.Now that I think about the main story-line, it involves a train. An absolutely wonderful experience with a train.

The story-line, the characters, the emotion that is absolutely, heart-achingly destructive. If you have become emotionally invested in any of these characters you  will  cry at some point during this episode. There are two  real moments. One early on and another halfway through the episode and it is terrific. For a game to be able to evoke such emotion in player really proves that gaming can be as much an art as any other piece of media out there.

There is nothing new in this episode mechanics wise, it has honed some of  the mechanics of the episode but I don't feel that's enough. Now onto my major  gripe with this episode. It came back again, if you read my previous posts about the camera problem at times then you'll  be happy to hear, it's back. This time however, the glitch has evolved?! When you get to  the train part of the episode you will come to a point where you  walk through  a door, as you do so you fall off the train and the camera follows you. It happened so  many times to me and it  came off such an emotionally charged moment that I just got so angry. I had to restart  my PS3, which did revolve the issue but  I am really annoyed that  I had to do that.

Kenny, fix the glitch,  just fix it?!
Now, to the point of the blind date where it's over and you're deciding on a second date. If i'm being honest, I was upset about this game, I felt like things were not fully explained to me and there were  points where I felt that decisions that usually were mine to make were taken away for simple shock value. That glitch really got on my nerves. I rarely get annoyed playing games but this, this just got to me. If you don't get that glitch count yourself lucky. Here's the rating;

The plot  is outstanding, the execution, heinous.

Friday, 11 January 2013

'The Walking Dead Game' review part deux(two).

'Thee Walking Dead' Game Episode #2 Review.

Dead, Dead and Dead.
Right so by now you have seen something that includes zombies in it. You may have  grown tired of them and just wish, enough, enough!? I just want some original stories that  involve interesting characters and maybe some blood. Well  let me tell you right now, episode number two of  'The Walking Dead' has exactly what you are looking for. 

It is hard to believe but they actually expanded on the game mechanics we were first introduced to in episode number one. One in particular new mechanic jumps out at me. It involves a bear trap, a teacher and a timer and it is a fantastic jumping off point.

What kind of  food survives a zombie apocalypse?
Not good  food.
Right so Lee and the rest of the survivors are living together in a kind of 'Real World' situation and it's been three months since the end of  episode one. Things are starting to get difficult until help comes along in the form of a family and their dairy farm. Things go  from bad to catastrophic and you are truly tested as a human being.

There are barely any zombies in this episode and I just found that fascinating. This episode is far more cerebral and there is such a moral tale being told throughout this entire episode that you really have to  ask yourself, what would you? 

Blue skies and good friends, the staple of any
'Animal Crossing'....wait this isn't 'Animal Crossing' 
There is a huge problem with this episode in the fact of the story-line. It is such an obvious move that when it happened I was like, "called it". If the series hadn't taken this route I would have been really impressed, but since they have done it so early I remember thinking they  better be a bit more original for the rest of  the series.

Yep, nothing like a good old fashioned barn chat.
When it all came to a head I realized, I had regrets,not because it was terrible but because I felt so invested in the story that when I made decisions that affected people in the game negatively, I wondered, could it have been different? This is the calibre of the game I have played and I am really pleased with this episode.
With that I give my rating;

'The Walking Dead' Game review.

'The Walking Dead' Game Episode #1 Review.

Dead To The World.
My first game review, and it is to answer a request that someone made on my youtube channel, SuperBurningson. I decided it was an excellent choice so, here we go.
I'm not going to lie, one of them is going to die and we're not
going by  80's horror flick rules.
'The Walking Dead' game by 'Telltale studio's' is a unique gaming experience. Not by the game-play, but by its characters, each of their emotional journeys and the consequences that come off of your choices. It is full of wonderful highs and heart breaking lows. 

 The game-play is very much in the vain of old fashioned point-and-click games seen mostly on the PC. There is not much puzzle solving as most other games of this genre, but what the game lacks in game mechanics it more than makes up for in narrative depth and the richness of the decisions you make within the game.

If you are a fan of the graphic novel, or AMC series you will instantly recognize this games style of  storytelling. Lee Everett is a man heading to prison, after being convicted of the murder of  his wife he is being driven out of 'Atlanta', which, if you are a fan of the graphic novel or series you know exactly what's going down when a helicopter is shown flying toward the city as you leave. Things go wrong pretty  much from the get go and you are thrust, literally, into the action. When you really get going you begin to meet an eclectic mix of characters,including one very special little girl, who is the most endearing character to come into gaming since a certain blue hedgehog spun across our screens. The basic plot is, Lee meets a scattered group of characters and depending on your actions some like him, some don't, some die, some don't. That's just the bare bones of it.
It's okay, he is a huge tool.

It is a wonderful introduction to an episodic game series, it keeps you invested with it's well written characters and its snappy execution. There are honest to God moments filled with tension, humour and heartache which is unique for a game of its length. If you're a seasoned gamer I'd give you four hours maybe five, if, like me you really delved into this episode.

You want the truth, there wasn't a lot of bad. One problem however did piss me off when it occurred, every now and then there were problems with the camera, which really took away from an otherwise wonderful  experience. 

Right, down to business, yes this is the first installment in a five part series, so expectations were not high, unfortunately for episode two the expectations are high. For a first game it is  fantastic and if they fix this one problem things can only get better, so here is my rating;

That camera problem happened a lot and it annoyed me, deeply. Cheers

A second time,'The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey'.

'The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey'.
Director; Peter Jackson
Starring; Martin Freeman
Ian Mckellen
Richard Armitage
Andy Serkis

Just a bunch of lads having the craic.

10 years on and 'Lord of The Rings' is still fresh in my mind, helped by a large quantity of re-watching. When it was all over the nerd world over let out a huge sigh of relief, a trilogy that was excellent from from beginning to end. There was no 'Spiderman 3' dance scenes, no X-men; The Last Stand' Juggernauts. When the final, final scene ended, I was in tears. I remember the books fondly as a child and this film series  will stay with me, close to my heart. Was there a need for another trip into Middle Earth? Lets find out with my second look.

1 hobbit, 13 dwarves, 1 wizard and they're all off to fight a dragon. If I try to go into any detail about the plot we'll be here for a long time, much like trying to remember every dwarf name. Which is really hard by the way.

Right, the good, Martin Freeman is an absolute wonder as Bilbo Baggins, originally it was going to be Ian Holmes again as the diminutive hero but Jackson decided against it. Keeping Ian Holmes as the elder Baggins, which works out fine in my opinion. The dwarves are absolutely brilliant, they bring humour to the  film which 'The Lord of The Rings' trilogy sorely lacked. Richard Armitage in particular as Thorin Oakenshield, a character so angry and so complex that he rivals the character Vegeta,from 'DragonballZ' which is just really great. The execution of the score is just superb and the battle scenes are just on such a huge scale. Not the same kind though as the previous trilogy, more of an emotional scale, it's just raw and visceral and fantastic.

Going right into this my mind flies straight to the portrayal of the dwarves, there are 13 dwarves, each one unique emotionally, but in the book are described as indistinguishable from each other physically. I understand why Jackson did this, but the purist in me screams, that's not what I imagined! That brings me to a hilarious point about 'Kili' the dwarf, our very own Aidan Turner from Dublin. I got to talk to him on the red carpet premiere and the man is very much a humble and cool guy, but back to my point. Look at Kili,does he look like a dwarf, no!? He looks like a freaking elf?! It's stated that he spends the least time in makeup and it shows. Are we honestly supposed to believe he is a dwarf, come on!?  Apart from one or two of the dwarves, they don't get enough back story which is unfortunate but it is the first of a trilogy so we should wait and see I guess. The last problems include the camera, if you go to IMAX you will feel a little queasy at times, I have heard this problem arise due to the 48FPS and finally some people feel that there are too many villains. I kind of feel the same, but I have been told that the villains in this film, that have been introduced, are actual villains with rich back stories, so that'll hopefully pan out.

That is not a dwarf.
Interview with a Dwarf.


Right, time to get down to the nitty, gritty. Honestly I loved this film, but after looking at a second time I did  see the problems everyone talked about. It is a bit childish, the camera is a bit jarring, Aidan Turner is too pretty to be a dwarf and there is a lot in it for one film. In the end it all comes down to one question, Did 'The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey' need to be made? No, but I'm very glad it was. My rating is;

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A second time, 'Silver Linings Playbook'.

'Silver Linings Playbook'
Director; David O Russell
Starring; Bradley Cooper
Jennifer Lawrence
Robert De Niro
Chris Tucker

It's rare to get such a surprise in film, but
this achieved.

It has been over two months since I saw this film. When I see a film I always jump in an say how I feel without fully thinking. Now, looking back I can give you a fully educated opinion on the 'Silver Linings Playbook'.
Bradley Cooper has always been a good actor to me, but that is it. A good actor, not a great actor, a good actor. Jennifer Lawrence, knowing her recent films, 'X-Men; First Class' and 'The Hunger Games', I had an idea of her acting range, or so I thought. Supported by Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker I really wasn't sure where this could go.

The film centres around Bradley Coopers character, Pat, who has only recently come out of a mental institution and has moved back in with his mother and father,Dolores(Jacki Weaver) and Pat Sr(Robert De Niro). After a break-down, that is fairly disturbing when it is shown in a flashback, Pat is trying desperately to get his life back together, which includes getting his teaching job back and his estranged wife.
He then meets Jennifer Lawrence's character,Tiffany, an emotionally broken woman who rivals him with her emotional complexities. Throughout the whole film there is a wonderful back and forth between them that evolves and grows and I will not spoil it anymore.

I'm thinking about this film and it just hit me hard. Bradley Cooper came off as such a unique character who goes through such a journey over the course of the film. Nothing ever feels forced, his evolution is well treated, as is his mental condition. Jennifer Lawrence really showed an oddball side to herself in this film and I'm excited to see her next film after this. Robert De Niro was great, really back on form after such disappointments as 'Little Fockers' and 'New Year's Eve'.A real surprise for myself was Chris Tucker, who performs wonderfully as Danny, Pats friend from the mental institution. The cinematography was well done, there are genuine moments when I felt, like Pat, claustrophobic in his confrontational moments with characters and it was all done through the camera work.

I always find it difficult to find the bad in a film, especially when I really enjoyed it. It is like tunnel vision, where once I've enjoyed a film, I block out the bad. It's a habit i've gotten into.
Looking at the film, I have figured out what I didn't like about it. There are some characters that just come off as douches, one character in particular comes to mind. It just comes off at times that every single person is angry in this film at some point and I mean everyone,except maybe Chris Tucker which is cool because it makes his character that little bit more unique.

Taking into account everything that i've written here and everything that I understand about the film I will give the wonderful, the poignant, 'Silver Linings Playbooks' a much deserved
It just puts a smile on your face.

I hope you've enjoyed my review. This film deserved a second look and I am glad I have been given the opportunity to write this again. Cheers.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Fortress Of Geek Ep.1 'Earth One'

Fortress Of Geek Ep. 1

Here it is the first official episode, I  hope you  enjoy  and please subscribe and enjoy.

The Beginning of Fortress Of Geek, the Vlog.

Hey  everybody, glad to be back, I hope that you've all been well.
Now that I've got my  new laptop I have begun to record a vlog to put up  here. I hope  you  guys enjoy and please comment your views on each of my videos. Thanks again.

Also here is a link to my channel;