Alexandre Breault, Ubisoft's lead game designer for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, gave Dork Shelf a rundown of the game's latest preview build at Microsoft's X-11 holiday preview event last week. A beardy, burly Ezio Auditore is on his way to Masyaf, former stomping grounds of his predecessor Altair.
Rocksteady Studios showed off a preview build of Batman: Arkham City at Microsoft's X-11 event last week, and we had a chance to romp through a wrecked of Gotham's biggest prison yard ever. Unsurprisingly, we left as excited as the previews and trailers have been making us over the past year, and then some.
Griff the Invisible is an odd little film, one that wears a big heart on its sleeve. Writer/director Leon Ford has created a film that is equal parts enamouring and sad. The film stars Ryan Kwanten as the titular Griff, a quiet loner who doubles as a masked vigilante by night. What makes this film different from the growing roster of DIY vigilante movies, is that our hero's crime-fighting adventures are essentially made up. His foes are imagined fantasies and his feats gross exaggerations of his own creation. It's a relatable tale of outsiders who try to fit in the only way they know how.
Fright Night is unquestionably the best film to come out of the recent deluge of recycled properties. This doesn’t just mean it is the best horror reboots in recent years, but it is one of the best remakes in any genre. It is the rare reboot that hits many of the same notes of the original film, while simultaneously subverting the audience’s expectations of what is going to happen. The fact that Fright Night manages to be on par with the original is a miracle in a world of shoddy remakes and cheap cash-ins.
Conan the Barbarian is an unnecessary, but often entertaining adaptation of Robert E. Howard's series of stories about the Cimmerian warrior who was "born of battle." And to the film's credit, it doesn't feel like a full remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger take on the character. This Conan is actually smarter and even more action packed than the beloved films from the 80s, but under the direction of Marcus Nispel sometimes the film can be excessive even by the standards of the character.
No one seems to be quite themselves in this week’s episode of True Blood, 'Spellbound’. Picking up where we left off last week, Jessica is under the witches’ spell and is about to walk out into the sun to meet her true death. It didn’t even occur to me last week that Ball might have the balls to kill off a character and even though I like Jessica, I secretly wanted to see her go up in flames because it's pretty cool.
30 Minutes or Less is a strange sort of film, but the elements are all there to make for a decent bit of entertainment. It is an affably ridiculous action comedy that takes an extremely convoluted plot and boils it down to a film that clocks in at just a shade over 80 minutes. The film continues in the same self-referential vein of most hybrid comedies of the past few years, with nods to everything from Die Hard and The Great Santini, to Friday the 13th Part 3. It all adds up to a film that is fun while it lasts, but ultimately ends up going nowhere special.
The Final Destination series of films have officially become the movie-going equivalent of the tuxedo T-shirt. The first time you see it you say to yourself, "That's a really clever subversion of my expectations at this party." But after a while you begin to wonder just how long this gag is going to be milked because it really stopped being amusing several years ago. Final Destination 5 is an atrocious mess, but it is admittedly barely better than the last installment.
King's Bounty: Legions, the Facebook free-to-play version of 1C Company's role-playing game, opened the doors to its beta realm this week. From early impressions of Legions, the free browser-based version proved surprisingly robust, and might be the best video game using the Facebook platform to date.
I was interested to see how Alan Ball would follow up last week’s all over the map episode of True Blood. What started out as an exciting, plot-packed hour ended as a cringe worthy, softcore porn Twilight tribute (albeit with a good soundtrack). Thankfully he managed to maintain the excitement without the cheese this week in ‘Cold Grey Light of Dawn’.
Perhaps it came out too close to Activision’s Prototype, maybe a superhero-who-isn’t was not a marketable enough concept for people to latch on to, but whatever the reason may be, folks just don’t seem to talk about the original inFAMOUS on the same level they do Uncharted, or even Sucker Punch’s own Sly Cooper. inFAMOUS 2 hopes to drive it all home, carrying the pulse of the first and wrap up both the narrative and the possibilities rooted in the first. Is there chain-lightning in the follow-up, or is there not enough power to keep this engine running?
The Devil’s Double is the disturbing tale of Latif Yahia, a well to-do Iraqi man who is forced to become the body double of Uday Hussein, the sadistic elder son of dictator Saddam Hussein. Despite a strong first half, this is a very uneven film, one that goes from an interesting character study of two wildly different men to an unnecessary action film by the third act.
The first shot of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's upcoming film The Dark Knight Rises surfaced today. Played by Anne Hathaway, the cat burglar (real name Selina Kyle) wears leather and a high-tech visor of some sort, while riding a bike that looks an awful lot like the one Christian Bale's Batman has been known to use.
Generation Hope #9 is “the one where we’re using the X-metaphor to talk about teenage gay suicide.” It's not a story where they "deal with" teenage gay suicide, of course; that would imply some sort of satisfactory resolution, if not an outright happy ending.
It’s a spider-man! It’s an iron man! No, it’s a super man! Earlier today Warner Bros. released the first image of Superman from Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel slated for a 2013 release. The image shows Henry Cavill as the titular 'Man of Steel' showing off the squareness of his jaw in a suit that replaces the vintage spandex look with the recycled basketball one people seem to really like these days.
An intense new trailer for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has hit the web. The film — an adaptation of the John le Carré's novel of the same name — is the first English-language effort from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson. Set during the coldest days of the Cold War, semi-retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is enlisted by MI6 to help sniff out a Soviet double agent within their ranks.
The sixth episode of True Blood's fourth season is entitled "I Wish I Was the Moon" for the Neko Case song that plays at the end of the episode and into the credits. The episode itself begins and ends with Erik Northman and Sookie Stackhouse locked in a long awaited, barely clothed embrace, and as for episode structure - that's about it. "I Wish I Was the Moon" has some stellar moments, some moments worthy of the misspent potential of the series, but when taken as a whole, the episode struck me as listless and disorganized - as much of this season has been.