There’s a new reality show in Canada that doesn’t involve crazy club-hoppers, people who think they can host a proper dinner party (but really can’t) or those who think they can be the next Canadian Idol. What it does have are indie musicians trying to catch their big break from the industry professionals who get to travel across the country searching for new talent.
What's not to like about blobs? Video games and globular protagonists have gone together like... well, two blobs do. Toronto-based indie developers DrinkBox Studios have been hard at work on Tales from Space: About a Blob for several years now, putting their own spin on blob-based gaming. We have been intrigued by the game ever since its appearance at Gamercamp in 2009, but had not heard much about it until last September, when it was announced that the title had become part of Sony's Pub Fund program. Now About a Blob is finally available for download on the Playstation Network, but does this platformer-puzzler live up to the gooey pedigree of its blobby forefathers?
As this year starts to get steady on its legs, we'll all need to find some new strength as well. This month’s picks will do just that for you – all of these acts radiate confidence and are really starting to come into their own. Let’s take a note from their songbook and get going!
The mysterious J.J. Abrams directed, Steven Spielberg produced monster movie Super 8 made an appearance during the Superbowl tonight. The film has been shrouded in mystery and this is our first real look at the film. See the Super 8 Superbowl TV spot below. FROM AROUND THE WEB
Superbowl viewers caught a quick glimpse of the God of Thunder tonight in the new TV spot for Thor. The Kenneth Branagh directed action epic stars Chris Hemsworth as the titular Norse god, robbed of his power and cast down to Earth by his father Odin. The film also stars Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Natalie Portman as his love interest, Jane Foster.
The Sixth Gun is a snappy, fast paced read that is deeply rooted in the western gunslinger genre while quickly outstripping such a classification with its supernatural and mystery elements. I picked up the first trade paperback (collecting issues #1-6) on a lark, and after reading the first couple pages, I couldn’t put it down. I am not usually drawn to the western genre, other than the occasional Clint Eastwood movie, or the recent True Grit, but this comic hooked me with its intriguing characters and superb graphic layout.
One November night, fans gathered at the ex-Hummingbird, now Sony Centre, simply to share in the presence of Nobuo Uematsu. Titled Distant Worlds: The Music of Final Fantasy, a full orchestra presented material by the legendary Uematsu, conducted by Grammy winner Arnie Roth.
First described to me as “Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider”, this does Daomu #1 a disservice. Yes, the plot revolves around a secret society of tomb robbers, so the comparison is understandable, but the preceding quote is more of a marketing tag for Image to hook potential readers. Opening the comic though, the text on the first page reveals an even deeper back story and world mythos than those Western franchises ever achieved. The digitally rendered art, by Ken Chou, is so distinctly 21st century and “not-American”, that this tag line will feel almost misleading after finishing the issue.
This book is hilarious. The series continues to be a wonderful send-up of the Marvel Universe, while having more action in each issue than all the Wolverine titles combined. The dialogue, or should I say, ‘internal narration’, is fantastically crafted. It transforms this title from being violence-for-sales-sake into a fun, slightly crazy, and witty read.
LittleBigPlanet gradually went from something charming that I could do without, to an unavoidable video game staple. A game I could constantly sit down with to discover and rediscover the weird and wonderful things people were creating in their seemingly infinite spare time. Now we’re exploring the second entry in the series, and it's as curious as it is exciting. To gauge the game at launch requires a bit of foresight (and hindsight), but know this, LittleBigPlanet 2 is more than just a new batch of stickers and costumes.
In this, the epic conclusion of Episode 12, Gavin and Jeff tackle The Green Hornet, dream of remaking martial arts classics and curse entertainment talk shows and the future of humanity. The episode takes a sinister turn when the two get political, talk about how much they miss Jess, and ponder the future of GND.
Entry after entry Dynasty Warriors seems impressively dedicated to never, ever changing, no matter how much other games have progressed. But now Koei is moving on to new blood: Fist of the North Star: Ken's Revenge. And oh, blood there is. Kenshiro and his brutal Hokuto Shinken style have been bred to tally up a body count that would make Lu Bu envious, but is that what Koei needs to devastate this time around, or is life a privilege something this game does not deserve?
The latest episode of the ongoing web-series The Rep is now online. The series documents the trials and tribulations of our friends at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Episode 4 concludes the events of the previous episode – Charlie, Nigel, Alex and Peter continue to prep the theatre for The Wright Stuff, while anxiously awaiting the arrival of director Edgar Wright
Despite it's generic qualities, which are numerous, The Mechanic maintains an appealing lack of moral rectitude throughout its running time. Jason Statham plays Arthur Bishop, a “mechanic”, which is code for assassin. He kills people for an unspecified evil corporate entity run by his mentor. The lack of specificity concerning his motivations is an asset to the film. It helps make the hackneyed direction by Simon West more palatable.
Oh, how far this series has fallen. When the ongoing Zatanna title first debuted, it was great. The art was stunning, the storyline intriguing and fun, and I was excited to see where Paul Dini would go with the character. But after a couple great issues, I knew that there was trouble on the horizon. Reading the latest previews, I noticed a new artist coming on to the book, and worse still — because this type of stunt is usually a good indicator of declining quality — the fantastic Stephane Roux, who had been doing the interior pages, would continue, but only be providing the cover art.
In this (mostly) television-related episode Jeff and Will are joined by the Shelf's resident TV dorks Kathleen Corrigan and Ian MacIntyre, as well as TV critic Kat Angus of Dose.ca's excellent TV Casualty Podcast. The group discusses their favourite returning shows, shows they are looking forward to in 2011, the state of television in Canada, and even find time to challenge one another to ridiculously obscure TV trivia.
With Jess absent, Gavin and Jeff have a frank and deep discussion about the current state of media, lament having to grow up and reminisce about their respective dorky childhoods. They also discuss the always timely subject of the Transformers motion pictures.