L’Enfant De La Forêt, the side project of James ‘Perturbator‘ Kent, has opened up pre-orders for a limited edition cassette of the debut album Abraxis. The 15-track cassette is $6 and will be shipped around May 1st.
Based upon a few songs that have been released over the past year, the music is going to be incredibly eerie and highly cinematic in feel. With titles like “The Birth Of All Evil”, “Flowers Of Flesh And Bone”, and “Amidst The Wolves”, this seems like it’ll be a fantastic album for those who want to unsettle themselves.
Pre-orders are available through Bandcamp. Head below for streams of several tracks.
“Bates Motel” had a bit of a rough go in its first two seasons. I like the show a lot, but it’s never hooked me the way I feel a show should. Every scene involving Vera Farmiga is wonderful. Freddie Highmore has done a fantastic job as well keeping up with her, and their scenes together are “Bates Motel” at its absolute best. The show is certainly flawed and has the occasion terrible storyline (the marijuana subplot that plagued the majority of last season comes immediately to mind), but there’s just enough good in the show to keep me interested.
The third season of “Bates Motel” premiered last night, and it was mostly a mixed bag for me. Pretty much everything I mentioned in the previous paragraph holds true for this premiere episode. All of the Norma/Norman (and Norma/Dylan) scenes were spot-on, but all other scenes were lacking in urgency. Let’s recap:
We open to Norman sleeping in bed with his mother (of course) only to have Dylan come in and tell Norma that it’s weird that her 18-year-old son is sleeping in the same bed as her (who’da thought?). Norma gets a call from a lawyer informing her that her mother has died. Since this is the first time (I believe) that we have heard mention of Norma’s mother, it doesn’t really hold a lot of weight for the audience, and it apparently doesn’t with Norma either, as she states she isn’t interested in hearing about the will. Her disinterest is made even more apparent when she breaks the news to Norman (“Oh by the way my mother died.”). Norman goes to school and has ghostly visions of Ms. Watson (whom he murdered in the first season finale) and runs back home to mother, only to run into new motel guest Annika Johnson, a very attractive hooker (I’m not kidding) who is just passing through town. Norman immediately takes a liking to her.
Meanwhile, Dylan has a meeting with Sheriff Romero, letting him know that he will not be selling marijuana illegally anymore. He is going to help people with glaucoma and cancer and sell them the weed (yawn). Romero tells him he is on his own and will not be able to offer him protection anymore. While at his cabin, his dad/uncle drops by to try to bond but Dylan, understandably, isn’t having it. Later, his father/uncle reveals that he knows Dylan is his son, and tries to explain how his bad childhood led to incest. So that’s why he raped Norma.
In the final third of the episode, Norma tells Norman that she will start home-schooling him and that she is going to promote him to manager of the motel (really?). He is thrilled and upon telling Emma, she informs him that her cystic fibrosis has gotten worse. Her lung capacity is decreasing. Naturally, he proposes that they begin dating. Then he spies on Annika showering in her room where Norma catches him. Norma finally breaks down about her mother to Dylan and Norman later finds her crying in her bad and they (literally) sleep together one last time. Finally, Norman drives Annika to a restaurant where (I’m assuming) she is meeting one of her johns. In the final shot of the episode, we see Norman pull up to the motel in her car (he was supposed to walk back), with Annika mysteriously absent.
This episode was essentially just setting up the rest of the season, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, not all of it was particularly compelling. The acting was great across the board, it’s just the script I have an issue with. As I mentioned before, every scene with Farmiga and Highmore is amazing. Those two play off of each other really well and that’s what makes this episode for me. I’m a little puzzled as to why the season mystery seems to be “Did Norman kill Annika?” I don’t know this character and don’t really care (and Norman probably killed her). Plus, “Did Norman Kill Ms. Watson?” was the whole mystery of the second season. My hope is that I’m just underestimating the writers and this will not actually be the season mystery and get resolved in one or two episodes. One can dream.
After the appearance of “Mother” in Norman’s head in the season 2 finale, I was a little disappointed that she didn’t make an appearance in this episode. I realize that she can’t just keep popping up, but it’s a 10-episode season and there isn’t really an excuse for a slow pace (something the series has been guilty of in the past). The entire story with Norma’s mother threw me at first, but it ended up giving us a great moment with her and Dylan (more on his arc below).
Overall I’d say this was a perfectly average episode of “Bates Motel.” It had some great moments and it had moments that dragged. There was a lot of setup, as is expected in season premieres, but it moved a little too slowly for my taste.
- I’m taking a page out of The AV Club’s book (I read their reviews religiously but will not be reading their reviews for “Bates Motel until after these go up so as to avoid any subconscious plagiarism/opinion influence) and adding this section to the end of all my reviews. So in the main body I will recap and review (and try to limit my snarkiness), and in this section I’ll have my more informal thoughts/critiques of the episode.
- Also, I apologize for the length of this review. I’ll try to start doing a better job of condensing future reviews.
- Exactly how much time has passed since the start of the series? I feel like it’s been a long time but maybe I’m wrong?
- Seriously, what is it with older women on this show being so flirty with Norman? I admit that Freddie Highmore is cute, but jeez.
- For the love of God, get Max Thieriot away from the marijuana storyline. Actually, jettison that plot altogether and make him be around his family more (but not his dad/uncle).
- Speaking of Max Thieriot, does anyone else get distracted by his teeth? I feel like it always looks like he’s wearing a mouth guard (he’s still hot though).
- It’s nice to see Keegan Connor Tracy (Final Destination 2, Once Upon a Time) again, albeit as a ghost/corpse. She’s one of those actresses that just pops up out of nowhere sometimes and she always makes me smile.
- Vera Farmiga pleading with Norman to (literally) sleep with her one last time (“Just for a night…because I’m so sad”) made me laugh hysterically. In case you couldn’t tell, I love that woman.
- Olivia Cooke needs to be given more to do. She was great in the first season but completely underused last season. Remedy that now, please.
- Happy to be doing these reviews for you guys for the next 10 weeks! I’ll also be reviewing A&E’s “The Returned,” which airs after “Bates Motel.” Look for my review of that later tonight!
It’s been two long years since developer Ninja Theory took the reins on Capcom’s popular series of demon genocide simulators with DmC: Devil May Cry. I’ve been a fan of the series for some time, but DmC took everything I loved about those games — the fluid combat, stylish world and the monsters that inhabit it, whose soul purpose is to take a lengthy bludgeoning from me.
With the Definitive Edition, Dante and friends are back and better than ever. This package brings with it a bevy of content, including all of the original game’s DLC, as well as a number of fan-requested tweaks to the combat, such as the addition of a lock-on ability if you’re looking to single out a specific baddie for some whoopassery.
It’s no secret that DmC, and specifically Dante’s new look, has polarized many fans of the series. If you count yourself among them, go right on ahead and skip this.
For those of you who enjoyed the reboot, or if you’re simply looking for a stylish, colorful and insanely addictive action game from a developer that specializes in creating stylish, colorful and insanely addictive action games, you’ll want to get this.
First off, since I’ve already reviewed the game’s original incarnation, I’m going to skip detailing some of what should be pretty common knowledge by now. If that’s information you’d like to know, I suggest you check out my review of the original game.
Before we get into why this is worth buying, I’m going to say something that no critic should say.
I’m biased. That’s right, I said it. I have a bias toward games that make me look like I have skills, when in reality, my talents would likely rank below average in games of this genre. Before this reboot came along, I hadn’t been able to get into the Devil May Cry series because of their unforgiving difficulty and my aforementioned ineptitude with any game that requires I memorize button combinations or react quickly.
One of the things that makes DmC so brilliant is it manages the impressive feat of catering for helplessly inadequate gamers such as myself, while at the same time providing enough of a challenge for longtime fans of the series. The original game did this well, and the Definitive Edition takes that a step further.
Capcom has used fan feedback to re-balance the enemies and fine-tune the weapons, even going so far as to add the oft-requested manual lock-on so you can target individual enemies you’d like to get intimate with, and a new Turbo Mode that speeds up the gameplay by 20%.
They’ve also upscaled the graphics to support 1080p and run at a smooth 60fps so you can see every glorious detail.
Skilled demon hunters will want to take a look at the new difficulty modes — Hardcore, Must Style and Gods Must Die — for a real challenge.
Hardcore amps up the difficulty a bit further, bringing the gameplay closer to the unforgiving nature of the original games. The Gods Must Die mode bestows enemies with the Devil Trigger ability while at the same time makes them deal considerably more damage, and in Must Style, enemies can only take damage when your style rank is at least an S. I remember seeing that letter a few times when I was playing it, but it’s been so long I fear it might have been just a dream.
I’d say by now, this game has enough difficulty tiers that anyone should be able to have a good time with it, or whatever the “good time” equivalent is beyond the “I’m a baby, please go easy on me” mode I’m most fond of.
Because wave survival modes are all the rage right now, a new Bloody Palace mode has been introduced for Vergil, Dante’s brother, which takes place in a 60-floor arena that’s brimming with all sorts of monsters. This is a somewhat tougher version than the original Bloody Palace. I wasn’t able to make it very far, but anything that gives Vergil more screen-time is more than welcome.
As much as I loved DmC, I never tried its DLC. It all worked out nicely though, since this bundle comes with all of it. I had no idea that included weapon skins — my Dante’s sporting the bone weapons, and I refuse to answer to anything but “The Reaper” when I’m playing with them — and there’s a handful of character skins in there, too.
The original game’s only story expansion, Vergil’s Downfall, is in there, and after playing it, I can’t say I’m too impressed. It’s more of the same, and that even extends to Vergil’s abilities, which aren’t really all that different from his brother’s. It feels underdeveloped and only worth it for those seeking the whole story, or at least a fresh perspective.
It helped me be able to understand Vergil as a character, and he does come equipped with some nifty twists on existing abilities thanks to his telekinetic powers, which also make up for his not having guns. I’m going to sound like an upset parent when I say this, but it’s not that I didn’t like it, I’m just disappointed by it.
In my original review, I said the time I spent with DmC was the most fun I’ve ever had playing a Devil May Cry game, and that’s still true. It’s actually more true now, even though I had already beaten the game twice before jumping into this edition.
Everything that made the game so refreshing in 2013 is present in the Definitive Edition. The combat is still intuitive, and switching between bludgeoning and hacking away at the demon hordes with Dante’s arsenal of weapons is so satisfying.
The last two years have put nary a dent in the awe-inspiring world that developer Ninja Theory created, which I still find myself taking time from my current objective just so I can soak it up.
The Final Word: Thanks to some welcome rebalancing of existing mechanics and a considerable amount of content, one of the greatest action games of 2013 may very well end up being one of the greatest action games of 2015.
“Powers”, the first PlayStation Original series—adapted from the gritty graphic novel universe created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, and produced by the studio that brought you Breaking Bad—is based on a compelling premise: what if the world was full of superheroes who aren’t actually heroic at all? What if all that power was just one more excuse for mischief, mayhem, murder, and endorsement deals?
“Powers”, is an edgy dramatic series, follows the lives of two homicide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who are assigned to investigate cases involving people with superhuman abilities, referred to as “”Powers”.” Set amidst today’s paparazzi culture, “Powers” asks the questions,what if the world was full of superheroes who aren’t actually heroic at all? What if all that power was just one more excuse for mischief, mayhem, murder, and endorsement deals?
The first three episodes of the season launch tomorrow, and it looks like there will be plenty of blood, mayhem, and superheroics. I know this looks a lot grittier than I had originally envisioned. We’ll have reviews of the first three episodes by this time tomorrow night, and we’ve got a writer at the premiere, so expect to find out what its all about later tonight. I know I’m excited after watching this trailer.
“”Powers”” stars Sharlto Copley (“District 10″) and Susan Heyward (“The Following”) as lead detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, with Michelle Forbes, Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor, Logan Browning and Olyesa Rulin playing heroes and villains. David Slade (“Game of Thrones”) directed the first two hourlong episodes.
For those of your with your Playstation Network memberships, will you be watching “Powers”?
Is Sony planning four Ghostbusters films that cross over Avengers-style?
I was literally out the door when Badass Digest dropped this Ghostbusters bombshell that shares details of Sony’s major plans to cross streams.
Earlier today it was revealed that an all-male Ghostbusters is on the way, possibly starring Channing Tatum. Captain America: The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo are looking to direct and produce.
This follows the announcement of Paul Feig’s reboot (in theaters July 22, 2016) that will feature an all-female cast consisting of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
Apparently, the news of an all-male team is a bit misleading, which caused Badass Digest to followup on the story. That’s when they discovered some incredible new details that had me spraying Marshmallow across the room.
Where to begin…
“First of all, this new Ghostbusters movie isn’t all-male. It isn’t ‘guy-centric.’ I spoke to three different people who were baffled as to where that came from. But it does have some guys at the center – the concept here is a movie that spins out of the chemistry between real-life friends Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt (pictured),” explained the site, which also added something extremely important: “This isn’t a case of ‘everybody wants Chris Pratt in their movie,’ this is a case of these two guys being pals and wanting to make this movie together.”
This new Ghostbusters is also supposed to be complementary to the Paul Feig film. It’s Avengers-style, building out a massive new universe that will eventually collide.
“The hope is that after Feig’s Ghostbusters is out and after Tatum’s Ghostbusters is out the next film will see the two teams co-mingling, Avengers-style,” they add. “This is planned out, and has been getting planned out for some time – it’s not a sudden change of heart at Sony.”
Lastly, from what they’re told, this new Ghostbusters universe will also have a prequel movie, which will take place before either of these two announced films.
So, how big is this news? Sony Pictures is planning four new Ghostbusters films that will all intermingle in the same universe. Crossing the streams has an entirely new meaning…
EastEnders star Sam Strike, pictured, is in negotiations to star in Leatherface, the Texas Chain Saw Massacre prequel that is coming together at Millennium Films, says TheWrap.
The prequel will go back before Tobe Hooper’s 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and tell of Leatherface’s teenage years. Strike is nearing a deal to play ‘Jackson’, the teenager who grows up to become Leatherface.
As we exclusively reported back on Halloween, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, the duo behind the slasher masterpiece Inside (À l’intérieur), as well as Livide and the forthcoming Among the Living, will be helming Leatherface for Millienum and Lionsgate.
Millennium Films, who was behind the 2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D, is once again producing with Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman and Carl Mazzacone, for Lionsgate.
Shooting began this week on Academy Award winner Stefan Ruzowitzky’s action-thriller Patient Zero.
The feature stars Matt Smith (“Doctor Who,” Terminator Genisys), Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones”), John Bradley (“Game of Thrones”), Agyness Deyn (Clash of the Titans), and Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games).
Production is based in the UK at Shepperton Studios and will shoot in and around London until April 18, 2015.
In Patient Zero, an unprecedented global pandemic of a super strain of rabies has turned the majority of humankind into highly intelligent, streamlined killers known as ‘The Infected.’ One victim, Morgan (Matt Smith), who is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.
Patient Zero is directed by Austrian writer/director Stefan Ruzowitzky, best known for the 2008 Academy Award® Winner for Best Foreign Film The Counterfeiters, and is from a screenplay written by Mike Le. Vincent Newman (We’re the Millers) produces along with executive producer Steve Norris (The Riot Club).
Cinematography is by Benedict Neuenfels (The Counterfeiters), production design by Jonathan Lee (Stealth), make-up and hair design by Jane Walker (The World’s End), costume design by Suzie Harman (RocknRolla), and VFX produced by Raoul Yorke-Bologinini (Sinister 2).