I know Secret Wars looks daunting. Hell, you have to read about 2.5 years of two different interweaving Avengers titles for it all to make sense, and Marvel has taken notice. They’ve compiled a truly strange collection of comics to help you get ready.
Universes are colliding. The Marvel Universe as you know it is about to be destroyed. SECRET WARS #1 is just around the corner. But the path to 2015’s event to end all events can be found in the SECRET WARS PRELUDE TPB! Hitting stores the same day as SECRET WARS #1, this epic collection is the perfect chance to get caught up in time!
An event 30 years in the making, relive important stories and signposts on the road to SECRET WARS #1! What does the senses-shattering conclusion to the original 1984 Secret Wars have to do with the Secret Wars of today? What secrets lie in the Illuminati’s discovery of the Incursions? What threats lie in a universe created by Doctor Doom? The Ultimates face a foe more powerful than the gods – and Reed Richards is its leader! But why? And what does Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man have to do with it all? It’s all been leading to this!
“These primer TPBs have become hugely successful over the years for both retailers and readers,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “A single volume of stories, these collections are the perfect way to catch up, see the building blocks of the event, and be ready to jump head first directly into the first issue! Carefully handpicked tales from Marvel’s SVP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, this volume is chock full of the titanic tales you need to read, or reread, before the release of Secret Wars #1!”
Collecting New Avengers (2013) #1-3, Secret Wars (1984) #10-12, Fantastic Four #611, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1 and Ultimate Comics Ultimates #4, relive again or for the very first time these important stories leading up to SECRET WARS #1!
War is coming. Are you ready for it? Now you can be with the epic SECRET WARS PRELUDE TPB!
SECRET WARS PRELUDE TPB (FEB150858)
Pre-Order on Amazon
FOC – 03/16/15, On-Sale 05/06/15
Reviewed By Eric Switzer. The world of “Powers”, however bleak, is an inviting one. In this world, a certain untold yet substantial percentage of the population is born with super human abilities, some use them for good, and others for personal gain. Like “Watchmen”, the story begins years after the heyday of traditional capes and cowls. Heroes still exist, but the “Avengers”-like super team that seemingly started it all has aged, disbanded, and in the case of our protagonist Walker, lost his powers.
This is all explained, by the way, in one of the longest and clunkiest expositional diatribes I’ve ever seen, delivered by Mario Lopez in a clip from an episode of “Extra”. Using an actual pop culture news show as a world building mechanic is not unwelcome, but this was almost impossible to follow its so dense, and A.C. Slater comes across as bored and irritated that he has to compromise the legitimacy of “Extra” by talking about something imaginary as if its real.
I’ll warn you that this first episode gets off to somewhat of a rough start. We begin in the Powers Division police station as Walker and his partner hull in a super strength bad guy. Everyone is talking about someone or something Powers related, I don’t know what, its very confusing. Then we get some gory action that ends with his partner’s head smashed open, which I very much appreciated, followed by Mario Lopez explaining too much too quickly. Now we are in Walker’s apartment, Eddie Izzard is whispering vague things in his ear. We don’t know who he is or what he is talking about. Walker runs to the window to watch some powers shoot lighting and laser beams at each other, he wants to join the fight, but he can’t. Title card.
So up to this point I was pretty worried that “Powers” was either only going to appeal to fans of the book, or suffered from such severe pacing and story issues that it was going to be a hot mess. Luckily, things smoothed out from there. Walker meets his new partner, the plucky yet hard edged Deena Pilgrim, who serves as the audience surrogate with her constant prying questions, and before he has time to grieve has to investigate another murder: one of his former crime fighting partners has been killed by an ability-enhancing drug called Sway. This leads Walker down memory lane where we will encounter old friends and foes and hopefully recover his powers, because not having powers sucks.
The villain behind sway is another former friend of Walker, the assumed dead teleporter Johnny Royalle. His agenda is not entirely clear though. It seems that he wants to kill his old super friends, but then punishes one of his underlyings with an epic beheading for doing exactly that. Despite my confusion Noah Taylor as Johnny Royalle delivers the most dynamic performance in the episode and tends to really overshadow the other performers.
“Powers” walks a fine line when it comes to whether it wants to be taken seriously or enjoyed for camp value. At times one might argue that the harsh language and extreme violence are compensating for or covering up the campy performances and dialogue. “Powers” certainly is its own flavor of show.
- Killer Performances from Noah Taylor and Eddie Izzard
- A few really intense, emotional moments
- Its a show about super heroes that say fuck and cut heads off
- Expositional nightmare
- actual displays of super powers are few and far between (noticeably meager budget)
- Walker’s character conflict is understandable but not relatable and drives too much of plot
- Campy, but not in a self aware way
Eric Switzer is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles. His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at email@example.com.
The first episode of “Powers” is supposed to be available on Youtube right now, but the episode is seemingly down for the moment. As soon as its back up, expect a link on the site. For now, here’s the trailer for the season.
What can you get for a dollar? How about the Marvel Universe? Today, Marvel is proud to reveal the covers for the upcoming TRUE BELIEVERS – a new line of comics debuting exclusively in comic shops this April. Printing the first chapter of popular series for the suggested retail price of $1 – TRUE BELIEVERS is the perfect way for readers interested in trying out some of Marvel’s most popular titles in history without breaking the bank.
Just in time for 2015’s Secret Wars, catch up on some of the most celebrated stories in Marvel history before their appearance in the biggest comic event of 2015! Enter the world of Civil War, Age of Apocalypse, Old Man Logan, Planet Hulk, the critically-acclaimed ICON series Powers and many more with the first chapters of these top-selling collections – each for the suggested retail price of $1!
“True Believers are your perfect entry point to not only the Marvel Universe but the new Secret Wars Universe as well,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “They’re a great way for retailers to promote and streamline consumers into Marvel’s extensive back list and the ideal way for fans to get caught up before the cataclysmic events of Secret Wars! We’re proud to present these great stories in this format, allowing fans to sample some of Marvel’s best and brightest gems.”
Your window into the biggest stories in Marvel history costs a buck! Don’t miss these exciting TRUE BELEIVERS issues, on sale throughout the month of April in comic shops!
Reprinting material from INFINITY GAUNTLET #1.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP
Reprinting MARVEL ZOMBIES #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
TRUE BELIEVERS: AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1 (FEB150762)
Reprinting material from X-MEN ALPHA.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP
TRUE BELIEVERS: CIVIL WAR #1 (FEB150767)
Reprinting material from CIVIL WAR #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
Reprinting INCREDIBLE HULK (2000) #92.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP
TRUE BELIEVERS: HOUSE OF M #1 (FEB150765)
Reprinting HOUSE OF M #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
Reprinting WOLVERINE (2003) #66.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$1.00 MSRP
TRUE BELIEVERS: ARMOR WARS #1 (FEB150763)
Reprinting material from IRON MAN (1968) #225.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP
Reprinting ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
TRUE BELIEVERS: AGE OF ULTRON #1 (FEB150769)
Reprinting AGE OF ULTRON #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
POWERS FIRSTS #1 (FEB150770)
Reprinting POWERS #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
The makers of one of the greatest horror games of 2014 — Alien: Isolation — are hiring for their next project, a “multiplatform AAA blockbuster” that’s headed to the PS4 and Xbox One. This might not be a sequel to Isolation, but it might be. In a listing for an online/multiplayer programmer the studio confirms that this project isn’t another Total War game, so that’s something.
“We are seeking an talented programmer has thorough experience developing a range of online features,” the ad explains. “We are creating another multi-platform AAA blockbuster and the successful applicant will be part of a team which allows our game experience to be shared.”
The listing was spotted by Z-Giochi.com, and while I’m hesitant to get excited about the possibility of a follow-up to one of the scariest games in recent memory, I also really, really want that to be what this is. Come on, Sega. Give it to me.
Until I see those The Evil Within numbers, I’m going to assume that Alien: Isolation was one of, if not the most successful horror game of 2014. The game sold over a million units and shipped twice that. That level of success warrants a follow-up, I think.
Hard rock/grunge legends Alice In Chains have announced that they will be embarking on a four-week tour across the US this summer. The band will be doing this as, “…the majority of our year will be dedicated to writing and recording.” The band’s last album was 2013′s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.
The band has also announced that proceeds from pre-sales will go to charity, explaining:
The pre-sale for this tour will be a little different from past tours. Thanks to the great people at WMRQ in Hartford, CT, we became close with a young man named Stefan Dayne-Ankle, who sadly last week lost a courageous battle with Leukemia. To honor Stefan, and to give him the memorial he deserves, we’re donating $2 from every pre-sold ticket on this tour to his family. To read more about Stefan’s story, and why we’re raising money, please click here.
Pre-sales start today on the band’s Official Website. Head below for the full touring schedule.
JULY 17 – Starlight Theater & Casino – Pala, CA
JULY 18 – The Pearl – Las Vegas, NV
JULY 20 – The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
JULY 21 – Knitting Factory – Boise, ID
JULY 22 – Knitting Factory – Spokane, WA
JULY 24 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA
JULY 25 – Thunder Valley Casino – Lincoln, CA
JULY 28 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
JULY 31 – Brady Theater – Tulsa, OK
AUG 01 – Winstar Casino – Thackerville, OK
AUG 03 – Pageant – St. Louis, MO
AUG 04 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
AUG 06 – Horseshoe Casino – Cincinnati, OH
AUG 07 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
AUG 08 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
AUG 10 – Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
AUG 11 – Seminole Hard Rock Casino – Hollywood, FL
AUG 14 – Foxwoods – Mashantucket, CT
AUG 15 – Taj Mahal – Atlantic City, NJ
AUG 16 – Musikfest – Bethlehem, PA
Last week, Techland teased a free update for their open-world horror game Dying Light. It’s rolling out today across PC, PS4 and Xbox One, bringing with it a hefty amount of new content, including three new character skins, new weapon blueprints, a harder difficulty mode and a new tier of loot.
It’s all free, and it should be ready to install the next time you boot up the game.
If you’ve spent the last few months trying to decide whether or not Dying Light is worth your time, I called it an orgy of slimy, meaty zombie goodness — okay, I didn’t actually do that, but I wish I had — in my review. You should really check that out.
The last big game to come from developer Human Head Studios was the underrated sci-fi action game Prey. I’ve been waiting to see something new and exciting from the incredibly talented studio, and seeing as that definitely won’t be Prey 2, why not take a stab at the survival horror genre? That’s what the studio is doing with their next project, called Lost Within.
Lost Within is set in a haunted asylum — I know — which a “legendary killer” calls home. Players will need to scavenge for precious supplies to survive, crafting weapons and using the darkness to hide from enemies. Running is also an option. I think I’ll take that one, thankyouverymuch.
The game is being published by Amazon Game Studios for iPhone, iPad and the Amazon’s Fire phone. It releases this Summer.
It’s a little unfortunate that we’re again relying on the overused “scary asylum” setting, but if it’s scary, I’ll be more willing to forgive its lack of originality. What do you think?
A show we don’t talk about much on BD but I have a sneaking suspicion that more than a few of you enjoy is Supernatural, the CW show about brothers Sam and Dean Winchester who fight against hordes of mythological/supernatural beasts and baddies.
I personally binged through several seasons before I realized that if anyone dies that I can count on them coming back through some form or manner, so there’s nothing to ever be worried about.
However, I know for a fact that there are people who still watch the show religiously. That’s why I thought it’d be fun to deservedly bring this show onto BD to play that fun little quiz of “Which Supernatural Character Are You?”!
I got ‘Dean’, which reads:
You’re flirty and are very laid back (most of the time). You feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that family is more important than anything. You’re as stubborn as it gets! You keep your emotions inside you so they don’t bother anyone else.
Head below to take the quiz and post your result in the comments section!
I haven’t played more than 20 minutes of Killer Instinct, and that was when I first got my Xbox One and was looking for something to play on it. I’m not a big fan of the fighting genre, because I’m awful at playing them, but this video walkthrough of the game’s newest combatant may be reason enough for me to return to it. I might not be able to beat my opponents the honest way, maybe I can still scare the hell out of them.
Hisako is clearly heavily inspired by the Japanese folklore, and specifically the freaky raven-haired ghost girls made famous in films like The Ring and The Grudge. If you’re interested in playing as her, she will be made available later this month when Killer Instinct’s season two characters arrive.
I feel like I’ve written this story before, probably because I have, a few times now, but this time it’s a little different. With the launch of Battlefield: Hardline next week, developer Visceral Games will soon be free — aside from post-launch support, of course — to really dig into their next game.
What if that game ends up being another Dead Space? They certainly seem interested. Visceral Games General Manager Steve Papoutsis recently shared some (familiar) thoughts on the future of the franchise, which may continue sooner than expected.
“Many, many people here at Visceral have a warm spot in their heart for Dead Space, and right now we’re busy with Hardline and…other things,” Papoutsis cryptically explained to UK gaming mag Games TM while simultaneously teasing other, more mysterious projects, “but it’s definitely something we’d love to look at again.”
There it is. It’s almost verbatim what they’ve said in the past, but the timing is better than the last three times they’ve said it.
Hopefully we’ll get something a wee bit more substantial in the near future.
Playing as part of the SXSW Midnighters announced last month is Ted Geoghegan’s debut feature, We Are Still Here, which stars everyone’s favorite Barbara Crampton Re-Animator, You’re Next), as well as Andrew Sensenig (Upstream Color), Lisa Marie (Ed Wood), and Larry Fessenden (I Sell the Dead).
Dark Sky Films has shared with EW a new art poster created by Erik Buckham and Jesse Vital.
In We Are Still Here, “In the cold, winter fields of New England, there sits a house that wakes up every 30 years and demands a sacrifice.”
Netflix’s “Daredevil” has been slowly rolling out its media presence. Last week we got our first look at Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin. Well it seems this week we’re getting a new trailer. I was a pretty big fan of the first teaser for the series, but this one is encapsulated by the line “A lone man thinks he can make a difference.” It shows that both Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk will be trying to clean up Hells Kitchen in the same way. It’s their similar ideals that will make them mortal enemies.
The world is distinctly gritty, more so than the film counterparts that clearly share this universe. But, still there is room for something like this in the new cinematic universe. This doesn’t appear to have the ABC gloss that Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D carries with every hour, but instead embraces a whole other side of the superhero world in much the same way as Guardians of the Galaxy.
It’s time to let the devil out. Marvel’s Daredevil is here to clean up the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Lawyer by day, street-level hero by night, Matt Murdock is on a mission to make his city a better place against an underground terror within the city. All episodes arrive only on Netflix, April 10. https://www.netflix.com/marvelsdaredevil
Daredevil also stars Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Vondie Curtis Hall as Ben Ulrich, Scott Glenn as Stick, Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Marianna, Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsey, and Toby Leonard Moore as Wesley. The Netflix series is set to debut April 10th at 12:01 a.m. PT.
In the tradition of Poltergeist and The Omen, director Bryan Coyne’s Infernal tells of a young family torn in half when they discover that their insomniac daughter has made contact with an infernal being beyond our reality.
Infernal is released in select theaters and on VOD April 10, 2015 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
“Nathan (Andy Ostroff) and Sophia (Heather Adair) are a newlywed couple, both looking forward to a bright future. Not long after matrimony, Heather becomes pregnant and ushers the pair’s first child into the world, Imogene. It soon becomes apparent that Imogene (Alyssa Koerner) is exhibiting strange and dangerous behavior, leaving the new parents floundering in their attempt to find answers. When Imogene’s actions become destructive, it becomes clear that forces beyond the natural world are at work, and that something – or SOMEONE – is pulling the strings. In this horrifying thrill ride the bonds of family are frayed, sides are taken and the terrifying events culminate in a shocking finale, all seen through the eyes of a terrified father.“
The behind-the-scenes crew is made up of an assemblage of prolific producers whose combined credits include such blockbusters as Freddy vs. Jason, Snakes on a Plane, Cowboys & Aliens and Shoot ‘Em Up.
Written and directed by Bryan Coyne (Harvard Park) Infernal is alleged to be filled with lurking dread, with the constant threat of evil hiding behind every corner.
“One Step Beyond” explores the amazing world of the unknown through dramatic re-enactments of mysterious “real life events.” Seventy of the 96 original episodes will be available April 7, 2015 in a special, six-disc DVD collector’s set from Film Chest Media Group.
Produced a year before the Twilight Zone, “One Step Beyond” – which ran on ABC for three seasons (1959-1961) – sparked the growing interest in paranormal suspense in the late 1950s. Rather than creating fictional stories with mystical twists and turns like the more well-known sci-fi series of the time, this program sought out “real stories” of supernatural events to be re-enacted.
From ghosts and monsters to mysterious disappearances, each eerie episode presents storylines that defy common understanding of reality. No solutions to these mysteries were ever found, leaving viewers bewildered … wondering if the paranormal truly exists.
Includes appearances by such iconic stars as Charles Bronson (Once Upon a Time in the West, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape), Cloris Leachman (FOX’s Raising Hope, Young Frankenstein, The Beverly Hillbillies), Robert Loggia (Independence Day, Big, Scarface), Ross Martin (Dying Room Only, The Wild Wild West, The Great Race), Warren Beatty (Bulworth, Dick Tracy, Reds, Bonnie and Clyde), Robert Blake (Lost Highway, Money Train, Baretta, In Cold Blood), Suzanne Pleshette (The Birds) and Joan Fontaine (Ivanhoe, Suspicion).
Hosted by John Newland (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Peyton Place, Dr. Kildare), this set includes the most original episodes ever offered in a single package to date. BONUS: Episode guide with synopses.
“One Step Beyond” is presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3 and original sound.
Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS are proud to announce that audiences can bring home Joe Lynch’s (Knights of Badassdom) high-octane thriller, Everly on DVD and Blu-Ray beginning April 21, 2015. Academy Award nominee Salma Hayek takes no prisoners as a femme fatale unleashing the ultimate vengeance in this sexy, action-packed thriller.
“Trapped in her apartment, Everly (Hayek) is forced to fend off waves of assassins sent by her former lover – a dangerous Yakuza mob boss who wants her dead after he learns she is no longer loyal to him. Desperate to be re-united with her mother and young daughter, Everly must fight to kill her attackers before they destroy her and her family.”
Written by Yale Hannon, with story by Joe Lynch, Everly has a running time of 92 minutes and is rated R for strong bloody violence, torture, nudity, sexual images and language. DVD and Blu-Ray special features include Creative Feature Commentary with Director Joe Lynch, Co-Producer Brett Hedblom and Editor Evan Schiff, Technical Feature Commentary with Director Joe Lynch and Cinematographer Steve Gainer, and “Silent Night” music video by Raya Yarbrough & Bear McCreary, directed by Joe Lynch.
It was announced back in January that Goldcrest Films is to co-produce the long-gestured update of 1958 horror/sci-fi classic The Blob, which once had Rob Zombie attached to direct.
Simon West, director of Wild Card, The Mechanic and Expendables 2, is getting behind the camera this coming fall for a new spin on the 1958 horror classic that was already remade in 1988.
West spoke to Screen Relish about his The Blob, where he teased the monstrosity as a more living, breathing, thinking alien entity.
“’The Blob’ will be happening right after ['Stratton']. In August or October and that takes a little more planning because we’ve got to design the creature. It’s going to be much more sci-fi than the original. It’s a bigger scale type of movie.
It’s more ‘Alien’ meets ‘Predator’ and designing the creature is a long and involved process cause its very sophisticated. It’s not going to be the goo pouring through windows. So, that’s taking a while to design and construct that.”
From what he says, it sound to me as if they’re going to be creating a shape-shifter/chameleon alien creature that feeds off humans. It’s a brash new interpretation, but it does put some of my concerns aside about splashing a giant mass of goo on screen for modern audiences.
As previously explained by Deadline, the original film, which was released by Paramount, starred a young Steve McQueen. The story sees a gelatinous alien life-form emerge from a crashed meteor and begin to ooze through Downtingon, Pennsylvania, eating the townsfolk as it goes.
A 1972 sequel, Beware! The Blob, was helmed by Larry Hagman, and in 1988, Chuck Russell directed Kevin Dillon in a remake of the original.
“With modern CGI we can now fully realize the potential of The Blob,” West said in January. “The world I create will be totally believable, immersive and emotionally satisfying. It’s a thrill to introduce an enduring icon to a wider audience and a whole new era of fans.”
I still have my doubts that they can pull this off for modern audiences.
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”?