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Friday, 31 January 2014

New Batman Vs. Superman Guest Stars Announced

Zack Snyder finds his Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth for the 2016 team-up flick.
Warner Brothers Pictures and DC Entertainment have today announced two new guest stars set to feature in their upcoming superhero film Batman Vs. Superman. The recently-delayed sequel to 2013's Man of Steel will again star Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, while additionally introducing Ben Affleck in the role of Bruce Wayne and his caped crusading alter-ego Batman.

First and foremost, director Zack Snyder has confirmed that Jesse Eisenberg will take on the role of Lex Luthor in the second instalment of the renewed DC Cinematic Universe franchise. Eisenberg is best known (and with good reason) for his lead role in The Social Network, but more recently has starred in worthy blockbusters such as Now You See Me. We're frankly a bit concerned that the man who gave us a stellar take on Mark Zuckerberg doesn't quite have the right personality to suit the latest portrayal of this iconic character, but if Snyder has proved anything with casting announcements for his troubled ensemble piece, it's that he's willing to take substantial gambles in order to convey his increasingly audacious narrative arc.

Another piece of news that has inevitably been neglected by many sources in the fray of adverse reactions to Eisenberg's casting is that Jeremy Irons has also joined the project. The English thespian is an experienced Shakespearean performer, and as such, his appointment as Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth makes plenty of sense in comparison to Eisenberg's instatement. Indeed, at the age of 65, on a superficial level Irons will easily suit the nature of this wise, elderly advisor to the Dark Knight. If future casting announcements for this ever-controversial production fall more in line with Irons, then perhaps, just perhaps, Snyder's sequel won't be the travesty that the majority of fans are predicting at this preliminary stage. Our advice, though? Don't hold your breath.

Batman Vs. Superman wages war in cinemas worldwide on May 6th, 2016.

Superbowl XLVIII Teaser Videos Released

The Muppets, Spider-Man, Captain America and the immortal Morpheus star in this collection of teaser ads!
Ahead of this Sunday's Superbowl XLVIII live event over in the United States, Sony Pictures, Marvel Studios, KIA, Toyota and Jaguar have released previews of their upcoming promotional campaigns which will launch during the show's various ad breaks. Any Superbowl fan will know that the NFL championship game's phenomenal mainstream viewership offers studios a prime opportunity to promote their upcoming products and releases, and it appears that the 2014 broadcast will be no exception in this regard.

There's a mixture here of full advertisements which are in the same state as they will appear on Sunday, and the increasingly infamous 'trailers for trailers' in the case of the various superhero films which will receive promotional premières in two days' time. Here's our comprehensive collation of each and every major Superbowl teaser that deserves your attention:
The Superbowl XLVIII championship game will broadcast on Channel 4 this Sunday February 2nd.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Still Open All Hours First Season Commissioned

David Jason and Lynda Baron return to BBC1 for a new series later this year!
The BBC have today announced the commissioning of a full season of their comedy programme Still Open All Hours. Scheduled to commence production this Spring, the first complete run of the revived sitcom will will once again star Only Fools and Horses' David Jason, Doctor Who: Closing Time's Lynda Baron and Never Mind The Buzzcocks' Johnny Vegas, comprising six half-hour instalments.

For those who missed it, this spiritual sequel to BBC One's cult classic Open All Hours (which originally ran from 1978-1985) premièred over the 2013 festive season with a Christmas Special. The one-off episode was watched by over twelve million viewers in the UK, a figure which in hindsight softens any potential blow taken from the shock of the show's recommissioning. In a similar vein to the scorned-yet-chart topping Mrs Brown's Boys, Still Open took quite the critical beating upon its Boxing Day début, and the true test of Season One will be whether Jason and the team aim to simply replicate Brendan O'Carroll's consistently baffling overnight figures or to match the acclaim of their hallowed original hit come the overnight reviews.

Still Open All Hours will return for a new series on BBC One this Autumn.

Mario Kart 8 Release Window Announced

The Nintendo WiiU's most-anticipated exclusive of 2014 finally has its launch day.
Nintendo have today announced the global release window for their upcoming racing video game Mario Kart 8. Set to launch exclusively on the company's WiiU console, the sequel to 2011's 3DS effort Mario Kart 7 is one of only a select number of first-party titles coming to this increasingly neglected piece of hardware in the next eleven months.

Moreso than usual, our knowledge of exactly what the final product will entail is particularly limited. Mario Kart Wii's motorbikes and the recent 3DS instalment's adaptive air-scaling and underwater-capable vehicles will both make a return, along with the fan favourite stage of Mushroom Kingdom, but beyond the series' standard racers- Mario, Luigi, Peach et al- there's next-to-no info on which classic Nintendo heroes and villains will comprise the main roster of initial and unlockable characters. The publisher's current focus is on reviving the popularity of their home console, and rightly so, yet unveiling more details on what could be argued as their most significant in-development project is equally essential in the run-up to its release...

Mario Kart 8 will retail on Nintendo WiiU in May.

Captain America 3, Thor 3 Announced

Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise starts to slot into place...
Marvel Studios have today announced the production of two new superhero films, Thor 3 and Captain America 3. The former will resume the narrative of the Asgardian Avenger in the aftermath of Thor: The Dark World, with Loki atop Odin's throne in disguise as his predecessor, and the potential threat of Ragnarok (aka a galactic apocalypse recently depicted in the comic-books) looming over the Nine Realms.

On the other hand, the latter will have a dual challenge on its hands in continuing the Earth-based Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline after the events of both this March's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and May 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Rumour has it that The Winter Soldier's directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo have commenced discussions with producer and general Marvel Studios head-honcho Kevin Feige on the prospect of returning for a third instalment, although nothing will be set in stone until this year's present-day sequel hits cinemas. Regardless of the members of their respective production teams, fans can rest assured that both Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans will reprise their roles as the two franchises' titular protagonists, even if the sequels will potentially feature the penultimate or final appearances of their beloved characters. To sate your appetites for now, though, why not check out a trio of new promotional posters for the studio's latest superhero thriller below?

Captain America 3 and Thor 3 will assemble in cinemas worldwide in 2016 and 2017.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Elder Scrolls Online: Limited Imperial Edition Announced

Bethesda's latest fantasy RPG just got even bigger, as a Special Edition of Elder Scrolls Online is revealed.
Bethesda Game Studios have today announced the retail and digital release of a Special Edition version of their upcoming fantasy MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online. Launching first on PC and Mac devices in the Spring, the development team's first fully-fledged online multiplayer experience will then be ported over to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in this Summer's opening months.

With RRPs of £89.99 and £79.99 for the physical and digital expanded packages respectively, naturally Bethesda must justify fully their customers' increased investment in order to guarantee it. Here, then, is a definitive round-up of the extra content that fans purchasing either version of the Limited Imperial Edition will receive on launch day:

  • A 12'' statue of Molag Bal (voiced by Malcolm McDowell in Online's narrative).
  • A 224-page guide to Tamriel illustrated and penned by Imperial scribe Flaccus Terentius.
  • A 21'' x 26'' map of Tamriel with details of faction-held zones and hidden secrets.
  • An exclusive playable Imperial character, an exclusive horse, a pet and an XP boost.
  • Access to The Elder Scrolls Online five days prior to the game's worldwide launch.
  • 30 free days of gameplay time (i.e. with no monthly subscription fees).
  • An exclusive playable Imperial character, an exclusive horse, a pet and an XP boost.
Just in case those of us meagre players who can't afford to shell out on Special Edition packages felt neglected, however, Bethesda have provided an additional incentive to purchase the 'Standard' edition. In its basest form, Online (when pre-ordered) will have 'The Explorer's Pack' bundled with it, a DLC token which offers its owner a Scuttler vanity pet, four new treasure maps and nine available races to choose from when they craft their primary in-game avatar. In other words, today's announcements reaffirm that no matter which version you select come launch day, it's a win-win scenario. Check out a newly-unveiled cinematic trailer for the product's main campaign below...

The Elder Scrolls Online retails for PC and Mac devices on April 4th and launches on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this June.

Arrow Guest Star Return Announced

Witness the first steps towards the Birds of Prey on a new episode of Arrow this Spring...
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim has this week confirmed the return of a former Arrow guest star on The CW's superhero drama in the near future. The series is currently on a mid-season hiatus here in the UK, and is set to return to Sky1 for a new run of episodes next month.

Fans' ears will most likely prick up from the moment that they hear that Jessica de Geouw will reprise her role as the Huntress in Season Two's seventeenth instalment. More intriguingly still, the episode in question is titled Birds of Prey, a phrase which in the DC comic-book universe refers to a team of elite superheroines who are hell-bent on matching the Justice League's famed efforts. The original Birds line-up comprised the Huntress, Black Canary (played by Caty Loitz and set to return in this very storyline) and Oracle- better known to Batman diehards as Barbara Gordon, daughter to Commissioner Jim- although what with Gotham currently in the works over at Fox, we wouldn't be surprised if a different female vigilante rounds off the beloved trio in the increasingly ambitious Arrow universe!

Arrow returns to Sky1 with its mid-season premiere, Blast Radius, on February 20th.

The Fault In Our Stars Teaser Trailer Released

John Green's award-winning drama comes to the big screen this Summer.
20th Century Fox have today released a teaser trailer (below) for their upcoming drama film The Fault In Our Stars. An adaptation of John Green's superb 2012 teen novel, the movie stars The Descendants' Shaliene Woodley as its cancer-suffering protagonist Hazel Grace Lancaster and her Divergent co-star Ansel Elgort as Hazel's support group cohort and future lover Augustus Waters.

If Fault's lead cast members don't ring any bells, then fear not, since Woodley proved her talents spectacularly in Descendants and Marc Webb has already had the confidence to hire her as Mary-Jane Watson in his upcoming motion picture sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 3. While we're on the topic of the Webbed Wonder's blockbuster franchise, though, fans of its Tobey Maguire era can look forward to a cameo appearance from the man who brought us the first Green Goblin, William Defoe, as the disillusioned author Peter Van Houten in the second half of Fox's much-anticipated take on Green's text.

The Fault In Our Stars holds its first group therapy session in cinemas worldwide on June 6th.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pitch Perfect 2 Director Announced

The Hunger Games' Effie Trinket takes the director's seat for an A ca-tastic sequel...
Universal Studios have today announced the director of their upcoming musical-comedy film Pitch Perfect 2. The follow-up to 2012's biggest surprise hit will see Twilight's Anna Kendrick and Bridesmaids' Rebel Wilson reprise their roles as Becca and 'Fat Amy' respectively, and the return of the first film's charming gang of supporting stars including Skylar Astin, John Michael Higgins and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is all but inevitable.

One of Pitch Perfect's original performers who will definitely be making a re-appearance, albeit in a more substantial role this time around, is Elizabeth Banks. Banks played a commentator at the fictitious International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella tournaments alongside Higgins, but when the Hunger Games actress returns for the sequel, she will both star in and direct the film. As promotions go, Banks must be fairly chuffed with her ascension into the director's chair here, and her appointment certainly represents a step up from her previous directorial work on the ever-scorned Movie 43, a cinematic atrocity which we're sure that each and every contributor wants to erase from their CV as soon as possible. All that remains now, of course, is to discover whether the star of next month's The LEGO Movie can make it in the big leagues...

Pitch Perfect 2 takes the spotlight in cinemas worldwide in 2015.

UPDATE: Universal have just announced that Pitch Perfect 2 will release in cinemas on May 15th, 2015.

New X-Men: Days of Future Past Promotional Images Released

Heroes and Villains unite for a definitive preview of the superhero sequel's mighty character ensemble!
Empire Magazine have this week released an extensive collection of new promotional images for 20th Century Fox's upcoming superhero film X-Men: Days of Future Past. The sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Wolverine will bring together the central cast members from both the original trilogy of blockbuster films and the franchise's recent prequel outing First Class.

A surprising factor which may become apparent to readers upon glimpsing the cover image of our article (left) is Anna Paquin's appearance among the ensemble as fan favourite mutant heroine Rogue. Director Bryan Singer had previously stated that Paquin's character had been cut from Days during post-production editing of the film, but unless Empire's photoshoot took place before this development, could her return on one of the UK magazine's collectible twenty-five covers signal that she has been reintegrated after the fanbase's adverse response to the news? Here's what Empire had to say on the matter on their Twitter account yesterday:

Given the sheer number of promotional images which the publication have made available, it would be impossible for us to round up all of them in one article. As such, we've collated our personal favourites below, and in case those pics aren't enough, here's the URL where you can find shots of the remainder of Days' unparalleled ensemble: http://www.empireonline.com/xmen/ . Don't forget, of course, that the story doesn't even end here for Fox's beloved superhero saga- The Fantastic Four will expand the studio's own Marvel Cinematic Universe in Summer 2015, and X-Men: Apocalypse will continue the exploits of Professor X's iconic team of mutants in the following Summer of Film!

X-Men: Days of Future Past time-travels into cinemas worldwide on May 23rd.

BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 Video Preview Released

Our final voyage to Rapture has arrived with the climactic chapter of BioShock Infinite!
Irrational Games have today released the first gameplay preview for the upcoming downloadable expansion to their hit 2013 first-person shooter BioShock Infinite. Titled Burial At Sea Episode 2, the new series of missions form the second instalment in a two-part narrative taking place after the events of Infinite's fragmented, time-shifting storyline.

In truth, Burial At Sea's first chapter was something of a disappointment when it launched on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network last month- the previously finely-honed science-fiction narrative seemed to become too convoluted for its own good, and the once layered character constructs that first appeared in Infinite were transformed into overly enigmatic figures with which the player would struggle to gain any tangible sense of empathy. This first clip (below) of Episode 2 does little to ease this reviewer's concerns that the overarching storyline's finale won't be remembered as a satisfying point of closure so much as an unnecessary, drastic complication of what was originally a multi-faceted and captivating narrative to interpret and debate barely twelve months ago. If you haven't experienced this DLC campaign as of yet, then chances are that (as its title so aptly suggests) you'd be best off burying the memory of its existence in the darkest depths of the ocean.

BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 will retail on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC marketplaces this February.

Titanfall Beta, Xbox 360 Developer Announced

The Xbox One's first major FPS will stage a trial run next month.
Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment have today revealed new details on their upcoming first-person shooter video game Titanfall. Set to release later this year, the latest creation from the minds behind Call of Duty and Battlefield is primarily an online experience, built from the ground up exclusively for Microsoft's various consoles.

The announcement which will probably have the most significant influence in the immediate future is that a beta demo of the game will launch in February on Xbox One and PC. No specific details regarding available maps and loadouts have been confirmed as of yet, but a February 14th launch is apparently Respawn's goal (because honestly, what better way could there be to celebrate Valentine's Day?), and this trial run should be nothing but a positive omen in terms of how the team can then refine the gameplay experience in time for its full retail première.

Meanwhile, another mystery surrounding the overall project has been solved as January reaches its end. The identity of the team developing Titanfall's Xbox 360 version was previously unknown, but EA have now confirmed that Bluepoint Games are hard at work on the current-generation port. Bluepoint's work prior to this instatement has included God of War Collection, The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, all of which were superb high-definition reworkings of classic PlayStation 2 titles, so it seems that Respawn's much-anticipated FPS is in fine hands in its 360 guise...

Titanfall mobilises on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC consoles nationwide this March 13th.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Release Date Announced

The much-maligned MMORPG gets its last chance to shine this Spring.
Square Enix have this week announced the global release date for the upcoming PS4 version of their massively-multiplayer-online-role playing video game Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. A relaunch of a previously-released MMORPG which débuted in 2010 exclusively for PC, the upgraded product has been developed by an entirely new team with the sole intent of winning back fans after their lukewarm reception to the first edition.

As if it weren't enough for XIV to have returned to Microsoft Windows devices, A Realm Reborn was additionally made available for Sony's PlayStation 3 at launch in August 2013. The PS4 version will presumably be the most accurate representation of what fans can expect from future Final Fantasy instalments, a matter which has franchise followers intrigued right now with regards to the planned release of FFXV on next-generation hardware. Xbox gamers looking for their first dose of next-gen role-playing escapades from Square still have a long wait, though: XIV is skipping Xbox One, meaning that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will be the developers' first projects to launch for Microsoft's home console.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will retail for PlayStation 4 on April 14th.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Frozen: Sing-Along Edition UK Re-Release Announced

Disney are still curious whether viewers want to build a snowman in 2014...
Walt Disney Pictures have today announced a UK re-release of their 2013 animated film Frozen. A standalone feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, this seasonal comedy-drama surpassed all of our expectations last month, earning a rare 5* score here, and analysts are now predicting that it will amass over $1 billion in box office revenue soon enough.

With that lofty milestone in sight, then, Disney's reasoning for bringing back their most successful contribution to the animated genre since Toy Story 3 is as clear as a crystal of ice. Universal Pictures did much the same with Mamma Mia in 2008, launching a Sing Along Edition of the star-studded live-action musical just a few short weeks after its original release, and it paid strong dividends in bringing that particular motion picture close to the success of The Dark Knight (released in the same Summer of Film). Admittedly, Frozen's song roster does diminish slightly in its final act, but the strength of its early tracks will doubtless be more than enough to bring viewers back to their local auditoriums for one more chance to experience Let It Go, In Summer and the like next month.

Frozen: Sing Along Edition will chill UK cinemas nationwide on February 7th.

Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor Costume Revealed

The end is just the beginning, as a new era of Doctor Who dawns!
The BBC have today released the first official image of Peter Capaldi in costume as the Twelfth Doctor in their science-fiction drama Doctor Who. Currently filming the eighth season of the show since its revival in 2005, the production team have kept glimpses of Capaldi on-set to an absolute minimum for fear of images leaking of the new Time Lord's costume ahead of schedule.

Take a look for yourself below- rather suave, don't you think? In the first episode of the new season, the renowned The Thick of It star will continue to don the attire of his predecessor for a time, before seemingly being too pressed for time (the irony of which is surely not lost on a time traveller) to change out of his nightshirt upon leaving his bed-chambers and mounting a Victorian horse. To us, Capaldi's attire appears to harken back to Jon Pertwee's costume, not least in the photography of his jacket placing an emphasis on its bold red innards. A slight sense of deja vu here and there doesn't detract from the relief of finally knowing that the next Doctor won't carry a question mark-adorned umbrella, of course. Indeed, that Matt Smith's garbs were partially akin to Patrick Troughton's did little to prevent the viewership from taking his incarnation into their hearts within moments of his on-screen début in 2010.

Doctor Who will return to BBC One for a new series of interdimensional adventures this Autumn.

Microsoft Game Studios Announce Gears Of War Acquisition

Gear up for more visceral FPS firefights in 2015 courtesy of a new development team.
Microsoft Game Studios have today announced their acquisition of the Gears of War video game franchise. Exclusive to Xbox consoles, the series launched in 2006 with the 360's system-seller Gears of War, an instant hit with FPS fans that was soon followed up by two sequels and a prequel instalment, Gears of War: Judgement, all of which were developed by Epic Games.

After an entire decade at the rein, though, followers of Marcus Fenix's increasingly life-threatening missions to save the dystopian world of Sera will forgive Epic for seeking pastures new. Last year's Judgement represented a step backwards for the franchise, ditching the previously non-linear structure of the main trilogy in favour of disjointed, pseudo-episodic confrontations which lacked the finesse of their predecessors. As such, Microsoft's acquisition of the po-faced saga under their 'MGS' moniker bodes extremely well, since rather than taking on future sequels themselves, they've handed the franchise to Black Tusk Studios. An untested but unmistakably potent team of developers, Black Tusk have the rare opportunity to overhaul the franchise's mechanics, narrative strands and overall direction in days to come, and with Gears 1-3's executive producer Rod Fergusson on board, it's difficult to imagine what could possibly go wrong.

Gears of War for Xbox One (as the world will call it until we hear otherwise) will retail exclusively on Xbox One in 2016.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The LEGO Movie 'Behind The Bricks' Trailer Released

Everything about this latest preview for 2014's biggest animated film is, aptly, awesome...
Warner Brothers Pictures have today released a new teaser trailer for their upcoming animated film The LEGO Movie. Starring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman, the flick combines CGI elements with stop-motion cinematography for what promises to be a refreshingly unique viewing experience.

The marketing team's latest video preview (below) is titled 'Behind The Bricks', and takes a brilliantly satirical approach to representing both the fictitious and real-world icons featuring in the (stop-) motion picture. Pratt, Banks, Neeson, Freeman and even Anchorman's Will Ferrell are held up to hilarious scrutiny, and if the film can match this cunning metafictional edge upon its release next month, then we're in for something very special. If not, well, chances are that this is going to be a production to remember nevertheless!

The LEGO Movie completes construction in UK cinemas nationwide on February 14th.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pan Guest Star Announced

The Wolverine himself joins Joe Wright's prequel outing.
Warner Brothers Pictures have today announced a new guest star set to feature in their upcoming fantasy film Pan. This piece of casting news is the first definitive detail that we've heard on the production since the instatement of Atonement's Joe Wright as its director.

The role of Captain Blackbeard in this currently-mysterious prequel instalment will be played by Hugh Jackman. Jackman is best known for his portrayal of mutant superhero Wolverine in the X-Men blockbuster franchise, but has diversified his creative output remarkably in the past few years, with award-winning turns in Les Miserables and Australia cementing his status as an iconic Australian performer. Blackbeard wasn't a central narrative element in J.M. Barrie's original children's novel Peter Pan or Geraldine McCaughrean's recent sequel Peter Pan In Scarlet, but perhaps this will provide Wright with the opening he needs to distinguish his latest motion picture from the hordes of beloved adaptations which have come before it.

Pan flies past the second star to the right, straight on till morning and into cinemas worldwide on June 26th, 2015.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Script Details Revealed

Fifteen months ahead of its release, screenwriter Joss Whedon teases his superhero ensemble sequel!
Writer, executive producer and director Joss Whedon has today discussed details of his screenplay for Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios' upcoming follow-up to Avengers Assemble. Titled Avengers: Age of Ultron, the film will once again star Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Scarlet Johannson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and will introduce Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elisabeth Olsen as fellow Avengers Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch respectively.

There are no concrete plot details to be found here, of course, which is only to be expected given the still-distant vicinity of the project's release date. Regardless, here's a round-up of Whedon's revelations to ComicBookMovie.com on the inspirations behind his script:
  • ON AGE OF ULTRON'S INSPIRATION, THE GODFATHER PART II- "A ton has happened in-between and it's a very different kind of movie [from the classic original The Godfather], but you don't need any information [in Part II]. It's there in the film about what's happened since, what's different, and why is this a different film; why is it a different kind of structure, and why it is darker. It's all there, you're in the vernacular of the first movie and you're just ready to pick up in this new place, and hopefully that's what will happen with my movie. Obviously I'm talking about one of the greatest films ever made...I hope mine will be good, but [Part II] is my guiding star."
  • ON THE PHASE TWO SOLO FILMS' INFLUENCE- "The events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier will definitely affect the world of Avengers: Age of Ultron. But at the end of the day, I have to make my movie assuming that people will only have seen the first one, or possibly not even seen the first one. I can't assume that everybody went to see Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3 in-between. I have to go from one movie to the next and be true to what's happened, but not be slavish to it."
Avengers: Age of Ultron assembles in cinemas worldwide on May 1st, 2015.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Coming Up This Week: January 27th-February 2nd

Marcus Zuzak's iconic novel The Book Thief comes to the big-screen...
In recent weeks, the frequency of new entertainment releases has been quite subdued in comparison to 2013's final month. The coming seven days, however, appear to signal the turning of the tide, bringing with them a fair number of major contenders for the crown of January 2014's Best Release award at On-Screen.

Let the fun begin again, then, as we conduct a search through the week ahead for its biggest offerings:
  • EMPIRE X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST REVEAL- March will set in motion the release of a much-anticipated trio of superhero films, starting with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and culminating with X-Men: Days of Future Past in May. The latter sequel, prequel and crossover outing will be blown open early next week by Empire Magazine, and director Bryan Singer has teased that a new full theatrical trailer is on the way...(Monday 27th)
  • RUSH DVD & BLU-RAY- Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl's sports thriller Rush is based on the real-world rivalry between F1 racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, and proved to be one of the best films of 2013. Both the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of Ron Howard's visually-splendid masterpiece boast an impressive array of extra content, including a host of deleted scenes, Race For The Chequered Flag: The Making of Rush and The Real Story of Rush, making this retail package an essential purchase for anyone who missed the film first-time around! (Monday 27th)
  • TOMB RAIDER: DEFINITIVE EDITION- The lucky next-generation console owners among you should be utterly thrilled by the prospect of experiencing this particular upgraded release. Square Enix brought the Tomb Raider franchise back with a bang last Spring, and as such, any opportunity to witness the already remarkable visual engine rendered using Xbox One, PS4 and high-res PC technology should be welcomed wholeheartedly. Better yet, by the sounds of it, the development team are hard at work on the series' next instalment, so this HHD update is just the tip of the iceberg...(Friday 31st)
  • THE BOOK THIEF- When a new motion picture production stars Pirates of the Caribbean's Geoffrey Rush and War Horse's Emily Blunt, our ears will prick up immediately anyway, but The Book Thief's case is far more compelling still. Adapted from the hit modern teen novel by Marcus Zuzak, this incredibly ambitious World War Two period drama promises to delve into the infinitely difficult terrain of the Jewish Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis. Critical responses so far have been mixed to say the least, but you'll hear our verdict on the film itself to set the record straight very soon. (Friday 31st)
  • AND THERE'S MORE- Sunshine On Leith and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones are both set for a DVD and Blu-Ray release on Monday, as well as a Blu-Ray remastered edition of the classic 1980s film RoboCop and the second (and currently final) season of Ripper Street will retail exclusively as a 3-disc DVD boxset on the same day.
Next week,  Dallas Buyers Club makes its UK début along with Lionhead's much-vaunted HD remake Fable: Anniversary (launching exclusively on Xbox 360). And after that? Why, it's time for The LEGO Movie...

Oculus Teaser Trailer Released

Doctor Who's Karen Gillan lands her second major role on the big screen...
Relativity Media have today released the first theatrical trailer for their upcoming horror film Oculus. First shown at the Toronto Film Festival, the movie will get its debut in UK cinemas at a currently unannounced date later in 2014.

Until then, the video (below) confirms that Doctor Who's Karen Gillan will take on the role of the piece's protagonist. Karen played the character of Amy Pond in the BBC science-fiction drama between 2010 and 2012, and went on to become the lead actress in David Solomons' October 2013 film Not Another Happy Ending. It's safe to say that her character Kaylie will be entering altogether darker territory here, though, as a mysterious force that has haunted her since childhood threatens to break its way through the mirror and commence its reign of chaos thereafter!

Oculus triggers five years of bad luck in US cinemas nationwide on April 11th, with the UK release date still TBC.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD & Blu-Ray Release Date Announced

Our Best Film of 2013 runner-up heads to DVD and Blu-Ray in two months' time.
Lionsgate Studios have today announced the global release date of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on DVD and Blu-Ray. Picking up in the immediate aftermath of 2011's The Hunger Games, the sequel sees protagonist Katniss Everdeen force to decide between her family loyalties and the safety of Panem as a civilization ahead of her entrapment in the deadliest Hunger Games competition yet.

The transition period between box office and retail releases of films is getting slimmer by the day, since not even four months will have passed since Catching Fire's début in cinemas when it lands on DVD and Blu-Ray discs in all good retailers. All the same, the marketing bandwagon for Mockingjay Part 1 will undoubtedly need to get under way sooner rather than later in light of its November box office launch, and by bringing their acclaimed follow-up to retail ASAP, Lionsgate will definitely clear the way to roll out further posters and trailers for the series' penultimate instalment...

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire sounds its Mockingjay-tuned whistle in DVD and Blu-Ray retailers worldwide on March 17th.

Diary Of Sound: 5 Tunes We're Listening To Right Now

Welcome to On-Screen's latest feature, a semi-regular diary of classic melodies!
It shouldn't come as any surprise for you to hear that sound, and thus music, can and does have just as much of an intrinsic sensory impact upon our lives as that which we see, smell or feel. On a superficial level, the objects and words that we witness and our emotional responses to situations in the 'real' world (though let's not delve too far into attempting to define that obscenely abstract realm) can enlighten our perspectives on this aural medium of entertainment, offering the listener means through which they can tangibly express their reaction to a chord, a refrain or any isolated note of significance.

This process works both ways, however, and as such, music in itself can immeasurably enlighten and enrich our day-to-day lives with those same chords, refrains and notes, and one might reasonably assert that even the need to describe its effects to our peers is but a trivial, perhaps irrelevant, factor in the grand scheme of the medium's influence. Here at On-Screen, on a semi-regular basis as of today, we'll be recapping some of those isolated tracks which have had the most profound significance for one reason or another, in recent times or times long past, however simple or impossible the reason in question is to define. More than anything, our definition of a song's majesty, its hold over the listener, should suffice only as a foundation for your own exploration of the piece, for the subjectivity of experiencing music (or any entertainment medium, for that matter) is by far its centrally defining and enduring attribute.

To begin, then, read on below for an overview of five tracks deriving from a range of contrasting genres and contexts, each of which will hopefully evoke a passionate discourse in some form, no matter what the subject of the argument or, indeed, your position within it:

1. FARE THEE WELL (MARCUS MUMFORD & OSCAR ISAAC)- Currently doing the rounds as the backing soundtrack to the UK trailer for CBS Films' musical drama Inside Llewyn Davis, Fare Thee Well was formerly known as Dink's Song and performed by American folk artists like Pete Seeger and Jeff Buckley. This latest version comes from Llewyn stars Mumford and Isaac, and adopts something of a calmer and so doubly haunting approach compared to its predecessors- if the film itself conforms to a tone somewhere along the lines, then we await its release next month with earnest anticipation.
2. LET IT GO (IDINA MENZEL)- Our review of Frozen and our naming Disney's latest animated feature as the Best Release of December 2013 should ideally have been more than enough to convince you to give it a watch, but if not, then its Oscar-nominated piece de resistance should be the necessitated icing on the cake. Let It Go is a bombastic reassertion of purpose and direction for the flick's cold-hearted (see what we did there?) antihero Elsa, and certainly represents the most explosive acceptance of imposed exile that we have witnessed on the big-screen in some time. No wonder, then, it's become such an instant hit with viewers the world over, yours truly included...
3. STUBBORN LOVE (THE LUMINEERS)- Another delightful piece that we stumbled across courtesy of a motion picture's marketing campaign, Stubborn Love was evidently a hidden gem on The Lumineers' première album in 2012, titled (creatively) The Lumineers. If it does seem familiar, then you've probably happened upon it within the theatrical trailer for upcoming drama-comedy August: Osage County (starring the Oscar-tipped Meryl Streep); regardless, upon experiencing it in isolation, you'll no doubt remember it on its own whimsical merits, and add it as we have to the band's already impressive list of folk hits. Ho Hey has its first truly noteworthy rival, and better yet, it transpires that the rivalry has existed unknown for two years!
4. HE LIVE IN YOU REPRISE (THE LION KING ENSEMBLE)- An old favourite of ours, since The Lion King and We Will Rock You are tied neck-our-neck for our personal highlight of West End musical theatre, the former's He Lives In You (Reprise) is thankfully a far superior rendition of a track originally conceived in the direct-to-video film sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. As its title suggests, the song is a reprisal from an earlier moment in the production, but its placement as the captivating instigator of Simba's election to reclaim his kingdom in the name of his murdered father Mufasa is quite simply perfect. Again, if readers were still desiring a concrete reason to experience the show in all its glory at the Lyceum Theatre or on Broadway, then I can only hope that this superlative taster does the trick.
5. DEMONS (IMAGINE DRAGONS)- A latecomer to this week's list, Imagine Dragons' stellar Demons is nonetheless a song which craves and deserves the attention of any seasoned indie rock follower. Sure, it's just a single component of the band's similarly superb début album Night Visions, but it's the best track of the compilation by a fair margin, and should be gracing our airwaves more frequently now given its recent release as a standalone single. If ever there's a moment where life has you down, I've often found that pieces such as this are oddly yet consistently empowering and reaffirming, and that they hold a cherished place in this listener's heart as a result...
BONUS BONE OF CONTENTION: DISASTER MOVIE END SONG- As a little extra snippet in each of these semi-regular feature articles, I'll include one other 'song' (the clip may occasionally stretch the definition of that term, though that's not necessarily a detrimental factor) on the list which is either intended as light humour or to stir things up a little in terms of generic preferences and what listeners might generally regard as 'trash pop', with my justification in the latter case to be found either here or on social networking forums as and when it's requested. First up is a particularly memorable inclusion in the soundtrack of Jason Friedberg's atrocious parody Disaster Movie, boasting perhaps the most diverse ensemble of cinematic icons to date!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

New Night At The Museum 3 Guest Star Confirmed

The Mandarin himself joins the cast of Ben Stiller's third encounter with history's icons...
20th Century Fox have today announced a new guest star for their upcoming fantasy comedy film Night At The Museum 3. The third instalment in the commercially acclaimed movie franchise is set to launch in cinemas just in time for Christmas.

Next up on the confirmed cast list is none other than Sir Ben Kingsley. Most recently seen as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, Kingsley is an utterly beloved British thespian whose presence here will only serve to benefit the already impressive character ensemble. He joins returning stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais, and is set to play an Egyptian Pharaoh in the third chapter's new setting of the British Museum.

Night At The Museum 3 awakens in cinemas worldwide on Christmas Day.

New Ant-Man Release Date Announced

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three's first film shifts forward by a month!
Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures have today announced a revised release date for their upcoming superhero film Ant-Man. Set after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the motion picture will star Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.

Reasons for this production alteration have not yet been confirmed, but whatever the studios' motivations for the change, it essentially means that fans can experience the movie four weeks earlier than expected. 2015 already promises to be a superb year for superhero films even before its release, too, with Big Hero 6, Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Fantastic Four all set to precede its late Summer launch...

Ant-Man will now crawl into cinemas worldwide on July 17th, 2015.

RIP Roger Lloyd Pack (1944-2014)

A brief tribute to an actor whose influence on British comedy can never be overstated.
We are deeply saddened to report (belatedly, but no less solemnly) the tragic passing of Roger Lloyd-Pack, who died on January 15th. The British actor had long struggled in a battle with pancreatic cancer, and it was this illness which took him from us in his home in Kentish Town last week.

To many readers, Roger will of course be best known for his role as Trigger in the classic BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. To this writer, however, it was his work in the equally brilliant The Vicar of Dibley as Owen that first captured and effortlessly retained my attention. Like any actor, Roger was on some level 'only' reading the lines of a script in his portrayal, but he brought an indescribably captivating charm and unrelenting passion to the role in each of his countless appearances. After the Dawn French series reached its conclusion, the actor's presence in the realms of British entertainment was minimalised but marginally, as he continued to appear and amaze with performances in films including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Made In Dagenham, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and even in other BBC shows such as Doctor Who (Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel) and The Catherine Tate Show (Nan's Christmas Carol).

That Roger's death is an immense loss for the comedy industry is abundantly clear, then, and this positively horrible turn of events will no doubt prompt his fanbase to cherish the actor's works moreso than ever before (rightly so, I might add). My thoughts and prayers go out to Roger's family and friends in this period of deep grief and necessary cherishing of the time they spent in his company. Depending on their medium and approach, whether an icon's words or a clip starring them is more apt varies, but in the case of this stalwart, unforgettable comedian and spokesman, only a video of his finest moments can do suitable justice to his eternal legacy.

Agents of SHIELD Season One Final Episodes Teased

Who is the Clairvoyant? Why was Coulson resurrected? The truth is coming...
Lead star Clark Gregg has today revealed new details on the upcoming final episodes of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD's opening season. Returning to Channel 4 this Spring, the show is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and reached its mid-season finale last month as Coulson was transported to an unknown location to reveal the truth behind his resurrection.

Viewers who've seen the series' mid-season premiere, The Magical Place, now know how Coulson survived his demise at the hands of Loki, but not precisely why SHIELD needed him back. Co-star Chloe Bennet has teased that revelations on this matter, that of Skye's seemingly superheroic heritage and more are on the way, but it's Gregg's words at the TCA festival which are of most interest right now. Here's a round-up of what Clark divulged at the US press event:
  • ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE NEXT RUN- "The first 10-12 episodes of our show were very much about establishing the SHIELD world. The bigger conspiracy that we've set up- Centipede, this Clairvoyant, and the ways that that connects to the bigger Marvel Universe- to me, this is the fun part, and the back half of the season is going to blow some minds!"
  • ON STAN LEE'S EPISODE 13 CAMEO- "Perhaps my favourite cameo of him I've ever seen. If you know Stan at all, you realise what a sexy, devenir character he is, and that becomes very clear in this episode."
  • ON JAIME ALEXANDER'S RETURN AS SIF- "She's very much an obedient warrior. So if she comes to Earth, you've gotta suppose there's a good reason, and something amiss...that needs to be rectified." Gregg teased that an Asgardian threat will bring the Thor: The Dark World character back to Earth, so don't be surprised if The Well's undercover Asgardian anti-hero Dr. Elliot Randolph is back in town in the not too distant future...
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD recommences its run on Channel 4 in March.

UPDATE: At an official TCA press event themed around the show last yesterday, Agents' production team were privileged to unveil more details on the remainder of Season One. It turns out that Sif will be facing off against an ancient Asgardian (and little-known comic-book) adversary named Lorelei during her trip to Earth, and that the character will be played by Smallville's Elena Satine (Mera in Patriot) in a one-off appearance. On top of that, the recurring ally Mike Peterson (portrayed by J. August Richardson) will apparently transform into the classic B-list Marvel antihero Deathlok in the show's thirteenth episode, set to première on ABC this February 4th (and featuring the aforementioned guest cameo from Stan Lee).

First Dumb And Dumber To Promotional Image Released

Can Lloyd and Harry get any dumberer? It appears so!
Universal Pictures have this week released the first promotional image (left) for their upcoming comedy film Dumb and Dumber To. A fully-fledged successor to the 1994 cult classic Dumb and Dumber, the movie will see Kick-Ass 2's Jim Carrey and The Newsroom's Jeff Daniels reprise their roles as hapless social outcasts Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne respectively.

They're not alone either, it transpires, since The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, The Walking Dead heroine Laurie Holden and Friends' very own Helena Handbasket, Kathleen Turner, will support the pair in their increasingly outrageous comic antics. This is likely to be a pretty acquired sense of humour, granted, but fans of the original motion picture are sure to be thrilled at Carrey and Daniels' return, and with any luck, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues will have set a precedent of the quality that viewers can expect from comedy sequels this year. We can live in hope, anyway.

Dumb and Dumber To rides a wooden deer into cinemas worldwide on November 14th.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expansion Details Announced

Concept art for the The Hogwarts Express.
Our journey into the world of J.K. Rowling's iconic Boy Wizard continues this Summer.
Universal Studios and Warner Brothers Pictures have today confirmed details of their planned expansion to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Currently located in Universal Islands of Adventure, the themed 'world' based on J.K. Rowling's acclaimed children's novels and Warner Brothers' series of film adaptations will now branch over to the Universal Studios park, with a moving replica of the Hogwarts Express offering visitors the opportunity to speedily travel between the two attractions.

Having visited the original Hogsmeade land at Universal Islands of Adventure, we would have already thoroughly recommended the Wizarding World experience, yet this expansion seems to make the prospect all-but-essential for Potter diehards. Here's a full round-up of what the cross-park attraction will soon entail:
  • First and foremost, over in the Universal Studios Orlando resort, an indoor replica of Diagon Alley has been constructed as the home of the refined Potter experience. Fronted by a deceptive London entrance which features buildings such as Sirius Black's home and the Leicester Square underground tube station, the land itself will contain such iconic Philosopher's Stone landmarks as Gringotts' Bank The Leaky Cauldron and Ollivanders, along with locations introduced in subsequent novels including Knockturn Alley, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and a hidden portal to the Ministry of Magic. Authentic, eh?
  • Just as the Hogsmeade experience at Islands of Adventure (which will of course remain open) contains a central immersive attraction in the incredible motion simulator Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (something that truly has to be experienced to be believed), so too does the Diagon Alley section boast Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts. This ride (the format of which remains unspecified) will be based loosely on the opening sequence of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), albeit with a storyline likely set to take place in-between films as was the case with Forbidden Journey.
  • Even the Hogwarts Express ride that is available to carry fans between the two parks/lands will be an experience unto itself, the journey's video content differing considerably in both directions (i.e. from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and vice versa). Warner Brothers and Universal remained predictably elusive in terms of details of what to expect and what these differences were, but if Islands of Adventure's Wizarding World is anything to go by, then the immersion in the Potter universe created here should be nothing short of astounding! You can check out the first concept art teasers of this expansion as a whole, courtesy (and the property) of IGN, below.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Universal Studios Orlando expansion will open this Summer.
Concept art for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
Concept art for Olivanders.
Concept art for the London embankment.
Concept art for Weasleys' interior.
Concept art for Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour.
Concept art for Wiseacres.
Concept art for Diagon Alley.

300: Rise of an Empire Theatrical Trailer Released

"And I would walk 300 Miles, and I would walk 300 more..."
Warner Brothers Pictures have this week released a second full trailer for their upcoming action movie 300: Rise of an Empire. A sequel to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit 300, the film's narrative will both precede and succeed the events of Leonidus' rise to fame and his swift demise at the hands of the deadly (and rather overweight) Xerxes.

It should probably go without saying that Gerard Butler, Dominic West and the other unlucky 298 souls who charged into war in Snyder's outing aren't back to reprise their roles, but Rise's cast does still house more than a few worthy descendants. Casino Royale's Eva Green, Game of Thrones' Lena Headey and Strike Back's Sullivan Stapleton are its headline stars, and although the new preview (below) hardly demonstrates the promise of an outright classic, action-fantasy fans will be in good hands by the looks of it nevertheless. If they so desire, fans can of course prepare by practising their proclaiming of Leonidus' iconic battle cry, or even giving the less-than-spectacular parody Meet The Spartans a try for good measure (we've even included the teaser trailer for the Epic Movie follow-up below to get you started!).

300: Rise of an Empire mans the barricades in cinemas worldwide from March 7th.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Pre-Alpha Gameplay Trailer Released

The story of The Lord of the Rings continues (well, sort of) in Monolith's new fantasy game...
Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have today released the first gameplay trailer for their upcoming fantasy video game Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Scheduled to retail before year's end, the next-generation product's narrative takes place between the events of Peter Jackson's recent film adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Now, any dedicated follower of this blog will know our stance on prequels, in-between chapters and the like- in short, our foreknowledge of characters' survival or demises and the impending events in the narrative universe tends to dissipate any intended atmosphere of tension within the instalment in question. With that said, Shadow looks to be a rather potent beast in its new trail (below), which depicts the game world in a pre-alpha (i.e. yet to be beta-tested) state. The much-vaunted 'Nemesis' system is a key aspect of Monolith's new engine, whereby Orcs which the player has not managed to slaughter or control during their playthrough will evolve into new ranks of adversaries who will pose a greater threat to the protagonist, Talion. At this rate, Warner Brothers' latest licensed Rings tie-in has all the makings of the first must-have next-generation experience...

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor will storm PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC consoles worldwide this Autumn.

The Elder Scrolls Online Voice Cast Announced

The time to move on from Skyrim (if that's even possible) is near- find out who's starring in Bethesda's new fantasy epic.
Bethesda Game Studios have today announced the names of a variety of celebrity guest stars who will contribute their voices to the development team's new fantasy video game The Elder Scrolls Online. Set one thousand years before the events of 2011's The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, the MMORPG will mark one of the first online-orientated experiences to feature on next-generation consoles.

If ever there was a project which demanded a formidable vocal cast to stand behind it, it's Bethesda's first foray into subscription-based digital retail. Contributors to hit franchises such as Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean and more have evidently been brought together to deliver what should be one of the most cult-appeasing video game products of the year. Here's a full round-up of each of the celebrity actors who have today been confirmed to star in Online:

  • John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Die Another Day) is Cadwell, "the cheerful and endearingly mad lost soul who is not afraid of anyone, even a Daedric prince"
  • Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End; About Time) is "a merchant prince whose luck and determination won him the throne".
  • Kate Beckinsale (Underworld: Awakening; Total Recall) is Queen Ayrenn, "the Queen of the High Elves who is far more comfortable with a blade than her crown".
  • Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2; The Da Vinci Code) is Abnur Tharn, "a wily wizard who is the de facto power behind the Ruby Throne".
  • Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman; Smallville) is Azura, "the Daedric Princess of Dusk and Dawn from Skyrim who is a popular part of Elder Scrolls lore".
  • Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol) is the Prophet, "a mysterious blind man who guides the player through their journey to retrieve their soul".
  • Malcolm McDowell (Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness; Home Alone: The Holiday Heist) is Molag Bal, "an evil Daedric god from another plane who schemes to enslave the mortal souls of Tamriel".
The Elder Scrolls Online launches on PC this April and retails on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Game Trailer Released

Peter Parker's superhero alter-ego arrives on current-gen and next-consoles alongside his new film!
Activision and Beenox Games have today released the first promotional trailer for their upcoming superhero video game The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Intended as a tie-in to the film of the same name, the title's narrative will take place between the events of the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man and this Summer's villain-packed follow-up.

As with Beenox's last companion effort, the game will feature villains originating both from Spidey's motion picture instalments and from the character's vast comic-book history. The trailer itself (below) reveals that both Kraven the Hunter and Electro will star in the main campaign, with Peter Parker and his self-created Webbed Wonder's hunt for the man who killed Uncle Ben a core plot strand in this instance. The Amazing Spider-Man was a passable tie-in outing when it launched alongside the divisive first flick, but its open-world New York City (a refined version of which returns here) was soulless- devoid of citizens and surprises- and its combat repetitive, both fundamental hiccups which necessitate a rethink from Beenox if their second attempt at replicating the success of Andrew Garfield's web-slinger is to be a commercial hit.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swings onto Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Nintendo WiiU, Nintendo 3DS and PC this Spring.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Last Of Us 'Left Behind' DLC Trailer Released

Sony tease the first full story DLC expansion for their 2013 Game of the Year contender!
Sony Computer Entertainment and Naughty Dog Games have today released a teaser trailer for a downloadable expansion to their 2013 third-person shooter The Last of Us. Released last June, the title met with grand critical acclaim across the board, and earned a place on a good deal of Game of the Year shortlists to boot in December.

The DLC mini-campaign of new story missions will be titled Left Behind, and will take place after the events of the product's central narrative. In contrast to most teasers of this ilk, the preview (below) that we've been given actually offers substantial hints at what to expect in the digital product, although it does still leave more than enough mysteries hanging to ensure that we're not going in with too much foreknowledge. What's more, after this, PS3 exclusives are lacking on the horizon for Spring and Summer 2014, so fans of the console would be well advised to make the most of it.

The Last Of Us: Last Behind will retail via the PlayStation Network on February 14th.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Superbowl Trailer Confirmed

The latest instalment of Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Two series will be previewed next month.
Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios have today confirmed the release of a new theatrical trailer for their upcoming superhero film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Set to launch at the Superbowl XLVIII live event in the United States, the second preview will presumably reveal more concrete plot details with regards to the much-anticipated sequel.

Expect this to be just the beginning of a host of Superbowl trailer announcements, as is the case every year. Transformers: Age of Extinction and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have both been confirmed as featuring amongst the XLVIII advertising line-up, with more superhero films such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past potentially viable to enter the fray given the close proximity of the event to their respective release dates. As ever, as and when updates on the roster arrive, you'll be the first to know, so keep it On-Screen in the days following January 22nd for all the key details.

The Superbowl XLVIII live event airs on February 2nd, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier crashes into cinemas on March 26th.

Bond 24 Plot Details Teased

James Bond will return in 2015- find out what's to come in the aftermath of Skyfall's game-changing storyline...
Screenplay writer John Logan has this week revealed the first details on the tone and narrative of the twenty-fourth James Bond feature film. Set to go before the cameras later this year, Bond 24 will see Daniel Craig reprise his role as Ian Fleming's iconic secret agent, joined by recurring guest stars such as Ralph Fiennes (M), Naoime Harris (Eve Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (Q) as well as some as-of-yet unannounced newcomers to the franchise.

Discussing his current screenplay with IGN, Logan was coy on specific details of the next instalment's plot, but did provide some foundations upon which we can at least begin to speculate. Here's a round-up of what the screenwriter had to say:
  • ON THE INFLUENCE OF SKYFALL'S NARRATIVE- "My goal is to write a great movie that's appropriate, to build on what we did on Skyfall, but make it its own unique animal. The themes and the characters from Skyfall can obviously continue on, because it's a franchise, and it is an ongoing story. So I think there's resonance from Skyfall in the new movie."
  • ON THE INFLUENCE OF IAN FLEMING'S NOVELS AND CLASSIC FILMS- "I grew up on the Bond movies, the first one I saw was Diamonds are Forever when I was just a kid. I just loved them to pieces. I love all the elements, from the books- mostly from the novels. Going back to Ian Fleming is where I started with Skyfall- and there's certainly elements of the movies and the novels that we brought into the new film."
  • ON THE POSSIBILITY OF AN APPEARANCE FROM (CLASSIC VILLAIN) BLOFIELD- "I think our villain is appropriate to the story we're telling..."
Bond 24 will line up its shot in UK cinemas nationwide on October 23rd, 2015.