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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Back to the Future: The Game - 30th Anniversary Edition Announced

Image Source: YouTube
"Where we're going, we don't need roads...a sizeable helping of nostalgia couldn't hurt, though."
Telltale Games have this week announced the development of a remastered compilation of Back to the Future: The Game for release on both next-generation and current-generation hardware next month.

The not-so-creatively titled Back to the Future: The Game - 30th Anniversary Edition will package together all six instalments of the Tales from the Borderlands developer's 2010 puzzle-platforming saga, thereby enabling anyone with even the slightest affinity for time-travelling Deloreans and / or the phrase "Great Scott" to experience not only the original trilogy of films - which, surprisingly enough, will receive its own re-release on DVD and Blu-Ray too come October 5th - but moreover what's since been regarded as their spiritual successor.

Yes, in case the news had passed some of our readers by, this critically divisive but no less commercially successful saga went the extra mile, going so far as to progress the story arcs of Marty McFly, Doc Brown and company well beyond the points each character reached in 1990's Western homage-turned-franchise swansong Back to the Future Part III. As was the case with recent efforts from the studio such as Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park, many series veterans might well dispute whether or not The Game deserves its place as the Delorean crew's fourth official odyssey, although in fairness, we wouldn't be surprised if the inclusion of high-definition graphics, video interviews with the cast and crew and newly-recorded voice material from Tom Wilson as the nefarious Biff Tannen himself convinces a fair proportion of fanboys and fangirls alike to hop off the fence and into their nearest video games retailer. Regardless of how the naysayers perceive the latest fruits of Telltale's labour, though, for those like this writer who only recently discovered Future in all of its glory, the opportunity to discover the results of the Doc's next hilariously disastrous project will surely be one they relish more anything else.

Propelled as always by a well-timed bolt of lightning, Back to the Future: The Game - 30th Anniversary Edition will decelerate from 88mph to zero just in time to career onto Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 consoles this October 16th. If, on the other hand, the thought of waiting a further fortnight for further mad-cap exploits seems too depressing to contemplate, then the original six episodes are available now for purchase on PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and PC.

Failing that approach, there's one other alternative - scroll down just a little further to get a full first look at the 30th Anniversary Edition box-set in action in the form of its electrifying teaser trail:

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Alternative The Jungle Book Teaser Trailer Unveiled

Image Source: Movies in Focus
If the footage released so far is any indication, director Jon Favreau has quite the bestial treat in store for cinema-goers!
Walt Disney Pictures have today launched an international variant of their recent teaser trailer for Jon Favreau's impending action-adventure blockbuster The Jungle Book.

Following hot on the heels of the domestic preview which the studio débuted over in the States earlier this month, this alternative cut doesn't so much rewrite the book in terms of its structural approach as throw in heaps of exclusive glimpses at the menagerie of ferocious, welcoming and downright terrifying creatures set to plague protagonist Mowgli as he explores the treetops of by far Rupyard Kipling's most iconic literary setting.

What can't be fathomed just yet based on the promo material we've witnessed so far, however, is just whether Favreau (best known for his work at the helm of Iron Man)'s interpretation of one of the most frequently adapted tales in children's literature has the potential to eclipse its predecessors. No doubt the production team will continue to try to distance this latest live-action version from everything that's come before, especially since Disney's own animated take on the original novel famously came to be known as the definitive on-screen version upon its release in 1967, but from our oh-so-modest perspective, it's certainly going to take a lot more than dazzling computer-generated visuals (which, we must admit, are fairly commonplace in live-action fantasy romps of this ilk anyway nowadays) and a deliciously sinister voice-over from Lucy's Scarlet Johannson in order for everyone involved to stand any chance of coming close to matching their forebears, let alone besting them completely.

The Jungle Book will swing into cinemas worldwide (carrying nought but the Bare Necessities of life, one would presume) on April 15th, 2016.

Monday, 28 September 2015

More Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens Books Revealed

Image Source: IB Times
At this rate, booksellers soon won't have room for tomes based anywhere other than a galaxy far, far away...
Dorling Kindersley, Disney Lucasfilm Press and various other publishers have this week announced the release of several new works of Star Wars literature, each falling under the collective umbrella of Journey to the Force Awakens.

Currently scheduled to launch on precisely the same date as J.J. Abrams' much-anticipated blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens, these tonally diverse texts will seemingly aim to cater for a variety of age demographics and sectors of the franchise's immense fandom. More importantly, though, they'll follow the lead of Chuck Wendig's prequel novel Aftermath and Marvel Comics' Shattered Empire series in delving into the events preceding the narrative of Abrams' oncoming cinematic juggernaut.

Official cover images for the tie-in products in question can be found over at StarWars.com at this very moment, but as one would expect from literary announcements of this ilk, with one or two exceptions (take a look at The Visual Dictionary's front-page spread for a particularly tantalising glimpse at a mysterious artefact known only as "Skywalker's Lightsabre"), it's the plot précises which Lucasfilm have seen fit to include alongside each text's front-page artwork that reveal the most thought-provoking details regarding The Force Awakens' sure-to-be complex storyline, all of which we've compiled below for your viewing delight. From the apparently turbulent nature of life on the desert planet Jakku to the circumstances behind the sudden union of ex-Stormtrooper Finn, enigmatic scavenger Rey and their newly-acquired, doubtless quirky astromech droid BB-8, there's no shortage of speculation-inducing information on offer here, although anyone hoping for concrete spoilers might have to remind themselves of Abrams' reputation for keeping schtum in this regard:

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - The Visual Dictionary - "The complete guide to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this Visual Dictionary reveals all of the characters, creatures, droids, locations, and technology."
  • Star Wars: Before the Awakening "[...] An anthology book that focuses on the lives of Rey, Finn, and Poe [Dameron, aka the renowned X-Wing pilot recently glimpsed yelling out in triumph towards the end of Awakens' second full theatrical trail] before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
  • Star Wars: Rey Meets BB-8 (For Level 1 Readers) - "Rey's life is turned upside down when she meets a little droid named BB-8."
  • 5-Minute Star Wars Stories - "Blast off into hyperspace with these 11 action-packed Star Wars tales! Jedi Master Yoda has a lighsaber showdown with the dreaded Count Dooku; Luke Skywalker and the Rebels [or the Resistance, as they'll henceforth become known in each of the series' cinematic instalments starting with Awakens this Christmas] race against time to destroy the Death Star; and the brave but lonely Rey makes a new friend when she meets [...] BB-8. Each of these stories is the ideal length for reading aloud in five minutes - perfect for galactic adventures at lightspeed."
  • Star Wars: Han & Chewie Return! - "Everyone's favourite smugglers are back! Han Solo and Chewbacca return in a heroic new adventure [...]."
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Rey's Survival Guide - "[...] Discover what you need to survive the hostile planet, Jakku. What secrets lurk inside the ship graveyard? What do you want to salvage? [...] Include gatefolds with exclusive artifacts including starship schematics and more!"
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Mix & Match - "Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, Poe, Rey and Finn are featured in this book that blends spectacular action with three-panel pages to create confounding combinations! [There are] more than 200 different ways to create crazy mash-ups between the Resistance and the First Order!"
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Flashlight Adventure Book - "[...] This box set features a board book with pop-ups on every spread, and a real working flashlight that plays five different sounds from Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
  • Star Wars: Finn & Rey Escape! - "When Finn and Rey find themselves on the run, they must work together to escape from the evil First Order."
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Ultimate Sticker Collection - "Join the heroes of the galaxy on their amazing adventure. Explore incredible worlds, meet bizarre aliens, and face sinister new villains."
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Lightsaber Rescue - "The galaxy is in trouble again! Activate your lightsaber and join the fight! The [...] storybook features a non-removable lightsaber a non-removable lightsaber module with six sounds to bring the story of [the film] to life."
Each and every one of these Journey to the Force Awakens instalments will arrive on British and American book retailers' shelves just in time for Awakens' Stateside première this December 18th, and better yet, there's still the remaining chapters of Marvel's Shattered Empire saga (due to launch in fortnightly instalments between now and November) as well as DICE's much-anticipated video game tie-in Battlefront (out November 27th) to look forward to. It's a great time to call oneself a Star Wars devotee, in other words, and with more cinematic forays into George Lucas' seemingly limitless universe already pencilled in for the coming years, odds are that this franchise-wide renaissance of sorts won't come to a halt any time soon.