TRAILER: Mob City

Frank Darabont (director of THE MIST and THE WALKING DEAD) has a new series based upon the crime game LA NOIR, called MOB CITY (what a terrible name). I like that gave good old Shane something to do, but with BOARDWALK EMPIRE being the king of mob shows right now, I'm just not sure another mob show was necessary. Don't get me wrong, if it's good, it's good, but they should have timed it better in my opinion. Either way, I'll check it out when it comes around. If it's anything like the game, it'll be a good time.

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TRAILER: Prisoners

As a father to a fifteen month old little girl, this trailer makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up because I know what I'd do in this situation...kill everyone in that damn town until I found my daughter. My only gripe would be that you know damn well it's not the slow kid pulling the strings, it almost feels like it's Jake Gyllenhaal (I hope not though. Love him as a good guy). Looking forward to solving this mystery.

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GAME TRAILER: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you love RPGs like I do, and you haven't explored the rich world of Gerald, The Witcher, you're missing out. Think GAME OF THRONES as far as tone, violence and action, with LORD OF THE RINGS style magic and monsters, and even that, doesn't do this game justice. WITCHER 3 promises to be the largest, fiercest and most beautiful of the series (thanks to the XBOX ONE), and it's far enough out that you all have time to catch up. You can skip the first and dive into the second and be just fine. Are you still here? Go get it now!

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GAME TRAILER: Dead Rising 3

I must admit, that my zombie killing fix was always quenched via the RESIDENT EVIL games, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't sorely disappointed by RESIDENT EVIL 6. I'm curious to see how the next gen consoles handle zombie hordes, and if this trailer is any indication, I'm thinking we're in for a blood soaked treat. After all, killing zombies is always good times.

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GAME TRAILER: Fable Legends

FABLE was a game changer when it first hit the XBOX--giving us the choice of being good or evil. Of course, the actual game didn't change with these choices as much as I'd love to have seen it change, but the first and second FABLE game were infinitely fun. The third one...not so much. I sincerely hope they go back to the basics with this new one and give a true test of what the XBOX ONE can do (fingers crossed).

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GAME TRAILER: Thief

This is one I'm anxiously anticipating. I love RPGs, and every time I get to choose a class, I always choose a thief. I love the stealth game, and this looks like all that, and much more. It helps that this will be one of the first XBOX ONE titles, so getting a piece of the new platform will be nice as well. That said, I'm all about a slow burn stealth story and can't wait to sink my teeth into this one.

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GAME TRAILER: Batman: Arkham Origins

This one's been almost as full of speculation as the announcement of Ben Affleck as the new Batman (I think he'll be just fine). This newest trailer, along with the others, looks impressive and as much as people hated on the actor changes for the voices of Batman and Joker, they actually sound pretty damn close so I don't see that being an issue. Game play will tell the tale, but here's hoping they keep the franchise hot.

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GAME TRAILER: Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls

I enjoyed DIABLO 3, but it wasn't nearly as epic as 2--then again, a ten year hiatus tends to change our perceptions a bit. Will I play the expansion? Yeah, I'll check it out for the story alone as Blizzard knows how to tell a story and is still king in the cinematic department. It probably won't be opening day or anything, but this looks like its worth checking out.

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REVIEW: Elysium

"Activate Kruger."

8/10

In the year 2154, the rich and powerful live on Elysium, a space station utopia free of poverty, disease and war.  The rest of us are rotting away on Earth, which has become as cesspool.  When Max, and ex-con trying to live straight, has an accident at work that gives him days to live, he takes one last job in a desperate attempt to reach Elysium and cure himself.  

I love an epic Science Fiction flick with a broad scope, intelligence and killer visuals.  We get one every year or two, and as much as I enjoy them, I always find myself comparing them to MINORITY REPORT, which remains one of my cult favorites.  Thought not as smart, or ground breaking, ELYSIUM is everything you could ask for in a summer action flick.  The social commentaries are no more “in your face” here than they were in Neill Blomkamp’s DISTRICT 9, but the budget, intensity, action and stakes are clearly raised this time around, and the result is two hours of fun.

Matt Damon solidified his presence in the badass hall of fame with the role of Jason Bourne.  He brought us a cool action hero at a time when the genre was lacking.  I’d have loved to see him further his action range, but he didn’t.  That said, he hasn’t lost a step when it comes to throwing down.  Sure, his character here is a touch weak and predictable (think Memphis Raines from GONE IN 60 SECONDS), but something’s got to be said about a dude who signs up to have a robotic skeleton graphed to his body.  One thing you never want to hear someone say when you’re nodding off for surgery is “bring out the bone saw.”  Aside from some dreaded shaky cam nonsense here and there, the fights were bang on, especially the final confrontation between Max and Kruger (loved the Cherry Blossoms). 

The true underdog hero of this film is Sharlto Copley who plays a not-quite-sane merc—I don’t want to say half cyborg, but also jacked up on robotics—who handles wetworks for Jodie Foster, an Elysium bureaucrat who rules border jumping with an iron fist.  Copely (the frontrunner of Blomkamp’s DISTRICT 9, and the dude who rocked as Murdock in THE A-TEAM) is a blast to watch and steals every scene he’s in.  You couldn’t ask for a more larger than life villain.  Foster on the other hand, was flat and boring, not to mention a little stupid when it comes to who she trusts and letting her guard down.  Alice Braga, who proved she can handle action in PREDATORS, felt criminally underused.  And then there’s William Fichtner, who’s always a pleasure to see, but again, got a very limited amount of screen time.

ELYSIUM is a cool flick, but the grand scheme of things begged for more.  Elysium itself seemed far smaller than I would have expected, and I’d have loved to see more of the world as well as find out what went wrong.  I get the idea behind speed dialing past all that to move along the plot, but hey, I’m just being honest.  Many critics are taking shots at the science behind the film, specifically, the all curing beds on Elysium that rid the body of all abnormalities.  These wonder-beds have been around in films like this for years, people.  Remember Milla’s body reconstruction in THE FIFTH ELEMENT (of course you do), or the same body reconstruction bed on the spaceship in JASON X that turned Jason into Oober Jason (it still cracks me up that he’s referred to in the credits as “Oober Jason”)?  And that’s just a couple examples.  Don’t get me wrong, the beds on Elysium are far more blatant in their presentation, and never once explained in any capacity, so of course it’s easy to attack the logic, but come on guys, it’s a movie.  If you really want to criticize, ponder the sheer coincidence behind Kruger conveniently approaching that van at the exact second he was called into action to shoot down those ships.  All in all, good times and worth seeing on the big screen.
 

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TRAILER: The Counselor

Another novel to film from author Cormac McCarthy (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) which feels like a smart, brooding thriller. Let's hope so. The cast is an all star list to die for (is it me, or does Cameron Diaz look sixty? Yikes!), but then again, it doesn't mean much in Hollywood these days. That said, I still have faith in Ridley Scott.

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TRAILER: Sons Of Anarchy S6

Now this is coming from a guy who loves the show, but to say it lost it's visceral edge awhile ago would be an understatement. It's still entertaining, but if you're going to have the guys turn on one another, at least have the balls to see it through--for god sakes kill Clay already or bring him back into the damn fold. The Tara angle is weak and uninteresting, but from the trailer it's clearly pushing Jax over the edge which could be fun. Here's hoping it's a good season, either way, I'm there.

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TRAILER: Thor: The Dark World

The first THOR pushed the boundaries and was a solid flick in my eyes, and as most origin stories do, it set a grand stage for bigger and better adventure. While I feel this has a familiar feel to it, I'm pumped to see a force so powerful it not only is able to wipe out the Earth (not that big a feat of late), but Asgard as well. And of course, the idea of Thor and Loki being at each other's throats while trying to play nice is bound to be all kinds of fun.

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SHORT FILM: Venom

Being a huge Spider-Man fan goes hand in hand with being a HUGE Venom fan. You can't be one without being the other. Having read all the comics, words can't describe how disappointed I was by SPIDER-MAN 3. A small piece of my soul died when I watched that movie. A Venom film has been (supposedly) in the pipeline for years now, but who really knows what's going on with Eddie Brock these days. That said, TRUE BLOOD's Jason Stackhouse takes on the role in this short film by the same guys who gave us DIRTY LAUNDRY, the Thomas Jane Punisher piece last year. It is what it is, and fans should at least crack a smile.

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TRAILER/COMIC: Riddick

PITCH BLACK still stands tall today by action standards, and although I enjoyed CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, it was missing the raw "punch" of the first film. Not this sequel. The new one looks promising (though not mind-blowing when it comes to plot), and here's an animated short to bridge the gap between the last film and this one.

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