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Why Supernatural’s Michael Is Allowed To Be Funny, According To Jensen Ackles

When Supernatural picked up for Season 14, fans didn’t get a double dose of the Winchester boys as usual. Although Dean was still around in the first couple of episodes, he spent almost the entire time as the archangel Michael’s vessel while Michael murdered people and made deals with monsters. You might think that playing such a despicable character would leave no room for laughs, but Jensen Ackles still managed to deliver some humor, even if it was fairly dark. Here’s why Ackles believes Michael is allowed to be funny:

It took years for Castiel, a.k.a. everybody’s favorite angel and the source of plenty of comic relief, to actually be deliberately funny, as angels are generally lacking in humor. According to Jensen Ackles in comments to EW, he originally intended to play the archangel Michael the same sort of way. Besides, it’s not like Michael would fall into the same foibles as Cas did in his early days in a vessel, so we probably wouldn’t even laugh at him.

The good news for Jensen Ackles was that Supernatural has featured a couple of angels with genuine senses of humor, although their humor wasn’t always on a level humans appreciated. Those couple of angels were archangels themselves, and the precedent was set for archangels to have some humor to them. Lucifer was proof that an archangel didn’t have to double as a Trickster to be funny, so Michael was allowed to be funny as a villain as well. Entertaining Michael beats monotone Michael any day, as far as I’m concerned.

Of course, after 13 full seasons of history, there’s a precedent for the characters to get weird and funny in plenty of ways. It’s always difficult to say when Supernatural is going to reach back into its own history and pull something to the present, whether it’s a character or a type of monster or even a case. Dean as Michael isn’t even the first time that a Winchester brother has been possessed by an archangel. He’s technically the third of John Winchester’s sons to become an archangel vessel!

That said, Supernatural could still go in some very new directions with Michael. Unfortunately, the second episode of Season 14 ended with Michael having vacated Dean for some reason. My fingers are very much crossed that this was a temporary twist and the archangel will be back in Dean before too long. It may not be a very kind wish for Dean’s sake, but Dean as vessel for such a huge villain is a story with a great deal of potential, and Jensen Ackles could flex his acting muscles.

We’ll have to wait and see if Jensen Ackles gets to portray Michael again and deliver some more humor of the archangel variety. New episodes of Supernatural air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW as part of the fall TV lineup.

It Turns Out, Games-As-Service Is Really Profitable

You may hate microtransactions, in-game app purchases, day-one DLC, season passes and loot boxes, but they’re here to stay. Because no matter how much hate any one single gamer throws at these monetary mechanisms that continue to creep their way into every major title at an increasingly alarming rate, the reality is that they’re really profitable for publishers.

According to a report from DFC Intelligence, focusing on games-as-a-service monetary models has helped Activision grow its market intake from $10 billion to over $60 billion since 2012. And Activision isn’t the only one who has seen massive gains in recent years thanks to game-as-a-service systems. Electronic Arts saw a massive uptick from $4 billion in 2012 to $33 billion.

As noted by, the real highlight here is that companies are producing fewer boxed products while relying more on digital transactions. The article points out that EA only has seven announced boxed products set to go on sale in fiscal 2019, and four of those titles are the annual sports titles such as Madden’s NFL, the FIFA series, NHL and the NBA Live series. The fifth product is BioWare’s MMO-themed third-person shooter, Anthem. For this year the last big boxed product that EA will ship is Battlefield V for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

The article points out that services like the MUT packs, the UFC UT packs, the FUT packs and the HUT packs have all helped push massive revenue for Electronic Arts. Microtransactions and DLC packs in games like Battlefield and Star Wars: Battlefront, as well as expansions for The Sims 4, have also all contributed to $2 billion in revenue throughout the last fiscal year for EA. So basically, the company is making billions of dollars just selling skins, card packs and DLC.

This is all in compensation for a drop in sales of physical releases (which were down by 17% last year) and an increase in digital revenue from microtransactions or live services (which were up by 31% last year).

As pointed out in the article, the revenue and profits are just too much for most AAA publishers to pass up, which is why we’re seeing more games including DLC and mictrotransactions right out of the gate while AAA boxed products continue to dwindle in market presence. This tactic worked well at first for many mobile games just until over-saturation took hold of the mobile market, forcing a lot of studios to either fight for the top spots on the app charts or fold up.

We’ll see how this further affects the mainstream gaming industry over the next few years as we watch more live-services taking hold while traditional physical releases continue to become rarities on the market.

This will all be especially interesting when the next generation of home consoles arrive, because it’s going to be difficult getting people to move to the next gen of hardware by promising more microtransactions in games that are several years old. We could, however, see more remastered games with updated cash shops making their presence known, similar to what Rockstar did moving GTA V from the Xbox 360 and PS3 over to the Xbox One and PS4.

Telltale’s Guardians Of The Galaxy And Minecraft Were Almost Very Different

Now that Telltale Games has basically let go almost all of its staff, we’re starting to get quite a few stories from behind-the-scenes about the production of various games, alternate endings, and postmortem details about various projects, including Guardians of the Galaxy and Minecraft.

Over on, it was revealed that during a presentation at the Sweden Game Conference, Emily Grace Buck, the former narrative designer at Telltale Games, broke down some of the design decisions that led to a misreading of Telltale’s games and the audience that they were making the games for. Buck explained how Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being tonally different from what fans of the series may have been expecting:

I can definitely see how that happened, and it’s something I both agree and disagree with. Buck states that originally Telltale’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy was filled with humor and comedy, and that it was all extricated in place of the darker tone the game went for. In a way, some of the darker elements did actually help add gravitas to the overall story, and, in the later episodes, it helped give weight to some of the decisions that can be made that drastically alter the character development, especially for Drax and Rocket. Being too lighthearted likely would have diminished the impact of certain subplots; but on the flip side, maybe being more comical would have made the entire adventure more appealing and entertaining for a broader audience.

It’s easy to pick apart what supposedly didn’t work in hindsight, but it’s not always easy to tell what wouldn’t work while you’re actually working on the project… unless it’s Minecraft.

Buck noted that some of the original thematic elements for Minecraft: Story Mode were designed with a ‘T’ for Teen rating in mind, not younger kids. This was something that the studio had to go back and redo after initially developing the story.

Now in a case like that, it’s pretty obvious that there’s some sort of misreadings going on if the game that was supposed to be designed for little kids is being made to appeal to teens and adults.

It kind of speaks volumes to the kind of corporate culture at Telltale where some of the franchises weren’t quite being built around the kind of topical matter that they should have been from the start. Rewriting, redoing and remaking content is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, and not only can it hurt the finished product in terms of story consistency, but it also ramps up the overall budget.

Obviously there were a lot of issues that culminated in Telltale shutting down, but based on Buck’s retelling of what was happening with some of the franchises, it appeared as if misreading what the audience wanted helped contribute to the less-than-stellar sales that some of Telltale’s titles produced.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 May Be Looking At These Four Directors

According to SuperBroMovies, among the directors currently on Marvel’s shortlist for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are Dee Rees, Michelle MacLaren, S.J. Clarkson and Jane Campion. Keep in mind that even if these women are truly in consideration for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, that doesn’t mean any of them will necessarily get the job. There could be other names being kicked around, and we also can’t discount that someone could snag the gig who’s never even rumored. Nevertheless, let’s go over each of these four women’s resumes.

Dee Rees made her feature film making debut with 2008’s Eventual Salvation, and nearly a decade later, she delivered the Academy Award-nominated Netflix movie Mudbound. Earlier this year, Rees praised Ryan Coogler‘s work on Black Panther, so maybe she’d be interested in contributing to the MCU.

Michelle MacLaren is best known for directing episodes of TV shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Deuce, but she’ll soon make the jump to the big screen with Cowboy Ninja Viking. MacLaren was also originally supposed to direct Wonder Woman, but due to creative differences, she stepped away and Patty Jenkins replaced her. Maybe Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be MacLaren’s opportunity to return to the superhero genre.

Like Michelle MacLaren, S.J. Clarkson has an impressive TV resume, which includes Dexter, Jessica Jones and The Defenders, among many others. Back in April, Clarkson was hired to direct Star Trek 4, but since that movie is currently in limbo due to Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth stepping away, one wonders if she could be pulled from that to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Finally, Jane Campion is arguably best known for directing 1993’s The Piano, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Director nomination. Campion is currently overseeing the TV series Top of the Lake, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be a way for her to leave a mark in the world of blockbuster filmmaking.

Something tells me we’ll hear about more directors being eyed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the near future, but these names are a promising start. Obviously it’ll be difficult whoever is hired as the new director to fill James Gunn’s shoes and bring the same kind of energy he infused into the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but at least they won’t lack in the talent department.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for news about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s development, and be sure to learn what else the MCU has coming down the line in our Marvel movies guide.

God Friended Me And More Just Got Great News From CBS

Fall TV season is in full swing at this point, with many of the shows in the lineup already several episodes in. Now, CBS has revealed three of its freshman series that it’s apparently quite happy with, as they all received full season orders. Viewers can expect a full season of God Friended Me, as well as The Neighborhood and the Magnum P.I. reboot.

God Friended Me is arguably one of the unlikeliest hits of the fall season. Airing Sunday nights on CBS means that episodes can be pushed back due to NFL football games running longer than expected. Admittedly, NCIS: Los Angeles has survived just fine on Sunday nights despite unpredictable football delays, but NCIS: LA aired on Mondays or Tuesdays for its first seven seasons, gaining a sizable audience there before making the move to Sunday primetime.

A dramedy about God friending an atheist on social media seemed to me like one that wouldn’t last too long in that time slot, even if it did enjoy early ratings success thanks to viewers who stuck around after football ended. Despite my predictions, God Friended Me has been solid, with an average viewership or more than 10 million people after three episodes in the 8 p.m. time slot on Sundays. Its viewership is an 8% increase over the viewership for the same slot this time last year.

The Neighborhood also scored a full season order. Starring Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, and a 2 Broke Girls alum, it isn’t doing as well as God Friended Me, but it’s still delivering an average of more than eight million viewers per week. Notably, The Neighborhood‘s numbers mark a boost of 14% over last season in the same time. The show that previously held the slot was Kevin Can Wait, which seemed poised for a long life on CBS until viewers dropped out, following the leading lady getting killed off.

The comedy airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Given its current success in that slot, CBS could have a winner and new anchor for the foreseeable future on Monday nights. We’ll have to wait and see.

The third show to score a full season order was none other than Magnum P.I., which rebooted the original series that starred Tom Selleck and his iconic mustache. The new Magnum didn’t come with a mustache on its leading man, but that hasn’t prevented folks from tuning in. Magnum P.I. currently averages more than nine million viewers per week, and that is a massive bump from the same time slot last year.

In the 9 p.m. ET time slot on CBS, Magnum P.I.‘s average is up a whopping 50% from last season. CBS has another hit reboot on its hands. I now have to wonder what the fate will be for Happy Together, which is the new series that airs between The Neighborhood and Magnum P.I. on Mondays. It may be a bad sign for the series that its two lineup neighbors were given full series orders without any good news of its own. Was this another dud for Damon Wayans Jr?

Soul Calibur VI Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

Bandai Namco’s latest entry in the long-running sword, shield and spear-fighting game series has made its way onto store shelves for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC, and gamers and critics alike have been chiming in to give their feedback on what they think about Soul Calibur VI.

The scores from most sites aren’t dripping with 10 out of 10s or 100 out of 100s, but it comes awfully close from a few notable outlets. Game Revolution, for instance, loved the Soul Chronicle story mode, which the outlet noted gives each of the main characters an opportunity to shine on the grand stage. It also enjoyed the RPG-like Mission Mode, too, calling it the “real meat” of the game. The review rounds out with a 4.5 out of 5, stating:

I’m a single-player aficionado, so Soul Calibur 6 really appealed to me. The deep Story and Mission Modes were a ton of fun and were a great way to learn the lore of the series. The fact that this game is a pseudo-reboot makes it a perfect jumping in point for those who have never played Soul Calibur before. Soul Calibur 6 keeps enough of the series roots, even given its reboot status, that old time fans should have a blast as well.

The review did criticize the multiplayer component for not being quite as in-depth as they were expecting. This is due to the focus mostly on single-player content. There’s still a ranked mode for gamers who want to test their might against other players, not unlike Tekken 7 or NetherRealm Studios’ Mortal Kombat X, but there aren’t a whole lot of other options when it comes to the online multiplayer component.

The Escapist also shared similar sentiments, scoring the game an 8 out of 10 for having a “modest” yet “rewarding” cache of single-player modes, and a “lucrative” helping of missions to keep players coming back for more.

Soulcalibur‘s world is gobsmackingly silly but all the lurid art, booming orchestral music, and flowing fights work in concert.

Other sites seemed to echo the sentiments that the heart and soul of Soul Calibur VI rests in the flashy one-on-one fights that always seem to entertain.

Variety notes that the gameplay refinements and improvements to the flow of combat are a true highlight in the latest outing, especially with the inclusion of the Reversal Edge that allows players to execute a rock, paper, scissors style combo-breaker/counter system not too dissimilar from the wager system in Injustice 2. This helps give newbies something to utilize against combo-heavy veterans, and it gives veterans something to utilize in order to maintain an edge over difficult opponents.

Variety notes that it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but a lot of carry-over features from Soul Calibur V and improvements to the overall combat make it a worthwhile winner:

In many ways “SoulCalibur VI” is the same old “SoulCalibur.” Nothing will replace the original, but “VI” iterates on the combat formula in smart ways and Libra of Soul adds hours of unique challenges, even if the storytelling wears a little thin. “SoulCalibur VI” doesn’t seize the crown from its forbearer, but it does build an entire city around the throne.

Soul Calibur VI also brings back the character creation system from Soul Calibur V. The creation system has been a widely popular feature in the series, and Namco was smart to give gamers an opportunity to make their own custom character, or attempt to recreate other popular characters, such as the fan-favorite internet sensation Bowsette

As pointed out by Game Informer, there’s enough content in the game to actually consider it “bloat,” which is probably something gamers would appreciate for the $60 entry price. But the review from Game Informer also praises the title for being a game that will appeal for both newbies and veterans alike, scoring it a 8.75 out of 10:

Soulcalibur VI takes the opportunity to re-introduce the series after a hiatus and runs with it, making the series feel fresh while offering a deep fighter with lots for lone players to dig into. The single-player offering suffers from some bloat, but weaves combat into its narrative better than most other fighting games, and the fighting at the center of it all is better than ever.

It sounds like Namco hit almost all of the right buttons in creating Soul Calibur VI as a worthy successor to the 2012 outing for Xbox 360 and PS3. For gamers interested in picking up a copy, you can grab Soul Calibur VI for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

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Free Willy Child Star Is All Grown Up And Getting Arrested For Domestic Violence

It has been some time since audiences were widely acquainted with Jason James Richter, the former child actor best known for his work in the lead role of Free Willy. Since starring in the whale-based coming-of-age drama, as well as its sequels, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home and Free Willy 3: The Rescue, the actor has kept working but his profile has been much lower. He hasn’t re-acquired the fame he once had in his youth, and now, he’s reportedly in a whole bunch of deep legal concern. As it’s being reported, Richter was just taken into custody for charges related to misdemeanor domestic violence.

Here’s what we know about Jason James Richter’s recent arrest. As it was reported by TMZ, the one-time child actor was taken into custody on Monday in the San Fernando Valley. It is believed that the arrest is related to charges of misdemeanor domestic violence. He was released from jail on Wednesday, following a two-night stay in jail. As of the time of writing, he is charged with one count of battery, related to a significant other with no physical injury, as well as one count of vandalism. If he is found guilty of these crimes, there’s a good chance Richter will spend a year inside a jail cell.

According to the report, here’s what happened. Near 7 p.m. on Monday, Jason James Richter was arguing with his girlfriend. The argument was believed to be about one of her co-workers. Richter kept asking the woman if she was having an affair. That’s around the time things got heated.

Jason James Richter reportedly left in the middle of the heated disagreement, but he wasn’t gone for long. It was shortly thereafter that he came back to the residence, as the woman told the police in her report, and she locked herself in the bedroom. Richter then proceeded to try to break down the door and get to the girlfriend. When Richer broke the door down, he allegedly took her into the living room. She claimed he “grabbed” her by the wrists, although the cops claimed there were no marks visible on her person. It was four hours later when she filed the police report, claiming domestic violence.

Jason James Richter and his attorneys are denying the allegations at this time, claiming the argument never got physical. It will ultimately be up to the court to figure out what happened that evening, and they will determine whether or not Richter is guilty of the crimes he is being accused of right now.

In addition to the Free Willy movies, Jason James Richter is also known for his role in The Neverending Story III, as well as for appearances in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Bones, Tekken, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. The former child actor will next be seen in The Brawler, Driver, Infidelity, 818 and Ghost in the Graveyard, all of which are expected to be released either later this year or sometime next year. We’ll keep you posted on the latest news and updates in pop culture and more.

Criminal Minds Is Delivering Even More Romance In Season 14

Criminal Minds generally isn’t the show many of us think of when it comes to television romance, and the show has always focused more on catching criminals than sending its characters into the dating pool. Well, one big romance already began blooming (or re-blooming, in this case) in Season 14, and now another is in the works. Emily Prentiss is getting a love interest, and he should be able to keep up with her.

The new love interest for Emily Prentiss will be a Supervisory Special Agent by the name of Andrew Mendoza. Stephen Bishop of Imposters fame landed the role. You don’t have to worry that Mendoza will be introduced in one episode and then solely exist as an off-screen love interest for Prentiss. TVLine reports that Bishop is on board to recur in Season 14, so we should see a decent amount of him.

You also don’t have to worry that Prentiss and Mendoza will bond over something mundane. They’ll come together in an exceedingly Criminal Minds kind of way. She’ll meet him in an unexpected way, and showrunner Erica Messer (who recently weighed in on how long she thinks Criminal Minds should last) states that “they are able to kind of hit it off even though” the circumstances aren’t ideal for building a romance.

What are these circumstances? Well, unsurprisingly, they will be bloody. The episode will center on a situation in which someone is being killed every 27 minutes in Washington. The murder weapon? A machete. Erica Messer also teased that the episode “almost plays in real-time,” so it should be an intense hour of television.

For this case, Pretiss will be working closely with the field office in Washington, and she’ll have to collaborate with Mendoza, whose position is more or less equal to hers in her own office. Unless Mendoza is transferred to the BAU we all know and love, these two won’t be direct coworkers as they work out their feelings for each. That’s probably good news for the rest of the BAU!

Honestly, good for Prentiss that she’s getting some love in Season 14, along with Rossi. Given that Season 14 could be the final for the long-running series, perhaps the introduction of Mendoza could lead to a happily-ever-after for Prentiss. Of course, that wouldn’t be riding off into the sunset for somebody like her, but she deserves to be happy.

Three episodes of the 15 that were ordered for Season 14 have already aired, and one of those was the 300-episode milestone. If Criminal Minds does wind up cancelled at the end of Season 14, nobody can claim that it wasn’t a successful series for CBS. Ending at Season 14 would mean it falls short of someday matching the season count of fellow CBS show NCIS or NBC’s juggernaut Law & Order: SVU. We’ll have to wait and see.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see Stephen Bishop in action as SSA Andrew Mendoza. New episodes of Criminal Minds air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.

The Hilarious Big Lebowski Scene John Goodman Was Nervous To Shoot

Jeff Bridges may have been the star of The Big Lebowski, but John Goodman was quite the scene stealer playing unstable Vietnam War vet/bowling enthusiast Walter Sobchak. One of Walter’s funniest moments in the 1998 movie was when he smashed up a sports car with a crowbar to show what happens when “you fuck a stranger in the ass.” But recently Goodman revealed that he was initially nervous about yelling out all those obscenities in what he thought was a crowded neighborhood. Goodman recalled:

I can’t blame John Goodman for feeling this way. It’s one thing to angrily yell and drop f-bombs on a movie set with only the cast and crew around, but to do it a residential area at night, when people are winding down or even asleep, is another matter entirely. Fortunately, as Goodman soon realized, those houses were empty, so he didn’t need to feel self conscious at all about letting out the rage.

In case you need a refresher on why John Goodman’s Walter decided to take a crowbar to a car in The Big Lebowski, you can watch the scene unfold in the clip below.

Of course, this is just one of Walter’s many hilarious moments in The Big Lebowski, with others including him pulling a gun on someone over a bowling game, declaring to The Dude that he can get ahold of a toe easily to repeatedly telling Donny to “shut the fuck up.” Walter is definitely unhinged, but if you’re looking to be entertained and don’t mind a little danger, he’s worth having around.

The Big Lebowski celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and remembering how the Corvette shoot went down was one of the many things John Goodman brought up when speaking to Today about the movie alongside Jeff Bridges and Steve Buscemi. Although The Big Lebowski initially earned mixed reviews and was a box office disappointment, its reputation improved significantly and is now considered to be one of the Coen brothers‘ best films, to the point that it was added to the National Film Registry in 2014.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest movie updates. The Coen brothers’ next movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, will hit Netflix on November 16. As for what’s heading to theaters over the next year, browse through our 2018 and 2019 release schedules for that information.