Filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride came onto Halloween as super fans of the franchise, eager to continue what John Carpenter started and expand on it with their own signature. The setback of not having enough time, or money, initially, to make the opening scene they set out to was likely a frustrating process, but by embracing the low-budget circumstances of the original, they seem to have come out of it on top.
Now that Spider-Man is out in the wild and has won over the hearts of millions, Insomniac has taken the opportunity with the game’s new photo mode to poke fun at a pre-launch “controversy”: Puddlegate. The latest update lets you take pictures and even cover them in stickers and, for those of you who wish there were more puddles in the game world, you can now add them yourself.
The above tweet comes from Insomniac Games Community Director James Stevenson, who grabbed onto a comment from User Interface/User Experience Lead Gil Doron. As the duo points out, this week’s update to Spider-Man is full of fun new tweaks, including New Game Plus mode and a Photo Mode that lets you add frames and stickers to your best in-game snaps. To show this off, they dropped in a now iconic scene of Spidey spying on some bad guys and enhanced it with a bunch of stickers of puddles.
In case you’re curious what all of the fuss is about, there was a bit of an argument involving the quality of Spider-Man before the game launched. In an early teaser for the game, there’s a scene of the wall-crawler about to get the drop on some baddies who are strolling through a construction site with some large puddles of water underfoot. When the game was nearly ready for launch, that same scene made the teaser cut, only with smaller puddles.
This is the internet so, of course, people lost their minds. It all started out as complaints about the disappearing puddles, which evolved into a slightly more sophisticated gripe about what the puddles “represent,” specifically a drop in detail from the teaser to the actual in-game footage.
This gets at one of the biggest pitfalls in games promotion so, if you wonder why so many studios stay tight-lipped about their games, now you know. The initial video was a target the studio was gunning for and meant to show off what they hoped to achieve once launch rolled around. Some folks have an issue with this, though, as they feel like it actually represents a developer lying to them about what a game is actually going to look like.
I’m not going to sit here and say that some teams don’t knowingly go overboard with their concept clips, but it’s important that the audience knows exactly what it’s looking at: a teaser. Harassing a studio and even going so far as to send death threats because a finished product doesn’t look like a trailer from the year prior is inexcusable behavior, but it’s nice to see Insomniac at least has a sense of humor about the whole mess.
But, yeah, on top of that photo mode is the New Game Plus mode, which lets you start the whole game over with all of your unlocks in tow. It’s also worth noting that Spider-Man‘s first DLC drops next week, boasting the first of three chapters making up The City That Never Sleeps story arc.
While taking the role of Seraph, the guardian and companion to The Matrix universe’s Oracle, could have set Li up for life; there was that one catch that made him uneasy. No one can blame him for turning it down either, as any martial artist, or even any actor, will tell you, their signature characteristics are what keep them in the business. So, for the sake of Jet Li’s livelihood, as well as his unique moves, it was the choice that he felt had to be made, with the role eventually going to actor Colin Chou.
The folks over at Nvidia continue to turn small steps into giant leaps for technology and, with their latest GPU architecture, Turing, the developer feels confident they have proven the moon landing was not staged. It’s something they felt confident about in a demo put together four years ago but, with even more technological advancements (especially in light behavior), Nvidia is confident anyone who could have faked the moon landing would have had to be a time traveler who stole their modern technology.
Over on the Nvidia blog, the developer has rolled out a refreshed demonstration of their lunar landing simulation, this time using their Turing technology. Look, I’m not going to pretend to know what half of this stuff means so much as muddle through it to the best of my ability, but I think I at least grasp the absolute basic thesis here. In short, Nvidia’s new tech treats light more realistically than we have ever been able to manage and, by plugging in oodles of math and measurements and recreating the moon landing, their images are turning out exactly like those seen during the actual event.
Nvidia’s claim is that, with Turing, light behaves the way it is supposed to, which isn’t something you can really fake in even the most sophisticated Hollywood studio. So, when they ran their simulation that recreated the parameters of the actual moon landing, it would have looked totally different were the clips from half a century ago faked.
This presentation was part of a talk offered by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at GTC Europe in Munich last week. He credits real-time ray-tracing capabilities of Turing for being able to nip this particular conspiracy theory in the bud, which probably isn’t sitting too well with members of the flat Earth community.
As for the animations, all of that was created using Unreal Engine 4. It’s solid, but there’s still a bit of an uncanny valley when it comes to realistic movement. But, again, that’s not the important part of this demonstration; the light is.
Of course, all of this bleeding edge technology is extremely expensive right now, so most folks won’t be able to take advantage of Turing to make games like Red Dead Redemption 2 (assuming Rockstar doesn’t drop the ball on that one) or Black Ops 4 look better than ever. Still, it gives you a good idea of where games can go in the future, maybe when the technology isn’t so pricey. You can take a look at some of Nvidia’s presentation, below:
The above video is the latest iteration of Nvidia’s demo highlighting the same moon landing they recreated four years ago, but now with Turing. Again, this is too far into the tech deep end for me, so my reaction is basically a nod of the head, followed by, “Well, okay, I guess that’s neat.” Actual tech hounds are pretty excited, though, so I’ll take their word for it that this is pretty big news.
October has brought along several exciting titles, and going into the end of the year there are plenty of other releases expected to bring in moviegoers, including films like The Grinch. The title will follow big competition from the week prior to its release, with Bohemian Rhapsody, Suspiria and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms coming to theaters. Opening on the same day, November 9, The Grinch will go head-to-head with The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Overlord. According to Variety, these two titles aren’t tracking as highly as the green grump, though, so the family film will likely steal the weekend.
The Conners is not shying away from romance. Jackie is the latest character scheduled to get a new love interest. The show recently cast Justin Long as Neil, a romantic interest for Jackie’s niece, Darlene. He is also set to recur on the series. And, along for the season is Darlene’s ex-husband, David, who will show up with a love interest of his own. For that role, The Conners has cast Juliette Lewis as David’s hippie girlfriend, Blue. Plus, D.J. and his wife are reunited, so we may finally get to see how that couple handles domesticity.
When making a film like 2018’s Halloween, it’s tempting, and pretty much required, to reference the previous history of such a storied franchise. Director and co-writer David Gordon Green obviously leaned into that practice rather well with the latest film, as references and events are scattered throughout that call back to other films in the franchise. But, what makes him the proudest is the following, obscure reference:
While we’d heard as much from Green ourselves, thanks to our own Eric Eisenberg’s time at the Halloween press day, in this telling there’s an interesting added detail. That comes courtesy of EW sharing David Gordon Green’s revelation that not only did John Carpenter notice the reference to that very song, his reaction to the ad-lib was quite pleasant.
In the scene from 1978’s Halloween, we see Laurie walking down the sidewalk, after dropping off the key to the Myers’ place, as she promised her dad. As she strolls down the street, she sings that improvised song to herself, and eventually we see Michael Myers watching after her as she walks away.
This song, which has been the topic of many questions on the internet, sits next to the masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch as one of the most memorable, yet subtle, references to past Halloween canon in the new movie. And now, after years of just being a curiosity buried in a classic moment, it’s an actual song. Though don’t go crazy looking for this track just yet, as it doesn’t look like the soundtrack to the new film contains it. Unless, like The Shape himself, it’s hidden in plain sight.
With a potentially record breaking first weekend underway, Halloween feels like it could have some legs on it for the rest of the month. Not only will the positive word of mouth help keep this film on everyone’s minds, but now the potential easter egg hunt will more than likely have devotees and newbies searching for potential links to the past.
After years of waiting, Aquaman is finally heading to theaters in just a couple of months, and we’re getting some cool looks at the ocean life we can expect to see in the latest DCEU blockbuster. The film has been teasing us with more shots of the action we’ll be treated to and some of that might, apparently, include Vulko (Willem Dafoe) and King Orm (Patrick Wilson) riding some unlikely beasts. Take a look:
Of course, when I say unlikely, I only mean compared with what us land faring folks know about what types of animals can be used for reliable transport. Clearly, when it comes to getting from place to place in the ocean, we’ve been missing out.
Aquaman director James Wan posted this cool look at Vulko and Orm riding two very different animals throughout their underwater kingdoms. Vulko is on a hammerhead shark, while Orm is standing fiercely atop an animal I can admit to never hearing of before, a tylosaur.
While most of you will probably know what a hammerhead shark is, if you’re not up on your prehistoric marine life, you’ll be just as in the dark on the tylosaur as I was. More commonly known as tylosaurus, this animal was a predatory marine lizard that averaged 40 feet in length, which probably used its long snout to ram and stun its prey, and also for combat. So, you know, it was dangerous.
One of the coolest aspects of getting a look a these shots from Aquaman is seeing how these animals will be outfitted in the film. Not ones to be content with just throwing a saddle on a hammerhead shark or a tylosaur, each creature is clearly wearing some armor. With Vulko’s hammerhead (Hammy? I think I’ll call him Hammy.) being the most obviously outfitted in protective plating which covers almost its entire top half, and Orm’s tylosaur (obviously named Ty) appearing to, at least, be wearing gear along its snout and upper back.
Vulko might appear totally calm in his photo, but considering how much armor Hammy is wearing, I’m going to guess he might be about to do battle, or at least be doing a training run so that he and Hammy are fully prepared for any upcoming conflicts. Orm, meanwhile, seems to be about ready to launch himself off of Ty, trident in hand, pissed and ready to engage whomever he believes has wronged him.
Part of what’s finally been revealed about the plot of Aquaman is that Orm, who is Arthur Curry’s half brother and has been ruling in his absence, will be eager to start a war with the surface world over the pollution of the oceans, while Arthur will be interested in trying to keep the peace and finding a non-combat solution. So, it makes complete sense that both images show battle ready beasts and a clearly angry Orm.
We’ll all be able to feast our eager eyes on just how these scenes are used in Aquaman when the film opens on December 14.
Bond… James Bond. It’s a sought after role that many will chase, but few get to call their own. With Daniel Craig sending his tuxedo to the cleaners for good after Bond 25, it’s, obviously, time to find a new super spy to protect the world in the name of the British crown. There’s no shortage of names for the position, and thanks to some recent betting activity, there’s a good list of folks that seem to be front runners and long shots. Though there are some surprises that don’t have any money riding on them just yet.
Madden is the apparent favorite in the betting world right now, and why wouldn’t he be? Folks mostly remember him as the ill-fated King of the North, Robb Stark, from Game of Thrones, or his turn as Prince Charming in Kenneth Brannagh’s live-action Cinderella. So, he can fight, as well as handle himself at a party.
Though, most recently, his name has been flying around as part of a hit British action/drama, Bodyguard, where he plays a law enforcement agent sworn to protect the Home Secretary. With a background in action, and a current gig that more than likely invokes Bond-ian comparisons on a regular basis, this could be a really good fit.
Sometimes, all you need to do is put on a tuxedo, and people will start saying you’re the next James Bond. And that’s exactly what happened to Sam Heughan, after he played a facsimile of 007 in this year’s comedy, The Spy Who Dumped Me.
Best known for his role as Outlander’s dreamy Jamie Fraser, he was even asked about playing the role at this year’s New York Comic Con panel. Naturally, nothing definitive was said, but you could see in his face that Heughan has definitely thought about the possibility.
Perhaps one of the most famous names attached to the next potential James Bond has been Idris Elba. A fixture of British television, thanks to the BBC’s Luther, as well as an actor who’s been in films far and wide, his is a name that’s still hotly debated as next in line for a franchise martini.
While there haven’t been any talks between Elba and Sony, with the actor even pegging himself as too old for the role, there’s always been a fan contingent in his corner. If the right offer came along, we wouldn’t blame him for never saying never again.
Luke Cage is the latest Marvel series to get dropped by Netflix, but maybe fans shouldn’t assume the superhero is gone for good. The show’s Twitter page posted a rather cryptic message not long after news of the cancellation got out, and we’re wondering what it could mean. Take a look:
The text is a reference to Pop’s motto in Luke Cage Season 1. The picture would’ve made total sense had it coincided with the news that Netflix was bringing the series back for Season 3, but posted after cancellation, it raises a lot of questions. Is this the show’s crew telling audiences the hero’s adventures will continue despite the cancellation on Netflix?
That’s certainly a possibility, as Netflix had confirmed Danny Rand may still appear in the Marvel universe despite Iron Fist‘s cancellation. The same wasn’t explicitly stated for Luke Cage, but it would be hard to believe the hero is going to fade into obscurity, especially given that the cancellation (reportedly) wasn’t all about ratings. It’s been said Netflix was unsatisfied with initial scripts that the Luke Cage writers provided for Season 3, which led to tensions that ultimately resulted in its cancellation.
One would think Luke Cage was in a position to stick to its guns, as it may be possible that Disney will snatch the hero back up for its own streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019. There are no guarantees that will happen, however, and even if it did, less of a guarantee that the show would remain the same. Recastings could happen, the sex and violence could be toned down, and even the musical focus could be switched up.
Perhaps the timing of the two cancellations are intentional, and a Heroes For Hire series is in the works? Marvel fans got a taste of that team-up in Luke Cage Season 2, and it’s possible both were dropped in order to prepare for a concept that finally combines Luke Cage and Iron Fist into one series. Where that would air is anyone’s guess, but it seems that the Luke Cage staff is teasing something that makes it apparent the show could carry on.
Even Luke Cage‘s showrunner is getting in on the action. Cheo Hodari Coker mentioned the tagline in his thanks to the cast, crew, and fans right after talking about the superhero series:
Coker’s tweet makes the phrase sound more like a goodbye than a rallying cry, but emotions can be hard to gauge in text. Luke Cage stars Mike Colter and Simone Missick haven’t shared their thoughts on the cancellation yet, despite their frequent social media presence. It will be interesting to see if more information about the reported “creative differences” between Netflix and the show surface, and whether the program will make a comeback as the picture could imply.