Wednesday 31 October 2018

Sony announces game line-up for PlayStation Classic

Sony has announced the full list of 20 pre-loaded games included with the PlayStation Classic:

Battle Arena Toshinden
Cool Boarders 2
Destruction Derby
Final Fantasy VII
Grand Theft Auto
Intelligent Qube
Jumping Flash!
Metal Gear Solid
Mr. Driller
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Resident Evil Director’s Cut
Revelations: Persona
Ridge Racer Type 4
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Syphon Filter
Tekken 3
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
Twisted Metal
Wild Arms

It's met with a divided reaction from fans because the Japanese release includes Parasite Eve and Armored Core.

What do you think of the line-up? Will you be getting a PlayStation Classic this December? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 20 October 2018

Netflix's Marvel superhero series to end?

Daredevil season 3 dropped yesterday and is already garnering rave reviews. The return of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) assures this MCU spin-off remains a top-tier superhero series. However, Iron Fist and now Luke Cage will not be renewed.

In a joint statement shared by Variety, Netflix and Marvel Television say: "Unfortunately, Marvel's Luke Cage will not return for a third season.

"Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem's Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series."

With Disney launching its own worldwide streaming service in 2019. The fate of the Marvel Netflix spin-off series seems sealed. The Mouse House has already announced live-action series for Loki and Scarlet Witch, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen respectively, and having all exclusive content, under the roof of the Magic Kingdom, would appeal to shareholders (if not the fans). That said, due to an historical deal, Disney has to share Spider-Man with Sony. So, don't rule out further Daredevil seasons exclusively on Netflix.

Personally, I unreservedly enjoyed Daredevil. Further interconnected spin-offs left me cold compared to the fun of DC Comics' DCTV multiverse.

What are your thoughts? Would you miss Marvel Netflix superheroes or welcome exclusive multimillion-dollar series direct from Disney? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 19 October 2018

Luke Skywalker will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX

Most Star Wars fans (myself included) will have assumed Mark Hamill would reprise the role of Luke Skywalker in Episode IX.

Luke Skywalker may have died in The Last Jedi but he can follow in the hallowed footsteps of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi by becoming a Force ghost to guide Rey (Daisy Ridley) or Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to their ultimate fate.

Hamill took to Twitter to reaffirm that he'd be appearing in director JJ Abrams' sequel and wouldn't be answering any questions. Because spoilers.

Carrie Fisher, who sadly passed away in 2016, will also be seen as General Leia in the upcoming Star Wars movie. In Abrams I trust.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

The Star Wars Holiday Special inspires The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau teased The Mandalorian, his upcoming Star Wars live-action series for Disney's streaming service, with Boba Fett's weapon from The Star Wars Holiday Special's animated segment that introduced the infamous bounty hunter prior to his big screen debut in The Empire Strikes Back.

The Mandalorian is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Disney's live-action Aladdin teaser trailer

Disney's Aladdin is one of my favourite animated movies of all time from the Mouse House. From Robin William's inspired use of improvisation for the Genie to memorable songs and the classic 16-bit era video game tie-in.

So, I was cautious about a live-action remake. However, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast have all been a delight and Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, looks to continue the trend in 2019.

Disney's dropped a teaser trailer and the transitions reminded me of Thanos' snap from Avengers: Infinity War.

Aladdin stars Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Massoud as Aladdin. Marwan Kenzari will play the villainous Jafar. Aladdin is in cinema's 24th May 2019.

Friday 12 October 2018

Emperor Palpatine has a rumoured role in Episode IX

Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens), is currently being filmed and a new rumour has surfaced via the Express newspaper:

“Emperor Palpatine will play a role in Episode IX. Specifically, Kylo Ren with an ignited lightsaber, presumably his cross-guard lightsaber, cutting through a blast door on some jungle planet and entering what appears to be a vault. Eventually Kylo Ren is holding a square object that projects a lifelike projection of Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine’s hand is raised in front of Kylo Ren showing blueprints or plans that could be a new weapon.”

This is the final chapter in the Skywalker saga and a holographic cameo from the Emperor, played once again by Ian McDiarmid, wouldn’t be a total surprise. After all, Master Yoda (Frank Oz) appeared as a Force ghost in The Last Jedi. A longheld fan theory is that Rey (Daisy Ridley) is somehow connected to Emperor Palpatine or a reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. We'll find out for sure when Episode IX is released in cinemas December 2019.

Thursday 11 October 2018

Stormtroopers fan film screened at IndieCork Festival

Star Wars fans were able to see fan film Stormtroopers, filmed on location in Ireland, on the big screen this week.

Stormtroopers, a big hit with fans around the world, was shown in front of a full house in Screen 1, The Gate Cinema, during IndieCork Film Festival 2018.

Director Micheal Fitzgerald (known for Home & Away & Cork Racing Drive) was delighted fans had an opportunity to see Stormtroopers on the big screen in the wake of its deserved success on YouTube.

For further information, please visit the official site

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who isn't afraid of the dark

Jodie Whittaker's first full episode as the titular Time Lord, Doctor Who, saw the BBC show's highest ratings in 12 years, with a peak of 8.52 million viewers, and rave reviews from critics and fans. Such was my unbridled enthusiasm, I took to social media the moment the episode ended:

"Well, Jodie and cohorts smashed it! Life-affirming, not afraid of the dark and great to see a companion with a disability, which resonated."

The Woman Who Fell to Earth fell (pun intended) just short of Matt Smith's The Eleventh Hour as the best new era intro of the current run. The villain was more DCTV and I kept waiting for The CW's Supergirl to sweep in and save the day. That said, there were times when Whittaker's eclipsed everything before it and paid homage to a profoundly poignant scene from Patrick Troughton's classic serial The Tomb of the Cybermen in the wake of a death. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has revitalised the series, but not at the expense of its 55-year heritage.

Taking the Short View's Andrew Lewin takes a look at The Woman Who Fell to Earth. There are very mild spoilers, so consider yourself forewarned.

What did you think of Ms Whittaker as Doctor Who? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 5 October 2018

The Mandalorian first look

Just a day after director Jon Favreau announced the title and synopsis of his Star Wars live-action series for Disney's streaming service. Here's a first look at the titular The Mandalorian.

Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels) will helm the premiere episode. Other episodic directors include Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

Are you looking forward to The Mandalorian and will you sign up for Disney's streaming service (known as DisneyLife in the UK & Ireland)? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Star Wars live-action series is The Mandalorian

Director Jon Favreau took to Instagram to announce the title and a brief synopsis of his upcoming Star Wars live-action series:

“After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic..."

The Mandalorian is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. With a budget of $100 million dollars, Lucasfilm's not pulling any punches with this exclusive live-action series bound for the Mouse House's new streaming venture in 2019.

The first time I wrote about a Star Wars live-action series was following the release of Revenge of the Sith in 2005. 13 years on and it's finally in production with shooting commencing this week.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

DC Universe's Titans coming to Netflix

DC Unlimited's live-action series Titans will be available on Netflix outside the US. This follows a similar deal with CBS All Access to stream Star Trek: Discovery.

Titans will focus on a group of young superheroes including Dick Grayson (AKA Robin), Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and more. The series stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Minka Kelly and Alan Ritchson.

DC Unlimited launched in September, promising exclusive content including Titans, Doom Patrol, Stargirl and Swamp Thing, and is currently US-only with plans to expand into Canada soon. The nascent service has entered an increasingly crowded streaming space with Disney about to launch its own with exclusive Marvel and Star Wars live-action series.

Partnerships with existing services is a good idea, mitigating risk and will mean many of us won't need to subscribe to yet another service. At least for the time being.

It'll be interesting to see how successful these live-action series are, especially given the popularity of DCTV on The CW.

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Kathleen Kennedy remains at Lucasfilm until 2021

To the ire of some Star Wars fans calling for her to be fired, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is set to remain until 2021 according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR).

Kennedy has an enviable storied history in Hollywood and is most famously linked with producing many of director Steven Spielberg's most successful movies including the Indiana Jones franchise at Lucasfilm.

Since Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas, the studio has struggled to replicate the success of stablemate the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The divisive The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story's relative failure at the box office has seemingly lead to a rethink regarding its movie release strategy. So much so, director JJ Abrams' as-yet-untitled Episode IX, which rounds off the Skywalker saga, is the focus whilst a live-action series, from Jon Favreau, will spearhead the launch of Disney's streaming service in 2019.

A new Indiana Jones movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, is in pre-production for release in 2021.

Monday 1 October 2018

X-Men: Dark Phoenix moved to summer 2019

Just a few days after the first trailer dropped, X-Men: Dark Phoenix has been moved from this November to June 2019.

The upcoming movie has already been delayed due to reshoots ordered following a test screening earlier in the year. I'd suggest this time it's because of Disney's acquisition of Fox's film and television assets, and merging the disparate Marvel universes into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are all returning to the franchise. Simon Kinberg, who has produced every X-Men affiliated film since First Class and co-wrote The Last Stand, First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse, will make his directorial debut.

Stablemate Alita: Battle Angel has been moved from Christmas to February 2019. Most likely to avoid the holiday season stampede lead by Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman and Bumblebee.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is released in UK cinemas 7th June 2019.