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10 Choose Your Adventure Games To Play If You Liked Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch dipped into the nostalgia many who lived through the 1980s have for a format of books called “Choose Your Own Adventure”. While the movie was certainly innovative, the format was nothing new as anyone who read those books remembers.

One of the best aspects of the movie was the reintroduction of that format to the people who experienced it decades earlier, but it also introduced the concept of “Choose Your Own Adventure” to a new generation. As it happens, there are tons of video games that embraced the format long before Black Mirror: Bandersnatch came along, and these ten are the best of them all.

RELATED: 10 Hidden Secrets In Black Mirror Bandersnatch You Missed

10 UNTIL DAWN

Until Dawn is a disturbingly bloody and gory horror game that centers around the player’s choices, which directly correlate to who survives the night. The game is set in a remote cabin where a group of teenagers is holed up for the night. As the player makes their way through the story, they are presented with various choices that direct the gameplay.

The right choice in one instance might see multiple people escape the horror while the wrong choice in another part of the story might result in everyone’s death. The game has a short enough playthrough that it’s fun to replay the game to see if you can’t get different people out each and every time you play it.

9 HER STORY

While most games in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” format follow a character as they progress through a story making choices, Her Story is a bit different. Play works by listening to interviews of a murder suspect from an old police computer. The choices come into play regarding how you listen to those tapes.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why The Shining Is The Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made

Depending on the search terms you use, and how well you pay attention to the dialogue, the story will unfold in different ways. Ultimately, this will result in a harrowing tale with strange and shocking twists that will differ each time you play the game depending entirely on the choices you make throughout.

8 THE STANLEY PARABLE

The Stanley Parable plays much like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, but it also shares some similarities to earlier text-based games like Zork in that much of the decision-making involves determining where you go and what you do when you get there.

The game features narration that helps direct the player to choose between one or more actions that ultimately drive the story. As it comes to a conclusion, the players can find themselves in one of the many hilarious endings to the game, which almost demands multiple playthroughs just to see how it could have gone with different choices.

7 THE WOLF AMONG US

Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us follows the company’s familiar format of a graphics-intensive “Choose Your Own Adventure”, but with a twist. The game is a combination of a fantasy-noir adventure story, which breaks the genre and helps to redefine it with its rich story and beautiful graphics.

From small choices that seem to have little consequence to larger decisions that clearly define how the story unfolds, players are faced with both to help instruct how the story plays out. This is a game where the decisions definitely matter, and because there are so many, no single playthrough will be the same as any other.

6 HEAVY RAIN

Heavy Rain is a great “Choose Your Own Adventure” game for the PS4 that centers around trying to find and stop a killer. The Origami Killer is on the loose, and it’s up to the player to find out exactly who is carrying out the deadly tromp through the city.

RELATED: Black Mirror: 10 Most Evil Characters, Ranked

Gameplay features an ability to make choices via dialogue interactions with different characters. As the player proceeds through the game, saying the right thing might help to find the killer while saying the wrong words could end up getting someone else killed making this game incredibly reliant on dialogue choices more than anything else.

5 REIGNS: HER MAJESTY

For anyone who has ever used dating apps like Tinder, this may be the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ game for you! In Reigns: Her Majesty, players are given the option to make decisions by either swiping left or right, but those decisions have an impact on how the game develops.

Each time you make a swipe from one side to the other, your kingdom’s subjects will carry out tasks and help you to build a and improve your gameplay. Your decisions based on their wishes will help to build your dynasty making this a fun, yet simple game that follows the format.

4 STORIES UNTOLD

Stories Untold combines many of the elements familiar to the Choose Your Own Adventure game format. Taking elements from text-based adventure, puzzle solving, and first-person exploration games, this episodic horror fuses them all within a 1980s technology themed adventure.

The game takes place in England back in 1986 (Pretty close to Bandersnatch there), and features four episodes. Making the right choice will determine how everything plays out as the player determines exactly what kind of story they want to play. Each episode starts out as a single game of sorts until they all come together in the end to form a cohesive tale.

3 LIFE IS STRANGE

Life Is Strange is one of those genre-defining games that helped to refine the “Choose Your Own Adventure format into a new format of gaming. The game follows the story of a teenager who can rewind time to make new decisions different than the ones made previously.

This is done to try and uncover the secrets that have plagued her coastal town in Oregon. There are tons of mystery elements spread throughout the game, which help to make the decisions the player makes differ each time they play through Life Is Strange as they build to the inevitable twist fans of Bandersnatch are sure to love.

2 THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON ONE

Building from the hit comic book and television series, Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season One tells its own unique story within the series’ popular premise. This game features the levels of suspense you would expect from a zombie horror title, but it gets intense as you progress through the game.

RELATED: 10 Characters The Walking Dead Wants Us To Forget

Each decision you make determines how the story will unfold, but it’s not as simple as choosing one path or another. Many decisions will directly result in whether or not the people around you live or die, which makes this one of the most harrowing and intense games in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” format.

1 UNDERTALE

Undertale is a unique sort of game on this list because while it does follow a “Choose Your Own Adventure” format, it does so in a way that is entirely different from the other games listed here. Instead of making decisions based on dialogue or pathways, the story changes based on your interaction with enemies.

When you find an enemy, you are given the option to either fight or befriend them. Whatever your decision, the gameplay will unfold differently, and it could go on to be a lovely tale or end in a more darker one similar to the way many viewers came to the end of Bandersnatch.

NEXT: 15 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About Undertale


2019-04-23 03:04:25

Jonathan H. Kantor

18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review – A Pretty Slappy Sequel

Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

R.L. Stine’s beloved 1990s children’s horror book series makes its way back to the big screen in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, a sequel to the live-action film adaptation of Stine’s novels that came out in 2015. While Jack Black starred as a fictional version of Stine in that movie, Sony didn’t even confirm the actor’s return for the followup until a few weeks before its release. Similarly, neither the director, writer, nor supporting cast of the (generally well-received) first Goosebumps film worked on the second installment. While Haunted Halloween certainly suffers for it, the sequel isn’t an entirely hollow continuation of the franchise either. Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

Goosebumps 2 picks up in the small town of Wardenclyffe, New York, as its residents prepare for the fast-approaching Halloween Night festivities. Meanwhile, in the Quinn household, high school senior Sarah (Madison Iseman) is trying to finish her college application and her younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is struggling with his science class project – a miniature replica of an experimental wireless transmission station in Wardenclyffe that was built and designed by Nikola Tesla, but never finished (aka. the Tesla Tower). The Quinns are joined by Sonny’s best friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris), who is staying over at their house while his parents are away for the Halloween holiday.

After some prodding from Sam, Sonny agrees to take a break from his project and clear out an abandoned local house, as part of the duo’s ongoing efforts to launch a (successful) junk cleanup business. While there, however, the pair stumble upon an incomplete manuscript for a Goosebumps novel, unaware that the building was once owned by R.L. Stine himself. Not knowing any better, Sam and Sonny unlock the book and inadvertently unleash the Goosebumps villain Slappy the Dummy back into the real world. While the living ventriloquist dummy seems (sorta) friendly at first, it’s not long before he reveals his true evil plan, with only Sam, Sonny and Sarah to stand in his way.

If the original Goosebumps movie was a throwback to the popular family-friendly spooky adventures of the 1990s (think Hocus Pocus), then Haunted Halloween is closer to being the 2018 equivalent of a direct-to cable scary movie for kids from the ’90s – that is, noticeably cheaper and more generic, yet otherwise harmless and playful in its own right. The Goosebumps 2 script by Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit) likewise carries over the first movie’s imaginative premise and conceit (e.g. Stine’s Goosebumps novel manuscripts are really enchanted objects which contain and prevent his “demons” from entering the real world) and includes references to its story, yet never really tries to build on its concepts, much less its themes and lore. Instead, Haunted Halloween offers helpful, if unchallenging, life lessons for kids and a serviceable narrative that doesn’t exactly push the envelope for the larger Goosebumps brand.

At the same time, Goosebumps 2 is perhaps more successful than its predecessor when it comes to being genuinely menacing and scary for the juice box crowd, yet still light-hearted enough to avoid traumatizing them (hence, “spoopy”). Much of the credit for that goes to director Ari Sandel (The DUFF), who does a commendable job of combining suspenseful and creepy storytelling with comedic moments here, much like Stine did so well in his original Goosebumps novels. Haunted Halloween, as indicated earlier, feels like a lower-budgeted affair than the first Goosebumps, yet Sandel and his creative team – including, DP Barry Peterson (Game Night) and production designer Rusty Smith (Get Out) – still manage to deliver a movie that’s a proper cut above a comparable TV film, in terms of overall craftsmanship. That also goes for the CGI and creature effects in the sequel’s first half (more on the second half later).

The actual setting of Haunted Halloween is mostly populated by stock types, be they the film’s young heroes or the local bullies that Sonny and Sam have to deal with (not to mention, Sarah’s dishonest would-be boyfriend). While their characters are fairly two-dimensional in the Goosebumps sequel, Harris, Iseman and Ray nevertheless have the same affable screen presence that’s allowed them to stand out in films and TV shows past and, thus, make their protagonists all the easier to root for. That also goes for the adult supporting players here, as Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) and Ken Jeong (Community) mostly channel their famous small screen personas as Sarah and Sonny’s adorkable mother Kathy and their eccentric neighbor Mr. Chu, respectively. As for Black as R.L. Stine: his own role in Goosebumps 2 is pretty superfluous, which is disappointing considering the energy that he brought to the proceedings as the first Goosebumps‘ co-protagonist (not to mention, his vocal performance as Slappy, which Black didn’t reprise in the sequel).

All in all, Haunted Halloween is a passable if derivative sequel – but not because the Goosebumps books themselves are incapable of sustaining multiple films. Rather, the problem is that the sequel recycles too much from the first movie and struggles to make creative use of the fresh elements (like the real-world Tesla Tower) that it brings into the mix here. It’s too bad, seeing as Goosebumps 2 had a wealth of different monsters and horror genres in Stine’s source novels to draw from, yet elected to continue simplifying the author’s mythology by making Slappy the big bad (again) and skimping on giving the other creatures much in the way of personality. As a result, the second half of the movie plays out as a watered down version of what happened in the original Goosebumps, albeit with lower production values and emotional impact.

Still, Goosebumps 2 should go over best with its young target demographic and provide them with enough silly scares and fun adventure to keep them engaged for its brisk runtime. Moreover, much like your average comic book movie these days, Haunted Halloween delivers its fair share of Goosebumps easter eggs and nods to the real Stine’s source material (right down to a Stan Lee-esque cameo from Stine himself), to further serve the property’s youngest fans. As for those who prefer their family-friendly fantasies with Jack Black starring front and center – The House with a Clock in Its Walls is still playing in theaters and ought to fulfill your own needs for some spoopy entertainment this Halloween season.

TRAILER

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween begins playing in U.S. theaters on Thursday evening, October 11. It is 90 minutes long and is rated PG for scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!



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2018-10-10 01:10:58 – Sandy Schaefer

Assassin’s Creed: 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – the latest installment in Ubisoft’s wildly popular video game franchise – has finally landed on shelves. Set in Ancient Greece, Odyssey gives players the opportunity to assume the role of a mercenary from either Athens or Sparta, and to take part in a mythology-infused recreation of the Peloponnesian War.

The game features an even greater emphasis on the RPG elements first introduced in its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and boasts multiple endings that are triggered by the player’s actions. Odyssey also sees the return of the controversial Hitbox combat engine which debuted in Origins – albeit in a significantly enhanced form. Thanks to these and other challenging core mechanics – not to mention the daunting size of the game’s virtual environment – Odyssey should prove suitably tough for more casual gamers. But for seasoned veterans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise? Not so much.

Indeed, gamers who have followed the series since the very first entry way back in 2007 aren’t likely to struggle. On the contrary, we expect them to flourish, putting to good use the skills and knowledge they’ve gleaned from the past 11 games in the series – not to mention the six spin-off entries – to finish the main quest in record time.  This will leave them free to start focusing on tracking down Odyssey’s hidden Easter eggs, secret areas, and other bonus content clueless rookies don’t have a chance of tracking down unaided.

Here’s a list of 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

20 Find The Legend Of Zelda Easter Egg

Of all the many classic video game franchises, few are as unanimously beloved by both gamers and developers alike as The Legend of Zelda series. The team at Ubisoft clearly rank amongst this iconic Nintendo series’ admirers – as the easter egg they tucked away in Odyssey proves.

In a tip of the hat to the most recent Zelda instalment, Breath of the Wild, a Korok – a small humanoid figure made out of clay, flower petals and twigs – can be found on the Pandora’s Cove coastline. Although this hidden tribute is now the most well-known Easter egg in the game, experts had no trouble tracking it down on their own within mere days of Odyssey’s release!

19 Achieve The Secret Ending

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey marks a dramatic change in direction for the franchise – from purely action/adventure outings to something closer to an action/RPG hybrid. This is reflected in how important the player’s actions are to the game’s overall narrative, and in particular, how that narrative reaches its climax.

Indeed, what the player decides to do – or just as importantly, say – will determine how events unfold next, and ultimately determine which of the game’s multiple endings they achieve.

Most players should be able to reach at least one ending.

If you complete every side quest and make all of the right decisions to unlock the secret, ultra ending, ensuring the best possible finale for your mercenary.

18 Visit Atlantis

As soon as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting was announced, fans immediately began speculating over whether the fabled lost city of Atlantis would be part of its virtual environment. The good news is that Ubisoft hasn’t missed a trick, and Atlantis does indeed count among the many sunken locations scattered across the game’s humongous map. The bad news? It’s highly likely that only experts will be capable of uncovering the most eagerly anticipated (not to mention coolest) secret area in Odyssey.

The steps involved are extremely taxing, requiring players to traverse treacherous terrain, solve fiendish riddles posed by the Sphinx and dispatch a bevy of mythological horrors like Medusa, the Cyclops and the Minotaur!

17 Recruit Legendary NPCs Early

Over the course of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, players can enlist NPCs to serve as crew members aboard their ship, the Adrestia. Recruiting a high calibre crew is a great way to upgrade the Adrestia – so the trick is to bring legendary NPCs into the fold. Casual gamers will wait until they unlock these characters by completing quests, however experts are aware of a hidden mechanic that speeds up the whole process.

There’s a less publicized gameplay mechanic which enables you to recruit legendary NPCs by defeating them in combat using non-lethal takedowns.

Better yet, once your ship’s roster is made up entirely of legendary NPCs, you unlock the “Argonauts” trophy, too!

16 Regain The Cyclops Eye

One of the most frustrating moments in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey arrives early on, when you’re forced to give up the Cyclops’ Eye during Sequence 1. It’s not exactly the most classy of disposals, either: to put it bluntly, you squeeze it up the rear end of a poor, unsuspecting goat. If you’re scratching your head over this last revelation, then just trust us: it makes sense at the time!

Rookies will write off the Eye as a lost cause, but experts up to speed on the game’s secrets won’t give up so quickly. By engaging in an exhaustive goat-hunting expedition in Kephallonia, they’ll recover this valuable artifact, earning the dubious “Stink Eye” achievement, as well.

15 Change Their Ship’s Figurehead

Long-time fans of the series will recall that in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you could easily customize your ship’s decorative figurehead as part of the normal upgrade process. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that carries over to Odyssey – and only expert players are likely to work out the secret method of doing this.

For starters, you need to defeat a boss – not exactly a walk in the park itself, by the way – and then behead them.

Once this has been take care of, if you scroll through the inventory of ship upgrade options, you’ll see your new souvenir listed. Select it, and voila! The Adrestia will have itself a brand new (and rather creepy) figurehead!

14 Track Down All Of The Cultist Clues

The underlying mythology of the Assassin’s Creed franchise incorporates several shadowy organisations – and Odyssey is no exception. The latest entry in the series introduces the nefarious Cult of Kosmos, and players aiming to get the most out of game’s story need to track down and eliminate key members of the group. In order to do so, they’ll have to swap their mercenary’s helmet for their detective’s cap, as the cultists’ whereabouts are only revealed by clues sprinkled through Odyssey’s sprawling Ancient Greece setting.

Some of these hints can be uncovered with little effort, whereas others will prove elusive to all but the most seasoned of gamers!

On the plus side, all of this running around pays off, as only players who chase down every single cultist will get to experience the game’s whole story.

13 Unlock Evie Frye

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – the ninth video game in the main series – is headlined by twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Of the two siblings, Evie is arguably the more memorable – which is probably why she’s an unlockable character in Odyssey. Now, before you get too excited, bear in mind that Evie is a legendary NPC, so you won’t get to play as her directly.

Still, it’s incredibly cool to recruit her as a crew member on your ship, provided you’re an Ubisoft Club member with enough XP to afford her. See, unlocking Evie requires players to part with 7,500 XP in exchange for the “Master Assassin” badge, which only long-time fans of the franchise will have amassed!

12 Access Battle Royale Mode

Battle royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds are currently the hottest thing on the block. Making the most of modern online multiplayer capabilities, games in this genre pit a pack of players against each other in thrilling, last-man-standing contests.

Obviously, this stands in stark contrast to the single-player, open world experience offered by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – until experts stumble across the “Call to Arms” sidequest. Found by scouring the island of Melos, this mission – which requires skilled players to wipe out 99 consecutive enemies – represents a thinly-veiled attempt by Ubisoft to acknowledge (or should that be “cash in on”?) the popularity of the battle royale genre!

11 Find The Black Panther Easter Egg

Black Panther is currently the second highest grossing film of 2018, and with that success comes a considerable fanbase, too. At least some of the developers at Ubisoft fall within that category, if the Black Panther Easter egg included in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is anything to go by. As experts will have no doubt already discovered, the game contains a fairly faithful recreation of Black Panther’s two most notable scenes: the duels that occur at the base of a waterfall.

This is staged at the Gortyn Waterfall, where players can first spectate on the melee using Eagle Vision.

That’s not all, though: it’s also possible to clamber up the cliff where the fight is going down, and actually confront the pair of brawlers yourself!

10 Discover Sam Fisher’s Goggles

So far we’ve focused solely on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting – which disregards the fact that certain sections of the game are set in a present day safe house. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise’s convoluted (some would say downright insane) science fiction elements, just trust us when we say that this does make sense.

Regardless of whether or not you buy into this more far-fetched aspect of the Assassin’s Creed mythology, there are multiple Easter eggs to dig up during these segments. Not all of these relate to the franchise either – just ask the experts who’ve unearthed the iconic, three-lensed night vision goggles worn by Sam Fisher, the protagonist of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell games!

9 Stumble Across The Sword In The Stone

The team at Ubisoft has done a remarkable job of recreating an utterly convincing (albeit wildly fantastical) rendition of Ancient Greece in Odyssey. This awesome attention to detail is reflected in almost every aspect of the virtual environment, particularly the character and weapon design. We say “almost”, because at least one item experts will undoubtedly come across whilst roaming the game map definitely does not fit the time period depicted: the Sword in the Stone from Arthurian legend. Fortunately, this gag is an intentional mistake on the developer’s part.

Unfortunately, you can’t remove this legendary blade from its Lakonia resting place.

That’s a real shame: historical accuracy be damned – there’s always a place for Excalibur in our armory!

8 Locate The Rabbid Figure

Another easter egg squirrelled away in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s modern era safe house setting, the Rabbid figure is hard to spot if players blitz through these sequences. However, experts tend to favor a more methodical approach – even when confronted by the franchise’s moments of less than engaging gameplay.

These long-time campaigners will cast their eyes over every inch of the safe house, which means snooping around each room, no matter how empty it appears to be. This will eventually lead them to the shelves of a particularly untidy room. Here, they’ll spy the Rabbid toy – a cute shout-out to Ubisoft’s all-ages Rayman franchise, accompanied by a line of dialogue (“Bwaah?”) associated with these bunny-like characters.

7 Acquire The Epic Unicorn Skin

It doesn’t matter what mythology we’re talking about: unicorns are invariably treated as an incredibly rare species. Certainly, this carries over to the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where players can indeed transform their horse into one of these awe-inspiring creatures – provided they can get their hands on a unicorn pelt.

They sport an eye-watering 6,400 Drachmae price tag!

Rookies who are feeling flush will plump for either the Black Unicorn or undeniably amazing (though sadly, non-flying) Pegasus skins, purchased with real-world cash from the Ubisoft Store. On the other hand, genuine experts prefer to earn their keep, and will trawl merchant stalls for the appropriately named, randomly-spawing Epic Unicorn skin, which leaves rainbow hoof prints.

6 Home Town Pride

The developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hail from Ubisoft’s Montreal headquarters, based in Quebec. Like the citizens of any city or town, these guys and gals are proud of the place they call home – so much so that they managed to sneak a Quebec-related easter egg into the game!

It’s something that will almost certainly go unnoticed by less observant gamers, but experienced players – the type of people who scan the entire game environment for secret material – will discover a travel magazine whilst rifling through the safe house. The destination this mag is promoting? Why, Quebec, of course! True, it’s not exactly the most exciting bonus content in Odyssey, but it’s a nice touch all the same.

5 Put The Arena Spikes To Good Use

A key trait which separates veteran Assassin’s Creed players from newcomers is the willingness of the former to experiment with their surroundings. Take the spikes that dotted around the Arena in Odyssey.

Rookies will probably dismiss these as mere set dressing and completely ignore them once the fighting breaks out.

Don’t expect experts to make the same mistake, though. Already clued up on just how interactive the game worlds in the franchise can be, these gamers will immediately identify the potential for the spikes to deal damage to their opponents. The next thing you know, the edges of the Arena will begin to resemble a shish kebab vendor who trades in skewered would-be gladiatorial champions!

4 Reminisce About The Frye Twins

It turns out Assassin’s Creed Syndicate isn’t the only instalment in the franchise to take place in London – Odyssey does, too. True, the vast majority of the game is set in Ancient Greece, but its modern era sections unfold in London, something that won’t come as a shock to more attentive players.

After all, just by gazing out of the safe house windows, you can take in a decent view of London’s famous skyline, with what tourists would recognize as Big Beg especially prominent. What’s more, if you allow yourself a moment to properly contemplate the sight before your eyes, you’ll even trigger a line of dialogue that references Jacob and Evie Frye, the lead characters in Syndicate!

3 Discover All Of The Underwater Locations

As you might expect from a virtual environment that recreates the entire Aegean Sea, Atlantis isn’t the only submerged area on the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey map.

The ocean floor of Ubisoft’s vision of Ancient Greece is littered with dozens of hidden locations brimming with valuable treasure.

Anyone prepared to embrace their inner Jacques Cousteau will be in for a real treat. That said, given the sheer amount of exploration required to pinpoint all of these sunken locations – fun fact: at 130km², Odyssey’s map is 62% bigger than the already massive world of Origins – we’d wager only experts will visit all of them.

2 Get All Of The Other Endings As Well

Sure, everybody wants to get the best possible Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ending – you know: the super secret, totally awesome one we mentioned earlier. Even so, part of being an expert is also having a completist streak, which is why we think they’ll figure out how to achieve Odyssey’s eight other possible endings, as well.

This might not sound like much, but it’s actually quite a feat, for two main reasons. First of all, this game is absurdly long – the main quest alone clocks in at 40 hours of gameplay – so repeating it again and again is no picnic. Secondly, they’ll need to ensure they get every single word and deed right, in order to arrive at their desired conclusion!

1 Climb Up The Naked Statue

Full disclosure: this entry is unashamedly juvenile in nature, given it revolves around players scaling up a male statue and dangling from part of its anatomy (three guesses which part). Regardless, we’re positive that even the most mature expert will decide to do just that, when they pass by this landmark early on in Odyssey – honestly, it’s just too hard to resist.

You’ll be rewarded for your childish antics if you do.

Performing this act initiates a wry line of dialogue from the player’s mercenary, which just goes to show that Ubisoft definitely predicted this becoming a thing. Although to be honest, they hardly needed the talents of one of Ancient Greece’s oracles to foresee it!

Did we miss out any other things that only experts know how to do in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 06:10:21 – Leon Miller

Venom Erases Spider-Man To Avoid Marvel Mistakes

Venom may owe his origins to Spider-Man in the comic books, but in the movie version, Marvel’s hold on Disney means no Spidey at all. But while some fans worried that removing Spider-Man from Venom’s origin would be a problem, it actually makes for a way better story – and honestly, one much closer to Venom’s current origin, too.

By now even casual fans will be familiar with the classic origin story for Venom, if not from the comics, then the fact that Spider-Man 3 adapted it almost to the letter. Spider-Man brings an alien suit back from space, which eventually shows an ‘evil’ mind of its own. Spider-Man rejects the symbiote until it finds the same level of hatred for Spidey in Eddie Brock. Man meets suit, and together they become Venom to launch their revenge on Spider-Man in a tale many claim the Venom movie SHOULD have told.

The problem with that version of a Venom origin movie? It’s faithful to the original version of the comic books, sure. But it’s a story that makes Spider-Man the real star of the show, plus… that’s not what really happened, according to modern Marvel Comics.

  • This Page: Spider-Man Makes Venom Worse, Not Better
  • Page 2: Venom Avoids Marvel’s Mistake By Removing Spider-Man

Venom Should Be Eddie’s Story, Not Spider-Man’s

It’s easy to see why there would be an outcry over the need to remove Spider-Man from Venom’s origin movie. After all, the moviegoers who would know Venom’s origin best are Spider-Man fans, and who would wish to see Spider-Man in the movie more? (Not to mention removing Spider-Man means no iconic Venom logo.)

RELATED: Why Venom’s Director Saved [SPOILER] For The Sequel

But what fans want isn’t always what’s best, and in the case of Venom, the existing origin has one major problem: in the comics, it’s told as one of Spider-Man‘s most formative stories, with Eddie Brock a victim of Peter, the symbiote, and professional failure. While a victim’s story could be interesting, and has been used as a jumping-off point for other superhero origins… those heroes aren’t Venom. Besides the fact that the Venom movie is trying to have some fun with Eddie and the symbiote’s fusion, it’s built on the idea that Eddie is a good man, ruined by evil forces – not a bitter, angry, jealous man fueled by hate of Spider-Man as he was in the comic.

One of those descriptions fits a movie hero… the other fits a villain unlikely to star in a fun, subversive, and oddball body horror adventure. The result is a better version of a Venom movie. “But,” we’re sure some die-hard Spider-Man fans will cry, “you’re making Venom a different character!” And by twisting his origin to make Eddie and the symbiote a misunderstood antihero, the makers of Venom have done just that… but Marvel Comics did it first.

Marvel Has Changed Venom’s Origin Already

Revisiting the comic book history of Eddie Brock and his time as Venom means traversing more than one major retcon, or retroactive changing of his origin story. Fictionally, it’s an expansion and deepening of Eddie’s story. But practically, like most other retcons, it’s about ‘fixing’ past writing or plot that hinders the character’s next step forward. And for Eddie Brock, the idea of him being a byproduct of Spider-Man has been minimized, downplayed, or altogether changed since he first set out to play a hero in Venom: Lethal Protector, upon which the movie is based.

People who walk out of Venom excited to read that comic book inspiration are in for a rude awakening, however, since Spider-Man is without question the WORST part of it. Because Peter Parker is misinformed about who Venom is, what motivates him, and who he has become as more than just the hero’s villain. Arguably, every bit as misinformed as the people claiming the Venom movie ‘got it wrong’ by removing Spider-Man altogether.

As we see it, the makers of the Venom movie just learned from the missteps and corrections Marvel Comics has made so they wouldn’t make them in the movie, too. The first step? Taking Spider-Man out of the equation to create the Venom modern comic readers know and love.

Page 2 of 2: How Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Mistakes

Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Comic Mistakes

In Venom’s first solo comic outing, Spider-Man is an antagonist for completely flawed reasons. Despite Eddie being every bit the normal, evil-hating human he is in the comics, Spider-Man actively fights him, believing he’s still as evil as Marvel made him in his origin story. In his defense, Spider-Man was just late to the party, unaware that Marvel editorial, and a long line of writers and artists were already beginning to make Eddie and Venom not evil, just… misunderstood.

RELATED: Venom’s Post-Credits Scene Tease Explained

The changes came one by one: the Venom symbiote wasn’t hateful, but a traumatized member of an alien symbiote race, Eddie Brock’s rough exterior becomes a result of a cold, distant, single father, and just weeks ago, the origin was changed once more by showing that Spider-Man was evil, not the symbiote when they first merged. It’s flawed thinking to assume a movie should recreate each one of those steps, rather than looking at who Venom is today, and aiming for that from thee outset.

Still, one feels for director Ruben Fleischer for having to make that call, since he has admitted that removing Spider-Man from Venom was a challenge (that’s the origin everyone knows). But the finished film shows it was the right path to take for one simple reason: the Venom of the movie is basically the one Marvel took decades to arrive at. Not just Eddie the relatable hero, but the symbiote’s personality, voice, sense of humor, and even love for its host.

The Movie Venom is The True Comic Venom

In fact, the moments of humor and love from the symbiote may turn off older fans of the origin hero, while hitting the bullseye for the modern incarnations. After all, Eddie and the symbiote had a baby not too long ago in the comics, and it’s not hard to see a Venom movie sequel embracing that strange, borderline ludicrous plot. Leave the theater and go pick up the newest issue of Venom, and the version may not be perfect copies, but more importantly, the strengths of one are alive in the other.

And, perhaps most importantly, the existence of Spider-Man is a footnote, or back-up character at best. By now even Peter Parker understands that his time with the symbiote was a fluke, or coincidence, compared to the character Eddie and Venom became.

In Marvel’s Universe, there may not be a greater romance than Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote –  and when audiences line up for a great love story, you don’t bother starting with the flings, one-night stands, or bad dates that came before.

MORE: Venom Secretly Revealed Carnage’s Backstory



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2018-10-09 03:10:52 – Andrew Dyce

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Beginners Gameplay Tips

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is here, and it offers up something of a different experience from the previous games in the series. Rather than the stealth-based gameplay of old, Odyssey doubles down on the RPG mechanics, becoming a huge, deep open world game for players to enjoy. In essence, it takes what worked from Assassin’s Creed Origins and makes it even better.

The end result is a fantastic take on the Greek myth, albeit one that sometimes struggles a little to bridge the gap between open world RPG and its roots in the larger Assassin’s Creed universe. Nonetheless, those changes could leave some players a bit confused as to where to start, and after working through the opening island of Kephallonia things could become a little bit daunting.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – How To Get The Best Ending

That said, there are some ways to make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from the get go. After all, there’s lot to get to grips with before taking on Medusa or hunting after all those legendary armor sets. Instead, here are some tips for how to take up what Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has to offer fast.

Choose Exploration Mode

The most important first choice to make comes before the player even starts the game. When given the option, it’s highly recommended to choose Exploration Mode as the method of play. This is the way that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was designed to be played, and for good reason; the additional level of emphasis on discovery is a delight to play, and much more fun than simply following map markers to reach objectives.

Effectively, Exploration Mode works by making the player find their own way through quests. NPCs will give hints towards locations to be discovered when talking about the mission in question, forcing players to use a little of their own intuition. This mode also makes map exploration much more fun, with the player finding random locations as they work their way around the regions hunting down quests.

Exploration Mode also means players will make the most out of eagle companion Ikaros. The eagle is not only able to scout out discovered locations, but also target enemies and notable items within specific locations, such as chests or hostages to release. Finally, remember to seek out Synchronization points to boost the power of Ikaros overall.

Think About Crafting Over Cash

Whether armor or weapons, it’s easy to find loot in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As such, when players notice they have plenty of unused items sitting around in their inventory, it’s extremely tempting to drop them all off at a nearby blacksmith and make a bit of drachmae.

That said, it’s probably best to hold fire of cashing in. That’s because drachmae are not in short supply in the game, and can be picked up from completing quests, in explored locations, or from dead enemies. Instead, consider breaking down weaker weapons and armor into leather, wood, and metal, as these can be useful as crafting for upgrades to the player’s ship or even to beef up items at a blacksmith.

It’s worth bearing in mind that drachmae are needed in a couple of places in the game, and it’s always worth keeping some around in case of having to pay off a bounty to keep mercenaries off the player’s trail when it’s better to lay low. Nonetheless, put money on the back burner, and instead think about how best to boost the overall power of the misthios.

Choose Your Abilities Wisely

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a fairly comprehensive skill tree, but there are some abilities that are better to unlock than others. As explained in our guide to the best abilities to unlock first, There are a few essential abilities, with the Sparta Kick being useful from a warrior perspective alongside beef ups to the assassin skill tree such as Shadow Assassin.

Overall, though, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives players the greatest level of flexibility in how they choose to play that the series has seen so far. It’s perhaps best to pick and choose skills based on what works for the player in question, providing they keep enough core skills in each area to make sure they can get out of trouble whatever the situation.

Remember you can always change your choices as well, albeit at a cost. A few drachmae allows the player to reset all of their abilities, so if some skills are found to be less useful than others, it’s easy to drop them and rebuild the character from scratch.

Take To The Waters With Style

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the series back to the high seas, and it’s something that is long overdue. With gameplay reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the core way to travel between the different islands is to take to the Adrestia and hop from island to island seeking adventure.

Even though a lot of the gameplay takes place on land, it’s truly beneficial to upgrade the ship regularly. This could mean recruiting new lieutenants, which helps both with buffs to the ship’s power and when boarding enemy vessels, or improving things like rowing power or damage caused by ranged attacks. It comes at a cost in terms of drachmae and consumables, but it’s worth it in the long run.

This is because it’s all too easy to get into scraps with pirates, Spartan or Athenian vessels when out at sea. Naval combat is extremely good fun, but when outnumbered it’s much better to have more firepower onside, and it’s always satisfying to take out those Cult of Kosmos members who happen to captain a ship of their own.

Revel In The Game World

It may feel like an obvious rule to follow, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is much more fun if taken at the player’s own pace. The title’s story is a compelling, personal adventure that (generally) ties well into the larger plot of Assassin’s Creed, but the game perhaps works best with the player following their own path and doing what’s most fun to them.

As such, it’s important to stretch your legs in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Between the Conquest Battles, side quests and other additional smaller elements of the game at large, there’s no reason to purely stick to the main quest. This is something the game expects, too – there’s no real reason to grind in the game, providing players make good use of the enthralling, extra content available to them.

Perhaps the best examples of this are the game’s mercenary system, which leads to some excellent one-on-one fights with fearsome combatants, and hunting down the Cult of Kosmos. Although the cult ties into the larger plot as a whole, hunting down smaller members is a fantastic element of the game, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Those are just a few tips to help players make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, with a game as expansive as this, players are best suited to decide how best they want to play the game. Regardless of how they choose to enjoy the title, there are bound to be some surprises along the way.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked



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2018-10-09 03:10:13 – Rob Gordon

Classic & Modern Doctor Who TV Shows Get Honest Trailers

Screen Junkies dropped the Honest Trailers for both the BBC’s modern and classic Doctor Who TV series. The Doctor Who season 11 premiere was a ratings win, with over 9 million viewers tuning in across the UK. Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the debonair time-traveler has been met with considerable acclaim among critics and fans.

Since launching in 1963, the franchise has spawned thousands of episodes – some of which have vanished over the years – and over a dozen incarnations of the titular character. The BBC’s hiatus between the “classic” and “modern” series lasted from 1989 to 2005. Beginning with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper’s entrance as the ninth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler, the revival went on to become a huge hit. Thanks to booming digital effects, and a new generation of fans, Doctor Who has evolved from a quintessential campy, sci-fi show to a visually stunning tapestry of outer-space hijinks. While each actor to play the Doctor has brought something of their own, the tangible essence of what makes the show compelling and continuously draws people in fuels its ongoing success.

Related: Screen Rant’s Doctor Who Viewing Guide

In celebration of the new season premiere, Screen Junkies released the “modern” and “classic” Honest Trailers about an hour apart. Both pay tribute to the best remembered Doctors, companions, and aliens seen across the decades. Check out both trailers below:

While the Honest Trailers team point out the winning recipe of lighthearted comedy and fantastical adventure from both eras, the distinctions are made clear. The modern trailer highlights the larger-than-life, apocalypse-dodging, tortured hero themes, as well as the long line line up of famous guest stars. The classic trailer mocks the goofy special effects, 1960s outfits, and cringe-worthy racism in much earlier episodes. The trailers also help frame why the series has gotten away with repeating similar plot lines and classic villains, such as the Daleks, Cybermen and The Master over and over. Like Star Trek, the creators focus on finding new ways to tell incredible tales that resonate with legacy fans, whiling drawing in new ones. The point is to be able to start watching at any point, and still be engaged right away.

Doctor Who is among the oldest examples of a series that satisfies its fan bases by centralizing an enthralling, ever-advancing character that viewers love. Similarly, CBS’ Picard-focused Star Trek series has generated so much excitement because of how beloved the character is. The MCU has created a global fan base for their heroes by giving them increasingly complicated challenges, while keeping them true to their core characters. On the other hand, Luke Skywalker’s character shift in Last Jedi as described by Mark Hamil, indicates why some fans didn’t responded positively. With Whittaker already off to a great start embodying the incomparable Time Lord while adding her own sparkle, an amazing new season appears to lie ahead.

MORE: Doctor Who: Why Jodie Whittaker Is Already A Great Doctor

Source: Screen Junkies 1, 2



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2018-10-09 02:10:17 – Calvin Barr

New York Comic-Con: 26 Biggest Announcements (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities)

It might not be as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but New York’s pop culture celebration is just as eventful. This year’s New York Comic-Con was littered with scoops. Whether it’s juicy rumors or brand new trailers, there was plenty to see and talk about. Of course, the convention weekend can get a bit overwhelming — the onslaught of news, panels, and footage seems endless. Thankfully, we’ve collected all of this biggest topics for those of you who are lost amidst all of the comic book news.

For this list, we’re going to cover the most important stories of this year’s New York Comic-Con, including some big ones that just happened to drop during the week rather than at the convention itself. The list will even feature a few big rumors that have come out of the con for some good measure — or for those of you who just like some gossip. Even those who attended the convention might have missed some of the major stories, so use this as your post-NYCC guide to recap the weekend as things begin to wind down.

We know it’s difficult to keep track of all this news, especially after the convention weekend. This list should make things a bit easier. Even if you didn’t attend, the bombardment of news is probably still filling your news feed. So after you’re finished watching trailers all day and unpacking your NYCC hauls, settle in and we’ll break everything down for you.

Here are the 26 Biggest Announcements From NYCC (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities).

30 Aquaman’s New/Old Armor

The new Aquaman trailer was the highlight of the weekend for many. It revealed a surprising amount of footage — some would say too much. The extended look — roughly five minutes long — featured a plenty of unseen footage.

Audiences were treated to a sequence involving Arthur and Mera in desert ruins, another look at Atlantis, and even an extended action sequence between the two leads as they are chased by Black Manta. Perhaps the biggest spoiler in the trailer was the reveal of Aquaman’s iconic orange and green outfit.

29 Hellboy First Look

While no footage from the Hellboy panel has been released to the public, convention-goers were treated to a poster reveal and an exclusive first look at the upcoming film.

The panel footage wooed many fans in attendance and featured a tone that balanced the movie’s violence and gore with humor. It saw Hellboy receive his iconic handgun and show off the Hand of Doom, and it highlighted his especially shaky relationship with his ally Ben Daimio.

The trailer’s money shot had Hellboy in all-out demon mode, rising out of a pit sporting a flaming sword and crown.

Hopefully it won’t be long before this footage is released to the public.

28 Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil’s new trailers suggest a return to the grounded crime-noir tones of the first season with some big new developments. The first trailer reveals that not only is Kingpin out of prison, but he appears to design a smear campaign to turn New York against Daredevil.

One of the ways this may be happening is through a Daredevil impostor, who is none other than the hero’s most famous villain, Bullseye. Bullseye is the subject of the second new trailer, exploring his life as a government agent-turned-assassin under the employ of Kingpin.

27 Titans Is Grittier Than The DCEU

Titans has already received flak for the marketing’s seriously dark tone. Now, after the first two episodes were screened for viewers at NYCC, it is getting the same criticism.

Not only does Titans sport the DCEU’s same dark tone, but apparently the show is even more violent than the films.

The footage featuring Robin displayed some extremely violent and lethal combat, complete with the same amount of gore and disrespect for human life one might find in — well, anything but a comic book show. With that said, the show did receive a warm reception from the audience, so maybe Titans has potential after all.

26 Possibility — Will Rick Grimes Survive?

The Walking Dead is losing its lead character this season, with the confirmed departure of Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln. His impending exit has been talked about for months now, but fans still don’t know how his character will be written out of the show. In a new rumor, it seems that Rick Grimes might meet a brutal end.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Andrew Lincoln joked that he might not “make it through the credits sequence” teasing Rick’s potential demise. Fans don’t want to say goodbye to Rick, but it will be even harder to do so if he is torn apart by walkers. Can’t somebody get a happy ending on this show?

25 Spock On Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek fans weren’t left out of the fun this year, with a new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer promises a ride that might be just as intense as the first season, with plenty of action, character beats, and visuals so gorgeous that one would think the show had the budget of a feature-length film.

Amidst the sizzle of the trailer is a big reveal — the inclusion of a young, bearded Spock.

The character is supposedly connected to the “Red Angel” visions that Burnham is experiencing, though details on his appearance in the season are still under wraps.

24 First 35 minutes of new Spider-Man movie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few months out but panel attendees were treated to the first 35 minutes — and apparently what they saw was incredible. Reactions to the NYCC footage is overwhelmingly positive, citing the stylish animation and and lighthearted tone as some of the film’s standout elements. These early reactions come off the back of a new trailer for the film, which shows off several more of the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man.

Of course, this was only the first 35 minutes. Much of the movie is still under wraps and it has a long road ahead of it, being only one of many tentpole releases hitting theaters this December.

23 Deadly Class is coming in 2019

SYFY’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Deadly Class comic series made a big showing this year. Between the close collaboration with series writer Rick Remender, the promise of intense action, and the Russo brothers at the helm (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers Infinity War), this long-awaited series has the potential to be a household name.

Not only does the show seem like a contender for the “next big thing” in comic book television, but it finally has a release date.

This was revealed to be January 16 in a new trailer that focuses on the coming-of-age aspect of the anarchic action series.

22 Star Wars’ The Mandalorian

The first image of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series was released on Thursday, getting fans hyped for the first real TV show in a galaxy far far away. The photo was released alongside new details about the show, namely its title: The Mandalorian.

Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian centers on a warrior from Mandalore travelling across the galaxy. The title character wears the iconic armor that the planet is known for — a costume shared by fan-favorite character Boba Fett. Plenty remains unknown about the series, though it is set to premiere on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

21 Possibility — Kingpin and Spider-Man Crossover

Marvel fans will rejoice if this rumor comes true — during all of the Daredevil buzz over the convention weekend, Vincent D’Onofrio made a very reassuring tweet.

When a fan tweeted that the world will never see the him as Kingpin in an MCU film, D’Onofrio responded with “Who says?”

Marvel’s Netflix shows have been especially vague in their references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but having Kingpin show up in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film would be the perfect connection. The chances are slim, but at least there’s hope.

20 Bane On Gotham

Gotham‘s fifth and final season was revealed in a trailer this weekend, promising quite the grand finale. The trailer hints that Gotham will be adapting the classic No Man’s Land comic book story this season, and also teased another big bad.

Actor Shane West has been cast as Bane, one of Batman’s greatest adversaries and one of the only major rogues that the show hasn’t yet adapted. Bane’s appearance so early in Bruce Wayne’s life has been met with mixed reactions among fans, but at least that suggests a bombastic end to the pre-Batman series.

19 The X-Men Go To Space

New York Comic-Con got an extended look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, despite being subject to what seems like endless delays. The exclusive footage, which still has not been revealed to the public, gave fans a look at the fully-formed X-Men team and their upcoming cosmic adventure.

Highlights of the footage included an argument between Mystique and Professor X, Jean Grey absorbing a solar flare, and the team going on a rescue mission in space.

While most of the movie likely takes place on Earth, it’s nice to know that the movies aren’t above digging into the spacebound shenanigans that the comics do.

18 Penny from The Big Bang Theory is Harley Quinn

Among the many DC Universe announcements this weekend was the trailer for the Harley Quinn animated series, which has taken many fans by surprise. The show looks like a quirky adult comedy with Harley breaking the fourth wall and using foul language.

The show is already being compared to the likes of Deadpool, with positive reactions coming out of NYCC. It also features a great cast, with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, and Wanda Sykes among the voice talent. It is set to release late in 2019 on the DC Universe streaming service.

17 Umbrella Academy’s Big Debut

Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s superhero darling The Umbrella Academy came to play during NYCC, with a handful of new images and even a trailer exclusive to the folks at Comic-Con. An Umbrella Academy movie has been in the works for many years, but after the switch to television and some time in development freefall, it finally seems right around the corner.

The series — which consists of a dysfunctional family of superheroes — seems to be maintaining its gothic comic book aesthetic.

The show looks like surreal than its counterpart on the pages, but it already has people excited. Umbrella Academy hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

16 Doctor Who First Reactions

Those who attended the Doctor Who panel were in for quite the event. The attendees got to see the premiere of the new season as well as have an in-depth talk with the season’s Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The audience’s response to the episode was ecstatic to say the least, and that sentiment seems to be shared by viewers around the world.

Not only was the show a critical hit, but its viewer ratings were record-breaking. The premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” peaked at 9 million viewers, which the highest the show has ever had! Sounds like the new season of Doctor Who is off to a fantastic start.

15 Odin’s true form in American Gods season 2

Last year’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a massive hit and the trailer for the new season looks just as enticing.  Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday are back on their surreal fantasy roadtrip, accompanied by even more colorful characters and bizarre, unsettling visuals.

The footage teases a war between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World, with an especially striking shot of Wednesday in his true form: Odin. 

American Gods is a trippy, gorgeous series that many may have missed last year, and with such a great-looking sequel on the way, now might be the time to go back and binge. The second seasons drops in 2019.

14 Possibility — Sabrina/Riverdale Crossover

A full trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit the web early last week, revealing a spooky-yet-fun adaptation of the comics, as well as a revival of the late ’90s sitcom. Sadly, Archie fans will be disappointed to hear that Sabrina is not currently attached to the hit CW series, Riverdale.

While the Sabrina was originally set to appear on the CW as Riverdale’s companion show (much like CW’s Arrowverse), the move to Netflix seems to have stifled the idea. Still, Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is holding out hope for a potential crossovers so that the original plan can come to fruition.

13 George R. R. Martin’s new show

Those of you eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones… well, we don’t have any good news for you. But, if you want more content from the mind of George R.R. Martin, an adaptation of his book Nightflyers has received a new trailer and a first-episode premiere at New York Comic-Con.

The sci-fi thriller follows a crew they struggle to survive on their space mission.

Not everything is as it seems on the vessel, as the show promises some solid horror scares as well as a character-driven story. The show doesn’t officially premiere until December 2nd, but at least sci-fi horror fans have something to look forward to.

12 She-Ra And The Princesses’ LGBT rep

Dreamworks Animation has been launching hit after hit lately — between shows like Trollhunters and Voltron: Legendary Defender, their work has earned them much success on Netflix. The newest series from the studio, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, dropped a poster and teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con that looks like promising fun for young viewers.

The reboot of the ’80s television show sports new cartoony visuals, witty humor, and a diverse cast of characters — even including a same gender couple. While the show’s initial reveal was met with some backlash, the trailer seems infectiously pleasant and fun.

11 Matt Bomer stars in DC’s Doom Patrol

While Titans got plenty of attention at NYCC, the next DC Universe original series got a brief first look. Doom Patrol is set to release next spring, but panel attendees were show some exclusive photos of Brendan Fraser’s character, Robotman. Fraser appeared at the panel and talked through the first look.

Seeing as Doom Patrol is currently filming, it shouldn’t be long before official footage hits the web.

The Robotman design look remarkably accurate to the comics, which has gotten many fans even more excited for the obscure property’s TV adaptation. Supplementing this news was the casting of Matt Bomer as Negative Man — another big name

10 The Spawn Trilogy

Fans hoping for a Spawn trailer at NYCC were out of luck this weekend, but series creator Todd McFarlane spoke at length about his plans for the newly rebooted movie. McFarlane explained that he envisions an ambitious trilogy of Spawn movies, with each one visually and tonally distinct from the last.

The first film might be described as a kind of existential horror-superhero film, with characters wondering if what they see is even real. While the project is still a ways off, the Jamie Foxx-led vehicle is going to emphasize the dark tones of the book with a hard R-rating, as well as cater to the now-older readers of the comic series.

9 DC Universe Streaming Plans

DC Comics and Warner Bros wanted to spotlight their DC Universe streaming service at this year’s NYCC, several small news breaks on he various related properties. Not only did they show footage of Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, but they also revealed the service’s content release schedule over the coming year.

While no specific dates were given, the timeline depicts various release windows for the service’s different original series.

While Young Justice: Outsiders seems to have been split into two parts, Doom Patrol will drop next spring followed by Swamp Thing in the summer, with both Stargirl and Harley Quinn dropping next fall.

8 Pet Sematary First Look

Horror fans might not have had much to talk about at Comic-Con, but during the convention some promo images dropped for the reboot of a Stephen King classic. The first images of the Pet Sematary remake were released, featuring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

The best image of the bunch comes in the form of the Creed family cat, Church, looking meaner and mangier than ever.

While an evil cat may not be the scariest thing you’ll find in Pet Sematary, it’s a nice preview of the Stephen King spookiness to come, especially after the success of 2017’s It. Pet Sematary is set for release on April 5, 2019.

7 Runaways Season 2 Footage

A new trailer for the second season of Runaways shows that the series has moved way past high school drama, and further into superhero action territory. The trailer features the Runaways’ comic book hideout, huge action set-pieces, and plenty of superpowers to go around.

Highlights of the trailer include a kiss between Nico and Karolina, a battle on an airport runway, and a glimpse at Gert’s pet dinosaur Old Lace. The first season of the show was a quiet hit among the newer Marvel properties, but this season promises a much deeper dive into the superhero genre that fans of the series are have been waiting for.

6 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One reveal snuck in towards the end of Comic-Con — a very short trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Although very brief, the trailer is made up of all-new footage.

The trailer consists of baby Hiccup in his father’s arms as he is told about the legendary world of dragons.

During his father’s narration, the titular Hidden World is given a brief tease as hundreds of dragons flutter across a cavernous landscape. It ends with a shot of Hiccup and Toothless overlooking a town covered in dragons. It’s not as extensive as the film’s last trailer, but it might hold fans over until the film’s release on February 22, 2019.

5 Good Omens Trailer

It’s a great year for Neil Gaiman lovers as they got not one, but two different Gaiman projects revealed at NYCC. First was the second season of American Gods, and now Amazon’s adaptation of Good Omens. 

The trailer for the new series pits Michael Sheen and David Tennant against each other as an angel and a demon who must join forces in order to prevent the apocalypse. The dark subject matter is contrasted by the show’s whimsical tone and David Tennant’s devilish charisma. It sets up what looks to be a very fun buddy comedy about he end of the world.

4 First 25 Minutes Of Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines

Fans of director Peter Jackson were treated to the first 25 minutes of his next project, Mortal Engines, at this year’s New York Comic-Con. Mortal Engines is another expansive world, like the Tolkien material that Jackson has worked with before, but with a post-apocalyptic twist.

The most talked about elements of the footage were the massive scale of the world and the jaw-dropping visuals.

The Mortal Engines footage introduces viewers to Hester, a girl who lives in a world that was ravaged by the “60 Minute War” that destroyed civilization. Now the world consists of giant cities on wheels that fight each other. Audiences won’t see it for themselves until December 14.

3 The Boys Teaser Trailer

Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s hyper-violent superhero comic The Boys has finally been revealed with a brief teaser trailer . The teaser features a public service announcement from Vought International, a company that facilitates the operation of the Seven, this world’s league of superheroes. At the end of the PSA, the titular Boys can be seen sitting on a couch, rudely gesturing to their televisions.

The Boys is already setting itself apart from the traditonal superhero fare, and with good reason — the series is about a team of people who keep out-of-control superheroes in check– by blackmailing them, stealing from them, and beating them up. It’s extremely adult-oriented and it already looks like fun.

2 Voltron Ends in December

The release date and synopsis for the eighth and final season of Voltron was revealed at New York Comic-Con, finally bringing the critically acclaimed Netflix series to a close.

The last season will feature the final battle between the Paladins and Witch Haggar.

A few promo images were released as well — one featuring the villain Honerva and another depicting the Voltron Paladins in a control room with Shiro commanding the gang in a background role. While no footage was shown at NYCC, the release date was confirmed to be December 14. The show’s final season will premiere on Netflix.

1 Possibility — Avengers 4 Titled “Avengers: Annihilation”

This rumor went viral during the weekend of NYCC — “Avengers: Annihilation” may or may not be the name of the still untitled Avengers 4. Speculation over the film’s name has driven fans mad in recent months, with “Annihilation” being yet another choice amidstthe rumored titles titles like “Avengers: Forever”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “The Last Avenger”.

Annihilation comes from the name comic storyline of the same name, though it bears few similarities to the Infinity Gauntlet story that the films are adapting. Seriously, Marvel, just call it “Avengers: Assemble” and get it over with already. Don’t keep us waiting!

What announcements from New York Comic-Con excite you the most? Make sure to leave a comment before you go to share your thoughts!



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2018-10-08 07:10:26 – Jonathan Figueroa

DC’s Titans Has The Perfect Response To Deadpool 2’s ‘So Dark’ Dig

Deadpool 2 claimed DC properties are “so dark,” and now it’s DC Universe’s Titans series that is responding. One of the criticisms that the DCEU has received in recent years is the dark nature of their movies. The grounded take was built by Zack Snyder off the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but audiences didn’t respond in the same way. Many believe they’ve lost sight of who these characters are, and a darker approach is sticking with DC as they launch a digital service full of original content. They aren’t even shying away from it, as the first trailer for Titans showed Robin brutally beating criminals and saying, “F*** Batman.”

Even though this is the style DC has operated with recently, other superhero movies have gone in the opposite direction. This is especially true with Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise, which has repeatedly made DC the butt of his jokes. This continued in Deadpool 2 when, following a jab at dubstep from Cable (Josh Brolin), the Merc with a Mouth says, “You’re so dark. Are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”

Related: Jason Todd’s Robin Confirms Titan’s Place in DC Timeline

Well, DC Universe is finally responding to Deadpool’s comments by using them in the latest promo for Titans. The video starts by quoting D. Pool’s remark, referring to him as an American philosopher (even though he’s Canadian). It then shows a montage of the violence that Robin (Brenton Thwaites) will be dishing out to criminals and cops alike, before saying “Suck it, Mr. Pool.” They do sign the statement “with love” but then immediately show Dick Grayson smashing a guy in the face as blood splatters on a nearby window.

This is a pretty great response on the part of Titans, as they’re embracing Deadpool’s concern instead of turning away from it. This also makes Titans the latest DC entity to mock Deadpool. The recently released trailer for the animated Harley Quinn series commented on Marvel’s canceled Deadpool animated series from Donald Glover. Warner Bros. even responded to Deadpool 2‘s post-credits scene where Deadpool travels through time to assassinate Ryan Reynolds before he could star in Green Lantern, but it was Reynolds who got the last laugh.

Even though DC has received criticism for the approach, it is one they are changing. Wonder Woman was the first true sign of this, and the reception only further encouraged Warner Bros. to meddle with Justice League‘s tone, just as they did with Suicide SquadAquaman looks to be a giant, fun adventure film based on the new extended trailer. There’s also Shazam! coming out next year, which made it abundantly clear in its first trailer what tone it’s going for. DC will still have some darker properties like Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and maybe Birds of Prey, but the future appears to be more balanced, tonally, even if Titans will stay in a darker one to start.

More: Every Trailer Released at New York Comic Con 2018

Titans season 1 premieres Friday, October 12, on DC Universe.

Source: Titans





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2018-10-08 02:10:09 – Cooper Hood

10 Best Disney Movies According to Rotten Tomatoes (And 10 With Almost 0%)

After all these years, Disney movies remain the gold standard in family entertainment. Starting from the back of a realty office in Hollywood back in 1928, Disney is now a brand worth billions of dollars. But it’s not just money—Disney’s cultural influence is worldwide and manages to stay relevant with each subsequent generation. There’s no underestimating the power of nostalgia; chances are if someone grew up liking Disney movies, they’re probably a fan for life. Walt Disney pioneered the idea of feature-length animated movies, an idea considered ridiculous at the time. They would be too expensive to make, and what self-respecting adult would pay money to see a full-length animated film? Turns out everyone wanted to, especially those with kids. At the time, there was no such thing as a full-production studio dedicated to animated films—so with the profits of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Walt Disney built one. From there, it was only a short period of time before Disney branched out into producing live-action films, and before anyone knew it, Disney dominated the family entertainment market.

Since then, Disney has expanded its intellectual properties to include Marvel, Star Wars, ABC, and 20th Century Fox. This makes Disney virtually unstoppable. Some meme artists have even depicted Mickey Mouse as Thanos, with its individual properties the different gems in the Infinity Gauntlet. But there were a few hiccups along the way. Disney has had tremendous success with its films, but people tend to forget that even the mighty occasionally fall. Here are the 10 best Disney movies according to the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, along with the 10 worst.

20 Best: Pinnochio (100%)

Pinnochio was Walt Disney’s second animated feature, released shortly after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Like its predecessor, it had gorgeous visuals with a painstaking attention to every element of the production. Unlike Snow White, it initially flopped at the box office. Luckily, Walt Disney had faith in the movie and gave it a second release to recover production costs. The plan worked, and Pinocchio eventually earned enough money to put it back into the black.

The iconic “When You Wish Upon A Star” theme from the film is still synonymous with the Disney brand.

The artists of Pinnochio helped pioneered advances in effects animation, which specialized on non-character elements that move, such as water or fire. The animated ocean effects during the Monstro sequence were the most ambitious water effects ever achieved for its time.

19 Worst: That Darn Cat (13%)

If nobody remembers this movie, it’s partially because it came in and of the theatre pretty fast. A remake of Disney’s moderately successful live-action That Darn Cat from 1965, the 1997 version was not nearly as successful. Starring Cristina Ricci as Patti, the plot features a cat that becomes “witness” to a kidnapping gone wrong. Patti eventually convinces the authorities to investigate and she becomes central in helping to solve the details of the crime and eventual rescue.

The reviews of the film were dismal. One critic described it as “…a desperate dip into utter conventionality: dull car chases, explosions, inept slapstick.” Another says it is a “…disappointing, rather warmed over Disney offering.” Despite this, Cristina Ricci was nominated for two awards for her performance in the film, a Kid’s Choice Awards, and a Young Artist’s Ward.

18 Best: Mary Poppins (100%)

The mostly live-action Mary Poppins was a smash-hit. It earned 13 Academy Award film nominations and won five, including Best Actress, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. It’s easy to see why. Julie Andrews brought her amazing charisma to the performance, dazzling audiences with her ability to sing, dance, and easily handle comedy intended for children. The songs are memorable, with several such as A Spoonful of Sugar and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious becoming part of the American culture.

Disney had experimented with combining live action with animation before, but never in such an ambitious way. For many, their favorite part of the film is where Mary Poppins, Burt the Chimney Sweep, and the Banks children jump into the chalk drawing and have a little adventure in an animated world. Disney is releasing the sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, in December of 2018.

17 Worst: My Favorite Martian (12%)

Based on the 1960’s television show of the same name, My Favorite Martian tells the story of a humanoid Martian (Christopher Lloyd) that crash lands on earth. He enlists the help of a reporter in a funk to put him up while he tries to repair his spaceship and get home.

Though reviews were generally kind to Christopher Lloyd, the movie as a whole was mostly disliked by critics.

Said one reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes, “An utterly pointless and unimaginative remake based on the classic ’60s sitcom…a meteoric misfire.” Another gets right to the point: “A terrible movie. Beware.” My Favorite Martian did earn three nominations…of The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. It was nominated for Worst Resurrection of a TV Show, Most Botched Comic Relief and Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy.

16 Best: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (100%)

Like most Disney movies, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was adapted from existing source material. It’s based on characters from short stories from the author A. A. Milne. The film focuses on young Christopher Robin and his stuffed bear, and a menagerie of other stuffed animals come to life. The movie is a collection of animated shorts edited together into a feature-length film.

Surprisingly, the Winnie the Pooh franchise is worth much more than one might imagine. Variety estimated the sales of merchandise related to Winnie the Pooh topped over $5 billion, which among Disney properties, is second only to Mickey Mouse. Disney released a live action movie, Christopher Robin, based on an adult Christopher Robin rediscovering Winnie the Pooh and his friends in August of 2018.

15 Worst: Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (11%)

One would think that after one of the most stereotypical happy endings of all time, writers would have a hard time coming up with a good sequel for Cinderella. One would be right. Cinderella II: Dreams Come True is actually an anthology movie that ties together three Cinderella short stories into one film. The first story describes her struggle to be herself as a new princess. The second follows Jaq the mouse feeling left out. And the third shows how Cinderella tries to teach one of her step-sisters how to smile. Seriously.

This direct-to-video sequel wasn’t liked by critics. One top critic says simply, “Do not see this film.” Another, quite dramatically, announces, “A screaming black vortex of total, irredeemable awfulness.” A quick glance through other remarks reveals similarly negative responses. Nevertheless, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True still made approximately $120 million in sales.

14 Best: Toy Story (100%)

Toy Story was ambitious in scope, it being the first animated Disney feature that was fully animated with CGI. Audiences had never seen this kind of animated film before and impressed audiences made the movie a runaway hit. Though CGI animated movies have come a long way since then, Toy Story still holds up. The interplay between Woody the Cowboy (played by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is the highlight of the film. Though they have different perceptions of reality, they learn to work together to make sure they don’t get left behind in their boy Andy’s move.

Toy Story garnered three Academy Award nominations and won a Special Achievement Academy Award for being the first feature-length computer-animated film. It has two hit sequels, with a third in production.

13 Worst: Blank Check (11%)

What if a kid found a blank check that allowed him to spend a million dollars? That’s the intriguing premise behind Blank Check, a movie that didn’t really build a successful story out of this great idea. Through an implausible series of events, young Preston Waters is given a blank check to help pay for a bicycle accident involving a car. But he’s given the wrong check, and the person who gave it to him is a criminal. Preston spends the rest of the movie spending lavishly while trying to avoid the authorities and the criminal who is hot on his tail.

One top critic explains it’s “One of those smart-aleck kid adventures that manages to be entirely obnoxious with very little effort.” A Rotten Tomatoes super reviewer hilariously opined, “If you loved Home Alone, you’ll still gonna hate Blank Check!”

12 Best: Darby O’Gill and the Little People (100%)

Though many modern audiences have never heard of Darby O’Gill and the Little People, it probably remains the most successful movie ever made about Leprechauns. In the film, the aging laborer and caretaker Darby O’Gill has spent much of his life trying to catch the Leprechauns. One day, in his old age, he is actually caught by them. He spends the rest of the film strategizing how he will spend the three wishes granted upon him by Brian, the King of the Leprechauns.

The film also features a young and dashing Sean Connery as Michael McBride, the love interest to Darby O’Gill’s daughter.

Though it won no awards, it has been critically well-received over the years and had state-of-the-art special effects for its day.

11 Worst: Mr. Magoo (7%)

The character of Mr. Magoo was a successful cartoon character from the late 40’s through the 50’s. The running gag for each story was that millionaire Mr. Magoo was practically blind, which led him into comically dangerous situations. Mr. Magoo was also amazingly lucky, which seemed to save him every time.

The Disney adaptation starred Leslie Nielsen, an actor beloved for being able to handle silly comedy with a straight face. But it just wasn’t enough to save the film, which seemed to suffer from the repetitive and unfunny gags. Critics were beyond cruel to the film. One announced, “The movie is an insult to the intelligence of the entire human race.” Another agrees, “Mr. Magoo is transcendently bad. It soars above ordinary badness as the eagle outreaches the fly. There is not a laugh in it. Not one.”

10 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

After the runaway success of the first Toy Story, a sequel seemed inevitable. Somehow avoiding the curse of most sequels being inferior to the original, Toy Story 2 managed to be a moving story which many think is even better than the first. It also introduced a brand new character to the saga, Jesse the Cowgirl.

Toy Story 2 has one of the most heartbreaking songs in Disney’s collection, When She Loved Me, performed by Sarah McLachlan. The song describes being abandoned by the child she loved, a sequence that left hardly a dry eye in the house. It went on to become a smash hit, just like the first one. Though it won no academy awards, it won many independent awards and some argue it is the best Toy Story movie of the entire franchise.

9 Worst: A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (5%)

A Kid in King Arthur’s Court is very loosely based on Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, a story that has been adapted into several other films. Modern ’90s kid Calvin Fuller is playing baseball for his team when an earthquake hits. A chasm opens up on the field and he falls in. Calvin is inexplicably transported to England in the age of King Arthur, where he quickly wows the locals with his modern knowledge. While there, he also falls in love with the local princess.

Critics seemed to be surprised this was a Disney film. One critic laments, “Rarely do the well-financed wizards at Walt Disney Pictures cook up a movie this badly written, acted, and directed.” Another says, “Sitting through it, I found myself shuddering at what Disney may have in store for next summer.”

8 Best: Old Yeller (100%)

Old Yeller was famous for ruining many a childhood with a depressing plot twist, the on-screen demise of its titular dog. After saving his family multiple times over the years from bears, wild hogs, and wolves, Old Yeller finally seals his fate when he fought off a rabid wolf to protect his people. Not only did the the dog pass away, but its owner and best friend Travis had to put him down himself because he had been infected with rabies. This scene has become one of the most famous tear-jerking live-action scenes in all of Disney’s films.

Despite the bummer plot development, the film was still a critical and commercial hit. And it still managed to leave on a high note—by the end, Travis adopts Old Yeller’s puppy and names him Young Yeller.

7 West: Meet the Deedles (4%)

As handsome as Paul Walker was, even he couldn’t have saved Meet the Deedles. The story describes the hapless Phil and Stew Deedle, brothers who are in high school and avid surfers. Their father becomes disgusted with their lazy behavior and sends them off to a boot camp where they can learn some discipline.

In an extremely unlikely series of events, the Deedle brothers assume false identities as park rangers and…hilarity is supposed to ensue.

As with most movies received this badly, the Rotten Tomatoes reviews are hilarious to read. One critic announces dryly, “If all of this sounds ridiculous, it is.” Another is much more cruel, saying, “Dumb is one thing, but this sorry attempt at action-comedy from stuntman turned director Steve Boyum is in an intelligence-deprived class all its own.”

6 Best: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (98%)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was Disney’s first animated film feature and the first animated film to gain massive success. It was actually the profits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that allowed Disney to build its first full-fledged production studio in Burbank, California. From there, Disney was unleashed to produce dozens of huge hits.

Early forecasters predicted Snow White would be a huge flop, but Disney had the last laugh when the film was finally released. Critics, even the ones predicting its failure, absolutely loved it. Audiences flocked to it and children adored it. Walt Disney received a special Academy Honorary Award for making a “significant screen innovation.” The Honorary Oscar came with seven little miniature Oscars. As with Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, Disney is producing a live-action adaptation of the film.

5 Worst: Mulan 2 (0%)

Did we ever even need a Mulan 2? According to critics, the answer is a resounding “no.” The original Mulan was a hit in 1998, following the adventures of the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who became a fearsome warrior against all odds. Mulan 2 features a convoluted plot wherein Mulan prepares to get married and go on an important mission at the same time, trying to prevent several kingdoms from collapsing against the Mongolian hordes.

The plot doesn’t sound terrible, but it didn’t deliver. Critics seemed to dislike it mainly for being bland. One explained, “If it were any more trivial, it’d be invisible. Mulan II is, rather, more conceptually offensive.” Another spoke bluntly, “It’s harmless, sure, but it’s also charmless.” Another sequel was planned but eventually shelved.

4 Best: 101 Dalmatians (98%)

With 101 Dalmatians, Disney opted to develop a somewhat obscure children’s story.  This was a bit different from the popular fairy-tale adaptations that Disney had been known for. After a bachelor and his new blushing bride get married, their respective male and female adult Dalmatians breed a large litter of puppies. An over the top villain, Cruella de Vil, steals them along with other Dalmatian puppies with plans to eventually turn them all into a fur coat. The adult Dalmatians and other animals lead efforts to rescue ALL the puppies and bring them back to safety.

101 Dalmatians cut costs by adopting a more minimal animation style but still was a critical and financial success.

The movie was adapted into two live-action movies in the ’90s and also had an animated sequel in 2003.

3 Worst: The Big Green (0%)

Not many Disney fans know this film even exists. The Big Green was released in 1995 and tells the story of a scrappy British teacher who introduces kids with low self-esteem in a small Texas town the game of soccer. Sort of a Bad News Bears for the soccer crowd, the movie follows these underdog kids as they go from losers to heroes.

However, according to critics, it’s derivative and not as good as either of those films. Perhaps the poster, which features a young kid getting hit in the groin by a soccer ball, is the first sign the “comedy” wasn’t up to par. One critic writes, “The Big Green is at its worst and most desperate when resorting to ridiculous hallucinations and silly sped-up photography to get laughs, and it’s at its best when… well, it’s over.” Yikes.

2 Best: Cinderella (97%)

It’s hard to believe, but Disney suffered a bit of a downturn during WWII and by the late 40s was financially doing poorly. Disney turned back to its classic roots and decided to produce Cinderella, an old story based on folklore and also told in a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. The movie not only brought Disney out of debt, but gave the studio enough capital to create its own film distribution company, begin production on other films, and start building Disneyland and Disney World.

The movie received critical praise not seen since Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Pinnochio. Many noted its rich colors and backgrounds, realistic human animation, and memorable music. It was later nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Original Song for Bippity Boppity Boo.

1 Worst: Kronk’s New Groove (0%)

The Emperor’s New Groove was a unique and charming Disney film that has become somewhat of a cult classic over the years, featuring the voices of the hilarious David Spade and Patrick Warburton. Its sequel, Kronk’s New Groove was not received nearly as well. Part of the problem may be the thin plot, which has something to do with Kronk running a restaurant, falling in love with a camp counselor, and trying to impress his father. Yzma returns as a villain but doesn’t really have much to do.

Voice talents notwithstanding, the resulting film was a dud with critics.

Pointed out one, “Great voice talents, but weak storyline and frankly not much groove.” Another astutely observed, “It’s just too generic, and generic is not what we want from a sequel to a film that managed to escape the Disney mold.”

Which of these films did you love most? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-07 06:10:17 – Gary Gunter