Amid the strong measures that Turkey has taken against COVID-19, social distancing and self-isolation have become essential precautions to curb the cases of the virus. The Turkish… .
Paradox Interactive showcased Empire of Sin at PDXCON 2019 and Screen Rant had a chance to try an early build of the game. Empire of Sin was announced during Nintendo’s E3 2019 Direct as a new strategy/simulation title developed by Romero Games. The current release window for Empire of Sin is Spring 2020 and it’s set to launch on macOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Empire of Sin is set in Chicago during the Prohibition-era of American history. The player takes on the role of a boss as they try to forge a criminal empire out of the illegal booze business. The problem is that there are other bosses who also want to rule the city and conflicts between gangsters rarely end in anything other than bloodshed. The ticking clock of the end of Prohibition means the player has thirteen years to accomplish their goal.
Related: The 10 Best Squad-Based Strategy Games
Screen Rant had a chance to try out several demos for upcoming Paradox Interactive games at PDXCON, including some hands-on time with Surviving the Aftermath. The Empire of Sin demo gave us a few options for a boss and we chose Al Capone, who has a special ability that allows him to fire off a volley of bullets in one round. The game starts with the boss needing to take over a local brewery in order to establish their first business. The city of Chicago has a huge map that works in real-time and it’s here that the player can conduct business through different menus (such as upgrading buildings) and move their characters to new locations. Once the boss enters the brewery, the combat section of the game begins and it will look familiar to fans of the gameplay of the XCOM series.
The action in Empire of Sin plays out as tactical battles involving moving gangsters around small maps and hiding behind cover. The enemies in our skirmish were pistol-wielding thugs who wouldn’t look out of place on Peaky Blinders. It was here where we discovered a glitch, as the animation for Capone’s special move didn’t end until his next turn. Capone was happily firing his machine gun into the air while thugs moved around him. Brenda Romero said that the game was in-between the alpha and beta stages of development, so we were told to expect bugs going in. The demo featured several glitches, such as bodies moving erratically when they hit the ground, so it’s clear that the game still needs a bit of polish before release.
Once the first battle ended, it’s time to hire powerful gangsters to join the team. The gangsters are similar to the boss in that they have unique qualities and special abilities that change over the course of the game. The raw might of the gangsters comes with a steep price, as they each want a percentage of the entire operation in order to risk their neck in battle. The new three-man team was able to take on a second illicit establishment, where it was a lot easier to carve through a group of opponents thanks to the extra firepower.
The player quickly earns the attention of a rival boss and a sit-down between the two is initiated. The only way to end the sit-down in the demo is through a battle, but the final version of the game will use events like this as a means of offering diplomacy between enemies. It’s during this battle that we had a chance to see the execution mechanic in action, as it’s possible to finish off wounded enemies in an extremely bloody fashion. Executing foes has a chance of scaring both allies and enemies, and using it too much can make your boss cruel and give them a reputation similar to that of a serial killer. The demo ended with the death of the rival boss and his cronies, leaving Al Capone with control of Chicago.
Empire of Sin has a lot of promise for fans of strategy games, as the small-scale of the battles contrasts well with the business aspect of creating a criminal empire. It’s clear that the game is still in need of some work in the bug-fixing department, but we could clearly see what the final product wants to accomplish within the demo. The Romeros would like to expand Empire of Sin to cover crime across America and if the retail version of the game is as entertaining as the demo, then they might get their wish.
Next: The 10 Best Crime Video Games Ever, Ranked
Empire of Sin releases for macOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in Spring 2020.
For the very first time, fans of the MCU will get to stand alongside their favorite heroes in the new VR experience Avengers: Damage Control. The groundbreaking attraction opens today in locations throughout the U.S. and features some of the MCU’s most beloved characters. Marvel Studios has partnered with ILMxLAB and The VOID to bring the experience to life.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always stood out as one of the best and most beloved franchises in Hollywood. Just this year, the massive Avengers: Endgame became the highest grossing movie of all time, surpassing the previous champion Avatar. Endgame’s $2.8 worldwide total further cemented its staying power within pop culture, and after a summer of exciting news from San Diego Comic-Con and D23, it’s clear it shows no sign of slowing down. While the MCU has previously expanded into television and other areas, Damage Control marks its first official step into the VR realm.
Related: The 10 Highest-Grossing Marvel Movies (According To Box Office Mojo)
The plot for Damage Control, as revealed by Marvel, follows a group recruited by Shuri (Letitia Wright) to test her new Emergency Response Suits, state of the art designs formed by Wakandan and Stark Industries technology. However, it’s not long until dark forces rear their heads and threaten the entire world. Visitors must team up with heroes like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) to save the day. It has been described as an experience that is “half virtual reality, half real-world set pieces, and all-around MCU.”
Locations include New York City, Atlanta, Santa Monica, and Washington DC, and tickets are on sale online. Fans who visit during the opening weekend will be gifted with an exclusive poster. The last day of the attraction depends on the location, as it varies. This is not the first time a Disney property has been transformed into VR. Previous ILMxLAB and The VOID collaborations include Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR.
Considering how successful the MCU has become, it is no surprise that it would find a way to seep into VR. Damage Control has a lot to offer fans, with the perk of fighting enemies alongside some of the MCU’s beloved characters being its most appealing factor. This is clearly for anyone who spent Endgame wishing they could join the battle against Thanos. It looks like a lot of fun, and the trailer suggests there may be more surprises for visitors to discover as they go along. Virtual reality may not be for everyone, but for those willing to dip their toes into it, this is a thrilling opportunity. Damage Control may even bring in some massive crowds, almost as if it were a standard MCU film.
More: Every MCU Character Confirmed For Phase 4
3 From Hell director and rock star Rob Zombie says that helming two Halloween movies for The Weinstein Company was “a miserable experience.” Of course, many fans of the Halloween franchise would argue that watching Zombie’s dual Michael Myers efforts was also a miserable experience, but that’s by no means a universal opinion. Beginning with his debut film, 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses, Zombie has proven himself a divisive filmmaker, but also a filmmaker with a tone and style all his own that tends to engender great loyalty from those it connects with.
After the success of House of 1000 Corpses, Zombie of course brought back Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding of the murderous Firefly Family of killers for 2005 sequel The Devil’s Rejects, which many still hold up as his crowning directorial achievement. Now proven as a director, Zombie was brought on to remake a film many horror fans thought untouchable, John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween. From a financial standpoint, Zombie’s remake succeeded, earning a nice profit margin. From a critic and fan reaction standpoint, Zombie’s Halloween proved to be far more controversial.
Related: Rob Zombie Movies Ranked, Worst To Best
Zombie came back to direct sequel Halloween II in 2009, despite it not being a secret that he clashed at times with the Weinsteins during the production of the remake. This is evidenced by the quite different director’s cut of the film that was released on Blu-Ray. A much more widely derided effort, Halloween II would also receive a considerably different director’s cut. With third Firefly film 3 From Hell about to release, Zombie recently spoke to Forbes about his career, opening up about his experience on Halloween and its sequel.
“Making Halloween with the Weinstein’s was a miserable experience for me, and so I was very reticent to do the second one. I did do the second one, and I thought, ‘Okay, well the first one was a miserable experience, but it did well, so maybe it’ll be easier the second time?’ It was worse. Oh my God. I felt like they weren’t trusting me on the first one because they wanted to make sure it was a hit and now they weren’t trusting me not to f*** up their hit.”
Detailing why the experience was not one the creator looks back on favorably, he said: “They would show me scenes from Halloween to try and make a point and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I know. I made that movie. Why do you show me that like I’ve never seen it before?’”
“We made a behind the scenes documentary for the making of Halloween. That has somehow gotten lost in the vaults. That shows how messed up everything was and what was going on when we were making those movies.”
While the above is a refreshingly frank take on his Halloween experiences by Zombie, it’s worth noting that the Halloween (2007) Blu-Ray release does in fact contain an amazingly in-depth 4-plus hour making-of documentary called “Michael Lives.” The documentary was also included on a 2018 steelbook re-release. Whether Zombie is referring to a different, unreleased documentary, or he’s saying the Weinsteins cut further revealing material out of the released version is unclear.
Either way, Zombie is far from the first director to recall having creative differences with the Weinsteins over the years. as their old Dimension Films company was behind many notable fright flicks. The last theatrically released Hellraiser film, 1996’s Hellraiser: Bloodline, infamously saw its director demand his name be removed from the final product and the film credited to Hollywood alias Alan Smithee. Then again, Zombie had similar studio problems back at the beginning of his career, when Universal refused to release House of 1000 Corpses, leading Lionsgate to rescue the film. Now though, Halloween continues on anew via Blumhouse’s blossoming trilogy.
More: 10 Movies To Watch If You Liked The Halloween Reboot
James Gunn may be off the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 project after being fired by Disney for some controversial tweets surfaced from long ago, but not only has he apologized and insisted that he’s a much different person than he was at that period in his life; he’s reportedly also getting another stab at creating a comic adaptation with the next Suicide Squad film.
While Marvel fans mourn the loss of the man behind some of the best movies in the MCU, it’s quite possible that Gunn will give the DC universe the boost it desperately needs to really compete with Marvel.
While we’ll have to wait and see what the actual film brings to the party, we have plenty of time to speculate about what its plot might be, what kind of tone to expect and above all, which characters might be included and who might be cast in those roles. While many of us are hoping to see some members of the Squad from the first film return, we’re also crossing our fingers, wishing for a chance to meet more members who weren’t included in the first movie. There’s really an endless amount of speculation to enjoy here and many fans have already photoshopped their choices for the best portrayals of characters audiences have loved for decades.
Casting for these iconic personalities won’t be an easy task, but here are 20 DC Characters Who Can Be In James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (And Who Should Play Them).
Let’s be honest: Margot Robbie is a sure-in for Harley Quinn at this point. The star surprised many fans while proving others right with her incredible performance as the psychiatrist turned psychopath. Ensuring that Quinn not only shone as the premiere talent in a film with its problems, but that she would endure for her own film afterward, Robbie is a fan favorite, through and through.
We could definitely see this version of Harley in a Gunn movie.
If for some reason Robbie had to back out of the project, as much as it would pain fans, some have taken to casting other ideas for actresses who could play Harleen Quinzel. Artist D3SIGNMILTIA’s piece depicts an interesting version of the character that might work well with Christina Ricci.
We’ve seen so many incarnations of The Joker over the years that it’s getting more and more difficult to choose the perfect person to play an updated version of Batman’s most notorious foe. Whether or not he’ll be in the next Suicide Squad film is unclear. Who can measure up to Jack Nicholson’s chilling Joker and Heath Ledger’s perfect monster?
Joaquin Phoenix, currently starring in Todd Phillips’ solo Joker, is certainly one candidate. Phoenix, who’s also utilized some unorthodox acting methods in the past, might give us a bit more grave swagger as the criminal mastermind. His ongoing presence in the DCEU will likely depend on the success of Joker, due out in October 2019.
Everyone’s favorite child doctor has grown up to become a much beloved singer, showman, and nemesis of the Baudelaire children. Neil Patrick Harris shines in just about everything he’s in, so including him in the next installment of Suicide Squad makes perfect sense.
Harris as the Riddler is pure gold.
He’s got the chops to bring the perfect blend of humor and intelligence that the Riddler needs to truly succeed, which might hopefully replace the slapstick Riddler we got in Batman Forever years ago. Harris isn’t everyone’s favorite for the Riddler, though; stay tuned for more artist manipulations involving the Riddler later.
Given the fact that the Arrowverse and TV adaptations of DC stories have proven so successful, it makes sense to borrow from that character pool to not only connect the universe but to help ensure the success of Suicide Squad 2. If Gunn and company are planning on including Deathstroke in the sequel, we think Manu Bennet would be a clear choice for the character.
While some fans speculate that Joe Manganiello will play the part, since he is Mr. Wilson in Justice League and has announced that he’s working on three more films featuring the character, his involvement in Suicide Squad 2 remains speculation at this point. Many believe that Deathstroke will indeed be a primary villain in the film, and Bennet has already proven that he would do the character justice.
Lots of fans are imagining Marvel actors in DC roles, which is pretty delightful for those of us who Make Ours Marvel and DC. Sophie Turner, who gave us the Jean Grey that we were waiting for in X-Men: Apocalypse and is set to reprise the role in Dark Phoenix, would also make an excellent Oracle.
Barbara Gordon’s time as Oracle has included a gig as tech support for the Suicide Squad.
With Ruby Rose’s debut as Batwoman and a Batgirl movie announced, the inclusion of Oracle could provide some timeline intrigue. Plus, after decades of Batman saturation, this much Bat-women power would be so much fun.
Viola Davis was a pretty stellar Amanda Waller, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen Viola Davis in anything. Davis could read a grocery list and deserve an Oscar. That said, Kode Logic has imagined what Oprah might bring to the role and we have to say that it looks impressive. Firm, ruthless and beautiful, Oprah’s Waller seems to give the character a bit more experience points, which are conveyed in that hard gaze.
Davis has said that she loved playing Amanda Waller, who is aligned so well with her character Annalise Keating in the hit TV drama How to Get Away with Murder in many ways, but how much fun would it be to see Oprah bend the rules?
You don’t mess with what works, and Will Smith certainly worked as Deadshot in the original Suicide Squad. He did so well, in fact, that plenty of people thought that he deserved his own film and said that they’d have watched Suicide Squad again if it only starred Smith. This really isn’t a surprise, given Smith’s star power, and it’s been announced that he’s returning to the franchise in the role again.
It’s a good thing that we have some time before the movie’s released, too, since Smith is set to star in Bad Boys for Life and Bright 2 around the same time. Smith’s got three films releasing in 2019 alone, and while one is only a vocal role, he’s definitely going to be busy for the next couple of years.
Utter the words “Jeffrey Dean Morgan” in the same sentence as “The Batman” and you’re bound to get a room full of excited fans. He’s absolutely perfect for Wayne in an adaptation of something like Batman Beyond, but we could definitely see him as the Batman in just about any adaptation of the series, and DeviantArt user evelius has given us some visual art to really picture the idea.
Morgan has the darkness and the voice necessary for Batman to match this ragtag team of violent convicts.
While Bale and Affleck had their time in the cowl, it’s time for a new man behind the mask. Why not Negan?
While Katana was featured in the first Suicide Squad film, most people believe her role was too small to really critique or appreciate. Japanese-American actress Karen Fukuhara wasn’t bad in the role; she just didn’t get much to do.
Adding Rila Fukushima in the second movie might lend Katana some traction given that she already portrays the character in the Arrowverse.
While Fukuhara, who is set to play Glimmer in the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power TV series, is rumored to be reprising the role, Fukushima, star of last year’s Ghost in the Shell, was also fantastic as Yukio in The Wolverine, which would give us another fun link between the DC and Marvel universes.
Who doesn’t love quirky, smart, and funny Emma Stone? The actress would be perfect for an updated role as Poison Ivy following Uma Thurman’s beautiful but wonky portrayal of Pamela Isley. One of BossLogic’s many creative manipulations, this artwork features Stone as the iconic plant-loving villain and it’s pretty impressive.
We already know that Ivy will be a big part of the upcoming Gotham City Sirens film, which will also feature Harley Quinn and Catwoman at its heart, so why not include her in the Suicide Squad movie as well? There are several other cool artist manipulations of actresses who might be great in the role, such as Jessica Chastain, so it’s going to be a tough one to cast.
Many of us can’t stop celebrating Kristen Wiig being cast as Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984. The strongest thing the DC movies have going for it right now is all the incredible female characters, most notably Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, and we can’t wait to see where Aquaman takes us. If all goes well it would make perfect sense to include Wiig in Suicide Squad 2, especially since weaving in characters from multiple films would help provide better continuity for the DCEU.
Wiig is funny, smart, and beautiful, and we think she’s going to make an excellent foe for Wonder Woman.
In that case, her inclusion in another movie would also be fantastic to see.
DeviantArt artist farrou has created some truly amazing fanart of DC characters, and one of them, which features Nathalie Emmanuelle as Vixen, makes us believers. While we’re not sure if Emmanuelle has a Tantu Totem, we’re pretty sure she could make it work if Gunn and co. gave her one. The actress, best known for her role as Missandei on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is definitely ready for a a super suit and action in a big movie like this.
Then again, Jada Pinkett Smith has expressed interest in the role of Vixen, which would not only be interesting due to her husband’s presence in the movie but also due to her previous DC role as Fish Mooney in the TV series Gotham. Both actresses would be well-cast for the movie.
Do we really need the Riddler to come out and play in Suicide Squad 2? After the weirdness of Batman Forever and the sinister developments of Gotham, perhaps it’s time to reinvent the villain. Jake Gyllenhaal makes sense to play the villain not only because he was David Goyer’s original choice to play Batman in the Christopher Nolan movies, but because this fanart made by Vaskoho is something to behold.
While there are several people who could pull off the role, we think Donnie Darko has a fighting chance.
Fans point out that there were some Riddler Easter eggs in the Batman v Superman movie, so it’s possible that we’ll see The Riddler on film someday.
Can we all agree that, no matter the context, Dave Bautista must appear in Suicide Squad 2? Not only has the Drax actor delighted us all with his hilarious yet poignant portrayal in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, but he’s also publicly stated that he supports Gunn and wants to be involved in his next project.
We’re pretty sure any role could be molded to make room for such a beloved actor, but as as BossLogic has pointed out, he’d make an excellent Bane. After having two Banes that didn’t work so well in the Batman universe, we could definitely use a fresh face for the role. If he’s not Bane, Bautista would make a fantastic Solomon Grundy, too. We’re not too picky on this one.
Could Black Manta make an appearance in Suicide Squad 2? It’s too early to rule anything out and many fans think he’d make a good inclusion, particularly following the Aquaman movie. While the majority of his screen time might simply have his head shrouded in a big bubble, his casting would be nonetheless important. Artist diamondking13 suggests actor Michael K. Williams for the job and we love the idea.
It would be cool to see how Gunn and co, would update the suit for a more modern, movie-friendly look.
Famous for his critically acclaimed roles in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, Williams was just cast in Jordan Peele and Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country, but Suicide Squad 2 is far enough in the future to give him time for both gigs.
This one is a no-brainer. Many of us just don’t care to see Jared Leto return as The Joker and it’s quite possible that The Joker won’t even see a second of footage in the second film. While we’d all probably be okay with that, if a new Joker is cast, Bill Skarsgård is a fantastic choice.
Skarsgård is hot right now following his success as Pennywise in the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It. He also played a less troubling character in Castle Rock over the summer, proving his mettle yet again in King’s world. Considered one of the good things to come out of Netfix’s Hemlock Grove, Skarsgård could probably do the Joker justice, as artist aikoaiham has shown.
After witnessing Killer Frost in the Arrowverse, many fans are calling for her inclusion in Suicide Squad 2. DeviantArt creator farrou has imagined what it might look like if Teresa Palmer played the villain and it’s a pretty spot-on representation.
The Australian actress is no stranger to action movies and could do well in the role.
Kristin Bauer van Straten has already voiced Killer Frost in the animated Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, while Danica McKellar voices her in Lego DC Superhero Girls. She’s also been in 2009’s Public Enemies animated feature between Batman and Superman, but she’s never been in a live action movie before. Danielle Panabaker portrays the character in The Flash, but she hasn’t made a film in a few years.
Jon Bernthal is another actor already present in the MCU, portraying the most accurate and adept version of the Punisher we could ever hope for, so tossing the talented actor into the DC mix would just be plain fun. It’s not that Joel Kinneman was terrible as Rick Flag, and he’s done a great job standing up for the original film and its purpose, but Jon Bernthal would just be better.
The skill Bernthal has in striking that tricky sweet spot between ruthlessness and gravitas while still being a compelling, empathetic human being isn’t something anyone can do. Artist Riku7kun shows us what Bernthal as Flag might look like. It’s a little bare in comparison to Kinneman’s look, but that might actually work with Bernthal.
It’s no secret that Josh Gad wants the role of The Penguin, having pushed for it himself in social media, and fans are clamoring for the opportunity to see the voice of the snowman, Olaf, and Gaston’s buddy LaFou in a much more sinister role.
Whether or not Gad will show up in The Batman remains to be seen but he definitely has the flippers to play the beloved villain.
BossLogic has given us some art imagining what he might look like in the role and it can only get better from here. In March, Gad started hilariously trolling Matt Reeves on Twitter, sending him animated penguin GIFs and hinting at what he could bring to the Batman franchise.
It’s an obvious inclusion, but it’s necessary. While the original Suicide Squad, hyped up to be the most incredible DC movie of all time, had plenty of problems, most fans and critics agree that the shining star of the whole production was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Robbie’s portrayal was everything we hoped for– brutal, nuanced, and a delicate balance between her joker obsession and Harley coming into her own person without being too over-the-top.
Who isn’t excited to see Robbie return as Harley in theBirds Of Prey adaptation featuring the awesome women of DC, which is so ardently anticipated that it pushed Suicide 2 to the back burner? After this much love, Robbie has to be in this universe.
Who do you most want to see in a new Suicide Squad movie? Let us know in the comments!
2018-10-11 02:10:45 – Sara Schmidt
The horror anthology hit TV show American Horror Story just might be the magnum opus of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. Scarier and more riveting than any of the duo’s other projects, the spine-tingling series features a new theme and characters every season that are all still linked to each other’s universe. From the casting announcements to the series hints, theme reveals, and each season’s unique introductory visuals, it’s riveting entertainment all around. Even so, some seasons fall further off the mark than others, with many episodes barely even registering on the “horror” radar while others left us scratching our heads wondering what the heck just happened.
The thing is, we tend to give glaring errors, plot flops, and other things wrong with the show a pass because we love it so much. From intriguing horror to irresistible characters, from unexpected plot twists to some of the best storytelling on TV, American Horror Story keeps us coming back, not because it’s flawless but because it’s still addictive despite, and sometimes because of, its many flaws.
We might love a character and conveniently forget that he or she is a monster. We’ll keep tuning in even after an entire sequence left us feeling disgusted, embarrassed for the actress who had to play out the scene, or even angry at the creators themselves. It’s just that addictive.
We love it and we’ll keep coming back for me, even with these 20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore.
With a name like American Horror Story, you might expect every episode to be a scream-fest. That’s just not the case, especially in seasons four and five. While there’s no shortage of horror-inducing characters in these seasons, they didn’t really give us nightmares like previous and subsequent seasons were able to do.
Were we jaded from all the mutants, ghosts, zombies, and other creatures in previous seasons?
Both Freak Show and Hotel fell short on promises of terror, often vying for more intense drama (a calling card of Falchuck and Murphy) instead. While we still received interesting stories, Gaga’s vampire and Twisty the Clown just weren’t all that scary.
In season five, Hotel, Lady Gaga’s character, The Countess Elizabeth, is a little less fabulous than we expected her to be. Perhaps she couldn’t live up to the Gaga we all know and love already. One of the things that just made zero sense about the character was her propensity to collect children and turn them into little vampires. Does Elizabeth have an old woman in the shoe complex? Is she just that bored? What is the point?
Here’s the thing about kids in horror movies: they add instant scare-factor. Take a look at most scary film kids, from Village of the Damned to The Others and you’ll see the scariest moments. The fact that the vampire kid collection wasn’t even scary was a pretty big letdown.
Season six of AHS, Roanoke, was able to recover some of the lost ground from the previous two less-scary seasons but still suffered from the lack of the one and only Jessica Lang. The season saw a return to the haunted house theme, always popular in AHS history, and wove in some new elements, like the whole “based on a true story” theme. Between Deliverance-like hillbillies and more incredible Kathy Bates, Roanake was much better-received than Hotel, but it had some weird unexplained moments, like teeth randomly falling from the sky.
Not only do the teeth inexplicably fall while Matt is at work, but they also disappear.
The reason why is never given, prompting us to chalk this one up to “random scare tactic.”
While we definitely applaud Murphy and Falchuck’s use of mythology throughout American Horror Story, it often makes no sense. Gabourey Sidibe was fantastic as Queenie, the young and lonely witch who gave as well as she got, used LaLaurie as her own personal racist slave, and really deserved main credits billing. But there was that one time she tried to hook up with a grotesque Minotaur…
While the inclusion of adult content is pretty standard in AHS, getting involved with a man who has bull’s head sewed over his own is pretty far out there. It didn’t make any sense, nor did Queenie’s own survival following the incident (or anything else including the Minotaur, really), so we just move along and say that there’s nothing to see here.
Zoe Benson, portrayed by Taissa Farmiga, starts out as a compelling character in the third season of American Horror Story, Coven. She has unique powers that pay homage to classic horror and a long journey ahead.
Tossing in a love interest is a great way to derail a personal growth story.
That’s what happened to Zoe with Kyle, her resurrected boyfriend played by Evan Peters. While we’re glad that Murphy and Falchuck used Kyle to illustrate that mothers can be abusive to their sons just as much as fathers can, “life without Kyle” as Zoe’s own personal hell is really stupid and overly angst-ridden.
When it comes to American Horror Story, many fans reacted to the inclusion of aliens in season two, Asylum, in the same way that fans of Indiana Jones reacted to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For many horror fans, aliens don’t enter the territory without very specific rules, and you certainly don’t add aliens into an already-existing story for a scare factor.
The aliens of AHS also just weren’t scary. Sure, they made Pepper more interesting and gave convenient explanations for a few weird happenings, but at the end of the day mixing aliens in with mutants, a mean nun, demons, and war criminals just doesn’t work. It’s a hodgepodge of plot devices tossed together like a salad with too many kinds of dressing. Sometimes simpler is just better.
We get that Sister Jude is losing her mind in this tenth episode of season two, Asylum, but must we lose ours as well? The episode itself was gripping, but watching Jessica Lange sashay through “The Name Game” wasn’t nearly as eerie as it should have been. It played off as more of an homage to the creators’ Glee in a way that didn’t work.
While some critics enjoyed the mind-boggling number, many of us like to pretend it never happened.
It’s not the last time the showrunners implemented a bit of music and dance, either. Season four, Freak Show, featured several ditties, including a rendition of “Come As You Are” by Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, and Lange singing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”.
The mutants created in Dr. Arden’s horrific experiments are the stuff of nightmares, and they definitely present an interesting side story among the rest of the godawful happenings at Briarwood Manor in season two of American Horror Story, Asylum. Their issue, of course, is that they disappear off the radar without much of a peep.
Once turned into a mutant and taken to a hospital, Shelley, played by Chloë Sevigny as a homage to the many women unjustly committed to asylums throughout history, seems as if she may be able to lead the authorities toward Arden, but alas, Joseph Fiennes’ conflicted yet greedy Monsignor Timothy Howard takes her out instead. We don’t hear much about them afterward. What happened to the mutants?
Anne Frank was lobotomized by the evil Dr. Arden from Briarcliff Manor in season two, Asylum. Not only does this make zero sense, but it also really does a disservice to Anne Frank’s memory. There is a lot of artistic license taken with historical figures throughout American Horror Story, from Delphine Lalaurie to James March. Even characters used as backgrounds for new characters, like Nellie Bly’s inspiration for Lana Winters, often seems a bit much, especially when the representation is so loose.
The misrepresentation or grand re-representation of historical figures is nothing new.
Our own history books present complete falsehoods about everyone from Christopher Columbus to Paul Revere. Perhaps it’s just so glaring because we acknowledge that now, particularly during an age of “fake news” awareness.
One of the most exciting elements of a new season of American Horror Story is always the opening sequence and the slowly-revealed spoilers. Cast announcements and cool visuals trickle in until we finally get to see that first episode with its incredible casting graphics. The creepy opening sequence does much more than announce the cast: it revs us up like the announcer for a really scary joust about to take place.
The only problem is that it often goes downhill from there. While season 1 typically delivered, the casting graphics in seasons like Freak Show were actually scarier than the episodes themselves. That’s a real problem if we are supposed to be watching a horror program.
They were a successful execution of “the scary children” in a way that the little vampire entourage of the previous season just couldn’t seem to manage, so maybe that’s why Murphy and Falchuck decided to never let the “pig boys” of season six be seen again.
Aside from the fact that the boys could have made for some truly scary storytelling, the problem here isn’t just that they had no deeper involvement in the story than “check out these creepy kids” but that they don’t even have a resolution. Why the kids say, “Croatoan!” and why they drink pig milk remains unknown, and we may never know what happened to the charming little tykes.
As fans of American Horror Story, we sure do forgive a lot of murderers, don’t we? When someone bad finally goes good, all of their wicked deeds don’t seem to be as problematic. Even sweet Nan takes out Joan. Misty Day, otherwise a kind hippie, offs a couple of guys with alligators.
Were these warranted attacks? Maybe, but that doesn’t erase the fact that many characters end the lives of others and we pretty much turn a blind eye toward it like we wouldn’t if they occurred in real life. Of course, from people returning from the grave to mutant attacks near an asylum, there’s really not a lot in the show that applies to real life.
During season three, Coven, there’s a big build up about an oncoming war between the coven and the voodoo witches of the area. Both are led by powerful women, and who wasn’t excited to see Fiona, played by Jessica Lange, and Marie Laveau, played by Angela Bassett, go up against one another?
While there was plenty of tension and a zombie attack, it pretty much stopped there, especially after the witch hunters came to town.
AHS often builds up to something we’re expecting and completely abandon it for another plot instead. While we get that they want to keep us on our toes, broken promises do leave us unsatisfied and underwhelmed.
When the bus full of frat boys who assaulted Madison wrecks, taking out all of the monsters on board on Madison’s whim, it’s satisfying. Even seeing Kyle taken out doesn’t bother some of us, given that we’ve already seen Evan Peters return from the grave before and wouldn’t be surprised if he returned. He may have stopped his “brothers” but he certainly tried to help them not get caught, making him complicit in the attack.
When Zoe and Madison decide to put “boy parts” together to resurrect Kyle as the perfect Frankenstein boyfriend, they sell their souls to Azaezel in order to do so, and yet it never comes up again. Given that both girls bite the dust during the show, shouldn’t that at least be an issue?
It was one of the most pointless plot points to ever be inserted into a season of American Horror Story. During season six, Roanoke, we’re treated to a reality show type of setting where re-enactors help us understand what happened to the Millers in “My Roanoke Nightmare”, an obvious play on so many other popular reality-based ghost hunting and experience shows. That’s an intriguing concept that works well for much of the season, but then we’re hit with reality-ception.
Getting all of the actors and people involved in actual events together for the blood moon event is one thing, but what about the disclaimer that nobody even survived the ordeal? If that’s true (which makes sense, since this is Roanoke), how did we get the footage in the first place?
Scathach, the mythical warrior from the Isle of Skye in Irish folklore, is an incredible character. It’s too bad we didn’t really get to know her in season six, Roanoke.
Lady Gaga’s Scathnach has a plethora of powers, is said to be the first Supreme and yet has no real point in the series.
The witch does a few nefarious things here and there, from purchasing souls to rendering people evil and insane, but in the grand scheme of things she has no real point except to serve as one of those random elements of horror woven in to just be spooky. Given the history of the traditional character, it would be amazing to see Murphy and Falchuck to use this as a tie-in for a more myth-heavy season.
Character losses in the American Horror Story realm are pretty much like those in any comic book series: you don’t ever count them as permanent. Even when an entire series ends and you believe a character to be truly gone, they may return in another season! It’s definitely not a new tactic to have characters return from the grave; it’s a strategy used in everything from Dallas to Supernatural.
It makes us feel a little more jaded and a little less invested when tragedy does strike.
Oh, Fiona is sick? Oh, Ethel’s not going to make it? It’s too often meaningless. We want to feel affected, and we can’t help but worry a bit because we do love these characters, but deep down we’re always still wondering when they’ll return.
Season four’s big villain, Twisty the Clown, turned out to be much more Bozo than Pennywise. Sure, he was scary-looking, and he had the tragic backstory to boot, but Twisty’s crimes felt more garden variety scary movie than the monstrous panache we’d expect from AHS.
Twisty, played by John Carroll Lynch, even had a disappointing resolution as a character. Not only was he never really sorted out by a main character or a victim bent on revenge, but he was literally yanked out of the show to join Edward Mordrake’s nightmarish troupe, collecting the clown’s soul after hearing his tale of woe.
One of the characters fans most resonated with in season three, Coven, was Misty Day, played by the talented Lily Rabe. Misty’s character screamed Supreme, from her unique abilities to her lack of really caring about the position.
Misty was all about fairness, being kind to animals, and protecting the vulnerable, making her a fantastic character to root for.
Unfortunately she was also a red herring. Falchuck and Murphy offed her in such a terrible way in a Hell made up of her own personal vivisection nightmare, which made zero sense given her ability to bring things back to life so easily. Misty didn’t deserve her ending, but neither did Nan and many other characters.
Tate Langdon is one of the most romanticized characters in the history of AHS. The season 1 character is a doting friend, devoted boyfriend who would do anything for Violet, and speaks volumes of teen angst to many a smitten heart. It doesn’t hurt that Evan Peters, who plays Tate, is easy on the eyes as well. Is that why it’s so hard to remember that Langdon is such a deplorable character?
Tate is a school shooter. He took the lives of several classmates and should represent what we most despise and do not condone in this nation right now. He also assaulted Violet’s mother, Vivian, causing her to become pregnant with his Antichrist baby. How can anyone still crush on this guy knowing what harm he’s done?
What other problems with American Horror Story do fans overlook? Let us know in the comments!
2018-10-10 08:10:37 – Sara Schmidt
Following his official debut in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Johnny Depp confirms that he’ll reprise his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. With 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Warner Bros. launched a Harry Potter prequel spinoff series starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who anchors the overall narrative. Since the saga is set decades before the main continuity, it also features some familiar key players like Nicholas Flamel and a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) linking both timelines in the franchise together.
Backlash about Depp’s involvement began immediately after his reveal in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, given controversies hounding the actor. Despite calls for a recast, Warner Bros. stood its ground with both director David Yates and J.K. Rowling defending their casting choice. However, following the actor’s disastrous San Diego Comic-Con appearance, it’s as if Warner Bros. has been trying to minimize his presence in The Crimes of Grindelwald‘s marketing – an odd move considering that he plays the headlining character in the film. While many took this as a sign that the studio is finally hearing people’s pleas, it turns out that it really isn’t the case with Depp already set for the franchise’s third film.
Related: Fantastic Beasts Is Stretching Harry Potter Continuity To Breaking Point
Speaking with Collider, Depp talked about his experience being part of the Wizarding World and confirmed that he will continue to be involved in it, at least until the third film in the Fantastic Beasts series wraps up.
“I loved it yeah. I loved it because that’s really an arena where you can fly around and try different things and approach a character with a lot more…um…to take someone who is teetering on being a fascist, yeah he’s a fascist, he’s one of those, but to play him as a sensitive, concerned yet manipulative and powerful wizard. The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year.”
It remains to be seen how The Crimes of Grindelwald will perform at the box office, with people already knowing that Depp will play a central figure in the film. Its predecessor made $814 million against a $180 million production budget, but the actor’s involvement wasn’t revealed until the very end of the movie. If the sequel’s haul turns out to be significantly lower than Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and if there’s substantial proof that it’s linked to the backlash from Depp’s appearance, it’s still possible that Rowling and Warner Bros. might reconsider sticking with him throughout the next installment. Since the first movie established that Grindelwald can effectively disguise himself, perhaps they can bring Colin Farrell back to play the role permanently or any other actor that doesn’t pose a PR nightmare.
In the meantime, Depp is expected to be front and center in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which hits theaters in a little over a month. The sequel follows the events of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, with Grindelwald successfully escaping and continuing his villainous schemes. Young Dumbledore teams up with Newt to take down Grindelwald once and for all, and it’ll also present a brand new threat to the underground Wizarding World.
2018-10-10 05:10:12 – Ana Dumaraog
PlayStation has confirmed that the ability to change a user’s PSN Online ID is coming in early 2019. The company did not specify exact launch date specifics, but did stated that testing the new functionality will be getting underway soon.
The saga regarding PSN name change functionality is one that has gone on for years now. Seemingly almost every year, reports would surface that the rumored functionality was finally in the works for Sony, only for those rumors to be shot down by an official spokesperson shortly after. For a company that has had a stranglehold on the current-gen console market for the better part of the PlayStation 4’s entire existence, not having the ability to change your user ID on the PlayStation Network was a bizarre oversight that had never been corrected.
Related: Sony Boss Says A Next-Gen PlayStation Console is Necessary
Now, however, the official PlayStation Twitter‘s post suggests that the company has finally recognized the need to allow gamers to change their online user names. The announcement also specifies that the rollout of PSN name change options will begin in early 2019, meaning that it won’t be a long wait – at least, not compared to the wait Sony supporters had just to have the company acknowledge the need for such a function.
The decision to allow users to change their PSN names comes not long after Sony made another key, crowd-pleasing announcement. Towards the end of September, Sony announced that the company was finally caving in to the demands of players around the world and allowing cross-play functionality for its PS4 system, most notably supporting Fortnite in the decision. Sony had been the last of the major gaming companies to acquiesce to the trend of cross-platform play, and it did not happen quickly. That’s why the decision to allow PSN Online ID changes happening in a span of months is such a surprising, yet welcome, announcement.
Now that Sony has made back-to-back gigantic announcements regarding its online service, it’s fair to wonder what’s left for the PS4 this year. Sony recently committed to the fact that there would be no PlayStation Experience in 2018, citing that the company simply had a lack of upcoming things to feature and that it would be better served skipping this year’s show altogether. It’s possible that because of this relative lull in PS4 offerings Sony has suddenly decided to make some heavily requested changes to its PSN service – and if so, it’s a deft move from the company, keeping its name in the spotlight even when it isn’t churning out a bunch of appealing exclusives.
More: Best Video Games According To Metacritic (And 10 Worst)
Source: Official PlayStation Twitter
2018-10-10 01:10:48 – Cody Gravelle
In-between his efforts on the Bourne movies, journalist-turned filmmaker Paul Greengrass has spent much of his career making docudrama-thrillers about real-world events, ranging from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (United 93) to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 (Captain Phillips). While there’s an inherent risk of exploiting a real-world tragedy that comes with any such project, Greengrass has long been celebrated for his ability to dramatize terrible events on the big screen in a manner that’s intense, yet sensitive and ultimately insightful in its presentation. Thankfully, that remains the case with his Netflix Original 22 July, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the writer/director at his finest. Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.
22 July picks up on July 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway, as Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a self-declared right wing extremist – prepares to carry out a terrorist attack on the city the next day. He begins his assault by setting off a bomb in a van near the main office of the then-current Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), killing eight people in the process. Breivik then proceeds to continue his attack by gunning down 69 members of a summer camp organized by the AUF – the youth division of the Norwegian Labour Party – on the island of Utøya, before he is ultimately apprehended by the police and taken into custody.
Among the members of the summer camp is one Viljar Hanssen (Jonas Strand Gravli), who manages to survive Breivik’s attack despite being shot multiple times and left permanently maimed. As Viljar struggles to recover both physically and psychologically from what happened to him (along with everyone else who survived the Utøya shootings and their loved ones), Breivik works with his chosen lawyer Geir Lippestad (Jon Øigarden) to mount a defense and use his trial as a platform to publicly announce his political agenda (which calls for the immediate deportation of all Muslims and heavier restrictions on immigration to Norway, among other things). When it becomes clear to Viljar what Breivik intends to do, he grows increasingly determined to continue his rehabilitation and testify against him in court for not only himself, but also every other person whose lives were affected by what took place on July 22.
Adapted from the book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad, Greengrass’ script for 22 July has a very clear-cut three act structure – with the first act focused on the July 22 attack, the second part set during its immediate aftermath, and the final third centered on Breivik’s trial. The film is strongest during its first and third acts in particular, as those chapters (respectively) play to Greengrass’ strengths as a suspense-thriller storyteller and provide the emotional payoff to Viljar and, thus, Norway’s overarching journey of recovery and survival. It’s the second act where things start to drag and get a little muddled, especially as 22 July splits its focus between not only Viljar’s story thread, but also Lippestad and Breivik’s trial preparation, and the investigation into Stoltenberg’s administration and its failure to prevent a terrorist attack. While there’s nothing in the second act that feels inessential, 22 July struggles to divide its attention evenly between its three plotlines and the film’s pacing suffers for it.
On the whole, however, 22 July does a nice job covering a fair amount of narrative ground, even when taking its pretty substantial runtime into consideration. It helps that Greengrass (as he’s known now for doing, as a director) never fully lifts his foot off the gas pedal and keeps the film’s proceedings feeling on-edge throughout, even during its more purely dramatic portions. The filmmaker, working this time around with DP Pål Ulvik Rokseth (The Snowman) and Oscar-winning Argo editor William Goldenberg, uses essentially the same vérité cinematography and restless editing style that he has on his previous movies, in order to fully immerse viewers in the film’s setting and action. At the same time, Greengrass slows things down a bit here and, in turn, delivers a movie that’s more visually cohesive than some of his weaker efforts in the past (see the last Bourne sequel, in particular). This serves 22 July well, allowing it to effectively work as both a grounded drama and thriller.
Given the sheer amount of information that 22 July strives to cover, though, there’s not a lot of room for the film’s actors to really shine – not in the way that Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips, for example. Even so, the 22 July cast is uniformly strong across the board, with Gravli especially doing an excellent job of portraying Viljar’s struggles with his physical injuries, PTSD, and the sheer amount of emotional baggage that he’s saddled with after barely managing to escape the attack on Utøya with his own life. Actors like Thorbjørn Harr and Isak Bakli Aglen are similarly moving in their smaller roles as members of Viljar’s family, as is Seda Witt as Lara Rashid, a young woman who starts to make a romantic connection with Viljar before both of their lives are shattered by Breivik’s attack. As for Breivik himself: Lie is quite compelling in the role and portrays the terrorist as a fully-developed person – one whose rationalization of his behavior makes him chilling and pathetic in equal measure.
As with his previous films, Greengrass uses 22 July as a means for delivering larger sociopolitical commentary about the state of things in the world, specifically where it concerns the rise of xenophobic and nationalist ideologies in various countries (the U.S. included). While his scripted dialogue can start to become a bit on the nose as its strives to get these points across (especially in the third act), Greengrass largely succeeds in allowing the story here to shine a light on these issues organically, without getting up on his figurative soapbox to drive the point home. If there’s a downside to the filmmaker’s approach, though, it’s that July 22 winds up handling its subject matter in a way that’s more engaging intellectually than emotionally and, thus, lacks the emotional resonance of Greengrass’ best work to date.
All things considered, however, Greengrass does a very good job of bringing the true story behind 22 July to cinematic life. The final result is a film that makes for an enlightening and otherwise respectful documentation of a horrifying real-world event, rather than one that comes off as exploitative or manipulative. 22 July is showing in select theaters now – in order to qualify for next year’s major film awards shows – and it certainly benefits from being seen on the big screen, but can still be appreciated just as much as a Netflix Original on your home TV. While it’s obviously not a light-hearted viewing experience, 22 July is very much worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed Greengrass’ previous non-Bourne efforts and/or would like to know more about Norway’s own infamous modern terrorist attack.
22 July is now available for streaming on Netflix and is playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is rated R for disturbing violence, graphic images, and language.
Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!
2018-10-10 01:10:22 – Sandy Schaefer
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