Posts

AppleTV+’s For All Mankind Sneak Peek Video | ScreenRant

Apple has yet to launch its AppleTV+ streaming service, but the tech giant is already busy marketing one of its first shows, For All Mankind, with a new video tied to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing. This summer has seen the historic event remembered with a number of documentary films, both in theaters and on television. In addition to the IMAX-enhanced Apollo 11, National Geographic recently aired its feature documentary Apollo: Missions to the Moon, which not only recounted Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touching down on the lunar surface, but it also covered the history of the Apollo program in total. 

Now, AppleTV+ and co-creator/showrunner Ron D. Moore are taking an alternative history approach to the space race, contemplating what NASA and humankind might have looked like if human exploration of space didn’t stop at the moon. The new series is one of many ambitious (and apparently very expensive) new original series Apple has stockpiled as the streaming wars begin to heat up in advance of not only AppleTV+, but also Disney+, and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. And as one of the only shows that Apple has released a proper trailer for, it seems fitting that the company give audiences a better look at what’s to come by comparing For All Mankind to the event being remembered this summer. 

More: Apollo: Missions To The Moon Review: Captivating Space Doc Retells The Race To The Moon

It’s a smart bit of marketing on Apple’s behalf, as the new featurette not only gives viewers a sneak peek at the new series, but it also gives co-creator Ron D. Moore a chance to explain the impetus behind For All Mankind. Thought it’s just a small peek behind the curtain, the short featurette demonstrates the show’s commitment to creating a version of NASA that’s as realistic as possible, even though the space administrations mission and progression through history to the present day will conceivably be dramatically different from the one most viewers know today. Take a look at the video below:

Since WWDC 2019, Apple has been showcasing For All Mankind as its flagship program for the  streaming TV service that is expected to launch this fall. Whether or not that means the space race series will be the only series available at launch or not is not entirely clear, but it sure seems as though the maker of iPhones is positioning the the alternative history drama as a prestige-worthy series, one that may well net the fledgling TV service the positive reviews (and possibly awards recognition) that will get subscribers signing up. 

But if watching Joel Kinnaman lead a new generation of astronauts into space isn’t enough, viewers can still look forward to the Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston-led TV news drama The Morning Show, as well as the reboot of Amazing Stories, and the Jason Momoa fantasy series Sight. 

Next: Top Gear Season 27 Review: New Hosts Usher In A New Era Of Epic Car Tours

For All Mankind and AppleTV+ will premiere later this fall.


2019-07-15 01:07:13

Kevin Yeoman

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!



Source link
2018-10-09 06:10:21 – Leon Miller

Venom’s OTHER End-Credits Scene Explained

Venom not only has a mid-credits scene that overtly sets up a sequel with Cletus Kasady a.k.a. Carnage as the villain – it also has a post-credits scene that offers a sneak peek at upcoming animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Unlike the careful cohesion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony Pictures’ stable of Marvel properties are a little more complicated. Venom may or may not be in the same live-action universe as a slate of upcoming Spider-Man-adjacent movies like Silver Sable, Black Cat and the Jared Leto-starring Morbius, the Living Vampire. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, however, is explicitly set in a different universe (though possibly within the same multiverse).

Related: How Venom Sets Up A (Much Better) Sequel

Let’s break down the hilarity and action of the Into the Spider-Verse scene that follows Venom‘s end-credits, what it tells us about the world of young Miles Morales, and the insight it offers into Sony’s approach to marketing superhero movies.

  • This Page: Into the Spider-Verse and Miles Morales’ Universe
  • Page 2: What Happens In The Post-Credits Scene

Spider-Verse Is NOT Connected To Venom

Barring a surprise cameo by Tom Hardy, bursting into Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse like Eddie Valiant arriving in Toontown, it’s safe to say that Venom and Into the Spider-Verse do not share any continuity. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, and produced by The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Into the Spider-Verse embraces the Marvel Comics concept of a superhero multiverse by bringing many different versions of Spider-Man into the same universe.

Based on the most recent trailer, it looks like this crossing-over of universes is triggered by the Kingpin’s use of a super-collider. The protagonist of the movie is Miles Morales, a Brooklyn teen who was introduced in the Ultimate Marvel comics back in 2011, and takes up the mantle of Spider-Man in his universe after Peter Parker dies. Into the Spider-Verse is about Miles discovering that there’s an entire multiverse full of weird and diverse Spider-People out there, and working together with them to stop Kingpin from destroying Brooklyn.

We’re expecting to see a lot of cameos and references to the many versions of Spider-Man in the movie, but the trailers so far have introduced a group of six main Spider-People: Miles himself; a version of Peter Parker from a different universe; Spider-Gwen (a version of Gwen Stacy from a universe where she was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter); Spider-Man Noir (a black-clad Peter Parker from a noir-themed 1930s universe); Peni Parker (an anime schoolgirl who operates a spider mech suit); and Spider-Ham, a spider who was bitten by a radioactive pig.

Related: Every VENOM Easter Egg & Marvel Secret You Missed

Peter Parker Is Dead (In Miles Morales’ Universe)

As mentioned before, Miles Morales hails from the Ultimate Universe and was introduced after a story arc called The Death of Spider-Man, in which (you guessed it) Spider-Man dies. Specifically, Peter Parker dies in battle with the Green Goblin, saving Aunt May in the process and, in his mind, redeeming himself for failing to save Uncle Ben. Not long afterwards, Miles Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider stolen from Oscorp, and develops all of Spider-Man’s powers – plus a couple of extras: camouflage, and the ability to fire a blast of energy from his hands, called a venom strike.

Venom‘s post-credits scene confirms that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be adhering closely to the Ultimate comics, as it shows Miles kneeling by Peter Parker’s grave – making it clear that the Peter Parker in his universe is dead. In the comics, Miles takes up the mantle of Spider-Man (despite having some qualms that it might be in “bad taste”) to honor the late Peter Parker. It seems as though the Miles of Into the Spider-Verse has done the same, but worries that he’s not a good enough Spider-Man to live up to Peter’s legacy.

The post-credits scene then takes a turn for the weird. As Miles is mourning Peter Parker, who should sneak up behind him in the graveyard but… another Peter Parker!

Page 2: What Happens In The Post-Credits Scene

What The Spider-Verse Post-Credits Tease Shows

The first meeting between Miles and Peter does not go well. Miles accidentally knocks Peter out and ends out attached to him by a string of webbing. Before he can untangle himself, the cops show up in the graveyard and – mistakenly thinking that Miles is carrying a dead body – start coming after him. Panicking, Miles flees the graveyard with the unconscious Peter in tow, but the extra weight slows him down. Peter’s body manages to get webbed to a passing train, and the train drags his body along with Miles – still stuck to Peter – dragged along behind.

What ensues is a downright hilarious chase through the streets of New York with the cops trying to keep up as Miles and Peter are pulled helplessly along by the train. Miles attempts to keep Peter from coming to harm, but he bounces off cars and other objects, getting increasingly beat-up. At one point he crashes into a snowman and gets the snowman head stuck on his own head, creating quite a bizarre spectacle for the citizens of New York as he passes by. Peter regains consciousness just as the train finally slows to a stop, and the scene ends there.

Related: Spider-Verse Theory: Peter Parker Is Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man

Overall it’s a pretty revealing clip – setting up the first meeting between Miles and Peter, and effectively communicating the premise of the movie to audience members who may not have been aware of Into the Spider-Verse‘s existence. Some fans may be dissatisfied with it – perhaps hoping for a glimpse at one of Sony’s other upcoming movies, or even a clip that teases Spider-Man: Far From Home. However, it’s smart for Sony to promote their next comic book movie wherever possible, and the Into the Spider-Verse clip is arguably a lot better than Venom‘s mid-credits scene.

Venom’s Mid-Credits Scene Sets Up Venom 2

Before wrapping up, it’s worth touching on Venom‘s mid-credits scene as well. This is a much more standard use of the mid-credits scene gimmick, overtly setting up Venom 2 (which seems like an inevitability, based on the first movie’s strong box office performance). It was all but confirmed that Woody Harrelson would be playing Cletus Kasady, the host of Venom’s symbiote offspring Carnage, but the mid-credits scene offers a first look at Harrelson in the role… and wearing a comically bad red wig.

Eddie Brock scores a hot interview with Cletus, a serial killer with many gruesome murders under his belt, and is taken to San Quentin Prison. There, Cletus is being held in a maximum security cell (a similar set-up to Harley Quinn’s cage in Suicide Squad), and is strapped into a straitjacket for good measure. He’s busy scrawling messages on the wall in his own blood when Eddie arrives, and the two of them confront each other coolly. A smirking Cletus asks if Eddie wants to hear about “the Carnage,” and the scene ends there.

It doesn’t look like Cletus Kasady has yet bonded with Carnage in this scene, but if Eddie’s visiting him in prison that Venom could well give birth to Carnage during the visit (symbiote reproduction is asexual and pretty casual) – thereby unwittingly handing Cletus the key to his escape.

More: Every Spider-Man Villain Confirmed For Into The Spider-Verse (So Far)



Source link
2018-10-07 02:10:15 – Hannah Shaw-Williams

7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

It’s been over twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s groundbreaking pilot hit TV screens and it remains one the most beloved and influential shows of all time. The series subverted expectations, in the process shattering illusions of what people thought television was capable of. It forever altered the pop culture landscape, introducing audiences to a feminist icon they could truly identify with. The show popularized serialized storytelling at a time when TV programs were largely episodic and even changed the way that viewers talked by introducing them to “Buffy speak.”

By taking the idea that high school is Hell quite literally, Joss Whedon was able to use werewolves, witches, and vampires to explore themes of desire, female empowerment, and addiction. The writers personified feelings such as isolation, alienation and humiliation, using them to ground fantastical situations in those very real emotions.

Buffy was praised for a great many things, from snappy dialogue to clever plotting. However, one of the most vital elements of Whedon’s magnum opus was undoubtedly the amazing characters with which he chose to populate this world. These players were as lovable as they were relatable and the series continues to resonate with viewers of all ages. However, not all characters introduced to the series could be as awesome as Buffy, Willow, or Xander. While certain new additions had an undeniably positive effect on the series as a whole, there were also a few that BtVS would’ve been better off without.

Here are 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved – Spike and Dru

Sunnydale got its very own Sid and Nancy when Spike and Drusilla showed up in season 2 episode “School Hard”, quickly establishing themselves as the new Big Bads in town. They were never meant to last as long as they did, but stellar performances from James Marsters and Juliet Landau gave both characters a stay of execution. These two didn’t just shake up Sunnydale, but the show’s entire mythology. They were living proof that vampires were capable of genuine emotion. Their intense bond and amazing chemistry made fans fall hard for the couple. 

Spike, of course, went on to play a much larger role in the series as a whole. Writers kept finding new ways to justify his continued existence and fans never complained, because no one wanted the vampire gone.

19 Hurt – Riley

Buffy needed to move on from Angel, but did she really have to take up with “Captain Cardboard”? Riley Finn (Mark Blucas) first appeared in the season 4 premiere, “The Freshman”, and went on to hurt the show in ways almost too numerous to list.

With him came the Initiative, which remains the storyline that most BtVS fans would rather forget.

Even after the organization was no longer part of the narrative, Riley continued to overstay his welcome. Viewers were forced to deal with his constant whining and eventually, his infidelity. These were all plot points that the show could’ve done without. It was sad when Riley helicoptered out of Buffy’s life, but only because we care about her feelings. Ultimately, no one really missed him.

18 Saved – Tara

Now this is how you create a new love interest. Oz and Willow had become one of the show’s most beloved couples and fans were as heartbroken as she was over his sudden departure. Replacing the werewolf was going to be just as difficult as finding a way for Buffy to get over Angel. However, the show chose to go in a new direction entirely with Tara Maclay, who debuted in season 4 episode “Hush”. Not only was she a woman, but she also complemented Willow in very different ways than Oz had.

Not all viewers embraced this storyline initially, but Amber Benson’s performance quickly won most of them over. Before long, fans became incredibly invested in Willow and Tara’s relationship. In many ways, they became the show’s central couple, as well as its emotional anchor.

17 Saved – Anya

Much like James Marsters, Emma Caulfield earned more time on the show through her impressive performance. Her arc wasn’t meant to last much past her first appearance in season 3 episode “The Wish”.  Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins went from human to vengeance demon and back again. She was over 1100 old, but had completely lost touch with her humanity before meeting the Scoobies.

It was more than Anya’s evolution that made her special, though. She was the character who posed the questions that most people want to ask but think that they shouldn’t. Whether ruminating on love, loss, or the simple cold truth of mortality, Anya always said exactly what she meant. Even her lack of tact was charming. The former demon brought a different perspective to the group, as well as some undeniable humor.

16 Hurt – Dawn

This is kind of a tough one, because the storyline surrounding Dawn’s existence was one of the show’s best. Her introduction in the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula”, was particularly genius. Dawn was dropped into the series as if she had always been there, leaving viewers wondering if they had missed earlier clues of Buffy having a sister.

Dawn herself was always little more than an annoyance to most fans.

It didn’t help that Michelle Trachtenberg played the character as younger than she was. This wasn’t all her fault, as Dawn was initially meant to be portrayed by a younger actress. The main problem wasn’t season 5 Dawn anyway. In later years, writers clearly weren’t sure what to do with her, giving Buffy’s sister one ludicrous plot line after another: “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

15 Saved – Glory/Ben

Glory is one of the greatest Big Bads ever to appear on BtVS. Debuting in season 5 installment “There’s No Place Like Home”, she brought the season-long threat to a whole new level. Glory wasn’t just another demon. She was a literal god, just trying to get back to her home sweet Hell. However, it was more than just sheer power that made Glory such a great villain. Clare Kramer’s manic performance is what really set her apart.

Introduced an episode before Glory, Ben (Charlie Weber) was serviceable enough.

What really brought depth to the kind doctor was the revelation that he and Glorificus were sharing a body.

This was one of the show’s most successful twists. Seriously, no one saw it coming.

14 Saved – Wesley

While it can be argued that the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was utilized far better on Angel, there’s no denying that the stuffy new Watcher was another great addition to the cast of BtVS. Debuting in season 3 installment “Bad Girls”, Alexis Denisof imbued Wesley with undeniable heart and humor, despite the character’s uptight personality.

Aside from Wesley himself, it was the dynamic between him and Giles that helped to elevate the series during season 3. We got to explore a whole new side Buffy’s Watcher. It was one thing to know about his “Ripper” past, but it was the juxtaposition of Rupert and Wesley that truly proved how awesome Giles actually was – not that we didn’t love him already.

13 Hurt – Warren

The Trio is kind of everyone’s least favorite Big Bad. However, while Jonathan and Andrew were both worthy additions to the series, Warren never had any redeeming qualities. He first appeared in season 5 episode “I Was Made to Love You” and proved himself a total creep immediately.

Although Warren started out as a punchline, he turned out to be a misogynistic monster.

Adam Busch did an excellent job of making the character incredibly unlikable, but it was Warren’s cruelty that brought season 6 to the lowest of places. “Dead Things” was one of the most brutal episodes of BtVS, and not in a good way. Plus, no Buffy fan will ever forgive him for firing the gun that took Tara’s life. Warren did a lot of damage and his character was never compelling or likable enough to outweigh that fact.

12 Saved – Oz

Fans fell in love with Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) around the same time that Willow did. From the moment he appeared in season 2 episode “Inca Mummy Girl”, he was pretty much smitten with her – even in her Hallowe’en costume. Unlike Xander, Oz actually realized how awesome Willow was and fans were overjoyed to see her finally properly appreciated.

Oz was so beloved, in fact, that even though he left under truly awful circumstances, many viewers were still torn when he came back for Willow. A lesser character could never have remained in fans’ hearts after such indiscretions. In the end, the writers found someone even better for Willow, but it speaks volumes that so many viewers were willing to forgive Oz after he locked himself in a cage with Veruca.

11 Hurt – Veruca

Veruca (Paige Moss) made her first appearance in season 4 episode “Living Conditions”. Oz may have thought that she was pretty cool, but viewers noticed that something was off about her.

Most Buffy fans are pretty protective of Willow and no one liked seeing her relationship with Oz threatened.

It’s not that it makes no sense that something would break up Willow and Oz. They dated in high school and many such relationships do not survive the transition to college. The main issue was the werewolf herself. Veruca was kind of over the top, from her musical performances to her evil machinations. Perhaps she was meant to be a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain. Regardless, no one mourned Veruca after Oz ended her life.

10 Saved – Mayor Wilkins

Fans were introduced to Mayor Richard Wilkins in season 3 episode “Homecoming”. Sure, he was a major Big Bad whose ascension plans would’ve left the world in ruins, but he was also incredibly polite. BtVS has often excelled at creating villains that fans still kind of rooted for. The Mayor was one of the best, and not just because he was such a formidable opponent.

Richard’s relationship with Faith gave his character real depth. Much like the love that Spike and Dru shared with one another, the Mayor’s affections for his protégée made him much more human, which in turn made viewers care more about him. Plus, Harry Groener’s pitch-perfect performance made it impossible not to enjoy Mayor Wilkins.

9 Hurt – Kennedy

Kennedy was as much of an epic fail as Riley. The writers proved that they could craft more than one great love interest for Willow, so what happened with her? Introduced in season 7 episode “Bring on the Night”, Kennedy (Iyari Limon) was spoiled, argumentative and honestly, kind of bland. The key to a great TV relationship is making both characters compelling in their own right.

While fans came to love both Oz and Tara rather quickly, you’d be hard pressed to find many Kennedy fans out there.

There was nothing about Willow’s new girlfriend to even distinguish her from the other Potential Slayers, save her bad attitude. Willow deserved better and so did fans.

8 Saved – Faith

Shaking up things from the moment she arrived in season 3 installment “Faith, Hope and Trick”, Faith Lehane was Buffy’s dark reflection. The Slayers were incredibly different from one another and yet, undeniably two sides of the same coin. Eliza Dushku’s magnetic performance brought so much passion and energy to the role, and she had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the cast.

Faith provided new depth not only for the slayer line, but also to the idea of what it actually means to be Slayer. Before Faith’s arrival, fans had never seen a Slayer go rogue. However, it didn’t matter how far Faith went. Viewers were always hoping that she could somehow redeem herself. Thanks to her time on Angel, she was given that chance.

7 Saved – Robin

Robin Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) debut in season 7 premiere “Lessons” initially painted the new school principal as another villain lurking in the shadows. However, much like the rest of the characters on BtVS, appearances are often deceiving. Not only was Robin one of the good guys, but he was also the son of New York-based slayer, Nikki. The series teased this out slowly until fans realized the truth shortly before it was revealed.

It was a pretty genius move.

Although it’s easy to hate on Robin for his sneak attack on Spike, the vampire did off his mother, so his frustration can be understood. In the end, Robin turned out to be a great addition to the Scoobies, bringing both new perspective and an actual bag of tricks to the mix.

6 Hurt – Adam

Buffy almost always managed to deliver the goods when it came to the season-long Big Bad: compelling characters, with humor and even a bit of heart. The series excelled in that moral grey area, making viewers sympathize with villainous even as they committed unforgivable acts. Sadly, Adam (George Hertzberg) was a giant exception to this success.

The ersatz Frankenstein’s monster – or Walsh’s monster, as the case may have been – first appeared in season 4 episode “A New Man”. The only cool thing he ever really did was skewer his creator, Maggie, who was also not a great addition to the series. All in all, Adam was very powerful, but a boring villain. Defeating him required a major deus ex machina, which would’ve been fine if he had been a better character in the first place.

5 Saved – Andrew

Andrew Wells, aka Tucker’s brother, initially seemed as irredeemable as Warren Mears. When we met him in season 6 episode “Flooded”, he was a whiny coward with nothing even resembling a moral compass. After Andrew returned the following year, the first thing he did was take his best friend’s life.

Most fans weren’t happy to see him again, but somewhere over the course of season 7, this changed.

Like BtVS has done with the best of its characters – most of whom, let’s be real, have done some terrible things – the show found a way to endear him to viewers. Andrew may not have exactly been instrumental in Buffy’s battle with the First, but the former villain definitely brought some levity to a fairly dark season. He also provided an excellent example of the power of compassion.

4 Saved – Kendra

Interestingly, Bianca Lawson was originally cast in the role of Cordelia Chase. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the actress was forced to take a smaller part in BtVSIf we can all just put aside her painfully awful accent, everyone can probably admit that Kendra herself was a pretty cool addition to the series.

Fans were introduced to the other slayer in season 2 installment “What’s My Line Part 1”. She appeared initially to be another enemy, but instead proved vital in saving Angel’s life. Kendra’s existence answered important questions about the slayers and it was this new line, beginning with her, that later allowed for the introduction of Faith. The juxtaposition of Kendra and Buffy was also quite interesting, as they each approached their calling so differently. She also helped Buffy see that slaying was more than just a job.

3 Hurt – Forrest

Another irritating and useless season 4 addition, Forrest Gates (Leonard Roberts) was introduced in “The Initiative”.

He was little more than a foil for Riley and Buffy’s relationship.

Forrest’s feelings for his fellow soldier bordered on obsession and there was nothing interesting about him in his own right.Riley’s other pal Graham may have been boring, but at least he wasn’t so annoying. Forrest was self-righteous and obviously had very little going on in the way of an actual life. No one mourned him after he his passing. The worst part about Forrest’s demise was that it wasn’t even the last we saw of him, because Adam chose to reanimate his husk. Even then, he was still a total drag.

2 Saved – Jonathan

Jonathan Levinson (Danny Strong) had a continuing presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years after his first appearance in season 2 installment “Inca Mummy Girl”. He was always on the periphery, being picked on, rescued or taken advantage of. Prior to joining the Trio, Jonathan was at the center of season 3 episode “Earshot” and season 4 installment “Superstar”. The former was incredibly poignant and the latter, a hilarious change of pace.

Many fans were surprised to see Jonathan pulled by the dark side, but he never fully committed like his cohorts did. Less obviously evil than Warren and not as easily manipulated as Andrew, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Sadly, by the time Jonathan made an effort to redeem himself, it was too late. That opportunity was stolen from him by his best friend.

1 Saved – Angelus

None of Buffy’s greatest Big Bads were quite as personal or painful to witness as Angelus. Aside from the unfortunate implications of essentially punishing Buffy for being intimate with her boyfriend, there is no denying that the second half of season 2 was the show at its best. This was due in large part to David Boreanaz’s villainous turn.

Two people who were so in love destroying each other was utterly brutal and completely gut-wrenching. It also led to some of BtVS’s most empowering moments. Buffy was just a teenage girl shouldering the weight of the entire world. Feeling as though she had lost everything led to the epiphany that she still possessed what mattered most. Much of the series is about surviving life on life’s terms. More than just enduring this pain, Buffy managed to recover from it.

What new characters do you feel hurt or saved Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know in the comments!



Source link
2018-10-06 04:10:54 – Jamie Gerber

Joker Set Video Offers Sneak Peek of Joaquin Phoenix Filming

A set video from Joker reveals Joaquin Phoenix in character. A DC Comics adaptation set in the ’80s (like next year’s Wonder Woman 1984), the film finally gives one of the most iconic DC villains his own origin story on the big screen. Directed by The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver (The Fighter), Joker will follow the earlier pursuits of the future Clown Prince of Crime back when he was known as simply Arthur. Unlike many comic book films nowadays, Joker is (supposedly) a one-off movie and will not be connected to the existing DC film universe. Rather, it will launch a brand new banner for DC Films that may be called DC Dark (or DC Black).

Plot details for Joker are still being kept under wraps, but Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron have all joined the film’s cast by this point (in as-yet unspecified roles). Meanwhile, the role of Thomas Wayne remains up for grabs after Alec Baldwin became attached to play the character, only to drop out shortly after news of his casting broke. As scheduled, principal photography has already started with a new set video emerging online giving fans an early look at the film.

Related: Theory: Joker is Based On ‘Man Who Laughs’

Following the release of the first official image of Phoenix in JokerTwitter user JNAPIER posted a video taken from the film’s set. Featuring a noticeably thin Phoenix, the clip shows him in civilian clothes, carrying a brown paper bag and storming out of a building, followed by a man dressed as a clown. The two seem to get in a heated argument, before Arthur then starts laughing at the clown, walks up to him, grabs his fake nose, throws it away and begins running in the opposite direction. Watch the video below.

Not much can be deciphered from the set video plot-wise, but it may has something to do with Phoenix’s character struggling to become a successful comedian. Regardless, it does offer an idea of what kind of person Arthur is before he becomes the Clown Prince of Crime. He even shows hints of the Joker’s mannerisms as he mockingly laughs at the clown in this video. The idea seems to be that Arthur will start out being sane at the beginning of Joker, then slowly transform into the titular super-villain after a run of bad luck and traumatic experiences, coupled with one final (and tragic) incident that finally pushes him over the edge completely.

However Phillips decides to approach things here, he has a good deal of creative freedom when it comes to crafting a backstory for the Joker on the big screen. One fan theory even goes so far as to posit that Joker and Batman will have the same biological father, Thomas Wayne, in the film. If accurate (and that’s a big if for now), this would be a pretty bold move – one that truly changes the dynamic between the Caped Crusader and the Clown Prince of Crime. Either way, it seems Joker will play fast and loose with many classic elements of the Batman mythos (his father Thomas Wayne included).

More: Joker Set Photos Reveal A Killing Joke Connection

Source: JNAPIER





Source link
2018-09-16 09:09:24 – Ana Dumaraog

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Sneak Peek Showcases Spectacular Action

New footage from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse shows off the incredible action. Sony is all-in on Spider-Man at the moment. Tom Holland plays the character in a live-action setting for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they’re even hoping Venom can launch an entire universe made up of other Spidey characters. But, the studio is also using Spider-Man’s name to tell a different type of story. Several Spider-Men will appear in an animated setting with Into the Spider-Verse, but it’ll be Miles Morales who leads the way instead of Peter Parker.

The movie stems from the mind of Phil Lord, the co-writer and co-director of 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie. While Lord wrote the script, it’s actually the duo of Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman who will direct. The marketing so far has been, well, spectacular, as the trailers have made the gorgeous animation a major selling point. That animation will make for some wonderful action based on the latest sneak peek.

Related: New Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Image Spotlights Peter Parker

Comic Book first shared Sony’s new sneak peek. The footage is introduced by Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore and Jake Johnson, who voice Miles and Peter respectively in the movie. After highlighting the fact that Spider-Verse is the first superhero movie with a bi-racial lead, the action takes the focus. Featuring some moments from Miles, there’s also looks at Spider-Gwen (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) that are equally impressive.

The latest footage coming from Spider-Verse continues to show just how special the movie looks from an animated perspective. The film is bringing several comic book elements to the big screen, from speech bubbles, to splash panels, to even the Spidey-sense alerts (as pictured above). It also allows the film to go a bit more wacky with the character designs and action as a result. From the giant Green Goblin to Kingpin’s larger than life portrayal, it should be quite fun to see how Spider-Verse incorporates them all.

It won’t just be Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacy getting involved in the action though. Thanks to the movie diving into the concept of multiple universes, there will be several different iterations of Spider-Man that appear. Nicholas Cage is set to voice Spider-Man Noir, John Mulaney will voice Spider-Ham, and Kimiko Glenn voices Peni Parker. Another possible inclusion is Spider-Punk, based on the film’s tie-in comic. Since Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t come out till December, there’s still plenty of time for more information and footage to be revealed. In fact, New York Comic Con will likely bring with it some new treats.

MORE: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Coming to NYCC 2018

Source: Comic Book



Source link
2018-09-09 01:09:10 – Cooper Hood