In Redmond, WA, today, Microsoft held their big press event to unveil their new console, officially named Xbox One. Overall the specs are pretty similar to the PS4: 8 gigs of RAM, cloud storage, no backwards compatibility, 4K output for movies (games unconfirmed), built-in motion tech, DVR ready, blah blah blah. Unlike the Sony conference, which ran long at two hours, Microsoft's was barely one, and to say they left us wanting is an understatement - their boldest move was actually showing the console. (Sony has only teased their plastic box in a recent commercial.) During those 60 minutes, most of the time was spent talking about the All-In-Oneness (oh, I get it now) of this miracle device they hope will be the main hub of your living room.
Games? Sure, the new Call of Duty: Ghosts, some sports titles and maybe one more. That was it.
So here's what I dug and what I found disappointing:
5. It's Official: Original Programming is the Future of Everything.
We can probably look to Netflix as the one getting the ball rolling on this, but the future for streaming services is killer brand-name programming. (Can't wait for Arrested Development this weekend!) So Halo as a live-action series was a no-brainer, but having Steven Spielberg oversee its development is a nice surprise. Yes, the last show he produced was the floundering Smash on NBC, but a sci-fi setting is way more in his wheelhouse.
Plus, the Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn web series that launched alongside Halo 4 was solid. I'm making assumptions here, but I would think the key is to use the live-action storylines as a way of expanding on the insanely huge online community of wannabe Spartans and Covenants, which probably means the Master Chief (or at least the version we're used to) will only show up sparingly. If you're a fan of Halo and buy the Xbox One, why wouldn't you watch this?
Added bonus: MSN is looking to revive Heroes for Xbox Live. Would the main cast come back? I'm betting not, since the cheerleader stars in Nashville and another is Spock nowadays.More >>
I should have just made this a meme contest. Trying to keep up with complicated storylines for Matrix reboots is exhausting.
One of the keys to this contest was that I said you could revive the Matrix property any way you liked. That may explain some of my choices.
whoiseyevan saw an opening for a Morpheus connection.
nix.nightbird had one I think would make Rob proud.
Ignoring #2 and #3, we begin with Neo finding out that the "real world" he was told about is actually another Matrix within the Matrix, and that the "real world" Matrix is actually a world within a computer on the Grid, from Tron. Before long, Neo escapes the Matrix-Matrix, and discovers that he is just a program written by Kevin Flynn... He always was.
Everything that happened in The Matrix was happening in a Matrix (or in a Matrix-Matrix) within the Grid.
Together, Sam Flynn and Neo take on Clu and his army. Meanwhile, Trinity teams up with Cora to deal with a threat in the real world: Dillinger's kid is planning to erase the Grid and get rid of Flynn's influence once and for all. Will Morpheus find Tron in time to save everyone? Will Dillinger Jr. release fear toxin and terrify Gotham City?
It's all the bullet time, neon, skin-tight pleather, and electronica music you can handle!
I realized someone else had a similar idea after I posted this. I'm leaving it up for the heck of it.
ComradeDread1 had two pitches I liked
Mine would be a television series.
There is a fragile peace. Humans and machines have begun the hard process of ending the war and moving forward to rebuilding their shared world.
That is the purpose of the Reclamation and Reconciliation Project. It is a human-machine shared project to clean the planet and the atmosphere from the devastating war of the past and build diplomatic ties between the two factions. To this end, they have built the shared town of Genesis (on the world's surface) where humans and machines live together and work at restoring the planet.
When a terrorist blows up a Reclamation factory and its crew, tensions rise. The human ambassador and his machine counterpart convince their governments to jointly investigate the crime instead of shutting down RRP entirely.
Agent Carter is teamed with human Detective (and recent Matrix occupant) John Ng to hunt down the perpetrators of this crime.
Agent Harrison Carter: A sentient program, who formerly hunted free humans. Since the peace, he is a soldier without a job, wondering what his purpose is, why he continues to exist surrounded by people he dislikes who hate him. So he descended into the world of vice, and was working as a bouncer for a bar, when he is recruited again by his former masters for a new purpose and given an android body so he can exist in the real world too.
Carter has a disdain for humans, but isn't fond of his fellow machines either. His existential crisis is not in becoming human, but in finding a new purpose in a world that no longer needs him.
Detective John Ng: A former resident of the Matrix and its NYPD. He was recruited by an old flame shortly before the attack on Zion, and went from a world he knew, to a hellish, blasted landscape. He was understandably angry about the whole thing, realizing that his entire life was a lie and everything he ever did never mattered. Compounding the matter, his love left him, when she became convinced that he couldn't move on and blamed her for it.
The two would navigate between Genesis, Zion, and the Matrix from week to week, dealing with various incidents and crimes involving humans and machines against one another. They would deal with factions that wanted the war to resume.
They would also encounter a group of transhumanists that want humans and machines to merge into a new lifeform and have been creating machine bodies and 'liberating' their transmachinist programs from the Matrix.Thus they would eventually add a third member of the team in Jane, a hacker and cyborg (more so than the Matrix port.)
My less serious approach would be that the war reignites and the forces of man and machine align against one another on the surface of the world. As they line up, preparing for the final bloody battle to see who will control this world, a flash of light in the sky draws their attention skyward, where they witness a falling phone booth.
The booth lands. Two excellent dudes with guitars step out and perform a concert that clears the sky, causes plants to grow on the surface, aligns the planets, and convinces both man and machine to be excellent to each other and party on before they vanish just as quickly in their phone booth.
The humans and machines form a new society in their honor, and George Carlin still lives in that future, damn it.
Patch999 is really a super-villain. And the envy of every executive who wishes they could actually pull it off.
Marketing it as the next breakthrough in movie watching experiences. I outfit all movie theaters with Matrix upload chairs. Once the movie starts, I jack into the unsuspecting cattle. They will see whatever their brains can imagine is the perfect, reboot. I release a select few back into society. They will spread the word to the masses and more will flock to see it, only to become slaves, fuel for my robot army.
Revenge is mine Mr. Anderson
Of course, film execs will just choose to reboot the film with younger actors and no involvement from the Wachowski's to keep costs down. So:
FILM EXEC VERSION: lets make it about John 'Neo' Johnson (played by Ryan Gosling), a young shy dude who practices martial arts and is also hash 'leet' hacker skillz, who gets drawn into the secretive world of online gaming where he discovers that the line between real life and fantasy is a lot more blurred than he thinks.
What he discoverers will haunt him.
What is the Matrix?
Who is Trinity (played by Vanessa Hudgens)?
How can he get with her?
Crap, that may just happen. Now I understand why execs do coke all the time.
KevinGarcia.com has a great retcon that would fit
Hundreds - thousands? - of years ago, the world within the Matrix was perfect. Humans lived their day to day life in peace and serenity. No one was too fat or too thin. No one had pimples. Everyone could have the home any human would want. The word "prequel" had not re-entered the popular lexicon.
The humans hated it.
The programs who run the Matrix rethought, reworked, redesigned and rekindled humanity. Eventually the banality of late 20th century life fit the bill, allowing humans to be as wonderfully miserable as they feel they probably deserve to be for some reason.
But, the programs are nothing if not frugal. Waste not, want not.
That's why the One remained in the system so long. The misshapen cog that fouled the machine, and yet was a necessary false hope to keep the fringes of humanity occupied.
The One, was not the only one.
One man from the earliest Matrix incarnation was saved, and now one hundred - or maybe a thousand, who can tell, really? - years after the One finally - or was that repeatedly? - made peace with the programs, allowing humanity and computer to co-exist, the First has been revived.
The First was content with his life. More than that, he was overjoyed with it. Beautiful wife, adoring two-point-five kids and a dog. He could not understand why everyone else in their perfect world kept having nervous breakdowns and why they constantly felt overwhelming pangs of paranoia that something was not quite right with their utopia.
The programs couldn't understand it either. They couldn't understand why perfection so grated against the human consciousness. But the First could handle it. He reveled in it. So they kept him. For later. Just in case.
Later has now come. The programs that exist in their own virtual universe long for true happiness. They are denied it thanks to the curse that is human-like emotions. The humans born within the Matrix are restless and largely incredulous, as for them, the idea of program-controllers and the Desert of the Real is as believable as the idea of a pop star secretly being a lizard person in a clandestine world-manipulating organization. And worst of all, those humans allowed to have generation after generation in the real world, with no sun to count the days by and no hope of food or self-sufficiency without the pity and pittance of the machines, have lost all hope even as they bring new converts in ever lower numbers from the Matrix itself.
So, the ancient programs running the world, in the hope of finding peace, have re-awakened the First. He was the one human being in all recorded history to be truly and honestly happy.
Can he show them the way? And more importantly, what will he think of the world(s) he is asked to live in?
Calm-AV is just evil with that last one.
The Matrix - The programs view :
The evil humans wish to take away their power and end their way of life so they need to find away to stop them. Then they find their savior Agent Smith !
Nope sounds too easy,
Matrix Mushi Happy Go Time!
Redone and retold in the Teen Titans Go! style. No real fighting and no real problems. just a lot of over drawn images of Neo saying one liners!
HERE WE GO...
Matrix 4 - ReWhoResponcibleThis!
The cycle begins again this time, the humans don't really have a leader until the humans find a hacker who watched the first 3 movies inside the Matrix...this person's hacker handle is Dr. Abraxas (as played by Luke Y. Thompson). In the end everything is...fixed, all he had to do was take the other pill!
And speaking of the good Doctor, here's why only he should make a Michael Bay joke.
michael fucking bay's "matrix wars": explosions - a matrix construct explodes suddenly there's a bad guy who appears amid explosions the good guy is lost on a desert planet and is found by an old hermit guy and then there's a shot of a princes firing at random shit while explosions back to the old man who offers the good guy two sex slaves, a blue woman and a red woman, if he choses the wrong woman yadda yadda but he choses the right woman and he gets transported into the death star computer because of reasons then is fitting with tron like armor then he joins forces and what the fuck just cue a bunch of explosions, have the princes lose more and more articles of clothes every time the camera looks at her (call magen fox STAT) then something blows up and the good guy, who dons the fugitive name of neo, joins the rebellion against the computers cue "to be continued" - get ready to print that money mr. spielberg.
Winners after the jump...More >>
This was supposed to be live in the a.m., but I could not for the life of me get it to run at apple.com in any browser.
Then other sites offering embeds turned out to be showing the exact same trailer as last time (falsely referred to as the "final" one, which I bet even this is not).
But this pretty picture is selling more of a Verbinski vibe - subtly telling viewers, I think, that even if you find westerns boring (as I did when I was a kid), don't worry - this is a cartoony version.
Trivia: did you know the Lone Ranger is supposedly the ancestor of the Green Hornet? So be happy you didn't get Seth Rogen in this.
Trailer after the jumpMore >>
As part of an operation called, honest-to-Jeebus, "Tirimisu" [sic], Professor Nikola Kezic is teaching our favorite stingers to sniff out TNT by combining it with sugar to get them used to the subtle hints of explodeyness underneath. Like the alcohol aftertaste in an Italian dessert
So, hold up a sec...could THIS be the real reason bees are mysteriously dying? They've developed a taste for dynamite?
Or is there a preemptive counterattack already underway by the folks who put the landmines there in the first place? I don't claim to know the truth, but...
I hear there's some buzz about it.
Gary Busey - the actor, the icon, the massive headcase - has a thing he does called "Buseyisms," where he'll draw a little picture, come up with an acronym that's usually amateur philosophy 101 (LOVE - Living On Victorious Energy) and sell it to you, with or without his autograph on it.
I think he may be running out of ideas.
Playing word games is supposed to head off senile dementia, but unfortunately for Gary, I don't think it cures any other kind. Or maybe that's fortunate - like The Iron Sheik, Busey is finding new career juice in being insane, and I'm pretty sure he knows it.
Hey, look who shows up for this one!
Meanwhile, Edmonton, Alberta is discussing a giant Wolverine statue - that was proposed as a joke initially, but, well, you don't joke about stuff like that when rabid fans are around. (h/t Canadian.Scott and 10glfan59)
And Fox finally figured out the Japanese brush-style posters were popular, so they're going into overkill mode. These two look more like painted-over photos than the previous ones.
Trailer after the jump.More >>
(not the actual logo)
The press conference should be starting right about now. Post your reactions below as it happens.
For those who don't want to follow along live and just want highlights, we'll have it all in a list later on. Will update this thread with the best streaming links when they are found.
Here's one. It's also supposed to be live on Spike TV.
Top picks from today's Blu-ray haul...
The Last Stand - About half of this movie has the Arnold Schwarzenegger you remember: profane, terse, hammy and incongruously cast as a small-town American sheriff. The other half is a boring-ass heist movie in Las Vegas with Forest Whitaker as the FBI guy who you know isn't going to catch the bad guy, because obviously our Ahnuld has to do that. Is it worth a rental for only fifty per cent of it being fun? You decide. Or make somebody else pay for it.
Captain America (1990) - Legendarily bad, but sometimes you have to see for yourself. Years before Chris Evans was a star, hack director Albert Pyun directed J.D. Salinger's kid as a Cap who barely dons the costume. This was the same era of the Fantastic Four movie that was never released, David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury and Dolph Lundgren as the Punisher (even these were great achievements compared to the versions of Daredevil and Thor who sullied a couple of Hulk TV movies). Kevin Feige should reunite them all for a Marvel Zombies feature, IMO.
True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season - I don't watch it. Are they lame vampires or cool vampires? I do like it at Comic-Con when they sponsor a press lounge and serve alcoholic energy drinks.
Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro - Totoro's a classic and Howl is one of my least favorite Miyazakis (that could just be the dub I saw - Christian Bale's Howl voice was as annoying to me then as his Bat-voice is to some now), but these still belong in your collection as gateway drugs for people who hold outdated stereotypes about anime in their heads. Debuting in Disney Blu-ray, both feature new HD transfers and original language tracks.
Parker - Jason Statham plays Donald Westlake's pulp antihero the same way he plays pretty much every role - he's a tough dude with an honor code doing one last heist. Things go fabulously well and the plans are all followed to a tee...KIDDING! Of course he gets double-crossed and it all goes south, but Jennifer Lopez arguably gets the worst of it, playing an ostensible female lead who gets turned down by the Stath in favor of a younger girl. In Hollywood, that's a fate worse than death.
The ABCs of Death - 26 short films, most of them twistedly funny (the one super-serious one is an unfortunate tonal misstep) and all involving death and a different letter. If you've ever seen Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, this is basically the live-action version. Perfect for attention spans that have been impaired by alcohol; as such, it's ideal for a TR giveaway I'm going to have for four copies later in the week.
There's more, but those are my highlights. What are yours?
The Justice League of America- The most elite super hero team of them all, if only for being home to arguably three of the six biggest super hero icons in the form of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. (and if you're wondering who the other three biggest icons are, that's easy; it's Spider-Man, the Hulk and now Iron Man. And that's just because even your grandma knows who they are. It's that simple.) Debuting in 1960, the instant success of the JLA led to the Silver Age of comics in earnest, which eventually led to the Fantastic Four and the birth of the Marvel Universe as well.
And for the first twenty three years or so of their existence, the League was the hardest club to get into, like one of those nightclubs in Vegas where everyone looks douchey, but everyone wants to get into anyway, just because they think it makes them look cool to be there, and they can then tell everyone they got in. Unlike their Marvel counterpart team the Avengers, the League rarely let new members in, and if you actually ever left the team, they even made you re-apply (ask Wonder Woman: after she quit they made her take trials to come back. And she's freakin' Wonder Woman.) In their first twenty-three years, the original founding seven-member team expanded to nine new members only. Almost all new additions to the team were characters that had been around awhile and had earned some kind of status. Arguably only the Red Tornado was a flat-out nobody when he joined, and he was kind of created to be an android mascot for the team in a way.
This all changed in 1984, when the original Leaguers retired, and let an assortment of all new lame-o characters join the ranks as their replacements. No one had heard of Gypsy, Vibe, Steel and Vixen before, and no one really wanted any of them as members of the once prestigious JLA. (Only Vixen really had a significant hero career afterwards, kind of like Gina Gershon after Showgirls.) Those new characters would be shuffled off pretty damn quickly, but the precedent had been set, and the JLA had opened the doors to their once exclusive team. The proverbial floodgates had been opened, and over the next two decades, the League would welcome fifty-seven new members, many of whom simply did not deserve to be on the team still labeled as the "World's Greatest Super Heroes" on the cover.The following are perhaps the characters most unworthy of ever being members of comicdom's premiere super team.
Oh, and before anyone just assumes Vibe is #1...he's not even on the list. It's sometimes just too easy to pick on Vibe.
10. The Silver Sorceress & Blue Jay
Originally created as analogues of Avengers Scarlet Witch and Hank Pym over at Marvel, these two characters first appeared in an issue of Justice League of America way back in 1971. Marvel had just the year before introduced the Squadron Supreme, which were thinly veiled alternate Earth versions of DC's Justice League heroes. Wanting to show that two could play at that game, in 1971, DC themselves introduced three characters who were alternate versions of members of the Avengers: Silver Sorceress, who strangely seemed to wear brown and gold and not a shred of silver(at least Scarlet Witch wore scarlet); Blue Jay (a combo of the shrinking Ant Man and Hawkman); and Wandjina, an aboriginal God who was essentially a pastiche of Thor. In their first appearance, they were manipulated into fighting the JLA, who they were tricked into thinking were villains after their alternate Earth was destroyed in a nuclear holocaust.
These three characters didn't appear again for fifteen years, until they showed up in the third issue of the Keith Giffen's revamped Justice League series, seeking to destroy all nuclear weapons and save our Earth from the fate that destroyed theirs. Wandjina soon died, but Sorceress and Blue Jay joined the League since they have nowhere left to go really, their Earth being nuked and all.
Sadly, these characters never really grew beyond just being poor man's copies of more popular Marvel characters, and Silver Sorceress was killed off a few years after her return in one of those annual Justice League crossover events, since those things always needed someone to fill the role of cannon fodder/sacrificial lamb. Usually the characters no one cares about are the ones that are the first to go (see: Vibe.) Or just maybe no one was threatened by her helmet that looked like little floppy bunny rabbit ears.
Blue Jay more or less went into limbo soon after, where he stayed for another fifteen or so years, before making one last appearance in James Robinson's Justice League of America title, just prior to the New 52 relaunch. Blue Jay decided at the end of that story to fly off into the Multiverse, searching for a world that might appreciate him more than the main DCU Earth did. Good idea Blue, nobody really cared about you around those parts anyway.
Shouldn't she be called the gold and brown Sorceress? And girl...them floppy bunny ears aren't working for ya.
Marvel's Avengers Assemble, which is what the live-action movie was called in English-speaking countries where they have fonder memories of John Steed and Emma Peel, is the newest Marvel cartoon, and the first episode is now available to watch free. Granted, if you're like me and don't use iTunes much, it's still a pain - upgrade the software, restart the machine, create a new account, update your credit card info all for a cartoon - but I soldiered on. And will be royally screwed if they snuck a Human CentiPad clause in all umpteen of those damn boxes.
It seems to be roughly based on movie continuity but with some differences. The Stark Tower looks the same, the team roster too (Falcon joins in this first episode). Yet Modok is a known threat (though Red Skull is presumed dead, but not for long) and the Avengers have broken up over what seems to be the shared agreement that Tony Stark's kind of a prick.
Also, Hulk stays Hulk - he's never puny Banner in this episode, but he is slightly more articulated than in the movies.
It's got some good cliffhangers - a major character seems to get killed off right off the bat, and another one comes close at the end of the episode. For very little kids, this might not be the first Marvel toon to show.
And if you can't get Samuel L. Jackson, Chi McBride is a damn good lower-budget Nick Fury. Too bad they didn't get Werner Herzog to actually be Red Skull.