We finally got two official trailers - one short, one longer - for "The Day of the Doctor," along with another BBC preview clip released last Friday for the annual Children in Need telethon. Also last week, the Beeb put out "The Night of the Doctor," the first mini-episode prequel to the 50th-anniversary Doctor Who special. The trailers sparked excited speculation about what this landmark episode has in store, but the minisode gave us a really awesome surprise: Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor (finally sporting some decent footwear) in a nearly seven-minute story that wove some of his peripheral-media adventures more tightly into TV Who, waved to the Classic Series by reintroducing the Sisterhood of Karn (last seen in the 1976 Fourth Doctor serial "The Brain of Morbius") and showed us more background on John Hurt's mysterious incarnation of the Doctor (now dubbed the War Doctor).
In the trailers, we see Matt Smith's 11th Doctor meet David Tennant's 10th (and share cute moments of mutual admiration and disdain), and witness the return of companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). Not to mention, Daleks! Zygons (Zygons?)! Fez play! Ten on a horse! And Eleven dangling from the airborne TARDIS!
I'm guessing that the 75-minute special - which will be simulcast across the globe on Saturday, November 23, and even get special 3D screenings in movie theaters - has more surprises up its sleeve. But the existence of the minisode makes it pretty clear that, despite the hopes of many fans, we really won't be getting a deluxe episode packed with former Doctors and their companions. (Although you never know. One thing we've learned about showrunner Steven Moffat is - as he's so fond of saying about the Doctor - Moffat lies.) Here's why that's good - and bad.
Jason K. Helton
There's nothing quite like a console launch to get gamers riled up. At the start of the 2013 holiday shopping season we're graced with not one but two major console launches: the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. This is great news for gamers, because having the two dominant console companies throw down at the same time means innovation, inventory and affordability. It also means that if you've been telling the kids no to the Wii U thus far, you won't have any problems finding one this holiday season.
In recent years, a large part of the excitement of console launches is seeing who can actually get one. With the wonders of Internet shopping, it was pretty easy to ensure that you got the console of your choice on launch day, provided you made the leap to pre-order before you actually knew the specs. Even still, it was possible for some time to ensure that your system would be arriving at your home on launch day, but where is the fun in that? Why sit in comfort at home waiting for the UPS truck to arrive with your bundle of electronic joy when you can instead freeze your collective asses off waiting in line in hopes of being one of those lucky, procrastinating (or poor) few who couldn't or wouldn't pre-order, who end up walking out victorious?
Well, considering that absolutely no other notable major video games worth purchasing came out this week, I'd say this would be a good time to finally take a look at Pokémon X & Y, no? Particularly the stars of the game: the various all-new Pokémon that make up this brand new generation.
Now, in case you're wondering where the typical review is and why we're kind of late to the party here...well, that's largely due to personal technical difficulties getting in the way. Plus, it's honestly kind of a hard game to review...but for those of you still wanting to get the basic pros and cons...
PROS: The new graphics and scenery are really damn nice, there are more improved ways to gain experience, online play is easier and better than ever, the gameplay is still solid and fun, Pokémon-Amie can be kind of awkward but is ultimately awesome, and the new Pokémon (mostly) kick ass.
CONS: Pokémon Hordes are annoying, Wonder Trade is pretty much a huge unbalanced load, precision movement can be annoying, HM-required roadblocks are still a pain (and mandatory at some truly annoying points), the game is indeed pretty damn easy, more than a few new features seem superfluous (especially PR videos), Team Flare is just too damn stupid to take seriously, the characters and story feel like a step down from Black and White, Mega Evolutions just feel like silly, blatant fan service, and there are too few new Pokémon.
But I'm ranting here, and no one ever likes that. Besides, leaked info seems to suggest that there may be more Pokémon to add to the game after all...but until then, we can celebrate the current highlights of this new Pokémon generation (not counting the Mega Evolutions as new Pokémon, because even the Pokédex doesn't). Because despite smaller numbers, the franchise can definitely still hit it out of the park when it comes to lovable (and marketable) new critters indeed. But is that fact, or is it my own screwy tastes talking? Press on for more...More >>
A new dawn is upon us, gamers! Fancy, expensive, and more importantly, new video game systems are set to launch this week and next. Sony's Playstation 4 is first out the gate on November 15th, with Microsoft's Xbox One nipping at its heels on November 22nd. The lines in the sand have been drawn, blood has been spilled over the course of many E3 tech demos, and battles are forged daily on the charred battlegrounds of Twitter and GameFAQs and NeoGaf. Soon, very soon, the systems will be out in the wild, and in the hands of hungry gamers.
Unless you didn't get a chance to pre-order one of them. In which case, you are boned. (You are more than welcome to spend several hundred dollars more to scalpers on eBay and Craigslist, though!)
But maybe that's not such a bad thing. History has shown that, time and time again, the launches of new video game systems are rarely - if ever - truly successful. Here are ten reasons NOT to buy a next-gen video game system at launch!
Marvel Studios made quite the huge headlines in the geek world last week, when they announced four upcoming series for Netflix streaming starting in 2015, featuring their "street level" heroes Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones, who will then team up in the mini-series event The Defenders after having completed a 13 episode season for each of the solo characters. This is a huge and unprecedented move on Marvel Studios, who are on a major roll lately (they had a couple movies come out lately that did pretty well. Ya might have heard of 'em.) Right now, the details on these shows are all but non-existent, but their announcement alone leaves many questions in this Marvel fanboy's head. Here are but ten of them.
Bent-Con is the latest convention experience to enter the world of geekdom. Only in its fourth year, Bent-Con, which takes place in the Burbank area of Los Angeles, has grown pretty fast. Created by and for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender geek community, this Con is a safe space for queer geeks like myself to express our mutual love of comics, sci-fi, fantasy and horror in our own unique way.
Of course, like any geek convention worth its salt, there has to be some good cosplay on display, and Bent-Con didn't disappoint in that regard. Not to brag, but my peeples can be pretty creative with the costuming when we put our minds to it. Just sayin'. Although I DO really wish more women had cosplayed...Lesbians, trans and bi girls, you need to represent too! Bring it next year! In the meantime, check out my top 20 cosplay pics from Bent-Con 2013. (All pics are SFW - unless maybe you work at Chick-fil-A.)
I recently had the privilege of attending the public California premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope at the 38th Annual American Indian Film Festival. What made this a premiere, of course, is the fact that it was recently translated and redubbed into the Navajo Language, with a full voice cast of Navajo speakers. In fact, it's the first time that any major motion picture has been translated into an American Indian language. (I don't know why it took until 2013, but at least the ball is finally rolling.)
AFI Fest kicks off in Los Angeles tonight, arguably the biggest film festival in a town that's film central. The philosophy of it has simplified over the years - basically, the idea is to gather the best of the best from other festivals, throw in some strong Oscar hopefuls, then give away every ticket for free.
Yes, free. And this can result in your sitting next to schizophrenic homeless people who just want a dark place to sleep in for a couple of hours. Assuming they were persistent enough to stand in line for the ticket handout.
Like so many other big festivals nowadays, AFI has learned that even free movies need to crowd-please sometimes, and as such you're as likely to end up watching horror or animation as you are a coming-of-age story in a small European town surrounded by mountains. Other writers will give you a comprehensive guide, but I'm here to single out thirteen and a half (you'll understand the fraction when we get to it) that match our interests here at TR: fantasy, animation, horror, sci-fi and terrible things that make us hate ourselves. I've included trailers where possible.
Let us jump in...More >>
"Rip off!" It's fun little accusation to throw around, isn't it?
These days, whenever we look over any list of forthcoming blockbusters, the default response is to bemoan the lack of originality on display. What's up with all these sequels? Why are there so many remakes? Can a movie ever get made without being based on a comic, novel, TV show or video game? It's enough that we excitedly treat "originals" like they're rare and precious animals wandering onto the farm.
But how strict do we want to get about the notion of a flick "not being based on any prior material?" Well, we're going to argue here that many memorable "original" Hollywood pictures have actually owed enough of a debt to anime that they should really have an additional "based on" credit.
Of course, we can't act like anime hasn't ripped American films off plenty of times (compare Dragon Ball Z's Saiyan Saga with Superman II if you want a laugh), and there are certainly plenty of cases where the same ideas just happen to bubble up in the zeitgeist coincidentally (for fun, contrast the blonde, grouchy, chain-smoking exorcists who inspired both Mushi-Shi and Constantine). Today, though, we're squarely focussing on the most undeniable, laughable, and egregious imitations - ripoffs so flagrant that our frothing nerd rage prevents us from just letting it go. These are not coincidences.
Star Trek fans have been treated pretty good over the years. Sure, TV series have been cancelled and movies have disappointed, but the franchise keeps plugging away against all odds, and it looks like recent success at the box office may translate into an all-new series on CBS. And you know what that means - more toys!
While the latest film disappointed in the toy department, Trek fans have been treated to a ton of playthings over the years, including two long-running figure lines, a whole fleet of ships, plus more toy weapons than you can shake a lirpa at. We looked back over the years to find the items that have impressed the most, and came up with ten standouts, avoiding any item priced over $100 to rule out high-end replicas.
We don't expect any Star Trek fan to agree with us 100% (or even 50%), but hopefully nobody will feel the need to slide a Daqtagh in between our ribs over a perceived slight. Today is not a good day to die!More >>