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Month: October 2020

Our First Look at Amazon Studios’ Animated Adaptation of INVINCIBLE

INVINCIBLE is an adult animated superhero series that revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who’s just like every other guy his age — except his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). But as Mark develops powers of his own, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems. From Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead. Coming to Prime Video in 2021.

Good news! The character designs are perfectly matched to the comic, the series is based on the opening arcs when the comic was good and didn’t go completely off the rails, and the voice cast is phenomenal.

Bad news! The animation looks kinda cheap, and the combo of 2D animation and 3D backgrounds looks ever distracting.

Will it be good? We’ll see when Invincible hits Amazon Prime next year.

MCU’s Third SPIDER-MAN Installment Gets a Little Stranger

The Hollywood Reporter:

The good and strange doctor has been caught in the spider’s web.

Benedict Cumberbatch is putting on the cloak of levitation and will reprise Marvel supernatural hero Doctor Strange for the latest Spider-Man movie installment, starring Tom Holland and being made by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.

The move puts Cumberbatch in the mentor role that was previously occupied by Robert Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark/Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and by Samuel L. Jackson in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latter reprising Nick Fury.

So, given that the next Doctor Strange film is titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and that as we’ve covered previously, Jamie Foxx is reprising his role of Electro from an entirely unrelated version of Spider-Man on film…

…Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 has to be all about the multiverse, right?

My Weekend in HADES

Hey! This post is adapted from the introduction to my newsletter this week. It comes out (roughly) every Sunday, and I give you a quick note from me, along with three awesome things on the Internet which I think you should read. If you haven’t already signed up, you can do so here. Enjoy.

Hello and Happy Sunday, gang.

It has been a week, hasn’t it? I think we all saw some sights and sounds that none of us expected, but that’s 2020 in a nutshell, isn’t it?

At the same time, I personally had myself a long weekend, taking Friday off as today, October 4th, the day I write this, is my birthday.

I don’t bring this up to get shameless birthday wishes or anything like that, it’s just true. And the weekend itself — it’s about exciting as it could be In This Current Climate. I made the effort to take a trip to the just-far-enough-away-that-it’s-a-treat Trader Joe’s. I caught up on some comic books (I continue to highly recommend Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil). And that which I seemed to sink the most time into, time spent with the new game from Supergiant, Hades.

Supergiant Games is responsible for some of my favorite games in recent memory, titles like Bastion and Transistor, and their newest title, Hades stands tall among them.

The concept of Hades is simple: in it, you play as Zagreus, the son of Hades, lord of the Underworld. You want to fight your way through the underworld to escape. This is not an easy task.

But as Hades is what is called a “rogue-lite” game, it’s made even more difficult.

Rogue-lite games are built around the idea of a “gameplay loop”. Meaning, essentially, each time you play, while the levels might be the same, the skills you start out with, the power-ups you find — they’re not. Sometimes it might be more in your favor. Sometimes it’s not.

This isn’t a genre I’ve really been into in the past, but in the case of Hades, I have been devouring it. The failure is the game. Each game over makes you better, stronger, more prepared for the next run. You die. You return to the beginning. You look to improve on your failure. You do. You die again. You return again to the beginning. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And it’s that idea which makes the game resonate so well. In my 36 years, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that life isn’t a zero-sum game. You don’t succeed without countless failures and learning moments along the way. Each moment of glory is built on the pile of moments no one cared about or saw, as you built the best version of yourself.

It’s a lesson which resonates deeply, and is really the core of a game like Hades.

In their (spoiler-heavy) review of the game for Kotaku, Nathan Grayson hits this nail even further on the head:

Hopelessness is in right now. How could it not be? People rose up, but the historically awful status quo rose higher. What is there left to do but go on Twitter and Facebook and post different variations of “We’re fucked” alongside whatever headline you read most recently? I’m a white guy in no present danger beyond what I subject myself to. Despite this, I spent a lot of the summer despairing.

I will not go so far as to say Hades got me through it. At this point in my life, I am skeptical of games’ ability to do things of that magnitude. But as the summer wore on, Hades’ story of somebody refusing to despair in the face of overwhelming systemic failure and instead pivoting into helping rebuild his community and support his found family took on a new significance.

Yes, the graphics are stunning. Yes, the gameplay is wonderfully tuned. Yes, the music is absolutely fantastic. But more than anything, Hades is a game where you as a player learn just as much about the mechanics as you learn something about growing and persevering.

And really, isn’t that what we need right now?

Hades is available now for PC and Nintendo Switch.

New FALL GUY Trailer Promises The Final Movie of 2020. Maybe.

In “Free Guy,” a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way…before it is too late.

They’re saying this hits on December 11, 2020. But considering one major chain is completely closed for (at least) the rest of the year, I’m guessing we’re going to see this bumped back.

Fall Guys hits theaters. Eventually.

Jamie Foxx Returning as Electro for SPIDER-MAN 3 For Reasons I Can’t Begin to Understand

The Hollywood Reporter:

The next Spider-Man movie is getting a major jolt.

Jamie Foxx, who played classic Spidey villain Electro in the Andrew Garfield-starring The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is in final talks to reprise the role for the latest Spider-Man installment, starring Tom Holland and being made by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.

I’m dumbfounded by this.

Not necessarily because of the fact that Electro is coming back — I mean, these are comic book movies, they can do whatever — but with the rancid stink of the original performance, an almost Batman Forever-esq depiction of the character (seriously, look at the parallels between Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Carrey’s Riddler in Batman Forever), I can’t even imagine why they’d want to add this massive weight to drag down a movie from the jump.