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🎙️ Black Ribbon’s Ramble Podcast – COMIC-CON, JAMES BOND, OVERWATCH, TELLTALE GAMES & MORE

Watch the latest Podcast here!

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy go Telltale Episodic!

After months of waiting, Telltale have finally released a trailer for their upcoming series of the Guardians of the Galaxy which has received a very mixed response.

Watch it here!

It appears that Telltale have stepped away from their iconic art style that’s prevalent in The Walking Dead and Borderlands releases and opted for a style similar to Disney’s Infinity games. As a fan of the developers, I prefer the scratchy and darker hues that Telltale have demonstrated and feel like GotG is going to be commercially driven – similar to the Minecraft series. We see the emulation of the property owners styles to fit into the mainstream expectations of the younger, more mainstream audiences rather than the comic book fans and hardcore fan bases. The characters appear very long and slender with a lot of block based colours and little defining features to portray itself as a Telltale game.

In all honestly, i feel the trailer demonstrates nothing of significant value. The action and comedy factors that underpin that Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t showing through and it feels more of a show reel of that characters we will be seeing through the 5 episode series.

What do you think of the trailers, are you excited or as wary as us? Let us know in the comment section down below!

Marvel and Square Enix Assemble!

Marvel are finally returning to the PC/Console gaming realm! (Although we are getting Guardians of the Galaxy by Telltale SOON) A trailer released on the 26th details the brand new partnership between the two industry giants depicting the Avengers weaponry and tools scattered across a devastated landscape.

So what exactly does this mean? Well first of all we are getting a number of games over the next few years. The first release is rumoured to be a Spider-man game in 2018 BUT this is more likely the Sony release that has been floating around. Secondly, its going to look hella’ pretty and will quite possibly be in tune with the current MCU.

Watch the trailer here!

What do you think of this news? Any Marvel heroes you want to see get their own game?

Disney Reportedly in Talks With Fisher’s Estate

Its been a difficult few weeks for Star Wars fans who have been rocked by the death of Carrie Fisher. Even more so consider her reportedly large role within the leiaupcoming instalment of the series. Fortunately, the filming for Episode 8 has wrapped and Fisher will be making a posthumous return, but what about the final episode in this trilogy that also considers her role extremely important?

If we take a step back and look at the latest Star Wars adaptation, we can see Disney and Lucasfilms have a potential solution. Peter Cushing or as some may know him, Grand Moff Tarkin was digitally imprinted into Rogue One. Cushing, who died is 1994 was brought back to life by VFX artists and magicians to reprise the iconic role with express permission from his estate. Personally, had I not been told, I wouldn’t have known about this until after the release of the film which prompted a lot of controversy. Towards the end of the film we also witnessed a young Princess Leia using the same technology but was far more apparent.

Its being reported that Disney have already begun talks with Fisher’s estate to utilise her image as Princess Leia so they can finish this trilogy. As of what the talks peter-cushingwill consist of or if there will be any script/story changes, we can’t be sure, but its hoped by many that if they come to an agreement, Leia will be done gracefully, not overdone and her role heavily reduced or ended appropriately.

Considering the impact of the character on the universe and the film industry, I can see a deal going ahead. Fisher’s estate owes a lot to the Leia character and the fans that have supported them the over decades and I feel that justice can be done for both Carrie and Leia to round out her career with respectfully.

What do you think of this? Would you like to see Fisher maintain her role through CGI? Let us know in the comment section below!

Mass Effect Andromeda Arriving Soon & ME2 Free!

2017 has only just kicked off and Bioware have already blown the doors off with their latest press release. The hotly anticipated release for the latest instalment into the Mass Effect Universe will be arriving in North America on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 and Thursday, March 23, 2017 in Europe.

Bioware’s general manager continued by writing –

“Mass Effect: Andromeda is our most ambitious Mass Effect game to date. We’re telling completely new stories, creating new characters, new planets, new species, and introducing new gameplay systems. And for the first time, we’re bringing Mass Effect to the Frostbite game engine, an incredible engine that’s delivering a tremendous graphical jump from the trilogy to Mass Effect: Andromeda. To deliver on this, we’re taking all the time we can to make sure you’re getting the best possible experience.”

In conjunction with this news, NVIDIA released a gameplay trailer showcasing in game footage and a few of the menus, mobs and manoeuvres in glorious HD (#PCMasterRace). From this short snippet alone, visually it looks incredible with crisp lines and a variety of lighting and colour. The menu concerns me due to its rather rapid and clunky looking movements but this could have been sped up.

With such hype and excitement behind Andromeda, EA have made Mass Effect 2 FREE for all users of their Origin platform for PC users. Unfortunately, no news surrounding the console community yet, but the big partnership with NVIDIA probably influenced such promotional strategies.

Are you excited for Andromeda? Let us know in the comment section below!

Duo Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Dan’s Review

After the ridiculous amount of cash Marvel’s Deadpool has taken since it’s release date all the way back in February, the world’s fixation on live-action comic book blockbusters clearly has hit an all-time high with it being only a mere month before the release of the latest superhero cash-cow, DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a film which not only has a hell lot of future investment riding on it, with it essentially being a stepping stone for the creation of the DC Universe in which films like Wonder Woman and Justice League can exist, but also suffers fundamentally from an extreme amount of hype and expectation deriding not only from hardcore fans but from the head executives at Warner who know if Dawn of Justice goes down the pan, the optimistic future, one in which is obviously a frivolous attempt at rivalling the overly addictive and highly successful Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, may start to look as dark and murky as the colour palette that embraces Zak Snyder’s behemoth of a blockbuster. With The Dark Knight trilogy’s Christopher Nolan to help him out, Snyder clearly had the blueprint of Man of Steel to follow on from with Dawn of Justice yet the sad and underlying truth of Dawn of Justice brings with it a deep sense of disappointment, with Batman v Superman being a incoherent and bloated CGI-fuelled mess, something of which doesn’t come across as the tent-pole of the future it was indeed meant to become.

Let’s start with the good shall we? The set-up of the underlying plot behind Dawn of Justice, one in which the ambiguity of Superman’s capabilities forces Batman to engage in means to stop him, urged by the Iago-esque doings of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and the chaos that occurred during the final act of Man of Steel in which Metropolis was well and truly given a hammering by our Krypton visitors, is definitely an interesting concept, one which gets to introduce the newest incarnation of Batman, with Ben Affleck’s take on the caped crusader being a riveting success. Where Affleck succeeds is unfortunately where Cavill fails, with his performance as Clark Kent being one of dire and utter dullness. Wet fish anyone? Cavill aside, Dawn of Justice only lessens in quality throughout it’s 150 minute run-time, a run-time which in itself results in a film bloated with extreme plot lines, plot lines that either make no sense whatsoever, with endless dream sequences set to leave many scratching their heads, or plot lines that seem to be there only for dramatic effect rather than any real purpose or meaning, with the scene in which Lois Lane discards and then attempts to get back the Kryptonite spear being rife with utter stupidity to say the least.

Where Man of Steel eventually began to lose steam was indeed during it’s final climactic act, one in which attempted to use as much CGI as possible in order to come across as epic but ultimately resulted in a 40 minute period of intense boredom and brain-melting digital effects. Well if Man of Steel was painful to watch at times, that has nothing on Dawn of Justice, a film so reliant on CGI effects to portray its’ action, you simply beg for for George Miller to come in and beg for proper real-life thrills, thrills that were evident within Nolan’s The Dark Night trilogy yet remain completely absent throughout the entirety of Snyder’s snooze-fest. When we finally arrive at the titular battle at around the two-hour mark, its’ sheer laziness and sleep-inducing reliance on CGI is just poor and wholly underwhelming. Oh yeah, and we then have an extra 30 minute fight scene featuring a CGI monster. Wow. What else is poor? Wonder Woman is on-screen for all of 5 minutes, whilst both Jeremy Irons and Diane Lane are criminally underused, yet the real crime is the sense of Nolan having no say on this film whatsoever as producer and the film being controlled completely by the effects ridden mind of Snyder, a man who simply cannot continue as the spearhead of DC’s project of the future. Batman v Superman is not exactly Fantastic Four, it just seems like it is for now, with the heavy sense of disappointment leaving me with a strange sense of pessimism regarding the future of live-action DC movies, a genre which still has the credence to declare The Dark Knight as the best of the best. As for Marvel, they are most definitely still in control. Let’s see what Captain America: Civil War brings. Excellence, I can only hope.

Dan’s Score: 4/10

Pete’s Review

So we know Dan hated it. I however felt it lived up to my very minimal expectations. I really enjoyed Man of Steel but Zak Snyder is as constant as a broken clock and he really did a number on this one. So let’s rattle off what is good about BvS. Firstly, Batfleck. His structure, costume and general portrayal was one of the more true to life Batmen that I’ve personally seen and he doesn’t sound like he needs a lozenge and some honey tea (Apart from the laughable bat scene). Gal Gadot was a brilliant Wonder Woman, albeit for only a short period, and she really did kick ass with her costume really being on point, unlike her back story, which wasn’t so much whilst, as we are all aware, Doomsday makes an appearance, one that is once again fantastic one that looked pretty damn good. I could sit here and rattle off a few more characters and names of those I’ve enjoyed as there is very little else that really made the movie. Sure, the action was good but the story was a mess of comic book Meta with events that are left unexplained and severely confusing for those out of the loop.

For instance (COMIC BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD), we know that Robin is dead, killed by the Joker. Or so we thought. The reality is that the recent Arkham Knight game reveals all and its’ main villain is actually Robin himself who felt betrayed by Batman and seeks revenge. So his appearance bursting out of a screen in a dream sequence in a costume that looks like Red Hood/Arkham Knight was jarring to say the least (Turns out it was The Flash for some fucking bizarre and ridiculous reason but I preferred my view). Everyone knows of the Joker and a lot may know of the Injustice series. The fighting game illustrates this series well as the Joker blows up Metropolis with a nuclear bomb killing many of the Justice League and Lois Lane. Superman goes ape shit and takes over the world and puts it under martial law while Batman leads a resistance against him, thus explaining the desert scene and all of the crazy costumes and military tech. Without rattling on more, you see that Zack isn’t looking at the typical consumer. He was targeting the followers of the comics which in a way is great but financially, is not viable and still requires prior knowledge to a film that is launching a new series.

As a general consumer, what else are the issues? My biggest gripe sits with Hans Zimmer. A fantastic composer who has done some astonishing pieces of work but his work on BvS was awful. It felt like cheese was leaking from the speakers, with a corny guitar rift ruining the atmosphere of what should have been an incredibly tense and violent action sequence. Visually, the movie was alright, Doomsday looked bad-ass and his special effects were pretty good but Batman’s movements didn’t look human in the slightest and looked more like Spider-man with a permanent blur across him whenever he had to make any semblance of haste. Also, why does have to approach people in desperate need of help in an overly dramatic and incredibly slow fashion? Alright, Clark. Pack it in you prick. This house is about to float down the river. I can’t quite understand the need to constantly portray yourself as a god but complain when people see you as just that. But Clarky boy has nothing on the particularly annoying Lex Luthor. Sure, it may have been a decent performance but I’d like to clarify that I don’t ever remember seeing Lex Luthor act so bizarre. Perhaps he was doing his best impression of the Riddler and was trying to reinvent himself as a clown without make-up. The sharp, slick and calculated psychopath that I remember has become a crazy Joker goon with incoherent babbling at the top of his agenda.

Thus we come to the story; A convoluted mess with links so frail, a fart from the most petite of butterflies would send them careening through the museum of very expensive, fragile artefacts of a long lost world with the discretion of Russia in the Ukraine. Think of it as an origin movie. Something to whet the appetite for the future stories within the universe and yes, it does set that ground well but for 150 minutes, it sure did drag on. I look forward to seeing Jason Mamoa tackle Aquaman and finally (hopefully) give the character justice for the years of ridicule and watching Gal Gadot’s take on Wonder Women in what will be a very important milestone in her career. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it was a fun movie and hopefully it’s just a minor hiccup that will give the next instalment a bump in motivation to produce a better, more flowing piece. But this is Snyder, so piss in a bucket and call it Granny’s peach tea for all he cares.

PS – If anyone has that damn sexy note the Batmobile makes I want it now. Kthxbye.

Pete’s Score: 6.5/10

Overall Score: 5.25/10

Film Review: The Witch

“Mother, I’ve Brought A Book, Will You Look At It With Me..?”

Wherein many believe the epitome of modern-day horror movies consist solely of long scenes of tedious boredom, offset with the occasional and wholly meaningless jump-scares, there still remains the chosen few who believe it takes a whole lot more to accomplish something of which many have failed to do over the course of the past few years in particular; make a damn good horror movie. Sure, there have been the few exceptions which break the mould with The Babadook and the best Ben Wheatley film to date, Kill List being strong contenders for scariest movies of the decade so far, yet far too many concede to the money-making formula of jumpy scares over atmosphere and plot. What a massive and overly joyous surprise it is then to have witnessed the creepy, tense, overly oppressive and deliciously dark horror that is The Witch, a stunning debut from first-time director Robert Eggers who in his quest to create a realistic tale of witchcraft has indeed created the most disturbing and terrifying motion picture in years. Watch it with caution…

After being excommunicated and exiled from a New England Puritan Church plantation, William and his family swiftly move to a new home in the realms of a forest, one in which leaves them with dying crops and strange occurrences, most strikingly when their youngest child goes missing at the hands of a unknown entity deep in the forest. Hooked already? Good, as that’s all you are going to get with The Witch, a film which indeed forces you to make up your own decisions regarding what you witness on screen whilst attempting to get incredibly deep under your skin and stay there during your pitch black walk back home, conscious of that slight movement in the corner of your eye. Although jump scares aren’t the primary concern of the film, there are sheer moments of horror throughout the film’s 90 minute runtime, scenes in which enlighten the director’s love of The Shining and The Wicker Man, whilst the gorgeous cinematography and dark, oppressive colour palette only add to the film’s sense of sheer dread. With the scariest goat in movie history at its’ core, The Witch is a horror movie fan’s dream. Check it out and beware… SHE’S A WITCH!

Overall Score: 9/10 

Film Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

“Crazy Is Building Your Ark After The Flood Has Already Come…”

Who remembers Cloverfield then? That’s right, the sci-fi found footage epic that did more damage to your brain with its’ continuous shakiness than most others in its’ respective category, produced by the man of the moment J.J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard, the man behind the screenplay of Ridley Scott’s The Martian from last year. Dropping Drew Goddard but keeping the producing talents of Abrams, 10 Cloverfield Lane, coined the “blood relative” of Cloverfield, pretty much goes in every opposite direction to its’ sister, leaving the shaky found footage and the outside metropolis of New York behind in favour of a film which essentially becomes Panic Room meets Psycho, with the threat of the alien apocalypse stirred in for good comfort. With Damien Chazelle, writer and director of last years’ best film Whiplash, part of the writing circle and a trio of marvellous acting talents, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a superb, tense and taut sci-fi thriller.

Waking up from a violent car crash in a locked confinement, chained to her bedpost, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is greeted by the conspiracy-driven creepiness of Howard. played in a completely Kathy Bates-esque fashion by John Goodman, who chews the scenery from beginning to end in creating a character mixed between Annie Wilkes and Norman Bates, the freakiest of mixes if ever there was one. Told by Howard of the outsides contamination by unknown forces, Michelle and fellow captive Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.) begin to query Howard’s true intentions and the accuracy of his warnings. Although the film is driven by the sheer brilliance of Goodman, with Howard being a larger than life force to be reckoned with, the tight and compact surroundings of the bunker in which the film primarily takes place adds to the sense of isolation and containment the film attempts to create. And boy, it sure creates it.

Although the array of effective jump scares and scenes of complete and utter white knuckle tension make 10 Cloverfield Lane a fantastic thriller, it should be said that the BBFC’s decision to award the film with just a 12A certificate is strange to say the least. Violence, acid-burned faces and bodies, and themes of abductions and captivity, all alongside infected zombie-like civilians all result in making 10 Cloverfield Lane the most top-end 12A film I think I have ever seen. Trust me, it’s not something for ten year old’s, let alone some 15 year old’s, so take it from me, be wary of the the deceitful classification. That aside, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a brilliant thriller, one that seemingly popped out of nowhere with very little press and exposure before its’ swift arrival in cinemas, something of which I can only stand up and applaud. If his success with Star Wars allows J.J. to carry on making films such as this in the future, I look forward to his next project.

Overall Score: 8/10

Film Review: Kung Fu Panda 3

“Get Ready To Dance… With Danger!”

Where last year offered some real quality additions to the genre of animation with films such as Inside Out already solidifying itself as a Disney classic whilst The Tale of the Princess Kaguya all but continued the riveting success of Studio Ghibli, this year has only succeeded in adhering to the well-established notion that animation is on the rise with last week’s Anomalisa being yet another wonderful piece of animated-driven cinema. Rivalling the success of both Disney and Studio Ghibli is that of DreamWorks Animation, with their latest venture, Kung Fu Panda 3 being a solid, highly entertaining continuation of the highly successful series in which a wholly impressive voicing cast lead the way to a variety of laugh-out-loud set pieces in which all family members can take something away from. In terms of the film’s plot, after being reunited with his long, lost father Li Shan (Bryan Cranston), Dragon Warrior Po (Jack Black) is required to take over the reigns of Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and become the role of teacher, much to Po’s and and the Furious Five member’s bemusement. After coming under attack from the spirit warrior Kai (J.K. Simmons), Po must train under the wing of his father in order to defeat this legendary foe once and for all, training to become the teacher his master believes he can be all the way.

Of course, as with most DreamWorks Animation pictures, Kung Fu Panda is a delight to take in and admire visually, with fluorescent and vivid animation filling the screen in almost every section of the film’s incredibly family-friendly runtime. Wherein it may suitably pass the time and do wonders for the younger generation, in terms of its’ overall longevity and originality, it does seemingly go in one ear and come swiftly out the other, with the formula of the Kung Fu Panda franchise not exactly being broken to an extent that its’ third instalment could be classed as something excellent, yet for the time it is on-screen, Kung Fu Panda 3 is ridiculously enjoyable, with laughs and sniggers being constant throughout. That’s right, Kung Fu Panda is much funnier than Hail, Caesar! The kid inside me has been truly awoken. Kung Fu Panda is no mere masterpiece, but it does what it needs to and does it well. Pandas… ASSEMBLE!

Overall Score: 7/10

Film Review: London Has Fallen

“F**K”

With one of the worst taglines in movie history accompanying it (Check the poster above), the sequel not one person particularly wanted to Olympus Has Fallen has finally decided to embrace our screens in a time of the cinematic year in which, let’s face it, most of the crap tends to descend upon us in a vain attempt to dislodge the award season by letting us know that aside from brilliance of films like Spotlight and Room there is always going to be a gap in the market for absolutely tripe. Following in the footsteps of last weeks’ horror abortion The Forest therefore is Babak Najafi’s London Has Fallen, a cash-grabbing attempt to carry on the murderous rampage of one Gerard Butler during his duties to protect the least believable on-screen President ever in the form of Aaron Eckhart, perhaps best known for portraying Harvey Dent/Two-Face in The Dark Knight, whilst eyeing up the chance to blow up some of the UK’s most valuable and iconic works of art in a metaphorical and very American two fingers up to the people of the UK. As you can tell, it’s a complete turkey.

Although perhaps not worthy of extreme critical examination by any stretch of the imagination, I believe it is the interest of editorial affairs that I point you in the direction of Adam Sherwin’s article in The Independent (Link Below) whereby he gathers the rafter of hatred that has been directed towards London Has Fallen with many proclaiming it a “dumpster of xenophobia” and a film which would “inevitably end up on Donald Trump’s DVD shelf”. Can I argue with any of these statements? Not at all, particularly when regarding the extreme stereotypes and highly racist prejudices which encompass the entirety of the movie whilst the inclusion of complicated and controversial tactics of war such as drone usage is simply lauded within the first ten minutes of the film in which we witness an entire generation of a middle-eastern family get blown up. Is this really entertainment? No. Not only is the film morally bankrupt to the extreme, it is also a shoddy piece of cinema with awful dialogue, ridiculously violent set pieces and awful CGI which wouldn’t go amiss in a straight-to-DVD B-Movie. Don’t take the time out of your day to fuel America’s willingness to enlighten the world regarding the evil nature of the East, London Has Fallen is a Goebbels’ level of war propaganda and something that should be left alone in hope it disappears completely.

Overall Score: 2/10

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/london-has-fallen-movie-condemned-as-racist-terrorsploitation-for-donald-trump-era-a6909596.html