Archive for April 15th, 2013

, | Movie reviews

beauty_and_the_bleed

When you talk about Moon, there’s no reason to point out that Duncan Jones is David Bowie’s son. But when you talk about Antiviral, you can’t very well not point out that Brandon Cronenberg is David Cronenberg’s son. The younger Cronenberg channels his father’s body dysmorphia with scalpel precision, stark insight, and the same dreamy malaise of David Cronenberg’s best movies.

The subject of Antiviral is celebrity obsession, but not in the obvious way. This isn’t a satire, but it makes the same point as satire in the context of futuristic biopunk noir, with disease as a metaphor and McGuffin, with the subject matter being the unlikely intersection of diease and beauty, blemish and perfection. The world it presents is new, imaginative, and unsettling. It’s impossible to get through Antiviral without wincing several times. It’s not gore so much as squick factor, which is far worse than mere gore. I can watch Michael Ironside’s head exploding till the cows come home. But the early simple medical procedure in Antiviral will put you off your lunch. It’s only going to get worse.

Antiviral wouldn’t work without the fascinating Caleb Landry Jones in the lead role. His performance, which consists largely of lurching, is a thing to behold, every bit as integral to Antiviral as Jack Nicholson is to Chinatown.

Antiviral is available on VOD. Support Qt3 by watching it on Amazon.com.

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, | Games

ABCs_of_platforming

Boy, does that screenshot bring back memories. Castle of Illusion, the 1990 Sega Genesis game, was a seminal platformer back in the day of Mario’s hegemony. I vividly remember hopping Mickey Mouse from leaf to leaf and just being gobsmacked at how beautiful the damn thing was, even though I couldn’t care less about Disney’s frontmouse.

I don’t know how well Castle of Illusion will hold up after 20 years, but Sega and Disney Interactive intend to show me with an HD update due out this summer. Maybe the best way to do a Mickey Mouse game is to go back to a time less Epic?

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, | Games

1956_F100

The 1000 Club Expansion free DLC is coming to Forza Horizon tomorrow. We like free stuff, right? The DLC adds over a thousand challenges to the game (five per collectible car) that encourages players to compete for bragging rights. Most of the challenges can be completed with the cars that came with the retail game, but owners of previous DLC will have more challenges to overcome.

With the 1000 Club Expansion, each car in Forza Horizon will have a number of new challenges associated with it. Once you select a car, you’ll see each of the challenges you can complete while driving it. These challenges come from practically all facets of Forza Horizon’s gameplay – from skills challenges like drifting or jumping, to plain and simple speed zone challenges and all points in between. There are location-based challenges, like drifting around the winding roads of Red Rocks, or new twists on familiar Horizon Festival events.

The DLC also adds 10 new Xbox Live Achievements and two new cars, including the snazzy 1956 Ford F100 pictured above.

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, | Movie reviews

not_Ewan

Lovelorn mindfucks aren’t what they used to be. I mostly blame Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Jesse Armstrong’s fiercely insightful The Entire History of You from the British series Black Mirror didn’t help (watch it before the mostly likely toothless American remake arrives, courtesy of Robert Downey Jr). So it’s a bit late for Danny Boyle’s lightweight Trance, a mindfuck oddly jammed into a movie about an art heist by some lovable thugs. Don’t read too much into the early torture scene. It’ll pass. The real substance of movie is after the fact, when hypnotist Rosario Dawson helps James McAvoy recover his memory about the $27 million stolen Goya he misplaced. Oops. The solution comes down to Dawson’s shaved pubic hair. I’m not making that up. It’s particularly disappointing that this is what we get when Boyle rejoins Shallow Grave and Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge.

At least Boyle knows how to shoot dreamlike energetic sequences that weave and build and crescendo spectacularly. The aforementioned reveal about Miss Dawson’s grooming, for instance. Anthony Dod Mantle’s lurid realer-than-real supersaturated cinematography is as gorgeous as ever (you can see Mantle’s work most recently in Dredd). And Trance has a sexy finale that makes me want to watch Boyle’s Sunshine again, which features fiery crescendos on a larger scale. But Trance ends with an unsatisfying “gotcha!” resolution that does more to sell iPads than elicit a-ha’s. Where’s my Eternal Sunshine DVD and Sunshine Blu-ray?

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, | Games

skyrim-FUS

Bethesda announced that they are moving on from Skyrim development to a new project. They will not be creating any new DLC for the open-world cheese wheel rolling simulator.

For the last year and a half we’ve been working on new content for Skyrim; from the game updates, Creation Kit, Steam Workshop, Kinect support, to DLCs. Parts of our team have also been in pre-production on our next major project, and that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet.

Even though we’re moving on, we’ll still have minor updates to Skyrim as needed. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into Skyrim and will never truly say goodbye to it.

Although the blog post did not mention the new project by name, it is rumored to be Fallout 4.

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, | Game reviews

sometimes_you_drive

What Defiance does well, it does well enough. This is basically a wide open playground dotted with activities, almost of all which come down to shooting a bunch of dudes, and sometimes pressing a button once you’ve shot them. But lots of shooting. Gratifying shooting with as many different guns as you like. Light machineguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns (three flavors!), pistols (as if), some lasery things, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, a gun that shoots bugs. Guns, guns, guns! It’s very nearly mindless.

The shooting activities are scattered widely enough, and the world is big enough, that you’ll often have to zip around on your vehicle, enjoying featherweight simulated driving physics along the way. Say what you will about these vehicles, but they’re ten time better than any MMO horse I’ve had to ride. You can do races, but they’re just a brief distraction from the shooting. Defiance is a game with focus. 85% shooting. 15% driving.

After the jump, 5% MMO Continue reading →

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, | Games

XCOM-derezz

2K has removed the page for their XCOM shooter as well as all the preview videos from their official Youtube page. The game, unveiled at E3 2010, was supposed to be a first-person-shooter set in a version of 1962 America being invaded by aliens and has long been rumored to be in development trouble.

A Superannuation rumor report from last week suggests that the 2K Marin developed shooter may be rebranded as The Bureau, dissassociating it from the X-COM brand. A 2K survey in October 2012 asked respondants if they’d like the game if it was turned into a third-person cover shooter with a less-expensive digital download size.

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, | Features

something's_fishy

Before Mortal Kombat’s latest surprisingly good reboot, there was Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, which was not surprisingly good. Or so I’ve been told. I myself never explored the implications of who would win in a fight between Superman and Johnny Cage. I’m pretty sure there is no version of that match-up where the answer shouldn’t have been Superman, but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen Zack Snyder’s upcoming biopic.

And now this week, the team that made the Mortal Kombat reboot so good, NetherRealm, releases Injustice: Gods Among Us, which reboots only the DC Universe portion of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. The box cover poses the question, “Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?” and implies that the answer is “The Joker”. Well played, box cover.

I just hope it’s not too difficult to unlock Aquaman.

Speaking of heroics at sea, Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick will mostly likely release their next game this week (the release date isn’t yet official). Fish out of Water for the iOS, in which you throw fish like you’ve never thrown fish before, is every bit as addicting and adorable as Jetpack Joyride. But wait, there are more naval shenanigans! I’m really excited about Victoria II: Hearts of Darkness, which revamps naval battles and colonization in Paradox’s brilliant strategy game. As you can deduce from the title, the focus is on Africa, often overlooked in favor of the sexier America when it comes to historical strategy gaming and real life.

Sacred Citadels is a side-scrolling brawler not from the folks who made Sacred 2. It’s supposed to be a sort of prequel/appetite whetter for the upcoming Sacred 3, which is also not from the folks who made Sacred 2.

Finally, there’s DLC for Dishonored, in which you play the jerk responsible for the main character getting dishonored, and Black Ops II, in which you play a guy who gets shot a lot by other people online.

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, | Games

Sim-City-Social

EA is shutting down SimCity Social, The Sims Social, and Pet Society. The three free-to-play Facebook games developed by Playfish will cease operation on June 14th. All three are being retired so EA “can reallocate development resources to other titles.”

Players are being encouraged to spend the rest of their in-game money before the shutdown. The in-game cash will not be returned and will instead be rendered invalid.

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