Friday, February 28, 2014

CW'S FLASH COSTUME REVEAL ONE SENTENCE REACTION

Much better than I expected.

Three Ways To Keep Your Sequel Title Classy

Poor Miz.
There's no shortage of sequels in film, video games, and other popular art and entertainment mediums.

Many sequels opt to title their film with a simple number "2" or "3", which makes a series sound more like an assembly line of products than an evolving work of art (it also makes it seem like the artists who created it couldn't come up with anything better). To avoid this, other series subtitle their sequels, though eventually such a path has a similar effect.

While any kind of number or subtitle or title variation can inevitably make a series seem old and disingenuous, there are a few ways to class up this sequelization process, allowing follow up films and video games to more easily stand on their own and give the series or "franchise" a bit more cache.

Here are three ways artists can try to class up their future installments, and avoid falling prey to the far too simplistic "number" route.

TRUE DETECTIVE THEORY HUNT: WHO IS THE YELLOW KING?

First off, if you aren't watching True Detective then there is something wrong with you. The series is treated with the utmost care and depth that echoes great shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire. Not often do you come across such intelligent and powerful storytelling that you actually realize that the show is smarter than you are.

And thus with a show so steeped in its own mythology, theories have spun forth uncontrollably about who the series villain, The Yellow King, truly is. Tons of theories have pinned Marty, Rust, Governor Tuttle, Reggie Ledoux, even the Lawnmower guy that keeps the grounds of the closed school. The problem with nailing down who exactly to suspect is that the show has departed from every facet of conventional story telling for a more grounded and realistic take on the occult. It would be easy to say that we haven't seen The Yellow King yet, but it would be like True Detective to say we actually already have.

Digging through theories I came across The Four Horsemen Theory. The basic idea behind it is that instead of just one main baddy, we may actually have five men involved in this deep conspiracy. Even for those with a keen eye for detail would probably have missed these signs but that's what makes True Detective so special. The clues have been right under our noses.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

An Editorial: The Dangers of Gamer-Group Think

Batman: Arkham Stigma

Writer's Note: The majority of this article was originally published on MyIGN, but there's a lot of new content written just for The Future Machine readers.

Some of the internet's most popular gaming sites could be viewed as the ambassadors of perception. The previews and reviews offered to loyal readers inevitably have an affect in shaping not only the way a game is perceived by the public prior to its release, but also how the game is actually judged when it is played (for my WWE fans, think of video game review sites as 'the jokers at commentary').

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TITANFALL GOES GOLD!

TITANFALL FOR XBOX ONE, XBOX 360, AND PC
The upcoming next-gen mech-heavy shooter, Titanfall, has "gone gold"!


So the hotly anticipated game has been finalized and is ready for replication and distribution.

NEW BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS STORY-DLC ON THE WAY!


Batman: Arkham Origins received fairly mediocre and some downright negative reviews.

Before it was even released, The Almighty Internet decided to hate it. Assaulted with cynicism and cheap, easy complaints, commenters and game-journalists proclaiming "Cash-in!" and "Copy & Paste Game!", Origins (a prequel to Rocksteady's stellar Arkham games developed by WB Montreal) never stood a chance.

The game has not received a fair shake since release, except for perhaps from a few open-minded fans who took the enjoyable experience for what it was - pure, unadulterated, badass fun.

I am one such fan.

For Once A CGI Game Trailer That Actually Reflects The Game
 
Batman: Arkham Origins is a brilliant, purely entertaining video game. Yes, a large portion of the map is the same as the previous iteration (though it's enjoyable to see a younger, more intact collection of boroughs) and the game certainly has its flaws. But the gameplay mechanics are stronger than ever, the new portion of the map exciting to explore, the voice-acting on point from all involved, and the story is superior to both previous Arkham games.

So unwilling to be fair-minded and approach the game from a positive point of view, detractors have missed out on a beautiful Batman-experience, and perhaps tainted it for others.


I was even effected by the negative-hype at first, unwilling to pay for something that was seemingly easy money for WB. And then I relented, realizing that I needed to decide for myself, that I could not deny myself a new Batman adventure.

And what I discovered was one of my favorite games of 2013. What I discovered was a game I enjoyed more than Arkham City.

Wanna fight about it?
Origins is the most human of the series, and tells a rousing Batman-tale that explores the depth of his relationships with some of his greatest foes, and provides actual motivation to the characters we know and love - not to mention some of the most thrilling, emotionally engaging interactive scenes and boss-fights of this console generation. The story takes twists and turns, delving into the very minds of Batman's best nemeses.

For these reasons and many more, I couldn't be more excited for the upcoming 'Cold, Cold Heart' Story-DLC.


Based on the trailer and the title, the story will obviously explore Batman's first encounter with the notorious Mr. Freeze.

Popularized and refined on Batman: The Animated Series, Freeze is one of the DC Universe's greatest villains. Motivated by love and revenge, Freeze's story is epically Shakespearian, and a fitting addition to this burgeoning video game DC Universe.


You can pick up Origins on the cheap online or at your local games store. Keep an open mind, ignore the comforts of gamer-group-think, and give this excellent Batman-story a try.

'Cold, Cold Heart' will be available for download on April 22nd.

Be sure to return to The Machine for all things entertainment and all things Batman!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Xbox Live Rewards Program - A Great Promotion You Should Know About



I've been an Xbox Live Gold Member for six years now. I happily remember my first, clunky, pale-colored and decidedly un-sexy 360 console. Me and my college buddies competed in a Jeopardy trivia night and, as the gamer in the group, it was understood the system would get the most use out of me.

Ever since then I have logged countless hours losing myself in digital playgrounds and epic, virtual canvases created by an assortment of thinkers and artists. The console has been a respite from the daily troubles of life, a refuge of pure friendship and joy. I can scroll through my games history and pinpoint moments in time, what I was thinking and feeling and preoccupied with by checking the dates of each achievement.

ANNOUNCEMENT: XBOX ONE TITANFALL BUNDLE! WILL IT MAKE YOU BUY AN XBOX ONE?


In celebration of the March 11th release of Titanfall, Microsoft will start selling an Xbox One Titanfall Bundle, which includes a free, digital copy of the game. So the bundle doesn't cost any more than the Xbox One's regular $499 price tag. Still steep, but a bit sweeter.

You can make your reservation here, if you are so inclined. You can also find the bundle at BestBuy.com and basically any major retailer.


The bundle comes with the Xbox One console, wireless controller, one month of Xbox Live, headset, and a digital copy of Titanfall. Clever on Microsoft's part to go digital, as it means players will always have it and can't sell it back. It's also more Earth-friendly, though I bet Microsoft is happier about the dough they saved.

This bundle will likely prompt those who have been holding off on purchasing the console to wonder if now is the right time to do so.

Titanfall is a gaming event after all, and it's the first genuinely big next-gen specific title. While the game has been ported to the 360, and while it remains to be seen if there are any actual differences in performance, for those who are inevitably going to buy the console, this just might be the time to take the plunge.


Speaking (writing) for myself, it's never been more difficult to justify making the upgrade to a new console. In the past, when I was a wee child or angsty teen, it always seemed like the newer consoles rendered older ones obsolete, and that they offered substantially unique, innovative experiences. I'm not sure, given the excellence and continued relevance of the 360, that the gap between consoles is great enough.

Purchasing it is more about the fun of having it, participating in this shared experience, and less about fulfilling some lack in one's gaming life.

So I'm not sure. I'll continue to deliberate. One thing's for sure though; Titanfall looks awesome and this is the best Xbox One deal thus far.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Report: WWE Elimination Chamber Fallout (Spoilers)



Randy Orton is still the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He retained against Daniel Bryan due to interference from Kane.

John Cena was eliminated due to interference from The Wyatt Family.

All of this was painfully predictable. There was no deviation from the rumored plans that would establish the WrestleMania card. Orton's numerous losses leading into this pay-per-view guaranteed that he would retain, and Bryan's continued feud with Kane would certainly result in a loss.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A REPORT: ULTIMATE GAMES SALE ON XBOX LIVE!



"Stay a while and listen."

In want and or need of some new games on the cheap? Don't like getting out of bed, stepping into sunlight, or risking bodily harm by venturing into society? Hate needlessly interacting with other human beings?

Well, if you own an Xbox 360 and have a subscription to Xbox Live, today is your lucky day!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY TRAILER ONE SENTENCE REACTION


It is going to make a billion dollars.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ROBOCOP REVIEW: THE MOVIE YOU DIDN'T GET

It's been almost 20 years since the first time Robocop stepped onto the big screen. Movies have changed a lot since the 80's as we all know, Hollywood has changed drastically, but most importantly, audiences have changed. And it is clear from the reviews and performance of the reboot that audiences aren't happy with what they got.

For one, its not the action movie it is billed as. In fact, besides the climax of the film, there really isn't any action in it. Of course its sprinkled throughout but if you're going into this movie thinking it is going to be an all out action movie a la Transformers or Pacific Rim, you are sadly mistaken. Where most movie goers are expecting a reboot of this caliber to be a pure visual and entertainment feast they are given something much different than what was expected of this franchise.

The sad truth about Robocop is that people didn't get what they wanted. But I also mean that people didn't get what they wanted. Or perhaps they didn't even get what they saw.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day From The Best Undead Couple In The World!

"Love...we want love..."
It's that time of year again - chalky candy hearts, societal pressure to be romantic, unrealistic expectations, cute valentines, and perhaps just a little bit of genuine love between friends, family, and soul mates.

No matter what your situation on this Valentine's Day there's one cute couple that's sure to warm your heart, and it's none other than a zombified CM Punk and AJ Lee.

BEETLEJUICE SEQUEL IN THE WORKS?!

"Adam...Babs!"
That's right! The "ghost with the most" is closer to returning to the silver screen than he's ever been, according to Michael Keaton himself.

Courtesy of Rolling Stone and MTV, word is that the former Dark Knight revealed during a press junket for the new Robocop that a sequel to the 1988 classic Beetlejuice is likelier than ever:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan Bobbleheads!


Courtesy of StarTrek.com, take a look at some adorably accurate Wrath of Khan Bobbleheads.


Created by toymaker BifBangPow, these bobbleheads are 7" tall and cost $14.99 each.

Fans can choose from the ever-logical Mr. Spock who offers a peaceful Vulcan-salute, Admiral Kirk who confidently rests his thumb in his belt, and the iconic villain Khan in all his nefarious glory.

Perhaps one of these little guys is a perfect belated Valentines Day gift for the Star Trek lover in your life. All products will ship later this month.

Have a great holiday and live long and prosper.

An Update: Commentary Throws CM Punk Fans Under The Bus

 

A leaked audio recording from this past Monday Night Raw reveals Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL insulting the WWE fans that were chanting CM Punk's name.

Listen below:

 
Just in case that video gets taken down (others have already been claimed by The WWE) here's what the commentators said in writing:
 
Crowd: CM PUNK! CM PUNK! CM PUNK!
Cole: Oh, well, here you go, that'll drown out soon.
Lawler: *snickers*
Cole: How about go away. Go away.
Lawler: Go away! Go away! It doesn't last long does it.
Cole: No.
JBL: No it donnit. There's not a lotta determination to that chant.
Cole: Ughhhh...seventeen thousand four ninety-one is the number tonight guys. Sold out.
 
This happened prior to broadcast, where the crowd was reportedly more consistent in their chants for the Straight Edge Superstar. Once the show went live, the LA audience had trouble sticking together. Rumor has it that these negative remarks were mistakenly broadcast over the arena PA system, which might account for the chants' quick demise; confusion over where Cole's voice was coming from.
 
It's interesting to consider why Cole would start talking about the number of people in attendance at the end. Might this be an attempt to recover or indicative of something more purposeful about this leaked audio?
 
If this is real, then it's like getting a thirty-second glimpse behind the WWE curtain. For all the WWE claims to care about its fans, that 'none of it would be possible without them', there has always been a sense of general disdain (fictional and real) towards the audience.
 
When considering the egos of all of these people - wrestlers, writers, commentators, "legends" - it becomes almost impossible to believe any of them are sincere. While I'm sure a lot of current & former wrestlers genuinely love the fans and mean what they say during their tearful goodbyes or returns, many more in the business seem to regard the fans as obnoxious children that need to be taught a lesson.
 
 
Cole comes off as particularly slimy in this snippet, the very nature of his voice calling back his heel-commentary days. Certainly they don't say anything too terrible, and it reeks of a work, but the seedy nature of the business seems to always lurk below the pyrotechnics and posturing.
 
The Machine will keep you updated on the CM Punk situation as it develops. And come back next week for an all new RAW REVIEW.
 
 
 


Monday, February 10, 2014

THE TITANFALL CONTROVERSY


Titanfall is a Microsoft exclusive online-multiplayer first person shooter developed by Respawn Entertainment set to release on March 11th.

The game has been promoted as a system-seller, Microsoft's dark horse in the console wars. Forgoing a traditional campaign experience with a multiplayer component, Titanfall aims to innovate the console-shooter genre with a purely online multiplayer experience.

The game won numerous E3 awards, and IGN's Ryan McCaffrey called the game Microsoft's "killer app", stating, "You will buy an Xbox One for Titanfall, and you should."

The impression is that the much-touted "cloud technology" the game utilizes will permit gamers to engage in more intense, massive, and stable combat simulations the likes of which they've never experienced before.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IS THE ROCK GREEN LANTERN?

You may remember a while back, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tweeted that he was talking to Warner Bros and DC Comics about some badassery of some sort. There has been much speculation as to who he could be playing in either the Man of Steel sequel, Justice League or possibly a stand-alone film. Some have thought that he would be playing Shazam but there have been rumors that Warner Bros thought the character was too close to Superman. Others have speculated that he could be playing an older Cyborg. An interesting thought especially with the Justice League rumors swirling about.

But then the Rock Insta'd this on Instagram:


The last hashtag reads, "#JohnStewartCanStillWhupSupermansAss