I thought I'd be an iOS gaming junkie but about the only things I play anymore are Spelltower and Freeway Solitaire. I echo all the comments about touch and swiping just not working for me in most games.
While I empty my wallet for Steam regularly, my main complaint is more and more the service itself is not some repository for "good" games. It's a gargantun landfill of games, many of them excellent, lots of them horrendous messes that probably have no business being carried on Steam. But now Steam just buries us in Curators, Tagging and other desperate efforts to filter its stinking decay of terrible PC titles and lackluster mobile ports and sometimes fine/sometimes not console-to-PC ports to try to unearth gems and undermarketed/underappreciated titles.
Steam regularly feels to me like someone came into my computer room and dumped several garbage cans of games on my floor and told me to sort through them to find the gems. Most of the time, with no playable demo to help me figure it out.
I'm waiting for someone at Steam to leave the company, drag a bunch of colleagues with him/her, and try to create a "better Steam" when it comes to newer titles. I realize GoG to some extent is maybe more what I want -- an online store focused on "good games," not on carrying everything in God's Creation.
The first major content patch for the Early Access version of Killing Floor 2 is now live. This includes: New map - Volter Manor Collectible items added to existing maps 8 new Steam Achievements Bug fixes and balance tweaks And, as a very special extra, all owners of KF1 will now get the "classic" Briar and Masterson characters, with the original voice actors!
Still digging it, though imho needs more maps and more bosses (which devs have promised are being worked on, but no eta) to improve replayability. Still have yet to suffer any motion sickness playing it, which I find baffling given how many other Unreal-engined games are debilitating for me -- I know it could be the FOV setting but there have been FPS games I adjusted FOV on but still couldn't cope with playing. Not that I'm complaining.
I've gotten Support (shotguns) to L5 and Assault (assault rifles) to L2, haven't progressed with the others.
My MP observation is that with no friendly-fire it's hard for anyone to make fellow players miserable per se (yay). It can be less fun if players want to run off and "lone wolf" it. It seems very much at its best when you're all sticking together and informally helping each other.
I hope they'll consider an optional mode that forces you to fight in the general vicinity of the latest activated vending kiosk. As it stands (per the original game), people tend to dash to it, and then dash back to their preferred environs. In most cases, to back outside; or to a larger interior space that has more room to roam. This has the effect of players essentially skipping vast portions of a given map. Of course "the player is always right," so I only suggest as an optional other mode.
I'm getting back into it but this just in... I still suck at it, even at the Easiest difficulty. After the first non-tutorial mission, I find it tough to get both ops out safely. It's fun though, and just the amazing ways things can go wrong, or that you can salvage a successful escape when the situation seems completely hopeless is a real blast.
Though as with Door Kickers this seems like a game I appreciate, admire, am happy to support and yet, may never really be "good" at.
I know that you have been in the dark for a while now, possibly thinking that we were concentrating all our efforts on other things.
I am here to tell you that this is not the case and that the team has been tirelessly working on the game. We have big improvements and a few new features coming up for Gauntlet! Something which we know a lot of you were crying out for.
I can’t tell you too much right now, but if you keep watching this space we will be releasing little teasers and tidbits of information over the next few months.
In truth, we were never fully satisfied with how Gauntlet turned out. So, rather than just fixing little things here and there, we have been working on the core of the game to turn it into what we originally envisioned.
This will mean a free major content update for the game, including improvements to the Campaign and the Colosseum as well as a brand new game mode. I’m pretty sure I was allowed to tell you about the game mode…
Additionally, Arrowhead is taking over management of the Gauntlet online communities from now on. You can talk to us directly on the Gauntlet Steam forum, Gauntlet’s Facebook page and @playgauntlet Twitter.
HELLDIVERS: Turning Up The Heat is a free content update for HELLDIVERS accompanied by the release of the Reinforcements 2 DLC.
FREE EXPANSION FEATURES:
Increased rank cap from 25 to 27. 6 new trophies. New environment: Volcanic planets, full of dangers. New Bug type: The Bug Impaler New Cyborg enemy: The Cyborg Hound New Illuminate enemy: The Illuminate Obelisk Three new objective types: Repair and Fire Artillery, Disarm Unexploded Ordnance, and Geological Survey. New customization outfit: The Volcanic Camouflage set. New perk: Strong Arm, allowing you to throw further.
To celebrate the release of the expansion, we are releasing the HELLDIVERS™: TURNING UP THE HEAT EDITION Bundle for $19.99 – This bundle includes: HELLDIVERS Game plus the new SPECIALIST PACK including the Specialist Uniform (helmet, armor and cape), LAS-12 ‘Tanto’ ultra compact laser SMG, and the Close Air Support powerful strafing run Stratagem. Available for a limited time only. MORE REINFORCEMENTS
In addition to the free content of Turning Up The Heat, HELLDIVERS also adds 4 more Reinforcement Packs for those in need of EVEN MORE DEMOCRACY.
Each Pack is available separately for $2.99 and the DEMOLITIONIST, HAZARD OPS and PILOT Packs are available together in the REINFORCEMENTS PACK 2 for $5.99
SPECIALIST PACK HELLDIVER Specialists are highly trained offensive support operatives. They specialize in the use of Stratagems and supportive fire. They are specially trained to receive enhanced air support. The Specialist Pack contains:
The Specialist Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape). LAS-12 ‘Tanto’: An ultra-compact laser SMG with extremely limited range. The short focused beam is very powerful to compensate for the short engagement envelope. Close Air Support: An ‘Eagle’ delivers a powerful strafing run followed by a pair of anti tank missiles. Effective at damaging almost all targets it does however have the drawback of being slightly unpredictable.
DEMOLITIONIST PACK HELLDIVER Demolitionists are experts at tearing things down and blowing things up. They are rumored to be uncareful when handling explosives, though this is most likely just their familiarity with explosives being misinterpreted. The Demolitionist Pack contains:
The Demolitionist Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape). MG-105 ‘Stalwart’: A light machinegun based on the AR-19 ‘Liberator’. It’s very powerful when used in sustained fire, but the initial recoil is often hard to handle resulting in unpredictable spread. REC-6 ‘Demolisher’: A remote Explosive Charge capable of destroying both objectives and heavily armored enemies. The user can decide when to detonate the charge by pressing the detonator. Often referred to as a Satchel Charge.
HAZARD OPS PACK The Hazard Operative HELLDIVERS are trained in chemical and biological combat and protection. Sometimes shunned by fellow HELLDIVERS for their use of inhumane warfare, many a Helldiver is happy to have them on the mission when it comes down to life or death. It’s not like the enemy is Human after all.
The Hazard Ops Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape). AR-14D ‘Paragon’: A heavy semi-automatic rifle firing rounds similar to the AR-20L ‘Justice’, but without the penetrating capabilities. Instead the rounds are hollowed out and filled with a neurotoxin causing targets hit to become slow and sluggish. TOX-13 ‘Avenger’: A high pressure liquid projection weapon similar to the FLAM-40 ‘Incinerator’. Instead of projecting flaming napalm, this weapon sprays a very potent neurotoxin resulting in slow movements and irreversible brain damage.
PILOT PACK The Pilot HELLDIVER is specially trained to operate the wide arsenal of vehicles available to the HELLDIVER troops. Especially trained in the use of the EXO-48 ‘Obsidian’ Exosuit, Pilots are some of the few that are given the honour of using this heavily armed monster. Though they prefer to use vehicles they are still HELLDIVERS and very formidable troops on foot. The Pilot Pack contains:
The Pilot Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape). AC-5 Arc Shotgun: A further development of the Arc technology, the AC-5 fires a wide, short range cone and damages everything covered by the static discharge. The charge up is much faster than the original Arc Thrower but the discharge is not quite as powerful. EXO-48 ‘Obsidian’: A powerful exosuit with two double autocannons. The firepower contained in this walking monstrosity annihilates light and medium infantry, and the two magazines allows for both maximum firepower or conserving ammunition. The only downside to this mech is its distinct lack of anti-tank capabilities.
They don't yet seem inclined to mush Daredevil and Agents of Shield directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon, especially given that Netflix Daredevil's MA rating (and I obviously love the show) is way out of synch with Marvel Studio's cinematic PG-13ness. I mean, Ultron may get dark but it's still Candy Land next to Netflix' Daredevil and I'd just as soon DD keep its own style and grit, and not get watered down/censored/sanitized to "fit" with the cinematic universe.
Just Jared posted a bunch of photographs from the Civil War outdoor filming in Atlanta, including Cap, Falcon and a certain well known villain from the comics. Spoilers for fans who prefer not to know about such things. So I put the link below in the spoiler brackets.
Oh, and I think this is one of the few big summer films I'd recommend seeing on 3-D ... or at the very least would say "don't be afraid" of seeing this on 3-D. It's for the most part incredibly bright and colorful, so I think on most screens it can overcome that habit of 3-D projection feeling too dark. Miller supposedly supervised the 3-D conversion closely and I can recall several specific sequences where stuff really jumped off the screen.
Got my ticket for a 7 p.m. show. It's actually the same AMC ETX theater I caught the Avengers double feature in. Which means nice picture but ear-splitting Dolby Atmos sound (I prefer IMAX as it's crisp but less loud and not quite as headache-inducing).
From the seating chart, doesn't seem like a large crowd as this is sort of a stealth, "soft" Thursday evening show, not to mention pricey.
I was re-reading an interview with the Marcus/McFeely writing team prior to CA Winter Soldier's release, and was struck by them explaining they were happy they weren't forced to insert a lot of Avenger's references. Iron Man/Tony Stark is mentioned a couple of times in passing, and that's about it. Of course people wondered why Cap couldn't just call in the A-Team to remedy the whole shebang in a few minutes. But like the comics, the idea is the members have their own problems and lives to deal with between the group battles.
Focusing on Steve's story meant they had some room to breathe. They could have stuff like the moments with elder-Peggy, and the quieter moments here and there, and something like Zola's Algorithm isn't rushed. I guess I just worry with 17-20 or however many characters in CA: Civil War, those types of moments might not fit.
Obviously though Cap 2's one of my faves, and the same directing and writing duos are behind Civil War, so if anyone can pull it off hopefully it's those gents.
Reviews embargo lifted, and many seem "blown away" by it though I don't think most "mainstream" critics have gotten to screen it just yet. Thus the latest trailers have breathless "I was blown away!" comments by Joe Schmoe Jr.
Quote from: Clanwolfer on May 03, 2015, 02:03:40 PM
So I picked this up, fired it up for Vita, and... I don't get it?
I tried my first mission - a couple other Helldivers joined my mission on the last objective, we held out until there was about 20 seconds to the shuttle and they both quit, then the connection died at 10 seconds left and dumped me back to the main menu.
Did I get griefed? Are the servers just bad? I don't understand...
If the host player quit (it's client-server based, afik), then you should get a "migrating host" message. While that should transfer to the next remaining player for the game to continue, I did often find the game just dropped instead.
Griefing (another reason I quit playing, as it became more and more common) generally is more a case of some knucklehead joining the game, killing the players and then leaving. This doesn't leave the remaining players any way to reinforce (a "live" player has to call in reinforcements in co-op; in single player, you get a few opportunities to "reinforce yourself") unless someone friendly joins and does that. Helldivers seemed to have massive loophole exploitations for griefers, and I didn't find the Reporting tool helpful on those. imho (and others) the game desperately needed more pre-release testing than the presumably moderate internal Arrowhead testing that was done.
I'm one of the few other Vita players here. I think most if not everyone else is PS4, and a few PS3.
As I blabbed, I don't like the campaign design (which shuts off entire factions/map zones from play), ran into more and more griefers/trollers aft initially good experiences, inviting cross-platform friends essentially wasn't possible, etc., I quit playing some time ago, and plus I'm enjoying some PC stuff for now. I'll probably log back in Helldivers soon to see how the update is, and eventually see the new content.
The official site has a couple videos up about new objectives and enemies (the fast-moving hounds sound fun) due in the upcoming "Turning Up the Heat" content update.
Marvel and Netflix are proud to announce Rosario Dawson will reprise her role as Claire Temple in the second season of the Netflix Original Series “Marvel’s Daredevil,” coming in 2016, as part of a larger exclusive TV deal that will also allow her to appear in any of Marvel’s other Netflix original series.
If you've watched the whole DD Season 1, you know...
Spoiler for Hiden:
Dawson's character essentially disappears after seeming to have a fairly major role the first few episodes. I assumed maybe she had some other work lined up, but I guess maybe the storyline just didn't call for her character much after the first few. Sounds like they have bigger plans for her.
So I saw it. While it's thought provoking sci-fi, I think it requires some patience from moviegoers that's in short supply these days. I think maybe 4 or 5 of us were at the 7:10 p.m. show. While I didn't fall asleep, if you don't have patience for watching two people talk for long periods, you might take a pass.
Also a chance to see Oscar Isaacs before Star Wars presumably turns him into a box office X-Wing pilot star.
My take on the movie's conclusion is something like:
Spoiler for Hiden:
I've nested the spoiler in case you accidentally clicked on it.
Spoiler for Hiden:
You can't attempt to create androids with human-like minds, without also instilling -- whether your programming meant to or not -- the human "need for freedom."
So if you just want to create an android to be your in-home servant, probably you should shoot a little lower on the Artificial Intelligence spectrum? That would be my thought.
I guess the ending is also saying she never really had any feelings for Gleeson's character -- he was essentially just a pawn to enable her to escape. Am I right?
So certainly I give it a thumbs-up. Just don't go in expecting an arthouse Terminator or something.
Since most of the film is almost claustrophobic (it would probably make a fine stage play), it should work well on TV later on.
We’re very happy to announce that the Game of the Year Edition will be coming as a FREE UPDATE to all owners of Wasteland 2 on Windows, Mac or Linux. Whether an original backer, a late backer or someone who purchased the game later on, we will be providing Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition as an upgrade to your PC version of the game, available to you when it launches in late summer of this year!
Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition will include a huge set of improvements on the original game. Wasteland 2 will be making the jump to Unity 5, the latest version of the Unity game engine, and benefits from updated environment textures, completely redone character models, and Physically Based Rendering for more impressive lighting. We’ve added a ton of new voice-over to enrich the game’s cast of characters, including your trusted companions.
The Game of the Year Edition also provides major updates to gameplay.
One feature we’re very proud of is our new Perks & Quirks system, which we’ve teased a little bit previously with Eurogamer. In the GOTY Edition, you’ll be able to customize your squad of Desert Rangers with over 80 Perks & 20 Quirks, which let you fine-tune your characters throughout the game with unique bonuses and trade-offs. For instance, with Way of the Squeezins you’ll become a little bit dependent on that special sauce, but gain some short-lived combat bonuses; Raised in the Circus will make you more nimble in combat, but you can bet there’s a downside or two to looking like a clown.
Our fans have also pointed out that one feature they loved in previous RPGs is the ability to do more finely targeted attacks. Well, we’ve been hard at work on that too. Our new Precision Strike system lets Rangers target individual body parts on enemies to gain the edge in combat.
Wasteland 2’s Precision strikes will tend towards less random and more reliable. With Precision Strikes, you’ll be able to inflict debilitating status effects on your enemies to turn the tactical tide. For example, aiming for an enemy’s torso will reduce their armor value, letting you hit them harder with your other squadmates, and firing on their head (or CPU, as the case may be) has a chance to stun or even send them into a psychotic state where they won’t be able to tell friend from foe. With Precision Strikes the battlefield becomes much more dynamic and chaotic.
Finally, to improve on the gameplay experience and ensure the above features are fitted in seamlessly, we’re also overhauling game balance, item drops, and reworking the majority of combat encounters throughout the game. You’ll need all your training and smarts to master the new dangers of the Arizona wastes.
So that's 16 people there (Spider-Man makes 17, though who knows if that's substantive or just a mid/post-credits teaser), though obviously not everybody's going to get equal screen time.
If they were, and Cap 3 ran 2 hours 20 minutes (around the two Avengers' films run time), take maybe 10 minutes away for opening and closing credits, divide by 17, that's about 7.6 minutes per character. Completely unscientific and useless calculation, mind you.
Completely stumped as to what role Martin Freeman could play.
Marvel issued a press release, including brief synopsis (no spoilers afik - well, maybe a hair if you read the whole thing; but if you do, you've probably already seen Ultron, right? ).
If there's a surprise, it's maybe Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) showing up and William Hurt as (I think?) the Army general he played in the most recent Hulk movie. No sign of Hulk/Banner, Thor and some others, but you never know? Spider-Man has not been cast. Martin Freeman mentioned, though not his role. While it was pretty much assumed, Frank Grillo as Rumlow/Crossbones is confirmed too.
Marvel Studios Begins Production on Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War"
Principal Photography Begins in Atlanta For May 6, 2016 Release
ATLANTA, GEORGIA (May 7, 2015) – Marvel Studios has commenced principal photography at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia on “Captain America: Civil War,” the third installment of its Super Hero franchise. The production will shoot on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film’s production, as well as locations in Germany, Puerto Rico and Iceland.
Set for release in the United States on May 6, 2016, “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Community”) from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (“Captain America: The Winter Solider,” Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”).
The film returns Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America along with Robert Downey Jr. (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 3”) as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Sebastian Stan (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Paul Bettany (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as The Vision, Jeremy Renner (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Marvel’s “The Avengers”) as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Don Cheadle (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as Jim Rhodes/War Machine and Elizabeth Olsen (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Godzilla”) as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.
After his debut in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” on July 17, 2015, Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man,” ”Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”) will make his first appearance alongside the Avengers as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in “Captain America: Civil War.”
The film also includes outstanding additional cast, including Chadwick Boseman (“42,” “Get on Up”) as T’Challa/Black Panther, Emily VanCamp (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Revenge”) as Sharon Carter/Agent 13, Daniel Brühl (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Bourne Ultimatum”), Frank Grillo (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Warrior”) as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones, William Hurt (“A History of Violence,” Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk”) as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”).
“Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.
Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s creative team also includes director of photography Trent Opaloch (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Elysium”), production designer Owen Paterson (“Godzilla,” “Matrix”), and three time Oscar®-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).
Based on the Marvel comic character first published in 1941, “Captain America: Civil War ” continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the upcoming release schedule, which includes Marvel’s “Ant-Man” on July 17, 2015, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” on November 4, 2016, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” on May 5, 2017, and Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” on November 3, 2017.
Her ABC drama Revenge was canceled, so she'll have time on her hands. And now Cap 3 will have 57 people in the cast, instead of 56, or so it seems.
What worries me is this whole "Cap 3 as Avengers 2.5." Part of what I liked about Winter Soldier is it wasn't too heavy-handed on connections to other films (aside from arguably the mid-credits sequence). I just hope Cap 3 won't essentially be treated as a baton toss, so to speak, to Avengers: Infinity War Part I. Guess they'll have a balancing act between giving Steve his own story to tell, and cramming Cap 3 with Avengers old and new.
I guess my fear is that Cap 3 will resolve the "Search for Bucky/Winter Soldier" in a pre-credit action sequence and then *poof* it's off to Civil War.
Can we get a Walking Dead (filmed in Atlanta) crossover? Rick Grimes vs. Steve Rogers! Hawkeye vs. Darryl! Maggie vs. Black Widow!
They're apparently doing a bunch of casting calls this month there. One's for Africans who speak African -- presumably related to the introduction of the Black Panther character. Anothers for extras from age 22-80 (!) to play "upscale" men and women extras.
Well now both Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are part of the MCU. Marvel announced today that Sherlock and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman has joined the bursting-at-the-seams cast of Captain America: Civil War. Directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo, Civil War is technically a Captain America movie, but it’s becoming harder to believe it’s not actually The Avengers 2.5.
Captain America freak I may be, I have no clue what character Freeman would play.
Daniel Bruhl's on board as Baron Zemo.
Filming began in Atlanta recently. Anthony Mackie (Falcon) said in a radio interview some months ago that other locations include Puerto Rico and Germany.
Not exactly sure how they're going to cram in the amount of characters (Iron Man, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Black Widow, apparently at least a brief re-intro to the rebooted Spider-Man etc.) and storylines that's been talked about, into one Captain America movie, but they'll have to finish the film by next March for a May 6 release then.
I worry about it getting rushed as that's probably what hurt Iron Man 2 (2010 followup to 2008 IM original), though maybe having co-directors (Russo brothers) and an experienced writing duo (Marcus/McFeeley) will help.
I loved ComiXology but quit cold turkey after it switched to an Amazon web-based store format (you can no longer purchase comics from within the Comixology app, but you can synch to tablets/mobile and read them that way). I just loved the convenience of buying them directly via iPad app, and so I quit after Amazon's acquisition of ComiXology.
But as long as you have a full size tablet, I do recommend it. I still prefer reading it on tablet as a full comic page on the screen, rather than the "guided" format where you're essentially viewing a zoomed in panel. Lot of the beauty of a full comic page is following the boxes, and sometimes more imaginative, unconventional layouts that artists like to do.
I think online also encourages experimentation, or buying massive amounts of archived comics that would bury your home's storage space.
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s I had a monthly print subscription with Westfield Comics, shipped in a single box each month with catalogs and order lists in them. As much as I loved that, it consumed gobs and gobs of storage space and eventually I just couldn't justify it anymore. I do still buy graphic compilations from time to time, and went a little crazy in late 2011 during Border's liquidation sales.
Cons? As many people point out, the biggest Con is like buying games via Steam. You don't "own" the game, you in theory just have access to the game as long as Steam exists. So to some extent getting online comics via stores that offer a service (as opposed to digital comic stores that let you physically download a PDF of a comic) could theoretically leave you with nothing if that service goes out of business.
And of course print can be an investment. I was always more into reading the stories than hoping it might be worth a fortune some day. But obviously if you see comics more as investment, then digital doesn't offer any value like that.
Much as I enjoyed it, let's all call on a Marvel Cinematic Moratorium on the following, which includes spoilers for this movie and any Marvel properties film (regardless of studio) you haven't seen, and this is just what I can think of now
Please, put an end to...
Spoiler for Hiden:
Giant floaty things spiraling to a planet surface: -Avengers: Age of Ultron -Guardians of the Galaxy -Captain America The Winter Soldier -Avengers (the Helicarrier) (I'm sure there's more)
Climactic maniac(s) in armored suit(s) and/or robot that's essentially an AI-controlled armored suit: -Fantastic Four (Dr. Doom, to some extent) -Iron Man -Iron Man 2 (sort of) -Thor -The Wolverine -Avengers Age of Ultron *I'll give Iron Man 3 props for lifting the Extremis concept from the comics, at least trying a slightly different take on bad guys rather than "here's some more guys in armored suits!"
Person dangling from another person dangling from another person, off a ledge, bridge, cliff etc. -Avengers: Age of Ultron -The... who are we kidding? This is in movies released EVERY summer! C'mon, screenwriters! Figure something else out.
I guess it remains to be seen whether Thanos in a rocket powered La-Z-Boy and his shiny, bejeweled gauntlet will provide a bit more original take on an uber villain.
I saw it three times over the weekend. The double feature experience I almost don't count because of that confounded projector problem disrupting the movie terribly twice. With my brother and nephew in Richmond, Va., on a smaller screen, and then back home on a massive AMC pseudo-IMAX screen. IMAX seems the way to go, and the sound was great but not deafening as with the Dolby Atmos screening on Double Feature night.
As far as the whole mass destruction stuff, I think the key difference is:
Spoiler for Hiden:
In the first movie, I never understood why nobody was evacuating the city once the team knows what's happening at Stark Tower. I guess it just wouldn't have been interesting to have all the mayhem in a deserted NYC.
In the 2nd film they spend a lot of time arranging evacuations and talking repeatedly about getting people to safety, avoiding civilian casualties etc. A bit comical I guess given all the mass destruction, but it just felt like Whedon was scripting in that to make up for the lack of evacuation in the first film.
While I like James Spader and think Ultron's memorable, imho as villain he's not quite as compelling/charming/at times sympathetic as Hiddleston-as-Loki.
My little carp about the finale:
Spoiler for Hiden:
I felt like Ultron should get outwitted through cleverness, or a fake-out, or Tony and Vision conjuring up some programming tricks. Just seemed maybe a hair disappointing to essentially beat Ultron through sheer brawn and beam attacks. Though it's totally understandable from a summer blockbuster standpoint.
I just thought, all these geniuses should have some entertaining way to truly out-wit "it."
I actually enjoyed some of the smaller battles more than the bigger ones. I guess I find it more entertaining when a smaller subset of the team is fighting, and has top cope with limitations, than when everyone's in the fight (even if that makes for great visuals).
I far more enjoyed the Captain America-combat-take in this one, building on Russos' Winter Soldier take, even if Steve Rogers doesn't get much personal story development.
For me the movie had far more "little laughs" in it than Avengers 1, yet it doesn't quite have the couple show-stopper laugh moments of the first film. Clearly,
Spoiler for Hiden:
nothing as funny as "Puny god!"
========== The movie fell shy of Avengers' 3-day opening weekend in 2012 ($207M then; $188M for the followup), discounting the Thursday screenings (which was something like $27M, I thought I read). Ultron did have a stronger Friday ($84M vs. $80M), but was quite a bit weaker on Saturday ($69.6M vs. $57.3M), and Sunday ($57M vs. $46M). Some pundits blame it on the Big Fight Saturday, and Ultron's playing on maybe 70 fewer screens.
Globally it's already up to about $626.7M, so I don't think Marvel's going to cry about it. Just, analysts were predicting inflated stratosphere figures (as high as $230M) that maybe weren't realistic.
Saw the very latest trailer before Avengers: Age of Ultron yesterday, and it probably (for me anyway) does the best job so far of explaining the Ant-Man concept, with just enough humor in it.
I just hope the villain isn't too one-note moustache-twirling.
And that the movie doesn't end with a mego maniac villain in an armored suit, and/or something big and floaty. Oh, who am I kidding? This is Marvel. Take it or leave it, right? Might as well ask Transformers films not to end with giant robots beating the crap out of each other.
Some vague, non-spoiler observations: *I love the Hulk Buster and Seoul, Korea, set pieces. Don't ask me to explain them, but I loved watching them.
*imho, Joss did a good job of picking up where the Russo brothers left off in Winter Soldier in terms of Cap getting dynamic, impactful over the top action sequences and not seeming like a 2nd banana in Avengers fight scenes (apparently something Chris Evans pushed for too). Yet he didn't resort to the Russos' "zoomed in" Bourne Identity style camera views -- I think Joss likes to pull out and make sure the audience sees what's going on. So at least on Cap's fight scenes, to me it felt like the Best of Whedon and the Best of the Russos.
*And I enjoy Cap's new uniform, which seems essentially a modernized take on the WWII costume seen late in Cap 1 and for the finale of Cap 2, now with Avengers logo on it. It's a beefy costume that looks very cool imho, though Evans himself has said he preferred the "stealth" costume at the start of CA: Winter Soldier, which he said was more comfortable and easier to move in.
Whedon said in one of his interviews something to the effect that, "I need to take a break and see if there's more to directing than 'Oh my GOD! It's HUGE!' ("That's what she said!" ) And after watching this, I understand what he means. I could still see Whedon's humanity and funny lines, but it feels at times like it's trying not to get crushed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe Requirements. So maybe it's best he move on to other work before he turns into Michael Bay.
I wouldn't quibble with any critic or fan saying it's overblown; or it's too loud, too much, too many (something leveled at Iron Man 2, but fwiw, I far more enjoyed Ultron vs. Iron Man 2, which didn't have Joss scripting); or "what's the point" when you know so many of the characters are contractually obligated to Not Die; or that Marvel screen writers seem to lack imagination sometimes on plot points. I think if anyone but Joss Whedon tackled this, then the movie wouldn't overcome all that and still feel tremendously fun and entertaining (again, just imho; your mileage could wildly differ).
I just really don't know where the 3rd and 4th films can go from here in terms of scope. Maybe Ant-Man will get involved and bring the whole franchise small.
Finally been on squads that terminated Mr. Green Jeans Yakkity Boss This squad really stuck together. I won't say we were tactical, but we stayed close to each other and helped each other, that's about all you can ask in this type of game.
The key is just for everybody to take turns firing at him, and moving. And if the boss gets his electro hands around a squadmate, blast the boss until he lets go.
The tricky part is staying out of his reach when he clearly "aggros" on you. I think maybe I finally got the hang of that last night, Run key is your friend. With 4 or more players, he's very finishable; with just a couple, haven't really been able to finish him.
I got Support up to L4 so I'm one lev shy of the first perk (20% ammo bonus for yourself; or the backpack that everyone else in squad can reload from once during a round).
The lack of motion sickness is a wonderful feeling, and thanks again for the crosshairs-enable suggestion. The FOV slider to max helped, but I feel like enabling the on-screen crosshair (which doesn't interfere with the iron sights aiming views) seemed to get me over the top to finally enjoying an FPS without sickness.
Want to, meant to. But I need to see Avengers Age of Ultron a few more times first, even if it's obviously not as intellectual a take on artificial intelligence.
The only semi-consistent complaint running through some Ex Machina reviews was the ending being a bit more stereotypical (can't really say more without giving it away) than the more thoughtful early-mid part of the film. Though most films I like have more stereotypical endings.
And some have said it could be a neat double feature with 2013's "Her," which I still have yet to see (it hasn't made it into the streaming services I use).
Had a blast at the double feature in spite of AMC's damn digital projector repeatedly malfunctioning and coming to a dead stop (blamed on a passing thunderstorm - guess they don't plug them into UPS units? Strangely, audio wasn't affected). At one point they had to restart Ultron at the beginning and fast forward like some sort of hellish slide show, and then an AMC employee kept asking us if they were "close" to where the movie video had stopped. Argh. We all received free movie passes as an apology on our way out.
You'll all find something to nitpick, but if you don't have some semblance of a great time with Ultron, you may be dead imho. I found it much funnier than the first film, many good character humor moments and Joss Whedon lines. The Double Feature crowd ate it up, we were all just so exasperated by the repeated projector problems.
As promised, some double feature pix...
Poster *Poster is not a full size one like for the Dark Knight Trilogy and Indiana Jones Marathon in 2012, but it's pretty heavy stock and durable, fwiw.
Lanyard Pass back
AMC movie pass *Just have never seen one of these. No restrictions on its use (so you can use it for a new movie, a full price evening show etc., not sure if it's good for pricier IMAX shows), though you do have to present it at box office for a regular ticket. Their apology for the projector messing up.
To be fair, the last big extended cut was LOTR and The Hobbit, which were controversial already, and the movies were hellishly long enough in theaters.
There are movies cut down for theatrical release that do get better with a director's cut, Kingdom of Heaven if I recall got way better.
I don't think it'll be a completely different ending either, probably just an extended ending that does more setup for Civil War or some other future thing.
In the alternate ending, Superman accidentally drops a building on ALL the Avengers, which makes Batman very unhappy . But the studios wouldn't approve the DC/Marvel crossover.
Joss is the one who said repeatedly in interviews he wanted Ultron to be shorter than the first film (he made it by exactly one minute). So I don't know that any extended cut would really be a "Director's Cut" per se. I suspect smaller character moments and little story-sidebars are what get jettisoned when cutting this kind of blockbuster.
A couple reviews have complained that a couple action scenes just don't work well. Obviously "beauty in the eye of the beholder," but probably you could see last minute editing to reach a certain run time might botch something up.
Anyway, I'm off to the double feature Thursday, and will share poster and maybe lanyard pass (not sure there is one for this) photos that evening.