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It is no secret that Massive’s Tom Clancy’s The Division has been riddled with bugs and hackers since its first major update 1.1 and so on.
And slowly the quality of gameplay has suffered; steadily declining with many of its core original player base and streamers, a fraction of what it once was.
As a dedicated player of The Division since its release‒who has gone through a shear range of emotions from raged quitting, harassment for being a female gamer and getting hit on by strangers FOR being a female gamer that has become adequately good‒I still returned to it, because of its potential.
Never in my gaming experience had I need to grind for loot so hard, matchmake due to mission difficulty and building effective sets to optimize gameplay either for PvP or PvE. Even with its flaws, these are the qualities that endeared me to this game...
The August 25th ‘State of the Game,’ brings major news in the heels of past weeks' 'State' show in which the Community Development Team fronted by dynamic duo: Hamish Bode and Yannick Banchereau took the "bull by the horns" and engaged the community in full-on honest discussion by addressing the core issues of the game in detail‒and their solution.
Bode and Banchereau did not shying away and provided their own in game experience; saying "the end-game experience is not enjoyable." Their brutal honesty and continual transparency is what other development studios SHOULD use as a landmark example of utilizing an established base‒the community they created‒and effectively use their feedback to improve the quality of the MMO experience. Unlike other development studios like DICE, Valve and Bungie; Massive has taken an experimental approach by involving gamer input into the evolution and future of the Division, by inviting payers to Malmö, Sweden to engage in a constructive discussion of the game.
A major step forward for any developer studio, of which I, for one am really excited about.
A few listed problems The Division is currently encountering are those associated with the end-game experience which imclude, but are not limited to:
However, what is ground breaking is that a development studio is willing to work and take suggested feedback from their community to deliver the game they intended in the first place.
Which is what they are doing with their next update, Patch 1.4 to be released in October; thus pushing the release of more content with their next DLC: Survival to sometime late 2016 and Last Stand projected for 2017.
Core issues within the game will be addressed/fixed with Patch 1.4. Highlights include buy back options from vendors, weapon skins taking much needed inventory space, craft all button, running in the Base of Operations are a few of the details that 1.4 will contain.
Massive is a shining beacon where we hope other Devs Studios take stock of their communities and not take them for granted.
Now there are More News and Updates to come on Massive's efforts to revive The Division and we will have them for you here, so stay tuned, gamers.
"Massive Entertainment: Pioneers in a New Frontier with The Division" was written by Maria Sumoza
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Get Ready: FX’s THE STRAIN Returns this Sunday: The highly anticipated Season 3 premiere of Guillermo Del Toro’s adaption returns Sunday, Aug. 28th at 10 pm EST. The Season picks up right where last Season 2 left off...New York on the brink of utter and complete destruction.
The City has effectively been taken over by the ancient vampire leader known as The Master and his minions‒the strigoi. Leaving Manhattan and its surrounding chaos and destruction in a mere twenty-three days. Further spreading their malevolent influence and contagion across the country and worse yet...the world.
Our own motley crew ended Season 2 in a state of disarray, that included one fatal casualty that left viewers with a bleak outlook on what is to come.
The only light in the proverbial tunnel?
Mr. Setrakian's acquisition of the Lumen; an undertaking that was fraught with challenges and an all-out battle with the help of Fet and Quinlan thug army during last Season's finale. The Lumen's value is monumental...it holds the secrets to eviscerating the vampire race from existence.
The series will continue to explore the ramifications of a state spiraling downwards, its inability to fight a contagion on such a large scale that propagates an undead army "that doubles its size" daily. The strigoi problem is only made worse by the fact that the Federal Government has turned its back on New York. The few remaining non-infected human's left hope lies in the unlike cast of characters; who are all on a mission of their own.
What we are all excited to see is more of Quinlan―his past and the events that have shaped him to be a sentient warrior vampire with ethics, sense of morality and most importantly emotions. And what is the driving force behind his relentless and made his life's mission to destroy the master (he has alluded that The Master once took something he loved), even if it means killing the ancient ones. Can Ephraim get Zach back? Will Fet and Justine Feraldo's efforts in subduing the legion of strigoi have ANY impact in the grand scheme of things? Most importantly, how or will Eldritch Palmer have new a outlook on vampirism after his lover was murdered by Eichorst?
Will Eichorst get any more creepier? I hope so.
I anxiously look forward to seeing how these situations may develop throughout the season.
By Maria Sumoza
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RUNE WORKS ON GAMING: BATMAN: A Tell Tale Series Ep 1: Realm of Shadows is Telltale Games latest entry in episodic gaming—continues to succeed in what the developers do best: story telling through immersive interactive gaming.
While Telltales’ BATMAN follows the same core mechanics that have made Telltales games wildly successful—critical decision making and a mild gaming style.
Episode One: Realm of Shadows bundles well known iconic heroes, anti-heroes and villains integral from Batman DC Comic Universe. However, it is the minor cameos of a surpassingly variety cast of characters that enriches the story with key conversation points; and ensures that the player will be sure to encounter them in future episodes.
BATMAN is scheduled to have a total of five episodes to be released monthly, with its next installment to be released in September 13th.
The first episode, finds the player donning the role of Bruce Wayne, while he continues his one-man vigilante crusade against Gotham’s criminals. Most of Realm of Shadows’ plot revolves around Carmine Falcone’s criminal dealings with a new mysteriously volatile and deadly substance that will hit the streets of Gotham and Bruce’s endorsement of Harvey Dent as mayoral candidate.
Classic lines delivered by Alfred Pennyworth, “a myth can be killed,” echo those mentioned in by Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne regarding the importance of Batman being a symbol; to insight fear, hope and most importantly morph into an icon of what Gotham needs him to be.
These instances in dialogue serve as a type of homage to earlier iterations of Batman films and comics.
Yet what is most enjoyable from Realm of Shadows is its visually gratifying in color and illustration that reminds any dedicated comic book fan of Jim Lee, Greg Capullo and Neal Adams, comic art style. Players will be thoroughly relish stepping into the role of Batman.
Telltales showcases one of Batman best known traits: the analytical detective; through the use of puzzles and exploration of crime scenes. Also going as going as far as planning your plan of attack against opponents while infiltrating crime dens.
As CEO Kevin Bruner, the game's narrative does indeed offer a "fresh interpretation of the universe set in current times, not tied to any existing iteration of Batman in games, film, or comics"—and so far it delivers.
Add masterful story telling and it’s truly a winning first entry to the Telltale games take on BATMAN.
BATMAN: A Telltales Series is now available on all next gen consoles and PC; as well as Xbox 360 and PS3.
By Maria Sumoza @mcsumoza
Lead Staff Writer (and Avid Gaming Nerd)
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Bloober Team's latest's creation, Layers of Fear is a testament in subtle psychological horror artistry.
The game immerses the player in becoming the an obsessed artist, who is trying to complete his "magnum opus." Unbeknownst to the player, it is while trying to complete this masterpiece that the our artist psychologically unravels.
With each new level, information comes to light of what occurred in this beautiful turn of the century Victorian mansion. Thus the player undergoes a psychedelic journey and ever shifting perceptions while trying to "peel" the layers (or levels) necessary to uncover the truth.
Unlike many games in this genre that comprise themselves of gore, mutated monsters and gratuitous violence, Layers of Fear lacks all of that.
The artistry is in the classical music plying in the background, lulling you towards a false sense of 'safety' with the subtle sound effects as you traverse the through the mansion.
Game play consists at its core of puzzle solving, exploration (in the opulent Victorian mansion) and ever changing environs.
However, what makes Layers a game worth your time, it's reliance on first person narrative and a journey that slowly unravels and shapes your perception of what is and is not.
It makes you question your decisions: It is wise for me to open this door or the next?
Should I go into this hall or up the stairs?
These are the type of decisions that add to the mystery and anticipation of what the consequences of those actions might be.
Whatever 'steps' you take to finish your magnum opus and unveil one of three possible game endings, the result will be the same: an engaging and immersive psychological horror experience.
For gamers that do not enjoy psychology in their horror games, Layers of Fear with its subtlety and nuance is still a must-play for any gamer. If the beautiful haunted Victorian house with its art and decor doesn't catch your eye to explore then the hunting and the subtle hints in the story will force you to take note and . . . be afraid.
Now available on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.
By Maria Sumoza
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Welcome to the Spoiler-full talk about one Jesse Custer tale that is raucous, philosophical, violent, bloody, hilarious, and epic, as Preacher on AMC knows no bounds just like the books.
The genius of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon is reborn!
We do not get to wait three days for the age-old mythological rise from the dead, because that would be too much fun (and too hard to do for TV).
Instead, we have to wait seven long days to the old time religious Pagan Sunday for our Sabbath of a pastime in Jesse Custer, his newfound Irish gone nuts with immortality and good old fashioned American substance abuse slash 125-year-old vampire Cassidy, and the beauteous femme fatale Tulip.
Those familiar with the books or the behind the scenes with show creator Seth Rogan know just how hard it is to describe Preacher.
The epic yarn pushes every known, and numerous unknown, boundaries waaay past their limits, as many great genres of fight scenes cross into comedic scenes and then all sense of American religion (particularly the Christian majority that rule the southern United States with a tarnished iron fist) and its piety is examined with deep philosophy and turned utterly on its head.
There is gratuitous violence and justified violence.
There is a fantastic romance (not yet explored on the show) as the two former lovers Tulip and Jesse, a Mickey and Mallory of sorts resist the urge to rekindle their love on the show (for now).
And there is sex. Lots of sex. Sex in so many places, in so many ways. Pleasant sex. Steamy sex. Outright unwanted sex. The show has yet to touch on the sexiness, but it will!
So what can you say about a story like this?
Well for starters the pages are being paid tribute to with great writing and acting, albeit in a longer introductory season than in the books.
This is not a bad thing.
The actors Dominic Cooper (Custer), Ruth Negga (Tulip), and Anatol Yusef (Cassidy) were made for each other.
They have fully embodied the impossibly complex characters and their equally complex relationships with one another and I cannot wait to see those evolve on the screen as the melee of riotous events and all hell – or all god – breaking loose, literally and metaphorically depending on your point of view.
In the pilot the zealous organized religious leaders, full of pride in themselves and their warped messages become possessed by the Word of God – a ghost-like door-shaking spirit shown on the show.
As an added touch, Mr. Scientology himself, Tom Cruise explodes shortly after a Christian priest in Africa and a Russian Satanic priest burst into body parts and blood all over their followers.
The Word of God found them . . . unworthy.
Along with Seth Rogan is Evan Goldberg and Breaking Bad writer Sam Catlin as the show’s co-creators, and they are breaking new ground on the TV screen here, folks.
The satirical view of America in its past, present, and presumed future make for quite a tale in Preacher.
HBO passed up on this show, because it was too controversial.
AMC has given free reign to the creators to make a real version of one of the most unique and mind-blowing comic book series of all time.
Of AMCs involvement and their allowance to do so many heinous and blasphemous things on screen, Catlin said:
“I’m more than surprised, I’m shocked. There’s been incredibly little interference from them. We were all apprehensive from the beginning, if they were going to make it. We discovered that they really wanted to do Garth’s comic book with all the blasphemy, the audacity, the violence, the perversity and just the craziness of it… they’ve been great.” [deadline.com]
Thank you, AMC. This is a rewarding experience.
My last call of joy, after seeing three episodes is just how great an actress Ruth Negga is. She steals scenes and is sexy, smart, and perfect with Jesse Custer. In the books Tulip is a blonde, but that is a distant memory in my mind now.
But hell, Cooper and Yusef are also perfect in their roles; somehow their voices sound exactly as they did in my head while reading the books.
And I mean, damn, they blew up Tom Cruise in the pilot. What more is there to say? Go watch this!
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Because of rampant scalping, you now need a profile registered to be able to buy NY Comic Con Tickets, so fill this profile out between 5/20-6/1, folks.
The only Fans who do not need to be Fan Verified are kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or a Sunday Kids Ticket. Kids Tickets will be available for purchase during the Ticket on-sale time. Kids 5 and under will be admitted for free to NYCC and no Ticket is required. Please read the full process about the NYCC Tickets for Kids.
Here it is again, spelled out for the adults: you have to scroll down their page about the policy and click on the box that you read the policy before you can actually register for a profile (see pic) here.
From the folks over at the Con:
Each year when we take over the Javits Center in October, we have one priority in mind: you, the NYCC Fans. We don’t run NYCC year after year because we love hanging out by the Hudson or we need to reach our step goal in October, we do this because we want to provide the experience of a lifetime to everyone who attends NYCC each year.
With that in mind, we want the New York Comic Con 2016 Ticket buying experience to be as smooth and fair as possible, so this year we are requiring Fan Verification. What does Fan Verification mean?
It means we are requiring anyone interested in attending NYCC to fill out a profile between Friday, May 20 and Monday, June 13. We recognize that this is an extra step before buying your Tickets and requires more commitment from you, but we also know that as true Fans of the Show, you won’t mind making it tough for the supervillains out there.
Here’s a quick look at nine important points for this new process:
1.Fan Verification is required for NYCC 2016. Everyone who would like to attend NYCC (whether you are buying Tickets yourself or someone is buying them for you) must fill out a Fan Verification profile.
2.Kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or Sunday Kids Ticket do not need a Fan Verification profile for their NYCC 2016 Ticket.
3.Fan Verification will be open from Friday, May 20 at 12:00 PM EDT to Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM EDT. Fill out your Fan Verification profile correctly and completely - there’s no need to rush through it.
4.All NYCC 2016 Ticket Types will go on sale at the same time on a first-come, first-served basis. Fan Verification does not guarantee NYCC Tickets.
5.We will no longer be selling VIP Tickets for NYCC.
6.NYCC 2016 Tickets will only be sold online. NYCC Tickets will not be on sale at retailers or any events leading up to NYCC 2016.
7.All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
8.The email you receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where you will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
9.If you are purchasing Tickets for you and your friends or family, you must assign each individual Ticket to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If you are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, you will add their name and age to the Ticket.
These changes are being done with you in mind and the hope that more of you will get the opportunity to experience NYCC. Please visit NewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification for complete details on the NYCC Ticketing process along with other important NYCC Show news.
Thank you for your commitment and passion for the Show and willingness to take these extra steps to help us get more Tickets into your hands. We're looking forward to giving you even more amazing content to experience with us and can't wait to reveal more of what we've been working on for you.
NYCC 2016 is going to be our best Show yet and it's all going to start with Fan Verification improving the Ticket buying process for you.
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There is a tremendous amount of substance, controversy, and contention taking place that requires film and comic book fans alike to read into the darkness of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The new DC universe, the new DC film universe I should say, is officially alive.
If nothing else, love it or hate it, you have to admit that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made a powerful statement to that effect.
It is alive.
First things first, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a Batman film.
I do not care what the title says, this film starts and ends with Batman.
Leaning heavily on the Frank Miller Dark Knight comic books, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Bruce Wayne are middle-aged, worn from two decades of battling Gotham’s goons and incredibly realistic for how the mentally disturbed dark knight still has nightmares over his parents’ killing, even though he has been serving the city in their name, pummeling criminals, for decades.
The man is tormented.
And he is a man. A rich man with martial arts skills and an engineer’s brain, but still a man.
There are even jokes between he and Alfred that play out well to harp on the aging effects.
At one point, while battling a bunch of thugs at once, Batman’s cape is grabbed tripping him up, which is a fantastic use of how a real world man would get hurt.
He is not Superman, who would not flinch if someone tugged on his cape.
Opening the movie is Bruce Wayne’s nightmare and more follow through the film that may allude to a possible alternate DC universe and storyline, akin to the Injustice: Gods Among Us storyline.
But that could be seeds for a Justice League 2 or 3 movie, not for the next film coming.
The dream sequences are a bit jarring and the first third of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a bit clunky, in large part because of them.
But without the dreams, we do not get the brilliant portrayal of the tortured, smart, weathered, and paranoid Batman that carry throughout the flick.
Batman is a dark character and the movie, his movie, follows the blackest of these themes.
The Batman brand of justice is even made into a literal bat branding that he employs on the scum, the sex traffickers, which becomes a death sentence in prison.
And as an aside, folks, we also have the triumphant return of the Batwing!
There are those that despised the world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice out of the gate, with Man of Steel, and those that have taken to the second installment in the DC ‘verse with equal rancor.
Some find Man of Steel to be the greatest Superman film to date, even over the Richard Donner cut of Superman II; but the point remains, the darker, more realistic take on Superman in a contemporary world set a precedent that is followed very closely by DC in their penultimate setup for assembling the Justice League.
In a world ripe with terrorists and inspired madmen and super villains, Superman does what he feels is right, but that cause an awful lot of controversy, as his interests are not necessarily the US’s interests, or any countries’ for that matter.
It is how our real world might look.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is dark and gritty and takes the modern world, which inches closer to a dystopia every day, to a grim place where a Superman can resemble a god and also strike fear for his sheer unlimited power, and a man dressed as a bat can haunt criminals in the city of Gotham, where villains are assembling their own powers (see Gotham: Rise of the Villains if you need further proof on film; it is a great show).
Batman is concerned over the sheer power of an alien and this is turned against him when Lex Luthor uses him to trap Superman.
Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are tremendous in their roles, but two actors stole the show in this film.
The first is the controversial casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor.
The snippets of his speeches in the trailers leading up to the movie make him out to be the most annoying of villains we could ever have hoped to endure for two and a half hours.
Well guess what, trailers often portray the best parts, making bad films look great, or in this case they took terrible spots, out of context, and did a bad job of portraying what was really exceptional acting of a great character.
Eisenberg was the best portrayal of Luthor on-screen.
He stole the show with his perfect combination of the comic book villain’s rise as a young, rich CEO, megalomaniac lusting for power and then completely unhinged by the rising of Superman, who is everything he wants to be but cannot be.
He abhors his humanity and wants to destroy anything he deems greater than himself.
He is funny, at times, but more unnerving and creepy and maniacal. His intelligence and madness feed off of each other and his serial killer coldness comes off in spades. He even goes so far as to scheme a suicide bombing of the US Capital Building.
He is evil and multi-dimensional, like in the comic books.
Too often Luthor was poorly portrayed by cardboard one-dimensional efforts showing a businessman, or a funnyman, sociopath with aspirations of world domination; Superman is merely there to thwart him . . . and this is boring.
What Eisenberg and director Zack Snyder do with the character is make Superman not just the cause of Batman’s unhinging but Lex’s as well.
The next actor to steal the show was Gal Gidot as Wonder Woman!
She kicks ass on so many levels, literally and metaphorically.
Throughout the film she is there trying to crack Luthor’s hold on her; she merely wants to blend in with humanity and ignore its troubles as she had done for a hundred years.
But once Doomsday arrives, she is compelled to break onto the scene and help save Batman and Superman’s lives.
Wonder Woman is nearly as powerful as Superman himself and has her traditional sword, shield and Lasso of Truth, which all prove pivotal in the final epic battle.
Her character sees a lot of screen time trying to blend in and hide, but her true nature comes from a temper that boils over and she jumps in to help the world that is in peril, and the boys poorly matched up against a foe that is far beyond even Batman and Superman alone to stop.
It was an amazing performance by Gidot.
In the end though, as is fitting, it is Superman’s sacrifice that takes down Doomsday.
And in a shocking surprise, the DC ‘verse played out Superman’s death.
Batman will have to take the lead on assembling the Justice League and protecting super heroes all over the globe, as another death adds another burden on his aging shoulders.
New threats will rise after all, as Luthor from prison reports to Batman with glee.
The Doomsday battle is grandiose, and I can forgive DC for having it end at night in Gotham, instead of in Metropolis during day.
That is a grimmer portrayal and befits a dark film.
They did, however, portray the infamous two-page spread of Jurgens and Breeding’s book, Superman 75, where Lois has the fallen hero in her arms, as tears rain down.
The funeral, and Lois getting her engagement ring posthumously, actually brought a tear to my eye.
Now the world must go on, for a time at least, without a Superman, and all hell will break loose.
I for one, hope the next Superman film features “The Rise of the Supermen” from the dozens of comic books following the Death of Superman, with four major Superman players (none of them Kent) and ultimately leads to Clark Kent’s rising from the dead; it is what hooked me into serialized stories in comics as a kid.
Justice League will have to make do without, as they often have in the books, and it will make for interesting world building in this new living DC ‘verse.
And again, Batman is the leader here, by default.
The next solo film for Batman may see the great writing of Affleck, but I hope it incorporates more of Frank Miller’s works.
Miller has already stated publicly he would like to see the female 13-year old Robin, Carrie Kelley, from The Dark Knight Returns on the screen, and wouldn't that be awesome?
In the bat cave, Robin’s suit is there, tagged up by the Joker, who has presumably already killed the male Robin (Jason Todd?) and possibly burned down Wayne Manor; will we see this played out from the “Death in the Family” comic book storyline in the movies?
Overall, DC accomplished a lot with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice even though it is a bit jarring and certainly very dark throughout.
DC has certainly distanced themselves from Marvel with a much more gritty and stained universe.
The writing of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is top notch and the lines are memorable.
But because of the sheer volume of character building and world building going on, this movie does not play out as the smooth A of say Man of Steel, or even the A+ of the first Avengers film.
It is certainly every bit as good, if not better than Avengers: Age of Ultron, for similar reasons of editing and clunkiness.
This movie is no Casablanca, but it is a damn good comic book movie. If you like classics, such as Tim Burton’s Batman and many of the other excellent comic book films, like Superman II: the Richard Donner Cut, then this is worth seeing, and it is worth re-watching.
Rune Works REVIEW Grade: B+
“Read Into the Darkness of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was written by R.J. Huneke.
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Amidst the serene sound of waves crashing on Long Island’s shore, there comes the growl of distortion, ringing guitars, and a fantastic all around alternative /slash/ rock and roll album from Right As Rain titled The Canyons Between Us.
From the album’s opening sustain of guitar on “Hell’s Kitchen’s Finest” these tracks hook you!
Now forget the waves and the well-established Long Island art and music scene, or even Manhattan’s dark corners, Right As Rain could just have easily emerged from Seattle’s backyard, where the Grunge revolution helped straight-up rock and roll become resurgent.
The once stagnant rock music scene expanded a thousand fold, as an alternative twist revived a dying hair band music culture.
And this return to rock and roll opened doors to new innovative types of blues-based electrified tunes that continue to tread new paths to this day with Right As Rain’s The Canyons Between Us.
It is no surprise that the band’s influences from Weezer to Bright Eyes to Bayside are evident in their music, but what is surprising is the unique tones, subtle and adept lyrics, and all around creative talent that forms a polished and fully formed album that travels from gritty rock to harmonizing Beatles-esque singing to impactful bass drums.
And speaking of Weezer, here is a great take on Weezer’s “Waiting On You” from Right As Rain’s acoustic EP.
At the heart of the band are songwriters Dave Gross, playing guitars and vocals, and Brian McDonough, on guitars and hijinx, and they are accompanied by Dennis, on drums and vocals, and Matt, on bass and guitars.
The songs are thirteen and unrelenting in their range and creativity, as well as soulful singing and at times screaming.
An absolute gem of a song is placed last on this album, titled “Woodward Parkway”, which delves deeply into Irish folk ballads with its rhythmic structure, but has a modern edge that falls in between Flogging Molly (minus the harsh, metal infusion) and Woody Guthrie (but is much more bluesy and electric).
Simply put: I loved this album.
Right As Rain rocks on!
Rune Works News & Reviews GRADE: A+
“Right As Rain’s The Canyons Between Us ROCKS ON” was written by R.J. Huneke
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Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece novel American Gods is coming to the screen via a TV series on Starz, and as the author works tirelessly with show creators on its rebirth, the main character of Shadow Moon has been cast, and Ricky Whittle will tackle the lead role.
Shadow is an enigmatic and beloved character of the contemporary fantasy.
The character is a very tall and large man, of probable Native American heritage, and I say ‘probable’ because the entire book is about gods that have immigrated to America in search of new followings to thrive, or just to survive, in the modern world, and Shadow almost certainly has other blood running through his veins.
What makes Shadow so unique is his quiet nature.
The man is dealt a very bad hand in his life and his good nature and slow and quiet demeanor do not put a damper on his intelligence or his heavy sadness.
All of Shadow’s characteristics will make it difficult, to say the least, to portray on the screen.
At a reading from the 10th Anniversary American Gods: Author’s Preferred Text Edition Tour of the bestseller at the 92Y in Manhattan, Mr. Gaiman spoke of a friend that he had observed and had helped inspire such a profound character as Shadow.
On the casting Neil Gaiman said, “I'm thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I'm delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.”
Mr. Gaiman has been integral in crafting the series with Starz, which is wise on the TV network’s part, to ensure the fluidity and the impactful nature of such an innovative work as American Gods comes sweeping across the page and onto the screen just as dramatically as the story does in the book.
Hopes are high, but with Mr. Gaiman steering the helm the prospects are very good, and this is exciting!
To read more about the American Gods novel, see my look at the Author’s Preferred Text edition on SciFiNow here: “Book Club reader review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman”
“Ricky Whittle Cast as Shadow for American Gods on Starz!” was written by R.J. Huneke; find the entire Starz press release below.
RICKY WHITTLE CAST AS SHADOW MOON IN STARZ AND FREMANTLEMEDIA’S “AMERICAN GODS”
The Up-and-Coming Actor Will Play Shadow Moon in the Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Blockbuster Fantasy Novel
Beverly Hills, Calif. (January 28, 2016) – Starz and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) announced today that Ricky Whittle (“The 100,” “Austenland”) has been cast as Shadow Moon in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods. The series will begin shooting in April.
Neil Gaiman said, “I'm thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I'm delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.”
Commented Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, “We searched every continent and country and all the islands in between for our Shadow Moon, and we are lucky to have found Ricky. Fans of the novel will find he has every bit of the heart of the character they fell in love with.”
A native of Oldham, Greater Manchester England, Whittle’s credits include “The 100,” “Austenland,” “Hollyoaks,” “Mistresses,” “NCIS” and “Holby City.” Whittle is the son of former Royal Air Force serviceman Harry Whittle and grew up travelling around the world. A keen sportsman, Whittle represented England and the United Kingdom at youth level in football and rugby.
American Gods been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
“American Gods” is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) and Michael Green (“The River,” “Kings,” “Heroes”) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (“Hannibal,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman. Senior Vice President of Original Programming Ken Segna is the Starz executive in charge of “American Gods.” Starz retains all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia is distributing the series worldwide.
Ricky Whittle is represented by TalentWorks, Creative Artists Management in the UK, and Untitled Entertainment.
Fans can tweet @AmericanGodsSTZ, @STARZ_Channel and @FMNATV and join the conversation with #AmericanGods.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks) and global content distribution (Starz Distribution), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.8 million subscribers, including 23.3 million at STARZ, and 32.5 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties.
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We have the un-redacted file containing the entire 1st minute of Sunday's THE X-FILES return, as Mulder and Scully return to the screen thirteen years after we last saw them.
And what an ending that series finale was! SPOILER ALERT (from original series)**
The last time we see the FBI agents and paranormal experts they are in a state of despair, as Mulder escapes life imprisonment but only to face an impending and irreversible alien invasion with Scully, presumably on the run. Their love for themselves and their friends love for them and their cause - to reveal the government's involvement in the most heinous of conspiracies - led to a dramatic breakout following the lopsided trial that declared Mulder guilty. This brings Skinner and Reyes and many of their comrades together to free Mulder before he is locked away forever.
We are left with the world's END GAME, the date of the invasion, in the year 2012. SPOILER ALERT ENDS***
What has happened to them since?
Clearly the world has gone on and the former FBI agents are still alive in it.
The supernatural elements will not have rested, but have the aliens? Fans have been clamoring for more of The X-Files story ever since the fantastic second movie gave us a great episode on the silver screen, but did nothing to reveal what happened after show creator Chris Carter's riveting series finale.
The storyline, the canon, has innumerable possibilities for the future, and we have just a taste of that in the upcoming six episode X-Files EVENT. Stay tuned after the playoff game Sunday night for the first in the two night series premiere!
The truth is still out there!
A great article about the show's history, old and new, and the dynamic of the lead characters from the Times, "‘The X-Files’: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Return to the Paranormal Beat" quotes the brilliant Anderson who plays Scully:
Ms. Anderson, who admits she wasn’t really conscious of the series’s cultural impact while she was working on it, now appreciates Scully in ways she never could before. “There’s a certain quality to the respect and the love that people have for the series and us deciding to do it again,” she said. “It’s different I think than if we’d just done another ‘X-Files’ film. Because people’s relationship with TV is different. There’s such a positivity to it. And a purity. It’s almost like people have been told there’s going to be a second Christmas. And I kind of feel the same way.”
CALLING ALL X-PHILES…
13 YEARS AFTER THE ORIGINAL SERIES RUN, THE TRUTH IS STILL OUT THERE…
LOG ON TO WWW.DOYOUSTILLBELIEVE.COM AND WATCH THE FIRST MINUTE OF THE ALL-NEW EVENT SERIES “THE X-FILES,” TO LEARN WHAT MULDER BELIEVES ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE X-FILES…
Share what YOU believe, using #TheXFiles,
and find out what everyone else is saying.
Also, don’t forget to download a photo of yourself with #TheXFiles…
And you’ll get back proof of your solidarity with Mulder…
which you can share on all your social networks!
Two-Night Season Premiere of THE X-FILES:
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, 10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT,
following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME;
Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT
OFFICIAL “THE X-FILES” FACEBOOK: thexfilesonfox
OFFICIAL “THE X-FILES” TWITTER: @thexfiles
OFFICIAL “THE X-FILES” INSTAGRAM:@thexfilesFOX
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: #TheXFiles
"Watch the 1st Minute of Sunday's THE X-FILES Return" was written by R.J. Huneke.
R.J. Huneke has spent years researching for his latest sci-fi thriller Cyberwar. A longtime writer and columnist, Huneke has interviewed cyber security professionals, carefully examined advances in science (including robotics and artificial intelligence) and compiled modern day speculations on technology and spun them into an electrifying journey into a dystopian society dominated by cybernetic hackers.
His extensive knowledge on cyber warfare, robotics, and political protest, as well as his strong female protagonist are what set the riveting story apart.
The book from Pentian, an imprint of Lantia, is in stores! Get it in hardcover, as well as softcover, and eBook (Kindle, Nook,iBooks) wherever books are sold.
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We are very fortunate that The Hateful Eight, the eighth film by master filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, was made at all, because it is possibly his best work to date.
Everything, from the scintillating writing, the most intense of storyline scenarios, a soul searing soundtrack courtesy of legendary composer Ennio Morricone, the phenomenal acting, and the absolutely gorgeous, breathtaking cinematography is truly remarkable.
This review will offer NO SPOILERS; The Hateful Eight may not be your favorite of the filmmaker’s great works, but it is so damn perfect it may well be his best classic from start to finish.
And The Hateful Eight Special Roadshow Engagement presented in 70mm Ultra Panavision 70 almost never happened!
When the early draft of the movie was leaked to the world, Quen had lifted his plans for the movie, in disgust, and decided to shelf it . . . at least until he had his cast do a one-time reading of the script in a former 1,600-seat movie palace in L.A. on April 19, 2014.
The overwhelming response from his closest comrades inspired Tarantino to make the film after all.
And not just in any old way, because Quen's triumphant western The Hateful Eight would be filmed using a lost art of film, the 70mm cut, with an aspect ratio of 2.76:1 to make it far wider and give a clarity and illusion of movement so real that few great flicks of yesteryear ever amazed viewers with the detailed views, like that of Ben-Hur, and Khartoum (which was the last time a picture was made in the format, in 1966).
The wrinkles of the gritty faces, the depth to the blood splatter, the threads of smoke winding up and out of the cracks in the 19th century walls, as snow specks enter in, comes across in breathtaking fashion.
The traditions of the greatest westerns, like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, come across amazingly well.
The wide stretches of the west, Wyoming, and the gnarly blizzard sidelining the eight unique and wonderfully deep and hateful characters in a watering hole slash inn called Minnie's Haberdashery speaks to a seemingly simple plot.
Kurt Russell’s John Ruth, “The Hangman”, wants nothing more than to weather the storm and bring his quarry, Daisy Domergue, to the town of Red Rock where she will hang and he will carry back a ten thousand dollar bounty.
But when he is forced to hole up for a few days with “The Bounty Hunter” Major Marquis Warren, played to perfection by Samuel L. Jackson, and six other dangerous and nefarious characters, the sheer edge of your seat intensity is boiling throughout the riveting three-hour version of the film.
And rarely have three hours gone by so quickly as watching the fallout of the interesting and engaging “Hateful Eight”.
The snow piles high and the stories, the suspicion, and the attitudes of the thorny, weather-beaten men and woman make for a most entertaining, thrilling, and, at times, hilarious tale like no other.
The vernacular is probably the most accurate for any presentation of post-Civil War era pictures to date.
The realism is remarkable in every aspect here!
The gruffness, the obstacles, and the brilliant lines, they all resonate starkly.
And there are enough great lines from Quen in this film to fill a book on writing.
Throughout the experience of The Hateful Eight you are anxious, as the unexpected lashing out of killers or the triumphantly belly-busting jokes continually keep the audience in perpetual suspense and awe.
One of the overlying themes is of overcoming racism, getting beyond black and white on a personal level, and it is done extremely well.
The Hateful Eight Special Roadshow Engagement presented in 70mm Ultra Panavision 70 is a throwback to the enthralling events of the 1950’s and 1960’s, where the roadshows gave audiences a longer version of the film, a program and a fantastic event.
And it is truly an event that cannot be missed.
Rune Works Review Grade: A++
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens returns adventurers and moviegoers alike to a galaxy far far away, and what an exhilarating experience director J.J. Abrams has orchestrated masterfully in Episode VII of the philosophical space myth series.
There will be no Spoilers in this review, but if you do not want general aspects described in their incredulity, then please look away from your screens now.
Only in our wildest dreams could space battles achieve such heights!
The ship-to-ship sequences carry the brilliant innovations of George Lucas, who based much of his scenes on actual military footage taken from the air, and evolve to another level.
The X-wings are back, along with the TIE fighters, and their weight, speed, and scratched up exteriors resonate on adept realism and stunning impactfulness.
The acting here is phenomenal, from both the fan favorite returning cast and the newest stars in the franchise.
On the old school side, Harrison Ford brings Han Solo back to the same shoot first anti-hero we all know and love, who is kick ass and snide, albeit a bit weathered with a few more years than he had in 1983 with Return of the Jedi.
Ford steals the show for much of this film.
Forget his last portrayal of Indiana Jones, who was left looking and feeling old, not because of the man but because of the poor writing and story.
Meeting Ford stride for stride is Peter Mayhew reprising his role as Chewbacca, whose excellent acting is too often overlooked and is not easy, as he accutely portrays much of the wookie’s feelings with movement and an unintelligible language.
Adam Driver storms the scene with a twisted and powerful young Sith, whose anger is realistically felt and feared, as the human in him drowns in dark power.
And then there is the amazement of Daisy Ridley playing Rey.
She is smart, tenacious, and endearing, and has a great dynamic with the conscience-laden traitor Finn, played to perfection by John Boyega.
And let's not forget BB-8, the amazing spherical droid that chirps its way into our hearts while paying homage to R2-D2!
The story is remarkable in that it plays on the foundation from Episode IV and yet covers wholly uncharted ground.
The start has some clunkiness about it as a whirlwind of storylines and character introductions take place, but like in any great story a little time is needed, a small investment, to get into the stark world that has been created and feel for those figures whose paths determine where the story goes.
In many ways Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the new Episode IV, the new start of the series, of another trilogy.
This is by design, and this is a damn good thing.
Like Lucas before him, Abrams understands the tropes of myth and the standards of drama.
Nothing will ever be as good as the original Star Wars trilogy. They are classics of film.
But Star Wars: The Force Awakens far eclipses the prequel sequels (Episodes I-III), enough to forget they ever existed, and goes beyond to make something totally new and vast where anything is possible once again.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the start of something great.
And we have not seen anything like this in a long long time.
REVIEW GRADE: A+
"Rune Works Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was written by R.J. Huneke
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Meet the Whimsical Art of Jen Kostman
One of the great things about the New York Comic Con is the awe inspiring art that not only adorns the walls and booths of the myriad setting, transforming the Javits Center to a magical land all its own, but also the great artists that just walk around and attend the pop culture event for inspiration.
Among these artists, the Rune Works Booth was fortunate to have a visitor named Jen Kostman.
Jen is an incredibly gifted artist whose innovative and warm style resonates with people of all ages.
And after meeting this gifted woman, I could not help but share her brilliant work with the Eager Readers on Rune Works.
Check out her art below and more of it on her web site jenkostman.com and her Tumblr.
I for one have a favorite piece: the incredible "sandwich cookie specter " is something I have often dealt with while trying to ween myself off of Oreos.
This is Jen's Bio:
My name is Jen, I'm a New Jersey based illustrator with a big imagination and a love for all things whimsical.
I recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts, NYC and am excited to share my oddly charming world with those who are looking for something unique and playful.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: jen.kostman[at]gmail.com
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It has been a glorious ride through twenty-four films and over fifty years, but Spectre is the James Bond we have long waited for: an incredible, gripping and intelligent spy thriller.
Rather than stick to a formula, Spectre soars to new heights!
From out of the depths of the rushed Quantum of Solace, which was fun but lacked any real substance due to the studio’s impending bankruptcy, director Sam Mendes crafted a gem of a James Bond picture in Skyfall.
And Sam Mendes has gone far and beyond expectations for Spectre.
The opening scene features a vast Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertes) parade in Mexico City, and a feverish attempt at an assasination, which, alone, probably cost more than the production of the last Bond flick.
It has everything you expect: eerie elements in the shadows, a seduced woman leading Bond to his target, and a balls to the wall chase leading to one of the most insane mid-air grapples from within an open helicopter. The scene gets the blood pumping.
**SPOILER ALERT ENDED…FOR NOW**
Ever since the revived story of James Bond was begun anew using realistic themes and offering a smart, gritty thriller, fans of the James Bond books and movies alike have been clamoring for the intricate terrorist and criminal network behind much of the world’s organized crime and corruption for the politicians in power to be revealed.
In the books, and the first movies, the web was slowly unraveled to reveal the preemptive fictitious evil organization Spectre.
The first movies are, of course, classics and great, in and of themselves.
But their progression of the character of Bond and the discovery was not as congeal as it could have been (in part because of issues with the film rights to the novels).
Skip forward to the 21st century and Casino Royale through Spectre; we have a planned approach to give viewers a dramatically different journey through an ever darkening and twisting plague of crime.
Casino Royale introduced the world to Daniel Craig – arguably the best rough and tumble Bond since the master Sean Connery – and the movie leans heavily on Ian Fleming’s source material, while adding in many contemporary elements, to revive the James Bond franchise (that nearly died due to ridiculously exaggerated stunts (fun though they are) and gimmicks, all amidst progressively degrading storylines).
The first book for James Bond, Casino Royale, had a great origin of the character and a love story that needed no Hollywooding to dumb it down.
The broken man, having lost his love, Vesper, consoles himself with sex, near-death experiences, and a life as a spy who is licensed to kill for his country.
Silva’s resources could not have been entirely self-reliant, as is proven true in Spectre.
The movie franchise may have been hurt by a sub-par follow-up in Quantum of Solace, but director Sam Mendes and his team took a maniacal demon of a villain in Silva and delved deeply into not just Bond’s past but also that of Judi Dench’s character M to weave a great tale in Skyfall that made us forget the bump in the ride.
This is important for Bond's character and for the very organization of Spectre and their influence on the world.
And as 007 follows up on a lead and heads into a secret meeting of their members, the face of a dead man James once knew greets him and orders his death for interfering. goes after not just the agent but the entire intelligence community around the world.
**SPOILER ALERT ENDED…FOR NOW**
The political elements are used brilliantly, as the Nine Eyes, nine intelligence agencies, are working together under the plan of Spectre to place their citizens under increasing surveillance and to then pool their resources, which is reminiscent today of security agencies and their governments pooling their efforts, as was revealed by Edward Snowden and others.
Mentions of George Orwell, the author of 1984, as the new M (played by the brilliant Ralph Fiennes) scrutinizes the newly appointed Head of the Centre of National Security, C’s plan (played very well by Andrew Scott), to set up one complete unified system for spying on citizens everywhere, working off of all country's tools, and this resonates deeply with today’s increasingly frightening surveliance society.
Increased terrorist plots lead to the apparent need for increased surveillance, of everyone, and this makes the MI-6 way of doing things obsolete.
The fight is then brought within the government, as M and company are being shut down at the same time Bond works to infiltrate and kill the head of Spectre . . . who turns out to be none other than Blomfield!
Christoph Waltz breathes new life into the character, as his devious, ruthless, genius, and powerful personality culminates in an unpredictable and realistically insane villain.
Blofield’s torture of Bond is one of the most painful in the franchise’s history, and many in the theater will have to look away during this cringe-worthy scene.
The throwbacks to the previous Blofield are all there, sitting subtly in the background (or on Bond’s lap), and Sam Mendes has done the near impossible: he bridged the greatness of the old with the new in a manner akin to what J.J Abrams recently did for Star Trek.
**SPOILER ALERT ENDED**
The classic elements of Bond are all there, from the sensational car chases, to the HUGE explosive edge-of-your-seat moments.
Daniel Craig is at his best, which is saying something.
The character continues to grow, as Craig plays him, and the evolution is natural, which has been seriously lacking in many of the previous Bond versions on film.
Though the making of the film was one of the toughest things Craig has done, he has also said he would relish playing the role as long as he is physically able. We should all hope that he is able for many years from now.
Overall, this movie is well written, intelligent, and sensational in its spy thriller aspects, and though it may not be perfect, as Casino Royale and Skyfall flirt with being, it is damn close and very fulfilling for Bond fans.
Impulsive REVIEW GRADE: A
"SPECTRE is the Bond Film We’ve Been Waiting For" was written by R.J. Huneke
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The development deal has just been announced by Starz: "Trapped" will be a new Starz horror comedy series from Mila Kunis, Joey Slamon, and Rob Zombie!
A half an hour show of twisted humor and dark, gritty ambiance, the series "Trapped" takes places over a single night in the home of a wealthy family under attack by a murderous cult.
Talk about a deliciously macabre premise!
Created and written by Joey Slamon (“Arrested Development”), "Trapped" is being made in association with Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions with Kunis (Black Swan, Ted, “Family Guy,” Jupiter Ascending) serving as Executive Producer alongside Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween), and Mr. Zombie will also direct what is sure to be an original creep show like no other.
Read the entire press release here:
STARZ INKS “TRAPPED” DEVELOPMENT DEAL
WITH MILA KUNIS’ ORCHARD FARM PRODUCTIONS AND DIRECTOR ROB ZOMBIE
Mila Kunis and Rob Zombie to Executive Produce the Half-Hour Horror Comedy Series Created and Written by Joey Slamon
Beverly Hills, Calif. – September 22, 2015 – Starz today announced the series development of “Trapped” in association with Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions with Kunis (Black Swan, Ted, “Family Guy,” Jupiter Ascending) serving as Executive Producer alongside Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween) who will also direct. Created and written by Joey Slamon (“Arrested Development”) and produced in association with Orchard Farm Productions, the half-hour horror comedy series takes places over a single night in the home of a wealthy family under attack by a murderous cult. Susan Curtis, Cami Curtis and Lisa Sterbakov of Orchard Farm Productions will also executive produce.
“We’re excited to work in partnership with Rob Zombie as well as Mila Kunis and her Orchard Farm Productions associates Susan Curtis, Cami Curtis and Lisa Sterbakov on this horror comedy series,” said Starz Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik.
Starz retains all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment, and digital.
Orchard Farm Productions focuses on developing and producing television projects for broadcast and cable. Kunis teamed up with Susan Curtis, Cami Curtis and Lisa Sterbakov to launch Orchard Farm Productions last year. Orchard Farm Productions is repped by CAA and Patti Felker.
Slamon is repped by Gersh and Peter Nichols. Rob Zombie is repped by David Fox at Myman and Andy Gould for Spectacle Entertainment.
The article "TRAPPED: NEW STARZ HORROR COMEDY SERIES FROM MILA KUNIS, JOEY SLAMON & ROB ZOMBIE" was written by R.J. Huneke
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HUGE news on the chopping block in the exclusive cover revealed for NY Comic Con program: DC's Dark Knight III!
That's right, along with a panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of
Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the New York Comic Con 2015 has unveiled a stunning cover of this year's program guide to reflect the artwork of Andy Kubert and be an exclusive sneak-peek into Issue #1 of Frank Miller's highly anticipated DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE mini-series of graphic novels.
The art is stunning and eerily reminiscent of the Frank Miller artwork done for the legendary Dark Knight book that is one of the main influences in the upcoming blockbuster film Batman Vs. Superman.
The look, gritty feel, and realistic tale of strife between two of the world's well known and starkly contrasting super heroes in a world only Frank Miller can construct is a cult favorite and considered one of the most important works ever created in the comic book medium.
Miller followed up The Dark Knight Returns with The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and DK III is said to be the final set of graphic novels for a trilogy that adds up to a thrilling magnum opus.
And to kick off the New York City turned Gotham locale for Comic Con, ReedPOP has brought this impactful and kick ass cover art to its NYCC 2015 program.
Read all about it and the DC Comics – The Dark Knight 30th Anniversary panel where longtime collaborators of Frank Miller's, Jim Lee, Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert will gather at the Con to pay homage to the great work.
Here is the official Press Release:
ReedPOP today revealed the exclusive cover for this year’s program guide, created by DC and designed by Andy Kubert. The cover (image below) is a sneak peek at Issue #1 of DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE that comes out later this year.
In conjunction with the cover reveal, DC will also be doing the following panel at this year’s NYCC to celebrate The Dark Knight’s 30th Anniversary:
Friday October 9, 11:00am-12:00pm
DC Comics – The Dark Knight 30th Anniversary
Moderator: John Cunningham
Talent: Jim Lee, Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert
Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is one of the most important and recognized works in comic book history. In recognition of its 30th Anniversary, DC Entertainment returns to New York to celebrate the book that defined a generation. Joining in the festivities will be the amazing cast of top-notch talent, including Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and maybe even a surprise guest or two, who are working on the final chapter of the saga 30 years in the making. Be here for reveals, revelations and exclusive artwork! This is the once-in-a-lifetime panel you CANNOT miss!
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Adult Swim does New York Comic Con 2015 right, and I mean they really do it right!
Even without a mention (at least yet, hint, hint) of a Rick & Morty panel or event, the tried and true staples of Cartoon Network's adult only cartoon platform - i.e. Robot Chicken kicking off Season Eight and The Venture Bros. - are injecting themselves fully into the city and the east coast NYCC that all have come to love, making gargantuan fan events and premieres throughout the neighborhood.
The full press release will follow below, but from the Con standpoint we are talking about a main stage takeover on Friday where the creators and stars of the Adult Swim's infamously dirty and oh so delightful cartoons will be highlighted and on hand, IN PERSON, including the ingenious Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Matthew Senreich, Jackson Publick, Doc Hammer, Jon Glaser, Stephanie March, Scott Adsit, and many more.
What struck me was three things: one, the huge panels on Friday; two, the actual signing, yes Seth Green is signing your doo-dads, your toys and your nipples, on Saturday; three, the FREE to R.S.V.P. events located throughout New York City where you can catch the exclusive first glimpses of premiere material, like the world premiere of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship [and the] . . . two companies will also debut the third and final custom video in “The Colonel’s Chronicles,” the epic space adventure starring Colonel Sanders and the Robot Chicken, or the Adult Swim Tyrannic Second Maiden Voyage for adults 21+ to hang with the friends and family of Adult Swim as a drunken boat sways up and down along the Hudson.
This Adult Swim Con weekend is going to be raucous fun!
Adult Swim to Delight Fans at New York Comic Con 2015
Basic Cable’s #1 Network Takes Fans On Exclusive Trip Down the Hudson
Robot Chicken Event at Brooklyn Bowl to Feature World Premieres, Presented by KFC®
Adult Swim, basic cable’s #1 network in total day with adults 18-24, 18-34, and 18-49, is once again taking their show talent on the road for this year’s New York Comic Con, offering up unique experiences for fans with special events, revealing panels and free signings for top-rated shows including The Venture Bros. and Robot Chicken. These fan favorites will be joined by the upcoming comedy mini-series Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter. Adult Swim stars on hand will include Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Matthew Senreich, Jackson Publick, Doc Hammer, Jon Glaser, Stephanie March, Scott Adsit, and many more.
Adult Swim and KFC® will host an exclusive fan event at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday, October 8th to celebrate the launch of Robot Chicken Season 8 and the world premiere of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship. The two companies will also debut the third and final custom video in “The Colonel’s Chronicles,” the epic space adventure starring Colonel Sanders and the Robot Chicken that was created by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. Series co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich will be on hand to greet fans, enjoy some free bowling and celebrate the start of New York Comic Con. KFC® will cater the evening, providing food and drink tickets, as well as free t-shirts to those in attendance while supplies last. Fans 21 years or older can RSVP for the free event at AdultSwimPresents.com.
Back for another float, Adult Swim will also host a nighttime fan party along the Hudson River on Saturday, October 10th as part of New York Comic Con “Super Week”. The Adult Swim Tyrannic Second Maiden Voyage will take lucky fans for a three-hour cruise featuring a night of NYC views & city sights, an up-close look at Lady Liberty, a live performance by a secret musical guest, and the company of Adult Swim friends and family. Boarding time is 8:00 p.m. with a 9:00 p.m. departure. Free for fans 21 years or older, potential passengers can RSVP on AdultSwimPresents.com.
See the full lineup below and please note all times, dates and locations are subject to change. Visit AdultSwimPresents.com for more details and updates.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9th
[adult swim] presents: The Venture Bros.
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Main Stage
Talent: Jackson Publick (co-creator) and Doc Hammer (co-creator)
The Venture Bros. co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer will take the stage to show an exclusive look at the upcoming sixth season of their original series and discuss the state of all things Venture in this post – “All That and Gargantua-2” world. Join us for a Venture Bros. signing, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 10th, Table 26 at the NYCC Autographing Area.
[adult swim] presents: Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter
3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Location: Main Stage
Talent: Jon Glaser (creator/star), Scott Adsit (cast member), Stephanie March (cast member), Steve Little (cast member), Steve Cirbus (cast member), and John Hodgman (panel moderator)
Creator and star Jon Glaser (Girls, Parks and Recreation), and cast members Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Stephanie March (Law & Order: SVU), Steve Little (Eastbound and Down) & Steve Cirbus (Delocated) invite you for a first look at the upcoming mini-series, premiering this December on Adult Swim. Set in the sleepy town of Garrity, VT (aka "B&B Town, USA!"), Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter is the story of a neon-clad man with a mysterious past and a highly specialized skill set – hunting werewolves. Moderated by John Hodgman (The Daily Show). Everyone attending the panel will receive a limited-edition Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter comic produced by DC Entertainment, explaining Neon Joe’s origin. Free comics will also be available at the signing.
[adult swim] presents: Robot Chicken
4:30 p.m. -5:15 p.m.
Location: Main Stage
Talent: Seth Green (co-creator/executive producer), Matthew Senreich (co-creator/executive producer), Tom Root (executive producer/co-head writer), Breckin Meyer (actor/writer), and Tom Sheppard (director)
Join co-creators/executive producers Seth Green & Matthew Senreich, executive producer/co-head writer Tom Root, actor/writer Breckin Meyer, and director Tom Sheppard as they discuss their Emmy-winning series, which returns for its eighth season October 18th with the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship on Adult Swim. Don’t miss the Robot Chicken signing, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 10th, Table 26 at the NYCC Autographing Area.
Signings are first come, first served.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9th
12:00 p.m. – 1:00p.m. Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter Comic Book Signing
Location: DC Entertainment Booth is SC-01
Talent: Jon Glaser (creator and star), Jan Duursema (comic book artist) and Tom Mandrake (comic book artist)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10th
12:15 p.m. – 1:15p.m. The Venture Bros. Signing
Location: Autographing Area, Table 26
Talent: Jackson Publick (co-creator) and Doc Hammer (co-creator)
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Robot Chicken Signing
Location: Autographing Area, Table 26
Talent: Seth Green (co-creator, executive producer), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, executive producer), Breckin Meyer (actor/writer), Tom Root (executive producer/co-head writer), and Tom Sheppard (director)
THURSDAY, OCT 8th
ROBOT CHICKEN SEASON 8 PARTY
Presented by KFC®
Join Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich for an early look at season eight and the world premiere of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship. You’ll also be treated to an evening of free bowling, prizes, a DJ set by The Rub, and good company. The first guests to arrive will receive two drink tickets each, while supplies last.
6PM Doors | 8PM Screening
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Free when you RSVP at AdultSwimPresents.com | 21+ | First-come first-served
Arriving early is recommended due to limited space
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10th
ADULT SWIM TYRANNIC
SECOND MAIDEN VOYAGE
Join us for a three hour cruise along the Hudson, featuring a night of New York views & city sights, an up close look at Lady Liberty, a live performance from a secret musical guest, and the company of your Adult Swim Friends & Family.
Pier 81, W 41 St, New York City
Boarding at 8PM | Departure at 9PM | Tour 9PM-12AM
Free when you RSVP at AdultSwimPresents.com | 21+ | First-come first-served
Arriving early is recommended due to limited space
Adult Swim (AdultSwim.com), launched in 2001, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s network offering of original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults. Airing nightly from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET/PT), Adult Swim is basic cable’s #1 network and is seen in 96 million U.S. homes.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
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The headline says it all: MARVEL TV SPOTLIGHTS BLOCKBUSTER LINEUP AT NEW YORK COMIC CON!
The joint press release from Marvel Television and ReedPOP, producer of the N.Y. Comic Con, announces specific premiere events for Marvel's eagerly anticipated upcoming TV projects, as it pushes to take over New York as its nexus for its fabled comic book characters.
If you have been wondering about when the hit Marvel's Agent Carter would return for its second season and what would be at the center of the plot after her entire agency's shakeup, it seems Marvel wants to save the juicy news for the stage at the New York Comic Con (NYCC).
Read on and learn all about Ms. Carter, as well as the first ever group meeting of the cast of the Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Jessica Jones at NYCC and world Premiere screenings - before the shows air - and exclusive panels for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Daredevil’, the brand new animated Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors’ .
D.C. Comics has left the inspiration for Gotham, as Warner Bros. moved from its long held headquarters in New York City to California, which is oddly sunny for a franchise based around the gloomy underbelly of Gotham.
Marvel, which has for most of its history been set in the real world, with Manhattan as a glorious backdrop as Stan Lee loved Spiderman slinging web through the legendary buildings and Matt the Daredevil of Hell's Kitchen battling in the grim city streets.
The New York Comic Con is nearly here, and the exclusive Marvel showings will give fans an exclusive experience that they could not find anywhere else on earth.
The following is the just released press release in its entirety:
MARVEL TELEVISION SPOTLIGHTS BLOCKBUSTER LINEUP AT NEW YORK COMIC CON
The cast of the Netflix Original Series ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ makes their first-ever appearance on the Main Stage.
World Premiere Screenings and Exclusive Panels Bring ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter,’ ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and ‘Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors’ to NYCC .
NORWALK, CT – September 10, 2015 – Marvel Television and ReedPOP, producer of New York Comic Con (NYCC), are once again making NYCC the ultimate destination for exclusive Fan experiences with the announcement of an action-packed lineup at the show. As part of the Marvel Television roster, Fans will witness the first cast appearance of the upcoming Netflix Original Series, Marvel’s Jessica Jones and catch the world-premiere of an all-new episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Those in attendance will also get an inside glimpse at what's next for Marvel Animation with an exclusive look at Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors and new series, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
On Friday, October 9, Marvel Fans will get a taste of the future of Marvel live action and animation with the world premiere of an all-new episode from the action-packed third season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., before it debuts on ABC, in a panel moderated by Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Head of Television and series Executive Producer. On the same day, Marvel Animation will present an exclusive first look at new episodes and sneak peeks of its hit animated series Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
On Saturday, October 10, the highly anticipated Marvel Television and Netflix panel will kick off on the Main Stage featuring the cast of the upcoming Netflix original series, Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Also moderated by Marvel’s Head of Television and series Executive Producer, Jeph Loeb, this exclusive panel will give fans a first look at this exciting new Netflix Original Series, which will be available streaming on Friday, Nov. 20. The panel will also look back at some fan-favorite moments with the cast from the critically acclaimed first season of Marvel’s Daredevil.
"With so much of Marvel’s history rooted in New York City, it is only right for us to save our biggest reveals and announcements for New York Comic Con," said Loeb. "Our Fans are in for an awesome experience and will get a glimpse of things that no one on the planet will be able to see anywhere else.”
"New York Comic Con has become the go-to event for Marvel Fans and enthusiasts to get advance looks at some of the most highly anticipated programming," said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP. "We are very excited that Marvel has once again chosen NYCC as the place to debut their new content and can’t wait to see the Fans’ excitement as we welcome the cast of Marvel’s Jessica Jones for their first group appearance.”
Below are specific details on Marvel Television's New York Comic Con events:
Marvel Animation Presents
Friday, October 9 – 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Head of Television) brings you the biggest animation panel in this universe – or any other. Get an exclusive first look at new episodes from Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors as well as glimpses of exciting new Marvel series and seasons on Disney XD!
Marvel Television Presents: Agents of Primetime
Friday, October 9 – 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM
Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Head of Television) returns with exciting news about your favorite Marvel agents on ABC! Be the first to see an all-new episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before it airs on ABC and find out what’s ahead for Peggy and Jarvis in the upcoming season of Marvel’s Agent Carter!
The Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Marvel’s Daredevil
Saturday, October 10 – 5:00 PM – 6:45 PM
Join the cast of the new Netflix original series, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, in their first-ever appearance, as they answer questions and reveal secrets from the hotly-anticipated show debuting on Netflix later this year and celebrate some of the greatest moments from season 1 of Marvel’s Daredevil. Moderated by Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Head of Television), this panel promises to be one you won’t want to miss!
New York Comic Con, the crown jewel of New York Super Week, will take place on October 8-11 at the Javits Center in New York City, is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention with the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and television. New York Comic Con's panels and autograph sessions give Fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators, while screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either big or small screens. New York Comic Con is the ultimate pop culture convention and the only one that takes place in the comic book, publishing, media and licensing capital of the world. Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Agent Carter, Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s Jessica Jones join additional film and television projects coming to New York Comic Con including Pretty Little Liars, Star Wars Rebels, Game of Thrones and more.
For a full list of content at NYCC and for more information, please visit www.NewYorkComicCon.com or and New York Comic Con's social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
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With tremendous achievements in the visual elements, let alone a charged script, the Ant-man film does a phenomenal job of capturing Stan Lee’s original vision for the superhero he created decades ago.
When it came time to write the script for the original comic book, Stan Lee had great difficulty in relaying what he wanted and so getting the artists to capture the size, scale, and vision of an ant sized superhero did not come across on the pages in the beginning.
Stan Lee believed in the character but early comic book sales were slim.
During the recent edX Smithsonian course “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture,” Stan Lee spoke to Michael Uslan about how his vision of the ant hero had to involve stark visuals of a man, shrunken to ant-size, alongside dramatically larger, to-scale, objects and combatants.
He admits it was partially his fault, because the artists just did not know how to do something like that; like many of Stan Lee’s ingenious creations, it had never been done before.
Stan Lee insisted on making Ant-man a pivotal member of the Avengers in the comics and eventually the cult fan base built up a great love of the characters in the Ant-man books.
The Ant-man movie has it all: innovative action sequences, effects, and cinematography, witty comedy that infuses a bit of a love story, a spot-on cast, and a great overall introduction for the future potential Avenger.
Possibly most importantly for Lee, the movie captures the amazing visuals of a world from the point of view of an ant and unfurls unique and thrilling action sequences off of that premise.
Honey I Shrunk the Kids was a great flick but this is a bit more action intensive.
A great script, originally penned by Edgar Wright of the Cornetto Trilogy genius and Joe Cornish (before Wright left the director’s chair for Peyton Reed) provides smart and slapstick comedy in a brilliant mix throughout the film, making Ant-man very lovable, while still kicking plenty of bad-guy butt and (*SPOILER ALERT: even an Avenger gets whooped).
How does the whole ant thing work?
A super shrinking potion invented by one of the world’s best scientists, Hank Pym, played to perfection by Michael Douglas, combined with a suit gives Ant-man the ability to shrink to ant size and wield an ant’s extraordinary strength.
And Ant-man can even call on an army of programmed ants to assist him!
Paul Rudd is Scott Lang, the next generation hero to don the Ant-man suit, and does a surprisingly great job of being a hacker and thief turned superhero, and while retaining his sarcastic wit and his charm, he throws down in some riveting fight scenes.
The Ant-man on the silver screen has all of the components to make a sum total of excellence.
And Stan Lee is very happy with the result.
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GET EXTREMELY LIMITED BLACKWOOD STATE #1 COMIC AT LI CON 2 and meet comic book creator Ivan O'Neill signing the very first issue of Blackwood State #1 from POWkabam Comics at the Rune Works Productions booth at LI Con 2, from August 14-16, 2015, and you can also meet R.J. Huneke as he signs copies of his novel Cyberwar!
Get the first FULL issue in all its state school crushes writer glory!
For Blackwood State, O'Neill calls on a notorious state college and the life of a young lady struggling to live in a world that has no idea how not to crap on those that value the study of English writing.
Alongside her fellow literary comrades, Guinevere Katz must attempt to keep her sanity and her grade as she survives one of the most obnoxious experiences of her academic career . . . and her professional career . . . and her life as a sentient being.
Calling on father Bill Shakespeare, as her god, and Falstaff as her inner muse and bartender, Gwen's deteriorative, drunken English career is a journey that seems perennially poised on the brink of disaster. Just how the hell does one make a living with a degree in English anyway?
R.J. and Ivan will be at the August 14-16 LI Con 2, pop culture and science convention, with a table at Rune Works Productions and will be meeting Eager Readers in person.
Head down to the 2nd Annual LI Con at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center 3845 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Ronkonkoma, New York 11779 to see the Rune Works Productions booth where artist and Blackwood State creator Ivan O'Neill will be joining author R.J. Huneke to sign books!
LI-Con 2 : August 14 – 16, 2015
Long Island's Convention for movies, games, dealers, science, technology, anime, fantasy, sci-fi and more!
LI-Con is brought to you by the same volunteers who brought you the I-CON Convention for over 30 years. LI-Con is NOT a replacement for I-CON; it is a condensed version designed to take place in a hotel setting. Though smaller in size, we still strive to bring you the same quality programming and events throughout LI-Con.
On Friday August 14, 2015, author R.J. Huneke will be on a special LI Con panel discussing the NSA Revelations and Privacy and Security in the digital era, and he will also be at the Rune Works booth.
Do not miss out on this panel where experts will discuss, in-depth, security and the cyber state in the wake of the NSA Revelations prompted by former NSA operative Edward Snowden.
R.J. Huneke has spent years researching for his latest sci-fi thriller Cyberwar. A longtime writer and columnist, Huneke has interviewed cyber security professionals, carefully examined advances in science (including robotics and artificial intelligence) and compiled modern day speculations on technology and spun them into an electrifying journey into a dystopian society dominated by cybernetic hackers. His extensive knowledge on cyber warfare, robotics, and political protest, as well as his strong female protagonist are what set the riveting story apart.