Cloverfield 4 ft. Nazis?

Could Cloverfield by the most confusing franchise in history? I’m starting to think so. After the cult hit that was the original Cloverfield, the secretive JJ Abrams series has seen a (spiritual?) sequel in 10 Cloverfield Lane and we were all aware of the upcoming third installment set on a space station tentatively titled God Particle. 

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

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/Film reported yesterday that a fourth Cloverfield movie has not only been touted and lined up, but has in fact already finished filming. Claiming that the film has been shooting under the working title Overlord and that whilst Chapter 3 in the loosely connected umbrella franchise will be taking us to outer space, the fourth will be taking us all the way back to WW2. With /Film’s synopsis reading:

“On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. They find themselves fighting against supernatural forces, part of a Nazi experiment.”

The film will supposedly be directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) and stars Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) and Jovan Adepo (Fences).

News from the Cloverfield franchise didn’t stop there however. As the Hollywood Reporter have also recently reported on rumours that God Particle may in fact not see an international theatrical release in cinemas. With it looking possible that Paramount will instead sell the rights to the third film to Netflix.

Whatever its future we’re certainly excited to see what happens with JJ Abrams’ sci-fi series.

God Particle is scheduled for an April 2018 release date, with Overlord potentially releasing in October of this year.

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Retrospective Review: The Godfather (1972)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando and Al Pacino

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In a new series of articles we’ll be looking back over movies of the past and offering our thoughts in retrospect. And why not start off with a masterpiece?

Let’s not beat around the bush here, not just The Godfather, but the entire trilogy is a work of art when it comes to film making. I’m in the very small minority when it comes to my ordering of the series, in that I believe that the third is better than number two and that the original is the best. But that does not take away my belief that the series as a whole is one of the best trilogy’s ever made.

I had the pleasure of first watching The Godfather when I was about 12 years old with my mum, and I can distinctly remember completely forgetting that the people I was watching on screen weren’t real. That’s a serious testament to not just the performances of every single actor on screen, but also to Francis Ford Coppola’s fantastic directing. The narrative is beautifully woven to create an “epic” feel to the movie, as though we are watching a real family dynasty unfold before our eyes. Something that would not be possible without the highest quality directing, acting, composing and writing. As such it would be unfair to single any one aspect of this film and label it as the most important cog in well designed machine.

This was Al Pacino’s breakout role and my God what a film to be known for. His performance in this film is near perfect, his story arc is both believable but without sacrificing the edge of your seat nature that is so often captured perfectly by well fleshed out characters that you feel invested in. And for me it is that point which takes The Godfather beyond being a great film to a near perfect one. Every character is well thought out, they could very well be real people (As younger me believed) and you invest in their flaws and stories. Beyond that though, like only the best performances can, Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Don Vito Corleone has managed become film legend. If you haven’t imitated the line “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” then have you really been paying attention?

For a movie released in 1972 to still hold up to today’s standard of film making is a real achievement that shouldn’t be understated. You will still to this day struggle to find a more compelling tale of family, loss and struggle. Sure, some blood effects could be better by today’s standards, but as time moves on that’s something that has to be accepted as inevitable in an industry such as this.

I can’t say enough positive things about this movie. If you’re a film fan, then you need to see this film. If you’re studying film at University, then you need to see this film. If you have even a passing interest in Italian/American mafia, then you need to see this film.

Final Score:

10/10 Porgs.

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Vince McMahon announces the return of the XFL

As I am sat here in my Houston Texans NFL jersey Vince McMahon is stood in front of a camera announcing the return of the famous failure, the NFL’s distant cousin, the XFL.

During it’s last incarnation the more extreme version of American Football only lasted a solitary season before being cancelled, causing the approximate cost of $70million to Vince McMahon and the WWE.

But this time Vince appears to believe that the market is ripe for the introduction of a stand alone rival to the biggest sport in American history.

Starting in 2020 Vince has claimed that the XFL will give the game of football “back to fans” and that the thoughts of fans will be taken on board and “fan-centric”.

Vince has promised innovations to his “football reborn” and “reimagined”. The details include 8 teams, a 10 game regular season, 2 semi-finals, a Championship game and a 40 man roster. But Vince’s main focus appears to be on the use of technology which will allow you to watch the XFL in all manner of formats.

When asked about “why now” McMahon claimed that he always wanted to bring back the XFL and that he’s learned lessons from the first failed incarnation of the XFL.

At the end of the day this all a very well prepared PR launch, what will be interesting to watch going forward is the manner in which the XFL forms and launches over the next two years. It’s an interesting time to be both a WWE fan and American Football fan. Good luck to Vince, and let’s hope that this doesn’t affect either the daily production of the WWE product.

EA Updates: Dragon Age and Anthem

It’s fair to say that EA didn’t have the best of years in 2017. The disastrous PR stretch that was Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s release and the lesser known Need for Speed loot box stories, together with a widely panned Mass Effect: Andromeda conjured up something of a nightmare year for the company. Something they were crying about all the way to the bank with their piles and piles of cash.

But things were looking up for the company moving into 2018. A solid free-DLC plan for Battlefront 2 and the high expectations of Anthem, EA’s version of Destiny and the supposed project that took funds and focus away from Mass Effect: Andromeda, created an aura of positivity heading into the new year.

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However things are once again taking a turn for the company once given the prestige of being the “worst company in America”. A report by Kotaku has revealed a possible delay to Anthem’s launch, pushing the title back into 2019, stating that EA are “doubling down” on the production of Anthem, and that the title is now “inextricably tied” to the future of the company.

This is more than likely a good thing for the game itself, as taking more time on something of this magnitude is always a good idea when compared to the prospect of rushing out an unfinished title. It’s also possible that the backlash over loot boxes in Need for Speed and Battlefront 2 can in some way be tied to the delay, as there is no doubt that EA will want no part in an equally bad PR campaign this time around.

In more positive news, the article on Kotaku also mentions that there are still smaller teams working within EA on a couple of future releases, one of which being a new Dragon Age game. This was later confirmed by Mark Darrah on Twitter, stating that there are people “hard at work on both [Dragon Age and Anthem]”.

Since then, Casey Hudson, GM at BioWare, has confirmed that the studio are working on  a new Dragon Age game which is “story and character focused”. Here’s hoping that Anthem isn’t stealing too many funds from this project, the way it did with MEA, and that the next installment in the Dragon Age franchise is one that lives up the lofty heights of Dragon Age: Inquisition.