Category Archives: Technology

It’s About Time The Oscars Revamped Their Categories

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

 

As we are gearing up for the end of 2013, a lot of talk has been going around about one of the best times for film makers and movie goers, Awards Season.

With not much justice, the Oscars will always be the biggest award of the night. Everyone wants to be holding that golden statue giving a speech up on stage and getting rushed off by the sound of music, adding a few tears here and there. But not everyone gets the chance to have this moment, not because they haven’t won, but for the mere fact that the category just doesn’t exist.

The Oscars is a huge event with tonnes of categories, from the biggest on screen, to the smallest behind closed doors, but it’s about time they revamped the categories and not expect the ceremony to just carry itself. Here are 3 categories they are definitely missing that should be added to the line-up…

 

 Best Stunt:

With the light of Jason Statham having a say in a Vanity Fair interview, he’s definitely got it spot on. Stunt men/women and Co-ordinators should be recognised for the hard work they put into making these awesome stunts in film. It is quite unfair how an actor in front of a green screen can win an Oscar for their performance, whilst the stunt men who actually pulled of the stunt lay low on the sideline without a credit. Yes there are some actors who pull of their own stunts so fair enough, they could be nominated too. But those guys out there risking their lives to make the actor look good and give us that breathless feeling when their falling off somewhere really do need more credit for the amazing work they do.

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Best Voice Actor:

We’re living in an age now where CGI is like second nature in a film with non human characters included. Whether it’s an animation of just live action with CGI inserted, voice actors should be getting a bit more attention when it comes to awards. There are already award categories for these special effects etc but to voice over a character does take quite a lot of skill. It’s not as simple as saying a line from a script. It’s just the same as normal acting, if not a bit more difficult because natural body language is absent as we can’t see the person, so why not? Most of the time, it’s the voice of a character that brings it to life rather than the way it looks. With the technology of Motion Capture suits, sometimes it’s the actors actually acting out these characters, quite like video games. So it really is a lot of work and great imagination.

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Best Trailer:

Now for a lot of us, a trailer is the key to whether you go to watch a film or not. It’s the main source of research for a film. Yes there are reviews etc but they all have the reviewer’s opinion, so a trailer is just perfect because it’s neutral. A trailer isn’t just put together by splicing a few bits of a film together; it’s a huge part of the film’s marketing, so it has to engage the audience. There are a lot of trailers out there that deserve an award. Think about the trailers you’ve watched this past year, some even looked better than the film turned out to be, why? Because the editors know what the audiences want to see. But really there are a lot of trailers out there that make you watch it more than once and the people behind these trailers also deserve some credit.

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So what do you think? What categories would you like to see in the Oscars?

 

Exclusive Signing Sesh @GAMEStratford – Batman Arkham Origins

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The third instalment of the Batman Arkham series (Batman Arkham Origins) has been released today and to celebrate, GAME had a special signing session in their store down at Westfield Stratford City. Who was there? None other than the incredibly talented voice actors Troy Baker (The Last of Us) and Roger Craig Smith (Resident Evil franchise). Voicing the Joker and Batman himself, this isn’t the first time the two have worked together. Baker and Smith worked previously on Resident Evil 6 together as Jake Muller and Chris Redfield.

The pair have been touring the world for their new title and you can catch them at the Arkham Origins stand at the MCM Expo this weekend. It was an absolute pleasure meeting the pair in the flesh and hopefully London gave them a warm enough welcome for them to want to visit again some time soon. A huge thanks to GAME for staging a very memorable event.

Check out the photos below of not only the actors, but the free goodies too! Don’t forget to watch the Arkham Origins Comic-Con panel, it’s a real treat.

 

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Beyond Two Souls: First Impressions

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From the makers of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dreams presents… Beyond Two Souls.

Having not played Heavy Rain, I didn’t really know much about what I was getting into when I managed to get yet another, exclusive hands on the game play at a special GAME Lock-In. Licking the icing on the cake, after pre-ordering the game in store, I was rewarded an early access to the demo which is released on PSN October 1st (US) and 2nd (Europe). On both occasions, there were different parts of the game to be played so I got a very good look at what’s in store for the 11th October.

A quick over view of the game, Beyond Two Souls is an interactive drama/thriller/action-adventure based video game with psychological and spiritual elements. It explores the notion of what happens after death. Main Character Jodie Holmes (Ellen Page) is played through around 15 years of her life from the age of 8 to 23 and she goes on an adventure to discover the real meaning of Aiden, the entity that’s been with her through out her whole life (who is also a playable character).  

 

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Compared to Grand Theft Auto V’s astounding budget of $200+m, Beyond’s budget only rolled in at $20m but one thing is for sure, the visuals are amazing. They are actually better than Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. This is due to the fact that the characters in the game are actually based off of the actors themselves. Ellen Page, Willem Defo and Eric Winter all play characters that look exactly like themselves. It’s quite like a film, whereas TLOU are made up characters so kudos for their creativity. But Beyond is definitely the future of gaming, especially with the technology used to create the game. The actors actually acted out everything… EVERYTHING. The stunts, the emotions, the dialogue etc is all done by themselves using a motion capture suit. The way the characters look is amazing in its self. The proportions, the facial expressions, hair movements and clothe movements are so realistic. There’s an amazing part you play with Jodie (Page) on a train and the way her shirt sways in the wind and follows her body movements whilst running and stumbling in the wind and rain on top of the train literally memorised me. It’s these little things that sets Beyond apart from other video games. The environment and personalisation of each character is fantastic. It’s a really great addition to the game to feel that realism.

 

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 Having the entity Aiden opens up the 2 player functionality to the game. He’s playable using the Dualshock 3 controller but also can be played using an app on your smart phone or tablet. As a character, Aiden’s movement is very free flowing, which is great because it replicates and reminds you that he is a sprit. He is a really great character to play with because of his recklessness. Controlling other people, destroying things, getting angry but also being a huge help to Jodie is basically what Aiden does.

The game is heavily based on decision making. Every decision has a different reaction, so there will be many ways to play the game and not one straight forward route. For those who have played Heavy Rain will already know of this (Heavy Rain had like 12 endings). You literally can make your own decisions, from the simplest of things like opening a can of beer to whether of not you want to wake Jodie up. It’s possible for Jodie to die in 10 minutes of the game if you wanted, but other than that, the game play racks up to about 30 hours. If you leave Jodie idle for a few minutes, something will happen, that’s just how the game works. So beware if you have to get up, press pause, don’t leave it in game mode.

Control wise, the controls are a little different to your usual set, however they are easy to get used to and work really well. There’s also a bit of the SIXAXIS used, so be prepared to be shaking that controller with your life and flashing it up in the air for Jodie to jump in certain dangerous positions.

From what was played, it’s definitely in the running for Game of The Year alongside TLOU and possibly GTA V. If you haven’t played Heavy Rain, no problem, this will definitely be a new experience and is already dubbed to be the next step up from Heavy Rain.

Beyond Two Souls is out next month, 11th Oct.

Zavvi.com Iron Man 3 Steelbook Blu-ray Unboxing/Mini Review

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After a few months of waiting, Iron Man 3 is finally out on Blu-ray and DVD. For the collectors out there, there is also a Steelbook Blu-ray. Check out the video below for an up close and personal look at the Steelbook, with a mini review added on the end.

Want the full review? Click here for a different but worthy take on Iron Man 3.

 

A Bit Of Hope For Everyone – The Internship Review

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Films that include Vince Vaughn and or Owen Wilson are usually touch and go, depending on your sense of humour that is. Vaughn usually does the funny round (Dodgeball, Four Christmases), whilst Wilson would take more of the rom-commy trip (Marley and Me, You, Me and Dupree) but they both always have something in common, a bit of heart, sentiment and meaning in their films. Forget about slapstick comedy, when it comes to these two it’s their verbal humour that will get you going. If you’re a fan in some way or form of the two, it is almost certain, this is your film.

Vaughn and Wilson play two salesmen who have just lost their jobs because of the digital age and that their company just can’t keep up to date with this fast paced time. So they go on the hunt to find new jobs as their lives hang in the balance until they come across the Google Internship. Obviously, they know nothing about new technology, so this isn’t just a walk in the park. During their time at the internship, they must compete in groups, against other groups for a shot at getting a job with Google. Surrounded by these young, snobbish, tech savvy-students, they must find a way to fit in and worm their way into trying to win the job.

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Although it’s a comedy, Owen Wilson provided a bit of romance and charm more than a huge bounce of hilarious humour, though he did manage to knock a few jokes out of the park, especially when it came to reacting to certain comments. Rose Byrne acts as the love interest for Wilson, so their romance is actually pretty cute and charming. Going back and forth actually worked and was very pleasing. It wasn’t too much to over power the films main plot. Wilson was more of an experienced, soft pillow whereas Vince Vaughn was more of the comforting duvet in certain areas when it came to support and team work (especially in a vicious game of grounded Quidditch). Vaughn’s emotional status brought a bit of reality to the film on where the world is today on unemployment. He is still quite hilarious with his fast paced, tone of voice, pulling corners to try and talk his way out of every situation, quite like a salesman should do, so the role was quite suiting.   

The great thing about this film that they do highlight is the future of graduates. There are a couple of deep moments the younger generation bring up about being a graduate and what happens next… the fact that its not that easy to make it out there as a graduate. They also refer to the term “The American Dream”, which for patriotic followers is something the older generation had created as an outline to their future, but for now “That’s all it is, a dream”.

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The film does come across stereotypical sometimes, making it out that the older generation are oblivious to new technology (and Marvel for that fact, something that’s older than all the interns) and that the younger generation are very snobbish and mean, especially the British. Max Minghella’s preppy character just has that proper British accent with a book of crude yet funny and embarrassing insults for everyone. The diversity of students used was very interesting and fun with characters like the geeky yet unlucky in love Lyle and mummy’s boy Yo-yo. Google really did put out to show that they are about connecting people.  

It really is quite the underdog story, with loads of geeky filled references. You’ll definitely find something in there to associate yourselves with whether you’re a fan of Vaughn/Wilson or not, but the film doesn’t just revolve around them. It’s the younger actors that really push it out there and provide the undying entertainment.

The trailer doesn’t do the film any justice (although sometimes it’s best this way so it doesn’t spoil the film) and this must be Google’s biggest ever attempt at product placement, who wouldn’t want to work at Google after watching this film? It looks amazing!

4 out of 5 stars