This is the worst time of the year to be a fan of video games. The conventional wisdom is that there is no time to release a big budget video game like the holiday season. There are three reasons for this that I can see. One is that this is the time of the year when video games are more likely to be given as gifts. Another reason is that, at the end of the year, video game journalists compose their top ten lists. For this reason game companies try to have their best products released around that time, much like a film with Oscar aspirations is more likely to be released a month before the Oscars than a month after. Finally, I think this practice is largely in place, because this is the way it is done. There are some notable exceptions. Mass Effect 2 was released in January of last year, to incredible sales and critical acclaim, and went on to win a number of Game of the Year awards. Red Dead Redemption was released in May of last year, and achieved the same thing. These are the exceptions. This year, six games that all aspire to GOTY status are releasing in five weeks. It should go without saying that these games also aspire to break sales records and make everyone involved into gajillionaires. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, released last week, was one of these contenders. (Ed. I swear Ben, if you make a Marlon Brando joke, you’ll never write for FBC again.)
For the second year, I was fortunate to attend a world premiere gala at AFI. Last year I saw Black Swan, and this year I saw J. Edgar, a film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2009 (Milk). J. Edgar boasts a huge cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, and Armie Hammer (The Social Network). The film follows the life of J. Edgar Hoover, the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hoover sought a war against gangsters, he influenced the implementation of forensics in criminal cases, his achievements in forensics affected the Lindbergh trial-of-the-century, and his warped views on Communism affected a generation. Also, he very well may have lived his entire life as a closeted gay man. A life this controversial and important to American history begs to be told on the big screen; yet, this is precisely why it is so very disappointing and surprising just how amateur, monotonous, and sluggish this film turned out to be.
By Michael Fitzgerald Troy
'Cause I am not a word, I am not a line.
I am not a girl that can ever be defined.
Storm burst onto the comic scene in the '70s as a member of the all new, all different gaggle of rag tag outlaw mutants, the Uncanny X-men. A silver-haired, blue-eyed African Goddess, she had me at "hullo." Created by Len Wein and designed by Dave Cockrum, her original costume is my favorite to date. (Although, Tim Gunn would likely have a field day with it. "Who is this woman and where is she going? She looks like a drag queen prostitute attending a hooker convention!")
The following is an interview with writer Tony Caballero about his work on the top-rated Lifetime Original Movie, Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story.
Below, Caballero talks to Fanboy Comics President Bryant Dillon about how he got involved in Magic Beyond Words, his first experiences with Harry Potter, his writing process, and an exciting, upcoming project based on another popular young adult book series!
This interview was conducted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011.
By Michael Fitzgerald Troy
I don't get it. The first time I heard of Justin Bieber, I had overheard two middle-aged women talking about a recent talk show appearance, getting more hot and bothered the more they talked about the pubescent pop sensation.
What are they saying? Beaver? Beeper? Ah, who gives a crap? I don't get it.
"The First Step Towards Loyalty is Trust"
I hope the creative forces behind the show take note of this quote, because, after not airing a new episode last week, they really threw off my trust. Having to go 14 days without a new episode was not good on my psyche, and I was reduced to reenacting The Mortis Trilogy in my room with sock puppets and action figures. It was not a pretty sight, and, lucky for me, they aired a new episode right before I started constructing my very own 2-1B.
And, boy oh boy, was it worth the wait. If there is anything I've learned from Filoni and crew, it is that they will not disappoint. In Season 3, they pounded us over the head with political episodes about diplomacy and corruption, but then totally blew us out of the water with 3 back-to-back "trilogies" filled with awesomeness (Nightsisters, Mortis, and Citadel). So, now, after watching Gungans and 2 back-to-back Droid episodes, we get the first episode in a 4-part arc which looks incredibly promising.
By Michael Fitzgerald Troy
Release the crack-whore! Okay, before we get started, let me just say that this is NOT an anti-Kardashian article. I've just been dying to use that opening line. I actually like the Kardashians. Really. Okay, I may be a little biased, as they were the catalyst for my 15 nano seconds of fame. I had the privilege of interviewing Kim (along with Carmen Electra) promoting Disaster Movie at Comic-Con in San Diego a few years back for a web show. They even aired 2 seconds of the infamous interview on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Thanks to E!'s heavy repeat rotation schedule, I'm recognized at the grocery store by my big gay voice to this day.
I was first introduced to The Hammer, previously titled Hamill, at AFI Fest 2010, where the film took the Audience Award. I met some of the crew and cast at an AFI reception honoring their win, and I was instantly struck by the passion the filmmakers and actors had for this film. The Hammer is a family-friendly, based-on-a-true-story, underdog-sports-story, and it opened last Thursday in limited theatrical release.
Richelle Mead’s Storm Born Issue #4 is really ratcheting things up. You can tell that by the cover alone. A tornado swirls around our raging and tearful protagonist, Eugenie Markham, as her mother lies bloodied in her arms.
Issue #4 picks up with Markham, also known as Odile, a freelance shaman, and her ragtag crew attempting to rescue a human from her Otherworldly captors. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’ll say that she learns a lot about herself in this issue and about the people around her.
Most contemporary game franchises have taken an “every other year” approach to releases. Call of Duty is the biggest first-person shooter today that demonstrates how successful this habit can be. Every other year we’re treated to a Modern Warfare title, interspersed by Treyarch’s even-numbered year offerings. So, when Battlefield 3 comes along five years after its sci-fi predecessor Battlefield 2142, there’s a natural expectation that something special is in store for gamers. The Bad Company spinoffs have ensured that the franchise hasn’t been entirely devoid of new blood in the meantime, but they’ve explored different play styles as opposed to the main series and aren’t comparable. Surely, the logic goes, Battlefield 3 has great things in store for its loyal fanbase.
I was still enthusiastic even after Electronic Arts became more involved than they have been in the past. EA has a notorious reputation amongst gamers that’s mostly deserved as a result of interfering with game development out of short-sighted marketing plots. The major claim to fame for the Battlefield franchise has always been its deep multiplayer and primary focus on its PC-based users. EA has decided to cash in on that fact.