Author Archives: Andy Burns

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers assembles an awesome game for MCU fans

I’m a sucker for the LEGO video games. They’re simply fantastic fun to play, even when they wind up being a little harder than you anticipate.

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When the company first started making their licensed video games for various platforms, they were a little simpler, without the big name voices from the film’s they were parodying – their were no Harrison Ford’s or Johnny Depp’s in the LEGO Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean games. As the LEGO franchise has increased in popularity, the budgets have gone up, at the voice work has included (most of) the casts from films like The LEGO Movie, the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, and the Jurassic Park films. In the fall of 2015, LEGO Dimensions brought together various franchises from across pop culture in a Skylanders/Disney Infinity type game that has been a huge success. However, missing from the line-up that includes Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, DC Comics, the Simpsons and even Doctor Who, were Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel characters. Not a huge surprise, mind you, since Disney Infinity has those moneymakers covered. Luckily, while SW and Marvel may not be in LEGO Dimensions, the LEGO/Warner/TT Games people still get to make standalone titles. We’ll see a Star Wars: The Force Awakens LEGO game later this summer’ in the meantime, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is now in stores, continuing the fun we’ve all come to expect from these games.

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Trailer Time – Independence Day: Resurgence

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After 20 years, the aliens from Independence Day are back in Independence Day: Resurgence. It looks like they’re bringing more and more destruction with them. Check out the Super Bowl trailer that just aired.

Trailer Time – Captain America: Civil War Super Bowl Spot

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The 30 second Captain America: Civil Super Bowl spot is here, and it draws serious battle lines between our heroes. Check it out!

Kung Fu Panda holds strong, new release can’t deliver

It was a somewhat quiet weekend at the box office, as no new release really caught on with audiences. Here’s what went down:

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Kung Fu Panda 3 hung onto the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, bringing in $21.5 million, raising its total to $69.5 million in North America. It’s doubtful that the film will perform as well as the first two in the series, but Kung Fu Panda 3 should at least cross the $100 million mark.

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Lost in thought on the Martyrs remake

The first time I ever hard about the original French version of the film Martyrs (2008) was at San Diego Comic Con 2013. I was at a horror panel that featured directors Jen and Sylvia Soska, friends of Biff Bam Pop, who cited Martyrs as an intense viewing experience. Though I never did follow up on watching the film, it did stick with me, mainly because the Soskas are purveyors of a specific brand of horror, so if a film gets to them, there’s likely no way I’ll be able to sit through it. It’s part of what is labelled the New French Extremity movement – I’ll let you look that up yourself. What I can tell is, upon discussing Martyrs with Rue Morgue Magazine Editor-In-Chief Dave Alexander a few days ago, he recalled someone actually throwing up in the theatre at the Toronto International Film Festival screening of Martyrs. So, no thank you.

Then came word that an Americanized remake of Martyrs was on the way from directors The Goetz Brothers, and that piqued my interest. In checking out some reviews, it appeared that the violence had been significantly tapered off (along with some significant story changes as well). On that note, I decided I was ready and willing to take on the film…even if it was a diluted version of it.

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Zombies and Romans look to take down Kung Fu Panda 3

A few new releases are looking for box office gold this weekend, but will any be able to KO a Kung Fu Panda? Here are our predictions:

Hail, Caesar

Hail, Caesar is the latest film from the always reliable Coen Brothers. This time out, the duo are working in comedic territory, with an ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson. The reviews have been fairly solid for the film, which is set in 1950s Hollywood. However, the buzz hasn’t been particularly big for this one and opening on Super Bowl weekend isn’t going to help get an audience into theaters. Look for a third place debut with $11 million.

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Preview: Marvel has Civil War II + Captain America for FCBD

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The biggest heroes, the biggest creators and the biggest stories in comics are coming to FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! But before that exciting Saturday in May, get your first look at the covers to both of Marvel’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY offerings right now!

First, FCBD CIVIL WAR II #1 peels back the curtain of the biggest event of 2016. Be there for the opening shots of CIVIL WAR II as Brian Michael Bendis and Jim Cheung give you the first taste of the conflict that will ignite the Marvel Universe later this year! Plus, this issue also features the highly anticipated debut of the All-New Wasp! Be there as she makes her debut, courtesy of All-New, All-Different Avengers writer Mark Waid and legendary artist Alan Davis! But is this mysterious character friend or foe?

Then, FCBD CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 brings you the titanic return of Steve Rogers as Captain America! Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz bring you one of Steve’s first adventures since his dramatic return in the pages of AVENGERS: STANDOFF. Just in time for their new series Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 later that month! Then, go deeper into DEAD NO MORE, a top secret storyline coming later in 2016! If you got the chance to bring someone back, would you?

There’s no better time to jump into the Marvel Universe than Free Comic Book Day. Don’t miss out on these 4 can’t miss stories, available at participating comic shops nationwide on May 7th!

FCBD CAPTAIN AMERICA (JAN160037)
Written by NICK SPENCER & DAN SLOTT
Art by JESUS SAIZ & JAVIER GARRON
Cover by JESUS SAIZ
Coming Free Comic Book Day!

FCBD CIVIL WAR II (JAN160009)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS & MARK WAID
Art by JIM CHEUNG & ALAN DAVIS
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
Coming Free Comic Book Day!

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WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT, TT GAMES, THE LEGO GROUP AND LUCASFILM ANNOUNCE LEGO® STAR WARS™: THE FORCE AWAKENS™

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm today announced LEGO® Star Wars: The Force Awakens™, marking the triumphant return of the No. 1 LEGO videogame franchise, allowing players to relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in a fun-filled, humorous way that only a LEGO game can offer. Launching on June 28, 2016, the game will introduce brand new gameplay mechanics to build, battle and fly through the galaxy like never before, as well as new story content exploring the time between Star Wars: Return of the Jediand Star Wars: The Force Awakens, providing additional insight about the new movie and its characters.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will be available for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, Xbox One, Xbox 360, the Wii U™ system from Nintendo, the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems and Windows PC.

“We’re extremely proud of the LEGO Star Wars videogames, truly an incredible franchise that has sold more than 33 million copies and helped ignite a passion for numerous fun-filled LEGO games enjoyed by countless gamers around the world,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be pushing the series forward with innovative new gameplay mechanics, while also exploring new parts of the universe that are sure to excite and delight both LEGO and Star Wars fans, as well as newcomers to our games.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the LEGO Star Wars videogame franchise, which kicked off such a beloved series of LEGO titles more than a decade ago,” said Ada Duan, Vice President, Digital Business & Franchise Management, Lucasfilm. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens allows players to experience the new film in a unique way that only TT Games can provide, combining signature humor with epicStar Wars action. With previously untold story content exploring new details about the movie and its characters, it’s a perfect fit for fans of all ages.”

“We are delighted to return to the Star Wars Universe and continue the journey with the franchise that started it all for LEGO videogames,” said Niels Jørgensen, Vice President, Digital Games for the LEGO Group. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will offer an amazing gaming experience covering not only the movie but also exclusive content with all the fun and humor you would expect from a LEGO game, while delivering the epic Star Wars adventure fans expect.”

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes players deeper into the new film than any other game with all of the heroic characters from the movie, including Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and BB-8, as well as Kylo Ren, General Hux and Captain Phasma, while also exploring iconic Star Wars locales, such as Jakku and Starkiller Base.

This action-packed adventure introduces new gameplay features, including the enhanced “Multi-Builds” system, where players can choose from multiple building options to advance the game. Gamers will be able to engage in intense new Blaster Battles for the first time, utilizing surrounding environments to drive back the First Order. Fans can also experience the thrill of high-speed flight gameplay through arena-based battles and dogfights in space, while utilizing a multitude of vehicles along the way, including the legendary Millennium Falcon.

PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 players will have access to exclusive downloadable content, the Droid Character Pack and the Phantom Limb Level Pack.

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SPIDER-MAN #1 Swings Into Comic Shops This Wednesday!

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Direct from Marvel, Miles Morales in the Marvel U!

This Wednesday, Miles Morales comes to the Marvel Universe, and he’s here to stay! But before SPIDER-MAN #1 comes to comic shops everywhere and digital devices, Marvel is pleased to present your new look inside the highly anticipated first issue! Strap in as Miles Morales co-creators Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli present the next chapter in the young hero’s life!

“Writing Spider-Man is truly a responsibility. It’s not just a gig,” says writer Brian Michael Bendis, speaking with Entertainment Weekly. “It is something that profoundly affects people. One of the great joys of my life on levels I never thought would happen are people’s responses to this book and to this character.”

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Kung Fu Panda 3 tops the box office, The Finest Hours stumbles

It was a solid but not spectacular showing this weekend for the latest film to top the box office. Here’s what went down:

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Kung Fu Panda 3 debut at number one this weekend with $37 million, clearly the film for families. That number was down from both the original’s debut ($60 million) and the first sequel ($47 million), but hopefully the movie will be in it for the long haul over the coming weeks.  Read the rest of this entry

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