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Author Archives: Andy Burns

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ debuts with the second biggest opening of all time

It was, as expected, an absolutely massive weekend at the box office, as Episode VIII made its presence felt in theatres. Here’s what went down:

last jedi

Well, we nailed our prediction for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which dominated the box office with the second biggest weekend in history. The film debut on top with a staggering $220 million, down just 11% from The Force Awakens‘ 2015 debut. While some fans have been critical of various storylines, which manages to surprise and break away from the entertaining predictability of The Force Awakens, overall the quality of The Last Jedi has been matched by the quantity of audiences who have paid money to see it opening weekend. It will be interesting to see how the film holds up over the coming weeks, and where its final tally will fall.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Video Games Galore for Adults and Kids

So many video games have come out this year, it’s hard to choose the best ones to throw on a recommendation list. But, I’m going to try. Here, you’ll find recos for games we’ve covered over the past year – some are for adults only, while others are suitable for kids and families.

Resident Evil

Resident Evil: Biohazard – Whether you’re playing this in VR or just straight up via your joystick, this is hands down the scariest game that I have ever experienced, and I’ve played a lot of horror games. Check out our review here, and trust me, if you’ve got a horror gamer in your life that hasn’t touched this one yet, put Resident Evil: Biohazard under the tree.

Outlast 2

Outlast 2 – Cults and gore might make for strange bedfellows at the holiday season, but horror gamers will be nicely served with Outlast 2, a first person game where you’re sans weapons and more about trying to keep yourself alive. Our review for the Trinity edition of Outlast gives you all the details. DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE KIDDIES!

Shadow Of War

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – Tolkien lovers were well-served this year with the release of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the gorgeous sequel to Shadows of Mordor.  The game continues the story of Talion, the thoughtful ranger who has merged with the wraith of Elf Lord Celebrimbor, and takes place between the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Our full review is hereRead the rest of this entry

The week in horror: Outlast 3, Jodie Foster + more

News on a third Outlast, Jodie Foster returns to a defining role, and more, as we look at some of the biggest stories from the week in horror.

Outlast 3 updates and previous games to Switch

Outlast 2 was one of the scariest games I’ve played in a long time (you can read my review here), even if some fans didn’t enjoy it as much as the original. IN a facebook post this week, the game’s creator Red Band shared news on potential DLC, a third entry in the franchise, and the game being ported over to Nintendo Switch:

It’s time for a little status update from us.

First off, we wanted to take a moment to thank all of you that have bought Outlast 2 and have been supporting the studio for more than 5 years now. Red Barrels was nothing more than a dream, but with a lot of blood, sweat and beers it has now become a small, fully independent studio with a kickass team who can work miracles.

We strive to create unique experiences and take risks. Hopefully, we’ll manage to entertain you for years to come.

About the future, many of you have been requesting a DLC. While the first Outlast was made with the idea of a DLC in mind, that was not the case for Outlast 2. We’ve considered many options, but none of them felt appropriate for a DLC. Outlast 2 was created to make you feel like a rat in a maze, without any knowledge of what’s outside the maze.

We will, at some point, make an Outlast 3 and answers will be given. You can also check out The Murkoff Account’s epilogue. It takes places right after the events of the second game and offers some insight into the events in the game. (https://redbarrelsgames.com/comic-books/)

Currently we’re working on something a lot of you have been asking for… It won’t be a sequel to Outlast or Outlast 2, but it will be a distinct experience set in the Outlast universe. We can’t say more right now, we first need to make sure we can make it work.

Like I mentioned, we strive to be risk-takers and this one is a pretty big challenge. If all goes well, we’ll soon be able to reveal more.

In the meantime, the Outlast franchise will be released on the Nintendo Switch during the first quarter of 2018.

Cheers!

The Red Barrels Team

New Mutants meets A Nightmare on Elm Street

As Josh Boone’s New Mutants continues its slow burn promos leading up to the film’s April 2018 release, check out this brief moment featuring the character of Cannonball, which features verbiage usually associated with A Nightmare on Elm Stree:

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Jodie Foster returns as Clarice Starling

While Jodie Foster may have passed on returning to her Oscar-winning role as Clarice Starling for Hannibal, she had no problems firing up her accent for an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Movies on Blu-ray + 4K

Throughout 2017, lots of movies arrived for the writers of Biff Bam Pop! to take a look at, including several in 4K Blu-ray format. With the holidays here, there’s a good chance you might wind up with a 4K player or television, or be shopping for someone who is all up on the latest tech. On that note, here are reviews of some solid films (in our opinion) from the last year, and the format we watched them in.

The Harry Potter Movies in 4K: 2017 saw the entire collection of Harry Potter films released in 4K packages (complete with Blu-ray and digital copies). If you’re looking to introduce the franchise to your kids, or you simply grew up with the movies and want to have them in the best format possible, this the way to do it. The earlier films aren’t as “amazing” in 4K, just based on the fact that they’re older; however, when watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with the Princess, she said it was as though they were “actually in the room with us.” A bold proclamation, methinks, and reason enough to invest in the films.

Dunkirk : Christopher Nolan’s masterful film should be seen on the big screen, in 70 mm. Nobody is going to argue about that fact. BUT, if you didn’t get a chance to have that experience during the film’s first run, and can’t make it out during its current rerelease, Dunkirk in 4K is absolutely the way to go. The package also comes with a standard Blu-ray and digital version, so you’re covered wherever you want to watch the battle go down.

mother!: Now, I know this one is going to be divisive, but I absolutely loved Darren Aronofsky’s mind-fuck of a movie. Go in looking at it as an allegory (I’m not going to spoil what the allegory is, mind you – Google it), and the film immediately makes a certain kind of sense. The performances from stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem are both top-notch, and make the film well worth checking out just for that. BUT, for fans of dream-style, David Lynch inspired movie-making that doesn’t play by any rules except its own, mother! is going to be right up your alley. Yes, it goes absolutely bat-shit crazy in the final act, and you won’t believe your eyes, so if that doesn’t sound like fun, skip it. However, if you can go in with an open mind and willingness to take something of a psychedelic trip, mother! comes highly recommended. Read the rest of this entry

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ to take all the money this weekend

It’s a massive weekend at the box office, as audiences are set for the next installment in the Star Wars saga. Just how much will this movie make? Here’s our prediction:

The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi returns us to the world of Luke, Leia, Rey and Kylo Ren, though this time its in the hands of director Rian Johnson. Word is the film is outstanding, an Empire Strikes Back for the next generation. 2015’s The Force Awakens debut with $247 million, but that was ten years after the end of the prequel trilogy and pent up desire for more films, so don’t expect The Last Jedi to reach that lofty number. It will do great business, though, there’s no question about that. Look for a first place debut with $220 million.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: DK Gets You Ready For Star Wars: The Force Awakens

We’re days, just days away, from the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. How are you spending your own personal countdown?

Me, I’m combing through sites like The Hollywood Report and Variety glancing at, but not fully reading the reviews that have started trickling out.

I’m thinking about our predictions for the how well the film is going to do when it officially hits theaters on Friday ($200 million is a gimme, in my mind, but how much higher can it go?)

And I’m also perusing a few outstanding Star Wars books that have come my way from the folks at DK.

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‘Coco’ has its final weekend on top of the box office

All was quiet this weekend, as it was the calm before the storm that The Last Jedi will bring next weekend. So here is your brief box office wrap-up report:

Coco was number one for the third weekend in a row with an estimated $18 million. The film has made $135 million so far, though it will likely top out slightly below $200 million in North America by the end of its run.

Justice League was in second place with $9.6 million. Wonder was in third place with $8.45 million, with the debuting The Disaster Audience grabbing the fourth spot with $6.43 million. Thor: Ragnarok closed things out in fifth place with $6.3 million, as it crossed the $300 million mark.  Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Books for Music Fans

So many music books, so little time. Depending on what the sounds that person in your life loves, there’s a ton of great books out there to choose from this Holiday Season. Here are a few of our favourite selections:

Sticky Fingers

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jan Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine – Writer Joe Hagan had unprecedented access to the founder and publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine, and the end result didn’t please Jann Wenner at all. Lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and comments from the rock stars that Wenner himself loved to hang around with. It’s all happening in this book.

Bon

Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back in Black – With the passing of AC/DC founding member and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young just a few weeks ago, reading about the band’s original lead singer Bon Scott has become even more fitting. Jesse Fink delves deep into the lore of the Thunder from Down Under, Bon’s influence on the band, and his tragic passing at the age of 33. Read the rest of this entry

The week in horror: Iron Maiden, World War Z + more

A metal icon gets the action figure treatment, World War Z gets a video game, and more, as we look at some of the biggest stories from the week in horror.

Run to the hill for these Eddie figures

While we still wait for Iron Maiden to take their rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band’s iconic mascot Eddie is getting the action figure treatment courtesy of Super7. These retro style figures are available now from Super7’s webstore. Each one is based on an Iron Maiden album or song: Powerslave, Killers, The Trooper and Aces High.

  • Powerslave Eddie comes with Egyptian crook and flail accessories
  • Killers Eddie comes armed with an axe accessory
  • Trooper Eddie comes with Union Jack and sword accessories
  • Aces High Eddie comes armed with a revolver accessory

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World War Z video game on the way

This week saw a trailer unleashed for a World War Z video game, due in 2018 from Saber Interactive and Paramount. There’s a definite familiarity to the images, which appear straight out of the divisive 2013 film (I liked it). According the press release, “The game centres on unique survivor stories and missions around the globe, including New York, Moscow, and Jerusalem. Use traps, barriers and the environment strategically to stay alive while unleashing a storm of firepower with a variety of weapons on the unrelenting hordes of the undead.”

World War Z will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom arrives

Before I watched the trailer for the next Jurassic World film, I wasn’t sure if it would actually fit it here in the column. But, after watching? Wow – this is going to make lots of money, but it really feels like a massive creature feature to me. Yes, there is lots of running, but the foreboding words of the the returning Jeff Goldblum has got me very excited for Fallen Kingdom, which arrives in theatres June 22nd.

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment.  Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before.  Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

‘Coco’ to lead another quiet weekend at the box office

It’s one more slow weekend at the box office, as we wait for the big one to hit theaters next weekend (hopefully sans yet another Death Star). So, in the interest of time, here’s a quick box office prediction entry.

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Look for Coco to continue to score with audiences in its third weekend in theaters. It will stay on top with $20 million.

Justice League will be in second place with $10 million. Wonder will be right behind it in third place with $9.5 million. Thor: Ragnarok will be in fourth place with $6 million, while Daddy’s Home 2 will round out the top five with $5.5 million.

The Disaster Artist is opening this weekend as well, but it won’t make it into the top five.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) Coco – $20 million
2) Justice League – $10 million
3) Wonder – $9.5 million
4) Thor: Ragnarok – $6 million
5) Daddy’s Home 2 – $5.5 million

Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns out!

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