SDCC Wonder Woman Trailer

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Injustice 2 officially announced

WB Interactive has officially announced the sequel to 2013 fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us.  A trailer for Injustice 2 dropped alongside the game announcement:

A final release date has not been confirmed, but the game is expected to release some time in 2017.

The announcement comes just days before E3 kicks off with Bethesda’s press conference on Sunday, June 12.

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

“The third film is always the worst.”  This pseudo self-aware line is spoken as a not so subtle nod to the less than stellar reception X-Men 3: The Last Stand received.  And, as painful as it was hearing this piss poor attempt at irony, it couldn’t be more true.

X-Men:  Apocalypse is the third film in the new X-Men timeline and follows the events of the X-Men sequel / reboot Days of Future Past.  While Days of Future Past had its faults, it still stood out as one of the stronger entries in the X-Men film franchise.  Sadly, the legacy of the excellent First Class does nothing to elevate Apocalypse above mediocrity.

The film opens strong enough with a thundering score and the titular En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse) and his four henchman marching to a ritual to transfer his consciousness.  We’re treated to a fun, if a little clumsy, action scene right off the bat before the film tosses up the title card… and then devolves into a muddy mess of mediocrity and wasted potential.

The majority of the film is set in 1983, over 20 years after First Class, and it does little to emphasize this point aside from a few period outfits and a Return of the Jedi marquee.  Despite the cast having aged only 5 years since this new (old) class of heroes was introduced, we’re thrust into yet another decade with little to no reason.  Really, the only cues we have, aside from the punk clothing and movies playing in cinemas, that any time has passed between films is the damage done in the last two movies is barely a passing thought to anyone in this universe and one of the characters has a family now.

With First Class, and to a lesser extent Days of Future Past, the characters felt new and refreshing.  Even if we had seen them before in these films, the new interpretations added a new layer of depth.  In the original X-Men film, we were given a glimpse into what turned Erik into Magneto.  First Class took us deeper into that character evolution with an extended look at Erik’s time in Auschwitz and Michael Fassbender giving us a Magneto that, in spite of his feelings toward them, is more human.  The relationship between Charles and Erik in First Class gives more weight to each instance you hear the line “old friend” spoken in the original films.  It’s a compelling relationship and one I’d love to see more of, but one that takes a back seat to some of the new gifted youngsters as Apocalypse tries desperately to bridge the gap between the old and new.

While Days of Future Past did little to develop that relationship further, being essentially another Wolverine movie, the characters in that go ‘round were actually fun to follow.  Apocalypse shifts its focus to follow Jean Grey, Kurt Wagner, and Scott Summers in their “first” appearance in the franchise.  I’ve never been a fan of how Cyclops has been presented in the film franchise, being a bit of a whiny douche, which is disappointing because he was always my favorite in the comics.  Apocalypse somehow manages to make the character even less likable than the James Marsden iteration of the character.  I understand, he’s going through some unexpected changes that are difficult to handle, but the stilted performance, cringe-worthy dialogue, and lack of chemistry do nothing to make those changes relatable – or even tolerable.

On the topic of dialogue, the script is downright terrible at times.  With a hodgepodge of graceless exposition, ham-fisted attempts at humor, and standard, impact-less “us versus the world” hero speeches, you’re sure to shake your head more than a few times at just how utterly stupid these characters can sound when they open their mouths.  That’s not to say that it’s all bad – there are moments with true dramatic weight, but I think that has less to do with the script and more to do with Michael Fassbender’s better-than-this-movie-deserves performance.  Each scene he’s in is mesmerizing, with one in particular striking nearly every emotional cord.  It’s a shame, then, that he’s such a small presence in the film.  Each scene with Erik is like watching a different movie.  A good movie.

The primary conflict in X-Men:  Apocolypse centers on the return of Apocalypse as he gathers an army of mutants to push the reset button on the world so the strong can survive and start anew.  It’s an idea with potential:  all-powerful being hell-bent on world destruction and domination surrounds himself with other, like-minded powerful beings to see that plan through.  Unfortunately, it’s wasted on unnecessary subplots and stupid characters.

Apocalypse keeps four henchmen nearby and, of those, only two are actually interesting in any way.  Olivia Munn as Psylocke is hard to watch – even if she is just a blip on the radar in the film – and the inclusion of Angel is downright baffling (I don’t remember him being in his forties in The Last Stand).  Alexandra Shipp’s turn as Storm is a vast improvement over Halle Berry’s, but she gets about as much screen time as Psylocke – which is a shame because she manages to be one of the few enjoyable characters in the film.  Apocalypse himself is bland and a waste of Oscar Isaac’s talent as the blue makeup and boring progression do a fine job of making him as unrecognizable as he is uninteresting.  There are brief moments where you can see a glimmer of what could be only to be pulled back down by a groan-inducing line someone managed to choke out.

There was an opportunity to build toward something bigger with ApocalypseDays of Future Past reset the timeline and created the possibility to do something new; instead, they went with another paint-by-numbers standalone superhero flick.  While some of the action is enjoyable and the time you get to spend with the Magneto subplot is absolutely worth watching, there’s little to nothing else in this film worth recommending.  It’s like a cocktail of one part good movie, two parts painfully mediocre movie, and one part absolutely horrible movie.  While it’s not downright terrible as a whole, it rarely ever tries not to be.

Meh – 2 / 3

Powering back UP

Greetings, Programs!  Firstly, thanks for stopping by – your interest in our little site means a lot, and it’s great to have you here.  Chips and dip on the table in the corner.  Mingle a little.

We’ve been offline and out of touch for about two years at this point, but I’m excited to announce that PowerUP Online is back online.  We’ve got a lot of new and exciting things planned for the future including weekly podcasts, daily and weekly Twitch streams, new articles, reviews, app highlights, and more.  We’ll have daily updates (with Fridays being a possible exception) on our main page here, Twitch, or our SoundCloud.  Interested in following us?  Our current schedule is below:

PowerUP Weekly Schedule:

      • Monday – No stream as we’ll be doing our podcast recording.  Check out pwruponline.com or soundcloud.com/poweruponline on Wednesdays to hear our weekly podcast.
      • Tuesday – DC Universe Online 8p – 10p EST (5p – 7p PST)
      • Wednesday – Podcast goes live on SoundCloud 7p EST (4p PST)
      • Wednesday – Andrew plays Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (first run) 8p – 10p EST (5p – 7p PST)
      • Thursday – Tyler plays Game Dev Tychoon 10p – 12a EST (7p – 9p PST)
      • Friday – Wildcard!  Fridays are busy for us (and probably you), so we’re not committing to a stream at this time.  That doesn’t mean we won’t be online, we’re just not planning for it.
      • Saturday – Andrew plays Mad Max (first run) 9a – 11a EST (6a – 8a PST)
      • Sunday – Andrew plays Chex Quest 9a – 11a EST (6a – 8a PST)

Visit us on Twitch, YouTube, SoundCloud, and Facebook.

Writers needed!

It’s becoming more and more challenging to post regularly as I continuously work on other projects.  PowerUp is still something that I love doing, but I don’t have the time to commit to it that it really deserves… so I need your help.  Entertainment writers, game and film enthusiasts, people with strong opinions… I need you!  If you have any passion for the entertainment industry and are vocal about your passions and opinions, I’d love to hear from you.  Simply send an email with the subject line “Write For PowerUp” to “poweruponline AT outlook DOT com” and I’ll get in touch with you.  I’d like to hear your area of expertise; tell me your favorite movie, game, and band; and provide a brief writing sample in the body of the email.  ABSOLUTELY NO ATTACHMENTS!  Word documents, .pdf files, pictures… none of it.  If there is an attachment, you will not be considered in any capacity.

Please note this is not a paid position.  PowerUp does not have a revenue flow and is entirely for sharing your passions in entertainment.  What I’d really like to see is some more views that differ from my own (I’m primarily an Xbox gamer, I have a Windows Phone, and I’ve got Windows 8.1 running on all of my computers… so, anybody who is outside of that Microsoft loop would be a breath of fresh air for my readers, I’m sure).  I’d like to see PowerUp feature more mobile entries focusing on Apps as well as indie games.  Film and music are also areas of opportunity.

Thanks for your interest, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Andrew T.S. Bedgood

Neill Blomkamp may direct the Halo pilot

HALOLogo

Neill Blomkamp has a history with Halo:  he was attached as the director of the Peter Jackson produced Halo film that fell apart some years back and he directed the live action Halo 3 promotional film.  He knows the universe and his style is a perfect fit for the Haloverse.  That said, it’s very exciting that Blomkamp may be directing the première episode of the Halo television series that was announced for Xbox One.  While this has yet to be officially confirmed, the thought of a Blomkamp directed episode of the Halo TV series is exciting.

My body (and controller) is ready for the Xbox One

Just a few days until the release of Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox is released, so I’ve done the natural thing and purchased a controller for the console 5 days before I can actually play it.  It’ll look good on the entertainment stand until the Xbox One’s sitting comfortably under my television.

https://vine.co/v/htjYZ3eTjP3