WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading →
Starting today movie-goers can see some big summer flicks opening on the big screen. First up is the new comedy Pixels with Adam Sandler (Billy Madison, Mr. Deeds), Kevin James (The King of Queens, Grown Ups), Michelle Monoghan (Eagle Eye, True Detective), Josh Gad (21, The Wedding Ringer), and Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent, Game of Thrones). As I’m sure you are aware, Sandler and company will be joining up to defend Earth from an alien invasion of Nintendo characters like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. Stupid? Yes, but so was Happy Gilmore, Austin Powers, and Hot Tub Time Machine, and they were all hilarious, so don’t be too quick to judge. Also opening in theaters today is the new boxing drama from Sons of Anarchy writer Kurt Sutter, Southpaw, with Jake Gyllenhaal (October Sky, Prisoners), Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Wedding Crashers), and Forest Whitaker (Phone Booth, The Last King of Scotland). This one is definitely not your easy-going comedy like Pixels, but with Kurt Sutter behind the pen and a strong cast line-up it should turn out to be a good watch. Enjoy the weekend!
With July getting closer and closer on the calendar, we have already started seeing some new trailers for the upcoming video-game comedy Pixels. The movie comes from director Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) and a script by writers Timothy Dowling (Just Go With It, This Means War) and Tim Herlihy (Happy Gilmore, Mr. Deeds) from a story by Patrick Jean (Tom the Cat, Motorville) about aliens who attack earth using the characters of Nintendo video game characters. Leading the cast line-up is comedy veteran Adam Sandler (Big Daddy, Grown-Ups), Josh Gad (Love & Other Drugs, The Wedding Ringer), Kevin James (The King of Queens, Paul Blart:Mall Cop), Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent, Game of Thrones), Michelle Monoghan (Eagle Eye, True Detective), and Jane Krakowski (Alfie, 30 Rock), along with your favorite Nintendo characters including PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders! Although the project seems pretty dumb in retrospect, it may just be the comedy to see this summer, although it did receive a PG-13 and not R rating. We’ll just have to wait for July to see if it’s a hidden gem or not. Stay tuned.
Nintendo recently announced that it will be featuring classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles in it’s upcoming game Mario Kart 8. Not exactly sure how this came about, but it’s definitely interesting. Can’t decide whether it will be cool to see the cars being driven by classic Nintendo characters or if it’ll feel like blatant product placement/cross promotion. With the release of Mario Kart 8 just a couple of weeks away on August 27th, Wii fans can now envision Luigi driving a 1934 W-25 Silver Arrow.
Comedian Seth Rogen has been working with writer and producer Evan Goldberg since 2007, when Knocked Up and Super Bad helped bring Rogen into the Hollywood spotlight, and they have continued their collaborative efforts with hits including Pineapple Express (2008), Funny People (2009), 50/50 (2011), and most recently, last year’s outrageous apocalypse-spoof This Is The End. They are presently finishing production on Neighbors and The Interview, both which are due out later this year, while simultaneously working on their upcoming animated comedy Sausage Party and producing another film called Cherries. Needless to say they keep themselves pretty busy, and they plan on keeping themselves busy. The two will be adapting a book called Console Wars by Blake J. Harris, with Scott Rudin also helping out with production duties. The book is the story of Tom Kalinske, who brought the Sega industry to the same level as Nintendo and sparked a corporate controversy that spanned the entire globe for the duration of the 1990s, as the two companies brought their competition all the way to the U.S. Congress. No idea when this one will be coming out, but it might be worth seeing.
Just in case you have slept on Mario over the years, Mario Galaxy from 2007 was a HUGE success and really entertaining to play. Since then, the games have been meh, at most. This last November, Nintendo has revived the franchise with Super Mario 3D. The game received a 9.6/10 by IGN, and has been highly regarded by many as a wonderful game to play. While I don’t plan on buying a Wii U anytime soon, it appears that this would be the game to get.