Joker Hints at ‘Arkham World’ as the New Bat Game?

If you have any self-respect at all, as a gamer or a general human being, you didn’t watch the Spike Video Game Awards (I have none of that, so I witnessed it all go down). The show is an infantile, 2-hour extravaganza of middle fingers to all of us who love games, and we put ourselves through the shame every year just so we can get a first look at some exclusive reveals and trailers. Essentially it’s one big commercial that insults its target market. For two hours. And we subject ourselves to it. “You want to see Mass Effect 3? Do you?! Fine, but first we’re going to make you watch us shove a man’s balls in a game dev’s mouth during his acceptance speech.

Despite the insulting pandering, the awful jokes and worthless pseudo-celebrity appearances, the nominations and winners were pretty on point – if you managed not to blink and catch any of them. I barely noticed during the show because Zachary Levi was on screen making FarmVille jokes (LOL he referenced a thing that exists! That’s what comedy is!), but Batman: Arkham City deservedly won a handful of awards.

One them was Character of the Year for Mark Hamill’s Joker, and while The Joker wasn’t particularly better than ever before, dammit Hamill deserves some kind of recognition for being the best Joker, and one of the best villains of all time. Okay, deep breath, enough ranting, here’s the point: Rocksteady put together a virtual acceptance speech from Mr. J, and in it he holds up and references a script for “Batman: Arkham World.”

Here’s the video:

Sites like Comic Book Resources and IGN have begun speculating whether there’s any truth to it, but the whole thing is kind of ridiculous to me. Rocksteady would have to be insane not to make a third Batman game, I think it’s expected that there will be another. The games industry is one driven by sequels. I mean, ask yourself – when was the last time a successful franchise stopped at number 2?

There’s nothing else in The Joker’s quip to talk about unless it’s the title that has people riled up, and I can guarantee you we won’t see Batman fighting crime across an entire Arkham planet. That would be crazy. Let’s all calm down for a minute and focus on this:

Mark Hamill and fellow Arkham City voice actor Tara Strong (Harley Quinn), took to Twitter after the VGAs to voice their disapproval of the award show’s handling of their nominations. From Kotaku:

Strong slammed Spike on Twitter for putting her and Hamill in the bleacher seats and for announcing the Voice Acting winners in passing, with no presentation and no mention of the nominees: “if you weren’t going 2 announce the nominees, y have us come 2 the show? VO may not matter 2 u, but it sure does to us.

I completely agree with Strong and Hamill. The VGAs don’t even try to hide the fact that they don’t care about the industry talent, the content, or the fans. It’s pretty disgusting and I’m not at all surprised.


Game of Thrones: Season 2 Updates!

Well, we’re still about four months away the start of season two, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to talk about. First and foremost, the fact that HBO has already committed to not only a third, but also a fourth season as they plan to split the third book (A Storm of Swords) into two seasons. That’s awesome for us.

In addition to the renewal news, we have this little behind the scenes footage as the some of the producers talk about characters and settings. This was shot while they were in production.

Looks like King Joffery is gonna get his…

Grizzly Review: New Year’s Eve

Garry Marshall, the director of 1990’s Pretty Woman, has become the official go to man for the “ensemble romance director revolving around a holiday”. In 2010, he released Valentine’s Day, a critically panned movie that follows about 12 couples preparing for everything going on during Valentine’s Day. As a sucker for romance regardless of the cheesiness, I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day only because it stars a surprising amount of my favorite actors, and manages to keep me entertained for its 125 minute running time, otherwise known as “bloated”. Now, his follow up, which is called New Year’s Eve, stars about half of the cast of Valentine’s Day, replacing the other half with equally as talented stars who probably needed a paycheck.

New Year’s Eve takes the word “cheesy” to a whole new plateau that I didn’t even think was attainable, but goddammit, I enjoyed it anyway. By incorporating what seemed like less storylines, New Year’s Eve manages to have a little more focus than its predecessor while still maintaining the choppiness that we’ve come to know and love from each and every plot. The stories are as cliché as ever, but come on, love is grand and we all want to see the happy couples inevitably make it through whatever they might be going through.

The writing is god awful, but I think that’s to be expected and really not worth commenting on since the reason you go see these movies isn’t believability, quality, or even the potential gem. No, it’s not happening, so get it out of your mind now. The sole purpose New Year’s Eve exists it to make money, and I’m okay with that, because I got my $7.50 worth of movie, and I really can’t complain about getting what I paid for can I?

This whole ensemble comedy romance thing was really catapulted with 2009’s He’s Just Not That Into You, which is by far the best and most coherent entry in this little “series”. Starring talent like Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Long, Scarlett Johansson, and many, many more, we as audiences saw that big name stars really can share the screen without trying to one-up each other. The film, which is based off of a self-help book, was a hit, a hit that inevitably lead to even more successful sequels that compromised quality for quantity.

Frankly, I don’t care why they make these movies, why they make them, who the demographic is, or whether or not they’re considered “good movies” or not. I like watching them because I get to see some of my favorite young, and even seasoned, professionals make absolute fools of themselves by spouting cringe-worthy dialogue and dishing out performances that are akin to a high school play. There’s a scene in New Year’s Eve involving Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, and Robert DeNiro. It’s the best acted scene in the entire movie, but it made me think how a collective 7 Oscars in one room can equate to a movie so gleefully awful, that you just have to see it.

It also seems like each of these movies gets less and less raunchy in its content. I swear, if it weren’t for one f-bomb in this entire movie, it probably would’ve been rated PG, which I’m not totally opposed to. It really is an innocent movie, which is kind of nice to witness. A romantic comedy that the whole family can enjoy, even those as young as 10 or 11. New Year’s Eve is on the safe side of PG-13, and hey, we all need a little bit of kid friendly movie-going in our lives.

New Year’s Eve is prime cheesiness, bearing no resemblance to what a human being would call realism. The acting is atrocious as is the writing, but you can’t help but be sucked in by the almost overamplified barrage of cliché, and the heartwarming scenes that may make you shed one little manly tear. It’s the perfect movie to see with a loved one on a rainy day, because you’ll walk out feeling great regardless.

3/5 Bears

Grizzly Review: The Sitter

Jonah Hill, the man we know as being that really funny, fat guy who stars in all those Apatow movies. He’s made quite the name for himself since his big break in 2007’s Superbad, which was the sleeper hit of the year. Now, in 2011, he’s following in the footsteps of his peers (and close friends), Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, by taking a somewhat more dramatic approach to film while still maintaining his goofy, lovable, and sometimes misguided humor.

Recently, Hill lost a substantial amount of weight for his role in the upcoming film, 21 Jump Street, a remake of the hit series that he co-wrote, set to release in March. The sudden and surprising weight loss has been the target of much scrutiny by his fans, who have started an internet trend, taking still frames of his films, adding a caption about his obesity, and ending with, “Stay fat, Jonah Hill”. Hill himself has embraced his new lifestyle, and definitely acknowledges that everyone wants him to gain his weight back.

In Jonah’s last “overweight” movie, The Sitter, he plays Noah, a crass man-child who’s been kicked out of college and has to live with his mother. When her ride to a party where a date awaits her cancels because their babysitter couldn’t make it, Noah has to unwillingly step in to save the day.

The Pedulla’s are a wealthy family with three children: Slater (Max Records), an overanxious and marginally confused wreck of a thirteen year old, Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), an El Salvadorian pyromaniac who could probably get enough dynamite to blow up a building, and Blithe (Landry Bender), who’s going through a “clubbing and partying” phase at the age of eight. Ready to go nowhere, Noah suddenly gets a call from his friend Marisa (Ari Graynor) who promises to have sex with him if he gets her cocaine. Instantly, he packs the kids into the mini-van and takes a wild ride through the dirtiest and scariest parts of New York City.

If The Sitter is anything, it’s completely implausible, but it’s also surprisingly sweet and quite funny. The character of Noah bounce well off the completely unruly behavior of the children. They each have their own subplot, in addition to Noah’s central conflict, that makes the movie’s short 78 minute running time fly by with ease.

The character of Noah was one that seemed to be written for Hill personally, and it’s a role we’ve seen him play before, but he plays it so damn well that I could never get tired of it. The man is a very talented actor, and at such a young age, his filmography is so diverse and solid, that his future is looking extremely bright. The children are played so well, and they each stand out in their own special way, even if at first it does come off simply as crass and unnecessary.

The screenplay, which was penned by first timers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, is a strong enough debut to get the ball rolling for them, but not strong enough to guarantee them a successful career in Hollywood. I find this interesting to note because I’ve noticed a lot of big name stars and directors who have been picking up screenplays by first time writers.

The surprise scene-stealer, though, is Sam Rockwell, who plays Karl, a crazed drug dealer who begins hunting down Noah after Rodrigo steals a large amount of very valuable cocaine, and then proceeds to break its container. Rockwell plays Karl with an almost natural ferocity that is as funny as it is terrifying. He’s another actor who’s able to play almost any character, a chameleon in the acting world.

Directed by David Gordon Green in his second feature film of 2011, the first being the absolutely awful medieval stoner comedy, Your Highness, his quick zooms and fast editing gave the film a very 70s blaxploitation feel to it, which, when accompanied by the soundtrack, and some of the catchphrases that Jonah Hill uses throughout the picture, really confirms my suspicion that that was what they seemed to be going for. Green, who is probably best known for directing the 2008 action stoner comedy, Pineapple Express, isn’t a bad filmmaker, but his 2011 critical reception hasn’t been anything resembling welcoming (Your Highness holds a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Sitter has a mere 22%), and unless he gets hold of a gem, he may be reduced to directing cookie-cutter comedies such as this. Green is one of a somewhat large group of graduates of the North Carolina School of the Arts, other notable names being Danny McBride, Ben Best and Jody Hill, three people who are currently running the black comedy scene.

The Sitter is saved by its usually funny script and dedicated performances, but for all intents and purposes, it’s a movie we’ve seen before. The plots are familiar, the jokes are familiar, but the presence of Jonah Hill and the somewhat gritty take on New York is enough to keep this film afloat.

3/5 Grizzly’s

For more Grizzly Reviews click here!

#14 – Countdown to Christmas: GREMLINS

Never expose it to bright light, never get water on it, and never, ever feed it after midnight. These were the three rules that Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) couldn’t follow after his father, Randall (Hoyt Axton) bought him a strange new pet called a Gremlin. The pet was a Christmas present that soon turned into a nightmare.

Gremlins is a classic 80s movie directed by legendary horror filmmaker, Joe Dante. The genius behind cult classics like the original 1978 Piranha movie paired up with producer Steven Spielberg to create what is still considered one of the best movies of all time. Marketed as a Christmas horror-comedy, Gremlins is that type of movie that everyone can enjoy and get a kick of after almost thirty years.

’ plot is simple. Boy gets pet, pet has rules, boy breaks rules, and hell breaks loose. A rather conventional plot that is twisted by two masters of cinema, the film transcends from a common cult flick to a box office phenomena. Grossing over $150 million dollars on an approximated $11 million dollar budget, Gremlins is a classic in every sense of the word.

The screenplay, which was penned by Chris Columbus, another 80s legend, is fast, funny, scary and satisfying, sometimes simultaneously. The characters are likeable, even the Gremlins themselves, who change from cute little house pets to malicious imps. The great part about them is their sense of humor. The evil incarnations of the Gremlins aren’t necessarily out for blood, but they do what they want, when they want it, usually with pretty hilarious results. From smoking cigars, to drinking copious amounts of alcohol, the Gremlins are just as bad as any common punk, except there are hundreds upon hundreds of them.

A sequel was spawned in 1990 entitled Gremlins 2: The New Batch. The film, which was also directed by Joe Dante, was entertaining enough, but failed to capture the magic and mayhem of the original by trying to be too much like the original, while also trying to convince itself that it was different.

There’s nothing like a classic, and a classic Gremlins is. It works as a Halloween movie as well, but deep down, you know exactly what Gremlins is all about, Christmas.

5/5 Bears Peanut’s Trees.

For more COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS – Click it Here! 

Also Check out our COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN…  

Oh, and Phoebe Cates was in it too. (This is not from GREMLINS)

Conveyors of Common Sense…