Quote of the Day

"We're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself joy. So fuck it."
- Amy, Her.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Chronicle

Behold the first trailer for indie-super powered flick, Chronicle. Now let me guess, you've never heard of it? Well me neither, but just give it a watch, you might find it rather impressive (I did!).

So here's the synopsis:

"Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over." 
And here's the chilling trailer:

So it starts out all well and good; three high school buddies just goofing around etc, etc. Then we see how they have these "muscle controlled" powers of telekinesis and impenetrable skin etc, etc. And then things get weird: the whole trailer changes tone very quickly into a dark, frosty thriller-type display of a movie. Very cool. And finally right at the end we glimpse that  supernatural hole in the ground that presumably grants them their powers.

   It may not sound entirely original, i.e. teenagers gaining some powers and messing around with them until things get serious, but it does look like it could be half-decent. The idea that one friend gets power hungry, and only the other two buds can stop him, potentially ending in something tragically dramatic and driven, is a story arch I'd be willing to pay money to see and experience, especially if handled with care. Plus the handheld camera style suggests that this could be the Paranormal Activity of the SuperHero genre.

The US release date is February 3rd 2012, but UK is still unknown. Either way, be sure to check it out if your interest has been piqued here. And remember, it was HERE that it was piqued: dudemeisterblogs.blogspot.com . Yep totally just plugged myself. On the same site I was plugging. Is that even legal?


Monday, 24 October 2011

Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' Announced

Late Sunday night, Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) tweeted a link to the site muchadothemovie.com, announcing the new Joss Whedon project, an adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. And the amazing part? It has already been written, cast and filmed, with the principal photography being completed within 12 days in Santa Monica.

   The cast includes a huge array of actors from Whedon's expansive library, with stars from his previous shows, Angel, Dollhouse and Firefly, as well as The Avengers' Clark Gregg and, obviously, Nathan Fillion. As a modern take on Shakespeare's "Romance Deconstruction" (as Whedon says), the film will be a "fancy" piece, premiering at film festivals once it's finished  in early Spring, and shall boast a "DIY" sense of film making and fresh dialogue, directly from the House of Whedon.

The whole thing's been shot in black and white, giving it an indie-type feel and dramatic over-tone. But if we see splashes of colour like on the title image, I reckon we can expect a very tight example of some beautiful cinematography  to accompany the quirkiness that the whole "cocktail and scuba" style portrays.

What's more, Whedon has set up his very own independent film company (which will produce the film) with wife, Kai Cole, called Bellwether. The "micro-studio" vowes to create "small, independent narratives" for all and any media, meaning Cinema, Web, TV, Page and beyond. Does this mean his further web projects, (like Wastelanders, a post-apocalyptic web series colaboration with comics/novel legend, Warren Ellis or even a Dr Horrible sequel) could be produced under the company?

I'm pretty excited about this, because I know Whedon's a pretty big Shakespeare buff, so his work will be nicely dedicated to the story, as well as offering up his own comedic flair to it all, and the super-impressive cast is sure to knock it out of the park. My one question is where does the time come from? Literally only just getting off of the set of The Avengers, with his directing duties there, Whedon couldn't have stopped working. Theory: Time Lord, definitely Time Lord.

You can read the whole press release here, with further details into casting and so forth.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Trailer Wednesday: The Avengers

HELL-FRIGGIN-YES! The OFFICIAL trailer for The Avengers has arrived and is jam packed with awesome. I think I can skip the synopsis, so shall we begin?
(Full screen please. It deserves it!)

Breakdown, anyone? Hit the jump for it!

Monday, 10 October 2011

RE:View: The Name of The Wind

Tolkien. Lewis. Rowling. Martin. Pratchett. Undoubtedly the greatest Fantasy authors that ever lived. Well, time to add a new name to that list: Rothfuss. And don't go forgetting it, as Patrick Rothfuss' beautifully crafted first entry into a breathtaking trilogy (The Kingkiller Chronicle) teaches us that, above all things, names are important; especially one as grand as The Name of The Wind.

  From street urchin to magic prodigy, the ageless-like Kvothe has led an eventful life that he now tries to forget, hiding under the masquerade of a humble innkeeper on the very outskirts of life. But when a travelling scribe comes a-knocking, Kvothe reveals his long and winding history, stretching deep through the darkest pits of despair and the greatest acts of bravery. And so it is told how our protagonist Kvothe, the charming, red-headed young boy, seeks to discover what the name of the wind is, throughout his journey of tragedy, love, magic and heroics.

Ranging from his childhood days of travelling with the Edma Ruh entertainment troupe and hard cold nights on the grimy streets of Tarbean, to his trouble-bound days at the University and heartfelt attempts at wooing the woman he loves, Kvothe comes off as a charming, fun and complex character. And all the more for it, as this really is a character-driven story, all coming from Kvothe's point of view.

  But truly the most gripping of this world is its believability. Don't let the pretence of Fantasy fool you, as Rothfuss has put a ridiculous amount of effort into making this seem realistic. Magic is not just a thing that snaps from your fingers, but instead must be conjured through 'Bindings', which involve all matter of chemistry and alchemy. Folklore and religion, society and history; all richly interwoven throughout this most wholesome tale.

 It then kicks in with both these huge & dramatic and small & endearing, emotion-evoking moments. I was welling up and whimpering within the first 50 pages, then laughing joyfully out loud at those tiny character moments that just sit perfectly, while action had me rooting on the edge of my seat and then bubbling up with anger at one particularly irritating character. These characters seem so well-thought out and totally imaginable, painting a dainty image in my head of every single slight movement they make notated down on the page. You just feel like you're there, like you are with Kvothe, living and breathing his universe.

The pace seems to slow and lurch out toward the middle, as Kvothe settles down into his educational lodgings at The University. Harry Potter fans will feel right at home here, with a similar vibe of "school of magic" going on that I really dug. Don't be put off though, as this is a more mature, realistic and off-beat setting compared to that of HP and co. When it gets slow here, things start to descend a little - perhaps causing a worry of disinterest in the reader - but when the break of the equilibrium finally comes, it consequently hits you as hard as it hits Kvothe, luring you into this (as he says it) "false sense of security" and then shattering it within moments.

 Simply put, upon opening this book, you will be engulfed. Engulfed into a world you won't want to get away from. Engulfed so that you will want to make time for this story. You will stay up into the late hours, telling yourself "Just one more chapter". You won't stop thinking about it once you put it down. And you will be crushed when you realise it's finished. In fact, the ending comes so suddenly that it's just plain cruel, teasing you silently with the anticipation of the second, The Wise Man's Fear. Luckily for me, it came out earlier this year, so no waiting time, but for those who had to wait four years... How did you stay sane?

Buy it now. Read it ASAP. Thank me later.

5 Stars


Buy Now from Amazon:
The Name Of The Wind: The Kingkiller Chonicle: Book 1

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Sunday Supdate: 09/10/11

It's been a while since we last caught up, and so a steady amount of talking points has arisen for tonight's agenda. So sit back, relax and enjoy the nonchalant show. It all began with the 3 P's...

Regular visitors should easily recall my recent posts regarding and praising the new web series, Husbands. And they aren't the only ones... Writer Jane Espenson and actor of the show, Cheeks, have both shown a huge amount of acknowledgement for me, with ReTweets and links (also via Twitter). I was even put on the Husbands Press page, with a quoted excerpt from my RE:Commend! And you know what? Recognition rules! +5 Fame!

It would seem I'm becoming quite the internet media addict, and as such have decided to possibly extend my medium. Hot on the heels of my "famously successful" (read: crashed and burned) Vlogging experiment, the Dude Meister Podcast could bring something new to the table. I think the problem with the Vlogs was that I wasn't entirely comfortable with myself on the screen - I didn't really feel I could be myself. Take out the image and you've got just my voice, which could inspire confidence and fluidity when I'm only to be judged by ear alone.

   I could talk about movies and TV, games and books - basically geek culture in general. Guest co-hosts would be downright awesome, although probably currently limited to immediate friends and family... Interviews would be nice, hard to secure, but nice. Hell, I could even throw in some transitions of my own composition. Weekly most likely, and a while yet. I don't want to hype it up any more than that though, in fear of eating my words, choking violently on them, and then hocking them up in a great sticky mess, staining the metaphorical carpet with splashes that are still lingering months after... So I'll leave it there. Stayed tuned.

These quotes at the top aren't for nothing you know, so please take the time tor read them. The past couple have been courtesy, as it states, of Fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss. Now this guy is relatively new to me - I hadn't even heard the name until a few weeks back. He is the writer of The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy of books and the first, The Name of The Wind, has been preoccupying my life for the past fortnight. Now with only 20 pages left of the 662 page epic, I'd just like to savour it with this section. INCREDIBLE. I'd go as far to say that this was one of, if not the, best book of my life. I'll drop the RE:View sometime this week, but I'm a little anxious as to whether I am worthy enough...

RIP Brian Jacques
On the subject of books, I discovered some upsetting news recently. Acclaimed British author, Brian Jacques, passed away at the age of 71 on February 5th this year. Now Jacques was the man behind best-selling series, Redwall - the series that dominated my childhood experiences of reading. To date, I have 18 Redwall titles sitting on my shelves upstairs, the majority proudly cracked with creased spines and folded pages. The tales of the creatures of Redwall (woodland-type animals) and their epic battles with the evil vermin would keep me entertained for years, frequently taking a torch to bed for some late night stealth reads.
   To say this was what got me into the fantasy genre in the first place is a huge understatement. So the (belated) news that their creator was dead was quite emotional for me. Even though it's been a few years since I last picked one up, I've got the greatest amount of respect for this man and his series - so much so that after reading the news (and I am in no way ashamed of this), I threw on some emotional music via iPod (violins and everything!) and sat, at my bookshelf, gently grazing through the pages: smelling the finely peeled paper, feeling their weight and getting hit by a warm wave of hard nostalgia that ran right down to my heart. I won't lie; I welled. But that's me. A soppy, reminiscentful type of guy. Long live Redwall. Long live Brian Jacques' legacy.

Brian Jacques

And on that heartfelt note, I will make my exit. Thanks for reading and thanks for being.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Battlefield 3: Beta Impressions

Overhyped, mayhaps?

The public beta for the highly anticipated Battlefield 3 launched earlier last week, and after a good few hours of hands on time with the demo (via the Xbox 360 version), I think I'm ready to share my thoughts and opinions of the so-called "COD Killer".

   The Beta contains one map, with one game type on, and provides players with an uncapped level limit within the four available classes to go nuts on. The map in question, Operation Metro, is based on a French metro line and the outlying areas. The gametype, Rush (which BF veterans will be accustomed to), has the 16 player attacking team destroying each base to move up to the next one, until all bases are destroyed (in this map's case, it's 5). The 16 player defending team meanwhile, must whittle down the attackers' 100 lives and prevent them from destroying the bases. Simple stuff.

     The map however, is somewhat lacking in "Battlefieldy-ness". By which I mean, it doesn't really contain the core things that Battlefield typically represents itself with, and what sets it aside from the likes of Medal of Honour and Call Of Duty. When entering my first match, I was expecting tanks and helicopters, maybe even a jet or two, to tear up the landscape with. Instead we get... nothing. No vehicles what so ever; not even a quad! Seeing as the vehicular aspect is one of Battlefield's biggest selling points, this really is quite the surprise.

Click To Enlarge
  Then there's the sudden disappearance of the great destructible environments that previous installments have prided themselves on. Don't get me wrong, they're still in there, towards the back end of the map, but it's very minimal all things considered. But still, the close combat corridors of a bombed out tube station provide real tense firefights between the dark, flamelit rails, and can usually more than make up for the sloppiness of the open ended park area at the start of the map.

Thankfully the core gameplay has stayed relatively the same from Bad Company 2. You pick from 4 classes; the heavy MG "Support", sniping "Recon", medical capable "Assault" and of course the "fix 'n' blow up" style of "Engineer". Each has a distinct feel to themselves, and gives a nice tactical element to the play, especially when teaming in a 4-player squad with spawning capabilities.

  New additions to the gameplay include the ability to go prone (very handy when going stealth) and lay down 'suppressing fire' to blur opponents screen. Although only minor features, these make for a more immersive and realistic experience, as you make a slow progressive crawl behind enemy lines or fire off suppressing rounds to cover team mates making a run for the base.

'Prone' to a little sniping, are we?
On the graphics side of things, I can't help but feel a little let down, and there's a good reason for it. You see, all the gameplay we've seen thus far through trailers and such have been taken from the PC version; a system harbouring graphical capabilities well beyond that of regular current gen consoles. And so, as the lack of detail and pop-in texture filters the screen, the sting of deception is naturally felt.

 Connectivity problems are to be expected and getting into a game with the squad you actually joined with is near enough impossible. More than a few times I've had the "loading screen of death", where by quitting and restarting is the only way out. Bugs are unfortunately commonplace throughout matches, with all manner of 'Under The Maps' and a rather hilarious Inception-esque glitch where all dead bodies slide slowly across the floor in a strange, unannounced gravity vortex.

The new Giraffe gametype was a blast
Of course, this is all in the Beta stage, and so most of these problems should be ironed out by the release of the full game at the end of the month (that is one of the main aims of a beta, after all). It just frazzles me why they'd pick such an uncharacteristically Battlefield map to basically sell their game upon. The logical answer is that they're trying to appeal to the Call Of Duty crowd, who just want to shoot at each other with no added gimmicks - but it's those very gimmicks that makes BF the preferred choice in many a gamers' collection.

Although it will undoubtedly sell  millions of copies, this beta has got me a little worried; has Battlefield 3 been overhyped? Can it really overcome the shortcomings of the beta to become the game it's been anticipated to be? Only time will tell; not much mind, as you can expect it to hit shelves (and swiftly leave them to become sold out) October 28th (UK).


More Games!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Lookie What I Won!

The fansite, whedonesque.com(devoted to all things Joss Whedon), recently held a competition to win a copy of Firefly on Blu-Ray with the simple of question of "Why do you love Firefly?". Me - being the writing sort that I am - dived into it with a lengthy entry from the heart, about the greatest Sci-Fi show that ever was. And it won. So, YIPEEE! HD quality perfection is on its way now, courtesy of Amazon. Here's the "award-winning" entry:

I love Firefly because it was what it was.
It was a hybrid of two genres, that had been dying to meet in a passionate lock of love for generations.
It was shaky and unpolished - it had that homely charm of not-perfect to it, something that it mirrored in its characters and its tales, through its use of lighting, camera and sound.
It had a great cast, that were willing to take these unique and quirky characters to new and exciting places.
It told us yarns of great prose, combining that of humour, action and drama into pieces that were as much about humanity as they were about the crew.
It was inviting and fuzzy, yet deep and dark when it needed to be.
It was made by a man who loved it dear and was making it for himself and his fans, not money or fame.
It was, in summary, the Shiniest show in the 'Verse, and something that will remain in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to glance at its beauty before its sudden but inevitable defeat.
When we think of Firefly, we feel a sense of... Serenity about the memories and places it takes us to.
I guess you could say it was a unique and lonely leaf on a burst of unrelenting and cruel wind, letting us watch as it soared from its tragic struggle into our lives, our minds and our hearts.
It was Firefly.
And it was great.

Dramatic? Yes. Pretentious? Perhaps. But did it save me £25? You betcha!

What can I say? The words just kind of flowed out my fingers into something I'm pretty proud of, considering it was just for a small competition. So I guess it's time to re-live all my favourite moments, listen to all new commentaries (yes, I actually watch those...) and experience the Big Damn Heroes in stunning 1080p quality. Shiny - that's all I'm saying...