Atari is Working on a PONG Game Show

Atari has partnered with producer Scott Sternberg to create a game show based on what is one of, if not the, most recognized video games ever: Pong. The show will be called Million Dollar Pong and I have no idea how it will work. Isn’t the real-life version of Pong tennis or table tennis if you want something smaller? Sternberg has worked on other shows including Hollywood Squares, The Gong Show, and Kid’s Wheel of Fortune. He says the following about Million Dollar Pong:

’Pong’ is a cultural touchpoint for generations of people. It’s not often we get the chance to develop a game show concept around such an iconic brand. I can’t wait to give people the chance to see, experience and play a brand new ‘Pong.’

It’s true that Pong and Atari are iconic brands, but I’m still not sure what kind of game show they can make. It’s important to note that there is not a network attached to the show yet. Here’s what Atari CEO, Frederic Chesnais, had to say about the project:

Our brand and our portfolio of games are known to many people around the world so it is a natural fit to bring them to television. We are proud to team-up with Scott and have him join our brand because his expertise will help create a truly remarkable television show for everyone to enjoy.

Do you think this is a good idea? How would you design this game show?

Apparently Some SUPERNATURAL Fans Think The New WINCHESTER Movie is Part of the TV Series

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Here's a bit of movie confusion that I didn't see coming! Apparently, some fans of the Supernatural TV series think that the upcoming Winchester horror movie is some kind of a spinoff for the series. You know, because of the name Winchester. 

There has been so much confusion about this, that Lionsgate felt they needed to release a little statement with their latest promo spot for the film. The promo came with the following note:

No, the brothers do not show up in Winchester. This is a feature-length movie, not a short film and if they teamed up with Sarah the three would wrap things up in minutes.

I think I'm more surprised by how many people aren't familiar with the Winchester Mystery House, which is what the film is based on. Regardless, the movie looks like it's going to great! Did any of you think that this was a Supernatural-type spinoff film?

The movie includes a fantastic cast that includes Helen Mirren, who was perfectly cast in the lead role of Sarah Winchester, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook and Angus Sampson also star. Here's the synopsis:

Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester, (Academy Award winner Helen Mirren) heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the brilliant Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters…

The film was written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (Predestination, Daybreakers), and it's set to be released on February 2, 2018. 

Netflix Just Teamed Up With Bones And Others To Make More Anime

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Netflix just partnered with two big names in anime, and together the three our co-producing more anime to be streamed worldwide. ANN said Netflix, Bones, and Production I.G. all joined forces in a joint deal to strengthen the streaming service's anime lineup. 

They certainly appear to be on the right track as they just snagged up the studios responsible for titles like Full Metal Alchemist, Space Dandy, Soul Eater, Blood Blockade Battlefront, Ghost In The Shell, FLCL...I could go on and on.  

I'll just leave it at this. Netflix just made a great deal, and if you've loved their original anime offerings so far...you're going to love this collaboration! Also if you haven't seen Devilman Crybaby yet DO THAT NOW!

Octopath Traveler Makes Changes Based on Players Feedback

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If you haven’t looked at Octopath Traveler yet you may be missing out. The retro-style RPG recently released a demo on the Nintendo Switch and allowed players to experience the game first hand. After over 1 Million downloads and 45,500 responses to a survey players were asked to take about their experiences, Square Enix has decided to listen to player feedback and make changes.

Here is a list of some of the things that were changed to the game based on the player feedback:

  • Originally players had to press B to initiate your character to run, that is no longer the case. Now players can just use the analog stick and push it further to initiate running. On top of this they also increased the run speed of your character in general. To balance the game they increased the random encounter rate when you are running at full speed.

  • Fast travel which didn’t exists during the demo will now also be available in the game.

  • Darker areas, such as caves and dungeons have been adjusted so the player has more visibility. Wall and floor colors have been adjusted, and visible landmarks have been added.

  • Radar has been added to point players to important destinations on the mini-map.

  • Added the ability to adjust screen brightness to increase visibility.

  • The user interface is being adjusted to create a better feel for the players. This included changed font sizes, as well as including more save slots so you don’t accidentally overwrite your most recent save file.

  • Cutscenes that were previously unskippable can now be skipped.

  • Plans have been implemented to be able to replay cutscenes for those who want to catch up on story or re-immerse themselves.

  • Increased text display speed so player’s who want to read faster through the game’s dialogue will be able to.

  • Fights and random encounters are being balanced better to reduce the difficulty that the demo provided.

For a full list of things they are doing to the game as well as new information check out the trailer below:

I’m personally excited to hear about the updates, and can’t wait to get my hands on the game. Something about the retro-style pixel feel from the SNES era mixed with 3D just does a lot for me. I will definitely be picking this one up at launch.

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Luc Besson and EuropaCorp is in Talks With Netflix For a Multi-Movie Deal

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For the most part, I'm a fan of the films that Luc Besson has made over the course of his career. The last film he made through his EuropaCorp production company was Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which I like more than most people, but it was ultimately a flop.

Well, Besson isn't going to let that get him down. He's jumping back into action and it looks like his future lies with Netflix. They are currently in discussions and if everything works out, the French filmmaker will direct and produce several movies for the streaming service over the next few years. 

According to Variety, "the movies would be labeled Netflix originals and would be budgeted in the $30 million range." With that kind of budget don't expect to see that Valerian sequel that Besson wanted to do on Netflix, but I'm sure we'll get some cool action thrillers! 

If the deal goes through, Netflix might also buy into EuropaCorp’s movie library, which includes such franchises as Taken, Taxi, Transporter, and more. The report goes on to explain that this kind of deal isn't a normal move for Netflix:

Buying up or buying into EuropaCorp would be an unusual move for Netflix, which made its first and only company acquisition last August with Millarworld, the comic-book publishing company founded by Mark Millar, creator of “Old Man Logan” and “Kingsman.” However, scooping the rights to Besson’s famous franchises would allow Netflix to feed its pipeline with TV and film adaptations which boast a global appeal. Besson would join a flurry of directors, notably Martin Scorsese and Damien Chazelle, who have started working with Netflix.
For EuropaCorp, partnering with Netflix would represent a move away from its traditional distribution model, which relies on strong international sales and collaborations with independent  distributors – such as Universum in Germany, Belga in Belgium, Falcon in the Middle East and Scanbox in Scandinavia – with whom EuropaCorp has output deals.

There's some cool film project that could come out of this and I'm looking forward to seeing what they will be.

USA And Syfy Will Now Allow F-Bombs To Broadcast Uncensored

USA and Syfy are getting the reigns loosened on vulgarity. The NBC companies will now allow their programs to say "fuck," uncensored, in what could truly be a turning point in American television. The news comes from Buzzfeed, who note that this is truly awesome fucking news. 

Of course, cable television has gotten increasingly brave in the past five years with the word, and I've heard the word undipped a couple times both on Preacher and Breaking Bad in first airings on AMC. Frankly, I never understood the apprehension of keeping swearing out of programming, especially when we show full on exploding heads and over the top violence in primetime. Hopefully, we can be more like British programming and let our characters act like normal humans when they're angry. 

Are you happy with this decision? Are you frightened? Do you think we'll see uncensored boobs on cable television next?

Clint Eastwood’s Next Film Could Tell The True Story of a 90-Year-Old Drug Smuggler

Director Clint Eastwood may have found his next film project. According to The Tracking Board, he is looking at directing and starring in a film called The Mule. The movie will tell the true story of Leo Sharp, who was a 90-year-old drug smuggler. At 87-years-old this is the perfect project for Eastwood to star in and direct! Eastwood will obviously take on the role of Leo. 

Back in 2014, The New York Times Magazine ran a story on Sharp and not long after a studio picked up the rights and attached Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad) to direct and produce it. I'm glad it didn't happen because Eastwood is a much better choice for the project which tells quite an interesting and peculiar story. If you're not familiar with the story, here's a brief rundown:

Sharp was an award-winning horticulturist and decorated WWII veteran known for his prized day lilies when he was busted for running drugs for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and sent to prison at the age of 90. He was transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan in his beat-up old pickup truck when he was arrested by the DEA. Sharp was sentenced to just three years after his lawyer argued that his client’s dementia sent him down the wrong path.

The screenwriter behind Eastwood's Gran Torino, Nick Schenk, wrote the initial draft of the script, and then it was recently rewritten by Weeds writer Dave Holstein.

Eastwood isn't officially signed on to the project yet, but I hope that he ends up doing it! Eastwood's next film, The 15:16 to Paris is set to be released on February 9th.

CALL OF DUTY WWII: ‘The Resistance’ Released Today

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Today Call of Duty has released its first DLC pack for the game. Titled ‘The Resistance’, the pack includes a slew of new things to the game including three new multiplayer maps and an all-new “War Mode”, a multiplayer experience aimed to reflect the spirit of the citizens and soldiers who fought for freedom during WWII.  Along with this the game will be releasing a new Zombies map called “The Darkest Shore”.

It just so happens that all of this is being released during the Resistance community event that last from January 23rd to February 27th. The community event is a five week celebration that new gear, new game modes, and Supply Drop content available to everyone.

In the DLC pack players will be able to play in new Iconic WWII locations all revolving around different uprisings that happened during the war

Valkyrie – Located in the Masurian Woods, East Prussia, this map was inspired by The Wolf’s Lair – The Fuhrers Eastern-front headquarters during Operation Barbarossa – the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.  This is a medium-sized map with multiple overwatch positions and mounted machine guns.
Anthropoid – Based in Prague, Czechoslovakia, this map is inspired by Operation Anthropoid – the famous assassination attempt on a high-ranking German officer during World War II.  This map is divided by a river, with long-flanking paths that can be used by snipers for ranged attacks.
Occupation – In this remake of a classic Call of Duty® map, players battle through the streets and shops of German-occupied Paris during WWII.  Nearby homes and storefronts lend defensive positions for ambush and recovery.
Operation Intercept – Outside of St Lo, France, the next War Mode experience, developed in partnership with Raven Software, leads you on an urban rescue mission to save Resistance fighters being transported by train.  The first objective on the Allied side is freeing the fighters, followed by the destruction of key communication equipment, and ends with stopping a train.

What I am personally most excited for, as well as most people who play CoD:WWII is the new Zombie map. The map is staged after the disaster of Mittelburg and seems to be an exciting location to add to the Zombie repertoire.

Only days after the horrific disaster of Mittelburg, the crew has received intel that suggests Doktor Straub is on an island just north of Germany. Blanketed in fog, this island is surrounded by enemy air and sea power – and crawling with the Undead.  Marie, Drostan, Olivia and Jefferson will need to battle all this and more to uncover the mysteries hidden within.

Here is the trailer for the Resistance DLC plack to get you excited for the release of the new content. 

Nixing most everything in the DLC I am personally excited more for the new zombie mode than anything else. Though the prop hunt themed community event has definitely tickled my fancy so to speak. What are you most excited for with the release of this new content?

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Andy Serkis Shares His Thoughts on The Possible Return of Snoke in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX

Like a lot of fans, Andy Serkis isn't entirely convinced that we've seen the last Supreme Leader in this latest Star Wars trilogy.

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Yeah, I know we all saw him surprisingly killed off in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but is he truly gone? Most likely... no. There's still so much mystery behind the character, so many questions that we need answers to! I'm hoping that those answers come with J.J. Abrams' Episode IX.

During an interview with /Film, Serkis was asked about the future of Snoke in the franchise and this is what he had to say:

"Look, it’s Star Wars, so you never know how life, or whether life can be come back to or not. Whether you can be resuscitated or brought back. I was shocked. Dramatically, it felt absolutely right for that moment in the film, so I didn’t question it. I just think it’s a very, very important scene, so I didn’t question it. But I do, I know it’s left fans feeling like, that they were really searching for something there. And what I’m saying is, who knows?"

I'll tell you who knows... J.J. Abrams knows! But, he's obviously not going to spill the beans on any of his plans for Episode IX. If the next chapter in the saga goes into depth on Kylo Ren's path to the dark side and the Knights of Ren, then Snoke will have to be included, even if they are flashback scenes. Then, of course, he could come back as a Force Ghost. Maybe we'll see Snoke and Luke Skywalker's Force Ghosts fight! Probably now, but we'll just have to wait and see how things play out.

All I know is the fans want answers and if they don't get the answers they are looking for in Episode IX, there will be riots in the streets! 

If Snoke does come back, how do you think that might happen?