Jon Bernthal is Set to Return to THE WALKING DEAD Next Season!

In a very unexpected turn of events, Jon Bernthal will return to The Walking Dead next season! I've heard rumors that this might be the case, but now TV Line has confirmed those rumors to be true and he will be reprising his role as Shane in one episode.

After Bernthal's character was killed off in Season 2 of the series when he was fatally stabbed by Rick (Andrew Lincoln), he returned once more in Season 3 as a figment of Rick’s imagination. I assume that will be the same way that Shane appears again in Season 9. 

With Season 9 being the last time we will see Rick on the series, I imagine that Shane's appearance will play into his final days on the days of Rick and he'll most likely show up on the Andrew Lincoln's final episode with the series.

I didn't like that they killed Shane off so early in the series, but Bernthal has been keeping busy! He's been involved with a. lot of. great film and TV projects of the years and it's cool to see that he's willing to come back to The Walking Dead one last time.

How do you think Shane will play into the story?

JURASSIC WORLD EVOLUTION Review: We Have An Asset Out Of Containment!

Jurassic World: Evolution is the latest game that serves as a tie-in to the recently released blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Similar to the 2003 park-sim Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, Evolution puts players at the helm of running a more modern Jurassic World theme park. The game is developed by Frontier Developments, whose previous works include Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster. Now, with the release of Evolution, players are tasked with bringing back to life extinct creatures and offer a safe entertainment haven for the public to enjoy. 

Story

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Given that Evolution is a theme park-sim, there is technically no plot or story arc in the game. Instead, players face the challenging responsibility of running the day-to-day operations of a fully functional Jurassic World. The game is somewhat a revamped version of Operation Genesis. However, Evolution brings more to the table with genetic experimentation that allows players to manipulate a specific dinosaur’s traits and behavior. 

Gameplay

The game begins as the player takes the role of the park manager, similar to the job of Claire Dearing, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character in the movie. In the opening cutscene, the player is flown in the first of five islands, Isla Mantaceros together with hilarious commentary from Jeff Goldblum's movie counterpart, Dr. Ian Malcolm, who doesn’t take too long to lecture you about the moral consequences of bringing extinct creatures back to life. Besides Goldblum, several movie characters are also present in the game such as Owen, Claire, Dr. Henry Wu, and Cabot Finch. However, only Goldblum and Dallas Howard are actually voicing their characters in the game. 

The entirety of Evolution will take place on islands known as the five deaths. Each island is slightly different than the other and will offer their own challenges such as weather patterns, varied collection of dinosaurs and many more. For example, Isla Muerta is often ravaged by violent storms, which will easily damage buildings and release dinos, Isla Tacaños, on the other hand, will have limited funding, which forces the player to focus on the island's profitability and so on. A sixth island, Isla Nublar, where both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World was built, can also be unlocked as an unlimited sandbox island given that players meet the specific requirements. 

As park manager, you are tasked to run the daily operations of the park and ensure that you satisfy the needs of the three main divisions: Science, Security, and Entertainment. Each of these divisions will give player contracts to accomplish, boosting their relationship with that department and generate income for your park. However, players must note that these divisions are not exactly in good terms with one another as they sabotage each other and fight to get your attention. 

Furthermore, players will handle research that seeks to improve the overall prestige and efficiency of the park. Research spans from medicines to cure dinosaur diseases, to a better-electrified fence (it’s a mystery why the basic fence is not electrified), or ensure the availability of a gift shop and other park amenities for your guests to indulge in. Similar to the premise of Operation Genesis, players are also given an excavation team to dig up fossils for DNA extraction. The more fossils of a specific dinosaur you extract, the better its lifespan will be in the long run. 

Releasing the first ever dinosaur in your park is a memorable moment in Evolution. The satisfaction and sense of wonder once the dinosaur steps out of the Hammond Creation Lab is a cinematic experience. Of course, breeding and taking care of dinosaurs is not as simple as it seems. A Ranger Station is required to dispatch vehicles to maintain and fix enclosures, resupply feeders, take close-up photos of the dinosaurs, and medicate sick creatures. The best part of this job is the ability to do the tasks automatically by issuing commands, or by driving the vehicle yourself. The same is true for the ACU Center, which houses a helicopter that you can use to tranquilize rampaging dinosaurs on a safe distance. 

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True to their word, Frontier Developments made sure that Evolution adheres to the core concept of the Jurassic books and movies, which is to expect that everything will always go wrong. Malcolm's in-game commentary ensures that players remember this all the time and it doesn't take too long for the game to catapult players in chaos.

 A few hours in, the security division wishes to conduct a drill wherein the player would leave an enclosure gate open to release a dinosaur into the park. Your response with the emergency is crucial and serves as a cruel tutorial on how to handle things when dinosaurs escape. Upon accepting this contract, I put it aside for a while as I wanted to ensure that the park has an adequate amount of safety bunkers when I release the dinos in the wild. However, the game sensed my caution and automatically destroyed one of my fences that resulted in the instant escape of my Edmontosaurus. Luckily, the game did not decide to release my Ceratosaurus, or things could have been worse.

As I was notified with the breakout, I immediately went into panic mode as I was not prepared nor even tried flying the ACU's helicopter yet. I began shouting “Code 19! We have an asset out of containment” in true Bryce Dallas Howard fashion at my TV screen. Of course, given that the escapee is only a gentle Edmontosaurus, I was able to handle things smoothly but still with urgency. I then realize that the experience is just the beginning of things going wrong, and I loved it. 

Over time, the game becomes a little bit repetitive. Once the player gets the hang of how things should be managed, a lack of variety becomes apparent. Although jumping from one island to the other offers a different challenge to overcome, the core gameplay is still the same with most of it spent waiting for cash to come in. 

For our review, we were given the PS4 version of the game. Even as I played Evolution on my regular PS4, the visuals were stunning especially the details that went into the dinosaurs themselves. Although I would have loved to see more detail on the visitors, they were still very much alive as they roam around in groups, pointing at dinosaurs, and at one point, I even saw them taking a selfie, but maybe I imagined things. My playthrough of Evolution is also the first time that I played a simulator game on a console as opposed to the traditional PC. Although the control scheme is smooth and well optimized for the PS4, I still felt that the game is more natural to play using a mouse instead of a controller. Nevertheless, the game was still fun to play, so it all boils down to personal preference when it comes to controls. 

Verdict

All in all, Jurassic World: Evolution is a successful unofficial successor to Operation Genesis. The game was able to retain the features that I loved in the 2003 title, but at the same time, it introduced a lot of new features never seen in Operation Genesis making Evolution a game of its own. The uncertainty of keeping peace and security at the park kept me entertained and on my toes during my first few hours with the game. However, the repetitive mechanics, even when placed on a more challenging environment, pulled me away from enjoying the game in the long run, which can be a perfect opportunity for modders to do their magic. Well, at least for the PC version. 

In the end, Jurassic World: Evolution is a fun and enjoyable experience. The task of managing a park, breeding dinosaurs, keeping guests entertained, and preventing the different departments from tearing each other apart provides a true park simulator experience. Of course, Malcolm’s commentaries were enough to compensate for the game's shortcomings, especially when things become too easy as you get better at managing the park. As for whether the game is worth buying, I say that Jurassic World: Evolution is a must buy for both fans of the franchise and simulator games in general. 

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James Bond Director Sam Mendes To Helm The WWI Film 1917 For Steven Spielberg’s Amblin

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners has acquired the rights to a spec script for a World War I film called 1917 and they've hired Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes to helm it from a script that he co-wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.  

Unfortunately, there are no details in the story, but Spielberg had this to say in a statement:

"Our company has been a home for Sam since his first film. I am so happy to have him back here in his old room spinning new stories – especially this hugely daring and ambitious new movie."

Mendes added:

"I couldn’t be happier to be back working with Amblin and Steven Spielberg again, alongside Donna Langley and all at Universal. I’ve been working on this script for over a year, so it’s very exciting to start making the movie itself a reality."

As a fan of Mendes and Spielberg, I'm looking forward to learning more about this WWI story that they are setting out to tell. The film is set to start production in April of next year and it will be released in December of 2019.

Source: Variety

Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, and Seth Rogen Take a Cruise in Trailer For Netflix’s LIKE FATHER

Netflix has released a trailer for a wonderful looking film they produced called Like Father. The movie stars Kristen Bell as a woman who, after a series of events, accidentally ends up on a cruise with her estranged father (Kelsey Grammer). It's on this little unplanned adventure where the two start to form a bond. The movie also stars Seth Rogen. Here's the synopsis:

When a workaholic young executive (Bell), is left at the altar, she ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with the last person she ever expected: her estranged and equally workaholic father (Grammer). The two depart as strangers, but over the course of a few adventures, a couple of umbrella-clad cocktails and a whole lot of soul-searching, they return with a renewed appreciation for family and life.

The movie seems to have a good mix of comedy and drama and it looks like it could end up being a charming film.

Like Father was written, directed and produced by Lauren Miller Rogen (For A Good Time Call) and it premieres on August 3rd on Netflix.

The Plot Of STAR WARS’ Next THRAWN Novel Has Been Revealed

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A blurb from the anticipated follow-up to Timothy Zahn's Thrawn reboot novel has been revealed, and it's featuring something the final book teased! Soon, the world will get a canon Star Wars adventure that pits Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader side by side! Have a read at the synopsis via Jedi News:

Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root–its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Vader and Thrawn are teaming up, although this technically isn't the first time they've joined forces. Before Thrawn was a Grand Admiral, or involved with the Empire at all, he fought alongside Anakin Skywalker in a one-off adventure. I'm guessing this means that at some point Thrawn will realize Darth Vader is the same person he fought alongside all those years ago eventually, although when he was first introduced to Vader at the end of Thrawn he seemed oblivious. 

I'm excited to see what threat is substantial enough to the empire it requires their greatest strategist and enforcer! Let's hope this team up lives up to the hype!

A Samurai Warrior Battles Zombies in Great Short Film SWORD OF THE DEAD

Alright ladies and gents, I've got an outstanding proof of concept short film for you to watch today called Sword of the Dead. It's an old-school style Samurai film that's set in feudal Japan. The story centers on a ronin warrior who returns home from exile to find the island he once knew is plagued by a dark curse and overrun by the undead. Yes, this is a Samurai zombie and it actually is done extremely well! I love the old 1960s Samurai film style. There are some great little details in the film and it feels like an authentic Samurai movie.

The short was written, directed, produced, and edited by Stephen Vitale, who hopes to develop it as a feature film. If he did... I'd totally watch it! I'm a big fan of this and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

The Xbox’s E3 Conference Takes The Title Of The Most Watched Twitch Stream Of All Time

 Microsoft's President of Gaming Phil Spencer at the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing

Microsoft's President of Gaming Phil Spencer at the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing

The recently concluded E3 2018 announced a multitude of game announcements and the revelation of release dates from previously reported titles. It’s hard to pick a favorite E3 presentation as all developers each had their own exciting games on the way soon. However, it seems that Microsoft has taken the spot of the most most-watched live stream in the history of Twitch. 

GitHyp’s analysts reported that Microsoft’s E3 2018 presentation took the top spot as the most viewed live stream watched on Twitch. This is not the first time Microsoft achieved this milestone as they were also recognized as the most-watch E3 live stream last year. However, for this year, Microsoft’s stream was also the most viewed on the streaming platform with an impressive 1.7 million. 

“Now, for the second year in a row, Microsoft’s live stream was the highest viewed stream on Twitch,” as reported by GitHyp. “But Microsoft’s Xbox E3 Briefing wasn’t just the most watched live event of this year’s convention…it was also the highest concurrent viewer count of any stream ever on Twitch, pulling in an impressive 1.7 million viewers at its peak.”

Here is the list containing views per presentation of the following developers and publishers at E3 2018:

  • Microsoft/Xbox - 1.7 million viewers (1.1 million in 2017)
  • Ubisoft - 1.6 million viewers (986k in 2017)
  • Sony/PlayStation - 1.5 million viewers (926k in 2017)
  • Bethesda - 964k viewers (233k in 2017)
  • PC Gaming Show - 893k viewers (552k in 2017)
  • Nintendo/Switch - 679k viewers (292k in 2017)
  • EA (Electronic Arts) - 528k viewers (676k in 2017)

It is worth noting that every single one of the developers and publishers listed above saw an increase in viewership versus last year except for EA. Microsoft’s conference included a plethora of first and third party announcements such as Cyberpunk 2077Just Cause 4, Devil May Cry V, Fallout76 and many others. 

What was your favorite E3 conference? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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What Did You All Think of INCREDIBLES 2!? Also I’ve Included a Video Breakdown of Easter Eggs

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We've waited fourteen long years for a sequel to The Incredibles. It's kinda crazy that we actually got a sequel. What's even crazier is that Pixar and director Brad Bird actually delivered an awesome sequel! In my opinion, Incredibles 2 was a perfect sequel to the first film and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I took my kids to see it over the weekend and they absolutely loved it!

What's funny is that after the movie ended, one of my daughters says to me, "hopefully we don't have to wait another fourteen years for another sequel." She's thirteen years old! She wasn't even born when the first movie came out and that weirded me by out a bit. When I pointed that out to her she just busted up laughing. 

Anyway, I had a blast watching Incredibles 2. The action was amazing, the story was so much fun, and the continuing character development of these characters was... incredible. I loved the dynamic of Elastigirl going out to save the world and Mr. Incredible staying at home with the kids. As a dad works from home and takes care of the kids at the same time, the film was totally relatable.

Pixar knocked this one out of the park and it's easily one of my favorite films. The Incredibles has been number one on my list for years, now this sequel has to fill the number two spot. This movie made me happy.

The movie exploded at the box office this weekend pulling in Marvel kind of numbers. It made $180 million domestically and $51.5 million internationally, which bring the grand total to $231.5 million on its opening weekend. 

If you've seen the movie, what did you think!? Did you enjoy it? Hate it? Was it worth the fourteen-year-long wait? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

I've included a fun video from Mr. Sunday Movies that points out a lot of Easter eggs in the film that you may or may not have missed. 

Details on How ANT-MAN AND THE WASP Will Explore The Quantum Realm

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of Ant-Man and The Wasp is that it's is going to dive in and explore the Quantum Realm even more. One of the main aspects of the story will involve the team rescuing Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm where she has been stuck for years. Janet Van Dyne is the wife of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and mother of Hope (Evangeline Lilly).

We got a little taste of the Quantum Realm in the first film, which Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) was narrowly able to escape from. Now that they are going to be spending more time there, the creative team had to figure out what exactly the Quantum Realm would be and how it would look. During a set visit for the film, director Peyton Reed explained:

"When we started talking about the Quantum Realm, it's problematic in terms of the fact that it's essentially infinite. It can be whatever you want it to be, and so we needed to decide what the Quantum Realm wants to be for our story, and then what it is in sort of the larger sense of things. I knew one thing, there had to be a device with which they enter the Quantum Realm. In the first movie, Scott goes down, he adjusts the regulator and goes down just freefall. Here it needed to be bigger. It needed to be something that was not a game time decision and not accidental, but something very, very constructed and purposeful."

One of the things that they ended up coming up with to travel into the Quantum Realm was a specially-designed pod from Dr. Hank Pym's lab. This pod will be the best way that the team will be able to gain controlled access to the alternate reality. 

The director went on and talked about the importance of the practical effects aspect of the film and they ended up building a full-size version of this pod! 

"The pod that they go down in, that was another thing that felt... if I'm a kid, I want to play with this thing. It's got to be functional, and you look at this thing and you'll be able to sort of scrutinize it down there, but you really see this is a... it really feels like, 'Oh, okay, I could get in that thing and head down there.' So the, the tactile quality was really important."

It would have been so cool to play around in this thing! I just can't wait to see the adventure that awaits Hope Van Dyne in the Quantum Realm when she goes in to save her mom! It's explained that Ant-Man and The Wasp are going to be on separate missions in this film:

"It's not Ant-Man With The Wasp, it's Ant-Man and The Wasp. It's important to tell those stories separately, and invest in each of the characters' journey and arc in the movie. One of the big things about this is what's going on with Hope... The mission that is happening with her, entirely separate of Scott, is vital and it's her mission. It's not her dad's mission. It's her mission. Hank and Hope are working together, but it's really Hope leading the charge, and that was an important thing when we started talking about what was going on, is the what and why of this mission."

Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters on July 6th.

Via: CinemaBlend

The Upcoming BUMBLEBEE Movie Could Lead to a Solo Optimus Prime Movie

After all these years, it looks like there's a chance that Paramount Pictures finally got the Transformers franchise right with director Travis Knight's upcoming Bumblebee movie. Fans loved that first trailer that was released and it looks like this movie might actually end up being a great film. It's definitely a change of pace from what Paramount was previously doing with the franchise. Now it sounds like if everything goes well for this movie, it could lead to Optimus Prime getting his very own solo film.

During a recent interview with EW, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura explained why they decided to do a Bumblebee spinoff film instead to continuing what they've been doing, saying:

"We were headed down the Bumblebee path well before the release of the last Transformers. We had felt that with the fifth movie, we had sort of run out of room with where to take it."

I'm sure there is some truth to that, but there was another Transformers movie in development that they recently ended up removing from their release calendar, so they obviously didn't feel earlier in the year that they had run out of room on where to take it. 

Regardless, taking the franchise in a new direction is a smart move because that last movie that was released wasn't only terrible, but it was a box office failure. The producer goes on to explain why they chose Bumblebee for the first solo film outing:

"We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the fans that they wanted us to do a deep dive on one or two of the robots, because they wanted to get to know them better. Bumblebee was selected because he’s such a loved figure, and he’s also more emotional than Optimus. Those were the two likely characters."

This means that Optimus Prime was discussed as a potential solo film, and if Bumblebee does well, we could see an Optimus Prime movie next, which would be awesome. Lorenzo di Bonaventura goes on to elaborate on why Optimus didn't come first, saying:

"He’s a stoic leader, and you can count on him. Whereas Bumblebee is the one who is more emotionally volatile. He has a lot of ups and downs. So it seemed like the best character to try for the first time zeroing in on one Autobot."

He then goes on to that an Optimus Prime movie remains at the top of their list and that if they did make an Optimus Prime film, it would be very different than Bumblebee:

"I’d certainly like to do that. It would be a very different kind of movie than a Bumblebee movie, but equally interesting and different."

Obviously, if these films actually did well and the fans end up enjoying them, we will see sequels to them and maybe even more films focus on certain characters. 

"If Bee’s successful, we can have a Bee 2, no doubt. We have a good sense of where a second movie would go. For me, the greatest thing that came out of the writer’s room was the sense that we could go in any number of directions. It opened up our minds to choices."

Then, of course, Di Bonaventura starts to complicate things with the franchise by talking about time travel:

"We could do a time travel movie. You could take almost any genre and do it. You can go back in the past, you can go to the future. So I think we’ve got an abundance of choices. It’s really more about narrowing them down than anything else, and deciding which one we think is the strongest one to go with next."

Yeah, I get what he's saying, but don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. That was one of the main problems with Michael Bay's films. Just tell good solid stories with these characters.

It will be interesting to see how audiences respond to Bumblebee when it's released on December 21st. After that comes out and we see that it;'s actually good, then we can start to really get excited about the future of the franchise.