Proposition for Kevin Feige – July 2014

Nova.

Hello and welcome,

As you may’ve noticed this post is for Kevin Feige. Now you may ask who he is. Kevin Feige pretty much is in control of the destiny of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phases, he is the one sitting next to Whedon and co., the man with the plan. I will be trying to come up with various ideas for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and these are the first propositions I present. Starting with the introduction of Sam Alexander, the new Nova, in Phase 4.

The Troubled Teen – Sam Alexander – Nova

Liam James – Nova?

Now, Sam Alexander isn’t the fan-favorite Nova – and I know this – but he is the one Marvel Comics is trying right now, and could easily make money for the Disney owned studios. The character of Sam Alexander would be the youngest leading man for Marvel, and has already been discussed somewhat. I believe there were rumours of Ty Simpkins’ character in Iron Man 3 actually being the introduction of a kid-Nova, like Sam Alexander. However, we’ve seen nothing of him since. Instead I propose two actors for the role of Nova, both being actors I’d label as ‘kids’  for a kid-character (which might actually just be tossed to the side, a la Radcliffe as Harry Potter). First and foremost, I’d like to propose Liam James (originally pictured above) of ‘The Way Way Back’ & ’2012′ fame. James was born in 1996, and would therefore be at an acceptable age for Sam Alexander… And he looks the part too. I like the awkward portrayal he put forth in ‘The Way Way Back’, and I think his character from the aforementioend movie has some interesting features as a leading man, in a world where he (Nova) is not in charge. Now, I’ve also noted Kodi Smit-McPhee who is having a great year, starring in the new Planet of the Apes-film.


 

The Leading Men – Dr. Strange & Black Panther

With Marvel slowly, but surely, losing Downey Jr. as their main man – they’re going to need to replenish their cast of stars. The rumours of a Black Panther movie have been heard for a long time, and I suspect we’ll have it confirmed at San Diego Comic Con 2014. For the role of Black Panther, I propose Chadwick Boseman of ’42′ fame. I think this is a guy most people want, even ahead of a big name like Chiwetel Ejiofor, and that’s saying something. In any case, this is a character the MCU needs – we’re waiting, Feige.

As for Dr. Strange? Well, the movie’s confirmed – it’s got its most important ‘staffmembers’, in a director and Screenplay-writers. Now we need a leading man – someone to give us a new mature Marvel CU… Hopefully. Jared Leto’s been rumoured, and I’d like him – but I propose another guy, someone who’s a household name, of sorts. Joaquin Phoenix of ‘Walk the Line’ and ‘Her’ fame. Not only is this a household name, he also has the presence of a sorcerer supreme.

Hopefully Feige will listen… Who knows what we’ll see at Comic Con, and what about the Credit Sequences of Guardians of the Galaxy?

- I’m Jeffrey Rex

REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Revitalized Franchise

WARNING: EXPECT FULL SPOILERS FOR RISE & DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES!! Warning over. In 2011 I quite enjoyed Ruoert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I must admit – and that was in spite of some mistakes that I had found in what I found to be a simple story. I liked that movie, I really did – but I must admit that it pales in comparison to its 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Gone is Wyatt, Franco and Pinto – in stays the amazing Andy Serkis. And though people might expect a huge role for Gary Oldman, I found his inclusion as a marketing ‘fraud’. His part is of importance, but in truth he does very little. Actually, that’s the main flaw with this film – the homo sapiens are under-written, some of them criminally so. With that having been said, I enjoyed the inclusion of Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, while I disliked the somewhat cliché role of Carver.

Having now mentioned parts I disliked somewhat, we can now move onto what works perfectly – masterfully – that’s right, the Apes. We expect a lot from Andy Serkis and his role as Caesar nowadays, and he delivers of course, what’s really surprising is that the remaining main apes are functioning perfectly as well. Everyone loves Karin Konoval’s Maurice, and you are bound to be sympathetic towards Blue Eyes and Cornelia, but the real star – and a surprising one at that – is Toby Kebbell’s Koba. Kebbell, the future Dr. Doom, is perfect – and though he portrays a villainous Ape – you end up completely mesmerized by his performance.

The performances are strong – though some characters are under-written; the story is incredibly rich (and instantly removes any doubt you may have had regarding the Apes-reboot); the CGI/Motion Capture work is perfect, as you’d expect – and, finally, I must admit that I was really happy with the directing performance of Matt Reeves. Reeves has some great tracking-shots, as well as some that will forever stay in the memories of all Apes-fanboys. A certain scene, involving a tank, is one of the best in the entire franchise – in my humble opinion.


 

Overall Score: 8.9 out of 10. As of July 17th, this is my favorite movie of 2014 – and that really isn’t enough praise. The best description of the weight of the movie, was made recently by Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter: “In the annals of sequels, Dawn is to Rise of the Planet of the Apes what The Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars — it’s that much better. “

Game of The Year Watch 2014: Update 3

Today I will only be focusing on EA Sports’ huge bet on Mixed Martial Arts, the game EA Sports UFC. Not a lot of people know this about me, but I really like to watch contact-sports, originating with my interest in Wrestling as a kid, and now in Mixed Martial Arts as I have become an adult. This is very real, and it does make me very excited to see armbars, uppercuts and flying knees all in one sport. The game would have a lot to do for me, and I will admit – early on I was impressed. That, however, quickly wore off.


It looks really good, and I mean this. It is really impressive, when judged on its looks. However, one quickly notes, through tutorial and what-not, that the controls are very complicated – and that being on the ground is not that dangerous unless you play against an expert. You should easily grab a win when you’re standing up, dodging and such. For that really is the only thing I feel is impressive, the stand-up combat. Everything else is not simple enough control-wise, or impressive enough hurt-wise. With that having been said, I actually enjoyed playing this game. Though the career mode is kind of boring as you get to twenty or more wins, it is quite exciting competing in The Ultimate Fighter – and receiving video messages… However, the fact that these aren’t trained in acting shines through… Overall, while I enjoyed the career and its looks, the game is not ready for the big sporting success that EA wants. Not yet.

Game of The Year Watch:

  1. Mario Kart 8 – 9.7 out of 10.0.
  2. Entwined – 9.2 out of 10.0.
  3. InFAMOUS: Second Son – 9.0 out of 10.0.
  4. South Park: The Stick of Truth – 8.8 out of 10.0.
  5. WATCH_DOGS – 8.5 out of 10.0.
  6. EA Sports UFC – 7.0 out of 10.0.

What Am I Reading? 4 of 6

The following post is the fourth of six revolving around what I am reading (mostly comics) in 2014. Every post will cover two months, and therefore this one will cover July and August.

So, I recently had a tough time reading more comics – I fear that maybe I’ve stalled completely because of my very fast pace reading and buying comics on comixology. With that being said, I am absolutely certain that my main focus, if I return to comics soon, will be Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and the event ‘Original Sin’, the latter of which I have begun, but I am not caught up completely.


Also, I’ve started reading the Pulitzer-Prize winning ‘American Lion’ by Jon Meacham. It focuses on President Andrew Jackson, a president that is rather interesting – and I feel this will take much of my time in the coming months, as I am on my summer break. Not much else to report today, as I am really just relaxing with the FIFA World Cup.

I will be leaving for a festival soon, might blog about it – but while I am gone, please do recommend comics or books for me to read.

ALBUM REVIEW: Linkin Park – The Hunting Party (2014)

I’ve listened to Linkin Park for the past 14 years, and they’ve made some of my favourite songs of all-time. The fact that I’ve met them at Meet & Greets has only solidified their places in my heart. In these days they are releasing their sixth studio album titled ‘The Hunting Party’ – referring to a Japanese article about culture being in trouble, because all young men were simply herbivores. This is their hunting party, rough, loud, fast and free. In the following review I will go over each song, and try to compare it to those of former albums – and in the end, try my hardest to come up with a score. For more on their past albums, check out my ‘Legends’ section for song grades.

  1. Keys To The Kingdom: If you were wondering what direction they were headed in with this album, then this opening song definitely makes a mark. Opening with a distorted screamed chorus by Chester Bennington, this song quickly attempts to find the band’s place within the aging ‘Heavy’ core of Rock music. However, about 45 seconds into the song we have Mike Shinoda attempting to reclaim his singing voice from songs such as ‘Roads Untravelled’. In many ways this song is representing the many ways this band has evolved, as we have some techno, some heavy, some rap-rock and some soft elements. The band has chosen to curse in the chorus, and had Mike Shinoda not had his soft-element within this song – then this would easily have been a swift return to the Rap-Rock/Nu-Metal roots.
  2. All For Nothing (Feat. Page Hamilton): This is true Rap-Rock as we know it, though without the plentiful Heavy-elements. The verses are sung by Shinoda, and lead to a chorus that is really great in my ears. This song is perfect for those ‘fans’ that have decided to stop following the band because of them having forgotten their roots. This should please them, as I’m sure it will the remaining large fan-base. This was an early-album favourite of mine.
  3. Guilty All The Same (Feat. Rakim): This was the first song released from the album, and I’ve definitely gotten used to it – it opens with some of the roughest intrumental play for Linkin Park in a while, and then slowly turns into a great rap-rock sound. I think its chorus fits perfectly within the Linkin Park-chorus family, and the addition of Rakim has only helped Linkin Park in this song. ‘Tell us all again how to do what you say’ – is a powerful line, and I cannot help but think this song is a response to fan criticism, and possibly Linkin Park telling us that the entire genre has moved, they are all guilty of evolving and abandoning the genre. Regardless, this is a really great song – and as you know, I love the entirety of the Linkin Park evolution.
  4. The Summoning: This is an instrumental song, as we know Linkin Park to often include. Lasting only one minute, this song should not do much but allow the wait for the coming songs to be more interesting. I would describe this instrumental as eerie – but I love it.
  5. War: This seems very heavy to me, perhaps too heavy for me. The chorus is simply… ‘WAR!’, and though I love Chester’s voice even when screaming – this song does not interest me as much as the rest of the album does. I don’t think it fits on any other album they’ve made, not even Chester’s side project ‘Dead By Sunrise’. This isn’t a bad song, it’s just not my kind of song.
  6. Wastelands: This 100% feels like the Linkin Park of their Meteora-days, and this rap-rock return is definitely well-received by me. I absolutely love the chorus, but I do agree with other fans that the melody being played during the chorus sounds like the Guilty All the Same melody. Maybe they should have placed them closer together on the album. Regardless, when I was worried about how this album would turn out (prior to the entire album release) – this song singlehandedly got my hopes up again.
  7. Until It’s Gone: I feel that this is a polarizing song. This definitely feels like a Linkin Park song, and could’ve been on Living Things easily. I’ve heard this song being referred to as ‘cliche’, and it is – and that’s the main problem with this song. The text, the lyrics, is not challenging enough – and therefore feels very simple when listened to. With that having been said, this is a song that will surely be stuck in your head – and that’s not a bad thing.
  8. Rebellion (Feat. Daron Malakian): I was looking very much forward to this song due to the fact that they’ve Daron Malakian featuring on this song with them. This is possibly my favourite lyric-song, as the chorus is right in line with my interests and opinions. “We are the fortunate ones. Who’ve never faced oppression’s gun. We are the fortunate ones. Imitations of rebellion.” – a comment on today’s social problems in the western world, I believe – and their value compared to the real rebels of the world.
  9. Mark The Graves: I’ve heard some people refer to this song as the album’s version of ‘Numb’ in stylistic choice. This might in fact be the only song befitting of that title. This song is much softer than one first imagines when hearing the introductionary instrumental. The chorus is simple, but sounds really great from the voice of Chester Bennington. I would probably say, though, that the verses of the song feel more like parts of a bridge section – therefore I do believe the structure of the song is interesting and different. This is a stand-out song, and definitely not in a bad way.
  10. Drawbar (Feat. Tom Morello): I’m sure we all thought Morello’s involvement would’ve been bigger, but I don’t fault the album for that, for I actually think this is one of the more beautiful instrumentals in recent Linkin Park memory. A highlight on this album.
  11. Final Masquerade: This was a welcomed surprise, acting very much as a reminder of their great Minutes to Midnight-album, this song represents one of their softer sides – and could actually feel somewhat like a Dead by Sunrise-song. A side that I’ve fallen in love with over the years as they have evolved. The song itself paints the picture of a relationship about to end, as the people involved are simply keeping up a play, the final masquerade, to match the expectation – as they are slipping away from each other.
  12. A Line In The Sand: Quite possibly my favourite song on the album, this one opens very much like The Little Things Give You Away, and then turns into a more rap-rock focused core. I love this song, and it is perhaps described best on my Twitter-acount: https://twitter.com/ImJeffreyRex/status/476105664620941313 – A mixture masterpiece, indeed. Representing all sides of Linkin Park.

In the end, this album shows us a different Linkin Park than the one premiering their Living Things album in 2012. It is not without its flaws, but stands as a brief return to old material, as well as a representation of the proposed resurrection of Heavy Metal in Rock. The album does not top Meteora or Hybrid Theory, but becomes an album closely related due to its core.

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.0. Linkin Park return to their roots, with an album that attempts to resurrect a dying genre in pop culture.

Game of the Year Watch 2014: June

Today I am looking at 3 games that are very different. The first game to cover is the long awaited Mario Kart 8. And let me tell you, I am loving it. I see little or no mistakes in this title, and this is a true system-seller for the Wii U. I’ve been playing Mario Kart games since I was very little, and there’s a certain form of nostalgia attached to it – and it does deliver in that regard. As for changes, I think they’ve improved on the ‘wacky’ things in this world, making it even more fun. Battle-mode is not how I remember it, and one would like a different option than just a simple course to battle on. My main complaint however, which isn’t very big, is that I would like some changes to the roster. Imagine if they added more people from the line-up of Nintendo Exclusives to this game.


Next up is the hypemachine WATCH_DOGS, the cross-platform, ubisoft experiment with modern open-world gaming. I really wanted a modern day Assassin’s Creed, and it really isn’t. Though the main character does do some parkour, it is not as interesting and free as Ezio or Altair. Is it then a Grand Theft Auto clone? Yes, it kind of is. It has tried to mix experiences from Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto together – in order to deliver a game able to do it all. This game suffers, though, from its story – which is very predictable. I have no problems with the graphics, however, but I strongly dislike the driving mechanism… With that being said, hacking while driving is so great, and hacking in itself feels good.

Finally, at the E3 Sony PlayStation press conference a new exclusive was announced from the studio Pixelopus. Entwined is a game that rivals its stylistic brethren ‘Flower’ & ‘Journey’. I think it does live up to the former, but does not reach the height of the latter. With that being said, Entwined gives us a great challenge in fast gameplay, as well as stylistic and symbolic beauty that is truly magnificent. Thank you Sony, for announcing it the same day that you make it available through PSN. This could be THE indie underdog for Game of the Year.

 

Game of The Year Watch:

  1. Mario Kart 8 – 9.7 out of 10.0.
  2. Entwined – 9.2 out of 10.0.
  3. InFAMOUS: Second Son – 9.0 out of 10.0.
  4. South Park: The Stick of Truth – 8.8 out of 10.0.
  5. WATCH_DOGS – 8.5 out of 10.0.

#ThankYouFrank – A Tribute To Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates his teams title with a drink of champagne


Today’s date will forever feel sad to me. June 2nd 2014. It is the day that Frank James Lampard has confirmed that he is leaving Chelsea Football Club. I started watching football in the early 2000s, and became a fan of hometown heroes FC Copenhagen. But I never felt connected to the team, I did not feel love for the team. You have to understand that I was not a football fan per se, seeing as my father never watched sports – it was all up to me to find something to care about, as my father was constantly working or spending his free time enjoying film after film – the birth of my cinematic interest.

Along came Frank Lampard. I had always loved the English culture, and had been raised somewhat as if I was English – ‘Mary had a little lamb’ etc. was what my parents gave me and my sister – not something Danish. An English team seemed natural. In that time Peter Schmeichel was still supported heavily in Denmark, and therefore people always wanted me to support Manchester United. I did not. Neither did I note that Chelsea Football Club had signed Danish winger, Jesper Grønkjær – a man who, undoubtedly, is to blame for early coverage of Chelsea in the media.

Frank Lampard was signed by Chelsea Football Club in June 2001, 13 years ago, and his resemblance to Lee Ryan of the Pop Group ‘Blue’ intrigued me. That was when I fell in love with how he played. Suddenly, almost over night, I had been turned into a Chelsea Football Club Fan solely because of Lampard. I even remember buying his autobiography ‘Totally Frank’ in the original language, even though I had little real English teaching. It strengthened my language skills, and thus has a major impact on my current study – English at the University of Copenhagen.

Since then he has become the best player in Chelsea Football Club history, the most scoring player for Chelsea, as well as a stellar example of intelligence and respect on the pitch. My faith in ‘super’ Frank Lampard was never lost, and thus my relationship with Chelsea grew. I became a fan, I fell in love with the team by proxy.

Today broadcaster Kay Burley tweeted the following statement from Frank Lampard, following rumours of him signing with New York City Football Club, a new Major League Soccer Team created by the owners of Manchester City:


“This club has become part of my life and I have so many to thank for the opportunity. Ken Bates who put his neck on the line to sign me as young player. Abramovich, the man who saved our club and took us to a new level. Special mention to all the staff and people behind the scenes who do not receive the glory. Finally and most importantly I would like to thank the Chelsea FC fans. I believe they are the greatest fans in world football. Whatever the next challenge I will always be among you and have Chelsea in my heart. Thank you for the memories Chelsea Football Club and keep making history!” – Frank Lampard statement, through Kay Burley.


I am forever grateful to Frank Lampard, and I wish him all the best in the future – I will always follow his career as a fan. The greatest footballer I have ever seen play – and I am truly thankful to have attended games in which he played – versus Copenhagen, Brøndby and Nordsjælland.

 

Thank you for everything Frank Lampard. A True Chelsea Legend – Forever and Always.