Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game

The Last of Us: Part II – Naughty Dog – Sony – PS4 Screenshot

The following article features story spoilers for the entirety of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Part II. Do not read the article before you finish both games.

In 2013, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us — my favorite video game ever made —  was released exclusively on PlayStation 3 (it was later remastered on PlayStation 4) to near-universal praise and numerous accolades. On the surface-level, this was a survival horror game in the zombie sub-genre. But it was also so much more than that. It was a story about love and rediscovering something to fight for. Gamers primarily played as Joel Miller (Troy Baker), a smuggler without scruples, who was tasked with transporting a young girl, Ellie (Ashley Johnson), across the United States for the purpose of crafting a vaccine to the fungal virus that had turned infected humans into ruthless barely-human creatures without rational thought. Continue reading “Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game”

Snyder Cut: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is on its way to HBO MAX – Special Features #70

During a watch-along of his film Man of Steel, today — May 20th, 2020 — director Zack Snyder, alongside his wife and creative partner Deborah Snyder, announced that, in 2021, Warner Bros. will, finally, ‘release the Snyder cut’ of Justice League (2017) on HBO MAX. DC Comics’ vocal fan base has been heard. In this week’s edition of Special Features, I will answer some questions about this piece of news, and I will tell you exactly how I feel about Warner Bros.’ decision. Let’s get to it. Continue reading “Snyder Cut: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is on its way to HBO MAX – Special Features #70”

93rd Oscars: New Eligibility Requirements and a ‘New’ Category – Special Features #69

The coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on the film industry. Universal has pulled several films from their theatrical release schedule and made them available on-demand, and, allegedly, they have found a lot of success with the VOD release of Trolls World Tour. Meanwhile, we still don’t know when theaters all over the world will reopen. It could take several weeks, but it could also take several months. Your guess could be as good as mine. As a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS) Board of Governors has approved several noteworthy rule changes that, among other things, change which films are eligible for the 93rd Academy Awards. Continue reading “93rd Oscars: New Eligibility Requirements and a ‘New’ Category – Special Features #69”

What To Watch During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Part II – Special Features #68

A couple of weeks ago, I presented my readers with a list of films or shows to binge-watch during your self-isolation due to the current coronavirus pandemic. I decided to focus on shows that I had not previously reviewed, or had no intention of reviewing. Since the pandemic has not come to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to recommend some extra options. So, today, I present you with another small handful of binge-watching options, none of which I have previously reviewed on this site. Continue reading “What To Watch During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Part II – Special Features #68”

What To Watch (Or Not Watch) During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Special Features #67

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of your time during your Coronavirus pandemic self-isolation by watching a truckload of films and shows. In this edition of Special Features, I have listed several films and television shows that I have watched recently. Also, I obviously recommend that my readers watch both Westworld and Better Call Saul, but since I am reviewing — or plan to review — these shows, I won’t be discussing them in this article. In fact, I don’t currently plan to write lengthy reviews of most of the shows or films that I am specifically writing about in this article. However, that does not mean that I don’t have plenty of shows or films that I want to recommend. Let’s dive in. Continue reading “What To Watch (Or Not Watch) During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Special Features #67”

Coronavirus Update: Stay Home – Special Features #66

Contagion (2011), Warner Bros. Pictures

On March 5th, I wrote an article about the announcement that the 25th Eon-produced James Bond film, NO TIME TO DIE, was postponed to November 2020 to minimize the risk of infection at movie theaters all over the world and to ensure commercial success. Since then, as I predicted, the theatrical releases of several films including, but not limited to, A Quiet Place: Part II, Mulan, The New Mutants, and Fast and Furious 9 have been postponed. Continue reading “Coronavirus Update: Stay Home – Special Features #66”

Parasite Won Best Picture and Made History – Special Features #62

What happened at the 92nd Academy Awards was incredible. Just ask most Oscar experts and they will agree. This was, based on statistics and precursor awards results, supposed to be Sam Mendes’ and 1917‘s night. Though I desperately wanted Parasite to win all of the night’s biggest awards, my head was telling me no. Therefore, in my final predictions, I went with the safe bet and said 1917 would win Best Director and Best Picture. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong about an Oscar-prediction. In the end, the latest South Korean masterpiece — Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite — won the night’s two biggest awards (as well as two other prestigious golden statuettes). The Academy made the right choice. This time, in my opinion, the Best Picture winner is actually the best film of the year. The Academy finally got it right, as they say. Continue reading “Parasite Won Best Picture and Made History – Special Features #62”

2020 Watchlist: Eight Danish Films To Look Forward To – Special Features #60

Still image from the trailer for ‘Krudttønden (2020),’ SF Studios

I think 2019 was a very good year for Danish films. Sure, the great Danish selection, Dronningen (int. title: Queen of Hearts), was not nominated in the Best International Feature Film-category at the Oscars, but it was one of several noteworthy Danish films from 2019. There were exciting debut films, as well as strong follow-ups from proven filmmakers. But here’s the thing. I think 2020 is going to be even better. There are many Danish films in 2020 that I am looking forward to, and today I want to talk about eight of these films. So, if you have any interest in Scandinavian films, then read more below. Continue reading “2020 Watchlist: Eight Danish Films To Look Forward To – Special Features #60”

92nd Academy Awards Nominations: Reaction – Special Features #59

Edited image originally from ‘Joker (2019),’ Warner Bros.

The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards have been released by AMPAS. We now know the names of the individuals who might become Oscar winners in a month. For the full list of nominations, click here. There is a lot to talk about this time around. One film clearly overperformed much to many pundits and critics’ chagrin, while the Academy made some of the classic problematic mistakes that awards seasons tend to result in at some point or another.

Continue reading “92nd Academy Awards Nominations: Reaction – Special Features #59”

Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58

Edited image originally from ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019),’ Sony Pictures

It is finally that time of the year again, folks! The nominations for the Academy Awards will be released on Monday (January 13th, 2020). Just in time, I am ready with my final predictions for this awards season’s Oscars nominations. Below I have tried to predict every category except for the short film categories, as I simply haven’t seen enough short films from 2019. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58”