Steven Spielberg defends his superhero movie comments

A couple of months ago it was widely reported that Steven Spielberg had predicted that the superhero movie would soon go the way of the Western, sparking various big names to come out in defence of the genre. However, Spielberg has since moved to clarify his comments, stating that he was simply reflecting on the way various cinematic genres have their moment in the sun.

“To clarify, I didn’t predict the implosion of the film industry at all,” said Spielberg, during a Bridge Of Spies press day. “I simply predicted that a number of blockbusters in one summer – those big sort of tentpole superhero movies – there was going to come a time where two or three or four of them in a row didn’t work. That’s really all I said. I didn’t say the film industry was ever going to end because of it. I was simply saying that I felt that that particular genre doesn’t have the legs or longevity of the Western, which was around since the beginning of film and only started to wither and shrivel in the sixties.”

“I was also trying to make the point that there was room for every kind of movie today,” he continues. “Because there seems to be an audience for everything. Even five years ago there wasn’t an audience for everything. But now, these little movies are just squeezing in and finding a berth next to these huge Queen Mary type movies and they’re able to find an audience, enough of an audience to encourage the distributor and the film companies to finance more of them. These are not just films like Bridge Of Spies, it’s independent movies as well.”

So there you go – perhaps those Spielberg Hates Spandex headlines were a little premature after all. In the meantime, we can look forward to Bridge Of Spies which will open in the US on October 16 2015 and the UK on November 27 2016.

George Miller talks Mad Max sequel and making a superhero movie

Mad Max Fury Road is easily one of the most popular films of the year, and with everyone waiting for any and all tidbits about the sequel, we sat down with director George Miller to see what we could get out of him.

While the filmmaker remained fairly tight-lipped about the details of the sequel, he did reveal that he already has plenty of stories to choose from thanks to how long it took to get Mad Max Fury Road made. “We spent so much time working on the backstories that inadvertently we wrote two other stories” Miller explained.

Watch the interview below…

After the failed George Miller Justice League film, fans will also be wondering if the director has any plans to try again with the world of superheroes. “It depends entirely on the story,” Miller says. “I’m interested in the superhero universe because they are the equivalent of the Greek and Roman gods.” Shame Thor 3 is already taken…

Own Mad Max Fury Road on Blu-Ray 3D, Blu-Ray, DVD and 4 film anthology now.

David Tennant gets his villain on in new Jessica Jones teaser

So far, the teaser trailers we’ve seen for Marvel’s Jessica Jones have focused on the titular heroine, introducing some of her abilities in a light-hearted, knockabout style. However, the latest promo takes a very different tone, with David Tennant’s villainous Purple Man making his presence felt in highly unsettling fashion.

In the comic-books, the Purple Man (aka Zebediah Kilgrave) has the power of mind control, psychologically torturing Jessica until she breaks and is forced to aid his criminal schemes. Whether he has quite those same abilities in the new series remains to be seen, but from the looks of this latest teaser, his presence is set to loom large over the recently retired superhero.

Check it out below…

Creepy stuff! The purple glow reflected in Jones’s hair is a particularly nice touch. Part of the reason Daredevil was such a big hit was Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance as Kingpin, and it seems as though Jessica Jones is going to have a villain every bit as memorable. Co-starring Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Jones will arrive on Netflix on November 20 2015.

Here’s all the post-beta Black Ops 3 changes

Betas are really meant to test network code and check things work rather than let people get a free go on something early. That often gets forgotten, so here’s a ton of changes posted by Black Ops 3‘s design director David Vonderhaar following player feedback from the COD beta.

It’s a good mix of major gameplay changes – Black Hat and Rejack are getting an overhaul – and minor tweaks, like adding more detail to the kill cam. And, if you played on PS4, then you should be getting an email soon about an exclusive dynamic theme as a thank you for all the shooting.

Some players were dissatisfied that the Black Hat equipment was too powerful. We agree. Our new hacking mechanic scales the hacking speed based on how close you are to the target, and will require precise aim to hack Scorestreaks in a reasonable time. Time-to-hack has been adjusted upwards across the board to make it more challenging to hack, especially at the higher end of rewards. Hackers now also appear as a red dot on the minimap for the duration of the hack, which, along with VO notifications that a Scorestreak is being hacked, provides players the ability to counter by hunting down the attacker.
• Rejack sparked its fair share of controversy during the Beta for a number of reasons, most of which were valid. Included in that list: putting players into Rejack did not count as a kill, and players were using Rejack to stack Scorestreaks. Now, putting a player into Rejack counts as a kill. Players receive kill credit immediately in-game, on the scoreboard and leaderboard, and in persistent stats. Rejack now also resets all Scorestreak progress so that it cannot be used continuously throughout a match to pad progress towards high-level Scorestreaks.
• We’ve talked a lot about the flinch mechanics during the beta — that’s when getting hit causes your weapon to move out of position. Our improved networking code would sometimes cause bullet flinch to stack, so we put a cap on how much you can flinch while ADS. While you will still flinch when shot, it will be within tighter constraints to keep you closer to your aim.
• We improved the feedback that you have downed your target by including the red “kill marker.” This marker will subtly grow in size with each subsequent hit, turning red upon dealing lethal damage as added reinforcement to confirm the kill.
• During the beta, any downward or backward player movement could make the grenade toss distances feel awkwardly short. This has been adjusted so that player velocity never negatively impacts grenade trajectory. We also tweaked grenade speed and distances.
• Players felt Concussion and Flashbang grenade types were very powerful. While both grenade types need to be in order to stay viable as equipment choices, we reduced the Concussion grenade stun time by 1 second and are now unlocking the Tactical Mask perk (the counter for both Concussion and Flash Bangs) earlier in the progression system at level 13.
• By popular request, we’ve added a “Time in Hill” stat for the scoreboard and leaderboards in the Hardpoint game mode.
• Players did not feel sufficiently rewarded for escorting the robot in Safeguard. Players now receive +25 score for every 3 seconds that they escort the robot toward the enemy base.
• Players wanted additional details about how they were eliminated. The Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam now show what killed you (including weapons, Scorestreaks, Specialist weapons, equipment, etc.) and what perks the player has equipped. Additionally, various weapon-balancing changes were implemented, including to the Razorback and M8A7.

Until Dawn’s terrifying audio experience has a psychopath stalk into your ears

Because you’ve always wanted to know exactly how it sounds to be hunted by something awful in a clown mask. To celebrate us killing off the teens of Until Dawn, Sony and Wimbledon Studios have created a binaural experience that’s, quite frankly, rather terrifying.

Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, the video is fully interactive. Will you hide under the bed or in the wardrobe when the psycho comes knocking? Mmm, just what you need on a Friday morning. Equally horrific choices.

Binaural means an audio experience that replicates the the human ear and as such is significantly better than surround sound. Go on, crank up those headphones…

Destiny: Xur weapons, gear, and location October 9-11. Knucklehead Radar!

Xur, Destiny‘s visiting weekend merchant, cigar aficionado, and dapper man about town, has returned to the Tower to once more throw out Exotic goodies like some kind of hysterical guest at a wedding where the confetti is guns and armour. Time to polish up those Strange Coins (only the shiniest are good enough for a classy gent like Xur) and get over to the Vanguard hall to peruse his wares.

Though actually, maybe don’t rush this week. While Xur has brought along a decent selection, it lacks any real must-haves, and once more presents a total dearth of weapons.

  • An Insurmountable Skullfort (Exotic Titan helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Knucklehead Radar (Exotic Hunter helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Claws of Ahamkara (Exotic Warlock gauntlets) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Legacy Engram (Heavy weapon engram) – 31 Strange Coins
  • Exotic Gauntlets Engram – 19 Strange Coins
  • Three of Coins – 7 Strange Coins

In all, it’s a ‘quite nice’ armour selection, though there’s nothing here this week that 100% demands you give up an Exotic slot. The Insurmountable Skullfort has one of the best armour names in the game, and is pretty useful for Titans who play with a great deal of get-stuck-in momentum, being that it starts you off with pre-loaded melee energy, converts melees into grenade cooldown, and bestows health regen during Storm Fist kills and Orb collection. But it’s not quite essential.

The Knucklehead Radar’s star ability gives you a full radar when scoping any primary weapon. Certainly very useful in the Crucible, especially if you find yourself losing a lot of snap-confrontations, and of course, the helmet’s increased Super energy from PvE kills is undeniably valuable. Though that perk has been appearing on a fair few of The Taken King’s Legendaries, so you probably don’t want to give up an Exotic slot for that one alone. And the Claws of Ahamkara? Not that great, unless you really, really build your game around melees. Its more relevant powers both speed up hand-thwacks and deliver a second charge of your special, souped-up version on every cooldown. Again, a good set-up, and could actually be a room-clearer is you have your Thunderstrike set up to chain lightning, but its value is rather, shall we say, “specific”?

If you’re absolutely adamant that you must buy something this week (maybe you’re trying to wean yourself off a horrific shopping addition by only buying pretend things), the legacy Exotic Heavy engram might be worth a roll, but do bear in mind that you’ll just be using it to fill out your year one Exotics list, and not all of those can be ported over to year two. And Gjallarhorn is staying dead. Don’t kid yourself.

As ever, Xur will only be around for a couple of days, from now until 10am UK / 2am Pacific on Sunday 11 October. After that, he’s gone for another week…

New Apocalypse synopsis reveals Raven will lead the X-Men

The super-team landscape is changing. Not only are the Avengers moving towards an all new lineup, but a newly released synopsis for X-Men: Apocalypse reveals that the X-Men will have a new leader in the forthcoming film. Up until now, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier has been at the helm, but the synopsis suggests that Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven will soon head up our favourite band of mutants.

“Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god,” begins the official blurb. “Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”

As first assignments go, it sounds like quite a challenging one for the new leader of the X-Men. It’s not clear just why Xavier has been sidelined, although this might be the beginning of his traditional role as mentor rather than out and out leader. We’ll find out for sure when the film lands in the UK on May 19 2016 and the US on May 27 2016.

George Clooney stars in trailer for The Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar!

The first trailer for the Coen Brothers’ star-studded comedy set during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Hail, Caesar!, has arrived online. If 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis played too straight for your taste, you might be pleased with what’s in store here.

Taking place on the backlots of Hollywood’s bustling studios, the film stars Josh Brolin as a ‘studio fixer’. A dogsbody who gets lumbered with all the unsavory jobs, his tasks include tracking down a missing movie star, played by George Clooney, who may or may not have been abducted. Sounds like perfect farce fodder.

Musical numbers! Frances McDormand! This upbeat, flighty preview certainly marks a return to the Coens’ signature style, smudging the thin line between comedy and tragedy. Hail, Caesar! opens in the US on February 5, 2016 and the UK on February 26. It seems the sibling duo have called in favors from a familiar squad of acting talent to star, also enlisting the likes of George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson and Josh Brolin along with Coen newbies Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.