AMC Planning a Star Wars Marathon For The Force Awakens

When The Force Awakens was announced, many fans wondered if there would be a re-release of the original movies before hand, and in one way there will be. While it’s not an “official” re-release of each movie leading up to Episode VII, AMC will be holding a marathon of the six movies prior to the premiere of The Force Awakens.

Following AMC’s massive Marvel movie marathon of eleven movies for the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the theater chain is planning the same thing for Star Wars in December.

According to the Star Wars Action News Facebook page, an AMC manager confirmed the plans:
amc-sw-marathon

And before someone gets you excited with false hope, these will just be the Blu-Ray cuts that Lucasfilm recently showed to fans at Star Wars Celebration.

How ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Being Xbox Exclusive is History Repeating Itself

At Gamescom this morning in Germany, Microsoft revealed that Crystal Dynamics upcoming Tomb Raider sequel would be exclusive to Xbox when it releases in Holiday 2015. Immediately console warriors sprung into action attacking Microsoft for “money hatting” Square Enix and berating the company for deciding that they didn’t want the Tomb Raider sequel to turn a profit. Naturally most of these people are PlayStation 4 owners, but their actions are making them look like hypocrites in the light of history.

The reason is because Sony did the exact same thing in the 90s with the original Tomb Raider games.

Many believe that Tomb Raider was always a “Sony franchise”, as many aren’t aware that the franchise actually started on a Sega platform and then Sony paid Eidos to prevent the sequel from showing up on the Sega Saturn.

When it was released in the US, Sega’s 32-bit Saturn system was considered underpowered to Sony’s PlayStation. Where Sony was somewhat forward-thinking and designed their system around 3D polygonal games, Sega designed the Saturn to be a sprite powerhouse, able to deliver arcade perfect ports of Capcom’s popular 2D fighting games. The drawback to the Saturn’s design was that it couldn’t match Sony’s system in 3D performance, but there were some developers that were able to exceed it.

One of these was Core Design. The creators and original developers of the Tomb Raider franchise were wizards with the Saturn hardware. They overcame its limitations, learned it’s multiple-processor architecture, and delivered 3D games that were actually better on the Saturn than the PlayStation. One of these was the original Tomb Raider.

The Saturn version of Tomb Raider actually featured a more solid framerate and tighter controls than the PlayStation version, but when the game took off in popularity on Sony’s system the company paid Eidos to make Lara Croft a PlayStation exclusive for her second outing. From then until the failure of the first PlayStation 2 game, Tomb Raider was PlayStation exclusive due to a “money hat” from Sony. In 1997 Sony signed a deal that kept Tomb Raider games off competitor’s consoles until 2000.

It’s the exact same type of action that Sony fanboys are now attacking Microsoft for taking with the next-gen Tomb Raider sequel. How easily system warriors forget that the company they cheerlead for on gaming forums is guilty of the exact same thing they’re complaining about its competitor doing.

Some Xbox One Owners Reporting a ‘Green Screen of Death’ or Bad Disc Drive

Yesterday some early reports came out about initial issues with the Xbox One hardware from people in Australia and New Zealand who were the first to receive systems. This morning, now that the worldwide midnight launch is behind us, more and more issues are coming out about some of the problems people are facing.

The most serious, which most people are screaming about on the official Xbox Support forums, is being dubbed the Green Screen of Death where the Xbox One simply will not boot past the initial green logo screen. Micrsoft has not responded to that thread at all, although the mods have no problem censoring customer’s posts.

Aside from the systems not booting, the other major issue is broken disc drives out of the box. Some are calling this a “Transformer drive” because of the grinding sound they make when you put the disc in. Someone has compiled a video collecting some of the numerous reports of this issue that popped up overnight:

These are just initial reports from the midnight openings. As the day goes on and more people receive their online-ordered consoles, more could pop up…

5 Reasons We’re Thankful for Star Wars

It’s Thanksgiving in the US, and at a time when people sit down and eat until they fall over; people always say what they’re thankful for. Since we’re fanboys, here are the five reasons we’re most thankful for Star Wars!

The Story

You can bash the Prequels until the day you die, but they’re important to the overall story of Star Wars. From the entire Skywalker Saga to the books in the EU and the awesome lore that makes up the Old Republic era, Star Wars has given us a modern day mythology that’s rich, detailed, and with enough layers to last someone a lifetime of studying it all.

The Music

The Star Wars soundtracks are the best movie soundtracks of all time. There’s no debate here. They just are. John Williams’ scores for all six movies go beyond the realm of classic. They’re timeless. Hell, even the NFL uses the Star Wars theme for highlights of amazing plays. The music has become part of our culture.

The Original Trilogy

You can’t call yourself a fanboy if you’re not able to recite the Holy Trilogy from memory. For those who grew up during their release, they were a life changing experience. You can probably spot one of these people as they quote lines from the trilogy in everyday conversation. I really believe that the movies should be re-released in theaters every ten years to give each new generation of kids the chance to see them on the big screen as they were meant to be seen.

The Effects

Star Wars changed the world of special effects. It founded ILM and spawned a whole new generation of space operas. The Original Trilogy is perfect in almost every way effects-wise, but the Prequels have more rough spots. The reliance on CG backdrops, especially in Episode II, creates some less-than-convincing visuals (the Jedi Temple behind Obi-Wan, Mace, and Yoda for example). Still, the movies deliver amazing visuals to go along with the perfect audio.

The Expanded Universe

Around 1986 and 1987, Star Wars was starting to fade from the public’s mind. While there were some Star Wars novels in the past, Lucasflm approached Timothy Zahn to write a sequel trilogy in book form, and the rest is history. The EU has some really bad spots, but the good the Expanded Universe brought has helped keep Star Wars alive in-between movies. Even with The Clone Wars on the air, the regular release of new Star Wars novels will help keep Star Wars forever.

The 10 Best Additions to the Extended Lord of the Rings

The superior Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings is finally arriving on BluRay. For most fans, these are the only versions to watch. With more than a half an hour added to each movie with additional scenes and even alternate takes of existing scenes to change the tone here and there, they are a near perfect adaptation of the greatest fantasy epic ever written. With the BluRay release looming, here are the ten best additions to the Extended Edition to keep an eye out for during your upcoming fourteen hour marathon of The Lord of the Rings.

The Gifting

Perhaps the most missed scene from the theatrical cut of Fellowship was the gifting. It’s a big, and memorable, part of the book where Galadriel gives each member of the Fellowship a special gift that would become useful later in their quest. In the theatrical cut they do show Frodo receiving the Light of Elendil, as it would be very important in Return of the King, but the Extended Edition restores the full gifting scene as it should have originally been.

The Mouth of Sauron

The Mouth of Sauron was sorely missed from the end of The Return of the King. In the theatrical version, Aragorn just goes up to the Black Gate, yells, and it opens. The showdown with the Mouth is a crucial part of the book and his return in the Extended Edition makes the final scenes of The Return of the King even stronger than they were in the theatrical cut. It’s something else that should not have been cut out.

Fangorn Comes to Helm’s Deep

You can almost understand why this wasn’t in the theatrical cut, I mean explaining how a forest walked to Helm’s Deep to mop up the Orcs is a bit of a stretch for no-fans to get. But it was great to see it back in the Extended Cut. Those who read the book were expecting to see the Orcs run into the forest to be torn up by the trees and it’s a much better ending to big battle in The Two Towers than what we got in the theatrical cut.

The Ring Goes South

This is my personal favorite moment in all fourteen hours of the Extended Edition. It shows Frodo and the Fellowship departing from Rivendell and even show’s Frodo’s point of view as he walks out of the city and begins his quest. The glance that Aragon gives Arwen is explained in the flashback in The Two Towers that is set immediately before this scene.

The Houses of Healing

“The hands of the King are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.” Those words are spoken by a woman of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings when seeing Aragorn helping people in the Houses of Healing. While Jackson made some changes to Aragorn’s character in the movie (as he did most characters for a film adaptation to work), I always felt that from knowing the book that this was a key scene to show prior to Aragorn regaining the crown.

Paths of the Dead

There was a Paths of the Dead in the theatrical cut, but the Extended Edition has so much more. More of the Three Hunters exploring the caves, more with the Army of the Dead, and more right outside the cave after they’ve pledged their loyalty to the rightful king.

 

The Midgewater Marshes

Aragorn leading the Hobbits through the Midgewater Marshes is important for a couple reasons. One, it shows how the Ranger was able to protect and feed the Hobbits on their trip to Rivendell. Two, Aragorn sings the Song of Beren and LĂșthien. Their story mirrors that of Aragorn and Arwen, and it was so important to Tolkien that Beren is carved on his tombstone, and LĂșthien on his wife’s.

Where There’s a Whip There’s a Way

That song from the Rankin-Bass animated version of The Return of the King didn’t make it into Jackson’s adaptation, but we thankfully got to see Frodo and Sam joining the column of Orcs. In the theatrical cut, they leave Cirith Ungol and then arrive at the base of Mount Doom. We didn’t really see them crossing the Plains of Gorgoroth much, and with them joining the Orcs and then shedding their disguises in the Extended Edition; that bit is restored.

Moria

There is a really cool bit added to Moria in the Extended Edition where Gandalf explains that the wealth of Moria was in Mithril. He mentions how Bilbo had a Mithril coat (which Frodo is secretly wearing) that Thorin gave him. That “Kingly gift” happens at the end of The Hobbit, and if Jackson doesn’t include it in his adaptation; the movies will then have a plot hole the size of Leia remembering her mother.

Faramir’s Redemption

In the book, Faramir is famous for saying “I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs.” Naturally his character was changed in the movie to the ire of purists, but as Jackson explained characters in a film have to grow and have an arc; and the book version of Faramir didn’t have that. In the Extended Edition, Faramir does get a bit of his book personality back when he gives a similar speech to Denethor.

Hell Freezes Over: Duke Nukem Forever Has Gone Gold

After fifteen years of development and becoming something of a running internet joke, Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold. It’s finished. For real. 2K Games announced today that the game has gone gold, which means the final code has been sent off for mass duplication and will be available on time for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on June 14th. You can pinch yourself. You aren’t dreaming.

“Duke Nukem Forever is the game that was once thought to be unshipppable, and yet here we are, on the precipice of history,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “Today marks an amazing day in the annals of gaming lore, the day where the legend of Duke Nukem Forever is finally complete and it takes that final step towards becoming a reality.”

The demo will be out next Friday for people who own the Boarderlands: Game of the Year Edition on any of the three platforms. I know I’ll be eagerly awaiting the demo to download next Friday.

William Shatner Helps Us Say Goodbye to the Space Shuttle

There are only two Space Shuttle missions left. Endeavor goes up later this month, and Atlantis launches her final mission (and the final Space Shuttle launch ever) on June 28th. As space buffs, it’s pretty sad to be saying goodbye to the shuttle program. But who better to help us say goodbye than Captain Kirk himself? NASA has released a fourteen-minute video narrated by William Shatner that gives a brief history of the shuttle program, and showing what goes into a shuttle launch and it’s described as only Shatner can. Check it out.

The Legend of Zelda: The 25th Anniversary

We’re not sure where this piece of artwork originated, but it’s pretty cool. This week marks the 25th Anniversary of the Legend of Zelda, and some Zelda fan did a huge banner combining the last quarter-century of Zelda games into one huge piece of artwork. Nintendo should allow this guy to produce it as a giant poster, as that would look pretty cool on a wall or door to a game room.

Edit: Thanks for coming through Fanboys, artist page can be seen here.