On Wednesday, September 7th, BioWare unveiled to Mass Effect fans a taste of what we have anxiously been waiting for―a glimpse of what Mass Effect: Andromeda's gameplay will look like with a little help of Frostbite and Playstation Neo.
A power house combination? There's no doubt...Kind of hard to say from a die-hard Xbox fangirl...
Although the Mass Effect: Andromeda is schedule to release in early 2017 on all current platforms; Aaryn Flynn, General Manager at BioWare clearly states that this small morsel is meant to be experienced on a 4k.
The purpose? for fans and gamers alike to comprehend and grasp the scope of what BioWare is trying to achieve in visually and aesthetically with the best and latest technology has to offer in Next Gen gaming.
The BioWare Developers chose to utilized the Playstation Neo to demonstrate Andromeda's potential.
Yet, I can't help but wonder what Andromeda may look under Xbox's 'Project Scorpio'?
Time will tell.
Even for those of us who own HDTVs, the alpha footage released is still very titillating and visually stimulating. From the small glimpses seen of Andromeda, one can very well be underway to be classified in its own genre as an art form.
The clip released shows Rider walking and exploring an alien vault. Scanning for potential resources, such as plant life while showcasing the playable characters' dexterity and life like movement. The gameplay footage is vivid, the colors are displayed resplendently and with such great attention to detail that the surrounding environs―shadows, contrast and lighting render them visually stunning.
A formal trailer will be released on N7 Day (November 7th). I can't hardly wait to see what this new chapter in the Mass Effect will bring.
"Mass Effect: Andromeda on 4K? AND in Playstation NEO?...Say WHAT?!?!" was written by Maria Sumoza.
It is no secret that Massive’s Tom Clancy’s The Division has been riddled with bugs and hackers since its first major update 1.1 and so on.
And slowly the quality of gameplay has suffered; steadily declining with many of its core original player base and streamers, a fraction of what it once was.
As a dedicated player of The Division since its release‒who has gone through a shear range of emotions from raged quitting, harassment for being a female gamer and getting hit on by strangers FOR being a female gamer that has become adequately good‒I still returned to it, because of its potential.
Never in my gaming experience had I need to grind for loot so hard, matchmake due to mission difficulty and building effective sets to optimize gameplay either for PvP or PvE. Even with its flaws, these are the qualities that endeared me to this game...
The August 25th ‘State of the Game,’ brings major news in the heels of past weeks' 'State' show in which the Community Development Team fronted by dynamic duo: Hamish Bode and Yannick Banchereau took the "bull by the horns" and engaged the community in full-on honest discussion by addressing the core issues of the game in detail‒and their solution.
Bode and Banchereau did not shying away and provided their own in game experience; saying "the end-game experience is not enjoyable." Their brutal honesty and continual transparency is what other development studios SHOULD use as a landmark example of utilizing an established base‒the community they created‒and effectively use their feedback to improve the quality of the MMO experience. Unlike other development studios like DICE, Valve and Bungie; Massive has taken an experimental approach by involving gamer input into the evolution and future of the Division, by inviting payers to Malmö, Sweden to engage in a constructive discussion of the game.
A major step forward for any developer studio, of which I, for one am really excited about.
A few listed problems The Division is currently encountering are those associated with the end-game experience which imclude, but are not limited to:
However, what is ground breaking is that a development studio is willing to work and take suggested feedback from their community to deliver the game they intended in the first place.
Which is what they are doing with their next update, Patch 1.4 to be released in October; thus pushing the release of more content with their next DLC: Survival to sometime late 2016 and Last Stand projected for 2017.
Core issues within the game will be addressed/fixed with Patch 1.4. Highlights include buy back options from vendors, weapon skins taking much needed inventory space, craft all button, running in the Base of Operations are a few of the details that 1.4 will contain.
Massive is a shining beacon where we hope other Devs Studios take stock of their communities and not take them for granted.
Now there are More News and Updates to come on Massive's efforts to revive The Division and we will have them for you here, so stay tuned, gamers.
"Massive Entertainment: Pioneers in a New Frontier with The Division" was written by Maria Sumoza
Get Ready: FX’s THE STRAIN Returns this Sunday: The highly anticipated Season 3 premiere of Guillermo Del Toro’s adaption returns Sunday, Aug. 28th at 10 pm EST. The Season picks up right where last Season 2 left off...New York on the brink of utter and complete destruction.
The City has effectively been taken over by the ancient vampire leader known as The Master and his minions‒the strigoi. Leaving Manhattan and its surrounding chaos and destruction in a mere twenty-three days. Further spreading their malevolent influence and contagion across the country and worse yet...the world.
Our own motley crew ended Season 2 in a state of disarray, that included one fatal casualty that left viewers with a bleak outlook on what is to come.
The only light in the proverbial tunnel?
Mr. Setrakian's acquisition of the Lumen; an undertaking that was fraught with challenges and an all-out battle with the help of Fet and Quinlan thug army during last Season's finale. The Lumen's value is monumental...it holds the secrets to eviscerating the vampire race from existence.
The series will continue to explore the ramifications of a state spiraling downwards, its inability to fight a contagion on such a large scale that propagates an undead army "that doubles its size" daily. The strigoi problem is only made worse by the fact that the Federal Government has turned its back on New York. The few remaining non-infected human's left hope lies in the unlike cast of characters; who are all on a mission of their own.
What we are all excited to see is more of Quinlan―his past and the events that have shaped him to be a sentient warrior vampire with ethics, sense of morality and most importantly emotions. And what is the driving force behind his relentless and made his life's mission to destroy the master (he has alluded that The Master once took something he loved), even if it means killing the ancient ones. Can Ephraim get Zach back? Will Fet and Justine Feraldo's efforts in subduing the legion of strigoi have ANY impact in the grand scheme of things? Most importantly, how or will Eldritch Palmer have new a outlook on vampirism after his lover was murdered by Eichorst?
Will Eichorst get any more creepier? I hope so.
I anxiously look forward to seeing how these situations may develop throughout the season.
By Maria Sumoza
RUNE WORKS ON GAMING: BATMAN: A Tell Tale Series Ep 1: Realm of Shadows is Telltale Games latest entry in episodic gaming—continues to succeed in what the developers do best: story telling through immersive interactive gaming.
While Telltales’ BATMAN follows the same core mechanics that have made Telltales games wildly successful—critical decision making and a mild gaming style.
Episode One: Realm of Shadows bundles well known iconic heroes, anti-heroes and villains integral from Batman DC Comic Universe. However, it is the minor cameos of a surpassingly variety cast of characters that enriches the story with key conversation points; and ensures that the player will be sure to encounter them in future episodes.
BATMAN is scheduled to have a total of five episodes to be released monthly, with its next installment to be released in September 13th.
The first episode, finds the player donning the role of Bruce Wayne, while he continues his one-man vigilante crusade against Gotham’s criminals. Most of Realm of Shadows’ plot revolves around Carmine Falcone’s criminal dealings with a new mysteriously volatile and deadly substance that will hit the streets of Gotham and Bruce’s endorsement of Harvey Dent as mayoral candidate.
Classic lines delivered by Alfred Pennyworth, “a myth can be killed,” echo those mentioned in by Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne regarding the importance of Batman being a symbol; to insight fear, hope and most importantly morph into an icon of what Gotham needs him to be.
These instances in dialogue serve as a type of homage to earlier iterations of Batman films and comics.
Yet what is most enjoyable from Realm of Shadows is its visually gratifying in color and illustration that reminds any dedicated comic book fan of Jim Lee, Greg Capullo and Neal Adams, comic art style. Players will be thoroughly relish stepping into the role of Batman.
Telltales showcases one of Batman best known traits: the analytical detective; through the use of puzzles and exploration of crime scenes. Also going as going as far as planning your plan of attack against opponents while infiltrating crime dens.
As CEO Kevin Bruner, the game's narrative does indeed offer a "fresh interpretation of the universe set in current times, not tied to any existing iteration of Batman in games, film, or comics"—and so far it delivers.
Add masterful story telling and it’s truly a winning first entry to the Telltale games take on BATMAN.
BATMAN: A Telltales Series is now available on all next gen consoles and PC; as well as Xbox 360 and PS3.
By Maria Sumoza @mcsumoza
Lead Staff Writer (and Avid Gaming Nerd)
Bloober Team's latest's creation, Layers of Fear is a testament in subtle psychological horror artistry.
The game immerses the player in becoming the an obsessed artist, who is trying to complete his "magnum opus." Unbeknownst to the player, it is while trying to complete this masterpiece that the our artist psychologically unravels.
With each new level, information comes to light of what occurred in this beautiful turn of the century Victorian mansion. Thus the player undergoes a psychedelic journey and ever shifting perceptions while trying to "peel" the layers (or levels) necessary to uncover the truth.
Unlike many games in this genre that comprise themselves of gore, mutated monsters and gratuitous violence, Layers of Fear lacks all of that.
The artistry is in the classical music plying in the background, lulling you towards a false sense of 'safety' with the subtle sound effects as you traverse the through the mansion.
Game play consists at its core of puzzle solving, exploration (in the opulent Victorian mansion) and ever changing environs.
However, what makes Layers a game worth your time, it's reliance on first person narrative and a journey that slowly unravels and shapes your perception of what is and is not.
It makes you question your decisions: It is wise for me to open this door or the next?
Should I go into this hall or up the stairs?
These are the type of decisions that add to the mystery and anticipation of what the consequences of those actions might be.
Whatever 'steps' you take to finish your magnum opus and unveil one of three possible game endings, the result will be the same: an engaging and immersive psychological horror experience.
For gamers that do not enjoy psychology in their horror games, Layers of Fear with its subtlety and nuance is still a must-play for any gamer. If the beautiful haunted Victorian house with its art and decor doesn't catch your eye to explore then the hunting and the subtle hints in the story will force you to take note and . . . be afraid.
Now available on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.
By Maria Sumoza
Welcome to the Spoiler-full talk about one Jesse Custer tale that is raucous, philosophical, violent, bloody, hilarious, and epic, as Preacher on AMC knows no bounds just like the books.
The genius of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon is reborn!
We do not get to wait three days for the age-old mythological rise from the dead, because that would be too much fun (and too hard to do for TV).
Instead, we have to wait seven long days to the old time religious Pagan Sunday for our Sabbath of a pastime in Jesse Custer, his newfound Irish gone nuts with immortality and good old fashioned American substance abuse slash 125-year-old vampire Cassidy, and the beauteous femme fatale Tulip.
Those familiar with the books or the behind the scenes with show creator Seth Rogan know just how hard it is to describe Preacher.
The epic yarn pushes every known, and numerous unknown, boundaries waaay past their limits, as many great genres of fight scenes cross into comedic scenes and then all sense of American religion (particularly the Christian majority that rule the southern United States with a tarnished iron fist) and its piety is examined with deep philosophy and turned utterly on its head.
There is gratuitous violence and justified violence.
There is a fantastic romance (not yet explored on the show) as the two former lovers Tulip and Jesse, a Mickey and Mallory of sorts resist the urge to rekindle their love on the show (for now).
And there is sex. Lots of sex. Sex in so many places, in so many ways. Pleasant sex. Steamy sex. Outright unwanted sex. The show has yet to touch on the sexiness, but it will!
So what can you say about a story like this?
Well for starters the pages are being paid tribute to with great writing and acting, albeit in a longer introductory season than in the books.
This is not a bad thing.
The actors Dominic Cooper (Custer), Ruth Negga (Tulip), and Anatol Yusef (Cassidy) were made for each other.
They have fully embodied the impossibly complex characters and their equally complex relationships with one another and I cannot wait to see those evolve on the screen as the melee of riotous events and all hell – or all god – breaking loose, literally and metaphorically depending on your point of view.
In the pilot the zealous organized religious leaders, full of pride in themselves and their warped messages become possessed by the Word of God – a ghost-like door-shaking spirit shown on the show.
As an added touch, Mr. Scientology himself, Tom Cruise explodes shortly after a Christian priest in Africa and a Russian Satanic priest burst into body parts and blood all over their followers.
The Word of God found them . . . unworthy.
Along with Seth Rogan is Evan Goldberg and Breaking Bad writer Sam Catlin as the show’s co-creators, and they are breaking new ground on the TV screen here, folks.
The satirical view of America in its past, present, and presumed future make for quite a tale in Preacher.
HBO passed up on this show, because it was too controversial.
AMC has given free reign to the creators to make a real version of one of the most unique and mind-blowing comic book series of all time.
Of AMCs involvement and their allowance to do so many heinous and blasphemous things on screen, Catlin said:
“I’m more than surprised, I’m shocked. There’s been incredibly little interference from them. We were all apprehensive from the beginning, if they were going to make it. We discovered that they really wanted to do Garth’s comic book with all the blasphemy, the audacity, the violence, the perversity and just the craziness of it… they’ve been great.” [deadline.com]
Thank you, AMC. This is a rewarding experience.
My last call of joy, after seeing three episodes is just how great an actress Ruth Negga is. She steals scenes and is sexy, smart, and perfect with Jesse Custer. In the books Tulip is a blonde, but that is a distant memory in my mind now.
But hell, Cooper and Yusef are also perfect in their roles; somehow their voices sound exactly as they did in my head while reading the books.
And I mean, damn, they blew up Tom Cruise in the pilot. What more is there to say? Go watch this!
Because of rampant scalping, you now need a profile registered to be able to buy NY Comic Con Tickets, so fill this profile out between 5/20-6/1, folks.
The only Fans who do not need to be Fan Verified are kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or a Sunday Kids Ticket. Kids Tickets will be available for purchase during the Ticket on-sale time. Kids 5 and under will be admitted for free to NYCC and no Ticket is required. Please read the full process about the NYCC Tickets for Kids.
Here it is again, spelled out for the adults: you have to scroll down their page about the policy and click on the box that you read the policy before you can actually register for a profile (see pic) here.
From the folks over at the Con:
Each year when we take over the Javits Center in October, we have one priority in mind: you, the NYCC Fans. We don’t run NYCC year after year because we love hanging out by the Hudson or we need to reach our step goal in October, we do this because we want to provide the experience of a lifetime to everyone who attends NYCC each year.
With that in mind, we want the New York Comic Con 2016 Ticket buying experience to be as smooth and fair as possible, so this year we are requiring Fan Verification. What does Fan Verification mean?
It means we are requiring anyone interested in attending NYCC to fill out a profile between Friday, May 20 and Monday, June 13. We recognize that this is an extra step before buying your Tickets and requires more commitment from you, but we also know that as true Fans of the Show, you won’t mind making it tough for the supervillains out there.
Here’s a quick look at nine important points for this new process:
1.Fan Verification is required for NYCC 2016. Everyone who would like to attend NYCC (whether you are buying Tickets yourself or someone is buying them for you) must fill out a Fan Verification profile.
2.Kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or Sunday Kids Ticket do not need a Fan Verification profile for their NYCC 2016 Ticket.
3.Fan Verification will be open from Friday, May 20 at 12:00 PM EDT to Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM EDT. Fill out your Fan Verification profile correctly and completely - there’s no need to rush through it.
4.All NYCC 2016 Ticket Types will go on sale at the same time on a first-come, first-served basis. Fan Verification does not guarantee NYCC Tickets.
5.We will no longer be selling VIP Tickets for NYCC.
6.NYCC 2016 Tickets will only be sold online. NYCC Tickets will not be on sale at retailers or any events leading up to NYCC 2016.
7.All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
8.The email you receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where you will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
9.If you are purchasing Tickets for you and your friends or family, you must assign each individual Ticket to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If you are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, you will add their name and age to the Ticket.
These changes are being done with you in mind and the hope that more of you will get the opportunity to experience NYCC. Please visit NewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification for complete details on the NYCC Ticketing process along with other important NYCC Show news.
Thank you for your commitment and passion for the Show and willingness to take these extra steps to help us get more Tickets into your hands. We're looking forward to giving you even more amazing content to experience with us and can't wait to reveal more of what we've been working on for you.
NYCC 2016 is going to be our best Show yet and it's all going to start with Fan Verification improving the Ticket buying process for you.
There is a tremendous amount of substance, controversy, and contention taking place that requires film and comic book fans alike to read into the darkness of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The new DC universe, the new DC film universe I should say, is officially alive.
If nothing else, love it or hate it, you have to admit that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made a powerful statement to that effect.
It is alive.
First things first, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a Batman film.
I do not care what the title says, this film starts and ends with Batman.
Leaning heavily on the Frank Miller Dark Knight comic books, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Bruce Wayne are middle-aged, worn from two decades of battling Gotham’s goons and incredibly realistic for how the mentally disturbed dark knight still has nightmares over his parents’ killing, even though he has been serving the city in their name, pummeling criminals, for decades.
The man is tormented.
And he is a man. A rich man with martial arts skills and an engineer’s brain, but still a man.
There are even jokes between he and Alfred that play out well to harp on the aging effects.
At one point, while battling a bunch of thugs at once, Batman’s cape is grabbed tripping him up, which is a fantastic use of how a real world man would get hurt.
He is not Superman, who would not flinch if someone tugged on his cape.
Opening the movie is Bruce Wayne’s nightmare and more follow through the film that may allude to a possible alternate DC universe and storyline, akin to the Injustice: Gods Among Us storyline.
But that could be seeds for a Justice League 2 or 3 movie, not for the next film coming.
The dream sequences are a bit jarring and the first third of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a bit clunky, in large part because of them.
But without the dreams, we do not get the brilliant portrayal of the tortured, smart, weathered, and paranoid Batman that carry throughout the flick.
Batman is a dark character and the movie, his movie, follows the blackest of these themes.
The Batman brand of justice is even made into a literal bat branding that he employs on the scum, the sex traffickers, which becomes a death sentence in prison.
And as an aside, folks, we also have the triumphant return of the Batwing!
There are those that despised the world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice out of the gate, with Man of Steel, and those that have taken to the second installment in the DC ‘verse with equal rancor.
Some find Man of Steel to be the greatest Superman film to date, even over the Richard Donner cut of Superman II; but the point remains, the darker, more realistic take on Superman in a contemporary world set a precedent that is followed very closely by DC in their penultimate setup for assembling the Justice League.
In a world ripe with terrorists and inspired madmen and super villains, Superman does what he feels is right, but that cause an awful lot of controversy, as his interests are not necessarily the US’s interests, or any countries’ for that matter.
It is how our real world might look.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is dark and gritty and takes the modern world, which inches closer to a dystopia every day, to a grim place where a Superman can resemble a god and also strike fear for his sheer unlimited power, and a man dressed as a bat can haunt criminals in the city of Gotham, where villains are assembling their own powers (see Gotham: Rise of the Villains if you need further proof on film; it is a great show).
Batman is concerned over the sheer power of an alien and this is turned against him when Lex Luthor uses him to trap Superman.
Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are tremendous in their roles, but two actors stole the show in this film.
The first is the controversial casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor.
The snippets of his speeches in the trailers leading up to the movie make him out to be the most annoying of villains we could ever have hoped to endure for two and a half hours.
Well guess what, trailers often portray the best parts, making bad films look great, or in this case they took terrible spots, out of context, and did a bad job of portraying what was really exceptional acting of a great character.
Eisenberg was the best portrayal of Luthor on-screen.
He stole the show with his perfect combination of the comic book villain’s rise as a young, rich CEO, megalomaniac lusting for power and then completely unhinged by the rising of Superman, who is everything he wants to be but cannot be.
He abhors his humanity and wants to destroy anything he deems greater than himself.
He is funny, at times, but more unnerving and creepy and maniacal. His intelligence and madness feed off of each other and his serial killer coldness comes off in spades. He even goes so far as to scheme a suicide bombing of the US Capital Building.
He is evil and multi-dimensional, like in the comic books.
Too often Luthor was poorly portrayed by cardboard one-dimensional efforts showing a businessman, or a funnyman, sociopath with aspirations of world domination; Superman is merely there to thwart him . . . and this is boring.
What Eisenberg and director Zack Snyder do with the character is make Superman not just the cause of Batman’s unhinging but Lex’s as well.
The next actor to steal the show was Gal Gidot as Wonder Woman!
She kicks ass on so many levels, literally and metaphorically.
Throughout the film she is there trying to crack Luthor’s hold on her; she merely wants to blend in with humanity and ignore its troubles as she had done for a hundred years.
But once Doomsday arrives, she is compelled to break onto the scene and help save Batman and Superman’s lives.
Wonder Woman is nearly as powerful as Superman himself and has her traditional sword, shield and Lasso of Truth, which all prove pivotal in the final epic battle.
Her character sees a lot of screen time trying to blend in and hide, but her true nature comes from a temper that boils over and she jumps in to help the world that is in peril, and the boys poorly matched up against a foe that is far beyond even Batman and Superman alone to stop.
It was an amazing performance by Gidot.
In the end though, as is fitting, it is Superman’s sacrifice that takes down Doomsday.
And in a shocking surprise, the DC ‘verse played out Superman’s death.
Batman will have to take the lead on assembling the Justice League and protecting super heroes all over the globe, as another death adds another burden on his aging shoulders.
New threats will rise after all, as Luthor from prison reports to Batman with glee.
The Doomsday battle is grandiose, and I can forgive DC for having it end at night in Gotham, instead of in Metropolis during day.
That is a grimmer portrayal and befits a dark film.
They did, however, portray the infamous two-page spread of Jurgens and Breeding’s book, Superman 75, where Lois has the fallen hero in her arms, as tears rain down.
The funeral, and Lois getting her engagement ring posthumously, actually brought a tear to my eye.
Now the world must go on, for a time at least, without a Superman, and all hell will break loose.
I for one, hope the next Superman film features “The Rise of the Supermen” from the dozens of comic books following the Death of Superman, with four major Superman players (none of them Kent) and ultimately leads to Clark Kent’s rising from the dead; it is what hooked me into serialized stories in comics as a kid.
Justice League will have to make do without, as they often have in the books, and it will make for interesting world building in this new living DC ‘verse.
And again, Batman is the leader here, by default.
The next solo film for Batman may see the great writing of Affleck, but I hope it incorporates more of Frank Miller’s works.
Miller has already stated publicly he would like to see the female 13-year old Robin, Carrie Kelley, from The Dark Knight Returns on the screen, and wouldn't that be awesome?
In the bat cave, Robin’s suit is there, tagged up by the Joker, who has presumably already killed the male Robin (Jason Todd?) and possibly burned down Wayne Manor; will we see this played out from the “Death in the Family” comic book storyline in the movies?
Overall, DC accomplished a lot with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice even though it is a bit jarring and certainly very dark throughout.
DC has certainly distanced themselves from Marvel with a much more gritty and stained universe.
The writing of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is top notch and the lines are memorable.
But because of the sheer volume of character building and world building going on, this movie does not play out as the smooth A of say Man of Steel, or even the A+ of the first Avengers film.
It is certainly every bit as good, if not better than Avengers: Age of Ultron, for similar reasons of editing and clunkiness.
This movie is no Casablanca, but it is a damn good comic book movie. If you like classics, such as Tim Burton’s Batman and many of the other excellent comic book films, like Superman II: the Richard Donner Cut, then this is worth seeing, and it is worth re-watching.
Rune Works REVIEW Grade: B+
“Read Into the Darkness of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was written by R.J. Huneke.
Amidst the serene sound of waves crashing on Long Island’s shore, there comes the growl of distortion, ringing guitars, and a fantastic all around alternative /slash/ rock and roll album from Right As Rain titled The Canyons Between Us.
From the album’s opening sustain of guitar on “Hell’s Kitchen’s Finest” these tracks hook you!
Now forget the waves and the well-established Long Island art and music scene, or even Manhattan’s dark corners, Right As Rain could just have easily emerged from Seattle’s backyard, where the Grunge revolution helped straight-up rock and roll become resurgent.
The once stagnant rock music scene expanded a thousand fold, as an alternative twist revived a dying hair band music culture.
And this return to rock and roll opened doors to new innovative types of blues-based electrified tunes that continue to tread new paths to this day with Right As Rain’s The Canyons Between Us.
It is no surprise that the band’s influences from Weezer to Bright Eyes to Bayside are evident in their music, but what is surprising is the unique tones, subtle and adept lyrics, and all around creative talent that forms a polished and fully formed album that travels from gritty rock to harmonizing Beatles-esque singing to impactful bass drums.
And speaking of Weezer, here is a great take on Weezer’s “Waiting On You” from Right As Rain’s acoustic EP.
At the heart of the band are songwriters Dave Gross, playing guitars and vocals, and Brian McDonough, on guitars and hijinx, and they are accompanied by Dennis, on drums and vocals, and Matt, on bass and guitars.
The songs are thirteen and unrelenting in their range and creativity, as well as soulful singing and at times screaming.
An absolute gem of a song is placed last on this album, titled “Woodward Parkway”, which delves deeply into Irish folk ballads with its rhythmic structure, but has a modern edge that falls in between Flogging Molly (minus the harsh, metal infusion) and Woody Guthrie (but is much more bluesy and electric).
Simply put: I loved this album.
Right As Rain rocks on!
Rune Works News & Reviews GRADE: A+
“Right As Rain’s The Canyons Between Us ROCKS ON” was written by R.J. Huneke
Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece novel American Gods is coming to the screen via a TV series on Starz, and as the author works tirelessly with show creators on its rebirth, the main character of Shadow Moon has been cast, and Ricky Whittle will tackle the lead role.
Shadow is an enigmatic and beloved character of the contemporary fantasy.
The character is a very tall and large man, of probable Native American heritage, and I say ‘probable’ because the entire book is about gods that have immigrated to America in search of new followings to thrive, or just to survive, in the modern world, and Shadow almost certainly has other blood running through his veins.
What makes Shadow so unique is his quiet nature.
The man is dealt a very bad hand in his life and his good nature and slow and quiet demeanor do not put a damper on his intelligence or his heavy sadness.
All of Shadow’s characteristics will make it difficult, to say the least, to portray on the screen.
At a reading from the 10th Anniversary American Gods: Author’s Preferred Text Edition Tour of the bestseller at the 92Y in Manhattan, Mr. Gaiman spoke of a friend that he had observed and had helped inspire such a profound character as Shadow.
On the casting Neil Gaiman said, “I'm thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I'm delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.”
Mr. Gaiman has been integral in crafting the series with Starz, which is wise on the TV network’s part, to ensure the fluidity and the impactful nature of such an innovative work as American Gods comes sweeping across the page and onto the screen just as dramatically as the story does in the book.
Hopes are high, but with Mr. Gaiman steering the helm the prospects are very good, and this is exciting!
To read more about the American Gods novel, see my look at the Author’s Preferred Text edition on SciFiNow here: “Book Club reader review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman”
“Ricky Whittle Cast as Shadow for American Gods on Starz!” was written by R.J. Huneke; find the entire Starz press release below.
RICKY WHITTLE CAST AS SHADOW MOON IN STARZ AND FREMANTLEMEDIA’S “AMERICAN GODS”
The Up-and-Coming Actor Will Play Shadow Moon in the Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Blockbuster Fantasy Novel
Beverly Hills, Calif. (January 28, 2016) – Starz and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) announced today that Ricky Whittle (“The 100,” “Austenland”) has been cast as Shadow Moon in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods. The series will begin shooting in April.
Neil Gaiman said, “I'm thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I'm delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.”
Commented Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, “We searched every continent and country and all the islands in between for our Shadow Moon, and we are lucky to have found Ricky. Fans of the novel will find he has every bit of the heart of the character they fell in love with.”
A native of Oldham, Greater Manchester England, Whittle’s credits include “The 100,” “Austenland,” “Hollyoaks,” “Mistresses,” “NCIS” and “Holby City.” Whittle is the son of former Royal Air Force serviceman Harry Whittle and grew up travelling around the world. A keen sportsman, Whittle represented England and the United Kingdom at youth level in football and rugby.
American Gods been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
“American Gods” is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) and Michael Green (“The River,” “Kings,” “Heroes”) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (“Hannibal,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman. Senior Vice President of Original Programming Ken Segna is the Starz executive in charge of “American Gods.” Starz retains all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia is distributing the series worldwide.
Ricky Whittle is represented by TalentWorks, Creative Artists Management in the UK, and Untitled Entertainment.
Fans can tweet @AmericanGodsSTZ, @STARZ_Channel and @FMNATV and join the conversation with #AmericanGods.
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