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No GravatarThe week of October 27th has been slam packed with all kinds of Marvel Cinematic Universe announcements. Perhaps as a way to combat the recent popularity of DC tv and movie popularity, Marvel Studios has just revealed upcoming plans for Phase Three of the MCU with movies planned up until 2019.

At Disney’s El Capitan theater in Los Angeles, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, announced plans for Captain Marvel and Black Panther to get their own movies, along with other sequels and new franchises.

marvel-event-phase-3-kevin-feige

The Schedule

Captain America: Civil War (May 6th, 2016);
Dr. Strange (Nov. 4th, 2016);
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5th, 2017);
Thor: Ragnarok (July 18th, 2017);
Black Panther (November 3, 2017);
Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 (May 4th, 2018);
Captain Marvel (July 6th, 2018);
Inhumans (November 2nd, 2018);
Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2 (May 3rd, 2019)

Black Panther will star Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 as well as James Brown in Get On Up. In case you’re not familiar with who Black Panther is, he’s the ruler of a fictional African nation called Wakanda. Vibranium, the metal used in Captain America’s shield, is mined there which has caused the country to be rich and highly technologically advanced. Chadwick Boseman is slated to appear as Black Panther in a total of five upcoming Marvel films, beginning with Captain America: Civil War.

Captain Marvel was also announced to get her own movie, as it was confirmed that this would be the Carol Danvers version of the superhero. She will be Marvel’s first female character to get her own film. This might be disappointing to fans of Black Widow, who were expecting her to have the first female Marvel Universe film, but Feige reassured us that Natasha Romanov would be heavily featured in the rest of the Avengers movies. So far there is no actress confirmed to play Captain Marvel.

Also announced this week is the actor portraying Doctor Strange. Rumors began with actors such as Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, and Joaquin Phoenix. However it’s been confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Hobbit) will be portraying the surgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme.

Making an event out of announcing Phase Three, Marvel Studios has decided to “go big or go home,” combating DC’s announcement of a Wonder Woman movie and success of Gotham and Constantine. Your move, DC.

 

By Amy McGarey On 18 Jul, 2014 At 01:16 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarsam-wilson-captain-america

As if Marvel hasn’t made waves in mainstream news already with the announcement of a female Thor, they have continued to make news with the new Avengers lineup coming this fall.

A new Avengers title, Avengers NOW!, brings us a reformed Avengers team. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor will be given new number ones. Avengers NOW! will also put a heavy focus on Deathlok and the Winter Soldier. Iron Man will be getting a new suit and moving to San Francisco in Superior Iron Man #1.

The Falcon (Sam Wilson) will be taking over the title of Captain America, replacing Steve Rogers who has recently had all the Super Soldier Serum removed from his body. All-New Captain America will be written by Rick Remender with art by Stuart Immonen.

More details and announcements on the new Avengers will be made at San Diego Comic Con at the end of the month. What do you hope will be announced? Let us know in the comments below.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 11 Aug, 2012 At 12:09 AM | Categorized As Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments
chara box

No GravatarGFF is under way, and I’m really excited because I’m introducing a figure I’ve been looking forward to a really long time.

Princess Shirahoshi Excellent Model Portrait.of.Pirates Figure

This Princess Shirahoshi figure does justice to the  beautiful mermaid. The thing I love the most about the figure is all the attention paid to detail. Each scale stands out by itself and gives the long multicolored tail some realism. The balance between vivid color and transparent looking parts mix perfectly. It’s a definite must have for any One Piece fan.

mermaidmermaid close up

To remain true to the manga, Luffy should be smaller, but since I believe it’s mostly an artistic choice than a mistake it can easily be forgiven. My only real complain in the crack that can be seen behind her, right where the flowers and the coral reside on the rock, it’s distracting.

Maker: Mega House  Average online price: $119.33

Anime Chara Heroes One Piece D.P.C.F. Volume 1

This is the first out of what promises to be a new line of those lovable random assortment figurines. They stand 57 mm tall and have the heroes in cowboy getup and an assortment of villains in their normal costumes. There are 16 figures to collect, with a mystery figure known to be out there.

All figurineschara box

Maker: Plex  Average online price: $5.20

Avengers Head Knockers

More commonly referred to as bobble heads, but these are not your dad’s regular bobble heads (unless your dad is really cool). These are Avenger bobble heads worthy of displaying with dignity.

hulkiron mancaptain americathor

These figures stand alone without the need of a pole, and their base is the Avenger’s symbol. Sadly no Black Widow but there are all the most important heroes whose movies you’ve seen before.

Maker: NECA  Average online price: $17.95

By Charles On 4 May, 2012 At 07:26 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Movie News, News, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt’s 3:10 AM, and while all my better sense is telling me to get to sleep, I can’t. Because I must take this moment to record the myriad thoughts flowing through my head. See, I just went to see Avengers. Somewhat spur of the moment, and unexpectedly in 3D. And while I can keep my hold on this rare case of post-midnight lucidity, I must mention a few things- lessons mostly- from watching this movie.

This is not a review. There really is no need for a formal review, because let’s be honest, you already know if you’re going to see this movie. My words will not sway you in any way from that path. Take this, then, as a few things to look out for, or just as the ramblings of an exhausted 30-something lifelong geek late at night.

First, an analogy: Avengers :: Marvel as The Dark Knight :: DC. This pretty much sums up the movie in as few words as possible. Everything we have come to expect from a Marvel movie in the past decade is on display here, at it’s utter best. Don’t try to over-think it, just enjoy it. Dark Knight Rises will be out in a few months for your cerebral pleasure.

Second: The 3D doesn’t suck, but it’s also not necessary. Seriously, just save the money from a 3D surcharge and go see it twice. You will want to.

Third: Forget Iron Man 2 ever happened.

Fourth: You will laugh, cry, cheer and come way from the experience feeling blown away. Last Marvel movie I saw that did that for me was First Class, but I’m a self-admitted X-Men junkie. Hell, I don’t even like or read Avengers comics, and I still had a blast here.

Fifth: Mark Ruffalo is the best Hulk, and is easily the best performance in the film. Downey and Hiddleston come in a very close second, but we’ve seen them both doing this in their own films. Ruffalo came from out of nowhere.

Sixth: Two post-credit scenes. One will mess up your pants. I will not say which.

I guess that’s all I have to say then. Enjoy the movie this weekend!

By Charles On 14 Dec, 2011 At 12:55 AM | Categorized As Animation, Editorials, Movie News, Reviews, Television | With 0 Comments

No GravatarOh look, it’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas time (though it’s that also), but the time to reflect and recount on the previous year’s ups and downs. And this year there were plenty of both. From freak snowstorms and wayward hurricanes to genre-defining anime and a plethora of new games on which to whet one’s appetite, 2011 was nothing if not eventful, no matter what you might have been looking for. So let’s take a look at some of the year’s highlights and things best-left-avoided.

The Good:

Marvel Superhero Movies: 2011 was a good year for action-driven superheroes. Especially those in the Marvel stable. I will admit that I had very low expectations for Captain America, and prayed they wouldn’t screw up Thor. And thankfully, I was wrong on both accounts. 2011 had plenty of Iron Mans, with no Iron Man 2s to sully the field. Thor was amazing, with an excellent cast, striking visual effects and a compelling plot. (In a Marvel film, that’s a real achievement honestly.) X-Men First Class threw out everything we knew about the franchise and managed to reboot from the god-awful “Last Stand.” But the true highlight of the year was “Captain America.” Hokey outfit aside (which they dealt with rather well, actually), the film got us ready for 2012’s “Avengers,” and took viewers on a trip back through World War II, without sacrificing its entertainment potential. Less a set-up film, more an in-depth origin story, and a wonderful addition to the Marvel filmography.

Mid-Atlantic Anime Cons: I have been known to sing the praises of Anime Boston, and a lot of the New England conventions, for their diverse programming and attendees. This year, the mid-Atlantic entered that fray in force. From February’s Katsucon hitting stride in National Harbor (it’s still the best “weekend con” I’ve ever been to), to Anime Mid Atlantic’s family-friendly summer party, to Nekocon’s progress in quality programming, and Anime USA’s last hurrah in Crystal City, 2011 gave the mid-Atlantic some truly memorable experiences, enough that it would be hard to choose which convention to attend. But fortunately, given that they are held in a relatively small area, staggered throughout the year, one doesn’t have to. If you’re looking for something new, away from the hustle of Otakon, or want to find a friendly, intimate convention experience, give the mid-Atlantic a try. You will not be disappointed.

Usagi Drop: Given the predominance of action-heavy, moe-dominated anime series floating around, sometimes a nice, grounded, realistic series is a welcome breath of fresh air. The Summer 2011 entry “Usagi Drop,” based on the popular manga of the same name, is one such series. No flashy, supernatural heroes. No mecha. No lolicons or schoolgirls. Just a simple, refreshing series about a man and his “daughter,” a girl born to his late father, and their journey through an often chaotic life. Maturity, family values, adaptability, responsibility and good old-fashioned comfort are the rules of this day. And it’s worth every minute.

Two Decades of Vampires: 2011 marked the 20th Anniversary of Mark Rein-Hagen’s landmark RPG “Vampire: The Masquerade.” While the setting was rebooted a few years back, many fans of the original game still held strong ties to the political machinations of the warring vampire clans, and the general melding of gothic, cyberpunk and urban horror that first graced the game world in the early 90s, when fantasy dungeon-diving was still the de facto experience for gamers. Vampire brought an entire new culture into roleplaying, switching the emphasis from dice rolls to personal interaction. Rather than a collection of statistics and combat equations, Vampire stressed crafting a finely tunes, well rounded CHARACTER, who had to survive in a modern world where EVERYTHING wanted to kill them. Fights with orcs transformed into power struggles with opposing clans, and the monsters lurking in the dark were still capable of falling prey to other monsters lurking even further into the darkness. White Wold Game Studio commemorated this event with the release of the “Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition,” a massive, 500+ page tome collecting every clan, bloodline, supernatural power, morality path, character merit/flaw for the first time in one place, and gave fans a limited window to snag a copy. But if you have $100 lying around (likely more now that the print run has ended), and you’ve yet to experience this level of in-depth roleplaying, go out and find a copy. It will be well worth your time.

Criterion Collection Releases “Kuroneko,” Acquires Rights to “Gojira:” Unless you are a fan of Japanese art-house cinema, the former film might be completely unknown to you. (And if you are a fan, you probably already own it in some form.) But in October 2011, the Criterion Collection, already known for giving fans of early J-horror their fix, finally released a remastered edition of the horror classic “Kuroneko,” a story of betrayal, revenge, honor, and ghost cats. And for those who had never managed to track down a copy from its VHS release (including yours truly), this was a fantastic release. The other great “ghost cat” film (the first being the irreverent Hausu), Kuroneko is a character study in folklore and the samurai, bringing to light the dark side of both, and well worth the price, given that the last time this film saw a stateside release, it was the 80s, and art-house Japan was still truly an underground phenomenon.

The latter film, however, should be very familiar to US audiences. After years of re-releases by original producer Toho, now Criterion has the chance to once more introduce us to the ravages of nuclear war, overconsumption, and giant, radiation breathing dinosaurs. While Criterion Godzilla won’t be around until February or March, fans will no doubt be eagerly anticipating what kind of treatment will be bestowed upon this kaiju classic.

Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Super Sentai series aren’t exactly known for their riveting plots and developed characters. What they often are is over the top excursions into action and adventure, with “giant robots” and spandex suits. But in honor of the 35th anniversary of the ongoing sentai serials in Japan, viewers were treated to an even more gratuitous exploitation of young adults, space aliens, rubber suits, and men in oversized robot outfits. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger managed to do what no other sentai had ever even tried- it brought together every single sentai series into a single entity. And it did it with PIRATES. (Sorry Ninjas, but you lose…with authority.)

Forget Power Rangers, forget zords, funky weapons and stock footage- Gokaiger is at the same time a celebration of previous sentai entertainment, and a new beginning. Every rule broken, every battle a crazy mess, every feasible type of hero present and accounted for- this is what sentai was meant to be, and finally is. Given our 2 year lag behind Japan in this area, we won’t see Mighty Morphin Pirate Rangers until 2013, but in the meantime, check it out online. And prepare to be blown away.

Up Next: Remake Extravaganza, Fantasy Fever, and Mindf**king

No GravatarCaptain America: Super Soldier

Platforms: NDS, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3

Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Edited by: Paco /@apeachmoon

 

As gamers, we all know what is usually thought about movie tie-in games, that they are poor games, often with very little to commend. “Summer blockbuster X has a game releasing that ties in with the movie experience.” This is usually followed by chokes and gags as memories of almost every other crappy movie tie in, read: cash in, with their rushed-to-market gameplay and clunky graphics, speeds to the front of our minds. But, I did say almost. There have been a few exceptions. One such exception is Sega published and Next Level Games developed Captain America: Super Soldier.

Captain America and the guys witnessing Hydra technology.

Captain America: Super Soldier starts where you’d expect it to start, with action. It’s 1940, World War II and an opening cinematic shows two American soldiers chewing the fat before they are attacked by a mechanically enhanced Hydra baddie. One soldier is killed while the other, clearly outmatched, runs. Cap enters heroically, just in time to save the fleeing soldier. Cinematic ends, time to play as Captain America. A quick tutorial helps establish the basic controls. Taking its cue from some of the other successful superhero games, Captain America: Super Soldier focuses on a free flowing one button combat and defense moves. Simply press X to strike, Y to grab, B to counter and A to evade attackers. The counters, evades and attacks are seamless but don’t expect an aggressive combat style some other games in this genre, though this doesn’t mean Cap doesn’t bring it. Captain America’s combat style is fun and addictive, sticking to a simple set of effective moves that doesn’t over power the wholesome image that Cap embodies.

Captain America: Super Soldier is fluid throughout. The controls take very little time to get the hang of, allowing the player easy introduction and enjoyment throughout. The game feels solid. Cap isn’t a clunky licensed character and he wasn’t placed in inferior graphics and sluggish gameplay. It feels like Next Level set the bar as high as their budget and talent could take them. The result is a fine product and a very enjoyable romp through Captain America’s universe. The only frustration in the game I found was that at times it felt a little claustrophobic, I wanted to do a bit more than move through tunnels, climb walls and run through corridors of the compound. There were memorable locales but I would have liked a little bit more to explore, more variety. Also no Red Skull battle and what happened to Madam Hydra? I thought she was a great addition and a fun character to fight but then she flees. I kind of hoped she’d return. Either she couldn’t handle the fight or she will return in (and I’m hoping for the this) the sequel. Regardless of my nitpicking, the game looks great and is far superior to the vast majority of licensed, movie tie-in games that get shoveled out of studios and into the hands of consumers.

Cap is about to dish out some justice.

Other treats for me, was the sound design and score. Both lent themselves well to Next Level Games respect to the franchise and (it seems) their hope to create a surprising, fun and entertaining licensed game. The narrative was simple but enjoyable and the voice acting was definitely better than your average game. For those who enjoy challenges, Captain America: Super Soldier offers fighting challenges which are fun and addictive. Want to practice clobbering bad guys with a shield, there’s a challenge for that. The sound of the shield, clobbering baddies is quite satisfying.

For me, Captain America: Super Soldier is worthy addition to a gamer’s collection. It plays surprisingly well for a licensed title, is fun and with it’s AAA- like production values, Captain America: Super Soldier is easy on the eyes, baring it’s own unique look and feel that should satisfy long time Cap fans (that would be me) and gamers looking for a fun and easy title to play. It is worth the rent or purchase. I sincerely hope Next Level Games gets another shot at making a second Captain America game. I had great fun stepping into the role of Cap even after my second play-through.

Here are more Screenshots of this amazing game!

[nggallery id=17]

 

By otakuman5000 On 28 Jul, 2011 At 02:32 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Movie News, Reviews | With 2 Comments

No GravatarRed, White, and Blue or Red, White, and Blew?

Captain America is a pitch perfect movie that ties together the entire Marvel Cinema Universe, establishes Cap’s place in it, and provides a launch pad for next year’s Avengers.

I was initially a bit hesitant when I heard that Joe Johnston had been chosen to helm the production of Cap, as he did not seem like a particularly inspired choice.  John Favreau was a perfect fit for the tone of Iron Man and all the witty banter that made the characters work so well, and Kennethn Branagh really brought the family dynamic of the Thor characters to the forefront.  Looking at Joe Johnston’s previous work (Jurassic Park 3, Hidalgo, Jumanji) I knew that he would make a good film, but I wasn’t sure Cap could match the heights of Iron Man or even Thor.  Then I remembered that he also directed one of my favorite childhood super hero movies, The Rocketeer.   I’m relieved to report that Johnston creates another fun ride that hits all the right notes and delivers an amazingly fun summer blockbuster.

The movie is shot with wide angles and very few quick cuts.  Though not as kinetic as many current film styles, it’s a classic approach that perfectly frames Cap’s WWII era America.  The sets look authentic and all of the period attire helps create a believable world that is easy to get drawn in to.  The cast also does a wonderful job helping the comic characters jump from page to screen.  Chris Evans combines just the right amount of charm, bravery, and modesty to create the definitive Steve Rogers/Captain America.  His character arc is all the more believable, thanks to the movie’s first act utilizing some incredible digital effects to create the small and frail pre-super soldier Steve Rogers.  Haley Atwell (who plays Peggy Carter) also sparks some genuine chemistry with Chris Evans making their love story seem organic and unforced.  Everyone from Sebastian Stan (Buckey Barnes) and Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) to Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Phillips) play their characters perfectly and provide a  solid supporting cast for Johnston and Evans to play with.  However, no one relishes their screen time like Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.  He seems to be having a blast chewing out lines in what I can only describe as a diabolically evil Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.  Hugo Weaving in the full-on Red Skull make-up sneering, insulting his troops, and taunting Cap is worth the price of admission alone.

Hector Hammond vs Cap?

The movie has a few scenes where the effects can’t quite keep up with everyone’s imagination, but for the most part it works.  One place where they really nailed it was in the costume design.  Cap’s costume looks fine on paper (especially when he’s battling a giant head in a floating chair) but would look cheesy if translated directly to film.  Cap has several costumes in the movie, all of which pay homage to the source material but make natural and necessary changes to make sense in the film world.  And then there’s his iconic shield.   Comic book ink made solid and real through effects alchemy, the shield looks great and is worthy of a fanboy’s eyes (and ears).  I loved the sound effects attached to the shield (I could imagine SWOOSH’s and K-TANG’s in bright letters accompanying the shield throws a la TV’s Batman).

So how does it rank with the rest of Marvel’s Cinema Universe?  I can’t say that it tops Iron Man, but it stands toe-to-toe in vying for leadership of the Avengers.  I highly recommend seeing it to complete the set-up arc to the Avengers, as there are a ton of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout every other frame of Cap.  There are nods to Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor.  Knowledge of the Marvel Movie Universe is not a prerequisite, however.  The film works just as well as a stand-alone underdog story and epic action film.  I was entertained and the movie reminded me of some of the best action adventure films from my childhood.  The cast, costumes, and sets hit all the right marks.  Joe Johnston, Chris Evans and co.  deliver a fun-filled summer blockbuster and superhero film worthy of hero worship.

Recommendati0n:  It’s 0n.  Go see it now or the terrorists win.

The More You Know:  The Avengers movies have grossed almost a billion dollars domestically and close to 2 Billion worldwide.  (This only reflects totals from Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor)

–  Stay after the credits for a secret scene that leads into an Avengers trailer!!!

-In Russia, Korea, and Ukraine the movie is simply called The First Avenger.

-Director Joe Johnston worked on the visual effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark and the original Star Wars trilogy.  He helped design Yoda and Boba Fett.

"America Still Needs Your Help!!!"