Over the last few years, Zane “Epengu” Bhansali has slowly become one of the best live interviewers in the competitive Smash scene. After honing his skills creating content with HTC eSports and as a commentator, he’s traveled to a number of major tournaments this year in order to record his conversations with top players and community leaders.
Last weekend, Epengu went to Boston’s homegrown major, Shine 2018, in order to ply his trade, taking advantage of the popularity of the final event of August’s “Summer of Smash” to interview Smash community members from across the country. Frankly, every single interview is worth a watch. Check out Epengu’s conversation with Shine’s Melee champion, Zain “Zain” Naghmi, here:
Though Epengu's first name might occasionally cause Smash fans to confuse him for Maryland/Virginia's top-ranked Marth main, he more than deserves his own reputation—his earnest and genuine love for the game shines through in everything he creates. So far, he’s uploaded interviews with Shine Melee Top 8 finishers Zain and Jason “Gahtzu” Diehl; stay tuned to his YouTube channel as he uploads more interviews over the next few days.
If you like what you see—and are interested in seeing more—consider donating to Epengu’s Patreon, where patrons can provide input as to what kind of content they’d like to see next and gain exclusive access to behind-the-scenes footage. As Melee heads further into the world of esports, professional content like this is exactly what the game needs in order to polish its image and provide insight into the heads of its top players!
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the long-awaited Batman: The Animated Series blu-ray box set on October 30th. That's two weeks later than the release date that was originally announced. But, to tide the fans over they offered a little taste of what's in store for us. They've given us the remastered HD opening to the series and it looks great! You can watch it below.
Premiering in September 1992, Batman: The Animated Series followed the titular hero as he dealt with the various criminals in Gotham City, everybody from his Rogues Gallery of villains to lesser-depicted antagonists including Roland Daggett, Clayface and Man-Bat. The series ran for 85 episodes and received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike for its more mature and adult storytelling, darker tone, musical score and voice cast, which introduced various actors who portray their roles over the years.
The ensemble cast included Kevin Conroy as The Dark Knight, Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as The Joker, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots!) as Alfred Pennyworth, Robert Hastings (The Poseidon Adventure) as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Clayface, Roddy McDowall as The Mad Hatter, Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog) as Catwoman and Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives) as Dr. Harleen “Harley Quinn” Quinzel, who was created specifically for the series and was so well-received she became part of the Batman comic canon.
If you're interested you can pre-order your Blu-ray box set here at a discounted rate of $87.93. This is one of the greatest animated series to ever be made and there's no doubt that this is going to be a huge hit with the fans!
Todd McFarlane continues to build his creative team for the live-action Spawn movie and he's brought on The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero and his KNB EFX Group to provide the visual effects work for the film. Nicotero is one of the biggest names in the VFX business right now and there's no doubt that he and his team are going to gives us some top quality effects work for Spawn.
When talking about bringing Nicotero on to the project, McFarlane said:
"When I conceived of the story to start with, I never really thought of it as big special effects extravaganza because I knew we weren't going to have the budget for it. So I knew I was going to rely heavily on practical makeup and costuming, and one of the places that kept popping up was my good pal Greg Nicotero on his KNB Group. And he's obviously done a tremendous amount of work on dozens and dozens of movies. The sort of serendipitous part of it is that Greg was there at the beginning 20 years ago for the original Spawn movie."
Nicotero then added:
"I've been friends with Todd since we did the original Spawn, and the guy's just a genius. I love the way his mind works. He thinks very, very graphically. I know he really loves the idea of Spawn being dark, and I love the animated show. It's just a really great opportunity for us to get a chance to collaborate again."
McFarlane goes on to explain that this film will not look like the first film. This is going to be a completely different beast:
"I think it would be a mistake for people to go, 'Oh, it's going to look like the first movie.' No. That's not the task nor is that sort of where we're at creatively. So when I sat down with Greg and his staff, I just said, 'Here's what I see visually.' I gave them some reference at some images throughout the 25-year history of Spawn that I thought was close to what I was talking about. And then I just stepped back and let them start taking a whack at it.
"Each time they sent me something, I would then draw over it and go, 'Hey. How about a little bit of this, a little bit of that?' And then I thought very quickly we actually got to our look of what it is that we want to go at. KNB came out of the gate, showed me a wide, wide range of looks. I was able to narrow it down."
It's going to be really interesting to see what they've come up with visually, and I hope we get to see a tease of it sometime soon. Nicotero goes on to talk about McFarlane's take on Spawn and the work that went into designing the character:
"Spawn has always been a fascinating character study, and I really think that Todd's whole take on this is he really wants to be able to define superhero movies in a very different context than everybody is accustomed to. He really is the perfect guy to do it because he knows exactly how much he wants to see. He always liked that Spawn was kind of like the boogeyman, you know?
"It was a really fun ... We spent about six weeks coming up with some concept art, and designing the character, and a lot of it was kind of getting to the roots of what he's about. He's this sort of part feral animal, driven completely by this rage that he has, and he really embraced the idea of getting the sense of how much we want to see of this character, and what we want the audience to see. It's always the situation where you give the audience at times glimpses of things to allow them to put things together in their minds, and I think there's a very specific way that Todd wants to build these impressions of what Spawn is, and what he looks like by starting out with some kind of simple, very evocative imagery, and flashes. One minute he's there, and the next minute he's not. Kind of cool stuff."
McFarlane is directing the film and so far he's cast Jamie Foxx in the title role and Jeremy Renner in the role of Twitch, which is who the story will revolve around. McFarlane previously explained:
"There's two big roles in the script. There's obviously sort of Spawn himself, although in a weird way it's not the biggest role, and then there's the cop. The cop is this character Twitch who's been there since issue #1. Twitch is the role in this one, and I sort of refer to him as my sheriff Brody, who is the sheriff in the Jaws movie. Although it was called Jaws, Jaws didn't really talk a lot in his movie, right? He just kind of showed up at the opportune time to make the movie worthwhile."
He goes on to elaborate on how his Spawn movie compares to Jaws, saying:
"It was sheriff Brody, the humans talking, chasing the fantastical thing that sort of made the movie, and to me, there's that element. Everything else is normal in this story other than (gesture) the shadow moves, and at times even when it moves, the cop just sort of thinks he's losing his mind so he doesn't even trust that the shadow's moving. If you're a bad guy, then this thing is going to come and it's going to get you."
Spawn only has a budget of around $10 million dollars. It's set to start shooting in August and will be released sometime in 2019.
China has tapped Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody for an upcoming war film called Air Strike, and they're both front and center as the first American trailer for the film is released. Check out the synopsis for Air Strike, watch the trailer, and continue on below:
During World War II, five different Chinese people fight their way through Japanese Air Force attacks to protect an important military machine in Chongqing, 1940. The project was filmed as a memorial for the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in WWII.
There appears to be some decent action moments in this film, although I can't say I'm all that impressed with the acting seen in this trailer. What are your thoughts? Is this a film you'll check out when it comes to the States?
In celebration of Michael Jackson's birthday, IMAX has announced that they will be hosting an IMAX 3D release of his legendary groundbreaking music video Thriller! IMAX and Jackson’s estate are have partnered up to digitally re-master Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D in IMAX 3D for the first time. The exclusive engagement will run for one week only, beginning September 21st in domestic IMAX theatres—ahead of showings of Amblin’s film The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Seems appropriate. The press release goes on to say:
In creating Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D, which had its world premiere at the 74th Venice Film Festival, the original iconic short film, directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Michael Jackson, was not reedited or recut in any way. Optimum Productions brought Landis in and together they supervised an elaborate and labor-intensive process that began with the original 35mm film negative from Michael’s archives and resulted in a 3D conversion of the acclaimed film using the latest available technology. Additionally, all of the audio, including Michael’s music, Elmer Bernstein’s score and sound effects, were adapted to 5.7, 7.1 and Atmos standards in order to create the highest quality audio experience for in theater viewing.
This sounds like it will be an awesomely fun experience, especially for Michael Jackson fans. It'll also be a good opportunity to introduce a younger audience to Thriller that may have never seen it.
Just in case you want to watch Thriller, I've included the music video below for you to watch. But, it will be a lot cooler to see in IMAX 3D!
Facebook Watch has released the first trailer for a new series that they've produced called Sorry For Your Loss. The original series stars Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman who is in the process of dealing with the death of her husband and she starts to find out a lot of stuff about him that she didn't previously know. She is also trying to figure out how to move forward with life. Here’s the show’s official synopsis:
The sudden death of her husband upends and transforms every relationship in Leigh Shaw’s life. It also forces her to realize there was a lot about her husband that she didn’t know.
The show is simultaneously devastating and uplifting, with grounded, flawed characters desperate to find humor anywhere they can. The series dives into grief as an unavoidable, universal, transformative part of life. Leigh’s journey will teach us that grief is not something merely to endure, medicate away or ‘muscle through,’ but an essential part of the human experience.
The half-hour series was created and written by Kit Steinkellner, who previously worked on Amazon’s Z: The Beginning of Everything. The pilot for the series was directed by James Ponsoldt, who previously brought us films such as The Spectacular Now, Smashed, and The End of the Tour.
There's a very talented team behind this show and it looks like it will tell a wonderful and moving story.
Sorry For Your Loss also stars Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Jovan Adepo (Overlord) and it arrives on Facebook Watch on September 18, 2018.
The CW's casting details for Lois Lane have reportedly emerged as That Hashtag Show had the scoop in a now-deleted post. The casting states the Arrow-verse is looking for a Caucasian female in her early 30s to play the character, and added the following details:
the daughter of US General Same Lane, Lois is a tenacious, righteous, and stubborn reporter who will go to any length to get the story and almost never fails.
It was not revealed whether or not this character will have any connection to Lucy Lane, the younger sister of Lois who was introduced on Supergirl in Season 1. Another interesting point to note is that the role of Lois will only be in the Supergirl and Flash portions of the crossover, which means she'll disappear for part two's Arrow night.
The wait continues for the reveal of Lois Lane! Do you think The CW has any plans for this character outside this one-off special?
A couple of days ago it was reported that Alec Baldwin would be playing Bruce Wayne's father Thomas in director Todd Phillips' Joker. The character was described as "a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of 1980s Donald Trump." But the actor took to Twitter to set the record straight about that:
Let me state, for the record, that I have NOT been hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ JOKER as some Donald Trump manque. That is not happening. Not. Happening.
Baldwin obviously doesn't want to play that kind of Trump role anymore. Deadline goes on to confirm that the actor has dropped out of the project due to "scheduling conflicts." It was interesting casting while it lasted!
Regardless, are you happy to hear that Baldwin will not be playing Thomas Wayne in the film? Who do you think should replace him?
We've already seen two teaser trailers for the upcoming post-apocalyptic film I Think We're Alone Now, but today we have a full trailer to share with you that gives us our best look yet at the film. In fact, I think it gives away a little too much. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Elle Fanning (Super 8) star in the film as two survivors who come together after most of the human race has been destroyed.
The film comes from writer Mike Makowsky (Take Me, Bad Education) and Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale, Meadowland, Billions) and this is the synopsis that was released:
I Think We’re Alone Now follows the story of Del who is alone in the world. After the human race is wiped out, he lives in his small, empty town, content in his solitude and the utopia he’s methodically created for himself — until he is discovered by Grace, an interloper whose history and motives are obscure. Worse yet, she wants to stay. A visceral psychological journey, the film explores human behavior and the undeniable need for companionship.
The movie also stars Paul Giamatti as Patrick and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Violet. I had a chance to see the film at Sundance and I thought it was a fantastic film with amazing performances by Dinklage and Fanning. You can read my review for it here.
The film will be released in New York and Los Angeles cinemas on September 14 and VOD platforms everywhere September 21, 2018.
Nintendo recently revealed three new game bundles for the titles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey. Each of the new bundles will be priced at $60 and will be released on September 28, 2018.
The best part about these bundles is that they are marketed as “starter pack” for each of these games, as they will include a colored strategy guide to help newbies who are novices in these games. The guidebook will feature tips on how to best approach each game and will include a detailed map of all collectible items and in-game secrets.
Of course, the presence of the internet has made physical guidebooks into novelty items rather than an actual product to help players uncover secrets in a game. However, these new bundles from Nintendo bring back a sense of nostalgia, especially for players who grew up in the pre-internet world where guidebooks are essential companions.
What do you think of these new bundles for Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey? Which guidebook did you use the most growing up? Share your experiences in the comments down below.