For PlayStation 3 gamers yearning to save a bit of cash with their in-game purchases, the free to play title Ace Combat Infinityis holding its “Infinity Festival” sale through December 2.
The sale enables players to purchase the such in-game items as the Ace Combat Infinity Rookie set for $0.99 (its regularly priced at $1.99). If you want to purchase the Unlimited Campaign Play Tickets, you’ll shell out just $14.99 (regular price: $19.99).
Running until December 1, the “Defeat the Butterfly Master” online co-op missions ranking event has gamers competing to earn the most points from their missions. Winners of the event receive a “Butterfly Master” limited emblem and an “MiG-21bis-Sagittarius” limited special aircraft.
Felicity Jones delivers an inspired performance in The Theory of Everything as Jane Hawking, the woman who spent a substantial portion of her life as Stephen Hawking’ssteadfast companion. The critically acclaimed film, now playing nationwide, is based on Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.
Jones also did memorable work last year playing Charles Dickens’ mistress in the Ralph Fiennes directed drama The Invisible Woman (Fiennes played the author), and just from those performances, one would assume Jones’ acting path will continue to grow in a creatively sublime manner.
During The Theory of Everything interviews, I asked Felicity Jones what advice she’d give up and coming actors, and she noted that “stamina” and “determination” are two important qualities to in one’s tool set.
“You’re not acting unless you’re doing it. You’re not an actor unless you’re there doing it with other people. You can’t be an actor in isolation. And so wherever you can – I just started off (with) a local drama group and that’s such a useful way to start acting.”
To hear Felicity Jones’ full answer to the acting question, please click on the media bar below:
“There’s been an awakening – have you felt it?” – Star Wars: The Force Awakens VO provided by Andy Serkis
I’m still a bit annoyed by the Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) plotline behind the disappointing Star Trek Into Darkness, but today’s release of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer reminded me that director J.J. Abrams is also a talented craftsman.
His coming of age, sci-fi tale Super 8 definitely tugged at the heartstrings (as well as displayed Abrams’ innate love for filmmaking), and hearing John Williams’ iconic score brought on years of nostalgia – feelings which almost got me choked up (I stayed the course, however and didn’t shed a tear).
Walt Disney Studios also released its first set of images from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, featuring a few new additions to George Lucas’ ever expanding universe. Here’s the set:
Actress Daisy Ridley feels the need for speed. I have no idea if Ridley’s cruising around Tattoine or playing two point hit ’em up with a bunch of Sandcrawlers. Needless to say – it’s awesome.
John Boyega, best known for his work in Attack the Block, is having a very bad (but possibly elucidating) moment. If this picture could speak, I’d venture that Boyega’s storm trooper days are over after looking into what seems to be the face of terror. A switch to the Light Side perhaps?
I can’t seen anyone but Han Solo in charge of the Millennium Falcon, but one wonders if this rust bucket’s days are numbered. Still, don’t expect two measly TIE fighters to take this baby down!!
And the winner for most dangerous looking lightsaber goes to . . . Adam Driver. The Girls and What If star is rumored to be playing one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ major villains. I’m guessing he’s a Sith – but I’ve been wrong time and time again.
As for John Williams (I count myself as one of the millions, thanks to his work on Brian De Palma’s horror/thriller The Fury), here’s a bit of good news:
Since I’m a veritable cheapskate who prefers spending my cash on food and drink, free to play titles like the recently released Call of Duty: Heroes will always grab my attention (for my detailed review of the game, check out my Arcade Sushi review).
Starting today, owners of COD: Heroes as well as newcomers who download the game will receive a 20% bonus on their PVP (player vs. player) battles through the end of this weekend. Getting as much oil and gold currency is of utmost importance since your COD base will consistently be attacked by other players. Gold and oil is primarily used to upgrade and build your weapons/units/buildings, but a huge chunk of your resources will be depleted from base invasions.
For details on this weekend’s deal, check out the photo below:
Call of Duty: Heroes has a ton of gameplay and, along with Boom Beach, it’s a must play app on my iPad.
If you’ve stumbled upon this COD post, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Call of Duty: Heroes as well. Until then, I’ll head back to my base for a bit of housekeeping.
Call of Duty: Heroes is now available as a free to play download at the App Store.
Pete Kelly’s Blues is a recent Warner Archive collection Blu-ray release that took Joe Friday out of his element and placed him in an entirely different, yet equally immersive, universe.
Jack Webb left an indelible mark on the television landscape with Dragnet and as a producer of Adam-12. Though he flourished within this creative arena, his auteur sensibilities took full shape with the 1955 jazz drama Pete Kelly’s Blues, a visually arresting story about a cornetist (Webb in the titular role) who simply wants to play in his band sans any complications.
But life has a funny way of throwing a few curves. It’s the roaring twenties, and though Pete and his jazz outfit (they’re called Pete Kelly’s Big 7) have a regular gig at a local bar/restaurant in Kansas City, their threadbare wages may suffer an even bigger hit after crime boss Fran McCarg (a menacing EdmondO’Brien)offers to be their manager and protector.
Drummer Joey Firestone (Martin Milner, who would later star in Adam-12) refuses to yield to McCarg’s threats, and for a spell Pete thinks the band can weather the storm. Janet Leigh is Ivy Conrad, a wealthy and seemingly trifling society girl who takes an immediate liking to Pete and his music, and though he continues to reject her advances, a jazz man has his limits (especially if it’s Janet Leigh waiting in your lonely apartment!).
Jazz great Peggy Lee, in an Oscar nominated performance, is Rose Hopkins, a once promising songbird whose wings are clipped by McCarg’s abuse. To handle the pain, Lee hits the bottle before she performs onstage with Pete Kelly’s Big 7 (McCarg forces Pete to include her in the band). But there’s no easy way out for Rose, especially when her longtime companion is a hardened criminal. Jayne Mansfield also has a bit role in the film as a waitress who flirts with Kelly.
The beauty behind Pete Kelly’s Blues rests in Webb’s layered approach to the story. One of his great choices was getting cinematographer Harold Rosson, a master at lighting and framing, to lens the movie.
Thanks to expansive detailing of CinemaScope, Rosson’s camera work, and Webb’s surefooted direction, the film is able to breathe without being trapped into a generic, genre driven corner.
Instead of shooting Pete Kelly’s Blues as a straight ahead crime/romance drama, Webb also explores the narrative from a musical angle with performances from Ella Fitzgerald (she’s a singer at a different gin joint in town) , PeggyLeeand even Janet Leigh. If you’re a fan of either Fitzgerald or Lee, Pete Kelly’s Blues definitely delivers on the music end.
Jack Webb will never be confused with Marlon Brando or Montgomery Clift, and though Pete Kelly would have best been served with a different, more charismatic, lead actor, Webb understands that occasionally giving up center stage and enabling his co-stars to shine is simply the best way to go. Each of the film’s players get their moment to shine in the film, with Lee receiving the showiest (and most heartbreaking) role as Rose. Lee received an Oscar nod for her work in Pete Kelly’s Blues, and it’s a shame that the singer wasn’t a more prolific actress – she definitely had the chops.
Rosson was a master at visual composition, as Pete Kelly’s lonely road to redemption is mainly told by what we see in the frame. Whether it’s watching Rose walk away for the last time or if it’s dancing cheek to cheek with Ivy on a darkened evening, Pete struggles with his solitude and occasional ambivalence, and Rosson captures these moments in an subtle yet ultimately eye-catching fashion.
Richard L. Breen’s screenplay is infused with memorable, film noir inspired monologue. Though he may not have the innate presence of an A-list star, Webb delivers these standout lines with his usual, understated aplomb.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert Altman’s own classic Kansas City, an intricately woven kidnapping story that was punctuated by first rate jazz performances, was partly inspired by the innovation behind Pete Kelly’s Blues.
The movie’s opening sequence, shot in New Orleans, is set in a funeral, with the cornet being played by an understandably somber man. For several minutes, we follow the cornet’s circuitous journey from funeral procession to serving as Pete Kelly’s go-to instrument. It’s an intriguing way to start the picture, and that loose, improvisatory style floats throughout this can’t miss feature.
A lifelong jazz lover (Julie London was a former wife), Jack Webb put his creative heart and soul as the director and lead actor behind Pete Kelly’s Blues. The picture hits a ton of inspired cinematic notes, and it’s an unexpected gem that’s worth a look.
During the original theatrical trailer (featured below), Jack Webb pulls out a reel of film, and says, “A lot of unexpected things happen in this picture.” It’s something Joe Friday would say, but these days, my mind’s still fixated on Pete Kelly and all those seductive blues.
Special Features: The Blu-ray features two versions of the theatrical trailer for Pete Kelly’s Blues (one of which is in B&W). Also included is the Oscar nominated short Gadgets Galore and the Looney Tunes cartoon The Hole idea, which centers on a henpecked inventor who develops the hole to end all holes (it’s an amusing 6 minute plus cartoon).
One of the many joys of watching Big Hero 6 is the cameo of comic book icon Stan Lee, and though he’s popped in an out of a ton of Marvel pictures (as well as the Kevin Smith comedy Mallrats), it’s hard to top his latest appearance.
“When I was a kid, Walt Disney was like my god,” says Lee in the just released Big Hero 6 featurette. “And to think that I’m now part of a Disney animated feature – I just can’t tell you how pleased I am.”
Released on November 7, Big Hero 6 is one of this year’s biggest box office hits and it’s the frontrunner to win the Best Animated Oscar (its Rotten Tomatoes audience score is a whopping 94%). Along with Stan Lee, the Big Hero 6 voice cast includes Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph.
Ken Follett’sbestselling novel The Pillars of the Earthis being developed as a video game. The adventure title, which is being developed by Daedalic Entertainment in conjunction with publisher Bastei Lübbe, will come out 2017 on PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and iOS.
Follett is currently working on a new novel about the fictitious medieval town of Kingsbridge that will also be released in 2017.
“I’m delighted that Bastei Lübbe will publish my next book, a new story about Kingsbridge, the fictional town in which I set ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ and World Without End,” said Follet. “I’m hoping to finish it in time for publication in 2017. I’m thrilled that The Pillars of the Earth – which is probably my most famous book – is going to be turned into a computer game by Daedalic, now part of the Lübbe organisation. I believe this will bring my work to the attention of a new generation of readers. I’ve been working with Bastei Lübbe, and with the Lübbe-family, for 35 years now. It has been a most congenial partnership, and a very successful one. So I’m very happy that our association is being continued in these exciting ways.”
Published in 1989, The Pillars of the Earth is a medieval set story that centered on the religious and social struggles that surround the building of a cathedral in Kingsbridge. The project was adapted into a 2010, Golden Globe nominated miniseries starring Eddie Redmayne and Hayley Atwell.
In the video below, Ken Follett talks about researching the Berlin Wall for his novel Edge of Eternity:
Along with acting and being a new mom, Eva Mendesis also a fashion designer, and in an interview with Violet Grey she talked about her design aesthetics. On discussing her holiday collection for New York & Company, Mendes said she loves creating dresses that make “women feel beautiful.”
The photo shoot for the Violet Grey article took place at the Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theater (previously known as Mann’s Chinese Theater), with Mendes wearing designs from her own collection.
“When I am designing with my partners I try to think about the woman I’m designing for, where she’s going, what her life is like,” said Mendes during the interview. “that’s why I don’t design jeans or many pants. I think the easiest way to make a woman look beautiful is to put her in a dress that fits her properly.”
The Coral Clusters Maria Dress worn by Eva Mendes is available for purchase and online the first week of December for $99.95. To check out the Eva Mendes Collection for New York & Company, please go to their official site.
Filmmaker Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Before Midnight, Me and Orson Welles) will be honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF).
Previous honorees include directors Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, and Michel Hazanavicius. Mary Hart will host the Awards Gala on Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The PSIFF runs January 2-12.
Boyhood, which Linklater shot over 12 years with actors Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and newcomer Ellar Coltrane, centers on a youth’s (Coltrane) turbulent yet gradually revelatory childhood.
Linklater who has received Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nominations for Before Sunset and Before Midnight, also directed Tape, School of Rock, Waking Life, Slacker, and Dazed and Confused. Along with his filmmaking career, Linklater is also the Artistic Director for the Austin Film Society, which he founded back in 1985.
For more info on the fest, please call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7526. PSIFF’s official site is: www.psfilmfest.org.