‘Ace Combat Infinity’ Festival Sale Ends December 2

 

For PlayStation 3 gamers yearning to save a bit of cash with their in-game purchases, the free to play title Ace Combat Infinity is 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.

For more info the free to play combat flight simulator, go to Ace Combat Infinity official site: http://www.acecombat-infinity.com/.

Bandai Namco Games America
Bandai Namco Games America
Bandai Namco Games America
Bandai Namco Games America

 

 

‘Animal Hospital 3D Africa’ Hits App Store December 4

On December 4, publisher Tivola GmbH are publishing Animal Hospital 3D Africa for Apple’s App Store, the Amazon Appstore for Android, and Google Play.

Available in nine languages, the free to play title was nominated for “Best Mobile Kids Game 2014” by the German Game Developer awards jury.

Tivola will also release the apps Dog Hotel 3D, Hippo Sports, and Teddy the Panda in December. All of the titles are kid-centric and for adults who refuse to grow up.

Animal Hospital 3D Africa - Tivola GmbH
Animal Hospital 3D Africa – Tivola GmbH

The trailer for Animal Hospital 3D Africa is below:

 Animal Hospital - 3D Africa (Tivola)

Felicity Jones on ‘The Theory of Everything’ – And Acting

 

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’s steadfast 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.

The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones. Credit: Liam Daniel/Focus Features
The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones. Credit: Liam Daniel/Focus Features

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:

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer & Images Favors The Heart Side

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios

 

“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:

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios

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.

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios

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?

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios

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!!

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios

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:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens nationwide December 18, 2015.

So what are your thoughts on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser and its first images? Did it live up to your expectations? Feel free to comment below!

iOS News: ‘Call of Duty: Heroes’ Releases Worthwhile Weekend Bonus

 

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 – Activision

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 - Activision
Call of Duty: Heroes – Activision

Call of Duty: Heroes is now available as a free to play download at the App Store.

 

 

Blu-Ray Review: Pete Kelly’s Blues Is Jack Webb’s Jazzy Gem

 

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 Edmond O’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!).

Pete Kelly's Blues - Blu-Ray Menu
Pete Kelly’s Blues – Blu-Ray Menu

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) , Peggy Lee and even Janet Leigh If you’re a fan of either Fitzgerald or LeePete 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.

PeteKellyBlues1

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).

Pete Kelly’s Blues (1955) is Manufactured on Demand Blu-ray title. To order, please go to this Warner Archive link.

‘Big Hero 6’ Featurette Gets Animated With Stan Lee

 

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. 

The Stan Lee featurette is below: