Archives for posts with tag: features

Halo 4 Pc 600x3001

The gaming world seemed to stand still last week until the eagerly anticipated GTA V was released on Tuesday.

One of the world’s biggest gaming series and 2013 s hottest game looks to be even bigger and better than we had expected; for a start, the map is absolutely huge, dwarfing the GTA IV map by comparison. GTA IV has to date sold over 25M copies, with its successor already set to smash that figure to pieces (the game made $800 million in 24 hours).

The usual GTA thrills and spills combined with a gripping story and much improved game-play make GTA V a boss’ worst nightmare! I can only imagine the number of workers who called in sick on the day of its release so they could play the game!

So, with that in mind, I have compiled a list of 9 other games that had everyone reaching for the phone and practicing their sick voice on the day of their release.

9. Assassin’s Creed II

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Personal Rating: 8/10

The Assassin’s Creed games are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are certainly different and hugely popular amongst their fans. The first game in the series, released by Ubisoft, successfully combined action and story, thus steering it away from the usual button bashing formula.

The intricate detail of the plot sees Desmond Miles fight past evils as he relives his genetic memories in order to combat his modern day situation. It can be quite confusing at times and is certainly not a game for those who just want to “pick up and play”.

After the first game had set the scene and tested the water with gamers, Assassins Creed II, released in November 2009, was built up to be a big hit. Although it will never appeal to the widest audience, the second game in this series, and my personal favourite, was definitely a reason to call in sick to work for die hard gamers!

The post GTA V: 9 Other Games We Called In Sick To Play On Release Date appeared first on WhatCulture!.


The Empire Strikes Back is the most beloved film in the Star Wars saga. It’s a masterpiece on several levels, and that’s all thanks to some much needed changes from the original scripts.

The first draft was written by Leigh Brackett, who turned in her script to George Lucas just before dying of cancer in March 1978. Lucas didn’t like the direction of her treatment, wrote a new draft of his own, and then hired Lawrence Kasdan to finish the job. The original drafts for the film contain some pretty interesting bits of information, and would have drastically changed the course of the Star Wars universe.

Though there are several great ideas present in the earlier treatments, there are a few puzzling ones as well. I’ve compiled a list of 5 things they thankfully changed, that would have drastically altered, and probably ruined, the final film…

5. Vader Had Pet Gargoyles


In the original script, Vader lived in a castle, complete with a lava moat, and would have had pet gargoyles. There’s nothing more to say about that, other than… “WHAT?”

Luckily, this idea was quickly thrown away and instead, Vader resides mainly on the Super Star Destroyer called The Executor, his personal flagship.

The post The Empire Strikes Back: 5 Things In The Original Script That Would Have Ruined The Movie appeared first on WhatCulture!.


We’re in a world where sequels are both the best and worst thing in cinema. As the year moves towards summer audiences are quick to bemoan the high number of films based already existing successes, but mere months later they’re eagerly anticipating the latest Iron Man, Star Trek or X-Men. Talk about flippant.

Even though we crave originality, a sequel is dependable and have in recent years proven to be as strong as the original; The Godfather: Part II and The Empire Strikes Back are no longer the only good sequels. And as time goes by, more money is put into the follow ups the the original and it’s really showing on screen.

Well, in most cases. Sometimes the money won’t make it on screen and you’re left with a damp squib. Nowhere is this better shown than with the special effects. Typically here quality directly correlates to budget, but as with any rule it ends up broken. Here are ten follow ups that for some bizarre reason ended up with visual effects worse than the original.

As you’ll see this isn’t just reserved to CGI. I’mtsha going to be looking at all sorts of effects across the past fifty years. There’s budget cuts and technology misuse galore in this article, as well as some very light spoilers.

Honourable Mention – Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull


The sequel that immediately comes to mind when you think of shocking special effects has to be the fourth Indiana Jones. Forsaking the original trilogy’s focus on traditional effects, this is CGI overkill in the worst possible manner; there’s painfully enough real sets to hint at a promise of a realistic film.

The thing is, the effects in Raiders, Doom and Crusade were equally as outlandish and unbelievable; extravagant face melting and poor compositing are rife. But while the effects aren’t perfect, the film was just so interesting you didn’t care. The real crime of Crystal Skull was that it was so mundane all you could do was focus on the special effects. Which is much, much worse.

The post 10 Sequels With Visual Effects Inexcusably Worse Than The Original appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Empire Contre Attaque 80 33 G

The Empire. Queue the sweetest theme song in the galaxy, as millions of Stormtroopers, AT-AT Walkers, TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers, and Sith Lords come marching down from the skies to ruin your planet’s day. Don’t even try fighting back. Resistance is futile.

Unless you happen to have a fighting squad of Force-sensitive teenagers lying around with names that begin with “L,” such as Luke, Leia, and, uh, Lando. In that case, strap in and get ready to fly down those Death Star trenches as you attempt to bring down the single most terrifying fascist regime ever witnessed by fictional history, with little more than luck on your side.

Seriously, how could the Empire lose? As a kid, you watch Star Wars and just accept that Skywalker saves the day. At the end of Return of the Jedi, the second Death Star is blown up, the evil Emperor Palpatine is dead, and a redeemed Lord Vader is down and out. All is right in the galaxy again as the multitudes of still-functioning Star Destroyers facing the tiny Rebel Alliance just… go away? As you grow up, cinematic magic begins to sway for logic and you come to the realise that in reality, the Empire would never have been beaten.

In fact, here are 10 incredibly simple ways they could have conquered the galaxy indefinitely…

The post Star Wars: 10 Simple Ways The Empire Could Have Won appeared first on WhatCulture!.


While the undead still rule the horror roost over the likes of sparkly vampires and CGI werewolves, it is inevitable that the zombie market is bound to soon hit a saturation point. With big budget offers like World War Z down to indie gems like Jeff Monahan’s Corpsing, zombies have reached a mainstream appeal that keeps our rotten bellies as full as we can stuff them.

When AMC announced this week a spin-off series to The Walking Dead (arguably the standard bearer for the genre), the online response reached near “Bat-Fleck” proportions. Comic purists will likely drift even further away from the spin-off while those who still have the hunger for more are ready to sink their teeth into another piece of the Walking Dead universe.

While spin-offs like Better Call Saul (a Breaking Bad spin-off for those who have been living under a giant rock) won’t affect the source material because the original show will be off the air, the Walking Dead spin-off risks the chance of sullying the brand if poorly executed. Despite the risks of media “over-zombification” and possible poor writing/acting, there are five things AMC can do to maximize their chances of success with this new series.

5. Keep Rick’s Crew Away From It

The Walking Dead

Think of it this way: If George Clooney shows up for 20 seconds in a two hour independent film, the film becomes about that 20 seconds. Now you have an hour and a half of wondering if someone else from Oceans 11 might pop up.

It would be unfair to the new characters if they bump into Glenn and Maggie while they are out on a supply run. At that point everyone would be focusing on the possible crossovers, future encounters, a movie version featuring both crews (a la Star Trek Generations) rather than the story at hand.

Rick and company have plenty to contend with in their own little corner of paradise. Leave them to it.

The post 5 Ways To Make The Walking Dead Spin-Off Series Work appeared first on WhatCulture!.


Let’s face it the whole film and TV production and marketing process is skewed so that audiences are far more likely to recognise and follow a supporting actor who cropped up in a handful of TV episodes than they are some of the people behind the camera on some massively popular movies. Of course, most of us are switched on enough to pay attention to movie directors and assume their name as a mark of the film’s likely eventual quality.

This makes us well aware of the times when A-list acting talent choose to direct as well, your Clooneys or Afflecks. But, when it comes to the people who pen the words that you actually hear those actors say, there are really only a handful of Hollywood screenwriters whose contributions are as noted as actors or directors. Perhaps that’s why these five writers behind some pretty significant Hollywood movies are far more familiar to us for their appearances as actors on TV.

5. Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam

You may recognise him as: Depending on your choice of TV viewing and, in particular, which side of the Atlantic it’s focused on, Hunnam should be familiar either as Nathan Maloney, the teen discovering the excitements of Manchester’s gay scene, in Queer as Folk or Jax Teller, brooding antihero of California motorcycle club drama Sons of Anarchy. The Geordie actor got his first break on Byker Grove, cementing the idea that there aren’t many outlets for talented young actors in the North East, and may also be familiar to audiences of shortlived cult American comedy drama thanks to a regular role as a cocksure British student in Judd Apatow’s rarely remembered Undeclared. Recently Hunnam has been making the transition from TV star to movie star, piloting monster battling robots as Raleigh Becket (not even the most 80s action movie name in the film) in Pacific Rim. His recently announced casting as the eponymous sadistic romantic icon in the film version of 50 Shades of Grey should either cement his place as a movie leading man or turn him into something of a laughing stock. It’s kind of hard to tell.

But you may not know: If the bondage filled mummy porn doesn’t work out for him, Hunnam can always fall back on his writing skills. Hunnam’s script Vlad has been picked up by Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production company and the people behind the slightly surprising success story of the summer World War Z. Due to be directed by Anthony Mandler, currently making Daniel Radcliffe starring crime picture Tokyo Vice, Vlad focuses on the real life brutalities of Dracula inspiring Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler. There’s no vampires in it, but it’s probably due to be pretty gory none the less. While waiting for that to come out, Hunnam is also developing a screenplay about British gypsy culture. Of course he hasn’t actually had a screenplay come to our cinemas yet, unlike the next TV actor on the list whose biggest writing job was on a film that earned over $700,000,000.

The post 5 Familiar Faces From TV Surprisingly Moonlighting As Major Hollywood Screenwriters appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Riddick 3

Science fiction is one of those genres where the potential is only limited by scale and focus. It’s easy to get lost in a sci-fi world full of detail when following a story or character arc (multiple ones, for that matter). But it’s also easy to embroil people in a world or universe that has been around for quite some time, preferably the Riddick franchise.

In February of 2000, Pitch Black was released and was met with positive responses, with some even calling it one of the most wildly entertaining and inventive science fiction films of the generation. The scale was simple on film, but massive in possibilities, and the focus was set squarely on the setting, the character’s struggles, and the enigmatic badass himself, Riddick. Four years later saw the release of The Chronicles of Riddick, which increased the scale but took away some of the focus, becoming a lesser favorite than that of Pitch Black. And ever since the bitter responses, fans have been waiting for nearly ten years for a sequel that brought back the epicness and surreal universe that is the Riddick franchise.

The year of 2013 has seen some wildly entertaining films during the summer quarter, some sequels, others origin stories, and some that were standalone releases that raised the heat to an already hot year for action films. The fourth quarter of 2013 saw the release of the aptly named Riddick, the third entry in the Riddick franchise that fans have been milling over for the past decade. Met with positive responses that haven’t been high for the franchise since Pitch Black, Riddick has been selling the fans exactly what they asked for: the return of one of science fiction’s most hard-nosed badasses.

As a fan of the series (and even a supporter of Chronicles), I was impressed with what David Twohy and Vin Diesel brought to the screen. Riddick was a return of not just Riddick himself, but of the style and attitude of both films prior. It carried over the survival aspect of Pitch Black and the tenacity of Chronicles. In all ways, it was a return to form for the series.

I walked out praising the film for a lot of reasons, and I was pleased with what I saw as a fan. There were things that caught my eye that had me going “Wow, now THAT’s nice”, and “Very clever reference.” For devoted fans, it’s an easter egg hunt for nearly the entire running time, but at the same time something new and fresh to digest.

But, in the end, there was something that also caught my attention that drug the experience down a few notches. It’s forgivable, but still needs to be pointed out in the grand scheme of things.

In this article I will be stating 5 reasons why Riddick lived up to the expectations the fans and I had going for it. Each reason really gave the film its legs and strength, and each one made the overall experience one of the most of thrilling films of 2013 so far, even at the fourth quarter. But I will also be pointing out the 1 problem that stuck itself out like a sore thumb; let it be known that it doesn’t ruin the film, but it does add a blemish that is in desperate need of explanation.

There is a SPOILER warning from this point forward, which gives away some important plot points that will shatter your enjoyment of the film, so skip forward with some discretion. Now, starting off with the 5 reasons why Riddick is great…..

The post Riddick: 5 Elements They Nailed And 1 That Failed appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Tom Hooper Les Mis

Whether we like it or not, the sequel to Man of Steel has been rushed into production with added Batman. For this writer, the first 40-odd minutes of Man of Steel- at least up to the point that our boy learns to fly- were on a level with Richard’s Donner definitive original. But after so much promise, this intriguing reinvention turned into a generic, humourless, boring mess. Still, Henry Cavill was perfectly decent and the recent casting of Ben Affleck as the new Batman was a masterstroke- an opinion not shared by most of the internet.

Of course I’ll give whatever-the-hell-this-Batman/Superman-film-is-called the benefit of the doubt, because let’s face it, what fanboy isn’t excited to finally see The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel on screen together for the first time, Snyder or no Snyder? But this is obviously the first step towards a Justice League movie. The rumours are flying that Affleck may direct that once it comes to fruition, but I don’t think this will be the case. The obvious choice would be Zack Snyder, and I hope this isn’t the case. Man of Steel was certainly his best film, but that isn’t saying much.

DC’s answer to The Avengers will inevitably be huge and make quite a profit whoever directs it. But one of the reasons that Marvel’s huge gamble paid off, apart from the fanboy hype and 3D ticket prices, was the critical acclaim and word-of-mouth that encourages repeat viewings. This was down to a visionary like Joss Whedon and his witty script that clearly understood the potential of this unlikely team and took the whole concept seriously.

If Warner Brothers want their Justice League movie to actually be good as well as successful, they should take a risk- because let’s face it, they can afford to with as sure-fire a hit as Justice League- and hire someone different, someone left-field. And ladies and gentlemen, I propose Tom Hooper, director of Les Miserables and The King’s Speech, is that man. He’s not the kind of director you’d expect to take on a comic-book property, especially one of this scale- but then, everyone said the same when it came to Kenneth Branagh, Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan, Shane Black and Joss Whedon, and look how their films turned out!

Unfortunately, this seems one-hundred percent unlikely to happen, but one can dream. It seems inevitable it will be Snyder or Affleck directing off of a David Goyer script, but there’s always a chance! So, read on for my explanation as to why Hooper is the perfect choice to helm what will likely be one of the biggest superhero team-ups of all time…

The post 6 Reasons Why Tom Hooper Should Direct The Justice League Movie appeared first on WhatCulture!.

0 Wicked Witch Of The West

Hollywood, the most powerful film industry in the world, has produced so many female characters with such great potential. Princess Leia. Kathy Selden. Roslyn Taber. Janine Melnitz. Trinity. owyn. April O’Neil. Sylvia Landry. Dr. Zira. The entire leading cast of Bridesmaids. Characters like these have so many excellent qualities.

But through the necessities of mainstream narrative film structure, those characters were given the fate of so many other female characters, even though it wasn’t the primary purpose of their stories-romance.

It is a purpose that so many female characters have to fulfill by the end of movies, even when the characters are kids.

It’s even worse when you almost get to the end of a movie with actual hope that it could be otherwise, but then comes the kiss-I for one was hopeful for Wai Lin the first time I saw Tomorrow Never Dies. To the movie’s credit though, I was more na ve at the time, and although my ability to read women was better then than it is now (wow-on my final revision of this article I just realized the supreme irony of that), it still wasn’t any good.

This kind of thing happens to male characters as well, but it more often perfunctorily happens to female characters. Even when a story isn’t about romance, women are so much more tied in movies to their relationships. Some of these stories are very significant, such as Angela Bassett’s Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It or Annette Bening’s Carolyn Burnham in American Beauty. But regardless of how good, significant, or even accurate these movies are-and some of them really are great-when there isn’t a variety of other kinds of stories to balance those stories out, there is a problem. Women should just be people with the same amounts of representations available to them as men.

I’m not saying that relationships or other romantic encounters diminish anyone, but there is so much more to female humans than what they go through while dealing with romance. That’s just one category of the human experience. In the case of women, even being “badass” is often just a precursor to romance, a wall that the character puts up only to be eventually taken down by the leading man. Even if the wall isn’t removed, such as with the Black Widow in The Avengers, that character is still arguably in a relationship with some of the eyes in the audience.

I know others have written about many of the things I’ll be addressing in this article and with more complexity, but I think it’s good to remind ourselves what characters we’re cheering for, especially when it comes to our daily interactions with Hollywood, the largest media industry on the planet.

So click “next” for 13 great female characters who are tremendously interesting on their own in many different ways, and don’t need to end up in a romantic encounter by the end of the movie. Not to say that all unromantic female characters are interesting by default, but these characters really are characters to revere.


Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West gets an honorable mention here. Her viciousness and indignation are just awesome, refreshing, and mesmerizing to watch.

The post 13 Great Female Characters In Hollywood Who Weren’t Relegated To Romance appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Troy Sean Bean

Yes, here we are again. After writing the first article, I began thinking about other great actors that I had left out of the list for one reason or another. After a while I realised that there was actually a few. It seems that we sometimes forget how fallible great actors are and are prepared to forget their bad roles.

So here’s another list, but with a condition this time around- no actors from the first list can end up in this list. I know that some on the first list have plenty more that could be set on a pedestal to demonstrate as a bad movie, but this is going to look further afield.

And with that in mind, and a spoiler warning, let us commence!

In no particular order…

7. Judi Dench As Aereon In The Chronicles Of Riddick


The Chronicles of Riddick is what often happens when you make a sequel from a relatively simple original movie. Pitch Black was a very clever horror movie concept and it worked extremely well. The trouble was that a sequel couldn’t be the same thing all over again, nor could it have the same intimate chemistry the first one enjoyed. So the sequel decided to introduce all sorts of new concepts, including a whole new plethora of races- many of which had names that were, frankly laughable (seriously Furyan? Or Necromongers? Are these truly the best that the writers could think up?) as well as new worlds and a frankly bizarre aesthetic.

For all this exposition to be thrown at the film, the writing would have had to be good for it to seem like a compelling movie. Alas, it is anything but as the movie seems to lurch forward with really slow talking sections between action scenes.

Judi Dench in the movie is not so much good or bad as just plain confusing. I genuinely think that though she puts in an ok performance she is a minus for the movie simply because she doesn’t feel like she belongs there. The Chronicles of Riddick was never going to be a A-grade action film and having someone like Dench in it somehow stops your belief from being suspended. Instead she just reminds you of what dross you are actually watching.

The post 7 More Great Actors That Starred In Awful Movies appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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