Google Stadia Information Leaks Along With Official Reports

Google’s streaming platform for video games was supposed to releases all of its information today at 12 p.m. ET, but the report has leaked by Canadian newspaper La Presse.

The translated report reveals that Stadia will launch in November with a subscription for $11.99 Canadian per month to access games at 4K resolution and 60 FPS. Newer titles will need to be bought. By 2020 a free version of Stadia will be available called “Stadia Base,” but games will only have access to 1080p resolution. The highest tier titled “Stadia’s Founder Edition” will launch this fall for $169 Canadian will include Chromecast Ultra, the Stadia controller, three-month subscription, and Destiny 2, which was reported yesterday from Kotaku. For people not getting that high-end subscription, the launch titles for everyone will include the latest Tomb Raider trilogy, DOOM, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and The Division 2 The recommendation for internet speed will be at least 10mbps download and 1mbps upload.

Just as reported before the streaming service will allow players to play any game by streaming it on their device without the hardware required like a gaming console or PC.

An official stream came in which confirmed everything along with other details.

A reveal for Baldur’s Gate 3, created by the minds who developed Divinity Original Sin 2, will launch for Stadia and PC along with an announcement for Ghost Recon: Breakout, an adventure game developed by Tequila Works called Gylt and a multiplayer cooking game called Get Packed by Moonshine Studios.

The relationship between internet speed and quality of gaming is shown here:

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Images via Google

Song Impression: Unveil The Sense – Prisoner

Hungry for a change, Unveil The Sense have started down a more alternative path with their newest single, Prisoner. The experimental track has plenty of flavors to taste that work together.

An acoustic introduction gives a somber tone to the overall song. An abrasive switch comes in with backup screams in the distance. The clean singing has enough dynamics and style shifts that kept me on my toes. I was not sure what to expect next with everything that was happening.

A break comes in as an electric guitar, bass, and drums kick in with some stronger screams. Slowly the instrumentation takes a step back for a more subdued approach. The newly introduced instruments continue with steady pacing to keep a rhythm going.

The sound quality could use some tweaking to make the heavier shift sound stronger. Everything sounded weak when this turn occurred while the softer moments stand out. Enough surprises happen along with different styles to make this first single a hit and making me curious about what Unveil The Sense has planned for the future.

You can hear the song yourself below:

Check out the band’s other material: Buy: Beachy Head

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Image via Unveil The Sense

10 Best Looking Movies in the Last Decade

Conversations about effects in movies get a lot of discussions, especially when it comes to special vs. practical. While one can argue in favor of one style over the other, when the visual components of a film are done right, they look far better than older films from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, not to take away from some beautiful works of art from those decades. While I cannot go over every recent film in the last decade that looks best, I will choose unique pieces to me that I feel positively represent where we are today in visual effects in the modern era of film.

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#10: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

While each of the new entries in Star Wars has been beautiful, I have to choose the one that started the franchise back up again. The Force Awakens removes the atrocious CGI from the prequels and mixes both excellent computer-generated and practical effects. The film is full of life, and the screenshots prove it.

Buy and support the blog: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Image via Walt Disney Studios

#9: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Early on in this blog’s history, I tore into Blade Runner 2049, but hate it or love it, nobody can deny this beautifully crafted film. The color palette alone can get people aroused with its neon colors that get melded together with its browns and blacks.

Much of the effects are impossible to tell if it is CGI or practical. I was shocked as I saw a video on the film’s visual elements to see the behind the scenes reveal that people or objects were not what they had appeared. So, here is a challenge, go through some scenes and guess which is real or CG.

Buy and support the blog: Blade Runner 2049

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Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

#8: Dunkirk (2017)

Unpopular opinion: I am not a fan of Christopher Nolan movies, especially Dunkirk. What I can say for the Oscar-winning filmmaker is he knows how to craft films that make me awestruck by their use of practical effects.

Mixing CG, miniature models of vehicles, and using real vehicles, the ships and airplanes felt as authentic as possible. Nolan often hates using fully CG shots, so much of the film utilizes smart camera techniques and well-crafted models to bring audiences into World War 2.

The sound design enhances the excellent visuals along with superb cinematography to make for a realistic experience. Like Blade Runner, this is another example of an expert challenge to decipher what is real vs. fake.

Buy and support the blog: Dunkirk

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Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

#7: Interstellar (2014)

I never got a chance this Nolan film due to my distaste for his work, but from what I have seen in behind the scenes videos and screenshots, this is something from another world. If you told me that the cast and crew went to space, I would believe it. To make that more unremarkable, in classic Nolan fashion, most of this is practical.

Five years after the movie, the world saw the first glimpse at a real black hole, which brought Interstellar back onto many people’s minds since the film accurately depicted this cosmic region.

Buy and support the blog: Interstellar

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Image via Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures

#6: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

I missed out on this year’s Alita: Battle Angel, but I wanted to see it purely for its beauty shown in the trailers. It took my eyes time to adjust when I saw the trailer the first time to realize what I was witnessing. This is a rare case where CG goes right to show it can rival physical props and costumes.

Buy and support the blog: Alita: Battle Angel

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Image via 20th Century Fox

#5: Doctor Strange (2016)

The trippiest experience in the MCU is watching Doctor Strange. The psychedelic visuals, along with the colors used, make this one of the best-looking superhero films ever made. Often times a realistic style gets the focus for an immersive movie; instead, the team here put CGI to the test by seamlessly bending reality around the characters.

Buy and support the blog: Doctor Strange

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Image via Marvel Studios

#4: Ex Machina (2014)

Alex Garland’s debut caught me late, as in just in the last two years, but I was blown away by not only the narrative but the cinematography and creation of Ava (Alicia Vikander), a seemingly real robot that is created to be more human than machine. She was partially CG while other parts were physical. This blend makes her feel alive in the world as this project devised by Nathan (Oscar Isaac).

On top of Ava, the film’s locations and design of Nathan’s home were incredible. Beautiful landscapes surround the house while the interior was a mix of futuristic and modern designs. After watching Ex Machina, I have decided I need a home precisely like Nathan’s.

Out of everything on this list, This entry is the most simplistic while being just as impressive.

Buy and support the blog: Ex Machina

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Image via A24

#3: War of the Planet of the Apes (2017)

I am choosing the third film in the latest Planet of the Apes trilogy for simplicity sake like Star Wars, but all three of these movies are stunning. The main attraction comes from the apes themselves. Performance capture and detail oriented CGI help create photorealistic animals that believably interacted with the world.

Buy and support the blog: War For The Planet Of The Apes

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Image via 20th Century Fox

#2: Annihilation (2018)

The final two entries are tied for favorite effects in any movie.

Alex Garland gets another entry on this list with Annihilation. The physical props that were brought to life using CG with the mutated alligator and bear were major talking points to give the film some buzz. These normal animals are intimidating enough, but the modifications made them into nightmarish monsters.

Besides the terrifying animals, the rest of the film glowed with color and made its darker colors as beautiful. The world looked tremendous and at times hard to tell which was computer-generated or made physically.

Sadly, Garland’s masterpiece failed at the box office, so if you missed out check it out and support one of the best looking movies of all time.

Buy and support the blog: Annihilation

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Image via Paramount Pictures

#1: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

I could argue between Annihilation and Mad Max: Fury Road for being the most beautiful films in the last decade and possibly of all time. Fury Road used mostly practical effects like modified vehicles and insane stunts to make the chaos realistic. The unique aesthetic of the world and its characters gave the film a personality that rarely gets seen on the big screen in summer blockbusters.

The CG used focused mostly on the color scheme. The sand turned to an orange-brown hybrid along with plenty of colors to give contrast, especially during the storm. New landscapes like mountains and vegetation popped up to add life to this lifeless world that worked with the post-apocalyptic theme.

Buy and support the blog: Mad Max: Fury Road

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Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

That does not scratch the surface of the movies that have been masterfully crafted into stunning pieces of art in the last 10 years. What are some of your favorites, and what do you think of my list?

Header image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

My childhood franchises were a tie. At one end, I was a die-hard fan of Scooby-Doo movies and the tv shows and at the other was the Godzilla movies. No matter how bad or good they got, I would watch either of those franchises. So, there I was at the theater last night watching Godzilla: King of the Monsters, a dumb, but a fun ride that kept me more entertained than the reboot while making me more frustrated at the same time.

Five years after the events at San Fransisco, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) revives a project her ex-husband Mark (Kyle Chandler), and she worked on called Orca, a device to communicate with Godzilla and the other Titans that have been discovered around the world. She goes off with her other scientists and her daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), to wake up a new monster they have nicknamed Mothra. During the awakening, ecoterrorist Jonah Alan (Charles Dance) captures the mother and daughter along with the Orca to wake up monsters around the world. Mark, the military, and other scientists come together to backup Godzilla to stop the world from ending by King Ghidorah and Rodan.

The science in a movie like this does not have to be based on anything real, but at the least have good enough writing to make sense. The most significant flaws in the 2014 film were its dumb, bland characters and a lack of suspension of disbelief to allow for me to believe in their made up science. King of the Monsters ramps up the stupidity of characters like Emma or throws out any logic to try and solve an issue that could have been done more intelligently.

The villain, Jonah, seems to have zero motivations. He is a plot device to make action happen for the sake of entertainment, which is done well despite that hurting the overall story.

Other characters like the range in quality, but nobody except for Madison and Dr. Rick Stanton (Bradley Whitford) is remotely likable. Everyone else is either too dumb or dull of a personality to care about. The redeeming aspect of everyone is the superb acting with Brown, Dance, Whitford, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, and many more stellar stars who manage to do a lot more than expected with such weak roles.

The saving grace comes from the action. The reboot had horrendous pacing by waiting to show Godzilla for roughly an hour. Instead, having a new director with a different vision, Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat), the film was able to focus on its main star, Godzilla and his costar Kaijus. The grand scale of destruction and chaos made for a far more enjoyable experience. The sequel does not mess around by having some of the most insane monster battles I have seen in years.

Another note taken from the reboot that was partially addressed comes from the visuals. The monsters look spectacular, but the color palette of the film needs work. At times, the blues, greens, and reds make for some of the most breathtaking shots of the year while other times the browns and blacks drown out so much more potential beauty.

The decline in the iconic Kaiju’s franchise makes King of the Monsters one of the best, which is both incredible and saddening. The script from Dougherty, Zach Shields, and Max Borenstein feels like a child’s dream Godzilla story by how each step became more illogical than the last. A fan like myself wants to see death and destruction, and I got it despite some Hollywood hero moments making my eyes roll.

If you see this movie, just survive the idiocy and enjoy the performances, action, and epic, cheesy soundtrack.

Score: 6/10

Images via Warner Bros. Pictures

The Best Movies Across 13 Genres and Subgenres

The world of cinema has enough styles to satisfy anyone. Every month we get plenty of new films across all genres. These are what I feel are the best movies in their respective genre, so be prepared to have some hard disagreements with my opinions.

Dark Comedy/RomCom: Shaun of the Dead 

Edgar Wright is one of my favorite filmmakers, and his first big project is the number one reason for anyone to love his work. The zom-rom-com tells a genuine romance story while having its dark sense of humor as people get mangled by the undead. I have seen Shaun of the Dead more than any other movie, at least a few hundred times because everything is perfectly crafted to make for the funniest movie  I have ever seen.

Action: John Wick (The entire trilogy)

I could not pick my favorite of the three chapters of Keanu Reeves’ action-packed hitman movies. Plenty of iconic action stars have appeared on the big screen over the years like John McClane from Die Hard or Rambo, but nobody beats the boogeyman himself.

The John Wick movies have this wonderful choreography that makes it much more believable that one man can take down over a hundred people per movie. Also, the way the action is presented, there is a fluid movement that feels like a dance, making the brutal fights into something beautiful.

Animation: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 

I am not a huge animation watcher, mostly because I don’t care for family movies. Last year I broke my streak of avoiding these films by going out to witness the highly acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Not only does it tell one of the best stories from my favorite hero, but it can tell a gripping story while having that comedy for all ages. I went through a roller coaster of emotions to this stunning masterpiece.

War: Saving Private Ryan

Only a handful of war depictions on the big screen get the recognition like Saving Private Ryan. Going for the most popular choice is not always how I do things, but I cannot deny that this is the greatest war movie ever created. It is a classic that does not need an elaborate description of why it is so great. If you have not seen this, then put it on top of your list of movies to see next.

Superhero: Logan

If you have read my many articles on superheroes, then you know how much I love the MCU. While a lot of the entries into Marvel’s gigantic universe are in my top favorites for the superhero genre, but nothing to me beats Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s final run in the X-Men with Logan.

Taking the overly saturated genre by infusing it with a narrative that goes perfectly for any gripping drama while having the themes of a Western. Every minute is heartbreaking or ultra-violent with some moments of levity to prevent from feeling overwhelming.

Western: Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles takes the cake mostly because this is a genre I have struggled to enjoy with this one exception. The 1974 comedy might not pass in today’s climate, but that does not matter because, in my heart, it is a timeless classic.

Found Footage: Cloverfield

Matt Reeves’ monster flick holds up surprisingly well. Found footage films have plenty of issues, but for a movie that was made 11 years ago, the quality remains about the same.

It is a wild watch as everything snaps from friends having a party to trying their best to survive against a mysterious creature.

Romance: The Shape of Water

A seemingly ridiculous premise turns out to be the best romance story I have ever seen. Guillermo Del Toro is a mastermind at monsters especially as he tells a similar rendition of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. His love letter to one of his favorite horror movies stands out from the rest of Hollywood. It was a risky film to make, and it worked beautifully.

Sci-Fi Action: Terminator 2

Easily Schwarzenegger’s best film, Terminator 2, is a monstrous sci-fi action blend. After seeing him from a terrifying killer robot in the previous entry, the sequel twists to have the star as the hero rather than the villain.

Sadly, this relentless film will be the last truly great addition to the series as it goes downhill from here.

Sci-Fi Horror: The Thin(1982)

Easily my favorite horror film of all time, John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing is a classic that has aged terrifyingly well. The animatronics and other effects outshine plenty of modern films that utilize bad CGI over quality practical effects.

ParodyThe Cabin in the Woods

A smash between almost any classic horror film you can think of, this comedy walks carefully between scary and humorous. While plenty of jokes can get thrown at the genre, The Cabin in the Woods manages to poke fun at the slashers, monsters, and ghouls who have come before while still paying its respect to the genre.

Paranormal Horror: Hereditary

My favorite modern horror film that rivals The Thing. His first feature film was a smash hit that I regrettably missed in theaters. After all of the hype, I finally watched Hereditary after a friend gave me the blue-ray as a Christmas gift.

The emotions I felt are something that only a few movies have ever been able to accomplish. I could not shake it off for months because not only does this tell a disturbing story, it is emotionally gripping on its outlook on mental health and the process of grieving. Not only does it nail being as creepy as possible, but it ripped my heart to pieces.

It may not scare you, but watch this with someone or a few people to have a collective of reactions to the hardest hitting horror film I have ever seen.

Historical Drama: Spotlight

Usually, people think of a long time ago for historical movies, but I can’t ignore Spotlight. The Oscar winner tells the story about when the Boston Globe outed Catholic priests who were molesting children. A compelling and important narrative that cannot be forgotten. This is done respectfully and carefully to shake anyone to their core.

These only scratch the surface of how many genres there are in the world of film. Which are some of your favorites in different genres?

Image via 365PSD

Album Review: Drug Money – Science Fair Peepshow

The three-piece progressive rock group Drug Money released Science Fair Peepshow earlier this year. Elements from funk, punk, and rock meld themselves together for an experience that takes many turns. While some issues become quite apparent as I dove deeper into the record, it maintains its overall foundation with some unpredictable twists.

The opening song, 8-Bit Dream, starts the album off strong. Erik Haley’s funky bass hooked me right away while being accompanied by rhythmic riffs and technical drumming gives this opener an edge over the rest of the songs. Tim McClain’s vocals give me an old school rock vibe that still fit in the modern rock environment. No other song could have started things off this strong.

Punk Funk lives up to its name by having that harder sound you would expect from punk while having plenty of funk to spice things up. The instrumentation has cohesive chemistry that drives this hard-hitting track while slowing down for a solo that shows off more skill from McClain that what has been heard so far. Adding to the strength comes from McClain providing more variety in his singing to show he has quite the range in style.

Things go down a bit for me with the dry One Hell of a Night. The riffs have a soothing groove that overpowers all of the other elements. The long breaks between vocals and instrumentation started to get boring without enough stimulating variation.

The drumming power of Tim Dugas gets a short spotlight to open up Next World before the guitar and bass come in to back it up. I felt a jazz-inspired vibe by how each piece of the music had its own individual role. Less unison than Punk Funk with a lot more exciting paths to take. While the focus on instrumentation leaves plenty of breaks between the singing, I did not get as bored here, unlike how I felt during One Hell of a Night.

With Interest has a trembling personality with the bass and drums come smashing in while the guitar drives itself on its own road. The singing and instrumentation all have their own individual personality that stands strong without letting any other piece get in the way. To top it off, this is by far the catchiest tune on the album.

Taking a heavier turn, Eyes of God is the most aggressive song to be found here. Along with its relentless drive, the guitar work stands out as its best on the entire album. The only shortcoming here is the vocals sound too quiet while the instrumentation drowns it out.

Thoughts deceivingly start off melodic and somber but halfway through picks up its speed and dynamics to transform into something entirely different. The transition felt natural, leading to a powerful end.

Before closing down, the instrumental track Pot Brawny blends the melodic and heavier tones heard previously. A short, sweet treat right before the extensive closer.

The almost seven-minute conclusion with The Beast felt less like a beast and more like a small creature. Its slower pacing felt refreshing initially but soon started to burn out as I thought the length of the song would become too much for this style. Everything turned around during the halfway mark then another sharp turn during the final act which built up into the confident end that the record needed.

Science Fair Peepshow gets a lot right while falling short in some areas. All of the moving pieces come together in unison, while sometimes feels disjointed. What would benefit the band greatly is more diversity and not pulling back any punches. Younger groups tend to not go all out, but with more experience, I hope to see more confident experimentation out of the Southern rockers.

Score: 7/10

Buy the album here: Science Fair Peepshow

Image via Drug Money

Movie Review: Brightburn

The superhero genre has plenty of gold to share with the world, but not enough of those movies do something radically different. Writers Brian and Mark Gunn, brothers of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy fame, twist the iconic story of Superman into a slasher flick with plenty of gory kills and a refreshing take on the highly saturated genre. Super Myers may not soar like expected, but the film packs a punch.

After failing to have a baby, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Byers (David Denman) witness a spaceship crash behind their home to discover a baby. Their adopted alien son, Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) comes off innocent until his 12th birthday where he starts to descend down a supervillain path. His parents must come to grip with the reality of the identity of the child they have been raising all these years. A compelling narrative that weaves together a family, supervillain, and slasher story into one in a fairly successful way, but plenty of generic beats get hit to downgrade the experience.

Child actors can be a huge hit or a miss. While many of the supporting kids did not add much to the overall story, especially towards the final act, the little screen time was impressive. Besides Dunn, the only person to get any larger scenes around his age was Caitlyn (Emmie Hunter) who was a classmate that Brandon started to develop feelings towards. The adults did an outstanding job, but the young actors and actresses deserved more room to shine.

To no surprise, Banks is stellar with her performance along with her costars who bring together a wonderful family bond. Denman and Banks have a chemistry that feels like they have had a long history together. In both the brightest and darkest moments of this horrifying journey, the family dynamic between the three is flawlessly executed. I was floored how Dunn can snap from deep emotion to a soulless killer in an instant.

The caped murderer theme works, but I felt it needed some tweaking. The balance between supervillain and horror film felt unbalanced. The scarier aspects felt typical with some creative moments that needed to be exercised more often. Brandon’s arc as he discovers and learns about his powers were given little screen time, but every second was utilized to not waste the hour and a half runtime. The last act loses some of Brandon’s supervillain narrative except for a goofy scene during the beginning credits.

Some techniques with lighting and camera work were a sweet treat that I did not expect. The red to symbolize Brandon’s dark alter ego was masterfully placed to make for some disturbingly pretty shots. Plus one death scene has a unique take on how to shoot a character’s perspective before their demise, so keep an eye out for that even if you easily squirm.

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The deaths were satisfyingly brutal, but not enough was done. A murderous superpowered child should get a higher body count, especially with the short runtime. For gore fans, this is for you, but I felt I needed more to take care of my appetite for blood on the big screen.

I felt the inexperience from the Gunn brothers, and director David Yarovesky hurt the quality when this comic inspired horror flick should have been far better, but for younger filmmakers, they did impress with what they accomplished. Something felt missing from the plot to give it that extra nightmarish punch to the gut that sticks with him after viewing. Brightburn has excellent performances with some imaginative ideas, but it needed an extra push to be more original as a whole.

Score: 7/10

Images via Sony Pictures Releasing