Xbox 720? Not in 2012

Looks like there will be no new Xbox in the year 2012, and that comes as no surprise. With so many titles being released on the 360 next year, it wouldn’t be a very smart move to release a new system. Especially considering that there have been rumors that you wont be able to retro-play any of your 360 games on the 720 console. Hopefully that remains just a rumor. Xbox has some huge titles coming out in 2012, so let’s take a moment to see what those will be.

The new Max Payne, a new Spec Ops game (said to be loosely based off of Heart of Darkness and its Vietnam era adaptation, Apocalypse Now), another Prey, a spiritual sequel to the supremely underrated Far Cry 2, the Inglorious Basterd’s rip-off of Brothers in Arms, new Bioshock, and Borderlands 2. Pretty great year, and that’s just for the first-person-shooters. Keep your attention here for updates and news.


84th Annual Oscar Noms

Despite 2011 being a pretty weak year for movies in general, I’m posting the nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards. Tree of Life is on there somehow, a movie I literally walked out of for being too pretentious and stupid, and now apparently Jonah Hill (yes that Jonah Hill) is an oscar nominee now. 2012 might actually be the end folks.

Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
George Clooney in “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis in “The Help”
Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Actress in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Animated Feature Film

“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
“Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson
“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
“Rango” Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

“The Artist”
Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“Midnight in Paris”
Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
“War Horse”
Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales


“The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
“Hugo” Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
“War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

“Anonymous” Lisy Christl
“The Artist” Mark Bridges
“Hugo” Sandy Powell
“Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
“W.E.” Arianne Phillips


“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” Alexander Payne
“Hugo” Martin Scorsese
“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
“The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Documentary (Feature)

“Hell and Back Again”
Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)

“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
“God Is the Bigger Elvis”
Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
“Incident in New Baghdad”
James Spione
“Saving Face”
Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

“The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” Kevin Tent
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker
“Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film

“Bullhead” Belgium
“Footnote” Israel
“In Darkness” Poland
“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
“A Separation” Iran


“Albert Nobbs”
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
“The Iron Lady”
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)

“The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
“The Artist” Ludovic Bource
“Hugo” Howard Shore
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse” John Williams

Music (Original Song)

“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio”
Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown; Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Picture

“The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer
“The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer
“The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
“Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
“Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
“Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
“The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined
“War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

“Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
“La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
“A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
“Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

“Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
“Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
“The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
“Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
“Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

“Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
“Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
“War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
“War Horse”
Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
“Real Steel”
Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

New Xbox 720 Information!

Seems like is the breaking source for a lot of information these days, but this little gem is huge. The Xbox 720’s specs are being released (a little bit) and apparently this bad boy is going to have SIX times the processing speed that the Xbox 360 is currently working with. The chip alone for the CPU is running at roughly 80 dollars, so with that being mass processed and shipped you can expect this nex-gen console to cost a pretty penny.

With those kind of advertised speeds and the other specs being listed out through the link, imagine what type of games you could be playing when this system is released next year in 2013. Think of games that make titles like Modern Warfare or Crysis look dated and low end in comparison. This system will either be a great deal of fun for everyone who buys it, or the destruction of the human race as we know it. And we haven’t even seen what Sony or Nintendo is planning on!

Riddick 3 Picture Released

The folks over at Empire magazine have released an on-set picture from the new Chronicles of Riddick installment, starring Vin Diesel. As previously reported, this film has sure taken its sweet time in getting into production, and is looking at a 2013 release date. David Twohy is returning to the director’s chair, but can he recapture the feeling of Pitch Black that was so lost on The Chronicles of Riddick? The story seems interesting enough, with Riddick being abandoned by the people he ruled, in what I’m guessing is a power struggle between him and Karl Urban’s character.

I could be wrong, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that I’m not. It will be nice to see Starbuck from Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica returning to the genre, although I’m not sure what role she’ll be playing quite yet. Either way, here’s to hoping Twohy can bottle lightning twice.

Diablo III Running Into More Problems has reported that Diablo III’s Senior Producer, Steve Parker, has posted on twitter that he is leaving the company after five years. This comes at a troubling time for the title, as their original release date for the game was supposed to be first quarter 2012. This isn’t the first time the company (possibly) has put out a game later than announced. Luckily for Blizzard, they are making more money that some small countries, and have the extremely rare luxury of telling distributors when their game will be shipped, as opposed to vice versa.

Earlier I reported that the company was dealing with the issue of whether or not to take the game to console or not. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with that sort of transition, but I would imagine it would take a longer list of problems, or one large one, to force a Senior Produce to put in his resignation. Who knows, maybe the game will be streamlined quicker now. Or maybe not at all. Food for thought!

Next-Gen Modern Warfare?

Treyarch, the studio famous for implementing the infamous zombie modes of combat, might be about to start designing the new Modern Warfare for nex-gen consoles. According to’s investigatory journalism, Treyarch is hiring a senior animator with needs for “nex-gen” animation. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a game solely focused on a zombie survival story. Maybe being able to create your own character, upgrades like in the regular game versions, with safe zones and the like.

My own personal wishes aside, Treyarch has done well with their zombie modes in the past. The only gripe I have is that the easter eggs are contingent on four people playing and not quitting mid-round. When one person leaves after two hours of work, and ruins the entire thing for everyone it becomes frustrating, and doesn’t spur the want or need to complete the challenge with such a threat of irritation. Although I really doubt Treyarch peruses this site for source material or reference, a guy can always hope.

Lucas to Retire From Films

According to an article over at the New York Times, George Lucas is going to retire from making “blockbusters” forever. Too bad this news is coming about 12-13 years too late! Lucas, obviously, is famous for the Star Wars series, and coming up with the original story. Which looked nothing like what the series ended up becoming. If it wasn’t for the production studio and other creative heads than we’d have an alien looking Han Solo, and instead of Luke there would have been just an original Anakin. It was this kind of disconnect from the actual series that caused the ruin of the prequels that Lucas directed himself.

His most recent film, Red Tails, is about the African-American pilots from WWII who came and turned the tides for a lot of bomber defense in the European front. The cast is pretty good, although I feel like Cuba Gooding Jr. is always trying to reclaim his former Oscar glories, despite whatever his track record would suggest. Red Tails was turned down by every major studio, and although it’s admirable that Lucas is doing the project on his own (it’s not like the man is strapped for cash) I seriously doubt this is going to pull in the kind of money that The Passion of the Christ did.

Speilberg even came out recently, stating that it was Lucas’ idea to add aliens to the last Indiana Jones installment. So, after ruining Star Wars for a lot of people, he decided to destroy another fan favorite. If this is the case, I say good riddance Mr. Lucas. However, just because he is retiring from blockbuster type films, doesn’t mean he won’t try to enter into the television world, as previously rumored by a Band Of Brothers style look at the rebel alliance. Either way, Mr. Lucas, may you please keep to just enjoying the fruits of destroyed childhoods, and may the schwartz be with you.

What’s the Deal With Daniel Craig?

Contributing columnist Spencer Mann has an issue with Daniel Craig. He illustrates his points below. Feel free to agree or disagree as you please:

Am I missing something with Daniel Craig?

I’ll start out by saying that I think he is a good looking man and I do like him as an actor. However, I feel that in particular roles that Craig has been casted in, his female counterparts are unexplainably attracted to him and the audience is pre-ordained to accept this. Let me explain –

When Craig was first cast into the role of James Bond back in the early 2000s, it was met with much controversy from the fans of the Bond series. Looking at things from a physical sense, the titular character is a dark haired man with dark eyes; Craig is blonde with blue eyes. But I was willing to look past this as the people behind the re-boot of the series stated that these new movies were taking a look at how Bond began, and became the man that we’re all used to seeing. Now I won’t get into how much of a cop-out that is, but it seems to create a free pass if they screw up of the character of Bond. Anyways, two things that people attribute to the character of Bond – badass and ladies’ man.

Craig personifies the badass aspect of Bond just fine; it’s the ladies’ man that I don’t believe. Bond is a smooth, suave man’s man who the audience never doubts will get the job done and get the lady while he’s at it. With Craig there always seems to be a chance of failure. He personifies a character that is vulnerable, maybe with a dark past, where failure is a possible outcome. He’s a survivor who finds himself in situations that force him into the role of hero where the audience roots for the underdog. My favorite role of his that captures his true essence as an actor was his unnamed character in Layer Cake as a haggard, semi-mobster who wants to get out of the game. When he finds that he can’t simply get out of a life of crime, he ends up with his back against a wall barely escaping with his life…or does he?

Anyways, this isn’t Bond and this isn’t a ladies’ man. His love interest, Sienna Miller (HOT!), is also a broken woman who finds comfort with a man that is equally as unbalanced as she is. This attraction I believe; it was developed through interactions that make the audience believe that these two characters are equally dysfunctional. Now take his Bond character in Quantum of Solace who comes across Gemma Arterton (HOT!) as Strawberry Fields. The two begin their interactions with hostile dialogue that ultimately ends with Bond walking into a hotel room and signals to Fields that he expects her to be ready for sex, in more words or less. The audience accepts that the outcome will be Bond getting the girl because Bond always gets the girl; when in fact Craig doesn’t earn the faith that he will succeed. This is just one example.

Example two – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Craig as Mikael Blomkvist is an absolutely perfect casting job. Craig is believable as a capable journalist that begins the story at the tail end of a scandal where his fails to expose a person for the villain that he is – dark past, broken man. Now I had the pleasure of reading this novel before I saw the film so I witnessed the development of the relationship between Blomkvist and the heroine, Lisbeth Salander played by Rooney Mara (HOT!). For anyone who isn’t familiar with the character of Salander she is introduced as a very unorthodox person who is very guarded and standoffish. In the book, the story shows Salander gradually finding Blomkvist as being disarming and unusually charming to her, rather than most people she has interacted with. This eventually results in Salander overwhelming Blomkvist by entering his room, and proceeds to undress herself with the intention of sex.

The reader understands this attraction because Salander is helpless against Blomkvist’s unyielding charm. When I watched the movie I saw this culminating scene between Salander and Blomkvist depicted occurring right after he has been shot at by the story’s villain and requiring her care. After Salander has finished stitching Blomkvist up and he is sitting on his bed bitching about his wounds, she, for lack of a better expression, jumps his bones. This came off as nothing more than a pity bang. The couple is shown throughout the movie as continuing their sexual relationship that is based off of what this viewer can only recognize as Salander feeling sorry for Blomkvist. Folks, I just don’t believe it.

In both instances we find Craig playing a character that the audience is prepared to accept that he will end up with the girl. If I had no memory of James Bond or hadn’t read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I would be at a loss for why these female characters find themselves attracted to Craig. Again, I don’t deny that the man is a good actor and that he isn’t handsome, but I can’t deny that his connections with his female counterparts. He seems to benefit from a preordained notion that he will succeed and he will get the girl even though it is hard to believe on screen.

By Spencer Mann

An article after my own dork heart

This isn’t the first time I’ve posted an article from the guys over at I doubt it will be the last either. Editor in chief Dan O’Brien doesn’t always cause me to begin a slow clap to myself after one of his pieces, but this one certainly did. In it, he outlines four pieces of fiction that really dropped the ball when it comes to creating, not just a story, but a great story. A story filled with complicated characters, with plot lines that we haven’t seen a million times over, an Apocalypse Now of nerd culture.

His analysis of The Walking Dead and Star Wars are especially spot-on with the missed opportunities, however, I’m not sure I would have gone the same route with his co-authored idea about how Anakin and Obi-wan became enemies. It has always been a dream project of mine to be given the greenlight to rewrite the prequels into something that isn’t a self indulgent, ego-fueled mess.

The article is very well done, and definitely worth your read, especially if you’re one of the two people reading this site already. One love.