Lucien’s First Take: Westworld Season 2: Comic-Con Trailer

My friend Maddie got me into this show just recently.  I got HBO Now on my phone because I refuse to miss the latest season of Game of Thrones.  I figure paying $15 for a month is worth it.  I will be paying $15 again when I reactivate it for this.  Westworld is awesome.  Such a compelling narrative, dark science fiction, a world that is both intriguing and horrifying.  And there are so many unanswered questions about the nature of the universe that series takes place in.  Like, where is this park located?  They talk about orbital launches in the series, so is this in some kind of space station?  I refuse to believe that they were able to clear out some massive part of the midwest in America for this astronomically-huge park.  Or if they did, I want to know how.  With all the unanswered questions at the end of the first season, as well as a climax that took me completely by surprise, it’s time to go back in to see what happens next.  And it just so happens that HBO gave me a lot to think about with their latest trailer.

Just so you know, I am going to go into MAJOR spoilers for the last season, so if you haven’t seen it, I cannot stress enough – stop reading here!  Go watch it, then come back.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

We begin with the iconic piano of the series.  But now the paper that made the music play has blood all over it.  It cuts to Bernard, standing by a river looking down at something.  It has the stripes of a tiger, but maybe I’m just seeing things but it looks like it has the face of a bear.  What is up with that?  A strange shot to include in the trailer.  Perhaps a sign of things getting out that they were experimenting on?  I have some thoughts about that, but let’s keep going.

Next there’s some dude hanging by his feet from a tree, swinging back and forth desperately trying to reach a gun on the ground.  Is that one of the guests from the end of last season?  I’m assuming so, as the entire robot staff had been brought back to life to exact some truly psychotic revenge on them.

Then it cuts to a shot of the facility’s control center.  It seems that absolutely everyone is dead here.  We see the pussy-ass British guy and my least-favorite character, Maeve, going through the mess.  Is the implication that she is the one who killed everyone?  That’s weird.  The only two Hosts who were free in here were dead by the end of the last season.  But since it’s been established that they have Hosts working in there, perhaps they decided to rebel with the rest.

Back to the world of the park, we see some of the Guests from the end of the last season on the run, with some of the Hosts running them down and killing them.  Evan Rachel Wood is back in her Wyatt persona, seeming to take great delight in making short work of the Guests.  More carnage inside the saloon at Pariah.

The last thing we see, though, is what really interests me.  A couple of vehicles dispatched by what I am assuming is security for the park, with Bernard driving with them!  So, is he siding with the Guests in this conflict?  That genuinely interests me, considering he had as much reason to hate them as any of the other Hosts.  That one shot has gotten me hooked more than anything, and I cannot wait to see the answers to what will happen next.

Lastly, a shock-moment – Ed Harris’ character is still alive!  HOW?!  I would have thought that Dolores/Wyatt would have ripped him to pieces for what he did.  How many Hosts are there that have been itching to have a piece of him?  Despite being a twisted fuck underneath it all, I did kind of like this character, once his motivations are fully explored.  Seeing him still breathing just amazes me.  He’s covered in blood, but alive.  Man am I stoked!  At the end he even appears to be starting to smile.  Whatever is pleasing this twisted bastard must be amazing.

What are your thoughts?

Initial Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Official Trailer

I saw the new Spider-Man today.  Awesome movie.  Just did a review on it.  But before that I had to suffer through a TON of ads for films that look just…awful.  Sony REALLY needs to get out of the movie industry, because they are producing some of the biggest shit imaginable.  I had heard that there was a sequel to Jumanji being done.  The classic film with Robin Williams, practical effects that still hold up, and CG that has aged terrible.  I had heard that it was going to involve The Rock and be set in a school.  So, some kids find the game and then it ends up having animal hijinks all around the school?  Okay, this sounds like it has potential.  Not much, mind you, but potential.

Oh, if only it had been that.  When the trailer for this film began, I was in awe, in absolute awe of how utterly stupid it is.  Let’s take a look.

So we have the breakfast club, circa 2017 being put in detention.  Glad to see the film wasted no time ripping off infinitely better films (something you’re going to learn that this film does a lot of).  So they find the game board down in that room?  You know, that iconic game board with all the really trippy effects and riddles telling our hapless characters what sorts of nightmares they unleashed?  This should be fun!

Oh, right we don’t have that.  Instead, we get their version of a Super Nintendo where it’s a video game now!  Because…modern?  Oh god, this film wastes no time trying to pander to the millenials who are NEVER going to like it anyway.  I just don’t get why they chose to do this.  Part of the charm of the original film was the understanding that it is retro.  Even for the 90’s, board games were passe.  But this game called to you.  It played drums and creeped you out.  There was real presence to that creepy board.  But now we have it just some game console that they found.  Were there even drums?  I didn’t hear anything, so I guess not.  Groj is this stupid.  This is so fucking stupid.

They start up the game, pick their characters, and then are sucked into the game.  Wait, really?  So all that stuff about the animals from the game fucking around in the real world?  That’s just, what, gone now?  Once they end up in the game’s reality, we see them all as different characters.  The really germophobic nerd is in The Rock’s body.  So, is this film ripping off Heavy Metal now?  That’s a weird choice.  Does that mean he’s going to bone some naked babes?  I bet that would make this film more interesting.  The black guy is in Kevin Hart’s body.  Oh boy, I can’t wait to see what unfunny comedy comes out of him.  The nerdy girl is a hot girl’s body now.  Okay.  But the thing which made me grown the loudest was seeing the hot girl now in Jack Black’s body.  Did this film really rip of The Hot Chick?!  You know, that film where Rob Schneider is put in the body of a hot girl?!  That film which fucking sucked?!  Unbelievable.  The premise just gets stupider and stupider.

Does anyone remember the way Robin Williams described the jungle world in the original film?  It sounded like a terrifying place, didn’t it?  A world where every day is a constant fear of if you will be eaten.  Where it’s full of darkness and nightmarish monsters that you can’t begin to comprehend.  And even the humans are killers who hunt other human beings.  That description really fucked with me as a kid.  But I guess in this film it’s a bright and colorful place, full of mirth and laughter and hilarious hijinks!  The montage that follows seems to suggest as much.

I’m just gonna cut to the quick on this, because talking about this trailer is pissing me off – this movie looks fucking retarded.  It’s not being faithful to the original.  It’s desperately trying to cash in on the hipster millennial crowd while also trying to be a family film.  Though, I guess these idiots are now old enough to have children, so maybe that works.  It’s ripping off other movies, and in the process looks even more pathetic.  Especially when the films it is ripping off starred the cinematic abortion known as Rob Schneider!  Fuck this movie right up its asshole!  Yet-another reboot that we can add to the pile of reboots that just fucking suck.  And, thankfully, the consensus on this seems to be pretty solid, so I hope this film bombs to the point that Sony can finally get the picture about how badly they need to get out of the movie industry.

Initial Verdict
3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Black Panther Teaser Trailer

When I did my review of Captain America: Civil War, I said that I honestly didn’t really know where they could go with a Black Panther film.  He is my second-favorite character in the film, due entirely on the incredible performance of the actor.  That man sells that role.  Marvel’s films have done some damn good casting lately.  Robert Downy Jr as Tony Stark, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, the kid as the new Spider-Man, and now Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.  Perfect casting.  But my perspective in my review still stands.  He’s the Black Panther, and a ruler of a powerful nation that is hidden away.  Where can they possibly go with that?  It’s a little late to get to it, but the teaser was released.  Let’s see.

We start off getting to hear Martin Freeman’s terrible American accent.  No joke, they should have just gotten Hugh Laurie to do the role.  He probably would have been more fun too.  Then we have Andy Serkis coming back from his role in Avengers: The Waste of James Spader’s Talent.  He’s saying that Wakanda isn’t nearly the backwater tribal society that people think.  Okay, liking it.  Some legit nice backdrops.  There is a cool juxtaposition between this waterfall scenery the Panther is at with the tech airplane he is leaving on.  Is the idea of the ancient and the modern clashing gonna come into play?  That could be cool.

The montage that follows seems to paint the film more as a story about Wakanda itself than the titular character.  I kinda like that.  I can’t honestly think of a Marvel film that has done that so far.  Making a movie about a nation and the struggles of being in the modern world is a neat angle that I can see either being done very well or fucked up so horribly bad.

Which is kind of my thought overall of this teaser.  I’m definitely not gonna watch any more trailers for the film.  I genuinely want to be surprised when I see it.  Modern trailers have a bad habit of ruining the entire plot of a film.  I think that’s what’s happened with Spider-Man: Homecoming.  I wouldn’t know.  After I saw how trailer 2 was spoiling the film I stopped it.  Black Panther is either going to be a very interesting dive into a nation and the people in it, or a preachy film about how evil western culture is.  Please don’t let it be that.  Please don’t let this be SJW jerk-fuel.  Marvel has thus far been pretty good about pandering to the forced-diversity crowd.  They want their works to appeal to a mass audience.

But this is new territory.  A piece about a nation and its ruler being unsure where they fit in in the changing world is a tough thing to get right.  I’m going to give this film a chance, though.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

Initial Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Life is Strange: Before the Storm Premier Trailer

I’ve made no secret that the original game is my favorite game of 2015.  Aside from the ending, which is stupid on so many levels that it forced me to do a rewrite which is on this site if you want to look for it, I loved it.  The game is truly phenomenal.  And just like Mass Effect 3, I don’t let the fact that the ending is pants-on-head retarded stop me from loving the rest of the franchise.  However, when I heard there was a sequel episodic series coming out, I was more than a little worried.  I mean, where are they going to go with the franchise?  I had games where I both saved and let Chloe die, so are they going to pick up with Max back in Seattle?  Where could this go?  Are we FINALLY going to get an answer to what Max’s power is and how it works?  That’s the biggest question I have after the series so that could be a little interesting.

But today Microsoft decided to unveil the latest season at their press conference.  And…I don’t know what to think.  Let’s take a look at the trailer and then talk about it.

Okay, so we have Chloe, who is one of my favorite female characters of all time, voiced by an amazing voice actress who I also loved in Horizon: Zero Dawn.  She’s in her room, smoking.  I can see the art style is the same, but it does look a lot more detailed.  The facial animations in-particular, which was my biggest gripe with this style.

She’s sitting there, smoking, and we see a raven land on her windowsill.  The previous game had a thing about the blue butterfly that Max took a pic with.  Is that the way it is with the raven?  In all mediums the raven has symbolized death.  A theory just came to me, but I want to keep going before we talk about it.

There’s a montage of things happening, and one of the things that gets my attention is her being in a car with her father when he is hit by a train.  Is that a dream sequence?  If it’s not, then it makes my theory have suddenly a lot more credibility.  There are things like a tree burning, and Chloe climbing the steps of Blackwell Academy with a sign about good luck seniors.  More Chloe being angsty and shit, but always alone.  That interests me.  The previous game made it seem like her and Rachel Amber were nigh-inseparable.

Here’s why I’m worried – part of me is thinking that all this is is just filling in Chloe’s backstory before the events of the game.  Why?  We already know what happened.  That would be stupid.  That would be the biggest waste of time and potential ever.  And the worst thing is that I’m going to buy the first episode to find out.  Because I have to know.  I have another theory, and I’m desperately hoping that it’s true.  If it really is as simple and dumb as what the title suggests, then I am honestly going to be nine kinds of done with Dontnod and their episodic games.

My theory is this – Chloe dies in so many of the timelines that Max has.  Whether it be in the beginning when Nathan shoots her, the junkyard where you can accidentally shoot her while playing with David’s gun, the alternate timeline if you have Max kill her when she asks her too, and at the very end if you choose to sacrifice her.  I always believed that the tornado was the alternate timelines Max created coming together to fuck up reality.  It made sense.  My theory is that this game has Chloe in the nether-space between timelines.  Like a space where nothing is real and she is desperate to escape.  Kinda like the world of the Nexus in Star Trek Generations.  That would be fascinating!  No joke, if they go that route then it makes sense why her reaction at the end where she sees Rachel is one of awe.  Like she can’t believe that she’s actually there.

But I am still worried that this is just rehashing a backstory we already know.  To Square Enix and Dontnod, if that is really the route you go, so help me Groj I will make the longest and most nit-picky post explaining why you are wasting gamers’ money that you have ever seen!  Not that you care, I’m sure, but hopefully my audience will care.  And I’m going to make sure all of you are told as fast as possible.  The first episode comes out August 31st.  Your move, Dontnod

Initial Verdict:
You Have My Attention

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back Teaser

This is more of an indictment of the video game industry and what a joke it has all become lately.  This year’s E3 honestly isn’t interesting me all that much.  I mean, what are the big new things coming up?  A sequel to the shit-tastic Destiny that I couldn’t possibly care less about but everyone seems to think is just so amazing.  Nintendo has their latest Mario clone that is just the same as the others but this time with an open world.  Neat, I guess?  Kojima’s latest project isn’t going to show, but that doesn’t surprise me.  He’s already said that hoping for a release date in 2018 is not happening so don’t bother.  From Software has already told people not to start hoping for a Bloodborne sequel, but are saying they have something new that people who love that will just love!  I bet.  Everything is a sequel or a remake.  I’m just not that interesting.

Sure, The Last of Us: Part 2 may make an appearance.  That would be cool.  Especially if there is gameplay footage.  I am also hoping for a release date for Detroit: Become Human to make an appearance too, but part of me figures that will be asking too much.  Then people are saying “but what about the remake for Final Fantasy VII?!” Did everyone just forget that that game will be released episodically?  And Square Enix is charging a full-priced game amount for each episode?  Yeah, fuck that noise.  I’m not giving them a cent.  I am not paying $180 for AAA game.  Not happening.  I can get a gaming console for cheaper.  I am just not feeling the magic.

Trailers like this certainly don’t help.

Really?  I mean, really?!  You’re rebooting Bubsy?  Who the fuck asked for this?!  Really, what person anywhere actually asked for this to be a thing?!  With all the franchises that could use being brought into the 21st century.  Like Spyro, or Shantae, or a ton of the old Disney platformers (the remake of the Duck Tales game was awesome!), or any of the games on this list (shameless pandering!), Bubsy is the one we get?!  Let’s analyze this.

We have this annoying cat thing speaking, in a voice that makes me want to tear my ears out.  Not off to a good start, game.  It talks about how the world has all these problems.  Sure, I am down that that.  One of them is the fact that a game studio I am shocked didn’t die with you brought you back to life.  No joke, I genuinely am amazed that the company who brought us Bubsy 3D didn’t go tits-up when the game died on the funeral pyre that was its existence.  But then it decides to tell us that we can ignore all that shit and instead focus on Bubsy!  Oh boy!  We then get to see some generic platforming.  Oh boy.  That sure does look like every other generic platformer that I have ever seen without a single thing that catches my interest.

The reality is that this game looks mediocre.  With all the great 2D characters who could be brought back to life like Gex or Shantae or Earthworm Jim or even Spyro, this is the loser that this company actually wanted to unearth from the gaming graveyard?  I will never understand.  If gaming is becoming another version of Hollywood, I fear for its future.  For real, I do.

Initial Verdict
5 out of 10 – Boring

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Star Wars Battlefront II Reveal Trailer

EA’s Battlefront sucked.  I am pretty sure that this game will suck too.  I have no intention of playing it.  But here’s the thing I want to talk about – why I think this game could have had potential.  Because it really could have.  For a little while there I am actually invested in what’s happening.  I don’t get how a trailer can go from engaging to bullshit in seconds.  Maybe it’s because Disney decided to fuck the Expanded Universe.  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, this game goes from looking really cool to looking really dumb in seconds, and that’s amazing.  Let’s take a look at this trailer.

You know what I miss – the Rogue Squadron games.  Those were awesome.  I keep hoping that EA will do something with that license, but they would probably fuck that up anyway.  I bring this up for a reason.  There was this incredible animated short that was done in the style of Gundam where you have Imperial fighters duking it out with the Rebels and kicking their ass.  I have always really wanted to know what the Empire’s story is.  I mean, all we ever see of them is them being evil.  In the old Tie Fighter games, you get to play as an Imperial pilot.  It would have been kinda cool to see things from their point of view.  I mean, when you think about it, the Rebels are some hardcore terrorists.  How many innocent people got killed when they blew up the original Death Star?  They condemned the Ewoks to obliteration when they blew up the second one.  The Rebels are all about peace and justice, but you really do have to wonder how many innocent people’s deaths are on their hands.

So this game has you in the role of an elite stormtrooper.  Cool!  We get to see the war from the Empire’s side!  And especially after the fall of the Emperor.  Awesome!  So is it like a civil war?  Is the Empire collapsing and you get to see from the side of a lost soldier who can’t leave her duty behind?  That’s kinda neat.  We even get to see the Rebels getting their shit messed up.  Really did remind me of that animated short.  Wanna watch that again.  You all should too.

But then the trailer decides to fuck all that cool build-up and go into the stupid.  Every time I see Emo Vader’s stupid lightsaber design I laugh.  The most impractical weapon ever, and they still want us to think that it’s cool.  They are trying WAY too hard.  We also get to reenact the battle with Darth Maul?  Like, from Episode I?  The second-worst film in the entire franchise? (I argue that Episode II is the worst.  The cringe level was so much worse than Episode I) Okay?  Hell, can we PLEASE get some of the cool characters from Cartoon Network’s show?  I’d love to get to play as Cad Bane, who is one of my favorite anti-heroes.  Or maybe a cool General Grievous like in Clone Wars.  Maybe some Ventress action?  Oh, right, that would be cool.  And if it’s cool, it’s not in this game.  Instead, we have Emo Vader and Boring Girl who is played by an actress who can’t act (not even going to see Episode VIII) doing stuff.

If the story of this game is what I think, and you get to play as the Empire on the losing side of the war with the Rebellion, this game could have at least some potential.  But this is EA and DICE.  How much hope do you really have that this game won’t suck?

Initial Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Dear White People (Netflix Trailer)

You know, I’m starting to think that anti-SJWs are becoming just as bad as the SJWs they mock.  Why?  Because it seems like every little thing now leads them to some stupid boycott that won’t work and doesn’t really matter, yet gets trending on Twitter to make them feel like they are doing something important.  Recently, the trailer that we are going to watch got them all to have their panties in a bunch and start a boycott of Netflix.  Really?  Over this?  I’m a fucking hipster douche canoe who doesn’t even have streaming on Netflix and still does DVDs and even I see this as stupid.  Yeah, you just learned something about me that really makes me look pathetic.  I understand if you look down upon me.  It’s the same reason that I will have such a hard time getting into downloading games instead of having a disc copy.

This stupid boycott was started over a trailer that has a like/dislike ration that eerily mimics another big SJW-approved piece of work.  I wonder what that could be…?  And just like that one, battle lines have been drawn.  The title of this work is “Dear White People,” and I thought that we would look at this trailer and break down our impressions.  Weigh in with a more sensible voice about the nature of how good or bad it is.

So, we first get to see an image of stereotypical white people.  We have Douchebag Von Asshole V, and Betty Steenvirgin waving, as a black woman is about to tell me what kinds of Halloween costumes are acceptable.  Here’s the answer – any fucking kind I want.  I have the right to dress whatever way I want for Halloween.  As do you.  As does anyone who is watching this bullshit.  If you don’t like it, you are free not to associate with me.  As you are clearly a person with far-left, SJW political opinions, I doubt we would get along anyway.

Then it has a headline – America Needs.  Boy, I can think of a thousand things that I could fill in that end space with.  How about – to get away from dogmatic thinking?  Or maybe – to kick these SJWs to the curb?  Or, perhaps – to stop being so fucking pussy that we can’t deal with opposing points of view?  Yeah, those are all great things to fill in there.

We then get her deciding to go into a tirade about blackface.  Here’s where I am going to say something unpopular – I don’t give a fuck about blackface.  Really, I don’t.  Is it stupid?  Yeah.  Does it portray an ethnic group in a way that may be unflattering?  Probably.  But here’s the thing – that kind of shit only offends you if you have some kind of allegiance to your race.  This is something that I do not have. For example, we see our white people stereotypes.  Are they unflattering?  Sure.  Do I care?  Not at all.  Hell, I think they are kind of funny.  Like the cliche of what liberal elitist snobs are supposed to be.  These are the same kinds of people who are listening to what this bitch has to say and taking it seriously.  It isn’t the frat boys who actually want to live their lives as they see fit without breaking the law.  It isn’t the middle class people who are just going through their day-to-day and don’t give a flying fuck about all this identity politics stuff.  It’s yuppie snobs who are in Ivy League universities who are the biggest proponents of this kind of rhetoric.  The very people this woman is using to deride white people are the exact ones who are the first to come to her defense.

I have no allegiance to white people.  Hell, I don’t have an allegiance to the human race.  I’m a misanthrope.  I hate my species off-hand.  So I take people as they come.  If someone wants to mock white people, I say go for it!  Hell, I’ll join you.  I have made fun of hipsters with such gusto that my disdain for them has reached epic proportions.  I’ve made fun of rednecks.  I’ve made fun of yuppie Ivy League college students.  You want to make fun of white people?  Go right the fuck ahead.  I don’t get offended because it doesn’t mean a thing to me.  My race matters just as little to me as your race does.  I don’t give a fuck about your race either.  Fuck ethnic groups and their pet issues.  It’s beneath my attention to talk about.

So when this woman gets all butthurt about blackface, my thought is – why do you care?  I’m sure I’ll get someone who will come on here about how black people have been marginalized and shit.  Well, that was then.  Back then, blackface was an insulting thing to black people.  Nowadays, people don’t do it because it isn’t funny.  It’s not culturally acceptable.  The people in her video as example of blackface all seem to have something in common – they are young adults.  They are people in their early to mid 20’s.  The years when they are rebelling against societal norms and living on the edge.  It’s frat people and college punks looking to be offensive on purpose.  Gee, when you look at it like that, it’s almost like she is giving these people attention that they were already looking for.  Much like how Bill Maher wore a costume of Steve Irwin with a stingray barb in his chest shortly after he died.  Yeah, that was offensive, but it was done intentionally.  Getting mad about him about it just feeds into what he was looking for in the first place.

These people aren’t dressing up as you for Halloween, sweetie.  They are dressing provocatively, with the intent of getting reactions.  The fact that you let it affect you so strongly says more about you than it does about them.

And that’s it.  So, is the entire premise just some radio chick who uses the latest SJW talking points with black comedy interspersed among it?  Huh, maybe Madea will make a cameo.  Is this some big statement against white people?  No.  That’s stupid.  Would I ever watch it?  Nope.  I don’t go to Everyday Feminism because there’s only so much stupid I can handle.  Why would I watch a series personifying that kind of thinking?  And here’s the thing – this series will likely go the exact same route as that other SJW hill they had to die on.  It will be forgotten not long after it debuts.  So, with that in mind, let me give my Final Verdict.  For those who know how I rate things, it will make sense.

Final Verdict
5 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick