Music Review: Linkin Park’s HYBRID THEORY 20th Anniversary Edition

LinkinPark-HybridTheory20thA huge new music set from one of nu-metal’s megastars

Like many people who were in their mid-teens as the 1990s ticked over to 2000s, I love Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park’s debut. Chester Bennington’s immense vocal skills leapt out of the speakers, the music sounded big, brash, and catchy AF. The band had their hooks in my mind from the first listen, and aside from a couple of albums that felt phoned in, I’ve been a fan ever since. I don’t believe there’s a day that’s gone by when I haven’t listen to at least one LP song.

Hybrid Theory was an album that was very much of its time, but still sounds good 20 years later. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, the band did a deep dive into their archives, and have assembled a huge set with over 80 tracks, many of them rare or previously unreleased.

But should you buy it? Well… Continue reading

Newt Scamander confronts THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD…

A new trailer for the next movie in the Fantastic Beasts series was released during San Diego Comic Con. It is a tantalizing look at what the next movie has to offer. Check it out:

The movie stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, Jude Law as Dumbledore, and many others. Some returning faces from Fantastic Beasts appear in the trailer, which is also nice. The Crimes of Grindelwald is due to arrive in theatres in November.

New AQUAMAN and SHAZAM! trailers dropped at SDCC…

Two new trailers for upcoming DC Comics movies dropped at SDCC, and both have certainly grabbed my attention, not to mention increased my anticipation. First up, Aquaman, Jason Momoa’s first solo outing as the titular hero:

Aquaman stars Momoa, Amber Heard (Mera), Dolph Lundgren (), Patrick Wilson (Orm), Willem Dafoe, Djimon Hounsou and more. The movie was directed by James Wan, and the screenplay had input from a number of people, including Wan, Geoff Johns (who wrote the Aquaman comic for a while, and is responsible for guiding Hollywood overall around the DC universe and its characters).

And second, Shazam!, which isn’t a comic I’m familiar with, but nevertheless looks like it could be a lot of fun:

It’s been a while since I last saw Zachary Levi in anything, but I am a huge fan of Chuck, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy his part in this, too. The movie also stars Mark Strong (he of the best voice in film, and playing a bad guy again), and some younger actors I’ve never heard of before. The movie is directed by David F. Sandberg, and was written by Henry Gayden. Interestingly, Djimon Hounsou is in this one, too.

Much has been made of the gloomy Zack Snyder DC Comic movieverse, some of which I have liked and some of which I didn’t. While I am not against gloomy, gritty superhero movies (The Dark Knight, for example), and generally my issues with the DC movies have not been related to the atmosphere/texture of the movies, I am glad we’re getting some lighter fare in the coming months/years.

I’m really looking forward to both of these movies.

Upcoming: TOMB RAIDER

I missed the trailer for the new Tomb Raider movie when it was first release in September, but I think it looks great. The re-booted game series was a real step up from the originals. Looking forward to its release in March 2018! Joining the excellent, Academy Award-winning Alicia Vikander, are Nick Frost, Dominic West, Walton Goggins and Daniel Wu (and others). The movie is directed by Roar Uthaug, and the screenplay was written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (who is also working on the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, to star Brie Larson) and Alastair Siddons.

Warner Bros. has also released a behind-the-scenes clip of an interview with Vikander about becoming Lara Croft:

SDCC: First teaser for READY PLAYER ONE movie!

I read Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One in two sittings, separated only by a few hours of sleep. I loved it — it was maybe the first time I would describe a reading experience as “joyous”. I’ve been eagerly anticipating the movie ever since it was announced — even though I was a little concerned about how they might translate from page to screen. The new trailer, below, suggests that the adaptation is going to be awesome!

Warner Bros. is due to release the Steven Spielberg-directed movie in March 2018, and I can’t wait! In case you’re unfamiliar with the novel, it’s published by Arrow in the UK and Crown in North America. Here’s the synopsis:

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS — and his massive fortune — will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.

Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions — and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

You can read my 2011 review of the novel here. I think I’m due for a re-read soon…

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

SDCC: New JUSTICE LEAGUE teaser trailer

Save for the superb Wonder Woman movie, DC’s cinematic output hasn’t been too well received. I’ve quite enjoyed each of the movies (though, I still haven’t seen Suicide Squad), and so I’m very much looking forward to Justice League. Warner Bros. has just unveiled a teaser trailer at San Diego ComicCon, featuring a lot of Steppenwolf, some parademons, and of course the League. Here it is:

Justice League should hit theatres in November 2017. During SDCC, a new poster was also unveiled, and I couldn’t agree more with io9, it really does look like an Alex Ross painting brought to life:

WONDER WOMAN opens in one month(ish)! (Whither the marketing blitz?)

WonderWoman-PosterSDCC2016

As has been pointed out by quite a few commentators and fans — most recently SyFy Wire and The Mary Sue — there has been relatively very little publicity push for the upcoming WONDER WOMAN movie. Actually, a pathetic amount of marketing. Given the veritable avalanche of teasers, posters, online, television and print advertising we were subjected to in the run up to Batman vs. SupermanSuicide Squad, all of the new Star Wars movies and even less-blockbuster-offerings, the paucity of Wonder Woman advertising is puzzling. Continue reading

Trailer: THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

I loved M.R. Carey‘s The Girl With All the Gifts. I read it shortly after it was published, and consider it to easily be one of the best books of 2014. Above is the first full trailer for the movie adaptation, which will arrive in theatres soon. It is directed by Colm McCarthy, and stars Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and Paddy Considine. Here’s the synopsis:

The near future; humanity has been all but destroyed by a mutated fungal disease that eradicates free will and turns its victims into flesh-eating “hungries”. Only a small group of children seem immune to its effects.

At an army base in rural England, this group of unique children are being studied, subjected to cruel experiments by biologist Dr. Caldwell. Despite having been infected with the zombie pathogen that has decimated the world, these children retain normal thoughts and emotions. And while still being subject to the craving for human flesh that marks the disease these second- generation “hungries” are able to think and feel making them a vital resource in the search for a cure.

The children attend school lessons daily, guarded by the ever watchful Sergeant Parks. But one little girl, Melanie, stands out from the rest. Melanie is special. She excels in the classroom, is inquisitive, imaginative and loves her favourite teacher Miss Justineau.

When the base falls, Melanie escapes along with Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks and Dr. Caldwell. Against the backdrop of a blighted Britain, Melanie must discover what she is and ultimately decide both her own future and that of the human race.

The novel is published by Orbit Books (UK/US), and is a must-read. You can read my review here. Carey’s latest novel, Fellside, is also published by Orbit, and is out now (UK/US).

CareyMR-Titles2016

Make Your Own Superman “S”/Glyph…!

So. This is utterly silly, but also really cool. I’m a massive Superman fan (the Christopher Reeves videos must have been worn out in our house, when I was a kid). With the upcoming Man of Steel re-boot, Warner Bros. have put up a rather nifty, totally geeky app: the Glyph Generator! Make your own “S”! Here’s mine…

shield_1370194085353

There’s also the option to add your glyph to a photo. I totally would have done this, if there were any decent pictures of me in an appropriate pose. Thankfully for the world, there wasn’t…