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  • Comic Book Flicks #6: The Punisher (2004) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    Hard With a Vengeance and Armageddon Hensleigh worked on the script with Michael France who co wrote other Marvel films like Ang Lee s Hulk and 2005 s Fantastic Four Hensleigh s experience in the action adventure genre serves him well dialling down over the top superhero movie theatrics in favour of a more grounded big screen adventure for Marvel s brutal vigilante Castle is from the everyday heroes mould like John McClane and Paul Kersey as he s portrayed as a mortal who bleeds and cares and who relies on guts and brains to dispatch his enemies Castle does not fly or spin webs nor does he have the bank account of Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne The only problem with Hensleigh s film is that it baulks from being as relentlessly dark as its source material I mean a torture scene involves Popsicles and Castle s neighbours are played too broadly The adaptation is enjoyable for what it is but Hensleigh should have gone the whole hog See the 2012 short The Punisher Dirty Laundry by Jane himself for a better cinematic representation of the character Just as the titular character is the antithesis of his Marvel superhero counterparts The Punisher is a different type of Marvel flick in terms of tone and technique Hensleigh relied on practical effects as much as possible here with little in the way of CGI Hence there are real stunts real car crashes real explosions and practical blood squibs The action sequences are all impressive here coherently assembled and vehemently R rated Considering Hensleigh was reportedly working on a scant 33 million budget The Punisher is quite an achievement although even the filmmaker himself laments the fact that the production lacked suitable funds to make the movie all that it could have been One would imagine the likes of The Rock or Vin Diesel in the role of The Punisher but Jane is an ideal pick A huge fan of the character Jane prepared extensively for the role working out for several months to build muscle and learning proper military firearms techniques He nails the character s stoic badass demeanour and he handles the character s vulnerable side with ease Travolta meanwhile hams it up as Howard Saint with a scenery chewing performance that wouldn t look out of place in Dick Tracy Digging into the supporting cast Roy Scheider Jaws has a small part as Castle s doomed father and professional wrestler Kevin Nash also pops in for a vicious brawl that denotes one of the picture s highlights There isn t much originality or depth to The Punisher not to mention the film is a little on the long side and perhaps there should ve been more actual punishing Nevertheless this is a solid effort by all involved and a badass revenge action film which easily provides a fun evening of popcorn entertainment It s a nicely produced B movie which plays out like a spaghetti western or an 80s

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2013/04/comic-book-flicks-6-the-punisher-2004/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Comic Book Flicks #5: Spider-Man 2 (2004) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    an undeniable fan favourite brought to life via a phalanx of effects artists On screen Doc Ock is a much cooler visual than Willem Dafoe s snarling Green Goblin who bore more of a resemblance to a Power Ranger than his comic book counterpart He s also far more sinister than the Lizard seen in the 2012 movie The cast bring real gravitas to their roles This is easily Maguire s finest performance in the trilogy His tenure as the character has been derided in some circles but he brought a range to the part that shouldn t be overlooked Maguire is convincing whether depressed lonely hurt or heroic In my opinion he reflects much of what made Christopher Reeve s turn as Superman so memorable mastering the dual personas at the centre of the story and Peter s overriding sense of responsibility Molina s antagonist is appropriately broad and perfectly in tune with the material A fitting choice for the role he imbues Octavius with a fully rounded personality and he remains the best villain in the films to date There s a hint of Jekyll and Hyde about the character a victim controlled by his fused tentacles which feed on his darker instincts Like Peter he is battling opposing emotions and screenwriter Alvin Sargent effectively contrasts their similarities Rather than a fist fight it is their shared love of science that ultimately saves the day Out of the main cast Dunst has the least to play with Mary Jane is the stock damsel in distress and for much of Spider Man 2 s running time she fits snugly into that archetype Despite clear chemistry with Maguire her soap opera style bitching makes her scenes a chore to sit through The character feels like a unnecessary complication It s Peter s conflict with Harry Osborn James Franco that deserved more screen time His slow transition from close friend to mortal enemy is an intriguing thread that the third film wasted entirely Harry s discoveries in the last act leave more of an impression on the viewer than Mary Jane s insipid love life Stealing the film is J K Simmons as Daily Bugle editor J Jonah Jameson This is a prime example of an actor making the most of very little He doesn t just chew the scenery he decimates it The character s omission from the reboot seemed entirely justified considering how good Simmons is in this role In a script peppered with great lines he bags the best While Spider Man 2 s reliance on character is what separates it from most comic book films it wouldn t be much without spectacle This is action filmmaking at its most expansive and grandiose Raimi has developed light years beyond the crude trappings of his low budget debut The Evil Dead In most respects Spider Man 2 is his most sure footed film his confidence really does power the picture and his handling of myriad storylines has never been

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2013/04/comic-book-flicks-5-spider-man-2-2004/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Comic Book 'Toons #3: The Incredible Hulk (1996-1998) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    entire series culminating in a series finale While there are a couple of exceptions to this rule they re few and far between This is a shame as they re also generally the best episodes being more memorable and genuinely exciting than the rinse and repeat formula There s also another pattern to the first series only broken on one or two occasions which is that The Hulk must end up suffering at the end of every instalment He might have won the fight or saved some people but an awful tragedy will no doubt occur which will make Hulk sad cue the violins Unsurprisingly this made the first series quite dark something that Marvel noticed and insisted on changing for the second season With this change of direction we said goodbye to the darker direction and the underlying plot and said hello to an expansion for the savage She Hulk who had been introduced in the first season but was given a greater role here She was even added to the title of the series in an attempt to connect with a female audience To help gain this female audience she was put in lots of skimpy outfits because y know women love that sort of thing The second series also became much more humour orientated with She Hulk becoming a sort of comic relief which while it certainly made the series more accessible was also a lot less palatable with She Hulk basically causing mayhem and chaos wherever they went with hilarious consequences Sadly it turns out that not only was She Hulk not actually very funny but she wasn t much of a ratings draw either with the audience quickly dwindling leading to the show s eventual cancellation Although there s a lot to dislike about the second series such as the idiotic idea to forego an ongoing arc to keep people interested there was one idea that was genuinely intriguing and that s the Grey Hulk For those not in the know the Grey Hulk apart from being the character s original colouring also reappeared in the 80s where he gained a personality called Joe Fixit an enforcer and general tough guy Joe is introduced here as a split personality of Banner and the Green Hulk Depending on Banner s emotion state he either turns into the less powerful but more cool headed Grey Hulk or the animalistic but immensely strong Green Hulk When I was younger I thought it was a ridiculously awesome idea and even as I ve matured some might say otherwise I still believe that the idea behind it was intriguing It s just a shame that the outcome wasn t quite as good as the concept The personality of the Grey s Mr Fixit could have been based on The Thing from Fantastic Four one of The Hulk s main rivals which meant that instead of being vaguely interesting he became just another stereotyped personality with little original flavour The art

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2014/02/comic-book-toons-3-the-incredible-hulk-1996-1998/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Andrew Cooper | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    face returns to his most famous role in one of the more memorable Bond games Andy picks up his laser watch and gives it another look read more SEQUELISED Die Hard 2 1990 December 11 2014 at 4 00 pm Movies Sequelised 1 comment What do you watch at Christmas when you ve already watched Die Hard read more LICENSE TO THRILL Alien Trilogy 1996 September 30 2014 at 6 38 pm Games License to Thrill Movies 0 comments Andy picks up his Pulse Rifle to take down some xenomorphs read more LICENSE TO THRILL Die Hard Trilogy 1996 July 27 2014 at 5 47 pm Games License to Thrill Movies 0 comments Back when it was a trilogy A good trilogy Andy becomes John McClane in this classic licensed gem read more Nintendo Movie Studio February 26 2014 at 6 16 pm Games Movies 0 comments Would Nintendo be wise to license their characters to movie studios Andrew gives it a good think read more CAST THIS He Man and the Masters of the Universe February 12 2014 at 3 13 pm Comics Movies TV 10 comments Who s evil enough to play Skeletor Andy gets creative read more VIDEO The Legend of Zelda A Look Back February 6 2014 at 11 15 pm Games Videos 0 comments Andrew Cooper takes a brief video tour through the eras of classic game franchise The Legend of Zelda Has it really been 28 years read more 1 2 3 4 Next Movie Squabbles CULT CORNER The Return of the Living Dead 1985 SEQUELISED RoboCop 3 1993 REVIEW The Jungle Book 2016 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City Gaming Squabbles GAMING GREATS L A Noire 2011 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/author/zombieandrew/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Gaming Greats: Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    just don t have to complete the missions at all if you don t feel up to it But plenty of new features were introduced to spice it all up You can hail cabs call your own personal taxi once it has become enabled among other things There is even a feature where you can break the driver s side window of certain cars to jump in and then Niko hot wires the vehicle Hell Rockstar also saw fit to include a cover system for this entry which is utilised by positioning yourself up against almost any object in Liberty City and pressing RB You can either blind fire by simply pressing the Right Trigger or lock on fire by holding the Left Trigger However you no longer have to painstakingly evade the police once you gain a Wanted Level All you have to do now is be clear of their radius lay low for a few seconds and Voila The Pay n Spray is still probably going to be your best friend by game s end but you won t find yourself using it half as much as other instalments Rockstar did upgrade the AI though Yank a civilian out of his or her car and they just might pull you back out Police are just as fearless Get a bunch of them on you at once and it s curtains The AI is simply unrelenting It was also nice to see it relate just as well to the game world pedestrians interact with each other constantly and one action from you can lead to a positive or negative reaction from the public It s astounding Visually speaking GTA IV is no slouch either Powered by the same graphics engine that gave life to Rockstar Presents Table Tennis this will undoubtedly remain one of the best looking Xbox 360 and PS3 games on the shelf Lighting is spectacular and the best facet of the engine as are the wonderfully designed and skinned character models In terms of its vast lighting and post processing capabilities take a chopper through Liberty City at night and simply marvel Structures are immense and there are very few doubles speaking in terms of Liberty s many buildings and the abundant citizens On the downside and this isn t necessarily a harsh criticism of the game I would have liked the developers to have allowed for more access of buildings That small nitpick aside character models and their textures are simply amazing eyes mouths hands legs and arms move realistically in cutscenes and thanks to the RAGE engine are scarily lifelike during shootouts Sound effects are great too with the roar of various weapons being dead on and the accompanying wails of combat being just as affecting The various radio stations have some great varied music as well and it isn t likely that you ll tire of them There are more radio stations here than in any GTA thus far The number of songs

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/02/gaming-greats-grand-theft-auto-iv-2008/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Gaming Greats: Mafia II (2010) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    seen with a weapon killing a police officer or pedestrian or speeding will have varying consequences About two hours into the game though I came to the startling realisation that MII wasn t the generic shooter the demo seemed to want players to think it was There are a few spots that rely heavily on cover system assisted gunfights but most of your time will be spent pulling jobs for the handful of crime bosses inhabiting Empire Bay as Vito and his childhood friend Joe Barbarro get closer and closer to becoming made men And what s interesting to note is this doesn t take place until much later in the game On that same token Mafia II really gives off this innate feeling of progression as the story deepens but I do have some issues regarding that Empire Bay is immediately open to you as is most of the game s luxury items like high class suits and other assorted apparel I would have preferred the quality and availability of clothing apartments houses and weapon selection to increase as Vito takes on bigger and better jobs to indicate his rapid ascenion up the ranks I was also disappointed by the lack of clothing available for purchase When shuffling through Vito s closet after an outfit is bought gamers may change the colour of it by selecting from existing presets only Wear options are not included and I think it would have better suited the proceedings if players were allowed to mix and match their own outfits however they saw fit The same can be said for car customisation which is a nice touch but a feature a little too hollow to warrant further examination I ve already discussed the PS3 version s various visual flaws but I would be remiss if I didn t mention that the game still looks fantastic regardless Taking into consideration that this is an open world release it s amazing the amount of detail 2K managed to squeeze in Character models look great and are all highly detailed The entirety of Empire Bay also looks absolutely spectacular due in no small part to fantastic lighting and shading as well as the vast amount of pedestrians and cars allowed on screen at once I also loved the fluidity of the well mo capped character animations and the nifty physics technology allowing for the destruction of certain parts of the environment during shootouts as well as the spectacular damage models for wrecked cars There are however a few minor adjustments that could have been made some very low res textures and robotic lip syncing could have been far more polished for instance but overall considering how butchered this particular port is graphically Mafia II still looks good now The biggest gripe fans have had up to this point is that after the main story is completed there s really no reason to replay it There are various collectibles scattered throughout the city such as Playboy magazines

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2014/04/gaming-greats-mafia-ii-2010/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Gaming Greats: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2007) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    that instead of becoming maddeningly difficult they are an absolute blast to play through Each permeates feelings of satisfaction rather than frustration and I began looking forward to going through these sequences more than anything else the game tossed my way Coupled with the fantastic cover based gameplay Uncharted is so much more than the Tomb Raider or Gears of War or Indiana Jones rip off it first appeared to be The cover system works the same as Gears though there are more cover opportunities as well as more things to do within cover Nate can turn corners while dug in and like Gears jump from one piece of cover to the next if they are adjacent As a slight downside weapon variants are a bit scarce It gets old real quick having to dispose of enemies with the same types of weaponry Perhaps that is needless nitpicking because the core combat throughout Uncharted remains satisfying Enemies get thrown back by grenades sail through the air when hit by shotgun fire and will fall from high reaching cliffs when defeated Hand to hand combat is also something that has been incorporated Combos are started by pressing Square next to an enemy and can be followed up by combinations of the Square and Triangle buttons for brutal hand to hand attacks Not particularly the most refined aspect of the game however is the rather unintelligent enemy AI Their cover patterns seem to be scripted and there were many times when they were charging right at my incoming fire Sufficient enough yes but the lacklustre AI is clearly not up to task with the pristine craftsmanship often encompassing it and the sequels Running on PlayStation 3 hardware also gave Uncharted an advantage in terms of meatier content and some of the most stunning graphics I have ever seen even now Cutscenes however entertaining they may be do tend to drone on a bit too long but in hindsight you can thank the PS3 s Blu ray technology for allowing that kind of lengthy content to make it into a game with visuals this impressive The aforementioned cutscenes still look absolutely gorgeous and feature some of the most fluid character movements I have ever seen in a console game In game visuals are of the same quality with plenty of subtle details like Nathan s clothes appearing drenched and dripping wet after exiting any large body of water The physics are also of note as Nate and the various NPC movements have been mapped perfectly A simple in game task such as running down a flight of stairs looks incredible thanks to the proprietary engine physics the fine folks at Naughty Dog cooked up Shading is top notch lighting is a feast for the eyes and water texture is a real visual treat A game as good and as technically superior as this was very rare in 2007 If you ve yet to take the plunge I have no choice but to insist

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/04/gaming-greats-20-uncharted-drakes-fortune-2007/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Gaming Greats: Grand Theft Auto (1997) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    only did it make it easier for DMA to map the cities featured in the game with their limited budget and technology but it brought an energy to the endless police pursuits that might not have existed otherwise The overhead viewpoint makes everything clear and coherent and there really wasn t a need for more sophisticated graphics GTA has always been a fun experience because it provides wonderful stress relief Have a bad day at work Just go and kill a load of assholes in a sports car The spare visual look isn t as off putting as you d expect in 2015 because the core mechanics still work so well While the gloss wouldn t come until later DMA did manage to give their fictional cities a sense of character Every time you steal a car in the game you will be greeted with whatever radio station the unlucky owner was listening to at the time The PC version had seven stations which provided a fair range of wacky music whilst the PlayStation only had two confirming that Sony s port was vastly inferior The music and radio broadcasts have always been a valued comedic aspect of the franchise but they weren t always composed of popular chart hits The soundtrack for the original was created completely by Colin Anderson Craig Conner and Grant Middleton and they did a fantastic job of making a universe from music I remember the tracks sticking in my head for days and that was only exacerbated when I realised that putting the CD ROM into my stereo would play the score The importance of GTA s sound scape in making it all work cannot be underestimated Sixteen years later it s difficult for me to assess whether or not nostalgia plays a part in my appreciation of Grand Theft Auto Younger gamers might not be able to see the attraction but its retro charms are heightened by just how damn influential it is We have this to thank for every sandbox game since in many respects and its impossible to list the amount of games inspired by Rockstar s effort The love for GTA isn t misplaced this has been a gold standard since day one Useless Trivia Via Wikipedia Grand Theft Auto was originally planned to release on PC DOS PC Windows 95 PlayStation Sega Saturn and the Ultra 64 However it was never released for the Ultra 64 ultimately renamed the Nintendo 64 or the Saturn The three fictional cities would later become the settings used in the Grand Theft Auto III and IV games to follow but not in the Grand Theft Auto London mission packs nor in Grand Theft Auto 2 The original Grand Theft Auto was developed in DOS and then later ported to Microsoft Windows using SciTech MGL Sony PlayStation developed by Visual Sciences using their ViSOS framework and Game Boy Color The Game Boy Color version was technologically unabridged which was quite a technical achievement due

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/02/gaming-greats-25-grand-theft-auto-1997/ (2016-04-26)
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