Foxtel Brings X-Men Pop Up Channel for Easter

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In a first for Australia, Foxtel are bringing the entire X-Men movie catalog to its dedicated pop-up channel (channel 400) for fans to binge on X-Men goodness over the Easter break.

Starting from 6am on Good Friday with 2000’s X-Men, nine movies in total will screen back to back ending with 2016’s Deadpool on Monday April 17th.

From characters including Storm, Psylocke, Nightcrawler and Magneto, the mega movie franchise has raked in just shy of 5 billion dollars in wold wide ticket sales and doesn’t appear to be slowing down with the majorly anticipated Deadpool 2 due later this year and the next installment for the X-Men, which is due to be announced sometime soon.

From Foxtel’s press release, the run will see the following movies shown:

X-Men (2000)  Born into a world of prejudice are children who possess extraordinary powers under the tutelage of Professor X, the outcasts learn to harness their powers to protect mankind from the evil Magneto.

X-Men 2 (2003)  Following a shocking attack on the President, the X-Men must stand united with their deadliest enemies to combat a menace that threatens every mutant on the planet – and possibly all of mankind.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)  In this 3rd installment of the X-Men Trilogy a cure is found for mutancy, threatening to alter the course of history. Opposing viewpoints of the mutant leaders trigger the war to end all wars.

X-Men: First Class (2011)  Two young men discover their superhuman powers for the first time, working together in a desperate attempt to stop the Hellfire Club and a global nuclear war.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)  When Sentinels created to hunt and kill mutants begin to target humans too, Wolverine is sent into the past to stop a war that will end with no victor.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)  The X-Men must battle the original and most powerful mutant – Apocalypse, when he is set free after being entombed for several millennia.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)  The story of Wolverine’s violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program.

The Wolverine (2013)  Out of his depth in an unknown world Wolverine faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle, confronting not only lethal samurai steel, but also his struggle against his own immortality.

Deadpool (2016)  A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.

 The franchise features a stellar lineup of Hollywood’s best actors across the nine films, including Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, James Marsden, Ian McKellan, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Stewart, Olivia Munn and Australia’s own Hugh Jackman in his iconic role as ‘Wolverine’.

Oddly enough, the run of movies only seems to ‘sort of’ hit in chronological order versus release date order with 2009’s Wolverine Origins movie and the subsequent The Wolverine from 2013 showing after 2016’s Apocalypse film.

Home to a series of successful movie marathons (Harry Potter and Star Wars) Channel 400 is available to Foxtel Movies and Foxtel Platinum subscribers only.

The back-to-back binge starts Friday April 14th at 6am with X-Men on channel 400.

 

Toy Review: 2017 Black Label Wonder Woman Barbie

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Taking inspiration from the up-coming live action Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot, Mattel are releasing three Black Label Barbie dolls based off three of the characters within the film.  Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta and Robin Wright as Antiope.  The first of the three to be released is Gadot’s Wonder Woman, seen first here in Australia.

While Mattel are still yet to officially reveal any images of the trio, this 2017 black label release has already begun to hit selected stores in Australia.

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Thepophub.com has got your first in-hand look at this new doll but note, as I am not a de-boxer, this review will only take in-to account what can be seen without removing the doll from her plastic/cardboard prison!

Releasing as part of Barbie Loves Pop Culture series, this new doll features many similarites to that of the Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Wonder Woman barbie released last year (that was never released in Australia) with the articulated body, the dark rooted hair and Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman facial screening.

The box art is bright and colorful featuring the movies Wonder Woman logo with the outside of the plastic sheet surrounded by a printed gold lasso.  The back of the box showcases a promotional photo of Gadot as Wonder Woman with a short bio of the character.

The doll features shoulder, elbow and wrist articulation along with articulation in the knees – the feet remains unknown as I did not take of the boots.  One hand is molded in a clasping pose to hold her sword while the other is in a fist, so as to hold her shield.  The shield itself is held by the doll via two straps that link over Wonder Woman’s arm.

Wonder Woman’s outfit remains screen accurate with the bodice made out of light plastic in the red and blue signature look with a faux leather pteruges skirt with gold imprinted details.  The bodice and skirt are somewhat flimsy to the touch and I cannot confirm how these are attached to the body.  The faux fur and fabric cape is quite lush and ample in size and doesn’t seem to be hooded from what I could tell without removing the backing card though the official description does state there is in-fact a hood.  The cloak is held closed by a single button and elastic loop combo with the elastic loop feeling strong and capable of holding with some decent play.

Other accessories include a gold plastic armband, silver plastic bracelets and gold plastic boots with red imprinted details and black elastic.  There’is also a brown faux-leather scabbard with gold plastic hardware, gold cord lasso which appears to be non-removable, gold plastic sword with silver imprinted blade, gunmetal silver plastic shield with gold imprinted details and black elastic bands, and a clear plastic doll stand with black plastic base that is not branded in any form.

The hair is styled in loose ringlets and is held with some form of setting gel leaving parts of the hair feeling dry and ‘crunchy’.

Pre-Order your case of all three dolls from Entertainment Earth here!

The facial screening and mold remains stunning just as it was with last years release.

 

This black label release comes with a certificate of authenticity and remains an non-numbered limited edition release.

Currently available in selected stores in Australia (David Jones and GoFigureCollectables.com.au as of writing this) Wonder Woman Black Label Movie doll is scheduled for a USA release in mid April – though Mattel’s site is stating May 2017.

Also, check out the first look at the Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta black label Barbie below!

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Modern Warfare Remastered Shows Just How Far the Franchise Has Come

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Female soldier skins are a new addition to MW Remastered

As someone who stood steadfast in avoiding the most recent outing of Call of Duty due to it’s overtly futuristic spacey feel, the lure of an addition of the series fourth installment, Modern Warfare remastered, finally drew me in to nab the game (5 months after it’s release mind you). This updated flashback to one of Call of Duty’s more finer releases showcases just how far the series has come since its early days and just how dated this version really is when compared to where the series has gone.

While major improvements have been made to graphics and even the inclusion of semi-customizable soldiers – with female skins available too, Modern Warfare Remastered brings players back to a cumbersome grounding, taking away the speed and finesse that plays in more modern outings for the series.

Playing my first team death match game on the ‘Bog’ map, simple and instilled tasks of sliding, wall running and reloading while sprinting that we have all become accustomed to, do not exist.  Blasting yourself sky high and popping off a sniper shot or speeding yourself across the map to dodge a hail of bullets does not happen.  Instead, your’e left hurriedly scurrying to a safe spot, trying to scope out the enemy, hoping to make a mercy dash to your next location or out of the way of falling bombs.

Basically, MW Remastered neuters players who are neck deep in the futuristic COD game play style and brings them back to a place of beginner level and a lot of this can be attributed to two reasons – the maps with the game and the restricted load outs.

Unlike recent releases, the maps in MW Remastered were not designed for vertical run and gun play but instead, grounded gritty and strategic warfare.  In maps especially like Bog and Shipment (which are no bigger in size than say Nuketown), cover is very hard to come.  Strategy team death match play goes out the window and a battle for survival and attempts to build kill streaks take its place.  These maps force players to completely change their usual play style to that they would use in other COD games.

I for instance haven’t heavily used a sniper rifle since Call of Duty: Ghosts thanks to the introduction of boosts, wall running and the large amount of ‘Swiss cheese’ styled maps that just don’t allow for the comfortable use of those kinds of weapons.  Those fast paced games of modern COD games have crafted me into a run and gun player so falling back into long range paced play was a welcome but clumsy change.

The restricted load outs are also big change from the norm we’ve come to expect with players forced to use weapons with a single attachment, one tactical item and three perks.  A far cry from the 10 point load out system where a single weapon can yield 4 attachments that we’ve come to know.  It becomes frustrating deciding to chose between adding the silencer or ACOG scope to your weapon, both which drastically effect how you play the game.

All in all, releasing a much loved classic on the back of one of the least anticipated Call of Duty releases to date was a smart move by Activision but the stripped back classic game will provide a mixed bag of opinions, divide fans and more than likely push those invested in the more modern and accommodating releases back to what they know and love.  I however have begun to relish the old-school style of game-play, even with its major playing restrictions.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered is available now as part of the Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition release.

First Look at the Black Label Wonder Woman Movie Barbie Doll

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The first sneak peek look at one of the new Wonder Woman black label Barbie dolls, based off the up-coming movie, has been leaked the final product looks amazing!  With three new black label movie based dolls due for release, only a blurry image of Robin Wright’s Antiope has managed to make its way online leaving us wondering about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Connie Nielsens’ Hyppolyta releases.

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Prior this is leak, no images, previews or news had been released about these black label dolls – we just knew they were coming and now, a first look of the Wonder Woman black label Barbie has dropped showcasing the new doll with the wonderful Gal Gadot screening as used in the Batman Vs Superman but with the addition of the black woolen cloak Wonder Woman sports in the new movie.

Check out the two images below.

While some of the new movie based action dolls have begun to hit US Wallmart stores (We should expect to see them end of April here in Australia) there is no exact street date (April 4th has been floating around on some collector sites) and the rrp is around the US$50 mark.

Wentworth Season 5 – What We Know and What Could we Expect?

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We’re only a few short weeks away from finding out what the fallout is following Bea Smith’s (Danielle Cormack) death at the hands of former prison warden and current inmate Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe)  in the new season of Wentworth starting April 4th on Showcase.

While most of us are hoping for some miracle, it’s no secret that those involved with the show have been very vocal in letting us all know that Bea is in fact very dead and that Cormack is off perusing other projects. That said, the impact of Smith’s murder will play heavily into this upcoming fifth season affecting inmates and prison staff alike.

Foxtel have confirmed that contrary to earlier suggestions, there will be no time jump between the end of season four and the start of season five, with this new season picking up right after Bea’s death with the focus heavily on the theme of revenge as shown in various teaser promos released by Foxtel.

So what do we know so far about season five?  Kaz Proctor (Tammy McIntosh) cements her role as the new top dog within Wentworth but will her ‘no violence’ policy react negatively with the inmates when it comes to the punishment of Ferguson – especially with that of Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) whom unbeknownst to Ferguson, survived her lethal hot shot.

 

Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland) continues her top secret mission with  Don Kaplan (Steve Bastoni) to get Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton) to confess her crimes though has Sonia cottoned on to what Liz is doing?

Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) continues to support Maxine (Socratis Otto) through her battle with breast cancer.

Franky (Nicole DaSilva) and Bridget’s (Libby Tanner) relationship outside the walls of Wentworth continue to go from strength to strength but will Bea’s murder push Franky to do something that will send her right back?

Jake Stewart (Bernard Curry) deals with the consequences of his actions with Ferguson that led to him murdering the key witness in Ferguson’s trial and the smuggling in of the drugs used to give Allie the not-so-lethal hot shot.  This begins to put stress on his relationship with Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson) who is still blind to his unlawful actions.

All will be revealed when the fifth season of Wentworth begins April 4th on Showcase.

 

Amy Schumer’s Leather Special Keeps with the Schumer we Know All Too Well.

AmySNetflix1When it comes to comedian Amy Schumer and her stand-up comedy shows, we pretty much know what we’re going to get.  Themes of self depreciation, sex, fat jokes and offering her own take on the vagina monologues are constant in Schumers work, so much so, when bursting onto the scene, she was applauded for delving into those ‘no-go’ topics.

Now a best selling author and big screen actress (Trainwreck and the upcoming Snatched with Goldie Hawn), the jokes and topics that found Amy stardom continue to pull her along the dark and vulgar path she’s traveled down many a time before.  In her most recent outing for Netflix titled Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, jokes about her feminine hygiene, copious amounts of alcohol and oral sex are once again present and feel somewhat ‘old-school’ Amy Schumer and by old-school, I mean the Amy we first met back in 2014 when Inside Amy Schumer began to gain traction for being a very on point and wickedly blunt comedic sketch show.

Schumer, as witnessed in The Leather Special, rarely strays away from topics that seem to hit with audiences and while topics such as double standard within Hollywood, female sexuality and empowerment and body insecurities are tackled, there’s an uneasy feeling of ‘heard this once before’ as these topics feel rehashed but with added vagina.

But all is not lost for Amy as among all the smut and vomit jokes, she manages to set aside her vagina for a moment and approach the hot topic of gun control, a subject close to Schumer after a gunman (in 2015) opened fire in a cinema showing her film Trainwreck in which two people were killed and nine other injured.

It’s a sidestep into the real world that will undoubtedly get people talking and divide audiences (the special briefly cuts to a small number of audience members walking out when gun control is mocked) but also one that she should visit a bit more often as sadly, this ‘raunch comedy’ that has become so synonymous with Schumer has me fearing that she may never get out of this sexual gag cycle.

Amy Schumer: The Leather Special is currently streaming on Netflix.

New Mattel Wonder Woman Line Coming to Australia

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The New York Toy Fair held earlier this year revealed some very cool new merchandise from Mattel to coincide with the new Wonder Woman solo movie which hits theaters in June.  From Wonder Woman action figures to dress-up action gear and movie themed articulated dolls, Mattel are going all out to ensure that Wonder Woman receives as much love as her male superhero counterparts.

With the Wonder Woman Black Label Barbie from the Batman Vs Superman movie not being released here in Australia (oddly enough, a version of the SDCC exclusive was available here in Australia via Toys R Us), there was some worry this new line may not make it to our shores.

See more photos of what’s to come at nerdyrottenscoundrel.com

As it turns out, we need not worry as Mattel have confirmed to me that Wonder Woman merchandise including those revealed at New York Toy Fair are expected to hit the market around mid April, and mega toy retailer Toys R Us have also confirmed to me that they will be stocking items including the Justice League 12″/30cm Wonder Woman figure, the Barbie Wonder Woman Collector Doll, the Wonder Woman Doll and Horse Set, Wonder Bow and the Wonder Woman assorted Fashion Doll range.

And for those interested in the DC Superhero Girl line, Mattel noted that new additions will hit the market “mid year, if not earlier”.

There is still no official word on pricing yet.

Exciting news for Wonder Woman fans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheryl Crow Returns to 90’s Roots with Ninth Studio Album ‘Be Myself’.

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After taking a side step from her pop roots to record the country themed “Feel Like Home”, singer Sheryl Crow is returning to what she knows and what she does best with her ninth studio album titled “Be Myself”.

Joining Jeff Trott and Tchad Blake with whom she collaborated with on hits including “My Favorite Mistake” and “Everyday Is a Winding Road“, Be Myself saw Crow, Trott and Blake fall back effortlessly into a flow that produced some of her biggest hits.

Check out Sheryl’s interview with Rolling Stone all about Be Myself.

Announced today, Be Myself hits April 21st 2017 with pre-orders starting today including through Sheryl’s official website where a limited edition CD and signed lithograph pack can be pre-ordered.

Check out the first single off the album, titled Halfway There below:

Be Myself drops April 21st in digital and CD formats and June 2nd on vinyl.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Beta Review

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Ghost Recon: Wildlands is currently live for a limited beta play-through before the full game goes live on March 7th and while the onset saw major server issues and lengthy maintenance delays, it seems, for most players, the beta is now in full swing.

Wildlands has you playing as a special forces soldier whose main aim is to wipe out a major Mexican drug cartel in no-too-distant-future Bolivia.  An open world game, Wildlands puts you at the drivers seat in a “choose your own adventure” kind of way as you decide how you and your team will go about taking out the cartel.

Before getting into any game play, your first task is to create your character.  As a lover of games that use this feature, the customization options gave me mixed feelings, offering a wide range of options on some items and no where near enough options on others.

As someone who – when given the chance to – plays as a female character, I do have to give props to Ubisoft for the range of female faces offered to choose from.  While none are worthy of being recruited as a Victoria’s Secret model, the number of “nice looking” faces outnumber the swamp donkey ones, though the option to choose race and skin color is locked to each of the eleven face styles.  There’s a small amount of face paints and scars to choose from and the tattoo’s add a gritty edge to your character.

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Outfits and accessories are fitting for the games genre with tank tops, Tee’s, shirts and similar items and most feature a wide selection of color and/or pattern changes to suit the look you’re going for.  Where Ubisoft dropped the ball in customization is hair options. While I haven’t checked out those open for male characters (who also have facial hair options), the females have seven options, all of which are sadly, very basic and very masculine.  From a stock standard bun to short cornrows to fully shaved to a tiny ponytail, all are rather disappointing and don’t seem to look that decent unless covered with a headset (see top image) or with a hat.  While i’m not asking for long Rapunzel hair, the argument of avoiding clipping with longer styles is moot considering the hair assortment (long and short) sported by the NPC’s running around town that certainly do not have clipping issues.

Wildlands game play feels very smooth and while the controls took some time to get used to, everything from shooting to running and climbing were seamless, however driving felt very different to what has been found in similar games.  While controlling your vehicle is pretty much standard, I found not only did it take quite a lot of damage to completely total your vehicle but also, whatever you’re driving has the ability to literally climb mountains.

As if unaffected by the rocky and bushy landscape, the car I had stolen and literally drove over a cliffs edge was able to easily climb right back up to where it had fallen from.  Handy if you loose control or need to make a quick shortcut to get across to the other side of the map, but the feel of this goes against what we know and what we’d expect.

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Even flying a helicopter – something I always try and avoid – was easy enough to control though trying to maintain a steady climb and decent push forward in a straight line felt fiddly and quite slow.

Environment interaction was more miss than hit.  As stated, the ability to drive up the side of a rocky mountain is odd and my helicopter wasn’t affected by the trees I steered it through.  The NPC’s wandering around manage to, for the most part, be quick enough to jump out of the way of my speeding and slightly out of control car but killing an NPC with a weapon can prove costly and have repercussions on a mission.

The missions open during the beta were pretty stock standard too but the ability to decide how you go about it was a nice addition.  While the main mission is always there, upon finding some intel at a rebel location, you can choose either scouting for more supplies, upgrades or another rebel base as you are never forced to play the main arc which sees a massive cartel flow chart showing how prominent gang members are connected and who must be killed to get information on the next target.

4 player co-op is also up and running for Wildlands and I had no issues jumping into a live game with three randoms but relinquishing control to someone else was frustrating especially when you find yourself a passenger in a vehicle being driven from one side of the map to the other for a quick shoot and run mission or when trying to make a stealthy entrance into an enemy camp only to have someone go running in guns blazing.

Thankfully, playing off-line, your AI controlled helpers are much more accommodating to your play style.

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For the most part, my time spent on the Ghost Recon: Wildlands beta was more positive than negative but only slightly.  The mission repetition can become mundane and to put it bluntly, was nothing really not seen before in games before (I am playing Metal Gear Solid V and the similarities are insane).  The open world environment is lush and vast and smooth game play will keep you going for a short while but with little to unlock or aim for (weapons and additions to your character), the steam behind Wildlands could run out quickly for players who have pretty much seen this all before.

Ghost Recon; Wildlands beta ends Monday Feb 27th will the full game launching Tuesday March 7th.

Jakks Pacific Joins the DC SuperHero Girl Line

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Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with DC Entertainment are expanding their DC Superhero Girl line to bring Wonder Woman and co to every household worldwide with a global expansion of the brand’s licensing and merchandising program.  The program has seen the line grow to more than 30 categories including toys, costumes, apparel, accessories, publishing and stationery with licenses granted to Funko, Crayola and Pez Candy among others.

Budget toy maker Jakks Pacific has been tapped by Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create a retail line for the DC Super Hero Girls universe and now Jakks seem to have come up with the goods with the first batch of good to be released under the multi-year global licencing deal, revealed for the upcoming 2017 NY Toy Fair.

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  • DC Toddler Dolls: Adorable toddler dolls each dressed in an iconic DC Super Hero outfit including, Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl – each doll has rooted hair and comes with accessories such as belts, cuffs, masks, headpieces and shoes.

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  • DC Super Hero Girls – Everyday Dress-Up: Girls can now master their super powers with the Everyday Dress-Up assortment. These two-piece outfits include key accessories like masks, headbands, headpieces or arm cuffs.

A line of capes with Wonder Woman, Kitana and Bumblebee, along with designer superhero face applique and temporary tattoo packs are also due for release.

But it’s the announcement of a new line of DC Superhero Girls dolls that have people talking!

The new line-up by Jakks Pacific will include four characters, each measuring a whopping 18″ with 14 points of articulation and will be exclusive to Toys ‘r’ Us with a price point of $34.99 each.  While Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Bumblebee will be fit out in designs very similar to their Mattel counterpart, Batgirl looks set to be given an overhaul, sporting a look very similar to her classically iconic Batgirl ’66 look.

Jakks Pacific will officially unveil all during NY Toy Fair and has stated these products are slated to hit US stores this fall.